Fermented Foods And Why You Need Them

Fermented foods may not be on most peoples’ radars. Even though they are readily available, most people ignore them. They may seem daunting because they have strong smells or flavors, but they are full of nutrients and probiotics that can promote a healthy digestive system.

Your gut is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Bacteria outnumber cells in your body by about 10 to 1. The goal is to create a balance of good and bad bacteria for a healthy body. The good bacteria help to improve digestion and can even boost immunity. So how do you promote the growth of good bacteria? While there are a few different answers, an easy way to do this is by eating foods packed with probiotics, which are abundant in fermented foods.

What Are Fermented Foods?

They have been around for many years. Romans ate sauerkraut, Indians continue to drink lassi (a fermented yogurt drink), Bulgarians have been known to eat kefir, and various Asian cultures eat kimchi or other fermented vegetables. These foods go through a lactofermentation process, which means bacteria feed on sugars and starches in the food. This creates beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics.

List of Top 7 Fermented Foods You Should Eat:

· Tempeh

· Miso

· Sauerkraut

· Yogurt

· Kefir

· Kombucha

· Kimchi

Why You Should Eat Them:

Better Absorption of Food: If you have the right balance of good and bad gut bacteria, you can better absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Just because you eat fermented foods does not mean you can eat whatever you want. It means that if you eat healthy food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, your body will better absorb the nutrients from those foods.

Optimize Your Immune System: A healthy gut makes a strong immune system because about 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Probiotics help produce antibodies to fight off pathogens (science words for fighting off germs). A healthy digestive system is great for maintaining optimal health.

Help You Detox: The last things you want in your body are built-up toxins. This is why we always recommend cleansing the body to reboot your system. Because fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria, eating them can help your body naturally eliminate toxins and even heavy metals.

Cost-effectiveness: Why is eating these foods cost effective? To get probiotics, most people take probiotic supplements. Fermented foods actually have 100 times more probiotics than supplements. So get your kimchi or kombucha on.

Essential Nutrients: As you know by now, these foods are excellent sources of probiotics. They are also rich in nutrients such as vitamin K2, which helps prevent plaque from building up in your arteries. B-vitamins are abundant in fermented foods as well.

Don’t be afraid to try new foods, especially fermented ones. Not only do they taste great, but they are awesome for your health.



Source by Vinnie Stevens

Fast Food Candida Diet Style

Although diet and the fast food restaurant do not commonly go hand in hand, many quick food joints are providing options for the diner who seeks healthier fare. Even a person trying to follow the candida diet can enjoy a fast food meal by avoiding sugars and starches and going for the vegetables and proteins listed on the menu.

Of course, in a perfect world, one would always have time for a nice, home cooked meal with plenty of fresh ingredients and whole foods. But reality is that fast food restaurants come in very handy on days when you are on the go or simply don’t have the time, energy or desire to slave in the kitchen.

Fast food restaurants often get a bad rap, but just like the grocery store, most of these restaurants offer both healthy and less-than-healthy options. It is the individual’s responsibility to make the right choices, and there are plenty of meal possibilities to keep the candida dieter on track.

The best game plan when considering a fast food meal is to decide which restaurant provides the healthiest options. Pulling up menus online is a simple way to check out menu and nutritional information, and nearly all fast food places have a home on the Web in order to provide such information to consumers.

Compare menu items and ingredients and determine which restaurants offer items like salads, low-sugar salad dressings, un-breaded sandwiches, and good protein sources. Even a burger can be candida diet-friendly when the bun is removed. Just ask for extra lettuce and use the leaves as the covering for the meat. You can enjoy the burger without the candida-increasing starches found in the white, processed bun.

When choosing salads, remember to ask for grilled meat. The crispy-coated or breaded meat can be detrimental to the candida condition. Also, go for low-sugar dressings such as ranch or blue cheese. Sweet dressings like French, thousand island and even many types of vinaigrette are often packed with sugar.

Although many people assume a salad is automatically healthy just because it is a salad, the truth is that common salad toppings such as sugary dressings, croutons and breaded meat can make the salad just as much as a candida trigger as a burger, fries, and an ice cream shake.

Once you get the hang of the kinds of foods that work on the candida diet, eating out becomes easier. Candida diet staples include vegetables, protein, low-sugar fruit and some dairy. If you can find these items on the menu and avoid carb and sugar-laden foods, you will be able to enjoy your fast food meal while keeping your body as healthy as possible.



