Friday, October 23, 2015

Walnuts Increase Male Sperm Counts and Fertility

Eating about two handfuls of walnuts a day may provide men the added boost they need to improve their fertility, according to a breakthrough study by researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing.

Findings from the study, "Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial," are published Aug. 15 in the "papers in press" section of the peer-reviewed journal Biology of Reproduction.

This is the first study to look at the effects of a plant source of omega-3 on sperm, the researchers say. Statistics from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine show that one in six couples is infertile, with about 40 percent of these cases due to a male factor. 

The 12-week study involved 117 men between the ages of 21 and 35, who were divided into two groups. One group added 75 grams of whole-shelled walnuts to their diet daily. The other group continued their usual diet but avoided eating tree nuts. Both groups ate a typical Western-style diet.

"We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts," said Wendie Robbins, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "The men who ate no tree nuts saw no change.

"Women are not the only ones who should be paying attention to what they eat when they are trying to get pregnant," she added. "This study shows that what men eat is important too."

Food has been linked to human reproductive success throughout history. And while dietary habits and essential nutrients that promote successful reproductive outcomes for women have been identified, the habits and nutrients that can improve men's reproductive fitness are less clear, the researchers say. In particular, evidence is limited for men who routinely consume Western-style diets that may lack optimal nutrients needed for health, sperm and fertility.

"Walnuts provide a particularly rich source of a-linolenic acid, a natural plant source of omega-3, which we suspect may have been responsible for the improvements we observed," said study co-author Catherine Carpenter of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and UCLA schools of nursing and medicine.

The next step, according to the researchers, is to work with couples who are attending infertility clinics to determine if placing men on a walnut diet results in better success conceiving.

The study was funded through a grant from the California Walnut Commission and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.

In addition to Robbins and Carpenter, study co-authors included Lin Xun, Leah FitzGerald and Samantha Esguerra of the UCLA School of Nursing and Susanne Henning of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

Nutrient Powerhouse

Walnuts contain a host of nutrients. A cup of chopped walnuts will contain 18 ounces of protein, or about 15% by weight. Walnuts also contain a host of B vitamins, led by folate at 115 mcg, B6 at 600 mcg and thiamin at 400 mcg. A cup of walnuts also contains 115 milligrams of calcium, 185 milligrams of magnesium and 516 milligrams of potassium. Walnuts are also rich in manganese – with 200% of US Daily Value. Walnuts are also rich in selenium and phytosterols.

But it is walnuts' omega-3 content that blows the doors off of most foods, at 10,623 milligrams of omega-3s per cup. Much of this comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Healthy livers convert ALA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as needed, at a rate of between 7% and 36%.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

How to Increase Your Sperm Count

Inadequate sperm production and quality is one of the most common reasons for male infertility as it decreases the odds of one of the sperms fertilizing the egg for conception.

According to the World Health Organization, the normal concentration of sperm is at least 20 million per ml of semen. Fewer than 15 million sperm per ml is considered a low sperm count, also called oligozoospermia. Conception problems are associated with fewer than 40 million moving sperm in the ejaculate.

Various natural remedies and other tips can help increase your sperm count and also improve sperm quality.

A Changing Your Habits

1. Avoid overheating your testicles.
There's a reason our testicles rest outside our bodies: they need to stay a bit cooler than the rest of our internal organs. When testicles get too warm, they aren't able to produce as much sperm.There are a number of ways to make sure your testicles don't get overheated:
Don't wear tight pants and jeans.
Wear loose, cotton boxer shorts instead of briefs.
Sleep without underwear so that your testicles stay cooler.
Avoid hot baths and saunas.

2. Wear a jockstrap when you play sports.
It goes without saying, because most men know this from experience, but a blow to the balls will hurt you and kill your sperm.

3.Massage your body with herbal oils.
This, along with regular exercise, improves overall blood flow and circulation. Increased circulation means healthier sperm.

4.Reduce stress levels. Stress can decrease your sexual function, leading to reduced sperm production.If you work 12 plus hour days and never give yourself a chance to rest, your count might be down as a result. Try practicing relaxation techniques throughout the day to keep yourself feeling calm. Keep your mind and body healthy by regularly practicing yoga and meditation, or take up running or swimming.
Stress hormones block Leydig cells, which are tasked with regulating testosterone production. When your body experiences too much stress, it can actually stop producing sperm altogether.
Make sure you're getting enough sleep every night. Exhaustion can also lead to increased stress and cause decreased sperm production.

5. Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes causes sperm counts to be lower, makes them move more slowly, and causes the sperm themselves to be misshapen. According to one study, men who smoke have 22% fewer sperm than men who don't. Marijuana seems to have a similar effect on sperm. Cutting back on both of these substances is a good idea if you want to boost your count.

6. Drink alcohol moderately. Alcohol affects your liver function, which, in turn, causes a dramatic spike in estrogen levels. (Yes, men have estrogen.) Since testosterone is directly linked to sperm health and sperm production, this isn't a good state of affairs. Even two drinks a day will have long-term effects on sperm production.

7. Ejaculate less frequently. Frequent ejaculations can lower sperm count. Your body produces millions of sperm each day, but if you already have low sperm count, consider storing them up longer between ejaculations. If you have sex or masturbate daily, cut down on the frequency for increased sperm production.

8.Be careful around toxins. Exposure to chemicals can affect the size, movement and count of your sperm. It's more and more difficult to avoid exposure to toxins, but it's absolutely necessary for your overall health and the health of your sperm.
Do the following to decrease your exposure:
If you work around chemicals all day long, protect your skin with long sleeves and gloves, and make sure you wear a mask and goggles to protect your face.
Use natural cleaning supplies instead of cleaning with chemicals.
Don't use pesticides or herbicides in your house or yard.

9.Be wary of medications.
Certain medications can lead to decreased sperm count and even permanent infertility. If sperm production is a big concern for you, make sure you ask your doctor whether any medication prescribed might affect your sperm count. Look at the labels on over-the-counter medicines, too.

B  Improving Your Diet and Exercise Regimen

1.Exercise regularly. Finding out a workable exercise regimen is a tough task in the modern world, but rest assured that exercise will help you produce more sperm. Exercise releases testosterone into your body, helping with sperm production. Use compound exercises and lift heavy weights, but refrain from working the same set of muscles the day after. Giving your muscles time to rest and rebuild should help you produce testosterone.
Do not exercise too much! Excessive exercise causes the release of adrenal steroid hormones that actually cause a testosterone deficiency. So whether you want to put on that extra muscle or help out your sperm, remember not to stress your body too much.
Do not use anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids may help you pack on the pounds, but they shrink your testicles and may cause infertility. If you're trying to conceive, stay far, far away.

2.Eat healthy foods.
A diet that's low in fat, and high in protein, vegetables, and whole grains is good for your health and for your sperm.
Eat plenty of fish, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
Peanuts, walnuts, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are also considered to increase sperm count.
Avoid soy-based foods and high-fructose corn syrup.
Soy foods have a mild estrogenic effect on the body. While that may be good for women, it's not great for grooming sperm. High-fructose corn syrup causes insulin resistance, which lowers fertility. Men who drink a quart of Coke regularly have 30% less sperm than men who don't drink Coke.

3.Lose weight. Losing weight will help you counteract low sperm count. Scientists don't know why obesity correlates to low sperm count, but a recent French study found that obese men were 42 percent more likely to have low sperm count than their non-obese counterparts. In the same study, scientists found that obese men were 81 percent more likely to have no sperm at all in their ejaculate.
There are a number of different theories for why this is. Some speculate that fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogen; others speculate that more mass in the thighs could make the testicles too hot.

4.Try supplements.Try supplements that are made from natural herbal ingredients to specifically help the body make more semen. Researches found that men who consumed 5 mg of folic acid and 66 mg of zinc sulfate a day for 26 weeks experienced an almost 75 percent increase in sperm count. Folic acid and zinc sulfate are critical in the formation of DNA.
Vitamin C and selenium may also be good supplements to take in order to increase sperm production.

