Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mango-King of Fruits

The most popular in many parts of the world, mangoes are in the same family of plants as pistachios and cashews, which are also tropical, fruit-bearing trees that can grow up to 100 feet in height. Oval in shape and around five inches long, mangoes are heavy because of the single, large seed or stone in the middle, which makes them a drupe. Mangoes have a yellow-golden tone when ripe, sometimes with patches of green. The fruit surrounding the seed is succulently sweet, fresh, and juicy with just the right touch of tartness. Their natural tenderizing properties make mangoes a great ingredient for marinades for any type of meat.


Myth: The whole fruit, including the skin of the mango, is edible.
Truth: The skin of the mango isn’t considered edible. In fact, mango leaves are considered toxic and can possibly kill cattle or other grazing livestock. Dermatitis can also result from contact with the resinous latex sap that drips from the stem end when mangos are harvested.
Mango Fun Facts

The paisley pattern, made popular in India, was an inspiration from the shape of a mango.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Lychee-Your Fruit to Freshness

Sometimes known as "litchi" or a similar spelling variation, the exotic lychee fruit is from the soapberry family. The evergreen trees they grow on can reach 100 feet, and produce red or pale orange fruits with a tough, "bumpy," easily peeled skin resembling large raspberries. Each contains white flesh and a single, large, inedible seed, which makes this fruit a drupe. Lychee is juicy with a distinctive, slightly acidic fragrance and flavor, comparable to grapes.


Myth- Lychees if consumed in a large number is good for health!
Truth- lychees should be consumed in moderation because they contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts.

Lychee Fun Facts

When Emperor Wu Ti of the Han Dynasty conquered the Southern capital of Canton (Guangdong), he was introduced to the juicy, flavorful "laichi" fruit. He loved it so much that he ordered 500 trees to be planted, but they all died in the frigid northern temperatures. He tried it again with similar results. He then remedied his taste for the fruits by demanding them to be paid as tribute. Later, mature trees were transported and carefully tended for a successful crop.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Kiwi- Key to Vitamin K

Kiwifruit is a surprising little fruit, and is unlike any other. First, it's small and light brown in color with a fuzzy skin surface. Inside, the fruit is not only lime green and studded with tiny black seeds in an oval pattern when sliced, but it's also delicious, rather like the flavor of a strawberry. Peeled, sliced, and chilled, kiwifruit is an excellent addition to any fruit salad combination or by itself. Today, Italy, Chile, France, Japan, and the US are the highest producers of two varieties: green and gold. Kiwifruit is not only a scrumptious food, but is also used for its ability to tenderize meats, due to the compound actinidin.


Myth- Kiwifruit is called “Chinese Gooseberry”

Truth- The fruit in ancient times in China was known as Yang Tao. In the late 1960s in the US the fruit was called “Chinese Gooseberry”, although it's doubtful that this moniker ever really stuck. Luckily, kiwifruit got its new name – in honor of New Zealand's native bird (Kiwi) - from an enterprising food distributor.

Kiwifruit Fun Facts

Placing kiwifruits in a brown paper bag for four to six days will help them ripen. Keeping them in a paper bag with an apple, banana, or pear will speed up the ripening process even more.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Jackfruit- Let’s Get Stuffed

Having a distinct musky smell and deliciously sweet taste, jackfruit is a unique tropical fruit that is typically harvested during summer and fall. It can grow to enormous sizes, measuring between 10 -60 centimeters in length, 25-75 centimeters in diameter, and can weigh between 10-100 pounds, making it the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Specimens weighing more than 100 pounds have also been recorded. Jackfruits are found mostly in the Southeast Asia.  

Jackfruit Fun Fact

Jackfruit emits a sweet yet putrid stench that has been described as a combination of overripe bananas, onions, pineapple and passion fruit. Like durian, the giant fruit is banned in airports and plane cabins, but it isn’t prohibited as cargo.


Myth- Jackfruit and durian are same?

