Superfoods

Superfoods

Incorporating so called superfoods into your diet has to be beneficial. So it is clear that a healthy diet is integral to your well being and reduces your risk of disease. To enhance your health and wellbeing further and reduce your chance of unpleasant disease why not incorporate some of the these foods below into your meal plans. These superfoods contain high levels of phytonutrients.  They are are proven to be powerful in fighting disease. So exactly which foods make the superfood list are open to debate. Needless to say they have high nutritional content play an important part in protecting against chronic disease.

Superfoods – Broccoli

This green superfood should be included in everyone’s diet. Broccoli is a great source of fiber and vitamin C. It is part of the “cabbage family” of vegetables and contains isothiocyanates, which are thought to prevent types of cancer.

Superfoods – Watercress

This green super food is best eaten raw as heat can destroy its beneficial qualities. Watercress is contains nasturtin, which convert during digestion into Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). PEITC has been studied for its potential to prevent prostate cancer.

Superfoods – Spinach

Spinach is a superfood packed with health benefits. Spinach is high in vitamins K, A and C and flavonoids. It is a high nutritional value but is low in calories. Spinach is thought to help prevent chronic diseases.

Superfoods – Kale

Kale is in the brassica family of vegetables along with broccoli and watercress. Kale has a high content of isothiocyanates thought to prevent cancer. It is loaded with vitamins A, C and E and is thought to have cardiovascular benefits.

Superfoods – Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a high source of lycopene which is a strong antioxidant that is believed to prevent prostate cancer. The lycopenes in tomatoes are absorbed best by the body when tomatoes are cooked. So tomato sauce is a great way to get the benefits that tomatoes offer.

Superfoods – Green tea

Green tea is a great source of catechins which are believed to prevent some of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Superfoods – Walnuts

Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, walnuts are rich in fibre and vitamins E and the B. It is best to eat walnuts in moderation as they are high in calories.

Superfoods – Blueberries and Rasberries

Superfoods - blueberries
Superfoods – blueberries

Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruits. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants. These help protect nerve cells which control motor skills, learning and memory we get older.

Raspberries like blueberries are a great source of anthocyanins because they taste sweet, they are a great alternative to eating high calorie desserts and other sweat snacks.

Superfoods – Apples

Apples are high in flavonoids, which have antioxidants and also vitamin C. Eating apples has been related with a reduced risk of having a stroke and also diabetes.

Superfoods – Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotic which are friendly bacteria the health of the intestinal tract and the immune system. Yoghurt is a great source of calcium and protein.

Superfoods – Wild salmon

Wild salmon has a high content of omega-3-fatty acids that help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s important to select wild salmon since farm raised salmon may be contaminated with potential cancer causing substances such as PCBs and dioxanes.

Superfoods – Flaxseed

Flax seed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and are believed to protect health of your heart and reduce inflammation in your body. Flaxseed are also high in lignans, which are believed to prevent or slow down the growth of tumours. So to get the benefit of flax seeds they need to be ground as whole seeds just pass through the body without benefit as they are undigested.

Superfoods – Avocados

Avocados contain oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat. Furthermore it is believed to lower risk of heart disease as well as lower cholesterol levels. In addition avocados are rich in potassium and fibre.  They do contain more calories than most fruits and vegetables so don’t eat too many.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods

Don’t feed your dogs these foods

Don’t feed your dogs these foods or it can be very bad for their health and wellbeing. You might feel tempted to share food with your dog, but you are probably not aware that many foods we humans eat are in fact toxic for dogs. Truth be known we probably shouldn’t be eating some of them ourselves! So below are some more foods that you should never feed your dog.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Fruits, vegetables, salad and nuts

Fruits, vegetables and salads are generally considered very healthy for humans, but certain types should not be given to dogs to eat.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Apple Pips, Apricot, Peach and Plum Stones

Apple Pips, Apricot, Peach and Plum Stones contain a form of cyanide called amygdlin. It is a poisonous cyanogenic glycoside found in many plants. It can prevent blood from transporting oxygen around the body. Dogs may not have any issues if they eat the flesh of a peach, but the stones must be avoided. They may cause a dog to have dilated pupils of the eyes, giddiness and unusual dribbling. Plum stones might have similar effects to peach stones and also might make t hard for your dog to breath and may also put the dog in a state of shock.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Avocado

