Monthly Archives: February 2017

Consider When Buying An Aloe Vera Drink

When you are looking to buy Aloe Vera to boost your immune system or any other function you need to do a number of factors for you to buy the right one. Some of these things include:

Be cautious of the ingredients used in making the drink

High quality and natural Aloe Vera should be 100% but very few manufacturers are able to achieve it. Many of the manufacturers will state that the product is 100% aloe Vera but in the real sense, it isn’t. When you are buying the product, you shouldn’t pay a lot of attention at the front of the product-pay close attention to its back too. Before you make the purchase confirm that the first product at the back is aloe Vera.

If you are looking for 100% Aloe Vera, you should go for one that is sold in a refrigerated cabinet. If it isn’t in a cabinet, it definitely it isn’t 100%. There is nothing wrong with buying a product with a lower percentage of the active ingredient. You only need to ensure that the right amount is correctly indicated and priced appropriately.

Pay attention to the type of aloe Vera

There are many types of this product that you can buy. The most common types include: whole leaf, double strength, tablet, concentrated, filtered and many others. To get each type of the product, the plant has to be subjected to different processes. To buy a high-quality product, it’s highly recommended that you avoid a product made using unnecessary processes.

For example, you are discouraged from going for the whole leaf as the outer skin of the leaf is highly toxic. If the leaf has been filtered to remove the toxic outer parts, the product won’t be nutritious thus of no value to you. Experts also recommend that you avoid double strength aloe Vera as it is made from freezing and boiling. Boiling and freezing results to loss of the nutritional value of the product.

Go for a product certified by the international aloe science council

The International Aloe Science Council (IASC) regulates all the aloe Vera drinks in the market. Its role is to ensure that the drink has all the ingredients mentioned in the list. It’s good to note that not all products bearing the seal have been approved by the council. To ensure that you are buying a high-quality product, always ensure that you check the council’s website for a list of the manufacturers that have been approved to sell the product. As rule of thumb avoid a product being sold by an unregistered company.

Pay attention to the color of the drink

If you can, take a look at the color of the drink you are going to buy. If possible, even taste it. Studies show that most of the drinks on the market have extremely high amounts of water. If the product you are planning to buy looks and tastes like water you should stay away from it. A good quality drink should be yellow in color and have a strong taste.

Things You Should to Know About Sugar

Sugar is omnipresent in human lives today. From our morning cuppa to the dessert that puts a close to dinner, these crystals are everywhere in every household.

Here are a few interesting facts about sugar:

A short & sweet history lesson

It has been recorded that these shiny crystals were already in existence and use at the time that the Gupta dynasty ruled ancient India – around the 5th century AD. Sugar was called ‘Khanda’ or ‘Khand’, and this is the source of the word ‘CANDY,’ which has come to mean all things sweet and delectable. And forbidden.

Indian sailors carried their sugar supplies to all the parts of the world along their trade routes. But it was only as late as the 19th century that sugar was felt to be a ‘necessity’ in Europe, and the demand for this sweet ingredient grew exponentially. The quest for the quick buck by commercially producing sugar drove colonisation of tropical countries like India. As sugar production in those times was labour intensive, it gave birth to a supporting industry-slave trade in Africa.

Scientifically sugar-savvy

Chemically sugar is a form of carbohydrate! It is made up of bonded carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Funnily enough, not all sugars are sweet!

Sugar(s) are of two kinds depending on the bond between these elements:

Monosaccharides have the simplest chemical structures and are the fundamental units of carbohydrates. Glucose is one of the sweet, simple sugars.

Disaccharides are compound sugars formed by the joining together of two monosaccharides. Examples of these are maltose, sucrose, and lactose.

Common talk of sugar actually refers to sucrose.

Nothing sounds so sweet this way, does it?

How is sugar made?

There are two sources of sucrose that we use to make sugar:

Sugar cane is a grass cultivated in the tropical and subtropical parts of the earth. The stems of this plant are where the sweet sucrose is stored.

Sugar beet is cultivated in temperate regions with good rainfall. Beetroot, the tuberous root, contains high amounts of sucrose.

Juice is extracted and then clarified by heating with lime(calcium oxide) to destroy the enzymes. The result is a thin syrup which is then supersaturated by super-heating under vacuum to concentrate it. Sugar is crystallized from this concentrate.

The crystals are whitened by bleaching with sulphur dioxide or by a process called carbonatation (using calcium hydroxide and carbon dioxide).

The scare about sugar

In modern times, much has been written and said about the ill effects of sugar consumption. According to the WHO, studies on the health impacts of sugar are conflicting and inconclusive.

Sugar is not addictive. It has no established relationship to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Some studies on links to diabetes suggest that eating sugar does not cause or accelerate the onset of this disease. Controlling diabetes means control of calories and that is why sugar as well as other carbohydrates are to be watched.

‘Sugar Rush’ and hyperactivity among children because of eating sweets and sugar are also considered myths. Studies show that the real effect of sugar is actually on parents with pre-conceived notions on sugar as a source of instant and uncontrollable energy. It does not agitate their kids!

The healthy principle is not to eat anything in excess- sugar is no exception. The WHO recommends that 10% of total energy intake should be from sugar. If this figure is reduced to 5%, there is additional benefit for dental health.

