Archive for October, 2011
What are the world’s most delicious foods? We thought we knew. Apparently we don’t.
Our list of the World’s 50 most delicious foods stimulated some impassioned debate about the conspicuous lack of French dishes and the merits of ketchup over mayonnaise.
“Ketchup? Pop Corn? Chips? Plenty of Thai but few Malay food? What about Chinese (Sichuan, Cantonese, etc)? No Brazilian or Argentinean?” queried commenter Max.
Reader LoveFoods wrote, “OMG why are people hating? If you don’t like the list, make your own! I love Thai and Japanese foods.”
LoveFoods was right. So we threw it open to a vote on a Facebook poll.
And now, after more than 35,000 votes, it appears we got it all wrong. The world’s most delicious food is not Massaman curry, as we suggested, but a meaty, spicy, gingery dish from west Sumatra.
Couscous and lemon curd cake both took scores of votes, but didn’t make the list. Some 439 people thought gelato deserved a place in online history.
The top 50 foods according to CNNGo readers are below. Bon appetit.
50. Little packages of delightful herbal freshness.
50. Goi cuon, Vietnam
This snack made from pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper is served at room temperature. It’s “meat light,” with the flavors of refreshing herbs erupting in your mouth.
Dipped in a slightly sweet sauce laced with ground peanuts, it’s wholesome, easy and the very definition of “moreish.”
49. Great tan, better taste..jgn try,harem
49. Lechon, Philippines
Young pigs, chosen for their tender meat, are rotated and roasted thoroughly over a fire pit for hours. The result is a thin layer of crispy skin on juicy, succulent meat. Every mouthful makes you wonder why you eat anything else.
Great way to kick off this list.
Also on CNNGo: The making of Bali’s incredible pig roast
46. Canada’s greatest food.
48. Parma ham, Italy
Possibly the most versatile food of all. You see it folded around melon, wrapped around grissini, placed over pizza, heaped over salad.
There’s good reason for that: these salty, paper-thin slices of air-dried ham lift the taste of everything they accompany to a higher level, following the same theory as the Italian guy who thinks carrying around a copy of “Candide” makes up for the tiny Speedos.
Also on CNNGo: 11 artery-clogging and delicious Vietnamese dishes
45. A flippin’ great dish.
47. Fettucini alfredo, Italy
Saying no to fettucini alfredo is like turning down Monica Bellucci. It’s just wrong.
The main ingredients are butter and Parmesan cheese; it’s rich and creamy and it can be made in 15 minutes (consumption time included). A good serving of this can turn dinner with the family into something you actually look forward to.
42. Yes I love you. Now gimme a bite.
46. Maple syrup, Canada
With poutine and Montreal-style smoked meat not making the top 50, maple syrup becomes the sole Canadian representative in the list. But before selling you on its natural flavor and balanced sweetness, we must give credit to its mentor, the waffle, playing Batman to maple syrup’s edgier, sexier Robin.
40. See, healthy food can taste good.
45. Roti prata, Singapore
The truth is curry wouldn’t be curry if it wasn’t for this dough-based pancake.
Looks and tastes like Indian naan, roti prata is flipped and turned and flipped again before it’s heated over a grill plate. Its preparation is so theatrical you’ll feel like dancing a jig while you’re eating it.
44. Laksa, Singapore
Whether it originates in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia as reader Bob Haris Mandela claimed, an authentic bowl of laksa always comes with slippery vermicelli, a spicy broth (the spicier the better), generous toppings of shredded chicken and fresh prawns.
One whiff of its pungent curry-coconut aroma and you’ll be transported to all three countries. Best way to travel ever.
Also on CNNGo: 40 delicious Singapore foods
39. Breakfast for one billion people.
43. Fajitas, Mexico
This assembly kit of a dining experience is a thrill to DIY enthusiasts everywhere.
Step 1: Behold the meat sizzling on a fiery griddle. Step 2: Along with the meat, throw side servings of capsicum, onion, guacamole, sour cream and salsa into a warm, flour tortilla. Step 3: Promise all within hearing range that you’ll have “just one more.” Step 4: Repeat.
38. The dessert you can use to compare all the world’s restaurants.
42. Hamburger, Germany
When something tastes so good that people spend US$20 billion each year in a single restaurant chain devoted to it, you know it has to fit into this list. McDonald’s may not offer the best burgers, but that’s the point — it doesn’t have to.
The bread-meat-salad combination is so good that entire countries have ravaged their eco-systems just to produce more cows.
41. Galbi, Korea
“Yeah, I would have thrown Kalbi Jim or something similar on there,” wrote reader Nobody. “Some Korean dishes are savagely good.”
We could forgive Nobody for opening 222 Facebook accounts to put Galbi in the list. But we’re pretty sure the balance of sweet and savory in Korean short ribs means there’s no underhand vote-rigging required.
