• 10Oct

    When I was exclusively breastfeeding my third and youngest daughter 9 years ago, falling sick every other month was a norm. I reckon that my baby sucked away all my nutrients, plus with the lack of sleep and stress of caring for a baby, my immune system weakened.  On top of breastfeeding, I was stressed out with my baby’s health issue, which only resolved after her surgery 13 months later.  I also had 2 older pre-school kids then who kept bringing the bad bugs back from school, which only made matter worse.

    To stay healthy, energetic and sick-day-free, we have to strengthen our immune systems.

    Here’s how the immune system works:

    Our body’s battle for immunity begins in the mouth. Bet you didn’t know that your saliva contains powerful antimicrobials like lysozyme, alpha-amylase and lactoferrin.

    Any germs that sneak past those will confront our stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

    Then, should they survive, they’ll go up against the proteins and chemical compounds in our digestive system that break down bad bacteria.

    Finally, our own personal good bacterial population goes to work. They prevent bad bacteria from entering our bloodstream or taking root in our small intestine and colon. Those good bacteria are called probiotics. Think of them as an army against illness.

    Your immune system is an incredible thing. The bacteria in your gut is actually a powerful army willing to fight on your behalf, but only if you feed them properly. And if you do get sick, certain foods can help you recover quicker. What you eat today can determine whether or not you get sick tomorrow.

    Should you really feed a cold and starve a fever?

    Feed your bacteria army
    The GI tract comprises over 70 percent of the immune system. That’s home to our good gut bacteria, which fight off a whole lot of yucky stuff.

    If you want those bacteria to work for you, you’ve got to feed them well. They love to chow down on nutrient-dense, fiber-rich whole foods. Steer clear of processed foods, fats and sugars. That’s why a balanced whole-foods diet is your best insurance against all kinds of viruses and infections.

    If you’re healthy, aim for one to two servings of probiotic-rich foods each day (more if you are trying to prevent or alleviate a medical problem).

    Some of the best whole-food sources of probiotics are:

    * Dairy: yogurt and kefir with live and active cultures
    * Fermented vegetables: pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi
    * Fermented soy: miso, tempeh

    Other superfoods to superpower your immune system:

    Chicken soup
    Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. It’s good if you’re feeling under the weather, too. Research has found that chicken soup helps to prevent inflammatory white cells from moving to other parts of your body, which can decrease your cold symptoms.
    The bone broth in chicken soup contains collagen, which can help boost your immune system, in addition to amino acids and nutrients that help prevent inflammation. Chicken soup’s illness-fighting ability is thought to be related to cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking

    Simple Chicken Soup

    Fatty Fish
    Your heart isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation in your body. It’s important to consume inflammation-fighting foods on a regular basis, but especially when you’re feeling under the weather. That’s because chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system.

    Garlic
    Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. One study showed that people who ate garlic daily were less likely to catch a cold.  Eat raw garlic if you’re feeling really daring, or add it to soups and other cooked meals to reap the benefits without the vampire-slaying breath.

    Foods Rich In Zinc
    Zinc isn’t a mineral you want to do away with. Some studies show that zinc may help reduce the duration of a cold if taken right away.  Zinc helps regulate the immune system, build and maintain lean body mass and heal wounds. Foods high in zinc include oysters, red meat, eggs, fortified cereal, beans and pumpkin seeds.

    Turmeric
    This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds, coughs, and congestion. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk, or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods.

    Turmeric2

    Fruits and Vegetables
    Vitamin-rich foods are key to maintaining a strong immune system.  Vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of these nutrients. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
    Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.  Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity.

    Plenty of liquids
    In addition to consuming healthy foods, it’s also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear. But not all beverages help fight illness. Steer clear of sugary drinks and sodas as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation… which further weakens your immune system.
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    Lastly, the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” always applies. The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene. There is no miracle food that can help prevent a cold, but lacking in certain nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system.  So for the best cold prevention, focus on eating balanced healthy meals and exercise regularly all year-round.

