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diabetic vegetarian recipes

Breakfast Suggestions

April 18 2016 Manjula's kitchen 

Breakfast SuggestionsBreakfast is unarguably the most important meal of the day. So why not start your day off right with a healthy and delicious meal?  Many people skip breakfast because theyre rushing to get out the door - either to get to work, drop kids off the school, or both! Breakfast kick-starts your day.  Below are some easy-to-prepare breakfast suggestions that will give you the energy you need to tackle the day. Much of the preparation for these meals can be done in advance. Besan ka Puda This is an all-time favorite with my family. This dish is both vegan and gluten free. Besan is also good for diabetics. Serve this dish with yogurt, pickle or hari cilantro chutney.  You can prepare the batter in advance and add the shredded zucchini just before making the puda.  Puda batter can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. Moong Dal Dosa This is another vegan and gluten free healthy breakfast. You can serve this with aloo masala, sambar, and your choice of pickle or chutney.  This is another dish where the batter can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Yogurt Sandwich If you are tired of the usual toast or bagel, this is a good replacement.  The filling can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.  This can also be a quick lunch dish. Upma Sooji This is another family favorite.  You can prepare part of this dish in advance.  Follow steps 4, 5, and 6 to prepare the sooji mix.  You can refrigerate this for about one week.  Simply add boiling water with peas when ready to serve. Enjoy! The post Breakfast Suggestions appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