Truth- Jackfruit and Durian are similar looking fruits found mostly in Southeast Asia both are green on outside and inside is the fibrous fruit which has seed covered by its flesh. The basic difference between Durian and a Jackfruit is that the rind on a Jackfruit is blunt, round and short on the other hand the Durians’ rind is spiky and sharp as compared to the jackfruit. Adding to the smells the Durian has an unpleasant noxious aroma, and the jackfruit has a sweet musky odour which is enough to differentiate between them!
Hence, Jackfruit and Durian are not same!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Iceberg lettuce- Your Irresistible Healthy

Iceberg lettuce has been surrounded by various criticisms saying that it is one of the most “useless” vegetables in the culinary world. People have even claimed that eating iceberg lettuce is as nutritious as eating cardboard. This is probably because, compared to other varieties of lettuce, iceberg lettuce has a lower nutritional content. But to believe that it’s as useless as eating cardboard simply robs you of the nutritional benefits that it can actually offer you. It was first called the “crisphead” lettuce because of its texture and shape. Its name, “iceberg,” came from the fact that this vegetable was often sent to other states and areas in trucks filled with large amounts of ice to preserve it and slow down its decay.


Myth- Iceberg lettuce is not healthy!

Truth- Considering that iceberg lettuce is usually found in salads – the staple food for people who are trying to lose weight – it comes as no surprise that the calories in iceberg lettuce are relatively low. It contains about 10 calories per serving. This is usually attributed to the fact that about 96 percent of it is water!

Lettuce Fun Fact

The name of iceberg lettuce is adapted from an incidence in Italy where the vegetable was kept in cold storage to keep it fresh for a longer period of time. The containers were filled with ice which gradually appeared as little icebergs in the storage with lettuce leaves. Hence, the vegetable got its name as “Iceberg Lettuce”.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hemp-The Wholesomeness of Hemp

A controversial crop that’s been alternately demonized and defended for at least 80 years, hemp has run the proverbial gauntlet in the US due to political factions, special interests, and downright suspicion. Nevertheless, every bit of this ancient plant is useful and valuable, and not just for rope, but for textiles, auto parts, cosmetics, dynamite, supplements, food, and medicine. In ancient China, hemp seed was regarded as food for the lower classes, and in Europe, a peanut butter-like spread was made from the seeds, in both cases with the hulls intact. Today, you’ll find nutty-tasting (hull-less) hemp seeds and their oils baked in breads, cookies, and cakes, blended in smoothies, or tossed into quinoa and pasta dishes, burgers, pizza, vegetables sautés, soups, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, and salad dressings. It’s a niche market, with a growing number of specialty outlets due to a growing understanding of this food’s nutritional benefits.

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Myth- Hemp is the most demonized and misunderstood plant in the world.
Truth- The truth about the hemp plant is, it is the most useful and beneficial plants of all times. Hemp seed oil is used in various cosmetics, such as skin creams, shampoos, shaving creams, lip balms etc. There are so many ways to add hemp into your diet… hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, made into hemp milk, or prepared as a tea.

Hemp Fun Facts

Legend has it that Buddha went on a fast lasting six years, sustained by eating a single hemp seed every day, a period known as his “fast of enlightenment." As the Purdue University Horticulture website terms it, “This apocryphal story holds a germ of truth — hemp seed is astonishingly nutritional.”

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Guava-The Queen of Fruits

If pineapple is known as the "king" of fruits, guava is considered the queen. Thought to be native to southern Central America and Mexico where it's been a major crop for centuries, guavas are members of the myrtle and eucalyptus family, growing throughout the tropics on small trees with smooth, copper-colored bark. Another type, Psidium cattleianum, grown in flower and foliage gardens, is not for eating. Soft, sweet, and fragrant when ripe, guavas are small and round or oval, with varying colors from yellow to pink to dark red, depending on the variety. Each fruit contains a large number of tiny, edible seeds at the center. Guavas are very good simply sliced for a snack or added to salads. In other areas of the world, guava is popular as a thick, rich paste made into cheese. Fresh guava juice is common in Hawaii. In Fiji, guavas are used to make tasty jelly.

