Sunday, February 17, 2008

And I Thought It Was Best With Beaten Eggs!

For my twenty-two years of life in the Philippines, I have learned how the eggplants were cooked. The best that I like is the "tortang talong" or the eggplant grilled and peeled then soaked in egg after which, it is fried. This is the one I like so much. The other menu includes talong with other vegetables like the squash/pumpkin and eggplant in the "Pinakbet" (a Filipino delicious vegetable mix). Other ways to have it cooked it is in "adobo"-similar style of cooking, sauted eggplant or eggplant salad (my second fave). I once tasted one menu of eggplant as an appetizer at Buto't Balat Restaurant in Iloilo City (Philippines) and I liked it too. It was (seemed to me) a grated eggplant, formed and baked with oil... or so it seemed.

Why I tell eggplanty things now? Because I have discovered a new way to make it and i tell you that it's really delicious. Of course per my palate! Do you know lasagna? This eggplant menu I'm telling you is purely Italian, prepared like how one prepares lasagna. Now you have a little clue.

When I saw how it was prepared, it seemed weired to me. But after I ate this "Parmiggiana" (this is how it is calle) it suddenly became one of my favorites. It is a layer of grilled eggplants sprinkled with formaggio (an Italian cheese) and thickened with "scamorza" (another Italian cheese but just a little harder than mozzarella). It is then mixed with boiled tomato sauce and then placed in the oven to let it ready. I'll just share with you how it was prepared and you may experiment on it if you get interested. But for me, it is really healthy and delicious. Why? Because it's all vegetable and so much calcium from cheese. Good for those who watch their cholesterol from fats and for those diet conscious. Of course it's good for vegetarians as well.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Real Deal With Caffeine

Honestly, i don't have any prob;em with this stuff called caffeine. This is because caffe has bad effects on me if I take it. In what way? I palpitate and sometimes shiver, especially if its a very good espresso. Honestly, where I stay at the moment has this perfect espresso as what we may call it. Italians love it and I am here in a purely Italian house and surroundings.

However, after my posting on softdrinks, one that commented about caffeine. Just like anything in this world, there is the two sides for everything. Caffeine may be good and asked by the body for others and may be bad for others lie mewhose body cannot take it. Some levels of being bad of this substance can be also in the long run. It's up to us to balance our health and cravings.

For you to decide if caffeine is bad or good or good for us but we have to keep in mind that we eat or takes for food makes us live and added energy for our systems in the body.

In one part, caffeine can be considered good for the following reasons:

1. This subtance increases alertness and short-term memory, and even alters your mood. The caffeine in a cup of coffee stimulates the central nervous system as it simultaneously lowers the blood sugar and increases the brain's demand for sugar giving the drinker a temporary lift. Thus, it is good for those who feel sleepy but need to be awake and if you are a little pissed off, just take a sip of coffee!

2. Research in the Journal of Sports Medicine showed how caffeine taken two hours before exercise enhanced the performance of athletes in marathon running so if you are an athlete and can tolerate a caffeine intake, it is not too bad for the purpose of your victory.

3. A study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Associated reported that men who consume caffeine a day had a 40% lower risk of developing gallstones than non caffeine consumers. I cannot explain how but maybe it dissolves the possible/potential stone-forming substances in the gall.

4. Studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis have up to 80% lower risks of developing Parkinson's disease, have up to 25% lower risk of colon cancer, and have up to 80% drop in the risk of liver cirrhosis.

5. Some researchers believe another compound called "trigonelline" - which gives coffee its bitter taste and its aroma - may be responsible for giving coffee both anti-adhesive and antibacterial properties which help prevent dental cavities from forming. But if it's a very good espresso like here in Italy, the foam stays at the teeth and colors it and you can imagine if you are a regular drinker: This means tootbrush every espresso drink!

For some reasons, caffeine may not be too good for humans for the reasons you read below:
1. Caffeine consumption may lead to insomnia. Now this is the opposite of the good reason number one above. This one you want to sleep but you cannot.

2. Drinking coffee with meals in known to inhibit the absorption of iron and calcium from food.

3.Caffeine also has a diuretic effect and just one cup before exercise will trigger unwanted fluid loss.

3. Within half an hour of drinking one or two cups, the flow of the blood to the brain is reduced by 10% to 20%. Combine that with the low blood sugar, in those who haven't eaten for a while, and you can start having pulpitations, feelings of anxiety or blurred vision. To be honest, these are the symptoms that I feel but even I took coffee just after meal.

4.Withdrawal symptoms can occur after regular consumption of just one-to-two cups a day. Caffeinism, as it is sometimes called, shows up as migraine headaches and sickness.

5. Drinking several cups of coffee a day increase one's susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists found a stong link between coffee and a biochemical marker for the disease and showed that people who drink four cups are twice as likely to test positive for arthritis.

6. In excessive amounts, meaning more than whatever an individual's body can tolerate, coffee can cause nervousness, jitters, and rapid heartbeat. So I guess what I can tolerate is just a little amount. But even the instant coffee, which has been diluted with water made me shiver and pulpitate. Maybe I just have strong caffeine intolerance.

Now that you have seen how caffeine can affect you, you may shift your habit. See the good that it can do to you and balance it with the potential bad effects. As we all know, moderation is a good thing for too much or too less of something is not also good. Moreover, you are the master of your body and for this you know what is best for you. The things above are simple information that may be valuable for your caffeine decision.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How Beneficial and Great Making Love Is!

Fit body, healthy mind, sickness free, healthy lifestyle and habit and healthy food intake make a person contented and have nothing much to ask for. Except to have more sex (to thos who can validly/legally do so)! See below for the BIG WHY and HOW in your mind.

