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Coffee

Coffee is the favorite drink of most busy people. It is usually associated with a break and relaxation. Like every product, coffee has its advantages and disadvantages. Today, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and many beneficial properties are attributed to it. With some exceptions, coffee is definitely better to drink than to give up.

1. Coffee – action
2. Facts and myths about coffee
3. Some reasons to drink coffee

4. Decaffeinated coffee

5. Summary

1. Coffee – action

Coffee grain contains over 1000 bioactive compounds, of which the most interest is caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and kafestol. All listed compounds have potentially beneficial effects, including antioxidant ones. Coffee is one of the most abundant sources of antioxidants in your daily diet. The effect of a coffee drink on the body depends on many factors – starting with the type of coffee (most often we deal with arabica and robusta), by burning grains, the method of making coffee, and on a specific gene set and composition of a person’s microflora . It turns out that both genes and the composition of microbiota determine the metabolism and the final effect of coffee.

Caffeine, the compound most associated with coffee, undergoes metabolism in the liver. As a result of transformations, three main compounds are formed: theophylline, paraxanthin and theobromine. It is excreted through the kidneys. Interestingly, in people who smoke, the metabolism of caffeine is accelerated due to its effect on cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in the conversion of caffeine in the liver. It freely flows from the bloodstream to the brain. Caffeine is an antagonist of adenosine receptors, i.e. has an inhibitory effect. Thanks to this, it eliminates tiredness and drowsiness.

2. Facts and myths about coffee

Coffee rinses out magnesium and calcium
Myth. It is true that the studies have shown increased urinary calcium and magnesium excretion, but this effect is achieved when consuming more than 744 mg of caffeine per day (approximately 8 glasses of coffee per day). Consumption of caffeine in an amount of approx. 400 mg daily with simultaneous intake of calcium with a diet of at least 800 mg does not cause negative consequences.

Coffee raises blood pressure
Myth. This effect can be observed in people who drink coffee occasionally. Drinking coffee for three days in a row causes the development of tolerance and ceases to have an effect on the blood pressure.

Coffee improves concentration
Fact, as long as it is not decaffeinated. Caffeine, depending on the dose, may improve alertness, speed of reaction, concentration, mood, and even increase self-confidence. The more rested we are, the less the effect is. Coffee can be a salvation after a sleepless night.

There are contraindications to drinking coffee
Fact. Although there are not many – there are. Drinking coffee is not recommended for pregnant women, as well as people with reflux disease or stomach ulcer. The caffeine contained in coffee may exacerbate the symptoms by stimulating the secretion of gastric juice. In addition, it also increases the secretion of gastrin, which in turn causes relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, thus the stomach content is easier to pass from the stomach to the esophagus.

Caffeine is addictive
It is not known. In DMS-5 (Diagnosis and manual manual of mental disorders), or the classification of mental disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, criteria for the diagnosis of caffeine withdrawal syndrome are included. Disorders related to the consumption of caffeine have been recognized as a problem requiring further research.

Moderate consumption of caffeine, ie about 5 cups of coffee a day, does not have negative effects on adults. However, this looks slightly different in children and adolescents, in whom low doses (100-400 mg) can cause negative symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness and sleep disorders. Considering the fact that caffeine may have a beneficial effect on the mood, for young people reaching for coffee in order to achieve this effect may lead to the development of abnormal habits.

3. Some reasons to drink coffee

First of all, coffee probably reduces the risk of premature death. Based on the results of current research on the health effects of drinking coffee, it has been shown that the lowest risk is associated with drinking 3 cups a day.

In comparison with people who do not drink coffee, coffee drinks are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease. Research shows that an extra cup of coffee a day can reduce the risk of death for cardiovascular reasons by 2%.

The higher the intake of coffee, the lower the risk of developing tumors, including prostate, liver, endometrium. People who consume coffee in comparison with coffee abstinents are less exposed to the risk of liver cirrhosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (by 1/3). Reducing the risk of these serious diseases by 30% is a spectacular result and a leading argument in favor of incorporating this drink into the daily diet.

Daily drinking of coffee may act prophylactically for type II diabetes. The caffeine is probably not responsible for this effect, but the other components of coffee, because decaffeinated coffee also works prophylactically.

Decaffeinated coffee, however, does not protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease (as opposed to traditional coffee).

4. Decaffeinated coffee – does it have similar effects?
The composition of decaffeinated coffee is not much different with the profile of active compounds except for caffeine, which contains traces. Decaffeinated coffee does not bring as many beneficial effects as the natural one, however, its consumption also reduces the risk of some diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and endometrial cancer.

5. Summary

In conclusion – drinking coffee brings far more benefits than threats. In fact, there is not enough evidence of any harmful effects, except during pregnancy, in which caffeine should be limited due to the developing body of the child.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes cause a much longer persistence of this compound in the blood of a pregnant woman. This is extremely important considering that caffeine passes easily to the amniotic fluid. In addition, the CYP1A2 metabolising enzyme activity in the fetus is very low. This means that a child in the womb consuming large amounts of coffee is exposed to its action much longer than the average adult person. Therefore it is reasonable to preserve moderation. Drinking coffee during pregnancy may increase the risk of low birth weight of a child, miscarriage, premature birth.

Moderate consumption of coffee is also recommended to women because of the results of the study, which suggest that a higher intake of coffee may increase the risk of fractures (in men, this trend has not been demonstrated). It is difficult to say whether we can blame caffeine for this state of affairs. After all, intake up to 400 mg of caffeine per day should not lead to any negative consequences. However, there are doubts about the relationship between drinking coffee and the higher incidence of lung cancer. It is suspected, however, that this relationship is due to the fact that smokers often drink coffee regularly. Therefore, smoking seems to be the deciding factor, which has not been included in some studies.

Bibliography
Poole R. et al., Coffee consumption and health umbrella review of meta-analyzes of multiple health outcomes, The BMJ 2017, 359, 5024.

Budney AJ, Emond I, Caffeine addiction? Caffeine for youth? Time to act !, Society for the Study of Addiction 2014, 109, 1771-1772.

Bojarowicz H., Przygoda M., Kofeina. Part 1. Widespread use of caffeine and its effects on the body, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology, 2012, 93 (1), 80-13.

Wolde T., Effect of caffeine on health and nutrition, Food Science and Quality Management 2014, 30, 59-65.

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If you do not eat meat, where do you get the protein from?

If you do not eat meat, where do you get the protein from? – every vegetarian has heard this question at least once in his life. Most people think that a vegetarian diet and building muscle mass do not go hand in hand. This diet is considered to be deficient and low-protein. In any rational diet, protein intake is the lowest of macronutrients because it can not be stored and used as a backup energy source. Varied and well-composed vegetarian diet provides a set of amino acids for protein synthesis. Not only the healing diets that are to lower cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and tumors, are based on plants. More and more athletes are also deciding to use a vegetable diet, which does not prevent them from achieving excellent results. That’s why if we go to the gym, we do not necessarily have to eat meat. Which products should I provide with protein?

1. Vegetarianism – legumes
2. Nuts
3. Groats and pseudozhoża
4. Hemp sowing

1. Vegetarianism – legumes

Legumes belong to the legume family. Among them, we can distinguish soy, lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas and beans. It is a group of plants particularly important from the nutritional point of view. Bean plants provide such nutrients as vegetable protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Protein is the basic ingredient of seeds. From the available crops in Poland, the most protein is soy and yellow lupine (35-42%), while the most commonly consumed peas and beans contain proteins relatively less, about 21-25%. It is worth noting that the consumption of 100 g soybean seeds provides about 36.5 g of protein, 100 g of white bean seed, 23 g of protein, while 100 g of chicken fillet meat only 19.5 g of protein. As we can see, this ratio is extremely beneficial for legume seeds.

We are often afraid of eating fabaceae, especially soy, due to the isoflavones contained in them, which interact with estrogen receptors. There have been many studies that have shown that phytoestrogens can affect the fertility and sexual development of rats. It is worth noting, however, that in the blood of men who were given isoflavones or soy products containing them, there were no changes in the concentration of estrogen and testosterone. This aspect requires additional analysis and execution of many specialist tests.

The protein of the fabaceae plants differs in amino acid composition from the meat or protein of cereals. It is distinguished by a higher share of lysine and threonine. However, their nutritional value limits the insufficient content of methionine and cystine, which are included in sulfuric amino acids. It is worth noting that the best amino acid composition has soy protein.

Often, after eating legume seeds, we complain about the feeling of bloating and the appearance of gases. To get rid of the flatulence effect after eating the pods and remove the anti-nutritive substances, rinse the seeds before cooking and then soak for about 12 hours, then cook in a fresh portion of water.

2. Nuts
In the diet of both vegetarian and people consuming animal products, it is worth paying attention to nuts, which are used, among others, in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and dyslipidemia. They provide a lot of energy, 100 g of nuts provide an average of 553-718 kcal. They are a rich source of fats, but mainly unsaturated fatty acids. The amount of carbohydrates in nuts is quite low, however, in cashew nuts or pistachios it is about 30%. It is worth noting that the nuts are characterized by a high content of vegetable protein, which is approx. 20%. Its highest content is characterized by almonds, pistachios and peanuts. In contrast, walnuts or hazelnuts contain it relatively less.

Together with buckwheat, they provide all the amino acids in an equal proportion, which will allow you to fully use the amino acids for the purpose of protein construction. Instead of porridge, it is worth trying the leavings with almonds and vegetable milk – then we do not have to worry about protein deficiencies.

3. Groats and pseudozhoża
Groats and grain products are characterized by a high content of carbohydrates, mainly complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as vegetable protein. These products were used in the diet of our ancestors and treated as a valuable ingredient. The best source of protein among cereal products are buckwheat groats or millet groats, which may also appear in the diet of people with gluten intolerance or those suffering from celiac disease.

For example, 100 g of buckwheat give 12.5 g of protein, millet – 10.5 g, amaranth – 13.6 g, quinoa – 14.1 g, rice – 7 g, and sweet Abyssinian (also called tefem) – 13.3 g. For comparison – 100 g chicken legs provide 16.8 g of protein, so the difference is not as big as it might seem. The aforementioned buckwheat with almonds and soy milk supplies 21 g of protein, which is after all only one meal.

4. Hemp sowing
Commonly with the word hemp, we associate Indian cannabis, which gained its popularity thanks to its hallucinogenic and curative effects. However, it is worth remembering that this species also includes flax hemp, otherwise called cannabis. These cannabis are widely used in nutrition. They are a good source of protein, contain about 20-25%. Over 65% of hemp proteins are edestins – they are globular proteins classified as the best absorbed by the human body.

Cannabis is among the superfood products due to the rich composition of seeds. Do not worry, they do not contain THC. But it is this suspicion that this most universal plant in the world has long been forgotten. In addition to protein, it provides in ideal proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties. You can also find pure hemp protein on the market, which is a good alternative to whey nutrients.

