You may already be experiencing unknown benefits from eating certain foods.
An orange a day keeps the brain free of heavy metals and inflammation An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects. Their effects have been studied with applications for treating cancer and heart disease for many years. Recently the use of citrus fruit juices and skins for brain functions such as learning and memory are arousing a lot of interest.
Every part of an orange, lemon or grapefruit is medicinally active and none of it belongs in the trash can. Newer studies confirm that nutrient absorption is superior from the citrus fruits they are naturally found in. Food-based medicine using effective quantities of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices can mimic (or in some cases, replace) your medications – but without any adverse effects. A naturopath or doctor of integrated medicine can offer more supportive advice.
The ability of citrus pulp to remove heavy metals from the receptor sites of neurons is remarkable. Once the receptor is able to function normally, the uptake of serotonin and other neurotransmitters like dopamine is restored. The polyphenols in particular show a range of antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic effects. For instance, ginger is a natural blood thinner. A tiny sliver a day is all you need. So why take a drug with harmful side effects to do the same thing? Taking both will double the effect. At best, take a regular test and then you will see for yourself how well your dietary embellishments are working. The white pith beneath the orange peel is a potent cholesterol balancer. It supports the beneficial type and lowers the lousy LDL cholesterol.
The bitter truth about ignoring the cancer fighting potential of orange peel
Who knew that oranges have been studied as a potent anti-cancer drug? Why the silence then, about the limonoids that help to fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon? These bitter compounds – the ones that give the flavour to orange and lemon zest, are readily absorbed by the body and are potent anti-carcinogens. They outperform green tea and other sources of polyphenols due to their exceptional bioavailability. They remain active for a few days as opposed to other phytochemicals. So keep using my recipes to provide more limonin glucoside. We digest this compound and then split off the attached glucose molecule to set off the limonin. This chemical attacks fat and grease and can also be used to make your own green detergents.
Oranges are an abundant supply of limonin and polyphenols.
They provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-proliferative effects. So why the heck don’t we take advantage of what we can get out of oranges? Rather wrap your belief systems around a pocket of oranges and a bunch of leaves than a white jacket, toxic anti-cancer drugs and a machine that sets off radiation. It is interesting that a bald Barbie Doll was introduced to the toy market in sympathy of children with mothers who have breast cancer. It is a pity the mother threw her orange peels in the trash can! Pulp fiction or fact? Go for the pectin The science behind using whole fruit – every part of it is especially true for getting the most out of citrus pith in the form of a pulp as well as just extracting the juice. The fibre it contains is rich in vitamin K, pectin and the bulkier the format, the better.
Eat oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit to your heart's content
A daily serving of orange pulp can mop up heavy metals, toxins and other muck throughout the digestive tract and it lowers cholesterol and helps to prevent atherosclerosis. This helps to lower the glycemic index and prevents insulin upsets - a boon to weight loss. All that fibre enhances gut health by pushing out the crap and supporting a good colony of beneficial bacteria. It contains no gluten or sugar and is what we call a calorie-negative food. (Why do we chuck this stuff away?)
But the pulp you are about to start making and enjoying as a prescribed gourmet medicine has even more to offer. Hesperidin; an anti-inflammatory flavone (chemical) that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol - according to studies done with animals. This is also due to the high potassium content of citrus pith and the fibrous skins around the fruit segments. We try to cut down on sodium to reduce blood pressure by still need salt to survive. It is potassium that balances the sodium in the blood! There are also flavonoids like polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) on offer. They prevent the synthesis of triglycerides (the cholesterol foundation) in the liver.
The combined antioxidant effects of all the phytochemicals present in an orange (not just the juice) stop cholesterol from oxidizing and converting to the bad LDL type of cholesterol that causes the damage to blood vessels. The smart anti-cancer strategy of galactose in citrus pectin: A cell with DNA damage (known as a cancer cell) is normally detected and removed by the immune system on a daily basis. Where there is a larger area that is toxic or damaged, cells are switched on to multiply and pack around the danger zone and cover it up. This is how a biofilm or a cyst is formed around a parasite, for instance. But if one of the cancerous cells migrates to another site it causes the spread (or metastasis) of cancer.
How does citrus pectin control cancer? A brilliant strategy!
The bones, lungs, prostate, kidney, liver, thyroid or brain are typical sites where metastasis takes place. So we need to know how to stop this from happening to call a halt to the spread of cancer. It is one thing to kill cancerous cells (chemotherapy and radiation) as soon as they are generated and another to stop the process in its tracks. That is what is so smart about citrus pectin. It switches off the cell division and inbibits the cell adhesion. For a wayward cancerous cell to replicate, invade a blood vessel and set up a new site it requires full engagement with receptors called galectins situated on its membrane. Each galectin receptor must bond with a sugar molecule called galactose. This switches on the cancer factory and away it goes. So along comes a different look-alike galactose from citrus pectin and blocks the cancer cell's receptors. Now it can't establish a niche to breed on a blood vessel.
Citrus pectin can halt the growth or metastasis of cancer using this technique.
Supplements made of modified citrus pectin as well as eating more citrus pulp will deal with this aspect of cancer. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects of oranges can also help us cope with other aspects of cancer. The pith of lemons is very good for the liver and helps to make enzymes like trypsin that control cell division. Trypsin, when it is available and active also switches off cell division when appropriate. (But it won't if the receptors are an excess of certain hydroxyestrogens that have not been cleared by the liver.)
