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Almonds: A Healthy Punch to the Daily Diet

downloadAlmond is a stone fruit and has extensive health benefits. Almonds are available throughout the year and are popular worldwide. They are a nutritious snack option that one can add to the daily diet. They contain plenty of minerals and are healthiest of tree nuts.

Consuming one ounce or approximately 23 almonds daily enriches the diet with minerals and other essential nutrients.

Almond nutrition is not just limited to proteins and fibre; they are a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium along with riboflavin and niacin. Naturally, the sugar content in the almonds is low.

This one ounce serving of almonds provides 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats and 1 gram of saturated fat. 160 calories are present in the 23 almonds serving.

Almond benefits are many and hence they are proactively added in the diet by many people. Apart from having a great taste, almonds have several medicinal values. These wonder nuts have proven benefits when added to the diet.

1. Healthy Heart: Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, which is important in preventing strokes and hypertension.

The mono-unsaturated fatty acids are healthy fats that promote a healthy heart. Potassium content in them is an important electrolyte needed for nerve transmission and contraction of heart muscles. Daily consumption of these wonder nuts helps in maintaining blood pressure and prevents atherosclerosis. Antioxidants along with vitamin E help in improving the health of arteries and in the reduction of inflammation.

2. Healthy Brain: Since ages, it is a popular fact that almonds provide crucial nutrients to the brain and is considered to be the best food for the brain.

Riboflavin and L-carnitine content in the almonds effectively increases neurological activity. They increase intelligence and longevity too.

3. Promotes Skin Health: Vitamin E content and antioxidants present in the almonds promote a healthy and nourished skin.

The antioxidants in the almonds help to fight skin cancer. The nutrients aid in reducing signs of ageing.

4. Aids in Diabetes: The mono-unsaturated fatty acids provided by almonds assists in slowing down of the release of glucose into the bloodstream.

5. Promotes Weight Loss: Almonds are a rich source of dietary fibres and healthy fats which help in weight loss.

The fibre content prolongs the feeling of fullness in the stomach, thus helps in avoiding extra intake of calories. They lower bad cholesterol and promote weight loss.

6. Strong Bones and Teeth: The phosphorous content in the almonds helps in building and maintain strong bones and teeth.

7. Strengthens Immune System: The alkaline materials provided by the almonds help in maintaining the alkaline system of the body.

Vitamin E present in these nutritious nuts helps to eliminate the damaging-causing free radicals present in the body. The linoleic and linolenic acids present in the almonds help reduce the inflammation.

8. Improves Digestive Health: The high fibre content in the almonds helps prevent constipation and boosts digestive health.

The health benefits of almonds are many, making these nuts the wonder nuts which are high in their nutrient punch. Add high quality and standard organic almonds in the diet purchased from organic producers and suppliers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9482084

Health Benefits of Eating Rice

download-1Rice is predominantly one of the most common foods of the world. In fact, it is eaten several times per day across different cultures. Still, it is one of the most misunderstood cereals or food. People across the world surrounded with many myths and misconceptions about eating rice, and the reason for this is the high concentration of carbohydrate and starch. While rice has great nutritional value and is among the healthiest foods of the world. When combined with fresh vegetables and spices it can make an incredible meal and can offer enormous health benefits.

No matter whether you are eating brown or white rice this food will offer valuable benefits in either of its forms. The range of benefits starts from one of the most admonished contents of rice that are carbohydrates. While, it is the presence of carbohydrate that makes rice one of the richest source of energy, and it acts as a fuel for the whole body. Carbohydrate present in the rice provides the uninterrupted supply of energy to the body.

Both white and brown rice have particular nutritional values altogether. White rice is a healthier choice as it resists oxidation. Mineral like calcium and iron are highly concentrated in white rice. And it is also a rich source of vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavin and various other Vitamins. Brown rice is considered as a whole grain, and is one of the best anti-oxidant. It is rich in selenium that restrains the development of common diseases like cancer, cardiac diseases and arthritis.

Gluten, the most problematic part of many grains is totally absent in rice and makes it a non-allergic grain. So it can, easily form part of the diet of those who are suffering from intestinal diseases and those who are allergic to proteins as it is gluten free food. It is also a safe option for all those who need a healthy source of carbs. Further, it contains a negligible amount of sodium and is considered as a great and safe food for all those who are in their stride to control salt intake in their diet.

Nearly half of the world is suffering from the problem of obesity, and rice is looked upon as an aid to lose or control weight. It has low fat and cholesterol content that can restrain the problem of obesity, and its consumption can lead to weight loss. Further the presence of healthy fibre in it allows overcoming the problem of constipation. Also, these fibres help in the growth of good bacteria that contributes to improving digestion and regularise the bowel movement.

