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Food Selections that Contribute to Health

If you are trying to lose weight, or if you are just a supporter of

healthy lifestyle, it’s likely that you have excluded the following

foods from your diet: chocolate, butter, cheese and other products which

you consider “unhealthy.” You don’t have to say “no,”

however, to your favorite foods. Remember that there are “right”

ways of eating them, and if you control the portions they won’t

be as unhealthy as you think.

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So, do allow yourself to have:

Cheese

It’s a well-known fact that some types of cheese are high in fat

and, consequently, calories. But we must not forget that cheese is also

a wonderful source of calcium. Besides, a lot of cheese contains linoleic

acid (a “good” fat) which reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes

and cardiovascular disease. This is also the very acid that can be of

great help in losing weight. This can be explained through one of its

properties -- it blocks fat accumulation in the body.

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What types of cheese can be consumed? There are spicy cheeses and full-flavored

cheeses such as parmesan, fresh goat cheese and feta. For example, in

goat cheese there are only 90 calories per 100 gram serving, whereas in

cheddar there are 400 calories per serving.

What types of cheese should be avoided? The low-fat variety. In spite

of being low-fat, such cheese still contains 20 grams of fat per 100 gram

serving, so you can see that they are still high in calories. At the same

time, they are relatively tasteless and therefore don’t satisfy

psychological hunger.

Chocolate

In chocolate there are a lot of antioxidants that are similar to those

found in vegetables and fruit; these are the antioxidants which decrease

the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Despite the high fat level

in chocolate, research has shown that stearic acid, which is the main

source of fat in chocolate, does not promote higher cholesterol levels

in the blood. Chocolate also stimulates serotonin production in the brain,

the substance responsible for good moods.

What chocolate can we eat? Dark bitter chocolate is best. The larger

the content of cacao beans in chocolate, the less cacao oil it has. It’s

a good idea to avoid bars of chocolate with caramel, nuts and other high

calorie ingredients.

Meat

Do you long for a good beefsteak? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Meat is a wonderful source of protein and other substances that women

often do not get enough of -- including iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

What are we allowed to eat? Lean beef, which has only 4.5 grams of fat

per 100 gram serving, is the best option. Rabbit meat is also good. Poultry

is good as long as you don’t consume the skin.

We should avoid high-fat varieties of meat, such as pork and veal. There

are certain parts that you should also restrain from. This includes ribs

and shoulder cuts, which contain two times more fat and calories than

leaner pieces.

Coffee

You do not have to give up drinking coffee completely. Recent research

has not observed direct connections between coffee consumption and cardiovascular

disease or high blood pressure. Furthermore, caffeine relieves allergy

symptoms and stimulates concentration.

How much can you consume? You can fearlessly have two to three cups

of coffee per day, as long as you limit the amount of cream and sugar

you have with it. You should also stay away from coffee with cream or

whipped cream, which can contain up to an additional 300 calories.

Eggs

A lot of women restrain from eating eggs because they believe that eggs

contain high levels of cholesterol. It’s not the cholesterol which

is harmful, however, but the saturated fat. Eggs actually have very little

saturated fat (less than 5 grams per egg). Additionally, the substance

called lutein that eggs contain is extremely useful for good eyesight.

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How many can you eat? Hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs contain very few

calories. White omelets have very few calories and contain low amounts

cholesterol. You should definitely avoid eating high-fat and high-calorie

eggs fried with bacon or sausage.

Nuts

It’s true that there is a lot of fat in nuts, but this is the so-called

“good” saturated fat which diminishes the risk of cardiovascular

disease and even can help in weight loss. People with a diet including

a lot of mono unsaturated fat lose up to four kilos every six weeks. What

contributes to this is magnesium, which all nuts have in large quantities

and which in turn relives symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and also headaches.

What and how much can we eat? A handful of nuts (about 170 calories) <---newpage--->

for an afternoon snack or instead of dinner will do you a lot of good.

You could also add a small amount of nuts to salads, muesli, or other

dishes. What you really shouldn’t do is add nuts to dishes which

are already high in fat and calories such as biscuits, cake and ice cream.

What about alcohol?

Many researchers testify to the fact that alcohol in moderate doses

isn’t harmful -- it can even be beneficial to health. Half a glass

or one glass of good wine per day (but not more) can reduce the risk of

cardiovascular disease development.

Products containing less than 100 calories:

  • 200 grams of ice cream = 70-100 calories.
  • 1 cup of milk with sugar = 50 calories.
  • 1 cup of cappuccino = 77 calories.
  • 1 hard-boiled egg = 77 calories.
  • 1 glass of white wine or champagne = 72 calories.
  • 1 glass of light beer = 99 calories.
  • 1 handful of filberts = 90 calories.
  • 100 grams of lean beef = 80-90 calories.
  • 20 raisins in chocolate = 80 calories.
  • 3 chocolate candies = 60-80 calories.
  • 1 slice of cheese = 30-50 calories.