Bibliography
Wilk M., Soy, a source of valuable nutrients, FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality 2017, 24, 2 (111), 16-25.
Kaniewski R. et al., Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabis sativa L.) – valuable useful and medicinal plant, Postępy Fitoterapii 2017, 18 (2), 139-144.
Stróżyk A., Pachocka L., Nuts as an important component of athletes’ diet, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology 2016, 97 (4), 328-334.
Czupryńska K., Marchlewicz M., Wiszniewska B., The effect of xenoestrogens on the male sexual system, Progress in Cell Biology 2007, 34 (2), 317-333.
F. Cabbage, legumes source of protein for animals and humans, Engineering Sciences and Technologies 2012, 1 (4), 16-32.
Sikora E., Liszka P., Nutrients and non-nutrients in raw and processed peanuts, Bromatologia i Chemia Toksykologiczna 2011, 44 (4), 1047-1053.

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Cabbage diet

Cabbage diet is one of the more popular slimming diets in our country. Although it is cheap, it is not time-consuming and does not require great sacrifices, it is not a diet recommended by dieticians and doctors. Why? What exactly is a cabbage diet? What are its assumptions? How fast are the effects? What are its side effects? What are the risks associated with this diet? There are many questions, we will try to answer them in the following article.

What is a cabbage diet?
Cabbage diet is a short, but very promising diet plan. It occurs under many names, the most popular of which is the presidential, Swedish or Canadian diet. The purpose of this diet (like other alternative diets) is to lose a significant number of kilos in a very short time. Therefore, this plan is extremely tempting for people who need quick results, and do not have time to rationally lose weight.

The cabbage diet has become popular several years ago. Apparently former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was her great supporter and thanks to her got rid of unnecessary kilograms. That’s where the name of the presidential diet came from.

Cabbage diet – a menu and recipe for cabbage soup
The basic ingredient of this diet is cabbage. Vegetable is valued because of its low energy value. The creators of the cabbage diet believe that it can be eaten without restrictions. They suggest eating as much as possible of cabbage soup. They explain their recommendations with the fact that there are only 25 kcal in 100 g of cabbage. White cabbage also contains a few carbohydrates 5.8 g / 100 g, with a large amount of dietary fiber 2.5 g / 100 g.

It is important, however, to remember about the proper preparation of meals. The diet allows you to eat vegetable soup based on cabbage, however, the traditional bigos with the addition of meat and fat is a strictly forbidden product.

At the very beginning it should be clearly stated that the menu of cabbage diet is extremely monotonous. Monocomponent diets are characterized by a small variety of meals due to the limited number of products allowed during their use. The basic meal of this diet is cabbage soup, which can be eaten without any restrictions. You can find the recipe below.

Cabbage soup

Components
– 1 head of Italian or white cabbage – white cabbage (about 2000 g) was used in the recipe,
– 6 heads of chopped onion (500 g),
– red pepper (200 g),

– yellow pepper (200 g),
– 1 bunch of celery (400 g),
– 6 fresh tomatoes (850 g),
– 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil (10 g),
– chilli spices, pepper, garlic, curry, dill, basil (very important – we do not add table salt).

A method of preparing

Wash the washed and cleaned vegetables into small cubes. Fry all but onions in a hot pan with rapeseed oil. Add the onion when the remaining vegetables are soft. Once all the ingredients have reached the desired softness, we put them into a pot with water and cook for about 1.5 hours. Once in a while, thoroughly mix the contents of the pot, so as not to burn the soup. At the end, add spices as desired. It is very important to remember not to add salt to the soup. To prevent monotony in the diet, the soup can be served in the form of a cream or with the addition of other low-calorie vegetables.

The nutritional value of one portion of soup

– 7.2 g protein,

– fats 2.4 g,

– 28.4 g carbohydrates,

– fiber 10.2 g.

The total energy value of one portion of soup 147 kcal.

Cabbage diet is characterized by high content of dietary fiber, so you can not forget about proper irrigation of the body. It is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of liquid each day. To vary the diet, you can also reach for natural vegetable juices, herbal infusions, green tea and coffee. However, you must forget about the use of sugar, the cabbage diet excludes it. The creators of the cabbage diet indicate that achieving amazing results (minus 3-6 kg per week) is possible only if we completely comply with the weekly menu schedule.

Cabbage diet – a weekly version of the menu
The first day of the cabbage diet opens the breakfast from the previously prepared soup, dinner looks just like that. The meals between them are snacks from raw vegetables and green tea and mineral water.

The second day begins with breakfast, steamed or raw vegetables are recommended. They can be any vegetables except legumes and corn. It is also important not to eat any fruit that day. We eat cabbage soup for dinner, and for dinner, we recommend two baked potatoes without addition of table salt.

The next day of the cabbage diet begins with a bowl of cabbage soup. On the third day, we also gradually introduce fruit, they are the basis for the second breakfast, as well as afternoon tea. The most effective is the consumption of fruits with high fiber content, e.g. grapefruits and oranges. At this stage, bananas are excluded! If the afternoon tea was not filling enough, you can eat a plate of cabbage soup for dinner. If we are full, we can let go of our last meal.

On the fourth day of the cabbage diet, we can afford to make our meals more varied. Breakfast is traditionally a cabbage soup, for the second course and dinner we introduce bananas forbidden earlier. For dinner on this day, it is suggested to drink two liters of skim milk or buttermilk and drink them with four glasses of mineral water.

The fifth day begins with cabbage soup as standard. On this day, lean meat also appears on the menu. It is recommended to prepare about 200 grams of lean beef or chicken fillet once. For dinner, eat 6 medium-sized tomatoes, which are washed down with at least 4 glasses of liquid (mineral water or tea).

The penultimate day of the diet begins with cabbage soup. For lunch, a portion of 200 g of lean meat or fish should be cooked with steam. Dinner is a large bowl of finely chopped green vegetables (lettuce, peppers, leeks, broccoli).

We start the seventh and last day of the diet like the rest. For lunch we cook brown rice and serve it with low-calorie vegetables. We do not eat a substantial meal for dinner, on the seventh day, a few glasses of fruit juice (without added sugar) are served, as well as a few glasses of still mineral water.

Cabbage diet – defects and opinions
Cabbage diet, although very popular, is not a diet recommended by dieticians and specialists. The position she has achieved among other alternative slimming diets is mainly due to her low price and ease of use. Another advantage is the small time needed to achieve your dream goal. The effects of this diet, although positive, may adversely affect the condition of our body, because after stopping the diet we return to the initial state. Before starting a cabbage diet, it is worth considering the risks associated with its use. The rapid loss of kilos resulting from a very large calorie deficit is a non-physiological process. The main disadvantages of the cabbage diet include the very common yo-yo effect.

Other disadvantages of this method of feeding are the aforementioned monotony, not every person is able to get used to the taste and smell of cabbage soup. People using a cabbage diet also often complain about too frequent urination, because cabbage has strong diuretic properties. This vegetable contains a significant amount of bloating substances, intensifies the processes of intestinal gas production. In addition to unpleasant dyspeptic symptoms, the cabbage diet also causes fatigue, irritability, general weakness and can cause headaches. It is also worth noting that it is a shortage diet, so it is not properly balanced – it does not cover our needs for proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Opinions about this diet are divided. She has many supporters and opponents. The effect of using this diet is often short-lived. The yo-yo effect in this case is a common phenomenon. Perhaps that’s why dietitians do not recommend this diet. Given its popularity, it is surprising that a small number of scientific publications and studies prove the effectiveness of such a model of nutrition. A person who wants to lose weight in a rational way, without the yo-yo effect, should think twice about it. Perhaps the lack of scientific reports on the effectiveness of this diet means that it is not taken seriously in the medical environment. It should be clearly stated that cabbage diets should not be strictly used by children and adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers, people with immunocompromised persons, as well as people with significant obesity.

Taking into account all opinions about the cabbage diet, it can be said that this diet is not a good or recommended way to lose unwanted kilograms. When using this diet, weight loss is only a result of water loss, not fat. In addition, the cabbage diet reduces the basic metabolism and does not cover the need for basic nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Losing weight on this diet is a non-physiological and unnatural process. The problem of obesity and overweight should not be treated on your own. Long-term results and health improvement can be provided by education of healthy eating habits, so you should go for a consultation with a dietitian.

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Parmesan

Parmesan is a well-known Italian cheese. It is very hard and aromatic. It is obtained from cow’s milk treated with rennet and temperature. Real Italian parmesan has a specific cheese scent, and adding it to selected dishes improves their taste and nutritional quality. Under the name Parmesan we can find in stores products that have nothing to do with the valuable Italian cheese. Read the article below and you will certainly know how to buy original high-quality cheese. You will find out what is its history, where it comes from, and what nutritional and health-promoting properties it characterizes.

Parmesan – history
The name Parmesan derives from the place where the production of cheese began – the regions of Italian Parma. Assigning dishes to names associated with their place of origin began just after the fall of the Roman Empire. This technique was a very convenient way to describe food products informing about the main place of their production. The inventors of Parmesan were medieval monks who were engaged in breeding farm animals and fed on what they had managed to prepare themselves. At the time, parmesan was known as Caseum paramensis. The recipe of Parma cheese is over 800 years old.

Currently, it exists under the full name of Conzorzio del Fromaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, the abbreviation of which is simply Parmesan. To this day, the Parmigiano-Reggiano member is the only name tagged on a real block of Parma cheese.

Parmesan – composition and method of production
Parmesan is somewhat reminiscent of the Moldavian cheese, but it is slightly taller than it. The average size of parmesan cheese is 18-22 cm high, 35-65 cm wide. The pancakes of parmesan cheese are prominent and the sides are slightly convex. Parmesan pulp is yellowish, without discoloration. In most cases, there are no meshes, although there are also specimens with small holes.

The production of Parma cheese is not simple or fast. It requires a subtle approach and a good knowledge of the recipe. It is made from raw cow’s milk. Real parmesan cheese is made from the milk of Razza Reggiana or Vacca Ross cows. Cheeses made from the milk of other cows do not fit into the canon of the original recipe.

Many years passed before the perfect recipe of Parma cheese was developed. A breakthrough in production occurred when pure bacterial strains were introduced into the production of cheeses. It is believed that the presence of an isolated strain of lactic acid bacteria and acid-proteolytic bacteria is necessary for proper ripening of hard rennet cheeses. It is also important to comply with strict hygiene rules from the moment the cow is milked until the final cheese matures. If a bacterial infection occurs at any stage of production, the cheese will not be suitable for consumption.

The smallest amount of milk needed to make 1 medium-sized cheese is about 350-400 liters of milk. Collected milk is poured into the boiler and, after thorough mixing, its acidity is determined in order to calculate the sourdough production needed to produce it. The sourdough must contain the most abundant bacteria that in one day make physical and chemical changes to the milk. After acidifying procedures, the milk is heated to about 33-35 degrees Celsius. Then it is also seasoned with rennet. Milk coagulation under the influence of the enzyme takes about 20-30 minutes. The semi-hard curd is cut with a wooden spatula and then comminuted into a pea-sized seed. Stirring continues until the entire volume of the clot is dry. The whole is set aside for a half-hour break. Then the heating process begins, 1-4 grams of saffron is added to the cheese mass for every 100 liters of milk used. Then, the mass of cheese is pulled out of the boiler using a scarf and formed using a Swiss rim.