     

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  • 10Oct

    Parents who want their children to lead lives of profound wellness should know that there are many steps they can take to make this happen. Below you’ll find several simple techniques you can implement to ensure that your child begins cultivating the type of mental and physical well-being that is conducive to healthy, happy living:

    1. Provide Your Child With Exercise Options
    One great way to help your child cultivate a healthy lifestyle is by providing her or him with exercise options. Children need to know that exercise is important, and they should also understand which options they have when it comes to selecting physical activities to engage in. Help your child with this by implementing strategies such as walking or cycling through the neighborhood, purchasing her or him a gym membership, etc. Pay careful attention to your child so that you can understand which physical activities she or he truly enjoys and when they’re just going through the motions to please you or get it done. Make sure your child knows that exercise adherence is frequently contingent upon engaging in activities that they find truly enjoyable.

    child climbing

    2. Stock Your Home With Healthy Food Choices
    Many parents know that teaching their children healthy eating habits is a big key to promoting their mental and physical equilibrium. Yet in many cases, these same parents are models for poor eating. Children are oftentimes enabled by this poor modeling such that they feel justified in making poor food decisions if their parents do so as well. To ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home, make sure that the pantry, refrigerator, and kitchen counters are always filled with nutritious, delicious items. One simple way to make it happen is by keeping a big bowl with your child’s favorite fruits on the counter top. Eat these foods with your children so that they understand that you value health and want to share the joy of wellness with them!

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    3. Consider Utilizing Behavioral Health Services
    In addition to stocking your home with healthy food choices, make sure that you consider utilizing behavioral health services. These services can be helpful for children who experience behavioral health issues such as incessant or inappropriate talking. If you’re looking for a behavioral therapy Alexandria VA company, note that the professionals of Engage Behavioral Health can assist you.

    Start Emphasizing Health Now!
    If you’re ready to help your child start cultivating a healthy lifestyle, don’t delay her or his growth process. Instead, begin making health a reality in your child’s life by using the tips outlined above!

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  • 06Oct

    Watermelon seeds are one of my favorite seeds to munch on as snacks to quell hunger pangs. They are delicious, gentler to my teeth than other hard nuts, easy to eat (yes I am that lazy!), easily accessible and cheaper than most nuts and seeds.  Watermelon seeds are a staple in my kitchen. I eat them straight out of the box or toss them  into granola or yoghurt.

    Watermelon seeds and also others like melon seeds and flax seeds are rich in micro-nutrients like selenium, potassium, copper and zinc which you may not derive from your daily diet in adequate quantities

    These protein-packed treasures with a distinct nutty flavor could be the first snack you reach for at your desk, between meals or even when you’re bored.  Watermelon seeds are also a valuable source of macro-nutrients like vitamin B, protein and the healthy fats.

     

     

    Watermelon Seeds

     

    Here’s the catch – watermelon seeds shouldn’t be eaten straight from the fruit. To make the most of them, the seeds need to be sprouted and shelled.  Once sprouted, shelled and dried, watermelon seeds become edible, protein-packed treasures.

    Sprouting is a process where the seeds are soaked and germinated. Sprouted seeds, nuts or legumes are known to be higher in nutrition than others. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other proteins that are hard to digest into simple compounds that are easily absorbed by the body. Any food in its fermented form is most nutritious.

    Sprouted seeds are germinated and oftentimes are higher in nutrients than their non-sprouted versions. Sprouting removes compounds in the food that make it difficult to absorb all of its nutrients, increases nutrient density and makes the food easier to digest. In the case of watermelon, the seeds are stripped of their black shells and resemble seeds.

    Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds

    Some of the most surprising and impressive benefits of watermelon seeds includes their ability to boost hair health, support beautiful skin, increase energy, lower blood pressure, stimulate digestion, regulate blood sugar, build strong bones, treat infertility and lower cholesterol levels.

    Watermelon seeds are packed with protein, vitamin B, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, inflammation and risk for heart disease and stroke.

    If you’re not into the whole homespun sprouting process, you can purchase sprouted watermelon seeds from the supermarket.

    Watermelon seeds shouldn’t be roasted. Most nutrients are destroyed on exposure to heat which can change the chemical composition of these seeds. Flax seeds are one of the few seeds that may retain their nutrient density, for the others it is best to avoid roasting.

