Posts Tagged ‘superfoods’

Pomegranate juice

March 30, 2011
pomegranates

pomegranates

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. — Song of Solomon 4:3

Let us go early to the vineyards to see … if the pomegranates are in bloom – there I will give you my love. — Song of Solomon 7:12

I used to eat pomegranates as a child when I visited my grandmother. We used to scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Then they kind of disappeared. In the last few years pomegranates have started to re-appear, but still are not very common.

In Istanbul I saw pomegranates everywhere, a small pomegranate the sort seen in England and a large pomegranate the size of a large grapefruit.

The pomegranates I saw in Istanbul were used for fresh crushed pomegranate juice, a fruit juice to die for.

Fresh crushed orange juice 2 lire, fresh crushed pomegranate juice 3 lire.

Pomegranate is a superfood, high in antioxidents (much higher than other juices, red wine and green tea), high in vitamins A, C, E and iron.

Thought to originally be native to Persia, pomegranates are now grown all over the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Pomegranates were one of the fruits brought to Moses to show that the promised Land was fertile

Pomegranates: the fruity panacea
11 Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate in the Bible | Biblical Quotes About Pomegranates
22 Facts About Pomegranates
Carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice
Watermelon juice
100 Best Health Foods
SuperFoods

100 Best Health Foods

January 7, 2011
100 best health foods

100 best health foods

It is a truism that we are are what we eat. Why therefore do we stuff ourselves with rubbish? We now face an eating disorder epidemic. Obesity is getting worse. The UK now tops the US for obese children. Type 2 diabetes, once the disease of middle age and older, now effects the young.

We know to avoid saturated fats, the ready-mix of saturated fats, sugar, modified corn starch, salt, palm oil laced with additives, preservatives and colourings that constitute cheap ready meals, to not eat junk foods. We know what to avoid, what not to eat. The question therefore is can we not only avoid what is bad for us, but actually eat foods that are good for us, that have a positive health benefit beyond that of keeping to a healthy diet.

The simple answer to this is yes, we add to our diet so-called super-foods.

We know vitamins, essential minerals, are an essential part of our diet, without which we fall all. Sailors used to suffer from scurvy into limes were introduced into their diet. They were suffering from vitamin C deficiency.

There is now a whole class of micro-nutrients that are known to have beneficial health effects. Antioxidants for example which help soak up free radicals. Foods that are high in these micro-nutrients are commonly known as super foods.

We do not eat foods because they are good for us, we eat for pleasure. Fortunately many if not most of these super foods are also enjoyable to to eat, either on their own or as part of a dish.

Fresh wild salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids), walnuts (antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid), broccoli, raspberries, blueberries (flavonoids and polyphenols), pumpkins, water melons (antioxidant Lycopene and vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin B6), tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene), tea (antioxidant called catechins), oranges (high in vitamin C), grapefruit (high in vitamin C), almonds, Brazil nuts (selenium ).

There is nothing like a fresh watermelon picked straight from the field. The red flesh is not only thirst quenching, it is delicious with a glass of red wine.

Try juicing an entire watermelon, seeds, red flesh and rind. We throw away a lot of the nutritional benefits when we only eat the red flesh, and the resultant juice is lower in sugar content than if we only juiced the red flesh. For that extra zing, try adding celery and ginger. [see Watermelon juice]

Whilst we may enjoy eating a handful of walnuts, and far healthier than eating a bag of crisps, in the main we eat our foods as part of a dish for which we need a few recipes.

This is where 100 Best Health Foods comes in. One hundred recipes using super foods, though I would question whether some are super foods. Though all organic fresh fruit and vegetables are healthy choices.

An ideal companion to SuperFoods by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews

Also see

The top 10 super foods

Walnuts ‘combat unhealthy fats’

Watermelon as good as a statin for lowering blood pressure

Watercress latest super food to fight cancer

You may not like it, but broccoli can beat cancer

Super foods: oranges

Why an orange is better than popping vitamin pills

Blueberries ‘reverse memory loss’

Super foods: blueberries

Watermelon juice

January 5, 2011
water melon

water melon

There is nothing like a fresh watermelon picked straight from the field. The red flesh is not only thirst quenching, it is delicious with a glass of red wine.

Try juicing an entire watermelon, seeds, red flesh and rind. We throw away a lot of the nutritional benefits when we only eat the red flesh, and the resultant juice is lower in sugar content than if we only juiced the red flesh. For that extra zing, try adding celery and ginger. As the whole watermelon is used, it is important to use an organic watermelon to avoid pesticide contamination of the skin.

