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Mung beans and their sprouts
Mung bean, also called green gram or moong, scientific name Vigna radiata, is a plant of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family. The fruits of this plant are pods that contain edible seeds characterized by a peel of an intense green color. These seeds can be found on the market both in the dried form, in this case they should be soaked in water and then cooked, or in the form of sprouts, the famous mung bean sprouts, that can also be self-produced at home. Mung beans are the most used seeds in the w...
The lemon, scientific name Citrus limoni, is a plant of the Rutaceae family, the same as tangerine, orange and bergamot. The term lemon also refers to the fruit of this plant, of a beautiful intense yellow color and characterized by a rounded shape. Lemon is known and appreciated for its juice, drunk as a purifying and refreshing drink, used to dress salads or to marinate fish, meat or even fruit. But science is also interested in another part of the lemon, less used except for giving flavor to ...
Red kidney beans
Red kidney beans are a common bean variety, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris. These beans should not be confused with azuki beans, scientific name Vigna angularis. Now let's see the properties of this kind of beans and how to serve them! Properties of red kidney beans - The anthocyanins give the beans a dark red color and, according to scientific studies (Akond et al, American Journal of Food Technology, May 2011), result in a higher quantity than amaranth, black sorghum and soy beans as wel...
Safflower oil, food use
From the cold pressing of the seeds of the safflower, Carthamus tinctorius, we obtain an oil rich in benefits for the skin, for the hair but also for the body. In the previous post we saw the use of safflower oil as a powerful natural cosmetic, useful in case of dry skin, with wrinkles but also in case of acne and, above all, dark skin spots. Today we see the properties of safflower oil for internal use, for example, when used cold to season salads and vegetables. This plant based oil is rich in...
Indian chai tea is not just a modern trend but it is a healthy aromatic drink with a very ancient tradition, dating back more than 5000 years ago. This tea is made with black tea, milk and a mixture of spices, including ginger, cardamom, pepper and cinnamon, which make it a digestive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant drink, able to stimulate the metabolism. Properties - Scientific studies (Azimi et al, Rev Diabet Stud, Feb 2015) have shown that a drink prepared with black tea and 3 grams of s...
Food combinations and cooking methods, ginger Part 2
Ginger, scientific name Zingiber officinale, is a root with important beneficial properties. It is in fact anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and digestive, protects the heart and the immune system. But how can ginger be taken to maximize these properties? In today's post we see the most important food combinations and healthy preparations with ginger. Fresh, candied or herbal tea - Natural or candied ginger is an excellent ally against nausea. Moreover, if grated fresh on foods, such as fish, veg...
Food combinations and cooking methods, ginger Part 1
Ginger is a plant, scientific name Zingiber officinale family of Zinziberaceae, whose rhizome, also called root, is used to cook, thanks to its fresh aroma, and to prepare herbal remedies. Ginger is rich indeed in active substances, such as zingiberene, gingerol and shogaol, resins and mucilage. Thanks to these characteristics, ginger shows anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. In addition, ginger is also able to keep at bay blood sugar, triglycerides and chol...
Food combinations and cooking methods, onion First Part
The onion, belonging to the Liliaceae family, is well known, appreciated and eaten for millennia. The first signs of its usage go back to the Chaldeans, 4000 years ago, but also the ancient Egyptians used onions a lot, while during Middle Ages the onions were considered a so precious food that they were used as coins. Nowadays, thanks to scientific studies, we know that this edible bulb isn’t just tasty but also rich in antibiotic, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, thus usefu...
Basmati rice is a really special variety of rice, cultivated for centuries at the foot of the Himalayan mountain ranges but nowadays readily available on the shelves of supermarkets all over the world, both in the white and whole grain version. This type of rice has an elongated shape characterized by an intense flavor thanks to the presence of an aromatic compound called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (Bourgis et al, Theor Appl genet, Aug 2018). The special aroma of basmati rice released by the cooked gr...
The black kale, also known as lacinato kale or dinosaur kale, scientific name Brassica oleracea convar. acephala var. palmifolia, is a type of vegetable belonging to the Cruciferae family very common in Italian cuisine and the main ingredient of the famous Tuscan ribollita soup, whose recipe you can find in the Healthy Food section. The black kale is characterized by elongated and thin leaves with a dark green almost blue color, it is a plant that shows a high resistance to cold, indeed, with th...
