• 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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  • 22Jul

    The humble pumpkin is a staple item in our household.  Pumpkins are such versatile vegetables. Well, they can be labeled as a fruit too. They  are both dependent on what definition you use.  They are fruit because they are the part of the plant that contains and protects the seeds. They are vegetables because they are eaten cooked, not raw (one of the definitions) and because they belong to the vegetable kingdom.

    Everyone in our family loves pumpkin, except the littlest one but she is slowly learning to acquire the taste and texture. I am sure she will soon grow to love pumpkin too, just like our 2 older girls who didn’t like pumpkin when they were little but have grown to appreciate it now.

    Our favorite type of pumpkin is the organic Japanese pumpkin as the flesh has a very creamy and smooth texture.  We have tried other types of pumpkins but didn’t really like those as the flesh tends to melt and turns watery when cooked too long.

    Pumpkin Japanese (Organic) 500g

     

    Here are some key points about pumpkin:

    • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
    • Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
    • The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
    • The antioxidants and vitamins contained within pumpkins could prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
    • Pumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
    • According to the USDA National Nutrient database, one cup of pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained and without salt contains 49 calories, 1.76 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and 12 grams of carbohydrate (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar).

    Pumpkin Queso Fundido

     

    Here are some of the possible health benefits of pumpkin

    1) Keep eyesight sharp
    Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange color, including beta-carotene, which the body converts into a form of vitamin A for additional peeper protection.

    2) Aid weight loss
    Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.

    3) May reduce cancer risk
    Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    One particular type of cancer where research has shown a positive benefits of a diet rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

    4) Protect our skin
    The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free.

    5) Good for your heart
    Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.

    Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

    6) Fertility
    For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets appear to promote fertility, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

    7) Protect Your Package
    Pumpkins, especially the seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health.

    In the early twentieth century, people used pumpkin seeds to treat enlarged prostate symptoms. They contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may help shrink the prostate.

    8) Pumpkin seeds treat intestinal worms
    Pumpkin seeds can also help your body get rid of nasty gut parasites that can make you sick, according to registered pharmacist Debbie Edson in Living Well Magazine. They have traditionally been used for this purpose by Native Americans. Even today, pumpkin seeds are used to treat tapeworms in some parts of Africa.

    There are many interesting ways of incorporating pumpkins into your diet. Pumpkins are so choke-full of nutrients, they taste delish and  are inexpensive. I like my pumpkin roasted, steamed, braised, added into breads and buns and I heart pumpkin desserts and pumpkin chips! I just Googled ‘pumpkin recipes’ and in 0.62 seconds, 17,100,000 search results popped up!

     

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  • 25May

    I never knew that papaya seeds can be eaten and can offer several potential health benefits until I read it in my friend, Jacqueline Koay’s blog and Facebook posting.  Jacq is a gynecologist by profession and her partner is a heart surgeon. Both of them reside in the UK. I love reading her inspirational articles on life, marriage, recipes and health.

    Did you know that papaya seeds are one of the strongest nature’s medicines that kill most types of parasites?

    The seeds from the papaya fruit have anti-helminthic and anti-amoebic properties, meaning they kill intestinal worms and other parasites in our digestive system.

    Uses For Papaya Seeds

     

    How To Eat Papaya Seeds?

    There are many ways to get the papayas seeds down. Some dry the seeds, then grind them and make  smoothie  out of them which tastes horrible as papaya seeds are spicy. For some, they swallow the seeds whole, no horrible taste and let your stomach acids break them down.  I eat the papaya seeds together with the papaya flesh to mask the bitterness and slight peppery taste of the seeds.

     

    How many seeds should one take?

    An average of 10 to 20 as taking too many can cause problems as some people are actually allergic to papayas. It is best to take them with your meal twice a day, preferably the morning and evening meal. You need to take them for a minimum of 7 days, better to do it for 10 days. Then one week later do it again for 7 to 10 days as we want to not only kill the parasites but also their eggs.   During this time, it is advisable to consume extra high fiber foods such as whole wheat bread, beans, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as these high fiber foods help produce more bulk in the large colon and help carry out the dead parasites at a faster pace.

