Category Archives: Food & Beveragies

10 Tips For Staying Healthy In Summer

happy summer 1) Stay cool and hydrated. Drink water, at least two to four cups (16-32 ounces) upon rising, and similar amounts if you are going out for activities and exercise. Carry water with you in a hard plastic container (more stable polycarbonate rather than polyethylene that leaches plastic into the water). You may also use a traveling water filter. Check your local water stores or www.realgoods.com. Most people need two to three quarts of liquid per day, and more in hot weather or with sweating and exercise. Review Chapter 1 of Staying Healthy with Nutrition or Chapter 7 of The Staying Healthy Shopper’s Guide for further information on Water.

2) While enjoying the sun and outdoors, protect yourself from overexposure to sunlight by wearing a hat and using natural sunscreens without excessive chemicals. Carry Aloe Vera gel for overexposure and have an aloe plant growing in your home for any kind of burn. The cooling and healing gel inside the leaves will soothe any sunburn. It works great.

3) Keep up or begin an exercise program. Aerobic activity is important for keeping the heart strong and healthy. If you only work out in a health club, take some time to do outdoor refreshing activities — hiking, biking, swimming, or tennis. Reconnecting with these activities will help keep your body and mind aligned.

4) Enjoy Nature’s bounty – fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Consuming foods that are cooling and light — fresh fruits, vegetable juices, raw vital salads, and lots of water — will nourish your body for summertime activities. Include some protein with one or two meals. There are a number of light, nourishing proteins that don’t require cooking. Most of these complement fruits and vegetables nicely– nuts, seeds, sprouted beans, soy products, yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese. Fish and poultry can also be eaten.

5) Take some special summer time with your family, kids, and friends who share the enjoyment of outdoors. Plan a fun trip if you’re able and motivated for a day or longer — hiking in the wild, camping, playing at the river, or a few days resting at the ocean. Rekindling our Earth connection has benefits that last beyond this season, continuing to enrich the whole of your life.

6) Relax and breathe. You’ve been working hard. This is the season to slow the pace a bit and absorb the light that stimulates your hormonal message center. Leave your cell phone at home or take a week off from TV. In many European countries, most of the population has a month off during the summer.

7) Sun teas are wonderful. Use flowers and leaves (or tea bags) in a clear half- or one-gallon glass jar filled with spring water. Hibiscus or red clover flowers, peppermint, chamomile, or lemon grass are all good choices, or use your local herbs and flowers that you learn are safe, flavorful, and even medicinal. Leave in the sun for two hours or up to a whole day. Moon teas can also be made to enhance your lunar, dreamy side by letting your herbs steep in the cooling, mystical moonlight. Add a little orange or lemon peel, or a sprig of rosemary and a few jasmine flowers.

8) Nutritional supplements can support you with a greater amount of physical energy, enhancing your summer activities. The B-complex vitamins are calming to the nervous system and helpful for cellular energy production, while vitamin C and the other antioxidants protect your body from stress, chemical pollutants, and the biochemical by-products of exercise. Helpful summer herbs are Siberian ginseng as an energy tonic and stress protector, dong quai is a tonic for women, hawthorn berry is good for the heart, and licorice root will help energy balance and digestion.

9) Use the summer months to deepen the spiritual awakening begun in the spring. Begin by checking your local bookstore or the web for ideas that interest you. Plan a vacation that incorporates these new interests and provides you time to read, relax, contemplate, and breathe.

10) Above all, give yourself the time to truly experience Nature. This can happen, even in a city park, if you relax and let in your surroundings. When traveling, take activities for the family and your first aid kit for bites, bee stings, and injuries. Check for ticks after your hikes. Watch for overexposure, take time in the shade, and drink your water.

Food color & health Benefits.

* Red foods contain antioxidants that protect against cancer, heart and lung disease, and damage free radicals, which are waste products that can destroy cells.

* Yellow foods protect the eyes also, but are rich in vitamin C for a protection boost.

