Pechay or “Bok choy”

pechay

“Pak Choy” or “Bok choy” is the Cantonese name under which most U.S. groceries sell the nutritious green vegetable known in the Philippines as “pechay.” Pechay is a relatively bland vegetable related to cabbage. Its whitish chopped ribs and green shredded leaves are often used to add nutrients, crunch and color to stir-fried dishes.

Nutritional Facts:

Vitamin A

Just 3 oz. of boiled pechay contains 72 percent of the average daily requirement for vitamin A. Vitamin A has been dubbed the “anti-infective” vitamin, according to the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University. It received that designation because it protects and supports the epithelial cells that are vital to immune system defenses. Vitamin A is also important for good eyesight. Without sufficient vitamin A, a condition called “night blindness” can develop. In night blindness, the eyes are incapable of adjusting to low light. For personalized information about the vitamin A intake that is appropriate for you, consult your physician or a qualified nutritionist.

Vitamin C

Pechay has 30 percent of the average daily value for vitamin C in a 3 oz serving. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a major building block of the connective tissue. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect the body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress, a biochemical process that may contribute to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. A high intake of antioxidant-rich foods such as pechay has demonstrably more beneficial health effects than antioxidants taken in supplement form, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Folate

Folate, a member of the B vitamin complex, is critical to the development and maintenance of cells. A 3 oz serving of pechay contains 10 percent of the average daily value for this important nutrient. Without adequate folate consumption prior to conception, pregnant women run the risk of bearing children with devastating birth defects that affect the spine and brain. Folate deficiencies can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, sore tongue, behavioral disturbances and an increased risk of heart disease, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.

Other Vitamins

Pechay contains small amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. Niacin facilitates numerous metabolic reactions, according to the 2009 textbook “Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition.” Thiamine deficiencies cause beriberi, a sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system. Riboflavin helps unlock the energy in nutrients, and vitamin B-6 is a factor in cognitive functioning, immune system health and hormone activity. These nutrients are all members of the B vitamin family.

Reference: http://www.livestrong.com/article/492124-vitamins-in-pechay/#ixzz2mMk2psLP

The most important health benefit of pechay is its vitamins and minerals, which helps in keeping you healthy in terms of attaining stronger bones and glowing skin. A serving of pechay also contains:

  1. Calcium for strong bones
  2. Phosphorus for bone formation, digestion, excretion, and hormonal balance
  3. Potassium for muscle control, blood pressure regulation, and hypertension prevention,
  4. Vitamin A for promoting growth, reproduction, and the improvement of vision
  5. Iron which helps carry oxygen in the blood
  6. Magnesium for body’s detoxification
  7. Zinc for improving the immune system against infection and even cancer
  8. Vitamin C for glowing skin
  9. Thiamin, vitamin B-6 and folate for better functioning heart, muscles, and body nervous system

Reference: http://www.letsfacediabetes.com/health-benefits-of-pechay/

As for me: I made a recipe that I hope everybody will love. It’s easy to prepare and cook, super economical and exceptional in flavour.

Stir fry Pechay

Ingredients:

1 Can tuna in vegetable oil

250 grams pechay or 2-3 bunches (shredded)

1 whole tomato cut into wedges

1 onion sliced

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of soy sauce

2 tbsp Canola Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a heated wok, saute garlic, tomato and onion.

2.Stir in the tuna, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

3.Mix in the shredded Pechay.

This process will only take 5 to 10 minutes in a well heated pan or wok. Make sure that you stir constantly to avoid burning it. Once Pechay is cooked ( Cook it enough that it still has its crunch) you can add in salt and pepper as desired.

If you want, you can add sliced chili pepper to make it a little spicy.

Go ahead and try it! Bon Appetit!

Let’s Dive into the Chocolate Pleasure

Chocolates

Christmas Season is the season of “Indulgence”. Food is abundant in this time of the year.  And one of the top indulgence of people is Chocolates. So before we wallow in the fountain of chocolates, let’s check the myths and facts about chocolates.

MYTH: Chocolate causes cavities.
FACT: Not so. Normal consumption of milk chocolate, especially at meals, does not cause an increase in cavities. Research at the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, Mass., has shown that chocolate has the ability to offset the acid-producing potential of the sugar it contains. Acid is believed to damage tooth enamel and cause decay.

