• 23Jan

    Being an anemia patient, I give priority to fruits and foods rich in iron. One of the fruits high in iron content is the red dragon fruit.

    Like other fruits, the dragon fruit is low in calories and a good source of essential nutrients you need for good health.

     

    Dragon Fruit Fun Facts

    Dragon fruits have a surprising number of phytonutrients. Rich in antioxidants, they contain vitamin C (equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, phosphorus, fiber and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein. Calcium is present for strong bones and teeth, iron and phosphorus for healthy blood and tissue formation. The benefits are realized in a number of ways, from a strengthened immune system and faster healing of bruises and wounds to fewer respiratory problems.

    Dragon fruits are proven to lower blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure, strengthen bones and teeth, promote healthy blood and tissue formation, strengthen the immune system, heal bruises and wounds faster and prevent respiratory problems.

    Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can be more easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamin) and other B vitamins. The phytochemical captin, used as a medication to treat heart problems, is present in the fruit itself, and an oil in the seed operates as a mild laxative.

    The seeds of dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Eating dragon fruit can help the body maintain such normal function as ridding the body of toxic heavy metals and improved eyesight. Lycopene, responsible for the red color in dragon fruit, has been shown to be linked with a lower prostate cancer risk.

    Natural Mystic dragon fruit vine plant Pitaya hylocereus - Click Image to Close

    Good for Bones and Blood

    With its calcium and iron content, the dragon fruit is also good for your bones and blood. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations considers dragon fruit a fruit of “high nutritional value” due to its calcium content. One small fruit meets 1 percent of the daily value. The dragon fruit is an even better source of iron, meeting 8 percent of the daily value.

    However, consume dragon fruit in moderation because it contains fructose, which may be harmful to your health, if taken in excessive amounts.

     

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  • 21Oct

    Lemons are my besties in the kitchen. They are one  of the staples that are always available in my refrigerator.  I drink lemon juice several times in a week, use the juice to marinate meats and dab the juice on my face. Lemon juice is a natural astringent.

    The health benefits of lemons are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A,vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium,zinc, phosphorus and protein.

    Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

    Lemons contain pectin fibre which is extremely valuable for colon well-being. Lemons also have effective antibacterial properties.

    The fragrance of lemon can likewise repulse mosquitoes, while drinking lemon juice with olive oil serves to dispose of gall stones.

     

     

     

    Lemons contain an acidic juice which stimulates our body to become more alkaline.

    Reasons to include lemons in your diet:

    1. Improves liver function
    2. Reduces symptoms of colds and other viruses
    3. Stimulates bowel moment and cleanses the bowel
    4. Reduces acidity in the bladder, thus prevents UTIs
    5. The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture.
    6. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of the skin.
    7. Improves digestion. Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.
    8. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of citrus fruits may lower ischemic stroke risk for women.

    Adding lemon juice to your favorite recipes is relatively easy. Roast chicken cooked with lemon instead of stuffing becomes deliciously tender and aromatic.

    Boil barley and make your own lemon and barley water. Squeeze the juice of  lemon over your salad, chicken, fish or seafood. Try a slice of lemon with your tea.

    You can even clean with lemons. Just add to vinegar as a great kitchen cleaner. Or slice up some lemons and pop them into your microwave oven, set to cook mode for a minute and wipe down the microwave oven. I love popping sliced lemons into the oven and bake them for several minutes to get rid of odour.

    Potential health risks of consuming lemons

    Those with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit; however, individual reactions vary.

    It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

     

     

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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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  • 14Apr

    The El Nino heatwave is at its height now. The weather is sizzling hot and dry every single day, with temperatures ranging from 37 – 40 degrees Celsius.

    Cooling fruits such as cantaloupe, pineapple and pear tend to be my choice of fruits these days, along with my favorite orange and apple.   Snacking on cool and juicy fruits on such hot days is really refreshing and sure douses the ‘heatiness’ in our body.

    Here’s one of the smoothies that I made last week-

    Cantaloupe + red apple + orange + chia seeds + fresh coconut water smoothie.

    While the girls had cantaloupe smoothie, I tossed in a few slices of beet root into my Blendtec blender.

     

    Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons and Persian melons.

    Cantaloupes have a very pleasant aroma and are delicious. Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants including choline, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, all of which provide protection against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer.

     

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    Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

    1) Age-related macular degeneration
    The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in cantaloupe, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.

     

    2) Asthma
    The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, found in yellow and orange fruits like cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Vitamin C is another important nutrient that may protect against asthma and is found in abundance in cantaloupe,2 as well as citrus and tropical fruits.

     

    3) Healthy Skin
    Cantaloupes are chock-full of beta-carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin-A. The best part about dietary beta-carotene, instead of supplements, is that there is no chance for overdose or vitamin-A toxicity, because the body only converts as much as it needs; the rest remains as beta-carotene to fight diseases as antioxidants. But the amount that turns into vitamin-A enters the skin and stimulates the membrane of skin cells and increasing regrowth and repair. This protects that membrane into the body against harmful toxins that prematurely age the skin. Vitamin-A cream is also used as a salve for irritation and redness on the skin, due to its naturally soothing qualities.

