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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salt: Good or Bad?

Crystals of the food additive monosodium gluta...Image via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

        Here is another very informative article that I am going to share with you. Some may find this an uninteresting topic because this talks only about the lowly salt.

        This article reminds me about a story told by a Sunday School teacher long ago about a King who had three beautiful daughters. The youngest being beautiful and intelligent is well-loved by the father. One day, the father held a feast and he would want his daughters to be present in the banquet. Then the King called for his eldest daughter and asked her how he loved his father. The daughter left and when she came back, she brought with her plenty of gold. His daughter told him that she priced her father so much as gold. The father was so delighted.
        Then it was the turn of the second daughter to be asked and she brought with her silver to represent her love to his father.
        Then came the youngest daughter bringing with her only salt. The father was so furious about his daughter and sent her away.
         An idea came to the youngest daughter. She requested the cooks to serve all the food on the table without salt in it. When the king tasted the food, he gravely complaint with its taste. Then he realized how much his daughter loved him.

         I was thinking that we may need this article because we have been using salt as seasoning to our recipes to be cooked. This may warn us to some of the dangers in taking and using too much salt in our meals.

Here's the article:
        Salt is either a colorless or white crystalline solid used as seasoning and preservative.
        Have you ever thought of cheese, cereals, bread, meat, pudding, pancakes, soups, tuna fish, sardines, corned beef, and tomato juice as salt foods? Probably not, yet they are heavily laced with salt and additives, such as a sodium nitrates, sodium phosphates, sodium ascorbate, monosodium glutamate, and even sodium sacharines as well as other sources of sodium including leavening agent, baking powder, and baking soda.
        Foods that don't taste salty can actually contain high amounts of sodium-milk, mayonnaise, and baby food preparation-to mention a few. Dr. Jean Meyer, Tuft University president, points out that infants on bottle milk formula are already consuming generous amount of salt.
        Mother's milk, by itself, contains about 7 mg. of salt per liter, while processed cow's milk contains more than 25 mg. of salt per liter.

         The amount of salt needed to sustain a life is 220 mg. a day, equivalent to one-tenth of a teaspoon. Without this small amount, experts claim one could feel weak and nauseous. An entirely saltless life will make you wither and finally die.
         Most people, however, take about 6-10 times more salt-more than the required amount. The result? Kidney disease, high blood pressure, and unexplained itches and allergies or body rashes.
         The kidneys maintain the normal level of sodium in the body. If there is too much sodium, the kidneys excrete it. Conversely, when the body needs sodium, the kidneys maintain it, then pump the substance back into the blood. But when the kidneys fail to excrete enough sodium, the retained sodium holds water, raising the volume of blood. When a lot of blood passes through the arteries and veins, it exerts pressure on their  walls. The blood pressure then increases, making the heart work harder to pump increased volume of blood. Subsequently, the heart rate rises.
          Sodium also increases the amount of water in and around body tissues, resulting in swelling or fluid overload which can cause congestive heart failure. Overindulging in salt can also worsen hemorrhoids and divulge the veins in the anus and elsewhere.

          Taking too much salt is not advisable for people suffering from headaches and those having premenstrual syndrome.
          Here are some ways to reduce salt intake in your diet.

1. Place salt shaker on table.

2. Use only half of what is called for.

3. Experiment with condiments, herbs, spices, and other seasonings but not bouillon cubes since they contain lots of sodium.

4. Reduce your dependence on processed food.

5. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before taking antacids, cough preparations, laxatives, and vitamin C.

6. Drink plenty of water.

       Let us educate our taste buds by opting to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. When cooking vegetables, add less salt as possible for health reasons.

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Eat Nutrient-packed Foods for Added Brain Power

Indian curry is real good.Image via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

         The brain is the body's control system. It is our organ for thought, speech, emotion, and memory. It is jelly-like and weighs about three pounds.
         Our brain needs constant fuel like food, vitamins and minerals in order to stay strong and healthy. For this reason, it is important to eat nutrient-laden foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, milk and cheese. It also needs water especially when the body is under pressure. So whenever you are tired, worried or stressed out drink plenty of water.
          For healthier and stronger body and brain, eat a variety of foods. Eat mostly from rice/bread group; eat generously from fruit and vegetable groups; eat moderately from meat and milk groups; and eat sparingly of fats, oils, sweets, salt and spices.
         And speaking of nutrient-laden and variety of foods, here is a recipe that offers just that!

