By Joan McDaniel April 1, 2015
A Word of Warning for the Sugar Substitute called “Agave Nectar”
There is a sugar “replacement” being marketed called Agave Nectar or Syrup. It is being promoted as a “Natural Sweetener” , “Wholesome sweetener” and as an alternative to honey used in cooking and juicing. It is sold in the Grocery Store in the cooking section next to the “Natural Honey”. The promoters call it a “Low Glycemic Sweetener”.
With the growing awareness of the dangers of sugar substitutes as “NutraSweet” or Aspartame and its many side effects, many people concerned about their sugar intake are considering agave as a safer “natural sweetener” alternative.
Agave syrup isn’t as thick as honey, is easier to use and it comes from a plant rather than an animal. The syrup or nectar dissolves quickly and is commonly used as cooking alternative in vegan or raw foods recipes and in cold beverages.
But There Is More To The Story
I first notices the Agave sweetener when I saw it as an additive in a Protein Bar I use to eat. I then noticed it in a box labeled “Organic Stevia” I never thought much about it until I read a republished article by Dr. Mercola, “Shocking! The “Tequila” Sweetener Agave Is Far Worse Than High Fructose Corn Syrup” said the article.
Agave is also commonly being used in breakfast cereals and other processed food as a binding agent and alternate to the other sugar substitutes like aspartame.
I Became Intrigued and Started My Own Research
My purpose of this blog is to describe how I got well from being very sick. One of the first things I did was slowly decrease my intake of processed foods especially food high in carbs and processed sugar. I have a sweet tooth, and dare I say so does America. I have found the natural sweetener from Sweetleaf called Stevia to help sweeten things up.
Stevia so far has been found to not affect the body as other sweetness but all intake of the sweet things of life need to be used sparingly. Stevia is recommended by many including Dr. Mercola. Sweeteners using small amounts of xylitol can also be used. I use my Smidgen of Stevia.
Glycemic Index is misleading
Agave syrup is being promoted as a “Low Glycemic Sweetener”.Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, but I find the glycemic index is very misleading. The Glycemic Index developed in the 1980s by Dr. David J. Jenkins measures only how fast the sugar or carbohydrate rises your blood sugar level after the consumption of food. It does not cover the overall effects of what a diet high is sugar does to your cells. Sugar loves and feeds acid and an acid pH balance hates oxygen. Without oxygen your cells can’t breath you then have inflammation and pain. Your cells are literally crying out for oxygen. It doesn’t really matter how fast or slow the process takes.
I have learned not to trust the glycemic index yet many manufactures use it to indicate how safe their product is. The Glycemic Index needs further research. Even a low glycemic index can cause insulin resistance which is worse than the normal high then low roller coaster effect sugar.
Sugar “the bad Carb” is Bad but High Fructose Corn Syrup is Worse.
As this blog and many others have indicated, a diet high in sugar is not good for your health. Sugar is everywhere. Sugar is a carbohydrate and is also called “the Bad Carb” which means carbohydrates that come from processed foods. “Good Carbs” are carbohydrates that are natural like fresh vegetables grown in your own garden. Both contain Sugar just in different amounts.
Consumption of large amounts of sugar in any form can be dangerous to good health and can trigger border line diabetes, full-blown diabetes, malabsorption, metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, leaky gut, and the formation of uric acid.
In other words high consumption of sugar in any form is not good for your health.
Agave Syrups are sold as a replacement for sugar or honey.
Agave syrup is being sold as a, “low-glycemic sweetener” with a pure sweet flavor. It is sold in three varieties. Light with a Neutral, mild flavor. Amber with a rich, full flavor, and Raw a low-temp, smooth flavor. Light is used for delicate-tasting dishes and beverages. Amber gives the dish an almost caramel flavor and Raw or Dark has a much strong taste. Used for desserts, seafood and meat dishes. Both amber and dark can be used as a topping like maple syrup is used for pancakes.
Raw Agave is considered raw for it is produced at temperatures below 118 °F (48 °C) this protects the natural enzymes and also prevents the syrup from being fermented and turned into Tequila.
The sweetener Agave is actually worse than HFCS.
As it turns out what is in the Agave nectar is twice as harmful and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). All processed sugar contains HFCS, from table sugar to honey. Most sugar is a mixture of fructose and glucose. Table sugar is a 50/50 mix, HFCS is 55/45 and Agave nectar is 90% fructose almost twice as high as HFCS.
Agave Plant showing Water-storing cells in leaves
So What Exactly Is Agave?
Agave is an exotic plant grown in the rich volcanic soil of Mexico under a hot tropical sun. It has a stately flower that blooms only once in its lifetime. “Agave” is translated to mean “noble”. The ancients regarded the plant as a healing plant. The leaves would be cut and chewed for its sweetness and healing power. Ferment the plant and you have Mexico’s favorite adult beverage Tequila. The name “agave” conjures up images of romantic tropical excursions and mysterious shamanic medicine.
When not distilled the leaves are used to make Agave syrup.
The Agave Plant May Look Like Aloe Vera but is More like Sugar Cane
On the outside to the untrained eye the Agave and Aloe Vera plant look very much alike. Both plants look like cacti but neither plant is from the cacti family. Cacti leaves are covered with spikes for inside it holds the magic of hidden water when in a dry arid desert.
Aloe and Agaves are succulent of the yucca family, more closely related to amaryllis and other lilies.
The difference between Agave and Aloe is on the inside the leaf. The Agave leaf is used to produce Agave nectar (or agave syrup). The leaves of the Aloe Vera Plant are used to heal.
Aloe Vera reputation is that of health and healing. The Agave reputation is that of being distilled into alcohol that is used to make Tequila. Agave is sweet and is now being marketed as a Natural Safe Sugar Substitute.
Like many plants in their natural state, Agave has health benefits. But the agave leaf is hard and cannot be eaten or digested, it can only be chewed and sucked.
However, as is so often the case, when the product is processed and refined it tends to lose some (or all) of these beneficial health effects. This appears to be the case with the refined Agave sweetener that people are consuming today.
Agave Plant Leafs must be cut with an ax
Agave on the outside may look like Aloe Vera but it is anything but. Inside the Aloe Vera Plant is a soft slimy mucus gel which has the reputation and is used to help healing. In my article, I called “Aloe Vera: I may look rugged but I’m just a big softy.”
Sugarcane – belongs to the grass family (Poaceae). It is a seed plant that includes many forage crops, rice, sorghum, maize, and wheat. The main productive sugarcane is sucrose (sugar) and is fermented to produce ethanol.
Both Sugar Cane and Agave Need to be Processed
To Process Sugar cane it first is cut from the field than milled and refined into 99% sucrose
To Process Agave Syrup is much more complicated for the sap is normally fermented into Tequila alcohol. It is a complex process to get into but essentially it requires a lab and a complex process to stop enzyme production and fermentation to create the syrup. The difference is controlled in the lab.
Now What is Tequila?
Tequila – A regional distilled beverage. Tequila generally exists in two-forms: 100% blue agave and mixes. The best Tequila or the high-end uses what is called blue agave primarily from the area surrounding the city of Tequila. This area thrives in the Jalisco’s red volcanic soil and over 300 million plants are harvested each year.
Only Tequila using 100% blue agave can be labeled as such, the other Tequila’s use a mixture (mixtos) of agave and other processed sugars. Tequila can only be produced in certain areas in
Most Tequila sold in North America are a mixture, including the well-known brands such as Jose Cuervo and Sauza. The 100% agave label indicates all government standards have been met. Also note the salt and lemon ritual is a North American ritual. It is unheard of anywhere else.
Agave is used to make all forms of Tequila
High Grade Tequila
The Truth About Agave Nectar: It’s All Hype
By Joan L. McDaniel March 18, 2015
This blog is about how I got well from what I ate, but it wasn’t easy figuring out how to eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables without also having to watch how much sugar or fructose you’re eating.
Breaking my love of carbohydrates was tough enough without having something sweet to eat. I found you can mix a saturated fat like a walnut with something high in sugar and the glycemic reaction is slowed it takes it longer to digest but that wasn’t the answer. It still is sugar and I may not get the high and low roller coaster side effect, my body was still getting too much sugar. I did not want to stop eating fruit because of its tremendous enzyme, nutritional and antioxidant values. The best ways to ingest live enzymes is through eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables. So I just kept looking.
Fruit is a Source For Vitamin C and A Great Health Food
You cannot regain your health or stay healthy eating heavy amounts of sugar including fructose. As I have written before here that fruit is an excellent health food source but you have to watch out for the hidden sugar called Fructose.
I got all excited about my morning dish of berries (cranberries and blueberries and the sour cherry when in season). I have a mixture of berries with my fresh goat yogurt, cinnamon, and shredded coconut (saturated fat). But I found especially with this long cold winter I needed to increase my Vitamin C so I added a small orange. An orange is great but high in fructose.
Fruit is Great but – Watch Out for It’s Excessive Sugar (Fructose)
The best way if not the only way to get good Vitamin C in your diet is to eat citrus fruit or drink fresh fruit juice. But don’t race to the store to get a container of Orange Juice.Before you pour that great glass of OJ look at the label, you will find it is loaded with sugar. Most fruit is also loaded with sugar including an orange.
Then I suddenly remembered the Grapefruit.
Give your Immune System a VitaminC Power burst with Grapefruit
Citrus fruit is the best source for Vitamin C especially the peel. The lemon and lime are the lowest in fructose and then comes the Grapefruit. A Grapefruit about the size of a softball contains half the fructose of a small orange that is a little bigger than a golf ball.
Our Mothers told us about Vitamin C now didn’t she?
We don’t need a team of Nobel Price winning scientist or the “collage educated” group think Old Boy Network “Food Police” to tell us we need Vitamin C to help our immune system fight disease. We should know all about the power of Vitamin C by now (because our mom’s told us). Right? Vitamin C has become so important it is added to more than half of the processed foods I find on the Grocer Store Shelf. But I have also found that food to be void of nutrition, loaded with sugar, and the vitamins are artificial (synthetic means created in the lab).
