Sunday, November 22, 2015

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowerhead is eaten as a vegetable.

The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage", and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning "small nail" or "sprout". Broccoli is often boiled or steamed but may be eaten raw.

Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species.

Broccoli is a result of careful breeding of cultivated leafy cole crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the 6th century BC. Since the time of the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians.[6] Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century by Peter Scheemakers.Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants, but did not become widely known there until the 1920s.

There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, often referred to simply as "broccoli", named after Calabria in Italy. It has large (10 to 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks. It is a cool season annual crop. Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.

Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include cabbage (Capitata Group), cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli (Botrytis Group), kale and collard greens (Acephala Group), kohlrabi (Gongylodes Group), Brussels sprouts (Gemmifera Group), and kai-lan (Alboglabra Group).[9] Rapini, sometimes called "broccoli raab" among other names, forms similar but smaller heads, and is actually a type of turnip (Brassica rapa). Broccolini or "Tenderstem broccoli" is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Beneforté is a variety of broccoli containing 2-3 times more glucoraphanin that was produced by crossing broccoli with a wild Brassica variety, Brassica oleracea var villosa.

A 100 gram serving of raw broccoli provides 34 calories and is an excellent source (> 19% of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin C and vitamin K (table). Raw broccoli also contains moderate amounts (10-19% DV) of several B vitamins and the dietary mineral, manganese, whereas other essential nutrients are in low content (table). Broccoli has low content of carbohydrates, protein, fat and dietary fiber (table).

Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.

Broccoli also contains the carotenoid compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin (table) in amounts about 6 times lower than in kale.

Broccoli, raw (edible parts)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 141 kJ (34 kcal)
6.64 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Dietary fiber 2.6 g
0.37 g
2.82 g
Vitamin A equiv.
lutein zeaxanthin
(4%) 31 μg
(3%) 361 μg
1403 μg
Thiamine (B1) (6%) 0.071 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (10%) 0.117 mg
Niacin (B3) (4%) 0.639 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(11%) 0.573 mg
Vitamin B6 (13%) 0.175 mg
Folate (B9) (16%) 63 μg
Vitamin C (107%) 89.2 mg
Vitamin E (5%) 0.78 mg
Vitamin K (97%) 101.6 μg
Calcium (5%) 47 mg
Iron (6%) 0.73 mg
Magnesium (6%) 21 mg
Manganese (10%) 0.21 mg
Phosphorus (9%) 66 mg
Potassium (7%) 316 mg
Sodium (2%) 33 mg
Zinc (4%) 0.41 mg
Other constituents
Water 89.3 g

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is known to be hearty and tasty vegetable which is rich in dozens of nutrients. It is said to pack the most nutritional punch of any vegetable.

Here are some of the benefits of broccoli:

1.Cancer prevention: Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

2. Cholesterol reduction: Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body.

3. Reducing allergic reaction and inflammation: Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well know as an anti-inflammatory.

4. Powerful antioxidant: Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

5. Bone health: Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

6. Heart health: The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

7. Diet aid: Broccoli is a good carb and is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.

8. High in Indole-3-carbinol, a compound that helps reduce estrogen levels, broccoli is a great libido booster in men (although it can have the opposite effect in women). Brussel sprouts are also a great source of Indole-3-carbinol.

9.Eat healthy for a healthier bedroom experience. According to Spanish research published in Fertility and Sterility, upping your intake of folates found in broccoli can increase semen production, which leads to stronger orgasms and improved fertility.

Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe-(Vegetarian)

This is a very simple stir fry recipe prepared with broccoli in Indian style. This stir fry goes best with rice. Broccoli is considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetable with numerous health benefits.


2 heaped cups broccoli florets
1/2 to 1 cup capsicum or potatoes or peas (optional)
½ tsp cumin
¾ to 1 tsp ginger grated or ginger garlic paste
Oil as needed
1 small onion sliced thinly
1 medium tomato chopped finely
Salt and turmeric as needed
½ tsp Red chili powder
½ to ¾ tsp garam masala
Few roasted peanuts crushed (optional)

1. Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a pot, add salt and add the florets. Leave them for about 5 minutes. This helps hidden worms come to the water. Drain off the water and rinse them well under running water. Drain them and set aside.

Bok Choy

Bok choy or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads; instead, they have smooth, dark green leaf blades forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard or celery. Chinensis varieties are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe. This group was originally classified as its own species under the name B. chinensis by Linnaeus.

Nutritional value
Bok choy contains a high amount of vitamin A per 4 oz. of serving - about 3500 IU. Bok choy also contains approximately 50 mg of vitamin C per 4 oz. serving.

