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5 Low Fat Alternatives to Butter and Margarine

Too much of anything is bad for you. Dieticians and physicians have been saying for years that butter and margarine are unhealthy for us, but yet many people still use them as their preferred spread for bread, toast and crackers. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are plenty of delicious and low fat alternatives to butter and margarine that many people don’t even consider. Read on for a look at five delicious low fat alternatives to butter and margarine.


Avocado
Avocado is a delicious and healthy alternative. This alternative is easily spread on bread, toast, crackers, as an addition to a sandwich or as a simple snack. Avocado will give your ordinary food a kick of something new, and it’s very healthy too.

Olive Oil
Olive oil is an excellent alternative. While butter and margarine is loaded with saturated fat, olive oil is much healthier alternative. Olive oil is great to dip bread in, as a marinade for chicken, fish and meat, over pasta and even in a salad. Don’t let butter or margarine hike up your saturated fat count; instead let olive oil transform your dish.

Cottage Cheese 
This may sound like a strange addition to this list, but cottage cheese is a worthy substitute. Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and offers a delicious taste that you otherwise would not find with butter and margarine. Cottage cheese can be found right in the dairy section of your supermarket. Just walk past the butter or margarine on your way.

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an old favorite. Any adult or child who doesn’t have a nut allergy will likely have fond things to say about peanut butter. Well guess what? It’s healthy, too. Peanut butter can invigorate a dish, create a filling snack and tastes great on bread, toast and crackers. Do you remember all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that your Mom fed you when you were young? They were for your own good.

Light Cream Cheese
Light cream cheese is another addition to this list that may surprise you. Light cream cheese is actually a healthy alternative to butter and margarine. Note that this only applies to the light version. Light cream cheese has significantly less saturated fat than butter or margarine and it has a delicious sour taste to it that can help bring breakfast, desserts or other dishes to life.

When you are looking for alternatives to butter and margarine, look for healthy options that can help bring your dishes to life. With so many options on the market such as Dijon mustard, low fat ranch dressing, low fat mayonnaise and more, you will likely never look at butter or margarine the same way again. Why opt for a spread that is loaded with saturated fat when you can select a spread that is delicious and features a low fat content? This list is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are plenty of options on the market for you to choose from.

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25 Health Benefits of Cinnamon – A Miraculous Spice

Cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest known spices. The tree is native to Sri Lanka where it was found thousands of years ago. It is the best spice available in terms of its nutrition and health. It contains unique healthy and healing property comes from the active components in the essential oils found in its bark. Cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity due to which it has numerous health benefits. Aside from being used as a medicine by other cultures since ancient times, the health benefits may also come from eating it which can be listed as follows:


1. Lowers Cholesterol:
Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon included in a daily diet can lower cholesterol.
Also Cinnamon may significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides (fatty acids in the blood) and total cholesterol.

2. Reduces blood sugar levels and treating Type 2 Diabetes:
Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.

3. Heart Disease:
Cinnamon strengthens the cardiovascular system thereby shielding the body from heart related disorders. It is believed that the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provides protection against heart diseases.

Including a little cinnamon in the food helps those suffering from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.

4. Fights Cancer :
A study released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

Besides, the combination of calcium and fiber found in Cinnamon can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, thus prevents colon cancer.

5. Tooth decay and mouth freshener:
Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath. Small pieces of cinnamon can be chewed, or gargled with cinnamon water which serves as a good mouth freshener.

6. Cures Respiratory Problems:
Cinnamon is very useful home remedy for common or severe colds. A person suffering should take one tablespoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.

Cinnamon also found to cure flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.

7. Brain Tonic:
Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss.

Also, studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory, performance of certain tasks and increases one’s alertness and concentration. 

8. Infections:
Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. Cinnamon has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice.

9. Eases menstruation cycles:
Cinnamon has also been found useful for women’s health as it helps in providing relief from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomforts.

10. Birth Control:
Cinnamon also helps in natural birth control. Regular consumption of cinnamon after child birth delays menstruation and thus helps in avoiding conception.

11. Breastfeeding:
It is also believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.

12. Reduces Arthritis Pain:
Cinnamon spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

A study conducted at Copenhagen University, where patients were given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

13. Digestive Tonic:
Cinnamon should be added to most recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. It is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. It is often referred to as a digestive tonic.

14. Reduces Urinary tract infections:
People who eat cinnamon on a regular basis report a lower incidence of urinary tract infections. Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in secretion and discharge of urine.

15. Anti clotting Actions:
A compound found in Cinnamon called as cinnamaldehyde has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets. [Platelets are constituents of blood that are meant to clump together under emergency circumstances (like physical injury) as a way to stop bleeding, but under normal circumstances, they can make the blood flow inadequate if they clump together too much]. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.