A cucumber

Today we are going to talk about the numerous useful properties of cucumbers.

Cucumbers contain a lot of water -- 96 percent in fact. Cucumber water

is rich in biologically active substances, mineral salts and vitamins.

Specialists claim that the significant amount of potassium that cucumbers

contain has a salutary influence on heart performance, normalizes blood

pressure, and also promotes liquid withdrawal from the body. There is

also iodine in cucumbers, which is necessary for the normal functioning

of the thyroid gland. As for sulfur, it improves teeth, nails and hair.

As a result of numerous studies, it has been ascertained that cucumbers

contain fluorine, zinc, molybdenum, iron, aluminum and folic acid. This

fact is of great importance to people who suffer from pancreatic diabetes.

Due to being low-calorie, cucumbers are recommended for overweight people.

It should also be noted that specialists advise everyone trying to lose

weight (and those cleaning the body) to have one fasting day per week,

desirably on the weekend. On each fasting day you should consume about

two kilos of cucumbers. Fasting days are also useful for those who have

high blood pressure.

It should be noted that fresh cucumbers contribute to fat and protein

assimilation within the body, and they also have a soft laxative effect

on the body.

Now a few words about cucumber juice. It eliminates thirst, calms and

strengthens the nervous system, and also improves memory and helps to

deal with gum problems. A mixture of cucumber and carrot juice is helpful

when dealing with rheumatism.

Do not have too many fresh cucumbers if you suffer from gastritis, enteritis,

or colitis. Cucumbers are bad for people who have stomach ulcers and nephritis.

Cosmetic masks made of cucumbers, however, are useful for everyone. Such

masks make the skin more elastic and smooth, and they diminish pores.

Pears

Pears are one of the healthiest treats. Pears are rich in sugar, organic

acids, ferments, cellular tissue, tanning, nitric and pectin agents, as

well as vitamins C, B1, P, PP, and carotene (provitamin A). Pears usually

seem sweeter than apples, although they do contain less sugar. A lot of

pears abound in microelements, including iodine. Pears contain up to 10

percent carbohydrates; that is 10 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams

of pear.

There is not much vitamin C in pears. As far as folic acid is concerned,

however, pears surpass even black-currants.

Both traditional and folk medicines recommend pears in a lot of cases.

But it should be noted that pears should be eaten in the following way:

you should have pears when your stomach is empty and you should drink

water when you eat them. They shouldn’t be eaten with meat or within

a half-hour of finishing a meal.

Keep in mind that only ripe, aromatic, juicy and smooth pears posses

medicinal properties. As for pear juice, it’s a wonderful restorative,

tonic, and vitamin remedy which is extremely useful in curing certain

stomach diseases.

Doctors recommend eating more pears after you turn 40. Plus, you can

benefit greatly if you have two “pear” days per week: 1.5-2

kilos of fresh green fruit and nothing else. If the fruit is hard you

can boil it a little.

In ancient times, doctors valued pears as a method to heal wounds and

bring down temperature.

The pleasant crunch that we get when biting into a pear can be explained

by the presence of stone cells in pulp, the outward of which consists

of lignified cellulose tissue. This very tissue irritates the mucous of <---newpage--->

the small intestine, and that’s why we’d better avoid eating

pears at periods of exacerbation of gastrointestinal disturbance.

In ancient Arabian medical works it was mentioned that pears can help

to treat lung disease. Pear juice and decoctions are anti-bacterially

active due to the presence of arbutin. You can also drink the juice in

order to strengthen the blood vessels walls.

If your aim is to lose weight, do not forget that pears are low calorie

and are often a part of different diets.

We cannot overestimate the usefulness of this fruit for the digestive

system. Ripe pears stimulate food digestion and have corroborative effects;

that is why they are useful when the intestinal system is upset. Pear

pulp is better assimilated in the body than apple pulp. Sour and astringent

varieties of pears strengthen the stomach and liver and stimulate appetite

-- but they are not as easily assimilated within the body.

If you suffer from liver disease, cholecystitis, or gastritis, then

two pears each morning will relive you from pain, heartburn, and the feeling

of discomfort in the intestines.

It is connected with the fact that there is a lot of potassium in pears

and, therefore, there are a lot of alkaline properties in pears that have

a favorable effect on heart performance. The stronger the smell of pears,

the more healthy they are -- especially for our hearts. Unlike apples,

pears are also useful for the lungs.

Pears are also healthy for the skin. If you are not content with your

freckles, for example, you can try to lighten them by using the following

method: a ripe pear is mashed, then the juice is removed before applying

the pulp to the face for 15-20 minutes. The pulp is then rinsed off with

water. This mask is also helpful if the skin is blotched.

