Monthly Archives: November 2011

High Fibre Diet – The Ultimate Way to Health

By Deline Tan

 What do you normally eat for your three meals? If you eat everything that is high fat and low fibre, know that you are doing injustice to yourself. If you are one that consumes very low fibre diet, then you may face with problems like constipation or gastrointestinal irritable bowel syndrome.

A high fibre diet is meant to keep your body on check, as it is also one of the means to prevent colorectal cancer and other problems like high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Since fibres shorten the time that waste products stay in the large intestine, it becomes less exposed to cancer-promoting agents.

With a high intake of fibre, it mixes with the bile juice, as soluble fibres bind with cholesterol-containing bile acids to excrete it out in the stool along with the fibre. The liver would draw more cholesterol from the blood to produce more bile acids, thus lowering blood cholesterol and prevents heart and artery diseases.

Also, soluble fibres slow the absorption of digested food, thus helping to control the rise of blood sugar level and preventing diabetes. This shows that high fibre diet is important to maintain good health, eliminating sicknesses due to high intake of fats. In our modern society, people are always in a hurry due to long hours at work, thus succumbing to fast food and consuming all the junk food with little fibre, causing deterioration of health.

It is important that we consume enough fruits, vegetables, wheat bran, grains and all kinds of nuts, as these foods have high fibre contents. Wholemeal bread is better than white bread because of high fibre in the wholemeal bread. The breakfast cereals and oats too are of a considerably high fibre content.

Choose what you eat wisely as the desired level for fibre in adults is between 20 to 35 grams of dietary fibres each day. However, in the affluent society, people consume between 10 to 15 grams a day, according to Health Digest. The sad part is that people usually consumed between 1 to 3 grams of dietary fibre in their diet per day. This is definitely insufficient if we want to maintain good health.

What is your fibre diet like? Think of your breakfast, lunch and dinner, what do you eat? If you have vegetables in every meal, that’s good, but you can include high fibre legumes and baked beans or boiled chickpea and lentils or mungbeans. These are high in fibres and you may want to consider switching to brown rice instead of white rice.

Other ways of acquiring fibre is to eat potato with the skin rather than peeled because it makes a difference in the fibre content. For fruits, the high fibred ones will be banana (pisang tali), durian, guava, jackfruit (chempedak), logan and dried prunes. Eat these as desserts after your meal as these fruits are really good and delicious too.

Make changes gradually in your diet, as fibres tend to give you a bloated feeling if you are not used to high fibre diet. As you adjust your diet and make changes, your stomach will soon get adjusted and then you can make high dietary fibre your main aim in your meals.

It is important to choose what you eat. If you want to enjoy life and have good health, make adjustment and you’ll never be sorry that you did because sicknesses are going to stay away from you and you can enjoy good healthy life-style.

Think about your diet the next time you take your meal. Are the foods high in fibre and does it help you to go regularly to the toilet every day. Colon health is important, as it is the main stay of our health if we have a good colon system.

Think fibre whenever you eat. Stay pink in health and enjoy your eating.

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Sweet Potato – One of the Best Foods

By Deline Tan

When was the last time that you have sweet potatoes? Probably you have more potatoes than sweet potatoes for the last one month. People are not so acquainted with sweet potatoes because it is treated as a dessert more than a food. However, sweet potato has one of the highest antioxidant anthocyanins than any other root vegetables. It has high amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper, Dietary fibre, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Iron.

Sweet potato comes in varied colours, as there are white skin, crèam, yellow, orange and purple. It belongs to the convolvulaceae or morning glory plant family. Although sweet potato is a sweet food but it is a good sugar regulator, which helps stabilised and lower the insulin blood sugar. It has a low glycemic index, that diabetic patient has no problem consuming this root food. It also has good dietary fibre which promotes good healthy digestive tract when eaten with the skin on it. The anti-inflammatory properties help lower potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals, which can be detrimental to health.

Smoking can cause deficiency in Vitamin A. A deficiency in potassium is the caused of muscular cramps and injury for athletes and sweet potato can boost energy for high impact exercises, and helps performances. It also has unsurpassed source of beta-carotene, with  ability to raise blood levels of Vitamin A. It also arrests sicknesses like asthma, arthritis and gout, which helps to combat inflammatory problems.

Stress is one of the problems that we are plagued with, and sweet potato can prevent stress, in which anxiety causes the rise of metabolic rate and lowers potassium levels, and with regular consumption of it, can help rebalance the potassium level and normalise the heartbeat.

There are various ways in cooking sweet potatoes and the best methods are steaming and boiling. Steaming brings out the maximum nutrition and flavour. These methods bring out the excellent preservation of sweet potato anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have great health benefits as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutriands. One of the unique antioxidant properties is sporamins, which is a protein present in sweet potatoes.

Roasting and baking are another two methods for cooking sweet potatoes, and studies have found that the glycemic level of the different types of cooking differs. For roasted sweet potatoes, the glycemic index level is 82, baked is 94, and boiled is only 46. Boiling has a favourable impact on the blood sugar regulation, which provides a lower glycemic index value.

Another method is stir-frying, which studies have shown a better absorption of the beta-carotene, along with the fat content. 3.5 grams of fat are sufficient to achieve the beta-carotene bioavailability benefits. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil will provide the sufficient fat content.

