Why is Honey Good for you?

Honey in a jar
Honey

Honey has a great reputation.  It’s sweet and associated with those cute bees. Honey gets its flavor and its golden hue from the nectar of the different flowers the honeybees visit. It ranges from a pretty pale yellow to dark amber in color. But why is honey good for you?

The darker honey contains more antioxidants. The actual levels are low if compared to fruits and vegetables.  The color is not so important when choosing which one to buy. So just pick the one you prefer.

Honey has a very long history. It has been used as a food and as a medicine. It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds. It also offers several health benefits. It is especially a healthy choice when used instead of refined sugar. Refined sugar is 100% empty calories. So honey is the better choice when choosing a sweetner.

Health Benefits

There are health benefits which are supported by science.  Honey contains some nutrients.  It’s a sweet thick liquid made by honeybees. The bees swarm their environment and collect the sugar-rich nectar of flowers.

Once inside the beehive, they work to process the sugar-rich nectar. Once this is done, honey is the sweet beautiful result. This liquid serves as stored food for the bees. The smell, the color and taste depends on the types of flowers the bees have visited. My favorite and the most used by me is multi-floral and clover.   This one seems to work well in most things and doesn’t change the flavor of my tea or coffee (yes I add it to coffee) But try different ones pick a favorite or just try them all.

Nutritional Benefits:

Lavender blossom and bee
Bee lavender

Nutritionally; 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.

Honey contains almost no fiber, fat or protein. It also contains trace amounts (under 1% of RDA) of several vitamins and minerals.  Raw honey has not been heated or filtered.  A 2012 study by the National Honey Board found that processed honey has the same nutrients as raw honey—and neither type is a significant source of nutrients.

Crystals in Honey:

Honey crystal
Honey crystallized

Have you ever been surprised to see your honey develop granules?  It has simply crystallized. It has not gone bad. To return it to liquid form you can gently place the jar in boiling water. Or you can just sit the container in hot water and wait awhile.  It’s  best to store honey at room temperature.  When placed in the refrigerator that’s when it’s more likely to form crystals.

More honey tips:

There is science to support applying honey to treat wounds. But not just any honey will work. Studies have shown that honey made from flowers in certain regions work. These would include honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand and Austraila. And honey from the Adamawa savannah in Cameroon—are effective in speeding healing and preventing infection in burns and some other types of wounds.

And is it true that honey can relieve allergies? Can eating honey really relieve seasonal allergy symptoms? It is believed that eating locally produced or raw honey contains pollen that may help desensitize your allergies. There’s no science to support this. There are minute amounts of pollen in honey and it comes from flowers, not from the grasses and trees that trigger most allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The FDA has no standard of identity for honey.  It has issued draft guidelines whereby a product can be called “honey” only if honey is the only ingredient; if other ingredients are added, the label must say so (such as a “blend of honey and sugar”).  Products in violation would then be considered misbranded. Read the label, read the ingredients, choose honey.

Real Honey

To make sure you’re buying real honey  Look for the True Source Certified logo, which means the honey (whether domestic or imported) meets certain standards, including traceability, as verified by an independent third party. Though True Source is a self-regulating industry group, its goal is to “support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing” in order to preserve the quality of honey and its “golden reputation.” it is not difficult to find certified honey.  It’s usually sitting in the honey section. 

It is less likely locally sourced honey and honey from small companies are adulterated.

Hope you like this post.   Please do leave a reply below.   If you have questions leave that below too.

Which bread is best and healthier?

Sourdough bread

Which bread is best?

So which bread is best digested?  Why not try Sourdough bread.  Sourdough bread is easier to digest.  It is better for blood sugar than most bread.  Sourdough bread is made differently than commercially prepared bread and gluten free breads.  Sourdough is fermented bread.  The fermentation process makes it easier to digest.  Therefore it is less likely to spike blood sugar levels.  This makes the gluten in sourdough bread easier to digest.

 

Popular in the Mediterranean diet:

Sourdough is really popular in the Mediterranean diets.  It is also very well received in the San Francisco area in California.  Traditional sourdough recipes use wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria.  Lactic acid bacteria are the same type of beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt, pickles, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.