Organic sugar

As with all things organic sugar too can be produced using natural and biological methods of farming shunning the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Refined sugar is chemically cleaned to give it the sparkling white colour. In this process, it loses its outer brown coat of the minerals that sugarcane juice possesses. Refining this way supposedly makes sugar a table attraction.

On the other hand, organic sugar is not super-refined: it is slightly browned and has a richer flavour because it has not had its coat of minerals polished right off.

Organic sugar is also lower on the glycemic index than white refined sugar.

Sugar is not the poison that it is made out to be. Everything in excess is poison. Choose a good brand of organic sugar where you can trust that no chemical has touched even the sugarcane plant, the fountainhead of sucrose.

The next time you curl up with your refreshing cup of tea or bake a cake, make sure the sugar at hand is sweet and organic.

This Common Myths on Frozen Foods

With hectic schedules and busy lifestyles, most families choose to cut down on preparation time when it comes to meals and go for quick fix dinner options. This has brought about the immense popularity of frozen foods, which ensures that there is always something to eat at home and on top of this, freezing leftover meals can actually prevent wastage of food too. However, with many people opting for frozen food, misconceptions regarding it have been rising as well.

Frozen food is not nutritious

Frozen food could sometimes lose out on some nutritional value but the reality is that they are generally more nutritious than the fresh food that’s available at the grocery store. The reason for this is that out-of-season produce is picked before it has completely ripened and then stored, cutting down a great deal of nutritional value before you finally eat it. By comparison, frozen food is picked when it’s ripe and then frozen, so it only loses some nutritional value during storage.

Too processed

While grocery freezers are packed with unhealthy frozen dinners, there are some great healthy choices as well. This is why it’s important to go for whole and natural foods by checking through the list of ingredients and avoiding any that include additives or preservatives. Another interesting fact to note is that the process of freezing can actually stop bacteria from developing because microbes cannot grow of food that are stored at minus 0 F, making it far healthier than most people think.

Way too expensive

Generally, it is less expensive than fresh food. For example, most fruits and vegetables that are not in season are priced very high but stocking up frozen fruits and vegetables can actually save money on your grocery bills.

All food can be frozen

While there are plenty of foods that can be frozen and yet retain the original texture and flavor, this is not the case with all food. There are certain foods that tend to lose its flavor when frozen and these include cream-based sauces and fruits and vegetables that contain high water content.

Can last forever

Frozen foods have a longer lifespan than when it’s fresh but it can lose the taste and quality when stored for too long. However, there are some ways in which the storage life of frozen food can be extended and this is done by blanching vegetables before freezing and covering the food in moisture-proof packaging.

Information About The Olive Oil

The olive oil is used all over the world in various ways. Whether it is about cooking at home or a hotel or manufacturing pharmaceuticals, This oil is the liquid gold that is used for numerous purposes and is extracted by pressing the whole olives. Green olives produce bitter oil and the over ripe olives are capable of producing the rancid oil. To get the right oil, all the olives need an adequate care. The trade market of this oil is spinning money globally.

The Types Of Olive Oil

  • Extra Virgin – This is the higher quality of this oil and contains only 0.8% acids, thus, has a fruity taste. The production of this superior quality oil is highest in the Mediterranean i.e. 80% in Greece.
  • Virgin – This type of oil is of a slight lower quality and is 1.5% acidity free in nature.
  • Refined – Obtained from virgin olive oil without an initial glycerin addition. While extracting the oil, no kinds of solvents are used but the refining procedure involves a few chemical filters and charcoal.
  • Olive Pomace Oil– This oil is not exactly defined as an olive oil. It is blended with the virgin oil and is fit for consumption. However, it comprises of the same fatty components as the regular olive oil. Hence, another reason for its usage in cooking in restaurants.

The Cretan Olive Oil

Crete is a well-known city in Greece. The Mediterranean basin in Greece holds the largest production of olives, 80% as we said above. The leading consumers of oil are the Greeks with an average of 24 liters per person in a year! You can make an idea of how widely the oil is used in the food and beverages. The Cretan olives are a rich source of essential vitamins and hence, they are supplied widely all over the nation.

The Mediterranean Diet And Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is another silent killer and many causes contribute to it. Stress, obesity, not following a balanced diet and excessive alcohol consumption followed by cardiovascular diseases and type 2diabetes when combined, lead to this syndrome. The Mediterranean diet is one of the proven ways to tackle metabolic syndrome. This specific diet includes intake of green and leafy vegetables, fruits and a moderate consumption of proteins and olive oil.

The Benefits You Get

Apart from the usage you read above, there are many miraculous benefits we get from this oil.

  • Moisturizes skin– A high amount of vitamin E is present in olive-oil. A light massage helps in reducing the dampness from the skin.
  • Healthy Hair – Mixing this oil with honey and applying it on scalp make hair shiny & lustrous. The presence of vitamin B aids the growth of hair and vitamin E prevents hair loss. Honey restores the moisture in hair.
  • Strengthens Bones – A study says that consuming the Mediterranean diet and olive oil provides strength to the skeletal system.
  • Relieves Constipation – Taking this oil empty stomach in the morning can do wonders.