(The Vegetarian Way)

You will need:

5-6       cups rice water
             salt as needed
1           piece onion, sliced
1           tablespoon vegetarian seasoning
1/2        cup tokwa, prefried
1/2        cup mushroom balls
1/2        cup gabi meat, cubed
1/2        cup mushroom meat
             corncobs (optional)
1/2        cups broccoli flowerets
1           cup carrots, diced
             chicharo (optional)
1/2        kilo spinach leaves

Here's how:

1. Boil the rice water, salt, onion, and vegetarian seasoning.

2. Add the tokwa, mushroom balls, mushroom meat, corncobs, and gabi meat.

3. Continue boiling until mixture becomes tender.

4. Add the broccoli flowerettes, carrots, chicharo, and spinach just before serving.

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Mais con Soya

By Juvy S. Iliwiliw


You will need:

Cream style corn

Here's how:

1. Freeze soymilk.

2. Crush frozen soymilk in ice crusher.

3. Put crushed soymilk in a glass or cup.

4. Top with cream style corn.

5. Enjoy it like you are eating halo-halo or mais con hielo.


You may replace cream style corn with:

     chocolate syrup
     crushed chocolate cookies (like Oreo)
     sweetened red mongo
     buko strips
     any flavor of your choice

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Oatmeal in the Diet

no: Havregryn med blåbær og mandelmjølkImage via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

I would like to share with you this article from the Food for the Family page of the 2003 issue of Health & Home. I find this very interesting because it talks about oatmeal diet and the oatmeal advantage in obtaining a healthier life.

The article was written by Aida Cerdenola-Alarcon who works as dietitian at Manila Adventist Medical Center.

         Eating oatmeal is good news for everyone who wishes to pursue a healthier life. It contains soluble fiber that has been demonstrated to be effective in lowering bad cholesterol.

         Oatmeal, aside from being widely available, is also easy to prepare, tasty, and relatively inexpensive.

The Oatmeal Advantage

          1.It lowers bad cholesterol. The most well-documented benefit of oatmeal on heart health is its effectiveness in lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol). Soluble fiber, which can be found in oats, barley, fruits high in pectin like guavas and strawberry, legumes, and psyllium, has been found to be effective in lowering cholesterol.
            In two studies published in the Journal of American Medical Association, it was determined that 1/2 servings or 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal is an appropriate daily target to reduce cholesterol. Real life situations have also proven oatmeal's cholesterol-lowering benefit. One hundred people from Colorado, USA, did just this by taking the oatmeal challenge. During the 30-day program, the participants volunteered to eat a bowl of oatmeal daily. After 30 days 98 percent of the participants had lowered their cholesterol level, with an average of 25 mg/dl. Those who stayed with the challenge had at least five to six percent reduction in cholesterol levels. By doing so, they have reduced their risk of heart attack by 10-12 percent.

           2. Oats lower blood pressure. Since the late 1970s, more than 20 studies have been done to examine the relationship between dietary fiber and blood pressure. Overall blood pressure was significantly reduced regardless of age, weight, or other factors. The reduction was the response to the increase of soluble fiber intake.
              Study made among hypertensive patients who ate oatmeal daily demonstrated a significant decrease in systolic pressure (8 mg/hg) and a close to significant decrease in diastolic pressure (3 mg/hg).

          3. Oats may improve insulin sensitivity. Recent research suggests that soluble fiber may improve insulin sensitivity.

          4. Oats may help control appetite. The soluble fiber in oats and oat bran absorbs a considerable amount of water significantly slowing the digestive process resulting to feeling full longer. Clinical studies evaluating this dietary fiber since the 60s support the soluble fiber sources and effective aids in enhancing satiety.


You will need:

4      cups water
1       teaspoon salt
1       cup oatmeal
         sugar (optional)
         nonfat milk (optional)

Here's how:

1. Add salt and oatmeal to boiling water, stirring constantly.

2. Boil for 5-10 minutes. Set aside. The mixture may look watery at first, but will soon get to its right consistency.

3. Add sugar and/or milk as desired.
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Sweetened Guavas and Mango Jam

Guava - USGS photo via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw


You will need:

1       kilo ripe guavas (preferable overripe and native)
1       cup washed sugar
1       medium-sized coconut
         dash of salt

Here's how:

1. Wash and peel guavas.

2. Slice into quarters and remove seeds.

3. Place in a regular sauce pan. Set aside.

4. Grate coconut.

5. Prepare coconut milk. For first milk extraction, add 1 cup water. Set aside.
    Use 7 cups water for second extraction.

6. Add second extracted coconut milk to the prepared guava in the sauce pan and boil for 7 minutes,
    stirring once in a while.

