Tuesday, 27 August 2013



 Delicious, crunchy, and nutty peanuts are one of the popular oil seeds known to mankind since ancient times.
Peanuts are members of the legume family, which is the same family as beans.

Boiled peanuts have a high amount of vitamins and minerals and a healthy amount of protein , because of their nutritional benefit and low cost, they are very popular. They also have a high amount of fat, but the good fat (unsaturated) outweighs the bad fat.
 one cup of salted boiled peanuts (includes all types of peanuts) gives you 200 calories, which is 10 percent of your daily calories needs if you are on a 2,000-calorie diet. 54.8 of the calories come from carbohydrates, 116 are from fat, and 29.5 of them are from protein. A cup has 21 percent of your daily fat needs, making the majority of calories come from fat. A little less than half of it is saturated fat. Calories from protein account for 17 percent of your daily protein need, and carbohydrate calories account for 4 percent of your daily carbohydrate need. 

Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral/fungal infections.

One cup of boiled peanuts has several vitamins and minerals within a 2,000-calorie diet. It has 13 percent of your vitamin E needs for the day, 11 percent thiamin (vitamin B1), 17 percent vitamin B6, and 12 percent of your folate needs. A cup of boiled peanuts also has 16 percent of your magnesium needs, 12 percent phosphorous, 20 percent sodium, 16 percent copper and 32 percent of your manganese needs. Each component contributes to the body's well-being and function, from the antioxidant properties of vitamin E to the nervous and immune system support provided by vitamin B6. 

The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol);  vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals.
Boiled peanuts  they are also a good source of fiber. One cup of boiled peanuts has 6 g of fiber, which is 22 percent of the daily need for a 2-000-calorie diet. Another benefit is that boiled peanuts do not have any cholesterol.Boiled peanuts are satiating, but will not make you feel overly full.

Boiled peanuts are a good source of the mineral zinc. Zinc is essential for neurological function, energy metabolism, immune system function and wound healing. A 1-cup serving of boiled peanuts in the shell provides 1.15 mg of zinc. Men need 11 mg of zinc daily and women need 8 mg.

The peanuts are cooked in one of two ways: boiled or pressure cooked. The high water absorption during the boiling process keeps the calories lower than in dry-roasted peanuts.

Recent research studies suggest that boiling enhances antioxidant concentration in the peanuts. It has been found that boiled peanuts have two and four-fold increase in isoflavone antioxidants biochanin-A and genistein content, respectively. (Journal of agricultural and food chemistry).

 Just a hand full of peanuts per day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

Boiled peanut, which is in season are popular now, on the Nigerian street. I went on the street to hear what people had to say about boiled peanuts
'Its mild chewing, easy swallowing, doesn’t inflict pimple or reactions unlike the fried one, sweet when prepared properly, it serves as a meal because when I consume reasonably in large quantum, its fills me up'
Other opinions were because of its low cost, its serves as food mostly lunch,  it keeps them occupied during work hours 
Boiled peanuts!!!!  Oh, the memories they bring back of sitting around my grandmothers kitchen table with a large bowl of them in the middle of the table and a paper towel in front of me on which to put the empty shells.  I would have the salty peanut juice running down my arms to my elbows, but stopping to clean myself up was not conceivable. The object was to crack the shells and shovel the soft peanuts into my mouth as fast as I could go.  Everyone else at the table was doing the same thing and the unspoken rule was that everyone’s empty shell pile had to be the same size. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Understanding Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is one of the most important measures of your long term health, if not the most important. More than your weight, the range of your blood pressure can give you a quick picture of your health future. In short, blood pressure is the measure of force against your blood vessels, the passages that transport nutrients and keep you alive. It is important to understand blood pressure and what lifestyle choices you can adopt to keep blood pressure in a safe range.

Measurements of blood pressure are reported as two numbers:
  •     Systolic pressure, or pressure when your heart is beating
  •     Diastolic pressure, or pressure when your heart is at rest
-Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80mmhg
-Hypertension is when you blood pressure is 140/90mmhg or above most of the time
-If your blood pressure numbers are 120/80, or higher, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension

 The Risks of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

High blood pressure causes damage to your veins and arteries. The repair of damage is never perfect, leaving scaring and potential sites for plaque buildup. The result, called Atherosclerosis, is increasingly smaller passages for blood and higher blood pressure, creating a vicious cycle of increasing blood pressure and blood vessel damage. Via this arterial damage, high blood pressure leads to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, and chronic renal failure.

 Controlling Hypertension

 Blood pressure can be controlled by maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a balanced diet and using medication appropriately if prescribed by a doctor. Eating lots of vegetables and fruit, moderating alcohol intake, adopt a form of exercise which you can keep, and cutting back on sodium [salt] can also help. Further, methods should be practiced to reduce stress in your everyday life. Activities from taking a walk can help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. 

