Thursday, February 12, 2009

~*~Amazing fruit....Bananas~*~


  Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

  This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

  Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

  Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

  But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit.

  It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

  Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

  PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

  Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

  Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

  Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

  Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

  Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

  Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

  Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritat ion.

  Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

  Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

  Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

  Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

  Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effe cts of nicotine withdrawal.

  Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

  Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine, 'eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

  Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

  So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods aroun d So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

  PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

~*~Who says diabetics can't eat well?~*~

Who says diabetics can't eat well?
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but crucial for people with diabetes. Following a diet that meets the 
strict nutritional requirements of diabetics and does not overshoot on calories is critical. 
At the same time, having diabetes does not mean you lose your head on calorie counting and bid farewell to delicious food. 
Here are some yummy meal options that are safe, quick to prepare, and great to taste.
Beverage list
Choose from the following for each of your meals.
Club soda 
Diet soda 
Coffee with an artifical sweetener like 'Equal' 
Sugar-free drink mix, like a sugar-free strawberry crush 
Tea with no/less sugar 
Kokam juice with no added sugar 
Sugar-free tonic water
Avoid canned or even fresh juices, especially those with added sugar.   
Dr Desai a practicing pathologist and medical officer at IIM Ahmedabad, who also serves as the selector and coach for the Indian roller-skating team, says, "The best breakfast option for a diabetic is a plate full of fruit. Include fruit such as apples, peaches, 
bananas and even strawberries, and eat a stomach full. You can even have a soup if an urge for salts arises. Once in a 
while, you can have milk with cereal that has no additional sugar. Muesli is also an option."
Some more options: 

Poached egg on toast 
Tomato and cucumber salad 
Bread topped with pineapple slices 
Whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal 
Almond milk 
These must be alternated though, and none consumed on a daily basis. However, fruits are safe and ideal for repetition. 
For lunch, Dr Desai wholeheartedly recommends salad, soups or a light oil-and-fat- free veg curry with whole wheat 
chapattis. He says, "For lunch, a salad and soup is ideal. However, how you make it is also important. Do not add high 
calorie dressings or sugar-rich products. Otherwise, the purpose of eating a salad will be defeated. The chapattis should 
not be smothered with butter or ghee either. The whole idea is to monitor the intake of calories so the blood sugar does 
not shoot up." He shares two soup recipes. 
Chicken-Rice Soup
250 grams chicken pieces, small
1/2 cup salad leaves, chopped
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
1 small onion, cut into four
1 cup carrots, diced
? cup capsicum, diced 
Bay leaf (Tej Patta in Hindi)
A pinch of pepper 
Simmer the chicken in water with the salad leaves, onion, two pinches of salt and tej patta for one hour over low heat. 
Drain the chicken broth and retain it in a separate container. Place the pieces in a clean plate and debone the chicken. 
Chop it into small pieces. Combine the broth, chicken, rice, capsicum and carrots in a saucepan and continue cooking for 
30-40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Makes three servings
Fruit Fusion 
1 cup fresh grapes, chopped into halves
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced into four
1 cup fresh peaches, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups low-fat yogurt

Mix grapes, strawberries, and peaches. Mix gently. Sprinkle brown sugar over fruit. Top with yogurt. Cover and refrigerate 
for about 2 hours. Gently stir fruit to mix it and serve in pudding/ice cream bowls. This makes three servings.

By carefully selecting what you eat, including a good balance of the right kinds and amounts of fats and carbohydrates, 
you can help improve your health. The bottom line is you must eat carefully, eat right and eat sensibly. Do not starve or 
deprive yourself. At the same time, don't over-indulge either.