• 05Feb

    Sea cucumber is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of health problems, including fatigue, impotence and joint pain. Sea cucumber contains high levels of chondroitin sulfate, a major component of cartilage.

    My mil can whip up really delish sea cucumber dishes.  Her sea cucumber dishes are usually braised with pork or chicken, mushrooms, clams and chicken feet.

     

     

    Sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine for centuries – even as an aphrodisiac.  The reported health benefits of sea cucumber, however, are what attract the most interest in the U.S., although research into its the possible benefits of sea cucumber and their extract is preliminary. Consult with your doctor before taking any products made from these sea-dwelling creatures, of which some species have spikes on them.

    The Benefits of Sea Cucumber

    Sea cucumber is relatively low in calories — each 6-ounce portion contains 95 calories, or approximately 5 percent of the daily calorie intake in a standard 2,000-calorie diet. Most of its calories come from its protein content, and each serving of sea cucumber contains 22 grams of protein. As a result of its protein content, sea cucumber helps you fight off infection, maintains healthy muscles and strengthens your skin and cartilage. Sea cucumber serves as a lean source of protein, because 6 ounces of sea cucumber contains less than a gram of fat.

    “They’re not only anti-viral, anti-bacterial but sea cucumbers have been used to treat gingivitis and gum disease, “ Ty M. Bollinger, author of “Cancer: Step Outside the Box,” told Fox News.

    The sea animal, which resembles a large, spiky caterpillar, is used as an adjunct treatment for those undergoing chemotherapy because it’s very effective at mitigating the side effects of the cancer treatment, Bollinger said.

    Chemotherapy is an immunosuppressive set of drugs so it kills the cancer cells but in the meantime it kills your immune system. The properties of sea cucumber that are so fascinating is that it makes your immune system run at the perfect speed.  That’s why it’s so effective as an adjunct treatment as well as a treatment  in and of itself if people decide to use sea cucumber.

    Besides being immunomodulatory, sea cucumber is cytotoxic, meaning it kills cancer cells.

    Sea cucumber, while long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is not well known in Western medicine— even though it’s been studied for the last 15 years— because most oncologists use chemotherapy, radiation, and therapy as their primary cancer treatments.

    Sea cucumber can be cooked and eaten, as the Chinese do, or dried, made into a powder and packed into capsules to take in pill form.

    One of the fascinating things about sea cucumbers also is that it is very high in chondroitin sulfate, which you’re familiar with to treat joint pain and arthritis. Sea cucumber has the highest concentration of chondroitin sulfate of any animal.  It is used very effectively for joint pain and arthritic pain.

     

    Health Benefits of Sea Cucumbers:

    Improving Gum Disease
    Though the study was preliminary, a toothpaste made with sea cucumber extract was shown to improve healing in patients who had undergone treatment for gum disease. The toothpaste was formulated to take advantage of the sea cucumber’s wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which have been recognized both in traditional healing modalities and by modern researchers. The study, reported in the “Journal of Oral Science”, involved 28 volunteers who either brushed their teeth with sea cucumber toothpaste or with a toothpaste that was identical except for the extract. By the end of the three-month trial, patients who had gotten the sea cucumber toothpaste who used the sea cucumber toothpaste experienced a significant in bleeding, swelling and the depth of periodontal pockets when compared to the control group.

    High Protein
    Although sea cucumbers may be an unusual food, they can provide a valuable protein boost for those who need it. According to Subhuti Dharmananda, Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, sea cucumbers are higher in protein than almost any other food, except for egg whites. The Harvard School of Public Health states that people in the United States might reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by boosting their intake of protein, especially if the protein replaces refined carbohydrates in your diet. Sea cucumbers are available at Asian grocery stores.

    Wound Healing
    Eating sea cucumber or its extracts may have therapeutic effects such as speeding up wound healing. It does so by facilitating the formation of new tissues within a short time — a property that is believed to stem from the ability of a sea cucumber to regenerate its own body tissues quickly when it is injured. According to the October 2011 “Marine Drugs” study, this is believed to be facilitated by certain fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, present in sea cucumber.