Since high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease, it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly and take steps to keep blood pressure within a healthy range.

Visit a dietitian to help you manage your diet adequately.

Papaya 'Activates The Digestive Process'

 There are many papaya benefits for your health and this beautiful orange/yellow tropical fruit is proof that nutritious food can also have an amazing taste.

Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and special digestive enzymes that have a remarkable effect both internally and externally.

If you’d like to improve your skin, relieve digestion problems, protect your eyes and heart and possibly lower your risk of many diseases like cancer, then consider the many benefits of eating papaya. 

Papaya is Good for Your Eyes

Along with its beta-carotene content that can be converted to vitamin A, so important to healthy eyes and vision, papaya also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, known as xanthophylls, are concentrated in the macular region of our eyes. Here they provide protection against high energy blue light that can damage our eye’s retinas. A good intake of both lutein and zeaxanthin is believed to significantly reduce our risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) 

The high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in papaya may also protect us against developing cataracts, glaucoma, and other chronic eye diseases. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are pumpkins, spinach, broccoli and the yolks from free range eggs.

Skin Protection 

Ripe papaya is a great source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene. The high levels of these valuable nutrients can help protect your skin against free radicals known to cause damage that leads to wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.

The enzyme papain in the flesh and skin of the fruit actually breaks down dead skin cells and helps promote skin renewal when used topically on the face or body. Papaya facial treatments are a popular way to improve your skin’s texture, elasticity and appearance. They may also help with wound healing and burns and even assist in the treatment of skin problems like acne, blemishes and age spots.

 Heart Disease and Papaya

The high levels of vitamin C and vitamin E along with antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene in pawpaw can help reduce the oxidization of cholesterol in our arteries. Cholesterol oxidization is considered a dangerous process, potentially leading to arteries blocked with plaque that can result in heart attacks. Increasing your intake of these antioxidants from health foods like papaya may help improve blood flow to the heart and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Papaya is a good source of folate which helps control homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. High levels of homocysteine in the blood is known to damage blood vessels and is considered another potential cause of cardiovascular disease.

The beneficial fiber in papaya can also help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol levels in the blood by inhibiting its absorption during digestion. This is yet another way eating this amazing superfood can help protect us from heart disease and stroke.
Papaya Benefits Improve Digestion

The enzymes in papaya, and especially the green fruit, can improve digestion by breaking down proteins into their individual amino acids. Undigested proteins can lead to many health issues, such as gastrointestinal problems and an overgrowth of flatulence causing bacteria in the colon.

The proteolytic enzyme papain found in papaya is actually so good at breaking down proteins, similar to pepsin in gastric juice. Its primary source is the leaves of the papaya tree or its unripe fruit. Papain is greatly reduced in ripe papayas

Papaya and Cancer Prevention

There are several important compounds that may make papaya a very beneficial superfood for reducing your risk of developing certain types of cancers. Obviously seek the advice of a knowledgeable health care professional when dealing with any serious disease. But also know that nutritious foods can support the body’s natural defenses and, in the case of papaya, may have certain nutrients of particular relevance for reducing cancer risk.

Once again, the rich antioxidant content of papaya, particularly lycopene, beta-carotene and another less well known carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, are particularly beneficial in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

Proteolytic enzymes in papaya can digest the fibrin protein layer of cancer cells that usually surrounds and protects them. This may leave the cancerous cells more susceptible to the body’s immune response. It is also believed to hinder its growth and inhibit the cancer from spreading.

The fruit also contains compounds called isothiocyanates that may help prevent cancer by eliminating potential carcinogens from our bodies and enhancing the action of tumor suppressing proteins. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are an even richer source of isothiocyanates, but papaya is still a good source.

Recent research has studied the powerful cancer cell killing effects of compounds found in papaya leaves.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Vitamin A Rich Foods You Should Be Eating

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body. Vitamin A rich foods are essential for body development and growth. It helps maintain normal vision and keeps your skin, eyes and immune system healthy.  You will get vitamin A from some animal foods and carotenoids, a form of vitamin A, from plant food.  By consuming vitamin A rich foods you’ll be able to obtain a sufficient way to obtain this vitamin with no necessity of supplementation. Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin kept in the liver, was recognized as required for growth. Vitamin A is a vital vitamin necessary for vision, gene transcription, boosting immune function, and great skin health.

An insufficiency in vitamin a can result in blindness and increased viral infection, however deficiency is just considered an issue in developing countries where it’s a leading reason for blindness in children. Over consumption of vitamin A can result in jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, irritability, vomiting, as well as hair loss. Highest vitamin A foods are liver, cod liver fish oil and carrots. Vitamin A is among the most essential vitamins.