The cheese is left to ripen for 15-20 days. At this time, the cheese is moisturized and lubricated with salt so that they have the right taste, the process of sowing may take another 40-50 days. The next step is to wash the cheese and put it away in dry basements at 15 degrees, where they suck up and put on a hard, uniform mass. After this time the cheese is scraped off the outer layer, pressed and rubbed with linseed oil. This action protects the valuable product against damage and mechanical damage. Good quality Parmenan cheese ripen at least 4 years, but the best can mature even several dozen years.

Parmesan – nutritional value and pro-health properties
It is assumed that one portion of parmesan cheese is 5 g. It is an extremely aromatic cheese and is not consumed in large quantities. Parmesan is a high-calorie cheese, in the portion is 20 kcal. This means that 100 g of cheese is about 400 kcal. It is a very good source of protein (40 g / 100 g – for comparison, the same amount is found in 225 g of trout). In addition, it contains a lot of fat (30 g / 100 g) and large amounts of minerals, which include sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus minerals, as well as vitamins A, B2, B6, B12.

Parmesan contains the largest amounts of calcium among all cheeses (1,109 g / 100 g of cheese). It is successfully used in dietotherapy of osteoporosis. It is important, however, to remember that parmesan (despite the high calcium content) also contains a large amount of sodium. As we well know, too much of this macroelement in the diet can have harmful effects on our health. However, if we are connoisseurs of cheeses, we must consume them in reasonable quantities.

Contained in parmesan, phosphorus is essential for the proper functioning of the skeletal system. It supports the development of bones and teeth. It also reduces the risk of kidney stones by acidifying urine. Multicenter studies have proven that the chromium contained in ripening cheeses has a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism. Reasonable amounts of rennet cheese in the diet lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. They help regulate blood glucose and reduce tissue requirements for insulin. All these features indicate that parmesan (consumed regularly and in small amounts) can bring benefits in the prevention of civilization diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Recent reports from the world of science indicate that parmesan cheese not only does not cause a faster increase in body weight, and can even inhibit the development of obesity in people with metabolic syndrome.

Parmesan – application in culinary art
The taste of real Parmesan cheese can not be confused with any other. It is distinctive, ripe, the cheese has a characteristic, quite intense smell. Against the background of other rennet cheeses it is distinguished by its constant and very hard consistency.

Starters Parmesan can be an addition to cold dishes such as salads, spreads, starters. Ideally also found as a complement to hot dishes of pasta, sauces, pizzas, casseroles and many, many more. The younger cheese is a dry addition to wines and cold meats. Because of its price and its unique origin, it is not a classic element of the French cheese board.

There is really no reason to not eat parmesan. It is a source of many valuable nutrients. The only limitation that should be introduced when using the benefits of Parma cheese is the preservation of moderation in its consumption. It must be remembered that the portion of this cheese is 5 grams. Therefore, it should not be exceeded. The disadvantage of Parma cheese is its price. For one kilo of such cheese you have to pay an average of 70-150 PLN depending on the producer and the time of ripening. There are, however, very old Parma cheese, the price of which reaches even several thousand euros.

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Sesame

Sesame is a plant that probably does not need to be presented to anyone. Each of us knows how it looks and how it tastes. Most of us sesame is associated with crunchy sweet sesame seeds that can be bought in every kiosk. However, real sesame seed is something more than a sweet, light and fragile candy bar – it’s a health locked in a tiny grain. Spice, which is very inconspicuous, contains in itself the whole gamma of healing and health properties. Why is it worth to introduce sesame into your diet? What is its healing use? Which dishes suits best? You will know the answer to these questions soon.

Sesame – characteristics of the species and curiosities

The Indian Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an annual oil plant. It can also be found under the names kunżut and eastern łogowa. Currently, it is no longer found in the natural environment, and its cultures are huge and completely intended for utility purposes.

The Indian sesame belongs to the family of plant-like plants and reaches a height of even 1.5 m. The leaves are small and their surface is covered with tiny glandular hairs. The flowers are about 3 cm, occur in a variety of colors – from white to red to dark purple, depending on the variety. Sesame fruits ripen in fruit bags. Each of them contains about 80-100 small and extremely aromatic grains. They are flat and dull, and like the flowers they differ in color. They are most often found in cream and black. When the contents of the bag matures, it opens and spills its fruits on the ground.

The source Köhler F., Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen mit kurz erläuternder Texte, Gera-Untermhaus 1887.

So far, it has not been determined where the sesame comes from. It is known, however, that the first records of its use date back to over two thousand years BC In ancient Babylon, sesame was considered a spice of gods – it was so special because of its high health and dietary value. It is not known how the sesame spread throughout the globe. It is believed that this was due to the wanderers who traveled the world hundreds of years ago and traded in various goods. However, it was established that the inhabitants of China and India were responsible for breeding the most valuable variety of Indian sesame. In our country, the most popular is white sesame, however, the world top is the sesame black, appreciated because of its nutty sweet taste.

Sesame – nutritional values
Sesame is an oily plant used mainly in the production of edible sesame oil. Therefore, nobody should be surprised by the fact that it is a raw material with an extremely high energy value. In 100 g Indian sesame seeds there are as much as 647 kcal. Although mainly fats 59.9 g / 100 g of product, the seeds also contain considerable amounts of protein – 23.2 g / 100 g. They are therefore a great alternative for people on a vegetarian diet. However, it should be remembered that it is not a full-blown protein. In addition, sesame seeds have a small amount of digestible carbohydrates – 2.1 g / 100 g and higher dietary fiber – 7.9 g / 100 g.

Sesame is a real treasury of nutrients. It contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, these are primarily oleic acid and linoleic acid (21.4 g / 100 g). It has a rich group of exogenous amino acids with various therapeutic properties.

Sesame seeds are characterized by a relatively high content of plant phytosterols. We can find about 231-1900 mg of these substances in 100 g of raw material, for comparison, sesame seed oil has on average about 360-473 mg of phytosterols.

When it comes to vitamins, there are not many of them in sesame. However, you can find in it vitamins from group B, eg folic acid, vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B1. The high content of minerals compensates for a small amount of vitamins. Already 100 grams of sesame seeds almost completely cover our daily demand for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper. Particular attention should be paid to vegans who in their diets have a limited supply of calcium necessary for the proper functioning of the skeletal system.

Of course, we do not suggest daily consumption of 100 g sesame seeds. We just want to point out that it is an interesting and very valuable food product.

Sesame – medicinal use
Sesame has been known for centuries as a plant with special medicinal properties. The first mention of his pro-health activity are documented and come from 1150 BC. These records attribute the energy of sunlight to seeds of sesame seeds. Until today, it is not known which pro-health properties were meant by the authors of the text. Boldly, however, it can be said that they meant the beneficial effects of sesame seeds on the functioning of the human body.

The most important active substances present in the sesame are the aforementioned tocopherols. Sesame oil contains large amounts of gamma-tocopherol. The compounds of this group are found in oilseeds, as well as in maize and soy. They are characterized by a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.

Sesame of its antioxidant activity is largely due to the presence of sesamol and sesamin. Both of these substances are characterized by resistance to oxidation processes. Research has proven that they have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the nervous system. They reduce the frequency of epilepsy episodes, relieve nervous tension. They can also be used in Alzheimer’s disease, they improve cognitive functions and inhibit neurodegenerative processes.

Sesamol and sesamin also find application in the treatment of certain genetic diseases, such as Huntington’s chorea. They also eliminate the symptoms of oxidative stress in the myocardium, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The dietary fiber contained in sesame seeds is characterized by high binding efficiency. As the food moves, it binds all harmful substances, toxins and anti-nutrients to each other. Thanks to this, it improves the detoxification processes of our body. In addition, it supports digestion and helps eliminate the problem of constipation.

Sesame – use in the kitchen
Sesame can be successfully used in everyday dishes, it is quite universal and has a very pleasant expressive taste. It is used to prepare many tasty desserts. One of the most famous sweets, which is prepared from sesame, is halva. In addition, sesame is great as a component of dry Asian cuisine, a component of meat crumbs and addition to sushi. Tahini paste is also made from sesame, which is an essential component of home-made hummus.

In conclusion, sesame is a product worth our attention. It is characterized by high nutritional value and scientifically proven health-promoting effects. Already its small addition to ordinary dishes makes them acquire an exquisite taste. In addition, it significantly increases the nutritional value of meals and supplements the diet with micro and macro elements. It is worth remembering, however, that sesame seeds are known as products that cause strong food allergies. They are on the list of the 12 most allergenic food products.

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Dried tomatoes

Tomatoes are at the forefront of the most commonly used vegetables in Europe. Only the potato, onion and lettuce are ahead of them. They owe their popularity to their availability, versatility and low price. Tomatoes can be bought in various forms. The most popular are purees, juices, concentrates, sauces and dried tomatoes. Especially the latter deserve our attention, they are extremely tasty, aromatic and can be an addition to many tasty dishes. They are a great source of lycopene, the properties of which we will tell you today.

Dried tomatoes – nutritional value
Tomatoes are vegetables appreciated almost all over the world. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) came to Europe in the 16th century and it was brought from Central America. The beginnings of cultivating tomatoes on our continent were not easy – due to the intense red color, they were considered a highly poisonous plant and were only cultivated for ornamental purposes. Today, tomatoes are appreciated by consumers and are appreciated for their nutritional, health and dietary properties.

Dried tomatoes are obtained by drying purified and cut fresh tomatoes. Although they look less attractive than raw, they definitely outweigh them with nutritional values, including the content of lycopene. Dried tomatoes usually occur in two forms. The first one is tomatoes dried in oil, the second is dried without oil (in dry form). The observation shows that consumers more often choose tomatoes dried in oil. Such a product in 100 g contains about 213 kcal, including 20 g total carbohydrates (including 6.7 g dietary fiber), 13.3 g fat and 6.67 g protein. However, those dried without the addition of oil in 100 g contain about 257 kcal, including 55 g of carbohydrates (including 13 g of dietary fiber), 3.7 g of fat and 14.8 g of protein. Such disparities result both from the manufacturing method and, type and method of cultivation. When buying dried tomatoes, special attention should be paid to the type of oil that the vegetables are filled with. The best quality tomatoes are cold pressed rapeseed oil and olive oil. It is not recommended to buy tomatoes in a flood of sunflower oil due to the unfavorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase the inflammation in our body and have a bad effect on the cardiovascular system. For example, tomatoes in raw form in 100 g provide about 18 kcal, including 3.9 g carbohydrates (including 1.2 g dietary fiber), 0.2 g fat and 0.8 g protein.

Dried tomatoes are a real treasury of mineral salts and vitamins. 100 g of dried tomatoes contain as much as 39 mg of vitamin C. An adequate supply of vitamin C ensures beneficial effects of the immune system. Vitamin C also takes part in the collagen synthesis process and reduces the concentration of bad cholesterol. In addition to vitamin C, in dried tomatoes there are also significant amounts of vitamin A, 100 g of the product provides our body with about 833 IU of this vitamin. Proper supply of this compound ensures good skin condition, strengthens the eyesight and regulates the processes of creating new cells. In dried tomatoes we can also find vitamins from group B, including B1, B2, B3 and B6. Their appropriate level plays an important role in the prevention of diseases of the nervous system.

