Tag Archives: Food

Chocolate: when health meets pleasure!

Luscious and decadent, chocolate is a guilty pleasure that children and adults alike enjoy for it embodies pleasure, warmth and joy. Dark or white, powder or rectangles in neat rows of four – chocolate is much like wine. Everyone has their favourite type, individual taste and brand preferences, and ones they really dislike. But did you know that the earliest documented use of cacao dates back to the ancient Mayan civilization? It was consumed for nutritional and therapeutic purposes and it’s no wonder it was referred to as “Food of the Gods” by the Mayans.

Chocolate has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system mainly attributed to the compound theobromine and to a lesser extent, its chemical cousin, caffeine. Theobromine possesses bronchodilatory (ability to relax respiratory muscles to increase airflow to lungs) and vasodilatory properties (ability to widen the diameter of blood vessels). Take heed asthmatics and hypertensives! It’s also the substance that gives dark chocolate its typical bitter taste.

Polyphenols are organic molecules, ubiquitous in the plant kingdom which play a vital role in plants. They are products of plant secondary metabolism and participate in the defensive mechanisms of the latter. These are the compounds that confer therapeutic properties to plants. The main classes of polyphenols present in cacao are flavonoids, catechins, anthocyanins, among others.

Like theobromine, the polyphenols present in cacao, especially flavonoids, exert cardioprotective effects. They enhance the production of nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator which, as its name suggests, helps to dilate blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation. Moreover, the polyphenols found in cacao are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, i.e., they help fight against oxidative stress, which is the root cause of most chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc.

Indeed, the long-term consumption of polyphenol-rich cacao has been associated with a reduction in insulin resistance in many clinical studies. More surprisingly, INSERM researcher Astrid Nehlig claims that these polyphenols have the potential to improve cognitive functions (such as memory and speed of treatment) and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to Magrone et al. (2017), they can also reduce intestinal inflammation and modulate gut microflora composition, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which help to maintain gut ecosystem stable through their immunomodulatory properties.

Last but not least, cacao is an excellent source of magnesium, a trace element essential for the proper functioning of the body. Magnesium is referred to as an anti-stress mineral as it promotes relaxation (including muscle), facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses and reduces fatigue. Half a cup of cacao powder provides about 214 mg of magnesium, which is more than half of our daily requirement for magnesium (about 300 mg for women and 400 mg for men).

Choosing the right chocolate…

The numerous virtues cited above are attributed to unprocessed raw cacao powder. However, most of us consume chocolate which is a mixture of cocoa powder, cocoa butter (to give it a silky texture) and sugar (to reduce bitterness). Not to mention that fermentation and roasting, two processes necessary for the development of flavors, reduce the percentage of cacao polyphenols. Yet chocolate can actually be good for you, if properly chosen and moderately eaten (as even dark chocolates with high cocoa content can be caloric!). The higher the cocoa content, the better!  Eating chocolate imparts pleasure, but as with all good things, it’s best in moderation! For maximum health benefits, choose dark chocolate made with at least 70% of cocoa.

Discover our 3 scrumptiously healthy vegan chocolate recipes!

3 scrumptiously healthy vegan chocolate recipes!

A feeling of guilt overwhelms you as you bite into a bar of chocolate or as you allow a chocolate truffle to melt in your mouth? But here’s how health can meet pleasure. Read more

You want chocolate? Here is our selection of 3 scrumptiously healthy vegan recipes you won’t forget!

Orange avocado chocolate truffles

Ingredients

  • 120 g avocado flesh, a small avocado
  • 180 g dark chocolate 70%
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
  • 5 drops of organic sweet orange essential oil
  • 20 g candied orange peel cut into small cubes

Method

  1. Cut the avocado in half, discard the pit and gently remove the flesh with a spoon.
  2. Mash the avocado until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Add 5 drops of essential oil of organic sweet orange.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a water bath, i.e. in a Pyrex or stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of hot water.

