Archive for ‘Fruits’

October 25, 2012

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

By: Dana Baardsen

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? So can it’s vinegar do the same thing too?

Apple cider vinegar is created after the apples undergo fermentation. During the apple’s fermentation process, it’s natural sugars turn into alcohol. Prolonged fermentation is what actually takes the product a step further, creating the vinegar.

The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar creates antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make it a great healing product. It can be ingested or topically applied.

Apple cider vinegar has a lengthy list of health benefits. Some health claims are:

  • Ridding toxins from the body
  • Relieving Allergies
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Aiding fat breakdown
  • Clearing Acne
  • Easing digestion / Preventing stomach illness
  • Regulating pH balance in the body
  • Relieving migraines
  • Slowing the growth of cancer cells
  • Cleaning head lice / Destroying dandruff

WebMD reports five health claims which are backed up by scientific research:

  1. Diabetes- “The effect of vinegar on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%”.
  2. High Cholesterol- “A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people”.
  3. Heart Health- “Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn’t. However, it’s far from clear that the vinegar was the reason”.
  4. Cancer- “A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Observational studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer“.
  5. Weight Loss- “For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full. A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread”.

So if you have interest in trying ACV, you have a few options. Apple cider vinegar is actually sold in pill form, but if you want to indulge naturally on a daily basis, I would recommend adding a splash of the vinegar to a glass of water or fruit juice. Do not take apple cider vinegar straight, because the acidity can be detrimental to the linings of your throat and digestive tract. You must mix! I wouldn’t recommend mixing more than one tablespoon (three teaspoons) into your drink.

If you are applying the product topically to your skin or scalp, mix it with water first to see how your skin reacts.

Just remember, everything in moderation! Good luck!

🙂 I would like to close with a special quotation:

“From my experience with wild apples, I can understand that there may be reason for a savage’s preferring many kinds of food which the civilized man rejects. The former has the palate of an outdoor man. It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit.” — Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples NB

September 1, 2012

Benefits of Gardening

Samantha Cianci, Gardener, Dancer

Samantha Cianci, Gardener

By: Dana Baardsen

I invite you to explore Samanciland, an abundant oasis of green which would make any organic gardener wiggle their toes. Though the name might sound playful, Samanciland is more than just a pretty garden. It’s a source of nourishment and “therapy” for it’s owner.

Meet Samantha, an inspiring gardener and dancer who executes her ability to care for her plants extremely well.

I’ll let you be the judge!


gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardeninggardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

Not only does Sam grow and harvest the plants in her whimsical garden, but she cooks with them too! …Pretty impressive, huh?

gardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumb
gardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumbgardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumb

Samantha is definitely onto something, as scientific research supports the benefits growing a garden at home.

Here are five reasons why you should start:

1.Sweet Serenity: Planting and gardening elevates the  levels of “happy hormones” in our bodies as well as decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety.

2. Gets the Blood Flowing: Maintaining a garden is actually a relaxing yet effective form of exercise. Burning those extra calories is definitely a plus!

3. Veggie Heaven: Gardeners are more likely to indulge in a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

4. Earth is My Mother: Working with floral, fruit, herbal, and vegetable plants will strengthen your precious bond with nature.

5. Ah, Satisfaction Baby: Wouldn’t it feel nice to know that your centerpiece or meals actually came from something you planted, grew, and harvested?

…So what are you waiting for? Go out there and plant something! Even if you don’t have the space outdoors, you can grow potted flowers and herbs indoors. Just remember, the most fruitful and rapidly growing plants are those grown with healing and loving hands. 🙂 NB

All photos in this blog were provided by Samantha! To check out more from Samantha’s garden– view her gardening and cooking albums.

August 3, 2012

Happy Watermelon Day!!

watermelon, diet, fitness

By: Dana Baardsen

Watermelon is a summer-fruit staple. Aside from attracting admirers of all ages, this drippingly-good treat is packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Score!watermelon salsa, nutrition, health, diet

Watermelon also helps regulate the electrolyte balance within our bodies which can be offset during excessive sweating. It’s like this fruit was designed for the hot days!

There is no better way to celebrate National Watermelon Day than by biting into a piece yourself.watermelon drink, watermelon soda

Try a delicious watermelon salsa, with chopped red onions, cucumbers, even pineapple. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with multigrain chips. Enjoy this refreshing dip!

Then, cool off with a yummy sparkling watermelon drink. Add fresh watermelon juice to sparkling water and splash with lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge and some mint leaves! NB

June 15, 2012

You Are What You Eat…

Food, Diet

May 6, 2012

Japanese Vegan “Jello”

Wagashi, Japanese, NY

By: Dana Baardsen

Nestled in Rockefeller Center, Minamoto Kichoan, is a small formal hiatus for Japanese confections. Rushing through New York, not too many sights catch my eye on the side of the street. Regretfully, I often whiz past some of the most beautiful and unique boutiques on my rushed journeys through Manhattan, as I make my way to work or meetings.

This day in particular, the meeting I had to attend was in the 30 Rock building. A building which is absolutely stunning in itself. You can find Minamoto Kichoan right around the corner at 49th St. west of 5th Ave. What caught my eye was the gorgeous perfection of each confection adorably resting on the other side of the glass window. I knew exactly where I would be upon the completion of my meeting.

In entering the Japanese “bakery” you feel a calm, cool energy which is complimented by the cleanliness and relaxing interior design. Feeling inspired, I admired the artistry which goes into each confection, and then I realized something which made me even more thrilled.Wagashi, Japanese, NY

The confections were all vegan! And not only that, they were made from the fibers of healthful foods. The Wagashi contains barely any fat.

I was pleasantly surprised as I tasted the chilled cherry Wagashi. There is a certain delicate sweetness which undoubtedly makes this treat a Japanese staple.

The ingredients used in Wagashi are, “legumes such as azuki beans and kidney beans, grains such as rice, rice flour and wheat flour, sacharride, potatoes, fruits, nuts such as chestnuts, sesame, agar, and sugar. All of these ingredients are derived from nature. Wagashi includes vegetable protein, vegetable fiber, various vitamins and minerals.” -Minamota Kichoa

Need I say more? Check out the store locations and try some Wagashi near you! NB

April 29, 2012

Sun-Protective Foods

My piece in Great Skin! Magazine, Published by: iVillage.com, NBCUniversal
 

Source: soc.li via Dana on Pinterest

 

Source: soc.li via Dana on Pinterest

March 20, 2012

Top Five Spring Diet Foods!

By: Dana Baardsen

Spring has officially sprung as fog rolls over the New York area. De-fog your diet by snacking on these top five picks:

1. Sugar Snap Peas: Fresh and crunchy these ohhh so sweet snap peas will allow you to snack, guilt-free. Throw some of these high-fiber bites into a zip lock baggie for a perfect on-the-go snack!

2. Carrots: Much on these for a snack high in antioxidants and low in calories. Carrots make a great spring snack…just don’t forget to save some for the Easter bunny!

3. Okra: I hope you’ve heard of this little veggie-like fruit. If not, pick some up in the frozen food section of your local supermarket. Okra is a powerful fruit with anti-cancer and age defying effects you just can’t ignore!

4. Artichoke: So filling yet surprisingly low-cal, artichokes make a great family style spring snack. This potassium packed treat can be enjoyed with yummy low fat dips.

5. Strawberries: Juicy, sweet and irresistible, strawberries can actually help curb your appetite and fuel your metabolism…not to mention whiten your teeth! Indulge in these sweeties this spring and don’t hesitate to stick some in the freezer for a hard-candy-like treat.

Photo Credits: Shape.com

NB

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