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Apricots are the fruit of the plant Prunus armeniaca and are the classic fruit of early summer. However, in the dried form, they can also be eaten all year long. So let's see the properties and characteristics of dried apricots. Dried apricots, properties and use - Dried apricots are a precious source of energy, and this makes them an excellent food for breakfast or for mid-morning or afternoon snacks for athletes or for those who have a very active life. Dried apricots can be eaten whole or c...
Breakfast, the most important meal of the day
There are those who wake up early to make a nice and rich breakfast, there are those who give themselves only the time for a brioche while getting down the stairs and there are those who just drink a quick coffee. There are those who prefer a sweet breakfast and those who prefer it savory. When it comes to breakfast, habits are really different! But what does science say about healthy choices for a good breakfast? Let's try to understand. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day - Breakfa...
Cyperus esculentus, also called water grass, tiger nutsedge, nut grass or yellow nutsedge, is a plant characterized by an edible rhizome called tiger nuts or sweet almond, chufa in Spanish. Tiger nuts, properties - Tiger nuts, characterized by a natural sweet taste, provide carbohydrates and therefore energy, are rich in proteins, fibers, antioxidants such as terpenoids and saponins, mineral salts such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc, vitamins such as E a...
Barley is a very ancient, energizing and digestible cereal. The ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated it to prepare soups and bread and, according to Pliny the Elder, barley was also the main food of gladiators. But barley is not just a food, in fact, it can be the basis for very interesting, fragrant, healthy and non-irritating drinks that, nowadays, often take the place of coffee as they are caffeine-free and therefore suitable to all. Barley coffee is prepared from roasted barley and can be ob...
Pasta, joy for the palate and source of health and energy for the body
How many of us do feel relieved over a nice plate of spaghetti seasoned with tomato sauce? Pasta is nowadays known and appreciated all over the world, in ten years indeed its consumption has doubled reaching the incredible figure of 15 million tons per year. The strength of pasta is that, in addition to being tasty and lending itself to recipes with practically endless combinations, it can also be an important source of health. So let's try to understand the properties of pasta and some pieces o...
Peanut butter is a delicious, nutritious and satiating food, obtained by grinding peanuts until smooth. The result is a paste, perfect for spreading on slices of bread or for making cakes and sweets yummier. In the post of today we will talk about the properties of pure peanut butter, obtained only from peanuts. In fact, unfortunately, many products that are found on the market contain, instead, added sugars, oils and saturated fats that modify the nutritional profile of the butter that becomes ...
The chickpea, scientific name Cicer arietinum of the Fabaceae family, is a plant cultivated and appreciated above all for its edible seeds, the chickpeas. Among the many uses of chickpeas, these can be dried and ground to obtain a flour that is very tasty, nutritious, energizing and with interesting healthy properties. Chickpea flour, properties - This flour is, in fact, considered an excellent source of proteins and amino acids such as lysine. It is this characteristic that makes chickpea flo...
The prunum mume, also called the Japanese plum, is a fruit tree halfway between the plum tree and the apricot tree. The plant is native to China and produces fruits that, in shape and appearance, remind of an apricot. The fruits are dried and pickled for several months together with shiso leaves, or Laminaria Purpurea, which gives to the fruits their typical reddish color. After this process the fruits take the name of umeboshi plums. The umeboshi plums are the most common form with which people...
What a wonderful fruit the pomegranate is! With a rounded shape and a hard rind, the fruit of the Punica granatum tree, or pomegranate, is a berry that contains inside its seeds of a beautiful deep red color, juicy and sweet with a slight bitter note. Pomegranate seeds are edible, can be added to yogurt or salads, pasta recipes or desserts, but they can also be used to obtain a fragrant and really healthy juice! Today we are talking about the properties of pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice,...
Mu tea is not a particular type of tea but a mixture of herbs and roots able to tone the body, to stimulate the immune system and digestion, to protect the liver and the kidneys, to counteract water retention, fever, hemorrhoids and acne. This blend was formulated in the 50s by the Japanese Georges Ohsawa, considered the father of macrobiotics, and includes from 9 to 16 ingredients. Each ingredient of this special tea brings important healthy properties for different problems and all act in syne...