In addition to vitamins, dried tomatoes contain a large amount of necessary for the proper functioning of micro- and macroelements. The most important of these is potassium, which in the body is responsible for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and correct muscle spasms. Both fresh and dried tomatoes are a great source. Apart from potassium, we can also find sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium in them. The amounts of the elements listed above are however small. The healthiest and the tastiest dried tomatoes are those that come from natural crops (eg from our gardens and plots).

What properties do the dried tomatoes have?
Due to the low energy value, tomatoes are included in dietetic food. Conscious consumers who have knowledge about healthy eating use them daily as part of their meals. Over the past dozen or so years, tomatoes have gained a special position in the prevention of cancer. All this is due to lycopene, an organic compound from the carotene group. It exhibits strong pro-health properties, while its absorbability from dried tomatoes is definitely higher than from raw ones. Lycopene has a strong antioxidant effect, therefore it is well suited for the prevention of cardiovascular and cancer diseases. It is worth noting that lycopene scavenges free radicals twice as efficiently as beta-carotene and ten times more efficiently than alpha-tocopherol. Such a high content of lycopene makes real dried superfood tomatoes.

There are numerous scientific studies around the world that are looking for irrefutable evidence that lycopene contained in dried tomatoes has anti-carcinogenic properties. There are studies that showed a positive correlation between lycopene consumption and a decrease in the activity of breast cancer cells. Lycopene is responsible in this case for inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. Proper supply of this component ensures proper DNA synthesis and prevents its damage. Therefore, it is safe to say that currently conducted scientific research gives great hope to oncological patients. Unfortunately, to find unambiguous and indisputable evidence, research should be carried out constantly.

In addition to the potential use in the prevention of cancer, lycopene is also credited with a significant role in the prevention of bone diseases. When we talk about this type of illness, we think about the diet with an increased amount of dairy products, calcium supplementation and vitamin D. Of course, the above-mentioned ingredients are necessary to ensure good bone health, but let’s focus this time on the role of lycopene. Bone system diseases, including osteoporosis, go hand in hand with systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress. The latter is particularly harmful. It directly affects the inhibition of bone formation and shortens the lifespan of osteoblasts. As mentioned before, lycopene is an extremely powerful antioxidant and it is this feature that makes it a substance extremely helpful in the prevention of bone diseases. , r

How to prepare dried tomatoes yourself?
The purchase of dried tomatoes is an expense of about 10 to 15 PLN for a small jar. Tomatoes bought in the store are quite tasty, but the label often does not provide us with enough information on how to produce them. We do not know if they were dried in the sun or in a drying room. We do not know what crops they come from and whether they meet our requirements. Despite the addition of fruit, seeds or various spices, bought tomatoes sometimes just simply tasteless. So if we want to get dried tomatoes of the highest quality, it is best to prepare them yourself. This is not so difficult, contrary to appearances, and can have a big impact on our health.

The first step is to chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds with a spoon. The next is to put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper (a sheet skin). You need to gently salt them, then set the oven to about 90 ° C, preferably with the function of thermo-flow. Drying tomatoes at this temperature usually takes about 2 hours. The baking tray is pulled out of the oven only when the tomatoes are already heavily wrinkled. It then translates the dried tomatoes into a bowl, seasoning it according to your taste and arranges tightly in the jar. A few slices of garlic are put into each jar. The last step is pouring the jars into warm, slightly warmed oil and turning the jars upside down. Such a recipe for dried tomatoes is very simple to make and guarantees us the perfect taste for many, many weeks.

Recipes for dishes using dried tomatoes

Below are two ideas for delicious use of dried tomatoes in the kitchen.

Hummus With Dry Potatoes

Components
– 200 g of chickpeas in brine,
– 100 g tahini (sesame paste),
– 3 cloves of garlic,
– lemon juice juice,
– 70 g of dried tomatoes (10 pieces),
– salt,
– pepper,
– 10 g olive oil.

In the bowl, put chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic cloves squeezed through the press, lemon juice and finely chopped dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. The whole blends to a uniform mass. If the mass is too dry, add a small amount of water. Hummus can be served with crunchy or whole grain bread.

Nutritional value in the whole portion

– 1182 kcal,

– 42.2 g protein,

– 71.7 g fats,

– carbohydrates 81.8 g,

– fiber 32.1 g.

Mediterranean baguette

Components
– 80 g wholemeal baguette,
– 40 g mozzarella cheese (half balls),
– 20 g arugula lettuce,
– 70 g of dried tomatoes (10 pieces),
– fresh basil leaves,
– 20 g walnuts (handful),
– 10 g olive oil – for spreading.

Nutritional value in the whole portion

– energy 722,9 kcal,

– 30,3 g protein,

– fats 34.4 g,

– 69.5 g carbohydrates,

– fiber 16.2 g.

Cut the bun in half. We lubricate with olive oil. Dried tomatoes are cut in half. Slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and half of basil leaves are placed on a whole-grain baguette. Place the buns in the oven heated to 180 ° C, bake them until the mozzarella dissolves. After removing from the oven, place the nuts and fresh basil leaves on them.

Dried tomatoes are not only a tasty addition to Mediterranean cuisine. They have health properties that many of us have not heard of yet. Due to the high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants should often appear on our tables.

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Arginine

Arginine is a relatively exogenous amino acid. Young people should deliver it to the body along with the diet, while adults are able to endogenously produce adequate amounts of arginine. In recent years, the significant effect of arginine on the body has been discovered, so it is worth taking care of its appropriate level. To ensure proper supply, it is worth knowing where arginine is, how it works and whether it should be supplemented?

The occurrence of arginine
The pool of arginine in the body, in addition to endogenous changes and intracellular protein degradation, also affects the supply of amino acids with diet. Especially for its correct level should be taken care of in the case of increased demand of the system – in the case of injuries, disease states and moments of significant burden on the body excess catabolic processes. Along with the progressive aging of the body, the production of endogenous arginine decreases and it is recommended to supplement it with the diet.

The rich source of arginine are products containing animal and vegetable protein soy, beef, pork, turkey, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, groundnuts, brazilian, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, almonds, linseed, chocolate, buckwheat and mackerel. Small amounts are also found in milk proteins. Only half of the arginine supplied with food to the body as a result of digestion is absorbed into the blood, and 40% breaks down in the small intestine.

The action of arginine
Arginine is formed in the urea cycle and is involved in the synthesis of proteins, creatine, urea, proline, polyamines and nitric oxide. The amino acid has a regulatory function and stimulates the secretion of glucagon, insulin, prolactin and growth hormone. The metabolic pathways of arginine vary depending on particular organs and cells.

Arginine affects the proper functioning and protection of the liver. It provides detoxification of the body by converting toxic ammonia into urea in the urea cycle.

Arginine is a substrate in the synthesis of creatine, which is a precursor to the index of normal kidney function – creatinine. Creatine plays a key role in muscle energy, influencing the improvement of oxygen metabolism and lowering the level of lactic acid. In the case of training people, this allows you to increase training loads, increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of fat.

The supply of arginine also influences the production of growth hormone (GH). GH affects the immune system and the central nervous system. Too large amounts of growth hormone negatively affect the body, increase the risk of cancer and reduce the uptake of glucose, which is an energy substrate, especially in endurance sports. The supply of arginine before bedtime stimulates the secretion of GH even more.

Arginine in the vascular endothelium is responsible for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO), which stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, facilitates wound healing (especially in the case of burns) and dilates blood vessels. In addition, it is involved in the relaxation of smooth muscles, improves blood circulation and helps regenerate damaged muscle fibers. NO deficiency has a significant effect on the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and oxidation of LDL cholesterol molecules.

The amino acid also delays the body’s aging process thanks to its antioxidant properties and its influence on the synthesis of collagen. Arginine is needed for the production of sperm, keeping the right amount of sperm and their motility. In addition, it has a positive effect on intestinal microbiota and improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, which reduces the risk of developing the disease and its subsequent complications.

The dosage of arginine
Arginine is used in the form of pure, isolated amino acid L-arginine or as synthetic compounds – AAKG (arginine with glutaric acid), hydrogen chloride or L-arginine malate. The best assimilable form is the one closest to the natural one found in food.

Arginine as a drug is used in diseases of the circulatory hypertension, ischemic disease, atherosclerosis, cerebral infarctions and blood clots, as well as in diabetes, glaucoma, infertility in men, burns and infections.

Arginine is very often supplemented by athletes to support the body’s exercise capacity. Unfortunately, there are no unequivocal studies that prove the beneficial effect of arginine supplementation in strength and endurance sports.

The recommended daily dose of arginine should be 5 grams – this is the basic dose, without any side effects. The pre- workout preparation is the most effective . If high doses of arginine are used, gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea, diarrhea, dehydration) may arise.

Contraindications to the use of arginine
Arginine should not be supplemented by people suffering from schizophrenia, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people taking anticoagulants, people with renal insufficiency, liver and bile ducts, digestive and absorption disorders and advanced hypertension.

Each supplementation should be supported by laboratory tests and consultation with a doctor. In addition, there should be a few hours between taking a dietary supplement and a medicine so that interaction does not intervene between them.

Opinions about arginine
Arginine is an amino acid necessary for the proper functioning of the body, while both excess and deficiency is not beneficial to the body. If there is too much arginine in the system, too much nitric oxide is produced, and this completely reverses its effect – instead of lowering blood pressure, it increases and stiffens the blood vessels, instead of making them more elastic. In addition, administration of high doses of arginine may disrupt the balance of other amino acids.

A rational and well-balanced diet allows you to provide the right amount of arginine so that you can feel the positive effect of this amino acid on the body.

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Pomegranate

The fruit of pomegranate has been known since antiquity, when it was considered a symbol of both fertility and abundance, immortality and sanctity. He was worshiped in many religions around the world. In folk medicine, it was used primarily to fight parasites. He was also supposed to help with aphthae, ulcers, diarrhea or febrile states. It was often used as a means to fight haemorrhage, dysentery, acidosis and microbial infections. In fact, all parts of the plant were used in Ayurveda – not only the fruit itself, but also the bark, flowers, leaves and even roots.

What is the pomegranate and where does it come from?
The family pomatia (Latin Punicaceae) and the order Myrtales (Latin Myrtales) belong only two species of flora. These are low trees, from 3 to a maximum of 7 meters, or shrubs whose leaves are opposite and single, prickly branches, and bisexual flowers of a strongly intense red color 2. The fruits of these plants resemble our native apples.

The most well-known species from the aforementioned pair is pomegranate (Latin Punica granatum), also known as the bush or tree of pomegranate or proper pomegranate. It probably comes from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia . Currently, its cultivation covers the Mediterranean, India, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and it can easily be found even in China, Japan, Russia and the United States, mainly in California and on Arizona areas.

