• 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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  • 23Apr

    Today we met up with some close family friends for lunch. Over lunch, our friend, a man in his early seventies casually told us how he managed to bring his cholesterol level down naturally by consuming raw green capsicum for dinner every night.  I was intrigued to hear that and this is what I am planning to do now to bring down my cholesterol level.

    To recap, I was diagnosed with genetic high cholesterol in June last year.  I managed to bring down the reading from 6.4 to 5.8 after 8 months of altering my diet. I also include Izumio hydrogenated water and carotenoid supplement (Super Lutein) in my diet everyday.

    Capsicum is not something that I would buy on a regular basis as it is not my favorite kind of vegetable. I dislike the pungent taste. But oh well, snacking on raw capsicum is definitely way better than popping statin.  Whether I like it or not, I will have to give it a try. I have nothing to lose by including this bell shaped peppers into my diet.

    Apart from imparting flavor and attractiveness to bland dishes, bell peppers are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, carotenoids and dietary fiber which makes them immensely beneficial for the overall good health. Bell peppers also have vitamin B6 and folate that help to lower homocysteine levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

    Some of the health benefits of bell peppers are given below:

    1)  Cardiovascular Benefits

    Red bell peppers are rich in lycopene, thus making them excellent for a healthy heart whereas green bell peppers are a good source of cholesterol lowering fiber. Increased homocysteine levels can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folate which help to lower homocysteine levels. In addition to these, the powerful antioxidants vitamins A and C present in these vegetables help to wipe out free radicals. Potassium contained in bell peppers lowers about 162 milligrams of blood pressure which is also beneficial for heart.

     

    2)  Anti-Cancer Benefits

    Being rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, bell pepper provides several anti-cancer benefits. The risk of cancer increases due to chronic excessive inflammation and chronic unwanted oxidative stress. These factors can be offset with regular intake of phytonutrients having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, bell peppers also contain health supportive sulphur compounds. The enzymes in bell pepper help to prevent gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. The carotenoid lycopene is found to be effective in the prevention of prostate, bladder, cervix and pancreas cancer.

     

    3)  Burns more Calories

    Red bell peppers help in activating thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate. Capsaicin which is responsible for increasing the hotness of other peppers is found in bell peppers in very small amounts. Thus, they have a mild thermogenic action that increases the metabolism without increasing the heart rate and blood pressure unlike hot peppers. Hence, they can support weight loss.

    4)  Good for Eyes:

    Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers help to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. They are a rich source of a carotenoid called lutein that helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes. Macular degeneration of eyes is the most common cause of age related visual loss. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C

     

    5) Reduce Risk Of Diabetes And Obesity

    A new research has claimed that eating yellow and red bell peppers, commonly known as capsicum, can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.

    The study shows that yellow and red bell peppers slowed down the digestion of carbohydrates and lipids which in turn reduce the chances of developing hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia.

    In the study, the scientists examined the impact of the bell peppers on nutrition digestive enzymes-carbohydrate cleaving enzyme alpha- glucosidase and lipid-slicing enzyme pancreatic lipase.

    They found that yellow capsicum inhibited the activity of alpha-glucosidase and lipase as compared to green capsicum.

    Capsicum - Chocolate Beauty

    6)  Cures Iron Deficiency

    Red bell peppers provide almost 300 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is essential for the proper absorption of iron. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency should consume red peppers.

     

    7)   Benefits of Capsaicin

    Capsaicin is found in the white membranes of peppers which is responsible for imparting heat to the seeds as well. It lowers the cholesterol levels and triglycerides. It kills the ulcer causing bacteria in the stomach and boosts immunity.

     

    8)  Enhances Hair Growth & Health

    Applying bell pepper on hair can be effective in triggering hair growth through the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. Boil a few dry red bell peppers in water and leave it for 5 to 6 minutes. After cooling it, massage it on your scalp with the help of a cotton pad and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash off the hair. This should be done twice a week for best results. The spiciness of bell pepper enhances the growth and health of the hair.

     

    9) Fights Oxidative Damage

    Red, green and yellow bell peppers are rich in vitamin C which helps in the production of collagen. Collagen keeps the skin firm and protects the cells from further damage. It increases the ability of the skin to fight against oxidative damage.

