Start the day right with Quinoa Oatmeal

ambitiouskitchen.comJanuary 12 — To prepare quinoa properly, mix a 3-to-1 ratio of liquid to grain. We usually mix 2 cups of vegetable broth, and 1 cup of water, and add it to 1 cup of quinoa.

To prepare: Boil the liquid and add in the grain, then let cook for about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

For an oatmeal-like breakfast treat: Prepare as above with 2-1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of almond or soy milk. Then add in 1 cup of quinoa and cook for 25 minutes. When it’s finished, let cool for 5 minutes, then top with your favorite sweet treats — dried cranberries, apple slices, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, berries, bananas … go wild!

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Get cooking with quinoa

SWquinoa_photo by tomatoes and friends, flickr.comJanuary 11 — We’re going crazy with quinoa this week! Today marks the first of 7 days of tips on how, and why, to add this ancient grain to your diet.

  • For starters, quinoa contains 8 essential amino acids, making it the perfect protein that has zero fat.
  • Considered a “power food,” we believe the Incas were the first to use it to enhance their endurance as far back as 8,000 years ago.
  • It also contains Vitamin B and fiber, and it’s even better for you for your body than rice or oatmeal.

Click here for a yummy recipe for a spicy version of this delicious dish: Southwestern Quinoa.


Eat the orange peel!

orangepeel_image by fdecomite, flickr.comJanuary 10 — When you cut an orange, make sure you do it in a way that the inner peel doesn’t come off since it is very nutritious and has higher amounts of hesperidin than the flesh itself.

Did you know: You may also want to eat the orange peel. Sure, the peels usually go in the trash — but that might be a mistake. The peel is loaded with highly nutritious compounds that are beneficial for our health:

  • Orange peels contain more than 60 types of flavonoids and over 170 different types of phytonutrients.
  • The peel is rich in various pectins, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
  • Yes, the peel is a bit bitter, but it contains good amounts of fibre and is low in calories.
  • It adds bulk to the food and thus, helps in lowering the overall caloric intake, thereby aiding in keeping you at your ideal weight.

Click here to find a recipe to have your peel and enjoy it: Candied Orange Peel.

Sources: thehealthsite,

Ward off diseases like cancer by eating an orange today

orangegames_photo by Paul Stevenson, flickr.comJanuary 9 — Oranges contain a compound called D–limonene, which has been shown to play an important role in preventing various types of cancer like lung cancer, breast cancer, and skin cancer.

The reason is that antioxidants and Vitamin C in oranges and other citrus fruits help improve the body’s immune system, which helps in fighting cancer cells.

Oranges are a highly fibrous fruits, and that contributes to its cancer-protecting effect. A study revealed that about 10 to 15% of colon cancer cases are caused by mutations in the DNA. These mutations can prevented by consuming vitamin C rich sources like oranges.

Get your game on, and eat an orange today!


Oranges are good for your brain

brainspark_photo by darkday, flickr.comJanuary 8 — Folate/folic acid or vitamin B9 present in oranges promote brain development and keep the vital organ in mint condition.

In fact, these nutrients also make orange a healthy fruit for pregnant woman as it prevents the baby from having neurological disorders later.

And, oranges contain phytonutrients called polyphenols that play a role in development of learning and memory functions of the brain.

Here’s to your Brain Spark (title of photo, above, by DarkDay at


Citrus fruits keep your heart healthy

orangeheart_photo by Kate Ter Haar, flickr.comJanuary 7 — Earlier this week we told you about the power of Vitamin C in oranges.

The bad news is that free radicals are always pulsing through your body, generated during various reactions taking place in the cells. This can trigger oxidation of cholesterol, causing the oxidised molecules to aggregate and stick to the walls of the arteries. And, it leads to build up of plaques that eventually block the arteries, causing heart attack, coronary artery disease  or even stroke.

Vitamin C in oranges takes care of these free radicals and neutralises them, thus playing a role in preventing heart disease. They also contain flavonoids like hesperidin that lowers cholesterol level and prevents the arteries from getting blocked.


See better thanks to oranges

orange eyes – photo by Paul McCoubrie, flickr.comJanuary 6 — Oranges and other citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin A, which keeps mucus membranes in your eyes healthy. The good stuff includes carotenoid compounds like lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin.

Vitamin A is also protective against age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration, a vision-related condition that causes blindness. And, it plays an important role in allowing your eyes to absorb the light.

Did you know: Tomatoes are also a natural remedy for good vision.



Put an orange on your face

orange maskJanuary 5 — There’s a reason why oranges are popularly used in the beauty industry. Several beauty products including face packs, masks and creams that are available contain orange extract as a key ingredient.

That’s because vitamin C present in oranges also helps prevent skin damage, by eliminating free radicals. Vitamin C, being involved in synthesis of collagen, an important component to maintain skin’s overall appearance and texture, prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin.

Apart from vitamin C, oranges are packed with vitamin A that help keep the skin membranes healthy.


Oranges do a body good

IMG_5757January 4 — All this week, our Cooking Tips for Kids will shine a light on citrus!

And if you love oranges — you are in luck because they are super good for you:

  • One medium orange packs more than 100% of the recommended daily dose for vitamin C
  • A single medium-sized orange can fulfil about 72% of your daily requirement for vitamin C.
  • Since vitamin C plays a crucial role as an antioxidant by protecting your body against the damage caused by free radicals generated in the body.
  • It therefore reduces inflammation in immune related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Researchers suggest that vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening immune responses of the body, protecting against recurring cold and cough or any other common infections.


Magnesium is good for you — here’s why!

magnesium-rda-intakeJanuary 3 — We mentioned yesterday that black-eyed peas contain magnesium — a mineral that is good for your health. But what is this macro-mineral?

Magnesium ions regulate over 300 biochemical reactions in the body through their role as enzyme co-factors. They also play a vital role in the reactions that generate and use ATP, the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells.

Without magnesium we could not produce energy, our muscles would be in a permanent state of contraction, and we could not adjust the levels of cholesterol produced and released into the blood stream.

However, nearly 20% of us get only half of the magnesium they need daily to remain healthy. Here’s why:

1. Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis? Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These substances actually bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. So even if you are eating a balanced diet, by drinking soda with your meals you are flushing magnesium out of your system. The average consumption of carbonated beverages today is more than ten times what it was in 1940. This skyrocketing increase is responsible for both reduced magnesium and calcium availability in the body.

sugar and magnesium depletion2. Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?

Refined sugar is not only a zero magnesium product but it also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane removes molasses, stripping the magnesium content entirely. And sugar does not simply serve to reduce magnesium levels. Sweet foods are known by nutritionists as “anti-nutrients”. Anti-nutrients like sweets are foods that replace whole nutritious foods in the diet, yet actually consume nutrients when digested, resulting in a net loss. Because all foods require vitamins and minerals to be consumed in order to power the process of digestion, it’s important to choose foods that “put back” vital nutrients, and then some. The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the more likely you are deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients. Source: ancient-minerals