Depending on the place where it grows, it can have different sizes, maturation time, juice volume and dose of other ingredients. It grows easily on barren soil, although the best ones are fertile, clayey and humus-rich . It tolerates a wide temperature range. He is not afraid of frosts, including those reaching even minus 15 degrees Celsius.

Pomegranate fruit only after four years. Fruits reach full maturity in late autumn and can weigh even about a kilogram. From this amount you can get about 500 to 750 g of juice. One tree or shrub can spend up to 50 kg of pomegranate at a time. It is a product that gets to know thanks to the purple, later dark blue skin with irregular cracks. Inside it, there are up to 1000 to 1,300 granular seeds in the chambers 2. The second not significant in economic terms is Punica protopunica, which can be found only on the island of Socotra belonging to South Yemen 2.

Nutritional values ​​of pomegranate
Three independent research staffs worked on determining the nutritional value of the pomegranate from 2010. The final chemical composition of the fruit is influenced by many factors, including, first of all, the variety, climate, growing conditions, the maturity of the harvested crop and the manner in which it is stored.

It was finally determined that the product in question is characterized by low calorific value ranging between 65 kcal and up to about 78 kcal in 100 g raw material. Among the macronutrients, carbohydrates boast the most. There are from 1.5 g to 18.7 g in 100 g, while the protein content does not exceed even 2 g, and lipids oscillate in the value of about 1 g. The pomegranate also contains quite a large amount of fiber, in 100 g it is from g up to 5 g. The fruit described is also a great treasure trove of many micronutrients. The most important are vitamin C, E, pantothenic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus .

Half the weight of a pomegranate is his skin. Interestingly, it is practically the most important part of this product, because it is where we find bioactive components that are extremely important for human health, such as phenolic compounds, among them flavonols, elagotannins and proanthocyanidins. In turn, the edible part of this raw material is made up of 0% of the weight of fruit and seeds, whose weight fraction does not exceed 10%.

Regarding the chemical composition of the main part of the grenade, which is possible to consume, in fact 85% of its content is water. The rest is made up of fructose, glucose and pectin. The most important ingredient in terms of health are organic acids, including ascorbic, lemon and apple, as well as flavonoids and anthocyanins. Seeds are mainly a rich source of lipids, largely those from the polyunsaturated family, such as linoleic and linolenic acid. Other fats that build popular pomegranate seeds include stearic, punic, oleic and palmitic acids. Pomegranate oil accounts for almost 20% of the weight of seeds. The other components of their mass are protein, sugars, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and mainly of genistein belonging to isoflavones .

Both the juice of the described product and the fruit itself are the source of many bioactive compounds. According to the results of the research by Apkinar-Bayizit from 2012 and Lansky and Newmann from 2007, nectar contains anthocyanins, ellagic, gallic, caffeine, epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, rutin, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, fumaric acid, amber acid , chlorogenic, p-coumaric acid, quinoline, catechins, epicatechin, glucoside, cyanidin, pelargonidin and delphinidin.

In turn, based on the results of Wang’s 2010 and Yasuja experience from 2012, pomegranate fruit and seeds have in their composition catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, flavan-3-ole, kaempferol, luteolin, naringin, pelargonidine, prodelphinidine, quercetin, rutin, hydroxybenzoic acid, ellagic, caffeic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric acid, quinic acid, punikalagine, corilagin, pedagulagin, telimagrandin, delphinidin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol 3-O-glucoside and kaempferol 3-O-rhamnoglucoside. All these ingredients make it despite the inconspicuous appearance of this product in an amazing way that supports human health .

The effect of pomegranate on health
Thanks to the richness of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds, pomegranate has an extremely positive and diverse effect on the human body and its functioning. This product is known for its numerous health properties, thanks to which it works both prophylactically and therapeutically. The most important and most popular health properties include antioxidant, cardioprotective, hypoglycemic, anti-cancer and support the development and growth of beneficial microorganisms .

The antioxidant potential of this fruit has been the subject of many scientists’ research for many years. However, it was discovered that not every grenade has the same antioxidant effect, because it depends on its variety, degree of maturity, climatic conditions in which it grew and a specific component of the plant, which was taken into account in the given experiment.

In 2002, during one of the experiments, it was discovered that the pomegranate skin extract is characterized by a greater antioxidant capacity than the solution prepared from its seeds. This study used the ability of substances contained in the described plant to quench the action of a specific product resulting from oxidative stress known as DDPH. Its full name is the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical. After 5 years, in another experiment, it was observed that the food product created from crushed fruits has 20 times more antioxidant capacity than the apple-juice.

One of the most interesting studies was carried out in 2000. Four methods of checking antioxidative capabilities such as ABTS, DPPH, DMPD and FRAP were taken into account in it. The obtained results confirmed up to 3 times higher antioxidant capacity of juice from the described fruit compared to red wine and green tea.

In turn, the experience conducted by Sudheesh and Vijayalakshmi on a group of laboratory rats administered isolated pomegranate flavonoids showed that these animals were characterized by a smaller amount of compounds that are biomarkers in assessing the changes associated with the oxidation of lipids, such as hydroperoxides and malondialdehyde, in the liver , heart and rodent kidneys. In addition, it was observed that among the individuals that were used in the experiment increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and glutathione reductase in the above-mentioned organs.

In the case of a study conducted with the participation of humans, it was unequivocally proved that giving the volunteers an extract of the described fruit in the form of capsules led to a greater antioxidant capacity of plasma by as much as 31.8% after only 30 minutes from taking the preparation .

Tannins and anthocyanins, which are rich in pomegranate fruit, also have antiatherosclerotic properties. Experiences on this subject were conducted both on animals and with the participation of people. The results of the research most often underlined the role of the juice of the described product and its unambiguous effect on the drop in systolic pressure. In one experiment conducted on wistar rats, which were characterized by high blood pressure induced by subcutaneous administration of the protein hormone, angotensin II, the animals received 100 mg of pomegranate juice per kilogram of body weight for weeks. As a result of this action, a drop in blood pressure in rodents was observed.

In another study, the results clearly indicated that the administration of nectar for one year to people with atherosclerosis in whom carotid artery stenosis occurred resulted in a 30% reduction in intima and middle thickness of the above-mentioned site with an 83% increase in enzyme activity that inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol molecules, i.e. paraoxonase-1 abbreviated as PON-1 (called Serum paraoxonase / arylesterase 1).

An interesting experiment aimed at confirming the anti-atherosclerotic action of the juice of the described fruit consisted in consuming for weeks by a group of patients 800 mg of oil from the seed of the product. In these patients a statistically significant decrease in the amount of triglycerides and a decrease in the ratio of the mentioned lipid molecules to the so-called good HDL cholesterol. The results of this experiment coincide with the study conducted by Esmaillzadeh, which was to test the effect of drinking concentrated pomegranate nectar on the lipid profile of patients with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. In these subjects, a reduction in the amount of total cholesterol, LDL and a decrease in the ratio of these substances to HDL was observed.

In addition, other experiments have shown that using both the extract of the described fruit and the juice itself leads to a large reduction in the expression of vasculitis markers such as thrombospondin, TSP (thrombospondin), and transforming beta-growth factor, i.e. TGF-β (ang. transforming growth factor β), with the simultaneous increase in nitric oxide in blood plasma .

Many scientists over the years also conducted observations to prove or exclude the effect of pomegranate on the decrease in glucose. Thus, the experiment on wistar rats allowed to note that the administration of an aqueous extract from the skin of the described fruit in the amount of 200 mg per kilogram of body mass leads in rodents to the reduction of sugar in the plasma. In a very similar experiment, where the same animals with diagnosed diabetes were given a rich polyphenol-rich solution for 10 days, it was found that it led to a decrease in fasting glucose and at the same time caused an increase in insulin concentration.

In a further study in rats with glycemic disturbances induced by streptozotocin, rodent consumption of pomegranate seeds of 300 and 600 mg per kilogram body weight resulted in a reduction in blood sugar by 7% and 52 in just 12 hours. %. However, in an experiment in mice, which was supplemented with oil from the described plant rich in linolenic acid, this effect positively influenced the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, thanks to which the risk of developing full-type type 2 diabetes mellitus decreased in these animals.

Another experiment in which the same rodent species were used consisted of feeding them with a pomegranate solution. This led to a decrease in serum resistin, a substance that is involved in the development of insulin resistance.

Human studies have only partially produced positive results. In one of them, it was proved that drinking juice from the described fruit by patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes results in a reduction in the amount of fasting glucose while reducing insulin resistance. In the next, however, where sick people consumed 50 ml of drink a day for months, neither the improvement of fasting glycemia nor the greater sensitivity of tissues to the pancreatic β-cell hormone occurred. The glycosylated hemoglobin A1c of patients did not change either.

Many scientists also began to wonder whether this wonderful fruit, containing so many bioactive compounds, may also have its share in inhibiting the development and prevention of cancer. The results of the experiments confirm that in the case of prostate cancer, both the described seed oil and juice prevent further development of the disease. In addition, it was observed that whole fruit extracts had better antitumor activity than solutions from particular parts of the pomegranate. In turn, research on breast cancer shows that the substances contained in the plant are responsible for stopping the angiogenesis, invasiveness and enlargement of cancer cells, which simultaneously leads to their self-destruction.

In other colon disease experiments, it was observed that patients after nectar in the colon release elagotanine and urolithin, ie components responsible for reducing the risk of cancer of a given organ by inhibiting the development of cancer cells and bringing them to apoptosis. In addition, in the data part you can find information that the grenade also works in the prevention and treatment of leukemia and liver diseases on the background of cancer .

Most of the experiments regarding the properties of the described fruit concerned its role in stopping the development of microorganisms. Probably the antibacterial abilities of this product are associated with anthocyanins in their composition, which are also responsible for the antioxidant capabilities of the pomegranate. The data collected on the basis of numerous studies indicate that the fruit mentioned above has a severe destructive effect on Staphylococcus aureus, or Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, also known as the pseudomonas, as a result of punikalagin, which is found in the skin of the product. It was also observed that solutions from this part of the fruit negatively affect the growth of other bacteria, such as Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Listeria monocytogenes or Yersinia enterocolitica.

Other experiments also confirmed that the product extracts also inhibit the development of periodontal pathogenic microorganisms. Interestingly, pomegranate solutions that destroy strains hazardous to health, at the same time support the growth and development of probiotic bacteria inhabiting, for example, intestinal walls in humans, mainly from the family of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium .

Where was the pomegranate fruit used?
Due to its numerous properties and rich chemical composition, the pomegranate fruit has been used in various industries. The best documented is its use by the food, leather and cosmetics industry.

As far as the first of the above-mentioned products is concerned, the product is primarily used to create juices, wine, jams, preserves, jellies, dried seeds, as well as syrups and liqueurs. . Of the punch and alcohol produced from this fruit, the Caucasus regions are particularly well known 2 .

Although not the grenade itself, but the leaves and bark of the trunks and roots of the tree on which it grows, thanks to the high content of tannins are used for the production of safian, or delicate skin, which is used to create exclusive shoes or women’s handbags. It is also often used to cover furniture and even create a unique setting for books. Interestingly, thanks to the colors obtained from fruit cover, eastern carpets are so enchanting. These dyes also produce ink for body dyeing. Intensive shades extracted from the flowers of this plant are also used to make the fabrics of linen, cotton, silk and wool 2 more attractive.