Tips: Chop the chocolate into pieces so that it melts easily and quickly and stir it continuously to avoid it getting burnt.

  1. Add the avocado puree and candied orange to the chocolate. Usually it should set pretty easily, if that’s not the case, chill the mixture for 10 minutes (don’t forget to wrap the bowl with cling film as we don’t want our chocolate truffles to collect fridge odors).
  2. Use a spoon to scoop chocolate balls. Roll them between the palms of your hand to create a smooth surface and roll each truffle in cacao powder to coat them and voila!

Source: Rose and Cook

 Vegan chocolate milkshake

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 220 ml of vegan milk (a mixture of coconut milk and oat milk)
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder (or according to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder
  • small chunks of dark chocolate 70%,
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Method

  1. Blend together the vegan milk, frozen bananas, cacao and vanilla powder.
  2. You may add some ice cubes if you want it cold.
  3. Pour the milkshake into a tall glass and add a few pieces of dark chocolate on top. Enjoy!

Source: L’appartement living

Quinoa coconut cacao bar

Ingredients

List A
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 heaped tbsp of raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder if you don’t have cacao)
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
List B
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa cereal
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup pistachios

Method

  1. Melt together the list A ingredients.
  2. Stir in list B ingredients.
  3. Pour uniformly into a lined loaf pan and chill until set.

Source: wholeheartedeats

Spring: 3 foods you should be eating now!

Yay! Spring is finally here! Mother nature is slowly waking up from her long winter sleep and everything around blossoms into beauty. Spring is a particularly euphoric period as it brings a burst of colors, light and warmth after a seemingly endless winter. It’s the perfect time to start anew; improve our lifestyle and dietary habits (After all, isn’t it the season of transformation?). We have picked some foods for you… Here’s why you should include them in your diet…

1. Oily fish to mend your heart!

Despite their name, oily fish are one of the healthiest foods, a real treasure trove of nutrients! They have a complete amino acid profile and unlike other animal protein sources, they contain up to 40% of the total lipids in the form of highly unsaturated long-chain fatty acids (e.g. wild Atlantic salmon). In addition, oily fish are excellent sources of vitamin B, A and D as well as trace elements such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, selenium and iodine.

  • The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least 2 servings (approx. 100 g per serving) of cooked fish per week, preferably oily fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, herring, albacore tuna, anchovies, etc.) to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Eat a variety of fish (ideally eco-labelled fish to ensure quality products and to encourage sustainable fishing as well!).
  • And above all, avoid frying them as this may lead to a loss of omega-3 and an increase in other fatty acids (e.g. trans fat), depending on the type of fat used.

2. Eat your beets!

Sliced or diced, raw or cooked… Beetroots have conquered our plates and palates by its subtle sweet taste, crunchy texture, and great versatility. In addition to containing fiber, it is a healthy source of carbohydrates as it has a medium glycemic index and contains many vitamins (A, C, folate, niacin and biotin) and minerals (iron, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, etc.). A distinctive quality of beetroots is their high betalains content, a class of pigments which not only confers to them vibrant red hues but also many surprising benefits.

3. Strawberry Merry

Who on earth doesn’t like these sweet and tangy fruits? Strawberries are particularly rich in vitamin C, an essential element for the maintenance of many vital functions – e.g. it plays an important role in the absorption of iron and the synthesis and repair of collagen, which is a component of blood vessels, muscles, skin, etc. Strawberries also contain trace elements (such as manganese and potassium) and antioxidants (flavonoids and ellagic acid) that, according to studies, help to slow down cellular aging and prevent many chronic diseases mentioned above. And the “strawberry” on top is that they are low in calories (only 30 kcal per 100g)!

omega-3

Eating Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Reduce Diabetes Risk  

A group of researchers from the Guangdong University of Technology led by Professor Allan Zhao have recently discovered that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of diabetes. The study was featured in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects children and young adults. The pancreas stops producing insulin and the body fails to regulate sugar levels.  After years of study, the researchers found that eating omega-3 fatty acids will slow down the destruction of insulin-producing cells.

omega-3

Twenty years back, researchers found that fish oil could treat the conditions associated with diabetes.  It is common knowledge that fish oils are rich in polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. This information only solidifies the findings of the researchers of the Guangdong University of Technology.