Source by Matthew Bredel

Five Factors Causing Global Food Shortages

Currently, there is a food shortage of massive proportions sweeping the globe. This food shortage will affect residents of poor and less-developed countries first, but the effects will trickle down to even the most highly developed countries quickly. The food shortage is not as much of a shortage due to decreased production as a shortage caused by price increases.

Residents of countries that consume a higher proportion of processed foods to unprocessed foods can weather the storm more easily than people whose diets consist mostly of unprocessed basics. That is because people consuming many processes foods can switch to buying basics, saving money and remaining able to pay for their food. Those whose diet consists of basics such as fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, have nowhere to go, except hungry.

This food shortage is the result of many different factors-including the aforementioned price increases. There are five main factors contributing to the global food shortage which is rapidly devolving into a global food crisis

Five Factors Contributing to the Global Food Crisis

1) Rising Fertilizer Costs

Farmers in the poorest nations cannot afford fertilizer for their crops. Their land is so depleted of nutrients that they cannot effectively raise food without fertilizer. Fertilizer prices are rising because synthetic fertilizer is produced using oil-based energy sources, the price of which is rising steadily and quickly.

2) Subsidies for Production of Bio-fuels

Biofuels are produced with the same ingredients of food. Agricultural subsidies spent toward biofuel production are monies not spent on food production and distribution. While not the only cause, biofuel subsidies are a concern because they take money away from food production subsidies and biofuel production still requires use of fertilizers, which are produced using energy from conventional fossil fuels.

3) Poor Distribution Systems

Donating food to developing countries is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides necessary nutrients to sometimes starving populations. On the other hand, free food delivered to hungry countries contributes to price collapses for local food producers, taking away the incentive to produce food locally.

4) Unchecked Population Growth

Population growth is a vicious cycle-especially in developing nations. Families need help farming crops, so they have more children, translating into more bodies to help-and more mouths to feed. Additionally, birth control measures are less available in developing countries, contributing to the fast population growth.

5) Drought

All over the world, drought in top-food producing regions is reducing food production and driving prices higher. Drought across major food producing regions of the United States, including the southeast, Midwest and western regions is increasing food prices. Drought in regions of the African continent and in Australia is making it impossible to grow food-because there is no water to buy and no money to buy it.

Other factors, including political relationships, are contributing to the global food emergency. The five listed above are the main factors, in large part because they are either factors out of control of humans (we can’t control the weather), or because they are due to lack of research into energy and alternative fuel sources.



Source by Christopher A. Williams

Fast Food and Traditional Food

The term “cooking” includes a wide range of methods, tools and combination of ingredients to create the flavor and digestibility of food. Cooking technique, known as culinary art, generally requires the selection, measurement and combining of ingredients in a controlled procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result. Constraints on success include the variability of ingredients, ambient conditions, tools, and the skill of the individual cooking. The diversity of cooking worldwide is a reflection of many nutritional, artistic, agricultural, economic, cultural and religious considerations that impact upon it. Cooking requires applying heat to a food which usually chemically transforms it and changing its flavor, texture, appearance, and nutritional properties. There is archaeological evidence that the primitive human being used to cook their food with fire that was the most important thing discovered by the primitive human being. Cooking food and cuisine culture vary from country to country and from one culture to another and each cuisine has its specific particularity. Nowadays, because of the modern life that changes everything around us and influence our life style and eating habits, people are less preparing their own food. Eating habits tend to unify people from different society. The food production and the process of eating obtain new characteristics. Food available around us seems to be very different from the one that we used to eat.

Eating habits and modern life

Everything is running in high speed, people do not have time for cooking, don`t has the desire and patience to stay longer in the kitchen, and they don`t have the willing to prepare their own food. Old generation still prefer to cook their own food unlike young people who prefer to eat fast food because they don’t want to spend long time cooking and the desire for the cooking. The modern life shapes our eating habits and makes us like slave following its speed. It`s not hard to find fast food restaurant they are everywhere and every corner. Fast food consumption cause damages to the social and economic life of the country and leads to many health problems such as obesity and heart diseases according to many studies. Also, many nutrition experts from different countries have already declared the epidemic character of fast food. The rapid process of globalization and modern life influence our eating’s habits and gives opportunity to fast food restaurants to grow and flourish. Fast food seems to become very common everywhere, though some positive aspect of the fast food in easy to prepare, available in many places, and it is a substantial meal. But in other hand, we can estimate that its negative aspects are more important and bigger. I think it is easy to understand that fast food is one of phenomenon that is going to be accepted by people. We are going to see the process of disappearance of the traditional culture with the development of fast food restaurants in all countries all over the world.