The Colossal Healthy Chocolate Bar

March 30 2016 My New Roots 

The Colossal Healthy Chocolate Bar Being a recipe developer means grocery shopping almost every day. On my way out the door I always ask my husband if he would like anything from the store, and more often than not he says: a treat, please. Now, he doesnt mean a lovely bag of blood oranges or a pint of juicy strawberries - he means a chocolate bar. Not a healthy chocolate bar. A low-vibe, sugar-laden, not-real-food chocolate bar. But I do not judge him. I just buy the thing and pick my battles (toilet cleaning and garbage disposal rank higher on my list). Recently, standing near the cash register and cruising the candy bars like a very reluctant weirdo, I actually experienced a pang for one myself. That rich and total over-the-top decadence is not something I am often drawn to, but for whatever reason the Snickers and the Twix bar spoke to me like long lost friends. And that was the exact moment I decided that I was going to makeover my two favourites with the best whole food ingredients I could find, that would deliver both total satisfaction and nutrients. A healthy chocolate bar to end all healthy chocolate bars. Could such a dream be realized? Oh yes, the universe loves us and wants us to be happy. The Colossal Healthy Candy Bar is three tasty parts. First, the bottom biscuit layer inspired by Twix, is a mildly sweet, vegan and grain-free cookie made with coconut flour. It is crisp when it comes out of the oven, but goes pretty cake-y once it is combined with the other ingredients. Delicious nonetheless, and a pretty important counter-point to all the richness of the other layers. Second, the caramel-and-nut layer inspired by Snickers, but with a twist: instead of just using dates in the caramel, I balanced out the sweetness by adding a healthy dose of hazelnut butter. Wowzers. This was a very delicious decision. The caramel became far more complex, rich-tasting, and it is essential to note that this would make a fantastic spread or topping all on its own. If you do not have hazelnut butter, I recommend almond or cashew in its place (click here for instructions on how to make your own nut butter). Instead of using peanuts, I used roasted hazelnuts to sink into the top of the caramel for awesome texture and crunch - almonds could also be used here. Lastly, each bar is enrobed in luscious, raw, dark chocolate. I usually use coconut oil in my raw chocolate recipes, but after reading the (incredible!) new cookbook Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman I was convinced that using solely raw cacao butter was the way to go. It delivers a crisper finish and creamier texture. If you want to make things simpler and faster, feel free to use a ready-made bar of chocolate in this recipe instead of making your own. Raw chocolate is of course the healthier choice, but if youre pressed for time or ingredients, this is a good shortcut to take. Coconut Flour Power! With so many diets and lifestyles focusing on gluten-free and grain-free eating, coconut flour is wonderful option for many people. Made entirely from dried coconut flesh that is pulverized into a soft, fine powder, coconut flour is a nutrient-dense alternative that is increasingly available at health food stores and even supermarkets. Score! There are several benefits of coconut flour, my favourite being that it is remarkably high in protein and fiber. Translation: super filling and satisfying! It is low in sugar and digestible carbohydrates, and scores low on the glycemic index, so it a perfect choice for paleo eaters and diabetics. Its also nut-free and non-allergenic. The flavour of coconut flour is slightly coconut-y, but not overwhelmingly so. I like it in things like these chocolate bars where there are many other strong tastes going on that overshadow the taste of the flour. If you want to compliment and enhance the flavour of the flour, use coconut milk as the liquid portion of a baked good. Seriously yummy. Whats the catch I can hear you asking. Well, there are a few downsides to using coconut flour, mainly due to its density, dryness, and lack of elasticity. Its certainly not a flour to experiment with if youre looking to replace wheat flour for instance, as the two behave completely differently (that goes for using coconut flour in place of almost any other flour, whether grain, seed, or nut-based). Coconut flour is also crazy-absorbent and needs quite a large proportion of liquid to solid to avoid crumbly results (I’ve read the comments below and it seems like a lot of you are struggling with this factor!) Most recipes Ive found online remedy this by using a lot of eggs, but I used applesauce and flax seeds instead with good results. Once you get the correct ratio down its pretty easy to work with, but Ive learned the hard way that its best to use tried and true recipes with this finicky ingredient! Back to the candy bars. Which are insane. These truly colossal creations have everything you could ever want: tasty cookie, ooey gooey chewy caramel, crunchy roasted nuts, divinely rich chocolate, and tiny salt kisses. I am so darn proud of this recipe, and I cant believe that such a decadent thing can exist without making me feel lousy after eating it. In fact, Ill go so far as to say that I feel colossally healthy after eating one. Or two. Stop looking at me like that.     Print recipe     The Colossal Healthy Candy Bar Makes 16 bars Coconut flour cookie bottom 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 175g coconut flour 1/­­4 tsp. fine sea salt 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml unsweetened applesauce 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds 1/­­3 cup /­­ 85ml coconut oil, melted 2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup, as needed Date and nut caramel 1 1/­­4 cup /­­ 325g pitted soft dates 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80 ml nut butter (I used hazelnut) seeds of 1 vanilla bean 1/­­2 tsp. sea salt Roasted nuts 3/­­4 cup /­­115g raw hazelnuts or almonds Raw chocolate coating 8.8 oz. /­­ 250g cacao butter (not coconut butter or coconut oil) 1 1/­­2 cup /­­ 150g raw cacao powder 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml maple syrup pinch of sea salt Note: raw chocolate can be substituted with two 3 1/­­2 oz. /­­ 100g bars of dark chocolate (minimum 70% cacao). Directions: 1. Start by making the cookie bottom. In a small bowl stir the applesauce and the ground flax together. Set aside and let gel for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F /­­ 175°C. In a large bowl sift together the coconut flour and sea salt. Stir in the melted coconut oil, two tablespoons of maple syrup, the applesauce-flax mixture and blend until the mixture holds together when pressed. If not, add the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup and stir to combine. 2. Line a brownie pan with baking paper and firmly press the mixture into the pan, especially around the edges. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool at room temperature. 3. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F/­­150°C. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until fragrant and slightly darker in colour (a good way to check is to cut one in half and check the colour in the center. Instead of cream, it should be golden). Remove from oven and let cool completely. If you are using hazelnuts, rub them together to remove as much of their skins as possible. Roughly chop and set aside. 4. Make the nut caramel. Add the pitted dates to a food processor and blend until creamy. Add the nut butter, vanilla bean, and sea salt. Taste and adjust according to your tastes. 5. Spread the nut caramel in an even layer over the cooled cookie bottom. Cover the caramel with the chopped toasted nuts, and press them down so that they are slightly sunken, reserving a few for garnish. Place the pan in the freezer to firm up for at least 4 hours (frozen bars are easier to cut and coat with chocolate). 6. Prepare the chocolate. Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat, stir in the maple syrup and salt, then sift in the cacao powder. Whisk together until smooth. 7. Remove the brownie pan from the freezer and pull up the edges of the baking paper to remove the filling. Place on a cutting board and slice into 16 equal bars. 8. Roll each bar in the melted chocolate, then pick up using a fork, allowing most of the excess chocolate to drip off. Set on a wrack and let harden. Take remaining chocolate and drizzle across the width of the bar to create a design (this step is optional, but it makes the bars look really beautiful). While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and let set. Place all bars in the freezer to firm up. Store in an airtight container in the freezer, and remove 10-15 minutes before serving. (Note: these are okay outside of the freezer, but if you’re using raw chocolate they will be relatively soft if left at room temperature). I hope you guys find as much satisfaction in this recipe as I have. Its pretty rad to have a stockpile of candy bars in your freezer for when the urge strikes, and to keep you out of the chocolate aisle on your next trip to the store! For the record, if you see me there, Im buying treats for my husband...since Im really bad at sharing. Show me your candy bars on Instagram: #MNRchocolatebars The post The Colossal Healthy Chocolate Bar appeared first on My New Roots.