When it comes to the cosmetics industry, it is an industry that is constantly developing and, according to the expectations of consumers, creates more and more exclusive products based on natural substances. 1. The skin and pomegranate due to their anti-inflammatory effect and preventing discoloration in the human skin are an increasingly frequent component of numerous skin care products. The research conducted on hairless guinea pigs, which were administered with the extract of the mentioned ingredients, and at the same time irradiated with UV rays, showed that the compounds contained in the product also reduce pigmentation.

Another experience, in turn, confirmed that pomegranate polyphenols counteract the aging of the skin caused by UVB radiation. It has also been proven that they inhibit the activity of peroxidase in the connective tissue, which makes them antioxidant. 5. Importantly, they are also used to prolong the durability of cosmetics, especially creams, shampoos and lotions. In turn, extracts from tanning agents are used in sunscreen, antiacne preparations and foot cosmetics 1 due to their astringent effect.

Interestingly, the oil from the seeds of the described fruit also found its place in the cosmetics industry. Thanks to the fact that it contains significant amounts of punic acid from the omega-5 family, it destroys the free radicals to a large extent. In addition, it has a soothing and renewing effect. An important component of this liquid fat are also polyunsaturated lipids, often called vitamin F. They are mainly linolenic acid in an amount of 0.2%, oleic acid in a concentration of 7.7% and linoleic in a dose of 9.8%. They affect the faster regeneration of the skin, as well as its good nourishment, moisturizing and refreshing 5. That is why they found themselves in preparations for the treatment of sunburn and wounds. They are also used in the presence of rosacea. In turn, mature skin has a rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle effect 1.

Contraindications, that is, the grenade is good for everyone
Unfortunately, despite its great properties, the grenade can not be used with impunity and any time of the day by people who take drugs permanently because it significantly affects their metabolism. The importance of consuming juices based on the described fruit is particularly emphasized here. Observations from numerous studies show that beverages from tropical products in various ways inhibit the action of cytochrome P50, which in the liver takes part in the direct detoxification and processing of drugs taken.

Among the nectars from such ingredients as papaya, kiwi, mango, passion fruit, pitai, white grapefruit, orange, carambola and rambutan, the strongest inhibitory effect on the aforementioned substances showed, among others, grenade 3. Inhibition of cytochrome P50 function strengthens the action of the taken medicinal preparations, especially those containing statins, which are found even in tablets for cholesterol 7. Other contraindications for the consumption of beverages or fruit in the unprocessed form include hyperacidity, peptic ulceration or gastritis 6.

Should a pomegranate really be part of a well-balanced diet?
Both pomegranate and juice produced from this fruit are currently not very popular products in the daily diet of the average Pole. This is probably due to the low awareness of how good both preventive and curative properties bring about the regular consumption of this plant. In addition, it is a great support in the treatment of both people with already diagnosed cancer, as well as those who are in an increased risk group.

Pomegranate can also be successfully used in patients with impaired glycemia or bad lipid profile – however, it must be stressed that eating this fruit will not replace conventional therapy.

Especially for hours of consumption of this product should be considered by people with chronic diseases, which force them to daily consuming drugs. In order to prevent the interaction between pomegranate or its juice and adopted tablets, especially those containing statins, a minimum of 2 hours should be allowed between the pharmaceutical and the food containing the product described.

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Nutritional values ​​of pistachios and their impact on human health

For several years now, nuts have been increasingly found in Polish homes. This very popular type of fast snack, until recently demonized and considered fat and unhealthy, is now regarded as an indispensable part of a well-balanced diet. Today we will check what nutritional properties the pistachios have.

Where did the fashion for nuts in the diet come from?
Fashion for eating nuts is associated not only with their ever-easier availability, but also with increasing consumers’ nutritional awareness and numerous studies on the beneficial effects of this type of food on the human body 2. The good effects of the described snack was especially highlighted in 2005 in the recommendations for healthy diets issued by the Harvard School of Public Health together with the US Department of Agriculture, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

Peanut paste with xylitol and sea salt

In the presented food pyramids, which were carefully developed by dr n.med. Beata Całniuk, emphasized the obligation to include each day in their menu products with a high content of fats with a different composition of fatty acids. They include, among others, vegetable oils, fish, seeds and nuts. Thanks to this in the daily diet of a human should not lack the right amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega-3 and omega-6 1 families.

The discovery and origin of pistachio nuts
In studies carried out in 2010 by O’Neile, it was shown that the most frequently consumed nuts are Brazilian, cashew, almond, macadamia, pecans, hazelnuts, Italian, and most importantly, pistachio, which will be covered by the presented article 2.

Pistachios, like walnuts, are classified as so-called tree nuts, or wood products 2. They belong to the adrenaline plant family, and fruits are referred to as stone fruit 4. There is no information when they were discovered, although some Bible experts claim that they are listed in some of the Old Testament books and its trees although they do not occur naturally in Israel, they certainly grew on its territory already in the times of Jesus’ life. 5. The exact origin of these plants is also unknown, although according to some sources the first ones were located in areas of Central Asia and Minor 4. These are today’s areas of countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkestan and Uzbekistan 4.
Protein cream with chocolate and hazelnut flavor
Currently, pistachios are grown in many Asian and European countries 5. It is easiest to meet them even in Pakistan, Iran, India or mountain areas of Afghanistan 5. They can be found even in the United States or in Italy 5. It is worth emphasizing here that However, the largest crops in Europe can boast of Greece, and above all, the island of Aegina, which is also famous for its pistachio trees, and the city known to tourists through numerous monuments and attractions, or Thessaloniki 4.

Pistachios grow on trees with a height of 5 to 7 meters, the leaves of which take on a red-yellow color in autumn 5. Their fruits form in the form of grapes, just like grapes. When the fruit matures, its hard shell breaks, which is why these nuts are often colloquially called cracked. In shops you can also find unbroken forms, i.e. simply immature. The harvest of this product takes place every two years, and the only types of trees on which these fruits grow are female plants. Once, to collect these nuts, they were knocked out of the branches with sticks and caught in a blanket, but today special machines are used for this purpose 5.

Nutritional values ​​of pistachios and their impact on human health
Pistachios, like other nuts, are a source of both a large amount of vegetable protein, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which make their energy value very high.

The product discussed in this article contains about 51% of total lipids in fresh weight and as much as 49% in dry matter. In comparison with other fruits of this type, this is not a large amount. Only the cashews have a lower fat content, 45% in fresh weight and 43% in dry matter. Most macadamia nuts have macadamia nut in both fresh and dried form, as much as 76% and 74% in the given order.

The largest amount of pistachios are so-called MUFA, or monounsaturated fatty acids. They are composed of about 5% more than lipids belonging to the omega-9 family. On the other hand, the smallest amount in this product is health-unfavorable trans and the beneficial omega-3 1, which we find only 0.27 g in 100 g of product 2. It is worth noting, however, that both pistachios and hazelnuts and Brazilian, due on the average fatty acid content of linoleic acid belonging to the family of unsaturated omega-6 fatty acids with simultaneously low content of saturated lipids, mainly palmitic acid, have a beneficial effect in the prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Almond-coconut cream with honey
Pistachios, although they mainly consist of fats – like the rest of nuts, do not contain cholesterol at all. They are characterized by the largest amount of plant phytosterols, they contain as much as 214 mg per 100 g of product. They are components necessary to build specific membranes responsible for maintaining the appropriate structure of phospholipids in the cells of these fruits. They are plant equivalents of cholesterol, which also fulfills this function, but in animal cells. In addition to pistachios, a large amount of these sterols also contain peanuts, in an amount of 220 mg per 100 g 2.

The unsolvulated fruit in question also belongs to the first three nuts with the highest protein content, along with almonds and popular fistuces. It is worth emphasizing that the amounts of this macro-nutrient contained in these products are as high or even higher than in animal products. Unfortunately, these polypeptides do not contain all the essential amino acids needed for the proper functioning of the human body, hence their biological value is defined as low. However, due to the ratio of arginine to lysine, in individual nuts from 0.01 to 0.57, these fruits are considered necessary in the prevention and reduction of the risk of developing circulatory diseases 2.

Pistachios are a great source of dietary fiber, contain as much as 9 g per 100 g of product. The amount of this ingredient in various nuts varies from 3 to 12 g per 100 g of fruit. This amount allows to cover a daily demand of 5 to 10% when eating only 30 g of nuts 2.

The product in question also has an important source of folic acid, magnesium and copper in the diet. As for the first ingredient, pistachios contain about 51 μg per 100 g. Folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B9, is essential in the detoxification of homocysteine, an amino acid with sulfur. It is an element that exhibits high atherogenic properties, i.e. atherosclerotic, which are manifested in the case of too little B9 in the plasma.

The largest amount of the discussed vitamin contains peanuts, hazelnuts and Italian, where its amount is not less than 100 μg per 100 g of these fruits. 2. In the case of magnesium and copper, pistachios contain respectively 121 and 1.3 mg per 100 g of product. They lead to a reduction in the risk of insulin resistance, hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia 2.

Pistachios and the rest of this type of products are also a great source of antioxidant ingredients that protect the human body from the adverse effects of oxidative stress, such as changes and damage to protein structures and DNA of cells 6 cells. These fruits together with walnuts contain the largest amounts of antioxidant such as one from the family of vitamin E, ɣ-tocopherol. In the given order, it is 22.5 and 20.8 mg, respectively, per 100 g of these products. This component is important in the prevention of atherosclerosis 2.

Groundnuts paste

Other antioxidant ingredients found in pistachios are numerous compounds belonging to the category of polyphenols, such as, for example, anthocyanins, flavonoids, lignans, naphtoquinones, proanthocyanidins, stilbene, tannins and phenolic acids, mainly gallium 2.

Pistachio in the athlete’s diet
According to ADA (American Dietetic Association), ASCM (American College of Sports Medicine) and DC (Dietitians of Canada) experts, a well-balanced athlete’s diet not only leads to improved exercise capacity but also reduces the time of post-athlete regeneration 3. Nuts, due to the high content of ingredients extremely important in nutrition for people with increased physical activity, such as tocopherol, phenolic compounds, selenium, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, quercetins, calcium, iron and zinc, are necessary in the athlete’s menu .

Unfortunately, due to the possibility of a post-exercise anorexia-related anaphylactic reaction, or FDEIA (food dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis), and due to the fact that studies on the influence of nuts on improving the effectiveness of active people’s training have been insufficient, caution should be exercised as well as the currently recommended method of prevention, recommending that athletes consume products from the described category.

However, consuming one portion of nuts by the players daily (about 40 g) is perfectly reasonable. This was also emphasized in the nutritional pyramid developed by the Swiss Society for Nutrition for trainers and confirmed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It is believed that eating nuts is, after all, necessary to improve the nutritional status and ability to function of an organism forced to exercise more. 3

In the athlete’s diet, products belonging to this category are primarily responsible for reducing the formation of oxidative stress, and thus eliminating the harmful effects of its action in the body. The most important of these are, of course, the formation of free radicals in short called ROS (reactive oxygen species). However, the worst consequences for people with increased physical activity are the impairment of skeletal muscles and increasing their fatigue during training.

