Category - Food

Health Benefits Of Avocado

Health Benefits Of Avocado

Many people don’t want to eat avocado due to the potentially high fat content. A medium-sized, ripe avocado contains about 30 grams of fat, but 20 grams of them are a healthy variant of fat, which is monounsaturated oleic acid. It’s the same kind of fat that we find in olive oil, which will be able to lower the level of bad cholesterol. Avocados are fruits, but because they are often used in cold soups, creams and salad, we often consider them as vegetables. Avocado is known for its mild, creamy taste; which combine well with dairy products. However, it is often said that avocado is high in calories.

If avocado is available widely in your area at affordable price, then it is a good idea to know the amount of calories. 17 percent of the weight of avocado is fat, but it is still low compared to many foods that we consume. In fact, you should focus on the potential big benefits of consuming avocado regularly. 100 grams of ripe avocado flesh could provide us with 25 percent of our daily vitamin E requirements. It is considered as a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and maintain the health of our arteries. Heart attack can be caused by a high level of homocysteine.

Homocysteine is a vital substance that is needed to ensure that our organs can function well. It is used in our body, if we consume enough folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. However, if one is available in low level; then homocysteine won’t be converted into the necessary compounds and they will spill into our blood. Problem could happen when homocysteine starts to accumulate in high level in our body. This could result in stroke and heart attack. People who have folate-rich diet should be less likely to suffer from stroke or any kind of cardiovascular diseases. It means that avocado should be able to ease problem with hypertension.

Avocado is low in sodium, but rich in magnesium and potassium. It means that the fruit is useful for people who are having blood pressure problem. They need to avoid excessive sodium intake and get proper amount of potassium. Avocado is also a good source of lutein, which is a pigment that causes yellowish color, like in peas. Lutein is needed by these plants to protect themselves against sun radiation. By consuming enough lutein, our retina can be protected from cataract, especially if you spend plenty of time outdoor. When buying avocado, it can be a little tricky to choose a ripe one, because to the untrained eye, it can be indistinguishable to the bitter, unripe one.

Press the avocado and make sure that the surface is slightly soft. However, avocado can be overripe when there are sunken and dark spots. Avocado has better flavour when it’s tree ripened, you should be able to spot this by choosing an avocado with slight neck, instead of the one with rounded top. A good trick to make firm avocado ripe is by putting it in the same fruit basked with ripe banana. The skin of avocado should turn somewhat darker when it ripens.

Health Benefits Of Blueberries

Health Benefits Of Blueberries

Trends are moving to foods that are not only healthy, but also environmentally friendly. It means that you should for organic vegetables and fruits. Blueberries can be among the healthiest fruits that you can get and we are able to grow them organically. Blueberries are fruits that are native to North America. These are small blue nutritious dynamos that could work wonder to our overall health.  They come up with flavonoids and phytochemicals, which we can derive from the Mother Earth. Blueberries are full of nutrients and wonderful flavours. They can help in protecting our cardiovascular health, the prevention of plaque build up in the brain, delaying aging, aiding in nigh vision and eradicating cancerous cells.

Blueberries are in the same family with bilberries, cranberries, rhododendrons and azaleas. Natives of North America treasured these little fruits for millennia, which can be used both fresh and dried. They are able to nourish and sustain our health. The effects of aging can ben minimized, as we are able to maintain motor skills and good memory performance. Blueberries should contain a high level of antioxidant, which will be able to neutralize free radicals. DNA molecules can be damaged and this may lead to cancer. Blueberries should thwart any carcinogen in the environment and we will be protected against various cardiovascular diseases. This should help in stopping the possible bad effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other potential benefits of blueberries may include protecting our skin against sun exposure and neutralize excess free radicals that can cause diseases in our body. Regular consumptions of blueberries could promote the health of urinary tract. Blueberry should have a strong power in eradicating infections, not only on urinary tract. By drinking cranberry and blueberry juices could inhibit the bacterial growth inside our body. These fruits could also restore the health of our nervous system. You should be able to prevent neurotic disorders and heal them. We will be able to prevent brain cells from degenerating and the health of our nervous system can be restored.

