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Posts tagged ‘healthy’

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

Shona’s Sun Salutation

Shona’s Sun Salutation
by Gabriel Constans

This smoothie is one of our son Shona’s favorites. It is good for small children, since the ice-cold water helps to relieve some of the pain of teething. It also gets your motor running in the morning. It has a good aftertaste and “tickles the mouth.” Sunflower seeds add just the right amount of sweetness.

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Yield: 4 cups

2 cups ice-cold filtered water
2 large bananas
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup raisins

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into glass or cup, drunk up, and stretch towards the sun.

Morning Lift-Off

Morning Lift-Off
by Gabriel Constans

This contains a complete well-rounded breakfast for the athlete in each of us waiting to burst forth, if it hasn’t already.

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Yield: 5 cups

3 small bananas
2 cups fresh-squeezed (or frozen) orange juice
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/4 cup shredded wheat, grape nuts or brown rice cereal
1/4 cup firm tofu
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 1/2 teaspoons egg substitute plus 2 tablespoons water

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into bowls, mugs or cups and get energized for the day.

The Blue Dragon

The Blue Dragon
by Gabriel Constans

Guaranteed to turn your tongue blue for the rest of the day. For a little fun, go see an acupuncturist immediately after drinking this smoothie. One of the first things they usually do is look at your tongue to determine your state of health. Blueberries, by the way, are high in iron.

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Yield: 4 cups

1 cup ripe, juicy blueberries (or thawed frozen)
2 large bananas
2 cups watermelon juice
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/4 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1 tablespoon protein powder
1 1/2 teaspoons hone, brown rice syrup or agave

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into bowls or glasses, enjoy and stick out your tongues.

Darcy’s Pineapple Delight

Darcy’s Pineapple Delight
by Gabriel Constans

As our daughter, Darcy, exclaims, “This breakfast drink is sweet, sweet, sweet. It fills my mouth with joy!” Pineapples are high in vitamin C and rich in potassium and calcium.

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Yield: 4 cups

2 cups soy, rice or almond milk
2 medium bananas
6 slices pineapple
4 tablespoons protein powder
1 tablespoon honey, agave or brown rice syrup

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into cup or glass and let it fill your mouth with sweet sweet joy.

Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar
by Gabriel Constans

This smoothie is great for breakfast or as a mid-morning pick-me-up. It provides you with lots of energy to face the day, and its sweetness will put a smile on your face!

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Yield: 4 1/2 cups

1 banana
2 cups filtered water
1/3 cup cooked oats
3/4 cup firm tofu
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons plain yogurt

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into bowl or wide cup. Use a spoon or drink it up.

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