It is worth noting, however, that according to the theory of the hormones of the men of Marin, Bolin and Campio regular moderate intensity exercises adapt the body to the formation of free radicals, resulting in an increase in resistance to oxidative stress. On this basis, the statement contained in the article published in 2015 in the Nutrition magazine that the supplementation with antioxidants may positively influence the balance between prooxidative and antioxidant factors in the body. Experts disagreed with this thesis, noting that the harmful effects of ROS formation appear only after exceeding the dose of the highest level of exposure, ie NOEL (No Observable Adverse Effect Level). Below this amount, oxidative stress affects the body positively, leading to repetitive physical activity of medium intensity to increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin and a shorter time of muscle and tissue post-workout regeneration.

Therefore, in the case of athletes, the optimal way to fight the intensely arising ROS is to include nuts in the diet as ingredients that are the source of numerous antioxidants. Here, first of all, the antioxidative role of tocopherol is emphasized, the amount of which in pistachios is extremely high, which has already been discussed in detail. The selenium and phenolic compounds are also important in the fight against the effects of ROS. However, not all nuts have an equally strong antioxidant effect. According to a ranking published by TAC (Total Antioxidant Capacity), the highest antioxidant capacity is followed by pecans, Italian, hazelnuts and pistachios 3.

In addition to fighting the effects of oxidative stress, products from this group are extremely important for athletes also because of the omega-3 fatty acid content. In the case of people whose training is regular and their intensity is moderate, the immune function of neutrophils increases, which in turn leads to the inflammation in damaged muscle cells due to infiltration of the blood components mentioned to them. Therefore, supplementing the diet of athletes with rich sources of omega-3 fats is so important. In addition, these lipids help to reduce the effects of ROS formation, have an antithrombotic effect, improve blood supply and reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels 3.

In the athletes’ environment, there is a growing group of people using vegetarian and vegan diets. If they are properly balanced, according to the position of the ADA (American Dietetic Association) in 2009, they meet the needs of both people with moderate physical activity and those who train on all the macro and micronutrients necessary in the body. In these types of nutrition, especially for people who regularly play sports, nuts are a very important component of the diet. They help not only provide the body with the right amount of energy due to its caloric value, but they are also a great source of well digestible proteins, in the number of up to 90%, which is comparable to the quality of proteins contained in fish.

In addition, these products are characterized by a rich content of good fatty acids. In a study conducted by Polish scientists (Zuziak and Plich) observed in sportsmen on a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, i.e. where it is allowed to consume milk and its products and eggs, disturbed ratios between saturated lipids and those with double and triple bonds in molecules. This indicates the importance of introducing nuts into the diet, which are the source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which in turn has a positive effect on the treatment of atherosclerotic diseases.

In addition, the products in question contain large amounts of such ingredients as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, which makes it easy to supplement these micronutrients in athletes who are vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately, these fruits also contain phytic compounds and form salts with magnesium and calcium ions, which adversely affects the bioavailability of these elements 3.

The greatest threat in the case of nut eating is the occurrence of an exercise-related anaphylactic reaction, or FDEIA (food dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis). It can even occur in people who are not allergic to the product. After eating his portions and taking exercises or finishing them, they have allergic symptoms such as itching, urticaria, dyspnoea, coughing and others. The FDEIA mechanism is not fully investigated, although it is believed to occur as a result of increased absorption of food allergens and release of mast cell mediators, which have a lowered threshold by the action of IgE-mediated allergic food reaction, most often at the start or duration of physical activity. .

Anaphylactic reactions may be life-threatening, which is why it is obligatory to educate athletes and not eating nuts in the period from 4 to 6 hours before or after the training. This is particularly true for people who practice running, swimming, football, volleyball, handball, as well as tennis players, dancers, cyclists and alpine skiers. Other factors that can cause FDEIA include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially those taken immediately before exercise 3.

Use of pistachios in cosmetics and spa
Pistachios and other nuts, as has already been emphasized, are real vitamin bombs. They are a valuable source of B vitamins, especially B6, but also biotin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. In addition, they also contain a lot of minerals, and above all, potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, manganese and selenium. We also find in them valuable antioxidant ingredients, including large amounts of γ-tocopherol, a variety of vitamin E and carotenoids. All this makes pistachios not only have a beneficial effect on health, but also on beauty.

Women have long ago observed that eating this type of nuts helps to preserve the young look. It’s all because of tocopherol, which not only has antioxidant properties, but also delays the aging process, which has been hailed as a vitamin of youth. Pistachios are also a rich source of carotenoids, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. They act positively not only on the organ of sight, but also improve the skin tone, which makes the skin cease to be pale or sallow.

In addition, due to the selenium content, the consumption of these nuts improves the appearance of the hair, strengthens it and prevents hair loss. The product is recommended in the diet of people with hypothyroidism, where patients complain particularly about the symptoms associated with a large loss of head hair. Including pistachios in the menu also has a beneficial effect on nails that stop crumbling and breaking. In addition, the presence of fiber improves the functioning of the intestines, which helps to lose excess pounds and maintain proper body mass 7.

What to remember when we reach for pistachios
Pistachios are a component of the diet containing valuable minerals and macro elements necessary for both physically active people and those leading a sedentary lifestyle. They help to maintain health, have a positive effect on physical fitness, improve the appearance and improve the functioning of the digestive system. In addition, they are a great source of highly bioavailable protein and elements, which is extremely important especially for a growing group of vegetarians and vegans.

The disadvantage of pistachios is not only that they are one of the very strong allergens, but also the fact that they are very rarely found in stores in previously unprocessed form. Unfortunately, in most cases, we can only buy them with added, where such a large addition of sodium chloride will have no positive effect on our health or beauty. It is worth to go for it to places where we are sure that no additional ingredient has been added to them.

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South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet, also known as the South beach nutrition model, was invented and developed by Arthur Agatston, an American cardiologist. He created it in 1995 with the intention of improving the health and condition of his heart patients and those suffering from type 2 diabetes. He did not expect that his nutritional plan would be so effective that the television station in Miami would offer him a performance in one of programs aimed at presenting the principles of the created food model. The coincidence of the events described above resulted in the popularity of the diet among the inhabitants of Florida praising the removal of excess kilograms and well-being. In 2003, this resulted in the publication of the first doctoral book with the significant title The diet of southern beaches, which spread in the number of 23 million copies.

Fashion in this way of feeding went around and mastered the whole world. The result was the publication of further guides, cookbooks and additional guides translated into many languages ​​and intended for many diet lovers from Florida. Although in Poland it had its great 5 minutes a few years ago, still many people are considering the pros and cons of switching to this style of nutrition 2.

General principles and assumptions of the South Beach diet
The South Beach diet is based on fairly simple and easy to remember rules. First of all, it does not take into account the calories of meals, or the right amount of macronutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, there is also no look at the delivered dose of vitamins and minerals, which unfortunately can lead to their numerous deficiencies. The only thing that the author pays attention to is the glycemic index, or IG (glycemic index) selected for consumption of products. In this respect, the model is reminiscent of the recommendations made by Montignac, the first person to pay attention to the importance of looking at the quality of carbohydrates supplied with food.

It is also worth mentioning here that, contrary to the assumptions of the above-mentioned author, the south beach diet does not look at the glycemic load at all, although it has been known for years that it is a more reliable indicator of the body’s sugar load than the food index itself . It should also be remembered that eating products with a high content of pure glucose in small amounts gives the same effect as eating a large amount of food based on complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, in the assumptions of the Florida nutrition model, there is no mention of it, although Agatston recommends eating any portion size 2.

Continuing, in the South Beach diet should be excluded from the menu of highly processed products, containing large amounts of saturated fatty acids, and those whose glycemic index is higher than 60. The author emphasizes that after eating dishes with, for example, white noodles or bread is not enough that there is a high ejection of sugar into the blood, it is also due to the rapid digestion of such substances, hunger appears almost immediately. Therefore, he recommends replacing them for whole grains, as well as vegetables and fruits, but only those whose IG does not exceed a maximum of 50.

You can also include protein in your daily menu, but at the same time, you should limit the supply of this macronutrient from dairy products. The sources of good unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, avocados and sea fish, are also important. When it comes to drinks, the doctor recommends only non-carbonated mineral water, juices, but only vegetable, decaffeinated coffee and tea that do not contain theine. Such products can be drunk in any quantity.

An important rule in this way of eating is the ban on avoiding breakfast, because without this meal the body is exposed to sudden attacks of hunger and the desire for sweets increases. Thanks to the menu thus composed, you not only do not have to make a big jump in blood glucose during the day, but you should not feel hunger 5 too often.

The diet of the southern beaches consists of three phases in which individual products are excluded or included in the menu. Each stage is characterized by a different restrictiveness of assumptions. It is assumed that such a nutritional model allows you to drop as much as 6 kg during the first two weeks of its duration. Although Agatston stresses in their assumptions that calories are not important, the way in which the recommendations are arranged in each phase assumes menus with calories that often do not exceed 1200 or 1400 kcal. Even in the case of people who only use allowed products, but actually eat as much as they want, often not only do not lose weight, but even increase it 5.
Blitzkrieg
South Beach diet phases and their course
The priority assumption of the first stage of the southern beaches diet is the leveling of the glycemic level, and thus the normalization of results in the case of people with type 2 diabetes. In this phase, lasting only two weeks, depending on the so-called. Starting weight can be used to lose weight up to 6.5 kg. Of course, the more weighed at the beginning, the more significant and effective these defects are.

The first stage menu should contain about six meals, the size of which should fully satisfy hunger 5. Unfortunately, the list of products that may be included in this phase on the plate of the person starting his adventure with the South Beach nutrition model, is not too extensive.

Meat products are mainly recommended for lean beef, especially tenderloin, roast beef and cross-dressing, fat-free pork in the form of ham, entrecote, leg or calf kidney, and saddle of lamb. Cured meat is mainly poultry, preferably cooked or smoked chicken or turkey breasts, of course not containing almost any composition of lipids. The menu may include all available fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Also recommended is leguminous plants both fresh and frozen and from the can, provided that they do not contain sugars. The most often mentioned are white, black and red beans, including mung type, chickpeas, lentils, soy and all its products with limited fat content, including milk from its seeds. The menu may also contain eggs in an unlimited number.