Grapefruit the Bitter Sweet Forbidden Fruit
Grapefruit has a rather recent history, it was first discovered in Barbados in the 18th Century. The name Grapefruit means Citrus + paradise. It comes from a subtropical citrus tree know for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. A Grapefruit was first bred in Barbados and when found it was called the “forbidden fruit”.
Our ancestor of the grapefruit was the Jamaican sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). The name we call it “grapefruit” a name which reflects the way it’s arranged when it grows—hanging in clusters just like grapes.
Grapefruit trees were planted in Florida in the early 19th century, although they did not become a viable commercial crop until later that century. Florida is still a major producer of grapefruits, as is California, Arizona and Texas. Other countries that produce grapefruits commercially include Israel, South Africa and Brazil.
GrapeFruit Grows in Clusters like Grapes
Was Eve’s Forbidden Fruit a Grapefruit?
I could not find out exactly why the grapefruit was originally called the forbidden fruit. No one seems to know exactly what fruit was the biblical Eve’s forbidden fruit. I doubt it was the Grapefruit for it is hard to take a bite out of it. Tradition has identified it more likely to be an Apple
Warnings about pharmaceutical drugs and Grapefruit interaction
Before I go on too much further I better give you the warning. Check with your healthcare practitioner about consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice if you’re taking pharmaceutical drugs. Certain pharmaceutical drugs combined with grapefruit juice become more potent. These including Antibiotics, Antihistamines, Antiviral, Calcium Channel Blockers (hypertension), Hormonal drugs, Immunosuppressant, Statins, and many others.
Compounds in grapefruit juice, including naringenin, slow the normal detoxification and metabolism processes in the intestines and liver, which hinders the body’s ability to breakdown and eliminate these drugs.
Side/Effects can be severe such as kidney or respiratory failure so be sure and check with your healthcare practitioner.
I Grew Up Eating Grapefruit
I’m not talking about the Fad Grapefruit Diet to lose weight, I’m talking about the fruit that is about the size of a softball that can be fun to eat. It is tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits.
But eating a Grapefruit isn’t the easiest thing, it takes real talent. I remember my father’s morning grapefruit routine. He would take his spoon and slowly remove each piece of fruit like a skilled surgeon leaving all the bitter membrane behind. When he finished all the fruit he would squeeze the hull to get every drop of fruit juice. We liked the pink grapefruit best for it did not have seeds. We did add a teaspoon of sugar just to make it taste less bitter. I now add a smidgen of Stevia for the bitterness.
Grapefruit and other citrus fruit can be classified as “nature’s medicines” as they help control many diseases. Grapefruit is a great way to eat fruit, control fructose and strengthen your Immune System all at the same time.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals
Fiber a fiber called pectin a soluble fiber
Lycopene – a carotenoid found in the pink and red grapefruit but not the white. This Carotenoid helps deliver oxygen to free-radical damaged area or helps relieve inflammation and pain. Lycopene is also found in apricots guave, papaya, tomatoes and watermelon.
Phytonutrients – Called limonoids help inhibit tumor formation
Vitamins – Grapefruit is Loaded with Vitamins A, and C.
Helps Fight Diseases
Helps balance the body’s pH by making the body more alkalinity and reduces acid balance.
Helps reduce Blood Pressure
Blood Sugar – Helps lower Blood Sugar
Cancer – Naringenin, helped repair DNA in human cancer cells.
Helps reduce inflammation and pain like with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Strengthens the Immune System thus helps fight colds. Helps sooth sore throats, eliminate coughs and reduce fevers.
Helps reduce calcium Oxalate that causes Kidney Stones
— and last but not least, grapefruit contain fat burning enzymes that are instrumental in promoting weight loss.
The grapefruit is a large citrus fruit related to the lemon, orange, and pomelo. The fruit of the Grapefruit come as either ruby-red, pink, or white (blond). The skin color is either yellow or pinkish yellow.
Grapefruits range in diameter and can come with seeds or seedless.
How to Store a Grapefruit
A Grapefruit is famous for its fruit but you can’t stop there it needs to be squeezed for every last drop. I pour a part of a smidgen of Stevia to help with the sudden bitter tastes. I also love juicy grapefruit so I will not put them in the refrigerator. When the grapefruit is warm or room temperature it is juicier. I eat them within the week. The refrigerator crisper will keep them up to two or three weeks.
How to Eat and Enjoy a Grapefruit
Preparing a Grapefruit
I am not the master of grapefruit eating like my father was but I am equipped with special grapefruit utensils including a special knife and a special spoon.
Grapefruit Spoons note the edge of the spoon this is also great for removing the seeds and slime in my winter squash.
Grapefruit Knife this is one very handy tool. The bottom shown is curved like the round grapefruit. You can cut the fruit from the bottom. The blade make this as easy as … My grandma use to say “…as falling off a log”. The top part is the interesting part it has two blades with a small space for the membrane to fit. I’m not always so cleared eyed in the morning to see so clearly but it works good enough especially if I have that segregated spoon to finish the job.
Is There an Easier Way to Eat A Grapefruit
I was doing my research and look what I found — A Whole New Way to Eat A Grapefruit – It may even be a little easier and much less mess. Take a look and see for yourself.
Two Methods: Segment a Peeled Grapefruit and Segment a Grapefruit While Still in the Peel
Grapefruit is a wonderful fruit to enjoy for breakfast in the morning, as a snack or as part of a heart healthy dish, such as a salad. An average grapefruit can be friendly to the waistline as well, packing only 97 calories. Also, like many other citrus fruits it is high in vitamins. Just one grapefruit provides 120 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C and over half of the suggested daily requirement of vitamin A and a small amount of calcium. Here are several ways to segment a grapefruit so that you may add this well-balanced food to your diet on a regular basis.
Chef Tip – How to Peel and Segment a Grapefruit – LeGourmetTV George Brown Chef School
Don’t Throw Away Those Hulls
On a final note, grapefruits can also be beneficial to the environment, itself. Little known facts are that grapefruit hulls can be used to condition soil. Old grapefruit trees can be salvaged for firewood, and, lastly, grapefruit hulls and dried grapefruit can be used to feed cattle when combined with dried pulp.
Vitamin C is Important, Why not Make Your Own?
By Joan McDaniel February 15, 2015
Getting Back to Work
It is about time that I begin to put up some articles. I have been off fighting Computer monsters and other pressing items. Now that has come to a happy end and it is time to test drive my new Apple Computer – No more baby sitting, and debugging headaches over an unpredictable operating system.
We All Know the Importance of Vitamin C
And what better subject to write about than Vitamin C. It is winter here and cold. The sun is off visiting Florida or South America and our major source of Vitamin C has gone with it. We all know the importance of Vitamin C don’t we. Why? Because our mothers told us so. And their mothers told them and on and on. Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants nature has to give especially during the cold winter months.
Lack of Vitamin C The cause of Illness
Their parents knew that in the early 1800’s the English navy was practically wiped out by a disease called Scurvy. Scurvy is a severe lack of vitamin C. The sailors bodies literally fell apart.
Guess what also is a caused by a lack of vitamin C — Inflammation. Your immune system doesn’t have enough oxygen and nutrition to fight disease and inflammation and pain results. Your cells are literally crying for Help.
A Strong Immune System
To stay well you need a strong immune system. But to maintain a strong immune system you need to feed it and one thing it needs most is Vitamin C.
Processed Foods Loaded With Synthetic Vitamins
Our modern-day food producers are well aware of the need for Vitamins. It seems that everything has Vitamin C and Vitamin D added to it along with tons of added sugar. The food is devoid of nutrition and the added vitamins are full of complexed unable to pronounce toxic chemicals. This does nothing to help your Immune System fight inflammation. In fact it may just cause inflammation.
Bottled Vitamin Supplements seem to me to contain ingredients that do more to protect the products shelf life than they do to give me anything natural. An example: Centrum “C” vitamins made from the Coal Tar, Silicon, and petroleum distillate. Just look at any label. Nothing on the label sounds very natural to me including Soy which is GMO. Using pre-manufactured Pills is a risky business so Why not make your own Vitamin C from the real stuff?
Make Your Own Vitamin C
Your best source for Vitamin C is not in pill form but in natural food form. You get more Vitamin C from natural food then you would ever get from a pill created in the lab.
Watermelon a great source of Vitamin C
There is a large source of Vitamin C in berries, broccoli, cherries, cilantro, citrus fruit, coriander, dark green vegetables, guavas, kale, kiwi, parsley, red and yellow peppers, rose-chips, tomatoes, watermelon (especially a whole watermelon)
But this is winter where are you going to get a good watermelon in single digit degree weather?
I found a Great Answer
While doing research, fighting computer monsters and keeping up to date I found an article from Natural News called “Homemade Vitamin C”
I tried it and it works great!
Read their article I have put together some other thoughts and found some pictures that can serve as examples.
You Are In Charge Not the Environment or Luck
You are in charge of your own health and immune system. There was a recent article about Cancer. The article gave the impression that disease in this case Cancer was simply caused by bad luck or bad genes.
Disease is not what the recent popular myth say. Disease is a not a factor primarily of chance or bad luck. Disease is caused by a weakened immune system. The immune system is what your body uses to fight disease. Your immune system is formed and reinforced by the food you eat. Some factors of the immune system are passed from parent to child but the overall immune system is formed by how you live your life and what you eat or your nutrition.
Make Your Own Vitamin C
As I said, Vitamin C from natural whole-food is far more potent than store-bought vitamin C supplements. Besides you don’t want to know what these supplements are made from. One of the best sources for natural Vitamin C is natural Fruit — especially Citrus Fruit like oranges.
What has more Vitamin C than Citrus Fruit?
Broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, guavas, kiwi with the skin, yellow and red peppers, strawberries, and a whole watermelon all have more vitamin C than a citrus fruit without the peel. Cilantro, Coriander, and Rose-hips are also high in vitamin C. None of these are available in the winter.
