Benefits of Broccoli sprouts—You Can’t Say No To It!

Hate it or love it the fact is you can’t deny the bounty of benefits that this green vegetable carries with it. It rightfully holds an eminent position among the world’s healthiest foods. Think of any new diet on hand and you will find broccoli a part of it somehow. A diversified vegetable that can be a part of a number of food options from soups to meals to drinks is something you must definitely give a chance to. Let’s see why the world is going gaga over it.

Where Did It Come From And What Are Its Prominent Features?

You may call it a sister or cousin to cauliflower, kale and cabbage as it is also a member of the famous cruciferous family and the plant species is known as Brassica oleracea.

Resembling a miniature tree in shape, it comes in green colour mostly and also in a beautiful purple colour sometimes. Here are the three varieties of broccoli:

  • Sprouting Broccoli
  • Calabrese Broccoli
  • Purple Broccoli

Mostly eaten raw, you will see broccoli as part of some dish in every part of the world for sure. Often disliked by some people it is in fact a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

An Amazing Nutrition Profile:

You will fall in love with broccoli all over again when you look at the amazing nutrition profile. A single serving of broccoli is one cup but it packs way more nutrients for a cup of it. Here, have a look:

  • Total Calories: 30 kcals
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fibre: 2.5g
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Vitamin K: 116% of RDI
  • Vitamin A: 11% of RDI
  • Vitamin C: 135% of RDI
  • Vitamin B9: 14% of RDI
  • Phosphorous: 6% of RDI
  • Potassium: 8% of RDI
  • Selenium: 3% of RDI

What are the Benefits of Broccoli?

You must have read the debate on whether it is a superfood or not, but we are not doing any of that as there is something more important to focus here and that is the plethora of benefits it carries. We are going to give you a detailed information of all the benefits on this space today. So, hold on tight:

  1. Packed with Antioxidants:  One can never get enough of antioxidants. Is there anything like too much antioxidants? We don’t think so. The antioxidants in broccoli play a great role in its popularity. One of the top compounds that this contains is glucoraphanin which gets converted to sulforaphane that is a top antioxidant aiding in digestion. Moreover, sulforaphane also aids in reducing cholesterol levels, blood sugar level, oxidative stress which in return saves from diseases. Lutein and zeaxanthin which improve eye health to a great deal are also a potent part of it.
  2. Prevention of Cancer: Just like its other family members, broccoli is equipped with cancer prevention power. Researches have proved that broccoli is highly helpful in preventing breast cancer as well as uterus cancer as it depletes estrogen in the body which is often the cancer-causing agent. As per a recent study, it was proved that broccoli and dark leafy vegetables hen consumed release secondary plant products that have anti-cancer role. How this happens? Broccoli contains certain compounds that have the power to neutralize carcinogens as well as to stop the growth and spread of preventing cancer. So far, it has shown promising results in protecting against certain types of cancer like prostate, gastric, renal, and colorectal and bladder cancer. But there is more research required in the area.
  3. Reduction of Inflammation: As it is established that broccoli contains antioxidants and it is a no brainer that antioxidants prevent cell damage in addition to oxidative damage which are both responsible for causing inflammation. A study from Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that women who tend to eat more cruciferous vegetables including broccoli have lower levels of inflammation in the blood. A study was carried out where smokers consumed broccoli for few days and there was seen a clear drop in the inflammation in their blood caused by smoking.
  4. Reduction of Blood Sugar: Broccoli has shown a supportive role in controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes. A study was carried out in which all the participants had type 2 diabetes consumed broccoli sprouts for one month. The results showed decrease insulin sensitivity. The exact mechanism is unknown but researchers believe it could be high antioxidant content or the higher amount of fibre in broccoli.
  5. Anti-Ageing: This may grab your attention more than the rest. As broccoli comes naturally packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, it is a great anti-ageing food as it gives you a healthy skin by reducing wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and even acne. Before you rush to supermarket to grab your broccoli, there is more to it. Read up!
  6. Healthy Eyes: When was the last time you ate something that is for your eyes only? Well, now you know one thing. Beta-carotene, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin B complex present in broccoli and all of them play a role in protecting eyes against cataract, muscle degeneration and repairs damage by constant exposure to screens.
  7. Heart Healthy: Being rich in fibre, this cruciferous vegetable is quite heart friendly and has also shown to reverse the inflammation in the blood vessels. Moreover, regular consumption of it reduces cholesterol in the blood as well. Broccoli also contains vitamins, fatty acids as well as vitamins that help keep the blood pressure in control.

