• 24Nov

    Have you ever wondered why raw sashimi and sushi are always eaten with wasabi? I have never really given it a serious ponder, as I thought that it’s been the practice of the Japanese for ages.

    The answer lies in the antibacterial properties of wasabi.  Firstly, wasabi is effective in suppressing microbes and bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Secondly, wasabi helps to soften the fishy smell of the raw fish and thirdly draws out more of its flavor. So if you’re worried about eating your food raw, bear with the spiciness of the wasabi and getting teary eyed and watery nose.

    File:Sashimi with Wasabi.jpg

     

    FP 1

    The powerful, natural components of wasabi have been shown to fight off bacterial infections.  In a recent study of the antibacterial properties of various foods and vegetables, wasabi ranked as the most successful antibacterial food against E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infections). This means that food poisoning and other unfortunate conditions can be prevented by maintaining levels of isothiocyanates in the diet through the consumption of wasabi. Again, the isothiocyanates were proven to be the vital component that neutralized these potentially deadly bacteria within the body.

    Some companies have begun to include trace elements of wasabi extract in their antibacterial creams and gels to boost their strength and effectiveness!

    Wasabi

    If you are a culinary purist, be sure to buy the real thing when shopping for wasabi. It is popular, but it is not cheap, and is not a widely exported product from Japan. Therefore, many companies create imitation wasabi from mustard, horseradish, and other components. The effect on your nose might be similar, but it is not a true wasabi experience, and it doesn’t give you all the same health benefits as true wasabi. High-end or traditional Japanese restaurants will typically have the genuine article, as well as specialty or import food stores.

     

    Health Benefits of Wasabi

    1. Kills Harmful Food-Borne Bacteria

    Studies show that wasabi provides a powerful punch when it comes to protection against some bacteria. One study conducted at Chiba University’s Laboratory of Plant Cell Technology in Japan notes that using wasabi on potatoes made them more disease-resistant.

    2. Prevents Tooth Decay

    Due to its ability to eliminate bacteria, it’s a natural antimicrobial agent often used with raw fish. This is mainly because of the isothiocyanate vapors wasabi produces. These vapors help deter the development of yeast, mold and bacteria. Interestingly, it can also help prevent tooth decay by destroying the bacteria that may cause it.

    3. Kills Cancer Cells

    Wasabi contains powerful phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are sulphur-containing phytonutrients with strong anticancer effects. They occur naturally as glucosinolate conjugates in cruciferous vegetables, like wasabi. When the raw vegetables are chewed, the plant cells are broken down and an enzyme called myrosinase converts into isothiocyanates.

    Their anticancer effects occur as they neutralize carcinogens — therefore, reducing the negative impact of the poisons. Studies have shown that isothiocyanates may help prevent lung cancer and esophageal cancer and can help lower the risk of other cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer.  That means you can add wasabi to the list of cancer-fighting foods.

    4. May Help Reduce Pain Caused by Inflammation

    The compounds in wasabi might also help scientists develop a new treatment for pain. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco studied isothiocyanates in wasabi that trigger a reaction in the TRP receptors, which are responsible for sending a pain signal to the brain, in the nerve cells in our tongues and mouths.

    A scientist bred mice that lacked one type of TRP receptor and found that the mice didn’t react to compounds that contained isothiocyanates. As well, evidence shows that the receptor is responsible for inflammation, which means the isothiocyanates may have blocked that receptor — which in turn could make for a useful painkiller.

    5. Improves Gut Health

    Studies have shown that the root has characteristics that may suppress bacteria found in the gut, such as gastric inflammation and possibly even stomach cancer. It’s possible that it can prevent food poisoning, which is one of the reasons it’s served with raw fish.

    Wasabi peas are a great option for the intestinal tract since they help remove toxic substances from your body by helping eliminate the possibility of getting diverticulitis complications. The detox happens because the peas are high-fiber foods. That fiber is needed to help push stool forward and ready for expelling. Without fiber to add bulk to the stool, the colon has to work harder than normal, and the pressure from this may cause pouches to form in weak spots along the colon, creating discomfort and potentially contributing to leaky gut syndrome.