In winter, a mask made from ground pear, a tablespoon of sour cream,

and a tablespoon of grapefruit juice does a lot of good for dry skin.

You keep it on your face for half an hour, and then rinse your face with

water.

Pear juice is suitable for taking care of any type of skin. Pear masks

and lotions smooth the skin and make more it more elastic; they also help

to decrease pore size. To create such masks and lotions, you first mash

ripe pears and then apply the substance to your face for 20 minutes. You

then rinse your face with cold water, after which you rinse with hot water.

If a mask contains only pear pulp, it can heal, rejuvenate and

freshen skin.

Useful Grapes.

No other season can be compared to early autumn in terms of the abundance

of fresh fruit and vegetables. Grapes should be paid particular attention

to among this vitamin diversity. It’s not in vain that doctors compare

grape therapy to a trip to a mineral water resort. But why do we have

to go anywhere when if we can have the same at home?

The curative properties of grapes have been known for a long time. According

to the Bible, the first plant cultivated on the mountain Ararat was grapes.

Greeks and Romans who lived in ancient times used the curative properties

of grapes to recover strength and to improve metabolism. They also used

grapes to recover from tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, and blood coughing.

Grapes and grape juice were known as a wonderful diuretic (they have up

to 70-80 percent water containing attenuated sugar, acids, vitamins and

salts). The juice is also a laxative (due to glucose) and an expectoration

remedy. The later property of grapes can be explained by the presence

of acids that they contain. They irritate the respiratory track slightly,

making it easy for phlegm secretion. The “Isabella” variety

of grape is recommended as a remedy against catarrhs of respiratory tracks,

while the “Muscat” variety is helpful against throat inflammation.

Dried grapes (i.e. raisins) can be used as a sweet pill against lung,

liver and kidney disease.

There are large amounts of microelements and easily-assimilated mineral

salts (such as zinc, calcium, iron, copper, magnum and manganese) in grapes.

Grapes are especially rich in potassium, and that’s why grapes are

beneficial for individuals with heart problems. They are also recommended

for people suffering from leukemia since they increase the quantity of

blood cells and increase the level of hemoglobin. They also bring the

correlation between blood cells to a normal level and stimulate the hematosis

performance of marrow.

For medical purposes, entire grapes are used -- including the peel and

the leaves. Grape juice is also healthy. For example, one liter of juice

has the same number of calories as 1.5 kilos of apples and peaches, or

650 grams of beef. The energy that a person gets out of one kilo of grapes

is 700-850 calories. Considering these calculations, we can say that four

kilos of fresh grapes (or one kilo of raisins) can provide you with enough

energy for 24 hours.

<---newpage--->

The seeds of grapes have also become an object of close study. A lot

of active substances (polyphenols) have been found in the seeds -- they

have the ability to bind free-radicals within the body. Free-radicals

are known to be the reason behind aging and the starting point of cancer.

Today, they even add grape seeds to different food additives in order

to strengthen vessel walls and diminish the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In folk medicine, grape seeds were used against allergies.

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Grape seeds are also a wonderful raw material for cosmetologists. For

example, shampoo with grape seed oil helps to strengthen and restore hair.

Massaging the skin using the same oil will make the skin smooth and soft.

Grape leaves are rich in ascorbic oil, and they are a valuable ingredient

of any salad. Grape leaves are widely used in Caucasus cuisine and lead

to longevity.

But the main useful secret of grapes is in the content of glucose and

fructose. Grape sugar does not undergo significant transformation and

goes directly to the blood. This favorably affects muscle tone, intensifies

cardio muscle contractions, improves metabolism, and stretches blood vessels.

The grape-cure method itself.

The first dose should not be large –- about 400 grams of grapes

per day. Gradually increase the amount of grapes you consume, so that

by the end of the fourth week you consume up to three kilos of grapes

per 24 hours. Distribute the grapes into three doses: one in the morning,

the second two hours before lunch, and the third three hours after. Some

nutritionists advise stopping grape therapy gradually -- decrease amounts

by one dose over time.

The food you consume while being on grape therapy should be special.

First, do not overeat since grapes are high in calories. Second, it is

not recommended to consume sweet sodas, smoked meat, pickled or high fat

dishes, or some vegetables (cabbages, beetroots, and radish). Finally,

you will have to say “no” to other berries and fruit greens.

Dairy is a bad combination with grapes. Grapes make dairy sour, contributing

to a sour stomach. If there is some degree of stomach upset, take a two-

to three-day break from grape therapy.

The only rule which you will have to take into consideration if you

decide to try grape therapy is to have your teeth checked in advance --

the acids and sugars in grapes cause pain and speed up the decay of caries

in teeth. Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with water after you have

consumed grapes.