16. Natural Food Preserver:
When added to food, it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

17. Headaches and migraine:
Headache due to the exposure to cold wind is readily cured by applying a thin paste of powdered cinnamon mixed in water on the temples & forehead.

18. Pimples and Blackheads:
Cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities. Therefore it is often recommended for pimples.

Also external application of paste of cinnamon powder with a few drops of fresh lemon juice over pimples & black heads would give beneficial result.

19. Thinning of the blood and improves blood circulation:
Cinnamon is a blood thinning agent which also acts to increase circulation. This blood circulation helps significantly in removing pain. Good blood circulation also ensures oxygen supply to the body cells leading to higher metabolic activity. You significantly reduce the chance of getting a heart attack by regularly consuming cinnamon.

20. Toning of tissues:
Considerable anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that cinnamon may have the ability to tone and constrict tissues in the body.

21. Muscle and joint pain relief:
Those who eat cinnamon on a regular basis often report that their muscle and joint pain, as well as stiffness, is reduced or even eliminated.

22. Immune System:
Honey and cinnamon paste is good for boosting the immune system, removing regular fatigue and increasing the longevity of an individual. It is also known to have anti-aging properties.

23. Itching:
Paste of honey and cinnamon is often used to treat insect bites.

24. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

25. Healing: Cinnamon helps in stopping bleeding. Therefore it facilitates the healing process.
Indeed, cinnamon has several health benefits as highlighted above that can be used to improve one’s health and boost one’s immune system. This is a great reason to keep some cinnamon around. Sprinkle it in your tea or coffee, over oatmeal or a sweet potato and, this will do wonders to your health.

[However, there’s a word of warning to be taken that over dosage of cinnamon may be unwise. Also it is not recommended for pregnant women.

Also, people who have been prescribed medication to manage their blood sugar should not reduce or discontinue their dose and take cinnamon instead, especially without consulting your doctor.]

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Why You Should Eat the Parsley Left on Your Plate

Apart from being a very good digestive aid, neutralizer, skin cleanser treatment, and mild perfume, the pretty looking green herb may also hold a certain amount of useful anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties too.


Antioxidants – consist of: beta-carotene, quercetin, vitamin C, and flavonoids ([polyphenols] a structural class of natural and synthetic or semi-synthetic organic chemicals that have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties which help the body’s small blood vessels and connective tissues to stay healthy).
Apigenin, chrysoeroil and luteolin (anti-oxidants found in parsley) may help the immune system to protect against the development of certain types of cancer.

Recent Studies – have shown that parsley’s strong anti-cancer properties are effective against various types of cancer, such as: cervical and ovarian, leukemia, and pancreatic. Anti-cancer properties work by interfering with, and hindering the cancer cells ability to both develop and metastasize (spread) throughout the body, reducing the risk of tumor development.

Studies have also shown that both apigenin and luteolin have a very good chemopreventive effect on the carcinogenic compounds ([heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] chemical compounds that trigger cancer in both humans and animals by altering the chemical structure of DNA molecules) that can be found in certain meats when cooked under high temperatures (usually well done cooked meats).

Luteolin has had a certain degree of success in fighting various hormonal cancers, such as: breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and prostate cancer, as has chrysoeroil, another flavonoid that can be found in parsley. Because of recent positive studies, luteolin is now being considered as a potential contender to help fight the development of breast cancer.

Other Beneficial Properties – are that parsley also contains falcorinol (a polyacetylene) which has the effect of reducing cancer cell growth, along with the ability to actually kill off the cells. Chlorophyll (the green pigment found within parsley’s structure) has also shown the ability to neutralize the carcinogens (the harmful agents that cause cancer and promote tumors) that are encountered on a daily basis through pollution and other sources.

Another beneficial property of parsley is the strong presence of vitamin K, together with myristicin (a natural organic compound and chemopreventive) that can be found in its volatile oil, and which is believed to increase the activity of glutathione (a major neutralizer and anti-oxidant) that can be found within the body.

Conclusion – If recent studies are anything to go by, not just parsley, but many other herbs that hold similar qualities will begin to be used in the fight against cancer. Parsley, although a decorative herb, should actually be eaten along with the other greens on the plate and not just left behind, as it is packed with goodness, and rather tasty to the palate.

Philip is a Freelance Writer, Author, and Owner of Cancer Cry. He was born in Oxfordshire, England; however, today he lives in Mexico where he has been based for many years, researching and writing about cancer and other health related issues. If you would like to read more of his articles, check out his website – http://ift.tt/1hWp9n1 – and at the same time, please recommend his website to others. Thank you for reading Philip’s articles!