* Blue foods are high in antioxidants and fiber, and therefore defend the body from colon cancer and help remove toxins from the body.

* Green foods which help prevent cancer, and folate, which prevents birth defects in children, ovarian cancer, and heart disease.

Why You Should Drink Lemon Water In The Morning?

The lemon (Citrus × limon) is a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree’s ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit’s juice, pulp and peel, especially the zest, are used as foods. The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade, cocktails and soft drinks.

Lemon juice is also used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados, where its acid denatures the enzymes that cause browning and degradation.

Apart from the above mentioned use of lemons, here we are presenting you with a few reasons why you should drink lemon water in the morning with flat tummy.

No! here we are not asking you to stop drinking your soothing morning cup of coffee which is great in taste and the warmth, smell it welcomes you with is just indescribable, just postpone that cup for a good 30 minutes. Facts listed down here will surely make you give it a try and please try it for at least 28 days. Why 28? because that’s how long it takes to form any habit.

Alkalizing in Nature
Human body performs best when it’s more alkaline, on the other hand acidic bodies are prone to cancer cell formation. Lemon although being an acidic fruit acts as an alkalizing agent when it enters the human body and lowers the acid levels.

Due to the foods we eat, things our skin is exposed to and the environment we are living in most of the people have very acidic body and lemon water helps decrease the pH level.

Packed with essential nutrients
Lemon is vitamin-rich and contains vitamin C (anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial & effective for supporting the immune system), vitamin B (increases energy), riboflavin (protects against tissue damage) and also contain minerals like phosphorus, calcium and magnesium which are important for building bones and teeth.

Helps Liver Eliminate Toxins and Waste Products
Our liver is responsible for detoxification, protein synthesis and production of bio chemicals to support our digestive system. Lemon water benefits the liver by increasing the level of detoxifying enzymes, as a result liver function is improved. Lemon being diuretic in nature increases the rate of urination and therefore it purifies the blood.

Cheap Remedy for Wrinkles
Lemon helps to remove wrinkles and also improves the appearance of the skin. The presence of too many toxins in our body makes it look unhealthy and since lemon water fights that, you’ll get a clear glowing skin. The citric acid contents present in the lemon also helps fight acne. So the cheapest remedy for glowing acne and wrinkle free skin is a small cup of lemon water every morning.

Easy Weight Loss Remedy
A liver containing high amount of toxins can slow down the process of metabolism as a result more accumulation of fat takes place in the body. Not only does the lemon eliminate those harmful toxins but also help to burn fats. A healthy diet, regular exercise and a glass of lemon water can help reduce the excess fat effectively. Lemon can also control hunger craving because of the high pectin fiber contents present in it.

Cures Respiratory Problems & Freshens Breath
If you need to get rid of cough and chest infections then lemon water is an ideal remedy for you. In fact, you can consider it as a vitamin C supplement. It is also beneficial for asthma patients and people having allergies.

Toothache, gingivitis and other oral health related problems can be effectively treated with its use. It also makes your breath fresh. But when using lemon, be careful as it can damage the tooth enamel.

To conclude for this session here is how you can make one for yourself from tomorrow morning:

  • Fill a glass with warm water (you can take water at room temperature or cold it doesn’t really matter but people with digestive problems, use warm water)
  • Squeeze the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon into glass of water. (The water will turn cloudy)
  • Mix well and drink

Benefits of different types of Indian rice

Rice is a staple food in most Indian homes. However, there are different varieties of Rice available in our country, Basmati Rice, Brown rice and White rice. Let us understand the health benefits of these three varieties.

WHITE RICE:

The milling and polishing processes of white rice removes most of the important vitamins and other nutrients from it. So WHO suggests and recommends that white rice be fortified with important vitamins and mineral premixes, as polished rice is nothing more than refined starch. Further research is required to build the evidence-base on the use of fortified rice and to develop global technical guidelines for rice fortification.