How to fight fast food addiction

The best example of the fast food success to change the modern life is the invasion of the world’s food market by the giant fast food company such as McDonald, KFC and others. According to McDonald`s web site, McDonald has about 29.000 restaurants in 120 countries all over the world, and serves nearly 54 million customers each day. As well as it indicates the fact of such changing in eating preferences and even in the way of life itself. There is no doubt that right now fast food changes the face of many nations and eating habits around the world. To sum up, unfortunately, it is hard to prevent these global changes that traditional food is going to be replaced by new foods that common for all people in all countries all over the world. But the good news is that, recently there are some people and some movements which try to contrast the process of modern life and ask people to go back to their traditional food. To solve this problem we need restaurants that offers traditional food, and able to attract large amount of faithful customers. Also parents must teach their children how to prepare and cook the traditional food. Many People figure out that traditional food is much better for our health, so they want to preserve and keep the cooking tradition from evaporating. There is enormous hope of people to preserve their food preparation customs and tradition. The major obstacles are the modern life style. Some people might say that it is difficult to preserve our traditional food because it takes a long time to prepare and people today can not spend a long time in cooking. Other people, especially older people might say that, it is unfortunate to destroy culture and tradition. Those people might be right.

Conclusion

In these days, people have more health problems that are related with the new eating habits and fast food consumption. Despite some advantages of fast food the harm caused by fast food does not outweigh its benefit. I think that people should consider the negative fact of fast food consumption and the benefits of preparing their own food at home. It`s unfair that the traditional food which arrive to us from generation to generation we are going to replace it with junk food that will harm us more than benefit us. It`s unfortunate to lose the cooking tradition and eating homemade food prepared by our mothers together around the table. I am sure that all of us must think over this problem and try to find the appropriate solution to save our cultures, our traditional foods, and more importantly our health. So we should take action immediately to preserve traditional food and encourage people to prepare their own dishes, so they can stay healthy and live longer. Even though fast food is cheap, convenient, yummy and available in every corner in our cities, but that does not mean that our health is cheaper than the fast food that we eat.



Source by Abdul Mouhsin

Top 10 Western Themed Party Food Ideas

Are you hosting a western party and in search of some ideas for easy western party food? Then look no further! Below are some tasty, easy ideas for western themed party food for your upcoming event. Whether you are hosting a denim and diamonds affair or a low-key back yard barbeque, country and western foods are a sure crowd pleaser. Most of these recipes can be made a few days ahead of time to make your western party food planning a cinch!

Top 10 Western Themed Party Food Ideas:

1. BBQ Baby Back Ribs

No western party menu is complete without some great ribs. You can either slow cook these on a very low temperature (275 degrees) for about 4 hours on your grill or in your oven. Use a dry rub and finish with you favorite BBQ sauce for finger licking good western party food!

2. Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese

This mac-n-cheese isn’t just for kids and doesn’t come in the blue box! This is hearty, comfort food that is a crowd pleasure for guests of all ages! Use a generous amount of sharp cheddar and top with some fresh white bread crumbs and a drizzled of melted butter before baking. Country and western foods don’t get much tastier than this!

3. Country Fried Chicken

This is a classic western themed party food menu item and is perfect for guests who like to mingle while they munch. Use strips of white chicken breasts and I love the tasty buttermilk breading recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond cookbook!.

4. Fancy Baked Beans

Baked beans don’t need to come from a can. Jazz up you own homemade baked bean recipe by using different kinds of beans (navy, lima and kidney) mixed with dark brown sugar, bacon and onions. This makes a wonderful, hearty western party food side dish.

5. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob is a definite for any country and western food menu. Brush peeled corn with a good grilling sauce like Wegman’s Basting Oil and grill for a few minutes until desired tenderness.

