Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.
Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.
Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
What makes kale so exceptional? Here is why it's a superstar vegetable -- and ways to work it into your diet.
Kale is a Nutritional PowerhouseOne cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
Super-Rich in Vitamin KEating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese.
Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
But too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.
Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.
Black Rice has been linked to many health benefits and successes; and recent research suggests that there may be many more that we’re currently not aware of. Consumption of black rice has been linked to marked decreases in risk for dangerous conditions such as heart disease and cancer. High blood pressure, circulation and overall blood health also seems to be maintained well by those who add Black Rice to their diet. Because this special type of rice is considered to be anti-inflammatory and a great source of antioxidants, it may be useful in avoiding long term problems like Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. We’re just beginning to see the useful health related applications of Black Rice; it’s very possible that we’ll discover even more health related benefits from Black Rice as future research is conducted.
The Main Point is….Black Rice is becoming the new “it” organic food that everyone is talking about; and the attention it’s getting is well deserved. The myriad of health benefits that this wonderfully ‘nutty’ grain provides are staggering; it is truly one of those foods that could potentially cure diseases and solve problems. If you’re considering adding this wonderful grain to your grocery list and diet, do so without hesitation; you would be doing yourself and your family a favor.
Black Rice and “Super Foods”Black rice falls into a category of what are quickly becoming recognized as ‘super foods’; or foods that offer many more health benefits than other types of similar foods, etc…. We’ve heard a lot about blueberries, and their healthy mind boosting properties; and acai berry with its weight loss applications. Even more recently it has been found that coffee offers some kind of long term protection against of host of fatal diseases and afflictions.
Frying Pure rice bran oil, exhibits excellent frying performance and contributes a pleasant flavor to the fried food. It possesses good storage stability and fry life without hydrogenation. These properties make it a premium choice for frying upscale products with delicate flavors. Most Japanese restaurants in the USA have now switched to Rice Bran Oil for their Tempura Frying Oil because of its superior performance in this special application. General frying applications, ranging from French fries to chicken, rice bran oil exhibits excellent taste and texture. Since hydrogenation isn't required for stability, it is a natural high-quality liquid frying oil that is also free of trans-fatty acids.
Stir-Frying Rice Bran Oil is also a great choice for use in stir-frying. While its delicate, nut-like character complements the natural flavor of stir-fried meats, seafoods and vegetables, it never overpowers them. A further advantage is its natural resistance to smoking at high frying temperatures. Not surprisingly, rice bran oil has quickly become the oil of choice by many high-end Asian-American restaurants.
Salad Dressing Rice Bran Oil has a light, barely perceptible flavor, making it wonderful to use with gourmet vinegars and spices. The oil emulsifies easily, so dressings don't separate.
Baking Because of rice oil's light flavor, it has found favor in baking applications. Brownies and other baked goods made with rice oil turn out light and delicious. Baking sheets and cake pans coated with rice oil allow the baked goods to come out of the pan or off the cookie sheet with no trouble at all.
Soap Manufacturing Rice Bran Oil has a long and successful history in Japan as a base for soaps and skin creams. The oil is purported to reverse the effect of aging by slowing the formation of facial wrinkles thanks to rice bran oil's rich concentration of Vitamin E and gamma-oryzanol. In Japan, women who use rice bran oil on their skin are known as 'rice bran beauties'. In the US, rice oil has gained a strong and loyal following with soap manufacturers and artisans.
Supplement for Horses, Dogs and other animals Rice oil has found favor with performance horses or older horses that have a difficult time keeping weight on. The rice oil is purported to give horse and dog coats a rich, shiny look. Some zoos are even feeding rice oil as a supplement to their tigers and lions!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TOPHE GRILLING OIL
Gamma Oryzanol Rice bran oil is rich in gamma-oryzanol, a group of ferulate esters of triterpene alcohols and phytosterols. The high antioxidant property of gamma-oryzanol has been widely recognized. Studies have shown several physiological effects related to gamma-oryzanol and related rice bran oil components. These include its ability to reduce plasma cholesterol, reduce cholesterol absorption and decrease early atherosclerosis, inhibit platelet aggregation, and increase fecal bile acid excretion. Oryzanol has also been used to treat nerve imbalance and disorders of menopause.
Tocotrienols Rice bran oil is the only readily available oil, other than palm, that contains significant levels (approximately 500 ppm) of tocotrienols. These occur in at least four known forms and are similar to the tocopherols in chemical structure. They belong to the vitamin E family and are powerful natural antioxidants. The protective benefits of dietary antioxidants in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer have been widely publicized.--
Rice Bran Oil is a healthy oil with uses in cooking, frying, as a salad dressing, baking, soap making, as even a supplement to horses, dogs and other animals.
Why Rice Bran Oil in cooking? For grilling, you need an oil that can take the heat. Specifically, you want an oil with a high smoke point, the point at which oil starts to smoke. When cooking, you don't want your oil to smoke, because it imparts a negative flavor to the foods.
Rice bran oil's smoke point is 490 degrees F, higher than even grapeseed oil (480 degrees) or peanut oil (320 - 450 degrees). This means that even in the hottest of situations, rice bran oil won't smoke or breakdown. Your foods will taste better, and they will be less likely to stick to the grill or griddle.
