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Topic - 'Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits'
To guide viewers aware of the nutrition facts about the food they eat.
Botanically, tarragon belongs within the family of Asteraceae, in the genus: Artemisia, and known scientifically as Artemisia dracunculus sativa. The plant is thought to have originated in the Central Asia region, probably in Siberia.
This herb is small shrub featuring slim woody branching stems that reach up to a meter in height. It grows well in fertile rich, sandy soil with adequate sunlight. Its leaves feature smooth, dark green surface with pointed ends.
Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides) is a more robust, closely related species of French tarragon. It, however, is quite inferior in flavor to its Mediterranean counterpart and hence, less preferred in cooking.
Tarragon herb health benefits
This exquisite herb is rich in numerous health benefiting phyto-nutrients that are indispensable for optimum health.
The main essential oils in tarragon are estragole (methyl chavicol), cineol, ocimene and phellandrene.
Traditionally, tarragon has been employed as a traditional remedy to stimulate appetite and alleviate anorexic symptoms.
Scientific studies suggest that poly-phenolic compounds in this herb help lower blood-sugar levels.
Fresh tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources among the common herbs. Its total measured ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value is 15,542 trolex equivalents (TE) per 100 g.
Laboratory studies on tarragon extract shows certain compounds in them inhibit platelet activation, preventing platelet aggregation and adhesion to the blood vessel wall. It, thus, helps prevent clot formation inside tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from heart attack, and stroke.
The herb is very rich source of vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A as well as B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, etc., that function as antioxidant as well as co-factors for enzymes in the metabolism.
Tarragon is a notably excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. Manganese is utilized by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration (co-factors for cytochrome-oxidase enzyme) and blood cell production.
Medicinal uses of tarragon
Tarragon herb has been used in various traditional medicines for stimulating the appetite and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, and hiccups.
The essential oil, eugenol in the herb has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for toothache complaints.
Tarragon tea may help cure insomnia.
Selection and storage
French tarragon leaves can be available fresh during late spring and summer season. Its terminal growing tips may be gathered for fresh use. Oftentimes, the herb is grown in the backyard, so that its fresh leaves can easily be gathered for immediate use in cooking.
Tarragon leaves may be harvested at flowering time for drying slowly either under sunlight or gentle heat. Dried tarragon can be available in the herb stores year around.
To choose, try to by buy fresh leaves whenever possible for better flavor and nutritional benefits. Look for the herb that is rich in fragrance. Avoid those with shriveled, discolored old stocks.
Once at home, wash the leaves in clean running water, pat dry with absorbent paper and store inside the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for immediate use. Dried tarragon, however, should be stored inside an airtight container and stored in cool dark place where it will stay for up to six months.
Preparation and serving methods
Fresh tarragon herb should be washed before use in cooking. In general, the herb is added in small amounts to recipes at the last moment in order to retain flavor and taste.
Generally, the herb is added at the final moment to the recipes in small amounts in order to retain flavor and taste.
Here are some serving tips:
Fresh tarragon is used in green salads.
Fresh as well as dry leaves may be used as flavoring base (in marinate) to fish, lamb and poultry.
Tarragon herb is one of the main ingredients in French béarnaise sauce, a hot emulsified butter sauce made of clarified butter, egg yolks, shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon vinegar.
Furthermore, it is used as flavoring base in traditional Christmas breads called, potica.
Tarragon essential oil, estragole, may cause skin irritation in some individuals.
Furher, according to the `European commission scientific committee on food` estragole and its metabolite 1`-hydroxyestragole may induce hepatic tumor in laboratory animals. Therefore, it is recommended to use in to small quantities.| French tarragon herb, also known as dragon wort, is a very popular culinary herb that employed as a flavoring agent, especially in the Mediterranean cuisines. This aromatic perennially growing plant is rich in phytonutrients as well antioxidants that help promote health and prevent diseases. Back To Top
Article Date Oct 3 2018 02:22:37:147AM
Enokitake features elongated fruiting body, comprising of long thin stalk and small, biconvex cap. Completely grown enoki measures 10-15 cm in length and 1-3 cm diametered small caps. In Japan, it is cultivated in different sized bottles according to the market preferences. Enoki has a mild fruity flavor and chewy texture.