5.Use herbs and homeopathy.
They help you to increase your sperm count. Homeopathic ingredients include the following:
Passiflora Incarnata can restore the male sexuality and increase sperm count in men who have low sperm count due to smoking Marijuana etc ,
Zincum Metallicum: this homeopathic ingredient increases the elemental zinc and helps to improve the semen quality and sperm count. 
Damiana, Yohinbinum:
These homeopathic ingredients have been studied scientifically for their effects to boost male sexuality and improve the libido. 
Herbs such as Ipomoea digitata, Emblica officinalis, Chlorophytum arundinaceum , Argyreia speciosa, Mucuna pruriens, Withania somnifera , Tinospora cordifolia , Tribulus terrestris, Sida cordifolia, and Asparagus racemosus, have been used as natural Aphrodisiac. They increase the Testosterone levels and also correct the erectile dysfunction. Herbs such as withania somnifera also act as a natural anxiolytic. It reduces physical and psychological stress and may help men with stress as the main causative factor for their low sperm count.

(C ) Getting Medical Treatment

1.Get tested and treated for STIs.
Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause scarring that interferes with the passage of sperm.Get regularly tested for STIs; if you have one, be sure to get the proper treatment. In most cases you'll be prescribed a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection.

2.Determine if you have a varicocele.
This is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle. It can lead to increased temperature of the testicle and decreased sperm count. See your doctor to determine if this might be affecting your fertility. If so, a surgical procedure can take care of the problem.

3.Try hormone treatments and medications.It's possible that your sperm count is low because your hormones are out of balance. Hormone replacement treatments and medications can change your hormone levels and help you produce more sperm. Talk with your doctor about whether this option is right for you.
Hormone replacement treatments and medications usually take at least 3 months to work before you start seeing results.


Today things are different. The medical community has studied the topic of “male Infertility” sufficiently enough to learn about the various factors which contribute to this condition. Smoking, drinking, pollution, and lifestyle are some of the key factors which contribute significantly to sperm reduction in males. A combination of these factors can contribute to a rapid decline in sperm production.

Low sperm count in men is not a new phenomenon, many men have suffered from this condition throughout the centuries. However, in the old days it was difficult to know for sure that it was the man that suffered from low fertility due to lack of technology. As a result of this lack in technology, women were often blamed and labelled “infertile” if a couple could not conceive a child.

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Quality of Semen to Accomplish Fertilization

Semen quality is a measure of the ability of semen to accomplish fertilization. Thus, it is a measure of fertility in a man. It is the sperm in the semen that are of importance, and therefore semen quality involves both sperm quantity and quality. Decreased semen quality is a major factor of male infertility.

General Decline

There has been evidence for a general decline in sperm counts in Europe and the USA between 1938 and 1990.While these dates were critiqued, further analysis supported the findings.The reason(s) for the decline are unknown.


Semen Analysis

A semen analysis typically measures the number of sperm per milliliter of ejaculate, and analyzes the morphology (shape) and motility (ability to swim forward) of the sperm (the typical ejaculate of a healthy, physically mature young adult male of reproductive age with no fertility-related problems usually contains 300–500 million spermatozoa, though only a couple of hundred survive in the acidic environment of the vagina to be candidates for successful fertilization). Also usually measured are the concentration of white blood cells, the level of fructose in the semen, and the volume, pH, and liquefaction time of the ejaculate.

A number of factors may influence the accuracy of semen analysis results, and results for a single man may have a large amount of natural variation over time. For this reason, a subfertile result must be confirmed with at least two further analyses.

Hamster zona-free ovum test
A man's sperm are mixed with hamster eggs that have had the zona pellucida (outer membranes) removed, and the number of sperm penetrations per egg is measured.No strong correlation has been found between hamster egg penetration rates and the various semen parameters and the role of the hamster egg penetration test in the investigation of the causes of infertility should be evaluated further.However, a negative result on the hamster test correlates with a lower probability of the man's partner becoming pregnant.

Sperm chromatin assay
Chromatin is the complex of DNA and protein that make up chromosomes. If a large percentage of a man's sperm (greater than 30%) have damaged chromatin, his chances of impregnating a partner are significantly reduced, and if he does impregnate his partner, she faces an increased risk of miscarriage. The portion of a man's sperm with damaged chromatin may be determined with a Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA).