Final Verdict:

With no serious side effect in view, broccoli is a great add-on to your diet and regular consumption of this heathy and nutrient dense vegetable will impart great health benefits on your body. The best part is you can consume it in both raw and cooked form. This is a kind of ingredient you can play around in recipes in a lot of ways. Add it to a soup, bake it, grill it or even add it to your daily green drink and experience the benefits yourself!

Benefits banana peppers: much more than a pepper

What actually is a Banana Pepper?

Banana pepper also known as banana chili or yellow wax pepper is a member of chili pepper family. It was originated in South America and belongs to sweet pepper family, capsicum. According to Scoville rating it is rated between 0-500 Scoville heat units. Banana peppers provide countless health benefits and can be easily incorporated in the diet. If you have never tried banana peppers now is the time you become acquainted with the magical peppers.

Nutritional content of Banana peppers:

Banana peppers are packed with nutrients and have many qualities that boost health. In a single serving which contains 33 grams of banana pepper there are 9 calories and only 0.15 grams of fat. This low in calorie and fat content makes it rightful part of healthy diet and can even help in weight loss. In order to understand health benefits of banana peppers let’s break-down its nutrients. One cup of banana cup which is also a serving is full of following nutrients:

  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 2 grams                           
  • Calories: 33
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fibre: 4 grams

Banana peppers are also excellent sources of:

  • Vitamins: Banana peppers are enriched with significant vitamins. Such as:
  • Vitamin A: This is an anti-oxidant and is very important for eyes. The presence of vitamin A along with vitamin C strengthens blood vessels.
  • Vitamin C: In order to synthesize L-carnitine, collagen and various neurotransmitters our body needs Vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin B6: In order to break down and absorb proteins Vitamin B6 is essential. It is used in over 100 enzymatic reactions of our body.
  • Minerals: Banana peppers contains various minerals in trace amount such as magnesium and calcium. However, banana peppers are rich source of potassium. As in a 33 grams serving of banana peppers there is 0.12 grams of potassium. Even though it is fraction of what our body requires but it is considerable as per the serving size. In order to break down carbohydrates and then later to utilize them for building muscles our body requires potassium. 
  • Dietary fibre: 1.1 gram of dietary fibre is provided in a 33 gram serving of banana pepper. As fibres increase bulk of food it reduces food intake and makes one feel fuller faster and for longer period of times. This reduced intake can be helpful in weight loss journey.

Health benefits of banana peppers:

Consumption of banana peppers has been linked with improved health and can be useful in weight loss.

  • Cancer: Capsaicin that is present in banana peppers is shown to be an effective chemical and helps in killing certain types of cancer cells.
  • Absorbing minerals: Banana peppers are rich source of Vitamin C that increases iron absorption.
  • Gout: A diet that is rich in vitamin C such as banana peppers enriched diet can help reducing chances of Gout significantly. 
  • Arthritis: Low levels of vitamin B6 increases chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. In order to reduce joint and muscle’s pain vitamin B6 is required. As banana peppers contains adequate amount of B6 they can be added in diet to reduce pain.
  • Heart Friendly: Banana peppers can be good source of vitamin B6 and help in managing levels of homocysteine and cholesterol levels which will help in preventing heart diseases. Once homocysteine levels are raised it damages blood vessel linings. This can lead to plaque formation and can contribute to heart attack and stroke.
  • Assist digestion: Banana peppers contains capsaicin that can help in increasing rate of metabolism, digestive process and it even protects against stomach ulcers. The high fibre levels help in reducing and treating digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion.
  • Inflammation: Banana peppers helps in protecting body from inflammation. Capsaicin helps in reducing substance P levels which is a neurotransmitter that sends signals of inflammation and pain from nervous system.

