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Catechin – Demystified with its benefits

What is it?

Catechin is a type of a polyphenol and it belongs to a group of flavanols part of the flavanoid family.  I had recently discussed Naringin, another flavanoid, in a previous post. There are also types of Catechin and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) is worth mentioning as it is a powerful one(found in tea).

 

What does it do? 

Catechin is a powerful anti-oxidant and helps in the removal of free radicals in our bodies.  Free radicals are harmful to our bodies at a cellular level greatly weakening it and leaving it vulnerable to infections or more seriously degenerative diseases, cancer, heart issues etc.

 

Benefits of Catechin

Yes there are many, IMHO.

Catechin maybe a natural flu/cold fighter as it has a natural sterilizing effect killing bacteria. Some plants actually secrete catechin into the ground around them to the hinder the growth of other plants around them. Anyone want to wipe out competition around them this easily? Smile

Catechin maybe good for the heart and may prevent many heart ailments.

– Maybe a weight loss tonic, fat burner and a blood sugar regulator.  I am going to try this and update my blog once I have some results, not that I am admitting that I need to lose weight :-)!

– Maybe an important player fighter against cancer.  Hopefully there wil be some scientific research on this in the near future.

Where is Catechin found?

IMHO, the best source is green tea.  Not to endorse any brands but I am drinking Tea’s Tea (Unsweetened Green White Tea) which is rich in catechins.  And certainly mind the caffeine.

Also found in Acai, Peaches, Kola nut and even garlic and more.  (Isn’t garlic amazing?)

Moral: Drink lots of green tea throughout the day, so the catechin from the green tea is entering the body. I certainly am! Enjoy.

– Gary Saggu

Benefits of spices: Cumin

Cumin is eaten ground or in the form of seeds in many East Asian and African cuisines.  It has many health benefits.  Cumin contains carcumin which presents a lot of benefits.

Spme of the benefits of Cumin are:-

  • Valuable source of Iron and cures any iron deficiency
  • Controls blood pressure as it contains low sodium to begin with and has a strong flavor so one ends up eating less sodium. 
  • Ground cumin kills bacteria in foods (especially fish and meats) so is beneficial.

Enjoy 

— Gary Saggu

www.garysaggu.com

www.garysaggu.net

Healthy Oil Series (Part 3) Red Palm oil and its benefits

Long overdue but here is the blog post I have promised for a while on the benefits of red palm oil.  

What is it?

Red palm oil has a rich, dark red color when it is unprocessed.  It is derived from the pulp or the mesocarp of the fruit of the palm oil tree which also has the deep red color.  The palm oil tree is the African oil palm, Elaeis guineensis.  Red palm oil should not be confused by palm kernel oil which is derived from the seed of the palm tree.  (This article is about the benefits of unprocessed red palm oil and not the palm oil extracted from the kernel or the seed).  It is used in cooking especially in Asia and Africa.

How is it extracted?

It is cold pressed and best in an unprocessed organic state.  Indonesia and Malaysia have been the top producers of this variety.  

Nutrients in red palm oil?

Red palm oil is full of lycopene (also found in tomatoes) as well as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene(found in carrots) and these 2 nutrients give it its exotic red color.  Red palm oil is also very rich in Vitamin E in the form of tocotreinols.  A popular brand from Malaysia was available from Whole Foods – the bottle states no preservates or colors.  Also, 1 tbsp (~14g) has 14g of fat out of which 6.5g are Monounsaturates, 5.6g are saturates and 1.9g polyunsaturates.  It also contained 11.2mg of natural Vitamin E along with Natural Co-Enzyme Q10. Impressive but watch out for high saturates.

What are its benefits?

  • It may help lowering cholestrol and prevent heart ailments
  • Nutritional benefit (see above)
  • Promotes skin health
  • May aid in weight loss
  • Anti-oxidant and enables elimination of free radicals from body

 

Cons?

There is some talk of the massive deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia to accomodate for the high demand for palm oil worldwide.  Also, species like the “pygmy elephant” are becoming high risk due to this. 

I wonder what cooking with this almost exotically bizzare looking oil will be like.  I cannot wait to try…this weekend!

– Gary Saggu

Part 1 of this series – Olive Oil

Part 2 of this series – Macadamia Oil

My tech blog

 

 

 

Gary Saggu red pam oil photo

Why should you make fermented foods a part of your daily diet?

What is it?

Fermentation is the conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide(CO2) or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria etc. without the use of oxygen (anaerobically).  Wow, carbs and sugars into alcohol sounds really beneficial for the slow carb diet followers but there is more to that.  Fermentation is used to make wine, beer, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt and more.

 

Benefits of fermented foods?

  • Preservation – it is a natural way of preserving foods and increasing substantially the shelf life of some foods.
  • Fermentation is an all natural process provided no artificial ingredients are used.
  • Tasty and inexpensive – I love the taste of almost all fermented foods (even sauerkraut:) ).  Moreover, it is easy to ferment foods inexpensively.
  • Fermentation eliminates toxins from the food.
  • Improves digestion as the food is easier to digest and assimilate due to the fermentation process.
  • Friendly probiotics and bacteria in fermented foods that balance the bacteria in the intestines.
  • Many studies have shown that fermented soy, helps in preventing and reducing the effects of many diseases including cancer and heart ailments.  The macrobiotic diet is a big proponent of miso, made from fermenting soy beans, has many benefits including lowering high blood pressure.

Time for a serving of sauerkraut!

– Gary Saggu 

(My tech blog)