Antisperm antibodies test
Presence of antisperm antibodies may be responsible for sperm agglutination, reduced sperm motility, abnormal postcoital test. Several tests are presently available including Sperm Immobilization test, Sperm Agglutination tests, Indirect immunofluorescence test, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Radiolabelled Antiglobulin Assay. One of the most informative and specific tests is Immunobead Rosette Test which can identify different antibody classes involved (IgG, IgA, IgM) and location on the sperm cell (head, body or tail).

Hemizona test
Hemizona test is a test to evaluate sperm zona-binding capacity. In this test, the two halves of human zona pellucida is incubated with patient's capacitated sperm and control fertile donor's sperm.

Other tests
PCR-based detection of the pathogens in the semen of patients with asymptomatic genital infection.
Biochemical markers like Creatine kinase, Reactive oxygen species.


When performing cryopreservation of semen, it is the sperm quality after reviving the sample that is of importance, because many sperm cells die in the process.

To be of use in assisted reproductive technology, the sample should after thawing have more than 5 million motile sperm cells per ml with a good grade of mobility. If the grade of mobility is poor, 10 million motile cells per ml is required.

Home insemination of previously frozen sperm can be accomplished with the use of a cervical cap conception device as a delivery system for the sperm.

Bad freezers
In 10–20% of all men, the semen doesn't endure cryopreservation. The cause is unknown. It does not necessarily mean an otherwise bad semen quality.

Sperm washing
When a sperm sample is prepared for intrauterine insemination, it is washed at a facility such as a fertility clinic or a sperm bank. Some sperm does not survive the washing process, as is also the case when freezing the sperm.

There are many factors that influence the sperm quality. Exposure to any of the temporary factors can cause up to a three-month delay before sperm quality returns to normal, due to spermiogenesis.

Further information: Paternal age effect
Although it is possible for men to father children into old age, the genetic quality of sperm, as well as its volume and motility, all typically decrease with age. In other words, older sperm are less likely to result in a successful pregnancy and, moreover, the cumulative fragmentation of sperm DNA over time increases the likelihood that a small fraction of men will pass on achondroplasia and transmit multiple genetic and chromosomal defects. For example, the percentage of sperm with highly damaged DNA, comet extent, DNA break number, and other comet measures has been found to be significantly higher in men aged 36–57 years than in those aged 20–35 years.Advancing paternal age has been implicated in a number of possible health effects. One particularly well-studied connection is the link between advancing age and autism. For example, one study of 943,664 children less than 10 years old, found that, with confounding variables controlled, the risk of autism increased with increasing paternal age.[19] No age related effects on sperm were noted in separate control groups recruited in different geographical locations, indicating that dietary habits, lifestyle or ethnicity could play a part in the quality of sperm.

While advanced age can be a possible factor in sperm motility and health, the sperm of men below 20 years of age has likewise been linked to an increase in birth defects such as neural tube defects, hypospadias, cystic kidney, and Down syndrome.

Prospective fathers should take up age-related fertility issues with a qualified fertility specialist such as a reproductive endocrinologist.

Masturbation vs intercourse
Semen samples obtained via sexual intercourse contain 70% more sperm, with sperm having a slightly higher motility and slightly more normal morphology, compared with semen samples obtained via masturbation. Sexual intercourse also generates a 25–45%increase in ejaculate volume, mainly by increased prostate secretion.

This intercourse advantage is even greater for men with oligospermia.

However, the single factor or factors for the intercourse advantage have not yet been isolated. It cannot be explained by presence of visual perception of physical attractiveness alone during stimulation,although there may be a slight correlation. Neither does any substantial fluctuations in sex hormones explain the intercourse advantage. It is hypothesized that sexual intercourse subdues an inhibition from the central nervous system,[23] but what, in turn, is the subduing factor is still not completely known.

Sperm are heat-sensitive, and cannot endure high temperatures. The body has compensatory mechanisms, like the cremaster muscle relaxing and letting the testicle hang further away from the warm body, sweating and a countercurrent exchange of blood cooling inflowing blood. However, despite these compensations, there are activities that should not be performed too often, in order to prevent infertility due to heat;

sauna sessions
bathing for a long time in hot water
Long-time tanning bed sessions
Placement of a laptop computer over the groin for extended use
Fever raises the body temperature, which can strike sperm quality. In the same way, sperm quality can be lower in the summer.