Citrus Fruit is available but it contains fructose or sugar and the amount of intake needs to be monitored or controlled. It isn’t about how many milligrams of Vitamin C you take, It’s how much your body assimilates.
The peel of Citrus fruit is loaded with Vitamin C and is sugar-free. A normal orange peel provides about 130 mg of pure vitamin C. The fruit of the orange only about 71 mg. Citrus peels have added benefits like enzymes, phytonutrients, and things we don’t even know about yet.
Just How to make Vitamin C from Citrus Fruit Peel?
After you eat the fruit be it grapefruit, a lemon or lime or an orange, keep the peel. Don’t throw it away.
Save the peel. Cut the peel into thin strips. Place these thin strips out in the open like on a plate on the dinning room table. Make sure you remove all the actual fruit for it will invite mold. Mother Nature turns this mold black. Throw those pieces away. Let the good strips dry at room temperature for a couple of days until they are dry and crisp. They are hard to break.
Cut the peels into strips
To eat the peel break them up into smaller pieces and mix them with your favorite tea. The only problem here is heat destroys those great enzymes so a better way is to grind them up using a coffee grinder. Grind them up into a powder. The enzymes and the rest of the vitamins are not harmed. I grind up several peels and store them in a small glass container.
Powdered Citrus Peels
The pieces that are too big to chew I throw away. The smaller pieces I sprinkle on my morning fruit and mix it up – you don’t even taste it. Or throw the powder into your smoothie or fresh juices. One rounded teaspoon will supply you with more antioxidants, bioflavonoids, hesperidin, rutin, and Vitamin C complex than your body needs for the day regardless of you size and weight.
This will also be great for anyone doing a lemon detox without the bitter taste.
I will be writing more about Citrus fruit but until next time which will be sooner rather than later.
By Joan L. McDaniel November 3, 2014
Recently, I had the occasion to take a look at my Driver’s License picture. Pictures of yourself are famously bad but this one blew me away. I did not know I looked that bad. I unburied a 2006 picture and compared it to a 1996 picture of me in nursing school. Wow – WHAT HAPPENED???
1996 Before and After 2006
This is a picture of me going to nursing school it was dated 1996. I was in my 50’s. I was working at night in a Nursing Home as a Nurse’s Aide. I was young and strong. I needed the strength for the job required some heavy lifting. One of my tasks was to lift people. People who were too confused, ill, old and weak to stand-up and walk on their own. I was happy and felt good I could use my abilities to help others.
Just Ten Years Later 2006 This is Me. What Happened?
This is a picture of me in 2006. I remember this time. This is more than just aging I was sick, but didn’t know it. I know now, I did not feel well and I looked it. I was unhappy with myself for I just could not stand-up straight. I seemed to be just dragging I didn’t have any energy. I was just as tired when I started work and when I finished. Even in the picture I was leaning I was always leaning on things. We had hired a group of new nurses and they would joke that about my first impression scared them. I look at this picture in 2006 and it scares me!
When I returned to work from sick leave this is what one of those nurses said,
“Joan I’m really glad and amazed the first time I saw you after your illness and you really look great inside and out.”
This is me now
I’m no looker but, not only have I lost weight, I am no longer dragging and weak. Recent 9/2014 I have lost over 40 pounds, I am standing up straight and even my hair color is coming back. This month I will turn 70 years old and am now looking forward to a less stressful and healthier life. And now maybe I can get my broken teeth fixed and get my smile back.
What happen to me is My Story to Tell.
Finally on January 2012 I became too weak to even breathe and was hospitalized for a 7 days, treated then sent home with a week supply of Yeast infection medicine and 13 different heart medications. I was able to breathe and walk but just barely.
I was finally diagnosed as having a Yeast infection of the Esophagus (Esophageal candidiasis), GERT with stomach acid burns to my esophagus. I had a weak heart for it had stopped during the Endoscopy exam (PAF Paroxysmal, Atrial Fibrillation sudden, but not lasting long). The heart restated on its own but it was an indication of how weak I really was.
I am now almost back to by old 1996 self again and feel like I have found a fountain of youth. I have a story to tell and have dedicated this blog to it. I have written over 100 stories about what I did to get well again. I don’t recommend you do this but —
I fired the Doctors and started to do my own research and began to explore the many forms of alternate medicine including remembering what my Grandmother use to tell me.
More about this later.
By Joan L. McDaniel October 21, 2014
This is the time of the harvest before the sun goes on its winter vacation. At this time Mother Nature is in her final full display. Beyond summer’s green, brightness this season is decorated with bright, brilliant, and vivid colors. It is my favorite time of the year. The turning leaves, the bright orange of the Jack-o-lantern created pumpkin face, the multi colored inedible gourds, and finally Winter Squash. I have been exploring the taste sensation of autumn’s super food the Winter Squash.
Winter Harvest, Winter Squash and antioxidants.
During this season the pumpkin may get all the attention with its pumpkin pie but Mother Nature provides something more for our taste buds to enjoy. It is a time of anticipated fun and tremendous healthy eating food called Winter Squash. There is summer squash and winter squash and both are highly nutritious and good for you.
Summer Squash is for cooling you off, and Winter Squash is to warm your soul and the rest of you. Winter squash is more vividly colored, denser, flavorful, nutrient-packed and sweeter than summer squash or zucchini. Winter squash varies with each having its own taste sensation.
Best Seasonal Super food to Prepare Your Body For Winter
Winter squash is one of the best super foods Mother Nature has to offer. Its bright orange color suggest it is rich in life promoting beta-carotene antioxidants. The pulp or meat and seeds are loaded with nutritional power. It is as the energy of the sun as stored for you in a hard protective shell to last for at least 6 months. The darker the pigmentation the more the antioxidant. It helps you prepare your body, keep it healthy, and give your immune system ammunition to maintain health during the coming cold winter season.
These are members of the cucurbit family which include inedible gourds, pumpkins, summer squash, and winter squash. Squash are relatives of both the cucumber and melon and come in a wide varieties. Except for the decorative gourd, and summer squash the winter member of the family is represented by the color orange if not on the outside than on the inside.
Summer Squash Types
The summer squash types are lighter with more stored water and thinner skin. They are 95 percent water by weight yet are a good source of fiber. They can be eaten cooked or raw and have a slight sweet herbal flavor.
Zucchini is a staple in many gardens. The dark green, variegated fruits are delicious steamed, sautéed, or baked in zucchini bread. Try ‘Ambassador,’ President Hybrid,’ or ‘Gold Rush,’ a yellow zucchini.
Yellow Squash have a mellower taste and softer flesh than zucchini. Try ‘Early Prolific Straightneck,’ Goldbar’ and ‘Early Summer Crookneck.’
Winter Squash Benefits
Winter Squash is considered another super food therefore it provides many life sustaining benefits including; Pantothenic acid, antioxidants, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, lutein, manganese, magnesium, niacin, Omega-3 Fat, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamin A (145% OF RDA), B’s including foliate, C (145 % of RDA), E, K, and zeaxanthin.
Their shells are hard and difficult to pierce enabling them to have long storage periods between one and six weeks. Their flesh is mildly sweet in flavor and finely grained in texture. Their flavor is generally sweet like the yam or sweet potato but are not high in sugar. They all have a seed-containing hollow inner cavities. These seeds can be removed cleaned and roasted to be eaten later and another winter treat like pumpkin seeds.
Different Varieties of Winter Squash
Winter squash vary in color, flavor, size and shape. Some varieties of Pumpkins can be considered a winter squash. Some forms of Winter Squash has been cultivated and it seems each country has a squash named for it there is China Melon which is really a squash, there is Korean Squash, and many others. The following varieties of Winter Squash available to us in American during this time of the year are:
There is Acorn, Banana, Boston marrow, Buttercup, Butternut, Carnival, Cheese Pumpkin, Cushaw, Delicata, Hubbard (Blue, Green, or Grey), Kabocha (Green and Red), Kuri (red), Pumpkin Ambercup, Scallop, Spaghetti, Sugar Pumpkin, Sweet Dumpling, Tiger, Turk’s Turban, to name a few.
- Kabocha Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Red Kabocha Squash
- Carnival Squash
- Sugar Pumpkin
- Sweet Dumpling Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Blue Hubbard Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Red Kuri Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Acorn Squash
Acorn – It has a green skin speckled with orange patches and a pale yellow-orange flesh. It is one of the earliest winter squash to appear for it matures in 70 to 80 days. It is rich in potassium and has and unique flavor that is a combination of nutty, peppery and sweet.
Arikara squash is an heirloom variety of C. maxima. This is an extremely rare squash originally grown by the Arikara Indian tribe of the Dakotas among whom its cultivation predates white settlement. This squash is oblong shaped with pinkish flowers. The shape of the fruit can be tear-drop or round, and they are colored in a mottled orange and green pattern.
Ambercup – Cucurbita maxima, one of at least five species of cultivated squash, is one of the most diverse domesticated species, perhaps with more cultivated forms than any other crop. This species originated in South America from the wild C. maxima ssp. Andreana over 4000 years ago.
Banana –has an elongated shape, with light blue, pink or orange skin and bright orange flesh.
Boston marrow – Sweet tasting, narrow at one end and bulbous at the other
Buttercup – is one of the most common varieties of this winter squash, with a turban shape (a flattish top and dark green skin), weighing three to five pounds, and normally heavy with dense, yellow-orange flesh.
Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata), also known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin. It has a slim neck, bulbous bottom, yellow-tan skin, and is shaped like a large pear. It has a deep orange fleshy pulp which has a creamy, sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It originated in Waltham Massachusetts. It matures in 100 days. To make butternut squash easier to handle, cut the neck from the body and work with each section separately.
Candy Roaster landrace was originally developed by the Cherokee people in the southern Appalachians. Another heirloom variety, it is quite variable in size (10-250+ lbs), shape (round, cylindrical, teardrop, blocky, etc.), and color (pink, tan, green, blue, gray, or orange), yet most have fine-textured orange flesh. This variety enjoys continued popularity, particularly in the southern Appalachians.