Brain Boosting powers of Banana Peppers:

Vitamin B6 enriched banana peppers are good source to help treating with mood disorders and brain diseases. Two important neurotransmitters, GABA and serotonin production is hugely impacted by vitamin B6. These neurotransmitters are very helpful in controlling depression, anxiety, mood, fatigue and prevents pain.

Can Banana peppers help in fight against obesity?

If you want to get rid of extra fat incorporate banana peppers in your diet. The chemical capsaicin that is found in banana peppers not only makes these peppers spicy but it also plays an important role in addressing obesity and other health related concerns. It is suggested that capsaicin intake might help in improving body’s metabolism and also reduces body fat accumulation. Capsaicin not only boosts metabolism but also helps in suppressing appetite.

Let’s Get to Use the Banana peppers!

Banana peppers are easy to prepare and add to recipes. They can be grown in home garden too. Eat them raw, cooked, stuffed and or use them as a dip. Banana peppers can also be used as toppings on pizzas, salads, sandwiches etc.

We are sure you are craving for some now. We have jotted down some amazing recipe ideas for you to relish banana peppers and make it part of your daily diet:

  • Fresh Greek Salad: Combining banana peppers with tomatoes, cucumbers and Feta cheese for tasty Greek Salad.
  • Pizza Topping:  Banana peppers can also be used as a topping and make your favourite homemade pizza tastier.
  • Bacon wrapped Banana peppers: Banana pepper along with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon can make a tasty snack.
  • Sandwich: Add banana peppers on slice of turkey and cheese and make your sandwich delicious. 
  • Salsa: Banana peppers can be used in salsa instead of jalapeno peppers even along with jalapeno peppers for that extra kick.
  • Tacos, Burritos, Nachos: By adding banana peppers in tacos, burritos and nachos you can add extra flavour mild and tangy taste.

Side effects:

  • Burning sensation: Banana peppers contains a chemical capsaicin that can cause a burning sensation even though it is mild.
  • Stomach pain and diarrhea: Eating banana peppers is considered safe for daily use due to lower amount present in food but in some rare cases it can cause intestinal distress. The symptoms includes stomach pain and diarrhea.
  • Cancer Risk: Some observational studies have linked capsaicin with risk of developing cancer.Further studies are required to rule out this possibility.

The Bottom Line:

Banana peppers are rich source of vitamins and minerals. The mild and tangy taste of banana peppers not only enhance taste of your food but can also provide several health benefits and even it can help in reducing weight. However, one should add banana peppers in their diet according to their own tolerance levels as excessive banana peppers can cause intestinal distress.

Benefits Of Basmati Rice: Aren’t They Surprising?

They may look like the regular mundane rice but Basmati rice are special. If you take one sniff of the cooked Basmati, you will know what we are talking about. Just like popcorns they have an aroma that makes it way to all the corners of the room and leaves you wanting for more. Let’s get to know about this amazing type of rice a little more closely. We bet by the end of this article you will be wanting to buy only this type. Brace yourselves!

Where did Basmati come from?

A native to India and Pakistan, the history dates back to 1600 B.C to 2000 B.C as per some archaeologists. Today, India is responsible for 2/3 of the global supply of Basmati rice. They have been cultivated on the foothills of Himalayas since thousands of years. However, they were first mentioned in books in 1700s.

Famous for its rich nutty taste and a distinctively delicious aroma, basmati rice are being used all over the world in recipes. It is said that it takes a picky tastebud to recognize the rich taste of the basmati and experts can tell from the aroma even.

There are two varieties of Basmati rice:

  • White Basmati Rice: This is the processed type of the rice in which the germ, bran as well as hull of the rice are all removed.
  • Brown Basmati Rice: This is the less processed type of the rice in which only the hull gets removed.