Contrary to widely held beliefs, no evidence supports that wearing constrictive underwear, or "briefs," decreases fertility. Even with an elevation in temperature of 0.8-1° caused by wearing constrictive underwear, no changes in sperm parameters, no decrease in spermatogenesis, and no changes in sperm function are observed 

Physical trauma
A blow from outside doesn't affect the sperm quality of already produced sperm cells. Furthermore, the testes are well protected in the scrotum, for example by the tunica vaginalis, making the testes slide away from external pressure rather than being malformed from it; however, a hard enough hit can close or crush the capillaries that supply the sperm producing tissue, resulting in permanent or temporary and partial or total inability to produce sperm in the affected testicle.

There is suspicion that many toxic substances, including several types of medication and hormones, and also constituents of the diet, influence sperm quality.While a few chemicals with known effects on fertility have been excluded from human consumption, we cannot know if others remain undiscovered. Many products that come into direct contact with spermatozoa lack adequate testing for any adverse effect on semen quality.

Endocrine disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine (hormone) system.

A 2008 report demonstrated evidence of the effects of feminizing chemicals on male development in each class of vertebrate species as a worldwide phenomenon; these chemical are suspected of reducing the sex ratio and sperm counts in humans. Ninety-nine percent of over 100,000 recently introduced chemicals are poorly regulated.

At least three types of synthetic toxins have been found in the semen of student volunteers: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, and hexachlorobenzene. DDT and hexachlorobenzene are associated with decreased semen quality, while PCBs are associated with decreased fertility overall. Leaks of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) have caused sterility in men. Soldiers that were exposed to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds during the Vietnam war have given rise to children with an increased rate of birth defects.

Phthalates, a ubiquitous pollutant, may cause decreased sperm production when having been exposed to it during prenatal development.

Other potential xenoestrogens that have been associated with decreased sperm quality in some studies are bisphenol A, nonylphenol and octylphenol.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

8 Vegetables That Increase Sexual Health

There are certain vegetables that can help your sexual health. Never before has salad sounded so sexy. It is recommended that men eat about 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables a day. Vegetables should make up half of your plate when eating. But what you choose to put on that plate might translate to better health in bed.

Beetroot: This humble vegetable can do wonders for you in bed. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which help improve blood circulation in the genitals by dilating the blood vessels. They are also a rich source of phytonutrients that help in natural detox and maintain hormonal balance, fixing the very reasons that makes you a slow performer in bed.

Carrots: Munch a carrot before you get naughty to get your requisite dose of vitamin A. Yes, there is a connection between this vitamin and your sexual performance. Vitamin A from carrots helps boost sperm production and virility. A study conducted by Universities of Glasgow and Exeter also suggests that eating carrots makes a man live longer and look attractive to females. Need we say more?

Garlic: For a long time, garlic has garnered the reputation of being an aphrodisiac and there are good reasons for it. Packed with allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow and dilates blood vessels in the genital area, it improves sexual stamina and performance.

Okra: It is high in some vitamins and is also a great source of zinc. Deficiency of zinc is one of the major reasons of erectile problems. Its high vitamin content also helps counter exhaustion and revitalises sexual vigour.

Onions: Like garlic, onion is also known for its aphrodisiac properties. When consumed in moderate amounts, onion can help boost the health of your sexual organs and improve libido.

Spinach: High in folate, an amino acid, spinach helps to lower homocysteine levels in blood, a harmful substance that can lead to plaque in the arteries and other blood vessels. Eating good amounts of spinach, say a bowl of spinach soup before the big night can improve circulation in the genital areas and help last longer.

Tomatoes: Lycopene, the natural red pigment present in tomatoes is known to be a natural libido booster. It helps improve erection in men, reduce the risk of prostate cancer and also improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Broccoli: Being from the class of cruciferous vegetables, broccoli like spinach, helps lower blood pressure, improve circulation and last longer in the bed without too much of hard work.

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5 tips for Good Time in Bed

When you think about intercourse, you mostly think about grooming your privates. In the process you can forget minor details that too play a part in good foreplay, if not the act itself. Though not an absolute essential, these tips will surely make the act more pleasurable and hygienic too.

Use a deodorant: Body odour is one of the worst turn-offs and may even put the other person in a bad mood. If you are about to have sex, make sure you spray deodorant or you can go a step further by using a nice cologne or perfume.