The consumption should also reverse the loss of motor and memory skills. These fruits should be beneficial for people who have diabetes. These fruits should be able to improve our glucose tolerance and the glucose absorption can be improved as well. By consuming blueberry regularly, we will be able to prevent cancer and the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases can be reduced. Students may also enhance their learning and memory with regular blueberry consumption. If you want to have organically grown blueberries, you should be able to do it on your own. Instead of using artificial fertilizers, you can use compost made from buried leaves and organic kitchen waste.

There are also natural-basic solutions to eradicate bugs, which are safer than pesticides. Instead of using herbicides, you can till the soil and manually remove small weeds. You can do this once a week and it should be a good exercise for your body. This should help you to umprove your health.

Things You Should Know About Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Things You Should Know About Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Fruits taste really good the way they are, however many people want to add something to improve the taste. You may add light sugar syrup, condensed milk, yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Another option is to use the cream cheese dip. It can really be delicious and can be a big hit in gatherings and parties. However, there are some obvious disadvantages with using it, compared to healthier options, such as light honey solution and low-fat yogurt. The latter is particularly beneficial due to the presence of good bacteria as live and active culture. With yogurt, you should be able to get real advantages.

Yogurt could also be mixed with smoothies, both to improve the taste and health benefits. It should become a better alternative than full-fat milk or vanilla ice cream, when making fruit milkshake. It means that you can get the benefit of fruits, without adding something that’s potentially risky. It is often considered that fresh fruits are the best in their original form. They have unmodified nutrients and enzymes, with moderate amount of sugar and absolutely no fat. Fresh fruits should help you to maintain proper body function. People who consume proper amount of vegetables and fruits should be able to avoid chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Fruits should help you to avoid these common pitfalls.

Although cream cheese dip has possible health risks, it is acceptable to consume it at moderate amount at a period of time. Instead of choosing regular cream cheese, you can also choose the reduced fat variant and even better, the fat free variant. The complete removal of fat content in cheese dips, shouldn’t change the taste too significantly. To compensate for the slight reduction in richness, no-fat cheese cream may have honey and yogurt. Compared to regular sugar, honey should be a better sweetener and it is better for your body. It is possible to make your own healthy cheese dip. You can purchase a non-fat cream cheese and beat until becomes fluffy, then add non-fat yogurt and moderate amount of honey, depending on your preferences.

You can also improve the taste of cheese cream dip with finely ground nuts, such as pecans and walnuts. Strips of shredded coconut should work well with tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango and papaya. You can further improve the taste, by blending it together in the blender with strong tasting fruits. Presentation is also important. Fruits with vibrant color are not only appealing, but are also more nutritious. If the whole thing appears like a boring platter of fruits assortments, people won’t eat them and it would only become a waste of effort. Additions to your fruits could encourage family members to consume more fruits each day; but you should also make sure that you limit health risks. You need to choose tasty and easy ways to maintain the health of your body. The long-term benefits should be quite significant, in the end.

The Reality Of Vegetarianism

The Reality Of Vegetarianism

The definition of vegetarianism is about abstaining to the meat consumption. This includes seafood, poultry, red meat and other kinds of animal-based flesh. In reality, going veggie could become a double-edged sword and there are consequences that you should know. We know that plant-based food could provide us with significant health benefits. As an example, raw or lightly steamed vegetable is seen as good option, due to the presence of specific enzymes that can be destroyed by high temperature. It means that some digestive problems could finally go away, especially due to the presence of probiotics in vegetables. Strict diets require self control and discipline; but not everyone can achieve those. With improper vegan methods, we could actually suffer from various nutritional deficiencies.