    A 2007 study of 60 Nigerian children with strong evidence of intestinal parasites showed an over 75% clearance rate of infection in just seven days. This was after receiving a 20 ml dose of papaya seed extract.

    The researchers said, “papaya seeds are efficacious in treating human intestinal parasites and without significant side effects.”

     

    Other Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

    Liver Disease – Papaya Seeds contain vital nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver. Take 5 or 6 dried Papaya Seeds and grind them up or crush them and take them with food or juice, especially lime juice, do this every day for 30 days. And some people have amazing results healing liver cirrhosis with Papaya Seeds. 

    Plus the Japanese believe that taking a teaspoon of Papaya Seeds everyday can protect the liver from disease. 

    Detoxing – Eating just a small amount of fresh Papaya Seeds can detox the liver. Eat a small amount everyday. 

    Antibacterial – A small amount of Papaya Seeds also kill bacteria such as E. Coli, Staph, and Salmonella and work well for food poisoning cases. 

    Viral Infections – Papaya Seeds also work as a good anti-viral agent helping to heal viral infections. 

    Dengue Fever – Papaya Seeds have been used extensively in Costa Rica for Dengue Fever infections.

    Cancer – Papaya Seeds contain agents that stop the growth of cancer cells and tumors. Papaya Seeds contain isothiocyanate which works well for colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancer.

    Anti-Inflammatory – Papaya Seeds are anti-inflammatory making them great for arthritis, joint disease, swelling, pain, and redness. 

    Pepper Substitute – Some people dry Papaya Seeds and use them in their pepper grinder. They are peppery in flavor with a little bit of a bitterness. But once you get used to the flavor they are a nice substitute for pepper. 

    Kidney Disease – At the University of Karachi they found that Papaya Seeds can be used for treating kidney disease and preventing renal failure and works especially great for poisoning related kidney disease. 

     

    Overall, papaya fruit, leaves and seeds have healing properties and have amazing health benefits. 

    The next time you slice a papaya, be sure to keep some of the seeds for consumption instead of discarding all of them!

     

     

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  • 06Mar

    When I saw a friend drinking tumblers after tumblers of plain water with tiny seeds floating in the water, I asked her what it was. It reminded me of the ‘tadpoles’ drink that my school tuckshop used to sell over 30 years ago.  We used to call the rose syrup drink tadpoles drink as the seeds indeed looked like tiny tadpoles!  My friend then told me that the seeds were Chia seeds and they are a super food.  Chia seeds can be bought from organic shops and they are not very costly. Today I Google searched Chia seeds and the findings I got on it are pretty impressive.  The next time I go to the organic shop, I will definitely get 2 packets of Chia seeds – 1 for our household and another for my parents.

    Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanica seed is often sold under its common name “chia” as well as several trademarked names. Its origin is believed to be in Central America where the seed was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet. The seeds of a related plant, Salvia columbariae (golden chia), were used primarily by Native Americans in the southwestern United States.

    Chia seeds have recently gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They are also an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

    Emerging research suggests that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. However, there are not many published studies on the health benefits of consuming chia seeds and much of the available information is based on animal studies or human studies with a small number of research participants.

    This fiber content also helps normalize blood glucose levels by slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.

    Chia seeds contain respectable concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
    Chia seeds are extremely nutrient-dense, with one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any known food!

    How to Eat Chia Seeds
    Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, rice, yogurt or vegetables. In Mexico, a dish called chia fresco is made by soaking chia seeds in fruit juice or water. Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water making it easy to mix them into cooked cereal or other dishes.
    The seeds are not the only important part of the chia plant; the sprouts are also edible. Try adding them to salads, sandwiches and other dishes.

    Chia Egg

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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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