Monthly Archives: January 2018

Disgusting Food

How would you feel if you find out that some of the foods you like contain unsavory ingredients that are beyond the stretch of your imagination? Disgusted? Rightly so! Some of the ingredients printed on the label are perplexing and unpronounceable. Moreover if they are derived from ‘bizarre’ sources, would you feel like having them? Their inclusion may not mar the taste of the final product but that does not make them fit for consumption. These ‘secret’ ingredients that we ingest unknowingly may seem harmless, but are a cause for concern.
What’s more surprising is that to masquerade the identity of such an ingredient, it is categorized as natural. To simply put, the food label does not give a clear idea about the ingredients that actually may be used to make the product. As though the addition of excess salt and sugar was not enough, now we bear the presence of these disgusting ingredients in processed foods. Check out these ‘outrageous’ ingredients found in foods that you love to eat to your heart’s content.
Unsavory Ingredients in Food
Castoreum
vanilla ice cream containing castoreum

Seeing a cup of vanilla ice cream or raspberry candies can make you go weak in your knees. However, this feeling may soon go down to the dumps when you come to know that these mouth-watering delicacies contain an animal-derived ingredient. Castoreum is a flavoring agent that is reportedly used in these food products. This flavoring agent is a yellowish secretion obtained from the castor sacs that are next to anal glands of beaver (rodent). Also referred to as beaver anal gland juice, this food additive acts as a flavor enhancer and is supposedly mixed with hard candy, fruit flavored drinks such as strawberry syrup and raspberry flavored products. Surprisingly, the nutrition column on the label of many products, names castoreum as a natural flavor enhancer. It is altogether a different matter that FEMA (Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association) of United States has outright rejected any reports of castoreum usage for flavoring vanilla ice cream. However, FEMA does consider castoreum as a safe food additive.

Not all food companies use castoreum as a flavor enhancer. Vanilla extract, that consists of vanilla beans, sugar and ethyl alcohol, is also used as a flavoring agent. Thus, there are alternatives to castoreum that are not made from unsavory components as well as impart a good flavor to ice creams.

HEALTHY Late-night Snacks

Most of us are in the habit of staying up late, either working, reading, watching T.V., or busy with some or the other activity. Whatever the reason may be, very often you can hear your stomach growling in the midst of those late nights. It is true that most of our late night food cravings stem from boredom or the mere desire to take a break from the activity we are engaged in, or to add to it. Sometimes though, they are genuine and may occur because of early dinner, dehydration, low salt levels, or low sugar levels, or lack of proteins. In any case, our hunger needs to be satisfied. So why not opt for some healthy late-night snacks and save on those calories which collect easily and quickly late at night?
Healthy Snack Ideas for Late Nights
You can choose your late-night snacks depending upon your mood, like refreshing or comforting, quick or sweet, munchy or satisfying. Just remember to consume them in small portions (say 1 roll or 1 bowl). This is because no matter how healthy you may perceive these snacks to be at that hour, they are still likely to make you feel very heavy at night if consumed in larger portions.
Protein-rich Snacks
Sandwich with cottage cheese, radish, black pepper and cucumber
➠ Mix together some chopped tomatoes and red onions with zucchini and low-fat cottage cheese. Add the final touch with a little salsa.

➠ In some low-fat hummus, add some diced cooked chicken, and with some shredded lettuce, stuff it into whole-grain pita bread.

➠ Toss together some diced cucumber, radish, and low-fat cottage cheese topped with some olive oil and seasoned with some herbs like oregano.

Comforting Snacks
Healthy breakfast. Fresh granola, muesli with berries, honey and milk
➠ Add some honey and walnuts to a bowl of oats with milk to enjoy a warm, comforting snack.

➠ Indulge in a savory bean wrap by mashing some beans with salsa. Spread it on a whole-wheat tortilla and sprinkle with some low-fat cheese. Wrap it up and heat until the cheese melts.

➠ Add some dark chocolate mix to a glass of steaming hot skimmed milk and revel in its warmth.

➠ Spread some olive paste on a whole-wheat tortilla, and add some shredded chicken and lettuce to it. Make it a yummy wrap!

Refreshing Snacks
Bunch of sliced watermelons
➠ Indulge in some chilled watermelon wedges seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

➠ Add to a club soda any unsweetened juice of your choice and top it with some crushed ice for the ultimate cool and refreshing drink.

➠ Create your own granita with some freshly squeezed juice.