Chinese cabbage was ranked second for nutrient density out of 41 "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables in a peer-reviewed US Center for Disease Control study.

Toxic effects
Bok choy contains glucosinolates. These compounds have been reported to prevent cancer in small doses, but, like many substances, can be toxic to humans in large doses, particularly to people who are already seriously ill. In 2009, an elderly diabetic woman who had been consuming 1 to 1.5 kg of raw bok choy per day, in an attempt to treat her diabetes, developed hypothyroidism, for reasons relating to her diabetes, resulting in myxedema coma.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 54 kJ (13 kcal)
2.2 g
Dietary fiber 1.0 g
0.2 g
1.5 g
Vitamin A equiv. (30%) 243 μg
Vitamin A 4468 IU
Vitamin C (54%) 45 mg
Calcium (11%) 105 mg
Iron (6%) 0.80 mg
Magnesium (5%) 19 mg
Sodium (4%

Health Benefits of Bok Choy

Containing a wealth of vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron, bok choy deserves its reputation as a powerhouse among vegetables. Vitamin A, for instance, is essential for a properly functioning immune system, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that shields the body from free radicals. Bok choy supplies potassium for healthy muscle and nerve function, and vitamin B6 for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.

Cabbage including bok choy contains powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

Bok choy contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check. You need some level of inflammation in your body to stay healthy. However, it’s also possible, and increasingly common, for the inflammatory response to get out of hand.

One cup of bok choy contains about 26 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K1, a fat-soluble vitamin most well-known for the important role it plays in blood clotting and bone metabolism. Vitamin K1 is also a known Alzheimer’s disease preventive by helping to limit neuron damage in your brain.

Bok choy is also an excellent source of calcium… so good that nutrition experts from The Harvard School of Public Health called out bok choy as being a better source of dietary calcium than dairy products. It also contains other important nutrients for bone health, including magnesium and phosphorus.

Cabbage like bok choy contains healthy amounts of B vitamins, including folate (which is better than the synthetic form known as folic acid found in many supplements), vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5. B vitamins are not only important for energy, but they may also slow brain shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in brain regions specifically known to be most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Sulforaphane in bok choy and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Scientists believe sulforaphane’s benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries known as the endothelium.

Bok Choy Healthy Recipe: Stir-Fried Sesame Bok Choy


1 tsp. sesame oil (dark)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 lbs. baby bok choy, carefully cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
2 Tbsp. naturally fermented soy sauce
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds


Heat a large skillet or wok to med-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan.
Add in the garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry until fragrant - about 30 seconds.
Add in the bok choy; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, soy sauce, sugar or honey, and flour; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thickened.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beet Greens

Beet greens are young, leafy-tops of the beetroot plant. Indeed, beet tops carry more minerals, vitamins and health benefiting pigment antioxidants than its taproot, and yet they come as one of the very low calories leafy-greens. Although its top greens can be gathered at any stage of growth, they are at their best while the plant is young, and its stems are soft and tender.

Botanically, beet is a tuberous taproot belonging to the major Amarathaceae family, in the subfamily of Betoideae. Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Sugar beet, Mangelwurzel, and Swiss chard are other close members in the betoideae subfamily.

Grown in the Mediterranean region as far back as 2,000 B.C., beet cultivation spread to Babylonia in the eighth century, then to China around 850 A.D.

Beets, along with their greens, belong to the Goosefoot family, known as Chenopodiaceae. Within the botanical family, beet greens are factored alongside spinach, Swiss chard, quinoa, lamb's quarter, and a number of other wild plants, which means that beet greens can be placed in the “dark, leafy” category. Because they are a cool season crop, beets grow quickly and can survive almost freezing temperatures, making them a favorite of northern gardeners. Beets and their greens also enjoy a longer than normal growing season.

It’s best to use beet greens within two or three days after refrigeration. Enjoy beet greens by themselves as a salad or with other leafy vegetables, or sauté them in a bit of olive oil or balsamic vinegar and salt for a delicious side dish.

Health Benefits of Beet Greens

Beet tops are one of very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetables. The greens indeed very low in calories; 100 g hold just 22 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the healthiest greens recommended in the diet for their low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

Besides supplying good amounts of protein, phosphorus, and zinc, beet greens are also a great source of fiber. Packed with antioxidants, they’re high in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and low in fat and cholesterol. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, daily values of beet greens contain: 220% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 16% of calcium, and 15% of iron.

The vitamin A content in beet greens helps strengthen the immune system and stimulates  production of antibodies and white blood cells. The beta-carotene in vitamin A is a known antioxidant that can fight the effects of free radicals in the body along with cancer and heart disease. Doctors often recommend vitamin A to patients at risk of developing night blindness.