Rice is both a nutritious and affordable food item, not only it provides great health benefits but also keep you prudent. Rice has a great use in Ayurveda to cure various imbalances of the body. Any rice dish can be prepared in few minutes and you will not only be served to enjoy a rich and tasty food but will also allow improving your overall health. Rice is a superb food, and you should include it as part of your well-balanced diet without any apprehension.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9491750

Tips To Enjoy Gourmet Food Choices

download-2Today, most people are into trying various types of food that are beyond their comfort fare. Ingredients and food products from all over the world have become more readily available not just in special shops but even in the most ordinary supermarkets. Establishments in the business of serving food, from restaurants to hotels to caterers, have also made their repertoire more expansive.

Sensing that the tastes and demands of the market today have grown to become more sophisticated, many of these businesses have become bolder in offering delicious gourmet cuisine to their increasingly curious customers. Gourmet food is nothing new, but it is now enjoying a healthy revival. Take a look at any well-researched gourmet food blog, and you’ll see how the interest for higher-quality, out-of-the-box cuisine that elevates food to fine art continues to grow.

If you’ve always stood by simply ordering your usual and you’re now ready to experiment with your taste buds, check out the following tips to enjoy gourmet food choices.

Start first with familiar foods, only tweaked a bit to elevate the concept or flavour (or both). A burger, a bowl of soup, ice cream or your favourite beverage are nothing new, but with some culinary magic, these can become quite extraordinary. Know the taste of the food. Sure, you can learn how to cook gourmet dishes later. But for now, since you’re still finding your way around your culinary journey, then you have to know first how the food should taste like as prepared by experts.

Share the experience. Good food is better appreciated when shared with good company. The next time you’re hosting an event, talk to your caterer and take a look at their other offerings that you haven’t tried yet. It doesn’t have to be a big-deal event for your gourmet feast to happen. The enjoyment of great food does not only involve the sense of taste. It’s an entire multi-sensory experience – you’ll judge the food based on what you see, what you can hear, what you say, what you smell and how you feel.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9503545

Organic Food For Glowing Skin

Pampering yourself with organic products while following a beauty regime may seem difficult. It is mostly when we pick up products containing ingredients with long chemical names. Here, we hand out a perfect list of easy, quick organic beauty fixes for skin care and makeup. Do your organic makeup with berries and beets. Strawberries and beetroots are excellent options for making great cheek and lip stains.

Let Your Hair and Skin Glow

Just let the vegetable or fruit dry out in the sun and then, pulse them in the grinder till they are finely powdered. Now, this mixture can be used as a cheek stain. To make lip stain, a double boiler must be created by putting a cup including coconut, almond or olive oil in water boiling in a saucepan. Stir in the strawberry or beetroot powder and mix them well. Strain to let it cool after placing it in a lip balm jar.

Apply it and your lips would be tinted, luscious and utterly soft and your cheeks may have a natural glow. Now for the hair care part, you may get hair sprays and masks. The organic hair mask can be prepared by mashing a banana, an avocado and some yoghurt. This can be applied on hair going from scalp to tips till 15 minutes and thereafter, could be washed off normally with a regular shampoo. Your hair may become extra soft.

Now, you can come to styling it by using the organic hair spray. Just mix a cup of water with a tablespoon sea salt and a tablespoon rubbing alcohol. If you want, you can also mix essential oil with it. You must shake up all the ingredients before spraying. Scrunch and let it dry for a wonderful effect.

Include Besan (Gram Flour) in Your Daily Routine

Now, when it comes to skin care, what can be better than besan (gram flour)? It is versatile to work as an exfoliator, a body cleanser, tan remover and face mask. Well, the chemistry works as besan is mixed with water. Natural saponins are released to form a safe, mild and ecological detergent. While using it as a body cleanser, you can mix a bit of essential oil too. It may be applied as a powder or paste.

For better after effect, you can apply coconut oil before showering in order to have a super soft skin. It can also be combined with broken wheat or sugar to make an exfoliating scrub. You can prepare various combinations with besan to be used as a face mask. Purifying face mask can be made out of besan, water and lemon juice for an oily skin. To remove tan, the best combination is of besan with turmeric, lemon and yoghurt. Cucumber juice with besan is creamy and soothing.