Enokitake is a winter fungus which prefers milder average temperature to produce thin, elongated stems and small caps. In the natural, wild enoki appear on the persimmon, Chinese hackberry, and sometimes pine forests. Wild enokitake tends to be pigmented, feature short stem and broad, brown caps.
Cultivated enoki requires dark, cold, high carbon-diaoxide surroundings for ideal growth. Farmers usually grow in bottles, on spawn inoculated degradable lignocellulosic bio-residues such as corncobs, wood straw as nutrients for their growth and fructification. Many cultivated varieties with white stems and caps are developed keeping in mind of consumer preferences.
Health benefits of enoki mushrooms
Enoki mushroom is very low calorie fungus. 100 grams of fresh enoki carry about 37 calories.
Laboratory studies on animals suggests that proflamin, a scompound in F. velutipes has been fund to have anti-tumor activity against cancers such as adenocarcinoma, melanoma etc. in animal studies.
Enoki mushroom is another fungal candidate with an ideal source of B-complex vitamins. It contains pantothenic acid-27%, niacin-44%, folates-12%, thiamin-19%, and riboflavin-15% of daily required values. Many of these vitamins involve in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism inside the cells, as co-factors for substrate enzymes.
Enokitake contains more niacin than many other edible mushrooms. 100 gras of enoki carries 7.032 mg of niacin. Niacin helps in the prevention of pellagra disease.
Just like shiitake mushroom, enokitake too carries good amount (105 mg or 15% DV) of Phosphorus. Adequate calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood is critical for the proper mineralization of bone and teeth.
Enoki is very good source of potassium, an anti-sodium electrolyte. 100 grams of fresh enoki carries 359 mg or 7.5 % of potassium.
Enoki does not has much of vitamin-D (ergocalciferol, 4 IU/100 g), unlike other large sized mushrooms like bolete.
Further, it is a good source of minerals such as phosphorus-15%, copper-12%, zinc-6%, and iron-14% of daily values.
Selection and storage
Enoki is best available in from October till May: hence, the name winter mushroom. In the stores, one can easily identify by their strikingly long stems and tiny caps, usually wrapped in cling films, from a distance in the vegetable/mushroom sections. Choose white, firm and shiny enoki mushrooms. They are sold in bunches in plastic containers/wraps, especially in Asian grocery stores.
Avoid any that have damp, slimy patched and those that have discoloration. They also sold in jars or cans, but prefer fresh over canned.
If bought fresh enoki mushrooms, they will keep for one week in their packaging when placed in the salad compartment of a refrigerator.
Preparation and serving methods
Enoki is one of the delicate gourmet mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms rarely requires washing. The mushrooms are harvested in clumps, attached to a tough, spongy root base which is cutoff. So, trim 1-1.5 inch lower clump base before using in the recipes. You can use of these trim ends to make stock.
Soak dry enoki mushroom in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Do not discard the soaking liquid as it can add flavor to stock: or use in soups, sauces, stews, and stir-fries.
Do not overcook, add at the end of cooking time. Enoki mushrooms have a delicate sweet and almost fruity flavor, and a delicate soft texture.
Allergic reactions to enoki mushroom is rare. Some sensitised persons who actively take part in the cultivation may develop allergic contact dermatitis to this mushroom.| Enoki mushrooms, also called enokitake (エノキタケ), are slender and exceedingly delicate mushrooms with long thin stems, and tiny white caps. In Chinese, they are called as Jinzhen-gu (golden needle mushrooms) since they resemble to the dried tiger lily buds. Fresh as well as dried enokitake are popular mushrooms in China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Back To Top
Article Date Oct 3 2018 09:46:55:410PM
Botanically, goji belongs to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants. Wolfberry, matrimony vine are other names to goji. Eggplant, tomato, potato are other interesting family members in this nightshade family.
Scientific name: Lycium barbarum. Ningxia province in Northwest China is the important region where wolfberry grew on a commercial scale. Goji berries grown in Ningxia, especially in Zhongning, are renowned worldwide for their exceptional quality.
Goji berry is a deciduous, thick woody vine that prefers loamy, well-drained soil. The two common goji cultivars grown in China are L. barbarum, and L. chinense (Chinese wolfberry). L. barbarum or NingXia (Gou Qi) berries considered as the best and most popular in the western world.