4 Reasons Why You Should Start Juicing

April 24 2015 VegKitchen 

4 Reasons Why You Should Start JuicingContributed by Garrick Dee Tan. When it comes to staying healthy and fit, a lot of health experts like dieticians and doctors would say that you should eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. How much? It varies. For instance if youre a 35 year old male who does not exercise a lot, you should eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables. This handy tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will calculate how much you should eat depending on your age, sex and physical activity level. What counts as a cup? According to the CDC a whole small apple can be considered as a cup, a large banana is considered a cup, half a cup of sweet potato + half a cup of green beans is considered a cup. Heres the full chart. Eating all that vegetables and fruit really fills up your stomach which is great because itll leave less room for junk food but the digestive system gets overwhelmed. One option that will help health conscious folks like you and I consume more fruits and vegetables is juicing, and Ill share with you 4 reasons why you should consider incorporating this practice into your diet. - Allows you to consume more fruits and vegetables Like what I said earlier in this article depending on your age, sex and physical activity level you need to consumer 5 to 6 cups fruits and vegetables. Juicing helps you consume more because the process separates liquid from pulp. Whats left is a liquid brimming with live enzymes and nutrients get absorbed by the body without having to be digested by the gut. This in a way helps rest the digestive system. - Helps treat certain types of ailments like diabetes Diabetes is an epidemic that affects over 30 million Americans with over 1.5 million new cases per year. One of the best natural remedies used with success by a number of people to control diabetes is bitter melon. This (you guessed it) bitter fruit contains four ingredients that is known to help the bodys capability to absorb and process sugar. These four ingredients are vicine, polypeptide-P, charantin and lectin. It is so potent that doctors and health practitioners have warned against combining this with diabetic medication because it could cause hypoglycemia or a condition where the blood sugar falls to dangerously low levels. Dosages vary but the maximum you can safety take is around 2 bitter melons per day. If youve tasted bitter melon, it is very bitter and I doubt no matter how good the chef is you wont be able to eat a whole piece. An alternative is to juice bitter melon. This removes all the pulp and what you get is a concentrated drink that has helped thousands of people reverse type-2 diabetes. If pure bitter gourd is too bitter for your taste you can try adding these ingredients. Important note: If youre under medication, consult with a physician first before incorporating this into your diet because like what Ive said combining this with diabetic medication can cause hypoglycemia. And when you do take this regularly monitor blood glucose levels - if it falls within normal levels ask your doctor if you can discontinue medication. - Helps you lose weight No, Im not talking about a juice fast where youll eat nothing but juice. Im talking utilizing juicing into your diet in order to reduce hunger pangs. While a juice fast can work for the short term and Ive read a lot of success stories, the truth is it isnt sustainable for an extended period and can be dangerous if you do it the wrong way. What Im suggesting here is a solution where you dont need to starve yourself. The solution involves drinking fresh juice before a meal or in-between meals in order to curb the hunger pangs that normally would occur if we dont eat snacks in between meals. Health experts agree that eating smaller portions is the key in losing weight and keeping it off but if what you are eating in between meals is rich in fructose then this method can also work against you, which is why drinking juice or a smoothie /­­ juice combo is a better option. Not only will your body get the nutrients it craves for thus reducing appetite, it also lessens the carb and sugar intake. This will result in weight loss minus the nutrient deprivation. If you dont believe me, try some of these recipes before any meal and see if it helps in reducing hunger pangs. Some of these recipes have ingredients that help in weight loss like Avocado and Grapefruit. - Improves digestion A health digestive system is important to our overall health, in fact a third of our immune system is found in the digestive tract and research confirms this. Juicing helps indirectly by providing you with a healthier alternative to store bought juices. Fruits like lemon also help with the digestive system by lubricating the digestive system and softening the stool. Drinking a cup of warm lemon water in the morning will help improve in fact will help digestive health by stimulating the liver to produce bile which is a fluid needed to flush out waste from the gut. Another ingredient you can add to your juices to improve digestion is ginger. Eating a thumb of ginger is just plain impossible but juicing it is not and adding it adds a nice spicy contrast. Next week, Ill cover the most common mistakes a lot of people make when juicing. One of them is a key contributor in people gaining weight so please stand by for that. - For more juicing tips, visit Juicing with G.

6 Top Health Benefits of Almonds

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

6 Top Health Benefits of AlmondsAlmonds are one of the worlds most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few: Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal. Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/­­day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries. Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts! Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs. A good source of calcium and other nutrients: Weve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, theyre a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well. Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said! Adapted from Nuts.com, with permission. Discover your favorite almond products at nuts.com from premium supreme-sized raw almonds to finely blanched almond flour and all natural almond butters for your snacking and recipe needs.

Meatless MondayRecognizesWorld Diabetes Day

November 10 2014 Meatless Monday 

Meatless MondayRecognizesWorld Diabetes Day Meatless Monday will join the rest of the world on Friday November 14, in observing World Diabetes Day. The theme chosen for this year is, Healthy Living and Diabetes which aligns strongly with the Meatless Monday mission. According to the World Health Organization, 347 million worldwide suffer from diabetes. In the United States in 2012, 29.1 million Americans were estimated to have diabetes. Thats 9.3% of the US population. Another troubling part is, 8.1 million of those 29.1 million people went undiagnosed. This year World Diabetes Day will focus their messaging on the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, because making healthy choices at the start of the day increases the likelihood that youll make other healthy choices throughout the day. The Monday Campaigns follow a similar strategy--research shows that on Monday people are more open to healthy considerations and the research also shows that when people start the week in a positive way (whether it be by exercising or eating right) they are more likely to make healthy choices throughout the week. As an initiative that promotes public health, Meatless Monday will observe World Diabetes Day by trying to raise awareness of the role diet and exercise can play in addressing this disease. In addition, we are offering a number of delicious Meatless Monday recipes that are diabetic friendly. Chickpea Quinoa Burgers Black Bean Meatless Balls & Zucchini Noodles Peanut Noodles Sweet Potato Frittata Tahini Quinoa Bean Salad Cauliflower Tofu Chickpea Curry   The post Meatless Monday Recognizes World Diabetes Day appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?