So, if you wish to buy some organic food for glowing skin, gram flour is a must buy to tried with different combinations.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9507172

You Can Love and Trust Yourself With Food

This month I would like to share my L.I.V.E.T. I created this as an alternative to dieting, so you can be empowered to eat in a positive way instead. By learning to listen to your body instead of your emotions, you can gain peace of mind around food and body image issues.

L – Love yourself right now for who you are inside not what you see or think you see in the mirror. The real you is not your outer shell, it is your heart, the core of you, your love, emotions, feelings and desires. Honour and respect the true you so you can start to give yourself what you need in ways other than food.

I – Intuition is absolutely key to being able to trust yourself and learn to eat naturally. It is essential you always go with your gut instinct and eat food you truly want, not what you should eat. If you eat what you should you may be satisfied physically but not emotionally. Therefore you will simply crave what you truly wanted in the first place and overindulge at some stage.

V – Variety in food is extremely important so it becomes spontaneous and natural. If you are always eating the same thing it becomes boring and regimented and very difficult to become emotionally satisfied. Satisfaction is the key to being able to stop. Remember when you eat naturally you are allowed to eat anything you like.

E – Enjoyment is so important. Some of us have stopped enjoying our food because it has become a problem and a worry and we often just do it to get it done. Or we may be in the middle of a binge so we may not even notice or taste the food. I really encourage you to slow down, taste, savour and get pleasure from it. Again this will help you be satisfied. When you are satisfied, you won’t be thinking about food when you aren’t hungry.

T – Trust and intuition go hand in hand with natural eating. The main reason people go on diets is because they don’t trust themselves around food and feel they have to follow a rigid plan in order to be healthy. Trust your body, it absolutely knows what it wants. Listen to it, eat when it is hungry and stop when it is satisfied and it won’t let you down. The problems only come when we ignore it.

As you can see, all the suggestions above are positive and empowering and enable you to tune into your body’s natural instincts. It’s certainly a lot more fun than starving and depriving ourselves and will ensure lifetime positive results instead of a short term fix which is not sustainable over time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9538582

The Perfect Spring Snacks

Having a snack throughout the day is important to keep your energy up and having different options could help satisfy your taste buds. During spring there are more food options that are tolerable since the cold limiting your choices. Here are the perfect spring snacks to make at home:

  • There is so much you can do with vegetables during the warmer months of the year. They are refreshing and keep your energy up. Adding a bit of sour cream to your celery sticks or carrot sticks will give the vegetables a delightful flavour.
  • Soups may be a winter food but why not give cold soup a try? Cucumber soup has the pleasant fresh taste that everyone enjoys. Add garlic and salt for some flavour and for convenience this snack doesn’t even need to be cooked.
  • Making yourself some couscous is a quick snack that fills you up enough for a little while. Mixing the grain with oil and cheese is a delicious spring meal which does not take much effort.
  • Egg sandwiches are a filling snack that is healthy and satisfying. Mixing a bit of curry powder will give the yolky food a small kick. It’s a good thing that curry powder is available in most of your wholesaler stores.
  • If you’re the person who enjoys the sweeter snacks then fruit is definitely the way to go. Fruit salad with a bit of whipped cream or sugar is light and healthy. Not too much cream and sugar. Just chop up a bunch of fruits of your choice and the hard part is practically done.
  • Fruit is also perfect for smoothies. The tastes merged together give a whole new fresh flavour. Sometimes eating is not what you feel like doing so make a drink instead.
  • Coconut bread can be made into a savoury snack or a sweet one. Just mix up coconut flour, baking powder, a few eggs and butter and it will be ready in less than three minutes. This is the quickest bread to make and it fills you up the way a normal snack should. You won’t feel the need to have more.

It’s important to have snacks during the day to keep your mind active and awake, even if the snacks are small such as a fruit or an energy bar. Always make sure that you don’t over feed yourself if you are not that hungry as your body will take more energy just to digest the unnecessary food in your system. The smaller portions you eat, the quicker your metabolism reacts. Snacks are available at any wholesaler store.