     

    10)  Reverses Signs of Ageing

    Consumption of bell pepper juice helps in reversing the signs of ageing due to its high antioxidant levels. Bell peppers protect the skin from damage-causing free radicals, thus promoting healthy and younger looking skin.

     

    11)  Clears Skin Blemishes & Rashes

    A mixture of carrot and green bell pepper juice can be very effective in clearing blemishes and rashes on the skin.

    I’ll bet you never knew what capsicums can do for your health. So the next time you go grocery shopping, pop some capsicums into your shopping cart and start reaping their wholesome health benefits!

     

     

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  • 21Mar

    If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, are obese or are a heavy drinker (alcoholism), your liver is at risk.   If you have these conditions, you will most likely have fatty liver.

    Fatty liver, or steatosis, is a term that describes the buildup of fat in the liver. While it’s normal to have some fat in your liver, more than 5 to 10 percent of your liver weight is fat in the case of fatty liver.  Fatty liver is a reversible condition that can be resolved with changed behaviors. It often has no symptoms and typically does not cause permanent damage.

    Excess fat can cause liver inflammation. If your liver becomes inflamed, you may have a poor appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, weakness and confusion.

    As I have genetic high cholesterol, my liver is at risk of being fatty and inflamed.  To reduce putting the stress on my liver, I have reduced my meat intake and increased my fruits (especially grapefruit, which cleanses the liver) and vegetables intake.  And of course, I drink extra packets of Izumio hydrogen water everyday to help bring down my cholesterol reading.  Hydrogen is an antioxidant that zaps free radicals  from the body and it nourishes the liver and kidneys.

    My latest addition to nourish my liver  is beet root.

    One of the most common and effective natural liver detoxifiers is the beet. Beets have been used to fight liver toxins and to increase the overall level of health of individuals for many years, and they can be easily integrated into one’s diet to keep the liver working at an optimal level.  Beets also purify the blood.

    Beets are beneficial to one’s health for many reasons as they are a high-antioxidant vegetable that contains a number of important substances, including: betaine, betalains, fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin.

    Pectin, which is a fiber found in beets, can also help clean the toxins that have been removed from the liver, allowing them to be flushed out of the system instead of reabsorbed by the body. Because of this property, many medical professionals encourage individuals to eat beets raw without juicing them, so that these fibers can be ingested as completely as possible. This is not difficult, as they can be baked, grated, or roasted as well as eaten alone or incorporated into other dishes.

    I like tossing a few chunks of raw beet root into my fruit smoothie.

    My smoothie today consists of apples, oranges and beet root.

     

    Beetroot is a good source of silica needed for the utilization of calcium in the body and for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.

     

    Who should eat beetroot?

     

    • Anyone with high cholesterol or wishing to reduce their risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes
    • Anyone wishing to support their body’s detoxification system and increase liver cleansing
    • Those wishing to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer
    • Menopausal women or women wishing to promote menstruation
    • Those with constipation

     

     

    Apart from having a choke-full of vitamins, minerals and cleansing properties, beet roots are nature’s Viagra!  Seriously!  The ancient Romans used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac and it’s backed by science.  Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

    Nuff said, right?  Beet roots are a health powerhouse, taste good, prevent cancer, detoxify the liver and increase one’s libido!  Sign me up!  Beets will be a staple in my fridge from now onwards!

     

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  • 22Feb

    Did you know that arrowroot remains an important and effective remedy for many different health conditions? It can be used as a replacement in many foods, rather than flour or corn. Essentially arrowroot powder can be a healthier alternative to the more common cooking ingredients for breads, pastas, and cakes.

    Arrowroot is also gluten-free, which makes it all the more valuable today with the rising incidence of Celiac disease in many countries.

    Arrowroot is a plant. People use starch taken from the root and rhizome (underground stem) to make medicine.

    Arrowroot is used as a nutritional food for infants and for people recovering from illness. It is also used for stomach and intestinal disorders, including diarrhea.

    Some people sooth painful gums and sore mouth by applying arrowroot directly to the affected area. Babies cut teeth on arrowroot cookies.

    In foods, arrowroot is used as an ingredient in cooking. Arrowroot is often replaced with cheaper starches, including potato, corn, wheat, or rice starch.