Beet greens are very fine source of β-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin-A inside the body.

They are excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides 400 ug of this vitamin that is about 333% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Its leaves are also rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Sexual Booster (Aphrodisiac) : Beets or beetroots, as they are often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceous family. Their history stretches back to ancient times, and the earliest signs of their cultivation was approximately 4,000 years ago in the Mediterranean region. From there, they were probably transported to Babylon, and by the 9th century AD, they had made their way into Chinese culture and cuisine. They have long been associated with sexuality and have been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. Beets have been considered an aphrodisiac or sexual booster for millennia. Part of this stems from the fact that beets contain significant levels of the mineral boron, which has been shown to boost the production of sexual hormones. This can lead to a boost in your libido, increased fertility, sperm mobility improvement, and a reduction in frigidity in the bedroom. Your sexual life can get a legitimate and time-tested push in the right direction by adding beets to the diet of you and your partner.

 Healthy Recipes

Use every part of your fresh beets and get two delicious side dishes.


One bunch beets with greens
¼ cup olive oi
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped onions
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash beets thoroughly, leaving skins on. (It’s easier to peel the beets once they’ve been roasted.) Remove the greens and rinse, removing any large stems and set aside.
Place beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Serve with red wine vinegar or butter and salt and pepper.
For the greens: heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for one minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add to skillet, stirring until wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Health Benefits of Bitterleaf

Vernonia is a genus of about 1000 species of forbs and shrubs in the family Asteraceae. Some species are known as ironweed. Some species are edible and of economic value. They are known for having intense purple flowers. The genus is named for the English botanist William Vernon. There are numerous distinct subgenera and subsections in this genus. This has led some botanists to divide this large genus into several distinct genera. For instance, the Flora of North America only recognizes about 20 species in Vernonia sensu stricto, 17 of which are in North America north of Mexico, with the others being found in South America.

Several species of Vernonia, including V. calvoana, V. amygdalina, and V. colorata, are eaten as leaf vegetables. Common names for these species include bitterleaf, ewuro, ndole and onugbu. They are common in most West African and Central African countries. They are one of the most widely consumed leaf vegetables of Cameroon, where they are a key ingredient of Ndolé. The leaves have a sweet and bitter taste. They are sold fresh or dried, and are a typical ingredient in egusi soup.

Vernonia amygdalina is well known as a medicinal plant with several uses attributed to it, including for diabetes, fever reduction, and recently a non-pharmaceutical solution to persistent fever, headache, and joint pain associated with AIDS (an infusion of the plant is taken as needed).These leaves are exported from several African countries and can be purchased in grocery stores aiming to serve African clients. The roots of V. amygdalina have been used for gingivitis and toothache due to its proven antimicrobial activity.

In Brazil, V. condensata (commonly known as "figatil" or "necroton") is traditionally used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithermal, antianemic, antibacterial, liver tonic, hepatoprotective, and antiulcerogenic agent.

Vernonia galamensis is used as an oilseed in East Africa. It is grown in many parts of Ethiopia, especially around the city of Harar, with an average seed yield of 2 to 2.5 t/ha. It is reported that the Ethiopian strains of Vernonia have the highest oil content, up to 41.9% with up to 80% vernolic acid, and is used in paint formulations, coatings plasticizers, and as a reagent for many industrial chemicals.

Vernonia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Coleophora vernoniaeella (which feeds exclusively on the genus) and Schinia regia (which feeds exclusively on V. texana).

Vernonia calvoana or bitterleaf, is a common garden plant in many West African and Central African countries. It is a key ingredient in ndolé, a national dish of Cameroon.

Health Benefits

According to, over 10 percent of all American females will develop breast cancer. In order to lower chances of developing breast cancer, maintaining a healthy weight, remaining physically active and maintaining a healthy diet are a few things that you can do. Adding bitter leaf in addition to that routine may also lessen the risk of breast cancer, according to the February 2004 edition of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Bitter leaf is generally considered a liver herb because it stimulates, cleanses and supports the liver and gall bladder. The liver which is one of the most important organs of the body has a lot of vital functions that is needed for normal functioning of the whole system of the body. Without the liver all major process in the body will be paralysed. Without the liver fats will not be digested inside the body to be used as energy. Bitter leaf is said to be very helpful in maintaining the livers optimum health to release bile acid every time people eat fatty foods.

Regular consumption of this vegetable helps to regulate the blood’s cholesterol level which is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. In cases of constipation, stomach ache and inflammation of the stomach, bitter leaf is a remedy. Bitter leaf has been widely used and recognised for its efficacy in preventing malaria. The raw leaves are plucked and washed before being squeezed to extract the juice. Drinking the juice alone is an antidote for malaria.