When choosing grapes in a supermarket, keep in mind that brown spots

and pigmentation do not necessarily mean that the grapes are of poor quality.

The only thing that you have to pay attention to is whether the berries

are spoiled or not. Fresh grapes have a kind of whitish-thin coating.

Grapes with a thick peel, hard pulp, and crumbly bunches are kept safe

for longer periods of time. Dark varieties of grapes can be preserved

longer than light varieties, and dark grapes also offer more health benefits.

In domestic conditions, grapes cannot be preserved very long because

the berry needs a well-ventilated room. For brief storage (15-20 days)

bunches of grapes can be displayed on shelves of a non-heated room. You

can also keep grapes safe by placing them in small wooden boxes and mixing

them with sawdust. Small amounts of grapes can be kept in a freezer or

a refrigerator in closed plastic bags or carton boxes.

A Miniature Pharmacy (Pumpkin)

The native land of the pumpkin is the tropic forests of Mexico. According

to some this vegetable was known three thousand years ago, and local Indians

planted pumpkin plantations in 300 B.C. At least one kind of pumpkin,

the so-called “bottle” pumpkin, was planted at approximately

the same time in Europe and Asia. Ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman peoples

manufactured wine and water bottles out of them. Pumpkins arrived in Europe

in the 16th century. As for Russia, pumpkins became popular quickly due

to their yield, unpretentiousness, and ability to be stored long-term.

Pumpkins are not only delicious, but are also a unique remedy and an

element of multiple rituals. A pumpkin can be used in numerous aspects

of cooking: salads, soups, pancakes, puddings, soufflés, and cream

for cakes. They can also be boiled, fried, baked, and even pickled. A

person can even eat young sprouts of pumpkins -- when peeled and boiled

in salted water, they are similar to asparagus. Modern dentists recommend

consuming 500 grams of pumpkin because it is rich in fluorine and, thus,

can reduce dental cavities. Pumpkins are often referred to as “a

pharmacy in miniature” because there are so many useful substances

in them. The main advantage of pumpkins being a remedy is found in their

simplicity of application. Pumpkins are recommended for prevention of <---newpage--->

cardiovascular disease, cancer, and leukemia. They can also be used to

treat problems with digestion, to treat symptoms associated with diabetes,

and to treat other numerous diseases.

Pumpkin can be consumed before going to bed to help treat insomnia.

They are also a great component of any diet for those who want to lose

weight. They are helpful against colds, coughs, and tuberculosis -- mashed

pumpkins also contribute to the reduction of fever associated with bronchitis.

Spices do not only elate...

One of the traditions that we have inherited from our ancestors is the

use of different spices and herbs in modern cuisine. Housewives use them

actively for cooking both special meals and everyday dishes: salads, appetizers,

side-dishes, meat and fish. When used correctly and in reasonable doses,

spices do not only improve the taste of a favorite dish, but can also

positively affect the body.

The use of spices throughout history has given mankind a chance to explore

the medicinal properties they normally contain. For example, the antioxidant

properties of ginger, turmeric, tormentil, anise, dill, sweet flag and

origanum have been known since ancient times. Some of these spices significantly

increase the amount of milk that a nursing women can produce. Certain

herbs are also quite effective when people suffer from psychosomatic disorders.

In modern medicine, however, the practice of using herbs and spices

for their medical properties is not very common. It should be noted that

despite the current medical stance that professionals have taken, spices

actually do provide a number of benefits. They improve hearing and sight.

They also stimulate clear thinking.

Cinnamon is a well-known spice that has wonderful medicinal and culinary

properties. The native lands of the cinnamon tree are Ceylon, southwest

India and south China. The bark of the tree serves as the spice and it

is cut by a knife made of copper. Cinnamon tree bark contains valuable

ether oil, and also resin, starch and tannin.

Cinnamon contributes to the improvement of digestion. It also stimulates

appetite and strengthens the stomach. Cinnamon is a wonderful remedy against

catarrhal diseases, and extracts of cinnamon tree bark suppress are known

to suppress the growth of more than 15 malignant bacterium -- including

Koch’s bacillus.

Chinese cinnamon eliminates the negative influence of henbane, and if

dropped into the eyes it can help prevent cataracts. It dissolves gallstones,

cures all kinds of stomach swelling, and even helps treat snake bites.

In Indian medicine, cinnamon (like ginger) is considered to be almost

a universal herbal medicine. The main treatise of Tibet medicine, “Tchud-shi,”

recommends using cinnamon in combination with other herbs. For example,

cinnamon in combination with pomegranate and pepper is an irreplaceable

medicine against indigestion, hoarseness, shortness of breath and liver

disease.

Cinnamon is widely used in modern cooking. It combines well with cherries,

apples and pumpkins. A lot of people are fond of having tea with cinnamon

in it. The best advice is to combine useful food with delicious food in

order to be healthy.



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