    There is some scientific evidence that arrowroot may help lower cholesterol in the body.

    Arrowroot

    Health benefits of arrowroot

    • Arrowroot is very low in calories; 100 fresh roots carries just 65 calories; less than that of potato, yam, cassava, etc. Its chief starch compose of amylopectin (80%) and amylose (20%). Its powder is fine, odorless, granular starch that is found utility in the food industry as thickener and stabilizing agent.
    • It has relatively more protein than that of other tropical food sources like yam, potato, cassava, plantains, etc.
    • As in other roots and tubers, arrowroot too is free from gluten. Gluten-free starch is used in special food preparations for celiac disease patients.
    • Fresh roots indeed are good source of folates. 100 g arrowroot provides 338 µg or 84% of daily required levels of folates. Folate, along with vitamin B-12, is one of the essential components that take part in the DNA synthesis and cell division. Diet rich in folate when given during preconception periods and during pregnancy may help prevent neural-tube defects and other congenital malformations in the offspring.
    • Arrowroot contains very good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Many of these vitamins take part as substrates for enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism in the body.
    • Further, it contains moderate levels of some important minerals like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. In addition, it is an excellent source of potassium (454 mg per 100g or 10% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

     

     

    arrowrootinfo

    Photo credits: OrganicFacts.net

     

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  • 19Oct

    One of my favorite herbs is dill. I love the pleasant and unique aromatic smell of dill. I use it in my roast meats and in bolognese sauces.   This herb is pretty costly at our local supermarkets. A small punnet of a few sprigs of dill costs over RM6. My next project is to plant my very own dill in used plastic bottles or empty milk cartons at our tiny condo balcony!

    My grilled herb and lemon chicken with dill.

    Dill weed is a unique perennial herb with pleasant anise-like flavor. Its sprigs (leaves) as well as seeds are employed as seasoning in various cuisines worldwide. Dill is the member in the Umbelliferae family, a large group of flowering herbs and spices that also includes caraway, parsley, cumin, fennel, etc.

     

    The Vision-Boosting, Infection-Killing Herb

    Health benefits of dill

    The health benefits of dill include its ability to boost digestive health, as well as provide relief from insomnia, hiccups, diarrhea, dysentery, menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders, and cancer. It is also good for oral care, and can be a powerful boost for your immune system and can protect you from bone degradation. It is also an anti-inflammatory substance, which means that it can protect you against arthritis. Furthermore, it can reduce excess gas, and is considered a carminative (i.e. can relieve flatulence).

    Dill  contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.

    This popular herb contains no cholesterol and is very low in calories. Nonetheless, it holds many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine, etc., and dietary fibers, which help in controlling blood cholesterol levels.

    Dill is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, liver problems, and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination.

    Other uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders.

    Dill seed is sometimes applied to the mouth and throat for pain and swelling (inflammation).

    Dill leaves (sprigs) and seeds carry many essential volatile oils such as d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin.

    The essential oil, Eugenol in the dill has been in therapeutic usage as local-anesthetic and anti-septic. Eugenol has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. (Further detailed studies, however, require to establish its role.)

    Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant, galactagogue (helps breast milk secretion), and sedative properties.

    It is also rich in many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, ß-carotene, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum metabolism inside the human body.

    Vitamin-A, and beta carotene are natural flavonoid antioxidants. 100 g of dill weed sprigs provide 7718 IU or 257% of recommended-daily levels of vitamin A.

    Fresh dill herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C.  100 g contain about 85 mg or 140% of vitamin C. Vitamin-C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

    Dill weed is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.   Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

    Dill herb has all the characters to consider it has one of the most valuable functional foods. 100 g of dill weed provides only 43 calories, but its phyto-nutrients profile is no less than any other high-calorie food source; be it nuts, pulses, cereals, or meat group.

     

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  • 08Oct

    Broccoli has recently topped the list of favorite veggies for my girls. We have it for dinner 2-3 times in a week. I normally blanch the broccoli in boiling water with a little salt and oil.  They love it cooked this way, which is not too hard, not soft and mushy, slightly salty and slightly oily. I buy only organic broccoli as I have read that regular grown broccolis are  adulterated with high content of pesticides.