August 11 2014 VegKitchen 

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?Contributed by Kris Gunnars, originally printed on  Authority Nutrition , adapted and reprinted with permission.  The health effects of coffee are controversial. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful. But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee. For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. However... it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep. This article takes a detailed look at coffee and its health effects, examining both the pros and cons. Coffee Contains Some Essential Nutrients and is High in Antioxidants Coffee is more than just dark brown water... many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the drink. A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of coffee contains (1): - Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA. - Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA. - Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA. - Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA. - Folate: 1% of the RDA. - Manganese: 3% of the RDA. - Potassium: 3% of the RDA. - Magnesium: 2% of the RDA. - Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA. This may not seem like a lot, but try multiplying with 3, 4, or however many cups you drink per day. It can add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake. But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants. The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables... combined (2, 3). Bottom Line: Coffee contains a small amount of some vitamins and minerals, which add up if you drink many cups per day. It is also high in antioxidants. Coffee Contains Caffeine, A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function and Boost Metabolism Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (4). Soft drinks, tea and chocolate all contain caffeine, but coffee is the biggest source. The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30-300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90-100 mg. Caffeine is a known stimulant. In the brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine. By blocking adenosine, caffeine actually increases activity in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes us feel more alert (5, 6). There are numerous studies showing that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function... including improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function (7, 8). Caffeine can also boost metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11% and even increase exercise performance by 11-12%, on average (9, 10, 11, 12). However... some of these effects are likely to be short-term. If you drink coffee every day, then you will build a tolerance to it and the effects will be less powerful (13). There are also some downsides to caffeine, which Ill get to in a bit. Bottom Line: The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance. Coffee May Help Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Leading to Reduced Risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Alzheimers disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia. Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimers disease (14, 15, 16). Parkinsons is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee drinkers have a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinsons disease. The more coffee people drink, the lower the risk (17, 18, 19, 20). Bottom Line: Several studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of dementia, Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease in old age. Coffee Drinkers Have a Much Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars due to resistance to the effects of insulin. This is a very common disease... it has increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicts over 300 million people. Interestingly, coffee drinkers appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing this disease, some studies showing that coffee drinkers are up to 23-67% less likely to become diabetic (21, 22, 23, 24). In one large review study that looked at 18 studies with 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was linked to a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (25). Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Liver Diseases The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body. It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake. The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue. Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day (26, 27, 28). Liver cancer is also common... it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer (29, 30). Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The more coffee they drink, the lower the risk. Caffeine Can Cause Anxiety and Disrupt Sleep It wouldnt be right to only talk about the good stuff without mentioning the bad. The truth is... there are some important negative aspects to coffee as well (although this depends on the individual). Consuming too much caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and may even exacerbate panic attacks (34). If you are sensitive to caffeine and tend to become overstimulated, then perhaps you shouldnt be drinking coffee. Another unwanted side effect is that it can disrupt sleep (35). If coffee reduces the quality of your sleep, then try avoiding coffee late in the day, such as after 2pm. Caffeine can also have some diuretic and blood pressure raising effects, but this usually goes away with regular use. However, an increase in blood pressure of 1-2 mm/­­Hg may persist (36, 37, 38). Bottom Line: Caffeine can have various negative effects, such as causing anxiety and disrupting sleep, but this depends greatly on the individual. Caffeine is Addictive and Missing a Few Cups Can Lead to Withdrawal One issue with caffeine, is that it can lead to addiction in many people. When people consume caffeine regularly, they become tolerant to it. It either stops working as it used to, or a larger dose is needed to get the same effects (39). When people abstain from caffeine, they get withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness, brain fog and irritability. This can last for a few days (40, 41). Tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks of physical addiction. A lot of people (understandably) dont like the idea of being literally dependant on a chemical substance in order to function properly. Bottom Line: Caffeine is an addictive substance. It can lead to tolerance and well documented withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness and irritability. The Difference Between Regular and Decaf Some people opt for decaffeinated coffee instead of regular. The way decaffeinated coffee is usually made, is by rinsing the coffee beans with solvent chemicals. Each time this is done, some percentage of the caffeine dissolves in the solvent and this process is repeated until most of the caffeine has been removed. However, its important to keep in mind that even decaffeinated coffee does containsome caffeine, just much less than regular coffee. Unfortunately, not all of the health benefits of regular coffee apply to decaffeinated coffee. For example, some studies show no reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons or liver diseases for people who drink decaffeinated coffee. Bottom Line: Decaffeinated coffee is made by extracting caffeine from the coffee beans using solvents. Decaf does not have all of the same health benefits as regular coffee. Things to Keep in Mind in Order to Maximize The Health Benefits There are some things you can do in order to maximize the beneficial health effects you get from coffee. The most important is to NOT add anything unhealthy to it. This includes sugar and any sort of artificial, chemical-laden creamer. Another important thing is to brew coffee with a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee (such as Turkish or French press) contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels (42, 43). Also keep in mind that some of the coffee drinks at places like Starbucks can contain hundreds of calories and a whole bunch of sugar. These drinks are NOT healthy. Bottom Line: It is important not to put sugar or a chemical-laden creamer in your coffee. Brewing with a paper filter can get rid of a cholesterol-raising compound called Cafestol. Should You be Drinking Coffee? There are some people who would definitely want to avoid or severely limit coffee consumption, especially pregnant women. People with anxiety issues, high blood pressure or insomnia might also want to try limiting coffee for a while to see if it helps. There is also some evidence that people who metabolize caffeine slowly have an increased risk of heart attacks from drinking coffee (44). All that being said... it does seem clear that for the average person, coffee can have important beneficial effects on health. If you dont already drink coffee, then I dont think these benefits are a compelling reason to start doing it. There are downsides as well. But if you already drink coffee and you enjoy it, then the benefits appear to far outweigh the negatives. Take Home Message Its important to keep in mind that many of the studies in the article are observational studies, which can not prove that coffee caused the beneficial effects. But given that the effects are strong and consistent among studies, it is a fairly strong indicator that coffee does in fact play a role. Despite having been demonized in the past, the evidence points to coffee being healthy ... at least for the majority of people. This article was originally printed on Authority Nutrition -- Coffee: Good or Bad? - Here are lots more natural health topics on VegKitchens Nutrition  page.

