Blue Strawberry

Nutrition, Food Science, Cooking….

Tag Archives: antioxidants

Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal”…

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Today’s dish was Beef with Rosemary and Garlic…
mmm… it looked, smelled, and tasted delicious… Looking ever green with its small needle shaped leaves, rosemary was first sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and lastly seated on top of the dish for garnishing…

Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal” in my country…

Rosemary is a herb having evergreen needle-like leaves and a distinctive woody smell with a bitter and astringent taste. It is widely know in the Mediterranean region.

It is used as fresh or dried frequently in the traditional Mediterranean cuisine specifically in barbecuing.

It is added to oil bottles during storage to flavor the oil. It also helps retard rancidity (oxygen damage of oils that lead to change of odour, taste, and safety), thus improved oil’s shelf life.

Rosemary contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic, disease preventing and health promoting compounds…

How to use:

Wash fresh leaves in cold running water or rinse for few minutes or use it dry; added it in the final steps of your cooking to preserve the distinctive fragrance and flavor…

Sa7tein…

Open Sesame…

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Sesame is a flowering plant… its seeds are rich in oil. The seeds are further processes to give sesame oil or stone grinded to give sesame paste know as Tahini…

Seeds, oils or pastes are greatly used in cooking… especially in the Lebanese cuisine…Seeds usually sprinkled on breads and pastries, while oils and tahini are usually used in appetizers such as the “Hommos” or in dishes such as the “Kebbe Karnabiyeh”…

Nutritional Benefits:

Sesame is rich in minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium…) and in vitamin E, thiamin, healthy proteins and dietary fibers. It contains some phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids and flavonoid anti-oxidants and it’s also a rich source of poly-unsaturated fatty acids…

Sesame helps prevent high blood pressure, protect the liver from oxidative damage
(sesamin and sesamolin) and helps strengthen the heart and the nervous system (Vitamin E).

1 tablespoon of sesame (~10g) = 52 Calories.

December… Byblos and Peanut Butter…

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On a cold December night… having a walk with my friend “Peanut Butter”… next to the wild boiling sea water of Byblos….

“Peanut Butter”
I was eating peanut butter…

“Blue Strawberry”
mmm… I hate peanut butter… unless it’s within a cake or a biscuit or anything…

“Peanut Butter”
Oh come on… I prepare peanut butter myself at home…

“Blue Strawberry”
At Home???? That’s interesting… so tell me…How do you actually do it at home????

Preparing Peanut Butter at Home:

Step1: Roast the peanuts
1.Spread the peanuts on a baking pan.
2.Bake the peanuts in an oven for around 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
3.Cool

Step2: In a food processor
1.Pour the peanuts in a food processor with metal blades.
2.Cover the lid and turn on the processor.
3.The peanuts are now being chopped; a powdered mixture will be formed

Step3: Keep on processing
1.Keep on processing until a buttery mixture is formed
2.To get a desirable smooth peanut butter texture a longer processing period might be needed.

Step4: Taste
1.Add salt, sugar, honey etc. depending on your desired peanut butter taste.

Step5: Storage
1.Store in the fridge for around 2 days before consumption, so the mix turns into paste.

Nutrition and Health:

Peanut butter is rich in MUFA (mono-unsaturated fats) that are the good fats and the antioxidant Resveratrol. Thus, it helps protect against heart diseases, if consumed moderately. It is also rich in Vitamin B3, Proteins, Magnesium, Folic Acid, and Dietary Fiber.

Caution:

Some People are “Allergic” to peanuts, thus traces of peanut butter (peanuts) consumption would lead to:

1. Itching, swelling, of the skin, lips, tongue, and throat.
2. Shortness in breathing (the individual can suffocate).
3. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting.
4. Heart attack.
5. Loss of consciousness.

Star Fruit… Just Beautiful

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The Star Fruit, also known as “Carambola” mostly found in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia etc. When the fruit is cut in cross-section it looks like a five pointed star, that’s why it’s called “Star Fruit”.

It has a sour to sweet juicy taste; it’s green from the outside with a yellowish flesh and black brownish seeds in the center.

Nutrition and Health Benefits:

Star Fruit is rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Calcium; and is low in calories and sodium.

1.Vitamin C: antioxidant property that destroys free radicals preventing lipid oxidation (ex. can prevent cancer).
2.Potassium: helps prevent muscle cramps.
3.Dietary Fiber: prevent constipation.
4.Calcium: strengthens bones and teeth.
5.Calories: 1 cup of Star Fruit contains about 40 calories.

Caution:

Kidney failure, kidney stones, and kidney dialysis patients:

Star Fruit contains a considerable amount of oxalic acid. Oxalic Acid can be harmful to kidney failure, kidney stones, and kidney dialysis patients. Thus, if star fruit is consumed by such patients can lead to vomiting, nausea, impaired consciousness/mental confusion etc.
Moreover, it can also lead to hyperkalemia; which describes the high potassium electrolyte concentration in the blood; that in turn results in heart muscle weakness leading to abnormality of the heart beats….

Chatting… Wine… and Resveratrol…

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Chatting on a Saturday afternoon with my friend “Southern Comfort”….

Blue Strawberry:
2kh… finally I’m home… eatinggggggg…. What’s your favorite food????????

Southern Comfort:
My favorite food… I dunno….
I eat anything and almost everything… regardless if i’m hungry or not… :p
iza 3abele ekoul something, then i will eat it!!!

Steak has to be one of my favorite things… i really like pasta…
Vodka diet 7up, amaretto sour, marguerita…. wine…

Blue Strawberry:
mmmm… wine is not bad…

Let’s see… wine… wine… wine…. How about Red wine??? And it’s characteristic antioxidant…

Wine is one of the mostly consumed alcoholic beverages through out the world. Wine have shown high beneficial effects to health due to its antioxidants content.

Antioxidants are substances that reduce the damage caused by oxidation that in turn is caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are naturally produced by living cells of animal or plant origin. They are produced as part of the defensive mechanism preventing lipid oxidation and rancidity.

Lipid oxidation and rancidity are mainly related to the production of toxic substances named “Free Radicals” that degrade lipids (fats). Lipid Oxidation (within human cell): The degradation of lipids by those toxic reactive oxygen species pose several health concerns such as: cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes (glycation of end products), cancers etc… Rancidity (within food ): The degradation of the fat by those toxic reactive oxygen species leading to quality deterioration of foods.

One of the characteristic antioxidants in wine, mainly red wine, is Resveratrol. Resveratrol is mostly found in the skin and seeds of grapes that’s why it’s a major constituent of wines. Resveratrol from grapes is more highly concentrated when it has been processed into wine, it’s mainly found in red wine rather than white wine because red wine is fermented with the skin allowing the wine to absorb the resveratrol.

The biological attributes of resveratrol mainly include: antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-platelets aggregation, anti-aging, anti-cancerous agent etc. Thus resveratrol may help prevent free radical damage over the human body and provide better support to the blood vessels; reduce the risk of heart disease, age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. Helps control arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and reduces the risk of blood clotting.

Many studies have shown that resveratrol has a very important role in reducing highly reactive oxygen species, because it’s a free radical scavenger and because it promote the activity of several antioxidant enzymes. It is an antioxidants that plays an important role as a health protecting factor. It is now incorporated in pills as an effective supplement used for many healths related concerns.

In conclusion, Red wine’s potential health benefits are very promising in the presence of resveratrol antioxidant. Thus, moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, lowers the risk of several health concern. But, increased amounts of red wine, an alcohol, increases the risk of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, and other problems; thus it’s best taken in moderation.