     

    4) Diabetes
    Although human testing is not as widespread as it should be, early studies show cantaloupe to be connected with improved insulin metabolism, which means a more stable fluctuation of blood sugar, preventing the dangerous spikes and plunges of blood sugar all that diabetics fear. It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress on the kidneys, which can prevent a number of kidney-related diseases.

     

    5) Digestion
    Cantaloupes are high in both fiber and moisture, thus helps to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

     

    6) Hydration
    With its high water and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is a great snack to have on hand on hot days.

     

    Potential health risks of consuming cantaloupe
    It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is advisable to follow a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

    Be sure to wash and scrub the outside surface of a cantaloupe thoroughly before cutting to decrease the risk of harmful bacteria like Salmonella transferring to the flesh of the melon.

    Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as cantaloupe should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.

    Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional.

     

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  • 03Sep

    I have been eating my fruits on an empty stomach in the morning for almost 20 years. My ex-colleague was the one who introduced this health regime to me. Sure enough, after following this fruit-eating on empty stomach routine for weeks, I felt the difference in my health. And so I have been religiously doing this since 1996, everyday of my life, even when I had to travel overseas or was stuck in the hospital with Cass.

     

    But now health experts are saying that eating fruits on empty stomach is a myth. These experts are saying that fruits can be eaten at any time and it can be eaten along with other foods.  The body produces digestive enzymes for protein, fat, and carbohydrates which help it to digest mixed meals. Besides, since the stomach has a high concentration of hydrochloric acid, bacteria is killed before it is able to reproduce, so fermentation cannot take place in the stomach.  If we could not digest mixed meals, we would not even be able to digest most foods since most foods are a combination of nutrients. For example, even vegetables like green beans and broccoli are a mix of carbohydrate and protein.

    Whatever claim there is on eating fruits, I still prefer to eat my fruits on an empty stomach.  My kids do that too and we have been practising this for many years.   What food is good for you and what food is bad for you keeps changing. Decades ago, coconut oil was the bane to our health. Now, coconut oil is touted as a super food!  Similarly, years ago, we were advised to choose margarine over butter. Now, it is the other way round!

    If you have an elderly Chinese relative  living with you, I’ll bet she / he will digress and say that fruits is too ‘leong’ or cooling for the body and should be eaten after food.

    My take is – do whatever makes your body feel good. You can try both methods and compare the effects and then stick to one that you are comfortable with.

     

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  • 12Mar

    A few days before CNY last month, we were at Cold Storage at Gardens, Mid Valley and saw a promotion on freshly juiced pomegranate juice. The pomegranates were flown in from Turkey.  There were a few Turkish representatives at the booth to promote the fruit.  There was a really long bee line of customers waiting to buy the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.  Though priced at RM12.99 a bottle, many people did not mind the price, including us!  I first bought 2 bottles and when the MIL saw them, she followed suit and bought 2 bottles herself.  The juice was really sweet, pure and fresh.  Each bottle consisted of about 2-3 whole pomegranates.

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    Cass could not wait to grab her bottle of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and drank it immediately.

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    Health Benefits of Pomegranates:

    The pomegranate is known as a superfood. Its jewel-like seeds (arils) have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins, this ruby-red fruit has been shown to be a cure-all for just about any ailment. It helps stomach upsets, menopausal hot flashes, hemorrhoids, conjunctivitis, osteoarthritis, lowers blood pressure, stimulates the immune system, wards off the flu, reduces inflammation, reduces risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol.

    The peel is good for the heart and blood vessels; the white membrane is good for stopping diarrhea and good for wounds and ulcers of the mouth and throat. The fruit also strengthens the brain, cleanses the body and blood from toxins, and is very good at expelling worms from the intestines.

    Pomegranates keep you young too. Chinese herbology cites pomegranate juice as a longevity treatment. And thanks to the pomegranate’s antioxidant extracts, modern science and the cosmetics industry agree that topical application of products containing the ruby red fruit can keep wrinkles at bay. Pomegranate-tinged anti-aging creams, massage oils, masques and toners are readily available these days.

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  • 24Dec

    I love eating mangosteens.  Mangosteen is a superfruit that contains a rich nutrient base along with the potential impact for lowering risk against various diseases. Mangosteens are also considered a ‘cooling’ fruit and many people will eat this fruit after eating durian – the king of fruit, to expel ‘heatiness’ from the body.

    The flesh of fresh mangosteens is very white. However, sometimes among the white flesh, the flesh in some segments have a coating of yellowish slimy paste.  Whenever I see this yellow paste, I will throw the entire mangosteen away. I wonder what the yellowish coating is and if it is detrimental to our health.