6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

August 10 2014 VegKitchen 

6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider VinegarContributed by Kris Gunnars, originally printed on Authority Nutrition, reprinted with permission. For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems. The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is claimed to lead to all sorts of beneficial effects... some of which are supported by science. This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes. Here are 6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar, that are supported by scientific research. 1. Apple Cider Vinegar is High in Acetic Acid, Which Has Potent Biological Effects Vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made (1). The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid... the main active compound in vinegar. In French, the word vinegar actually means sour wine. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Braggs) also contains mother, strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. This is what it looks like: Some people believe that the mother is responsible for most of the health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this. Apple cider vinegar only contains about 3 calories per tablespoon, which is very low. There are not many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain a tiny amount of potassium. Quality apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants. Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar. 2. Acetic Acid is a Potent Antimicrobial and Can Kill Some Types of Bacteria Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria (2). It has traditionally been used for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections. However, many of these applications have currently notbeen confirmed by research. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for wound cleaning over two thousand years ago. Vinegar has been used as a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in the food and spoiling it (3,4, 5, 6). If youre looking for a natural way to preserve your food... then apple cider vinegar could be highly useful. There have also been anecdotal reports of diluted apple cider vinegar helping with acne when applied on the skin, but I didnt find any research to confirm this so take it with a grain of salt. Bottom Line: The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/­­or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative. 3. Apple Cider Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar Levels, Which is Very Useful For Diabetics By far the most successful application of vinegar to date, is in patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars, either in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. However, elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who dont have diabetes... it is believed to be a major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases. So, pretty much everyone should benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable. The most effective (and healthiest) way to do that is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a powerful effect. Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels: - Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses (7). - Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread (8). - 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4% (9). - Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons. If youre currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctor before increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar. Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals. 4. There Are Some Studies Showing That Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help With Weight Loss Given that vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight. Several human studies suggest that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and even lead to actual pounds lost on the scale. Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (16, 17). By reducing calorie intake, this should translate to reduced weight over time. A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss (18): - 15mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms. - 30mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms. However... keep in mind that this study went on for 12 weeks, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest. That being said, just adding/­­subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight. Its the entire diet/­­lifestyle that counts... you need to combine several effective methods to see results. Overall, it seems like apple cider vinegar may be useful as a weight loss aid, mainly by promoting satiety and lowering glucose and insulin levels. But it wont work any miracles on its own. Bottom Line: Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss. 5. Apple Cider Vinegar May Have Some Benefits For Heart Health Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is currently the worlds biggest cause of death (19). It is known that several measurable biological factors are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Several of these risk factors have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption... but all of the studies were done in rats. These rat studies showed that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (20, 21). Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process (22, 23). There are also some studies showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure (a majorrisk factor) in rats (24, 25). Unfortunately, what works in animals doesnt always work in humans. The only human evidence is an observational study from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease (26). But this type of study can only show an association, it can not prove that the vinegar caused anything. Bottom Line: Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies. 6. Vinegar May be Protective Against Cancer Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. There is a lot of hype online about the anti-cancer effects of apple cider vinegar. Some studies have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors (27, 28, 29, 30) However, all of the studies on this were done in isolated cells in test tubes, or rats, which proves nothing about what happens in a living, breathing human. Additionally, most of the studies were done on rice vinegar, not apple cider vinegar. That being said, some observational studies (which dont prove anything) have shown that vinegar ingestion is linked to decreased esophageal cancer in China, but increased bladder cancer in Serbia (31, 32). Overall... it is possible that apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer, but it is definitely premature to make any recommendations based on the current research. Bottom Line: Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors. Side Effects, Dosage and How to Use it There are a lot of wild claims about apple cider vinegar on the internet. Some say that it can increase energy levels and have all sorts of beneficial effects on health. Unfortunately ... many of these claims are not supported by science. Of course, absence of proof isnt proof that something isnt happening and anecdote often ends up becoming supported by science down the line. That being said, I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for more studies, since research on natural health products like these are both few and far between. From the little evidence available, I think that apple cider vinegar may be useful and is definitely a good candidate for some self-experimentation if youre interested in it. At the very least, apple cider vinegar seems to be safe. There are no side effects noted with normal consumption. The best way to incorporate it into your diet is to use it in your cooking... for salad dressings, and that sort of thing. Some people also like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL) per day. Definitely dont go above that, because excess consumption may have harmful effects. It is also possible to take it in pill/­­tablet form, but I dont recommend that because a 2005 study showed that the true vinegar content of these supplements was highly questionable (33). There is also a report of a woman having an apple cider vinegar tablet stuck in her throat, which led to esophageal burns. It is recommended to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother. Braggs seems to be the most popular option, which is available on Amazon* with tons of interesting testimonials and reviews that are fun to browse through. Apple cider vinegar also has various other non-health related uses like hair conditioning, skin care, dental care, pet use and as a cleaning agent (to name a few). These can be highly useful for people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible. At the end of the day, apple cider vinegar appears to be very healthy. Its not a miracle or a cure-all like some people seem to believe, but it does clearly have some important health benefits, especially for blood sugar and weight control. This article was originally published on Authority Nutrition. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! - Read more about ACV in How does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? - Here are lots more natural health topics on VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.  

