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Orange, red, green or blue, how wonderful the fruit’s and vegetable’s colors are! But these colors aren’t just joyful and fascinating but reflect also the presence of antioxidant compounds that, in addition to giving the color, determine also the healthy properties of the food. We are speaking about carotenoids, anthocyanins and flavonoids, substances that counteract the aging processes and that we can take by varying the type, and therefore the color, of fruit and vegetables that we serve on th...
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...
Longevity diet Part 2, drinks and foods in Okinawa
Okinawa, an archipelago in the East China sea, is considered the country of centenarians. A special mix of healthy diet, antioxidant drinks and exercises able to keep the body flexible and active makes the lifespan of the inhabitants of Okinawa very long. In the previous post we have seen the first part of the Okinawa’s guide lines. Today we’ll the second part, according to the study of the scientists Bradley Willcox and Craig Willcox, who spent much time in Okinawa in order to understand the li...
Longevity diet Part 1, the secret of Okinawa
Okinawa is a Japanese archipelago composed by 161 lush islands surrounded by a crystal-clear sea. But Okinawa is also the country of centenarians with people that show one of the longest lifespan all over the world. The interesting thing is that in Okinawa the people live so long but also healthy, both in body and in mind. The scientists consider Okinawa an outdoor lab in order to understand the secret that allows people in Okinawa to live so long. The hormone-dependent cancers, such as, for e...
Slow Cosmetique, let’s prepare the skin for the sun Part 2, serums, supplements and water
How to prepare the skin for sun exposure now that warmer weather has started? To avoid irritation, redness and premature aging, we’ll see the tips of Slow Cosmetique, the movement that was born with the aim of focusing again on the skin and its needs, by avoiding cosmetics with long lists of ingredients that can often be comedogenic, irritating and, in some cases, even carcinogenic. In addition to sunbathing in the safest hours, staying out of the sun in the hottest hours of the day from 11 am t...
Slow Cosmetique, let’s prepare the skin for the sun Part 1, scrubs and vitamins
Slow Cosmetique is a movement born in Belgium with the aim to bring the attention again on skin and its real needs by saying stop to face creams, serums and other types of lotions that include a too long list of ingredients, often dangerous and irritating and without any real beneficial effects. In previous posts we have spoken a lot about the tips of Slow Cosmetique, for what concerns the cleaning and nourishing of skin, the hair treatment and the methods against acne, dark spots and eye bags. ...
Food combinations and properties, the strawberries, better than aspirin
On the shelves of the supermarkets the strawberries start to appear, so delicious and juicy that these fruits are the joy of children and adults! But strawberries are also a powerful source of healthy substances whose action may be increased or, on the contrary, inactivated, by other food with which strawberries are served. Let’s see better in detail. Properties – Strawberries contain iodine, in particular, a cup of fresh strawberries may have about 13 mcg of this essential micronutrient, a go...
Turmeric oil, the amazing oil for beauty and health
Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is a plant native to Asia. Its orange root is characterized by amazing healthy properties and can be found as a powder or whole root. Thanks to an active substance, the curcumin, the spice shows antimicrobial properties, thus resulting useful to counteract virus and bacteria, and an anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and anticancer action. In addition to this, turmeric is also able to protect the brain from degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer...
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...
Hericium erinaceus, known also as lion’s mane mushroom or monkey head mushroom, is an edible mushroom native to North America, Europe and Asia. This particular mushroom isn’t just fascinating for its look, characterized by long and white spines, but also thanks to its healthy properties demonstrated by scientific studies. Properties – This mushroom is indeed antioxidant, it is able to stimulate the immune system but shows also a neuroprotective effect connected to the enhance of a protein, NGF...
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...
Desmodium, scientific name Desmodium adscendens, called also tick trefoil or tick clover, is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family used to protect liver and kidneys and to fight asthma. Desmodium is a natural medicine of tradition, known and used for centuries by the people of the Amazon rainforest and Africa. Nowadays, desmodium is the subject of various scientific studies to test its effectiveness. Properties - What is emerging from the scientific researches is that desmodium is a source ...
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...
Food combinations and cooking methods, onion Second Part
The onion, family of the Liliaceae, is eaten and appreciated both for its taste, sweet and strong at the same time, and for its beneficial properties for millennia. As often happens with traditional foods, remedies and herbal teas, also in case of onion the scientific studies are now confirming its healthy action. Nowadays, we know that eating onions can be really useful thanks to its antibiotic, antiseptic, expectorant, antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, slimming, hypoglycemi...
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...
Yellow dock, also known as curly dock, scientific name Rumex crispus, is a plant of the Polygonaceae family. The extract obtained from the roots of this plant is a remedy with purifying and diuretic properties, it stimulates the activity of the liver, is laxative, thus helping in case of constipation, and is useful in case of anemia as it provides iron. Moreover, rumex extract is characterized by a well demonstrated antioxidant effect, therefore useful to counteract oxidative stress and the dama...
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 ...
The plant of cocoa, Theobroma cacao, belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae and is native to south America. When the seeds are extracted from the fruits of the tree they are subjected to a multi step process involving fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding in order to obtain, as a final product, the cocoa powder that we can purchase in the shops. A fine, brown and scented powder that is commonly used for cooking, sweets, drinks but also as an ingredient of beauty cosmetics. Let’s see the pr...
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...
The mandarin, citrus reticulata, is a juicy, scented and very yummy fruit, it is also very healthy. But the properties of the mandarin aren’t limited to the pulp, in fact also the peel of mandarin is arousing plenty of interest thanks to several scientific researches that are studying its benefits. In particular, researchers of the Leicester School of Pharmacy have observed that mandarin peel contains a substance, called Salvestrol Q40, which the plant produces to defend itself from external att...
Naturally beautiful Part 3, the beauty masks of December
Nourishing and hydrating the skin, protecting and healing it with only natural ingredients, powerful sources of beauty, antioxidants and anti-aging substances that make the skin luminous and toned, this is what we hope to help you do with these posts dedicated to natural cosmetics. The articles about INCI of cosmetics allow us to understand that often the so called beauty products in fact may cause irritations, rashes, acne or wrinkles, and this effect isn’t related to the price of the cosmetic....
Turnip greens, scientific name Brassica rapa sylvestris of the Cruciferous family, are a vegetable of Italian origin but nowadays spread also in other parts of the world such as America and Australia. The turnip greens are characterized by dark green leaves and inflorescences, called broccoletti or broccoli of turnip. The healthy properties are truly remarkable, in fact these vegetables bring vitamins, such as C, group B and A, folic acid and mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, ...
Napa cabbage, also known as Korean cabbage, scientific name Brassica rapa subsp pekinensis, family of Brassicaceae or Cruciferous, is a vegetable originating in the Beijing region, China, but today can be easily found all over the world from Europe to America and Australia. It has an elongated shape and light green leaves in layers. Like all vegetables of the cruciferous family, this type of cabbage also contains antioxidants and glucosinolates, substances that the plant develops to protect itse...
Food combinations, raw tomatoes and cooked tomatoes
Paying attention to the food we are eating, choosing whole grain rice, bread and pasta, fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants, legumes and extra virgin olive oil is a first step to live healthier and longer. Not to mention that what we eat acts also on the gut by modifying the intestinal flora that, according to the latest scientific researches, affect the general health and also the mood. But another important step is also to choose the food combinations in order to balance the nutrients, i...
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 ...
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