    Cancer Prevention Potential
    Eating sea cucumber may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. This is because sea cucumbers contain high amounts of compounds known as triterpene glycosides, which have antitumor activity. According to a study by Chinese scientists published in August 2005 in “Cancer Biology & Therapy,” sea cucumbers also contain a compound known as philinopside E, or PE. PE inhibits the formation of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors. This suppresses the growth and proliferation of such tumors in your body.

     

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  • 22Jan

    Since last Sunday when Cass had a UTI attack, I have been boiling barley water with screwpine leaves (pandan leaves) on a daily basis.  Along with other anti-UTI drinks, I managed to treat the UTI, hopefully successfully with no more recurrence.

    Barley water is a very effective home remedy to drink when you have a Urinary Tract Infection.  Barley water also brings down the heat content in the body. In some countries, people consume barley rice during summer for its cooling properties.

     

    Barley water: 2/3 cup uncooked barley; 4 cups boiling water; 1 lemon zest & juice; 1 TBS of Agave, Pinch of cinnamon; A quart Mason jar. Rinse the barley. Put barley into mason jar. Add lemon. Add Agave. Pour boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour. Strain & enjoy. Health claims vary from a balm for digestive systems, sooth sore throats, cure UTIs, promote lactation, and to even combat high blood pressure. This is all fascinating, but I’m just making it as a cool spring/summer drink ~ Daisy:

    Here are 10 reasons to incorporate barley water into your daily diet (note: barley is not gluten free).

    UTIs: This has been used as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections in both adults and children. It also prevents strong urine odor.

    Weight loss and cholesterol maintenance: There has been research on barley water, which has shown it to be very beneficial in lowering cholesterol. It may also help keep you satiated for longer periods of time, making it a perfect tonic to include in many weight loss plans.

    A study conducted by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that the fiber that comes from barley water lowers cholesterol.

    Kidney stones: Regular consumption of lemon barley water has been recommended while flushing kidney stones. Barley is rich in magnesium, which may help to prevent kidney stones from occurring in the first place, as well as aids in flushing out toxins. The insoluble fiber in barely water can also act against gallstone formation.

    Skin health: Drinking barley water often and applying it topically on acne affected areas helps to reduce inflammation, providing a soothing effect. When applying to the skin, you’ll want a thicker formula, so opt for less water when making the mixture (you want it to be thicker like an oatmeal).

    Cardiovascular health: Fiber is extremely beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It may help to prevent atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque on the arteries.

    Detoxing: Barley water acts as a wonderful natural body cleanser, flushing toxins from the body and keeping you hydrated. Drinking lemon barley water also helps to improve immunity!

    Cooling down body temperature: This tonic helps to cool the body and in some countries, people choose to consume barley rice during the warmer summer months for its natural cooling properties.

    Digestion: Consume a glass of hot barley water everyday for better digestion and to aid in fighting constipation or feelings of nausea.

    Hydration: This is a great, healthy substitute to soda, coffee and other caffeine-laden beverages, which ultimately dehydrate the body.

    Diabetes: Magnesium has been shown to react with enzymes in the body involved in regulating insulin levels and may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

    Extra benefits include:

    Antioxidants: Great for cancer prevention and the promotion of a healthy heart.

    Vitamins: Rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin E, makes barley water a great option!

    With its many benefits, barley water is definitely an ideal beverage. It is not costly and easily available.  So reach out for a glass of barley water when you next order your drinks at the cafe and ditch the sugary drinks.

     

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  • 26Nov

    Bees make more than honey. They also make gunk called propolis. And this “bee glue” is a powerful health balm. In fact, studies show it has anti-cancer properties.

    I swear by propolis to treat throat infections and phlegm. It works all the time for my entire family. It takes away my sore throat so effectively any time I feel a tickle and why one of the primary health benefits of propolis stated by long term users is as a cold and flu tonic!

    Whenever anyone in the family is down with a throat infection, all I have to do is to prepare a Manuka honey UMF 10+ drink (1 teaspoon) and drip in 3-4 drops of propolis from the dropperful into the drink and serve this powerful concoction to the one who’s down with a strep throat two to three times in a day. Within three days of gulping down this concoction, healing will be seen.

    Propolis works effectively to bring down tooth ache and sore gums. My mum and relatives swear by this.