As for vegetables, the most recommended is eggplant, chard, Chinese cabbage, or bok choy, as well as its blooming variety, or choy sum, in Poland also known as Chinese broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, all varieties of pumpkin, endives, escarole, green beans, fennel, poisonous peas, all kinds of mushrooms, kale, jicama, i.e. Mexican potato, kohlrabi, kopary, cauliflower, white cabbage, as well as Chinese, Italian, headless and leavened, artichokes, edible ketmia, vegetable juice cocktails, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beans, lentils, radishes and sunflower seeds, , mustard leaves, turnip and grape, cucumber and green and sour, walnut, hot pepper, tomato and also one year old, also known as turkey pepper, parsley, artificially sweetened pickles, any type of tomato, leek, rhubarb, red chicory , arugula, watercress, radishes, including Japanese variety, any type of lettuce, root celery, celery, artichokes, palm hearts, tomato juice, sugar peas, shallots, chives, asparagus, spinach and broccoli.
ALCAR
Every day, the menu should also specify exactly one portion of nuts or seeds in the amount of 15 pieces of almond, cashew or Italian variety or 3 tablespoons of sesame or sunflower seeds, otherwise linseed or pumpkin seeds. The appropriate dose from the type of products described may also be 30 pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts or ¼ cup of soybeans.

When it comes to fats, the maximum daily amount available for consumption is 2 spoons of one selected type of oil. The recommended group consists of rapeseed, corn, linseed, sesame, sunflower, soybean oil, extra virgin oil and grape seed. Interestingly, the recommended form of lipids is also low-fat mayonnaise and soft margarine. On the other hand, the full-value additives and spices in the first phase of the diet include broth, horseradish, lemon or lime juice, paprika paste, aromatic oils and anything that adds flavor to the dishes, but does not contain glucose.

As a substitute for ordinary sugar, Agatston recommends 27 to 100 kcal per day of long-rejected and unrefined fructose and saccharin. On the other hand, allowed beverages include herbal tea, mint style, chamomile or dill, moderate amounts of coffee and tea, vegetable juices and carbonated drinks without sugar 5.

It is worth noting here that the dietetics based on research has already excluded some drinks from the group of healthy products, where carbon dioxide is injected in an industrial manner. This is due to the fact that this gas leads to the formation of ghrelin, or stomach hunger hormone 3. A few years after the release of the first version of the South Beach diet book appeared its improved version called turbo. In this option, the first phase of the described feeding model is extended by several dairy products, such as skimmed milk or buttermilk, to a maximum of 1% fat in the composition, natural yoghurts 0%, light cheese and curd containing less than 3% lipids. Interestingly, the new recommendations also allow you to deliver daily from 75 to 100 kcal from such ingredients as jelly, jams, cocoa, ice cream, chewing gum. Of course, all these items can not contain sugar.
Lotus Cookie Flavored Protein Cream
What is most amazing, despite the possibility of adding artificial fructose to dishes, all fruits, including those with a low glycemic index, are prohibited by the author 5. Such rigorous recommendations and limited product base are a simple way to bring about numerous shortages dangerous to the health of each person, and more patients with cardiac problems and type 2 diabetes, despite the fact that it was initially designed for them to describe the model of nutrition.

After probably the most difficult two-week start-up phase, the second phase of the southern beaches diet begins. It lasts until the person’s weight is reached, even though the weight drops are much slower during this period than at the start. The menus of this stage begin to be small steps enriched with carbohydrate products. Agatson recommends very slow introduction of dishes with wholegrain bread, brown rice, whole-meal pasta and low IG fruit. This is justified by the need to get used to an increased ejection of sugar into the blood. In addition, it is to help check how the body of each person reacts individually to a specific product.

During the first week of the second phase, you can eat only one fruit and one starchy product per day. However, the harvest of trees is forbidden for breakfast, because, according to the doctor, they may cause increased appetite. In addition, we only eat these ingredients in combination with a source of protein, such as skimmed yogurt. This is to lead to the elimination of hunger.

In the second week of this stage on the first day, we can still eat one fruit, but two starchy products. In the next day, we add one more crop to the set. Then we add the complex carbohydrate component again and keep it that way for 48 hours. Then, by the end of the week, we watch the number of 3 fruits and 2 meals based on starch 2.

During the second phase of the South Beach diet, specific products from different food groups can be included. From the dairy products, it is allowed to introduce light-style fruit yoghurts that do not count as healthy food. As regards cereals, it is possible to consume barley products, unprocessed flakes, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal or leavened bread, wild rice or brown rice and roasted or shot grits.

In the case of fruit, only specific species such as grapefruit, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, kiwi, mangoes, cantaloupe, oranges, plums, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, as well as high GI grapes are allowed to enter the menu. and apricots in both fresh and dried form. In the second phase, green peas, black and pinto beans are available in the diet, and according to some sources, both sweet and ordinary potatoes, but only in small quantities. The author at this stage also allows you to eat small portions of bitter chocolate and red wine 5.

Importantly, despite the main rule, not to count calories and eat as much as you want, not to feel hunger, the portions of most products that come in this phase are very specific. And so during the day you can eat only ¾ cup of gooseberry or blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or cranberries. According to some sources, even one medium banana per day is allowed. The menu can also include no more than a single, not too large peach, pear, orange, pomegranate or kiwi, or a small apple or papaya. From other available fruits you can choose a half of grapefruit or mango, ¼ melon, 15 balls of grapes, 2 ordinary plums or 4 dried, 12 cherries and 4 apricots.

In the case of cereal products, you can not afford more than 1 slice of wholemeal bread, ½ cup of wholemeal, buckwheat or soy pasta or brown or wild rice. Importantly, according to some sources, 3 cups of popcorn and breakfast cereals with an average amount of sugar are also allowed. With vegetables, the recommendation of a specific portion applies only to carrots and peas, which should not be eaten more than half the average size of the cup. As for the aforementioned wine, a maximum of 2 glasses is recommended, although some say that 330 ml beer is also acceptable alcohol. The following products are not added to the menu: beets, pineapples, watermelons, lychee, dates, figs, raisins, honey and sweetened ice cream and desserts 5.

This stage of the diet is already much more varied than the previous two weeks. It is incomprehensible, however, to introduce into the menu also unhealthy products like light fruit yoghurts, sweetened breakfast cereals or beer for products still banned, which are harmless to the body.
Thermo Speed Extreme
The next and the last stage of the style of feeding south beaches takes place after reaching the desired weight. The third phase according to the author should last until the end of his life. There are no prohibited products at this time. However, you should observe your body and at most eliminate yourself on your own, what you consider harmful or causing weight gain 2. Of course, foodstuffs with a glycemic index below 50 are recommended. Agatston recommends going back to phase two if weight is increased. The amazing fact is that the author himself allows his followers to exclude any selected products and to experiment with his health and metabolism on the principle of any transition from the last stage to the one that preceded it.

Effects possible to obtain
Supporters of the South Beach diet exchange numerous beneficial effects that they gained when they switched to this eating model. The most important of these is, of course, a large and quite fast loss of weight, especially during the first two weeks, where record-players lose even 10 kg. Generally, during the entire treatment, the weight loss usually varies from 15 to a maximum of 20 kg. Unfortunately, nobody underlines that his health will change for the better. Some also enjoy mixing the model of the south beaches with the 1000 kcal option to get even better and more spectacular effects related to the pursuit of perfect figure 2.

Unfortunately, both the traditional South Beach diet and its version maximally trimmed by the amount of energy supplied may have deplorable health effects related to dysregulation of the metabolic system, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, liver and kidney burden with too much protein, which may result in disease conditions at the result of malfunctioning of these organs.

Additional side effects are also emphasized by the patients themselves, especially in the first phase they complain of fatigue, irritability, general nervousness and weakness, probably due to the total discontinuation of all carbohydrate sources, which is a simple route to hypoglycaemia, especially dangerous for people suffering from diabetes for whom it may even end up in death

It should also be emphasized that the brain functions and draws energy only from glucose, so for the first two weeks it will not work properly. Unfortunately, a large proportion of people trying to use the diet of the south beaches and obtaining the dream figure in the third stage quickly returns to their former weight or is caught by the yo-yo effect.

Opinions of specialists and people using
On many websites and forums people who are satisfied with the rapid loss of excessive kilos share their experiences and praise the use of this model of nutrition. The only drawbacks that are noticed and underlined is the abandonment of bread, but what you do not do for the perfect look. What’s more frightening is the fact that some nutritionists also consider this diet healthy and rational and promote its use with their name. Only individual sources emphasize that the South Beach diet is not safe for health. Despite the states of hypoglycaemia, weakness and nervousness, the consequences of deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and the burden of two important organs, such as the kidneys and heart, can last for months or even years 2.

It is important to emphasize that there are healthy ways to get rid of excess weight and get a great figure not for a moment, and for years. It is worth to go to a proven dietitian who will help you learn the proper and healthy eating habits for the whole body.

Contraindications, or can South Beach diet reach everyone?
The main contraindications not to use the South Beach diet, which are currently exchanging sources, are kidney diseases, diabetes or frequent fluctuations in blood glucose level 1. Unfortunately, due to improper balance of this diet, it should not be recommended to anyone, let alone people young people and teenagers who often consult on internet forums and follow what is fashionable, fast and effective. The price of health, even until the end of life, is not adequate to obtain, often only for a moment, attractive and slim figure. Especially that you can take care of a satisfactory appearance and good health at the same time.

An example menu for one day from phase I, II and III
Below are some examples of menus for each stage of the South Beach diet. Of course, trying them on is not recommended.

First phase
And breakfast is a seafood salad and tea without theine.
II breakfast vegetable juice.
Lunch, boiled chicken breast, boiled cauliflower, a tablespoon of olive oil, still water.
Afternoon tea, cut vegetables, decaffeinated coffee.
Grilled zucchini and aubergine dinner with smoked salmon, still water.
Snack 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, still water.

The second phase
And breakfast of boiled egg, tomato, red pepper, still water.
II breakfast natural light yogurt, small apple, tea without theine.
Lunch of half a cup of boiled wild rice, baked trout, sauerkraut salad, vegetable juice.
Afternoon tea 2 cubes of dark chocolate, still water.
Supper one slice of wholemeal bread with soft margarine, a slice of poultry ham without fat, with green peppers, tea without theine.
Vegetable juice snack.

Phase three
And breakfast cereal on milk 1%, still water.
II breakfast sandwich with lean cottage cheese, tomato, decaffeinated coffee.
Lunch of zucchini cream soup with wholegrain toasts, vegetable juice.
Afternoon tea light fruit yogurt.
Dinner salad with iceberg lettuce, light mozzarella, red, yellow and green peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds with a tablespoon of olive oil.
A snack of 3 bitters of dark chocolate.

As can be seen from the above examples, especially in the first and second stage, there is no way that the menu composed in this way would provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients and adequate energy supply.

Summary – does this model of nutrition have more disadvantages or advantages?
Looking objectively at the advantages and disadvantages of the model of nutrition created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, it is not difficult to conclude that despite good motives he composed a diet that can quickly destroy the body. The only plus that everyone probably knows is a fast loss of unwanted kilos in the first two weeks of use.

Unfortunately, the downsides resulting from South Beach nutrition are much more. Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, hypoglycemic states, weakness, nervousness, excessive supply of protein and general poor balance of meals and a 24-hour menu leading to health loss are not and should not be acceptable side effects of the treatment.

To get a beautiful figure and at the same time stay healthy, it is enough to follow scientifically based eating habits and introduce a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity into your daily schedule. If you can not start changing your life yourself, remember that there are specialists who will be happy to help you. Good luck!