Avocado fruits and stones are poisonous for dogs. It can damage their hearts, lungs and other soft tissue. It can also create upset stomach and vomiting and inflammation of the pancreas.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Grapes & Raisins

Dogs often have allergic reactions after eating grapes and raisins. Eating grapes and raisins may cause a dog to vomit, be tired, have diarrhoea, and even have severe kidney problems.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Corn on the cob

Dogs can eat the corn, but should not eat the cob. This is because most dogs are unable to digest cob. It can therefore result in an obstruction in the intestine, which can be very painful. An intestinal obstruction can be a very serious condition and may even prove fatal if the condition is not treated by a vet right away.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Macadamia Nuts

Consumption of Macadamia nuts by dogs can cause weakness, fever, depression, vomiting, muscle tremors and even hyperthermia. These are non-fatal conditions but nonetheless unpleasant. Exactly why Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs is unclear, but best avoided.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Mushrooms

As with humans, mushrooms can be complicated. Some mushrooms varieties are fine to consume, others can be poisonous for dogs. Consumption by dogs of certain mushrooms can cause serious stomach upsets. It is probably best to avoid allowing your dog to consume mushrooms.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Onions

Onions are not good for dogs. You should prevent your dog eating both raw or cooked onions. A small consumption of onions on a daily basis for a few weeks, may cause the your dog to develop anemia over weeks to months.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Chives

If dogs consume chives it can cause hemolysis, which is a rupture or destruction of red blood cells. It can also cause anemia, which is a deficiency of red cells or the haemoglobin in the dogs blood.

Don't feed your dog these foods
Don’t feed your dog these foods

Also consumption of chive can cause hemoglobinuria, a condition where haemoglobin is excreted in the urine. Symptoms in dogs of eating too many chives include weakness, tiredness and discoloured urine.

Don’t feed your dogs these foods – Tomato Leaves

The leaves of tomato plants have the glycoalkaloids ‘alpha-tomatine’ and ‘dehydrotomatine’ which are poisonous for dogs. If your dog eats tomato leaves you might see him dribbling, having an upset stomach, possibly diarrhoea and vomiting. Muscle tremors and seizures might also occur.

Click here to see the last part of what your dog should not eat.

Thai Food

Thai Food

Thai food offers some of the best gourmet experiences in the world. Thai cuisine is renowned for it’s diversity, particular spiciness and also medicinal properties. Most of Thai food is prepared and cooked with more than two types of spices or herbs.

Thai Food – basics

Thai food basics include fish sauce. Fish sauce is one of the indispensable ingredients that is used in almost all Thai cooking. Thai dishes are eaten alone of or with steamed rice which is the staple food rice. In the north and northeast of Thailand sticky rice is also popular.

Thai food – accessibility

When you are in Thailand you really shouldn’t miss out trying the amazing Thai dishes. Wherever you happen to be Thai food is always accessible. It’s everywhere – restaurants, street food vendors with carts, mini canteens hooked up to motorbikes with sidecars, food markets and halls, food stalls, floating food vendors, grocery stores and supermarkets. Day or night in Thailand, you can always find something decent to eat.

Thai food – importance

Food in Thailand is so central to the culture and socialising. When you meet someone they will often ask if you have eaten. In Thailand eating is not a private

Thai Food
Thai Food
activity and Thais eat in public and at any time. In Thailand you’ll be asked countless times if you like Thai cuisine. If you say that you just confirm as such, you have created a connection and if you claim to like spicy food you get even more credibility.

Thai food – eating habits

Thais eating habits are very different from most of the western world. Thais don’t eat big meals, but rather quite small dishes frequently throughout the day. This is known to be far more healthy for you than the large sit down 3 course meals of westerners. Usually Thais will eat one plate of food that is prepared on the spot and also eaten fast. Most dishes can be prepared within minutes. Eating in Thailand is convenient, inexpensive and enjoyable.

Thai food – flavours

Well prepared Thai food has a special balance where the flavour of every ingredient is delicately acknowledged by our palette. Thai dishes are known for being spicy and light but there are many other flavours which are infused. Thai dishes can be bitter, spicy, salty or sweet.