    Below is my precious stash of bee propolis that I bought from New Zealand last year.   One is propolis throat spray and the other is propolis extract. The latter is the potent one.

     

    Propolis throat spray will be handy when we are on the go.   For long haul flights, I put a bottle of propolis throat spray in my handbag. The soothing eucalyptus and mint flavor freshens up my breath besides keeping a throat infection at bay.

    Propolis.jpg

    Propolis (Pro-before, Polis-city = defense of the city), is the resinous substance that bees gather from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables.

    The bee gathers this and transforms it in order to disinfect the beehive, seal cracks, build panels, as well as using it as a microbiocidal agent, disinfectant and also for embalming intruders otherwise difficult to expel due to their size.

    Propolis, thus, is directly responsible for guaranteeing the asepsis of the beehives, locations prone to developing viruses and bacteria, given their conditions of temperature and humidity.

    Dr. Seema Patel of the Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, San Diego State University conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on propolis and cancer. Dr. Patel found laboratory and animal studies supporting propolis efficacy against cancers of the:

    Brain
    Pancreas
    Head and neck
    Kidney and bladder
    Skin
    Prostate
    Breast
    Colon
    Liver
    Blood
    Propolis contains as many as 300 active compounds. These components were found to fight cancer in a variety of ways including:

    Preventing the growth of new blood vessels to feed cancer cells (anti-angiogenesis)
    Preventing the spread or metastasis of cancer from one organ to another
    Halting cancer cell division
    Inducing apoptosis or programmed cell death

    Health Benefits Of Propolis

    1. Propolis Kills Bacteria
    One study investigated the anti-bacterial capabilities of bee propolis in the mouth and more specifically with regards to root canals.

    The researchers compared propolis with calcium hydroxide, which apparently is a very effective anti-microbial, and found that it is significantly more powerful than the calcium at eliminating certain germs.

    Propolis has traditionally been used to kill colds and flu so this study clearly shows that it has powerful bacteria killing properties throughout the body.

    2. Propolis Lowers Blood Pressure

    3. Propolis Helps Treat Bone Diseases

    4. Propolis Boosts Prostate Cancer Cell Death
    Scientists examined the cancer killing effects of propolis tincture on two common types of prostate cancer in the lab.

    They concluded that propolis tincture markedly improved cell death in prostate cancer cells and suggested the significant role of propolis in chemoprevention of prostate cancer.

    5. Propolis Kills Colon Cancer Cells
    The scientists then tested propolis against colon cancer cells. They found that it caused the cancer cells to die by necrosis, which means that it interrupted the blood supply to the cell and caused just the local cancer cells to die and NOT healthy, living cells.

    6. Propolis May Help Treat Food Poisoning

    7. Propolis Protects Injured Teeth

    8. Propolis an Effective Treatment for Warts

    Warning:

    If you have an allergy to honey or bees, you will also have a reaction to products containing propolis. Propolis may also cause its own allergic reaction when used for a long period of time. Talk to your doctor before adding propolis to your treatment plan, especially if you have existing allergies or asthma.

     

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  • 21Nov

    Today being a Saturday and a day where my kitchen is closed, I felt lazy to whip up a ‘proper’ lunch. Our 2 older girls have followed their grand-aunt to the shopping mall. Since it’s just Cass and me, I decided to cook a fuss-free savory meat-free oatmeal porridge.  This used to be my mum’s healthy instant meal for me too when I was growing up and I loved this comfort food.

     

    My meat-free savoury oatmeal porridge ingredients:
    5 tablespoons of oats. I used organic instant oats. If you like it thicker, add more oats. I like mine thin.
    1 egg
    A pinch of salt
    A few shakes of ground pepper
    A few shakes of organic soy sauce
    A few shakes of Japanese flavored seaweed mix
    A few shakes of sesame seed oil

    Directions:
    Boil water in saucepan
    Add in oats and stir. Be sure you are at the stove to watch the flame as the oats mixture will bubble up and spew up foam from the pot if the flame is too big.
    Add in egg and stir well
    Add seasoning.

     

    I like mine with a piece of spicy fu yue or fermented tofu to give it an extra kick!