6. Grilled Steaks

Western themed party food has to include beef! Tender grilled steaks or London broil is a super-easy way to satisfy your guest. Sprinkle the meat with garlic seasoned sea salt or marinade it in your favorite marinade 3 hours prior to grilling. Simple, easy and delicious!

7. Cornbread and/or Garlic Butter Biscuits

Western themed food is not for the carb conscious but cornbread and biscuits will be irresistible to your guests. Place baskets lined with red and white napkins on tables around your party with some honey butter, and watch these hearty appetizers disappear fast!

8. Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas

A fast and easy country and western party food include these super easy chicken and cheese quesadillas. Use burrito sized tortillas. You can use Perdue Shortcuts shredded into smaller pieces to make your job easier, mix equal parts of salsa and sour cream and add your favorite grated cheddar cheese. Grill in a grill pan or frying pan over medium heat until cheese is melted. Cut into thirds and serve with guacamole, salsa or your other favorite Mexican condiment. TIP: Quesadillas are easier to flip if you use one tortilla folded in half for each quesadilla.

9. Beverages with a Western Twist

You can’t go wrong with popular beer and wine, but if you want a true western themed party food menu, use special attention to your beverages by offering margaritas! Mason jars are a great added touch for serving beverages of all kinds.

10. Chili

This may be the easiest of all country and western party foods and can be used as a main course or an appetizer. Use your crock pot to make ahead and to keep warm during the duration of your party. If you are serving hot dogs, this makes a great condiment for the chili dog lovers at your party. Don’t forget the shredded cheddar cheese for serving on top.

Don’t Forget Dessert!

Western party food doesn’t have to end with the main course – your desserts can be western themed too. Choose a western style cake such as a horseshoe or cowboy boot, and wow your guests with your sweet ending! Another dessert option is to fill western themed glasses with an individual dessert like chocolate mousse, pudding or ice cream.

Use your imagination and think Western when planning your western themed party food menu. Accent your menu with western styles table ware and drink ware to accentuate your western theme. Country and western party food can be delicious AND easy, so no need to stress over your menu. Western party food typically appeals to all ages and personal tastes so your guest are sure to find a thing or two on your menu to please their palettes.



Source by Katie Bierman

Processed Foods: The Pros and Cons – A Balanced View

In food processing, harvested crops or butchered animals are used as the raw ingredients for making and packaging food products that are attractive, marketable and have long-shelf lives.

Attractive means that the product both tastes and looks good. To be marketable, it must match the kinds of food being demanded by consumers. Food products that have a long-shelf life reduce the costs of wastage for producers, distributors and retailers.

Development of food processing

Food processing dates back to our prehistory — when fire was discovered and cooking invented. The various ways in which food can be cooked are all forms of food processing.

Food preservation also began in prehistory, and the first ‘long shelf-life’ foods were produced by drying food in the sun and by preserving food with salt. Preservation with salt was common with soldiers, sailors and other travelers until canning was invented in the early 19th century.

The ancient Bulgarians invented the first instant food (bulgur) nearly 8.000 years ago, when found a way to parboil and dry whole wheat so that the grain only has to be reheated before it can be eaten.

One of the first ready-to-eat meals was devised by the ancient Celts when they invented the haggis and what is now known as the Cornish pasty.

Another processed food, cheese, was invented by the nomads of Arabia when they noticed how milk curdled as they jogged along all day on their camels and ponies.

The prehistoric methods of cooking and preserving food remained largely unchanged until the industrial revolution.

The development of modern food processing technology began in the early 19th century in response to the needs of the military. In 1809 a vacuum bottling technique was invented so Napoleon could feed his troops. Canning was invented in 1810 and, after the makers of the cans stopped using lead (which is highly poisonous) for the inner lining of the tins, canned goods became common throughout the world. Pasteurisation, discovered in 1862, advanced the micro-biological safety of milk and similar products significantly.

Cooling decreases the reproductive rate of bacteria and thus the rate at which food spoils. Cooling as a storage technique has been in use for hundreds of years. Ice-houses, packed with fresh snow during the winter, were used to preserve food by chilling from the mid-18th century onwards and worked fairly well most of the year round in northern climates.

Commercial refrigeration, using toxic refrigerants which made the technology unsafe in the home, was in use for almost four decades before the first domestic refrigerators were introduced in 1915.

