Friday, August 31, 2012

Benefits Of Healthy Meal Planning

Are you bothered of what you eat? Do you eat at McDonalds and KFC frequently or do you prefer eating fresh green salads and fresh fruits? Eating right doesn't only means eating the right amount. More than that, eating the appropriate kind of foods is also equally important.

If your goal is just to look slim and you don't have that much information on healthy eating, then chances are you may eat foods that are unhealthy. Instead of reducing weight, you may end up gaining a few pounds and you'll be wondering why.

When talking about Good Healthy Food, many have wrong notions about it. But in reality, you don't have to be a diet expert or a certified Nutritionist-Dietitian to master this aspect. You can learn bounty of lessons around the net, magazines and books.

And the first thing you must know is how to classify foods. In order to do this, you must know the basic food groups and the fatty foods to avoid. After that, Healthy Meal Planning comes next. With it, it will be easier for you to know if you are on the right track.

Magazines, recipes, online sites, nutrition articles and cook books provide ample information to help you gain information and learn how to apply them into your life. With the guidance of the experts, you can develop the right eating habits that could also improve your lifestyle.

Here are some reasons why planning Healthy meal would be beneficial for you:

• If you plan meals in advance, you will have good savings as you will cut down on eating out. 
• You will avoid pre-packaged meals which are often rich in calories and fats. 
• Every grocery will be stocked right on your kitchen. With listings, you can predict early what to buy. 
• Avoid wastage. If you plan your meals, you would not waste any vegetable or meat inside your fridge. 
• You will enjoy eating variety of meals every day. 
• You will eat healthier foods. 
• You will avoid spending time for thinking what to eat. 
• You can have good meals and avoid foods can harm you. In case you have some kind of allergies on foods.

Eating healthy also means you have a complete diet. It must be composed of entrée, vegetables, whole grains, fruit and a healthy beverage. It is best to have a balance of protein and carbohydrates and small amount of fat sources each day. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day and you will have a successful meal planning that works for you and your loved ones.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chocolate - A Powerhouse of Nutrients


Plants produce antioxidants in an effort to survive the harsh environment. These beneficial compounds are enjoyed by people who eat those plants. This is one reason vegetarianism is so popular. Antioxidants are believed to reduce many illnesses such as heart problems and cancer. These antioxidants are plentiful in dark chocolate, which contains cocoa, and are linked to improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as improved blood flow.

Scientists have determined that after eating just 45 grams of dark chocolate, the level of epicatechin and catechin, two important antioxidants, are raised. Antioxidants protect the cells from dangerous free radicals, which can change and damage healthy cells. The damage done by free radicals is considered to be at the root of a number of chronic illnesses. It is antioxidants that enter the body and rid it of the free radicals. As we age, our body's antioxidants become less powerful, and the best way to improve their usefulness is by eating foods rich in antioxidants. That is why we eat fruits and vegetables. Now, we can add chocolate to that list.

Chocolate contains the same antioxidants found in oranges, berries, and soybeans, grapes, green tea, and red wine. In chocolate, the antioxidants are highly concentrated, comprising more than 10 percent of its weights.

It's a long and complicated road from cacao bean to chocolate bar. Just about all cacao beans are grown on small, family-owned farms in the tropics. There are about 3.5 million cacao farms in the world. Cacao starts with a funny-looking cacao tree, which has large pods. It's the pods that hold the cacao beans. Each tree grows 30 pods each year, or about 1000 cacao beans. 500 beans are needed for one pounds of bittersweet chocolate, which means that yearly, a tree yields enough for 2 pounds of chocolate.

Cacao farming is done entirely by hands. Pods are removed by hand and are opened by hand. The beans are then removed, also by hand. Then the beans are dried and fermented, which activates the sugary taste. Once the beans are dried, they are shipped throughout the world to chocolate manufacturers. The coveted chocolate flavor is achieved by roasting. The resultant chocolate butter and chocolate liquor are used to make the chocolate by adding vanilla and sugar and blending. Milk chocolate has milk added to it, but it is the bittersweet chocolate that is the most nutritious. During the Middle Ages in Europe, chocolate was considered a health food, especially good for pregnant women.