Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pass the Banana

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class
told his class about bananas.
He said the expression 'going bananas'
is from the effects of bananas on the brain.
Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! 
This is interesting.
After reading this, you'll never look at a banana
in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber.
A banana gives an instant, sustained and
substantial boost of energy. 

Research has proven that just two bananas
provide enough energy for a strenuous
90-minute workout.
No wonder the banana is the number one
fruit with the world's leading athletes. 

But energy isn't the only way a banana
can help us keep fit.
It can also help overcome or prevent a
substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. 

 Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. 

Anemia :
 High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia. 

Blood Pressure:
 This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt,
making it perfect to beat blood pressure.
So much so, the US Food and Drug
Administration has just allowed the banana
industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability
to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams
this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break,
and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power.
Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit
can assist learning by making pupils more alert. 

 High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. 

 One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake,
sweetened with honey..
The banana calms the stomach and,
with the help of the honey,
builds up depleted blood sugar levels,
while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid
effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn,
try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness. 

Mosquito bites:
 Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation. 

 Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. 

 The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach. 

Temperature control:
 Many other cultures
see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can
lower both the physical and emotional
temperature of expectant mothers.
InThailand, for example, pregnant women
eat bananas to ensure their baby is born
with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood Enhancer tryptophan. 

Smoking &Tobacco Use:
 Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. 

 Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance... When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack. 

 According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%! 

 Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.
When you compare it to an apple, it has four times
the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron,
and twice the other vitamins and minerals.
It is also rich in potassium and is one of the
best value foods around.

So maybe it's time to change that
well-known phrase so that we say,
'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!' 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick n' Eazy Dinner Ideas to Help Alleviate Stress

Quick n’ Easy Dinner Ideas to Help Alleviate Stress - by Guest Author Brett H.

The demands of work alone are enough to drain people of all of their energy. The demands of cleaning the house, taking care of kids, and cooking can seem very overwhelming sometimes. Preparing dinner, in particular, can be a stressful activity after a long day. Many parents could definitely use some help in the kitchen. Here are some easy dinner ideas for starters.
1.      Stick with the Staples

Hamburgers and mac n’ cheese are the favorite dishes of most families. Unfortunately, you can’t serve these dishes every day for dinner. Luckily, there are some basic changes you can make to these meals to make them taste new and different, so your family never gets tired of them.

The local butchery and grocery store always have hamburger meat available for pick-up. In lieu of hamburgers, you can use hamburger meat to make dishes like Hamburger meatballs. This meal is rich in protein and super easy to make. Just add some eggs and seasoning to your ground beef and you’re set. This meal will take about 45 minutes to prepare. Try topping the meatballs with an interesting sauce like cranberry.

There are plenty of ways you can transform plain mac and cheese into something that will give your taste buds a jolt. Try mixing in some lobster to make macaroni and cheese classier. If you don’t have much time to experiment with different ingredients, don’t be afraid to fall back on a simple macaroni and cheese recipe to cut down how much time you have to spend in the kitchen.

2.      Use Small and Handy Appliances

Cooking equipment that saves you time is definitely a sound investment. Try a crock-pot. Slow-cooked meals are a sure-fire winner when it comes to taste, and easy beef stew is no exception. To make this dish, throw in a variety of vegetables, enhance the flavor using wines or sauces and spices, let the ingredients sit for eight hours while you’re away from home, and a delicious stew will be ready at dinnertime. You don’t have to limit yourself to making stews in a crock-pot. You can make family favorites like Texas Chili as well.

Another practical cooking aid is the panini grill. Just make a quick stop at your favorite baker’s shop, grab some fresh Italian bread, smear it with butter, stuff in some succulent ingredients, then grill your sandwich. It is as easy as 1-2-3, and hot sandwiches are ready in about ten minutes with a panini grill! If you’re tired of ordinary sandwiches, look into recipes online. The Food Network has excellent panini meal ideas like the eggplant-mozzarella panini.

Don’t think of eating at home as another ordeal. Just do yourself some favors to help eliminate the time you have to spend in the kitchen. If you follow the tips above, you will, without a doubt, soon be sitting eagerly down to dinner with the whole family, and you won’t feel worn out from cooking at all.