Carnival – This squash is breed from a mix of acorn and sweet dumpling squash. It exterior resembles both of its relatives but its yellow flesh is mellow and sweet. Use whenever acorn squash or butternut squash is called for in a recipe.
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin – This is not the normal Halloween carving pumpkin, this is what most of the pumpkin pies and other autumn sweet pumpkin treats is made from. It has the color of Butternut Squash and its flavor is very close to the Sugar Pumpkin.
The consensus says it is called a cheese pumpkin because it is the shape and size of a wheel of cheese. They are also often called “Cinderella pumpkins” because with a litle imagination it can be suddenly turned into a carriage to carry a princess by a magic spell which ends at midnight.
This pumpkins are perfect for roasting and making Pumpkin Pie. It is what the canned Pumpkin Pie mixture is made of.
Cushaw – or cucurbita mixta is a green and white striped. They can grow very large, sometimes over 20 pounds and taste like a mixture between acorn squash, pumpkin and summer squash.
Delicata – (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo ‘Delicata’) This winter squash has distinctive longitudinal dark green stripes on a yellow or cream colored background. It flesh is sweet, and colored yellow-orange. It is also known as Bohemian, peanut, or sweet potato squash. Although it is considered a winter squash it belongs to the same species as all types of summer squash. I got one baked it and was amazed to me it this variety tasted just like a pear. Delicata must also mean delicate for it does not store well and must be eaten quickly. Delicata’s are not as loaded with beta-carotene as other winter squashes, but loaded with other powerful nutrition’s.
Hubbarb – Is usually a tear-drop shape and can be dark green, grey-blue or orange-red in color.
This is a larger-sized squash that can be dark green, grey-blue or orange-red (Golden Hubbarb) in color. The Turk’s Turban is a Hubbard Squash. Hubbard’s are less sweet than the other winter squashes.
Jarrahdale pumpkin is a pumpkin with gray skin. It is nearly identical to ‘Queensland Blue’ and ‘Sweet Meat’ varieties.
Kabocha – There is Red Kabocha and a green, both are squat. They are a type of Japanese squash that is becoming popular in the U.S. The deep green skin has faint white stripes running from top to bottom and both have bright orange flesh. The green has an earthy, nutty, savory and slightly sweet flavor but the red is unmistakably sweeter. It’s similar in shape to a buttercup squash.
Spaghetti – If handled properly after cooking this squash resembles yellow sweet spaghetti without the processed carbs. It is also called noodle squash. It was developed in China in 1921 and gained popularity during World War II. Once cut in half and the seeds have been removed scrape a fork across the baked flesh to separate it into pasta-like strands. Serve and use this squash as pasta with any of your favorite pasta sauce. It is far more delicious and cuts out the harmful processed carbs of regular man made flour pasta.
Sweet Dumpling – This squash is the relative of the Carnival Squash. It is a whitish-yellow and green squash that is small and compact. The whole squash once cooked can be used as a bowl for individual serving. The flesh tastes like a sweet potato and the skin is edible as well. You can use the sweet dumpling in recipes calling for sweet potato or pumpkin.
Sweet Pumpkin – It is also called a Pie pumpkin. This is a small and squat Halloween pumpkin. They are used as decorative pumpkins and are prized for the classic pumpkin flavor, as well as their flesh-packed walls. This is an excellent pie making pumpkin.
Tiger – Crispy dark green, orange and white stripes on the outside, creamy on the inside, Tiger Squash is ready in less than 15 minutes. I’d expected it to be sweetly caramelized like oven-roasted squash. Instead, Tiger Squash has the savory snap of French fries. It’s a great way to welcome fall produce without heating up the oven or lots of chopping.
Turk’s turban – Is also known as “French turban”, an heirloom predating 1820 and closely related to the buttercup squash. The Turk’s turban squash is Green in color and either speckled or striped. It has an orange-yellow flesh and tastes like hazelnuts.
Pumpkins – Pumpkins are cheery orange globes brightening the fall landscape. They are used to decorate for the season with the traditional Jack-o-lantern faces. There are generally the Halloween carving pumpkins in all sizes and the miniature pumpkin that fit in your hand The pumpkin is a decorating tradition for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The word “squash” comes from the Algonquin people, and the Algonquin language a native Canada or North American Indian tribe. Its meaning is something soft and easily crushed.
Modern day squash is developed from the wild squash that originated in an area between Guatemala and Mexico. It has been consumed by man for over 10,000 years. Squash may have been used as food containers as well as for winter food. Squash has developed over time and the amount of flesh has increased it use to only contain seeds. As time progressed, squash cultivation spread throughout the Americas, and sweeter-tasting varieties were developed.
Christopher Columbus brought squash back to Europe from the New World. Today the largest commercial producers of squash include Argentina, China, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Romania and Turkey.
How to Select Winter Squash
Since I am new to cooking and learning as I go, I am taking a great deal of this information from WHFoods and others. We will learn together.
Winter Squash should be firm and heavy for their size. They should have dull, not glossy rinds. The rinds should also be hard, because soft rinds may indicate that the squash inside is watery and flavorless. Avoid any sighs of decay, or mold which is an indication of the vegetable is too ripe and has begun to rot.
How to Store
Winter squash is more durable and has a longer storage life than the softer summer squash. Depending on the variety, it can be kept for one week to six months. Keep it away from direct exposure to light and extreme heat or cold. The ideal temperature for storing is between 50-60°F (about 10-15°C). Once the squash has been cut it needs to be refrigerated. Put in a plastic bag or wrap and they can stay for two days.
Winter squash can be frozen. I have heard that it first needs to be cooked then I have heard someone say you don’t need to cook it. I haven’t tried either yet. But I do know it needs to be peeled, cut into squares and put into plastic freezer bags.
Winter Squash Uses
I find I am now using squash as a substitute for the carb loaded white potatoe, pasta and rice. I use them instead of having hash browns for my eggs in the morning. Using a food blender you can even make some great tasting soups or great when added to stews. If you ask around you may find some old secret winter squash recipes that were a favorite of you Grand Parents or family. Search the net you will find a wealth of delicious recipes.
Winter squash has a wide spectrum of crowd-pleasers and warming winter dishes. Dishes range from soups, casseroles, risotto, lasagna, and even desserts. You can bake, boil, or steam squash until tender.
Before steaming and after baking or boiling cut off the ends and then cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy fibers. Save the seeds for they can make a great roasted snack food like the popular pumpkin seed. Before boiling and after baking or steaming peal the squash using a knife or potato peeler. Some peals can be eaten like Butternut and Kabocha. Butternut squash need special peeling instructions due to its unique shape. First cut in half between the neck and bub. Cut bulb in half and scoop out seeds.
After cooking add to the taste sensation by garnishing the squash with everything from cinnamon to whipped cream. I even used Almond Butter.
You can add almond or any nut butter, butter, celery, cinnamon, garlic, minced ginger, green bell pepper, juice from an lemon, lime or orange, all kinds of nuts, lime or orange, onions, oil (Almond, Coconut, Olive after cooking, or sesame), pepper, pine nuts, pumpkin seed, red chili, sea salt, sesame seed, soy sauce, spaghetti sauce, or any other favorite flavoring while it is cooling but still hot. Research shows that the carotenoids in foods is best absorbed when consumed with oils.
.To Cook the Seeds
Save those seeds for they can make a great snack food eat them like pumpkin seeds. After separating the seeds from the stringy fibers in a colander, lay them flat on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170 F in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The seeds have so baking at a low temperature will not damage the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty oils.
I don’t find an easy answer to how long to bake squash but generally it depends on the size of the squash generally from 30 minutes to a hour. With a fork or mental skewer poke it in about six places. Placed the dish into the center of the oven and bake until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
The temperature varies also I have seen 350 to 425 degrees. I have use the lower and longer baking times since I do not cook with high heat.
After cooking Spaghetti squash, let cool then cut in half, remove seeds and pulp with a large spoon or ice cream scoop, then discard. Using a fork, rake the flesh onto a large platter or bowl to create the spaghetti-like stands.
You can steam Winter Squash. Cut squash into 1 inch squares in a steamer and steam in 2 inches of water for 5 to 7 minutes. Squash is done when it is tender, yet still firm enough to hold its shape. Toss it into a bowl and toss it with your favorite garnish and oil.
Till next time
Detox your Home, Fill it With Green
By Joan McDaniel September 28, 2014
Purify the Air in Your Home
Before you invest in a Home Negative ionizes and Air Purifier Filtering Systems or load up on smelly candles, room fresheners, sprays, and other synthetic air fresheners why not give nature a chance and cleaning the air in your home? The age-old slogan of “Open the Windows” comes to mind.
That may be fine but winter is coming and the window isn’t an option so fill your house with Green plants instead. Having the house filled with fresh-cut flowers is a wonderful luxury and a great way to stay out of the husband fearing doghouse. Flowers make you smile but they don’t stay fresh for long so why not use Green Plants instead?
A Home can be filed with Toxins
Consumer Products that use Formaldehyde
The air in our homes has been shown to contain harmful allergens and toxins. The toxins ultimately end up in our bodies. Toxins like cigarette smoke to manmade building materials, out-gassing carpets, household cleaners, dust, food, furniture, paint, shampoos and Lotions, to open air flame like a fireplace. Just about every that uses glue uses formaldehyde which is a carcinogen.
In general the indoor environment can lead to poor air quality and health issues. I have slowly replaced what I can with natural fabrics and cookware but toxins are there unless I want to live sitting on the floor. Even the floor is put together with glue.
Many types of synthetic Home Air Freshener Products
From Air Freshener Sprays, “Green” Cleaning products, and Candles American’s can find unlimited amount of products that claim to freshen the home. But many ad toxins and create allergic reactions and actually reduce the air quality. They don’t remove the toxins they just cover the smell. You might as well be smoking 10 packs of cigarettes a day. At least with the cigarettes you can see the film, fog and smell the pollutant. With the chemical sprays you can’t see anything. There is a whole host of cleaners called “Green” Products. If you think they have the power to bring the freshness of nature inside just read the labels.