Some people enjoy the full range of flavours, but many people don’t associate bitterness t food they enjoy. In Thai food the bitter taste is carefully balanced ad often fused with other delicate flavours.

Thai food – sweet

Not many Thai dishes are particularly sweet, but many dishes can be served with something sweet. When purchasing Thai food, it is possible to often ask for your food to be sweetened.

Thai food – hot

If you like hot and spicy food you won’t need to look far in Thailand as many dishes have a kick due to lots of natural spices, chilli and peppers are used in their preparation. Tom Yum, a Thai soup that combines hot with sweet. You can chose to make the soup more sweet or spicy depending on your taste buds.

Thai food – Sour

Some Thai food is made sour. These are meat based in the main, with the sour flavour introduced through the sauce. Often the sour is blended with sweetness, such as the sauce used for sweet and sour chicken dishes. You can also get sour dishes in authentic Thai food that use fish sauce to fuse in the flavours.

Mexican Food

Mexican Food

Mexican recipes are the vibrant, spicy, delightful dishes. Mexican food is considered to be the most varied in the world after Chinese food. Every area of Mexico has its own food style and the variety of Mexican cuisine in extensive. The Mexican food is particularly exciting, since it’s an unique mixture of Mexican, Mayan, Caribbean, Lebanese and US.

Mexican Food – History

Mexican food history shows that many of what we consider the ‘traditional Mexican food’ have origins from other food cultures. The history of Mexican food is rich and diverse. With a lot of fascinating cultural influences throughout time.  This indicates that Mexico has been more of a culinary melting pot. What has resulted, however are delicious foods, rich in flavour.

Mexican Food – Spanish Influence

While many believe Mexican food has strong origins from the ancient Mayan culture, the Spanish invasion of Mexico has had a major influence on Mexican dishes. Spanish explorer Cortez brought with him new types of food, herbs, spices and livestock.  Surprisingly, the origin of quesadillas, a staple diet in Mexico is actually Spanish. The cheese, pork, steak, and lettuce that grace so many of our favourite Mexican dishes, such as the quesadilla, are also Spanish. Several spices including cinnamon, black pepper, coriander and oregano which are frequently used in Mexican cooking really Spanish in origin.

Mexican Food – French Influence

The French who occupied Mexico for a short time in the 1860’s also has had a cultural influence on Mexican food.  For example popular dishes such as chilli en nogado, which is a dish of stuffed chillies in a walnut sauce.

Mexican Food – Tex Mex

Some of the most popular variations of Mexican food is the influence from the Southwest United States, specifically southern Texas. This style of Mexican food, dubbed “Texmex” is a favourite all around the world. It’s an ethnic mixture of northern Mexico and Southwestern Texas. In many restaurants nowadays, it really is more Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican food that is being served.

Mexican Food – Authenticity

Tortillas are part of most Mexican meals and are considered staple diet. They are spheres corn dough, flattened to small sized disks. Authentic tortillas are made from corn and they are freshly made all day. They may be used to make tacos.

Mexican Food
Authentic Mexican Food
Authentic Mexican food includes a lot of soups and stews which contain lentils and kidney beans. Tomatoes are used in various Mexican food recipes and particularly in salsa recipes. The hot sauce that is made from chilli pepper is indigenous to Mexico.  Some Mexican dishes are spicy with chilli peppers being popular in Mexican cookery.  There are several varieties of chillies that are used, so more hot that others.

Mexican Food – Fresh Fruit

Fruit is popular in Mexico and is eaten fresh or used in sauces and desserts. Papaya, coconut, mango, and pineapple are favourites.  Anything older than a day or two is not considered fresh. Imported food is generally shunned in favour of locally grown produce and everything is grown nearby.

Mexican Food – Condiments

Many people love the addition of sour cream, lime, or salsa to their food. However, in Mexican restaurants, you’ll also get little bowls of condiments. These are likely to include a hot chilli salsa, cilantro, a mild chilli salsa, chopped onion, salsa Mexicana and lime. Salsa Mexicana is made from chopped onion, chopped fresh cilantro, tomato and habanero chili. You may additionally get guacamole, which is a lime and avocado. Charred green onion mixed with salsa ingles and lime juice is another well-enjoyed Mexican condiment.