    Would you eat the other segments of the mangosteen if a few segments have this yellow coating? Or you eat the yellowish flesh as well?

    little-models-026.jpg

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  • 10Jul

    In the recent years, mangosteens have been over-rate and touted as one of the world’s top Super Foods, citing it as amongst the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. One of these life-enhancing antioxidants is found in Mangosteen pericarp and is called Xanthone.

    Some of the claimed health benefits of eating mangosteen:
    Anti-viral
    Anti-bacterial
    Free radical fighter
    Cardio support
    Immune system Enhancer
    Powerful antioxidant
    Skin rashes, infections and wounds
    Diarrhea
    Anti-inflammatory
    Vasorelaxant

    Whether mangosteens are the acclaimed super food or not, all of us in the family love eating mangosteens. We normally grab a bag of mangosteens after buying durians. This is because mangosteens are believed to be ‘cooling’ for the body and durians are ‘heaty’. Thus eating mangosteens after eating durians may balance the yin and yang of the body, by expelling some ‘heatiness’ from the body.

    While I love eating mangosteens (minus breaking them up), I find that the seeds of the mangosteen rather irritating. In the past, I used to spit out the seeds until recently, where I chew them together with the flesh and swallow everything down. I find that if I keep spitting out the seeds, I would have nothing much to eat! Since mangosteens are considered a super food, I guess there is no harm in swallowing the seeds too. But just the other day, as I was eating mangosteens and chewing the seeds too, it just dawned on me whether it is safe to eat the seeds too. I know that the seeds of certain fruits (like lime) are toxic to the body. For mangosteen, I am unable to find much information on whether the seeds are harmful to the human body.

    I wish to seek an answer and hope someone can enlighten me.

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  • 05Jan

    My mum is one of the healthiest 60 something year old woman I have ever known. Everything that goes into her mouth are healthy, bland in taste (as very little seasonings are used) and many are home-grown. Her dishes are mostly steamed with very little soy sauce and salt… if she cooks her own food.   When we were back at my parents’ in Ipoh during the school holidays, she prepared some healthy beverages for us with her Nakada beverage maker and Breville juicer.

    This is a multi-grain and seed beverage, consisting of black sesame seeds, walnuts, ground flax seed, Job’s tears, barley, millet, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a dash of brown sugar.

    The product…. iLike it!! It’s tasty in both ways – hot or cold. It fills you up with the good carbs and fibre. Excellent for kids and adults.

    Beet root, carrot, green apple, cucumber and celery juice…

    The Vampire girls loving their ‘bloody juice’!

    My mum’s expensive Breville juicer…. yet she is contemplating to buy an even more productive and effective juicer which costs over RM2k – a juicer that allows you to dump the whole fruit in and everything, including the skin, core and seeds will be juiced till they are dry! And if she does buy that RM2k++ juicer, I will be the happy beneficiary of this Breville juicer kekekeke….

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  • 16Oct

    There is this lady which sells organic veggie and fruits at the park near where I stay. She only goes there twice a week. Each time she comes, housewives and grandmas will flock her small stall at the pavement. Sometimes she will sell packets of mulberries. Sometimes she will blend the organic mulberries with sugar cane that she plants in her farm and sell the bottled juice, which will be all snapped up in a jiffy.  Whenever my mil is staying with us, she will buy mulberries from this lady and boil them with rock sugar as the mulberries are very sour. The boiled mulberries taste a tad like Ribena. I am a huge fan of berries of all kinds as I know how powerful they are in antioxidants and vitamins but I didn’t quite like mulberries, which are pretty sour if eaten raw. Since I am really into juice-making recently, I bought a packet of mulberries and blended them together with apples, oranges and carrots – all these of which are naturally very sweet. The juice turned out very refreshing and not sour at all. And my girls and big boss loved it!

    Food For Thought:

    Cancer Prevention
    Mulberries are a good source of resveratrol, a potent phytonutrient also found in grapes that researchers believe can prevent cancer and aid in the fight of existing cancers.

    Life Extension
    Because of their resveratrol content, mulberries may be a tool in one’s life extension arsenal, as resveratrol has shown in several studies to extend the life of mice.

    Blood Tonic
    In Chinese medicine, mulberries are considered a blood tonic, meaning that they cleanse the blood and increase its production, strengthening the entire system.

    Kidney Strengthener
    In Chinese medicine, mulberries are believed to strengthen the kidneys.

    Liver Cleanser
    In Chinese medicine, mulberries are believed to be effective in cleansing the liver.

    Better Hearing and Vision
    In China, tea made with mulberry paste is believed to strengthen one’s hearing and vision.

    Constipation Cure
    In Turkey, a treatment for constipation is to eat white mulberries on an empty stomach with a glass of water.

    Anemia Treatment
    Because they are quite high in iron, mulberries are a great food to use in the treatment of anemia.

    Cold and Flu Treatment
    In Turkey, mulberry molasses is used as a treatment for colds and flu. Their effectiveness in this way may be due to their high vitamin C content.

    Premature Gray Hair Remedy
    In several countries, mulberries are considered an effective remedy for prematurely gray hair.


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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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