Health Benefits of Cucumber | Healthy Food Master

Health Benefits of Cucumber

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

This vegetable belong to the Cucurbitaceae family such as pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers are vegetable with high water content (around 95% water), they are naturally low in calories also low in fat, sodium and cholesterol. There is nothing better than good salad with Cucumbers in hot summer days because it will help you to stay hydrated. Not just in hot summer days you may eat cucumbers all year round because it’s loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, Vitamin K, copper, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. So it can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies in your body. Let’s see the health benefits of this cool vegetable.

Antioxidant Properties. Antioxidant properties comes by containing of numerous antioxidants one of them is Vitamin C who is well-known and also beta-carotene. Antioxidant flavonoids are also contained in Cucumbers apigenin, quercetin, luteolin, and kaempferol,6 which provide more benefits. As instance quercetin many believe prevents histamine release. Kaempferol in other hand may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.

Bone Health. low intakes of vitamin K in your diet may be associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. By eating a proper intake of fruits or vegetables you can provide vitamin K for example one cup of this vegetable provides 11% of your daily needs. Vitamin K is important mineral that can improve calcium absorption in the bones which is essential for optimal bone health.

Weight Loss and Digestion. Because Cucumber is high water content and low in calories makes it good diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The dietary fiber and high water content in this vegetable are excellent team to ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, also aiding digestion. As a remedy for chronic constipation may be effective daily consumption of cucumbers.

Reduce bad breath. Bacteria in the mouth usually can cause bad breath, Fiber and water-rich vegetables such as cucumbers can boost your mouth’s saliva production, saliva in the mouth helps for washing the bacteria which cause the odor in the mouth.

Lowering Blood Pressure. Cucumbers contain potassium known mineral who is associated with lower blood pressure levels. For your body to function properly is crucial a proper balance of potassium inside and also outside your cells.

Reduces cholesterol. Because of compound called sterols who is contained in cucumber it helps to reduce bad cholesterol.

What Else Are Cucumbers Good For? helps in revitalizing the skin, drink cucumber juice daily can control hair fall, effective remedy for fight different kinds of cancer, good for dental health. Well Cucumbers are really powerhouse vegetable and adding them into your daily diet is no mistake.

Planting Vegetables in California, a Woman Finds Her Korean Roots | The Plate

For a Korean girl adopted by an American family at five-months old, the love affair with food started with the perilla leaf.

Better known to some as the sesame or shiso leaf, Kristyn Leach found the prickly green and purple leaf in a Korean seed book and fell hard. And she credits the experience with inspiring her to launch Namu, a California farm specializing in Asian vegetables.

For those who have eaten it, perilla is unmistakable. It tastes like something between mint and spinach, and you either love it or loathe it. Koreans will usually pickle it or wrap meat in it for Korean barbeque. Leach likened perilla, the first plants she grew, to something like an awakening, or a reincarnation. “The plant remembered me before I remembered it,” she says.

Leach was no stranger to vegetables or farming. Growing up in the community gardens of New York with blue-collar parents, Leach learned two lessons to live by that would end up defining her career: Be of service and grow food.

As part of a white American family, Leach didn’t have Korean family recipes or even know what Korean produce was, aside from the occasional Asian pear or odd cabbage from the market. By teaching herself about Korean seeds and produce, she learned who she was and opened up a door to her sense of identity and heritage. This, she says, empowered her to start Namu farm.

To make it happen, Leach started small. Five years ago, she subleased one acre of land in the hills of San Francisco from Sage, a non-profit in Berkeley, California. There, she was exposed to a wide variety of produce and found many farmers willing to show her the way.

In addition to wanting to farm Korean vegetables, Leach also wanted to try the natural farming methods used in Korea, i.e. creating a no-till, biodynamic and organic farm; food you could trace back to its source.

This type of farming is not for the faint of heart or will. Succeeding takes years, but it was something she was determined to do the way her Korean ancestors had done, to “have a place within nature, and not one that’s dominating it.”

When Leach first began growing perilla, she brought some to chef Dennis Lee at Namu Gaji, an acclaimed modern Korean restaurant in San Francisco owned by Lee and his two brothers. California is home to a huge Korean population and in recent years Korean food and chefs have become much more mainstream. Kimchi and bi bim bap are showing up on menus around the U.S., now, but not so much back then. Lee was so impressed with Leach’s leaves, he asked her to grow chilies for Namu Gaji and soon after, Namu the farm was born. (Namu means “tree” in Korean, and emphasizes the branches of their collaboration.) Now Namu produces more produce than Namu Gaji needs—beans, peanuts, and more. Extra produce goes to Korean community centers and an Asian women’s shelter in the bay area. Recently, Namu has partnered with the Kitazawa Seed Company, the largest distributor of Asian seeds outside of Asia, to release Korean chili seeds with plans to sell a new heirloom crop each year.