Foods High in Omega-3

According to health organizations, a minimum of 250 to 500 mg of omega-3 is required daily to stay healthy.  These can be obtained from foods like fish and shellfish.  For fish, the best sources of omega-3 are mackerel, salmon, and cod liver oil.

Mackerel is a small fish known to be rich in nutrients.   One hundred grams of this fish contains 5 134 milligrams of omega-3. It also contains other important nutrients such as vitamin B12 and selenium.  Above all, the Mackerel is tasty and easy to cook.

If you want to boost up your immune system, there’s nothing more effective than salmon. This fish contains 2 260 milligrams of omega-3 in 100 grams. It also contains a large amount of magnesium, potassium, selenium and vitamins. Eating salmon can also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, depression and diabetes.

omega 3

Extracted from cod fish, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D and vitamin A. There are 2 664 milligrams of omega-3 in just a single tablespoon.  Omega-3 is also found in shellfish such as oysters.  These are both known to contain the highest amount of zinc and other important nutrients like copper and vitamin B12.  Each 100 grams of oysters contain 672 milligrams of omega-3.  Other foods rich in omega-3 are: sardines, anchovies, flaxseeds, walnuts and soybeans.

Managing Blood Sugar Effectively

Dr Marc Salomon
Dr. Marc Salomon

While the study suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of diabetes, nutritionists and other health experts stress that eating a balanced diet is the most important thing you can do. For those who suffer from diabetes, blood sugar management is an essential and compulsory task.  A balanced diet can help manage blood sugar effectively and avoid long-term complications caused by diabetes.

Dr. Marc Salomon, a specialized Physician in Cardiovascular diseases and preventive medicine, stated that digital applications are changing the way patients and their physicians manage their health.  “There are many tools for measuring blood sugar. However, there are few, reliable tools that accurately measure nutrition”.


DietSensor is an innovative nutritional tracking tool for chronic disease management, weight loss, and overall health and wellness.   The solution comes with a mobile app and personalized coaching that helps individuals better manage their nutrition by providing accurate and easily accessible nutritional support.  With the mobile app and coach, you can create a personalized nutrition plan comprised of meal plans and targeted macro nutrient intake goals.

DietSensor connects to both the SCiO food scanner and Bluetooth digital scale, both optional devices.  The smart scale weighs food portions and sends the information directly to your mobile application for accurate food tracking.   With the pocketsize SCiO scanner, you can scan your food for accurate carbohydrate, protein, and lipid amounts.

DietSensor offers three plans:  Basic (free), Premium, and Ultimate.  Please visit our website to learn more:  https://www.dietsensor.com/packages/

Let DietSensor help you eat smart, and stay balanced.

Plan, scan, measure, and eat smart!

 

DietSensor’s New Premium Plan Offers Smart Food Suggestions

It is no easy task to navigate the endless directions and advice from thousands of food experts.  Nor is it easy to stick to an daily nutrition recommendation.  Did I eat the recommended 15% of the daily intake of proteins? What about 50% of carbohydrates?

At DietSensor, eating healthy is what we do. The new DietSensor solution will help you to stay balanced. Our team of doctors and nutritionists have designed a new Premium plan that will make it easy for you to achieve your goals.

Most importantly, DietSensor makes meal planning, food tracking and portion control easy, accurate and quick, by perfectly balancing each meal with the foods you like in mere seconds!

Key Benefits:

  • Count Calories and Nutrients:  The DietSensor mobile app counts calories and nutrients and lets you know how much of each you have available for your next meal.
  • Personalized for You:  Everything is personalized to your health profile and weight loss goal. The data relies on scientific evidence and avoids marketing diets that can be harmful.
  • Quick and Easy:  In less than 4 clicks, you can compose a balanced meal, guided by our Food Suggestions tool.