Both of them are equally good in taste and carry their individual importance.

Nutritional Profile of Basmati Rice

A serving of rice is one cup. A little high on calories but the taste is worth all the calories isn’t it? Let’s get familiar with the outstanding nutritional profile of the great Basmati rice:

  • Total calories: 210
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Fats: 0.5g
  • Protein: 4.5g
  • Fibre: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Niacin: 15% of DV
  • Selenium: 22% of DV
  • Thiamine: 22% of DV
  • Folate: 24% of DV
  • Iron: 11% of DV
  • Zinc: 7% of DV
  • Copper: 12% of DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of DV
  • Phosphorous: 6% of DV

Benefits of Basmati Rice:

The benefits of basmati rice are immense and need to be out there because there are certain misconceptions about them which need to be cleared. C’mon let’s get started:

  1. Rich in Fibre-Effective Diabetic Control: Unlike other rice varieties, basmati rice contains a bounty of fibre. As we all know that a diet rich in fibre helps reducing the risk of diabetes type 2 while keeping our digestive system in check. The type of fibre in basmati rice is soluble which helps in removing wastes from the body as it moves out of the body. As per Diabetes Association of Canada, the glycaemic index of basmati rice is lower than other rice varieties and this makes it a suitable add on to diabetic diet. Lower glycaemic index comes from starchy carbohydrates, amylase, protein as well as fibre. Basmati rice does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels thus keeping insulin response in check.
  2. Heart Friendly: Basmati rice contain less saturated fats as compared to other rice varieties. This makes them a heart friendly food. It has been proved from a study as well that basmati rice is linked with decreased risk of heart disease. Basmati rice contribute in lowering of blood pressure which in turn saves you from the risk of disease.
  3. Cancer Prevention: As compared to its other counterparts, basmati rice is equipped with 20% more fibre which is great for prevention of cancer as fibre prevents the development of cancer cells. Researches have showed that consumption of whole grain brown rice has shown to prevent breast cancer as it suppresses estrogen production.
  4. Aid in Weight Loss: You may be surprised at the fact but it is true that basmati rice actually helps in losing weight. The credit goes to its high fibre content. Fibre moves through your digestive system slowly, keeps you fuller for longer periods of time and also reduces cholesterol all of which help in weight loss. Also, basmati rice contains a carbohydrate amylose that takes longer for the body to digest.
  5. Good source of Vitamins: Basmati rice are a great source of vitamins like thiamine and niacin. So, if you are looking for increasing your vitamin intake, include basmati rice in your diet and see wonders.
  6. Gluten Free: Unlike other cereals and grains, basmati rice are naturally gluten free. For those who have gluten allergy or IBS, they can have these in their meals without any worry.
  7. Improved Brain Function: Basmati rice are rich in thiamine which is also known as brain vitamin. Thiamine improves focus, concentration as well as memory. Moreover, researches have shown that including basmati rice in your diet can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  8. Prevention of Hemorrhoids: People who have hemorrhoids are often advised to eliminate rice from their diet. But it is good news for them that they can include Basmati rice in the diet as these are rich in fibre.
  9. Energy boost: As Basmati are rich in carbohydrates and contain high calories with dense nutrients, they are a good option for people who are looking for adding an energy booster to their daily diet. For those who love to do intensive workouts, basmati rice can be a part of their diet.
  10. Lower Arsenic Content: Basmati rice have lower amount of arsenic as compared to other rice varieties which is a heavy metal that alleviates risk of diabetes and other diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Side Effects of Basmati Rice:

There are no prominent side effects or health hazard of Basmati rice. however, there is a chance you may miss out on some of the nutrients of if you get polished variety of rice.               

Final Verdict:

We are sure all of your misconceptions are cleared and you can’t wait to add these flavourful rice to your diet. Bon Appetite!                                                                                                                                                   

Benefits of alfalfa sprouts: An Underrated Sprout?