Fat conversion of beta-carotene into a special form is called micellar. Micelles are specialised collection of molecules that allow fat-soluble substances (like beta-carotene) to move around comfortably in non-fat environments. They can also make it easier for fat-soluble substances to get absorbed from the digestive tract.

Sweet potato is one of the best foods that you can consume once every week. It is healthy and nutritional, and provides the full amount of antioxidant to combat the free radicals in the body. It has higher content of antioxidant than blueberries. It is a food that you cannot go without in order to keep optimum health, and one which is sweet and tasty and marvellously delicious.

Keep Healthy – Exercise!

By Deline Tan

How many kilometers can you jog for half an hour? The average kilometer that an average runner can achieve is about 5 kilometers.
If you are a marathon runner, you can easily cloak within about more than an hour for 42 kilometers. Whatever your level, you will keep fit if you consistently keep to your routine in running.

For an ordinary person, it’s important that we exercise per se for about three times a week, and each duration for about half an hour. If you are working hard all week and find that you don’t have time for any exercises, try during the weekend to do some sporting activities with your loved ones. Bring your wife/husband and your children to
the beach and have a good walk round the park, cycle, or roller-blade.

If your job is sedentary and you are sitting at your desk all day, know that exercise will help your blood circulation as it increases your heartbeats which will help pump sufficient blood to your heart and gives you a good cardiac exercise. Exercise also helps balanced your cholesterol level and lowers it. It also causes fats to dissolve
in your body and shapes and firms your body.

It seems that when a person reaches middle age of about 30, he stops exercising as he is at the prime of his career. This is the time when fats accumulate at the waistline as he hardly exercises and will put on considerable weight.

Exercise can be a fun thing if you make it into a leisure routine, like playing tennis or go swimming. You can do it with family members or friends and at the same time you are spending quality time with them. Working out at the gym can be a fun time too as you encourage and support one another to work out the routines.

People are known to look younger when they exercise and are healthier. It is good to keep fit as you aged. Exercise invigorates your body and also clears away a good amount of toxic in your body through the sweat-glands. It builds up your energy level, gives you more strength and you are more cheerful too.

After an exercise, you will find that your body is lighter. It also prevents you from getting sick as the organs in your body are activated with a good supply of blood and prevents you from getting high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypertension, and age-old diseases.

However busy you may be, do spend some time exercising as you up-kemp a healthy body. If you have a desire to keep fit, you will find time to exercise. Make your life worthwhile now as you are able to exercise, and aged gracefully.

Breakfast – To Eat or Not to Eat?

What is the one meal that you deem most important? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? For most people, breakfast is one of the meals that they will not go without. This is because when we wake up in the morning, our stomach is empty and we need energy for the day to get going. Hunger proceeds to eating and breakfast is one of the meals that are most
important because we need energy for the day.

What do most people eat during breakfast? Toasted bread, a cup of fruit juice, or corn-fakes. For continental meal, we might go for porridge, noodles or oats and we tend to be eating a bit less compared to lunch and dinner because it is the first meal of the day and the body may not be ready to absorb a hearty-full meal.

Why do we say that breakfast is the most important meal? This is because people go to work and they need body glucose for the brain which has no storage excess to help in thinking and working through the start of the day. Without breakfast the mind is stale and not able to function to its optimum level, as there is no fuel for the brain.

However, how is it that some people can skip breakfast and yet seem to be doing well during their morning work? Routine is something that they have caught up with, and people who don’t need breakfast are the ones who have pre-conditioned their body not to eat in the morning and they go jolly well without it because of habit.

Let’s hear what some of my friends said about taking or not taking breakfast. Annie, a former classmate of mine says that she deems breakfast as the most important meal because it is the start of the day. She would not eat a heavy meal, and would go for bread or bee-hoon, as it varies from day to day. If it so happen that she skips breakfast, she would feel hungry while at work and would binge biscuits to keep her hunger-pang away. She even feels weak and dizzy if the important meal is missed out in the morning.

She says, “Breakfast is important because it is the start of the day, but I don’t eat too much because it’s early in the morning. I am used to taking breakfast, and without it I would feel difficult.”

Doris, a friend that I met a few years ago in a friend’s place also says that breakfast is important to her, as she would drink lots of water and fruit-juices which makes her morning blissful. She adds, “It’s been a while that I would go for fruit-juice like water-melon, beet-root, carrot or orange as it always makes me fresh. I would go for light breakfast like toast bread or bun (bao), and even bee-hoon.”

It seems that indeed people do admit that they need breakfast at the start of the day and they see it as important. However, I have a friend, Florence, who told me that she don’t take breakfast at all because her body system is slow to responding to food early in the morning. She does not feel weak or tired, and she simply feels a zest for the start of the day without eating anything.

She says, “I’m used to not taking breakfast and it is a habit now for the last 10 years after the birth of my daughter. I can simply go without it and not feel anything.”

About 10% of the Singapore’s population does not eat breakfast according to Health Digest, but majority of the people feel that it is the most important meal that they can go without.

A hearty breakfast is usually what everyone goes for as it brightens the day and gives that extra energy and strength for the morning that keeps you going for the day. If you don’t need breakfast, you are not an alien because you simply do not bear the morning food.

Whatever it is, you are what you are whatever make-up you are made of. With or without breakfast, you bear the consequences of your health. It has been proven by experts that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and without it, it will not be healthy for your health.