Archive for May, 2016

Cinnamon spice nutrition facts

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Health benefits of cinnamon

  • The active principles in the cinnamon spice known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
  • Cinnamon spice has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. The total measured ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value for this novel spice is 2,67,536 trolex equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in  chokeberry, apples, etc.
  • The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound that gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrance to it. Eugenol has got local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; employed in the dental and gum treatment procedures.
  • Other important essential oils in cinnamon include ethyl cinnamate, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, and methyl chavicol.
  • Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon-sticks has been found to have anti-coagulnt (prevents blood-lotting) function, prevents platelet clogging inside the blood vessels, and thereby helps prevent stroke, peripheral arterial and coronary artery diseases.
  • The active principles in this spice increase the motility of the intestinal tract and help in digestion by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.
  • This spicy stick is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron is required for cellular metabolism as a co-factor and in RBC’s production. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are chiefly used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • It also contains very good amounts of vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine.
  • Further, it is also a very good source of flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin.

Chili peppers nutrition facts

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Health benefits of chili peppers

  • Chili pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Chilies contain health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives them strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
  • Fresh chili peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 143.7 µg or about 240% of RDA. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • They are also good in other antioxidants such as vitamin-A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in capsicum help protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.
  • Chilies carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Chili peppers have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):

240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
32% of vitamin A,
13% of iron,
14% of copper,
7% of potassium,
but no cholesterol.

Cayenne pepper nutrition facts

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Health benefits of cayenne peppers

  • Although inherently hot and intolerable even in small amounts, cayennes are one of the health-benefiting spice items packed with minerals, vitamins and certain phyto-nutrients. It is no wonder this wonderful spice has been found a place in modern as well as in traditional medicines for its disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Cayenne contains health benefiting alkaloid compound, capsaicin which gives them strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
  • Fresh cayenne peppers, red or green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 76.4 mg or about 127% of RDA of this vitamin. Vitamin-C is a potent water soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein inside the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • Cayenne chili peppers are perhaps the richest source of vitamin A among spices. Just 100 g of cayenne has 41,610 IU or astoundingly 1387% of vitamin A. Additionally, this prized spice is also home for anti-oxidant flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, zea xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these antioxidants in cayenne help to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, and disease conditions.
  • The spice contains very high levels of essential minerals. Even if consumed in small quantities regularly would provide sufficient levels of iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Selenium is an anti-oxidant trace element required by the human body for smooth heart and liver functions.
  • 100 g of cayenne peppers provides 2014 mg or 47% of a daily-required amount of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte in the cells and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It thus, counters the bad effects of sodium.
  • Cayenne peppers are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism through various enzymatic functions.

Cayenne peppers have amazingly very high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of Recommended daily allowance):

127% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
54% of niacin,
71% of riboflavin,
1387% of vitamin A,
97.5% of iron,
41% of copper,
43% of potassium,
but no cholesterol.

Caraway seed nutrition facts

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Health benefits of caraway seeds

  • In addition to their utility in traditional medicines, caraway seeds have their own food value, and indeed, have several health benefiting nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
  • Caraway seeds are rich source of dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 38 g of fiber, 100% of daily recommended intake of fiber. Soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber increase bulk of the food and help prevent constipation by speeding up its movement through the gut. In fact, gastro-intestinal transit time of food is greatly decreased.
  • Fiber also binds to toxins in the food and helps protect the colon mucusa from cancers. Further, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in colon, and thus help in reducing serum LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Caraway contains several health benefiting essential oils. Principle volatile compounds are carvone, limonene, carveol, pinen, cumuninic aldehyde, furfurol, and thujone. These active principles in the caraway seeds known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties.
  • Caraway has several health benefiting flavonoid antioxidnats such as lutein, carotene, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthin. These compounds are indeed work as powerful anti-oxidants by removing harmful free radicals from the body and thus protect from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases.
  • Caraway spice is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper required for the production of red blood cells. Iron required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • The caraway seeds indeed are the storehouse for many vital vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C as well as many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin particularly concentrated in the seeds.