The House Plant — Grow fresh air.
This is one great way to detox you home? Plants use Photosynthesis to absorb energy from light. Plants act like filters removing Carbon Dioxide and other toxins from the air and then produces nice clean oxygen. Plants increase the oxygen in the air and oxygen is what your body needs to stay well.
I now have so many plants in the windows I have taken down the curtains.
You want house plants that either have large broad leaves, or have a lot of leaves
According to Positivemed
“1. Bamboo Palm: According to NASA, it removes formaldehyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.
- Snake Plant: Found by NASA to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.
- Areca Palm: One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness.
- Spider Plant: Great indoor plant for removing carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldehyde from the air.
- Peace Lily: Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores. Also known to remove formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
- Gerbera Daisy: Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen overnight.”
There are many Indoor Plants that Clean the Air and Remove Toxins
There is Aloe, Janet Craig dieffenlachior, ivy’s, dracaenas, ferns, palms, pathos, philodendron, rubber, spider, Yucca, and many more. There are short plants fit well in a window stile or floor plants that grow to the ceiling. The colors are mostly green some variations are green and yellow or purple.
From all the articles I read about house plants the following plants seem to be the easiest to grow and provide you with a green thumb.
Just don’t over water them which is the main killer of house plants. You can check to see if the plant needs water by testing the dirt with your finger, press gently into the dirt about an inch, if you feel wetness, you’re okay. If it feels dry it’s time to water. Leaf drop is a good indication of over watering.
Keep the roots from sitting in water. Try to find self-watery pots.
Self-watering pots have two bottoms one hold the excess water and the second hold the plant. The second pot has holes in the bottom and the plant’s roots draw up the water. If you can’t find those then at least get pots that have holes and a take up plate or tray at the bottom. Keep the roots from sitting in water.
Indoor Plants that Clean the Air:
These plants have been found to improving the air quality. They are very common and should be very easy to find locally.
Aloe plants increase the oxygen levels in your home and absorb toxins. According to Earthship, one pot of aloe is equivalent to nine biological air cleaners. Besides cleaning the air in my home, I take it internally it has helped be with my “Leaky Gut”. See my article on the subject.
Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (It is also known as devil’s ivy for this plant stays green even when kept in the dark.)
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
If you are looking for an easy plant to give you that Green Thumb, the spider plant fits the bill. You will have a hard time killing this resilient plant. It is also called Airplane plants for the shoots look like airplane propellers or called hen-and-chickens. The shoots can be used to grow another plant just put the shoots in water or directly into potting soil.
Spider Plants grow best in bright but indirect light so set it near a window. Water freely.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exacltata)
The Boston fern is another hardy plant and very attractive. The Boston fern is one of the most common of all indoor ferns.
Besides cleaning the air and filling it with oxygen the English Ivy also reduces airborne fecal-matter particles and removes mold. The feces and mold has been shown to be removed within only 6 hours.
There are many type of palms Dwarf Date, Areca, Bamboo, Lady’s, and reed.
A palm plant is normally large and sits on the floor. A small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries.
Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
Last but not least, is the Rubber Plant. These plants require minimal lighting and are easy to care for. It thrives in bright rooms. Note the leaves can be toxic, so keep them away from any pets in your home.
Scented Candles Are Toxic
While researching indoor air quality I came across something I did not know. Candles pollute the indoor air as bad as second-hand smoke. Candles are made of paraffin wax. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product that has to be deodorized and bleached before it can be used as candle wax. The wick in the candle often contain heavy metals like lead and can fill the air with metals when burned. If you can find them, some wicks are made of cotton or paper. Depending on the length of time the candle burns this can be a lot of toxins filling the air. Many candles have synthetic sense and dyes which are – You guessed it TOXIC!
There and alternative for candles that being Beeswax
Beeswax fill the air with negative irons like Himalayan Salt lamps. I have heard you can find 9-hour beeswax candles to burn which will come in handy for power outages. Also they are small but tea lights for candle holders. Salt lamps are covered a little later.
What are Positive Ions?
You may not know the difference between positive ions and negative. You can experience the feeling after a sudden rainstorm or a wild thunder-storm. You also experience this feeling around the forces of nature like ocean waves, rainstorms, sunlight, waterfalls, and wind they all create negative ions.
Prior to the thunderstorm, you can feel the buildup of tension in the air as the positive ions reach their peak. Once the storm hits, the air produces electrical charges in the atmosphere and rain falls. The resulting oxygen-rich air bursts with negative ions. Once the storm passes, you can feel the sensation and clarity in the air.
Positive ions are generated by electrical devices like your computer and hand-held phone, by scented candles, by walking across carpet, and even by heating/cooling systems. They are a fact of life, but they can carry everything from dust to pollen to toxic mold, so it is important to reduce them. Indoor air typically has a higher concentration of positive ions.
This is where negatively charged ions come in. They bind together and have a heavier molecular weight so they are no longer floating around the air.
Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps
Himalayan salt crystal lamps consist of a crystalized salt structure with a light inside. Salt crystal candles are also available. Salt naturally attracts water and a crystal lamp pulls water vapor out of the air which means it also pulls out pollen and dissolves the vapor. Turning a salt crystal lamp on improves the air purification process because the lamp creates heat. The lamp even works when it is turned off.
Salt Crystal lamps also emit negative ions and oxygen to the air like after a thunderstorm.
Salt crystal lamps are normally small and can fit different indoor area.
Don’t Forget the Family Cat!!
As I filled my home with Oxygen and the addition of green plants, Beeswax candles and a Salt Lamp my Cat was in the center of it all.
Indoor Plants for the Cat
I had acquired a new kitten and found it was extremely attracted to my addition of plants. I would acquire a potted plant only to find it flat the next day. The culprit? My Cat.
Cats or at least this cat loves to eat greens. A catnip plant comes to mind but I found my cat needs its own grass and it is called wheatgrass.
“I need a shot…of wheatgrass!”
Cats are natural carnivores. They eat grass for their digestion and help get rid of those hair balls you sometimes find on the carpet. The kitty is on to something. Munching wheatgrass can actually be beneficial for their health.
The fiber in wheatgrass is good for kitty’s digestion it is a natural laxative. It not only helps with hair balls but digested bad food and any toxins. Eating wheatgrass can actually help kitty rid her body of poisonous or inedible matter. Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll and folic acid, which assists in the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen through the blood. This will give her more energy to chase birds and play with that catnip toy.
You can’t tell the cat what to eat but better it eat its own plant than mine. Eating wheatgrass is safer than eating outdoor grass. In fact I eat a little wheat grass too.
The Health Benefits of Wheatgrass
Few plants are as highly associated with health as wheatgrass. Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E. Video (5:21): http://www.therealfoodchannel.com/page/22058.html
Few plants are as highly associated with health as wheatgrass. Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E. Wheatgrass fans say that its rich nutrient content boosts immunity, kills harmful bacteria in your digestive system, and rids your body of waste. Some proponents tout wheatgrass for cancer, anemia, diabetes, constipation, infections, skin conditions, colon cleansing, ulcerative colitis and joint pain, among other health concerns. The benefits of wheatgrass come from the raw plant. Since the plant itself is indigestible, juicing is the most common way of taking wheat grass. There are few scientific studies documenting the benefits of wheatgrass, but proponents are steadfast in their support of the green juice. Source : Mayo Clinic
Till Next Time
By Joan McDaniel August 27, 2014
In my research into what is mostly called superfoods, I have found a wealth of wonderful healthy eating directly from the Earth. Now there can’t be anything more natural than the Egg.
Nature’s female animals have laid eggs since the start of creation. Which brings to mind the question, “What came first, The Chicken or the Egg?” A question illustrating the dilemma of how life began on this planet.
Natures Complete Portable Meal the Egg.
And eggs have been used as food by humans and other animals for thousands of years.
Today, besides being a multi-billion dollar industry, the Egg is used as a symbol of worship. The tradition of the Easter egg was started in Russia’s Ukraine.
Ukrainian Orthodox Easter Traditional Decorated Egg and Baskets. Started a tradition when Carl Fabergé in 1884 was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III of Russia as an unusual a gift for his wife. The Egg became a symbol of the celebration of Easter (“born again”) since that time. Many of Fabergé elaborate designed eggs are one of a kind and are preserved in museums around the world. His collections are now priceless for he began to use precious minerals like gold, silver and gems.
The War Against Cholesterol
Today’s Egg market is filled with propaganda. There has been a pernicious (harmful, destructive yet legal), systematic propaganda campaign against eggs as a source of the C Word. The big C stands for CHOLESTEROL not Cancer.
Cholesterol medication called “statins” have created a gold mine for wealth for Big Pharma beyond imagination. The income from this patented guaranteed invention dwarfs anything the egg industry could hope to generate. Besides who wants all the money going to the local Farmer?
In fact, many doctor’s today wage a war on you. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND and many others, “Now doctors jump on the statin bandwagon and terrorize you into taking a statin drug if your cholesterol inches above the 200 mark.”
The Egg Carton Slogan War
The AMA and American Heart Association’s campaign against the egg has died down a bit but now another war over the egg has developed. The Egg carton advertising slogan War.
I went grocery shopping to do a survey of the printing on egg cartons. I even saw an egg carton that said it contains “HAPPY EGGS”. I saw another one printed in gold saying “Golden Grain Eggs”. The following is the majority of what slogans I saw.
No Antibiotics, Cage Free Hens, Gentle Care, 5th Generation Family Farm, Local Family Farms, Naturally Fed, No Hormone or Pesticide, Certified Human, Vegetarian Fed Hens, Pure Grain, Golden Grain, No GMO, Free Range, Free Roaming, Natural Vegetarian just to list a few.
Cholesterol and Eggs
Now back to Cholesterol, I have written several articles on the subject. I have been so impressed by what I have found I subtitled my blog “Cholesterol is Good For You.”