    This fuss-free and no-frills  savory oatmeal porridge requires only 10 mins of prep time. If you like it to be more ‘fanciful’, you can throw in some minced meat, salted duck’s eggs, chopped carrots, scallions, fish slices or anything of your choice. It would be even tastier if you fry some garlic or onions to flavor this bowl of oats porridge.

    10 Reasons Why I Love Oatmeal:

    1. Low calorie food; stops cravings.
    A cup is only 130 calories! It also stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full longer. You will have less hunger and cravings.

    2. Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.
    It’s on the short list for the highest protein levels of any grain.

    3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2)

    4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
    Many studies have shown that the unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-glucan, has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels

    oatmeal mask

    5. Gluten-free safe.

    6. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.
    Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans. One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.

    7. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease.
    A study at Tufts University shows that the unique antioxidants in oatmeal called called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

    8. Protects against heart failure.
    A Harvard study on 21,000 participants over 19 years found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.

    9. Enhances immune response to disease. The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to help neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there

    10. It tastes good!
    All oats whether in flakes or groats form have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavor. This keeps them from spoiling. They have also been hulled. This process does not strip away all the bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients .

     

     

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  • 15Aug

    At the supermarket earlier this week, I bought a packet of Love Earth organic oat bran to try. I know that oats are a heart healthy cholesterol-lowering food and I try to include 3-4 tablespoons of oats into my diet everyday. I have read somewhere that the most virtuous and versatile component of the oat resides in its outer layer – which is the bran.

    Organic Oat Bran 400g [love earth] 0
    The bran contains a high content of a unique type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which bestows some remarkable health properties and is incredibly beneficial for weight loss.

    Technically, oat bran is not a whole grain (since it’s actually only one part of the oat grain). But because of its exceptionally high fiber content, it can be considered a whole grain.  A bowl of oat bran contains about 50% more fiber than the same size bowl of oatmeal, making it more effective at lowering cholesterol and in its weight loss properties. And because it is mostly fiber, oat bran has less calories than the same amount of oatmeal.  A three-quarter-cup serving of cooked oat bran contains only 66 calories, compared to 124 calories in the same amount of cooked oatmeal. Oat bran also has more antioxidants, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium, and zinc than oatmeal.

    See, oat bran is not only more nutritious, it also contains lesser calories!  I am now going to switch from oatmeal to oat bran! 🙂

    Aside from fewer calories, there are two other combined properties that make oat bran a powerfully slimming food. First, because of it high fiber content, oat bran satiates you. As soon as you ingest it, the fiber in oat bran soaks up saliva and then expands in the stomach absorbing up to 25 times its volume in liquid, making you feel quite full, quite fast. It provides a prolonged feeling of fullness, so you eat less in between meals.

    The second way that oat bran helps with weight loss is more biologically unique. It’s called intestinal caloric loss. In other words, oat bran blocks the absorption of calories from the intestine. Here’s how it works: when you eat food, it is broken down into its individual components of fatty acids, carbohydrate (glucose) and amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). The calories from these components are then absorbed into the body. But when you eat oat bran, it mixes with water in your intestine to produce a gel-like substance called bolus. The bolus absorbs some of the breakdown products, and then it is attacked by gastric juices and stomach acids that turn it into a pulp. This pulp becomes part of the stool, and thereby carries the calorie-dense components of fats, glucose, and amino acids out of the body through the stool. This process both slows down the assimilation of sugar (glucose) and removes calories from the body while keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable.

    One key to make this action more effective is to reduce or eliminate other grains in the diet, especially wheat, and put oat bran in their place.

    So how do you eat oat bran?  Here are some ideas:

    1)  Oat bran can be cooked as a hot cereal by mixing 1 part oat bran to two parts water and cooking it the same as you would cook oatmeal
    2)  Add a tablespoon or two to your yogurt, cottage cheese or a smoothie
    3)  Add it to an omelet
    4)  Bread meat, poultry, or eggplant with it
    5)  Sprinkle it on salad
    6)  Use it in place of bread crumbs when making meatloaf, meatballs and burgers
    7)  Mix it in a soup or stew
    8)  Make flourless muffins and pancakes with it