Also on CNNGo: Best 7 restaurants for the Seoul herbivore
37. The world’s cheapest delicacy?
40. Bibimbap, Korea
Mixed vegetables and beef, sitting atop steaming-hot rice, held together by a half-raw egg. The beauty of this Korean dish lies at least partially in the diner’s DIY mixing of the ingredients.
Bibambap is best when served in a heated stone bowl, and eaten with metal chopsticks.
39. Masala dosa, India
A crispy, rice-batter crepe encases a spicy mix of mashed potato, which is then dipped in coconut chutney, pickles, tomato-and-lentil-based sauces and other condiments. It’s a fantastic breakfast food that’ll keep you going till lunch, when you’ll probably come back for another.
Also on CNNGo: 40 delicious Mumbai foods
shrimp dumpling in hong kong
34. Small but brilliant.
38. Warm brownie and vanilla ice cream, Global
There are some diners who will not frequent an establishment if it does not have brownie and ice cream on the dessert menu. You may call them fools.
We do, too, but having done so we then happily leave the first restaurant after the main course to visit one we know has this perfect dessert on offer.
32. If you were on a million menus you’d have big claws too.
37. Potato chips, United States
Despite major criticisms suggesting that potato chips aren’t real food, voters like Deepti Ravi believe that they “rock.”
What started as a chef’s trick on a fussy diner is now one of the world’s most child-friendly foods. But think of them this way — if a single chip cost, say, US$5, it’d be a far greater (and more popular) delicacy than caviar, a prize worth fighting wars over.
31. Clucking great.
36. Moo nam tok, Thailand
Grilled pork combined with lemon juice, green onions, chili, mint sprigs, fish sauce and toasted rice. Legend has it the blood from the meat along with the dressing inspired some happy carnivore to name this brilliant dish “waterfall (nam tok moo) meat.”
35. Neapolitan pizza, Italy
The best pizza was and still is the simple Neapolitan, an invention now protected by its own trade association that insists on sea salt, high-grade wheat flour, the use of only three types of fresh tomatoes, hand-rolled dough and the strict use of a wood-fired oven, among other quality stipulations.
With just a few ingredients — dough, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and basil (the marinara pizza does not even contain cheese) — the Neapolitans created a food that few make properly, but everyone enjoys thoroughly.
34. Shrimp dumpling, Hong Kong
Succulent shrimps, steamed well but not overdone, wrapped inside translucent rice paper. This simple form of dim sum has been a must-eat dish for decades.
Also on CNNGo: 40 delicious Hong Kong foods
Words on the street say the more pleat folds there are the more skillful the chef is.
33. Seafood paella, Spain
The sea is lapping the shore by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode.
Though if you have it in Spain, you’re probably there already.
32. Lobster, Global
Forget all your fancy, contrived lobster dishes deployed by showoff chefs eager for Michelin endorsement. When you have something as naturally delicious as these little fellas, keep it simple. The best way to enjoy lobster is simply to boil it and serve with a side of melted butter and slice of lemon.
31. Fried chicken, United States
“I have had almost everything. But they left off fried chicken… ” reader Michelle Souza commented.
Michelle: your fellow readers have made up for this unforgivable lapse. This all-time American favorite makes its entry with all the artery-choking goodness that made Colonel Sanders a very happy, if not healthy, man.
28. The best pork comes barbecued and honey-drizzled.
30. Cheeseburger, United States
The power of cheese? Add it to an ordinary hamburger, the food gets pushed up 13 spots in the poll.
Penang Assam Laksa
26. As photogenic as a food can get.
29. Chili crab, Singapore
Reader ST suggested that chili crabs, contrary to popular beliefs, aren’t difficult to make. “Fantastic list of delicious food! Chilli Crabs are actually very easy to prepare. Here is an easy recipe for you :)”
ST forgot to mention, however, that it is difficult to stop eating it.
Also on CNNGo: Food fight! Malaysia wants its ‘unique’ dishes back
23. The messiest, meatiest food for champions.
28. Barbecue pork, Hong Kong
Along with many comments left by reader Louis4, s/he wrote, “TX bbq tastes like turds. Is that all you have beside that boring food?”
Here you go, Louis4. Your fellow readers suggested the Chinese version of barbecue pork. This honey-coated meat is sweet, tender and it goes well with everything — rice, noodles or even by itself.
Ask for the half-fat, half-lean barbecue pork to really indulge in this delicacy.
22. Egg on your face can be a good thing.
27. Tacos, Mexico
A fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want — perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the reason few visitors leave Mexico weighing less than when they arrived.
Fish and chips
21. A salty, vinegary homage to the basics.
26. Penang assam laksa, Malaysia
Poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple … one of Malaysia’s most popular dishes is an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles (especially great when fused with ginger), that’ll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips.