J&E Cash ‘n Carry is one of South Africa’s biggest wholesalers in the following categories of products: Cosmetics, Groceries, Sweets, Personal Care, Household, Health, Beauty, Baby, Hardware, Electric & Stationery. We supply traders only, and offer the highest standards of service, the cheapest deals, and the best buying experience.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9529830

Importance of Spices in Food

Indian food is loved world over by people of different nationalities. What makes it so popular is the way it is cooked; cooking Indian cuisines is nothing less than an art. It requires the right ingredients chopped and sautéed over fire and then cooked on a simmering flame with the right amount of herbs and spices. Indian food is not just rich in taste but also has an aroma that can whip up anyone’s appetite. The aroma in the food comes from spices which are used in every Indian household for centuries. They are an integral part of every dish and are loaded not just with flavors but also health benefits. Not many are aware that the reason why Indian food apart from being extremely delicious is also very healthy is because of the spices and herbs in it that have therapeutic health benefits. Some of the beneficial uses of spices and herbs used in everyday dishes are:

1) Turmeric: Turmeric has been used for centuries not just in food to give it a yellow texture but also by Ayurvedic doctors for its healing properties. Turmeric when used in food can retain the beta-carotene in certain foods. A main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a strong antioxidant and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have also shown that turmeric is helpful in correcting depression symptoms. Due to its strong anti – inflammatory qualities it is highly beneficial to Arthritis patients and unlike medications, it doesn’t pose any threat to liver and other organs. Its most widely accepted property though is its function as a painkiller.

2) Cinnamon: Another commonly used ingredient in Indian household, cinnamon is also used in a variety of other global dishes. These bark shaped spices have a lot of medical benefits. They are very useful for those suffering from diabetes as they can lower fasting blood glucose and reduce cholesterol. Cinnamon also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In ancient times when there was no safe way to store food for a longer period of time and food could get easily spoiled, recipes were flavored with this particular spice. Even in case of common cough and cold, having cinnamon tea can be very comforting and healing.

3) Mustard Seed: They are culinary oil seeds that apart from enhancing the taste of a dish also have a lot of health benefits. The magnesium content in mustard reduces migraine and helps relieve the tormenting pain. Including mustard seeds in your dishes can also relieve you of respiratory congestion; it is also beneficial for asthma patients.

Indian food contains the above and many other spices and herbs that are included in everyday food. This makes it one of the most healthiest foods available.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9543172

Indulge in Some Comfort Food

The most uplifting thing in this world is the sight of a delicious plate of food. Whether you are down in the dumps, had a break up, facing too many problems or are just hit by a massive bout of sadness, nothing beats the blue like cuddling up in your warmer and gorging on some comfort food. Such sort of food always carries a sentimental value that is deeply cherished by the person and evokes nostalgia of a happier time. For many comfort food is generally the food that they connect with childhood memories and it reminds them of homely comfort and safety. There is an array of food stuff that falls into this bracket such as the mac and cheese, a common dish that is widely eaten in every household and has been a part of everyone’s growing up years. Being a simple dish it is fairly easy to make and can be cooked in a few minutes, a traditional form of macaroni and cheese is baked in a casserole but it can also be made in a sauce pan on the stove.

Whether it is craving or comfort, nothing satiates us like some deep fried food. After a hard day at work when we finally draw into the comfort of our living room and can finally be ourselves, far away from the worries and tension plaguing us, then nothing feels more fulfilling than digging into some succulent, juicy and crispy chicken. Also who can turn down a warm bowl of comfort food during cold winter nights? Piping hot chicken and dumplings is a classic for which you don’t need any excuse to dig into. This sinfully delightful dish can provide warmth, nourishment and a lot of happiness, all in a humble bowl.

The current fad of staying healthy and being careful about food has all of us thinking and over analyzing every bite that we take. Being too afraid to pile up calories and focusing on staying thin has all of us cutting down on our favorite food. While it is good to be healthy and to watch what we eat, it is absolutely understandable to crave food that may not be helping us shed the pounds but would make us feel good about ourselves and our day temporarily. Even dieticians recommend cheating once in a while and giving into our cravings. Not only is it a good stress buster but it also elevates our good mood. So next time you feel the like savoring an old favorite dish, do so without a hint of guilt.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9560807

All About Food Ingredients

When you are buying food in your local stores the first thing that you look at is the ingredients.

Function of the food ingredients

The food manufacturers have many reasons why they add the ingredients. Some of these reasons include:

To keep the food safe and fresh: The ingredients used in serving this role are preservatives. They prevent spoilage of the food thus reducing the risk of you suffering from foodborne diseases.

To improve the texture of the food: I’m sure that you have noticed that most of the food you get from your local store has a better texture than the one that you prepare yourself. This is due to the addition of the ingredients. The ingredients added include: thickeners, emulsifiers, leavening agents and stabilizers. The additives give food a light airy texture that feels great on the tongue.

The additives improve taste: Spices, sweeteners, and other flavors enhance the taste of food thus you enjoy eating it.

The additives aid in improving appearance: Natural and artificial food colors improve the appearance of plain foods such as juices, cheese, and yogurts.

