Black Garlic: Garlic Just Got Better

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month. Image

Black garlic  – You read it correct.  This aged version of garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Black garlic exhibits several advantages, when compared to fresh garlic. The taste of black garlic has been compared to that of a dried fruit.

Black garlic  is simply fresh garlic  that has been fermented for a period of time at a high temperature under high humidity. No additives, preservatives, or burning is involved in making it. The process turns garlic cloves dark, gives them a sweet taste, and alters their consistency to chewy and jelly-like.

Origin:

Black Garlic has long been consumed in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand for centuries, and was introduced around 10 years ago into other countries

Compared to fresh garlic, Black Garlic does not release an awful flavor. This is because allicin gets converted into antioxidant compounds such as bioactive alkaloids and flavonoid compounds during the aging process.

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month.

Why should we eat Black garlic:

Black Garlic Has More Than Double the Powerful S-Allyl-Cysteine (SAC), an Antioxidant compared to raw garlic. Black garlic contains vitamin C and B6, manganese and selenium. Black Garlic contains 18 Amino Acids, which are very important for our body.  Research have found that extracts found in black garlic are able to inhibit the growth of certain cancers such as stomach and colon, by triggering their natural destruct mechanism known as apoptosis.

1 – Decreases cholesterol rate

2 – Regulates sugar in blood

3 – Protects the liver

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Bake like a Pro: Make ‘Lip smacking’ cake with science

If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

If you look at a cake, it can be made with just five ingredients – self raising flour, sugar, butter/oil, egg and your favorite flavor. But to dish out a lip smacking dessert, you need to be an expert. Expertise means having the know how about how each ingredient would behave, what’s the ratio to be used, how quantity can be altered without losing cakes softness and texture etc.….. If you ask a chef….they will say it can only be gained by experience.

 But then here I differ….Making a cake is all about science…precisely speaking…chemistry. Let me detail out the chemistry behind making a cake, so that you could bake like a pro from your first attempt.

It’s said, If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

Let’s start with the Flour

First lesson don’t mix up flours

Maida or white flour is similar to cake flour sold in the United States . Like cake flour, white flour is finely milled. It has less protein than all purpose flour. White flour is produced from soft wheat and is low in gluten content (8-10%).

All purpose flour is different from white flour. It is made from a mixture of hard and soft wheat. It has a gluten content of 9-12%. This can be used to make both cakes and breads. However cakes won’t be very soft.

Self-raising flour is a mix of all purpose flour, raising agent, and salt. The most commonly used raising agent is baking powder, but some brands also use bicarbonate of soda. Self-raising flour is many a times used as a short cut in baking (no need to add soda), or by vegans who do not eat eggs, as the extra raising agent in the flour mimics the role of egg..

Note: Weighing is the only accurate way to measure flour, as flour amount would vary depending on how tightly flour is packed into a measuring cup

Cake becomes dense and fails to rise….understand Gluten

Flours are mainly made up of starch and protein. When water is added to the flour, chemistry develops between them…. proteins glutenin and gliadin combine and form gluten.   Stirring, kneading, folding, and mixing causes gluten to stretch and organize itself into a network. Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, chewy texture.  This is beneficial in case of cookies, but it harms the cake.

Note:  Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, tough texture.  

Fluff up your Batter with Butter and Oil

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Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Help You Lose Weight…it’s True

Research study proves that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides

Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective weight loss aid. Apple cider vinegar is considered as a super food due its numerous health boosting benefits. It is packed with enzymes, probiotics, and trace minerals has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and can also serve as an antibacterial when treating wounds. It can also be used as a “cure” for hiccups, acne, heartburn, a sore throat, and bad breath, among countless other ailments.

The Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study in 2009 stating that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar  for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides. It can also improve heart health.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider. During the fermentation process, sugar in the apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. Like many types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

What Does it Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Act as appetite suppressant

Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which could act as an appetite suppressant. Pectin is a carbohydrate, and is said to help the stomach feel full. This is why it should be taken before meals.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Help in controlling hunger pangs

Apple cider vinegar prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to snack between meals. When blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to diet and eat only when actually body needs it.

Block starch absorption

Regular consumption of Apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels by “blocking the absorption of starch.”

Burn Fat

The beta-carotene present in Apple cider vinegar helps to break down and remove the stored fat from the body.

Beats insomnia

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Foods you thought were good for your kids, but aren’t

Say no to Instant oatmeal

What food kids need to eat to stay in top form, healthy, strong and smart, at the same time easy to make to match up with current fast paced lifestyle?.

A question very often parents ask other parents and search over and over again on internet. Even then most parents end up feeding their children unhealthy food unknowingly.

Parents, many a times get carried away by clever advertising terms like “Reduced fat” “Enriched” flour, “Multigrain”, Whole Fruit” and many more. Sure, those sound healthy, but the poor nutrient quality of these foods has been smartly obscured. These foods in reality could be doing far more harm to child’s  health than good.