25. Chocolate, Mexico
The Mayans drank it, Lasse Hallström made a film about it and the rest of us get over the guilt of eating too much of it by eating more of it. The story of the humble cacao bean is a bona fide out-of-the-jungle, into-civilization tale of culinary wonder.
Without this creamy, bitter-sweet confection, Valentine’s Day would be all cards and flowers, Easter would turn back into another dull religious event and those halcyon days of gorging yourself to eruption point at Christmas would be fanciful imaginings.
20. Vietnam’s answer to “What should I eat today?”
24. Fried rice, Thailand
It’s true, anyone can fry rice. But can you fry it as well as the Thais? We suspect not.
Also on CNNGo: 40 delicious Thai foods
23. Bulgogi, Korea
Literally meaning “fire” and “meat”, this Korean dish has been in existence for nearly 1,000 years.
A bowl of bulgogi gives everything you need in a balanced diet — carbohydrate (rice), protein (beef and egg), vitamins and minerals (mixed vegetables), and fat (oil). Four good reasons to order a second bowl.
Also on CNNGo: Buldak: South Korea’s torturous but irresistible dish
19. It’s easy eating green.
22. Egg tart, Hong Kong
Flaky on the crust with a sweet and smooth egg custard in the middle, egg tarts are best eaten hot when they’re fresh out of an oven. This dessert can be ordered in the most rundown bakeries and most glamorous hotels in Hong Kong.
Former Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, declared eating egg tarts one of his favorite pastimes in the city.
Also on CNNGo: Behind the scenes of Hong Kong’s most loved egg tart bakery
17. So many flavors to choose. Why bother?
21. Fish ‘n’ chips, England
Anything that’s been around since the 1860s can’t be doing much wrong. The staple of the Victorian British working class is a crunchy-outside, soft-inside dish of simple, un-adorned food fundamentals.
Sprinkled with salt, vinegar and dollops of tartar sauce, it is to nouveau cuisine what Meat Loaf is to Prince (or whatever he’s calling himself now).
20. Pho, Vietnam
This oft-mispronounced national dish (“fuh” is correct) is just broth, fresh rice noodles, a few herbs and usually chicken or beef. But it’s greater than the sum of its parts — fragrant, tasty and balanced, the polar opposite of the moto rider who brought you to the little café where you find the best stuff.
19. Green curry, Thailand
Kermit got it wrong. It’s not hard being green, it’s delicious. For many this coconutty-creamy and spicy curry should have made the top 10. Goes with steamed rice like bikinis go with Thai beaches.
14. Stick it, soak it, eat it, lick it.
18. Croissant, France
Flaky pastry smothered in butter, a pile of raspberry jam smeared over the top and a soft, giving bite as you sink in your teeth; there’s nothing not to love about this fatty, sweet breakfast food that must be married to a cup of strong coffee.
12. How much money have Korean restaurants lost out on by giving this away for free?
17. Gelato, Italy
Thanks to “Eat, Pray, Love,” the best dessert in Italy is now more popular than ever. True gelato makers use only fresh ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors, and allow you to mix and match as many different flavors as you want.
With a higher density and less fat than ice cream, gelato often tastes richer but healthier — perfect for your own “no-carb-left-behind” experiment.
11. Lasagna is right on so many levels.
16. Kebab, Turkey
For keeping starvation at bay for the entire student population of the United Kingdom, the doner kebab should clearly be honored. But they are hardly the delicious prototype worthy of representing a region.
Reader Elena Vorobyeva told us, “There are so many forms and shapes of it: doner, iskender kebab, shish kebab, chop shish kebab, orman kebab, etc.”
So summon the shish kebab. Pick your meat, shove a stick through it, grill. Then wonder why you don’t eat like this every day.
15. Ice cream, United States
Somehow there’s always room for a tooth-rotting, U.S.-style pile of ice cream with nuts, marshmallows and chocolate sauce.
Thank God for extra long spoons that allow you get at the real weight-gain stuff all mixed up and melted at the bottom of the glass.
Also on CNNGo: Best cold treats in Hong Kong
14. Satay, Indonesia
Reader Paul Peh wrote, “I can make satay too but the prep will take at least half the day and [the eating will be done] in less than half hr. lol.”
Half an hour? What’s the hold up? Last time we drowned some skewered meat with this peanut-based sauce we were ready for seconds before you could say “mmmm”.
13. Chicken rice, Singapore
Often called the “national dish” of Singapore, this steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. Variants include roasted chicken or soy sauce chicken.
The dipping sauces — premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic and pounded ginger — give it that little extra oomph to ensure whenever you’re not actually in Singapore eating chicken rice, you’re thinking of it.