Fridges in the home gained wide acceptance in the 1930s when non-toxic and non-flammable refrigerants such as Freon were invented.

The expansion of the food processing industry in the second half of the 20th century was due to three needs:(a) food to feed the troops efficiently during World War II, (b) food that could be consumed under conditions of zero gravity during forays into outer space, and (c) the pursuit of the convenience demanded by the busy consumer society.

To respond to these needs food scientists invented freeze-drying, spray-drying, and juice concentrates among a host of other processing technologies. They also introduced artificial sweeteners, colouring agents and chemical preservatives. In the closing years of the last century they came up with dried instant soups, reconstituted juices and fruits, and the ‘self-cooking’ meals (MREs) so beloved of military brass but not the grunts.

The ‘pursuit of convenience’ has lead to the expansion of frozen foods from simple bags of frozen peas to juice concentrates and complex TV dinners. Those who process food now use the perceived value of time as the foundation of their market appeal.

Benefits of processed foods

Initially, processed foods helped to alleviate food shortages and improve overall nutrition by making new foods available globally. Modern food processing delivers many additional benefits:

  • De-activating the pathogenic micro-organisms found in fresh vegetables and raw meats (such as salmonella), reduces food-borne diseases and makes food safer.
  • Because processed foods are less susceptible to spoilage than fresh foods, modern processing, storage and transportation can deliver a wide variety of food from around the world, giving us choices in our supermarkets that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors.
  • Processing can often improve the taste of food, though it can also have the opposite effect.
  • The nutritional value of food can be increased by the addition of extra nutrients and vitamins during processing.
  • The nutritional value can also be made more consistent and reliable.
  • Modern processing technologies can also improve the quality of life for people who have allergies by removing the proteins that cause allergic reactions.
  • The mass production of food means that processed foods are much cheaper to produce than the cost of making meals from raw ingredients at home.

Processed foods are also extremely convenient. Households are freed from the time-consuming tasks of preparing and cooking foods that are in their natural state… the food processing industry makes everything from peeled potatoes ready for boiling to prepared-meals that just have to be heated in a micro-wave oven for a few minutes.

Hazards

Processed foods are undoubtedly a great boon. But all is not sweetness and light.

Generally speaking, fresh unprocessed food will contain a higher proportion of naturally occurring fibre, vitamins and minerals than the same food after processing by the food industry. Vitamin C, for example, is destroyed by heat and so fresh fruit will contain more vitamin C than canned fruit.

Indeed, nutrients are often deliberately removed from food during processing in order to improve taste, appearance or shelf-life. Examples include bread, pasta and ready-made meals.

The result is empty calories. Processed foods have a higher ratio of calories to other essential nutrients than fresh, unprocessed foods. They are often energy-dense while being nutritionally poor.

Processing can introduce hazards that are not found in unprocessed foods, due to additives, preservatives, chemically-hardened vegetable oils or trans-fats, and excessive sugar and salt. Indeed, the additives in processed foods… flavourings, sweeteners, stabilisers, texture-enhancing agents and preservatives among other… may have little or no nutritive value, or may actually be unhealthy.

Preservatives used to extend shelf-life, such as nitrites or sulphites, may lead to ill-health. In fact, the addition of many chemicals for flavouring and preservation has been shown to cause human and animal cells to grow rapidly, without dying off, thus increasing the risk of a variety of cancers.

Cheap ingredients that mimic the properties of natural ingredients, such as trans-fats made by chemically-hardening vegetable oils that take the place of more-expensive natural saturated fats or cold-pressed oils, have been shown to cause severe health problems in numerous studies. But they are still widely used because of their low-cost and consumer ignorance.

Sugars, fats and salts are usually added to processed foods to improve flavour and as preservatives. As diabetics, we are all well aware of the effects of excessive sugar, fat and on our already damaged systems. Eating large amounts of processed food means consuming too much sugars, fats and salts, which, even if you a in full health, can lead to a variety of problems such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, stomach cancer, obesity, and of course diabetes.

Another problem with processed foods is that, where low-quality ingredients are used, this can be disguised during manufacturing.

In the processing industry, a food product will go through several intermediate steps in independent factories before it is finalised in the factory that finishes it.

This is similar to the use of sub-contractors in car manufacturing, where many independent factories products parts, such as electrical systems, bumpers, and other sub-systems, in accordance with the final manufacturer’s specifications. These parts are then sold to the car plant where the car is finally assembled from the bought-in parts.

