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General Research

General Research

BEANS: TYPES. BENEFITS AND RECIPE

 

Back in college years, a senior would take his guitar and always sing “i love beans, i love beans oh” and we’d look at him in awe with questions like- same beans that makes anyone purge, and even gives heartburn to some?

Oh well, but really, those tiny little seeds called beans are quite nutritious and serve a great deal of health benefits to its consumer. 

Let’s take a little survey on some types of beans, shall we? 

 

 

  1. BLACK BEANS 

 

      ” The black turtle bean is a small, shiny variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) especially popular in Latin American cuisine, though it can also be found in the Cajun and Creole cuisines of south Louisiana”. Like all varieties of the common bean, it is native to the Americas[2], but has been introduced around the world. It is also used in Indian cuisine, Tamil cuisine, where it is known as karuppu kaaramani and in Maharashtrian cuisine, where it is known as Kala Ghevada.

Virtually 70% of the calories contained in black beans are from carbohydrates, and most of these carbs are in the form of starch. Interestingly, this starch is the “resistant starch” which doesn’t digest easily and passes through our upper digestive system without being broken down into simple sugars. So there is no fear of an increase in blood sugar.

 

NUTRITION 

According to the National Nutrient Database one-half cup (86g) of cooked black beans contains approximately:

Energy: 114 kilocalories

Protein: 7.62 g

Fat: 0.46 g

Carbohydrate: 20.39 g

Fiber: 7.5 g                                                         

Sugars: 0.28 g

Calcium: 23 milligrams (mg)

Iron: 1.81 mg

Magnesium: 60 mg

Phosphorus: 120 mg

Potassium: 305 mg

Sodium: 1 mg

Zinc: 0.96 mg

Thiamin: 0.21 mg

Niacin: 0.434 mg

Folate: 128 msg

Vitamin K: 2.8 mg

Like other legumes, Black beans also offer a variety of phytonutrients like saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and quercetin, all of which possess antioxidant properties.

 

RECIPES 

  • Make a hearty black bean soup by blending cooked black beans with onions, tomatoes, and your favorite spices
  • Add black beans to burritos
  • Blend cooked black beans with garlic, onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice for a quick and easy bean dip
  • Mix black beans, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, and salsa together for a simple taco salad.   Try these healthy recipes using black beans:
  • Black bean burgers with chipotle mango guacamole
  • Poblano chilaquiles
  • Veggie fajitas
  • Healthy two-grain southwest salad
  • Heart-healthy chipotle chili

 

 

2.  BLACK EYED PEA (COWPEA)

 

Commonly referred to as white beans or iron beans by Nigerians, Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics covering Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States, and Central and South America. It originated and was domesticated in Southern Africa and was later moved to East and West Africa and Asia.

The grains contain 25% protein and several vitamins and minerals. The plant tolerates drought, performs well in a wide variety of soils, and being a legume replenishes low fertility soils when the roots are left to decay.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (170 grams) of cooked black-eyed peas contains the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):

Calories: 194

Protein: 13 grams

Fat: 0.9 grams

Carbs: 35 grams

Fiber: 11 grams

Folate: 88% of the DV

Copper: 50% of the DV

Thiamine: 28% of the DV

Iron: 23% of the DV

Phosphorus: 21% of the DV

Magnesium: 21% of the DV

Zinc: 20% of the DV

Potassium: 10% of the DV

Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV

Selenium: 8% of the DV

Riboflavin: 7% of the DV

 

RECIPES 

  • Could be cooked alongside palm oil, fish and vegetable
  • Could be blended then fried and used to make akara (beans cake) or blended and boiled in nylon or bowls and used to make moi moi (beans pudding). You can go totally local by adding pap, oats, or bread to this recipe. Yummy! 

In addition to the nutrients listed above, black-eyed peas are high in polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body to prevent cell damage and protect against disease.

 

 

3. CANNELLINI BEANS 

 

Cannellini beans are a type of kidney bean known for their large size and creamy white hue. They’re especially popular in Italian fare, particularly in Tuscany, and have a subtle nutty flavor. When cooked, they take on a pleasant, almost fluffy texture.

“Cannellini beans can be substituted for other, similar white beans. Whether you’re trying to eat more plant-based protein or you just enjoy their taste and texture, cannellini beans are an excellent healthy choice”.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup of cannellini beans, boiled and cooked without salt, contains 

  • calories- 225kcals
  • protein- 15.4g, 
  • fat-0.9g 
  • carbohydrates-40.4g 
  •  sugar-0.6g 

Cannellini beans contain a wealth of B vitamins, including B12. They also provide iron, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals.

 

RECIPES

Beans: 

  • 1.5cups: dry cannellini beans, soaked in water 8 hours overnight 
  • 1.5 cups garlic, coarsely chopped 3 cloves fine sea salt 
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 tbsp onion, finely diced 1 garlic, minced 3 cloves diced tomatoes
  •  1-28oz can dry white wine
  •  1/2 cup dried dill 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp feta cheese,
  •  crumbled 6oz salt and pepper to taste                   
  •   Dill Oil: fresh dill, 
  • loosely packed 1 cup lemon zested and juiced
  •  1 extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup 
  • sea salt 1/4 tsp

Direction

Prep Time: 25 minutes   Cook Time: 90 minutes   Yield: 6 servings

For the tomato baked beans:

  1. Add soaked beans and 4 cups of water to a large pot over high heat. Add chopped garlic and fine sea salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

        2.While the beans are cooking, make the tomato sauce: Add olive oil to an oven-safe enamel pot over medium-              high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add                  canned tomatoes (including juice), wine, and dried herbs. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 10-            15 minutes, until slightly thickened and saucy.

        3.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the beans are cooked, drain and add them to the pot with                 the tomato sauce. Toss to combine the beans and sauce. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the surface of                     beans, and then place the pot in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until feta crumbles are melted and            sauce is bubbling.

Allow to cool, and serve with a drizzle with lemony dill oil (recipe below) and some crusty, whole grain bread. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

For the lemony dill oil:

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until a thin pesto-like texture has been achieved. Drizzle over beans upon serving.

 

4. FAVA BEANS 

 

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are one of the oldest cultivated crops. Unlike other beans, fava beans are eaten when they’re still young—additionally, immature pods and leaves are edible as long as you don’t suffer from favism. They’re popular in soups, steamed inside their pods, mashed, and fried.

 

NUTRITION 

Raw mature fava beans are

  •  11% water, 
  • 58% carbohydrates, 
  • 26% protein, and 
  • 2% fat
  •  341 calories 
  • Folate (106% DV) and dietary minerals, such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and
  •  iron (range of DV 52 to 77%), have considerable content (table).
  •  B vitamins have moderate to rich content (19 to 48% DV).

 

RECIPE 

Fava bean salad with fennel and radish.

  • 1 cup of shelled fava beans 
  • 1.5 tbsps of fresh lemon juice 
  • 1.5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper 
  • ⅛ tsp salt 
  • 2 cups of thinly sliced fennel bulb 
  • 2 cups of arugula leaves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced radish 
  • ¼ cup walnuts toasted and chopped 
  • 1.5 ounces singing brook. 

Directions 

Step 1

Remove shells from beans. Place beans in a large pot of boiling water; cook for 20 seconds. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain well. Remove and discard tough outer skins from beans.

Step 2

Combine juice, oil, pepper, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beans, fennel, and arugula; toss to coat. Place about 3/4 cup fennel mixture on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle evenly with radish, walnuts, and cheese.