Health benefits include:

Gastrointestinal: White rice is one of the easiest and quickest foods to digest and requires only an hour to completely digest. Since white rice is low in fibre, it is very soothing to the digestive system and easily digested. So, it is great for relieving digestive disorders like diarrhoea, dysentery, colitis and even morning sickness. It is the best food for infants, young children and old people.
Overall energy: the body needs carbohydrates to function and white rice is an excellent source of energy.
Protein: Every 150g of rice has about 5 grams of protein.

Rice powder is also used externally as a soothing powder in cases of skin inflammation such as small-pox, measles, prickly heat, burns and scalds.

BROWN RICE:

Brown rice has several health benefits. However, it is not very commonly used in Indian households mainly because people are ignorant of the health benefits of brown rice and secondly that it is costlier compared to white rice. The health benefits of brown rice includes:

Brown rice is an excellent source of soluble fibre. It helps to lower the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood. There is also some suggestions that the oil present in brown rice or extracted rice bran oil may help lower harmful cholesterol levels and blood pressure, whilst raising the levels of ‘healthy’ HDL cholesterol.
The fibre in brown rice means that the digestion time of this carbohydrate is slower than processed grains, including white rice. This means that there is a more controlled slower release of sugar into the blood stream and it has a lower glycemic index (GI) compared to other grains.
Brown rice is very rich in vitamins and minerals and hence nutritionally more beneficial.

BASMATI RICE:

Basmati rice is another unique species of rice originating from India. Basmati rice is also one of the varieties of rice used in many families. There are different variants of Basmati rice available in the market at varying costs. Just like all species of rice, basmati is available in white or brown versions, depending on the extent of the milling process.

Brown basmati rice is comparable to other types of brown rice in nutrient content (although it does contain about 20% more fibre compared to most other types of brown rice), and white basmati rice is comparable to other types of white rice. The health benefits of fibre has already been discussed earlier in the article.
Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are long-grain varieties that have been cultivated to bring out distinctive flavour profiles. Long grain of the rice gives a royal look to the rice recipe prepared, be it plain jeera rice or vegetable pulao.
Basmati rice has a typical, unique aroma. In the case of basmati, this aroma is due to the presence of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which is found in basmati rice at about 90 parts per billion. That’s about 12 times more than in other types of rice, giving basmati its special aroma.

10 Health Benefits of Yogurt…

Yogurt is rich in potassium, calcium, protein and B vitamins, including B-12. Research shows yoghurt strengthens and stabilizes the immune system.

1. Yogurt is good for the bones.
2. Yogurt packs as much protein as meat.
3. Yogurt curbs your hunger.
4. Yogurt may help you lose weight.
5. Yogurt is good for digestion.
6. Yogurt may help lower blood pressure.
7. Yogurt is packed with vitamins.
8. Yogurt helps fight bad breath.
9. Yogurt is good for the skin.
10. Yogurt boosts the immune system.

Health benefits of Coconut Water

Just kick back, relax and sip on the healthy nutrients of coconut water. You can rank it among the world’s best energy drinks. Best part is that it is all natural. Yes! No added sugar!
From where can you get this drink?

Simple! Take a fresh, green, immature coconut, 5 months old would be good enough and make a hole in it. Extract all the water in a container and pour it in a glass. Take a sip and enjoy the refreshing drink!

A single nut can give you 200 ml to 1000 ml of the water. Do not take very immature coconuts as their water will have a bitter taste and would not contain many nutrients, 5 to 7 months old coconut has a sweet taste.

Coconut water is rich in potassium; the potassium contents are higher in it than artificially made energy drinks. There are 118 g of chlorides and 5mg of sugars. A single cut of this refreshing drink only gives you 50 calories. This miracle drink contains a large number of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and cytokine. Good news is that coconut has more nutritional power than milk.

