Dec 9, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on 5 Amazing Tricks for Keeping Fruits and Vegetables at Home

5 Amazing Tricks for Keeping Fruits and Vegetables at Home

After cooking your own meals for a while, you may think that you’ve got everything figured out in the kitchen and even have a dedicated cooking section in your bookshelf – but there’s always more you can add to enrich your experience and improve your culinary skills. Here are a few tips and tricks for cooking and preparing vegetables that will completely change the way you do things in the kitchen:

1.  Ripen fruits more quickly

There’s a reason why you don’t want to keep certain fruits like bananas and papayas grouped together in the same place for too long. That’s because they release ethylene gas, which can make certain fruits and vegetables spoil much faster. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your advantage. In fact, to make your fruits and vegetables ripen more quickly, all you need to do is to throw the occasional banana in there and then separate them when they’re ready.

2.  Re-use that pickle brine

Don’t drain that water away! Whether you made that jar of pickled vegetables yourself or bought it from the store, you can always make more than one use out of it by adding fresh vegetables in it and storing it in the fridge for a few days. For best results, you can even par-broil these vegetables before pickling them to speed things up.

3.  Keep vegetables crisp for longer

While wrapping in foil doesn’t work for all vegetables – it certainly doesn’t work for most leafy greens – using it for specific food items like broccoli and lettuce certainly helps to keep them crisp for a lot longer.  

4.  Slice your bell peppers in advance

To get the most out of your bell peppers by making them last as long as possible, the best thing you can do is to simply slice them up and store them in a zip-lock bag in your refrigerator. You can also slice them a lot more easily than normally would by doing the following steps:

  • Slice the top and the bottom off; save them for later.
  • Cut on one side of the bell pepper lengthwise. Be sure to slice down on just the skin for this.
  • Roll out the skin and slice the parts connecting the core.
  • Push out the middle part of the bell pepper’s top.
  • Dice the skin, including the top and bottom parts of the bell pepper.

5.  Keep soft fruits from getting crushed

No one likes dealing with squished or saggy fruits, and the good news is you don’t have to deal with them, either. When storing fruits and vegetables in your fridge or pantry, you want to make sure to place the hardest items at the bottom, such as potatoes and cucumbers, and the softest ones, like tomatoes or mangoes, on top. This allows the weight to be evenly distributed among these various food items and keeps certain fruits plump rather than saggy.

Read More
Dec 9, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on What to Look For When Buying a Fridge for the First Time

What to Look For When Buying a Fridge for the First Time

Refrigerators don’t look like a lot at first, and there’s a good chance you won’t be thinking about them until you finally make the move to your new home in Singapore – only to realize that you don’t have any way of storing essentials like milk, eggs, and meat.

Today, it’s really hard to imagine living without a refrigerator because it’s so useful in keeping food fresh for longer periods of time. And like most things, there’s an art to finding the right fridge to buy. Simply keep these five things in mind and you’ll be able to pick out the right one for your daily needs:

Size

Size is perhaps the most critical aspect you can look for when buying a fridge for your home. Even though most refrigerators are designed to fit between counter spaces, there’s a good chance it might either be too big or too small for your needs. You should also remember that your fridge needs fit through all kinds of halls and doorways, since you can’t place it in your kitchen if it happens to be too big to pass through.

Energy-efficiency

Like many electricity-intensive appliances used in most homes, like a washing machine or an air-conditioner, refrigerators can rack up a huge amount in your utility bill since you need it to keep running 24/7. This is why you need to choose a unit that’s energy-efficient – not just in cutting down carbon emissions, but also in saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Unit Type

There are a few types of unit types you need to consider when buying a fridge for the first time:

  • Side-by-side – This popular type has adjacent doors for the freezer and fresh food compartments, but while they have a big storage capacity, they also have the drawback of needing more reaching and bending.
  • Bottom – Bottom freezers allow you to take the most used items at eye level, which makes them more convenient to have.
  • Top-freezer – The standard refrigerator type is cheap, and with more recent models, they can also be efficient in both space and energy, with its only drawback being that doesn’t offer as much space.
  • French-door – This version saves space with narrower doors for both the upper fridge and two separate doors for the lower freezer, but the main drawback is that the freezer is located at the bottom compartment.

Extra features

Lastly, be sure to watch out for fridges with adjustable shelves, since you’ll never know if you’ll be storing tall items. You should also take a closer look at its temperature settings. Some units have separate temperature-controlled drawers other than the freezer, and you can use them as dedicated storage areas different types of meats.

Read More
Oct 12, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Milk

Everything You Need to Know About Milk

Everyone knows about milk – it’s rich in calcium and protein, which helps build strong bones and lower blood pressure. But because it’s so universal, it’s easy to ignore that this is a crucial part that adds to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

Aside from adding to a nutrient-rich meal with lots of fruits and vegetables, a glass of milk is also a great way to start and end a day. It can even be a sports drink for an athletes looking to replenish lost electrolytes.

Why You Need Milk

While you might think you know enough about milk, there are more things you don’t probably already know about its other benefits for your body:  

  • It ‘s rich in Vitamin D – Sunlight isn’t the only way you can get your daily source of vitamin D, which is needed like calcium and phosphorus to keep bones healthy. You can also find it in a tall, cool glass of milk.
  • It’s loaded in other nutrients – Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium can all be found in milk in addition to a healthy dose of eight grams of protein.
  • It neutralizes spiciness – It contains a compound called casein, which is great at neutralizing the burn on spicy foods. If it gets a little too hot, grab that tall glass of whole milk!
  • It may help with weight loss – The added protein in every glass of milk is a great way to help you with your fitness routine. It can even help with weight loss if you drink it after every meal since it can make you feel full.

