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Posts tagged ‘antioxidants’

Down to Earth

41QaxKjEXjLFruits for Life by Dr. Amrita Basu
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

Dr. Basu takes us on a journey, from A to Z, through the health benefits of fruit. “A guide to knowing what to put inside your body for a healthy you.” This ear, nose and throat MD, and medical college professor, provides just the right amount of information, without going overboard with complex descriptions and scientific jargon. It is also understood that she is only sharing information on what has been backed up by research, and clinical experience.

Fruits for Life is based primarily on foods available in India, and many are labeled in Bengali, and Hindi, as well as being written in English. Most of the primary fruits described however are accessible throughout the world in some form or fashion. Chapters include: Banana: Goodness in fruit, flower and stemFigs the miracle fruit: Younger youMango Malda and MeNuts About Nuts: To have or notEggplant and Allergy: Fruits you should knowIndian Gooseberry;  and Watermelon Wellness.

Regarding apples, “Packed full of fibers and micronutrients that keep your skin, teeth, heart, lungs healthy.” Speaking of figs, “What’s not to like about a fruit which prevents aging, keeps your rain, heart and bowels healthy?” Referring to figs, “Very high in vitamins C, E. K, foliates, carotenoids, potassium, fibre and antioxidants.” The benefits of citrus skins are highlighted, “Peels are storehouses of phytochemical, which can decrease blood pressure and prevent cancer, if research is to be believed.”

One of the benefits of Fruits for Life is the down to earth, next door neighbor, feel it has to it. Even though Dr. Basu doesn’t sound preachy, or snobish. It’s more like you’re sitting down for tea and you happen to ask her a question about apples, guava, or mangoes. She provides suggestions for how much fruit to eat, and how often, as well as some personal stories about her home village, husband, daughter Rai, and family. If you have any curiosity about the health benefits of fruit, this book will quench your thirst, and fill your belly, with mouth-watering morsels of information and knowledge.

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Chocolate Love

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesExcerpt from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights.

Xocoatil was the Aztecs’ word for “chocolate”. They called it the “bitter drink” and considered it a gift from the Gods. The cocoa bean has been cultivated for the last 1000 years and recorded as early as 2000 BC.

Cocoa was first introduced to Europe when Cortés brought the beans to Spain and offered them to the Emperor in the early 1500s. By adding Cinnamon, heat and sugar, they improved the bitter taste. The discovery of cocoa by the Spaniards was so provocative that they kept its existence a secret for almost a century until it was smuggled by monks to France. By the 1650s it had crossed the channel to England and the North American colonies of the English and the Dutch.

Good for the Heart

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain rich sources of polyphenol antioxidants, which are the same beneficial compounds found in fruits, vegetables and red wine that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. It is believed that damage done in the body by free oxygen radicals is linked to heart disease and other maladies connected with aging. There is some research that indicates that antioxidants in the blood stream help eliminate free radicals, thus reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants, per 100 grams, then prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, alfalfa sprouts, oranges, red grapes, red bell pepper, cherries, onion, corn or eggplant.

Audrey’s Amore

3 cups chocolate milk (dairy, soy, or rice)
10 large ripe strawberries
2 small bananas
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill for five minutes, pour into tall glasses and serve naked (literally or figuratively).

Yield: 5 cups

Smooth Move

Smooth Move
by Gabriel Constans

Grapefruit is low in calories and high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins B1, B2, and C. It also prevents constipation and helps you sleep soundly, so this smoothie makes a great bedtime snack.

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Yield: 3 cups

1 cup grapefruit juice
1 1/2 ripe bananas
1 prune, chopped
1 apricot, chopped
3 tablespoons honey

Place ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.
Pour into tumblers and serve.

Love, Chocolate & Valentines

Excerpt for Valentine’s Day from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights.

Smoothies are one of the easiest and healthiest snacks (or entire meals) for any occasion, especially when you add chocolate and its added health benefits. You can blend up a batch in 10 minutes and have enough for days.

THE BEST LOVERS

Love comes and loves goes, but chocolate is always around the corner.

Just like chocolate, some people are semisweet, some are bitter, others are just plain nutty.

A chocolate smoothie a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Chocolate will never abandon you for another mate, doesn’t cheat, lie or leave its clothes on the floor.

Chocolate, like unconditional love, is an addiction that you don’t want to live without.

GOOD FOR THE HEART

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain rich sources of polyphenol antioxidants, which are the same beneficial compounds found in fruits, vegetables and red wine that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is believed that damage done in the body by free oxygen radicals is linked to heart disease and other maladies connected with aging. There is some research that indicates that antioxidants in the blood stream help eliminate free radicals, thus reducing the risk of developing heart disease.

Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants, per 100 grams, then prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, alfalfa sprouts, oranges, red grapes, red bell pepper, cherries, onion, corn or eggplant.

LOVING RECIPES

The Latin Lover

4 oz melted bittersweet dark chocolate
2 cups soy milk
1 banana
12 oz silken style soft tofu
½ Tbsp flax seed oil
1 tsp cinnamon powder

1. Place ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for one minute.
2. Pour into tall cups and serve.

Yields: 5 cups. Per cup: calories 231; protein 7 g; total fat 12 g; saturated fat 5 g; carbohydrate 26 g; cholesterol 1 mg.

The Velvet Orchid

2 cups chocolate low-fat soy milk or dairy milk
½ banana, in chunks
1 12-oz package of soft silken tofu
1 cup frozen mango slices
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high for two minutes.
2. Pour contents into tall glasses and serve.

Yields: 4 cups. Per cup: calories 218; protein 7 g; total fat 8 g; saturated fat 3 g; carbohydrate 34 g; cholesterol 0 mg.

The Naked Truth

2 cups plain low-fat soy milk
1 12-oz package soft silken tofu
¾ cup vanilla ice or soy cream
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup canned pineapple chunks, drained
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp brandy

1. Place all ingredients, except brandy, in a blender and mix on high for about two minutes; add brandy and blend for 10 seconds more.
2. Pour into tumblers or wide-mouthed glasses.

Yields: 6 cups. Per cup: calories 406; protein 10 g; total fat 26 g; saturated fat 8 g; carbohydrate 32 g; cholesterol 8 mg.

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