    I eat my oat bran with chilled sugar-reduced chocolate milk and that’s the only way I like it now.  Perhaps I should even secretly throw in a couple of teaspoons of oat bran into my kids’ daily fruit smoothies! I’ll bet they will hardly even notice it 😀

     

     

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  • 16Oct

    This morning I bought a bottle of organic 100% pure maple syrup from the mini mart.  I could not decide if I should buy it or otherwise as I think forking out RM34.90 for a 250ml bottle of syrup is just too expensive.  At the mini mart, I was also hunting for agave nectar (which is slightly cheaper) but it was out of stock.  In our household, we do not use white sugar.  We use healthier alternatives like agave nectar, palm sugar or organic raw brown sugar.  With no other choice, I bought the bottle of 100% pure maple syrup, simply because the new chicken recipe that I found requires maple syrup and I am very eager to try cooking this crock pot chicken drumstick cooked with maple syrup and dijon mustard.  It looks very easy to prepare and sweat-free too.

    Besides using maple syrup to cook the new chicken recipe that I have in mind, I can also drizzle some maple syrup onto my sugar-free skinny yoghurt which I take on most weekday mornings.

     

     

     

     

     

    Why is maple syrup one of the best sugar alternatives?
    This healthy sweetener is 100% natural, pure and free of any coloring or additives. Boiled down directly from tree sap, which is harvested from the maple tree towards the end of winter, pure maple syrup is an unprocessed, authentic product of nature. White sugar, for example, is typically derived from sugar cane, and processed and purified before being sold. Because maple syrup is not processed, it contains higher levels of potentially beneficial minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium and copper, making it the best sugar alternative.

    A previous study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that maple syrup contains polyphenols such as abscisic acid (ABA), which is thought to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells very much the same way berries increase sensitivity of the fat cells to insulin, which makes the syrup beneficial for those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

    Maple syrup is one of the many wonders of the world and far more than a simple sweetener. Maple syrup is not only rich in essential nutrients such as manganese as well as zinc, but 34 new beneficial compounds discovered just a few years ago have been confirmed to play a key role in human health.

     

     

     

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  • 02Sep

    I bought a jar of organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses last week.  After reading up the health benefits of blackstrap molasses, I wanted to give it a try too.

    Instead of popping iron pills for anemia every other day, I thought I might as well pop something more natural like blackstrap molasses.

    Blacsktrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements. I thought that I could try feeding Cass with this too.

    When I tried a teaspoon of blackstrap when I got home from the supermarket, I was disappointed. It tasted awful on my tongue and I do not think I can bring myself to swallow down a teaspoon of this black, thick and gooey stuff neat everyday.

    I have yet to try marinating my meats with blackstrap and then grilling them to mask the taste. I am going to try doing this one of these days. And I think I can substitute our regular Chinese thick dark sauce with blackstrap as it tastes somewhat alike.

    I will have some experiments to do in the kitchen soon and I hope that my kids won’t even be able to point out the unusual taste in their grilled chicken and dry noodles darkened with blackstrap  😉

     

     

    Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

    1)  Safe sweetener for diabetics – Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet.

    2)  Laxative qualities – Blackstrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements.

    3)  Rich in iron – Two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 13.2 percent of our RDI of iron, which our bodies need to carry oxygen to our blood cells. People who are anemic (including pregnant women) will greatly benefit from consuming 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses per day.

    4)  High in calcium and magnesium – Blackstrap molasses contains a mineral profile that has been optimized by nature for superior absorption. For example, two tablespoons of blackstrap contains 11.7 percent of our RDI of calcium and 7.3 percent of our RDI of magnesium. This calcium-magnesium ratio is ideal, since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid the growth and development of bones, making blackstrap a good safeguard against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

    5) Additional mineral content – Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant.

    6) Colon Health
    Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of calcium, which helps cleanse the colon of toxins. Calcium is often associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

    7) Good Source of Selenium
    Blackstrap molasses is a good source of selenium, providing about 5% of the DV per tablespoon. Selenium plays a key role in thyroid function, antioxidant protection, cancer prevention, cardiovascular health and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium deficiency can lead to these and other health conditions.