    The next time you feel like melting into a puddle, dive into some juicy watermelons.  Remember not to spit out and toss the seeds away. Sun-dry the seeds and enjoy these super seeds as a  healthy snack or sprout them to make the most of them.

     

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  • 06Oct

    Although the old maxim “Health is wealth” may seem trite, it is certainly true. When an individual is healthy, she or he has a ton of energy, confidence, and the mood stability necessary to work productively and enjoy an active social life. Unfortunately, many people fail to implement the wellness strategies and standards necessary to facilitate optimal health. If this is your current dilemma, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes necessary to make great health yours. Here are two strategies that can help you make it happen:

    1. Optimize Your Diet.

    One of the best ways to get rich in wellness is by optimizing your diet. Unfortunately, many people put this important activity on the backburner and find themselves eating foods that detract from their appearance and vitality. Don’t conform to this cultural pattern. Instead, give your body the nutrients it needs to make you look and feel great every day. Although there’s no general consensus regarding which type of diet is ideal, most medical and wellness professionals agree that the majority of people could greatly benefit from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Also note that recognizing which foods you’re sensitive to will play an integral role in helping you eat appropriately. If you feel that you may be in need of a food intolerance test Hillsborough NJ residents can rely on, note that the professionals of Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center can assist you.

    natural and heatlhy food

    2. Meditate Every Morning.

    One of the reasons that people fail to attain and maintain health is because of their mentality. Whether it’s frenetic thinking or negative cognitive patterns that lower your self-esteem or give you a cynical outlook, correcting your mental habits is important if you’re serious about wellness. Luckily, there are a wide range of incredibly effective meditation modalities you can use to develop mental health. Some of them include:

    • Zazen
    • Vipassana, or mindfulness
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Japa Mala Meditation
    • Mettha Bhavana
    • Guided visualizations
    • Moving meditation

    adult coloring

    One specific meditation you might consider is referred to as the blue sky meditation. With this modality, you transfer your mental focus from your mind to your body and imagine that you are lying on your back looking up at the clear blue sky. When distracting thoughts materialize in the mind, image that they are puffy clouds blowing across the blue sky. Once the cloud has passed, resume visualizing the beauty and infinite nature of the clear blue sky.

    Begin Implementing These Suggestions Immediately!

    Feeling great and looking good are just two of many wonderful outcomes that result from maintaining great health. To ensure that you can attain these life-enhancing outcomes, start implementing the wellness suggestions outlined above!

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  • 28Sep

    When I was at a class party with Cass last weekend, the hubby brought the two older girls and the mil for dinner and shopping at a nearby mall. At the supermarket, #2 used her charm to get her doting grandmother to treat her to a pack of breakfast cereals consisting of 8 small boxes of colorful and frosted cereals, namely Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Fruity Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix. These so-called ‘healthy’ cereals are some of the banned items in my household. But the ever indulgent grandma obliged without asking further what grand daughter #2 was buying.

    In the car, I was horrified when  I saw the pack of 8-box cereals containing frosted and artificially dyed cereals.  What are they made of?  GMO corn I am certain of that.

    The marketing behind the breakfast cereal industry is massive. Grocery stores devote entire aisles to boxes upon boxes of endless varieties, most promoting some sort of health claim. Most are packaged in colorful boxes splashed with cartoons, gimmicks and games at the back of the boxes to entice young children.  I find it amazing that companies have successfully marketed boxes of highly processed grains drenched in sugar, artificial coloring, food additives and preservatives as a healthy breakfast option. Those junk don’t provide a healthy start to the day at all.

    The Dangers of Artificial Food Colors

    When #2 poured a box of Lucky Charms into a bowl to be eaten as dessert over lunch today, I was appalled by what I saw. I could not believe that she was popping neon colored so-called healthy cereals into her mouth. The stuff that she was eating was bright neon colored and laced with sugar. Double whammy!  I tried to convince her that she was putting poison into her body but she shoved the multi-colored marshmallow shapes (“marbits” – picture below) even faster into her mouth. I snapped at her and told her that this would be her first and last time putting such unLucky Charms into her body.  Later, I googled for ‘Hidden Dangers Of Eating Cereals’ and ‘Dangers of Artificial Food Coloring’ and read aloud to her.

    dessert MILK breakfast cereal charms lucky charms cereals luckycharms cataldolife.com

     

    The Ugly Side Of The Food Color Portrait

    Artificial dyes derived from petroleum are found in thousands of foods, in particular breakfast cereals, candy, snacks, beverages, vitamins, and other products aimed at children are colored with dyes. Even some fresh oranges are dipped in dye to brighten them and provide uniform color.

    Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2 and Green 3, –which include some of the most commonly used artificial food colorings–have all been identified as being contaminated with potential cancer-causing chemicals, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are known to trigger reactions in those with allergies

     • Citrus Red 2: This product caused bladder tumors in animal studies and is banned for human consumption, except to color the skin of oranges. While it may appear to pose little threat, adding fresh orange zest to a recipe may mix in more than you bargained for.

    • Blue #1 (E133) and Blue #2 (E132): Banned in Norway, Finland, and France, studies have shown them to cause brain cancer and inhibit nerve-cell development. The colors are found in candy, cereal, soda drinks, sports drinks, and pet food.

    • Red #3 (E127) and Red #40 (E129): While Red #3 was banned [in the U.S.] in 1990 for topical use, it can still be sold on the market in our foods and beverages. That should make us all red in the face. Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system. In the UK, it is not recommended for children, and it is currently banned in many European nations. The dyes are found in fruit cocktails, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products, and more.

    • Yellow #5 (aka Tartazine, E102): Banned in Norway and Austria, it contains the cancer-causing compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. Six of the 11 studies on Yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell’s genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA. It’s found in gelatin desserts, candy, pet food, and baked goods.

    • Yellow #6 (E110): Banned in Norway and Finland. Due to the same cancer-causing compounds as Yellow #5, it causes tumors in the kidneys and adrenal glands of laboratory animals. It’s found in American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy, and carbonated beverages.

    Links to Cancer

    According to the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial food coloring and food dyes present many risks to consumers. A report published by the center notes that many commonly used artificial food colors have been found to cause damage to DNA, or genotoxicity, in more studies than they were found to be safe. But the research on artificial food coloring is limited to animal studies, including mice and rats. While bladder tumors and other forms of cancer were linked to certain artificial coloring in these studies, no human trials have found links between cancer and the dyes in humans. The center still contends they are dangerous to consumers and has urged many large manufacturers to discontinue their use.

    The FDA Says You’re Safe

    According to the FDA, the studies showing links between artificial food coloring and ADHD in children have been either inconsistent, inconclusive or hard to evaluate due to poor study design. The FDA also notes that any color additives that have been linked to cancer, in either animals or humans, are banned for use in the United States. Therefore, according to the FDA, all artificial food coloring currently used in the nation have been evaluated for safety using the best scientific research and found not to be cancer-causing in either animals and humans.

    Despite the FDA’s stance, I am  playing safe and try to minimize the consumption of artificial food colors for myself and my family.

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  • 09Sep

    In my fridge next to the roselle kefir are bottles of fruit vinegar. These drinking vinegars have now claimed a permanent spot in my fridge.

    I am a pro-apple cider vinegar health freak for many years. For more than a decade now, the first drink of my day has been organic apple cider vinegar with Manuka honey or raw honey mixed with a teaspoon of psyllium husk. This will kick start my  system to work and move the bowels. Recently, I added Korean Hong Cho fruit vinegars.  At mid day, I drink a glass of Hong Cho fruit vinegar. I currently have 2 flavors in my fridge: black raspberry vinegar and blueberry vinegar. Cass drinks this fruit vinegar too. It’s the only fruit vinegar that she likes as she loves the slightly sweetened and tang of berries from the vinegar. She says it tastes like her favorite Japanese fruit jelly.  The promoter at the supermarket who introduced this vinegar to us told us that Hong Cho fruit vinegar is effective in preventing constipation.

     

    While it’s not a miracle elixir, vinegar can give your health a boost in many ways.

    Grain vinegars and fruit vinegars, both of which are fermented, possess a variety of beneficial physiological effects, including antibacterial and antioxidant properties and even some anticancer activities (particularly with Japanese black soybean vinegar), according to a 2016 review in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

    Recent studies also point to the potential of drinking vinegar to promote weight loss and to treat insulin sensitivities.

