Wednesday, 27 August 2014

13 ways to add fruits and vegetables to your diet

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a cornerstone of good health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you:

1.  Keep blood pressure under control.
2.  Reach and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3.  Keep your arteries flexible.
4.  Protect your bones.
5. Keep the eyes, brain, digestive system, and just about every other part of the body healthy.

But many of us have trouble putting that knowledge into practice and getting five or more (emphasis on the "more") servings a day.

One reason you might not be tapping into the power of produce is that you think fruits and vegetables are too expensive. That's not necessarily so. You can buy three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables for well under $2 a day.

Preparation time, unfamiliarity, and old habits are other obstacles to eating more fruits and vegetables. Here are a baker's dozen of suggestions for tipping aside these barriers and enjoying delicious and nutritious foods.

1. Know your needs.
 The guidelines recommend a minimum of 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables a day. More is better. To calculate your fruit and vegetable needs, go to

2. Set a goal.
 If fruits and vegetables are minor items in your menu, start by eating one extra fruit or vegetable a day. When you're used to that, add another, and keep going.

3. Be sneaky.
 Adding finely grated carrots or zucchini to pasta sauce, meatloaf, chili, or a stew is one way to get an extra serving of vegetables. Cookbooks like Deceptively Delicious or The Sneaky Chef offer ways to slip vegetables and fruits into all sorts of recipes.

4. Try something new.
 It's easy to get tired of apples, bananas, and grapes. Try a kiwi, mango, fresh pineapple, or some of the more exotic choices now found in many grocery stores.

5. Blend in.
 A fruit smoothie (recipe below) is a delicious way to start the day or tide you over until dinner.

6. Be a big dipper.
 Try dipping vegetables into hummus or another bean spread, some spiced yogurt, or a bit of ranch dressing. Or slather some peanut butter on a banana or slices of apple.

7. Spread it on.
 Try mashed avocado as a dip with diced tomatoes and onions. Puréed cooked spinach is also a delicious dip. Either can also be used as a sandwich spread.

8. Start off right.
 Ditch your morning donut for an omelet with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Top it with some salsa to wake up your palate. Or boost your morning cereal or oatmeal with a handful of strawberries, blueberries, or dried fruit.

9. Drink up.
 Having a 6-ounce glass of low-sodium vegetable juice instead of a soda gives you a full serving of vegetables and spares you 10 teaspoons or more of sugar.

10. Give them the heat treatment.
 Cut up onions, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, turnips — whatever you have on hand — coat with olive oil, add a dash of balsamic vinegar, and roast at 350° until done. Grilling is another way to bring out the taste of vegetables. Use roasted or grilled veggies as a side dish, put them on sandwiches, or add them to salads.

11. Let someone else do the work.
 Food companies and grocers offer an ever-expanding selection of prepared produce, from ready-made salads to frozen stir-fry mixes and take-along sliced apples and dip.

12. Improve on nature.
 Jazz up vegetables with spices, chopped nuts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, or a specialty oil like walnut or sesame oil. Even a dash of grated Parmesan cheese can liven up the blandest green beans.

13. Get help from Willy Wonka.
 Try any type of fruit dipped in dark chocolate: what could be a tastier two-fer? In addition to a delectable dessert, you get plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants, some fiber, and a host of vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients.
Simple fruit smoothie

This is a great way to use bananas that are beginning to get too ripe. (You can always cut ripe bananas into thick slices, freeze in a plastic bag, and thaw when you're ready to make another smoothie.)