Last fall Leach traveled to Korea for the first time to find seeds to bring back home. She worked on a farm and met Korean farmers, including Ms. Pyeon, an heirloom preservationist and farmer in Joellanam-do. They bonded over natural farming practices and preserving seeds, including the perilla leaf. Pyeon has three different varieties including the stone perilla, the wild ancestor of the perilla plants Leach grows.

Every September, Koreans celebrate Chuseok—think Korean Thanksgiving but over three days. It commemorates the year’s harvest and thanks the ancestors. This year at Namu, Korean drummers gathered at the farm to sow the cover crop seed and finish with a big feast. Leach says of the experience, “I felt more Korean than ever.”

Jeanne Modderman is a photo producer for National Geographic’s photo community Your Shot with a love for storytelling, art and good food. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Ask Well: Does Boiling or Baking Vegetables Destroy Their Vitamins? –

Ask Well: Does Boiling or Baking Vegetables Destroy Their Vitamins?


To what extent does heating (boiling, baking) foods like vegetables destroy vitamins?

Asked by Bartolo


It’s true that cooking methods alter the nutritional composition of fruits and vegetables, but that’s not always a bad thing. Several studies have shown that while cooking can degrade some nutrients, it can enhance the availability of others. As a result, no single cooking or preparation method is best, and that includes eating vegetables raw.

Many people believe that raw vegetables are packed with more nutrition than cooked vegetables, but, again, it depends on the type of nutrient. One study of 200 people in Germany who ate a raw food diet found that they had higher levels of beta carotene, but their plasma lycopene levels were well below average. That’s likely because fresh, uncooked tomatoes actually have lower lycopene content than cooked or processed tomatoes. Cooking breaks down the thick cell walls of many plants, releasing the nutrients stored in them.

Water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin B and a group of nutrients called polyphenolics seem to be the most vulnerable to degradation in processing and cooking. Canned peas and carrots lose 85 to 95 percent of their natural Vitamin C. After six months, another study showed that frozen cherries lost as much as 50 percent of anthocyanins, the nutrients found in the dark pigments of fruits and vegetables. Cooking removes about two-thirds of the vitamin C in fresh spinach.

Depending on the method used, loss of vitamin C during home cooking typically can range from 15 percent to 55 percent, according to a review by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Interestingly, vitamin C levels often are higher in frozen produce compared with fresh produce, likely because vitamin C levels can degrade during the storage and transport of fresh produce.

Fat-soluble compounds like vitamins A, D, E and K and the antioxidant compounds called carotenoids fare better during cooking and processing. A report in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry concluded that over all, boiling was better for carrots, zucchini and broccoli than steaming, frying or serving them raw. Frying vegetables was by far the worst method for preserving nutrients.

But when it comes to cooking vegetables, there are always tradeoffs. A method may enhance the availability of one nutrient while degrading another. Boiling carrots, for instance, significantly increases measurable carotenoid levels compared with raw carrots. However, raw carrots have far more polyphenols, which disappear once you start cooking them.

And while many people think microwaving is bad for food, vegetables cooked in a microwave may have a higher concentration of certain vitamins. A March 2007 study looked at the effects of boiling, steaming, microwaving and pressure cooking on the nutrients in broccoli. Steaming and boiling caused a 22 percent to 34 percent loss of vitamin C. Microwaved and pressure-cooked vegetables retained 90 percent of their vitamin C.

The bottom line is that no one cooking or preparation method is superior for preserving 100 percent of the nutrients in a vegetable. And since the best vegetables are the ones you will actually eat, taste should also be factored in when deciding on a cooking method. The best way to get the most out of your vegetables is to enjoy them in a variety of ways — raw, steamed, boiled, baked and grilled. If you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, you don’t have to worry about the cooking method.

The pain, the pleasure and the health benefits » Natural News Blogs

Chilies: The pain, the pleasure and the health benefits

When you think of vitamin C, do you think of oranges or chilies? The surprising fact of the matter is that chilies have more vitamin C and beta carotene than oranges. Surprising fact number two: Red hot chili peppers are actually fruit from plants that are members of the nightshade family. This quirky product of nature has healing properties you wouldn’t normally associate with a hot bite that causes a distinct pain and burning sensation in your mouth, or for that matter, with something as ordinary as a chili. Exotic though it may be in some parts of the world, chilies have now become commonplace as a medicine. Fact is they are packed with nutritional and medicinal properties and it is said that including chili regularly in your diet can effectively control many an illness.