Diabetic patient can also use bitter-leaf as one of their medication to prevent high sugar level in the blood. It will not only lower the sugar level in the blood but also repair impaired pancreas. As you all know pancreas is the organ responsible for the production of insulin for glucose to reach each cell to use by the body as energy. Impaired pancreas does not release the right amount of insulin to maintain the right sugar level in the blood. Bitter-leaf is a real wonder of nature. You can take the benefit of this amazing plant by squeezing its leaves in ten litters of water.

Oxidation is constantly assaulting your system's cells. If this is left unchecked, precancerous cell formation could possibly arise. According to research conducted by and published in Food Chemistry, there are antioxidant properties found in bitter leaf that, when added to a person's diet, offer excellent disease-fighting properties.

While use of bitter leaf is not considered a cure-all, it does have proven benefits. The research studies listed above have proven that the benefits of adding bitter leaf to your diet on a routine basis outweigh any doubts that may exist.

Bitter Leaf Soup
Bitter leaf soup, also called onugbu, is a Nigerian specialty. The bitter leaf, or onugbu, is commonly found around homes in southeastern Nigeria. There are many variations of bitter leaf soup. Common ingredients include fish, beef or goat meat, cocoyam, crayfish and locust beans. While fresh bitter leaf most often is used in Nigeria, you will need to cook the soup with dried leaves, which you can find in African or Jamaican food stores. This soup is typically time consuming to prepare, though simpler and faster versions do exist. This soup frequently is served with It is usually served cassava pudding called foo-foo or pounded yam.

Step 1
Create a simpler version of bitter leaf soup without the meat. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot on medium-low heat. Place onions in the pan and cook them until they become transparent, about five minutes. Meanwhile seed and mince the chili. Add tomatoes to the pot when onions are ready, but reserve the juice from the can. Also add the chili. Cook for 10 more minutes or until the tomatoes are thick and concentrated.

Step 2
Cut your greens into strips, then chop them into small pieces. Stir your greens into the soup pot. Turn heat up to medium-high. Cover the pot and cook for five minutes, or until the greens become limp.

Step 3
Add chicken stock and reserved tomato juice to the pot. Keep the pot on medium-high heat. Bring your soup to a boil. Add the rice.

Step 4
Reduce the heat to low. Cover your pot. Cook for 45 minutes, or until rice becomes tender, recommends "An Exaltation of Soups," author Patricia Solley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Things You'll Need
Two slices stockfish
3 lbs. chicken
1 lb. beef or pork
Three pots
Two 12-oz. cans tomato paste
2 tbsp. bullion
Salt to taste
Two dried, smoked fish
1 cup ground crayfish
½ lb. fresh coco yam
Blender or food processor
½ lb. dried bitter leaf
1 tsp. tenderizer
1 tsp. pepper
One ogili isi
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
Two minced onions
One hot chili pepper
Two cups canned, chopped and peeled tomatoes
3 lbs. greens such as kale, turnip greens or mustard greens
2 quarts chicken stock
¼ cup raw white rice

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Health Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus or garden asparagus, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus.

It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia,and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. In ancient times, it was also known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus created the "Asparagus Fleet" for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression "faster than cooking asparagus" for quick action. A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.

The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention. until al-Nafzawi's The Perfumed Garden. That piece of writing celebrates its (scientifically unconfirmed) aphrodisiacal power, a supposed virtue that the Indian Ananga Ranga attributes to "special phosphorus elements" that also counteract fatigue. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538, and in Germany until 1542.

The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips. The points d'amour ("love tips") were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour. Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.

Health Benefits

Asparagus is a good source of fiber and protein, both essential for good digestion and immunity.
It contains a number of anti-inflammatory compounds that protect you from type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It has antioxidants, including one called glutathione, which is known to protect the skin from sun damage, pollution and the effects of aging.
The Vitamin K in asparagus is excellent for healthy blood clotting and strengthening bones.
Asparagus contains a unique carb called inulin, which remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it helps to absorb nutrients better, and cut the risk of colon cancer.
Good news for those struggling to manage their blood sugar: asparagus is a rich source of B vitamins, which are known to regulate blood sugar levels.
Green asparagus is much more beneficial than white, say reports. The goodness is in the stalk, which contains vitamin A for better vision, potassium for smooth kidney functioning, and trace minerals that help boost immunity.

Health Benifits of Arugula

Eruca sativa is an edible annual plant, commonly known as salad rocket,rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, roquette and, in the United States, arugula.