12. Kimchi, Korea
Is Korea the most generous nation or what? Korean restaurants provide this starter dish of fermented vegetables for free. Perhaps because few Koreans can last more than two days without it.
11. Lasagna, Italy
Lasagna overtook pizza to become the most sought-after Italian food in this delicacy list. There’s a reason this pasta-layered, tomato-sauce-infused, minced-meaty gift to kids and adults alike is so popular — it just works.
Dee Dodge wrote, “I love Lasagna.” The lack of exclamation marks tells you how seriously true fans take this dish.
10. Still a top 10 entry.
10. Massaman curry, Thailand
Although not the world’s most delicious food, it is still emphatically the king of curries. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savory, its combination of flavors has more personality than a Thai election.
Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce.
8. World’s loudest food?
“The Land of Smiles” isn’t just a marketing tag-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the best curry is sold on nearly every street corner.
9. Peking duck, China
“Peking duck! its a wonder…..” wrote Shan Cao on our Facebook page.
We can only guess Shan Cao was in the middle of forking a piece of this maltose-syrup glazed duck dish into his/her mouth and forgot to finish the sentence. Slow-roasted in an oven, the crispy, syrup-coated skin is so good that authentic eateries will serve more skin than meat, and bring it with pancakes, onions and hoisin or sweet bean sauce.
Other than flying or floating, this is the only way you want your duck.
dim sum in hong kong
7. Family lunches are fun again.
8. Ramen, Japan
Japanese protocol says the tastier your ramen is, the louder you should slurp it up to show respect to your chef. Not that they need more respect. One mouthful of this most Japanese of noodle broths will quickly tell you that either you have a ramen trigger in your brain, or Japanese chefs are geniuses.
Also on CNNGo: 40 delicious Japanese foods
7. Dim sum, Hong Kong
Equally fun and delicious to eat, a trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without trying this traditional Cantonese lunch food. Popular with everyone from pass-through tourists to local kids and the elderly, most dim sum come in bite-size pieces so you don’t have to waste time cutting the stuff up.
Bring a few friends and wash the food down with the free-flow tea.
5. Even better when it’s messy.
6. Som tam (Papaya salad), Thailand
After reading reader Kun Chotpakdeetrakul’s comment, “Papaya salad and som tam [are] the same thing. You should combine vote for these two together,” we did just that, pushing som tam to just 80 votes shy of the top five.
To prepare Thailand’s iconic salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya.
Also on CNNGo: Everything you need to know about som tam — including where to find it
tom yum goong
4. Do you eat or drink soup? Either way just get it inside you.
5. Pad thai, Thailand
Here’s a food Thai people can’t live without.
Similar to Bulgogi (see #22), pad Thai is packed with nutrients stirred into one glorious fried-noodle dish.
The secret’s in the sauce — tamarind paste. If anyone ever creates a Hall of Food Fame, that should be first on the list.
3. Rice, salmon, wasabi — world’s greatest trio?
4. Tom yam goong, Thailand
Reader Supot Sakulwongtana made it clear that “delicious includes a little bit hot.” A little bit hot is right because you need room for a load more flavors too.
This Thai masterpiece teems with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Usually loaded with coconut milk and cream, the hearty soup unifies a host of favorite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet. Best of all is the price: cheap.
2. More rice — a common factor in many of these dishes.
3. Sushi, Japan
When Japan wants to build something right, it builds it really right. Brand giants such as Toyota, Nintendo, Sony, Nikon and Yamaha may have been created by people fueled by nothing more complicated than raw fish and rice, but it’s how the fish and rice is put together that makes this a global first-date favorite.
This perfect marriage between raw fish and rice has easily kept sushi in the top five. And like one reader, Nymayor, wrote, “Now to be fair, DELICIOUS can be simple.”
The Japanese don’t live practically forever for no reason — they want to keep eating this stuff.
Also: How to eat sushi properly
2. Nasi goreng, Indonesia
“I like rendang and nasi goreng, two of most popular food in Indonesia!” Reader Rizky Ramadhika’s got it. And thousands of other voters agreed.
The wonder of combining rice with egg, chicken and prawns strikes again. The second fried rice to make the list, this Indonesian delight received more than 10 times the vote of its Thai counterpart (see #23), propelling the former from non-runner to runner-up.
1. No. 1 as voted by you.
1. Rendang, Indonesia
Reader Kamal F Chaniago showed great foresight when he wrote, “Rendang is the best.” A clear winner with a loyal following, this beefy dish can now rightfully claim the title of “World’s Most Delicious Food.”
Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to create this dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness.
The Indonesian dish is often served at ceremonial occasions and to honored guests. It’s not only delicious but also comes with a simple recipe. If you haven’t already, go ahead and take reader Isabela Desita’s advice: “Rendang should be the first! It’s really nice, you should try!”