 

Why is it different?:

Sourdough uses a starter made of fermented wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria, flour and water.  The sourdough starter begins to ferment the sugars in the dough.  This changes the molecular structure.  This breaks down its components, creating lactic acid and lactobacilli.

Probiotic lactobacilli contain the enzyme phytase.  This breaks down phytic acid.  This makes the sourdough bread easier to digest.  Therefore it is easier for the body to use the nutrients and minerals.  Studies show that the lactic acid in sourdough can actually release more antioxidants during fermentation.  Sourdough fermentation also tends to increase the folate levels in the bread too.

This natural fermentation causes sourdough to possess a variety of bioavailable nutrients.  It’s rich in B vitamins, B1, B6, and B12, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.  That’s an impressive list there.  It also has well balanced proteins and fatty acids.

 

Where to get it.

Not all sourdough bread is made the same way.  Depending on how long it ferments and how long it is kneaded, can make a difference in the quality of the bread.  Really tasty bread usually has so much character in its appearance.  If you like sourdough, find one that works for you.  You can usually find fresh baked sourdough breads in quality bakeries.  Quality restaurants also usually have genuine sourdough breads.  The fresher bread is often the tastier one.

 

How to eat it: 

Enjoy your bread with healthy nut butters and bananas.  You can fill it with hummus and roasted or raw (tomatoes and peppers.)  Spread a little honey on your bread.  You can toast it, just be creative .

 

Other Tips:

  • More recommended breads are:
  • Croissant with butter and honey
  • Rye bread
  • Multigrain bread (whole grain bread make sure the ingredients are listed at the top.)

As with all foods, remember keep it healthy and remember portion control.

I hope you like this post.  Please leave a comment below.

Breville USA BKE595XL Electric Kettle Review – making your own tea has benefits?

Electric Glass Kettle

This Breville Electric Kettle can add to the benefits of making  a routine cup of tea.  What are those benefits?

Electric Glass Kettle
Breville Electric Glass Kettle

Tea adds a relaxing element to your day and it’s fun to watch the water come to a boil.  This adds to the anticipation of that first cup of piping hot tea.  So why not make your own tea just the way you like it.  Enjoy the process making your own tea.  This can truly be quite satisfying.  The aroma in the air as it brews is just wonderful.

 

The Breville Electic Kettle is great for making a daily cup of tea.  This tea kettle has a clean look.  I like that the kettle is made of glass.  I like watching the water come to a boil.  And all of the parts that come in contact with the with the water are BPA free.

Features of the Kettle :

Electric Kettle
Breville Electric Kettle
  • German Schott Glass
  • Soft opening lid slowly releases steam and prevents splashing
  • Ergonomic handle with lid release button
  • BPA Free – all parts in contact with water
  • Safety Auto Shut-Off and Boil Dry Protection

Rating:  3.8 of 5 stars

The reviews reveal some of the results I would like to see for this Kettle.  The ability to get the cord well out of the way is certainly a plus.  And the soft opening lid is another plus it keeps you from getting that rush of steam that usually comes from a boiled pot.  So you are saving energy because its not escaping unnecessarily.

breville kettle review
Breville kettle review

Price:  $82.37 – $100.

You can get it on at  Amazon.

I hope you like this review.  If you have questions or just a comment please do leave a comment below.

 

 

 

Need a Great Smoothie for Energy?

One Great Smoothie for Energy

This smoothie is great for energy.  If you find you are sluggish and just cannot get started try this one.  I found this smoothie provides me with an immediate boost.  That’s because all the ingredients are energy producing.  The greens provide all sorts of nutrients needed to fuel the body.  Adding in strawberries and blueberries just enhances this healthy smoothie all the more.  With berries you get a good source of vitamin C.

The blueberries contain anthocyanins, these can help improve heart health by fighting plaque buildup.  These are rich in phytonutrients-naturally occurring plant chemicals and are thought to have the ability to prevent disease.  Blend all the ingredients together and drink it up.   This smoothie is so nutritious you may actually forget you were having a problem getting started.  Here is the recipe.