While the impact of sexual activity on health is not a major topic of research, common sense and a handful of studies suggest that sex can be good for the health. So consider these potential bonuses and fringe benefits the next time the opportunity for (safe) sex arises:

Sex is a great erotic exercise. Even though sex probably involves less energy exertion than most aerobic exercise, it can give you a workout, depending upon how vigorous it is. After all, sex, and particularly orgasm, involves the contraction of muscles in the arms, legs and abdomen. Also, the heart and breathing rates rise when one is sexually aroused just as when one exerts energy on the playing field or at the gym. Another bonus is that one will likely to drift off into a deep, luxurious sleep after he/she tires himself/herself out. Since sex requires some stamina, it appears that people who are physically fit may be more likely to have satisfying sex than people who simply shift from their office chair to their couch. Regular exercise can make sex better because it improves muscle tone, cardiovascular fitness and mental health.

Making love results to a happy healthy heart. British researchers who looked at about 900 middle-aged men found that men who had sex twice or more a week had a lower risk of heart attack over the course of 10 years than men who had sex less often. The study was published in 2002 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The cardiovascular boost may be from the sex itself, or may be because men who are in better physical condition have regular sex, so their heart attack risk is already lower.

Women are highly benefited by the love making. One study suggests that sexual activity might prevent endometriosis, a common gynecological condition that occurs when the tissue lining the inside of a a woman's uterus grows in other places, such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes. This growth can cause pelvic pain and sometimes infertility. The study, published in 2002 in the journal Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, found that women who were sexually active during menstruation were 1.5 times less likely to develop endometriosis than women who didn't have sex during their periods. The researchers also found that orgasm during menstruation lowered risk.

According to study author Harvey J. Kliman, MD, PhD, a research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, anything that contributes to menstrual debris going backwards into pelvis might increase risk for endometriosis. The contractions of the uterus that occur during sex, and specifically orgasm, may help push the menstrual debris out of the uterus, Dr. Kliman explains.

Not only women are benefited but both parties, yes, also the men. While sexual activity has been thought to increase risk of prostate cancer, newer research, including a study published April 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicates that frequent ejaculation might help protect the prostate from cancer. This study supports a smaller Australian study from 2003 that found that that men in their 20s who ejaculated more than five times a week were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than men who ejaculated four to seven times a month. Ejaculating regularly might lower risk because cancer-causing substances get flushed out of the body in the seminal fluid, instead of staying in the prostate.

Why not relieve your stress by making love? Satisfying sexual activity can, of course, be an exhilarating mood lifter. If you're in a relationship, says Carol Rinkleib Ellison, PhD, a San Francisco-based psychologist and author of Women's Sexualities, sex can "bring the relationship into harmony and make you and your partner feel closer, so you feel less stressed and more relaxed." And whether you are having sex with a partner or masturbating, orgasm itself can also help release tension. The surge of a hormone called oxytocin that occurs during orgasm may account for the both the stronger emotional connection and the tension relief. Oxytocin appears to regulate blood pressure and temperature and even relieve pain and promote the healing of wounds. Dr. Ellison compares orgasm to "re-booting" your body and mind just as you would re-start a computer. But she notes that focusing on orgasm too much can be stressful and sometimes self-defeating. Instead, people should think about successful sex as "mutual erotic pleasure in whatever form it takes."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Be Aware What Soft Drinks Can Cause YOU

Water may not be the tastiest of all drinks but I have to tell you that it is much better than any soft drink. Why? Just continue reading.

The phosphoric acid Soft drink's competes with the hydrochloric acid of the stomach and affects its functions. When the stomach becomes ineffective, food remains undigested causing indigestion, gassiness or bloating. Moreover, kidneys are less able to excrete phosphoric acid when it is in excess giving them extra work to do.

Soft drinks remove Calcium from the body, causing an excess amount of Calcium that tends to be deposited in the kidney, resulting in kidney stones. Drinking too much soda (approximately five cans a day according to a USDA research study) has been shown to upset the body's calcium/phosphorus ratio. Under these circumstances, the body attempts to maintain balance by drawing calcium from bone. Over time, bones can become fragile and more susceptible to fractures.

When one's blod is acidic, it affects the action of glutathione which is an antioxidant enzyme. Phosphoric acid, present in carbonated drinks de-oxidizes blood. In detergent manufacturing industries, phosphoric acid is used to produce water softener. Water softener removes Ca²+ and Mg²+ ion from hard water. In human body, the function remains the same by removing Ca²+ from bones causing osteoporosis. Furthermore, one study from the National Library of Medicine found that the consumption of soft drinks with phosphoric acid should be considered as an independent risk factor for hypocalcemia in postmenopausal women.

Think twice when you pkan to have a soft drink or any carbonated beverage for that matter.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Flavor Your Heart with Tomato

As an Italian trademark, at least seven meals a week are with tomatoes. Be it a sauce with pasta or a pizza, this cute red fruit has always made its presence felt in most meals here in Italy or in an Italian restaurant or even in Pizza Hut!. And since tomatoe sauce and tomatoes are part of my daily diet here (in Italy), I am happy because I know that I am making a big favor to my heart's health. Why?

Just one serving a day of tomato-based foods such as pizza or tomato sauce could lower the risk for heart disease by as much as 30 percent, according to a new Harvard study. The diets of approximately 40,000 women from the ongoing Women's health Study, which was begun 11 years ago to follow women who, at the time, were free from cancer and cardiovascular disease were reviewed and it was found that women who consumed seven or more servings of tomato-based foods a week -- including tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce or pizza -- had a nearly 30 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease compared with women who ate less than one and one-half servings a week. However, further studies are needed to provide very specific results. For more details on this topic, I advise you to visit this page.