The pomelo, also known as pummelo and pamplemousse, scientific name Citrus maxima, is a plant belonging to the Rutaceae family. This plant is becoming very popular thanks to its fruits, considered the most ancient citrus fruits cultivated by men. The fruits of pomelo are characterized by a smooth and green peel and by a flesh with a color ranging from yellow to red. These fruits have been considered since ancient times a remedy to stimulate the appetite, to protect and improve the functionality ...
Curry is a mix of spices originating from India. This orange-yellow powder is obtained by crushing different spices and the composition of the mix varies on the basis of the type of curry, less or more spicy, and of the Country. In fact, this high aromatic mix is now widespread in all the South Est Asia with small changes in its formulation. However, the basic mix is given by turmeric, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, saffron, nutmeg, fenugreek, chili pepper and cardamom...
Fat burning diet Part 6, the spices mustard and ginseng
Today we will see a new chapter dedicated to that foods that, with different mechanisms, may help us fight obesity and abdominal fat. These conditions indeed can be really dangerous because they feed chronic inflammations in the body thus creating the ideal environment for several illnesses. In this first part we are focusing our attention to all that spices that, if added to our dishes, are able not just to give taste but also to reduce fat accumulation and increase energy expenditure. However,...
Fat burning diet Part 4, the spices turmeric, black pepper and cloves
As we have seen in the previous posts counteracting overweight, and in particular abdominal fat, is a choice for our health. The adipose tissue indeed, especially if localized on the waistline, is an endocrine organ and is able to produce hormones and inflammatory substances, thus causing a chronic inflammation that is the basis of several illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases (Coelho et al, Arch Med Sci, 2013 - Deng et al, Annu Rev Pathol, 2016). Let’s se...
Fat burning diet Part 2, the spices cinnamon and saffron
Counteracting obesity, especially if the fat is localized on the waistline, is a question of health rather than aesthetics. In fact, several scientific studies have observed that the fat, and in particular abdominal fat, is not inert but an organ able to produce hormones and pro-inflammatory substances that in the long run may create the conditions for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even tumors (Coelho et al, Arch Med Sci, 2013 - Deng et al, Annu Rev Pathol, 2016). Also in t...
Fat burning diet Part 2, the spices ginger and vanilla
In the previous post dedicated to the fat burning diet we have introduced that an excess of fat, especially localized around the waistline, may be a dangerous enemy for our health. The adipose tissue indeed, and in particular when it accumulates on the belly, isn’t inert but a true organ that produces inflammatory substances and hormones and creates, in the long term, an environment for illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, inflammations but also cancers. But, in practice, what ca...
Amla, scientific name Phyllantus emblica, is a plant of the Fillantaceae family and is known mainly for its fruits, similar to green plums, which have the same name. The fruits of amla are considered an elixir of long life, able to promote longevity and there is plenty of scientific studies supporting the Ayurveda tradition that considers amla one of the essential ingredients for good health. These berries have in fact a special protective action on the liver. In particular, amla, according to s...
We often hear that a particular food is healthy because it contains many fibers, which are beneficial and support the health of the body. But what exactly are the fibers and why are they so useful? The fibers are contained in foods of vegetable origin, they include cellulose, polysaccharides such as pectins, mucilage and lignin, are not digested or absorbed but come directly to the intestine and improve intestinal transit (Dhingra et al, J Food Sci Technol, 2012). Fiber-rich foods are primarily ...
Balsamic vinegar is a condiment, typical of Italy, produced from the fermentation of grape must. It is a product that can be found in every supermarket, however, it is also little known, especially its healthful properties are not known. Yes, because the balsamic vinegar, added to salads or to flavor vegetables or even fruit, is not just a note of flavor in our recipes but can also help to preserve good health, so much that in the Middle Ages this type of vinegar was considered a medicine to tre...
Eggplant, scientific name Solanum melongena, is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family that includes also tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. The plant is cultivated thanks to its edible fruits, big berries characterized by an elongated or more rounded shape, a peel color from purple to black and important healthful properties. Eggplants are indeed rich in mineral salts, such as potassium, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium, and vitamins, such as A, group B, C, K and J. They are also rich in wa...