Smoothie for energy

2 Strawberries

1/4 cup of Blueberries

Hand full of washed spring greens

Few sprigs of cilantro

2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts

1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

Dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup of Fage plain non-fat yogurt

1/2 cup of flax milk

1 teaspoon of honey

Blend all ingredients.

Berries and nuts smoothie

Smoothie for energy

The  cilantro gives this smoothie its special fresh flavor.

The flax milk gives it that extra special heart healthy addition of omega 3s.

Enjoy

mmYum

Please let me know how much you like this in the comments area below.

COSORI 1500 Watt Professional Blender

This Cosori 1500 Watt Professional Blender is a heavy duty food processor.  You can use this for blending shakes, smoothies and more.  Its rugged and gets the job done quickly.   I like the idea of this blender it eliminates the need for many kitchen tools.

COSORI 1500 Watt Professional Blender

Blender
COSORI 1500 Watt Professional Blender

Features:

  • Variable Speeds,
  • Commercial High Powered Kitchen Ice & Juicer Blenders for Shakes and Smoothies
  • Heavy Duty Food Processor Mixer Maker
  • 64-ounce BPA-Free Pitcher

From $169.99 and up.  

Average customer rank.  4/5

Where too buy it: Amazon.com

Would you like Fresh Organic fruits and vegetables delivered right to your door?

 

Most of us would love to have fresh organic produce and foods readily available.  While it can be fun going to the grocery store wouldn’t it be nice to have fresh garden produce delivered right to your door.  Capay Organic is an organic farm that does just that.  Their website is Farm Fresh To You.

About Farm Fresh To You:

Capay Organic, is a second-generation organic farm that got its start in the Coastal Range’s Capay Valley, 90 miles northeast of San Francisco and 35 miles west of Sacramento. It was founded in 1976, so it’s been around a long time.   Capay focuses on growing food the natural way.  Capay offers Home and Office Delivery services.

How much does it Cost?

Orders range from $26 to $110 per week.

You can change up your order for less or more once you’ve started your online delivery.  The is a great feature because their delivery options are flexible.  So you can tweak you order to fit your budget.

Your options are: 

weekly, every other week, every 3 weeks, every 4 weeks.

Sizes are:

mini, small, medium and large.

 

So you can change up when and how much you want delivered from week to week.   I like this company’s offerings.

So instead of wandering through the grocery store isles looking for the freshest vegetables and wondering if they’re organic or not.  Why not enjoy the convenience of ordering online and let Fresh Farm to You deliver right to your door.

To find out if they are in your neighborhood why not go the their site, simply enter you zip code and order a box of some fresh organic vegetables, fruits and even eggs.

Let me know what you think after you get your first box from Farm Fresh to You.  Leave a reply below.

 

What are Benefits Eating Sunflower Seeds?

What are Benefits Eating Sunflower Seeds?

That’s an easy one to answer. This inexpensive seed is packed with nutrients. And that is so good for you.   The benefits eating Sunflower seeds are many and varied.  These seeds are an outstanding source of vitamin E and will easily provide your dietary vitamin E requirement.   Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant. Vitamin E helps to reduce inflammation and promotes a healthy immune system.

Sunflower
Sunflowers

Sunflower seeds also provide a nice amount of folate, iron, manganese, selenium, vitamin B6, zinc, protein, and fiber and essential linoleic acid. The healthy fats in these seeds can also keep your appetite more regular and like all seeds they contain a concentration of nutrients.

 

Heart Healthy

Sunflower seeds can keep hearts healthy and cholesterol levels low. That’s because these seeds have a high fat content that’s good for the body.

 

How do I add Sunflower Seeds to my diet?

You can sprinkle a tablespoon of these over yogurt or even in a bowl of hot oatmeal. They also add a delicious flavor when sprinkled on top of a green salad at lunch. It gives it an extra crunch and adds a good splash of healthy fat. It just makes salad a bit more interesting.  If you opt for premade packs of these check the salt content. I like them freshly toasted with no salt. This seed is fun to eat. I sometimes eat them by the handful. But I’ve learned writing this post that as with everything, we should be moderate since they are high in calories.

 

Where do you get these healthy seeds?