 

 

5.  LIMA BEANS 

 

Also known as butter beans, lima beans are native to Central and South America—in fact, Lima, Peru, is their namesake. Lima beans are usually seen in dishes such as succotash, or simply boiled with a salty piece of meat. They’re particularly high in potassium, and like other legumes, can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

The pod of the lima bean is flat, oblong and slightly curved, averaging about three inches in length. Within the pod are the two to four flat kidney-shaped seeds that we call lima beans. The seeds are generally cream or green in color, although certain varieties feature colors such as white, red, purple, brown or black.

 

NUTRITION 

According to USDA, ½ cup of Lima beans contains: 

  • Calories: 88
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 6.2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15.7g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 5.3g

Lima beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them.

 

RECIPE 

Rosemary Olive Oil White Bean Dip

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Direction 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and going together 
  2. Serve with raw vegetables or whole grain crackers. 

 

6.GARBANZO BEANS 

Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans, are, of course, the building blocks of Mediterannean and Middle Eastern staples such as hummus and falafel. They were first cultivated in the Middle East around 7,500 years ago, and have remained popular for their versatility and high protein levels. They’re a well-known meat substitute, and they can also be roasted, eaten cold, or ground into flour and baked.

 

NUTRITION 

Serving Size 100 g

Calories 378

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 6g                                         8 %

Saturated Fat 0.6g                             3 %

Sodium 24mg                                         1 %

Total Carbohydrate 63g                     23 %

 Dietary Fiber.        12g                        43 %

Sugar                      11g

Protein                    20g                        40 %

Vitamin D              0.00mcg                 0 %

Calcium                  57.00mg                 4 %

Iron                          4.31mg                 24 %

Potassium              718mg                   15 %

 

Chickpeas contain a soluble fiber called raffinose, a type of oligosaccharide that is fermented in the colon by beneficial bacteria called Bifidobacterium. As bacteria break down this fiber, a short chain fatty acid called butyrate is produced. Butyrate plays a role in reducing inflammation in the cell wall of the colon, promoting regularity in the intestines, and possibly preventing colorectal cancer by promoting cell apoptosis (death).

 

RECIPE 

Chickpea meatballs with crunchy romaine salad 

  • 3 cups torn romaine lettuce (about 3 oz.) 
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber 
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes (about 5 oz.)
  •  1/3 cup slivered red onion 3 garlic cloves, 
  • divided 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), 
  • divided 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 
  • divided 1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt, 
  • divided 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, 
  • drained 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1 large egg

 

Direction 

Step 1

Combine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion; set aside.

Step 2

Grate 1 garlic clove. Whisk together lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, pepper, grated garlic, 3 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3/8 teaspoon salt; set dressing aside.

Step 3

Chop the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Process chickpeas in a food processor until almost ground, about 15 seconds. Add panko, cumin, paprika, chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons tahini, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until almost smooth, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add egg; pulse just until combined, 5 to 6 times. Shape mixture into 20 balls (about 1 slightly heaping tablespoon each).

Step 4

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add chickpea balls to the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and crisp on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve chickpea balls with salad; drizzle with tahini dressing. Serve immediately.

 

7.GREAT NORTHERN BEANS 

Great northern beans are a variety of white beans known for their creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re popular in soups, stews, and casseroles, as they retain moisture well, and can maintain their shape after boiling.

 

NUTRITION 

NUTRITION

Serving Size: 1/2 cup (130g)

Calories 90

%DV*

Total Fat 0g 0%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Trans Fat 0g -%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 460mg 19%

Potassium 280mg 8%

Carbohydrate.  17g 6%

Dietary Fiber 6g 24%

Protein 6g

Sugars 0g

Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 6%

Iron             8%

 

RECIPE 

White beans and  collard greens soup 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  •  3 garlic cloves, 
  • minced 1/2 cup pinot grigio or other light white wine 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  4 cups finely shredded collard greens (about 6 ounces) 
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme 
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

 

Direction 

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add greens, thyme, and broth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until the greens are tender. Add beans; simmer for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

 

8. KIDNEY BEANS 

kidney beans can be white, light, or speckled, and they aren’t the same thing as red beans (More on that later). Kidney beans are best known for their appearances in chili or alongside rice, Cajun-style.

 

NUTRITION

 (per 100g or 3.5 ounces)

Calories: 127

Water: 67%

Protein: 8.7 grams

Carbs: 22.8 grams

Sugar: 0.3 grams

Fiber: 6.4 grams

Fat: 0.5 grams

 

Apart from its ability to provide slow burning complex carbohydrates, kidney beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with kidney beans is a good idea—especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, kidney beans are low in calories and virtually fat-free. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And remember: If you’re pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

 

RECIPE 

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2-in.)
  •  1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  •  1 tablespoon ginger
  •  1 teaspoon fennel
  •  1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 3 green cardamom pods, cracked open 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  •  1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  •  1/2 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 can (14.5-oz.) whole peeled plum tomatoes, without juice
  •  1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced About
  •  1 tsp. salt 
  • 6 cups cooked red kidney beans (about four 14-oz. cans), rinsed and drained 
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2- to 1-in. florets 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped 
  • 6 to 8 cups hot cooked brown rice

Direction 

Step 1

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 4- to 5-qt. pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in cinnamon, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, fennel, cumin, and cardamom and fry, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cayenne, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala and fry, stirring, 1 minute. Shred tomatoes into a pot with your fingers. Stir in serrano chile, salt, kidney beans, cauliflower, and 1 1/2 cups water. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and liquid has thickened into a velvety-looking sauce (add more water if necessary).

Step 2

Season beans with salt. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve hot over brown rice, with plain yogurt on the side if you like.

Step 3

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving of curry.

 

9.LENTILS 

Another ancient legume, lentils are native to Central and West Asia but popular around the world. They work excellently in soups and stews, such as dal, but they can also be fried, baked, stuffed into breads, or ground into flour. Like other beans, lentils are nutritionally rich, particularly when it comes to protein, folate, thiamine, and iron.

 

NUTRITION (1 cup- 198g)

Calories: 230

Carbs: 39.9 grams

Protein: 17.9 grams

Fat: 0.8 grams

Fiber: 15.6 grams

Thiamine: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Niacin: 10% of the RDI

Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI

Folate: 90% of the RDI

Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI

Iron: 37% of the RDI

Magnesium: 18% of the RDI

Phosphorous: 36% of the RDI

Potassium: 21% of the RDI

Zinc: 17% of the RDI

Copper: 25% of the RDI

Manganese: 49% of the RDI

 

RECIPES

Lentil cake with mint yoghurt 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 
  • divided 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  •  1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 large eggs 1 (17.6-oz.) pkg. 
  • steamed brown lentils (such as Melissa’s)
  •  2 cups packed baby arugula
  •  2 cups packed baby spinach
  •  3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  •  3 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios

Direction

Step 1

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Place onion mixture, oats, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, eggs, and lentils in a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times. Shape mixture into 12 patties.

Step 2

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a pan over medium-high. Add 6 patties to the pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan. Repeat with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining 6 patties.

Step 3

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula and spinach; toss.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, yogurt, juice, and mint in a bowl. Divide arugula mixture among 4 plates; top each serving with 3 patties and 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Sprinkle evenly with pistachios.