World’s 50 most delicious foods: Readers’ picks #3 | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/eat/readers-choice-worlds-50-most-delicious-foods-012321?page=0,2#ixzz1XH1B2EQZ
10 Instant Health Boosters
Say Yes to Yogurt
Spooning up just two ounces of yogurt a day can help protect you from developing gum disease, say Japanese researchers. Why? They say the lactic acid in yogurt could be responsible for helping keep your mouth healthy by reducing germs that can lead to gum disease. Yogurt is also full of probiotics or the good bacteria that strengthens the body’s natural defenses and keeps your intestines running smoothly
Grab a Cup of Cocoa
Drink more cocoa and you’ll help your heart, immune system and brain health, says a new study just published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. A cup of cocoa a day can also help you lose weight. That’s because the flavanols work to reduce the amount of carbs and fat your body digests. That’s also why it’s best to drink a cup before eating. Researchers say about 375 mg of flavanols daily will do the trick — that’s about the amount in one cup of cocoa made with real chocolate (not the powdered stuff).
Most of us gravitate towards a steaming hot, sauna-like shower when we want to relax. But here’s the thing: standing under cold water tells the brain to release feel-good hormones like serotonin which decreases the likelihood of stress, says Wayne Andersen, M.D., an internist at Johns Hopkinsand author of Dr. A’s Habits of Health. “Stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease so in addition to feeling good, it’s good for your heart,” he says. You don’t have to shiver. Just two to three minutes in a luke warm or cool shower or refreshing (not heated) pool is all it takes to feel better, he says.
Get Your Bag Off the FloorSure, you already suspect the toilet handle in a public restroom or the shopping cart at your local grocery store to be breeding grounds for germs. But your purse?
Stuart Reeves, Ph.D., director of research and development for Embria Health Sciences says the bottoms of our beloved bags have bacteria counts in the tens of thousands per square inch — including several species of bacteria that can cause staph and other infections. Salmonella and E. coli, the causes of food poisoning, are also common residents on the bottom of purses. “Four out of five purses tested positive for salmonella,” he says. Reeves thinks it’s because we set our bags down on germy surfaces like movie theater or public restroom floors. He suggests keeping a pack of antibacterial wipes in your purse to give the bottom of your bag a good cleaning — preferably once a day. Better yet, keep it on your shoulder or lap — once it’s clean. Leather and vinyl purses are easier to clean which is why Reeves suggests ditching cloth purses.
Clean Your Car
When’s the last time you cleaned your dashboard? Dashboards of cars in hot and humid climates are home to gigantic amounts of bacteria, according to research by microbiologist Charles Gerba at the University of Arizona. The dashboards of cars in areas where the mercury dips below 32 degrees on a regular basis (the Northern half of the US) were dominated by yeasts and molds – which love the cooler climate. Your dashboard can hold onto millions of germs for a long time because a car’s air circulation system drives air over the dashboard. The result? Germs are free to breed undisturbed, explains Gerba.
He suggests cleaning your dash often to reduce the chances germs will take up residence and lead to the flu, colds and viruses, respiratory illnesses and even strep throat. Use an antibacterial wipe at least once a week. And make sure to clean things like radio buttons, turn signals and the headlight on/off switch. Germs live there, too.
Freshen Up Your Produce
Your veggies and herbs look fresh and hydrated thanks to the misters in the grocery store produce department. But Reeves says those irrigation spouts are often filled with dirt and bacteria. And since the organic produce is sprayed with the same system, your organic broccoli is getting a bacteria bath every 10 minutes. “Many of these systems recycle the water so the bacteria is continually sprayed,” says Reeves.
What can you do? Never leave your produce in the store-provided plastic bags you used to tote them up to the check-out lane, especially if you have asthma or some other respiratory condition. “Having asthma or respiratory illness makes a person more susceptible to developing colds or illness after breathing in the bacteria-laden mist,” Reeves says. At home, wash and pat dry all produce before eating or putting it in your fridge.
Here’s an easy way to boost your mood and cut down on stress: Wear something bright. When researchers at İstanbul’s Kültür University looked at the impact colors have on a person’s mood and psyche, they found pink and yellow are the colors most likely to snap you out of a funk, help stave off depression and reduce stress. The news is especially good since stress is a leading contributor to heart disease.
“These colors also elicited feelings of being cheerful, warm and confident,” says Banu Manav, assistant professor and one of the study’s lead researchers. To boost your mood, Manav suggests surrounding yourself in these “happy” colors. “Paint a wall, put pink or yellow flowers on your desk, or even keep a pad of sticky notes in pink or yellow can create the happy affect,” he says.
