Olive oil is the elixir for good health. I recently purchased a bottle of high quality Extra Virgin Olive oil and have been feeling proud of this smart purchase. Why? Because I know that not only does olive oil add a unique flavor to your food but it also responsible for offsetting a number of diseases and ensuring our good health! Here are a few benefits of using olive oil in your cooking.
Olive oil against Cardio Vascular Diseases
The health benefits of olive oil are credited to not only the high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids in this oil but also the high amount of antioxidants. Extra Virgin Olive oil is the best form of olive oil as it is derived from the first pressing of olives carry the highest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids and have great amounts of antioxidants like Vitamin E and phenols. This is one of the reasons why when buying olive oil, you should try and get Extra Virgin Olive oil. Olive Oil also protects the heart against problems as it controls the bad LDL cholesterol level in our body!
Olive Oil as Natural Pain Killers
Good Quality Olive oil contains a particular chemical that acts exactly like painkillers. Supposedly, 50 gm of extra-virgin olive oil is equal to tenth of a dose of ibuprofen!
Olive Oil to control Blood Pressure
Olive oil can definitely work wonders in managing and maintaining optimum systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Olive oil in the fight against Obesity
Have you ever wondered why the Mediterranean people are less prone to obesity or cardiovascular diseases? Wonder no more, the reason is their regular intake of olive oil. Though olive oil is high in calories it has been found that an olive oil rich diet can help in greater and long lasting weight loss. Moderate amounts of olive oil can even help reduce your abdominal fat if one sticks to it as part of a diet high in plant foods!
Olive oil- essential during Pregnancy
In pregnancy, consumption of olive oil can lead to better fetal development and often guarantees healthy children with well developed psychomotor reflexes! The oil also contributes to the growth of the bones and brain of the child inside and outside the womb.
Olive oil helps ease Stomach Disorders
Olive oil's even has chemicals that take up a protective function when comes to ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil is better than drugs in activating naturally the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones. It is also said to lower the incidence of gallstone formation.
Olive oil a weapon against Cancer
Olive oil prevents the process of continuous oxidation, which is one of the prime reasons for the development of skin cancer. Oleic acid found in olive oil, a monounsaturated fatty acid is said to be an effective weapon against cancer. It helps in reducing the effect of oncogene. Oncogene is the gene that will in turn convert a host cell into a cancer cell. Spanish researchers have suggested that including olive oil in your diet may also help colon cancer prevention.
Olive oil to slow down aging process
Olive oil also acts like a natural antioxidant that slows down the aging process. You really have to beleive this when Jeanne Calment who holds the record for the longest confirmed lifespan (121yrs) , attributes her longevity and relatively youthful appearance to olive oil.
It is no secret that food can play an important role in the way you look. After all food, health and beauty are all part of one loop! For those who would like to resort to easily available beauty food as against expensive and ineffective cosmetics here are the Top 7 Beauty Food you simply have to include in your diet!
Beauty Food 1 - Drinks = Water
Water, water and water! Drinking water can help you remain slim and keep your skin healthy. Drink water before each meal to control your appetite. After all its one of those few 0 calories items!
Beauty Food 2 - Milk Product = Yogurt
Of course it's preferable to go for low fat yogurts. Yogurts easily fit into the Top 7 Beauty Foods because of the high amount of calcium that will guarantee strong bones, beautiful nails, good posture, and a beautiful smile. A cup of low-fat yogurt has 450 milligrams of calcium, much more than what a similar cup of milk can supply. Yogurt also has copious amounts of zinc which is great for your skin!
Beauty Food 3 - Seafood = Wild Salmon and Oysters
Seafood like salmon and oysters have their own contributions to make to your beauty. Salmon, the wild kind is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. This will fight inflammation, keep your cells supple, improve blood circulation, and help our brains function optimally. All this eventually helps in keeping the skin's outer layer soft, smooth and bright! The omega-3s also fight redness, wrinkles, and loss of firmness of the skin that comes with age! Oysters on the other hand offer zinc, a mineral that can play a major role in skin renewal and repair. Zinc also helps in maintaining strong nails, keeping the hair and scalp healthy, and helping in protecting your eyes from vision problems. No wonder they have made it to the Top 7 Beauty Foods list.