 

10.LIMA BEANS 

Also known as butter beans, lima beans are native to Central and South America—in fact, Lima, Peru, is their namesake. Lima beans are usually seen in dishes such as succotash, or simply boiled with a salty piece of meat. They’re particularly high in potassium, and like other legumes, can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

 

NUTRITION 

Serving Size

1 cup (170g)

Calories 209

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 0.5g             1%

Saturated Fat 0.1g 1%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 28.9mg 1%

Total Carbohydrate 40.2g 13%

Dietary Fiber 9.2g             37%

Total Sugars 2.8g               6%

~ No added sugar data collected ~

Protein 11.6g                         23%

Vitamin C 17.2mg             19%

Vitamin D 0mcg               0%

Iron 4.2mg                         23%

Calcium 54.4mg               4%

Potassium 969mg             21%

Phosphorus 221mg 18%

 

RECIPE 

Smoky turkey and sweet potato chili 

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  •  1 cup Mexican beer 
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 medium-size green bell peppers, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 (8-oz.) package dried lima beans l large onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 5 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock 
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch peeled sweet potato cubes 
  • Garnishes: green onions, cilantro, sweet mini pepper slices

Direction 

Step 1

Season turkey with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté turkey in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer mixture to a 6-qt. slow cooker.

Step 2

Add tomato paste to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds. Add beer, and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced by half; stir into turkey mixture. Add beans and next 8 ingredients; stir in stock. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours. Stir in sweet potatoes; cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

 

11.NAVY BEANS 

Navy beans (haricot beans ) , the legume of choice for baked beans, are a type of white bean native to (and domesticated in) the Americas. Unfortunately, navy beans don’t get their name from their color. Rather, they were frequently served to soldiers in the U.S. Navy. You’ll mostly see them in baked beans, but they’re also popular soup beans.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (182 grams) of cooked navy beans contains roughly (43):

Calories: 255

Protein: 15.0 grams

Fiber: 19.1 grams

Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the RDI

Manganese: 48% of the RDI

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 29% of the RDI

Magnesium: 24% of the RDI

Iron: 24% of the RDI

 

RECIPE 

Navy bean soup

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups dried navy beans (about 1 pound) 
  • 6 cups warm water 
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled 3 whole cloves
  •  2/3 cup chopped celery
  •  3 thyme sprigs 
  • 3 parsley sprigs 
  • 3 smoked ham hocks (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  3 cups chopped kale
  •  2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
  •  1 1/2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion 
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced carrot 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Direction 

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans; rinse and drain.

Step 2

Return beans to pan; cover with 6 cups warm water. Stud whole onion with cloves; place in pan. Add celery, thyme, parsley sprigs, ham hocks, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 3

Discard onion, thyme, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf. Remove ham hocks from pan; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; finely chop to yield 1/3 cup meat. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Add meat, kale, potato, chopped onion, carrot, salt, and pepper to pan; stir well. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until beans and vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley.

12.PINTO BEANS 

These brown, speckled beans are one of the most popular varieties around, especially in the Americas. They’re usually eaten whole, in a situation like a soup or chili, but they’re also popular mashed and then refried. Pinto beans are especially high in protein, manganese, fiber, and folate, and eating them can lower cholesterol, according to the American Society of Nutrition.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (171 grams) of cooked pinto beans contains roughly (40):

Calories: 245

Protein: 15.4 grams

Fiber: 15.4 grams

Folate (vitamin B9): 74% of the RDI

Manganese: 39% of the RDI

Copper: 29% of the RDI

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI

 

RECIPE 

Cheesy, smoky pinto beans 

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and divided 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 1/2 cup)

Direction. 

Place half of beans in a bowl; coarsely mash with a fork. Place mashed beans, remaining half of beans, chicken stock, paprika, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 ounce cheese until melted. Divide bean mixture among 4 plates; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese.

 

13.RED BEANS 

Dude sure looks like kidney beans, but if you take a closer look, its shorter in size. Also known as adzuki beans, they are a type of mung bean (green gram, maash or moong). In East Asia, where they were cultivated, red beans are often sweetened and incorporated into desserts (Pastries stuffed with red bean paste, for example), but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in savory dishes just as well. 

 

NUTRITION 

For a Serving Size of 0.25 cup (50g)

Calories 170 Calories from Fat 4.5 (2.6%)

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 0.5g

Sodium 10mg           1%

Carbohydrates 30g

Net carbs 27g

Fiber 3g           12%

Protein 12g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A 0μg             0%

Vitamin C 3.6mg 7%

Calcium 80mg             8%

Iron 2mg           25%

 

RECIPE 

Vegetarian red beans and rice 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried red beans 
  • 3/4 pound frozen meatless smoked sausage, thawed and thinly sliced
  •  3 celery ribs, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning Hot cooked long-grain rice Hot sauce (optional) 
  • Garnish: finely chopped green onions, finely chopped

Direction

Step 1

Combine first 8 ingredients and 7 cups of water in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender.

Step 2

Serve red bean mixture with hot cooked rice, and, if desired, hot sauce. Garnish, if desired.

 

14.SOYBEAN

Soybeans might just be the most versatile bean out there: Just ask tofu, soy milk, soy meal, soy flour, miso, and liquid amino. Originating in East Asia, soybean cultivation predates written records, putting the protein-packed beans up there with garbanzo beans and lentils. That protein content makes them popular meat and dairy substitutes, but soybeans are also great on their own.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (172 grams) of cooked soybeans contains roughly (34):

Calories: 298

Protein: 28.6 grams

Fiber: 10.3 grams

Manganese: 71% of the RDI

Iron: 49% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 42% of the RDI

Vitamin K: 41% of the RDI

Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 29% of the RDI

Folate (vitamin B9): 23% of the RDI

The amino acid composition of soybean protein complements that of cereals. Also, the high biological value of soy proteins increases their value as feedstuff.

Trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors in flours lower protein digestibility. However, despite demonstrated growth inhibition in animals, due to antinutrients, methionine supplementation in infants is useful only when dietary protein intake is marginal. 

 

RECIPE 

Spicy yellow soybean, lentil and carrot curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 1/3 cups finely chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  •  4 cups vegetable broth, divided 
  • 2 cups finely chopped carrot 
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup dried small red lentils
  •  1 (15-ounce) can yellow soybeans, rinsed and drained
  •  1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 6 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Directions 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry paste; cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth, carrot, ginger, red pepper, and garlic; cook for 6 minutes or until carrot is tender, stirring occasionally. Add 3 1/2 cups broth, lentils, and soybeans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Divide evenly among 6 bowls; dollop with yogurt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Beans contain a variety of nutrients and fibers with potential anticancer effects.

Fibers, such as resistant starch and alpha-galactosides, pass undigested down to your colon, where they’re fermented by friendly bacteria, resulting in the formation of Short chain fatty acids.

Short chain fatty acids like butyrate may improve colon health and lower your risk of colon cancer.

 

CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER 

Beans is inarguably one healthy food filled with loads of goodness, fibre, phytochemicals and other nutrients.

Could be used in different cuisines and for different purposes.

But one thing is very obvious from this write up and that is the fact that out of 14 different species of beans, all of them have a higher amount of carbohydrate than protein.

 

SO?

No one should talk you into eating just beans because you are battling with spikes in your blood glucose.

Remember the incidence of flatulence that comes with eating beans, enjoy the new recipes.

 

Sources: https://www.myrecipes.com/ingredients/types-of-beans

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-beans-legumes

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52

 

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General Research

PINEAPPLE: FORBIDDEN APPLE IN PREGNANCY?

 

The happiest moments in a family and couple’s life is that period when the wife is heavy with child. Everyone is expectant, and also,everyone has one advice to give; especially dietary. 