Watermelon is a rich source of vitamin B and C, beta-carotene and lycopene. In addition, watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium.

Top story in What’s For Dinner Daily (Thursday 6 January 2011).

SuperFoods
100 Best Health Foods
Watermelon May Have Viagra-Effect
Watermelon as good as a statin for lowering blood pressure

whydark* from chocolate organiko in Madrid

September 14, 2010
whydark*

whydark*

‘In 2006 we made our dream a reality, we set up a small chocolate atelier in Madrid, Spain, where we could make and design our own chocolate, all from 100% Organic Trinitario Cocoa Beans from the Dominican Republic and Trinidad Island.’ — chocolate organiko

“If I had made a prediction before conducting the tests, I would have picked green tea as having the most antioxidant activity. When we compared one serving of each beverage, the cocoa turned out to be the highest in antioxidant activity, and that was surprising to me.” — Chang Lee

I was never a fan of dark chocolate, until I tried Green and Black. I had a South African friend Estie and she complained to me English chocolate was rubbish. I gave her Green and Black and she was happy.

Green and Black was founded to produce quality chocolate. It was made outside the UK as they felt no one was capable in the UK of producing quality chocolate. It was therefore a pity they sold out to Cadbury. Cadbury have in turn now sold out to Kraft.

whydark* from chocolate organiko puts Green and Black in the shade. It is divine. But it is pricey.

I first came across whydark* in Infinity Foods, then Taj the grocer on trips to Brighton. I bought it for my lovely friend Sian. I tried a bit, then a bit more, and before I knew it, it had all gone.

I have suggested Grocer and Grain stock it and will also recommend it to The Deli.

Spain is not a country that springs to mind when I think of chocolate, and yet that is where this quality chocolate originates from.

Chocolate organiko was founded to produce quality chocolate. The cocoa used comes from Organic Trinitario Cocoa Beans from the Dominican Republic and Trinidad Island.

The whydark* I have tried was 65% organic. There is also a 75%.

Dark chocolate is seen by many as a super food. This is due to the presence of antioxidants. Cocoa contains polyphenols, which are also found in grapes, berries and wine – as well as catechins and epicatechins – found in green tea.

Chang Lee, chairman of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Cornell University, found that cocoa has nearly twice as many antioxidants as red wine, and up to three times as many as green tea.

Chocolate is also a good source of iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Dark, more cocoa rich, chocolate contains more iron than white chocolate.

A BBC study found eating chocolate was more stimulating than kissing. I guess it would depend on who you were kissing and what you do with a chocolate bar!

Does this mean we can eat loads of chocolate. No. Chocolate is fattening. A recent study I heard on a news or science programme, suggested a small part of a bar of dark chocolate each day ie one small square a day.

But I am always wary of such studies. Who funds them?

Super foods is easy: eat fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and oily fish (and a teeny-weeny bit of organic dark chocolate is ok too).

Luxury organic fairtrade dark chocolate from Tradecraft is almost, but not quite, as good as whydark*. It does though have the advantage of being 2/3 the price and it is fair trade. Which begs the question, why is not whydark* fairtrade? [see Traidcraft launches indulgent chocolate range]

Chocolate beans are grown in a narrow band 10 degrees either side of the equator.

Quality chocolate tends to be single-sourced, not a blend, ie comes from a region, area or even single grower. Such chocolate can be likened to wine, where the growing method, climate, soil will all influence the taste.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range of dark chocolates are single-sourced. At the bottom end of the range we have Sainsbury’s Basics, less than a tenth of the price of whydark*, looking at the list of ingredients, I do not even wish to go there!

Taste the Difference Santo Domingo organic dark chocolate from Sainsbury’s: ‘Bitter sweet with hints of red wine and berry flavours.’ Yeah, right, and pigs fly! Tastes like dark chocolate, and nothing else. Better than mass produced chocolate but not as good as Traidcraft or Green and Black and certainly not in the same league as whydark* from chocolate organiko.

Very Dark Chocolate, 73% cocoa from Montezuma’s is not bad, but not in the same league as whydark*, and certainly cannot justify the high price.

Also see

Introducing the latest superfood … chocolate

Chocolate? Now that is a tasty new treatment

Cocoa ‘vitamin’ health benefits could outshine penicillin

Chocolate eaters may have healthier hearts: study

SuperFoods

Traidcraft’s response to BBC Panorama Programme, Chocolate: the Bitter Truth, Wednesday 24 March

Traidcraft launches indulgent chocolate range

Top 10 ethical British chocolates