A health freak mom's thoughts on health and all things healthy

Month: November 2009

Frozen Food Storage

Frozen Food Storage

Ever since I became a SAHM and have been cooking and deep freezing food quite a bit, I have always wondered how long frozen cooked food can be safely eaten. I also always wonder if it is safe to wash meat (bought from the market) […]

Share
Is It Safe To Eat Cheese With Mold On It?

Is It Safe To Eat Cheese With Mold On It?

The other day, my hubs bought a pack of expensive Emborg Dutch Gouda cheese. After eating just a couple of slices, I noticed small spots of greyish mold sprouting out on the sides of the cheese. I was horrified as I had just eaten a […]

Share
Risks Of Eating Raw Or Lightly Cooked Sprouts

Risks Of Eating Raw Or Lightly Cooked Sprouts

I love eating bean sprouts, lightly cooked ones as they are crunchier and sweeter this way.  Ipoh bean sprouts are the best in the world.  They are fat, crunchy and really sweet. I also like adding raw alfalfa sprouts to my bowl of veggie salad but have stopped eating raw alfalfa after reading an article on the dangers of eating raw sprouts. I found out recently that eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts can be harmful.

Here’s a an interesting article by FoodSafety.gov on eating sprouts:

Do sprouts carry a risk of illness? Like any fresh produce that is consumed raw or lightly cooked, sprouts carry a risk of foodborne illness. Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow. These conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria, including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.

Have sprouts been associated with outbreaks of foodborne illness? Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli.

What is the source of the bacteria? In outbreaks associated with sprouts, the seed is typically the source of the bacteria. There are a number of approved techniques to kill harmful bacteria that may be present on seeds and even tests for seeds during sprouting. But, no treatment is guaranteed to eliminate all harmful bacteria.

Are homegrown sprouts safer? Not necessarily. If just a few harmful bacteria are present in or on the seed, the bacteria can grow to high levels during sprouting, even under sanitary conditions at home.

What can industry do to enhance the safety of sprouts? In 1999, the FDA provided the sprout industry with guidance on reducing the risk of contamination of sprouts by harmful bacteria. The FDA and other Federal and state agencies continue to work with industry on detecting and reducing contamination and keeping contaminated sprouts out of the marketplace.

What can consumers do to reduce the risk of illness?

* Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
* Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking kills the harmful bacteria.
* Request that raw sprouts not be added to your food. If you purchase a sandwich or salad at a restaurant or delicatessen, check to make sure that raw sprouts have not been added.

Share
Goat’s Milk

Goat’s Milk

The other day while I was on my way to pick my gals up from school, a lady in a car waved to me. I couldn’t see her face clearly and I waved back at her. I thought she was a friend of mine whom […]

Share
What Salt Do You Eat?

What Salt Do You Eat?

We used to eat iodised table salt but have been eating sea salt ever since a surgeon friend of ours advised us to substitute table salt with sea salt. We soak our veggie using the cheapest possible fine salt though (those 50sen a packet ones). […]

Share
Health Benefits Of Cordyceps

Health Benefits Of Cordyceps

Last night, we had a very scrumptious soup. My mil double boiled abalone with some lean pork, Chinese wolfberries and ‘toong choong choa’ or cordyceps. That pot of soup cost a fortune as 2 of the ingredients used were really expensive – the abalone and the cordyceps.

Cordycep is a type of fungus mushroom. The fungus mushroom is a product from a type of fungus which parasites upon the larvae of the Chongcao bat moth and forms a fungus/larva composite body which takes five to seven years to complete its life cycle!  I never knew that cordycep is a type of fungus.  All the while, I had thought that it is a kind of root, just like ginseng because it tastes very much like ginseng.

Due to its scarcity and high price, cordyceps were once reserved exclusively for the Emperor’s Palace in China. For generations, cordyceps have been considered the premier agent in the Chinese culture for:

* helping the body build strength, endurance and stamina.
* offers energizing support to people experiencing fatigue.
* aids the upper respiratory tract and promotes healthy lung function.
* supporting male potency and female vitality.
* supporting the kidneys.
* helping the body maintain proper blood viscosity.
* Has properties similar to those of ginseng.

The other day while I was at a Cosway outlet, I saw cordycep pills on the display shelf. I was really tempted to buy a bottle for myself and my 2 older gals since all of use were having cough and phlegm. My mum who recently developed asthma (yes, she only developed asthma at a ripe old age of 60+ years old!) has been popping cordycep pills and her asthma is now under control.

Cordyceps show good results in fighting against cough, chronic bronchitis and asthma, since it relaxes bronchial walls and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Enhancing and strengthening of the immune system. Cordyceps is supposed to increase the number of the Natural Killer Cells, which are responsible for the body defense against viruses and bacteria. Some trials show that the fungus works effectively in the leukemia stricken individuals.

Improving sexual function in men and increasing libido by stimulating the production of sex hormones. Cordyceps may also be a means for fighting female infertility.

Building muscles and improving physical performance. Those Chinese athletes, who use Cordyceps, tend to show better results than the other sportsmen.

Providing anti-aging and fatigue reducing effects. The fungus works as an antioxidant and increases cellular formation, especially in the elderly patients. It also promotes more restful sleep, soothes the nervous system, and reduces anxiety, thus working as a sedative.

Improving the respiratory function.

Enhancing cellular oxygen uptake. This benefits all the body systems, giving them more energy and vitality.

Benefiting vascular system by improving circulation, regulating blood pressure, and strengthening the heart muscle.

Protecting liver and kidneys. Cordyceps improves blood flow to these organs (as well as to the others), which results in their better activity and ability to fight the diseases, including Hepatitis and chronic kidney disease.

Cordyceps is said to be safe and has no side effects. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children are not recommended to use it, since no studies have been conducted on such persons.


Share
Losing Weight With Lemons

Losing Weight With Lemons

One of the fruits that is always stocked up in my fridge is lemon.   I drink freshly squeezed lemon juice or lime juice almost everyday, after my meals.  I love the taste of lemon and lime and feel very refreshed after a drink of […]

Share
My Light And Healthy Lunch

My Light And Healthy Lunch

When I am in no mood to cook a proper meal for the kids for lunch, they get to eat green tea noodles with cold cha soba sauce and fried eggs, sandwiches or toasts. As for me, I’ll either eat toasts and sandwiches (which are […]

Share
Black Dots On Eye White

Black Dots On Eye White

Baby C has several tiny black dots on her eye white on both her eyes. I have asked our pediatricians about it and they had all told me that the black dots are like moles and pigmentation and are usually nothing harmful. I have one greyish spot on the white of my right eye too. My maid has one huge greyish spot on the white of her eye too. I have several friends who have these dots / spots on their eyes too. BUT being a hypochondriac and chronic worrier, I am still worried. What if those dots turn out to be something more serious?


Can you see the tiny dot on the white of Baby’s right eye?  You can click on the picture to have a larger view.

I did a google search to look for information but there isn’t much information on this condition. I am really contemplating paying a visit to the eye specialist just to get a peace of mind.


Share
How Many Eggs Can We Eat?

How Many Eggs Can We Eat?

I have always loved eggs. Eggs are inexpensive, contain the highest-quality protein on the planet and are loaded with small amounts of vital nutrients, including folate, riboflavin, selenium, B12, and choline. At 75 calories a piece, eggs are also a nutrient-dense food that makes a […]

Share