One of those many advice is the intake of pineapples during pregnancy;so many claims that pineapple contains ‘bromelain’ ( a protein digesting enzyme), which poses a threat of  miscarriage or induces premature labour on the woman. 

BROMELAIN 

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme mixture derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant. It has a centuries-long history of being used to treat medical ailments, primarily throughout Central and South America.

It is currently categorized as a dietary supplement, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bromelain may be used alone or in conjunction with other medications. People use bromelain topically, to remove dead skin from burns, and orally, to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages.

Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid, for osteoarthritis, and to reduce soreness in aching muscles.

Potential health benefits

Bromelain and its potential health benefits have been studied extensively in multiple areas. These include:

1. Osteoarthritis 

Clinical studies found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective treatment for the pain, soft-tissue swelling, and joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.

The review focused on bromelain’s effectiveness in treating arthritis of the knee and shoulder. The studies analyzed varied significantly in terms of dosage. Improvements were found in some study participants given 400 milligrams of bromelain, two times daily.

 

2. Cardiovascular disease

A source  reported that bromelain was effective at treating cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

Bromelain inhibits the ability of blood platelets to stick or clump together (aggregation). This may help reduce clot formation and cardiovascular events.

3. Asthma

The results of an animal study indicated that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory effects might be beneficial to people with asthma or other forms of allergic airway disease.

4. Chronic sinusitis (chronic rhinosinusitis)

A pilot study found that bromelain tablets were effective at alleviating swelling, congestion, and other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. Study participants were given bromelain daily for a 3-month period.

5. Colitis

An animal study found that purified fruit bromelain reduced inflammation and healed mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease in rats.

6. Burns

A study review found that bromelain, when used as a topical cream, was highly effective at safely removing damaged tissue from wounds and from second- and third-degree burns.

7. Cancer

A 2010 study  indicated that bromelain shows promise in combating cancer. Bromelain may have the ability to positively impact cancer cell growth, and it may help to control the key pathways supporting malignancy.

 

NUTRITION 

Positive nutritional effects have been shown in bedridden, tube-fed, nursing home patients who received a supplementary digestive aid containing bromelain plus an extract of Aspergillus niger. Total protein concentration improved significantly with the supplement (P < 0.02), which was reversed after withdrawal.

 

DOSAGE 

Two slices of pineapple contain approximately 100 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), approximately the recommended daily adult intake. Commercially available bromelain supplements contain predominantly stem bromelain, as compared with fruit bromelain.

The usual dosage of bromelain is 40 mg 3 or 4 times daily. However, because bromelain is regarded as being relatively nontoxic, doses of up to 2,000 mg/day have been used.Most commercial products contain bromelain 500 mg; manufacturers suggest a dosage regimen of 500 to 1,000 mg daily.

 

PREGNANCY 

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Clinical evidence to support the traditional use of pineapple as an emmenagogue and abortifacient is limited. Previously, bromelain/trypsin (as Kimotab) was investigated for use in breast engorgement during lactation.

A cup or two of pineapple juice per week won’t do any harm to mother or foetus, rather it supplies a lot of benefits as: 

  • 2 slices of pineapple contains about 100mg of vitamin C which is a bit above the daily value for pregnant women (85mg/day). Vitamin c helps repair and prevent cell damage by warding off free radicals. 
  • Contains manganese which helps build strong bones and connective tissues 
  • Might be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post menopausal women

 

HEALTH RISKS

Because pineapples contain a whole lot of vitamin c, overconsumption may lead to diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and heartburn for some people. 

Additionally, extremely high amounts of bromelain can cause skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Bromelain can also interact with some medications. Those taking antibiotics, anticoagulants, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, insomnia drugs and tricyclic antidepressants should be careful not to eat too much pineapple.  

 

SOURCES: https://www.drugs.com/npp/pineapple.html

https://www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/bromelain#health-benefits

 

 

 

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General Research

ADRENAL FATIGUE: What it really is

OVERVIEW

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of nonspecific symptoms ranging from body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and some digestive problems. These complaints somewhat mimic signs of adrenal diseases, syndromes and medical conditions.

Proponents always paint adrenal fatigue as a mild form of adrenal dysfunction, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis. 

According to Mayo clinic, adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests and special stimulation tests that show inadequate levels of adrenal hormones. 

The unproven theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.

Most frustrating situation ever is having signs and symptoms wrongly diagnosed by unqualified practitioners. 

Unproven remedies for so-called adrenal fatigue may leave you feeling sicker, while the real cause — such as depression or fibromyalgia — continues to take its toll.

 

THE CONCEPT OF ADRENAL FATIGUE

Symptoms associated with ‘adrenal fatigue’ include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure and lightheadedness, darkening of the skin, loss of body hair, body aches, hormone imbalance, poor digestion, insomnia, sleep disorders, lowered immune system, inability to cope with stress and loss of concentration. 

According to a systemic review of adrenal fatigue literature, published in the journal of BMC Endocrine Disorders, with 58 analysed studies, testing used in most studies included direct awakening cortisol, cortisol awakening response and salivary cortisol rhythm.

Researchers found conflicting results and concluded there is no firm evidence that the condition exists. 

It is very important to note and understand the difference between adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue, sometimes, the symptoms seem to overlap and look alike. People with adrenal insufficiency often experience joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dry skin asides fatigue.Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed by a physician through ACTH Simulation and Insulin-Insulin Hypoglycemia tests.  

OTHER POTENTIAL EXPLANATIONS: 

These might include thr belief that the hallmark symptom of adrenal fatigue, which is fatigue may just be related to other diseases or presence of long term stress factors. For example, conditions that might mimic symptoms of AF include anaemia,  thyroid disease, growth hormone deficiency, depression, fibromyalgia, menopause etc.

It is adviceable that registered dietitians explore symptoms, medical history and lifestyle factors during nutrition assessment of a patient inquiring about adrenal fatigue. 

PROPOSED INTERVENTION: 

This includes moderate exercise, an adequate diet that supports adequate blood sugar regulation (diets rich in pulses, whole wheat, complex carbohydrates and protein (both plant and animal sources), adequate sleep, stress relief and management techniques.

Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is adviceable as they can trigger the production of cortisol which could cause a spike in insulin production and increase stress levels.

ADRENAL CONDITIONS:

There are so many conditions related to the adrenal glands, but to mention a few important ones, we have: 

  1. Addisons disease: primary adrenal insufficiency caused by insufficient steroid hormone production despite adequate adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. Low ACTH hormone levels are caused by a problem associated with the pituitary gland and are considered secondary adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms include low blood pressure, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dysregulation of blood glucose, darkening of skin. 
  2. Adrenal insufficiency: this happens when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol; symptoms include fatigue and muscle weakness.
  3. Adrenal crisis: is caused by chronic adrenal insufficiency, addisons disease, tumors and severe sepsis. Symptoms include abdominal pains, confusion or loss of consciousness, loss of appetitie, dehydration.
  4. Cushings syndrome: this occurs when there is excessive levels of cortisol in the blood stream as a result of exogenous or endogenous factors. 

           Exogenous: steroids

           Endogenous: adrenal or pituitary gland 

tumour.

           Symptoms include weight gain, depression, 

           mucle loss. 

  1. Primary hyperaldosteronism: occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone aldosterone (causing hypertension and low blood potassium levels), it can be caused by hyperactivity in one or both adrenal glands or sometimes related to an adrenal tumour.