It is sometimes conflated with Diplotaxis tenuifolia, known as perennial wall rocket, another plant of the Brassicaceae family that is used in the same manner. Eruca sativa, which is widely popular as a salad vegetable, is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal in the west to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey in the east.The Latin adjective sativa in the plant's binomial is derived from satum, the supine of the verb sero, meaning "to sow", indicating that the seeds of the plant were sown in gardens. Eruca sativa differs from E. vesicaria in having early deciduous sepals.Some botanists consider it a subspecies of Eruca vesicaria: E. vesicaria subsp. sativa.Still others do not differentiate between the two.

Other common names include garden rocket, or more simply rocket (British, Australian, Canadian, South African and New Zealand English), and eruca. The English common name, rocket, derives from the French roquette, a diminutive of the Latin word eruca, which designated an unspecified plant in the Brassicaceae family (probably a type of cabbage).Arugula, the common name now widespread in the United States, entered American English from non-standard (dialect) Italian. (The standard Italian word is rucola, a diminutive of the Latin "eruca"). The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of "arugula" in American English to a 1960 New York Times article by food editor and prolific cookbook writer Craig Claiborne.

Eruca sativa grows 20–100 centimetres (8–39 in) in height. The leaves are deeply pinnately lobed with four to ten small lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe. The flowers are 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) in diameter, arranged in a corymb in typical Brassicaceae fashion; with creamy white petals veined with purple, and with yellow stamens; the sepals are shed soon after the flower opens. The fruit is a siliqua (pod) 12–35 millimetres (0.5–1.4 in) long with an apical beak, and containing several seeds (which are edible). The species has a chromosome number of 2n = 22.

Health Benefits of Arugula
As in other greens, arugula too is one of very low calorie vegetable. 100 g of fresh leaves hold just 25 calories. Nonetheless, it has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may immensely benefit health.

Salad rocket has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 1904 µmol TE per 100 grams.

Being a member of Brassica family, arugula leaves are rich sources of certain phytochemicals such as indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane, and iso­thiocyanates. Together, these compounds have been found to counter carcinogenic effects of estrogen and thus may offer protection against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.

Further, di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid soluble metabolite of indole has immune modulator, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties (by potentiating Interferon-Gamma receptors). DIM has currently been found application in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is in Phase-III clinical trials for cervical dysplasia.

Fresh salad rocket is one of greens rich in folates. 100 g of fresh greens contain 97 µg or 24% of folic acid. When given to the anticipant mothers during their conception time, folate may help prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.

Like as in kale, salad rocket is an excellent source of vitamin A. 100 g fresh leaves contain 1424 µg of beta-carotene, and 2373 IU of vitamin A. Carotenes convert into vitamin A in the body. Studies found that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in green leafy vegetables help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.

This vegetable also an excellent sources of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.

Fresh rocket leaves contain good levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful, natural anti-oxidant. Foods rich in this vitamin help the human body protect from scurvy disease, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

Salad rocket is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 90% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. In addition, adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain and thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Its leaves contain adequate levels of minerals, especially copper and iron. In addition, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Health Benefits of Artichoke

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.

The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence) together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the species is the cardoon, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.

Description of the plant
This vegetable grows to 1.4–2 m (4.6–6.6 ft) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery, glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm (20–32 in) long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm (3.1–5.9 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke" or beard. These are inedible in older, larger flowers.

In the US, large globe artichokes are frequently prepared by removing all but 5–10 mm (0.2–0.4 in) or so of the stem. To remove thorns, which may interfere with eating, around a quarter of each scale can be cut off. To cook, the artichoke is boiled or steamed. The core of the stem tastes similar to the artichoke heart, and is edible.

alt may be added to the water if boiling artichokes. Leaving the pot uncovered may allow acids to boil off. Covered artichokes, in particular those that have been cut, can turn brown due to the enzymatic browning and chlorophyll oxidation. Placing them in water slightly acidified with vinegar or lemon juice can prevent the discoloration.

Leaves are often removed one at a time, and the fleshy base eaten, with hollandaise, vinegar, butter, mayonnaise, aioli, lemon juice, or other sauces. The fibrous upper part of each leaf is usually discarded. The heart is eaten when the inedible choke has been peeled away from the base and discarded. The thin leaves covering the choke are also edible.

In Italy, artichoke hearts in oil are the usual vegetable for "spring" section of the "Four Seasons" pizza (with olives for summer, mushrooms for autumn, and prosciutto for winter). A recipe well known in Rome is Jewish-style artichokes, which are deep-fried whole.

