To some food may just seem like food; however, it’s much more complex than that. Paying attention to what you put in your body is essential. Not only can food have an effect on how you feel physically but also mentally. [Read more…]
In the realm of food and nutrition, there is an approach to better health through the use of detoxing and fasting processes. It is important to note that both of these things can be dangerous if done improperly, so you should always talk to a doctor before starting anything new in those realms, but there are positive effects that can come from them as well.
Most people know that eating healthy food leads to healthy benefits. However, sometimes knowing things isn’t enough to convince someone to give up bad habits. However, perhaps if more people knew about the many adverse effects that bad food can have on your health beyond just weight gain, they may be more persuaded to make healthier food choices. [Read more…]
It’s one thing to be a good cook. It’s another thing to cook good food. And it’s another thing to focus on nutrition when you’re cooking. Depending on what your goal is, your focus may be different in how you purchase food, how you prepare food, and ultimately how you cook it and present it. [Read more…]
With increased awareness of proper nutrition, many people are acknowledging the need for a change in their diet. Proper nutrition can stave off a litany of diseases and even mental health-problems such as addiction, depression and anxiety. Many rehab centers recognize the importance of proper nutrition in recovering from addiction, but what if you implemented a healthy diet early-on? Included here are a few of the most nutrient-rich foods to add to your diet.
Many doctors are now realizing that maintaining a healthy weight is less dependent on calorie-counting and more dependent on nutrient-counting. Foods that are nutrient-dense, even with more calories, are far better for you than a zero-calorie soda. Part of the reason for this lies in the benefits of whole foods. [Read more…]
There’s a certain irony surrounding ageing and diet that’s hard to ignore. As we get older we become less active, burning fewer calories and requiring less energy from food to fuel the body. However, old age is when we need vitamins and minerals from food more than ever to ward off disease, keep us healthy, and expedite wound healing, for example.
So what do we do? Eat an amount we’re comfortable with and starve the body of essential vitamins, or eat until we’re bursting, putting our organs under the unnecessary strain of extra weight?
It may seem like a lose-lose situation, but there’s a very obvious solution.By swapping out your regular meals for dishes filled with healthy, mineral-rich ingredients, you can find a good balance between fuelling your body, and satisfying your needs.
Why Do We Need to Watch What We Eat?
While there are many reasons why our nutritional needs change throughout different points in our lives, there are three primary reasons for us to start paying more attention to what we eat as we get older.
Firstly, as we age, the body becomes less capable of absorbing nutrients from food. This means that we can be eating the same sort of healthy diet that we did when we were younger, and yet getting much less from it. Some health professionals have rallied for the introduction of recommended daily allowances, or RDAs, specifically for the elderly, as we already have RDAs for adults and children, but as yet this is something that hasn’t materialised in the UK. Until it does, it’s up to us to ensure we’re taking in slightly more than the published RDAs. Don’t worry about taking too much of the good stuff naturally from foods, but if you decide to use supplements, only take the recommended dosage – there can be some nasty side effects if you take too much! [Read more…]
Going gluten free is a popular trend these days; more and more people are treating gluten like a leper. The actual truth is that gluten is only harmful to a small percentage of the people trying so hard to cut it out. Cutting gluten may actually do them harm in the long run!
Gluten is a protein found in grains, wheat, and similar foods. It holds the food together, and is a fairly harmless protein … unless your body has a problem with it.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body treats gluten like an invader: it attacks the gluten proteins in your intestines. When your immune system attacks the gluten, it damages your intestines as well, which can lead to more serious digestive issues.
Celiac disorder isn’t as common as some people think. Most gluten-intolerant people suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This disorder is basically an allergy to gluten: your body reacts to gluten the way lactose-intolerant people react to milk. Allergic reactions are bad for the body, so it’s healthy for such people to eliminate gluten from their diet to avoid harming their intestines and digestive tract.
However, for those of us who have no physical problem with gluten, cutting it from your diet is useless. Gluten is a harmless protein that damages the bodies of those with gluten intolerances. For the average person, a gluten-free diet accomplishes nothing. If you or a loved one have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, here are six great gluten-free recipes. [Read more…]
Weight Loss isn’t just about smaller food portions; it’s also about eating healthy food and improving your general fitness. And to do that, you’ll have to keep your cupboard stocked full of nutritious options. Here are a few suggestions on what to add to your grocery list to ensure that your meals healthy, whether you’re at home or not.
