Tag Archives: Vitamin C

Don’t Stop, But Don’t Start

It seems as though every other day there is a new report regarding vitamins. Should you take a multi-vitamin daily? My doctor says yes, certain reports say no. (or to be even more confusing, don’t stop, but don’t start)

If you take too many vitamins, studies show you may increase your chances of getting cancer or having a (second) heart attack.

However, if you are deficient in too many vitamins you could develop scurvy, rickets, or beriberi.

Scurvy is caused the lack of Vitamin C. Rickets is caused by the lack of Vitamin D. But what is beriberi caused by and what is it?

Beriberi is a nervous system ailment caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the diet. Thiamine is involved in the breakdown of energy molecules such as glucose and is also found on the membranes of neurons. Symptoms of beriberi include severe lethargy and fatigue, together with complications affecting the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and gastrointestinal systems.

There are 2 major types of beriberi:

  • Wet beriberi affects the cardiovascular system.
  • Dry beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome affect the nervous system.

At first, it was thought to from a lack of protein, but by 1901 it was discovered that it was indeed a (thiamine)B1 deficiency. To read more about beriberi, go here.

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Persimmons (03/17)

not tomatoes

not tomatoes

On a recent trip to the local fruit market I purchased a persimmon for the very first time. As you can see above, it’s not a friendly looking fruit, especially since it bears a strong resemblence to tomatoes, which are not one of my favorites.

Not knowing anything about the fruit, I was not willing to try it until I read more about it.

It’s important you know there are two kinds of persimmons: the Fuyu, the kind you can eat right away (thankfully this in the type I purchased), and the Hachiya, the kind you can’t. If you bite into an unripe Hachiya persimmon, it is if you just drank six cups of extra strength tea. This astringent flavor is due to the high level of tannin in the fruit, and there is a good chance that you would never try a persimmon again because it tastes so bitter. This would be a shame because ripe persimmons have an exceptional flavor and provide us with important nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium.

China is the largest producer of persimmons, followed by Brazil, Japan, and Korea. The United States grows comparatively few persimmons compared to the major producers, but virtually all, of the domestic persimmon crop comes from California.

from Tony Tantillo.

Feeling confident that the persimmon I purchased was indeed ripe, I decided to try it (well, after my boyfriend tried it first). It has the texture of a peach and the flavor is somewhere in between a plum and a peach. So if you have seen this fruit and been afraid to try it, fear not!

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