With mixed reviews circling over the internet about alfalfa sprouts, the benefits of this nutritionally packed sprouts have gone somewhere in the background. After FDA put them in a potentially hazardous category, does this mean alfalfa has been any short of nutritious that it was previously? Not at all.

As per FDA, alfalfa sprout may carry illness causing bacteria and hence people with weaker immune system should stop consuming them in a raw form and prefer the properly cooked one. On the contrary, people blessed with a stronger immune system are free to consume this sprout the way they want like in soups, sandwiches or raw salads.

Where does Alfalfa come from?

Popularly known as Medicago stiva, alfalfa is known by some other names as well mainly Lucerne, Buffalo herb, Spanish Clover and California Clover etc. A member of pea family, its history dates back as long as 5000 years.

It originates from South Asia as well as Central Asia but it has been in many places. 5000 years ago, they were being used by Chinese physicians medically. Later in 1700, they were found to be a cure of a skin disease called Scurvy by some sailors. During the times of World War 2, a British professor of nutrition at Cornell University introduced them into food culture. Moreover, alfalfa has been a part of animal fodder since the ancient times.

Having this rich history, there remains no doubt that alfalfa sprouts have some great benefits to offer to us. Let’s dig into the details of what they can be.

How can Alfalfa benefit us?

Alfalfa mental health benefits as well as other benefits are plenty in number. Albeit being part of a legume family, alfalfa is also considered an herb. The young sprout or seedlings of the plant are widely used as the mature plant is not much of a consumable owing to their coarse texture and bitter taste. The young sprout being small in size comes packed with several potential health benefits in all of its parts. When consumed in moderation and according to the prescribing of a health care provider, you can see the difference it can render to your health. Let’s have a look what the sprout mineral and vitamins can do to our health:

Healing the Wounds

Many may not know this but one cup of alfalfa sprout which is also one serving of it can provide us with 13% of Vitamin K recommended for daily use. Vitamin K is a crucial vitamin for blood clotting. Studies say that if you consume 1 serving of alfalfa daily, you are more likely to prevent haemorrhagic issues in the later age. Vitamin K helps clotting blood at the site of wound thus speeding up the healing process.

Strengthening Bones and Teeth

Being rich in Vitamin K, alfalfa helps in strengthening bones and teeth. Vitamin K helps in absorption of calcium in the body which is crucial for maintaining bones and teeth. Without adequate calcium absorption they will be prone to damage. Hence the 38% vitamin K coming from one serving of alfalfa daily will keep your risk of osteoporosis at bay.

Lowering Cholesterol

Every other person we know nowadays is struggling to burn the fats and lower cholesterol in the blood stream but not many know about the handy solution on hand and that is alfalfa sprouts! It has been supported by numerous studies that alfalfa can lower the blood cholesterol in humans as well as animals. The thanks is all due to saponins in them which are cholesterol lowering compounds.

Loosing Weight

This may grab attention of many because not many are familiar with the weight loss ability of these amazing sprouts. These are nutritionally dense and give you sense of fuller stomach for longer. A single serving of alfalfa sprouts contains only 8 calories. While being low on calories they also contain fibre (3% of RDI) that helps with the weight loss as well.

Helping with Menopause and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Vitamin K together with phytoestrogens, alfalfa sprouts help women deal with menopausal symptoms like mood swings, vaginal drying, hot flushes etc. The phytoestrogens mimic the estrogen which is lower in women going through menopause. Consumption of alfalfa renders a soothing and calming effect to the body and also helps those dealing with insomnia. Blood clotting capability of vitamin K prevents from excessive bleeding during menstruation.

Giving you Beautiful Hair

Tired of trying all the shampoos and DIY hair oils but still struggling with hair problems? Well, you are not alone. You need to add alfalfa sprouts to your diet and experience the wonders it does to your hair. Alfalfa sprouts are loaded with amino acids that tend to enhance your hair growth. Moreover, the high amount of vitamin B6 and B1 in this nutrient dense herb helps in healthy growth of hair. The silica present in it prevents baldness while also reducing hair fall as well as thinning of hair. This does not end here. The vitamin C in alfalfa strengthens the collagen synthesis and supports antioxidant activities in the hair follicles.