Pure rice bran oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant. Rice bran oil is also a rich in the neutraceutical gamma-oryzanol (see below for health benefits).
Rice Bran Oil has NO cholesterol and NO trans fatty acids. It is naturally low in saturated fat.
Rice Bran Oil is also rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids.
Rice Bran Oil is naturally free of trans fatty acids (TFA's)
The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits ofcoconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.
How is Lauric Acid Used by our body? The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and evenHIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references onscientific research done on coconut oil.
Before we move on to the benefits of coconut oil in detail, let us understand its composition.
Composition of Coconut Oil:Coconut oil consists of more than ninety percent of saturated fats (Don’t panic! First read to the last word. Your opinion may change), with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.Virgin Coconut Oil is no different from this. Let us have a bit detailed study of this.
The Saturated Fatty Acids: Most of them are Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well. Lauric Acid is the chief contributor, with more than forty percent of the share, followed by Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic.
The Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Linoleic Acid.
The Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: Oleic Acid.
The Poly-phenols: Gallic Acid, which is phenolic acid. These poly-phenols are supposed to be responsible for the fragrance and the taste of Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these poly-phenols.
Certain derivatives of fatty acid like Betaines, Ethanolamide, Ethoxylates, Fatty Esters, Fatty Polysorbates, Monoglycerides and Polyol Esters.
Fatty Chlorides, Fatty Alcohol Sulphate and Fatty Alcohol Ether Sulphate, all of which are derivatives of Fatty Alcohols.
Let us now explore the benefits of coconut oil in detail:
Hair Care: Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regularmassage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.
Skin Care: Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.
Heart Diseases: There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of othervegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Digestion: Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Immunity: Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Healing and InfectionsWhen applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from externaldust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.
Other: Coconut oil is strongly recommended for other benefits which are given below. Usage of coconut oils mildly helps for the following:
Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.
Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
Pancreatitis: Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.
Stress Relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium andmagnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.
Dental Care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.
HIV and Cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancerpatients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).
Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
Coconut Oil and Alzheimer's Disease: There are reports of research conducted by Dr. Newport stating that coconut oil is useful for treating Alzheimer's disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge or coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer's. It was also not known traditionally that coconut oil helps in the brain function.
Why is Coconut Oil Solid?: Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point - about 24 to 25 degress Celcius or 76-78 Farenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperatures go high. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don't think that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is like this only. And of course, don't keep it in your refrigerator.
How to Use Coconut Oil?: If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.
Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?: Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for coooking.
I Don't Like the Taste of Coconut Oil. What Should I do?: Try using coconut oil in some different recipe. That may help. If you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don't force yourself. As it happens with any other food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.
When most people hear the word “salt,” they think of sodium chloride. This is what is commonly sold in stores, and usually has one or more of the following added to it: calcium silicate (anti-caking agent), dextrose (sugar), and iodine.
Himalayan salt is different. It comes from an old lake bed (the lake evaporated in the past) in northern Pakistan at the base of the Himalayan mountains. It is hand-mined, hand-washed, and sun dried. Its crystal structure is not unlike precious gems, and proponents of the salt make all sorts of claims about its benefits. Here are some of the suggested uses and benefits of Himalayan salt.
1. Air purifier
It is said that a large chunk of Himalayan salt placed near the computer or television reduces the effects of the radiation these appliances emit. It also has been credited with neutralizing second-hand cigarette smoke in the air and absorbing other airborne impurities. It is especially effective when heated, such as when the salt chunk is made into a lamp.
2. Skin cleanser
Himalayan salt contains magnesium and bromine, which have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the skin. This makes it especially beneficial for those suffering from dermatitis due to allergies. Mix some of the salt with a gentle skin cleanser or water and use on the skin, massaging it well. Rinse.
Himalayan salt can be made into a brine, or sole, that has various uses. To make the brine, mix a few crystals with pure spring water. When they dissolve, mix in a few more. Keep doing this until the crystals no longer dissolve. Then, you can use the brine for a variety of things, such as:
* Toothpaste – Add undiluted brine to your toothpaste to clean your teeth, strengthen your gums and freshen your breath.
* Upper respiratory and sinus health – Heat brine in a pot and inhale the steam. Cover your head with a towel to keep the vapor near your face. Inhaling the steam can help ease headaches associated with sinusitis and other factors.
If you use a neti pot to cleanse and flush your nasal passages, you can use Himalayan salt. Add 1/2 teaspoon to a full neti pot.
* Health drink – Add 1/4 teaspoon of brine (up to 1 teaspoon is considered okay) to 8 ounces of pure spring water and drink. Do this in the morning on an empty stomach and continue drinking pure water throughout the day. This drink can help balance your body’s pH and, with a little lemon juice added, it helps balance your electrolytes.
Himalayan salt can be used in fine crystal form as a substitute for table salt as well.
All salt is not created equal. The refined, iodized, commercial salt sold in stores is a far cry from natural Himalayan salt. Don’t try to subsititute commercial salt in any of the above suggestions – it’s entirely different, and could cause problems if used as described above.