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Try Cassava Bread For The Taste Of The Caribbean


By Judy Sullivan



Bread comes in many forms. The French have their baguettes; along the Mediterranean people eat pitas and in Mexico and Central America you’ll find wheat and corn tortillas. In the Caribbean, the staple usually comes in the form of ‘pan de casabe’, which is cassava bread.

Cassava is a plant that is native to the region of the Caribbean. It’s found in parts of South America too. It has many uses but the main one is to use its root as a source of food. The root is long and thin and covered in a brown skin that has a rough texture but the inside is a yellowy or white flesh that is very nutritious.


When the first European explorers came to the Caribbean, they found that people all over the region and as far away as Central and South America were eating ‘pan de casabe’ as a staple food. They took this foodstuff with them to the Iberian Peninsula and from there it spread across the world along with other New World foods like potatoes, tomatoes and corn. Today the root is a staple in regions like West Africa too.

There are many ways to eat ‘pan de casabe’. Some people go all out and cover it with cheese to make a pizza with a Caribbean flavor. It’s great to use as croutons to give substance to soups or crunch to salads and it goes very well with dips too. More traditional is to top it with eggs, avocado or beans and eat it like you would eat tortillas. You can also keep it simple by adding only a little bit of salt and a dash of olive oil.

Like most starches, the root is a great source of energy-giving carbohydrates. It’s a healthy choice too because it contains only small amounts of fat and sodium. At the same time it’s rich in Vitamin C as well as the minerals calcium and phosphorus.

To make ‘pan de casabe’ is quite easy. First you need to remove the skin and then grate the flesh. Next, you need to squeeze out the liquid from the pulp because this is actually poisonous.

You can now add salt to the pulp if you want. Take handfuls of pulp and shape them into patties. You may also use a mold that was designed specifically for this purpose. Heat a frying pan and, without adding oil, cook the patties until they’re golden on either side. As the flatbreads cool, they will become crispy.

Cassava bread is available online but is a little more difficult to find in local stores. Specialty stores may stock it and you’ll likely find it in neighborhoods with a large Dominican or Jamaican population. Another option is to simply take some time off, buy a ticket to the Caribbean and enjoy it right there on the beach.




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How to Bake Healthy Potato Chips

It is impossible to stop with eating just one. Potato chips are a very popular snack all over the world and I don’t think there will hardly be anybody who does not love eating them. With so many flavors, shapes and sizes, there’s a chip for everyone’s appetite.
The History
In 1853 in a diner in New York, it is said that a customer ordered fried potatoes with his meal, but then sent the meal back, complaining that the fried potatoes were not crispy enough. The chef at the restaurant Mr. George Crum was furious with the complaint, so he sliced the potatoes paper thin, salted them heavily and then refried them. The chips were served as a menu item from that day on, and with their massive popularity, other restaurant owners were adding sliced potato chips on their menus.

However, it was William Tappendon from Ohio who took the potato chip out of the restaurants and into the grocery stores. He turned his barn into the world’s first chip factory, selling potato chips to the local groceries. In the 1920s, saw the birth of three companies that played a major role in the potato chip industry as we know it today. The three companies were “Lay’s Brand Potato Chips” founded by Herman Lay, “Utz Quality Foods” founded by Bill and Sallie Utz, and “Wise Delicatessen Company” founded by Earl Wise, Sr.
Healthy Oven Baked Chips
There is only one problem with the normal potato chips we find in our local grocery store – calories! What if there was a way you can make your own potato chips in the comfort of your home, and they were healthier with a lot less calories, than your regular potato chips? Here you go…
The recipe
• Scrub your potatoes under warm running water to remove all dirt from the skin. You can peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler or you can leave the peel on if you prefer skin-on style chips (I suggest you try both and see what you like). 

• Slice the potatoes thinly using a knife or preferably a mandolin. Try slicing to paper thin size, having in mind that the thinner the slices, the less cooking they will need.
• Rinse the potato slices to remove any excess starch. This will reduce the overall number of calories in the chips.
• Drain the slices with paper towel as much as possible.
• Spray olive oil on your perforated baking pan creating a light coating. Place the potato slices in the baking pan, but do not overlap.
Mist the potato slices lightly with olive oil by sparing on both slides. You can use tongs or chopsticks to flip the slices around. (You might want to place aluminum foil underneath your perforated pan to stop the olive oil leaking in your oven).
• Slide the oiled chips into a 400 degree Fahrenheit (205 degree Celsius) preheated oven and let them bake for at least 5 minutes.
• Turn your pan around in the oven, but continue to bake for the next 3-5 minutes until they are all lightly browned or until you notice that the edges start to darken.
• When the chips are done, pull them out of the oven and season with coarse salt while they are still hot. You can additionally sprinkle a few of your favorite dried herbs and spices to customize your own baked potato chips.

Now all you have to do is enjoy your healthy potato chips!
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