Carrots High Vitamin A Rich Foods
Carrots are considered as a high vitamin A foods. Carrots are fantastic cooked or like a snack. 100 grams of raw carrots provides 16706IU for vitamin a. That is 204% RDA for any medium-sized carrot, and 2069IU for any single baby carrot. Beta Carotene has elevated levels of antioxidants helping prevent cancer. It may be present in carrots, yams, pumpkin, squash, leafy green vegetables, apricots,  and papaya.

Vitamin A and Liver
 It will be surprising thing for some people that vitamin A is declared as high vitamin food. The liver associated with a animal comes complete with minerals and vitamins, and it is best prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs. Turkey liver offers the most vitamin a with 1507% RDA per 100 gram serving, or 62526IU per liver. The liver on most any animal will give you 1000%+ RDA of vitamin A. *pregnant women should limit intake of liver to one serving every two weeks*

Vitamin A with Paprika and Red Pepper 
Red Pepper, Chili Powder and Paprika are full with vitamin A. A tablespoon of paprika contains 3691IU for vitamin a, or 52735 IU (1055% RDA) for any 100 gram serving. Other red pepper powders have similar amounts with Cayenne powder providing 41610 IU per 100g or 2081IU in one tablespoon. Chili Powder is full with vitamin a.

Vitamin A Rich Foods – Sweet Potatoes 
Sweet Potatoes are a high vitamin A Food. Using their bright orange color yams are full of vitamin A. Yams provide 19218IU of vitamin a per 100 gram serving, or 38436IU inside a cup of mashed yams, and 21909IU inside a medium-sized yams.

Vitamin A Rich Foods – Dark Leafy Greens
 Dark Leafy Greens contains high vitamin A. Dark Leafy Greens Crisp, fresh, and delicious, dark leafy greens are wonderful inside a salad or steamed like a side. Like a bonus they will also be full of calcium. 

Vitamin A and Dried Herbs 
Vitamin A is found in Dried herbs also. Dried herbs are extremely full of vitamins. Turn it into a habit to include a pinch of dried herb to all you prepare. Dried Parsley offers the most vitamin a with 10184IU per 100 gram serving, or 204IU per tablespoon. 

How to Make Food So That You Retain Maximum Vitamin A?

You can lose maximum vitamin A during food preparation, the cooking period, or storage period. To preserve vitamin A:

  • Consume raw vegetables and fruits whenever possible.
  • When you cover and keep vegetables , fruits and you refrigerate during storage, you preserve vitamin A.
  • Steam the vegetables and bake, braise, or broil meat in place of frying. While frying, a slight amount of vitamin A inside fat is lost.
  • Margarine is also fortified to get the vitamin A volume equal to butter. Skimmed milk or Low fat are frequently fortified amid vitamin A since it was taken out from the milk along with fat.

Saturday, 17 August 2013



    Avocados, like olives, are high in mono-unsaturated fats and calories. However, they are very rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients. 
  • Their creamy pulp is a very good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids as well as omega-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good-cholesterol, thereby, prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • Avocados are appropriate for the diet of those suffering from stomach ulcers or gastritis because of their alkalinity and the emollient and protective effects of their fats on the mucosa.
  • They are a very good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. 100 g fruit provides 6.7 g or about 18% of recommended daily intake. Dietary fibers help lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.
  • Avocados are very rich in vitamin B6, one of the most important for proper neuron function, they are very appropriate for those suffering from nervousness, irritability or depression.
  • Its flesh contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as cryptoxanthin, lutein, zea-xanthin, beta and alpha carotenes in small amounts. Together, these compounds act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • They are also good in many health-benefiting vitamins. Vitamin A, E, and K are especially concentrated in its creamy pulp.
  • Avocados are also excellent sources of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron and copper are required in the production of red blood cells.
  • The iron in avocados are well assimilated, eating them is encouraged for all those needing additional iron, such as adolescents(particularly girls) and pregnant women. Avocados should be included in the diet of all who are anemic because of blood loss or lack of iron.
  • Fresh avocado pear is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g of fruit provides 485 mg or about 10% of daily-required levels. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids where it helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.
  • Recent studies show that eating avocados is particularly beneficial to diabetics, they help maintain glycemia level(blood glucose).
  • Because of their great nutritional value, their ease of digestion and their vitamin E content, avocado should be a part of the diets of children, adolescents during periods of rapid growth, athletes, exhausted or stressed adults, the elderly and all those wishing to naturally and healthfully increase their vitality.
  • They go great in salads and wraps, while also being delicious on their own. The softer ones make a great substitute for unhealthy mayonnaise and can also be added to smoothies.