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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, 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...
Fat burning diet Part 5, the spices chili pepper and nutmeg
Choosing the foods to put on the table is not irrelevant to our health and some foods may be really useful to counteract overweight and the fat localized on the waistline. This type of fat indeed is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat because, according to scientific studies, it acts like an endocrine organ by releasing hormones and inflammatory substances that feed chronic inflammations. In the long run this condition may cause diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems or even cancer...
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...
Bamboo shoots, or bamboo sprouts, are the new edible shoots of different species of bamboo. They are used in Asian cuisine but, nowadays, they can be found easily pretty much everywhere and added to our dishes to make them tastier and healthier. Bamboo shoots have indeed interesting nutritional properties, they are a low sugar food and are a precious source of essential amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin B6, that is very important because plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of serotonin and there...
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 ...
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 ...
Vinegar is one of the most popular and widespread dressing, it gives flavor and is low calorie. The most common vinegar is that of wine followed by apple cider vinegar, but on the market there are several varieties of vinegar, produced from cereals or fruit, each with a particular aroma and properties. For example, there is blackcurrant vinegar, obtained through a slow process of acetification in wooden barrels of fermented blackcurrant juice. This vinegar has soothing and draining properties. F...
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...
Eggs are well known and eaten all over the world, they are constituted by a protective shell, the yellow egg yolk and the egg white. The most common eggs are the chicken eggs but you can find also other types of eggs such as duck or quail eggs. It has been long debated whether or not eggs should be considered a nutritious food that cannot miss in a healthy diet. Some people in fact claim that eggs can cause high cholesterol and therefore cardiovascular diseases. Scientists are studying eggs in o...
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...
Tofu has ancient origins, it seems indeed that it dates back to the second century B.C in China. It is very similar to a small, white colored bread and it results from the processing of soy beans, that are soaked in water and then pressed in order to extract the milk. The coagulation of this milk is obtained thanks to a natural marine compound, nigari, or magnesium chloride or calcium chloride, but other substances can also be used like calcium sulfate and acid substances such as vinegar or lemo...
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...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
Bulgur is a cereal food obtained from durum wheat that, after steaming, is air dried and then coarsely milled. It has a very ancient origin, it seems indeed that bulgur was appreciated already by Babylonians and Hittites. It has the same characteristics as whole grain wheat, contains mineral salts such as potassium, iron and phosphorus, vitamins such as E, group B and PP, and fibers, useful for the proper intestinal functioning and to counteract constipation. Moreover, bulgur is a high energy f...
Do you know that there are more than hundred types of salads? The escarole, scientific name Cichorium endivia of the family Asteraceae or Compositae, belongs to this long list of vegetables rich in vitamins, mineral salts, water, thus being able to stimulate diuresis, and with important healthy properties. In particular, the escarole is characterized by a slightly bitter taste like rocket salad or chicory and, for this reason, it stimulates digestion by improving the production of gastric juices...
The Cashew tree is an evergreen tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, it is very appreciated thanks to its fruits that contain a seed, the cashew nut, considered a type of dry fruit. The cashew nuts, characterized by a sweet taste, are rich in mineral salts such as potassium and magnesium, useful to control the blood pressure and to protect the health of the nervous system, iron, copper, calcium, zinc and selenium, and vitamins such as group B, K and E. The cashew nuts are high in fat, aro...
Champignon is the French name of the mushroom Agaricus Bisporus of the Agaricaceae family. The champignon are mushrooms with a delicate taste and now widespread all over the world, they can be cultivated and, for this reason, can be found all the year in supermarkets. The fact that the champignon are cultivated in a controlled soil has another advantage, in this way indeed the mushrooms don’t absorb pollution, toxic substances or radioactive compounds unlike the mushrooms that can be harvested ...
The Budwig Cream is a basic preparation of the Kousmine method, developed by a Russian doctor, Catherine Kousmine, who, in order to understand the progressive spread of degenerative diseases, studied the effect of nutrition on health. The Kousmine method was born thanks to these studies and, even though it is not scientifically recognized, it has the merit of putting on the same level diet and health that we know nowadays are intimately related. To understand this connection we recommend, among ...
Black rice is a variety of rice of the species Oryza sativa. It is a type of black colored brown rice native to China where, in the ancient times, it was considered to be a food worthy only of the emperor. Nowadays black rise can be instead found on the supermarket shelves. Black rice is rich in fibers, that bring sense of satiety and are also good for the intestinal health by helping against constipation, it contains vitamins such as B1, B2 and PP, and mineral salts such as iron, selenium, magn...
Water – Why it is essential
There isn’t a simpler and more efficient natural remedy than water. Water can be easily found everywhere, it flows from the taps at home, it can be bought in bottles but we often don’t give enough importance to it. Water is essential for the health of the body, this so precious liquid plays a role in carrying the nutritive substances to the cells and the toxins and wastes outside the body, water regulates the body temperature through sweating, is a shock absorber for organs such as the eye or t...
Lens culinaris is a plant of the Fabaceae family whose seeds, lentils, are edible pulses characterized by interesting nutritional and healthy properties. Lentils are rich in proteins, for this reason these legumes can be considered an alternative to meat, in fibers, useful to treat constipation and to improve the digestive processes, and are a low-fat food. In addition to this, lentils have mineral salts, such as potassium, useful to regulate hypertension, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium, copp...
Opuntia ficus indica, commonly known as prickly pear or Indian fig opuntia or cactus pear, is a species of cactus native to Mexico but that can be found in the Mediterranean basin and in the temperate zone in America, Oceania, Asia and Africa. Here we speak about the fruit of prickly pear, that can be red or orange, covered with spines and with a pulp rich in water, sugars, antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, vitamins, such as A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, and mineral salts, such as potassium...
Wheat grass is obtained by sprouting common wheat as well as spelt and barley, after about two weeks the newborn grass is cut and squeezed, thus obtaining an unique natural remedy, rich in vitamins such as A, C, E and group B, mineral salts such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorus, amino acids and antioxidants such as chlorophyll. Thanks to these characteristics, wheat grass is useful in fighting free radicals and aging processes, improves the health of skin and hair, cle...
Coffea cruda is a remedy prepared from the mother's tincture of unroasted seeds of the coffee plant, or Coffea Arabica, of the Rubiaceae family. This remedy is used to treat excessive nervousness, hyperactivity and insomnia caused by stress, especially when at night you are not able to fall asleep because there are too many thoughts in your mind or if you stay too long on your computer or watch television before you go to sleep. Coffea cruda is also useful in case of headaches and migraines, pal...
The buckwheat, scientific name Fagopyrum esculentum, belongs to the Poligonaceae family, but is considered, from a commercial point of view, a cereal, although it doesn’t belong to the family of the Graminaceae. Buckwheat contains B-group vitamins, mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium, more than all other cereals, manganese, iron and copper, and valuable antioxidants. It is easily digestible, brings proteins and a sense of satiety and, for this reason, it can be inserted into the diets of ...
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