Only a Handful of Disadvantages

The health benefits of alfalfa sprout really outnumber the potential health hazards which are listed below:

  • If you are on a blood thinner medicine, then you must consult your doctor before incorporating this plant in your diet as the high level of Vitamin K may interfere with the effect of medicine.
  • If you are pregnant then you must avoid alfalfa as it may lead to uterine contractions.
  • If you have some autoimmune disorder like lupus then unfortunately this plant is a no-no for you. As there have been some reports of reactivation of lupus disease after consuming alfalfa supplements.
  • If you have a weak immune system then you must avoid consuming this sprout as it can leave you with some serious infection.

Final Verdict:

Having acknowledged alfalfa health benefits as well as a handful of disadvantages, it is now crystal clear that incorporating this beneficial plant in diet as per your health care provider’s instruction will help you soak in the benefits.

Benefits of Avocado

Avocados have reached the pinnacle of fame in the recent times especially in the last decade. The highly nutritious fruit pouring with health friendly minerals and vitamins is rightly called by some cute names like “Darling of Instagram”, “America’s new favourite fruit”, “America’s olive oil” and the list goes on.

Tell me more about it:

Ever wondered what is the origin and history of the ingredient behind those scrumptious guacamole dips? You must have seen the stone fruit being part of salads, smoothies and even brownies (yup, that’s right) but let’s get upfront and personal with the beauty!

Avocado is a bright green coloured stone fruit with a large pit in it and rich leather like skin. Also known as butter fruit or alligator pear, this berry is much more than an aesthetically good-looking fruit.

A serving of avocado brings with it 64 calories, 3.4g of carbohydrates, 6g of fats, 3 g of fibre and very less sugar. Moreover, it has a total of 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, E,C, B6, riboflavin, folate, niacin, potassium and magnesium. Avocadoes are the only fruit that is rich in fats but don’t fret because they are good fats that are beneficial for the body.

How do Avocadoes benefit us?

Avocadoes have been successful in grabbing the title of “superfood”. This popular berry contains no sodium or cholesterol and is very low in saturated fats thus a well-known part of popular diets like Keto diet and Atkin’s diet. Avocado benefits are numerous, have a look at our handpicked benefits:

  • Rich in Potassium: Avocados have been gifted by nature with loads of potassium. One avocado can provide us with 15% of RDI pf potassium which is equal to the amount of potassium in one and a half banana. Potassium is crucial for heart health, regulating fluid balance, nerve signal as well as muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium alleviates high blood pressure and what better way to incorporate potassium our diets then the tasty avocados.
  • Help in Weight Loss: Avocado is part of every new diet fad these days and the culprit here is fibre! Avocadoes are full of fibre and very low caloric at the same time. Hence, consuming them will not only keep your stomach fuller for longer times but also keeps your bowel movements regular; both of which are quintessential for a healthy weight loss. The same quality is found in alfalfa sprouts.
  • Loaded with Nutrients: Calling avocado a blessed fruit will not be wrong. The key vitamins in avocado are Vitamin B, C, E, K, B6 and B3. Apart from potassium, there are other minerals as well including magnesium, folate, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous and zinc. All of these minerals and vitamins benefit our body in numerous ways. Imagine consuming a little fruit and giving your body a rush of beneficial nutrients? Clever move in our opinion!
  • Give you a Healthy Skin: There won’t be anyone in today’s world who does not want a healthy looking skin and that too without spending thousands of bucks. Why look anywhere else when you have avocadoes. Avocadoes contain 17% of RDI of Vitamin C (you have to believe us) and the same percentage of RDI of Vitamin E; both of which are crucial for having a healthy and glowing skin. Start adding to your daily diet and experience a noticeably clear skin.
  • Heart Friendly: You think benefits of avocadoes are done but they are never ending. They contain beta-sitosterol which is a natural plant sterol and that too not any less but 25 milligrams in total. This sterol helps keeping cholesterol in check resulting in a healthy heart.
  • Keeping Vision Intact: Being rich in two eye friendly phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin, avocadoes prevent damage to the eyes providing them with antioxidant protection. Moreover; MFAs in avocadoes encourage absorption of beta-carotene which reduces the risk of macular degeneration of eyes.
  • Prevention of Diseases: Avocado health benefits are numerous and one of the key benefit is prevention of certain serious medical conditions like cancer, arthritis, inflammation and digestive system disorders.
  • Mental Health: Avocado mental health benefits are also a jewel in its crown. Consuming avocadoes regularly will not only reduce your depression and anxiety but also boost your mood; while improving memory and preventing against Alzheimer’s.