     

    A Healing Condiment

    Wasabi is a potent vegetable with impressive healing potential. Continued research on its natural compounds may lead to new treatments for many common and serious illnesses. With studies varying in their methods -such as some using quality wasabi while others use powder- it’s important to consult with your doctor before using wasabi to treat or prevent any illness.

    Wasabi – Health Risks

    Liver damage – Although the health benefits of wasabi seem overwhelming, there is one very important thing to remember. If you consume too much wasabi, in an effort to supercharge your body against cancer or heart disease, you may actually destroy your liver. It has a chemical component called hepatotoxin, which is fine in small doses, but if you flood your body with wasabi, the body won’t be able to process the toxin and it can lead to severe liver damage. Remember! Moderation in all things is important to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

     

    Allergies – As always, avoid foods that you are allergic to, and if you are consuming a unique food like wasabi for the first time, be aware of the potential effects it may have on you. Consult your doctor for a full allergy panel to have a more comprehensive view of your allergies!

     

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  • 19Nov

    The latest addition to our healthy eating regimen is roselle kefir from My Kefir World.  I have tried many different brands of probiotics for Cass and sadly, she liked none of them, except for the mango flavored probiotics from Melaleuca but it contains sweetener, which I don’t fancy.  When I first let Cass try roselle kefir, I was doubtful that she would like it as she’s such a little fussy pot.  But to my joy, she liked it! She only likes it when taken neat. She says it tastes like red wine, which is tart, slightly sweet with a soda / sparkling feel in the mouth.

    roselle 4

    Like yogurt, kefir is a cultured milk or cultured sugar water product with a tart and even sour taste, but the two foods have some differences as well.

    Kefir (pronounced kee-fer) originates from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It’s believed that the name comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means good feeling. Kefir’s flavour is naturally sweet and slightly bubbly, and mild but a bit tangy as well.

    Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.  Because kefir does not have a standardized nutrition content, the content values can vary based on the cows, cultures, and region where it is produced. Yet even with the range in values, kefir has superior nutrition.

    Among the clinical researches done, some findings on kefir health benefits include:
    1. Allergy prevention and control
    2. Inhibits tumor growth
    3. Improves lactose digestion for those who are lactose intolerant
    4. Rats fed with kefir grains reduced their inflammation by 80%
    after 2 weeks
    5. Reduction in migraine, headaches, anxiety symptoms and more restful sleep
    6. Kefir grains taken orally prevented fungal infection in human
    trials in Russia
    7. In Japan, experiments with mice showed that kefir induced a
    positive immune response and the size of cancerous tumors
    was reduced
    8. Corrects gastric and digestive problems

    Rich in Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, kefir also provides significant amounts of lactic acid bacteria and beneficial yeast. In fact, the cocktail of beneficial microbiota within kefir makes it one of the most powerful probiotic foods on the planet!

    Below – water kefir grains
    water grains 1

     

    Because of kefir’s unique set of nutrients it has been show to benefit the body in 7 main ways:

    • Boost Immunity
    • Heal Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • Build Bone Density
    • Fight Allergies
    • Improve Lactose Digestion
    • Kill Candida
    • Support Detoxification

    The drink is made either with kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter — the grains aren’t an actual grain like wheat, but are made of bacteria and yeast. Generally of a thinner consistency than yogurt, kefir is usually sold as a drink, either plain or flavoured.

    Fun Facts On Roselle

    Roselle is becoming increasingly popular as a health drink.

    Roselle contains one of the highest content of Vitamin C. It contains 3 times more Vitamin C than blackcurrant and 9 times more than citrus fruit. It is also found to have rich anti-oxidant properties (anthocyanins).

    The fresh roselle calyx has been found to contain vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B2 Complex, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium.

