Monday, July 26, 2010

Onions: Nothing to Cry About

Slicing onions could be quite a tearful experience. However, as uncomfortable as it is for the cook's eyes whenever he cuts it up for use in dishes, its health benefits and taste are more than enough reasons to forgo the minor discomfort it brings. Characterized by a strong, pungent flavor and aroma, it's one of the world's staple cooking ingredients.

Lending its robust taste to accentuate the taste of the overall dish, it's hard to imagine how dishes would be like without onions. But beyond flavor, they have been used ever since as a medicinal plant, garnering wide acclaim for its wondrous health benefits in addressing a variety of health-related conditions such as the common cold, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.

Onions come in different flavors and colors—white, yellow, red, and green. Their taste can range from slightly sweet to very pungent. Prepared raw or cooked, they make excellent flavor enhancers for most salads, stir-fried dishes, soups, broiled and boiled dishes, etc. They are categorized as Allium vegetables, hence they are rich in sulfides, sulfoxides, thiosulfinates and other smelly compounds. Their medical potency has been known to combat different bacteria, which includes e.coli, salmonella, and bacillus subtilis. 

Written By: Maris Modesto

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Packaged Foods Need Not be Bad

For so long, packaged food has endured a bad rep in terms of nutrition. It could be because of the preservatives or the high fat and sodium content. Either way, it seems that packaged goodies have been vetoed by the health community.

But the fight isn't over for packaged food. Here are five packaged treats that taste good and are good for you, health experts agree:

Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is creamier, and richer in protein than American brands. Pick a non-fat, sugar-free brand with real fruit for a really kicking dessert.

Vegetable frozen dinner. Frozen dinners have evolved from fatty choices to roasted vegetables. Opt for a vegetable frozen dinner for a quick meal that's good for your ticker.

Canned and vacuum-packed fruits. Canned fruits may be better for you than fresh fruit provided that they are packed in juice or frozen. They are packed at the peak of ripeness and are bursting with vitamins.

Salmon burgers. Frozen salmon burgers are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are perfect for people who don't like fish.

Pita chips and hummus dips. Baked pita chips and hummus dip have the crunch and texture of regular potato chips without the extra fat. 

Written By: Kristine Gonzaga

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Get More Omega-3 in Your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids can do a lot for your body. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, keep your blood from clotting excessively, lower the amount of lipids circulating in the bloodstream, reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's ability to respond to insulin. These fatty acids also help prevent cancer cell growth. Introduce more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet with these tips:

1. Eat more fish.
Oily fish, that is. Salmon, sardines, and tuna are your best bets. These lean protein sources are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also very versatile and easy to prepare. Include fish in your salad, pan fry or grill it for your main course, or hit it with tomato sauce for an easy pasta sauce.

2. Gobble whole grains.
Whole grain is good for you for fiber. But whole grain flaxseed is even better because it's loaded with omega-3. Mix it with your yogurt, top your cereal with it, or eat it as a snack to boost omega-3 intake.

3. Go nuts.
Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acid. Coat your fish in them, eat them as a snack, toss them into salads, or turn them into desserts.

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