The Real Cause ofthe Obesity Epidemic:Fed Up Takes Onthe American Diet

May 12 2014 Meatless Monday 

The Real Cause ofthe Obesity Epidemic:Fed Up Takes Onthe American DietOf all the messages in Fed Up, there are three facts everyone should remember: all calories are not created equal; excessive weight and poor health are directly related to diet; and America cannot exercise its way out of its current obesity epidemic. These simple truths are what make Fed Up, a new documentary about food and childhood obesity, so refreshing. While much of the conversation around health in America talks about the effects of our diet-the risk of heart disease, the increase in childhood obesity, the alarming rate of diabetes-Fed Up focuses on the cause. And the cause is the food were eating. Why Fed Up is so interesting to Meatless Monday is because, like cutting meat one day a week, a lot of our health problems are preventable. If consumers had better information, if there were curbs on marketing to kids, if students were taught basic nutrition in school, and, as author and food advocate Michael Pollan suggests in the film, if people simply returned to cooking most of their own food, we could begin the process of reversing this epidemic. Director Stephanie Soechtig, producer Laurie David, and Executive Producer and narrator Katie Couric, backed by the leading names in medicine, research, food advocacy and public health, offer a fast-paced history of the food crisis in America while exposing some of the misguided government policies and business interests that put profit over health. It all leads to one conclusion: our whole approach to the obesity epidemic has been wrong. The statistics are alarming. For the first time in human history, more people are dying from obesity than starvation. In 20 years, 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese. By 2050, 1/­­3 of all Americans will be diabetic. As Dr. David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, says, Were toast as a country. According to the filmmakers, the leading cause of our obesity epidemic is sugar. Since the low-fat craze that began in the late 1970s, food manufacturers have been looking for ways to remove fat from their food formulas. And as explained by Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, the problem is when you remove fat, food tastes terrible. The solution is adding sugar. Today, added sugar is everywhere in our food supply. Of the 600,000 food items available in America, added sugar is in 80% of them. All of which means the next time youre in a grocery store, unless youre buying kale or carrots, chances are youre bringing home a lot more fat-causing calories than you know. But in addition to sugar, theres another enemy that runs throughout the film, and that is information. Or, more accurately, misinformation. Many in the food industry, government and the media perpetuate the belief that a calorie is a calorie and all we need to do is exercise a little more. This line of thinking argues that for every calorie that goes in, all anyone has to do is burn one off. Simple. And wrong. According to Dr. Lustig, if you want to eat a healthier diet, you have to understand that 160 calories of almonds will be absorbed and used by your body in a much better way than 160 calories of soda. One of the films featured experts, he wrote in-depth on all this for the Huffington Post last year. Fed Up features some of the leading voices from the fields of medicine, pediatrics, research and public policy, offering better health information in 90-minute movie than many of us have heard in our lifetime. The stream of experts includes Dr. Mark Hyman, author Gary Taubes, Dr. David Allison, Ph.D., Director Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Michele Simon of Eat, Drink, Politics, Mark Bittman, Margo Wooten, Director of Nutrition Policy Center for Science in the Public Interest, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President & CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. David Ludwig, Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Deborah Cohen, Senior Natural Scientist, Rand Corporation. Former President Bill Clinton admits his administration missed the boat on obesity, prioritizing exercise over nutrition, while commenting on the publics lack of knowledge in general. I think America is still insufficiently alert to the damage we are doing long term to our collective health by too much sugar intake. But on a positive note, he also has a suggestion for turning the crisis around. We can cure literally 80% of the problem for children in school if we went back to school cafeterias where they prepared the food in the school. Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., Dean of Public Policy, Duke University, also looks at the relationship between school districts and food companies. The food industry infiltration of schools has become deplorable. Schools have become dependent on the money and its a bargain with the devil. Some schools have become like a 7-Eleven with books.” Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City, connects the dots between information and income. Its the people who are least able to know whats good for their health who are the ones that certain industries cater to, and try to focus their advertising towards. Were selling these products to the people who are most vulnerable and theyre also the people that society has to provide healthcare for because they dont have the money to do it themselves. At Meatless Monday, we recommend seeing “Fed Up.” We also recommend these steps to help you eat better: - Replace processed foods with fresh foods whenever possible - Eat more fruits and vegetables everyday - Ask a friend to be a ‘food buddy’, someone to discuss these issues with, shop with, and share recipes - Learn how to read a food label - Every Meatless Monday, recommit to eating healthy all week - Get your family into the kitchen and make cooking together a family event - Follow the experts in “Fed Up” on social media to get regular messaging about food and health - Think you can go without sugar for 10 days? Take the “Fed Up Challenge” - Finally, go see Fed Up and bring the kids (despite the goofy PG rating)   The post The Real Cause of the Obesity Epidemic: Fed Up Takes On the American Diet appeared first on Meatless Monday.

