Month: July 2014

A glass of red wine a day… keeps the doctor away

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1) Red Wine is Good for Your Heart

Red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant compound. Resveratrol also protects your heart and arteries against the effects of saturated fat in your diet, so drinking one or two glasses of red wine a day can help protect your heart and prevent cardiovascular disease.

The flavonoids and sapponins in red wine also help to protect your heart against cardiovascular disease. The alcohol in red wine, when consumed in moderation, raises your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and can help to protect your arteries from the damage caused by “bad” LDL cholesterol.

2) Red Wine Contains Antioxidants

In addition to resveratrol, red wine contains a number of other antioxidants, which can slow the signs of aging and prevent a number of degenerative illnesses like type 2 diabetes. Drinking one or two glasses of red wine each day can help protect you from many of the diseases of the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

3) Red Wine Prevents Cancer

Mounting evidence suggests that drinking red wine in moderation can help prevent cancer. The many antioxidants in red wine can help prevent the oxidative damage responsible for the process of aging and for many degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Guercetin, one of the many antioxidants in red wine, may help prevent lung cancer. Research has shown that resveratrol, the same red wine antioxidant that helps protect your heart, can also kill cancerous cells.

Scientists have found that resveratrol, when used in conjunction with radiation therapy, can penetrate cancerous cells and induce apoptosis. Apoptosis is a type of cell death that occurs when the cell dies, dissolves and is removed by the white cells of your immune system. Cancer researchers have been looking for a way to induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, because it’s the safest way to remove unwanted cells from the body.

Resveratrol also inhibits cancerous cells’ ability to remove irradiated particles, making radiation therapy more effective against cancer. Resveratrol also attacks cancerous cells and inhibits their ability to function.

4) Red Wine Prevents Tooth Decay

Red wine, even non alcoholic red wine, hardens your enamel to prevent tooth decay. Hardened enamel is more resistant to Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria which lives on your teeth and is responsible for tooth decay. The polyphenols in red wine can also prevent gum disease, and even help to treat it by reducing inflammation in the gums.

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Eat raw: Rice paper rolls with peanut sauce

The summer is here in full force and it can be tricky to fit into those denim shorts when you’re pigging out on BBQ chicken and grilled cheese. ( which is what I wish I could do every day)  Unfortunately that can’t be the case… but I can’t deny a good grilled cheese once in a while.  I’ve been reading about the nutritional value of eating raw vegetables compared to sautéing or steaming and I thought I’d give these raw wraps a try.  I’ll admit, the weird rice paper circles kind of scared me at first… the package said to submerge them in hot water to soften them up. Easy enough.

I used kale, cabbage, carrots, broccoli and fresh cilantro and parsley to fill my wraps and I rolled the finished product in sesame seeds which was delicious.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to filling these wraps and making them different every time to keep things interesting.  See the peanut sauce recipe below and try these out at home.

Spicy thai peanut sauce:

Ingredients

2 cups smooth peanut butter
4 limes, zest and juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chili flakes or hot sauce
a large bunch mint
a handful or two peanuts

Instructions

Toss everything into your food processor or blender, then purée until almost smooth, leaving the peanuts a touch chunky. Some blenders are stronger than others; if yours needs a little help, add a splash of water to help it purée to a thick peanut butter consistency.

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Quick and easy guacamole

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 Shopping list:

4-5 ripe avocados
1-2 lime(s), juiced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced, lots of fresh cilantro chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (purple or white)
1 tomato, diced

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, slice each avocado from stem to tip, rotating the knife around the pit. Twist, and then turn the avocado, pulling apart as you do so, and the pit should remain on one half. If the avocado is sufficiently ripe, you should be able to pop out the pit by grasping/gripping with your fingers. Or alternately, carefully using a sharp knife, bring swiftly down onto the pit, so it adheres, and then remove then knife, that will take the pit with it.
Using a spoon, scoop out the ripe fruit of the avocados, and place in the bowl, and then mash it all up up with fork. Add the juice of the lime, minced garlic, as well as the salt & pepper, and mash some more.  I like my guacamole to be on the chunky side, either way is delicious.  Finally add the chopped onion, cilantro and tomatoes, and stir to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt & pepper, or lime as you wish. Serve straight away, accompanied by tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

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