Many people these days choose to pre-plan their meals. They do this in order to create an assortment of interesting food choices for the week or month ahead. There are a variety of reasons why people do this: sometimes it is for budget reasons, but often it is to check that they get the right balance of certain foods, along with great nutrition.
Using White Radish in your meals
Daikon is a popular choice in Asian cookery. It is a good source of fibre, is low in cholesterol and is also low in calories. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and also contains antioxidants. Daikon Juice is often taken to help clear up respiratory concerns in respiratory tracts such as phlegm or mucus. As it is antibacterial, and antiviral, it makes for a great expectorant. It contains the minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Copper. When you think of giving yourself a vitamin C boost, you may not automatically consider a daikon in any of your initial choices, but it is something to consider, as it contains a high dose of vitamin C, and also contains vitamin B6 and Folate. You can use the leaves in a nice green smoothie. In Japan, they pickle the root. However, the radish can be used in many other ways as well, such as being boiled, baked, roasted, stewed, used in a salad and can also be enjoyed in a healthy stir fry. Wherever you might use a carrot in a recipe, you can peel and slice, cube or grate it in the same way. You can use it instead of carrot in your meal, or in addition to it. There are a variety of recipes that also use lemon millet with it.
Experimenting with millet
Millet are known to be a group of seeded grasses. There are more than one kind of millet. Many people immediately think of bird seed when they think of millet. But there are quite a few varieties. It is a good source of fibre, is also gluten free and contains protein. Many individuals looking for a gluten free bread, may look along the alternative breads in their local supermarket or health food store, and spy some bread made with millet flour. Millet contains Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and more. It also contains a nice vitamin B boost. In some cultures, millets are also considered to be important for use in brewing beer, and a distilled liquor known as Rakshi. Tongba is a millet based alcoholic brew, enjoyed in India. In China, Russia and Germany, millet porridge is a traditional food. Millet is very versatile, and can be paired with a different grain, such as rice in a meal, or coupled with a seed, such as poppy seeds. And for added vitamin C, and a nice zing in your recipes, you might consider using some lemon juice and zest. There are many recipes showing the benefits of lemon millet and white radish together, and they make a nice combination.
Introduction to peppermint
The humble peppermint plant is a hybrid cross of the watermint and spearmint plants and is associated with a vast array of healing properties. Dried peppermint leaves found in ancient Egyptian pyramids suggest that peppermint has been used for medicinal purposes for at least 3000 years. Peppermint’s healing properties range from digestive, respiratory and dermatological to mental health and pain relief. Peppermint has both antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Peppermint oil is extracted from the plant by steam distillation. The oil can then be diluted in almond or coconut oil, diffused via water, prepared as a tincture in ethanol, or used to flavour chewing gum. Peppermint flavoured glycerite is another formulation more suitable for children. The oil is commonly processed into enteric coated capsules, which prevent the oil from being released in the stomach, which may cause indigestion and heartburn. Peppermint oil should never be applied neat as it can cause rashes and allergic reactions. Another popular format is peppermint tea, made from the leaves of the peppermint plant. Healthcare providers should always be consulted for advice before peppermint is taken or given to a child, particularly people with an existing medical condition or those being treated with prescribed medication.
Health benefits of peppermint: digestive and respiratory
The most widely known benefit of peppermint is its beneficial effects on digestive health. It can relieve stomach ache, indigestion and heartburn and reduce hunger pangs. Evidence has also shown that peppermint’s anti-spasmodic properties alleviate the symptoms of IBS (by relaxing stomach and intestinal muscles), such as bloating, cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and flatulence. Although peppermint should always be used with caution in infants, it has been shown to reduce the symptoms of colic in young children. It also reduces nausea in pregnant women or patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Peppermint can also prevent nipple cracks and pain in breastfeeding mothers. When inhaled, peppermint’s decongestant properties can aid the respiratory system for instance during colds and flu, and its expectorant properties help coughs by loosening mucus. Peppermint has also been shown to regress tuberculosis inflammation and can alleviate hay fever symptoms in some people by inhibiting histamine release.
Health benefits of peppermint: pain relief, mental health and skin conditions
Peppermint can be mixed with other essential oils such as lavender to reduce muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis and gout. Applied topically in massage oil it can relieve tight and sore muscles. Topical application can also reduce fever (feet and neck), relieve tension headaches (temples) and reduce pain associated with shingles. Inhaling peppermint can boost energy, mental focus, alertness, concentration and memory retention. It can also reduce anxiety and stress. Peppermint freshens bad breath and reduces cavity formation; it can also relieve teething pain in babies. Adding a few drops to shampoo can help reduce dandruff as it stimulates the scalp and it can also improve hair volume and shine. Peppermint soothes sunburn, itching (such as that caused by nettle rash) and inflammation arising from eczema, psoriasis and acne.
It is well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast is a great way to start the day, especially if you want to lose weight or start a more balanced diet.But of course, not all breakfasts are created equally. A fried breakfast may be filling, but it is also high in fat, and can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish for the rest of the day.
A healthy breakfast like oatmeal will more effectively set you up for the day. It can be both healthy and delicious.
But what are the benefits of eating oatmeal every morning?They are numerous. First, oatmeal uses the whole grain. Eating whole grain cereal is associated with a whole range of health benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Whole grain is also a great source of vitamin B, iron and magnesium. Vitamin B helps the body digest food, and get all the energy from it. Breakfast high in vitamin B will ensure you feel energised for the whole day.Iron helps the body produce red blood cells. This will also help keep energy levels high, while lowering the risk of anemia.
And that is not all. Eating oatmeal can also lower levels of LDL cholesterol. This is the ‘bad’ cholesterol which is associated with heart disease.If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, or you simply want to keep cholesterol under control, it makes sense to eat oatmeal for breakfast.
Oatmeal is also packed with fibre. This helps digestion, which means eating oatmeal can help treat constipation. Food that is high in fibre also keeps you feeling fuller for longer.While a breakfast high in fat or sugar may make you feel satisfied, this will be short term. A high fibre breakfast will keep you feeling full, so you are less likely to snack before lunch.
As a result, oatmeal is a great choice if you want to lose weight.Oatmeal is also very versatile, which means you can get all the benefits of eating oatmeal every day, without the feeling that you are having the same breakfast day after day.
You can add a little sliced banana or strawberry for a hint of sweetness, while spices like nutmeg or cinnamon can also add a kick to breakfast.
For a completely new twist on your breakfast bowl of oatmeal, try a breakfast smoothie. Simply blend together ice, your favourite fruit and some oats for a delicious and filling treat.
When you consider all the health benefits above, along with the variety of oatmeal recipes – and the fact that oatmeal is very quick and easy to prepare – you can see why so many people are choosing oatmeal for their breakfast each day.