Beauty Food 4 - Fruits = Blueberries and Kiwifruits
Fruits just had to be in the Top 7 Beauty Foods list! Blue berries have a high level of antioxidants compared to other fruits and vegetables. This means that they have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties that will help you from premature aging. Kiwifruits on the other hand has vitamin C and other anti-aging oxidants that also help in stimulating collagen synthesis. This in turn helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth and healthy skin!
Beauty Food 5 - Vegetables = Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes
A Top 7 Beauty Food list will be incomplete without the inclusion of Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and tomatoes. Beta-carotene, a fat soluble pigment found in sweet potatoes gets converted to Vitamin A which in turn keeps your skin smooth and fights aging as well as damages caused to the skin by exposure to the sun! Tomatoes are great because it offers profuse amounts of lycopene, another effective anti-aging antioxidant! One who consumes spinach will definitely agree that beauty lies in the eyes. Yes, the high lutein content in Spinach keeps your eyes healthy and bright.
Beauty Food 6 - Nuts = Walnuts
Walnuts made its way to the Top 7 Beauty Foods list because the dominant nutrients found in walnuts can lead to smooth skin tone, healthy hair, vibrant eyes, and strong bones.The credit goes to the omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants found in it!
Beauty Food 6 - Dark Chocolate
This tempting beauty food is more than just a taste bid charmer. Dark chocolates contain polyphenols and antioxidants that provide it with anti-aging properties. So don't feel too sinful when you bite into a slab of yummy dark chocolate
Amongst most non vegetarians, chicken is almost always a favorite. I love chicken and though I have tried to turn vegan plenty of times, chicken, especially grilled chicken always draws me back!! To make a perfectly cooked, succulent and well flavored grilled chicken is not too difficult especially if you know how to. It is simply important that you don't under cook or over cook your chicken. If it is undercooked it poses a problem for your health and if over cooked it destroys the chicken. Here are a few steps that will explain how you can grill chicken:
Grilling seasoned chicken?
1. Clean out the chicken cavity and wash it well under cold water. Pat it dry and then season the chicken.
2. Ready your charcoal grills with some hot coals and then push them to one side.
3. Brush the hot grill grate with oil. Use long tongs and hold a towel soaked in oil to do this.
4. Put the chicken breast-side-down on the unheated side of the hot coals i.e on the side of the hot coals and not over it.
5. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, then turn the breast side up and continue grilling for up to another 30 minutes.
6. You can check if the chicken has been done well by cutting into the centre of the breast piece. If the juices run clear when the thickest part is cut then the chicken has ben done well. The skin would have turned golden and the chicken will be well cooked by now.
7. To ensure the inner part of the chicken is done, use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the innermost part of the chicken. Make sure that it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Remove from the grill and let it sit for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Grilling marinated chicken?
You can follow the above given steps but care has to be given to the following instructions tpp
1. If you are using a marinade, ensure that the chicken remains marinated for several hours in the refrigerator. Preferably 24 hours. While using marinade at the last moment, it is better if you can inject it into the chicken.
2. You can seal the chicken with butter or oil to prevent the juice from seeping out. When you use butter you have to ensure that you don't burn it.
3. While the chicken is grilling brush it with some fresh marinade mixed in with a little oil.
Grilling chicken -Things to remember
Do not use too much salt in your marinades or seasoning as salt will draw the juice out of the chicken. If required apply salt just before serving.
When you use marinades remember that anything with sugar or tomato will burn fast.
If you like BBQ sauce on you grilled chicken then ensure that you use it just before removing it from the grill.
Be cautious when you use Teriyaki sauce as it has high sugar content and burns faster.
Avoid grilling chicken pieces with bones as there is always a possibility that the flesh near the bone will not get grilled. If you are using chicken pieces with bones then the inner temperature should be 170 degree F for it to be done
When using your thermometer, make sure it is clean and that it does not bring salmonella or other bacteria from the raw chicken to the grilled chicken.
Guess all these instruction should arm you with enough info to grill your chicken properly. Remember that only with practice can you perfect this grilling art. Here are some interesting grilled chicken recipes that you can experiment your new grilling skills with.Happy Grilling!