Because the ingredients in processed foods are often made in large quantities during the early stages of the manufacturing process, any hygiene problems in the facilities that produce a basic ingredient that is used widely by other factories in the later stages of production can have serious effects on the quality and safety of many final food products.

Despite the hazards, everyone eats processed foods almost exclusively nowadays. As a result, people eat more quickly and no longer seem aware of the way food is grown and how it is a gift of nature.

It seems to me, also, that food has become more of a necessary interruption in our busy lives and less of a social occasion to be enjoyed.

Eating processed foods

You can’t get away from eating some processed foods… the convenience is irresistible.

When you eat processed foods you reduce the likelihood of being poisoned or picking up a food-borne disease. The nutritional value of what you eat may be more consistent and you will probably be ingesting more nutrients and vitamins than you would get by eating only unprocessed food.

On the other hand, by eating processed foods you are exposing yourself to a potential loss of heat-sensitive vitamins and nutrients that are removed to improve shelf-life, taste and appearance. You are also exposing yourself to the potential adverse effects on your health of various additives and preservatives, some of which can be very serious indeed.

The calorie-dense nature of processed foods, due to the large quantities of sugars and fats they contain, makes them extremely problematic for diabetics and those with high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

The only solution is to choose the processed foods you buy with extreme care — by reading the labels on the packaging — and to focus your diet on fresh or frozen produce as much as possible.



Source by Paul D Kennedy

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A Yin; Get soar throat easily and have a quick temper? A Yang. Seasonal and geographic variations will also affect our preference on yin and yang foods.

The Advice

  • When cooking yin food (applies to most veggies), add yang ingredients such as garlic, spring onion, ginger and coriander.
  • Eat seasonal food: let the nature guide us how to eat.
  • Balanced diet: if we eat a wide variety of food, the yin and yang will balance out.



Source by Stephanie M Ng

The Risks of Eating Too Much Pepper

People who love freshly ground black pepper should not panic when they read this article. Black pepper taken in moderation has mainly positive effects on our body as it provides it with the trace minerals chromium and vanadium. Vanadium is being researched because it might be beneficial to those with Type-2 diabetes as it may reduce blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin, so one study showed which involved patients with Type-2 diabetes. However research is in its early stages so nothing can be definitely said about vanadium and its health benefits.

The peppers that can be harmful are the red ones, red chilli peppers and cayenne in particular which contain capsaicin. This substance is sometimes found in ointments which are used to relieve skin irritations and pain from joints and muscles affected by arthritis and rheumatism. Capsaicin is a hot substance which gives chillies their bite and it is used in medicine as it blocks pain signals to the brain. However, if you get this substance on your skin, it will probably cause a burning sensation and it can damage the cornea in the eye as it is an irritant. It may have anti-microbial and antioxidant effects but research is still on-going.

Capsaicin can cause an increase in stomach acids, so people with too much of them should avoid eating red peppers or their derivatives. Capsaicin should not be taken with aspirin as it increases the risk of bleeding associated with it. If you are using theophylline for asthma then capsaicin should be avoided as it can increase the theophylline in the body to toxic levels. Also if you are taking medication to thin the blood or ACE inhibitors then avoid capsaicin.

However if you are a healthy individual a few chilli peppers here and there in moderation will do you no harm. If you eat too many or indulge in chilli-eating competitions however you will probably irritate your stomach and could get peptic ulcers. Research is underway to discover if capsaicin can help combat obesity, as eating chillies appears to increase the body’s production of heat for a short time. This may help to regulate blood sugar levels by helping to break down carbohydrates ingested in a meal.

People who are allergic to kiwis, bananas, chestnuts and avocados may also be allergic to cayenne pepper and chillies.

In some people spicy food which contains chillies, cayenne pepper and black pepper along with other spices, can suffer from acid reflux, which is not fatal or dangerous, just troublesome and results in burping; this is the body’s way of telling you that it can’t handle spicy food well. Chronic acid reflux disease can in rare cases result in esophageal cancer. If you suffer in this way after eating spicy food, cut down on the spices especially at night as acid reflux can also erode the teeth.