➠ Add to a glass of tomato juice, some salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon to give it the perfect flavor.

Vital Precautionary Measures

For those of you who are wondering, what is malic acid, let’s clear that doubt first. Malic acid is chemically a organic compound which has a formula of HO2CCH2CHOHCO2H. Being the main ingredient in apples, malic acid was first isolated from apple juice in 1785, and then further research about its importance in biochemistry was carried out. The IUPAC name of malic acid is ‘2-hydroxybutanedioic acid’, and it also has many other conformations like the L-Malic acid, D-Malic acid, etc. Malic acid is found in many sour fruits like green apples, grapes, and in wine, however, the amount of malic acid reduces, when these fruits ripen. There are a number of malic acid benefits.

What is Malic Acid Good For

➺ It plays an important role in the production of energy.

➺ It reduces toxic effects of certain metals.

➺ It helps alleviate pain.

➺ It protects muscles from exhaustion.

➺ When present in skin care products, it exhibits exfoliating properties. It can penetrate deep into the skin, and can improve the smoothness of your skin. It helps reduce pigmentation and offers you glowing, smooth skin.

➺ It helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia (pain in muscle, ligaments, and tendons, leading to muscle exhaustion, lack of energy), when consumed in combination with magnesium. It also helps reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

➺ It exhibits antiseptic properties, and helps keep the mouth cavity free of germs. It stimulates saliva production, which in turn helps kill bacteria in the mouth.

But malic acid also has some negative effects, if consumed in excess, like any other compound.

Side Effects

Malic acid is used as a dietary supplement. It is a chemical component of a number of medicines, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and cosmetics. Usually, excessive consumption of supplements and medicines leads to malic acid side effects. It is a common component of facial creams and peels that help balance a skin tone and even the pH of the skin. Those who have malic acid allergy may suffer from a mild or severe allergic reaction after using these cosmetics, supplements, or medicines. The acid is also present in various popular food products like potato chips and candies. So one should read the labels carefully.

✦ Common Side Effects
As malic acid is used as a medication to clean and prepare the surface of teeth before any dental treatment, it has to be used in proportion and limit. Likewise it is also used in facial therapies, and to treat muscle and bone pain. It should be used in advised amounts.

Health Drink

In a world of gymnasiums, bulging biceps and toned bodies, health is the focus! We preach about healthy bodies and healthy foods, but has anyone stopped to think of those countless cups of coffee we drink just to get through the day? Or the chocolate shakes we consume, which are nothing but packed with calories and zero nutritional content.
Green Tea

The world can’t seem to stop talking about green tea. From Oprah to health experts, everyone is talking about this green wonder. But what is so great about green tea? Green tea is a great antioxidant and is known to prevent and fight diseases; no wonder the Chinese have been drinking it for centuries, and we all know how long the Chinese live! Drinking green tea helps in preventing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, strokes and other infections. It also helps fight cavities and increases the metabolism rate, which helps lose weight faster. Green tea comes in so many flavors as well, from honey, apricot, coco mint and even ginseng. If one wants decaffeinated green tea, it is available as well.

How to Brew a Cup of Green Tea?

This recipe will help you brew a perfect cup of green tea. Here is the method.

~ You will need one tea bag for every cup of tea you desire.

~ In a kettle, pour one and a half cup of water and let it boil.

~ Let this boiled water stand for a while.

~ In a cup, place the tea bag and pour the hot water over it.

~ Let this to stand for 3 minutes and then remove the tea bag.

~ Add sugar or honey if desired.

~ Add a lemon wedge for extra flavor.
Fruit Smoothies

We all love milkshakes, especially those chocolate filled ones. But those on a path to lose weight will groan every time they see someone indulging in one, as they can’t really afford all those calories. Fruit smoothies are a great way to indulge instead; they are delicious, packed with fruits and nutrients.
Apricot Pineapple Smoothie
Ingredients

Pineapple, crushed – ¼ cup
Apricot, diced -1
Strawberries – 6
Banana – ½
Water – 1 ½ cup
Low fat yogurt – 1 cup
Ice, crushed – ¼ cup

Take the crushed pineapple, dried apricots, strawberries, bananas and mix them together in a blender. After all the fruits are properly crushed, add water. Now blend again till all the fruits and water are properly mixed. Your delicious apricot pineapple smoothie is ready. Keep it in the refrigerator and serve it chilled.