Stuffed artichoke recipes are abundant. A common Italian stuffing uses a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, parsley, grated cheese, and prosciutto or sausage. A bit of the mixture is then pushed into the spaces at the base of each leaf and into the center before boiling or steaming. A similar recipe is popular in coastal Croatia.

In Spain, the more tender, younger, and smaller artichokes are used. They can be sprinkled with olive oil and left in hot ashes in a barbecue, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, with rice as a paella, or sautéed and combined with eggs in a tortilla (frittata).

Often cited is the Greek, aginares a la polita (artichokes city-style, referring to the city of Constantinople), a hearty, savory stew made with artichoke hearts, potatoes, and carrots, and flavored with onion, lemon, and dill. The finest examples are to be found on the island of Tinos, and in Iria and Kantia, two small villages in Argolida in the Peloponnese of southern Greece.[citation needed]

Another way to use artichokes is to completely break off all of the leaves, leaving the bare heart. The leaves are steamed to soften the fleshy base part of each leaf to be used as the basis for any number of side dishes or appetizing dips, or the fleshy part is left attached to the heart, while the upper parts of the leaves are discarded. The remaining concave-shaped heart is often filled with meat, then fried or baked in a savory sauce. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the consistency and stronger flavor of fresh hearts when available is preferred.

Throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and Armenia, a favorite filling for stuffed artichoke hearts includes ground lamb. Spices reflect the local cuisine of each country. In Lebanon, for example, the typical filling would include lamb, onion, tomato, pinenuts, raisins, parsley, dill, mint, black pepper, and allspice. A popular Turkish vegetarian variety uses only onion, carrot, green peas, and salt. Artichokes are often prepared with white sauces and other sauces.

Health benefits of Artichoke
Artichoke is low in calories and fat; 100 g of this flower bud just carries 47 calories. Nonetheless, it is a rich source of dietary fiber and anti-oxidants. It provides 5.4 g per 100 g, about 14% of RDA fiber. Dietary-fiber helps control constipation conditions, decreases bad or "LDL" cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and help cut down colon cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.

Artichoke contains bitter principles, cynarin and sesquiterpene-lactones. Scientific studies show that these compounds not just inhibit cholesterol synthesis but also increase its excretion in the bile, and thus, help overall reduction in the total cholesterol levels in the blood.

Fresh artichoke is an excellent source of vitamin, folic acid; provides about 68 µg per 100 g (17% of recommended daily allowance). Folic acid acts as a co-factor for enzymes involved in the synthesis of DNA. Scientific studies have proven that adequate levels of folates in the diet during pre-conception period, and during early pregnancy may help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.

Fresh globes also contain moderate amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin; vitamin-C (Provides about 20% of recommended levels per 100 g). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

It is one of the very good vegetable sources for vitamin K; provide about 12% of DRI. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

It is an also a good source of antioxidant compounds such as silymarin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid, which help the body protect from harmful free-radical agents. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of artichokes (globe or french) is 6552 µmol TE/100 g.

It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.

Further, artichoke is rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.

Additionally, it contains small amounts of antioxidant flavonoid compounds like carotene-beta, lutein, and zea-xanthin.

Health Benefits and Recipe of Amaranth

Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth,is a cosmopolitan genus of annual or short-lived perennial plants. Some amaranth species are cultivated as leaf vegetables, pseudocereals, and ornamental plants. Most of the species from Amaranthus are summer annual weeds and are commonly referred to as pigweed. Catkin-like cymes of densely packed flowers grow in summer or autumn. Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to green or gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus Celosia.

The word ‘Amaranth’ is derived from the greek term ‘amarantos’ meaning ‘unwithering’. The term was applied to Amaranth for its hearty characteristics that for the people that used it, came to symbolize immortality. The Hindi term for Amaranth, Ramdana, means God’s own grain. This bountiful seed is grown all throughout India from the high slopes of the Himalayas to the many coastlines of the country. Numerous different Amaranth varieties are grown throughout the country, but the Himalaya region is know as the Amaranth ‘centre for diversity’ for the number of varieties that grow in the region. This crop is also a native species to the Andean region of South America, including Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. In the Andes region it remains widely grown today.This crop has been called ‘Incan Wheat’ because it was a staple food for the Incas, but was used long before this time. Today the grain often goes by the name kiwicha. In North America/Europe where this crop is sometimes sold, it occasionally goes by the name ‘love-lies-bleeding’ due to its bright, fluorescent colour ranges.