    Here are some of the ways that I’ve paired broccoli with our dinner…

     

     

    Did you know that broccoli has high content of protein? Broccoli probably isn’t the first food you think of when you’re searching for sources of protein, but it does provide protein without any fat. It’s also a rich source of vitamins A and C and you can’t say that about most animal-based proteins. Paired with other foods that fill-in any missing amino acids, broccoli makes a healthy contribution to your daily protein requirements.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

     

    What’s the skinny on broccoli?

    Love It or Hate It… Broccoli is Good for You!

    1. Cancer Prevention

    Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.

    Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

    2. Cholesterol Reduction

    Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body.

    3. Reducing Allergy Reaction and Inflammation

    Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well know as an anti-inflammatory.

    4. Powerful Antioxidant

    Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

    5. Bone Health

    Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

    6. Heart Health

    The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

    7. Detoxification

    Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin are special phytonutrients that support all steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants. These three are in the perfect combination in broccoli. Broccoli also contains isothiocyanates (which you read about in inflammation) which help control the detox process at a genetic level.

    8. Diet Aid

    Broccoli is a smart carb and is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

    9. Alkalizes Your Body

    Like many vegetables, broccoli helps keep your whole body less acidic, which has a host of health benefits.

    I can have a dinner of just broccoli and a vegetables soup. It can fill me up till the next morning, after my 26-lap swim in the pool 🙂

     

     

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  • 12May

    My 3 kids love kimchi, I kid you not! Do your kids like the tanginess of the kimchi?   I have not seen many kids who can stomach this spicy and sour pickled veggies but my kids ace through it, though they would be gulping down cups after cups of water afterwards (drinking lots of water is good!).  They even love kimchi soup and even 7-year old Cass loves the piquant taste of kimchi.

    On Mother’s Day last Sunday, we had Korean BBQ and this plate of spicy kimchi was superb in taste and texture. I especially love the pickled radish.   My kids loved it too.

     

    Article extracted from US National Library of Medicine:

    Kimchi is a traditional Korean food manufactured by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Many bacteria are involved in the fermentation of kimchi, but LAB become dominant while the putrefactive bacteria are suppressed during salting of baechu cabbage and the fermentation. The addition of other subingredients and formation of fermentation byproducts of LAB promote the fermentation process of LAB to eventually lead to eradication of putrefactive- and pathogenic bacteria, and also increase the functionalities of kimchi.

    Accordingly, kimchi can be considered a vegetable probiotic food that contributes health benefits in a similar manner as yogurt as a dairy probiotic food. Further, the major ingredients of kimchi are cruciferous vegetables; and other healthy functional foods such as garlic, ginger, red pepper powder, and so on are added to kimchi as subingredients.

    As all of these ingredients undergo fermentation by LAB, kimchi is regarded as a source of LAB; and the fermentative byproducts from the functional ingredients significantly boost its functionality. Because kimchi is both tasty and highly functional, it is typically served with steamed rice at every Korean meal.

    Health functionality of kimchi, based upon our research and that of other, includes anticancer, antiobesity, anticonstipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion. In this review we describe the method of kimchi manufacture, fermentation, health functionalities of kimchi and the probiotic properties of its LAB.

     

    Food For Thought:

    Health Benefits of Kimchi

    1. Contains healthy bacteria and probiotics for the overall wellness of your body

    2. Lowers cholesterol levels

    3. Facilitates healthy body development and clear vision

    4. Produces radiant skin and shiny hair

    5. Prevents stomach cancer

    6. Slows down the aging process

    7. Helps you lose weight

    8. Prevents the occurrence of peptic ulcer

    By eating kimchi. Kimchi contains leuconostoc mensenteroides which produce dextrin, a substance important to stop the growth of H. pylori in your body!

    9. Boosts your immunity

    Fret not if you don’t have the time to make your own kimchi; just pick it up in the refrigerated section of your supermarket or an Asian market and they ain’t very costly. You can wake up your morning by scrambling eggs with kimchi, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms. Use it as a wrap filling or to top a baked potato. Or try Spicy Beef and Kimchi Stew.  I like to fry rice using Kimchi with loads of chopped garlic! Kimchi wrapped with raw lettuce tastes great too and that’s how the Koreans like it eaten best.