You can buy them from the bulk seed section at the Grocery store. If you buy the raw shelled ones, it’s easy to see and smell if they are fresh or not.

sunflower seeds shelled
Sunflower Seeds shelled

If you buy them in bulk in the shells, make sure they have clean unbroken shells. Make sure they are crisp and don’t smell old.   If you buy them already shelled, make sure to buy from a store that carries fresh often refilled seed bins.

 

How do I prepare these?

Place shelled sunflower seeds into a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425 on the broil setting. Put the pan half filled with these little seeds and wait 7 to 10 minutes or when you smell a wonderful toasty smell mmm wonderful to smell. Then take the pan out stir to mix, then put back in the oven,   wait just a few more minutes, remove from oven, make sure most are toasted just a bit.  (If you prefer you can also toast on the stovetop by heating on low in a saucepan and stirring occasionally for about 5 to 7 minutes.)  Careful these are so addictive and with no salt. Of course, you can lightly add salt if you like.  But Sunflower seeds taste great just toasted with nothing on them. You can snack on these if you’re craving something salty or chip like. This does away with that craving. Sunflower seeds will also keep you full.

 

More Sunflower Seed Tips

Try adding to muffins, breads or in cookie recipes. Do you sauté veggies on the stove top? If so then sprinkle some toasted seeds on these.

Why not try these raw or toasted? And please do let me know what you think by leaving a note below.

Super Healthy Breakfast Ideas, with Strawberries and Yogurt why a favorite?

Why is this a favorite for

Strawberry nut yogurt
Strawberry with Greek yogurt

breakfast?  That’s an easy one for me to answer.  The fresh smell of strawberries first thing in the morning.  Add a handful of blueberries and nuts to round this one off.  This is definitely one of the super healthy breakfast ideas.

A Favorite Go To:

I have never seen anyone turn this one away.  This is my favorite go to when in a rush which is most mornings.  So it’s hands down my favorite.  And it really is so super healthy.  With your strawberries you’ll get your vitamin C’s right up front.  Add  these to your favorite greek yogurt.  This one gives you a wonderful start to the day and it’s filling too.  Top this one off with a few shakes of the cinnamon shaker and this adds in extra nutrients like calcium, fiber and iron.  The cinnamon balances out the sugars in the fruit and helps you to stay full longer.  And the blueberries helps to clear the brain fog.  A super healthy breakfast idea, yes I think so every morning when choosing this dish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Walnuts

    Berries
    Berries nuts and yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Granola
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey

Directions

Layer blueberries, cut strawberries and greek yogurt (no fat is my favorite) into a small deep cereal bowl or a tall goblet/parfait glass until almost full.  Top with a few walnuts, almonds and sprinkle top with granola.  Add another tablespoon of yogurt and swirl a little honey on top.  Sprinkle the top of this with cinnamon, just a couple dashes.   10 min preparation.  Enjoy this wonderful little dish.     

Please let me know what you think.  Leave a comment below.

Eating the Correct Portion Sizes, Why is this Important?

Portion size is probably as important as what you eat and its good to revisit this topic.  This is especially true when you are trying to prevent stomach aches.   Eating the correct portion sizes will also help to stabalize the ideal weight.  For me eating the correct portion sizes, are as important as what foods I eat.  A good example, I find that anytime I eat out, I bring home another meal.  And that’s okay because eating out is expensive,  getting another meal from leftovers is a good thing.  In my case, I also used to feel compelled to eat everything on my plate.  My mother made that a very important thing to do, when I was a child and it remains with me.  However she put the right portion on my plate.  So it was necessary for good health to eat everything on my plate at that time .

 

Size Matters

As an adult when eating out in restaurants, I’ve learned that my plate is the same size as that of anyone eating the same meal.  That detail is important because we are all different in size, tolerance and age.

Recommended Portion
Recommended Portion

So there you have just a few reasons our plates should likely be different in portion size.  We need to use good judgement when choosing how much too actually eat.  That means when eating out or when eating at home.  We should always make it a point to eat the correct portion sizes of vegetables and other items.  Otherwise we end up overeating and what do you think happens?  Likely we get a stomach ache.  And we may also gain unwanted weight.  And if you have a sensitive stomach that is even more of a problem.

 

So what do we do to learn healthy eating portion sizes?