Pecan, scientific name Carya illinoinensis of the Juglandaceae family, is a tree native to Mexico and America whose fruits are drupes containing an edible seed. It is precisely this seed that is called Pecan nut and that, nowadays, can be bought in all shops and supermarkets. Pecan nuts, widely used in cooking to prepare tasty desserts but also as a snack, alone or in a mixture with other dry fruits, are characterized by interesting healthy properties. Pecan nuts, properties - First of all, pe...
Muesli is a mix of cereal flakes, such as oat, spelt, amaranth or barley, dry fruit, especially raisins but also apples, dried berries and bananas, and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. Muesli is eaten for breakfast or as a snack added to yogurt or milk. Muesli, properties - Because of its composition, muesli is an energy food, rich in fiber but also vitamins and mineral salts. In addition to this, scientific studies indicate that the consumption of muesli...
Linden honey? Wild flower honey? Acacia or eucalyptus honey? No, buckwheat honey! Although it may seem strange, there is also buckwheat honey, and what a honey! Based on scientific research, this type of honey is a powerful source of beneficial properties, but let's see better in detail. Buckwheat honey, how it appears and properties - First, buckwheat honey is produced by bees from the flowers of buckwheat that are small flowers characterized by a color ranging from white to light pink. The o...
Food combinations and cooking methods, asparagus
The edible parts of asparagus, scientific name Asparagus officinalis of the Liliaceae family, are its young shoots. These vegetables bring important healthy substances, such as rutin, with a protective action on the heart, brain and blood vessels, quercetin, an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant substance, but also fibers, beneficial for the gut, vitamins A, B, C, K and E, zinc and folic acid, namely vitamin B9, (Nishimuro et al, Nutrients, Apr 2015 - Ganeshpurkar et al, Saudi Pharm,...
Health and beauty, the remedies of the spring
During winter the lymph of the trees doesn’t reach the branches but tends to go down along the trunk towards the roots to avoid that the cold may freeze it. In spring the lymph starts again to flow. In our body happens something very similar, during winter all the processes slow down and then, with warm weather, vitality and energy come back. It is important, in this seasons change that welcomes spring, sun and warmer weather to help the body remove the accumulated toxins, to purify it but also ...
Wintersweet, scientific name Chimonanthus praecox, is a plant native to China. The shrub is very resistant to cold and is characterized by yellow, very scented flowers that bloom in the middle of winter until march and appear as a prelude to spring. It is precisely for this reason that the name of wintersweet is chimonantus, from the Greek cheimon winter and anthos flower, the winter flower. However, the wintersweet does not only have a beautiful ornamental role, but it also has interesting heal...
Ancient Aztecs and Maya called them cacahuat and considered them as coins, we are speaking about cocoa beans, the seeds of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. The cocoa plant is native to South America and is characterized by elongated fruits with an orange-red color. Inside these fruits there are the cocoa beans that are the raw material of cocoa powder and chocolate that everybody knows. Actually, also the cocoa beans can be eaten after a natural fermentation process. You can find them in special...
Macadamia nuts are the oily fruit of the Macadamia tree, also called the Queensland nut tree, belonging to the Proteaceae family and native to Australia. These nuts are round, very similar to hazelnuts and are enclosed in a hard shell, just like the common nuts. Since the shell is really very hard, these nuts are usually sold already shelled. Macadamia nuts provide vitamins, such as E and group B, and mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper (Moodley et al, J E...
Honeydew honey differs from nectar honey for the raw material used by bees to produce honey. In nectar honey in fact the bees use, as its name suggests, the nectar of the flowers that is then transformed with bees’ enzymes in honey. But in wooded areas there are not always flowers to get nectar from, hence the solution is given by honeydew, captured by bees and then converted into honey. The honeydew is secreted by the plants themselves or by insects that feed on the sap of trees such as silver ...