     

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  • 05May

    In our household, lady’s fingers or Okra is another staple green that we place on the dining table. Okra is inexpensive and it is a nutritional powerhouse used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purpose

    Like the kiwi fruit (okra actually shares many kiwi fruit benefits), okra is known for its high vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate content,(although not quite as high as kiwi). Additionally, Okra is known for harnessing a superior fiber content, which helps with digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps to control the rate at which sugar is absorbed.

    Health Benefits of Okra:
    Preventing diabetes
    Promoting colon health and preventing colon cancer
    Boosting digestive health
    Weight management
    Promoting a healthy pregnancy
    Maintaining healthy skin
    Protecting against free radical damage
    Relief from respiratory issues like asthma, cough, or trouble breathing
    Promoting eye health
    Boosting mood
    Constipation

    Okra can be cooked in many interesting ways. On busy lazy days, one can simply blanch the Okra in a pot of boiling water with a little oil and salt. They taste great when eaten on its own like this.  My kids have no issues eating them this way, except for Cass who always insists that her Okra is dipped with a little Japanese sesame salad dressing. Sometimes I drizzle  a little garlic oil with soy sauce on the blanched Okra.  Okra tastes great when cooked in curries or stir-fried with sambal belacan.  You can create your own cooking styles with Okra, in a whatever way that you and your family fancy 🙂

     

     

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  • 20Apr

    Bitter gourd is another staple food in our household.  We cook bitter gourd in a variety of interesting ways from the usual bitter gourd omelette to bitter gourd soup, stir-fried bitter gourd with pork slices, braised bitter gourd chicken, stir-fried bitter gourd with fermented soy bean or black bean and juicing with bitter gourd.

    Of the 3 girls, only Sherilyn is not bitter over bitter gourd. She loves them!

    Funnily, though Cass does not fancy bitter gourd, she loves pork noodles cooked with bitter gourd, except that she will single out all the bitter gourd slices and chuck them onto my bowl.

    There’s this stall at our neighborhood coffee shop that sells really delish pork noodles with bitter gourd.  It is my must-have bowl of noodles for breakfast on Saturdays, along with my favorite glass of pumpkin barley cooling drink.

     

     

    Food For Thought (information extracted from diabetes.co.uk)

    Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd or karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as food or medicine.

    In addition to being a food ingredient, bitter melon has also long been used as a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, including type 2 diabetes.

    The fruit contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p.

    These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels.

    It is also known that bitter melon contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite – similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.

    What other health benefits does it have?

    Bitter melon is used in traditional medicine for:

    Colic
    Fever
    Burns
    Chronic cough
    Painful menstruation
    Skin conditions
    It is also used to heal wounds, assist childbirth and, in parts of Africa and Asia, prevent or treat malaria and viral diseases such as measles and chicken pox.

    In addition, researchers from Saint Louis University in the US say they have shown that an extract from bitter melon can kill breast cancer cells and prevent them from growing and spreading.

     

     

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  • 08Apr

    Turmeric is an amazing root spice that not only adds so much flavor and color to your dishes.  Turmeric is also one of the world’s healthiest food, used thousands of years ago.

    Turmeric is a spice that I almost never fail to use each time I marinate meat for grilling in the oven.  For fish – I like it that the intense flavor of turmeric masks the fishy odor.   And for chicken, it just adds so much yummyness to the dish.

    The other day, I whipped up an aromatic turmeric and garlic chicken chop dish.

     

    The kids loved it!  Sherilyn quickly saved a portion of the chicken for her to bring to school for recess the next day.  Here’s her lunch box for recess the next day, which I reheated in the microwave oven (yes we finally bought a new microwave oven, solely for reheating purposes!) .  I packed some cherry tomatoes for her and gave her a pack of Izumio hydrogen water.  What a wholesome, sustaining and balanced meal, perfect for kids and adults.

     

     

    Health benefits of turmeric:

    1. Wards off Alzheimer’s disease

    2. Helps to prevent cancer

    3. Reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes

    4. Combats inflammatory diseases

    5.Fights colds and flu

    6. Helps indigestion and weight loss

    7. Assists diabetes sufferers

    8. Can tame heartburn and an upset stomach

     

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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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