How to make your own citrus pulp
To ensure a regular supply of orange or other citrus peel products you need a practical way to ingest the white pith beneath that bitter oily peel. Voila! Use a stick blender to make your own citrus pulp. It can be frozen in measured quantities or kept in the fridge. This creamy golden slurry can be sweetened with xylitol and eaten a dollop at a time with cereals or yoghurt or added to smoothies. But for the gluten-free gourmet; and especially for vegans my citrus pulp is the magic ingredient for cakes, muffins and cookies. I developed this technique many years ago and wrote the first recipe for my book in 2004. It is only now that I see how healthy the stuff is!
Take 2 large oranges of 10 cm diameter each to make 2 cups of orange pulp. Cut off the oily rind in neat strips, leaving behind as much white pith as you can. We keep the orange rind for later use. (Making candied citrus peel, beverages and a liquid detergent from the limonene.) Halve the oranges. Squeeze out their juice into the goblet of your stick or wand blender. Chop up the segments into smaller pieces and add to the juice. Whizz it up using the chopping blades of your stick blender to make a smooth fluffy pulp. Use the pulp for the baking recipes and other smart ideas.
Do more with citrus pulp – smart variations
Add 30 ml finely chopped fresh ginger to the blend – very yummy and more therapeutic. (The ginger is a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory drug.) A few chunks of fresh pineapple can be included. (Pineapple is a medicine chest in its own right and is rich in bromelain.) Try using grapefruit pulp. It is bitter but produces a lot more pulp. Use it for baking to get the lightest and fluffiest effects. Exclude the grapefruit juice. Use water or a sweeter juice to cut the bitterness. Add a little lemon pulp. It is not good to use solo, but if you have leftovers from making lemon juice then remove the rind and add them to the orange or grapefruit pulp.
It is marvellous for digestion and the health of your liver. Freeze the pulp in measured quantities. The cake recipe requires 250 ml. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week. (A good indicator of all the phytochemicals and lifesaving antioxidants we get!) A spoon or two of the orange pulp is nice to have every day with cereals or yogurt. Sweeten it with xylitol, maple syrup or honey. Yum! It can be added to the smoothies you make. You may want to drink the fresh orange juice instead of adding it to the pulp. So replace it with an equal quantity of water or herb tea. Rooibos tea makes a nice change.
Baking with citrus pulp: orange cakes, cookies, muffins, fruit cakes and rusks
Citrus pulp dough - gluten-free, dairy free and egg free (vegan friendly) Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl by adding them in the order they are listed: 250 ml orange pulp 20 ml olive oil (or rice bran oil) 80 – 100 ml brown sugar or preferably xylitol 150 ml rice flour (or quinoa flour if you have it) 5 ml baking powder Stir together and pour into a baking dish that is lined with baking paper. The mixture will yield about 350 ml. (Enough to fill a small flat glass dish, baking tin or a small muffin tray.) They can be baked in a pre heated oven of 180 degrees C for about 10 – 15 minutes.
I prefer to bake these items in a microwave oven. The average time is 3 – 4 minutes. Then remove from the oven. Place on a wooden board covered by a piece of paper towel. Peel off the paper lining and release the hot steamy cake. Let it cool down completely, turning it around a few times so as not to let one side get too soggy. While still warm it can have a spread of maple syrup or honey that seeps in and adds to the pleasure. The basic orange cake keeps well in or out of the fridge and it can also be frozen. Serve it: as sponge fingers topped with strawberries and natural cream. Or slice the cake into strips and dry them out to make rusks.
Use the cake as a hot or cold pudding and serve it with jelly, fruit custard or cream to make a gluten free trifle. Try it with ice cream topped with home-made orange preserve or marmalade or strawberries. Favourite cakes to make from your basic citrus pulp dough Coco pine orange cake. Add a few chunks of fresh pineapple and a slice or two of fresh ginger to the oranges you pulp up. Add 100 ml desiccated coconut to the dough mixture. For a satisfying fruit cake add chopped raisins and nuts to the pulp. Add a little cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice.
For a darker colour, add a few teaspoons of cocoa powder to the dough. Adding a tablespoon of sweet molasses makes it richer. To convert this into a carrot cake, add half a cup of finely grated carrots. For Chocolate brownies add more sugar and cocoa to the fruit cake and spread the mixture out into a flatter baking tray. Add chocolate chips or better still – coca nibs. For muffins, cupcakes and fairy cakes spoon the dough into muffin trays or use paper liners in the trays. Add chocolate chips, candied orange peel or ginger preserve. For flaxseed biscotti (rusks) to protect you from the munchies add 150 – 280 ml flax seeds (linseed) to the baking mixture. (The ground-up flax seeds boost beneficial oestrogen and banish constipation . They provide omega 3 oil and lignans, an insoluble fibre. It also helps to cut the bad cholesterol.)
Add sunflower or pumpkin seeds for more of a bite. After baking, cool the cake down before slicing it. Place the slices on an oven tray and lightly toast them to make the rusks – this takes a few minutes. Bitter grapefruit hunger buster bars. For a more slimming idea use grapefruit pulp for the biscotti and sweeten it with stevia. Cookies or crunchy biscuits are easy to make out of any of the above mixtures. Spoon out small blobs of dough on a greased baking sheet. Bake them until you feel they are done on the surface. Then switch off the oven and they will crisp up on their own if left for a few hours or overnight.