The Isabella grape derives from the Vitis labrusca plant and is characterized by a pulp with a sweet taste and a strawberry-like scent. This type of grape is native to North America but it is also widespread in Europe. Isabella grape is not only interesting for its taste, it also has important healthy properties. In fact, it brings vitamins, including A, C and group B, and mineral salts, such as iron, copper, potassium and manganese. Moreover, thanks to scientific studies that have analyzed its ...
Butter is a largely debated topic, some people use it everywhere, also to prepare a simple tomato sauce, and some people avoid it because they consider butter a junk food. The truth, actually, is in the middle. Butter is derived from milk and is presented as a stick of a light yellow color. And here is the first problem, the good and high quality butter is that produced from milk cream through churning, it tends to easily go rancid but its fats are only unsaturated fats, also called good fats (F...
Peaches are the fruits of summer, juicy, scented and also really healthy. Peaches are classified on the basis of their flesh color, white, the original color of the fruit, and yellow, that has occurred as a consequence of mutations of a gene, CCD4. This gene, according to a scientific study performed by researchers of Udine University (Falchi et al, Plant J, 2013), is responsible of the degradation of carotenoids, the pigments that give the red and yellow color. In white peach the gene works pro...
The jackfruity, or jack tree or jack, scientific name Artocarpus heterophyllus, is a plant that belongs to the Moraceae family that includes also the fig, it is native to the southern slopes of the Himalayas but nowadays is widespread in Australia, Brazil and Africa, too. Its fruits are characterized by a really remarkable size, they can indeed reach 40 cm in diameter and 30 kg of weight. These fruits are a high calorie food, in fact they bring about 90 kcal per 100 g, are energizing but low in ...
Ghee, or clarified butter, is a type of butter where the proteins and the water have been removed. Ghee is an ingredient of traditional Indian cuisine and is used in place of butter and oil for cooking and frying because it is characterized by a high smoke point, comparable with that of olive oil, it doesn’t burn and resists at high temperatures. But ghee has also an interesting therapeutic use thanks to the revitalizing and digestive properties, in addition to this is considered to act against ...
Common hornbeam, plant
The common hornbeam, scientific name Carpinus betulus, is a tree belonging to the Betulaceae family, characterized by oblong leaves and able to reach 15-20 meters in height. Thanks to its leaves, rich in gallic acid, an antioxidant substance, and to its buds, rich in biostimulants that are substances that regulate the development of embryonic tissue and therefore with all the strength of the plant, the common hornbeam is widely used in herbal medicine. In addition to the glycerin macerate, usefu...
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...
Bertholletia excelsa is known as Brazil nut and it is a tree belonging to the Lecythidaceae family that can be up to 50 meters height. The fruits are woody capsules that have inside the seeds that, in their turn, are protected by a hard shell. This shell should be broken and the Brazil nuts are obtained, well known and eaten all over the world. These nuts are a high protein food and contain mineral salts, such as magnesium, phosphorus, that plays an important role in a wide range of processes f...
Raisin has Greek or Turkish origins and is the result of the drying process in the sun or in special dryers of a variety of grapes, small and sweet. Raisins are an ideal snack because the drying process has made the nutrients more concentrated, it is a source of vitamins, particularly those of group B, which are important for the functioning of the nervous system and to fight tiredness and loss of memory, and mineral salts, such as potassium, calcium, copper and iron. It is energizing because it...
Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known as black locust or false acacia, is a tree that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Thanks to this plant one of the best known and well appreciated honey is obtained. This honey is characterized by a light yellow color and a liquid consistency, it has a delicate taste and it also very versatile, it is highly digestible and energizing and for this reason it is the ideal choice for a breakfast or snack for sporty people or for those people who are going through a v...
Beetroot, also known as garden beet or red beet, scientific name Beta vulgaris, is a plant that belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family and is characterized by an edible root with interesting healthy and nutritional properties. Beetroot indeed, especially if you eat it raw, is very rich in folate, has mineral salts such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, vitamins of groups B and C and water, very useful to counteract water retention. Thanks to these characteristics the beetroot ...
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