Natural Mantra


Leave a comment

Much more than a #SugarSubstitute – Blackstrap #Molasses rocks!

Molasses sugar is a dark brown, viscous liquid that’s made in the process of sugar manufacture. When sugarcane and sugar beets are refined till no additional sugar can be crystallized, the residual substance is molasses.

It is ironic that while the toxic and unhealthy refined sugar goes to our supermarket shelves, the highly nutritious molasses is mostly sold as livestock feed! Good for the cows, we say!  But seriously, Molasses has high nutritive and iron content.

Blackstrap Molasses

Thick, Viscous, Highly nutritious Molasses

 

Today, the value of molasses is becoming better known. This is most true of blackstrap molasses, the highest, thrice-boiled, grade of molasses. Blackstrap has the lowest sugar content, plus higher nutritional content than any other refined sugar.

Molasses is a common ingredient in cooking,  in cakes, cookies, chutneys, pickles and marinades. It is also used in the production of ethyl alcohol.

It has many health benefits:

Good for hair – Its copper content helps rebuild skin structure & supports healthy hair.

Safe sweetener for diabetics – Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55.

Ideal weight-loss diet –  Contains no fat and only 32 calories.

Laxative qualities – Improves regularity and quality of  bowel movements.

Rich in iron –  Anemic people benefit tremendously from its iron content.

High in calcium and magnesium – Its mineral profile aids the growth of bones, a good safeguard against osteoporosis.

It has several other important minerals and is also an antioxidant.

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of it in a cup of boiling water and drink it through a straw once cool, every morning as a supplement. Always remember to purchase blackstrap molasses  that is organic and unsulfured from naturalmantra.

The mnay uses of molasses in cooking

Molasses is a yummy spread

 


Leave a comment

Join the Rainbow Brigade – Eat a Rainbow! (Oprah Winfrey does too!)

fruits-vegetables-rainbow

Better nutrition means cutting out the bad, most certainly! But adding in the good is the good part! But what is healthy food? You can’t go wrong with anything that has bright, vibrant colors—think fruits and vegetables, in Rainbow Colors!!! Oprah has endorsed this often.

Red
Red or rosy-hued fruits and vegetables offer an important antioxidant called lycopene, with health benefits like protecting the skin from sun damage, decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
Cooked tomatoes have more lycopene, so ketchup, sauce & salsa are not only fun but are good too! Red Bell Pepper pack twice the vitamin C and 9times as much vitamin A as green ones, fighting everything from asthma to cancer to cataracts.

Orange
The vitamin C in orange fruits & vegetables has phytonutrients known to lower blood pressure and contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. Juice is good, but the real fruit is even better, and the peel is bestest!!!.
Also recommended are Sweet Potato, with beta-carotene & fiber, Carrot, with the richest carotene content ever and Cantaloupe!

Yellow
Close relatives to orange foods, they are also rich in carotenoids. They are shown to decrease the likelihood for such diseases as lung cancer and arthritis, decrease inflammation in the joints, improve the functioning of the respiratory system.
Yellow Bell Pepper provide two and a half times the amount of vitamin C you’d get from an orange.
Pineapple, Corn, loaded with thiamin, which plays a central role in energy production and cognitive function, Banana, loaded with potassium, which strengthens bones, Yellow Squash with its dollops of fiber, manganese, magnesium and folate are great health troves.

Green
Green foods deliver vitamins capable of strengthening bones, muscles and brains. And they an amazing source of antioxidants that, among other benefits, promotes healthy vision.
Avocado, bursting with monounsaturated fats are great for your heart.
Zucchini, a diverse source of nutrients, has omega-3, copper and more, while Brussels Sprouts is one of the strongest natural cancer-fighters. Asparagus, can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in our large intestines, while Romaine Lettuce offers a bouquet of benefits – everything from bone-strengthening vitamin K to folic acid, essential to cardiovascular health. Broccoli have two days’ worth of vitamins C and K in each serving, Kale is a low-calorie source of calcium, and Spinach is one of your best sources of folate, which keeps the body in good supply of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Green Peas abound in vitamins and minerals, plus more fiber than most whole-wheat breads.

Blue, indigo and purple
These foods get their colors from the presence of a unique set of antioxidants called flavonoids, known to improve cardiovascular health and prevent short-term memory loss. They promote new cell growth, fight disease, have Vitamin C & folates.
Blueberries, Eggplant, Blackberries are heroes! Beets derive their color from a cancer-fighting pigment called betacyanin and is rich with fiber, potassium and manganese; while Plums have also been shown to help the body absorb iron better.

True, a lot of these good components are available through organic health supplements, but it is good to have a basic diet that is naturally healthy too, especially for children!

Ready to go grocery shopping? Now you know you need to look for the rainbow to eat!

kids-eating-greens1

Source of information: Men’s Health Magazine

 


Leave a comment

Boost your vision with these super nutrients and minerals!

Getting enough vitamins and minerals through the foods you eat do wonders for you body, but what about your eyes? With all this technology in our lives, our eyes get no rest from computer screens, TV screens, phone screens – practically everything we use today is brightly lit and strains our eyes and vision more than we can imagine. There are certain nutrients that are especially good for giving your vision a boost, according to the California Optometric Association.

Eyes

The nutrients that improve your vision and help minimize the effects of everyday strain are:

LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN: Research has shown that both these nutrients may help reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Where to get it: Green leafy vegetables, Eggs.