Chinese Food

Chinese Food

Chinese food is popular across the world and is not just enjoyed by Chinese people. It’s possible for you to find a Chinese restaurant in every major city and in most small towns across the world.

Chinese Food  – History and Preparation

Chinese food history goes back centuries and is fascinating.  Like all Chinese culture, Chinese food is heavily influenced by both Confucianism and Taoism doctrines. Both doctrines and philosophies have influenced the way the manner in which Chinese food, is prepared, cooked and eaten.

The skill of cooking Chinese food is considered an art, not just a craft.  Chinese food preparation includes techniques which are not easy to develop. Some demand a chef with years of experience. For example, noodle pulling requires precision, skill and many hours of practice.  It contributes when prepared correctly in a wonderful noodle dish.

Chinese Food – Confucianism

Confucianism beliefs came of course from the man Confucius. Confucius created standards for correct table manners and etiquette.  Further he influenced the visual aspect as well as flavour of Chinese food. For example, Chinese food should always be cut into small pieces before being

Chinese Food
Chinese Food

served at the table.   This is something  that is undoubtedly unique to the Chinese food and culture. It reflects therefore that having knives on the table with food is regarded poor etiquette by people who adopt Confucius beliefs.

Chinese Food – Confucius standards

The standards of taste and quality that Confucius required, demanded the ideal mix of herbs, ingredients and condiments.  This combination would result in the best combined flavours of the dish.  Confucius instructed that Chinese food must be prepared and eaten with harmony.  He emphasized the importance of the texture and colour of a Chinese dish. As an aside, Confucius also believed that in order to be an exceptional chef, the person already had to be a great matchmaker.

Chinese Food – Taoism

Individuals who follow the Taoism beliefs concentrate on the health benefits of special foods more so than its presentation. Taoists look for foods that improve their longevity and health. Foods with healing powers are of prime importance. Often they were often referred to as ‘life giving powers’. As an example, the Chinese discovered that ginger, which can be considered to be a condiment or a garnish was found to be a remedy for colds or a remedy for upset stomachs.

Chinese Food – Health and Wellbeing

When authentically prepared and cooked, Chinese food is considered by some as the most healthly food on earth. However, in some restaurants prepare their food with meats that contain unhealthy amounts of animal fat or with highly saturated fats. These are not authentic Chinese restaurants and do not correctly represent authentic or healthy Chinese food.

Great Chinese food is carefully prepared and then cooked with poly-unsaturated oils. Genuine Chinese food doesn’t use milk, cream, butter or cheese. A limited amount of meat is used, making it simple for individuals who love genuine Chinese food to avoid too much animal fat. Many believe that real Chinese food is actually the ideal diet.

Italian Food

Italian Food

Italian food is a lot more than food.  In Italy feasting on good food with family and friend  and feasts is a way of life.  Italian food is simple and healthy. It is world renowned and copied the world over.  It brings joy and delight everywhere.   As much as Italian food is love by Italians, it is also loved by people of different nationalities.

Italian Food – Cooking

Italian food cooking has followed a quite simple principle for generations: food is best when it’s cooked and eaten fresh and in season. The regional cooking depends upon a number of variables including what ingredients are most plentiful in that area. The recipes of Northern and Southern Italian dishes are quite distinct and use different methods of cooking. With a few exceptions, much of Northern Italy is not warm enough for olive trees to grow.  So this means much of the local cooking uses butter instead of olive oil.

Italian Food – Pasta and Rice

Pasta,  is included in the majority of traditional Italian food.

Italian food pasta
Italian food – pasta

Few cultures know how to use a tomato the way that Italians can! Pasta and olive oil are main features of Southern Italian food.  In Northern Italy, they use more rice and butter.  Italian food is about combinations of delicious local flavours.  Typically they are real fresh Italian pasta, a sauce that is simple topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Italian Food – Ingredients

Italian food ingredients which are regularly used include garlic, olive oil, pasta, rice, tomatoes and red wine. They have proved to be contributory factors to a healthier lifestyle. Discovering the correct balance of ingredients is crucial in creating great food that is tasty. Although there are essential ingredients that every Italian kitchen should have, garlic, basil and olive oil, the most important factor is ingenuity and creativity.