Can Avocados do any Bad?

There is always a flip side to coin. Likewise, there are some potential health risks associated with consumption of avocadoes that you must be aware of. Here, have a look:

  • Not for Moms: If you are pregnant or a new mom and breast feeding your little one, sadly this fruit is not very much beneficial for you. They have been observed to reduce milk production. When consumed in large amounts by lactating mothers, the baby could have an upset stomach.
  • Hypersensitivity: If you are suffering from hypersensitivity, avocadoes might worsen the situation leading to vomiting or even skin reaction.
  • Liver Damage: Liver damage is one of the side effects of consuming avocados. You should look for the types that have proven for carcinogenic effects.
  • Reduction of Cholesterol: As one of the effects of consuming avocadoes is reduction of cholesterol. Consuming too much would end up reducing the necessary cholesterol as well which is harmful to the body.
  • Digestive Problems: Consuming avocadoes in large amounts might cause certain digestive issues like gastrointestinal irritation and upset stomach.
  • Medicinal Effects: Consuming avocadoes might interfere in effects of certain drugs mainly anti-inflammatory ones.

Final Verdict:

As a rule of thumb, moderate amount of any fruit or vegetable can only benefit your body and we all know that excess of everything is bad. So, it is upon you to consume it wisely. Now that advantages and disadvantages of avocadoes have been laid in front of you, you are fully equipped to make this blessed fruit a part of your daily diet. If you still have any confusion it is better to seek the word of your health care provider.

Benefits bamboo shoots: Power pack of nutrients and much more

Bamboo shoots enjoy the fame of a healthy food as they are enriched with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fibers and very low quantity of fat. These are part of a number of traditional food delicacies across world. Due to their high nutritional content bamboo shoots are used in many forms such as medicinal, fermented, boiled, liquid, frozen, canned, boiled, raw and liquid forms.

What are Bamboo shoots and where they come from?

Bamboo shoots are most versatile edible forest tree grasses and they belong to a grass family Poaceae. This evergreen and versatile plant is found everywhere around world except the frozen poles.

Nutritional Content of Bamboo Shoots:

According to a study, bamboo shoots are power packed with essential nutrients, these nutrients include fibers, protein, inorganic salts, carbohydrates, sugars, amino acids, fats and minerals. Moreover, Bamboo shoots are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. According to USDA a 100-gram serving of raw bamboo shoots contains:

  • Vitamins: Bamboo shoots contains vitamins such as Vitamin E, A, B, folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
  • Minerals: Bamboo shoots are enriched with Iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
  • Protein: High in protein content, 2.6 g.
  • Dietary Fiber: High dietary fiber, 2.2 g.
  • Calories: Low in calories, 27 calories.
  • Sugar: Low in sugar contents: 3 g.
  • Fat: A negligible amount of fat: 0.3 g.