Skip Soap DispensersInfection-causing bacteria was present on 23 percent of public and restaurant restroom refillable soap dispensers, according to Gerba. Sure, most of those germs might disappear when you wash your hands, but if you happen to have a paper cut and touch the germy soap dispenser, it could leave you at risk for a host of infections. Unless the soap dispenser is hands-free, you’re better off using the hand sanitizer you’ve stashed in your purse (the one you keep off the floor). And once your hands are clean, don’t forget to use a paper towel to turn off a faucet that’s not hands-free since that’s filled with germs, too.
Break For Breakfast
You know it’s good at balancing your energy levels and curbing mid-day hunger pangs, but new research offers another reason to start your day with a healthy breakfast. The vitamin B12 and folic acid found in fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals could help fight off canker or “cold” sores. After examining the diets of people prone to canker sores, researchers at the University of Connecticut found they all had low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid. “These deficiencies can cause inflammation of the tongue and mouth and that leads to a canker sore,” Dr. Andersen says.
Just one cup of a fortified whole-grain breakfast cereal has about 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of folate and 100 mcg of B12, the amount Dr. Anderson recommends, per day, to fight off cankers.
Fill ‘er Up
Add this to the many reasons to drink more water. Drinking plain old unflavored tap can boost your energy, suggests a recent study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Water increases the activity of the sympathetic — fight or flight — nervous system, which raises alertness and energy expenditure,” says the study’s lead author, David Robertson, M.D.
There’s another added benefit to drinking water: weight loss. The increased energy we feel from drinking water can help promote weight loss, Dr. Robertson says. “It might be as much as five pounds a year if you drank three 16 ounce glasses of water a day.”
Read More http://www.ivillage.com/10-instant-health-boosters/4-b-384985#ixzz1c8bPbPKG
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Can Certain Foods Really Save Your Life?
‘Super foods’ can help prevent disease, prolong life, and more
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Quinoa, broccoli, beans, and almonds hardly sound like life-savers. But according to scientific research and a few recent books, these and certain other foods are just that. Almost daily, new studies reveal more about the powerful substances found in particular foods, and how they can improve our health and/or prevent disease.
It’s true, experts say — what you put in your mouth really can affect how long you live, whether you get certain diseases, and how your body ages.
“Absolutely, there are foods that when added to the diet can make a significant health difference,” says David Grotto, RD, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
He offers a few examples: “If you have arthritis, eat ginger, peppers, and yogurt; for headaches or migraines, try blueberries, mushrooms, or rosemary; insomnia sufferers, try cherries, Romaine lettuce, and walnuts; and if you are overweight, eggs, oats, and pears can help you slim down.”
Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Today Show registered dietitian and author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures, agrees. “You can treat common health concerns, look younger, live longer, boost mood, and manage diabetes and more by choosing the right foods,” she says.
It seems that eating a variety of healthy foods — particularly fresh produce and whole grains — gives your body substances that help battle the “free radicals” that can damage cells. These foods may thus help boost immunity, and reduce inflammation at the cellular level. And that’s not all.
“There is not one or even a small number of nutrients — there are thousands of health-promoting, beneficial compounds such as phytonutrients, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, that head off diseases that can shorten your life,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.
Heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers are just a few of the chronic conditions that a healthy diet can help to prevent.
But, experts add, it’s important to remember that diet alone is not the answer: “A healthy lifestyle includes regular physical activity, not smoking [and] controlling stress, along with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and adequate amounts of low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and healthy fats,” Ward says.
14 Foods that Could Help Save Your Life
That said, here are 14 foods that deserve a place in your diet, along with their specific nutritional attributes, according to Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life:
* Almonds: These nutritious nuggets are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and a variety of antioxidants. They can help with weight control and heart health, and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
* Barley: This whole grain is a rich source of vitamin E, fiber, B vitamins, and a wealth of antioxidants. Barley contains beta-glucan, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
* Quinoa: This is an ancient grain high in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin E, and selenium. It can help control your weight and help lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
* Coffee: In moderate doses, coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, improve mood and memory, and, for men, reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
* Eggs: They are low in calories (75 per egg), an excellent source of high-quality protein, and rich in folate, choline, and iron. They can play a role in eye health and weight management — an egg at breakfast helps to curb appetite.
* Grapes: They’re rich in vitamin C, potassium and quercetin. Preliminary studies have shown that quercetin may boost the immune system.
* Kale: This super-healthy green veggie has vitamins A, C, potassium, lutein, and zeaxathan, which can help reduce the incidence of certain cancers and macular degeneration.
* Ginger: This spice with anti-inflammatory properties may help lesson arthritis pain. It also quells upset stomachs, nausea, and motion sickness.
* Pecans: These nuts are rich in gamma tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, as well as a rich source of antioxidants.
* Sweet potatoes: They’re rich in vitamin A and C, high in fiber, and naturally sweet. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of lycopene which may fight heart disease, and breast and prostate cancer.