    Benefits of Vinegar

    Weight Loss
    Apple cider vinegar helps to burn fat, improves the functioning of the metabolism, leading to weight loss.

    Management of Diabetes
    The ability of vinegar to moderate insulin and glucose levels seems to offer some benefit for diabetics. A Swedish study, published in a 2005 issue of the” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” showed that when participants ate a simple carbohydrate meal based on white wheat bread, but supplemented it with vinegar, they experienced less of a spike in blood glucose and insulin levels than participants who ate just the bread meal.

    An animal study, reported by the “Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences” in December 2008, indicated that apple cider vinegar ingestion may be of  “great value in managing the diabetic complications.”

    Reduces Glycemia
    Vinegar is also useful in reducing glycemia. Research has shown that its addition to a high glycemic meal has positive effects on the reduction of postprandial glycemia.

    Detoxification and Digestion
    The use of vinegar to promote cleansing dates back to Hippocrates, who recommended apple cider vinegar to cure joint pain, digestive distress and blood disorders.  Apple cider vinegar destroys harmful bacteria in the digestive tract—creating more efficient digestion and elimination of waste. He also noted that vinegar’s ability to break up fat helped improve the functioning of the liver and kidneys, whose primary role is to detoxify the body.

    Anti-aging Properties
    In many cultures, vinegar was thought to improve immunity and was associated with longer life and strength. Studies administering it to rats have shown quite encouraging results.

    Improves Acid-alkali Balance
    Taking two tablespoons of vinegar every day can help reduce high alkalinity in the blood. Alkalinity is increased by regular metabolism, which has to be balanced by an acid. It could be a good choice for this!

    Antimicrobial Properties
    Vinegar possesses antimicrobial properties. Tests on wood vinegar confirmed that wood vinegar was effective in controlling the growth of microbial cultures.

    Fun Facts
    Vinegar has been used as a food preservative for hundreds of years. Vinegar, due to its antibacterial properties, can effectively act as a good preservative for food by controlling microorganisms that generally attack food and cause decomposition.

    If drinking vinegars haven’t crossed your radar yet, they most definitely will soon as more and more drinking vinegar stalls and shops pop out at malls.

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  • 08Sep

    Pandan leaves are the love of my life!  I so heart these fragrant leaves. I love everything pandan – from pandan cakes to pandan kaya jam, pandan jelly, pandan chicken, pandan desserts, you name it, I love it. Sniffing pandan leaves and pandan powder can  lift up my mood instantly. The aroma de-stresses me.  Pandan leaves also repel my enemies – cockroaches and mozzies!  I have knots of pandan leaves in my car and in my kitchen drawers.  Pandan leaves are a wonderful natural air freshener.  If only we live in a landed property, I’ll take up half the garden and fill them with lots of pandan plants. I’ll surely be making pandan tea every day if I have access to fresh pandan leaves.  Currently I am using organic pandan powder to make pandan tea. I like mixing the pandan powder to ginger tea.

    Pandan, also called screw pine (Pandanus amarylfolius) contains isoprene esters, tannins, glycosides, alkaloids and richly scented essential oils.

    Uses of Pandan Leaves:

    Great for Anxiety and Stress – If a person has anxiety, drinking 2 or 3 cups of pandan tea will sooth away their stress.

    Great for Pain – Pandan leaves are wonderful for getting rid of pain of all kinds including arthritis, chest pains, earaches, and headaches. Drink a cup of pandan tea as needed for pain.

    Gum Pain – Chewing fresh or dried leaves pandan leaves is a great way to sooth away oral discomforts and gum pain.

    Natural Mosquito Repellant – Pandan extract in high concentrations can also be used to keep away mosquitos with skin application… and it’s not toxic compared to DEET and other agents which are very toxic.

    GI Cramps and Spams – Pandan leaves work wonders for of the GI tract and especially stomach cramps. Drink the tea as needed.

    Natural Mosquito Repellant –  Pandan extract in high concentrations can also be used to keep away mosquitos by way of topical application… and it’s not toxic compared to DEET and other agents which are toxic.

    Lowers Blood Pressure – Take 2 or 3 leaves and boil in 2 cups of water and reduce to one cup — drink this tea every AM and PM to lower blood pressure.