Symptoms include high blood pressure, heartache, fatigue, low potassium levels and numbness.

Notice how fatigue is a symptom of all adrenal conditions? Stress management techniques should be learned and maintained by all and sundry to avoid stories that touches.

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General Research

Postprandrial somnolence

Most times we feel drowsy after eating some foods. This might occur as a result digestion patterns and sleep cycles. Some researchers has come up with theories as to why this happens; but they still agree it’s a natural response and not a cause for alarm.
Drowsiness after eating is due to an increase in energy levels which could be termed ‘postprandrial somnolence’.
Postprandial somnolence (colloquially known as the itis food coma, after dinner dip, or postprandial sleep) is a normal state of drowsiness following a meal (regardless of the time of the meal). Postprandial somnolence has two components: a general state of low energy related to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in response to mass in the gastrointestinal tract, and a specific state of sleepiness. While there are numerous theories surrounding this behavior, such as decreased blood flow to the brain, neurohormonal modulation of sleep through digestive coupled signaling, or vagal stimulation, very few have been explicitly tested.
Physiology
Insulin, large neutral amino acids, and tryptophan
When foods with a high glycemic index are consumed, the carbohydrates in the food are more easily digested than low glycemic index foods. Hence, more glucose is available for absorption; and the more the glucose, the more the amount off insulin for absorption. Insulin stimulates the uptake of valine, leucine, and isoleucine into skeletal muscles, but not uptake of tryptophan. This however, lowers the ratio of these branched chain amino acids in the bloodstream relative to tryptophan (an aromatic amino acid), making tryptophan preferentially available to the large neutral amino acid transporter at the blood–brain barrier. Uptake of tryptophan by the brain thus increases. In the brain, tryptophan is converted to serotonin (the hormone responsible for moods and sleep cycles) which is then converted to melatonin. Increased brain serotonin and melatonin levels result in sleepiness.

Insulin-induced hypokalemia
Insulin also can cause postprandial somnolence via another mechanism. Insulin increases the activity of Na/K ATPase, causing increased movement of potassium into cells from the extracellular fluid. The large movement of potassium from the extracellular fluid can lead to a mild hypokalemic state. The effects of hypokalemia can include fatigue, muscle weakness, or paralysis.

Some health experts also suggests that food coma could be caused by a slight shift in blood flow away from the brain to the digestive organs. Eating helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
The PNS regulates certain processes in your body like slowing the heart rate and regulating blood pressure and digestion. The PNS is triggered when the stomach expands from accommodating a large meal. As a result of this, blood flow is directed to the working digestive organs and less to the brain. This slight diversion may cause you to feel drowsy and fatigued.

Why do people feel tired after eating?
Apart from the physiology explained above, a person may feel tired after eating due to what, when and how much the person consumes per sitting.
A large meal would obviously lead to a rush of insulin to help in absorption and moving of glucose to cells where they are needed.
A person’s circadian rhythm might affect how they feel after eating; well, that doesn’t mean calories know time.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that people naturally have a lull in energy 2.am and again at 2pm which might explain why you have to take a nap after lunch. Meal timing are very essential.

Remedy?
• Small but frequent meals are preferable to very heavy meals.
• Quality sleep matters.
• Light exercise after eating would help. A walk would do.
• Avoid drinking alcohol with meals.
• Do more of fluids.

 

Sources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323379.php#seeing-a-doctor

 

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General Research

Prebiotics and probiotics: a little glimpse

There are bacteria present in our entire system, our guts especially and the largeness of a colony determines if our guts and us would he healthy. These bacteria could be helpful or harmful, but we would look more at the helpful ones.
In the light of that, we’d be seeing what prebiotics and probiotics are and how beneficial they are to our gut.

🔥 Prebiotics are non digestible part of foods like banana, garlic and onions which goes through the small intestine undigested and ferment when they reach the large intestine. This fermentation process helps in feeding beneficial bacteria colonies  and help increase the number of desirable bacteria in our digestive system that are associated with better health and reduced health risk.

🔥Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are created during the fermentation process of yoghurt, sauerkraut e.t.c.

There are two major beneficial bacteria present in our gut which are: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

Lactobacillus is present mainly in yoghurt and other fermentable products and helps with diarrhoea and people who are lactose intolerant.

Bifidobacterium also can be found in dairy products and helps to ease irritable bowel syndrome.
It helps to fight againts harmful bacteria, helps againts constipation and give immune system a boost.

To easily understand probiotics and prebiotics, you can call probiotics the ‘seed’ that is planted prebiotics is the water and fertilizer that helps it grow and thrive.

Additional benefits of both is that it could help prevent halitosis (bad breathe), enhancing mineral absorption especially vit B12(intrinsic factor).
Its important to note also that anaemia or nervous system damage could rise from the deficiency of vit B12, so its important to always add CARBS to your diet😏🙄.

Food sources: fibre rich containing foods, especially carbs 🤧🤧; they contain resistant starch which is fermentable and healthy for the gut, onion, garlic, asparagus, apple with skin, oat, wheat and bran bread, yohhurt , kefir, e.t.c.

Note: 90% of your feel good hormone(serotonin) is produced in your gut, so the healthier your gut, the happier you are😘😊😊.

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General Research

FENUGREEK: USES, BENEFITS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Fenugreek is truly an amazing plant with so many health benefits. People from Western Asia and the Mediterranean have used fenugreek for thousands of years to improve the flavour of their food, improve health, and soothe skin maladies. In more recent times, this herb has supposedly gained global popularity as a herbal supplement with a variety of health benefits.

While fenugreek has many promising applications/ benefits, not all of its uses have yet been backed up by rigorous scientific examination. This tour will tell us which of fenugreek’s health benefits are supported by evidence, and which ones remain more assumptions and advertising gimmicks than fact.

Let’s take a dive together to learn what fenugreek is, what it does in the body, and how best to utilize all its

benefits. Shall we?

What Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek (scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant native to Western Asia and the Mediterranean. It has three green or yellow oblong leaves, which can be consumed fresh or dried.

Fenugreek leaves and seeds are important for cooking and medicines. Because of their sweet, maple-syrup like smell and flavour, fenugreek seeds are also added to artificial maple syrup, candies, ice cream, beverages, tobacco, soaps, and cosmetics.

 

 

What Makes Fenugreek Work? Important Compounds

Well, as stated below, the health benefits of fenugreek involve the regulation of blood sugar, stimulation of milk flow in new mothers, maintenance of hormones, and treatment of inflammation; made possible by the presence of the outlined compounds:

  • 4-hydroxyisoleucine and 2-oxoglutarate: molecules with an insulin-stimulating effect.
  • Protodioscin: compound that may have aphrodisiac effects.
  • Diosgenin and Yamogenin: compounds used in the commercial synthesis of progesterone and other steroid products.
  • 3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone: compound that causes a maple-syrup scent in body excretions.

Now that we’ve taken a look at what fenugreek does, let’s appreciate its functions.

Look before you leap! Some retailers care more about their pockets than your health. (Shine your eyes)

 

Why You Should Be Cautious About Herbal Supplements

Herbal remedies can be very effective alternative treatments to prescription medication. At the same time, there’s a big business of retailers that exaggerate health claims to market their products and make money.

The best way to evaluate these claims is to take a look at objective, rigorous scientific research. Has the supplement been tested in a randomized control trial and been proven to have statistically significant effects? Has it been used on human subjects and not just lab mice? If its benefits are purely anecdotal, then you might not want to waste your time or money, or worst case scenario, risk causing yourself more harm than good.