Nutritional recommendations are calculated for your profile in real time and translated into compatible food suggestions.  The DietSensor Food Suggestions tool makes it possible to treat yourself while meeting your goals.  Meal planning is made easy by DietSensor.

Client Testimonial:

“I always thought I could achieve weight loss just by cutting fats.  I have been proven wrong many times. Since I started to use DietSensor, I realized that I was depriving myself of important nutrients and that the number of carbs I ate for each meal was preventing me losing weight.”  – November 2016


DietSensor is an innovative nutritional tracking tool for chronic disease management, weight loss, and overall health and wellness.   The solution comes with a mobile app and personalized coaching that helps individuals better manage their nutrition by providing accurate and easily accessible nutritional support.  With the mobile app and coach, you can create a personalized nutrition plan comprised of meal plans and targeted macro nutrient intake goals.

DietSensor connects to both the SCiO food scanner and Bluetooth digital scale, both optional devices.  The smart scale weighs food portions and sends the information directly to your mobile application for accurate food tracking.   With the pocketsize SCiO scanner, you can scan your food for accurate carbohydrate, protein, and lipid amounts.

DietSensor offers three plans:  Basic (free), Premium, and Ultimate.  Please visit our website to learn more:  https://www.dietsensor.com/packages/

Let DietSensor help you eat smart, and stay balanced!  Plan, scan, measure, and eat smart!

Using Your New SCiO Scanner with DietSensor

The SCiO scanner, developed by Consumer Physics, is an innovative tool that uses infrared spectroscopy to determine the chemical makeup of food and drink.

How does it work?  To explain – each type of molecule in a food vibrates in its own way, and these vibrations interact with light to create a unique, optical signature.  The SCiO scanner analyzes the content of food based on how its molecules interact with light.  Spectrometer technology can now be integrated in small and portable devices.

The steps below will help you use your new SCiO and get it connected the DietSensor App:

  1. Power on the SCiO by pressing and holding the button.
  2. When the SCiO is powered up, a flash will indicate that the devise is ready to be connected.
  3. Turn on the DietSensor application and activate the Bluetooth.
  4. For the first connection, click on the icon at the right of your screen and choose the nearest SCiO.
  5. Start the calibration process by clicking on the SCiO (no new calibration will be required unless you uninstall the app or switch to another SCiO).
  6. You need an Ultimate Plan to be able to use the SCiO. After purchase, you will have to create a Consumer Physics (CP) account (use the sign up blue button on the CP login screen).
  7. In the meal screen, select the SCiO icon and follow the steps.
  8. To scan a food item, point the SCiO about a ½ inch from the food without moving.
  9. Firmly press the button of the SCiO and release it.
  10. Wait for two flashes before moving.

For best results use the scanner in a very bright environment.  This will prevent the SCiO from interacting  with other infrared waves and gives more accurate results.  The food must be homogeneous.


DietSensor is an innovative nutritional tracking tool for chronic disease management, weight loss, and overall health and wellness.   The solution comes with a mobile app and personalized coaching that helps individuals better manage their nutrition by providing accurate and easily accessible nutritional support.  With the mobile app and coach, you can create a personalized nutrition plan comprised of meal plans and targeted macro nutrient intake goals.

DietSensor connects to both the SCiO food scanner and Bluetooth digital scale, both optional devices.  The smart scale weighs food portions and sends the information directly to your mobile application for accurate food tracking.   With the pocketsize SCiO scanner, you can scan your food for accurate carbohydrate, protein, and lipid amounts.

DietSensor offers three plans:  Basic (free), Premium, and Ultimate.  Please visit our website to learn more:  https://www.dietsensor.com/packages/

Let DietSensor help you eat smart, and stay balanced!  