Let’s start at the very beginning. Chili is loaded with Vitamin A and C with a good measure of bioflavinoids. These nutrients enable blood vessels to cope with variations in blood pressure by increasing their elasticity. According to studies chilies have pain relieving abilities and their consumption could potentially relieve migraine and sinus headaches. It has been recorded that chilies can control the transmission of pain to the brain by virtue of a chemical substance in it called capsaicin. This chemical substance helps combat upper respiratory congestion and helps clear mucus from the throat. Chili is endowed with anti-bacterial properties and can prove itself in the treatment of sinus infections. The heat of chili is meant to prevent the spreading of cancer cells, more specifically to do with prostrate cancer.

According to current scientific thinking, capsaicin could be useful in the treatment of painful bone and joint conditions such as arthritis due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. And what with its ability to prevent or manage nervous debility, it may be a blessing for those suffering from diabetic neuropathy and has even been suggested for the treatment of herpes. Skin conditions such as psoriasis are also meant to be relieved by chili.

Chili for better digestion, increased metabolism and weight control

According to a study conducted by Duke University in North Carolina, USA, the chili pepper could be handy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It acts against H. Pylori bacteria and could be the best preventive therefore for stomach ulcers. There is also evidence to show the effectiveness of chili in weight control. Capsaicin can increase the body’s metabolism and the heat it generates can burn fat (this process is called thermogenisis), while the vitamin C and the beta carotene make it essential for maintaining the health of the mucus membrane in the nasal passages, lungs, intestinal tracts and urinary tracts. They are unique in their ability to build the body’s defenses against pathogens. New research has identified that chilies in your meal can reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to convert sugar to energy.

Of course, as always, it is good to exercise caution in the consumption of chilies. You don’t want to eat too much of it. And chili therapy may or may not be a good enough substitute for proper medical advice. That said, chilies are great for cooking with, adding a touch of flavor, healthfulness and even color to your meal. And an unexpected gift of the chili is that is stimulates the release of endorphins, the pleasure hormone.


As antibiotics continue to fail, use garlic instead to kill MRSA and superbugs

Garlic has been used as an antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal for centuries. But most probably consider it a lightweight, outdated folk medicine against serious bacterial infections. Antibiotics gave modern allopathic pharmaceuticals an illusion of legitimacy from 1928, when penicillin was discovered, until today.

So the mindset became why bother with that nasty tasting foul smelling garlic stuff when you could pop some antibiotic pills or be injected with the latest new miracle drug that seemed to work well without much fuss.

But there has been much fuss

The first fuss was how antibiotics didn’t distinguish between good and bad bacteria. Synthetic pharmaceuticals are equal opportunity killers.

So much of the intestinal flora, containing billions of beneficial bacteria for digestion, protection, vitamin production and total body immunity signaling, were neutralized along with the infectious bacteria.

During and after a round or two of antibiotics, supplementing with probiotics became a ritual among those who knew about synthetic antibiotics’ dangers.

Fluoroquinolone-based synthetic antibiotics also create neuropathy. Sometimes neuropathy would manifest as mild nerve problems and insomnia, but too often very painful and crippling long term side effects occurred, leaving victims without hope.

Major fluoroquinolone antibiotics are Cipro, Leviquin, Avelox, and Floxen (

The final blow is the superbug scare. The most common superbug is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Due to extreme overuse of antibiotics over decades, 70% of which is used for livestock, bacteria learned how to defeat essentially simple chemical compound antibiotics by gene swapping among them.

MRSA started out in hospitals and nursing homes, but soon spread into community contagion. MRSA likes to infect nostrils and skin. There are several carriers of MRSA whose immune systems prevent their becoming infected. But carriers can spread what they’re carrying. If MRSA gets into the blood, it can be fatal.

At first the antibiotic vancomycin was about only the super hero antibiotic that could stop MRSA. But now, those clever little MRSA critters have developed a strain, CC5, which is able to dupe and get around even vancomycin (

Time to get back to garlic

Garlic allicin extracts have recently been used successfully on MRSA victims. Allicin is the main active compound in garlic. It is released upon crushing or chewing raw garlic, but unfortunately it oxidizes rapidly and much of its bacteria killing ability is lost.

Garlic antibiotic solutions: Be unafraid and chew raw garlic directly or quickly after crushed if using as an antibiotic; or simply use a supplement or cream (for external MRSA sores) that contains allicin in a preserved state. These are available and recommended for serious bacterial issues.