With these guiding principles in mind, we’ve done a thorough research on fenugreek, its uses, contraindications and special cases.

Fenugreek Benefits: Analysis of 4 Popular Uses

People take fenugreek in a variety of forms as an herbal supplement. Its most common form is a pill or capsule, but it can also be made into a tea or ground up and combined with other ingredients to make a poultice and applied to injured skin.

The most commonly claimed fenugreek benefits are milk production in new mothers, blood sugar levels, testosterone and male libido, and treating inflammation.

Fenugreek can act as a galactagogue.

 

Use 1: To Enhance Milk Production in New Mothers

Fenugreek is widely used as a galactagogue, or a milk flow-enhancing agent in new mothers. Nursing women take fenugreek in pill form or drink it as a tea after they’ve had a baby.

While fenugreek appears to be an effective galactagogue, it can have adverse effects if you take it while pregnant. Most doctors advise that women should only take fenugreek supplements once they’ve had their baby and not before.

Scientists believes it contains phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals similar to the female sex organs oestrogen. They really don’t know how it happens though, they only believe breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek promotes sweat production.

The plant has aggravated asthma symptoms in women and caused low blood glucose in diabetics; it should not be used by all.

Since its evidence backed that fenugreek could be used as a milk-enhancing agent, how should you take it?

 

 

How to Take Fenugreek to Stimulate Milk Production

Its best to speak to your doctor/ dietitian before taking fenugreek as it could have significant side effects during pregnancy. I remember one woman complaining to me how it makes her add more weight.

If you decide to take fenugreek, you could take it as fenugreek tablets or drink it as a fenugreek tea. A typical dosage is two to three capsules (580 to 610 mg each) taken by mouth three times a day. Drinking it as a tea is a milder amount. You might drink between 1-3 cups a day as a hot tea, iced tea, or mixed with apple juice.

 

Use 2: To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

Fenugreek seeds are commonly used as a supplement to control blood glucose, especially to prevent or treat diabetes. It appears to alleviate problems around the metabolism of blood sugar.The seed contains fibre and other possible compounds that could slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugars.

How to Take Fenugreek to Control Blood Glucose

The most common ways to take fenugreek to control blood sugar levels are in capsule form, ground up and added to food, or made into a tea. The recommended dosage falls between 2.5 and 15 grams a day. The amount you take varies depending on your weight, any other medications you take, and other factors.

It would be really unwise to just depend solely on fenugreek to help in the treatment of diabetes; speak to your dietitan and doctor for possible and sustainable ways to handle your diabetes.

 

Use 3: To Boost Libido

One of fenugreek’s ancient uses is to enhance libido. Mediterranean and Western Asian cultures have incorporated the herb into their diets for thousands of years to enhance sexual desire. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may increase libido in both men and women.

Well, research holds that it’s a better aphrodisiac than banana, asparagus and almonds.

Ultimately, researchers concluded that “T foenum-graecum [fenugreek] seed extract is a well-tolerated and an effective botanical medicine for use in the support of sexual function for pre-menopausal women, in particular increasing sexual desire and arousal, with positive effects in concentration of E2 [estradiol] and free testosterone.” The studies suggest that fenugreek supplements may increase libido in both men and women.

How to Take Fenugreek to Boost Libido

Fenugreek can be taken as a capsule or brewed into a tea, or the seeds can be ground up and added to food or bread. A dose of 500 to 600 mg fenugreek capsules per day is recommended to boost libido. As with any herbal supplement, you should check with your doctor to determine the right amount for you.

 

Is your skin red, bumpy, or injured? A fenugreek-based poultice can help.

 

Use 4: To Soothe Skin Inflammation or Injury

Fenugreek powder has long been combined with other soothing herbs to make poultices and treat skin inflammation and injury. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How to Use Fenugreek to Treat Skin Inflammation

To soothe injured or inflamed skin, people traditionally grind dried herbs or boil fresh herbs in water and make a paste. You might combine fenugreek seed powder with other skin-soothing herbs, like slippery elm, flaxseed, as well as medicinal charcoal. After combining everything into a paste, just spread it across a clean piece of gauze, linen, or cotton and apply it directly to the skin.

Leave the poultice on the affected area for about 1 to 24 hours, taking it off when the skin feels better.

Along with the four main uses described above – enhancing milk production, controlling blood glucose, boosting libido, and treating skin inflammation – people claim a number of other fenugreek health benefits. Let’s take a look at other potential positive effects of taking fenugreek; with little scientific back up though.

Other Potential Health Benefits of Fenugreek (anecdotal)

People have been consuming fenugreek for thousands of years, and many believe that it has a wide range of physical benefits. These are a few additional anecdotal fenugreek seeds benefits:

  • Balance cholesterol
  • Soothe upset stomach and digestive problems
  • Reduce menstrual cramps
  • Reduce appetite
  • Control obesity
  • Maintain liver and kidney health (hepatic and renal issues)
  • Soothe muscle pain
  • Reduce fever

At this point, there’s little scientific evidence behind these alleged benefits, so much more research is needed to assess the efficacy of this herbal supplement.

Apart from having health benefits, Fenugreek also has some potential adverse side effects, and it’s important to be aware of them before incorporating the supplement into your routine because physiology differs.

Fenugreek Side Effects: 6 Potential Problems

‘They are just supplements (herbal at that), they should not pose any threat; calm down first.

The following are the six main potential fenugreek side effects.

 

Side Effect 1. Induce Childbirth

For the most part, pregnant women are advised not to take fenugreek. Because it contains oxytocin, fenugreek could act as a uterine stimulant, meaning it could cause contractions and preterm labour. Some people have used fenugreek to induce labour, don’t try this at home.

The other side effect of taking fenugreek while pregnant is that it can give a false alarm of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). MSUD is an inherited genetic disorder so named because it causes a maple syrup-like smell in body excretions (urine).

 

Side Effect 2. Diarrhoea

Fenugreek may cause stomach irritation and diarrhea. Excessive intake in pregnancy could lead to episodes of diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disturbances as nausea, vomiting and flatulence could also occur.

Side Effect 3. Bleeding

Fenugreek contains a chemical compound called coumarin that can act as a blood thinner. People on blood-thinning or anti-coagulant medications to be careful and consult their doctors before taking fenugreek supplements.

 

Be careful if you take a blood thinner, as fenugreek could cause excessive bleeding.

Side Effect 4. Hypoglycemia

If you’re taking both medicine for diabetes and fenugreek supplements, you should measure your blood sugar levels so they don’t become too low and cause hypoglycemia. Since fenugreek can lower blood glucose levels, its best you are always alert about your glucose levels.

Consult with your doctor about the right amount, and carefully monitor the effects that fenugreek supplements have on your blood sugar levels.

 

Side Effect 5. Allergic Reactions

Before introducing new things to your, you should be conscious of the possible allergic effects attached to that food.

Check with your doctor, and try just a small dosage of fenugreek at first. Stop taking it if you experience a rash, hives, swelling, or trouble breathing.

 

Side Effect 6. “Maple Syrup” Sweat or Urine

This last side effect doesn’t cause any harm, apart from the false alarm about MSUD in infants described above. Fenugreek has a strong, sweet odour, and eating the seeds might pass that maple syrup-like smell into your sweat and urine or the sweat and urine of a nursing baby. If you start to notice this maple syrup-like odour, then you’ll know the cause and what to do.