Eating spicy food including chilli peppers can lead to insomnia, as well as impairing the ability of the taste buds to distinguish between different flavours. There is also an ailment known as geographic tongue which is the rapid irritation of the tongue after eating very spicy, peppery food and this causes strange patterns to form on the tongue, and can weaken the sense of taste for up to a month. Clearly this is not life-threatening, but it can be annoying.

Peppers are good for us if we are healthy individuals, but if you take any supplements containing cayenne or chilli pepper derivatives you should consult your health care provider before taking them. In fact this advice goes for all supplements that can be bought over the counter. Commonsense is necessary so that you don’t over-indulge in pepper, but in moderation, it is unlikely to harm you.



Source by Lynne Evans

How to Treat Dementia and Alzheimer’s With the Best Brain Food

“Nootropic” is a term for a supplement that is ingested primarily for its effects on the brain. Nootropics is a Greek word meaning ‘Towards the Mind’. Nootropics are an emerging class of drugs that are designed to enhance cognitive function. Many of the cognition-enhancing “supplements” on the market make all the usual claims about “natural” enhancement – meanwhile they predictably contain just vitamins, herbs which have not been shown effective, perhaps nootropics, and often a stimulant, like caffeine. The only drug in the mix which is likely to have a noticeable effect by the user is the stimulant.

The concept behind nootropics is to target some metabolic or nutritional aspect of brain function, especially a function involved with memory or attention, and then to provide a nutritional precursor to that metabolic pathway, or a drug that enhances the activity of a neurotransmitter, enzyme, or other metabolic factor.

It is true and likely relevant that the brain is a very metabolically hungry organ. Optimal brain function depends upon most metabolic and physiological parameters functioning well. For this reason the brain is often the canary-in-a-coalmine of biological function – the first thing to go when something is off. Sick hospital patients, for example, are often sleepy or confused because their bodies are simply under stress, or their metabolic parameters are off. It can often be challenging to figure out exactly what is making a patient confused, because so many things can affect brain function. Further, in everyday healthy life our brain function can be off simply from having insufficient sleep, not eating well, being depressed, or being physically or mentally exhausted.

To be clear, nootropics are not steroids for the mind. In fact, true nootropic fanatics (who call themselves “noots”) claim simply that nootropics grease the cognitive wheels, enabling the brain to operate at its “cleanest” and for longer periods of time.

The terrifying symptoms of dementia start with mild memory loss. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You do not have to accept a failing memory as a natural part of getting older. Did you know there are currently over 36 million people worldwide with dementia? With the aging baby boomer population, that number is only going to explode.

According to the World Health Organization, if you’re over the age of 40, you personally have an almost 1 in 2 chance of getting Dementia. And if your memory is already starting to fail you, you need to take action today or you risk it getting worse and worse as you age.

The esteemed director at the UCLA Memory Clinic, Dr. Gary Small says, “The only cure for Alzheimer’s is prevention.” There is more money spent on brain research than on cancer research today. There are literally thousands of scientific studies which prove that it all starts with getting a healthy brain.

Is it possible to give your brain exactly what it needs, naturally, so that it can clear itself of toxins and perform at its best? The answer is, thankfully, YES! Dr. Small insists that you can create new neural pathways and alter your brain activity at a biochemical level. A Healthy Brain = A Healthy Body.

There is an array of brain healthy foods that you need to eat every day, but to make it easy for you, here is a list.

BRAIN SUPER FOODS: vitamin B-12, olive oil, garlic, peas, green tea, kale, blueberries, nuts and seeds, oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines & kippers, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, blackcurrant, broccoli and sage.

Eating the exact correct foods in the exact correct proportions would require a tremendous amount of effort. This led to the development of the study of nootropics, or ‘smart supplements’ as they are more commonly known. These are brain supplements that help your memory, focus, and overall brain health.

One noted researcher states that he read over 252 research studies on nootropics. He found that people using them were getting upwards of 20% improvement in their memory in as little as 20 days. He discovered that there were over 50 products on the market that claim to help your memory.

There are now thousands of clinical studies on how to improve your memory, reduce your risk of getting Dementia and how to get a better life, today. The problem is finding a single supplement that has all the right ingredients, much less any that had the right doses that supports the clinical trials. Some say that the supplement industry skimps on quality.