Amaranth is a hardy crop, high in fibre. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein level as high as the value found in fish, red meat, or poultry. The grain is very easy for the body to digest and so is traditionally eaten during fasts, and given to those who are recovering from illness. Amaranth is consumed as both a vegetable and a grain. The leaves of the plant are frequently used in countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, China and even Greece in various dishes and stir-frys. In China, it is believed that eating Amaranth greens are great for improving eye sight, and in countries throughout Africa it is recommended by doctors for people with low red blood cell count. The Hills People in India believe they get their strength from the daily consumption of this super grain! Commonly, the grain is popped before it is consumed which is often made into gruel called sattu or laddoos. The grain can further be ground into flour and mixed with other types of flours to make everyday staples like chapatti.

While amaranth may be known as a ‘forgotten food grain’ its taste and exceptional health benefits recognized around the world make it a grain that is still prominent in the lives of people in many different places and should not be soon forgotten!

Health Benefits
Some of the most unique health benefits of amaranth include its ability to stimulate growth and repair, reduce inflammation, prevent certain chronic diseases, boost bone strength, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, reduce the appearance of varicose veins, maintain healthy hair, and ease weight loss efforts.

1. Amaranth Is Gluten-Free
Cook amaranth grain as a hot cereal to eat in the morning (recipe below). Find it as flour and use if for baking. Some even pop it like popcorn and bread fish with it.

2. It Has More Protein Than Other Grains
One cup of amaranth grain has 28.1 grams of protein compared to oats at 26.1. It’s healthier to receive protein from plant-based sources rather than animals, because the latter often comes with fat and cholesterol.

3. Amaranth Provides Essential Lysine
Amaranth has far more lysine, an essential amino acid that the body can’t manufacture, than other grains. Lysine helps metabolize fatty acids into energy, absorb calcium, and even keep the hair on your head in tact.

4. Helps With Hair Loss And Greying 
Expanding on the above, eating it helps with hair loss,  juice the leaves and apply it after shampooing. I’ve never done it but people swear it helps moisturize and flatten wirey grey hair.

5. Lowers Cholesterol And Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
Amaranth seeds and oil (found in the seed) have  fiber which contributes to lower cholesterol and risk of constipation. It’s also rich in phytosterols, also known for lowering cholesterol.

6. It’s High In Calcium
Amaranth helps reduce risk of osteoporosis and other calcium deficiencies because it has twice the calcium as milk.

7. Amaranth Is Full Of Antioxidants And Minerals
It’s the only grain to have vitamin C, but it’s high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium which are necessary for overall health. The leaves are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

8. Works As An Appetite Suppressant
Protein reduces insulin levels in the blood stream and releases a hormone that makes you feel less hungry. Since amaranth is roughly 15% protein, the fact that it aids in weight loss or maintaining weight is one of the health benefits.

9. Improves Eyesight
While I can’t find an article to back this up, some cultures believe that amaranth greens are a natural way to improve eyesight. Eat them as salad or brew them in tea.

10. Amaranth Is Easy To Digest
Amaranth is traditionally given to patients recovering from illness or people coming off of fasts. It’s the mix of amino acids that allows for very easy digestion.

Amaranth Cutlet Recipe 

75 gms Popped Amaranth/Ramdana
200 gms Potatoe
15 gms Peas
15 gms Carrot
3 tbsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Black Pepper
50 gms Peanuts
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil
1 Small bunch Coriander Leaves
1 Green Chili

Peel, boil and mash the potato and carrot; boil the peas and mix together
Finely chop coriander leaves and green chili
Add amaranth, coriander, green chili, pepper, garam masala and salt, mix well until dough is ready
Make the dough into small oval shapes, and press between your palms to flatten
Heat cooking oil in frying pan, once hot place the cutlets in the oil and fry on medium heat until they are golden brown
Serve hot with chutney or sauce

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 Benefits of Water Lemon

The most common use of lemon is a way to blackmail him and then mixed with water. There are many health benefits to be gained from the beverage made from lemon. Here are the 10 most popular benefits:

A. Good for stomach

Lemon can help relieve digestive problems when mixed with hot water, including nausea, heartburn and parasites. By drinking lemon juice regularly, your belly to help remove dirt more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and cleaning agents. Intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. Even lemon juice also serves as a liver tonic and helps you digest food by helping the liver produce more bile.

2. Skin care

Lemon can be a natural antiseptic, which served to cure the problems associated with the skin. Daily consumption of lemon juice to give a big change in the appearance of your skin. Lemon has a function as an anti-aging, remove wrinkles and blackheads. Even if placed on a burn area can diminish scars.

3. Dental Care

Did you know that lemon juice has an important function in dental care? Yes, if the fresh lemon juice placed on the tooth area, can help in getting rid of the pain. Squeeze lemon juice on gums to stop bleeding gums. This method also prevents odor and other problems related to gums.