I have previously covered the pros and cons of cholesterol in the following articles:
You Need Cholesterol
To summarize – Cholesterol is an antioxidant. It helps your heart it does not cause heart disease. You need cholesterol without it your cells cannot live and you develop brain fog, lose energy and strength. In other words YOU AGE and YOUR CELLS DIE.
This loss of energy cannot be corrected by drugs only by Mother Nature’s healing foods. Cholesterol is vital to all cells of mammals. In fact a low cholesterol blood reading is worse on the body than a high reading. Modern drug medicine use drugs called “Statins” like Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, or other drugs ending in the word statin.
The effects of these prescription drugs are questionable and there are many dangerous side effect one being eliminating something your body needs – Cholesterol. The question left unanswered is – IS THIS JUST ANOTHER WAY for Big pharma to create a disease class that makes a huge profit?
EGGS – Eggs are good for you and good for cholesterol. Yes let me repeat that EGGS ARE GOOD FOR CHOLESTEROL. Instead of eggs being bad for cholesterol, according to Dr. Mercola, “the evidence clearly shows that eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and can actually help prevent disease, including heart disease.”
“The Incredible, Edible, Egg.”
The saying goes “The Incredible, Edible, Egg.” An advertising slogan created in 1977 by the American Egg Board.
Benefits of Eggs
A Little Forgotten Fact is – A Chicken is a Bird it has wings and flies and eats bugs and worms. Now I bet you won’t find that printed on an egg carton. “Chickens Eat Worms”
Many of the benefits of eggs depend what the chicken is allowed to eat. In other words chickens like most of the animal kingdom are omnivores they need meat.
In fact a chicken farmer told me “Chickens will eat just about anything except dead animals, metal, plastic, onions and wood.” Chickens are not vegetarians. If they only have a vegetarian diet they are like most vegetarians deficient in protein.
Life Force – Let’s face it an egg is the source of a new life. I spoke about this same life force in my article on sprouting. Eggs and sprouts contain everything we need to nourish our own animal cells. I don’t know about the egg but; enzymes from seeds contain 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables.
Amino Acids – High in Amino Acids
Antioxidants – Eggs are loaded with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of blindness in older adults. They also contain choline, which helps with brain development and memory enhancement. Eggs are also high in beta-carotene.
Enzymes – Your body and its immune system need enzymes to stay alive and healthy. Live enzymes come from nature’s food not from a food lab and added sugar enzymes. The sugar enzyme are no longer alive giving the product a nice long shelf life for there is nothing left to go bad.
Fat – The egg is loaded with both Polyunsaturated, Saturated and the DHA Omega 3 fats. You need both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats in your diet but Omega 3’s are used to balance out the bad Omega 6’s. Also the more the hen eats the more Omega 3 fats are in the egg. Eggs contain mostly polyunsaturated fats (3 grams) to (2 grams) of saturated. The egg yolk contains about 100 – 200 mg of Omega -3 the good fat.
Low in glycemia (amount of sugar in the blood) – help prevent diabetes, insulin toxicity or insulin resistance and weight gain
Vitamins – A, High in the B vitamins, and Vitamin E. Minerals Iodine, Selenium
Good For Heart Health
Protein – Egg whites are loaded with proteins. Proteins in cooked eggs are converted into gastrointestinal enzymes producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (or Blood Pressure Medicine) that help lower blood pressure. Each egg has about 6 grams of protein. Protein – The egg yolk contains 6.3 grams of Protein and the egg white contains 3.6 grams.
Color of Eggs – The color of the egg determines the bread of chicken that laid it. Eggs can be in many colors like blue, brown, pink, red, speckled, white, and yellow.
“A white-feathered chicken lay white colored eggs. Brown feather chickens lay brown colored eggs it is that simple.” Caspero says. The only superior benefit of the brown egg is its price tag. A white egg has the exact same nutritional value as a brown egg. Brown eggs and white eggs are, nutritionally at least, exactly same: about 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a generous helping of B vitamins.
Brown Chickens cost more to raise.
Chances are that brown eggs owe their superior health reputation to their inflated price tag. But as Caspero explains, brown eggs cost more than white eggs simply because they cost more to produce. Brown chickens are larger than their white cousins, so they eat more food, which in turn costs farmers more. And guess who pays for that? You.
Type of Eggs and Labels Found on an Egg Cartons
If you’re looking at the egg carton to determine the nutritional level of the egg, be prepared to some confusion. Labels can be very deceptive and regulations are not well defined.
The regulations covering terms like “free-range” or “pasture-raised” are very broad and lax. In fact terms about the chicken’s diet are also very vague. A chicken raised on a factory farm can still qualify for many of these great sounding terms. The label say nothing about the conditions is which the chickens are raised and stories have it the conditions are deplorable.
The best way to know what kind of chicken laid the eggs you are buying is to ask the local farmer you getting the eggs from.
USDA Guidelines – The USDA grades eggs. They have three classes AA, A, and B. According to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association website, “Eggs are graded based on their quality and appearance. The class is printed on the egg carton. The class does not include the current controversy of how the chickens are raised or what they eat.
Egg Beaters – Was first introduced in 1972 for the American market by Fleishmann. Originally sold frozen and as an answer to cholesterol war being waged by the AMA. It is part of The American Egg Board campaign to counter the Cholesterol War battle. In 1977 the “egg beater” marketing advertising slogan by the advertising agency Campbell Mithun started. Egg beaters is primarily egg whites with added artificial flavors, thickeners, xanthan gum and guar gum and synthetic vitamins. The product contains no egg yolks. Egg beaters are still being sold to this day.
Egg sizes, Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large and Jumbo.
Vegetarian Fed – Terms like Grain Fed, Organic, and Vegetarian Fed means the chickens were fed grain that does not include byproducts. The term organic also means no antibiotic or hormones which is good but chickens as I said earlier, are omnivores and need and eat meat in the form of bugs and worms.
All Natural and other Terms – like Cage Free, Farm Fresh, Free range, free roaming, Humane certified mean nothing. Chickens can still live in inhuman conditions be fed animal byproducts, GMO’s, and hormones. Beaks trimming, forced molting is allowed. They may never see the light of day or leave their tiny cages.
Pasteurized – is the use of heat to destroy bacteria and viruses. The methods used in pasteurization are safe and provides an egg free from bacteria. Pasteurization is not common but eggs that are pasteurized are stamped with a “P” in a circle on the actual egg shell. This is the type of egg you can safely eat raw.
Pastured or Pasture Raised – Again this is just a label. It is another way of saying Free Range.
Types of Farms
There is the Factory Farm and the Local Farm. Terms on the egg carton like 5th Generation, Family Farm, Local Family Farms, are nice sounding but what I have found the best egg is the one you get from your local farmer or neighbor.
Factory Farm – Large Factories that go on for miles and miles and raise tens of thousands of chickens. The story goes that chickens raised in these farms never see the light of day or leave their small cramped cages. These chickens obviously cannot be allowed to forage freely. They may not be confined to an individual cage. The label says nothing about the living conditions.
Local Farm – That is your neighbor or local small farmer who raises chickens as a hobby or on the side for the benefits of fresh chickens. America is losing its local farm and the ability to raise chickens in their own back yards. Factory farming is on the increase and the knowledge of how your food is grown or raised is being lost. I have found the best source for my eggs is my local farmer. I can ask him how the chickens are raised.
Keep in mind to raise chickens is an investment and chickens don’t come when called nor can you put them on a leash. Chickens wander around and build their nests all over the place. Unless you have a pet chicken, their nest can be just about anywhere. Chickens can nest on top of the roof or under the house.
An investment needs to be protected and where the chicken lives is important for your investment. You have to be able to find the product your selling. You can house your chickens at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel but the price of its eggs will be in gold.
Dark Orange Yolks – In my research I have heard that the darker the yolk the better the egg until I found that you can feed chickens yellow magnolia flowers to darken the egg yolk. Again the only way to know how nutritious you eggs are is to ask the farmer you’re buying them from.
Types of Chickens
Some Types of Chickens
From what I have found there are 23 heritage breeds of chicken and I am sure there are others.
There are hundreds of different type of chicken breeds in America and across the world. This is just a few American breeds.
Ways to cook an egg
I do not provide recipes and am on my own learning curve on how to cook. So as I go along I’ll refer you to others about ways to cook eggs. Dr. Mecola has an excellent article and here he also supports not cooking them at all.
The only point I do want to make is you have to be very careful of the egg yolk.
From what I have put together you should consume the egg yolk as raw as you can. The antioxidant properties are reduced by 50 percent when the egg yolk is fried or boiled and reduced even more if microwaved. When the egg yolk is cooked or subjected to high heat, cholesterol can be oxidized and become harmful.
There are 41 different ways to cook an egg; eggs Benedict, hard or soft-boiled, deviled, fried over (easy, medium, hard) or sunny side up, microwaved, omelet, puffy omelet, poached, egg salad, or scrambled to name a few.
The cooking that causes the most damage is when the yolk of the egg is broken and scrambled like in scrambled eggs or in an omelet. This causes the most free-radical damage the safest way to eat an egg is either raw or sunny side without cooking the yoke. Heat will damage many of the highly perishable nutrients in the yolk.
How Daniel Vitalis cooks an egg
Uses for Eggshells
Just about everything is useful with the egg including its Shell.
There are many uses for an eggshell don’t just throw them away.
- You can put them in a compost to add calcium and minerals to the soil,
- You can scatter them around your flowers and plants as a pesticide and animal and insect repellant including cutworms, deer, slugs, and snails.
- Mix them with your coffee grounds in the filter to remove coffee’s bitterness then throw them in the compost bin.
- Use them to start seedlings for the garden.
- Use them for tough cleaning like. They can act as a nontoxic abrasive for pots and pans and other hard-to-clean items. They can be used to clean drains as they slowly break up and scour your pipes.
The Egg Shell used for decoration and For Easter.
Blow out the inside of a raw egg and decorate the hollow shell so you can display a DIY piece of art. Pieces of egg shell are also great for mosaic art projects.
By Joan McDaniel August 13, 2014
What is a Farmers Market?