    Reduces Fevers – Pandan leaves also help to reduce fevers; drink the tea until fever subsides.

    Cancer – Pandan leaf tea can also help to prevent and heal certain types of cancer.  Several lab tests were done which showed that pandan has anti-proliferative properties against some cancers.

    Skin Fungus – Take fresh pandan leaves, extract the juice from the leaves and add the juice to a cup of salt water, and drink one cup a day for 3 days.

    Detoxing Agent – Pandan leaf tea is also great for detoxing the liver and the body in general.

    Mild Laxative for Children – Pandan tea is a mild and safe laxative for child

    Healing Dandruff – Take 4 or 5 dried pandan leaves and crush them into a powder and then add a little water to make a paste and massage into scalp; it works like a charm for some people.

    Heals Sunburns – Adding lots of pandan tea to a bath and soaking for a few minutes soothes away sunburns.

    Natural Cockroach Repellant – Taking the tea and spraying it around the house keeps cockroaches away.

    Natural Green Food Color – The longer pandan leaves are boiled the darker the green color. The resulting liquid is a natural food coloring that can be used for baking and cooking.

     

     

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  • 08Sep

    Good seafood always set the mood right in our family. My hubby is a big fan of seafood, especially crabs, prawns, cockles, abalone and all types of shell fish. Whenever we have a celebration, he almost always suggests having seafood. One time, he drove our girls out at 10 at night to the nearest seafood restaurant to get take-out sweet and sour crabs for supper just because he had been craving for crabs for days! Thereafter, father and 3 daughters sat in front of the TV and savored their sweet and sour crabs. Everyone was happy but not me as I had to clean up the stinky aftermath at midnight!

    Here’s a little food for thought. If you’ve always believed that crabs are unhealthy and cause havoc to your cholesterol level, it may not be quite the truth. Here’s why:

    1. Crabs are rich in chromium, which helps insulin to metabolize sugar, and thereby lowers the blood glucose levels in the body.

    2. Source of good cholesterol – While crab meat is considered low in saturated fat, the presence of chromium helps increase the level of HDL (good cholesterol) in your body, and thus reduces the risk of strokes, coronary and circulatory heart disease. In fact, crabs contain sterol, which restrict the absorption of other cholesterol eaten during a meal, thus cancelling out the harmful effects of other fats added to your meal. Now, isn’t this music to your ears?

    3. Crab is a great source of two beneficial long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests they help lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, improve cognitive function, and reduce conditions such as psoriasis and ulcerative colitis. Minerals in crab, such as copper, zinc and selenium, support the immune system.

    I am not a supporter of getting take-out crabs to be eaten at home. It’s too messy. Seafood with shells are messy, especially if they are accompanied with a sauce. I’d rather enjoy them at a restaurant and let the staff take care of the messy piles of stinky shells. I love good seafood restaurants where I can enjoy fresh seafood with great service, atmosphere and of course priced reasonably. One such restaurant is The Boiling Pots at Plano.

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    Image may contain: food

     

    Image may contain: drink, food and indoor

    At The Boiling Pot, you’ll surely seek the very best seafood experience possible with a fun atmosphere and clean establishment. The secret to this restaurant’s success is that they offer only the freshest and highest quality food available. Check them out today to give them a try!

     

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  • 30Aug

    I recently discovered that Cass my youngest daughter would develop runner’s stomach about 15-20 minutes into running. The latest incident happened just a few days ago. We were in the middle of a great run on the road when all of a sudden, she told me that she preferred to walk instead. I knew something must be amiss. I asked her if her abdomen hurt and she nodded. This happens almost every time she runs.  During my school years, I was prone to suffering from runner’s stomach too. The only way to get rid of the pain is to stop running, squat or sit down and take a short rest to calm the stomach.

    There are a couple of reasons runners may be so susceptible to digestive distress, with dehydration and a lack of blood flow to the gut due to exercise being the main culprits.

    Runner’s stomach occurs when our digestive system experience a large amount of agitation from the act of running or high-endurance exercise. There are certain diet tips you can follow to avoid having an accident mid-run.