    Known benefits of drinking roselle juice:

    1. Its drink acts like natural electrolyte beverage to substitute
    minerals sweated out while playing sport.

    2. Decreases inflammation of kidney and urinary tract.

    3. Scientists found it is good for arteriosclerosis and reduce blood
    hypertension.

    4. Normalize blood pressure.

    5. Stimulate internal peristalsis.

    6. Relief cough and fever.

    7. Increase our bodies’ resistance to diseases.

    8. Decrease absorption of alcohol.

    9. Softening and smoothening of skin.

     

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  • 19Nov

    When you enter a Ft. Lauderdale Rehab Center, you will see that there are people who are ready and willing to help you overcome your addiction. Making the decision to enter a rehab facility is the first step that will have a positive impact on your life. There is a process that you will go through while you’re in the rehab center. One of the first things that you will do is talk to a doctor or a counselor to determine how bad the addiction is and if you need any kind of medication in order to get the substances out of the body. This is when you might begin to feel withdrawal effects on the body as the drugs are removed from the body. Since you aren’t allowed to have drugs in the center, the body will begin to detox so that it can be healthier.

    There are different kinds of drug and alcohol detox centers. Some are more like a hospital with separate rooms and a schedule that you abide by throughout the day. Other rehab centers feature amenities that you might find at home, such as a swimming pool, but you are still involved with counselors and doctors who are there to help you with your addiction. Some centers will allow family members to visit once you become adjusted to the schedule f events, but there are many that will only allow phone calls or letters. The length of time you are at the center will vary depending on the severity of the addiction. Most people stay for at least 30 days as this is usually how long it takes for the body and the mind to realize that drugs and alcohol are no longer needed. If the rehab is court ordered, then you might be in the rehab center for longer than 30 days, staying there for the duration of the order given by the judge.

    You need to find the right kind of program for you to follow. If you have struggled with addiction for many years, then an inpatient center might be the best option. This is a center where you would not leave until you are done with your time there. The counselors and doctors can give you an idea as to how long you might need to stay. While at the center, you will be able to enjoy meals either alone or with the other people who are there. You will have time to talk to some of the other people in group settings, play games to stay busy and even watch television. The center is almost like home, but you have access to counselors who can talk to you about your addiction and try to help you in your recovery process. This is an important step as you need to get to the root of the problem instead of trying to mask it with drugs and alcohol.

    An outpatient center is one where you will attend usually every day, but you won’t stay in the center like you would with an inpatient facility. You can take part in groups where you can speak with others who are dealing with similar addictions, and you can talk to doctors and counselors about what has caused you to drink and rely on drugs. This is a program for those who aren’t as addicted as they won’t stay at the center. You have to be able to trust yourself to stay away from the things that you are addicted to so that you don’t end up in an inpatient facility. If you can get through the addiction in this manner, then you can live your life with friends and family as you normally would while still getting the help that you need.

    When you’re in an inpatient center, you’ll likely see that the environment is relaxing. The bedding is often plush and comfortable, making you feel like you’re more at home. There is an executive rehab center in some locations. This kind of center caters more to professionals who might not want others to know about the addictions that they have. They receive the same kind of treatment, but it’s kept more low-key than other rehab centers.

     

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  • 14Nov

    The majority of soy that you find in in grocery stores is actually genetically modified or GMO and is not farmed the same way or yielding the same nutrition.

    However, when you ferment soybeans you have a completely different product that yields a completely different nutrient system for the body. When it comes to soy, the safest way to consume it is through fermented soy products like miso, tempeh or natto.

    Natto is fermented soy beans, with beneficial bacteria called  Bacillus subtilis. The beans are brown and soft, covered with sticky, slimy substance and it smells pungent. It takes time to acquire the taste, like how you would with stinky tofu. I never liked it initially but over time, through exposure to it, I have learned to accept the taste and even love it now!    Many people may take a longer time to get used to the taste of natto than with cultured vegetables or probiotic liquids but the taste is definitely worth acquiring!

    Picture

    Many health practitioners and dietitians do not recommend eating soybeans unless they are fermented. The key element in natto is the fermentation of the soybeans, which make them easier to digest while increasing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

    Primarily eaten as a breakfast staple in Japan for over 1,000 years, natto is a great source of protein and is low in calories. But it goes even further to enhance your inner and outer health.