The US National Library of Medicine reports that about 40% of all people 65 years old or older have age associated memory impairment. That means you have a little less than a 1 in 2 chance of your memory failing you simply because of your age, not to mention stress, lack of sleep, diet, genetics, and the list goes on. What can you do about it?

Do you think that bringing your memory degradation to a screeching halt, preventing the bizarre and scary onset of dementia and staying more alert and focused… plus, knowing that your mind and memory are getting all of the support they need is a worthwhile endeavor? With the field of nootropics burgeoning, taking the time to evaluate the “smart supplements” available today would appear to be a worthwhile endeavor.



Source by Curney Parker

Diabetes Diet, What Are The 10 Best Fruits And Vegetables For Diabetic Patients

This is the question my diabetic patients always ask. Hopefully this article will enhance your knowledge about diet for a diabetic patient.

AVOID THESE FOODS

If you are a diabetic patient try to avoid following list of foods.

1-Sugar, artificial sweeteners and honey. However you may take sweetener like stevia. It is difficult to omit sugar from your diet at-once, I will recommend you to decrease sugar in your diet gradually.

2-You should stop taking sweets and chocolates. If you are in a party and want to take chocolate, then preferably try to take Continental dark chocolate with at-least 70% or more cocoa solids, and try to avoid chocolates where sugar is the first named ingredient

3-Try to avoid foods containing ingredients end in (ol) or (ose) as these are mainly different forms of carbohydrates like fructose, glucose, dextrose.

4-Avoid grains like cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, breakfast cereals, wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bread, pasta, pastry,

5-Avoid vegetables which contain larger amount of starch and carbohydrates like potatoes,carrots, peas, beans, parsnips, beet.

6-Also avoid fruits like watermelon, mangoes, banana, Chikoos(Pakistani), jackfruit, grapes, Strawberry, Sugarcane.

7-You may take milk but in small quantity. Avoid fat yogurts and cheese. Also be careful not to drink too much coffee or tea and add only as much sugar as in needed for taste.

8-Avoid commercially packaged foods like TV dinners, “lean” or “light” in particular, and snack foods, fast foods.

9-Avoid fresh fruit juices as these are highly concentrated carbohydrates. If you like fruit juices you may dilute one part of juice with 3 or 4 parts of water.

10-Always avoid saturated fats like fatty meat, full fat dairy products, butter, lard. Try to prefer unsaturated fats like olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, soy oil. Avoid cottage cheese as it has a high carbohydrate content and very little fat

You must be thinking that I have mentioned here all the stuff, and nothing is left to eat, these are foods you can eat:

1-You may take fruits like apple, Grapefruit, Lime, Peaches. You must divide your fruit and vegetable diet in five portions through all the day, by Spreading the fruit you eat through the day helps to avoid a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.

2-You must take high fibre diet. Fibrous diet is Cereals, Fruits, Nuts, Pulses, Seeds, Vegetables. Fibrous diet not only lowers your glucose level but also decreases blood cholesterol.

3-Always try to take whole grain rather than processed food and take things like whole-wheat spaghetti and brown rather than white rice(Indian Pakistani). Pakistani and Indian people do like white rice very much, but if you are diabetic, please avoid these.

4-You may take meat of lamb, beef once or twice a week. Organ meats can also be taken like liver kidneys and heart to meat your vitamin needs.

5-Try to take white meat like poultry chicken fish meat duck etc.

6-You may take Fish and seafood of all types. It is recommended to boil, steam, bake or grill fish rather than frying it.

7-Always prefer non-fatty dairy products such as “skimmed milk”, non-fat cheese and yogurt.

8-You may take eggs as well but try to take whitish part not the yellow one as it may increase your cholesterol level.

9-All cheeses can be taken except cottage cheese.

10-You may take all vegetables, onion and garlic are known for decreasing blood glucose level.

Generally Type 2 diabetic patients need 1500-1800 calorie diet per day to promote weight loss, however calories requirement may vary depending upon patients age, sex, activity level and body weight. 50% of total daily required calories should come from carbohydrates.One gram of carbohydrate is about 4 calories. A diabetic patient on a 1600 calorie diet should get 50% of these calories from carbohydrate. In other words it will be equal to 800 Calories from Carbohydrates, it means you have to take 200gms of carbohydrates everyday.It is better that you buy food tables with calories measurements to know more about your daily required food.



Source by Armughan Riaz