Find out which popular “healthy” foods are actually unhealthy

1. Say no to Instant oatmeal

Oatmeal for sure is a great food for kids. They are packed with fibers and nutrients.  Nutrient-rich oatmeal contains thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.  But quick-cooking oats or instant oats are not that good for health.  Instant oats are basically powdered oats and take less than 5 minutes to cook. Although they are easy to cook, most brands of instant oatmeal have added salt and sugar. Also a 250 g serving of instant oatmeal lead to a GI of 83, whereas coarse one can be as low as 55. The process of grinding oats removes some of their fiber content, which accelerates digestion and raises the instant oats GI.

What you can do:

  • Look for instant oats that can give 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • Stay away from instant oats with chemical ingredients and additives
  • Opt for instant oats with low sugar

2.Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

The word granola may invoke thoughts of healthy oats, grains, and nuts all nicely mixed up into an easy to eat bar. Many parents proudly give this energy packed bars as evening snacks.  But parents beware- what lies behind the wrappers of these seemingly innocent bars may be an over-processed nutritional mess.

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Stay Young and Youthful forever….with Science

Look for products with cell regulators, such as retinols, peptides and growth factors (GF), which can influence collagen production.

How many of you have seen the movie The Age of Adeline. In this movie the actress Blake Lively faces a car accident at the age of 29 and she never ages thereafter…. Stay Young and Youthful forever

This is complete fiction.  Nobody can stay young forever, but we can definitely slow it down with science backed ways. 

What is Skin ?

Skin is the body’s largest organ. A square inch of skin has millions of cells and many nerve endings for sensing temperature, pain, pressure, and touch. Skin is very sensitive and can get damaged if it is not cared for. We need to protect it from the sun, dirt and from irritants.

“The body sheds 30,000–40,000 dead skin cells off its surface every minute. This amounts to nine pounds of cells every year. ”

What is Skin ? image

Skin and Ageing

As we grow older our skin also undergoes changes. Skin ages both from the inside and from the outside. Within our skin, collagen production slows and elastin becomes less flexible. New skin cells are produced less quickly, and dead skin cells are not shed as often.

Signs of Ageing:

  • Wrinkles
  • Thinner and more transparent skin
  • Hollows in the cheeks and eye sockets and looser flesh on the neck and hands
  • More prominent veins and bones
  • Dry skin
  • Slow healing when injured

Science Proven ways to keep your skin young

Stay Youthful, Stay Young….Slow down your Ageing machine image
  1. Gut Health : Secret to glowing skin

54 percent of acne patients have marked alterations to the intestinal microflora. Acne, facial redness, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and rosacea could happen because of poor gut health. Having processed diet, stress and other lifestyle factors could result in a damaged or “leaky” gut lining (leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability), which leads to low-grade inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance – all factors which have been linked to poor skin health. So take good care of your gut.

  1. Rebuild Skin Collagen and Elastin with best Skin care products

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Will We All Be Eating Insects Soon ?

Insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals

Have you heard of ‘Entomophagy‘.

Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects and arachnids as food. This includes insect eggs, larvae, pupae, and mature adults.

Before you say disgusting, read these facts :

Two billion people worldwide eat insects

There are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth

Insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals

According to Anthropologist Julie Lesnik the ingestion of insects could promote brain growth

Yellow jacket wasp larvae are popular in Japan, Cicadas are treasured in Malawi, and Weaver ants are devoured in Thailand.

Insects are rich in essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids : Image

Why there is a need to eat INSECTS

The world population is steadily growing, with each year, adding up another 70 million people. If growth continues this way, by 2050 the population would reach a whopping 9 billion. Feeding all these hungry mouths is going to be a debilitating task and agriculture, livestock and ocean products would not be able to meet the needs. So next option available is to include INSECTS into diet.  U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has been urging all nations to encourage Insect diet to tide over food shortage.

Truth is ….You have been eating Insects, though unknowingly

It is estimated that we eat, on average, 140,000 ‘bug bits’ every year

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Sanitary napkins, New age Pollutant

Even though number of women who use hygienic means to manage menstruation in India is pegged at just 12-15%, this has already opened up a new challenge….How to handle the staggering amount of Sanitary waste.

Sanitary waste disposal has become an increasing problem in India. The plastic used in disposable sanitary napkins are not bio-degradable and lead to health and environmental hazards.

The total amount of menstrual hygiene waste that is generated per month nationwide comes to around 9000 tons….. 

What’s inside Sanitary Pad?

Have you ever checked what’s in your pads. Even if you check you won’t find  ingredients in sanitary pad as manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered medical devices.

Have you ever checked what’s in your pads ?

