Allure of Almond basic facts of almonds

I remember my childhood, specially the exam time , when my mother give me almond with milk in the morning and says that it helps you to keep alert and specially almond sharpen your mind and memory. And it really happens. Almonds or Badam as we call them in India.

Though the years we have discovered that almond have many other honorable qualities. Besides being used as a garnish in for everything from muffins to halwa, milk and lassi, almonds are basic ingredients of any sweets in india like khoya burfi and Boondi ka ladoo.
But before we begin to wax lyrical about the almond, lets backtrack for a little bit of history about the wonder nut.

Almond have also been one of the earliest cultivated foods, originating in Western Asia. From here they were taken to Greece, Turkey and middle east. Jews regards almonds as the symbolic part of the dinner that breaks the Yom Kippur. In India, Its customery at weddings to give five suger-coated almonds to signify the five qualities of happy marriage – health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity.

Almonds have been always favourite in Indian kitchen much before the health benefits of almonds was discovered. In India , a basket of nuts – almond , cashew, pistachio and apricot are must in a Diwali festival gifts. From Shreekhand to Sheera and Thandai to Malai-kulfi, almonds add a rich taste to the food.

The crunch and hardy bite of almond gives you eat less and eat healty.
Some of the famous almond recipe are Badam phirni, Rogan Josh, Almond muffins.

Snacks Vs Treats

You need “a little something,” but how can you make a healthy choice for your afternoon snack? Registered dietitian, Jill Fleming, offers a great strategy for making healthy choices. By understanding the difference between “grow foods” and “treats,” even kindergarteners can make a healthy choice. It is an easy trick and it works!

Grow foods are items on which the sun has recently shined. The more refined and processed something is, the farther from a “grow food” it becomes. Raw vegetables and fruits are great examples of “grow foods,” as are whole grains. These foods fuel your body; allowing young children to grow and adults to thrive. Read the label. If there are ingredients with more than three syllables – it isn’t a grow food. Keep an eye out for high fructose corn syrup (another source of sugar) and partially hydrogenated oils (the source of trans fat); these are ingredients to avoid.

Treats are items which may taste good, but aren’t going to help you grow or thrive. It is okay to have a cookie or some ice cream, but it should be a treat — something special and extra, outside what you give your body to grow and thrive. Treats are not limited to sweets. For example, salty and fried items such as chips have no nutritional value, yet can be quite tasty. Soda, even diet soda, is a treat.

So, go ahead and have a treat, but make good choices. Here are some tips to help you decide:

Avoid items with trans-fat, which your body never needs.

Limit treats to once a day or a few times per week.

Pay attention to the portion size. Split the giant cookie with a friend or save half for tomorrow.

Don’t replace meals with treats. A doughnut isn’t breakfast – it’s a treat.

Beware of sneaky treats. Some things look like grow foods but a really treats in disguise. Yogurt with high fructose corn syrup is more like pudding than a grow food.

Limit soda (and diet soda) to treat times. Don’t drink soda as your beverage with a meal. Give your body healthy beverages such as water, skim milk and herbal tea.

By choosing “grow foods” at meals and snacks, you can afford to give yourself a treat. Reserving your treat for a glass of red wine and some good dark chocolate each night is enjoyable and can be heart healthy as well!

Treat yourself, but do it right!

Controlling Joint Pain With a Healthy Diet

Yes, I know it’s not what you wanted to hear but the truth is, being over-weight puts a load on our joints that they were never intended to bear. Several forms of arthritis are said to be genetically induced and are strongly correlated with the presence of a specific gene shared by 70% of arthritis sufferers: HLA-B27. Therefore, many specialists believe that arthritis is an ailment that cannot be prevented but can be treated. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis that affects the load-bearing joints of the body such as the hips, spines, and limbs. It results from the inflammation of the joint’s connective tissues or cartilages. Inflammation may stem from traumatic injuries, malnutrition, dehydration, and other sources of excess pressure. A prevalent cause of osteoarthritis in Americans is obesity. Being overweight adds more pressure to these joints inducing pain and lessens mobility and flexibility.

An early treatment for osteoarthritis, which is strongly recommended by doctors, is an effective weight loss program combined with a healthy and nutritious diet. Obesity or being overweight has something to do with the presence of excess fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar in the body and may cause a series of other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. A healthy diet that involves food portioning allows less of the following components that add to one’s weight:

Fat

We all have heard that fat keeps foods tasty and keeps us feeling full for a longer time. However, fat that is more often found in meat, cooking oils, butter, eggs, and others come with cholesterol that not only makes you heavy but burdens your heart as well.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates appear in various foods but are more often associated with bread and rice. The most effective weight loss programs and diets have to do with lessening the intake of carbohydrates by lessening the intake of rice or bread.

Sodium

Packaged preserved foods in the grocery are often high in sodium. Sodium is basically salt that is present in preserved foods to keep them fresh for a span of time and to trap in the flavor of these foods. Sodium in normal amounts is not at all bad but must be avoided especially by overweight people or those who plan on losing some pounds because sodium is known to trap in body fluids such as water which adds to a person’s weight.

Sugar

Processed foods, pastries, candy, sweet foods and even fruits contain sugar. Only the latter contains minerals and vitamins that balance with sugar intake while the others are full of empty calories. Sugar not only adds significant calories but it’s also a leading source of diabetes.

Regular exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. It keeps your body strong and burns those calories. Exercise that involves a lot of cardio burns your body’s stored fat and carbohydrates which causes weight loss and keeps your heart and joints healthy. Stretching exercises and other flexibility exercises help keep your joints in motion and will eventually make them stronger.

Alternative Treatment

Short term, NSAIDS (Celebrex), Ibuprophen etc. can provide short term arthritis pain relief but with health risks familiar to us all, through countless warnings in the news. Another alternative, much safer and made for long term use is Glucosamine supplements such as Synflex Liquid Glucosamine. Used widely in the treatment for osteoarthritis, Syn-flex combines ingredients such as shark cartilage and chondroitin that protects and strengthens your joints with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals such as essential fatty acids and vitamins A and E to slow the progression of osteoarthritis (because osteoarthritis is not an isolated condition and may affect other joints due to further damages in the joints) and keep your immune systems healthy. Synflex glucosamine supplements are very effective because they come in liquid form which allows faster, more complete absorption (98%) and digestion of the minerals to the body’s cells.

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