I don’t mean a store front with a sign that says “Farmers Market”, I mean a place where there are real farmers with real food grown from the real earth or from real animals they have raised from birth. What about the real hand-made crafts made by real local artist, a basic art form that is also becoming rare.
In other words where else can you go to find REAL food, flowers, fruit and people.
In a word I mean a REAL Farmers Market – Click to Find Your Local Farmers Market
So Why Would You Go To a Real Farmers Market?
Like the Cowboy and Indian of Yesterday, the Family farm and the farmer are becoming a dying breed
Why would you go to a Farmers Market? F is for food, farmer, freshness, friendliness, fun, flavonoids and because he is a dying breed sorry dying doesn’t start with f but it is true.
America is losing its generations of local farmer’s. The number of, small farms are decreasing fast.
We pride ourselves on our networks and world distribution systems, but we have lost touch with our food. Modern factory farming and shipping methods involving thousands and thousands of miles by large and larger industrialized food producers. As the industrial food giants grow and our rural farmland disappear, all the freshness, friendliness, fun and flavonoid are going with it. Not to mention the word REAL.
What is Seasonal Food?
If you are eating food fresh from the farmers market or from your garden it will be seasonal. Today because of larger distribution produce is available all year-long. But just how good are these vegetables? Good to get vegetables all year-long but where were they grown? Thousands and thousands of miles away. Seasonal food means it’s fresh. To get fresh food it has to be when it is harvested. There is summer, autumn and then there is winter food.
What Is In Our Food?
We no longer know how our food is grown, if it contains toxic ingredients like GMO’s” God Move Over” Generically modified food. We hear stories of animals loaded with antibiotics being raised in inhuman close quarter cages all of their lives. It seems massive food production is more concerned with the bottom line theirs not yours. Shelf life sometimes seems more important than your life.
Help keep our rural farmland from factory farming. Visit your local farmers market .This is one person’s opinion but I have cause read on
I bet you don’t know what a flavonoid is? It has to do with the energy and power of fresh food and nutrition. I’ll get to it a little later. First – Why do I go to the Farmers Market?
So Why Do I Go to a Farmers Market?
I first started going to the market almost two years ago, and now it is a regular routine winter or summer. You see I had been very sick and knew that the only way to get well was to eat as fresh food as possible.
I knew that meant starting a garden but my green thumb wasn’t any stronger than the rest of me for I could hardly stand up. I didn’t know much about fresh vegetables. For a start, I knew I liked green leaf lettuce but what else? This search got me out of the grocery store then into the health food store and eventually I got to the my local Farmer’s market.
The artist, farmers and vendors seemed to welcome my greenhorn knowledge and concept of things. As time passed I planted my own green leaf lettuce and other vegetables helped and encouraged by the people in the market. There isn’t any trade secrets or secret formulas just good ol’ experience and tradition. Of course, they wouldn’t explain why their produce was three times the size and quantity as mine I guess that goes to the experience part.
As to the fun part with each passing week I got a little stronger and it was fun seeing my friends and hearing the great music. I have fun just talking about it. The farmers are busy but still they have enough time to answer my million and one questions. I not only learned how to cook the food, I learned how to grow, plant, and raise it on my own.
Now I’ll get to the flavonoid part
Carotenoids and flavonoids are naturally occurring pigments that have powerful antioxidant properties. They are what gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. There are over 700 different ones depending on the type of fresh fruit or vegetable and its color. They can only be found in Fresh food straight from the farm or garden.
To Understand “Fresh” You Need to Know Some Other Words
When you use the term “Fresh” when you apply it to food you start using other words like antioxidants, carotenoids, enzymes, flavonoids, health, immune system, free-radicals, free-radical damage, minerals, nutrient, oxidation, and vitamins to name a few.
Note: you did not see terms like “added, artificial, fortified, ingredients, natural, or supplement. In fact you don’t even see a nutritional food label for the food just came off a tree or out of the ground and may even have specks of dirt.
You may see the term “Fresh” on a sign outside a grocery store or outside the Produce section of the same local Grocery Store. The stores “Fresh” food doesn’t have any dirt but does have a Point of Sale sticker. The produce has been soaked and the dirt has been washed off normally by Chloride (Bleach) or other chemicals.
What is Fresh Food?
You may not know it but Fresh means the food is still alive. I don’t mean alive in like it will carry on a conversation with you or even know what’s going on in the world outside. I mean it is still breathing and converting the sun’s rays to energy. The longer your food sits on a ship, truck, loading dock or store shelf or your refrigerator it loses more and more of its antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids or nutrition and vitamins.
Once the food is harvested it slowly stops breathing. When anything stops breathing it loses oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for life. Without oxygen you have death. Some fruits and vegetables have low respiration rates and can last longer others can’t last very long.
Why Does Your Body Need Fresh Food?
Note: I didn’t say Food. I said Fresh Food. You need food for energy but you need fresh food for the antioxidants they contain. You may call these antioxidants nutrition and vitamins. Fresh food helps give you body’s immune system the ammunition it needs to fight disease and keep you healthy. Your immune system uses inflammation to fight free-radical damage. See below
A Brief Lesson and Quick Look At Atoms
When you talk about inflammation the following terms come into the discussion. Antioxidants, decease, free-radicals, illness, immune system, and oxidation.
The concepts of how the human body works is complex. In fact understanding its complexity, and effectiveness boarders on magic, miracles, mysterious and spiritual powers. The energy in the body and its ability to heal is still being researched and understood or many cases miss-understood.
Not to over simply, but basically all illness starts with inflammation. Damage from free-radicals over time causes a chain reaction which causes serous illness. Free-radical damage to the cells happens when we take in more toxins then nutrition. These Toxins are found in the environment and in incomplete nutrition. Processed food and including foods high in sugar are incomplete and they cause free-radical damage.
Inflammation is your immune systems response to fighting disease. The only way to stop free-radical damage is to give your immune system the ammunition it needs. The ammunition you system needs are antioxidants.
During my research I found this diagram. It seems to explain what I’m trying to say. All I know is I stopped my inflammation and slowly got well by what I ate including the food from the Farmers Market.
Antioxidant – Can only be found in fresh, non-processed food. There are many types of antioxidants depending on the type of fresh food. These different forms have different names including the flavonoid I talked about.
Basically an antioxidant is any substance that prevents or slows the process of oxidation, which produces cell-wall erosion and cell death. This cell death is caused by a chain reaction of free-radical damage. Antioxidants neutralizes the free radical. It provides the missing electron the free-radical destroyed. It is the ammunition your immune system needs and in a word “Puts the Fire out” and prevents further inflammation
All Illness is Cause By Inflammation
Inflammation is your immune systems response to injury, and stress to the body. This includes the damage done by free radicals and other toxins. Generally the immune system uses inflammation to isolate the toxin so that it can be destroyed by the body. In today’s world our immune systems are being overwhelmed with more and more toxins both from the environment and our food. The immune system needs ammunition that you give it from the food you eat.
Cell Wall Erosion – If the cells in your body do not get enough energy the wall of the cell weakens and dies. The cell is powered by what is called Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). If the ATP has cells damaged by free radicals it becomes weak and cannot hold the cell together and the cell is destroyed.
Free-Radicals – Free radicals are missing and electron. Free radicals are a normal body process and are responsible for biological oxidation. “Oxidation” reactions are also called “biological rusting”. Free radicals are toxic renegade molecules that attack and destroy other molecules. This is a normal body process. This is how your body gets rid of old cells and makes way for the new.
But when the body has too many free-radicals causing a chain reaction your immune system is overwhelmed. You wouldn’t eat a tomato that has turned black. It has turned black because it contains toxins. Toxins are free radicals. These free-radicals have an acid balance and feed off thus destroying oxygen and cause cell destruction and death (tomato turns black). Remember processed food and processed sugar are considered to be a free-radical.
Accumulation of damage over the years results in degenerative tissues and loss of function that typifies fatigue, loss of energy and old age.
Oxidation is a natural process where cells die. This is a natural process. Cells do not live forever and are completely replaced over a period of a month or so. But in today’s world where there has been a major increase in toxins from the environment and foods with incomplete nutrition, the oxidation process is now out of control. Our immune system is working overtime and in many cases is overwhelming.
Basically oxidation causes rust in iron. Oxidation is illustrated best by when you cut an apple it will turn brown once it is exposed to oxygen. The enzymes cause this change and the fruit decays almost right in front of your eyes.
Toxins – are poisons
There are additional causes of inflammation such as environmental toxicity, not drinking enough clean water, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise all contribute to low levels of chronic inflammation. But diet is the main cause. Inflammation often goes undetected for many years until disease finally emerges.
How do you tell the difference between a true fresh vegetable and one that has traveled hundreds of miles ripening in a box rather than the sun Color and TASTE. There is a major difference between a grocery store tomato and a fresh from the ground tomato. Your bodies aren’t the only one that notices the difference your immune system now has real ammunition to fight diseases.
This is how I got well and now I am telling the world. Protect yourself, your health and your local community DON’T LET THE FAMILY FARM DISAPPEAR.
Next lesson is buy your food fresh from your local Farmers Market.
For a complete article read Dr. Mercola’s The Ultimate Guide to Antioxidants
By Joan McDaniel August 6, 2014
The common carrot has become the symbol of a healthy food. The pre-fast food 1950s Bugs Bunny image and even Popeye’s spinach further symbolizes the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet. Another proverb symbolizing the power of natural food is “Eat an Apple a Day To Keep The Doctor Away”. A proverb attributed to Benjamin Franklin in “Poor Richard’s Almanack”. Another traditional statement is “Rabbits don’t wear glasses they eat carrots”.
We don’t need to be told that eating vegetables can improve our health, decrease signs of aging and increase our life span, because our parents and their parents have already told us.
Antioxidants and Carotenoids
But why Vegetables?
It has to do with something called antioxidant and in the case of a fruit or vegetable it is called a Carotenoids.