Sanitary pads are mostly plastic and are made of different layers. The thin top layer on napkins, known as the dri-weave top sheet, is made of polypropylene (a plastic polymer). The padding is mostly wood pulp mixed with super absorbent polymers and the leak-proof layer is made from an impermeable polyethylene.  Super absorbent polymer is the magic ingredient that helps to hold water up to 30 times its weight.

Too much plastic means, sanitary pads too carry health hazards. Would like to enlist few….

  • Some chemicals present in plastic like BPA and BPS can complicate embryonic development
  • The cellulose present in pads can cause cervical cancer
  • Rayon which is used to increase the absorbing capacity of pads, contains dioxin. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen.
  • Deodorants used in pads can cause infertility and birth defects

What happens to all those soiled napkins ?

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Do you need Selenium supplements ?

Selenium deficiency can impair immune function, increase incidence of cancer, cardiovascular and other degenerative diseases as well as overall mortality.

Selenium in human Health and Disease

Selenium is an essential micronutrient found in Brazil nuts, chicken, fish, turkey, crab, nuts, cereal and eggs. Selenium is an “essential nutrient”, meaning our bodies cannot make it, and so we have to get it from our diet. Without it the heart, joints, eyes, immune system and reproductive system can suffer.  We require 55 micrograms of selenium to maintain proper health and this selenium we must obtain through dietary sources.

What is Selenium

Selenium is a non-metal element that occurs in the earth’s crust. Selenium is necessary in the body’s production of selenoproteins.  There are around 25 selenoproteins in humans and many of these are enzymes that act to protect the body against oxidative damage. Since the ageing process, as well as certain diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, is associated with an increase in oxidative damage, maintaining adequate selenium intakes may provide some protection against these processes.

Where is Selenium found

Seafood and organ meats are rich in selenium.

Plants pick up selenium from soil. The selenium content in plant foods depends on the concentration of selenium in the soil where the plants grow.  Seafood and organ meats are rich in selenium. Other foods that have selenium include muscle meats, grains and dairy products. It can also be found in drinking water in some places.

Why selenium levels are low in some people

People living in places where the soil is selenium deficient have low selenium levels. People who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol often are more likely to have selenium deficiency. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other conditions that interfere with how the body absorbs selenium can lead to low selenium levels. Kidney dialysis patients may also become low in selenium. The chemotherapy drug cisplatin can lower selenium levels in the blood, but it is not known if cisplatin can lead to a significant deficiencies.

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10 Nightmares New age Mom faces

Our minds are filled with images of happy pregnant and new moms we see on billboards, ads and pinterest. But truth may not be always this…..

Becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where you already live –  Sarah Walker

Are you pregnant, Are you going to start this journey or are you already a new mom. This post is for you all. The true fact is however well you prepare mentally and physically and how much ever you read about motherhood, the moment the little one is born, a mother feels as if she is on a roller coaster ride.

The lifestyle and parenting magazines have created a false image that journey of being pregnant and motherhood is something one should for sure enjoy and it only has happiness. Our minds are filled with images of happy pregnant and new moms we see on billboards, ads and pinterest. But truth may not be always this…..

1.For most new moms, breast-feeding doesn’t come easily

Though breastfeeding is a natural process, it need not be easy. Less than 50% moms manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby’s health. The moms who quit mostly are those who have faced trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby.

  • Sore or Burning nipples
  • Poor or Excess milk supply
  • Plugged milk ducts
  • Flat or inverted nipples
  • Breast infection
  • Breast engorgement
  • Latching problem

2.Hate every minute of pregnancy

Half the female population hate being pregnant. Many a times people around and society are only happy about the pregnancy news and mother to be is left to bear all the pain and trauma associated with pregnancy by themselves. The process of carrying fetus for 40+ weeks is a tough job and for large number of women the journey becomes tougher with accounts of morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, body ache, swollen ankles and sore breasts.

Journey becomes tougher with accounts of morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, body ache, swollen ankles and sore breasts

Many people assume that if you hate being pregnant, you’ll hate being a mother.The fact is to hate ‘pregnancy’ is normal. Not liking pregnancy has no correlation with not liking the ‘Baby’.

3.Some moms don’t bond with their baby instantly

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Did you know that blue light from ‘Digital Screens’ negatively affects health

We all take special care to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays; but what about the harmful effects of blue light rays?
Usage of blue light emitting gadgets before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the “darkness hormone” melatonin.

Sources of blue light include the sun, digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets), electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting.

As the day progresses, we actually move closer to the back lit devices

 

Impact on Sleep:

Digital Screens emit blue light which are so bright that at night, brain gets confused by that light.  Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. This causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives body the “time to sleep” commands. Because of this, digital screen light can disrupt sleep cycle, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Changes in sleep patterns can in turn shift the body’s natural clock, known as its circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that shifts in this clock can have devastating health effects because it controls not only our wakefulness but also individual clocks that dictate function in the body’s organs. Research also shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity. 

Eyes and Blue Light:

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