Results obtained in the UK using allicin supplement creams took slightly longer than what synthetic antibiotics used to do, but were very effective. Garlic contains other sulfur compounds that bolster the immune system. Big Pharma products either dampen or overexcite the immune system. Overexciting the immune system results in cytokine storms that often cripple or damage with various neurological autoimmune diseases.

Since allicin and garlic’s other compounds are more complex than synthetic antibiotics, bacteria strains becoming resistant to garlic or allicin is unlikely. The complexity is too much for infectious bacteria to handle, and garlic overuse in livestock is also unlikely.

Another issue resolved by using garlic-based concentrated allicin is nerve damage from fluoroquinolones. There are no known side effects, other than the occasional mild allergic reaction, from garlic.

Allicin leaves friendly gut flora bacteria alone. So garlic’s allicin offers an effective solution away from Big Pharma antibiotic’s side effect issues, while offering other health benefits (


Shock Value: How to Keep Summer Produce Fresh | FN Dish – Food Network Blog

Shock Value: How to Keep Summer Produce Fresh by Food Network Magazine in Food Network Magazine, July 25th, 2013

Food scientists think they’ve found a way to extend the life of fresh produce: Shock it in warm water. Researchers at The Cooking Lab, a research facility started by Modernist Cuisine author Nathan Myhrvold, report that submerging fruit and vegetables in hot water slows the production of the gases and enzymes that turn them brown. Just fill a large pot with hot tap water (between 122 degrees F and 131 degrees F) and soak the produce for two to three minutes. Then drain, dry and refrigerate it as usual. Your fruit and veggies might taste better, too. W. Wayt Gibbs from the lab says that, in the study, they found a slight increase in crunchiness.


Diet 101: Flat Belly Diet | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog

Diet 101: Flat Belly Diet by Dana Angelo White in Diets & Weight Loss, July 17, 2013

Seems like everyone has been asking me about ways to lose belly fat lately. Is the Flat Belly Diet the way? And which foods does the diet recommend? Find out.

From the editors of Prevention magazine, the Flat Belly Diet claims that followers can lose up to 15 pounds in 32 days. Researched in part by a registered dietitian (always a good thing), the plan focuses on taking in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) from foods like oils, nuts and seeds, olives, avocado and dark chocolate. The author promises that dieters will want to follow this type of eating for the long haul.

The Plan
This 32-day plan includes a “Four Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart” followed by a 4-week program. The jump start banishes caffeine and most sources of sodium from the diet to help promote a loss of water weight. The four-day meal plan is made up of low-fat foods, a minimal amount of starchy carbs and lots of lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Dieters must also guzzle “Sassy Water,” a concoction of water flavored with ginger, lemon, cucumber and mint created by contributing dietitian Cynthia Sass.

The four-week plan aims for a 1600-calorie per day plan made up of three, 400-calorie meals, plus a 400-calorie “snack pack” to work on throughout the day. Numerous options for breakfast, lunches and dinners are given for dieters to choose from, all of which include a dose of MUFA. Recipes are also included.

Exercise is encouraged but not a must on this diet. Chapter 10 includes an exercise plan designed by a Prevention staffer. The regimen highlights a one-month walking program, plus basic strength training and core exercises using light weights.

The Costs
The book retails for $15.99. For an additional $27, you can purchase the Flat Belly Cookbook or the Flat Belly Family Cookbook. Money aside, there’s a lot of information for dieters to wrap their brains around to truly grasp the concept behind this diet.

The Good
• Overall, a well-rounded program
• The plan involves proper education about nutrition
• Promotes cooking but also includes options for dining out
• Simple exercise is encouraged

The Not-So Good
• Meal prep and shopping for multiple ingredients may be too much for some
• 1600 calories might leave some people hungry
• Hydration is always good, but not sure all that Sassy Water is necessary
• MUFAs are healthy fats but not necessarily the key to successful weight loss

Bottom Line: The Flat Belly Diet is a sound diet plan, but as with any “plan,” there are plenty of rules to remember and follow. Dieters must be prepared to do their homework before getting started.

Tell Us: Have you tried Flat Belly?
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »


Roasted Sesame Asparagus

Roasted Sesame Asparagus: Simple Healthy Dish by Martha Stewart


Roasted Sesame Asparagus


  • 1 12 lbs asparagus (thick, ends trimmed cut into 2 inch lengths)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • 1 12 tsps sesame seeds


  • 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss with oil; season with salt. Roast 10 minutes, turning the asparagus halfway through
  • 2. Add sesame seeds, and roast until the asparagus is lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes more.