Guava can be almost invasive if allowed to grow at will, reaching heights of 30 feet. On some South Pacific Islands, it's illegal to plant new trees just for this reason. 
Guava trees can produce fruit twice a season in areas where the climate is right, and can live for around 40 years. Beautiful, edible flowers precipitating the fruit have myriad, tall stamens with tiny pistils at the ends, resembling exploding fireworks.  


Myth- Eating guavas during cough and cold worsens it!
Truth- Guava is rich in vitamin C and other minerals. It also has other nutrients, which build immunity and therefore help us fight against cough and cold, not cause it.

Friday, 7 July 2017


Belonging to the mulberry family, there is a plethora of fig tree varieties. Most of them are small at 10-30 feet and thrive in warm, dry climates. Pollinated by a tiny wasp, fig trees never blossom because the flowers are on the inside, producing dozens and sometimes hundreds of miniscule seeds that give figs their unique, crunchy texture. Scientists studying the effect of fresh fig "latex" on a stomach cancer cell line found that the latex acted as an anticancer substance without any toxic effect on normal cells. In another trial, dried figs were weighted down into 1 ml of distilled water for 3 months. After the water was drained, it was found that fig tree latex powder still retained its anticancer properties. Results showed that figs, dried or fresh, are possible subjects for helping treat stomach cancer.

Often mentioned in the Bible as a sign of peace and prosperity, the fig tree is so ancient, remnants of the fruit have been discovered in Neolithic excavations sites circa 5,000 B.C.
Dried figs are sometimes roasted and ground as a coffee substitute or converted into alcohol as a liqueur or tobacco flavoring.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Elderberry- Elderly Healthy

A uniquely American fruit familiar to the nation's first inhabitants, traditional uses for elderberries by Indians, who made use of every little part of the plant, included tools crafted from the branches, such as arrow shafts and pipes, as well as the berries. Sometimes propagated as an ornamental shrub, the elderberry bush is a member of the honeysuckle family. It's actually a small tree, with an abundance of delicate white flowers emerging as berry clusters generally between August and October, mostly in cool-to-warm areas of the country, like the Northeastern and Northwestern areas of the US and Canada. This tiny black fruit yields an abundance of juice for its small size, while cooking elderberries for sauce, some may prefer a little extra sweetness. When elderberry hunting, only the blue variety (also identifiable by the white surface coating, similar to blueberries) is good for eating, although they require.

As a moniker, the term "elder" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "aeld," meaning fire, because the hollow stems of this plant were used to gently blow on flames to intensify the fire. "Sambucus" is a Greek word meaning "wind instrument." 
Native Americans once used elderberry branches to make flutes, so the tree was sometimes called "the tree of music."
Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

It was said that to wear or carry Elder wood, leaves, flowers or berries would protect you from attack.
Elderberry oil or water was used in blessing rituals.
Elder leaves and branches were often hung in doorways and windows to protect those who lived within.
Elder planted in the back yard, particularly near the kitchen, provided protection from negative influences and disease.
Elder flowers were used in a facial wash to lighten and care for the skin.
        It was said that if you fell asleep under the elder you would dream of the faerie lands.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Dates-Keep Your Dates Saved

A product of the date palm and cultivated since approximately 6000 B.C, the date fruit is one of the sweetest fruits around and also happens to come in many different varieties. Although dates can be eaten fresh, the fruit is very often dried, resembling raisins or plums. But whether fresh or dry, the health benefits of dates are still just as plentiful. The benefits of dates include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunctions, diarrhea, abdominal cancer, and many other conditions. Dates are also good for gaining weight. They are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber too. The massive health benefits of dates have made them one of the best ingredients for muscle development. People consume dates in several ways, such as mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yogurt or with bread or butter to make them even more delicious. The paste is beneficial for both adults and children, especially during a time of recovery from injury or illness. According to a modern medical survey, it is now accepted that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. 

Dates were mentioned several times in the Bible, probably ancestors to the oldest-known seed planted successfully in modern times.