Goji reaches about 2-3 meters in height and begins fruit yielding by the second year of plantation. The plant bears small, purple color flowers in the summer which undergo self-pollination to develop green, raw berries in bunches. The berries turn deep orange-red and can be ready for harvesting by August. Each berry measures about 2 to 2.5 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter, has ellipsoid shape and waxy, glossy skin. Inside, it consists of tiny, creamy-white, flat seeds interspersed at its center. Traditionally, fresh berries harvested by hand-picking and sun-dried for several days, sorted and dispatch for markets.
Every year during the harvesting time, locals in the Ningxia province celebrate goji berry festival in the month of August to commemorate the importance of goji berry in their culture.
Health benefits of goji berry
L. barbarum plant parts, including fruits, leaves, flowers, have long been recognized as a functional food praised in Chinese culture. The berries, in particular, are packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Dry, red ripe goji berries are concentrated sources of carotenoids, calories, vitamins, and minerals.
Antioxidant carotenoids and flavonoids found abundantly in goji berries. β -carotene, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, and lutein play a vital role in protecting the skin and mucosa from free radical injury.
Certain flavonoids found in goji berries are quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, hesperidin and rutin. They act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer agents.
Zeaxanthin is a natural antioxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea portion of the retina in the eyes. Thus, it may offer protection from `age-related macular disease` (ARMD) in the elderly.
Fresh, as well as, dried goji are excellent sources of vitamin-A. 100 g of dried berries carry astoundingly 26,822 IU of vitamin-A. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for good vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in this vitamin may help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Vitamin C is another natural anti-oxidant found in right concentration in goji. 100 grams of dried goji composes 48.4 mg or 80% of daily required levels of this vitamin.
Dried goji berries are an excellent source of calcium (190 mg or 19% of RDI), iron 6.80 mg/100 g of fruits (about 85% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction.
Further, fresh as well as dry berries carry adequate daily recommended levels of the B-complex group of vitamins. Dried goji contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help the human body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Medicinal uses of goji berry
Almost all parts of the goji plant have been found utilization in the traditional Chinese medicine. Chinese physicians advocate different parts of the plant for each of the four divisions of the year. Its leaf in spring, flower in summer, fruits in autumn and root in winter.
The berries employed in medicines to cure inflammations, as a blood thinner, a healh tonic for skin and eyes, to relief nervousness, and to improve memory.
Selection and storage
In the United States, dried goji berry available in the supermarkets and Asian stores. Buy authentic, branded berries in pack, or bins.
In the traditionally cultivated farms, only ripened berries handpicked from the Goji bush. They are then spread out on stacked, drying beds for 10-16 hours under shade until their waxy skin shrinks and shrivel. They are then dried under sunlight until there is only 10% moisture left in the berries. Once dried the berries are sorted and stored in bags and transported to the warehouse for packaging.
Dried goji can store well for up to one year. In high humid environments, store them in the refrigerator for the extended lifespan.
Raw, fresh berries last for 2-3 days at cold, room temperatures, and for a couple of days in the fridge. Dried berries, however, can store well for several months.
Preparation and serving method
Completely ripe, fresh berries can be eaten hand-picked straight from the bush. Being a member of Solanaceae fruits, eating raw goji could be toxic and therefore, should be avoided.
Dried berries can be consumed on their own like raisins. Soaking them in lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes makes them soft and plump.
Here are some serving tips:
Fresh berries can be eaten out of hand as in grapes.
Dry fruits can be used in a much similar way like raisins, in cakes, tart, bread, muffins, etc.
Add them in tea with lemon.
Dried berries can be added to soup with spices and shredded chicken.
Being a member of the nightshade family of plants, goji berries also contain solanine, a glycol-alkaloid toxin.
Patients on anticoagulant medications like warfarin should be advised not to consume these berries and their products like goji berry juice as it may potentiate the anticoagulant effect of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding.| n Chinese legends, goji berry symbolizes longevity of life. These tiny orange-red color berries obtained from a nightshade family plant growing naturally in many Asian and Mediterranean regions. Back To Top
Article Date Oct 4 2018 11:28:26:720PM
Ostrich ferns are the most common edible fiddle-ferns found in the North America. The fern is a clump forming (like an ostrich plume), deciduous plant, which typically grows in well-drained, moisture rich shady environments. During each spring season, several fiddlehead fronds erupt during spring all along the length of the root (rhizome) spread of big fern plant. Their harvesting season is very short and should be done before the fronds unfurl.