MYTH: Chocolate causes acne.
FACT: No, it doesn’t – and it doesn’t aggravate acne either. Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Academy both showed that chocolate has no effect on acne.

MYTH: Chocolate milk is bad for children.
FACT: That’s False. It actually furnishes more zinc, potassium and iron than plain milk – and it’s no more likely to cause tooth decay than plain milk.

MYTH: Chocolate contains too much caffeine!
FACT: The amount of caffeine ingested when people eat chocolate in normal quantities is very small. One ounce of milk chocolate, for example, contains 6 mg. if caffeine, little more than the amount found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Moreover, there have been no reports in the scientific literature of any health problems among children or adults as a result of the caffeine consumed in chocolate.

MYTH: Cocoa butter affects cholesterol levels.
FACT: A new study of cocoa butter, the only fat in plain chocolate, indicates that cocoa butter does not raise levels of cholesterol in the blood, despite its total saturated fat content. This finding, published in the journal Nutrition Research in March 1988 by David Kritchevsky, Ph.D., and co-workers at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, University of Pennsylvania, adds to scientific evidence gathered over the past 30 years that cocoa butter behaves differently from other fats containing relatively high proportions of saturated fatty acids. Kritchevsky’s findings begin to address the concern raised in a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine (May 12, 1988) that the beneficial effects of the high stearic acid content of cocoa butter may be offset by the presence of palmitic acid, a saturated fat.

MYTH: Chocolate is high in its fat content and can lead to weight gain.
FACT: Chocolate, in moderation, can be part of low-fat eating. An occasional chocolate treat can also help you stick to your healthy diet. Health professionals and nutritionists suggest that the calories from fat should account for no more than 30% of your daily caloric intake. A typical 1.5oz. milk chocolate bar contains 13 grams of fat; a dark chocolate bar contains 12 grams of fat. It is has a higher percentage of cocoa, which studies have shown is full of antioxidants.

MYTH: Chocolate is high in sodium.
FACT: According to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the maximum Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 1,100 to 3,300mg daily. A 1.5oz milk chocolate bar contains 41mg, while the same size dark chocolate bar contains only 5mg.

Reference: http://www.chocolatechocolate.com/chocolate-facts/chocolate-myths

On the other hand:

The health effects of chocolate refer to the possible beneficial or detrimental physiological effects of eating chocolate mainly for pleasure. For example, cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health. Other effects under preliminary research include reduced risks of cancer,coughing and heart disease. One interpretation on the potential health effects of dietary chocolate is it may lower blood pressure, improve vascularfunction and energy metabolism, and reduce platelet aggregation and adhesion.

Unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity, increases the risk of obesity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during manufacturing. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and powdered milk as well.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate

As for me:  Food taken in moderation and in the right amount will give you the benefits it contain . Eating them excessively is always harmful to the human body. So if you want to take advantage and indulge in chocolate pleasure, make sure that you do it in moderation and choose the best kind like Dark Chocolates.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

Answer

The benefits of dark chocolate include improving moods, protecting skin and preventing heart diseases. Chocolate is made from plants, which contain many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Diabetic people can eat dark chocolates too as it has no harm.

Reference: http://www.ask.com/question/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate

Like I always say, before eating or using anything, check on it first! Look into the benefits that you can gain and the harm it can give. And it’s up to you to decide whether to dive in and enjoy life’s pleasure or steer away from it and forever wonder how good it is to take delight on life’s simple pleasures.

Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is a sweet dish consisting of two or more layers. The main, or thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar; the bottom layer is often a crust or base made from crushed cookiesgraham crackerspastry, or sponge cake.[1] It may be baked or unbaked. Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruitwhipped creamnuts, fruit sauce, and/orchocolate syrup. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as; strawberrypumpkinkey lime, chestnut, or toffee.

Cheesecake is usually served as a dessert.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Cheesecakes originated from ancient Greeks evolved in so many ways. Whether baked cheesecake should be classified as a cake, a custard, a torte, or something else is a matter of debate.The early Greeks considered it a cake.Some modern authors point to the presence of many eggs, the sole source of leavening, as proof that it is a torte. Still others claim that the separate crust, the soft filling, and the absence of flour prove that it is a custard pie.