    8) Good Source of Vitamin B6
    One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides 7.5% the DV of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed for the immunity, the nervous system, cell formation, blood health and energy production. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

    9) Skin Health
    Testimonials claim that blackstrap molasses is great for skin health and may help to cure eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions. Blackstrap molasses contains powerful antioxidants, which are believed to contribute to good skin health and lower the risk of lines, wrinkles and other skin conditions associated with premature aging.

    With so many health benefits tagged to blackstrap, I really need to find innovative ways of concealing this syrup in the food for my kids and me! Or train my taste bud to accept it neat!

     

     

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  • 11Jul

    Cass loves eating eggs. On some days, she can eat up to 4 eggs in a day.

    Am I lucky or what? Yea, I think I am lucky that she loves eating this egg-ceptional superfood, cooked in any variety.

    Eggs are considered the “gold standard” for protein quality because their amino acids are the most digestible to humans. Eggs are also a wonderful brain-healing food, rich in B vitamins and protein.

    On most mornings, she will request for 2 half-boiled eggs. She likes it best this way, with a few shakes of pepper. Then she gulps down her cup of favorite strawberry-flavored yoghurt milk (color-free). On some mornings, she will eat her eggs with a slice or two of bread. She has a very wholesome and filling breakfast before she goes to school.

    There are several nutrients specific to the egg yolk that help promote overall health. Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. There’s also evidence that dietary choline helps with fetal brain development when pregnant women eat it. Another side benefit of a diet rich in choline is, well, happiness!

    One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system.

    Despite the hoopla of eggs being high in fat, it is the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.

    Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.

    Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least six eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.

    Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.

    So if you are fed-up with your typical kind of food for breakfast, just cook 2 hard-boiled eggs, pack them in your lunch box and eat them on the go, in school or in the office! Eggs are very affordable and they are choke-full of nutrients.

     

     

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  • 25Jun

    Since I am very much in the mood for eating oats, I did a google search on oats health benefits today.  The information that I gathered from the internet was impressive, which makes me want to eat more oats! 🙂

    Here’s what I found from some health-related websites and I have summarized the health benefits below:

    Health benefits of eating oats:

    Oats may boosts immune system
    Oatmeal’s beta-gluten fiber does more than protect your heart. Beta-gluten can also amp up our immune systems and help fight bacterial infections by helping non-specific immune cells called neutrophils (our body’s first line of defense against pathogens) quickly locate and heal infected tissues.

    Oats may help reduce cholesterol.
    Among all grains, oats have the highest proportion of soluble fibre. This gel-like fibre transits your intestinal tract and may help trap substances associated with high blood cholesterol. Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who eat just 3 g of soluble fibre per day can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 23% (remember that one cup of oats yields 4 g)!

    Oats are diabetes-friendly.
    For the same reason that the fibre in oats helps to stave off hunger, it also helps to steady the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. People with diabetes especially benefit from this awesome oat trait. Most people need about 26 g to 35 g of fibre per day, but those with diabetes need upwards of 50 g. A fibre-filled bowl of oats can provide some of the much needed nutrient. Just be sure not to tip the balance by adding too much sugar or other blood glucose-spiking toppers to your oats.

    wooden sppon in a bowl of oats

     
    Oats support healthy digestion.
    The insoluble fibre in oats scrubs through the intestines, moving food along and helping to prevent constipation. Also, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who follow a diet higher in fibre and lower in total fat may experience fewer symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn.

    Oats can shield your skin.
    At some point in human history, someone discovered how nice it felt to apply oats to dry, itchy, irritated skin. Moms have been stirring raw oats into hot baths for generations to soothe children’s chickenpox symptoms, and many people make DIY facial masks by blending oatmeal with yogurt and honey. The starchiness of oats creates a barrier that allows the skin to hold its moisture, while the rougher fibrous husk of the oat acts as a gentle exfoliant.

    Oats may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
    A study titled “Oats at 10 Years”, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, found that eating foods rich in whole-oat sources of soluble fiber (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

     

    Strawberry Rhubarb Overnight Oats

     

    Oats may help lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
    Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands pooled published evidence that covered nearly 2 million people to evaluate whether a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
    The study found that for every additional 10g of fiber in someone’s diet there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer.

    Oats may help lower blood pressure
    An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication in lowering blood pressure.