7. Add sugar and continue boiling for 5 more minutes.

8. Add vanilla, salt, and first extracted coconut milk.

9. Remove from fire after it boils.

10. Place in sterilized jars.


You will need:

Ripe mangoes
White sugar

Here's how:

1. Scrape mango pulp and mash. Use stainless steel knife and utensils to avoid discoloration.

2. To every cup of mango pulp, add 1/2 cup sugar. In case of sour mangoes, increase sugar to 2/3 cup.

3. Cook to thicken, stirring constantly.

4. Pour while hot in sterilized jars.

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Squash Flan

Flan (firm egg custard) with dulce de lecheImage via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

A usual scene at the dinner table portrays a child refusing to eat his vegetables. His parents try all sorts of strategies-bribing, sermonizing, forcing, and scolding so that the lowly vegetables will get the kid's attention.

This is just but a normal behavior manifested by children who doesn't like to eat vegetables. But take heart, moms. You do not need to have a tearful battle or negative encounters with your kids every mealtime. You can still do something to outsmart them.

Here are some tips.

1. "Hide" vegetables in food. Make the few foods that your children eat more nutritious by adding certain ingredients that may go unnoticed.

2. Serve in an appealing manner. Remember, we do not only eat with our mouth, we also eat with our eyes.

3. Associate food with love and understanding. A child will likely form good eating habits and attitudes if he enjoys eating.

Start your "hiding" technique with the cheap but popular squash. However, squash is better said than eaten. To children, squash is yucky, mushy and messy. They only know squash as a vegetable dish but not as a dessert.

Let your children develop a taste and passion for squash by preparing the old favorite leche flan, but this time add unnoticeable flavor, vitamins, minerals, proteins and calories.


You will need:
             Brown sugar
1           cup squash, peeled, boiled and mashed
1/4        cup cornstarch
1           cup evaporated milk
1/2        cup sugar
 2          pieces eggs, beaten
1           tablespoon vanilla

Here's how:

1. Caramelize brown sugar in llanera. Make sure there is equal distribution of sugar. Set aside.

2. Blend squash, cornstarch, evaporated milk, and sugar.

3. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

4. Pour in llanera and steam for 15-20 minutes or until fork inserted comes out clean.

5. Refrigerate.

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A Vegetarian Dish from the Ocean

Mandalay, Myanmar htamanè glutinous riceImage via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

Sea vegetables, a large form of marine algae that grow in the sea, have been around for thousand of years.

The word "seafood" conjures up bounty from the deep like  fish and other ocean-based delicacies. But there are also tiny plants called seaweeds that constitute sea vegetation. These tiny plants grow on shores lined with boulders and may be colored green, brown, or red.

Some healthy benefits from sea vegetables are as follows:

1. They contain high concentration of minerals, like iodine, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, fluoride, and zinc.

2. Minerals from sea vegetables are assimilated easier than minerals in supplements. They enhance calcium absorption.

3. They contain appreciable amounts of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acids.

4. They are high in protein.

5. Red algae possess antiviral activity both in herpes and HIV.

6. They have a diuretic action in our body.

7. They can be used to treat swellings, nodules, lumps, goiter, cancer, chronic cough and edema.

In the market, sea vegetables can be found in the fish section; the dried from in grocery stores.
Keep dried seaweeds in glass jars protected from light. Tasty seaweeds can be used in soups and salads, and in wrapping rice dishes.


You will need:

5         cups sticky rice, cooked
1         cup carrots, minced
1/2      cup tapa, minced
2         pieces eggs, fried, minced
1         tablespoon garlic, minced
2         tablespoons onion, minced
4         tablespoons corn oil
10       sheets nori

Here's how:

1. Saute garlic and onions in oil.

2. Add tapa and carrots, and season with salt and other seasonings.

3. Combine with cooked rice and eggs and mix well.

4. Spread 1/2 cup rice-egg mixture on one end of a nori sheet and roll gently.

5. Cut according to desired sizes.

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A Few of My Fav Fat-Blasting Foods From the Huntington Beach Personal Trainer

Illustration of obesity and waist circumferenc...Image via Wikipedia
By Jess Minnema

Many people want to lose weight, and the hardest place to lose the weight is most often the belly. Some people work out as much as they can to try and get a flatter stomach but sometimes that just isn't enough. Start incorporating some of the following foods below that target the belly are and burn away fat.

Roses Reinvented: Rose Petals In Mouth-watering Food Concoctions

My daughter and I found this while shopping ye...Image via Wikipedia
By Neela Vazzana

The day of hearts is fast approaching. Do you have any plans on how you would celebrate this considerably special day for couples? Definitely, it doesn't matter of you would go out of town or just a simple celebration at home. What is critical is that Valentine's Day will never be complete with food and beverages. Indeed, just customized food and beverage alone are ample to keep lovers surviving in this very special day.

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