    How to prevent runner’s stomach:

    1) Do not run on a full stomach
    Avoid eating large meals within two to three hours of a long run or race. And avoid eating within 30 minutes of starting a run.

    2) Decrease Pace and Breath Deeply
    Decrease your pace for a few minutes and continue deep breathing techniques during running. A common running sequence is a three step inhale and two step exhale pattern. Slowing down your pace will allow for you to keep up with that pattern. As you increase to near maximum speed, your breathing will become more labored. However, you can push through the pain and keep your pace if you concentrate on breathing deep by pushing your stomach out when you inhale and relaxing it as you exhale.

    3) Pre-Stretch With Side Torso Twists
    Pre-stretch before running by doing side torso twists. One of the best ways to pre-stretch the area is to lift your arms over your head and lean to the left and right at the waist.

    4) Avoid heavy, high-fat meals the day of a long run or race, and possibly the night before.
    Choose light, lower-fiber foods such as bananas, plain oatmeal, or whole-wheat toast.

    5) Consider avoiding caffeine the morning of a run or race, as it is a digestive stimulant/irritant.

    6) Avoid highly concentrated, sweet drinks such as fruit juice prior to and during a run. A carbohydrate content of more than 10 percent can irritate the stomach. Sport-specific drinks are formulated to be in the optimal range of 5 to 8 percent carbohydrate, and are usually safe for consumption leading up to and during a long run.

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  • 24Aug

    Winged beans or most commonly called four-angled beans in Malaysia are one of the favorite beans in our household. We like sauteing the beans with sambal or with garlic and minced meat.  Four-angled beans grow well in hot conditions.  We used to have these tubers growing  in our garden when I was little, planted by my late maternal grandmother.

    The unusual name of this plant is endowed due to the physical appearance of the beans which seem to have wing like features. The plant has several common names like Asparagus Pea / Beans, Goa bean and Four-angled bean.

    It is primarily grown in countries such as Malaysia, India, Thailand, New Guinea, Burma etc.

    Green-Winged-bean-10-seeds-Giant-Goa-bean-Princess-bean-vegetable

    Health benefits of winged / four-angled beans

    Niacin content

    The great content of niacin present in the constitution of Winged beans helps in reducing the formation of blood clots by reducing platelet aggregation. This means it will reduce the risks of cardiovascular disorders arising out of the condition by keeping the levels of lipoprotein, apolipoprotein under control.

    Great content of Riboflavin

    This special vitamin is rather well known as the energy vitamin. It helps in increasing the metabolism rate and helps in the free flowing movement of blood across the system.

    Defeating Diabetes

    The fiber content in Winged beans helps tackle type 2 diabetes to a large extent on account of the capability to generate and maintain levels of insulin and glucose. This in turn means that the rise of insulin stabilizes and reduces the risks of diabetes. It even improves the metabolism rate, thereby reducing the levels of glucose in the body. This is a great contributing factor towards reducing the risks of ever lurking diabetes.

    Bone development and growth

    The great content of lysine most required for bone development and growth mostly for children is available in abundance in winged beans. Furthermore, it aids in the production of enzymes, which is of great help to recovery from surgeries and sport related injuries.

    Digestion

    This antioxidant helps the digestion process, build the strength in the muscles and aids against the fat deposition and building up of fat in the liver and arteries.

    Elevate mood and reduce pain

    Phenylalanine content helps us to stay vigilant and alert. It helps to elevate mood and reduce pain.

    Generate Blood

    The abundance of iron content in winged beans is a leading factor to generate blood in the body. Since iron forms the most important part in building up the levels of hemoglobin in the body, a regular intake of winged beans would mean you never have a reduced supply of fresh red blood cells to keep you fit and healthy. Furthermore, a good intake of iron also means, your hair stays shiny and your nails look healthy.

    Winged beans can be eaten raw too.  I like to drizzle a little roast sesame seed dressing on my raw winged beans.

    The best feature of winged beans is that all parts of the plant can be consumed.  The leaves can be consumed as spinach, the flowers can be used in salads, and the seeds can be consumed like beans or peanuts and the tubers can be consumed either raw or even cooked.    The high nutrient content that this plant provides along with the benefit that all parts of this plant can be consumed makes it very consumption-friendly. There are loads of health benefits of winged beans.

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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