If you want to adopt a vegan lifestyle, it is important for you to understand common deficiency problems. There are different reasons why people want to become vegetarians and they could be backed by moral and ethical factors. As an example, these people could be against the widespread slaughter of animal for food purposes. This could cause them to avoid eating meat-based products, including fish. A few religious beliefs also restrict the consumption of any kind of meat. There are also health reasons why people choose to become vegetarians. They may want to lose weight or remedy cholesterol problems. Financial factors of vegetarianism are associated with the fact that vegetables and fruits are more affordable than meat products.

There are partial vegetarians, such as lacto, ovo and pecto vegetarians; which still eat dairy products, eggs and fish, respectively. Vegan is the strictest form and there’s no other alternative than eating only vegetables and fruits. However, it is possible for vegans to consume bad fat from margarine made from palm oil. Processed carbohydrates and various canned products are not generally healthy. It means that vegetarians could end up becoming very poor eaters, by consuming fried food frequently. Graineratian is another variant of vegan and it is associated with people who rely only on grain-based products, including pasta and bread. As you may know, this kind of diet isn’t the healthiest and constant consumption of grains could cause imbalances in our nutritional level.

Regardless of whether we are vegan, normal eaters or avid carnivores; processed foods are typically our number one enemy. Vegans could suffer from various health problems due to the consumption of ready meal products and fake meat. It is important to avoid eating fake burger, turkey, ham or sausage. Highly processed soy products may also cause imbalances in our hormonal levels. Based on the above fact, it is clear that vegetarian diet can be very unhealthy if we don’t use common sense. Fresh produce and balanced intake is still the key. Sugar, alcohol and cigarette are also made from plants. They are often associated with unhealthy lifestyle, which we should avoid whenever possible. On the contrary, sensible consumption of meat is actually quite healthy, if we choose the right kind of meat and the cooking process.

Fruits and Vegetables That You Should Grow In Your Backyard

Fruits and Vegetables That You Should Grow In Your Backyard

In many houses, there are plenty of unused spots in the backyard that can be tilled and enriched with organic compost. The produce that we get in supermarket is often commercially grown, which is potentially exposed to pesticides, herbicides and factory-made fertilizers. Fortunately, we can grow many of them in our backyard and we can be sure that they will remain safe for consumption. Strawberries are vulnerable to bugs infestation and it is quite rare to find those without pesticide contamination. Fortunately, strawberry is easy to grow in our own backyard. In order to avoid bugs infestation, we could use a closed hydroponic and aquaponic garden.

Lettuce, spinach and other leafy produce could also be grown in our house. Leafy vegetables represent a broad group of plants, which may include spinach, cabbage, lettuce and others. When growing vegetables in our backyard, we should avoid using manure or any kind of fertilizer made from fecal matter. Harmful bacteria could find their way into nooks and crannies of vegetables; which make salad quite dangerous. Contaminated vegetables could cause the outbreak of salmonella or E. coli. Again, it is a good idea to choose aquaponic garden to grow your lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

Fertilizer that is typically used in aquaponic garden should be quite safe, because it doesn’t come from fecal matter. Handling traditional garden can be quite tricky; because when it rains, it could be quite muddy. Buying tomatoes from the supermarket can be particularly risky. In fact, the plant is the first ever that was altered genetically. Scientists aimed to make tomato plants that can be harvested better, yield bigger tomatoes, are more resistant to drought, can withstand pests and have better flavour. There’s still a huge controversy associated with GMO or genetically modified organisms. Because the genes of these plants are altered artificially, the consumption of modified fruits and veggies could have harmful effects to our health, such as antibiotic resistance, allergies and cancer.

When growing tomatoes at home, you should learn how to eliminate pests, bacterial and fungal outbreak. As an example, blight is a very contagious type of fungus that can eradicate tomato crops really quickly. Peppers can also be grown easily in your home and they could also become a wonderful snack, as an example, grilled bell pepper. In many areas, bell pepper is quite expensive, so growing your own can be a wonderful option. Not to mention that bell pepper that you purchase may contain some amount of pesticides and other chemicals.