Health benefits of Bamboo shoots:

Bamboo shoots come packed with numerous health benefits some of those are stated below:

  1. Anticancer Properties: The chemical phytosterol which is found in bamboo shoots contains anti-cancerous properties against several types of cancers such as stomach, lung ovary and breast cancer.
  2. Protection of heart health: According to a research phytonutrients and phytosterols, chemicals found in bamboo shoots, are considered ideal for dissolving LDL cholesterol of body. This helps in smooth movement and supply of blood through body.
  3. Strengthens Immune System: The high vitamin and mineral content of bamboo shoots plays an important role in strengthening body’s immune system.
  4. Healthy Digestive system: Due to rich source of fibers, bamboo shoots plays important role in healthy digestive system. The fiber in bamboo shoot can help in various digestive issues such as constipation, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids and acid reflux.
  5. Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress: Bamboo shoots are rich with flavonoids and anti-oxidants such as caffeic acid, catechin, p-coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid. These important compounds can help body in getting rid of harmful free radicals and prevent cell damage.

Bamboo shoots as Medicines- All around the World:

As bamboo shoots are enriched with anti-free radical, anti-oxidants and anti-aging agents they have been used as medicine since the tribal times.

  • According to a research bamboo shoots contain pain killing (analgesic) and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • In the Tibettan and Indo-Persian system of medicine the silicious concretions of bamboo shoots is used as a tonic for respiratory disorders.
  • Bamboo shoots are used to treat infections in China. The pressed bamboo shoots produce juice that contains protease that is helpful in digesting proteins.
  • Bamboo shoots along with palm jaggery is known to induce abortion or parturition.
  • In Korea bamboo salt tablets are used to treat internal maladies.

Bamboo shoots in weight loss:

A single cup of bamboo shoot contains only 13 calories, bamboo shoots are not only low in calories but also rich with fiber content. This combination makes it a great choice if you want to reduce weight. According to a study bamboo shoots are effective in weight loss as the high fiber of bamboo shoot has potential in preventing metabolic syndrome and obesity. The high fiber content of bamboo shoots helps body in curing cravings as fibers promotes satiety. As suggested by studies increase in fiber intake helps in increased weight loss.

How to Cook & Store Bamboo Shoots?

Caution:As bamboo shoots produces cyanide, they can be harmful to consume raw. Before adding bamboo shoots in your diet consult your doctor.

  • Before cooking bamboo shoots, it is advised to either boil them or soak them in water overnight. Some species of this plan contains cyanide and either of these process helps in eliminating cyanide.
  • Boiled bamboo shoots can be used in several dishes. They can be served with vegetable alongwith with soy sauce and butter.
  • Bamboo shoots can be added in gravies, salads, stews and soups.
  • Pickled bamboo shoots can be used as a snack.

Recipes:

There are several options how to cook bamboo shoots. For fresh bamboo shoots start with cutting lengthwise, then dice into cubes and boil the bamboo shoot cubes for 20-25 minutes to get rid of all the harmful compounds. Fresh, canned or dried bamboo shoots can be used in variety of recipes. Following are some of the recipe ideas to help you get acquainted with bamboo shoots.

  1. Simmered Bamboo Shoots
  2. Menma Recipe
  3. Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
  4. Bamboo Shoots with Dill Dressing
  5. Chicken Red Curry with Bamboo Shoots

In order to preserve bamboo shoots for up to two weeks, they should be kept away from sun and properly refrigerated. As after sun exposure bamboo shoots develops bitter taste.

Risks and Side Effects:

  • Raw bamboo shoots contain a harmful toxin known as cyanogenic glycosides. In order to destroy this toxin bamboo shoots must be boiled or cooked before consuming it.
  • Canning can also be used to process raw bamboo shoots.
  • Even though it is rare but still some people can be allergic to bamboo shoots. People who are allergic to grass pollen are prone to bamboo shoot allergy.
  • After consuming bamboo shoot if you experience swelling, itching or rash discontinue its consumption and consult your doctor.

Final Verdict:

Bamboo shoots are not only great in enhancing the texture and flavor of any dish but they are also power packed with healthy nutrition’s. These nutritious bamboos hoots bring a good number of vitamins, minerals, fibers and anti-oxidants in each serving. Hence adding bamboo shoots in your diet will help you in maintaining your health while keeping you fit.

Don’t forget to cook bamboo shoots properly to get rid of all cyanogenic glycosides.