Each fiddlehead is a tightly curled, deep green stalk measuring about 4 cm in diameter, reaching to the height of about 10-12 cm off the ground. Its tender shoots covered with brown scales, which have to be scraped off before being used in cooking. Young and tender fronds taste similar to that of asparagus, or green beans with a crunchy texture of their own.
Vegetable fern (Diplazium esculentum), known locally as lungru, are found in the hilly areas of North India and Nepal eaten as a local delicacy. Lungru season lasts very briefly from May until June.
Health benefits of fiddlehead ferns
Fiddlehead ferns are unique by their appearance, taste, and nutrition profile. The curly young shoots carry just 34 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless: their high-quality plant-nutrition profile consists of health-benefiting antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3, omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Fresh fronds are very high in antioxidant vitamin-A and carotenes. 100 g of fiddleheads hold 3617 IU of or 120% of recommended daily requirements of vitamin-A. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin-A help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
They are an excellent source of many natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as α and ß-carotenes. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the body.
Their unique sweet taste comes from their richness in vitamin C. 100 g of fresh fronds contains 26.6 mg or 44% of daily required levels. Vitamin-C is a moderately potential water soluble anti-oxidant. Together with flavonoid compound like carotenes, it helps scavenge harmful free radicals, and offer protection from cancers, inflammation, and viral cough and cold.
Fern shoots are a very good source of minerals and electrolytes, especially potassium, iron, manganese, and copper. 100 g of fresh sprouts carry 370 mg or 7% of daily required levels of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte, which helps reduces blood pressure and heart rate by countering sodium effects.
Further, they contain small to moderate levels of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Selection and storage
Fresh fiddlehead ferns are available in the selective farmer markets from late March to June. While choosing fiddleheads look for deep or bright green, firm, tightly coiled ferns. Do not buy unfurled and bigger ferns as they are tough and unappetizing. The scales are bitter and need to be removed before used in cooking.
Fiddlehead ferns should be used as they are fresh, otherwise, store them wrapped in plastic paper and place in the refrigerator set at high relative humidity where they stay fresh for 2-3 days.
Preparation and serving methods
Before cooking, remove any brown outer scales using a brush or cloth. Trim stem ends up to the base of the coiled crozier. Wash them in cold water thoroughly. They are then boiled in salted water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and discard the water. The process may be repeated for two to three times to remove their bitterness. Ostrich ferns are the only proven varieties free from any cancer-causing bitter compounds, and generally recommended varieties in the North America.
Fresh ferns are sought after in many parts of the American world. They employed in recipes in a similar way like asparagus or green beans, to make a perfect side dish.
Here are some serving tips:
Cooked ferns acquire chewy texture. Fresh ferns, in general, are treated just like asparagus in cooking. Overcooking makes them soft and mushy. They can be steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or mixed with vegetables, beans, or seafood.
They served crisp tossed with melted butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.
In Himalayan region of India, a different variety vegetable fern is found at high altitude, famous locally as lungru. The young tender fronds are eaten in salads, stews, stir-fries, and used to prepare pickles.
Not all types of fiddlehead ferns available in the woods are suitable for human consumption. Prolonged use of the wild variety fern-fronds has been found to cause stomach and esophagus cancers. Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) species may be associated with higher incidences of these diseases. Only ostrich fern is free from toxic cancer-causing compounds. Several different ferns grow in the woods feature a similar appearance and give rise to be new beginnings at the same time. Only expert native harvesters could identify safe and edible ostrich ferns in the woods. Confirm from the local farmers about the right kind of ferns before eating.| Fiddlehead ferns are young, tender, tightly furled new growth shoots of fern family plant, usually of the ostrich fern. The curly ferns are so named after their unique resemblance to fiddle (violin) head. These young eruptions of fiddlehead fronds are very popular among the inhabitants of Maine, Vermont in the US, and New Brunswick provinces in Canada where their short season in later part of spring attracts many food enthusiasts. Back To Top
Article Date Oct 7 2018 09:41:53:640PM
The water of tender coconuts is a clear liquid, sweet, and sterile and composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones. It iscollected after opening a tender, green, healthy, and undamaged coconut. In general, young and slightly immature coconuts gathered from the coconut tree after they reach about 5-7 months of age for the purpose of reaping its drink.