Antioxidants are found in natural unprocessed food. Antioxidants is nature’s way of protecting the cells from free-radical damage. Antioxidants stabilizes the cell membranes, prevent oxyradicals or free-radicals from poking holes in the cell membranes and for the loss of energy (ATP), nutrients, and oxygen. See my article Free-Radicals and the health benefits of nuts.
Carotenoids are antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Carotenoids contain Carotenes which are plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vivid and vibrant colors. Colors like blue, green, orange, purple, red, white, and yellow. Carotenoids like antioxidants fight the free-radical damage done by eating processed food or food without natural nutrients and exposure to environmental toxins. The best known Carotenoid is Beta-Carotene named after the carrot. The carrots vivid orange color is provided by Beta-Carotene.
Take Note: Carotenoids are fat-soluble which means you need fat to digest. Fat like butter, coconut, olive and other real oils – I don’t mean lab created trans-fat vegetable oils.
Also note: You need the whole fruit or vegetable, supplements are created and may or may not come from a real plant. Your body needs the real thing not something created in a lab. Modern science may treat the human body like a Robot but we are alive and moving. Science may understand machines but Mother Nature understands living human beings.
The Idiom “Carrot and Stick”
Speaking about tradition and symbols; while researching the carrot I ran into the term “carrot and stick”. A common phrase or idiom used in my day that refers to a form of behavior adjustment or brain washing.
The driver of the cart pulled by a donkey ties a carrot on a stick. The driver holds the stick behind the donkey and dangles the carrot in front. The carrot is an incentive for the donkey to pull the cart. The donkey will pull the cart all day long and never get any closer or further to the reward of the carrot. The carrot will always just be out of reach.
I Ate what I Researched
I include this somewhat depressing picture only to illustrate how I got well from being very sick. I had no energy or strength. I began to research food and nutrition. My research lead me to the eating of natural healing foods. I found my energy and strength slowly returning day after day.
When I look back I often think of myself as that poor donkey pictured. Getting ill ended my indoctrination and remove my blinders. I was blindly following the promise of the sweet carrot, until I finally “Saw the Light” and kick up my heels and refused to pull the sugar cart around anymore. I wonder how many others are still pulling the cart for a reward that never comes. The reward in this case being the promise of good health that slowly disappears never to return.
A Rainbow of Colors
The carrot symbolizes another saying that being “Variety is the spice of life”. Another saying is “Eat a rainbow of colors”. It is true about variety and Mother Nature offers us just that – a wide variety. The foods from nature are rich in vibrant colors. Processed foods are dyed by lab created chemicals to have color and taste.
To get all the enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins you need to stay healthy you need nature’s rainbow of colors of fruits and vegetables. Pigments in fruits and vegetables are different carotenes which is another form of antioxidant. There are five basic colors: Blue/purple, Green, Red, Yellow/Orange and White.
Each Color of the Vegetable Rainbow has a Different Health Benefit.
The many pigments or color in fruits or vegetables represent different health benefits. Different Carotenoids mean different colors, enzymes, and vitamins the food contains. To be healthy we need them all.
Different Colors Mean Different Benefits.
Blue or purple contain ingredients like lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin.
Green – Xanthophylls which contain chlorophyll, lutein,
Orange and Yellow contain Beta-Carotene, flavonoids, lycopene, and potassium. Vitamin A is good for vision as we may or may not know.
Red contain ellagic acid, hesperidin, lycopene, quercetin and hesperidin.
White contain ingredients like beta-glucan EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), SDG (Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) and lignin.
A very small list of the different carotenoids
Beta-Carotene – Makes Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant important to the human body including bone, the eye, immune system and skin.
Chlorophyll – Is what makes green vegetables green. It captures light energy from the sun.
Lycopene –Helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer.
Lignin – Immune system support and detoxing.
Luten – Helps the eyes
Resveratrol – substance to fight both bacteria and fungi.
retinol, which helps to generate nerve impulses in our retinas.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant important to the human body including bone, the eye, immune system and skin.
Orange or Yellow Color Foods Project Energy.
Orange Foods according to color therapy the color orange is said to release energy like the sun and promote a sense of well-being. Foods like (carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkins, oranges, sweet potato or yams).
What is the Carrot?
The carrot is a root vegetable usually orange in color but carrots do come in multiple colors like purple, red, white, and yellow varieties. The carrot has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred to make it more palatable, increase its sweetness, and minimize the woody core or taproot.
The carrot was first cultivated for its leaves not its taproot. Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, named after the umbrella-like flower clusters of the family related to carrots. Carrots are related to the same family as anise, caraway, cumin, dill, fennel and parsley, parsnips.
Carrots are available throughout the year, but locally grown carrots are in season in the summer and fall when they are the freshest and most flavorful.
The Carrot is Naturally Sweet
The carrot has a crunchy texture and a sweet minty aromatic taste. The carrot has the second highest natural sugar (7 g per cup) count in vegetables the beet is number one with (9 g per cup).
Natural Sugar is better for you than High Fructose Corn Syrup. But all sugar counts natural or processed. Read more in my article Good Carb Bad Carb
We tell the sugar addicted to get off sugar and eat a carrot. Carrots may be sweet and the bigger the carrot the more sugar it contains but in our world of sugar you would need to eat a whole lot of carrots to equal the 28 g of sugar in one Coco-Cola 8 ounce bottle.
Coco-Cola Nutrition Label Showing Sugar Content
Carrots Come in an A Variety of Amazing Colors
Carrots are orange right? Wrong there are an amazing variety of colors found in carrots. All these color varieties still belong to the genus and species of plant, Daucus carota. Note the white and yellow is a carrot not a turnip. Also note not all carrots are pretty and straight.
Did You Know You Can Eat the Carrot Leaves?
When I buy my carrots from my local farmer he offers to remove the unwanted leaves. I would never think of actually eating the tops and I’m eating a lot of natural things. I normally say no and cut the tops off myself for my own compost patch. I assumed carrot greens were simply inedible. Research has shown what the ancient Greeks already knew. The ancient Greeks raised the carrot for its leaves not its taproot which grows under the ground.
Are Carrot Tops Bad for you?
The carrot is related to cumin, dill, fennel and parsley which are all famous for their feathery tops. The carrot like the rest the tops are eatable. Carrot tops are bitter and I have learned to fight illness you need the taste of bitter. See my article “Bitter is Better”
So How Do You Eat the Tops?
The author think it is a waste to throw away the carrot tops or discard them in the compost patch. “Many root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, radishes, and beets, are grown for the roots and the tops are discarded or composted. What a shame to waste all the nutrients and deliciousness of those bushy tops. Carrot tops, which some believe are poisonous, and they are not, are such a treat to use.”
Check out Diane’s recipe for carrot top pesto:
When using carrots for juicing the Bolero, and Ingot a Nantes type, are the best. One of the most popular carrots is the early or late Half-Long. Please note there isn’t anything called a “baby carrot”.
How Are Baby Carrots Made?
But before you go and buy what is called “Baby Carrots” off the Grocery Store shelf you better first ask the question – What are Baby Carrots?
A Baby carrot is made not grown. You see Carrots are a root vegetable and they can grow to a pretty good length. Nature is not perfect and the Earth isn’t either. I live in the New England area and the land literally grows rocks. No matter how I turn the soil or how often I till it I always find rocks and so do carrots.
Carrots don’t all grow in a nice row like what we get in the plastic bags found in the Grocery Store’s produce section. Carrots grow crooked, deformed, and imperfect.
Well since we expect food to look perfect like processed foods our carrots need to look all neat and pretty so an industrious Farmer started cutting down the ugly carrot and creating a “Baby Carrot”. The cutting is pealed and washed and hardly resembles the original carrot. Since the peel has been removed the carrot is soaked in chlorine and put in a plastic bag for protection from bacteria.
After processing the “Baby Carrot” is anything but a carrot. After eating fresh carrots and deformed carrots grown in my garden or my local farmers garden the baby carrot tastes more like dish soap or swimming pool water.
If you look close at prepared carrots like the “Baby Carrot”, cocktail carrots, or the shredded carrot you will see some carrots are covered in a white film, this is caused by dehydration of the cut surface. I don’t think there are many nutrients left except of course the sugar.
How do they make baby carrots Video
Benefits of Carrots
Carrots contain high concentration of carotenoids, notably beta-carotene which is named after carrots. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A. Besides being really good for eyesight strengthens the immune system. The Vitamin A in carrots help stop free radical damage and macular degeneration.
Helps Fight Cancer
There is increasing evidence that eating foods high antioxidants protect the body at a cellular level from damage. Vegetables and Fruits with a dark orange pigment like carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are known to pack a serious alpha, beta and other carotenoid punch. These antioxidants protect the body at the cellular level from antioxidant or free-radical damage.
Prevent cognitive decline
Studies have shown diets rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene over an extended period of time show significant improvements in brain aging, cognition and verbal memory skills. It may also have to do with the body is simply under less stress when inflammation has been decreased and increase of antioxidants do just that. By reducing or eliminating oxidative stress or decrease oxygen supply to the brain. Natural treatment for leukemia Bioactive compounds found in carrots and carrot juice are being studied to help induce cell death on human lymphoid leukemia cell lines. Help Prevent Heart Disease Eating a rainbow of colorful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are effective in treating cardiovascular disease (CVD) several studies have found. The color deep orange or yellow found in carrots provided the most protection.
Helps with Good Gut Health
Carrots are high in fiber, low in calories but a little high in natural sugar. Carrots help with detoxing and losing weight.
How to Store Carrots
Carrots are hardy and will keep longer than many other vegetables the key to carrots is to keep them from drying out and cracking or becoming soft and rubbery. If you have purchased your carrots with the green feathered tops they should be removed and keep separate. The leaves had a tendency to draw out the natural moister in the carrot. To keep the carrot moist, I store it in the crisper of my refrigerator in a plastic bag. Storage in a plastic bag is good for vegetables for it becomes a separate world and will not pick up the flavors of other foods.
Before storage I washed the carrots but do not dry them. I let them drip dry in the plastic bag or use a splash of water. The trick is to keep them from drying out but to prevent them from getting too wet.