4. Cure throat infection

Lemon is an excellent fruit to assist in combating the problems associated with strep throat, sore throat and tonsillitis caused by bacteria. To cope with a sore throat, you can gargle with half a glass of lemon juice.
Read more in Cooking

5. Lose weight

Drinking lemon juice regularly opens the way to lose weight faster. Utilizing lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey, can also help reduce weight.

6. Control of high blood pressure

Lemon juice works like a magic potion, especially for people who have heart problems, because of the high potassium content in it. Diets high in potassium are also believed to help control high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, aid in relaxation of mind, reducing mental stress and depression.

7. Help cure respiratory disorders

Lemon juice helps in curing respiratory problems, especially in people who suffer from asthma.

8. Treat arthritis

Lemon has diuretic properties that may help treat rheumatism and arthritis, by removing bacteria and toxins from the body.

9. Reduce fever

Lemon juice can cure a person suffering from flu or fever, with increased production of sweat.

10. Blood purifier

Diseases such as cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water because it has properties as a blood purifier.

How much should I drink?

If you’re in good health and weighed 70 kg or less, it is advisable to squeeze half a lemon and serve it in a glass of water. Drink twice a day. However, if you weigh more than 70 kg, squeeze a whole lemon into a glass of water. For maximum benefit, drink twice a day.

Successful Diet Tips

Ideal slim body and a dream of many people, especially women. Various methods are used to get it included a strict diet. However, rather slim body is obtained, but on the contrary or the body becomes weak due to lack of balanced nutrition. 

Why do you eat? 

    Do not use food as a reward for yourself. Choose other rewards such as new books, cinema tickets, and others. 
    Do not spend a plate of food on your family or your brother just because of love of food. Dispose of it immediately or store it in a place that does not look and plan to use it at your next meal. 
    Do not leave food lying or being seen if it will tempt you. Store food in containers that are not transparent and save it in a place that is not visible, such as in closets or in refregerator. 
    If there is some food and you mengingkannya, do not buy it. 
Read more in Cooking

What do you eat? 

Consider your diet, whether the pattern is close to a balanced nutritional menu or in the long term you are on a strict diet of only eating one or two particular foods? Maybe your weight will decline rapidly, but it can impact on health. Therefore, the “strict diet” to get attention if: 

    Does not contain the balanced nutrients, and therefore less healthy. 
    Can achieve the desired weight but not for long. 
    Not according to the family diet so you have to cook for yourself and for family. 
    Diet is often to make you hungry. 

Where do you eat? 

    Make some small changes around your dining room, it will help you avoid the temptation to eat foods you do not need. 
    Choose a specific place to eat at home (and at work). For example, the table is placed in certain places and eat and drink only in that place alone. 
    Do not eat and drink somewhere else (in the kitchen, family room, in the bathroom, walking, etc.). 
    Before you sit down to eat, arrange the room well. 
    When you eat, do not let the other food on the table. 
    Do not store food such as fruits, nuts or candies in the room where you eat. 

When would you eat? 

    Try to eat regularly three times a day. 
    Avoid foods taste when preparing and cooking food. 
    When you’re eating, do while reading a book or magazine, watching TV or talking on the phone. 
    If you want to shop (shopping), not in a state of hungry. Should eat first. 

How do you eat? 

    Concentrate on the food. Enjoy every spoon food. 
    Eat slowly and do not be hasty. Put a spoon into the mouth when the mouth is empty. 
    Use a small plate as a place to eat you. 
    Put the food in accordance with the requirements on your dinner plate, and do not add more. 
    If you have frequent contact with food, minimizing the contact, for example, after making the sandwich, put all the food, clean up and then sit down to eat the sandwich. 

With whom do you eat? 

    Eating out is fun, but not the food used as an excuse to socialize with others.

How to Eat a Pickle

Pickles don’t eat themselves, but some people say if you don’t eat a pickle, that pickle just might go ahead and eat you.  You do not want to be eaten by a pickle, though you may claim otherwise.  Tis a nasty, nasty thing.

It is important to eat pickles correctly.  To explain why would be to explain why the color of the sky is blue.  Indeed it can be researched and the answer sought and grabbed, but at what cost?  Certainly not the cost of a pickle.

So you have a pickle, that is the first step.  You look at the pickle.  You allow the pickle to look at you.  So far everything is wonderful.

You pick the pickle up.  You sniff it.  It smells like a pickle.  You eat it.  It tastes like a pickle.  All is good.  Everything remains wonderful.

You have now eaten a pickle.  Congratulations.  You have done it properly, and deserve a badge of merit.  Good luck procuring one!