Myths About Milk

There are also quite a few myths and misconceptions about milk you need to stop believing, such as the following:

  • Plant- and nut-based milks are still dairy products – They are great subsitutes with their own benefits, but they’re not dairy products – they still have much lower levels of calcium and protein.
  • Lactose intolerance means avoiding all dairy products – There are still friendly dairy options for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Milk is low in other nutrients – The nutritional benefits of milk go beyond more than just calcium and protein. It also contains vitamins D and B12, which are necessary for the body’s development.

Adding Milk to Your Diet

There are more ways to adding milk than just drinking it by itself. You can also get the full benefits from milk by adding it into other food items, like cereal, coffee, or certain types of dishes that work well with having it in the recipe.

You can even get these benefits from dairy products, like cheese, butter, and yogurt, which are all different ways that milk is processed or prepared.

Read More
Oct 12, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on What Happens if You Have Iron Deficiency

What Happens if You Have Iron Deficiency

To understand what the lack of iron does to the body, you should remember its roles in the body. The most important thing to keep in mind is that iron is vital for blood production, oxygen transportation, energy metabolism, and immune function. At least a quarter of the iron in the body is stored in cells and circulated in the blood, which means that if the iron level is low, hemoglobin level is also low. Oxygen transfer to the tissues is inadequate. This condition then leads to iron deficiency, or a worse condition called iron deficiency anemia.

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

This is a common type of anemia especially for women who still have their menstruation. Usually a person with anemia experiences frequent fatigue, cold hands and feet, weakness, pale skin, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, inflammation, brittle nails, dry and damaged skin and hair, poor appetite, restless legs, swelling or soreness of the mouth or tongue, frequent infections, anxiety, and unusual cravings.

Some of these symptoms may be mistaken for other conditions, so make sure to get a proper checkup to determine if you have another undiagnosed illness. Restless legs is a syndrome that is usually most obvious at night. The person experiences at urge to move the leg even at rest because of a tingling or crawling sensation.

Sometimes iron deficiency anemia is caused by the body’s inability to absorb iron. If this is the case, supplements will not be enough. Disorders such as celiac disease can affect not only how nutrients are absorbed in the body but the accumulation of the unused nutrients can also cause various other symptoms.

Iron Requirements and Sources

Iron level requirements is about 1.8 milligrams daily, but not all of it is used by the body. Although you can supplement your iron intake with ferrous sulfate tablets, you also need to have enough vitamin C to help your body absorb and use that iron.

The following are iron-rich food that you must include in your diet:

  • Fish, shellfish, mussels, clams
  • Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, veal, lamb, liver, and any red meat
  • Green leafy vegetables, tofu, bean sprouts, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, corn, beets, peas
  • Grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, melons, strawberries, tangerines
  • Iron-fortified pasta, bread, and cereals

Some food may inhibit iron absorption, so you might want to limit your consumption of coffee and tea. Instead, eat more dairy and whole grain food to help your body absorb and use iron. Supplements might help, but you should keep in mind that there can be unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, nausea, and stomach pains.

Infants are recommended to drink only breast milk until 2 years of age. If the parents are unable to do so, however, iron-fortified formula is a good substitute. Toddlers should be fed pureed meat and fortified cereals at least twice daily.

Read More
Sep 13, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Placebo Sleep

Everything You Need to Know About Placebo Sleep

Having a hectic schedule and a really stressful routine can easily impact your sleep, the lack of which can lead to sleep deprivation and take a toll on your health. But here’s something that will change the way you go about your routine: if you haven’t slept a wink, you might just get through the day by convincing yourself that you rested well the night before.

This is known as “placebo sleep”, which a recent study has shown can improve the cognitive functions of participants regardless of whether they actually had enough rest.

What is the placebo effect?

The placebo effect is simply believing that something is effective, even when it isn’t, can actually have an effect. One case for this is with ordinary sugar pills and gel caps administered to patients who are told that it’s medicine, and their symptoms are shown to improve after some time.

A similar effect can be applied to sleep. You can convince yourself that you’re better rested by simply focusing on the hours of rest that you’ve actually had rather than the ones you missed.  There are other ways you can focus on the placebo effect with, like the following:  

  • Changing your outlook – Adopting a positive attitude towards life can improve your overall health, since it encourages you to take better care of yourself.
  • Staying active – Just like positive thinking, simply convincing yourself that you have

But while the placebo effect is real, and have positive effects, the question is: should you do it regularly or use it to go on less sleep for an extended period? Probably not.

Simply counting on the placebo effect to substitute for sleep doesn’t guarantee that your body will shrug off stress. In fact, it’s more likely that the effects of deprivation will continue to mount and have a negative impact not just on your body, but also on your overall routine.  

Improving your sleep quality

The best way to make sure you have the energy is simply getting the rest your body needs. Instead of relying only on the placebo effect and tricking yourself about being well-rested, try these tips to make sure you’re definitely well-rested:

  • Be consistent. Being in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm makes it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up.
  • Sleep at an earlier time. If you’re used to staying up late, sleeping fifteen minutes earlier is a good way to start.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water reduces fatigue and gives you a much-needed boost for brain power and energy.
  • Keep your room dark. Bright lights can interfere with the natural sleep cycle, and makes it take longer for you to sleep.

Read More