    I had this bowl of natto rice with onsen egg at Isetan on Saturday and loved it. It is such a simple dish yet it tantalizes the taste buds. My daughters have not quite gotten used to the taste of natto yet.

     

    Unlike many foods that are only rich in Vitamin K1, natto is rich in both types of Vitamin K.

    Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up about 90 per cent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet. Vitamin K2 isn’t produced in plants, but by various types of bacteria. It makes up only about 10 per cent of Western vitamin K consumption2.

    Natto increases the health and strength of your skin, heart and bones.

    Here are some of the many health benefits of natto:

    • Natto is especially rich in vitamin K2, which could reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by as much as 80 per cent.
    • Fermented soybeans such as natto contain Vitamin PQQ, which is very important for the skin.  PQQ in human tissues is derived mainly from diet.
    • Vitamin K is repeatedly shown to reduce blood clots by slowing arterial calcification, enhance liver function and encourage the flow of urine.
    • Vitamin K2 has a better bioavailability than K1. Studies show that this molecule remains in the body for a longer period and is more effective at lower doses, hence is much more bio-effective.
    • Additionally, natto suppresses immune reactions.

    Created during the fermentation process, nattokinase is used for a variety of medicinal purposes:

    • Beriberi (B vitamin deficiency)
    • Cancer
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Endometriosis
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Infertility
    • Pain
    • Muscle spasms
    • Uterine fibroids

    When natto is eaten on a regular basis, these are some of the more common health benefits you can expect:

    • Effective against high cholesterol.
    • Effective against osteoporosis and hip fractures.
    • Fights against fibromyalgia.
    • Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
    • Less risk of colon cancer.
    • Less risk of breast cancer (as soy appears to lengthen the menstrual cycle).
    • Prevents stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
    • Prevents vitamin-deficiency disease.
    • Reduces the symptoms associated with menopause.
    • Relieves constipation.

    The high life expectancy enjoyed in Japan is largely down to the nation’s healthy diet, according to a new study. Japanese are very health conscious and hygienic.  Take a hint from the Japanese diet if you want to add more quality years to your life.

    Because of natto’s  health benefits on blood viscosity, those who are on blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not eat natto. But for others trying naturally to improve circulation, lower blood pressure and build stronger bones, natto is truly the super food of choice.

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  • 11Nov

    I  normally feel bloated, fat and have a gassy abdomen about a week lining up to my period.  This month is especially bad. I looked like a 4 months pregnant woman from my side view.  And what shocked me was that the needle on my scale went 2 notches to the right side! OMG!!  Also, my Aunt Flow gave me an unexpected visit 4 days earlier this month.  And the flow was very heavy. But by the second day, my weight dropped 2kg, back to where I was pre-period at 44kg, phew! 🙂   I can’t stop admiring my side view now, with a flat belly again. Now I can fish out my skimpiest bikini to flaunt 😉

    Did you know that your monthly visitor affects the number on your scale?

    omg-scale

    Don’t worry—if your shocking weigh-in lands the week before your period, you can chalk it up to water weight.  Weight gain happens five days before your period, but you’ll be back to normal once you start.

    Pre-period water weight can range from half of a pound to 10 pounds, usually averaging around five for most women.  That’s because the hormone progesterone—essential in the early stages of pregnancy—is to blame: when there’s no baby (aka when you get your period), these levels fall. As a side effect, each cell in your body retains an extra microscopic drop of water.

    While it doesn’t lead to weight change, bloating caused by gas can magnify the situation by making you feel a size bigger.

    You can combat these side effects the way you battle all bulge: with exercise. And drink a lot of water to help get rid of water retention. Also try and avoid fatty foods, alcohol and salt, which triggers your body to hold onto water.

    If you suffer from weight gain and water retention before your period and wonder why this is happening, know you know the reason. After the heavy rain, you’ll see the rainbow.  Keep your chin up for your best days are ahead of you.  Most women usually feel at their peak in the first 7-10 days after their period.  I don’t know about you but I feel my best towards the end of my period before the whole cycle repeats again with mid-cycle bloatedness and ovulation pain followed by PMS pains.  Sigh, the pains of being a woman!

     

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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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