Bad breath check: Apart from body odour, bad breath is another turn off you need to be careful about. Make sure you do a check once before you kiss someone. You can always pop a mint or use a mouthwash before you begin the act.

Clip your nails: Long nails attract dirt that can settle in them even if you wash your hands before the act. Not to forget that they can leave marks on your lover’s body. So make sure you clip them regularly.

Trim your beard: Many women do prefer men with facial hair but it can leave them with red skin when you try to make love with a bushy fuzz. It is best to keep it trimmed so that the hair is even overall and not pokey.

Remove your make-up: Yes, you feel pretty with make-up but those layers of foundation, powder, blush, etc. can be ingested by your lover during the act. Even with kissing, the shimmer can go in his mouth and if he’s licking your body then it is even worse. It is best to remove all of it before you start the act.

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Health Benefits of Collard Greens

Collard greens (collards) are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, part of the Acephala group, which also contains cabbage and broccoli.

The plants are grown for their large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, southern Croatia, northern Spain and in northern India. They are classified in the same cultivar group as kale and spring greens, to which they are genetically similar. The name "collard" is a corrupted form of the word "colewort" (the wild cabbage plant).

The plant is also called "couve" in Brazil and in Portugal, "couve galega" or "couve portuguesa" (among several other names) in Cape Verde, "berza" in Spanish-speaking countries, "col" in Colombia, "raštika" in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and "raštan" in Montenegro and Serbia. In Kashmir, India, it is called "haakh". In Tanzania and Kenya it is more commonly known by its Swahili name, "sukuma wiki", and is often confused with kale. In New Zealand, it is called "dalmatian cabbage".

Nutritional information

Widely considered to be a healthy food, collards are good sources of vitamin C and soluble fiber, and contain multiple nutrients with potent anticancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and sulforaphane. Roughly a quarter pound (approx. 100 g) of cooked collards contains 46 calories.

Collard greens are also a high source of vitamin K and are recommended to be eaten in moderation by individuals taking blood thinners.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have recently discovered that 3,3'-diindolylmethane in Brassica vegetables such as collard greens is a modulator of the innate immune response system with potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer activity.

In India Kashmir Valley collard greens are included in almost every meal, with both leaves and roots consumed. Leaves in the bud are harvested by pinching in early spring when the dormant buds sprout and give out tender leaves. Also, seedlings of 35–40 days' age, as well as mature plants, are pulled out along with roots from thickly sown beds. When the extending stem bears alternate leaves in quick succession during on-season, older leaves are harvested periodically. Before the autumn season, the apical portion of stem is removed along with the whorled leaves. It is called haak there.

The roots and the leaves may be cooked together or separately. A common dish is haak rus, a soup of whole collard leaves cooked in water, salt and oil along with many other spices,usually consumed with rice. The leaves are also cooked along with meat, fish or cheese. In the winter, collard leaves and roots are fermented to form a very popular pickle called haak-e-aanchaar.

Health benefits of Collard greens

Wonderfully nutritious collard leaves are very low in calories (provide only 30 calories per 100 g) and contain no cholesterol. However, its green leaves contain a very good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and offer protection against hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.

Widely considered to be wholesome foods, collards are rich in invaluable sources of phyto-nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane that have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition and cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.

Di-indolyl-methane has also found to be effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties by potentiating Interferon-gamma receptors.

The leaves are also an excellent source of folates, provides about 166 µg or 41.5% of RDA. Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during the peri-conception period can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

Fresh collard leaves are also rich in vitamin-C, provides about 59% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural anti-oxidant that offers protection against free radical injury and flu-like viral infections.

Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin-A (222% of RDA per 100 g) and carotenoid anti-oxidants such as lutein, carotenes, zea-xanthin, crypto-xanthin, etc. These compounds are scientifically found to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for healthy vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

This leafy vegetable contains amazingly high levels of vitamin-K, provides staggering 426% of recommended daily levels per 100 leaves. Vitamin K has a potential role in the increase of bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone. It also has the beneficial effect in Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

Collards are rich in many vital B-complex groups of minerals such as niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and riboflavin.

Further, the leaves and stems are good in minerals like iron, calcium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc.

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