Dandelion, herbal medicine
Dandelion, or common dandelion, scientific name Taraxacum officinale, is a plant of the Asteraceae family. It is widespread in gardens and meadows and is characterized by elongated leaves with a toothed margin and by a beautiful yellow flower that matures into spherical seed heads called blowballs or clocks, consisting of single-seeded fruits attached to a pappus of fine hairs that are carried by the wind and make possible to disperse easily the seeds of the plant. The dandelion is a very intere...
The Maritime Pine, scientific name Pinus pinaster, also known as cluster pine, is an evergreen tree of the Pinaceae family. The extract of its bark contains pycnogenol, an antioxidant with protective effects on the microcirculation and the cardiovascular system (Iravani et al, Res Pharm Sci, 2011). But pycnogenol is also able to fight free radicals and to reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson ( Voss et al, Free Radic Res, 2006). Thanks to these characteristics,...
Amaranth is a plant native to Peru whose seeds, edible, were considered a sacred foods by Aztecs and Incas thanks to their nutritional properties. Amaranth is also considered a cereal, however, like quinoa and buckwheat, doesn’t belong to Graminaceae family, in fact it is a pseudo cereal. Amaranth brings proteins and essential fatty acids, such as lysine, that is in poor quantity in the cereal grains such as common wheat. Lysine plays a pivotal role in important processes that occur in our body...
Walking, the easiest and most spontaneous form of physical activity, is also a natural remedy. We don’t give enough importance to it but it can bring a lot of benefits, vitality and wellbeing. In fact, more than 2000 years ago Hippocrates, a Greek physician considered the father of medicine, argued that walking is the best form of medicine. A constant and regular practice helps remove tensions, tones the muscles and makes elastic and flexible ligaments and tendons. Walking improves the blood ci...
Shallot, scientific name Allium ascalonium, is a bulb native to Ashkelon, an ancient city of Palestine. It is similar to garlic, with a bulb constituted by several cloves covered by a thin peel. Like the other members of Allium family, such as garlic, onion, leek and chives, also shallot is a source of phytochemical sulfur-containing compounds that develop when shallot is cut, chopped or sliced. These substances act as anti-cancers by inhibiting the proliferation and growth of many cancer cell...
Whole grain cereals
In the recipes that we propose we always use whole grain pasta, whole grain or semi whole grain flours and rice and we say that in this way it is possible to prevent the dangerous blood sugar spikes. But what does it exactly mean and why is it so important for health? Refined pasta, rice or flours have a high glycemic index, for example refined flour reaches 85 and the same is for the white bread while, to compare, a whole grain spelt flour has glycemic index 45. This means that these refined p...
Snow peas are legumes belonging to the Fabaceae family. They are a variety of peas, scientific name Pisum sativum subsp. sativum var. macrocarpon, of these peas we eat also the pod, characterized by a light green color, with a flattened and wide shape and a very delicate flavor. The snow peas bring plant based proteins and fibers, which are useful for intestinal well-being by counteracting constipation, intestinal swelling and colitis but also help to limit the absorption of sugar and fat and gi...
Silver Pearl is a type of white tea produced in China from the buds or the young leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, the same as green tea and black tea. White tea takes its name from the silver white hairs that cover the tea leaves and is obtained through a light fermentation process that on the contrary isn’t used to prepare green tea and is complete in the case of black tea. Silver Pearl is a really precious tea, drunk in important occasions, its leaves are rolled into pearls that unroll ...
Rye, scientific name secale cereale, is an ancient cereal grain already cultivated more than 2000 years ago in Asia Minor. Nowadays rye flour, obtained through the grinding of the rye grains, is used to prepare a tasty black bread, rich in mineral salts, such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium and able to bring a high quality fiber, useful to support the digestive processes, the intestinal transit by counteracting constipation and helpful to keep under control the levels of cholesterol and bl...
Azuki bean, scientific name Vigna angularis, is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae or Leguminose family, its fruits are pods that contain the seeds, commonly known as azuki beans. These red colored seeds are purchased all over the world and eaten in different cooking preparations. Azuki are also considered the king of the beans and in fact they are rich in mineral salts such as potassium, valid ally against water retention, zinc, with an antioxidant action, iron and molybdenum, essential for the ...
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