    Mango And Banana Overnight Oats

     

    Oats may prevent breast cancer
    Studies have shown that a diet rich in fiber can protect against breast cancer, particularly if the fiber comes from whole grains. A UK Women’s Cohort Study found that pre-menopausal women who ate fiber from whole grains had a 41 percent less risk of developing breast cancer, while fiber sourced from fruit only offer a 29 percent reduction rate.

    Oats are an affordable and nutrient-dense food that can be used in many ways. Beyond the breakfast bowl, oats can be added to cookies, breads, pancakes, or stuffing; sprinkled atop fruit cobblers or crumbles; plopped into a smoothie to boost its fibre and bulk; and grounded to make flour for baking. Anywhere you need a little texture, a little extra oomph, turn to oats. And oatmeal itself comes in several varieties (i.e., slower-cooking steel-cut, old-fashioned rolled oats, or quick “instant” oats) and can be dressed with fresh berries, bananas, honey, seeds, or nuts.

    Risks and precautions
    Although oats don’t contain gluten, in rare cases they are grown in the same fields as wheat or barley and these crops can sometimes contaminate oats with gluten. Therefore, those who suffer from gluten intolerance may have to exercise caution when eating oats.

    Despite all of oats’ virtues, not everyone should eat them. If you have celiac disease, be warned – though oats may not be completely off-limits, some oat products are contaminated with wheat. Check with your doctor before deciding to try oats or oatmeal.

    Oats fill you up. For all that nutritional intensity, one cup of plain, whole grain, cooked oats will only cost you 147 calories. But it’s not the calories in oatmeal that fill you up – it’s the fibre. In addition, the grain falls on the low end of the glycemic index (GI), which is a ranking of how carbohydrates affect your blood sugar levels. When you eat oats, your body will digest and absorb them slowly, keeping you feeling full, controlling your appetite, and delaying hunger pangs.

     

     

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  • 07Mar

    After fetching Cass from kindy just now, I brought the MIL to a nearby plant nursery to get some ‘chau choe’ or stink grass. She wanted to dish out a popular Hong Kong dessert consisting of mung beans + stink grass + shredded kombu seaweed.   This Hong Kong sweet soup concoction is well known to expel heat and toxins from the body.

    I do not know how the stinky grass got its moniker  but it ain’t stinky at all. Well, at least not to us. In fact, we find the smell very sharp yet fragrant.  Cass kept telling me that the stink grass smelled like pandan leaves.   My kids love the taste of it, surprisingly. I think it is an acquired taste as many years ago, they did not quite like the smell of it.

    I am unable to snap a sharp and nice picture of our mung bean sweet soup,  except for this one when it was still boiling in the pot.

     photo mungbeansoup_zps69e006b8.jpg

    This is the healthy mung bean + stink grass + kombu seaweed sweet soup that the MIL boiled today.  The picture is however googled and copied from Christine’s Recipe’s blog:

    Sweet Green Bean Soup

     

    The is the kombu seaweed.  You will need to soak the dried kombu to soften it before slicing it with a knife into shreds . Amount used is optional and up to individual.

    Seaweed02

     

    The stink grass. One of our favorite aromatic and healthy herbs to prepare ‘tong sui’ (sweet soup).  My mil used about 10 sprigs to boil a big pot of mung beans.

    Stingy Grass

     

    Mung beans are rich in the following nutrients:
    • protein
    • vitamin C
    • folic acid or folate
    • iron
    • zinc
    • potassium
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • manganese
    • phosphorus
    • thiamine

    Mung beans are also high in fibre, low in saturated fat, low in sodium, and contain no cholesterol. Because of the wide range of nutrients contained in mung beans, they offer a whole host of health benefits for the immune system, the metabolism, the heart and other organs, cell growth, protection against free radicals, and diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

    The Chinese believe that mung beans or green beans can expel heat, prevent heat stroke, clear skin, clear acne and clear toxins from the body and blood.

    Mung beans are inexpensive and very nutritious. Instead of wolfing down a packet of nasi lemak for breakfast or lunch, try to boil a pot of mung bean sweet soup and have it instead.  You can store the excess sweet soup in a container and keep it in the fridge.  It tastes even more refreshing when eaten chilled.

     

     

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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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