In 1963, a date palm seed was discovered at Masada, an ancient fortress where, in 70 A.D., a large group of Jewish families killed themselves rather than face capture by the Romans. Planted in January 2005, the ancient date palm, named “Methuselah,” is now four feet tall.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Coconut - The Strength Giver

Coconuts are a mainstay in the diet of nearly one-third of the planet, it's considered exotic in the Western world. Experts describe the coconut as not just a fruit, but a nut and a seed as well – a drupe. It has three layers: the outside layer is known as the exocarp, and the fibrous husk or mesocarp is inside of it. The thin, woody layer surrounding the actual coconut "meat" is the endocarp. Since man inhabited the world, coconut trees were in existence. For centuries, the coconut has been claimed as a potent cure for nausea, rash, fever, earache, sore throat, bronchitis, kidney stones, ulcers, asthma, syphilis, dropsy, toothache, bruises, lice etc. While coconut milk is a wonderful base for all kinds of Thai dishes, coconut oil is becoming increasingly used in the U.S. for its nutritional benefits. One of the coconut’s most important aspects is what its medium-chain fatty acids mean for the human diet. The good thing is that rather than the high-fat food it was once thought to be, coconut is a powerhouse of nutrition and healing. They have a high fiber content, which makes you feel full longer and helps regulate elimination. 

"Coco," meaning "monkey face," was the name given to this tropical food by Spanish explorers because of the three indentations on the bottom. But these indentations are the key for opening the coconut successfully. Insert a screwdriver into the softest hole to drain the liquid into a bowl, and then use a sturdy knife to circumvent the coconut's seam a few times. Give it a sharp "thwack" on a hard surface to break it into two pieces. Voilà!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Banana - The Power Booster

Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. Eating them could help lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of cancer and asthma. Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world's food crops in monetary value. Bananas are extremely healthy and delicious. They contain several essential nutrients, and have benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Aside from being very nutritious, they are also a highly convenient snack food. Each banana contains only about 105 calories, and consists almost exclusively of water and carbohydrates. Bananas contain very little protein and almost no fat. Bananas are also known as the food of luxury.

At around 100 calories, a banana contains less than half a gram of fat. It is true that when excess sugar is digested and absorbed it can be stored as fat, but if you're eating when you're hungry and not overeating, this will definitely not happen from eating a 100-calorie banana.

Bananas probably originated in Malaysia; transported by early explorers to India, where they were first referenced in sixth century BCE Buddhist writings. Alexander the Great tried his first banana while on campaign in India and is said to have brought the fruit to the Western world.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Up your beauty game with Apricots!

Ripe and gold with luxurious feel, flavor and velvety surface, apricots are mostly relative with peaches, plums, and nectarines. It is a drupe, with a seed in the centre of the fruit, each in a uniform size. However, not many people know that Apricots are a great source of Vitamin C and can be used to keep the skin healthy throughout changing seasons.

Today, apricots’ primary commercial operations are in the Mediterranean and Middle East, with off season offerings from South America and New Zealand. Apricots are principally known for their essential bitter oil in the world market. The dried version of this fruit is globally loved, and in fact forms an important part of Iran’s global trade. Countries such as Turkey, Italy, Russia, Spain, Greece, USA and France are considered to be the leading producers of apricots. The best way to have apricots is to have them fresh or with salads mixed with dried nuts. Dried apricots are more consumed than the fresh ones. It’s also one of the healthiest fruits in the world, with loads of benefits. Also, ripe apricots are the best antioxidants while consumed fresh.

It’s said that 100 grams of fresh apricots gives you 12% of vitamin C, 12% of vitamin A, and 6% of potassium required by the body – all this under less than 50 calories. Apricots are also a good source of vitamin C, known to ward off vision problems, promote healthy skin mucous membranes, protect lung and mouth cancers, and provide more free radial-scavenging activity in your body.

Myth: Apricot kernel skins are poisonous. 

Truth: This is a myth that has been going around for many, many years. Not sure where it started, but it possibly began with a misinformed chef or recipe. This is a case of broken telephone. The "poison" the skin is meant to contain is the cyanide the flesh of the kernel itself contains.

Apricots were transported to Europe by Greeks who actually called them “golden eggs of the sun”.

Whether or not to eat Mango?

Whether or not to eat Mango?