Common food ingredients

There are many additives that can be used in food but there are some that are more common than others. The most common additives include:

Flavors: They include both natural and artificial flavors. The most common are: salt, citric acid, butter flavoring, methyl salicylate, vanilla extract and vanillin. The flavors are heavily used in cereals, soft drinks, dressings, yogurt, and bread. The additives provide a bitter flavor that neutralizes the sweet flavors that are common in beverages.

Food colors: Food colors offset the color loss that takes place when the food is exposed to light. They also enhance the colors that occur naturally in food. The most common food colors that you will find in most foods are: caramel coloring, beta carotene, and annatto extract. The additives are common in yogurts, fruit spreads, candles, cheese, snack foods, and pudding.

Sweeteners: They add sweetness to food and beverages without interfering with the original food texture. Common sweeteners are high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucrose, honey, agave, and nectar. You will find the additives in dressings, maple syrup, cereals, juice concentrates, desserts, and molasses.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about the common food ingredients and their roles. While the additives are harmless to many people there are some people that react to them. If you one of the people who are affected by the ingredients you should avoid foods containing them.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9577330

Evolution of Eating Healthy

I haven’t always been someone who eats healthy. I was raised in the days of TV dinners on trays, sitting in front of Gilligan’s Island in the TV room with my three siblings. Good nutrition and eating healthy may come easily to some, but for the rest of us, it may be a gradual progression of steps.

My family rarely visited or spoke during dinner. Commercials were reserved for running into the kitchen to get more milk. For variety, we would have canned SpaghettiOs, or Campbell’s soup with grilled cheese. Healthy wasn’t a concept that entered into my mind when eating. The goals were good taste and ease of preparation.

This changed when, at nineteen, I took a class on values clarification. The instructor had us assess what our values were by looking at where we were putting our time and energy, and considering what was most important to ourselves. I realized there was a huge contrast between my desire to be healthy and the food choices I was making.

Many of my peers were making their own granola, yogurt and growing vegetables to eat. The “hip” thing was to be a vegetarian. I wanted to be doing these sorts of things, but instead I was eating junk. So, at twenty I became a vegetarian… and started consuming vast amounts of dairy, wheat, and sugar. This phase was, perhaps healthier than the processed food, but it was still essentially lacking in nutrition.

This period was followed by getting married, having four children and wanting them to be as healthy as possible. I call this the tofu stage. I put tofu in almost every dish I made and packed tofu dogs in the kid’s lunches. I felt proud to be raising 4 vegetarian children in a society full of carnivores. Tofu and dairy competed for my attention. Our family favorites, after tofu, were bean and cheese burritos, and macaroni and cheese. To this day none of my four grown children will eat tofu!

I was, indeed, pretty ignorant about healthy eating. Fortunately for my family, I began teaching kindergarten at the private school that my children attended. The school was part of a spiritual yoga community that provided healthy vegetarian food. Things like, brown rice, steamed veggies, fresh salads, and homemade breads and soups were offered every day. Suddenly, my spectrum of healthy foods had many colors and textures and my kids were exposed to a new way of eating. They loved the healthy new foods and so did I.

This period was followed by divorce and the craziness of single-parenting four children. Time became limited, money was tight and priorities had to change. Once again, healthy food choices gave way to convenience and price. I rarely shopped at the local health food store and often filled in the gaps with pizzas, quesadillas, and canned beans. I assigned a night for each child to cook, and our meals were simple and filling. Flour, rice, beans, and pasta were at the top of the menu. Fresh vegetables cost too much so I bought frozen veggies sincerely thinking I was feeding the kids good food.

Fortunately, my awareness of what is genuinely healthy and nutritional food has changed. These days, my children are all grown and I am living on my own. I can afford to buy and choose what I want, and I have continued to evolve my own diet.

Three-and-a-half years ago, I gave up dairy and gluten to get rid of my eczema problem. Then, just 9 months ago, I gave up sugar and chocolate as well. I now have an awareness of the adverse effects of GMO foods on the body, and have started buying organic as much as possible. I see that I am a slow learner when it comes to health and nutrition. But, gradually over time, I have been able to incorporate improvements into my food choices. This transition is happening bit by bit and I am reaping the benefits of my improved healthier diet. My head is clearer, I have more energy, my health is excellent and I feel good about what I eat. Having moved away from processed food, I find that food in its natural state tastes even better.

Who knows, perhaps for the next step, I will become a raw food connoisseur? I encourage you, wherever you are in your dietary choices, to be open to the changes that can bring the priceless gifts of good health and well-being.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9580071