How to Make Homemade Sun-Dried (Oven Dried) Tomatoes « « Dishin and Dishes

How to Make Homemade Sun-Dried (Oven Dried) Tomatoes
sun-dried tomatoes

Do you love sun-dried tomatoes like I do, but not the price? I am a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes and last night I decided to make them at home. I experimented with both cherry tomatoes and plum or Roma tomatoes and let me tell you, homemade are absolutely wonderful.

While these are technically “oven-roasted”, they came out gorgeous, much redder and with deeper flavor than any I’ve bought in the store. Now it has spurred me to ask Mr. Wonderful to make me a covered drying rack to try to actually make them outside in the sun.

photo of homemade sun-dried tomatoes

Remember the post I did about the crazy cherry tomato plant I grew a few summers ago? That thing produced tomatoes clear up until Thanksgiving that year. We had scads of the sweet little treats picked every day filling up a bowl on our counter and we were running out of things to do with them.

This year, tomatoes are actually growing in Oklahoma, and I am getting a head start on recipes for them as my current two plants are just now starting to produce the little candy-like tomatoes so I’d love to show you what I did last night!

homemade sun-dried tomatoes

Before you start, I should warn you that you’ll need to plan to do these when you’re not in a hurry to go anywhere. My first pan of cherry tomatoes took roughly around 2-2 1/2 hours and the larger tomatoes can take up to 5 or 6 hours. You’ll need to pre-heat your oven to 200º and slow dry them until they’re chewy and leathery, like a raisin. This is the perfect recipe because you can actually forget about the oven for two whole hours and nothing will burn!

Take your cherry tomatoes and slice them in half. Here’s a shortcut to help you slice them quicker.

slice cherry tomatoes

I also decided to try a pan of Roma tomatoes, so I sliced those as well. Make sure on the Roma’s or plum tomatoes that you remove the icky stem spot.

core roma tomatoes

Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper, or if have a baking rack that fits into your baking sheets, that would be even better. Most people don’t, however, so I decided to do mine on parchment paper. Lay your cut tomatoes out in a single layer, not touching at all, and with the cut side facing up. They will shrink by about one-half when they are roasting. You will be surprised!

tomatoes baking sheet

Well, except now you won’t because I went and told you didn’t I?

I did the same with my larger tomatoes. Then I sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

salt tomatoes

You can also add any herb you like. I experimented with both fresh and dried herbs by putting fresh rosemary on the cherry tomatoes and dried basil on the Roma’s.

And that’s it. Some recipes call for drizzling with olive oil, but it really is not necessary and many advise against it. Just pop them into the oven.

drying tomatoes

Turn on the timer for two hours. That’s when I first checked my cherry tomatoes. Each oven heats differently, so you’ll have to eyeball these to see when they finish in your oven!

This was at the end of two hours and I although they were shriveling a bit, I still saw too much moisture.

sun dried tomatoes in the oven

So I popped them back in for an additional half hour. When I checked them at that point, the moisture was gone, and they were leathery and chewy, but not crisp (don’t do crisp!). Their color had deepened to a brilliant red and they were just gorgeous…don’t you think?

sun-dried tomatoes in the oven

At this point, I allowed them to fully cool and packed them into a mason jar and drizzled a little olive oil over them.

homemade sun-dried tomato

From what I’ve read, you can keep them in your refrigerator for months this way.


Other options included vacuum sealing or double bagging them and squeezing as much possible air out of the bag before freezing and they will keep for up to a year (do NOT add olive oil!).

Old school Italian cooks will tell you not to refrigerate them, but to make sure your mason jar is pristine and spotlessly clean, add olive oil, and keep them out in the pantry so as not to dilute the sweet and tangy flavor of the tomatoes, but I just am not sure about the safety of that so I won’t advise that way.

However you decide to store them, you must make these soon!

how to make sun-dried tomatoes

From snacking on each gloriously “bursting with tomato flavor” bite, you can either snack on them fresh out of a bag, or pluck them from their olive oil bath and use them in pasta salads, sandwiches or pasta. Try blending them in with your pasta red sauce for an added burst of depth of flavor or make the Pesto Rosso (sun-dried tomato pesto) I made yesterday. You’ll love every savory bite!

How to Make Homemade Sun-Dried (Oven Dried) Tomatoes

Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes

Total time: 2 hours 10 mins

Katie’s love of cooking and eating good food has led her down a path of fun filled friend and family gatherings around the kitchen. She is an Oklahoma Food blogger, TV food personality for Freedom43tv, author of Food Lovers’s Guide to Oklahoma and lover of all all the good things of life!


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