DietSensor that Targets Diabetes and Obesity Launches in Android

DietSensor is now available for Android 5 and 6 in 19 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA. The first version of Android gives free access to the Basic Plan plus SCiO for a limited period of time. When it expires, the users will be prompted to download the latest version and subscribe to the Ultimate Plan or the Premium Plan at a reduced price to be able to use SCiO. Don’t wait too long to order your SCiO, our inventory will decrease quickly.

google-avai

It is to be noted that the iOS accounts cannot be opened in the Android version of DietSensor. iOS users willing to shift to Android must create another account using a different email. Both versions contain the same features. The product will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 at Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be held from 5th to 8th January. Stay tuned for fresh news!

From MyPyramid to MyPlate – Food Recommendations from Special Interests

In 1992, the USDA sought to convey to Americans what it meant to maintain a healthy diet using a colorful and easy to understand graphic – the food pyramid.  The food pyramid was utilized by schools, government programs (such as the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and various major media outlets to convey the elements of a healthy diet.

As the obesity rates in the US continued to climb, in 2011, the food pyramid was replaced with the MyPlate diagram.  MyPlate illustrates recommended portions directly on a representative plate and aims to educate Americans on the food intake and portioning that constitutes a healthy diet.

The challenge with both of these tools has been that while many qualified experts were consulted on their development, so to were corporate lobbyists and industry groups who are major contributors to government parties.

What is truly needed are recommended nutritional guidelines that are not influenced by corporate lobbyists or governmental agencies.

Read the full article on: www.forbes.com

Healthy eating : skipping breakfast may increase the risk of stroke

Coronary heart disease and stroke risk may increase with skipping breakfast regularly. Some researchers found that those who routinely skipped on the most important meal of the day had a higher risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease.

Read the full article on: www.belmarrahealth.com

With a busy schedule, it is easy to skip breakfast. But, according to a recent study, taking a few minutes to eat something in the morning can really save your life. It is nothing new that breakfast provides our body and brain with the essential nutrients. Starting the day with an empty stomach is like trying to start a car without petrol. Various research have shown that those who skip breakfast have 27% higher risk of heart attack or health complications caused by heart diseases. Moreover, a lack of proper meals at breakfast may also lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Nutritionists and other health experts advise a healthy breakfast within two hours of waking. A breakfast full of junk foods defeats the purpose. You should ensure that your meal is healthy and provides reasonable amount of energy and nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Dietsensor gives accurate results with any homogeneous food, even with homemade dishes and beverages. The application and the SCiO help you to keep a healthy balance of nutrients at every meal.

Rising diabetes and obesity crisis laid bare by data analysts in new maps

The number of prescriptions given to treat type 2 diabetes – a disease associated with obesity and lifestyle – has risen by nearly 35 per cent in just four years, according to new research. Data analysts at Exasol produced a heat map of England showing prescription rates in 2011 and 2015, using official Government figures. They found that, based on current trends, the number of people with type 2 diabetes was on track to reach five million by 2020, five years earlier than previously thought. 

Read the full article at: www.independent.co.uk

Prescriptions have gone up by more than a third in just five years. The map of prescriptions indicates a higher prevalence of the disease in the east of England.However, the highest rate of type 2 diabetes prescriptions was Newham in London. According to researchers, it was estimated this would rise to five million by 2020, based on the prescriptions ordered. At Dietsensor, we are convinced if you have the right data and the right technology, you can turn any problem into a data problem and uncover information to help address it. The DietSensor mobile application was developed to help users better manage their health, by providing accurate, easily nutritional information, especially for those who are suffering from being overweight or with chronicle diseases related to nutrition. By downloading the mobile app you can: -Track your daily meal intake – Select foods to plan daily meals -Learn about portions serving sizes – The DietSensor’s app is an extremely popular option for people looking to really get their arms around their portion size, daily caloric goals and intake, and start keeping an eye on the foods they eat.

You can pre-order dietsensor and the Scio scanner today and pay on delivery, in October 2016. https://www.dietsensor.com/wait-list/