* Olive oil: This Mediterranean diet staple is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory action to fight heart disease and cancer.
But the list of potentially life-saving foods is by no means limited to 14. For example, Wendy Bazilian and Steven Pratt, authors of The Super Foods Rx Diet, suggest 14 other super-nutritious foods: beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt. (All but turkey are also mentioned in Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.)
What Makes a Super Food?
Several efforts are afoot to rank or score foods according to their nutritional profiles. But James Joseph, PhD, a researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says the various systems can be confusing. It’s easier, he says, to simply choose a wide variety of colorful produce, whole grains, nuts, fish, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
“Most people don’t walk around with a pyramid or book on the healthiest foods but they do know their grocery stores,” says Joseph, author of The Color Code. “Avoid most of the center aisles and spend more time in the perimeter, where produce, dairy, meats, fish and whole grain bread are located.”
Venture into the interior aisles for whole grains, nuts, and simple frozen foods such as blueberries, he advises — but try to avoid refined flour, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and the temptations of the snack aisles.
And don’t forget that portion size matters, even when it comes to healthy foods. You can take more liberties when eating low-calorie fruits and simply prepared vegetables, but take care to eat other super foods in sensible portions.
Think Addition, Not Subtraction
Perhaps the best thing about “super foods,” experts say, is the idea that you can stop worrying so much about the foods you should avoid, and instead concentrate on foods you can add to your diet.
“People are tired of being told what not to eat, and if we could shift our advice to encourage them to start eating more good-for-you foods, they will recognize how delicious and filling healthy foods are and eat fewer of the less-healthy foods,” Grotto says.
Can You Say “Kefir”?
By Debi Hopkins
Kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yoghurt and it is one of the oldest cultured milk products in existence. I’ve known about the benefits of yogurt with live cultures added for a very long time, but have just recently learned about another cultured milk product—-Kefir.
I was unsure as to how to pronounce this new word, so I went to this site on the web that will pronounce it for you, here is the link:
Traditionally, kefir has been made in a base of cows or goats milk, and in some areas sheep’s milk was also used. It was set to ferment or culture in pouches made from the hides of animals. Occasionally it was also made in clay pots or wooden buckets or oak vats.
If the kefir was made in pouches, the pouch was hung in the sun during the day and brought back into the house at night, when they were hung near the door. Everyone who entered or left the house was expected to prod the pouch with their hand or foot to mix the contents. As kefir was removed more fresh milk was added, making the fermentation process continuous.
The Health Benefits of Kefir—
Research has shown that there are many ways we can benefit from ingesting fresh, fermented or cultured foods which are full of friendly bacteria. Some of these benefits include the following:
* Cultured or fermented foods help our bodies to manufacture B-vitamins, such as biotin, niacin(B3), pyridoxine(B6) and folic acid by providing the enzyme lactase, and they enhance the digestion of milk based foods, and help our body’s to absorb the calcium which they contain, which is a great bonus for people who cannot otherwise digest dairy products.
* They predigest the protein of cultured milk (yoghurt, kefir) thus enhancing protein digestion and absorption.
* They can help control the spread of undesirable micro-organisms (by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit and/or are producing specific anti-biotic substances, as well as depriving rival unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients). The antibiotics some of the friendly bacteria produce are effective against many harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi, not the least of which ar! e the potentially harmful yeasts controlled by some lactobacilli like Candida albicans. Candidiasis has been implicated in many health problems world-wide, especially in people who are malnourished or whose immune systems are compromised or run down, as is the case in many of the people infected with HIV or AIDS. Food poisoning and many bowel and urinary tract infections (diarrhea, cystitis etc.) can be prevented and treated using high doses of bacterial cultures like those that are found in kefir.
* They can help to considerably enhance bowel function, especially where bowel bacteria are absent, or severely depleted, the function of peristalsis is impaired, and the amount of time it takes for food to pass completely through the system can be greatly increased.
* They can help to control high cholesterol levels.
* They have been shown to control facial acne in 80% of adolescents with this problem.
* They play a vital role in the development of a healthy digestive tract in babies.
* They play a role in protecting against the negative effects of radiation and toxic pollutants, thus enhancing our immune systems.
Traditional kefir is manufactured using kefir “grains,” which are “porous polysaccharide structures” resembling small cauliflower florets; the grains hold the microorganisms that are responsible for the fermentation process. The microflora in the grains include lactic acid streptococci, leuconostocs, lactobacilli, yeasts and acetic acid bacteria. After fermentation, a 1 mL of good quality kefir contains between 104 to 109 microbes.
