Acai Berry – Worth it?

In the past decade or so, there have been numerous claims of foods that are super for one reason or another.  The majority of these foods are supposed to help with weight loss or other aspects of healthy living, but do they really?  While it is easy to buy into the hype of these superfoods, it is best to know exactly what one is getting when they decide to trust the advertising that is making all of these extreme claims. Let me start with Acai Berry.

acai berry - superfood - fact or myth?

Acai berries were one of the first superfoods advertised.  These berries are alleged to promote weight loss, and can now be found in a wide variety of weight loss supplements, pills, teas and other dietary regimes.  The Mayo Clinic states that these berries do have some properties that could potentially make acai berries a healthy alternative.  Some of these benefits include a higher antioxidant count than other berries, fats that can promote heart health, and a high amount of fiber.   If Mayo Clinic admits to these healthy aspects of the berry, are they in fact a superfood?  Not as much as advertisers would like you to believe.   The fact is, there have been very few studies actually done on the health benefits of acai berries.  While they do have some very important health properties, it has not been proven that they are any better than the “average” fruit, and may have one major drawback.  Acai berries may affect MRI scans if they are eaten in high quantities.   While these berries are safe, it is important to ensure that you are not eating more than the recommended daily resource amount.  Also, be careful of products that contain acai berries that might also have other ingredients, like caffeine.  So, what is the verdict on acai berries?  They are healthy fruit, but the few studies that have been done fail to prove health benefits worthy of naming this as a superfood.

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The humble banana

Bananas have for a long time been a part of Man’s staple diet. Horticulturists have speculated about bananas being the first fruit to be cultivated by Man. There have been records from early civilizations like Egypt describing how bananas have been cultivated and consumed. The health properties of the banana have inspired an entire field of study in Ayurveda.

It is however a growing concern that Man as an entire population has started moving away from fresh fruits and vegetable as a whole. Man has started resorting to chemically made and construed products and supplements for energy when the irony is that natural supplements have been in front of him from day one.

benefits of bananas - good for all.

Bananas are a huge source of energy. They are jam packed with carbohydrates and sugars that assist in the spontaneous bursts of energy required by athletes. Studies have actually been conducted comparing the use of bananas as a source of energy compared to energy drinks and other miscellaneous manufactured sources of energy consumed by athletes.  The findings were not in the least surprising that bananas were the healthier option. Energy drinks are in essence, carbonated drinks pump upped with glucose and sugars. They are sweet and provide you instant energy because of the sugar rush. Other than that, they provide nothing else. The chemical composition of these carbonated energy drinks erode teeth over time as well as cause a queasy bloated feeling which ultimately reduces the athletes productivity.  If you were to compare that to the intake of fruits for the same reason, bananas contain a high content of glycogen and glucose. However along with the sugars, there is a whole ton of fiber, vitamin B6 as well as potassium. With the well balanced composition, bananas not only pump up an athlete with energy, it also ensures that the energy you obtain is wholesome goodness.

Going beyond diets

These days after asking a friend how they are, the next logical question to ask is what diet are they on. All major magazines cover the new diet fad which certain movie stars may be trying out. First they started off by striking out fat. Eventually carbohydrates got cut out and then followed by gluten. Soon it was dairy products and then something else. It is surprising how every food form seems to be bad for you. And not eating something or the other seems to benefit you greatly.

Well, to look at food and diet as a concept, choose what you think is correct, not because some random person you know is following it. One diet that is perhaps the most preferential to follow on moral grounds is vegetarianism.

veg

PETA may have pretty controversial advertisements however they are quite close to the truth. As tasty as meat products may be, the act of eating an animal that has been raised, force-fed and the slaughtered to feed your need for meat, is quite revolting. There are many farms where animals are grown in cages and fed food spiked with hormones simply so they grow bigger and meatier. In turn, when they are slaughtered to be made in to your hamburgers, these animals are not killed first put cut up straight away. The pain the animal goes through is beyond horrific proportions. Eating that meat as food is wrong on all fronts. After all, life is a cycle of karma. Inflicting so much pain on an animal for food is bound to come around one day or the other.

Travelling being a Vegan? Fret not!

Veganism is in these days. Many people are turning vegans these days for many different reasons, but health and cruelty against animals being the two most important.

If you are a vegan and planning to travel soon, there is no reason to give up on travelling for fear of not finding options for a vegan. Vegetarians/Vegans can certainly eat well in all corners of the globe, and no matter how busy or chaotic the holidays are, you don’t need to skip a meal anymore as in the past, because nearly all countries offer delicious vegan meals that will keep you active and healthy on holiday.Ten irresistible vegan meals that prove you should travel to eat deliciously are –

1.       Chennai, India – South India is mostly vegetarian and rice lovers will appreciate the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala where they’ll find wonderfully spicy rice dishes and vegetarian thalis (curries, rice and breads).

vegan

2.       Your travels wouldn’t be the same without Spain’s golden brown tapas, but particularly their Patatas Bravas – a delectable snacks of small pieces of fried potatoes served in a spicy tomato sauce.