If you want to follow a healthy weight loss regimen, you’re going to have to stick with foods high in protein and low o saturated fat. This would include salmon, herring, skinless chicken breast, lean turkey and shrimp. Don’t forget to include eggs; they’re low on calories, rich in protein, inexpensive and versatile, since they can be part of a quick snack or full meal. Throw in some tofu and beans (dried or canned), which make great ingredients for soup and salads. If you want to avoid meats, shop for wheat gluten or tempeh—they’re excellent substitutes and can be cooked in a variety of ways. [Read more…]
The Japanese people are known to be conscious of their diet and this is why the country has the longest life expectancy. Most are lean because they don’t overeat and more importantly, they often eat vegetables, seaweeds, tofu and fish which are all rich in vitamins and minerals. Just ask yourself if you’ve seen any overweight Japanese in person or on TV and the movies apart, of course, from the sumo wrestlers.
One concrete proof of this population’s healthy diet is their use of natural ingredients. As an example, they use a natural sweetener in their food instead of the usual sugar. This is the stevia, a plant that grows abundantly in the Americas and parts of Asia, notably in the subtropical and tropical regions.
Since the 1970s, Japan has used stevia as a sweetener. This was after reports claimed that cyclamate and saccharin were carcinogens which can affect the health of people. From that time on, this Asian country has cultivated the plant to supply the needs of its people for an alternative ingredient that can sweeten a wide range of food products and even drinks.
Today, however, the use of stevia has gone beyond just being a food and drink sweetener. Owing to its steviol glycoside which is present in the plant’s leaves, this ingredient is now being used in making medicines including vitamins and supplements.
Some of you may not be aware of this yet but stevia actually contains a number of minerals that provides a lot of benefits to the human body. These are chromium, manganese, potassium, selenium, sodium, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc. Chromium plays a significant role in regulating blood sugar levels and as such, is beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Medical and nutrition experts agree that the use of this small plant provides double benefits to consumers. Besides making food and drinks sweet, it also gives out vitamins and minerals essential in promoting good health.
Photo via japan-stevia.com
Here’s another installment of Foods to Avoid, this time for Diabetics. When one thinks about Diabetes, they often automatically think about sweets. Things like chocolates, candies, cakes and ice cream go out the door. In truth, there are several other food that contain a lot of sugars but don’t necessarily taste sweet.
White Rice – Rice might not be sweet but it is packed with sugar. How is this possible? Well, rice and other starchy foods like pasta and bread are loaded with carbohydrates. When carbs are broken down, they become glucose. Now, this is very bad for Diabetics. Choose brown rice, wheat bread and wheat pasta whenever possible.
Starchy Vegetables – Sure vegetables are part of a healthy diet, but for Diabetics starchy vegetables like potatoes, beets and beans should be eaten as little as possible. For the same reason as White Rice, starchy vegetables should be avoided.
Fruits – OK, so fruits are sweet but most people think that since fruits are healthful then it’s alright to feed them to diabetics. While this is true for some fruits, avoid those with higher sugar content. Examples are grapes, strawberries, bananas, peaches, plums, nectarines, oranges and grapefruit.
Packaged foods – Packaged foods are best avoided in general, even without the added complication of diabetes. Look at the labels and watch out for foods that have high-fructose corn syrup, or anything ending in -ose. These sweeteners are used in most packaged food and are not good for diabetics.
The most important thing to remember when dining as a diabetic or preparing food for one is portion control. Lessen the portion of carbohydrates and sugars and replace it with more fiber.
If you or someone you know is suffering from gout or kidney stones, then chances are uric acid is the culprit. At its core, uric acid is a combination of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Seems harmless enough, right? Actually, while uric acid itself is relatively safe, the problem lies with its predisposition to form salts.
Normally, uric acid goes through the liver and is then flushed away. But, an excess of this compound can cause the formation of salts that can stay in the kidney (as kidney stones) or in the various joints of the body (in the case of gout).
Purines breakdown into uric acid. These nitrogen-rich compounds are found in a lot of foods you wouldn’t normally think twice about. Here’s a list of the top purine-rich foods you should be avoiding if you are suffering from high levels of uric acid.