5 Top Health Benefits of Almonds

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Top Health Benefits of AlmondsAlmonds are one of the worlds most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few: Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal. Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/­­day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries. Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts! Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs. A good source of calcium and other nutrients: Weve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, theyre a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well. Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said! Adapted from Nuts.com, with permission. Discover your favorite almond products at nuts.com from premium supreme-sized raw almonds to finely blanched almond flour and all natural almond butters for your snacking and recipe needs.

The With or WithoutMeat Cookbook By Jackie Newgent

September 29 2014 Meatless Monday 

The With or WithoutMeat Cookbook By Jackie NewgentIn the With or Without Meat Cookbook there are two sides to every recipe--veggies up for Meatless Monday, meat up for another day. But either way you flip it this cookbook is a healthy, whole food, flavor-forward collection compiled with the diabetic in mind. Though you need not be diabetic to enjoy what this collection has to offer. Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN is a classically trained chef, a dietitian, a television personality, and a Meatless Monday friend and now shes delivered a book that could possibly answer that age-old question how does a vegetarian date a meat eater? Or--for you--maybe shes just answered the question how can I maintain a health-conscious, flexitarian lifestyle and keep it delicious? Each recipe offers first a vegetarian take and then a meat-fish-or-poultry add-in--so indecision need not prevent you from opening the book to the Tarragon White Bean Salad. Nor should different dietary wants demand that you make two separate dishes to please both the veg and the meat eater. The cookbook features 125 recipes, largely in the style of the Mediterranean diet. The recipes put fruits and vegetables forward, limit unhealthy fats, and prefer whole grains. Its nutrition that promotes your cardiovascular health and your overall health. The books is especially great for those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart-health issues, or really for anyone simply looking to improve their diet. This flexitarian approach to eating provides the best of both worlds. Each recipe includes nutrition information and follows the American Diabetic Association’s nutritional guidelines. And, The With or Without Meat Cookbook has a familiar, friendly tone that makes it feel more like a conversation than a numbered list of instruction. Check out the Red Onion Soup with Shiitake Broth recipe from the With or Without Meat Cookbook. The post The With or Without Meat Cookbook By Jackie Newgent appeared first on Meatless Monday.