3.       While in Spain you’ll have to taste their delicious vegetable paella with  saffron-infused rice, tomato, artichokes, bell pepper, and olives.

3.       The Middle East is your place for falafel, fried chickpeas fritters. They can be eaten as a snack and are delicious with a salad and creamy dressing.  Ingredients include chickpeas, onion and garlic, coriander, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chopped cilantro and  parsley.

4.       A delicious soup comes from Portugal. Caldo Verde is a green broth. Delicious, it is nearly always served at special celebrations. Its got potatoes, onions and kale but it can be enjoyed with other vegan ingredients like garlic and even vegan sausage.

5.       Chiang Mai, Thailand – Chiang Mai has close to 100 vegetarian restaurant where you can find delicious hot and sour tom yum soup with fragrant herbs used in the broth. The more  modern soups have mushrooms and topped with a sprinkling of fresh chopped coriander leaves.

  1. You’ll love waking up in China with a vegan Xi Hong Shi Chao Jidan. This is Chinese scrambled eggs with sir fried tomatoes. With eggs, canola oil, garlic, kosher salt and a bit of sugar thrown in, you’ll be tempted to lick your plate clean.
  1. In the United States no trip would be complete without beignet, a treat which dates back to the 18th century. These fried pastries have actually been declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana, and banana is a favorite beignet. Along with ripe bananas, vanilla and almond extract, sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon are added in and fried till golden brown.

Utensils in your kitchen

Utensils
Utensils

 

How important is the utensil in which you eat. Earlier people used to eat in silver utensils and it has its own benefits. Different metals are used to make utensils and each have its own benefits. Have you ever tried eating in an earthen pot. It is enjoyable.

When you’re a student, you’re not really into cooking or if you are you usually have to share the kitchen with generally messy kids. There’s not much point having fine crockery and the best iron skillet at this stage. When you move in with a partner it’s all about amalgamating, trying to fit two sets of things into one space, you’re probably starting to get an idea of the sort of cooking you like, and finally having the time to spend on it. But, it’s usually when you finally have your first home that you really start thinking of creating a kitchen space for years to come, and building up the equipment to really enjoy it.

At this point  you’re probably a bit stretched for spare money. It’s wise to not get too hung up on getting  all the newest gadgets straight away. I always think the best thing is to ensure you understand the sort of cooking you like to do first, then make sure you have the basic equipment for this. Once you’ve done this, you can slowly start building up your kitchen range – but don’t rush. By buying the best you can afford as you can, instead of the most trendy, you’ll have pots and pans that will last for years to come. Remember, trends come and go, but beautiful simple designs will always come back in style.

 

Good Eating Habits Include Avoiding Products with Additives

Our diets will certainly be devoid of vital nutrients if we are mainly eating highly refined- and over-processed foods.  Essential nutrients which are so critical to good health, should come from the foods we eat. However, today agricultural soils lack minerals. The use of insecticides as well as our fruits and vegetables being artificially ripened means they have a low content of certain essential nutrients. Not only that, modern foods have toxic preservatives in them and nitrates and nitrites for instance are found in foods such as processed meats.  Benzoic acid and sulphur dioxide are found in soft drinks and salad dressings.

healthy eating
These days every one of us is pressed for time and we become over reliant on fast foods which nearly always have a high fat and low nutrient content. Unfortunately on these kind of unhealthy diets, we aren’t only under-nourished but sadly overweight as well.

Eat Raw Organic Foods

Certainly people who eat large quantities of organically grown fruit and vegetables are at a lower risk of developing certain cancers or coronary heart disease. In hospitals and clinics, creating a balance in nutrition is a challenge facing health care professionals who have to deal with patients with life-threatening diseases.

If it is impossible for you to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, it will become necessary to take vitamin and mineral supplements, more so if you smoke or drink alcohol or are stressed. Vitamin supplements deliver dependable doses of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to the body which are required for optimum health.

The Newest Gadget for Healthy Desserts

 

Healthy desserts reward healthy eating.
Photo credit: LoriHorwedel / Foter / CC BY-NC

 

You have to know what is in  your food to eat healthy, which means you’ll probably do more cooking, in your own kitchen, than trusting others with your fat and sugar intake. When I started my healthy eating quest, I realized that my kitchen wasn’t ready. Pots, Pans, a coffeemaker, and a stove were not enough equipment for chopping and shredding vegetables, and my refrigerator’s freezer was not appropriate for long term storage. Most of all, I needed a pantry of some sort, to store dried beans, rices, and bulk packages of herbs and seasonings.

Thanks to Ferratum UK, I have transformed my kitchen into a healthy eating paradise. After buying my freezer and food processor, I had enough left to get something special, so I bought a Yonanas 986 Elite Healthy Dessert Maker. After all, healthy eating doesn’t have to end pleasure, and I want to reward myself for changing my eating habits. Serving healthy desserts to family and friends may help convince them to join my cause, as well! I haven’t tried my dessert maker, yet, but I’ve invited a friend to join me for its maiden voyage.

Healthy eating shouldn’t feel like a punishment, especially with permanent changes. How do you reward your healthy eating habits?