 

How to Take Fenugreek

Either in tea, pill, tincture or powder form, dosages should not exceed the under listed:

  • Capsule: 500 to 600 mg, three times a day.
  • Tea: two to three cups a day. You can make hot or iced tea or combine it with juice.
  • Powder: five to 30 grams of de-fatted seed powder up to three times a day. It’s best to consume fenugreek powder before or as part of a meal.
  • Tincture: three to four mL three times a day. One drop is similar to a 500-600 mg capsule.

Your dosage depends on a number of factors, including weight, age, and health status.

 

SUMMARY

Every seed, herb or fruit has potential health benefits attached to them if used in appropriate amounts, but when abused or used by the wrong groups, they could pose great health threats.

While adding fenugreek to your diet, remember its health benefits and also remember its contraindications and remember too that some presumed back up don’t have sufficient scientific claims.

SOURCE: blog.prepsholar.com/fenugreek-benefits-side-effects

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3000083/

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogspot/post/fenugreek-can-increase-male-libido/2011/06/20/AG0xpqcH_blog.html

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General Research

CoQ10 enzyme: uses, benefits and sources

You might have heard about even come across the Co Enzyme Q10 in supplement form or not, but did you know that you can also get CoQ10 from your diet? Let’s take a little tour and see how effective and useful this vitamin is and how much of this amazing vitamin we can actually get from our diet.

Shall we?

All you should know about CoQ10

The importance of CoQ10 cannot be over emphasized; it is so important to our cells that our liver actually make it. CoQ10  practically plays an important role in the production of energy throughout our cells; from sending messages between neurons in the brain, to moving our muscles and keeping our lovely hearts pumping. CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant (protects our cells from damage that may lead to mutations and even cancer).

Please note that: no single antioxidant can combat the effect of every free radical.

Why should I care about my CoQ10 levels?

It’s quite true that our bodies produce CoQ10, but not really enough to support optimal blood levels. We are all aware that stress can negatively affect our health; not just that, it can also lower our levels of CoQ10. Age can have an impact on our levels of CoQ10 too. CoQ10 levels peak between the ages of 19-21 and then start to drop after 21. In fact, our levels of CoQ10 drop by a whopping 65% by the age of 80!

There is a group of people that should really take CoQ10 very seriously, and they are those on statins. Statins are popularly prescribed to block the body from making cholesterol. Both cholesterol and CoQ10 use same pathways in the body, so while statins block that pathway against cholesterol, it affects the production of CoQ10 too. Statins are known to cause side effects such as muscle pain and research suggests that CoQ10 supplements can help decrease this muscle pain.

 

How much CoQ10 do we need?

Apparently, there are two (2) principal ways in which we can help our bodies to rebuild their natural CoQ10 levels: through the food we eat and by taking a CoQ10 supplement.

Research says a reasonable amount of about 90mg-200mg/day is the recommended daily intake of CoQ10. For older people or in severe cases, 300mg-600mg daily is recommended.  Although CoQ10 is found in food, we are normally unable to reach even the lower end of these suggested levels through diet alone. This is because the foods that are highest in CoQ10 are not usually part of our diet and sometimes, over consumption of some of those foods that contain CoQ10, might pose a huge threat on our health.

CoQ10 Food Sources

Since CoQ10 plays such an important role in energy production, you will find it in the highest concentrations in organ meats such as animal liver and heart. CoQ10 is also found in beef, pork, chicken, and fatty fish such as tuna, with beef having the highest amounts.

While the highest levels of CoQ10 are found in animal products, oils such as soybean, corn, and olive are also good sources. Fruits and vegetables have significantly low amounts of CoQ10.

 

FOOD                                       mg/ serving

Pork Heart……………………………. 10-24/ 3 oz

Beef heart…………………………….. 9.7/ 3 oz

Beef liver …………………………….. 3.3-4.2/ 3 oz

Pork liver……………………………… 1.8-4.5/ 3 oz

Beef muscle ………………………….. 3.1/ 3 oz

Pork muscle ………………………….. 1.7/ 3 oz

Chicken muscle………………………. 0.7-2.1/ 3 oz

Soybean oil………………………….. 0.7-3.8/ tablespoon

Corn oil ……………………………….. 0.2-1.7/ tablespoon

Olive oil ………………………………. 0.05-2.1/ tablespoon

Peanuts ……………………………….. 0.8/ oz (28 peanuts)

Sesame seeds ………………………… 0.5-0.6/ oz

Pistachio nuts………………………… 0.6 / oz (49 pistachio).

Source: https://www.qunol.com/blogs/blog/are-you-getting-enough-coq10-from-your-diet

 

Tips for getting more CoQ10 in your diet

  • Do you find yourself snacking on the go? No problems, just replace that candy bar or bag of chips with a handful of nuts or seeds.
  • Try adding more liver to your diet; pregnant women should be careful about liver consumption to avoid vitamin A toxicity.
  • Incorporate foods that are higher in CoQ10 into one meal.

CoQ10 is a vital nutrient with many benefits, but we are generally unable to grab the amounts of CoQ10 recommended by some researchers from diet alone. Even if we include a lot of CoQ10 food sources, it would be almost impossible to reach the levels suggested to support cardiovascular health. Those with lower levels of CoQ10 due to age, stress, and statin use may also be unable to get enough CoQ10 in their diet to rebuild their levels. While including CoQ10-rich foods in our diets can help, adding a CoQ10 supplement to our regimen is the best way to ensure we are supporting our levels and utilizing this vitamin optimally.

 

 

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General ResearchLifeStyle

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: BETTER OPTIONS?

There seems to be a lot of debate out there about artificial sweetners.

Some research says its good for weightloss and as a good substitute for table sugars, while some say it would increase the risk of  cancer and also increase blood sugar level.

Well, lets dive into this troubled waters and see what we can pull out of it shall we?

 

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, are chemicals added to some foods and beverages to make them taste sweet.

They tend to provide a taste that seems 1,000 times sweeter than regular sugar.

Although some sweeteners contain calories, the amount needed to sweeten products is so small that you end up consuming almost no calories.

They are mostly used in beverages and drinks since they provide zero calories.

 

How Do Artificial Sweeteners Work?

The surface of your tongue is covered by many taste buds. Each taste bud contains several taste receptors that detect different flavors ( sweet, sour, salty).

Each time you eat, the different food molecules contact your taste receptors.

When the food molecule meets with the receptor, it (receptor) sends a signal to your brain, allowing you to identify the taste

For example, the sugar molecule fits perfectly into the taste receptor for sweetness, like a missing pixzle piece  allowing your brain to identify the sweet taste.

The molecules of artificial sweeteners are similar enough to sugar molecules that they fit on the sweetness receptor.

However, they are generally too different from sugar for your body to break them down into calories. This is why they have a sweet taste without the added calories.

Only a minority of artificial sweeteners have a structure that your body can break down into calories. Because only very small amounts of artificial sweeteners are needed to make foods taste sweet, you consume virtually no calories.

Reason why they won’t provide calories (energy) is because your body cannot break them down.

What Are the Names of Artificial Sweeteners?

The following artificial sweeteners are allowed for use in the US and/or the European Union:

Aspartame: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame is known under the brand names Nutrasweet, Equal or Sugar Twin.

Acesulfame potassium: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Acesulfame potassium is suited for cooking and baking and known under brand names Sunnet or Sweet One.

Advantame: 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar, suited for cooking and baking.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt: 350 times sweeter than table sugar, and known under the brand name Twinsweet.

Cyclamate: 50 times sweeter than table sugar. Cyclamate is suited for cooking and baking. However, it’s been banned in the US since 1970.