It contains carbohydrates, fats, proteins, riboflavin, thiamine, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All of these nutrients contain some healing properties. This is how they can help:

Cure Dehydration
The combination of some powerful vitamins and minerals are beneficial for replacing the lost nutrients and body fluid in diarrhea. The drink is ideal for conditions like dehydration, because it contains rich amount of electrolytes. It is also effective for dehydration caused by cholera, dysentery and stomach flu.

Universal donor

Did you know that coconut water was once used as “universal donor”? It is believed that coconut water resembles human blood plasma. In the Pacific War, Coconut IV’s were used for emergency plasma transfusions to the save lives of thousands of people.

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine published a study that suggested, “Coconut water can be successfully used as a short term intravenous hydration fluid for hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in the remote regions of the world where medical resources are not available.”

Boosts Energy
Coconut water is an ideal sports drink because it provides tremendous amount of energy. Unlike other artificially made energy drinks, you get high amounts of potassium, chlorides and calcium plus other vitamins and minerals and low contents of sodium and sugars from coconut water. Moreover, it contains fewer amounts of calories so you can use it for rehydrating yourself after a strenuous work out.

Effective for Weight Loss
As mentioned above the drink is contains low amount of calories.

1cup= 50 calories

It is ideal for people who are trying to lose weight. Firstly, because it is a low fat drink and secondly, it is packed with powerful nutrients that gives you a feeling of fullness and reduces cravings for food.

Beneficial for Skin
Coconut water contains cytokinins, an age defying component that regulates the growth and division of the cell. Cytokinins along with the power of lauric acid, balance ph levels, strengthen the connective tissues and minimize the aging of the cells of the skin.

Just apply some coconut water on your skin at night before going to bed and get rid of dark spots, wrinkles, eczema, acne and stretch marks. Your skin will get clear within 2 to 3 weeks.

Promotes Heart Health
The high contents of potassium and magnesium present in coconut water are beneficial for reducing high blood pressure and also reduce the risk of strokes. Usually high blood pressure is caused by the low potassium levels, by drinking coconut water regularly this deficiency can be cured.
Some preliminary researches also suggest that by consuming coconut water cholesterol levels can be reduced. It also increases HDL (good cholesterol) which promotes cardiovascular health.

Good for diabetics
Coconut is a food that ranks low on the Glycemic Index. Therefore, people with diabetes can consume it without any fear. Moreover, there are some nutrients found in coconut that can actually help lower blood sugar.

Anti-viral
Next time you catch a cold, treat yourself with coconut water. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can effectively cure flu, herpes and other viral diseases.

Reduces Kidney Stones
The potassium and magnesium contents present in coconut water can prevent the risk of kidney stones.

Side effects
Good news! Coconut water does not have any side effects. However, people with severe nut allergies should avoid using it. It is also safe for kids and pregnant women.

Important!
Once you cut open a coconut, consume its water right away because exposure to the air can make it lose some essential nutrients. You can also find coconut water in bottled form but it will contain low amount of nutrients and more preservatives. Or you can buy fresh coconuts from Asian food stores. You can keep an unopened coconut for 5 to 10 days at room temperature.
Do not confuse coconut water with coconut milk. Coconut milk is obtained by grinding the meat of the mature coconut which is then passed through a sieve to obtain the white liquid. A cup of coconut milk contains 550 calories and contains high contents of fats.

So beat the summer heat with the revitalizing coconut water!

Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Plums

Plums are relative to nectarine, almond and peach and there are more than 2,000 varieties of this lifesaving fruit. Their season begins from May and lasts till October. But you can find them all year round in the grocery stores. The Japanese variety is available in summers and in winters European variety is found.

There are more than 80 nutrients found in plums. Some of these essential nutrients include vitamin A, C, E and K, tryptophan, potassium, riboflavin, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

The fruit is low in calories, 100 grams would give you 46 calories only.