8 Health Benefits of Green Tea

August 10 2014 VegKitchen 

8 Health Benefits of Green TeaContributed by Kris Gunnars, originally printed on Authority Nutrition, adapted and reprinted with permission.  Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other  benefits. Here are 8 health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies. 1. Green Tea Contains Various Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health Green tea is more than just green liquid. Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients. It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants (1). These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases. One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties. Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health. Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride (2). That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk. Bottom Line: Green tea is loaded with bioactive compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health. 2. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter. The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant. It doesnt contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the jittery effects associated with too much caffeine. What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (3, 4). Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory (5). However... green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (6). L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain (7, 8, 9). Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function (10). Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of buzz than coffee. Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee. Bottom Line: Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function. 3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.This is because green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials (11, 12). In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4% (13). Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat (14). However, Id like to point out that some studies on green tea dont show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual (15). Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy (16, 17). In two separate review studies, caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by 11-12%, on average (18, 19). Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree. 4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the worlds leading causes of death. It is well known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect (20). Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do: - Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that whomen who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women (21). - Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men (22). - Colorectal cancer: A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer (23). Multiple other observational studies show that green tea drinkers are significantly less likely to get various types of cancer (24, 25, 26). It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because it can reduce the antioxidant value (27). Bottom Line: Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer. 5. Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age. Alzheimers disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia. Parkinsons disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain. Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentally lowering the risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons (28, 29, 30). Bottom Line: The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimers and Parkinsons, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. 6. Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well. Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections (31, 32, 33, 34). Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries (35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40). Another awesome benefit of green tea... multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath (41, 42). Bottom Line: The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath. 7. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes Type II diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide. This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels (43, 44). One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes (45). According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (46). Bottom Line: Some controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term. 8. Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world (47). Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases. This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (48). Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease (49, 50, 51). Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (52, 53, 54). Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In order to feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases, you might want to consider making green tea a regular part of your life. This article was originally published on Authority Nutrition. - Here are lots more natural health topics on VegKitchens Nutrition page.  

The Trouble With The Vegan Society & Vegans

July 19 2014 World Vegetarian And Vegan News 

The Trouble With The Vegan Society & VegansThe Vegan Society has rebranded itself as a charity that likes to say 'Yes' Vegan Diets - Sustained growth in interest - Vegan trends Many many years of blood, sweat and tears with volunteers or frugally paid staff at the front end of cutting edge veganism is reaching it's climatic end. Vegan Cheese? you got it! Vegan caviar? you got it! The Vegan Society has gone from a charity obsessed with what it is against to one that stands up and speaks out about what it is for. Some would ask what is it for? A membership organisation dedicated to providing information about veganism and how to be vegan when now you can just google the word and have your ipad spew out 39 million pages in less than a second? But someone or some body has to be guardians and keepers of the word 'vegan' , defend Donald Watson's definition of the word vegan in the face of those who argue that honey is vegan or that breast milk isn't vegan or those who just generally miss the point. Some body has to be caretaker for the history of veganism and curate the volumes of scientific research that support the case for veganism and a vegan diet. To be brutally honest The Vegan Society is now, on an every day, day to day level, at street level , largely defunct, almost redundant as a support network because the job of making a case for a vegan diet and a vegan lifestyle  is almost done. Veganism has been well and truly unleashed from Pandora's box, the cat's out of the bag, Being Vegan is almost normal. Big supermarkets such as Tescos are now labeling products vegan and trialling vegan shelf talkers, Ocado has a whole vegan section online. Big investers such as Microsoft's Bill Gates and Twitter's Biz Stone are investing in vegan meat free alternatives and vegan cheeses. Scientists and biochemists are genetically engineering yeasts to make true dairy free vegan cheese.  TV moguls such as Oprah Winfrey and Hollywood gentry such as James Cameron speak out for sustainable healthy veganism. Doctors, physicians and health professionals prove that a health vegan diet can cure heart disease and reverse diabetes. Even McDonald's chomping presidents of the USA such as Bill Clinton now follow a vegan diet. A normal person , on a normal day could read in The Daily Mail that a vegan diet is good for your heart problem or good for diabetics wander into a  supermarket and fill up their trolly with vegan ice cream, vegan pancake mix, vegan cakes, vegan cheese, vegan sausages, vegan chicken, vegan chocolate, vegan mousse and spend half an hour trying to choose which dairy free vegan milk to buy - soya? Henp milk? oat? almond? flax omega 3 milk? coconut? rice milk? tigernut milk? hazelnut ? the list just keeps growing. Then they can go recover and pick up a Soyaccino at Costa Coffee or Pret a Manger. They could even pop into Ikea on the way back and pick up some vegan caviar. There will inevitably be those animal rights extremists who morn the day their little niche, quirky organisation with it's 5,000 members turned into a mainstream organisation with millions of supporters but lets face it - Wallmart, McDonalds, Unilever, Kraft, Pizza Hut, Kentucky fried chicken, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Doritos, Subway, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Burger King, Nestle - they don't care about the thousands - they think in millions. Now there are millions of customers of vegan foods they are listening. Donald Watson would be very pleased indeed that so many people now agree with his logical philosophical thoughts over 70 years ago a great way to mark 70 years of veganism. Vegan Chef Tony Bishop-Weston can be found on; Twitter https:/­­/­­twitter.com/­­BishopWeston Facebook https:/­­/­­www.facebook.com/­­TonyBishopWeston.Author Linked In https:/­­/­­www.linkedin.com/­­in/­­tonybishopweston See also http:/­­/­­www.vegfest.co.uk More Vegan and Vegetarian News at Vegan News - Health, Diet and Nutrition News


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