Confused with high calorie, numerous benefits and awesome taste, just listen to Celebrity Dietitian Rujuta Diwekar.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Healthy Living

Healthy living" to most people means both physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental healths are closely linked, so that a in one directly affects the other. A healthy life implies looking good and feeling good, but needs commitments. Some of the areas that need monitoring for a healthy lifestyle includes proper dietary habits, good exercise and a positive attitude. 

A healthy diet is essential for a healthy life. This does not mean eating only healthy foods. It means, keeping to a diet as much as possible. A healthy diet not only helps improve a healthy lifestyle, but also helps maintain an ideal weight. Eating smaller portions, including more vegetables in a meal, switching to healthier salad dressings, and eating more fruits is the way to enter a healthy lifestyle through foods. Healthy eating is not only important for your diet, it's also important as a part of your personal well-being. Eating healthy can drastically improve your physical fitness, allow you to feel better about yourself, and do wonders for your health. Combining a balanced diet with physical activity will help you to live a long and healthy life. 

Exercising today is very important to a person’s health and gently improves your health. Some of the dominant health benefits of exercise are helping weight management, improve your quality of life, reducing the feelings of depression and anxiety, boosts energy and combats even health conditions and diseases. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose.

Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. Positive thinking helps you give your best even when the situations are worst. Positive thinking protects you against mental troubles such as depression, Increases your life span, lowers the levels of distress, increases body immunity, provides better psychological and physical well-being and a better cardiovascular health. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

A healthy lifestyle may not be easy to commit to. However, the trick to staying committed to a healthy lifestyle is making small changes and not big ones. Doing one thing that leads to a healthy lifestyle every day is the first phase of commitment. Avoiding extra servings of food, drinking an extra glass of water, taking stairs, making efforts to smile are just some things that can help make the road to a healthy life begin. However, there are so many more things that can be considered to ensure a healthy life. Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Antioxidants! A Younger Healthier You…

In this stressful framework of life healthy eating is one very important facet of healthy living. To keep a healthy balance diet a person should try to eat daily at least a portion of the six major food groups. One of the major elements that need to be incorporated in ones’ food is antioxidants. Antioxidants replenish and minimize the damage to our cells; for example, these cells help us contain a strong immune system to fight infection. They also decrease the aging process our body goes through. 


Your body is in a constant battle against infection, diseases and the formation of free radicals. However, there's a secret weapon that can help you fight against these things: antioxidants! Antioxidants are elements such as vitamins A, C and E that counteract the damage caused by free radicals and help protect your healthy cells. Free radicals are molecules that contain unpaired electrons, which make them highly reactive. In this form, they can cause damage by attacking healthy cells, and when these cells grow weakened, you become more vulnerable to disease.

Free radicals may be produced from normal body functions such as breathing or physical activity, but they are mainly formed from your exposure to environmental hazards, such as pesticides, air pollution and cigarette smoke. Antioxidants work to disable the disease-causing free radicals, thus preventing the damage from occurring. Although your body naturally produces antioxidants, it doesn't produce enough to protect you from free radicals, so that is why it is important to include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet on a regular basis.


Increasing one's antioxidant intake is essential for optimum health, especially in today's polluted world. Because the body just can't keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, and enzymes must come from one's daily diet. Boosting the antioxidant intake can help provide added protection for the body against, heart problems, eye problems, memory problems, mood disorders, immune system problems, ageing, etc. Antioxidants may play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions, such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.


Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, and chocolate. While there are thousands of antioxidant compounds are found in foods like chocolate, wine, and tomatoes. Other popular food containing high levels of antioxidants are Goji berries (25,000 ORAC score), Wild blueberries (14,000 ORAC score), Dark chocolate (21,000 ORAC score, Pecans (17,000 ORAC score), Artichoke: 9,400 ORAC score, Elderberries (14,000 ORAC score), Kidney beans (8,400 ORAC score), Cranberries (9,500 ORAC score), Blackberries (5,300 ORAC score) and Cilantro (5,100 ORAC score).

So next time you go to your grocery store to buy food, don’t forget to add these antioxidants rich food items to your cart. Take time to avail these precious gifts from the natures’ bounty and serve your loved ones with healthy yet savory diet.