Beer or anything with malt – Any drink that has malt or is made from wheat or other grains have high levels of purine.
Legumes – Yes, peanuts are not nuts but legumes so gout-sufferers should stay away from them. Other examples are peas and dried beans.
Organ Meat – Liver, kidney and sweetbreads are all no-no’s if your trying to maintain your uric acid level. Stay away from gravy and consomme as well.
Instead of eating the above mentioned foods, look for alternatives that are lower in uric acid but can still provide you with the nutrients and protein they possess. Tofu is a good substitute for meat. It is very rich and protein without the added purines. Eating dark berries have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects so these are great for those with gout. Cheeses and other dairy products are also low in uric acid.
Be mindful of what you eat to prevent or lower the severity of gout or kidney stones. It only takes a discerning eye and knowledge of food to keep yourself healthy and strong.
Oven roasted ratatouille is a pleasing dish which brings out the taste of the vegetables. Enjoy their succulent sweetness combined with a touch of aromatic rosemary.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 4cm pieces
2 zucchinis, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into 4cm pieces
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and cut into 4cm pieces
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 medium sized Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 200C. Pour the oil into a large baking dish and heat it in the oven for five minutes. Remove from the oven and add the eggplant, zucchini, onion, capsicums, garlic and rosemary. Toss until the vegetables are coated in oil. Place the tomatoes on top. Bake it in the oven or thirty to forty-five minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove it from the oven once again and season it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the parsley before serving.
Image from avlxyz
Tomato mozzarella and pesto tartins are delectable appetizers which you can serve for cocktails or dinners. These fancy bites are easy to make. You can prepare them ahead of time and load them in the oven just before serving.
Makes 24 pieces
6 small, ripe Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup pesto
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella
Preheat oven at 220C and lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Cut twenty-four 4cm rounds of baking paper and use them to line the pan bases.
Next, trim the ends of the tomatoes. Cut them in 0.5cm thick slices. Put a slice of tomato in each hole.
With a 5cm round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut 24 rounds from the thawed pastry sheets. Brush one side of a pastry sheet round with egg white and then place them egg side down over the tomato slice in the pan. Repeat this for the remaining ingredients.
Place the pan in the oven and bake it for ten to twelve minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Loosen each tartin using a flat knife and put them tomato side up on a plate. Remove the baking paper and top them with a slice of mozzarella. Spoon some pesto on top and season them with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Image from daveyll
Chicken and orange salad is a textured salad recipe which makes use of fruits and nuts. It has a citrusy taste and a bit of sharp flavor from the onions. If red onions are too strong, you may use white onions instead.
400g cooked chicken, thinly sliced
310g can corn kernels, drained
200g mixed salad leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup low-fat natural or unflavored yoghurt
2 teaspoons mango chutney
2 teaspoons mild curry paste
1/3 almonds, coarsely chopped
Slice off the base of each orange. With a sharp knife, remove the skin and the white membranes. Hold the orange over a bowl while peeling in order to catch any juice. Cut the orange along the membranes in order to get the segments easily. Reserve the juice.
Place the chicken, corn, salad, onions and orange segments in a large salad bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the chutney, yogurt, curry paste and orange juice. Mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad. Gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the pistachios over it and serve immediately.
Refrigerate it if you decide to prepare it ahead of time. Add the almonds just before serving.
Image from stu_spivack
Quick and easy Greek pasta is a delectable recipe which you can prepare in minutes. Use any type of pasta if desired. I prefer using white wine instead of vinegar because of its aromatic flavor. I also like the way it enhances the taste of the tomatoes. Chili flakes or chili oil are great additions which can liven up the dish even more.
1 8 oz. package spaghetti
1 10 oz. bag fresh spinach
1 small head of cabbage, quartered
1 8 oz. pack sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 6 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
Extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is al dente or according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium flame. Cook the spinach and mushrooms in hot oil for ten minutes or until they give off moisture. Add the red wine vinegar and the balsamic vinegar. Set the flame to high and bring it to a boil. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, parsley and black olives into the boiling vegetable and vinegar mixture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer it for another 10 minutes or until all the flavors come together. Stir occasionally.