VITAMIN C: Some studies have shown that Vitamin C may help lower the risk of developing cataracts – clouding of the lens in the eye— when taken in conjunction with other nutrients, and maybe even slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

Where to get it: Guavas, Oranges, Red and Green Peppers, Kiwis, Grapefruits.

VITAMIN E: This is a powerful antioxidant that experts believe might help protect eye cells from damage caused by free radicals, which break down healthy tissue.

Where to get it: Spinach, Broccoli, Almonds, Sunflower seeds.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function. They may help maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells, and maybe even boost the immune system.

Where to get them: Ground flaxseeds, Walnuts, Soybeans, Salmon, Tuna.

ZINC: This mineral just might play a role in helping guide Vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is concentrated in the eye—mostly in the retina and choroid (the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina).

Where to get it: Whole grains, Dairy, Oysters, Red meat, Poultry.

 


Leave a comment

What is Amaranth and why you should eat it!

 

Amaranth is a tiny, yellow grain. It can be bought as a whole grain (pearled Amaranth), as a flour, or as rolled flakes. It’s also found as an ingredient in cereals and crackers. Amaranth is a genus of herbs that contain over 60 species with a variety of colors and uses. Many of these species are considered weeds; however, people around the world consume Amaranth as grains, vegetables and cereals for their many health benefits. Amaranth has a long history and has been in use for many centuries by many different cultures. Amaranth was a key part of the diets of the pre-Columbian Aztecs, and it was used not just for food, but also as part of their religious ceremonies.

amaranth

1. It’s Actually A Seed: Like quinoa, Amaranth is not technically a grain but is the seed of the amaranth plant. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds.

2. Amaranth Is Gluten-Free: Amaranth doesn’t contain any gluten, which makes it a great choice for people who are celiac or gluten intolerant and an excellent way to boost the nutritional power of gluten-free recipes.

3. It Contains Lysine: Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid, but that’s not the case for Amaranth. This makes Amaranth a complete protein, because it contains all the essential amino acids. Amaranth has a good amount of lysine which helps the body absorb calcium, build muscle and produce energy.

4. Amaranth Contains Protein: Amaranth’s protein content is about 13 percent, or 26 grams per cup, which is much higher than most other grains, like a cup of long-grain white rice has just 13 grams of protein. Amaranth is a very rich source of protein and this protein is also very bio-available. The protein in Amaranth is more digestible than other grains and has been compared to the digestibility of milk protein.

5. The Plant Is Hardy: Amaranth prefers a high elevation, but can grow at almost any elevation in temperate climates if it has moist, loose soil with good drainage. It can also survive in low-water conditions once the plants have been established.

6. You Can Eat Other Parts Of The Plant: Amaranth seeds may be the best-known part of the plant, which has more than 60 different species, but the leaves are also edible. They’re commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines — try them stir-fried or chopped and added to soup.

7. It’s A Source Of Key Vitamins And Minerals: Amaranth contains Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Iron. One cup of uncooked Amaranth has 31 percent of the RDA for calcium, 14 percent for Vitamin C, and a whopping 82 percent for Iron.

A

The Amaranth plant

8. Humans Have Eaten It For Millennia: It’s estimated that Amaranth was first domesticated 6,000 to 8,000 years ago, which means we’ve been eating it for a very long time. Considering how easily and quickly it grows, that makes sense!

9. Amaranth Can Be Popped: Popped Amaranth, just like popped popcorn, is used in Mexico as a topping for toast, among other things. It looks like tiny popcorn kernels and has a nutty taste, and you can even do it yourself at home.

10. It Grows Around The World: Though Amaranth is considered a native plant of Peru, it is now grown around the world in countries including China, Russia, Thailand, Nigeria and Mexico. It has also become a part of the cuisines of parts of India, Nepal and the African continent. There are even farmers growing it in parts of the United States, including Nebraska and North Dakota.

11. Amaranth Is Good For Your Heart: Several studies have shown that Amaranth could have cholesterol-lowering potential. Amaranth has Phytosterols, which have cholesterol-cutting properties. The fiber and phytonutrients in Amaranth lower blood pressure according to some recent studies. This grain tackles cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure, making it all around a good food for heart health.

12. It’s A Great Breakfast Option: Amaranth’s tiny grains take on a porridge-like texture when cooked, making it a great option for your first meal of the day. In fact, Amaranth porridge is a traditional breakfast in India, Peru, Mexico and Nepal.

13. It Can Help Keep You Regular: Among its other impressive nutritional stats, Amaranth is also a great source of fibre with 13 grams of dietary fibre per uncooked cup compared to just 2 grams for the same amount of long-grain white rice.

14. Disease Prevention: The anti-inflammatory properties in the peptides and oils of Amaranth can ease pain and reduce inflammation. This is especially important for chronic conditions where inflammation erodes at health, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The same peptides in Amaranth that protect against inflammation may also help prevent Cancer. The antioxidants in this grain may also help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Amaranth may boost immune function according to some studies, thanks to the potent vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains.

15. Prevents Grey Hair: Amaranth helps prevent premature greying, mainly due to the minerals.

Amaranth has a modest amount of oxalic acid. It should be avoided or only moderately used by those with gout, kidney problems, or rheumatoid arthritis.