How to Make Kefir—
Kefir can be made from whole, low-fat or skim milk. If you choose to make your kefir using a lower fat or skim milk, the body and “mouth-feel” of the final product may be lacking, you can counter that somewhat by adding 1 to 4 percent non-fat milk solids like skim milk powder.
To begin with, the milk is pasteurized by bringing your milk to the boiling point ( about 180°F). The heat-treated milk is then cooled to inoculation temperature (somewhere around 64-72°F) and “kefir grains” are then added at a rate of 2 to 5 percent. I use “Yo’gourmet” freeze dried Kefir starter, which comes with enough starter (6 packets) to make 6 quarts of kefir. Each packet of starter contains 5 grams of kefir granules. The milk treated milk is then incubated for about 24 hours at 73-77°F, with two intermittent stirrings. The best fermentation temperature for Kefir are between 72 – 86F. Then the kefir grains are strained out, (using a plastic strainer) and rinsed with cold water and added to a new lot of milk or saved for later use. The fermented product is chilled and ready for consumption in about 8 hours. Stir to liquefy and then enjoy!! Keep your kefir refrigerated. Some of the commercial kefir products I have tried are sweetened with organic sugar crystals and enhanced with fruit flavor or puréed fruit—-peach is my favorite!
If the kefir grains were not removed from the fermented product, excessive acid production would gradually damage the live organisms. With refrigeration, acid production is inhibited, but the organisms will lose their activity after about 10 days. Several successive daily transfers may bring the culture (kefir grains) back to vitality. When kefir grains are washed with clean, cold water and dried on cloth or paper for 2 days at room temperature, they can then be stored in a dry, cool place for well over a year and still stay active. They can also be freeze-dried.
Some of the Health Benefits of Kefir—
A well balanced intestinal flora is a key for any successful treatment of illness. Antibiotics are not very selective as to which bacteria they eliminate. They kill and destroy the balance. When taking antibiotics, a brief improvement may be noticed because the antibiotics kill the unfriendly bacteria that make us ill which is the reason they are taken. But they kill the friendly bacteria as well and disturb the balance. With a disturbed intestinal flora the body’s immune system suffers and we are more open to develop new illnesses. Antibiotics are taken again, and again, and it can really reek havoc on our health.
Friendly bacteria, like those found in kefir can be helpful for things like:
Allergies; anemia; arthritis; asthma; bronchitis; cancer; bowel problems; colitis; eczema; gall bladder problems; gout; internal ulcers; kidney infections; liver problems; migraine headaches; rheumatism; skin rashes; stomach disorders like diarrhea and constipation; and building up the body’s own immune system and detoxifying it.
People with Candida albicans may be concerned about the yeast’s in Kefir, but research has shown that the disease is caused by an imbalance of intestinal flora and friendly bacteria. Yeast like that found in kefir, helps to rebalance the intestinal flora and fight Candida albicans.
Scientific studies in different countries show that friendly bacteria have an anti-tumor potential and act as anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) agents.
The recommended dosage for chronic or severe internal health challenges is one quart per day. For skin disorders a dosage of 1 pint is recommended plus additional washings with Kefir of the problem areas. Kefir is rubbed onto the skin and left on over night.
How to make Kefir from your culture—
1. Drain contents of jar (whey & culture) through a plastic strainer.
2. Place culture into a clean container of milk (about 1 quart), thickened (if desired), with milk powder. Room temperature milk is best.
3. Place a piece of thin muslin material over your container and leave it to set or thicken. This could take 24 – 72 hours depending on ratio of milk-to-culture, and temperature. 6 to 24 hours is usually adequate. The Kefir will become tarter the more it separates.
4. Pour Kefir + culture into strainer and strain Kefir into a bowl. It’s now ready to use. Refrigerate.
5. Wash culture remaining in strainer under cold water until it runs clear. Place into new milk solution as per step 2.
Your Culture will increase in volume each time it is fed, forming from the casein content of the milk. Therefore, the Kefir forms a little faster e! ach time.
Your kefir culture will last as long as you lovingly look after it. It can be rested in milk in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and it will keep for up to two years in the freezer.
Researchers have found nearly 30 different bacteria and 25 different yeasts in Kefir cultures. Every bacteria and culture has specific temperature requirements, this is why a constant low temperature can’t be compensated with a longer fermentation time, or a constant high temperature with a shorter fermentation time. Your Kefir brewing needs some balance like hatching an egg.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Gourmet | August 2009
yield: Makes about 1 quart
active time: 30 min
total time: 4 hr
It might seem odd to describe something cold—ice cream—as sultry, but there is no denying genuine come-hither appeal. Based on a traditional candy from Brittany (and a favorite flavor pairing among French and American chefs), the combination of salty and sweet exerts an almost primordial pull, and cream, milk, and eggs provide lush, luxurious texture
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
Equipment: an ice cream maker
Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.
Ice cream keeps 1 week.