Italian Food – big flavours

People love Italian food, the big flavours and combinations available. Italian food is cooked and eaten across the entire world is probably the most popular cuisine.  This is possibly because it is generally easy to prepare and delicious.  Situated in the Mediterranean climate, Italy has been home to a variety of food and big flavours, using an emphasis on eating food that is seasonal that is fresh.

Italian Food – tradition

With Italy’s rich historic tradition much of the Italian food dishes have their origins in farming.  These date back over a thousand years and the cooking practices

italian-food-fussili
Italian food -fussili

have been handed down generation to generation. The key is that Italian food be seasonally fresh.  Therefore, herbs and spices should be used to improve and compliment a food, not hide the flavour. Using fresh herbs and spices to highlight the fresh flavours is the hallmark of Italian cuisine.

Italian Food – variety

To many Italian food means pasta and pizza. But Italian food variety is endless.  So of course pasta features highly as an integral part of Italian food. Although possibly originally from Arabic origins where water and flour were combined, Italians has truly mastered the art of pasta.  There are of course many varieties and shapes beyond the renowned spaghetti.  Other Italian pasta dishes include dumpling-like pasta that is made from potatoes called gnocchi. Most pasta dishes, including gnocchi, are normally served in some type of sauce.

Italian Food – Seafood and meat

Italian food can be noted for using seafood in many dishes. The fish dishes reflect the seasonality of the food and so are normally simple. They are often simply cooked in parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice.  The dishes offer distinct variations but keeping the integrity of the original flavours.

Italian meat dishes not only include the famous bolognaise sauce, but delicious joints of meat and flash fried steaks.

Italian Food – desserts

There are many Italian desserts that are quite special and renowned the world over. Tiramisu is among the very popular desserts. It a concoction of sponge cake that is flavoured with marsala wine, espresso coffee, layered with Mascarpone  cheese and coated in cocoa powder. Another favourite Italian of desserts is gelato, which is similar to ice cream but more rich and more creamy and as a result is even more delicious.

 

Indian Food

Indian Food

Indian food is adored all over the world, by individuals of all different ethnicities. You don’t have to be Indian to love eating Indian food!

Indian Food – Cooking

The thing that makes it desirable is the way it’s cooked. Cooking Indian cuisine is nothing less than an artwork. Indian food isn’t just delicious in flavour, but also has an odour that can stimulate the appetite in anyone. The odour in the food comes from spices which for centuries are used in every Indian household.

Indian Food – Health

Indian meals include many spices, some found in other types of food. Apart from being delicious, Indian food is also quite good for your health due to its many beneficial ingredients. This is because of the spices and herbs in it that have particular healing qualities. Some of the beneficial herbs and spices used in regular dishes are in the sections below.

Indian Food – Turmeric

A primary ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a strong antioxidant and contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Indian Food
Indian Food

Recent studies have shown that turmeric is helpful in correcting several conditions. For example, depression symptoms, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory qualities unlike medications, it does not present any risk to liver and other organs. Cucurmin’s absorption into the blood stream is increased many fold when taken in conjunction with pepperine. This is found in black pepper which of course black pepper is used in many Indian dishes.

Indian Food – Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another spice that is a commonly used ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also an ingredient used in many different international dishes. Cinnamon is a bark shaped spice that has a lot of medicinal benefits. It can be used by people who suffer with diabetes as it known to lower fasting blood glucose and also reduce cholesterol. In addition it has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Indian Food – Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed are culinary oil seeds that apart from improving the flavour of a dish additionally have lots of benefits to health. The seeds have a high magnesium content which can reduce the agonising pain of migraine is headaches. They are also helpful for those with asthma as it is known to relieve of respiratory blockages.

Indian Food – authenticity

Indian food is different and unique from other foods. The difference is not in the only taste and ingredients, but is also in the methods used to prepare the dishes. If you’d like to taste real Indian food, a good idea is to taste it in the home of an Indian family, instead of at a restaurant. Some restaurants tend to ‘Westernise’ Indian dishes and they lose their authenticity. Indian food differs according to the region where it comes from in India and sometimes within differing communities within the same region.

Indian Food – Vegetarian

Along with meat dishes, there are many vegetarian meals. Vegetarian food like rice, spiced breads, dhals, vegetables, and pickles are common in Indian cuisine. Many Indians are vegetarians they eat vegetables, fruits, grains and milk.