Add the cooked pasta to the tomato and herb mixture and gently toss to coat the pasta. Continue to simmer it for another ten minutes or until the flavors bend together. Season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle more olive oil if desired. Stir in the 2 ounces of feta cheese. Divide the pasta among individual plates or place it on a serving platter. Sprinkle some feta cheese over the plated pasta and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately with garlic bread.
Image from: little blue hen
Floret salad is a delicious cold salad dish with a lot of crunch and a variety of textures. Make sure not to overcook the vegetables, so that they won’t crumble. Feel free to add sliced hard boiled eggs if desired. You can also use different kinds of dried fruit and nuts too.
2/3 cup fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
2/3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons raisins
2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons whole cashews
Steam or blanche the cauliflower and the broccoli for five minutes or until they are cooked and crisp. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the onions, raisins and crumbled bacon.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Whisk well. Season it with salt and ground pepper to taste.
Spoon the mayonnaise mixture into the bowl of vegetables. Toss until the vegetables are coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least an hour or up to overnight. Sprinkle cashews over it before serving. Serve chilled.
Image from irrational_cat
Alla checca pasta is a delectable pasta dish which can be prepared in a jiffy. All you have to cook is the pasta, toss in the sauce and you are all set. You may add some chili flakes to give the dish some kick.
5 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Season it with salt and pepper. Stir. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Let it sit for at least two hours or refrigerate it overnight.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions or until it is al dente. Drain well. Transfer it to a large bowl or pot. Add the tomato mixture over the hot pasta. Gently toss. Divide it among individual plates and top them with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Image from citymama
Broiled wasabi swordfish is a tasty dish which you can eat with rice or potatoes. Throw in some vegetables for added taste and texture. Feel free to reduce the amount of wasabi and adjust it according to your taste.
1 kilo swordfish, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Juice of half a lime
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 scallion stalk, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
To prepare the marinade, combine the soy sauce, honey, half a lime, garlic, ginger scallions, sesame oil, wasabi powder and freshly ground paper in a small bowl. Mix until well combined and the wasabi powder is dissolved. Pour the marinade on a re-sealable bag or shallow bowl. Marinate the fish in this mixture for at least ten minutes per side or a maximum of two hours. Broil the fish over high heat for 8-10 minutes or until it is cooked. Turn at least once. Transfer to a serving plate or individual plates and serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: Flyinace2000
Roasted carrots and parsnips is a delicious recipe which is buttery and full of flavor. It is a perfect meal for vegetable lovers, but it will go perfectly well with grilled or braised meat.
2 teaspoon caraway seeds or cumin seeds
2 bunches baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
750g parsnips, trimmed, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 200C and lightly grease a baking dish with butter. After, put the butter and caraway seeds in the baking dish. Cook it in the oven for five minutes or until the seeds are fragrant and a bit toasted. Remove it from the oven and add the carrots, parsnips and red wine vinegar. Toss until the vegetables are coated in butter. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the vegetables in the oven for forty to fifty minutes or until they are tender. Serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: Jon Mountjoy
Tofu steaks with rocket salad is a very delicious Japanese inspired vegan recipe that you will enjoy. It is a healthy meal which is perfect for lunch or dinner.
It is a good idea to place the tofu slices in a re-sealable bag to make sure that the marinade covers the tofu. It is also easier to store in the refrigerator if you want to marinate it overnight.
2 320g packs of firm nigari tofu
2 green shallots, trimmed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
3 garlic cloves, crushed
For the rocket salad:
1 bunch rocket, ends trimmed and torn into small pieces
5 green shallots, trimmed and cut into thin strips
50g snow pea sprouts, ends trimmed
1 nori sheet, finely shredded
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the tofu in half to get 2 thinner pieces and then place them in a large glass or ceramic bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the green shallots, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger, wasabi and garlic. Mix it well and then pour it over the sliced tofu pieces. Cover and set aside to marinate for an hour. Turn at least once.
Next, prepare the rocket salad by placing the rocket, green shallots, snow pea sprouts and nori in a large salad bowl.
After, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, wasabi, garlic and pepper in a covered jar. Shake well to combine.
Preheat a large non-stick frying pan or stove top grill on medium. Lightly grease it with oil. Cook the tofu marinated tofu steaks for two to three minutes per side or until it is browned. Divide them among individual plates and top them with the rocket salad. Drizzle the prepared dressing over it and serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: Peter Kaminski