Celery is also a wonderful plant that we can use as snack. A big stick of salary with some peanut butter should become a tasty and nutritious snack. You can also add granola, raisin and roasted sunflower seeds to improve the taste and nutritional level. Just like other vegetables, celery can also be exposed to pesticides and chemicals. It is also a good thing to know that celery grows quite fast.

How Commercially Grown Produce Can Be Risky For Your Health?

How Commercially Grown Produce Can Be Risky For Your Health?

Fruits and vegetables are healthy, but industrially grown produce may not be the healthiest for you. The way they are processed and stored could reduce vitamin content. Pesticides are the most likely chemicals that contaminate your food. They are intended to kill bugs and you may ingest chemicals that are intended to eradicate living organisms. When pesticides enter your body, they could stop at anywhere. Other than for killing bugs, commercial growers also need to eradicate weeds and other unwanted plants. They steal nutrients from the soil, which are intended for the actual vegetable plants and fruit-bearing trees. Excessive uses of herbicide could be linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer and other cancer types.

Preservatives could also be used to ensure that food remain usable longer. It is not only intended to slow down the natural decay, but also the visual appearance. The shelf life of the food could be reduced by the contamination of bacteria and the effects of enzyme. Foods with sulphites added are preserved. People who have allergic reactions to preservatives could suffer from sneezing, breathing difficulty, swollen throat and hives. Sulphites neutralize thiamine or vitamin B1, which is essential for the prevention of diabetes, inner working of nerve impulses and the metabolism carbohydrates. Genetic modification could be implemented to make plants grow better and produce more food. Some variants of canola, corn and soybean are genetically modified, which could have an effect on our body. Protein and fatty acids from these plants could also be slightly modified as unwanted side effects, which may cause problems in our body.

Processed fruits and vegetables could have food additives to lower costs, enhance flavours, improve appearance and increase shelf life. The FDA already approved more than one thousands of additives. Constant consumption of food additives could cause brain damage, birth defects, kidney damage, liver damage, migraine headaches, allergies and cancer. The sheer availability and common usages of food additives make it very hard for us to avoid them. However, we could be able to significantly reduce exposure by consuming fresh produce. If we need to eat processed food, as an example during camping and emergency situations; you should read the ingredients on the labels. A general rule is that if a substance has numbers in its name or difficult to pronounce, then it is likely artificially manufactured or heavily processed from existing natural sources.

Food can also be irradiated to destroy insects, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. In reality, irradiation also degrades texture, smell and flavour of the food. Studies have shown that animals fed with irradiated foods could cause various health problems. Risks of consuming irradiated food may include stunted growth on toddlers, immune system failure, organ damage, mutation, stillbirths, tumor, cancer and premature death. Food storage and transport could also reduce the nutritional values of food, especially if they are stored for a prolonged period of time in specific places. Because eating commercially grown fruits and vegetables are risky; you should know where you get them.

How To Freeze Fruits Properly?

How To Freeze Fruits Properly?

Fruits don’t last long, especially after they are peeled. Deep freezing is convenient and easy, because you can eat small cubes of frozen fruits directly. However, when freezing fruits; you should know more than a few details about them. You need to treat fruits that are low in acid content before deep freezing them. Once cut, fruits with low natural acid could go brown and discoloured. Discoloration can be prevented by adding some amount of ascorbic acid to your fruits. Because ascorbic acid is essentially vitamin C, we also make the fruit more nutritious. However, you should determine the amount carefully and it is a good idea to avoid adding too much of the substance.

When you do this, you should mix two pints of cold water with 1 ½ teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid. Cut fruits into bite-sized cubes and soak them in the solution for about 5 minutes. Drain the fruits and you can proceed with the deep freezing step. This method should work well with apricots, apples, bananas, avocados, nectarines, cherries, quinces, persimmons, pears, plums and peaches. Fruits with high acid content will freeze especially well and you don’t need to soak them in ascorbic acid solution. They don’t get discoloured when cut, frozen and thawed.  Berries have relatively high acid level. Before freezing, you can wash them ice cold water and dry them before freezing. Black and red currants can be frozen quite well and won’t degrade too much when thawed.