So what are we to do?  It’s simple really, no one wants to make work out of eating.  So we have to learn what the proper portion is and make it a habit and then it becomes easier to do without much thought.  When that happens we start pushing back when we’ve had enough to eat.

Plate of vegetables
Vegetable wrap and salad

I work on that because I still have that instinct to eat everything on my plate, but when that happens I start feeling unwell and having stomach aches often.  Now that I know why, I get right back into the habit of eating the correct portion sizes for me.  Once you find what portions are right for you I know you’ll do that to.  Here are some hints on how to find healthy portion sizes for you.

 

Vegetables

  • Fresh, frozen (best),canned and dried
  • 5 servings per day

Recommended:

 

Fruits:

  • Fresh, frozen (best), frozen canned and dried
  • 4 servings per day

Recommended:

  • 1 medium whole fruit (best)
  • ½ cup cut up fruit (best)
  • ¼ cup 100% fruit juice
  • ¼ cup dried fruit

 

Grains

  • At least half should be whole grain/high in dietary fiber.
  • 6 servings per day

Recommended:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small tortilla
  • 1 cup ready to eat cereal flakes
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
  • ½ cup of popped popcorn

 

Dairy

  • Fat free and Low fat
  • 3 servings per day

Recommended:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1.5 oz of cheese

 

Poultry, meat and eggs

  • Lean and extra lean; skin and (visible fat removed)
  • 8-9 servings per week

Recommended:

  • 3 oz cooked meat or poultry
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites

 

Fish and other seafood

  • Preferably oily fish that provide omega-3 fatty acids
  • 2-3 servings per week

Recommended:

  • 3 oz cooked fish or seafood

 

Nuts, seeds, beans and legumes

  • 5 servings per week

Recommended:

  • Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp or ½ oz of nuts or seeds
  • ¼ cup cooked beans or peas

 

Fats and oils

  • Preferably unsaturated
  • 3 servings per day

Recommended:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ( best, olive safflower)
  • 1 Tbsp soft margarine
  • 1 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp light salad dressing

 

Did you know?

  • Overeating can lead to weight gain
  • Overeating alters your blood sugar levels
  • Affects your mood makes you sluggish.

Let me know what you think.   Please comment below.

 

Benefits eating Strawberries, what are they?

Strawberry

Benefits eating Strawberries, what are they?

Strawberries, Strawberries, who needs to be convinced of the benefits eating strawberries?  Fresh strawberries are a sweet favorite.  They smell great so the anticipation of eating them is the singular thought of oh yum Strawberries.   I like to think of them as miniature apples, not for any reason but that when I pick them up they are as beautiful as any apple, if not more.  But I like both.  Strawberries are delicious  in a particularly strawberry way.  They taste great mixed into yogurt or oatmeal.  Blend them into a smoothie.  They are really great with salads, I mix them into any type of salad, but they are most always found in spinach salads.

 

Low in Sugar

Strawberry
Juicy Strawberry

The benefits of eating strawberries starts with the fact that they are amazingly low in suger.  I eat them right out of the refrigerator.  I might grab one as I prepare  breakfast or just munch on one before dinner.   Make sure when you get them home, to rinse them in water with just a little vinegar to help make sure they are clean.  Washing them in this mix also helps to keep them fresh longer.  But do enjoy these sweet jewels anytime of the day as a great breakfast item, an afternoon snack or before dinner snack.  It’s one of the most beautiful packages of vitamin C,  I can think of.

Nutrition, benefits of eating strawberries

Strawberries are rich in the essential nutrients vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.  One cup of fresh strawberries contains 160 percent of the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C for only 50 calories.  Strawberries boosts immunity.  They promote eye health.  They also fight bad cholesterol and may help to reduce inflammation.  Strawberries regulate blood pressure because of their potassium content.

 

These sweet beautiful berries are just packed with nutrients and are so delicious.  They aid in weight management, since they are naturally low in calories, fat-free and low in sodium.

Strawberry
Strawberry

This delightful fruit has so many more benefits not mentioned here.  Enjoy these in moderation.  Why not add this lovely fruit to your healthy eating routine.

 

Thanks for visiting my website, come back often.  Please drop me a comment below.