As for me:

Whether it’s a cake, a custard or a torte, cheesecakes are easy to make, delicious and is a very versatile dessert. You can go wild with the berries and make blueberry, raspberry or blackberry cheesecake.  Top it with a whipped cream and go locco! Whether it’s healthy or not, It’s always pleasurable to indulge into something that you crave for once and awhile.

Be happy! Enjoy life! As they say, “You only live once!” So go ahead and indulge but don’t forget to work hard and exercise!

An Interesting Promise from a Drink

I found these Health Drink products at Watson’s that caught my interest. It has an intriguing promise to its customers. “Beautiful Skin” and “A Better Digestion”, surprisingly coming from a drink called “Beauti Drink“. I decided to buy one of each kind to test it myself, and if I’m satisfied probably make some recommendations.

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These products came from Thailand and is now in the Philippines made possible by Sapanan General Food Co., Ltd.  Which also produces Mogu Mogu Drink that my kids love. This Beauty drink has three variant: Collagen (Pink, White Grape), Fiber (Lime Green, Limeand Chlorophyll (Olive Green, Apple which I was not able to purchase because it was not available).

Collagen 

As the label indicates:

Normally our body can productively generate Collagen by itself until the age around 20, and then the production rate gradually declines and causes the skin to lose its moisture. In order to maintain the skin’s moisture and avoid skin shrinkage and wrinkles, it becomes necessary to substitute the self-generated Collagen by the intake of extracted Collagen. Generally from chicken skin, pig tendon, cow tendon or fish scale. However, the source of high quality and highly effective Collagen that is SAPPE Beauti Drink which contains 1,000 mg of extracted Collagen from deep-sea fish.

According to a piece research study, the intake of extracted Collagen of 3,000 mg/day for 30 days can help increase skin moisture and reduce wrinkles.

Collagen: Tighten hair follicle, Prevent Osteoporosis, Alleviate shrinkage and maintain skin elasticity and Increase skin moisture.

As for me:

I haven’t tried beauty products that are in liquid form or drinkable, but this beauty drink does taste nothing like something that is medicate or has medical properties in it. It taste so good and taste so healthy since it is not too sweet nor does it has a bitter taste. If a product that taste this good promise to give you a healthier skin, it’s a two thumbs up for me!

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Fiber

As the label indicates:

For anyone who wants to maintain good figure and weight, including those who lack vegetable and fruits intake, the 8,000 mg fiber in each bottle of SAPPE Beauti Drink is equivalent to 2 big Pomelos or 8 small tangerines. Fiber helps digestive system to work efficiently and helps prevent intestinal cancer. L-Carnatine, on the other hand, is an important substance in promoting the fat metabolism. Therefore, this is a perfect product to drink during your diet and exercise programs.

Recommended daily intake: 25,000 mg per day, L-Carnitine helps promote the fat metabolism and is good substance for intake during diet and exercise  programs.

As for me:

I’ve always been a  fan of Papaya and Okra as laxative in times of irregular vowel movement. Haven’t tried laxative tablets either. But this Lime flavored drink from SAPPE Beauti Drink sure does give me another better and easier option to keep those toxins out  of my system. Plus  it has L-Carnitine that would help promote fat metabolism and taste really good toohitting 2 birds in one stone not bad at all! To top that, one bottle of this drink equals to two pomelos or eight tangerines, it’s another 2 thumbs up!

I wish I have tried the other Variant Chlorophyll 😦 so I can give a personal insight. But I’ll be on the look out. As soon as it is available and  will surely buy one and give my update. Hopefully this last variant will not disappoint me. I am pretty optimistic that it wont 🙂 So go buy yourself a bottle because it is very reasonably priced and go choice the drink variant that you think would fit your need.

Katuray or Sesbania Grandiflora

katuray

Also known as agati or hummingbird tree/scarlet wisteria. Katuray as we call it here in the Philippines.

Origin and Distribution

Indigenous from Malaysia to North Australia; Cultivated in many parts of India. It has a large number of traditional uses. It grows where there is good soil and hot humid temperature. Die in snow, cold weather. It’s a tropical plant.

Chemical Constituent

It contain arginine, cysteine, histidine, isolcucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, valine, threonine, alanine, aspargine, aspartic acid, oleanolic acid, galactose, Rhamnose & glucuronic acid.