Botanically, coconut plant belongs to the Arecaceae family of palm trees and has the scientific name: Cocos nucifera.
Each coconut may contain about 200 to 1000 ml of water depending upon cultivar type and size. Any nuts younger than five months of age tend to be bitter in taste and devoid of nutrients. In contrast, mature coconuts contain less water, and their endosperm thickens quickly into white edible meat (kernel). Coconut milk obtained from the meat, therefore, should not be confused with coconut water.
Coconut palm flourishes well under the coastal tropical environments. A coconut tree may yield several hundreds of tender nuts each season. Different species of coconut palms are grown all over the tropics. Naturally, their taste and flavor of water show variations according to saline content in the soil, distance from the seashore, and climate conditions.
Health benefits of coconut water
Coconut water is a very refreshing drink to beat the torching tropical summer thirst. Its liquid is packed with simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish dehydration conditions inside the human body.
Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water found to have significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic (anti-clot formation) effects.
Coconut water is offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropic regions to replace the fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and to reduce the need for hospitalisation. The osmolarity of tender coconut water is slightly greater than that of WHO recommended ORS (Oral Rehydration Therapy) solution. The presence of other biological constituents like amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids may account for this higher osmolarity. Nonetheless, unlike WHO-ORS, its water is very low in sodium and chlorides, but rich in sugars and amino acids. This well-balanced fluid composition, along with much-needed calories, would be an ideal drink instead of any other kind of soft drink beverages available in the markets to correct dehydration conditions.
Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases, etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.
Despite being very light in consistency, its water proportionately has better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of the fruit juices like oranges. (Compare the mineral composition of oranges).
Its liquid is also a an excellent source of the B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Coconut water carries a good amount of electrolyte potassium. 100 ml of water has 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. Together, these electrolytes help replenish electrolyte deficiency in the body due to diarrhea (loose stools).
Further, fresh coconut water has a small amount of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid): It provides about 2.4 mg or 4% of RDA. Vitamin-C is a water-soluble antoxidant.
Selection and storage
Fresh tender coconuts can be readily available in the markets in tropical regions year-round. However, they require importation into the semitropical and cold regions. Nowadays, ready to use tender coconuts, imported from Thailand and Malaysia, can be easily available in the USA, European Union, and Canada.
In the stores, coconut water also sold in packets, and bottles as well. However, its overall nutritional profile may not be the same and up to the mark in terms of vitamins and enzyme levels, since some additives and preservative need to be added to it to enhance shelf life.
At home, fresh tender coconuts can be kept at room temperature for about 5-10 days. Once opened, its liquid soon turns sour and off-flavored due to intense enzymatic activity. Instead, store it in the refrigerator if not used immediately.
Preparation and serving tips
To prepare, use a long sickle to cut open its outer layer (exocarp) either at the top or bottom end and break the hard inner shell to expose inner cavity hoding the coconut water. Some expertise and caution are essential to do this job and to avoid injuries. Its water is then enjoyed using a straw. Otherwise, the whole fruit is turn upside down to transfer its water into a wide mouthed bottle or bowl.
Enjoy the coconut drink without any additions.
Iced coconut water can be a refreshing drink.
Fresh water can be made special drink adding lemon slices, mint leaves, and orange zest.
Its gel-like meat (kernel) inside the young tender coconuts is very sweet and delicious.
Coconut water is universally appealing drink. There are no known reactions of any sort notified so far drinking it. It is not only cherished in healthy but considered safe in pregnancy, infants as well as in illness conditions.| Coconut water, in fact, is the liquid (juicy secretion) collection inside the cavity or endosperm of young, tender coconut. Its water is one of nature`s most refreshing drinks consumed worldwide for its nutritious and health benefiting properties. Back To Top
Article Date Oct 10 2018 01:11:30:940AM
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- Enoki Mushroom
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- Coconut water
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