Neotame: 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame is suited for cooking and baking and known under the brand name Newtame.

Neohesperidin: 340 times sweeter than table sugar. It is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It is not approved for use in the US.

Saccharin: 700 times sweeter than table sugar. It’s known under the brand names Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin or Necta Sweet.

Sucralose: 600 times sweeter table sugar. Sucralose is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It’s known under the brand name Splenda.

There’s also a new guy om the block called ‘allulose’ made from grains.

Effects on Appetite

Some people believe artificial sweeteners might actually increase appetite and promote weight gain .

Because they taste sweet but lack the calories found in other sweet-tasting foods, they’re thought to confuse the brain into still feeling hungry after consumption.

Additionally, some scientists think you’d need to eat more of an artificially sweetened food, compared to the sugar-sweetened version, in order to feel full; well, who knows?

Although these theories are plausible, there’s mo back up claim whatsoever to them.

Effect on weight

Well, we have seen that artificial sweetners do not contain calories at all, so obvioulsy they wont increase your risk of gaining extra pounds.

But once they increase your sugar cravings, its better you stick to water than that can of soda.

 

Effects on diabetes

Artificial sweetners would reduce your intake of refined sugar, thereby making it easy for your insulin levels to work. It doesnt have any adverse effects on your glucose yes, but it is better you seek advice from your dietitan or doctor before using them.

Effect on gut health

The health of your gut totally determines if you would be vulnerable to certain illness.

Once your gut is not happy with you, you are at risk of poor blood sugar control,  weakened immune system, and disrupted sleep.

Some studies suggest that selected sweetners could disrupt the health of your gut by affecting the balance of gut bacteria.

Artificial sweetners and cancer

Apart from cyclamate which was banned in 1970 in America, no other other study has linked artificial sweetners with cancer.

 

Artificial sweetners and Dental health

Unlike sugars, artificial sweetners do not react with bacteria in your mourh to form acids. So, they dont affect your dental health negatively.

  1. Some sweetners could cause headaches, seizures or depression in some individuals while leaving out others.

 

Safety and side effects

Artificial sweetners are safe to use but should not be consumed by individuals with phenylketonuria or those allergic to sulfonamides.

 

Take home Message for all

The use of artificial sweetners pose no threats to the health if used as alternatives to sugars.

Some risks attatched to it might be severe or different in individuals, so its best  to seek advice before selecting a sweetner.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-good-or-bad#section12

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Research

JACKFRUIT: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Lately, everyone has become a  researcher when it comes to health, nutrition and lifestyle.

So the trending thing presently is to adore one particular food and crown it ALMIGHTY or SUPER because of its benefits.

So many really dont go about the downside of those foods they deem nutritionally beneficial to them and cause harm to their systems.

Before anyone goes about researching about jackfruit and crowning it LORD OF FRUITS, i rather do that first.😁

Jackfruit is a fruit found in many parts of Asia.

It has been gaining popularity due to its delicious, sweet taste and various health benefits but thank God no one has termed it SUPER FOOD yet atleast😁.

However, the flesh isn’t the only part of the fruit you can eat — a single jackfruit may contain 100–500 edible and nutritious seeds which are discarded most times due to the ignorance of their benefits.

Lets learn about the benefits and downsides of jack fruit ( yes, downsides).

 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS

They contain high levels of protein , starch, antioxidants , vitamins amd minerals.

A serving of jackfruit seed ( 28g) contains approximately :

 



calories: 53

carbs: 11g

protein: 2g

fat: 0g

Fibre: 0.5g.

Riboflavin: 8% of RDI

Thiamin: 7% of RDI

Magnesium: 5%  of RDI

Phosphorus: 4% of RDI.

Jackfruit seed provide fibre and resistant starch which act as food for beneficial gut bacteria.

Fibre and resistant starch has been linked to health benefits as : hunger control, reduced blood sugar levels, improved digestion and insulin sensitivity.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

1. Jackfruit has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as aphrodisiac and treatment for digestive issues.

2. They could have antimicrobial effects and be used to curb diarrhoeal issues and combat E.coli.

3. May have anti- inflammatory effects.

4. Since it has a good amount of fibre and resistant starch, it could aid easy digestion.

Please note that they are probable possibilities because its a study.

 

HEALTH CONCERNS

1.Some studies showed that Jack fruit seed extract could slow blood clotting and prevent clots forming in humans. So, jackfruit might increase bleeding when combined with drugs as:

– aspirin

– anticoagulants

– antiplatelets

– NSAIDS : ibuprofen, naproxen.

2. They contain antinutrients like tannins and trypsin inhibitors.

Tannins are commonly found in plant foods.  They bind to zinc and iron to form a insoluble mass making them difficult to be absorbed in the body.

Trypsin inhibitors are a type of protein found in pawpaw seed, soybean and jackfruit. They interfere with protein food, making it difficult to digest food.

The best way to deactivate antinutrients in food is by passing them through heat. So, its safer if you boil or roast your Jack fruit seed before consuming.

 

 

 

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General ResearchLifeStyle

COCONUT: SUPER STAR?

The society we live in basically picks a food and put a cape on it with the idea that such food is a SUPER FOOD and it can work wonders. I wonder how we got here though. Lets take a little peek at one of those foods today shall we?

 

Coconut oil,  is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).

It contains high-levels of saturated fat and so is slow to oxidise reducing possiblities of rancidification.

There are two major process of producing coconut oil from the kernel which are: WET AND DRY PROCESS.

PRODUCTION

1. DRY PROCESS: Dry processing requires that the meat be extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or kilns to create copra.[2] The copra(dried kernel nut) is pressed or dissolved with solvents, producing the coconut oil and a high-protein, high-fiber mash.

2. WET PROCESS: The all-wet process uses coconut milk extracted from raw coconut rather than dried copra. The proteins in the coconut milk create an emulsion of oil and water. The more problematic step is breaking up the emulsion to recover the oil. This used to be done by prolonged boiling, but this produces a discolored oil and is not economical. Modern techniques use centrifuges and pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, steam distillation, or some combination thereof.

 

FATTY ACID CONTENTS OF COCONUT OIL

Caprylic saturated: 7%

Decanoic saturated : 8%

Lauric saturated : 48%

Myristic saturated : 16%

Palmitic saturated :9.5%

Oleic monounsaturated : 6.5%. Facts show that coconut oil contains a whooping amount of saturated oil and should be consumed moderately.

 

COCONUT OIL

Nutritional value per 100 g

Energy 3,730 kJ (890 kcal)

Fat…………………99 g

Saturated…….. 82.5 g

Monounsaturated….. 6.3 g

Polyunsaturated……. 1.7 g

VITAMINS Quantity %DV†

Vitamin E……….. 1% 0.11 mg

Vitamin K……….. 1% 0.6 μg

MINERALS Quantity %DV†

Iron……………… 0% 0.05 mg

Other constituents Quantity

phytosterols …………….86 mg.

Coconut oil is usually termed Medium chain triglyceride and the benefit of this MCT is that it requires very little energy for absorption into the body and it readily diffuses from the GI tract to the portal system instead of going through the lymphatic system.

It is used for weight management in underweight children and also in children with infantile cholestasis so the oil diffuses directly to the portal vein.

 

Other uses of coconut oil are for hair growth by women, as alternate fuel source in some countries.

Know that there is SUPER FOOD, every food is good in its own way and could be harmful to the body if taken in excess .

 

 

Source: wikipedia.

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