Properties and Uses of different Parts

Leaves used as tonic, diuretic, laxative, antipyretic, chewed to disinfect mouth and throat. Flower in headache, dimness of vision, Catarrh, Headache, cooling and improving appetite, bitter, astringent, acrid, antipyretic. Bark is used for cooling (ayurvedha and siddha medicinal terms), bitter tonic, anthelmintic, febrifuge, diarrhea, Small pox, Astringent. Fruits in Bitter & acrid, laxative, fever, pain, bronchitis, anemia, tumors, colic, jaundice, poisoning. Root used in Rheumatism, Expectorant, Painful swelling, Catarrh.

Culinary uses

The flowers of S. grandiflora are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, like LaosThailandJava in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Ilocos Region of the Philippines.

In the Thai language the flowers are called ดอกแค (dok khae) and are used in the Thai cuisine both cooked in curries, such as kaeng som and kaeng khae, as well as raw with nam phrik.

The young pods are also eaten, along with the leaves. In Sri Lanka, agati leaves, known as Katura murunga in Sinhala language, are sometimes added to sudhu hodhi or white curry, a widely eaten, thin coconut gravy and is believed locally to be a cure for canker sores. In India this plant is known asagati (Hindi), agastya (Kannada), agise (Telugu), and both the leaves and the flowers have culinary uses.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

When I was a kid our neighbors used to make fun of me and would call me “Lalay Katuray“. I never knew why, but probably because it rhymes with my nickname. I didn’t know what “Katuray” was until my mom showed them to me from one of our trips to the market. I didn’t believe her when she said that it could be eaten. It looks like a flower to me, and as a kid my perception for flowers are only for design and display. Up to this time, I haven’t tried eating them. Today I decide to look it up on the web to familiarize and educate myself and hopefully be convinced on trying it out soon. We are so privileged that this plant only grows in tropical countries like ours. So might as well enjoy it 🙂

Ksalad Ksalad2

This pictures sure look appetizing right? I would love to try it out soon 😉

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

stretched

A lot of Moms Like me suffer from moderate to severe stretch marks on their tummy during and after pregnancy. These types seem hopeless but to my research there are ways on how to get rid of this.  Check out some of these options, listed from easiest to most difficult to execute.

1.  Verified Topical Options

  • Use a moisturizer
  • Use Retin-A.
  • Use glycolic acid.
  • Combine glycolic acid and Retin-A.
  • Try Vitamin E oil.

2. Unverified Topical Options

  • Use essential oils.

Like:

  • Lavender
     
  • Rose
     
  • Frankincense
     
  • Geranium
     
  • Helichrysum
     
  • Myrrh

3. Supplemental Options

  • Increase your Vitamin C intake.

4. Laser Treatment Options

  • For fresh stretch marks, use a pulsed dye laser (aka vascular laser)
  • For older stretch marks, try a fractional laser treatment (aka laser resurfacing).

5. Surgical Options

  • Get an abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck)
  • Consider a “mommy makeover,” or a combination deal

5. Knowing What Doesn’t Work

  • Cocoa butter has not been proven to reduce stretch marks
  • Peptide-containing products also haven’t been proven to work.

Tips

  • You probably shouldn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on a tummy tuck, because even after it, weight gain might cause new stretch marks to appear.
  • For older stretch marks, use an SPF 60 or higher directly on the stretch marks…the tanning with a HGH SPF seems to make it less visible and if you work out..that’s a huge help.
  • Use Vaseline .
  • Work out!
  • Without surgical procedures, it is virtually impossible to fully remove stretch marks, as they are actually tears/scars in the dermis (middle layer) of skin and the stretch marks are the results of the healing.
  • Stretch mark removal is usually not covered by insurance because it’s a cosmetic procedure.
  • Drink enough water, as the skin looses its elasticity when you are dehydrated. Being at a healthy weight also helps.

Warnings

  • Always check the ingredients list before applying a new skin care product. This is especially important when you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Most treatments are partially effective, at best. Keep your expectations realistic, as stretch marks are permanent in nature.
  • Some treatments, such as cream solutions may not be hypoallergenic and can induce allergies.

Remember, like I’ve always mention. Be cautious. Before using anything make sure it is safe for you to use it. Consult your doctors first, specially when using medicated creams. Make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients or components of the creams before applying.

Read More: http://www.wikihow.com