Capers nutrition facts

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

n general, their small cream colored buds are gathered by handpicking in the early morning hours of the day, which otherwise would unfold into a beautiful whitish-pink four sepal flower with long tassels of purple stamens. Soon after harvesting, the buds are washed and allowed to wilt for few hours in the sun before putting them into jars and covered with salt, vinegar, brine, or olive oil.

In commercial practice, capers are categorized and sold by their size in the markets. Smaller sized buds fetch more value than large ones. Non-pareil and surfines are some of small buds, while capucines, capotes and grusas are sold as big size category capers.

 

Health benefits of capers

  • Being flower buds, capers are in fact very low in calories, 23 calories per 100 g. However, this spice-bud contains many phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins essential for optimum health.
  • Capers are one of the plant sources high in flavonoid compounds rutin (or rutoside) and quercetin. Capers are in-fact very rich source of quarcetin (180 mg/100 g) second only to tea leaf. Both of these compounds work as powerful anti-oxidants. Research studies suggest that quercetin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Furthermore, rutin strengthen capillaries and inhibits platelet clump formation in the blood vessels. Both these actions of rutin help in smooth circulation of blood in very small vessels. Rutin has found application in some in trial treatments for hemorrhoids, varicose veins and in bleeding conditions such as hemophilia. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals
  • The spicy buds contain healthy levels of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin K, niacin, and riboflavin. Niacin helps lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Furthermore, minerals like calcium, iron, and copper are present in them. High sodium levels are because of added granular sea salt (sodium chloride).

Medicinal uses

  • Caper parts have been used to relieve rheumatic pain in traditional medicines.
  • The spicy caper pickles traditionally added to recipes as appetite stimulant. In addition, they help relieve stomachache and flatulence conditions.

Bay leaf nutrition facts

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Health benefits of bay leaf

  • Bay leaf was highly praised by the Greeks and the Romans, who deeply believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
  • The spice contains many notable plants derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
  • Fresh leaves are very rich source of vitamin-C; provide 46.5 mg or 77.5% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant that help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has immune booster, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
  • Furthermore, its fresh leaves and herb parts are very good in folic acid; contain about 180 mg or 45% of daily-recommended values per 100 g. Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during the peri-conception period, they can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • Bay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A; contain 6185 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g. Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant and is essential for healthy visual sight. It is also required for maintaining mucusa and skin health. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • The spice is indeed a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
  • This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes.

 

Medicinal uses of bay leaf

  • Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic, and appetite stimulant properties.
  • Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and ß-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and terpineol are also found.
  • Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers and help relieve flatulence and colic pain.
  • The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
  • The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis and flu-symptoms.

Anise seed nutrition facts

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Health benefits of anise

  • Exotic anise spice carry some of the important plants derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • the main essential volatile oil that gives the characteristic sweet, aromatic flavor to anise seed is anethole. Other important compounds found in these seeds include estragol, p-anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, acetophenone, pinene and limonene.
  • Anise seed oil obtained from extraction of the seeds has been found application in many traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic agent.
  • The seeds are an excellent source of many essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) helps increase GABA neuro-chemical levels in the brain.
  • The spicy seeds are one of important source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. 100 g dry seeds contain 36.96 mg or 462% daily required levels of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome C-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required in the production of red blood cells.
  • The spice also contains good amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.

Allspice nutrition facts

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Health benefits of Allspice

  • Certain active principles in allspice have been found to have anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative, and anti-flatulent properties.
  • Allspice corns contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to this spice. It also contains caryophyllene, methyleugenol, glycosides, tannins, quercetin, resin, and sesquiterpenes. At the processing units, these volatile essential oils are obtained through distillation process using this spice corn. The outer coat of the allspice-berries is believed to have the greatest concentration of some of the compounds of medicinal activities.
  • As in black peppercorns, the active principles in the allspice may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract in addition to aid in digestion through facilitating enzyme secretions inside the stomach and intestines.
  • Eugenol, has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It found useful in gum and dental treatment procedures. Recent research studies have shown that the preparation made from allspice oil mixed with extractions from garlic & oregano can work against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.
  • The spice is enriched with good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium, and magnesium. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes during cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell production inside the bone marrow. Being an important component of cell and body fluids, potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized inside the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Further, this spice also carries a very good amount of vitamin A, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.