Makes 1 serving

¾ cup plain yogurt

½ cup berries (fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, or other berry of your choice)

½ ripe banana

½ cup pineapple juice

Optional: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (for healthy omega-3 fats)

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to combine. You can branch out by adding a dash of ground cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, some mint, or other flavoring.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Product Review of the Week : Peak Evaporated Milk

Product Name: Peak Evaporated Milk a brand of FrieslandCampina

Nutritionals per 100ml (Net Content:157ml) : 173 Calories, 8.7g Protein, 12.6g Carbs, 9.7g Milk fat, 300mg Calcium, Iodine 48ug, 135ug Vitamin A, 0.9ug Vitamin D3,0.16ug Vitamin B1, 0.27mg VitaminB2, 0.17mg VitaminB6, 1.0ug VitaminB12, 64ug Folic acid

Pros: Extra Fortified with 28vitamins and minerals

Cons: Contains whole cow’s milk

Rating: 3 stars

Tips: Always check label for skim milk alternative that can help in healthy weight management.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Healthy Living Habits

Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Whole Foods: The Nutritional benefit of Peanuts


Peanuts are incredibly nutrient rich, contains most basic nutrients in such high concentration. They contain high amount of vitamins and minerals which includes niacin (promotes good health for both skin and mucosa), B1, B2, C, E (protects skin from harmful radicals), zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium (which protects against hypertension), and a healthy amount of protein(25.8g/100g), they also have high amount of good fats and all this without cholesterol or excess saturated fatty acids.

They are not just a simple snack or a complement for other foods, as their calorie content for 100g stands at 567calories cannot be ignored, if they are simply added to the regular diet, one runs the risk of the consequences of obesity. They should be eaten in moderation

Monday, 18 August 2014



Thank God it’s Monday!  Time to reset, work on our goals health wise and all other aspects of our life. We have to cultivate a lifestyle that agrees with progress. Our health depends on the small decisions that we take each day and the decision we make that most affect our health have to do with the foods we eat. I will be sharing with us why we should go meatless on Mondays*

 Reasons to go Meatless on Mondays
  • Studies have shown that those who consume a high amount of red and processed meat have a significantly higher risk of overall mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality
  • Dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease
  • Going meatless one day a week may help curb obesity
  •  Improve your diet
  • Improve your chances of living a longer, healthier life by skipping meat once a week.
  •  Showcase your creativity in the kitchen with vegetable rich dishes
  • Meat isn’t the only source of protein; try nuts, beans, quinoa, and eggs
  • Think of all the money you’ll save!
  • Starting your week on a meat-free note might inspire you to eat healthier throughout the week
  • Limit your risk of cancer
  • When you nix meat once a week, you can supplement your meals with fiber-rich filling grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice, etc.).

Friday, 15 August 2014


Every day of the week should be a day we are grateful to God about not just Fridays, but I understand we can’t all wait to begin our weekend. For most people Friday night will be a night of relaxing, dinning and drinking with friends. Let’s take a look at healthy drinks we can enjoy for our weekend.

 Healthy Drinks


There are many options for what to drink, water still remains the best choice: It’s calorie-free, and it’s as easy to find as the nearest tap.

Water provides everything the body needs—pure H2O—to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It’s the perfect beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system.

There is no one estimate for how much water you need each day. Instead, the Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake 15 cups for men and 11 cups for women.  Note that this is not a daily target, but a general guide. In most people, about 80% of this water volume comes from beverages; the rest comes from food.
Water is an excellent calorie-free, sugar-free choice.  For some people who are accustomed to drinking sweet beverages, water can initially taste bland. To increase water consumption without losing flavor or to spice up your daily water intake, try these refreshing water-based beverages:
Instead of purchasing expensive flavored waters in the grocery store, you can easily make your own at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:
   - Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
   - Crushed fresh mint
   - Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
   - Crushed berries

Sparkling water with a splash of juice

Sparkling juices may have as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces (1.5cups) of sparkling water and just an ounce or two (2tbsp-1/4cup) of juice. For additional flavor, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs like mint.

Beverages to limit


Drinks that are loaded with sugar are the worst choice; they contain a lot of calories and virtually no other nutrients. Consuming high-sugar drinks can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and gout.

The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories. If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 3kg in a year.  Cutting back on sugary drinks may help control your weight and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sports beverages are designed to give athletes carbs, electrolytes, and fluid during high-intensity workouts that last an hour or more. For other folks, they’re just another source of sugar and calories.

Energy drinks have as much sugar as soft drinks, enough caffeine to raise your blood pressure, and additives whose long-term health effects are unknown. For these reasons it’s best to skip energy drinks.

Wishing everyone a splendid weekend!