After being thawed, currants and berries can be used to make pies and jam all the year around. Other fruits with high level of acid include raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, sour cherries, rhubarb, strawberries, oranges, grapefruits, guavas, gooseberries, papaya, melon, plums, pineapple, lemon, mango, pineapple and passion fruits.  Before freezing, you remove the stone, core and peel. Good container should be polyethylene bag and you remove the air inside the bag. Then you can seal it with a wire twist. This will allow you to thaw the frozen fruits more quickly with flowing water, without soaking the fruits. Half frozen fruits can be eaten with icing sugar or condensed milk, if the fruit is sour and has low sugar level.

There are many ways you can do to process frozen fruits. You can use sugar syrup for fruits with higher acid level that is not too sweet. You should be able to improve the taste of fruits, by using the syrup sugar. It is a good idea to ensure that the frozen fruits can be consumer directly, by preparing it for immediate consumption with only toothpicks. When putting fruits inside the polyethylene bag, you should leave about one inch of head room, so there’s a space for liquid to expand. Whatever you do, the bag should be sealed carefully, labelled and then frozen. You may also freeze boiled fruits. Sour-tasting fruits can be boiled in sugar syrup to improve the taste. Drain and put them in the bag for easier freezing process.

How To Reduce Health Risks Of Grilling?

How To Reduce Health Risks Of Grilling?

When summer finally hits the neighbourhood, it is time to move the cooking space outdoor. Food generally tastes really nice when grilled and it’s a wonderful thing when you can eat under the shade. The direct touch of fire could work wonder on our food. However, the usual summer treat comes with own hidden dangers and they can be overlooked quite easily. The underdone steak and burned finger tips are the least of your worries. The smoky and charred flavour of barbecued food is unbeatable for some people. However, you could actually generate some amount of cancer-causing substance in your food. When meat proteins and fats interact directly with high temperatures through barbecuing, frying, grilling and broiling, HCA or heterocyclic amines will form in greater amount.

HCA is known as a type of carcinogen and it is associated with the higher risks for colon cancer. Due to this concern, you should try to make grilled food healthier. The first thing that you can do is to go meatless. Grilling doesn’t have to be associated with meat and in many cases; you should be able to take meat out of the overall equation. Marinated sliced potato, tomato and onion could taste really good. You can marinate them with some spices, cider vinegar and olive oil. When you do this, it is a good idea to choose a steady medium fire. With good non-meat alternatives, you should still get the wonderful smoky flavour, with the dreaded HCA threat. If you can’t remove meat from your grilling session, you should avoid chicken whenever possible.

Grilled chicken could have 17 times of HCA of well done steak, 70 times compared to grilled salmon and 100 times compared to well done burger patty. By properly marinating your food, it is also possible to reduce the amount of HCA. Rubbing your meat with virgin olive oil mixed with salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic and onion should significantly reduce the formation of HCA, because the meat surface isn’t directly exposed to open fire. Rubs based on rosemary extract could make your grilled steak tastes much better. Chlorophyll and other substances in green leaves are natural protection against cancer-causing compounds. So, it is important for you to increase the intake of chlorophyll-rich food in our summer diet.

Cytochrome P450 is a type of enzyme found in our liver and it could cause toxic molecules, HCAs to become a sticky, as an unintended side effect. It means that these compounds could bind with the internal surface of the intestines quite easily. This causes stomach and colon cancers become more likely to happen. You may eat good portion of lightly steamed vegetables and swallow a chlorella tablet after a meal of grilled food. Simple freshly peeled fruits is a good dessert for you food. It is recommended to eat fruit as is. Anything you add to your fruit could increase the intake of sugar, which is not a good thing. Pineapple, papaya, mango and watermelon could be consumed directly as dessert. Peel these fruits directly after you finish your main meal, so you are able to obtain the maximum freshness of the food.