Here are some of its health benefits:

Fights cancer
A study was undertaken at the AgriLife Research Center, in Texas, in which the effects of more than 100 fruits were tested on cancer cells. It was revealed that plums had as much powerful antioxidants as blueberry, which is well known for the high powered antioxidants contained in it. The study proved that plums contained some unique phytonutrients that were effective killers of breast cancer cells. They stopped the growth of the cancer cells without doing any harm to the healthy cells. These phytonutrients are only present in some fruits and luckily plum is one of them. Plum is also effective in treating gastrointestinal cancer and respiratory tract cancer.

Prevents Diabetes
Diabetic patients should choose foods with low Glycemic Index. Luckily, plums rank low on the GI.

There are two groups of phenols found in plums, chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid. They are helpful in offsetting the damaging effects of free radicals. Studies reveal that the two components regulate the levels of glucose in the blood, which reduces the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Try taking plums after your meal for best results.

Improves Bone Health
Plums in dried form, also known as prunes are helpful in restoration of the bone mass. Researches were conducted in Florida State and Oklahoma State University, in which two groups consisting of postmenopausal women were tested for bone density. One group consumed 100 gm of dried apples and the other consumed prunes in the same quantity. It was found that the group consuming prunes had higher bone density in the forearms and spine. These findings make the fruit effective for patients with osteoporosis. Plums contain rich source of potassium which is essential for making the bones strong.

Improves your Heart Health
The risk of high blood pressure and stroke can be prevented by consuming plums. A medium sized plum contains about 113 mg of potassium, a mineral beneficial for maintaining heart health. Vitamin C also known as the heart protecting vitamin is also abundantly found in plums. So to promote good heart health, consume plums regularly.

Improves Vision
Plums contain beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of these nutrients are helpful in improving vision and also prevents macular degeneration.

Sharpens Memory
The anti-oxidants found in prunes are very helpful in neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals on the memory. Take 3 to 4 prunes daily and get your memory boosted.

Boosts the Immune System
Plums contain high levels of vitamin C, which increases your body’s ability to fight various infections. It is effective for curing common cold. Vitamin C is also good for healthy skin.

Promotes regular bowel movement
The dietary fiber present in dried plums or prunes are very effective for regular bowel movement. One prune contains about 1 gram of fiber. To get the maximum benefits, you can soak some prunes in boiled water, let it cool and then store in the fridge in a covered container. The fruit is good for treating chronic constipation.

How to choose the plums?
Researchers at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria suggests that fully ripen plums should be consumed, which are almost at the point of spoilage. Such plums contain the highest levels of antioxidants.

If the ones you have bought are not ripe, you can keep them at room temperature for two to three days. Once they ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator.

Caution
Plum contains oxalates; people with the history of kidney stones should avoid taking plums. It is also believed that in some people these oxalates decrease calcium absorption.

Magical Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice

Today we are going to tell you about a plant whose benefits have been ignored by you for quite some time. It is a plant that has a cure for unlimited number of diseases. We are talking about the nutritious, Wheatgrass. You can consider it a “gift of nature” for all your health related problems.

The wheatgrass plant comes from the family of Poaceae; barley, oats and rye all come from the same family. Wheatgrass spouts from the seeds of wheat and it is harvested after 7 to 10 days of its plantation. To get the wheatgrass juice it is squeezed by a specially designed juicer.

Why wheatgrass is so nutritious? Wheatgrass is harvested at the jointing stage, this is a stage where the supply of vitamins, proteins, enzymes and chlorophyll is maximum. After jointing stage its nutritional value diminishes. This is the reason why, when you consume one ounce of wheatgrass juice you get nutritional value equal to 2 pounds of leafy vegetables.

Schnabel a scientist in 1940s stated that “15 pounds of the wheat grass can offer nutrients that are comparable to 350 pounds of other common garden vegetables”.

This ordinary looking grass contains a lot of minerals, almost 90, including calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. There are almost 19 amino acids contained in it. You can also find 13 vitamins in it including vitamin B12 (rare in vegetables).