April 4, 2016

If you're looking for a heart-healthy diet to try, it appears low-carb may be better than low-fat. A new study finds a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing cardiovascular disease risk than a low-fat diet.

Zumpano says researchers at Tulane University  randomly assigned 148 men and women to follow a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet. None of the participants had heart disease or diabetes when the study began.

After a year, results show people on the low-carbohydrate diet had greater decreases in weight, fat mass, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors than those on the low-fat diet. In fact, those in the low-carbohydrate group lost an average of almost 8 pounds more than those in the low-fat group and blood levels of certain fats, that are predictors of risk for heart disease, also decreased more in the low-carbohydrate group.

Researchers say until now, low-carb diets have been a popular strategy for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have been unknown. Zumpano says a low-carb diet may also provide you with the low-fat diet you may be looking for.

"Carbohydrates carry fat such as potato chips, or cake, or cookies, or French fries, or even pasta with Alfredo sauce. So, a lot of times by cutting out carbs or cutting down carbs you're also cutting down a significant amount of fat calories," she explained.

Visit us at PlantOGram.com for more information about fruit trees!

 

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April 4, 2016

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Each year, 600,000 people die from heart disease and 130,000 die from stroke. But a new study finds that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease could be reduced by up to 40%, simply by eating fresh fruit every day.

The research team, led by Dr. Huaidong Du from the University of Oxford in the UK, recently presented their findings at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2014.

The results of their study came from an analysis of 451,681 individuals from five rural and five urban areas of China who were a part of the China Kadoorie Biobank - a study set up to investigate genetic and environmental causes of chronic diseases.

Dr. Du notes that numerous studies have indicated that improvements in diet and lifestyle are critical to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). But she points out that the majority of these studies have come from Western countries, with very few from China.

"China has a different pattern of CVD," explains Dr. Du, "with stroke as the main cause compared to Western countries where ischemic heart disease is more prevalent. Previous studies have combined ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, probably due to the limited number of stroke cases in their datasets."

She adds that given the difference in risk factors and physiology between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, the team was particularly interested in how fruit consumption influenced the risk of these stroke subtypes.

The more fruit consumed each day, the lower the risk of CVD

Study participants had no history of CVD and were receiving no treatment for high blood pressure at baseline.

At the beginning of the study, the researchers asked the participants how much fresh fruit they ate. Fruit consumption was divided into five categories: never, monthly, 1-3 days a week, 4-6 days a week and daily.

During 7 years of follow-up, 19,300 participants developed heart disease and 19,689 had stroke, of which 14,688 were ischemic and 3,562 were hemorrhagic.

Dr. Du and her team found that participants who ate fruit every day had a 25-40% lower risk of CVD, compared with those who never ate fruit. In detail, those who ate fruit daily had a 15% lower risk of ischemic heart disease, a 25% lower risk of ischemic stroke and a 40% reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Furthermore, the more fruit a person ate, the lower their risk of CVD. The average daily fruit intake was 1.5 portions (approximately 150 g).

In addition, the researchers found that participants who reported eating fruit daily had lower blood pressure at baseline, compared with those who reported never eating fruit. "We also found that the beneficial effect of fruit on the risk of CVD was independent of its impact on baseline blood pressure," adds Dr. Du.

The team then carried out a separate analysis to see how fruit consumption affected all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in 61,000 patients who had high blood pressure or CVD at study baseline.

Overall, the researchers found that participants who ate fruit daily had a 32% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never ate fruit, as well as a 40% lower risk of death from stroke and a 27% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease.

 

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April 4, 2016

Why Should You Use Homemade Fruit Scrubs?

If you are a fruit lover, you would like to integrate fruits in your daily life in more than one way! Using fruit scrubs is an excellent way to do that!
Making a fruit scrub is simple. While eating a fruit, just make sure that you keep a small portion that can be mixed with a granular substance and used on your face.
They are cheap ways of giving the best treatment to your skin, unless, of course, the fruit you use as a base is too expensive!
Fruits have nutrients and enzymes that are gentle on your skin, these natural ingredients are effective on your skin without exposing it to the dangers of harsh chemicals and preservatives.

Fruit Scrub for All Seasons

Banana Scrub- This is yet another fruit which you can find throughout the year. For preparing this scrub, you would require two spoons of mashed bananas, one spoon of milk and two spoons of rolled oats. You can also add honey (one spoon) if you want. Mix the ingredients to make a thick paste. Apply it on your face and leave the mask on for about ten minutes. Rub it gently so that the dirt and other impurities are scrubbed off. Rinse with water. This scrub is suitable for sensitive skin.

Helpful Tips

Do not use facial scrub more than two times in a week.
Make sure that the granules you use in homemade scrubs are ground finely.
We your face with water before using a scrub.
Do not scrub for more than three or four minutes.
After scrubbing, use a light moisturizer.

Idea from Indian Makeup & Beauty Blog

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com

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April 4, 2016

The findings from the seven year follow-up study of nearly 0.5 million people in the China Kadoorie Biobank found that the more fruit people ate, the more their risk of CVD declined.

LONDON: Daily fruit consumption can cut the risk of overall death by 32 per cent and cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 40 per cent, according to a new Oxford study.

The findings from the seven year follow-up study of nearly 0.5 million people in the China Kadoorie Biobank found that the more fruit people ate, the more their risk of CVD declined.

"CVD, including ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Improving diet and lifestyle is critical for CVD risk reduction in the general population but the large majority of this evidence has come from western countries and hardly any from China," said Dr Huaidong Du from Oxford University.

The current study included 451,681 participants with no history of CVD and not on anti-hypertensive treatment at baseline in 10 different areas of China, 5 rural and 5 urban.

Over the seven year follow up period there were 19,300 cases of IHD and 19,689 strokes (14,688 ischaemic and 3,562 haemorrhagic).

Some 18 per cent of participants consumed fruit daily and 6.3 per cent never consumed fruit. The average amount of fruit eaten by the daily consumers was 1.5 portions (150g).

Researchers found that compared to people who never ate fruit, those who ate fruit daily cut their CVD risks by 25-40 per cent (around 15 per cent for IHD, around 25 per cent for ischaemic stroke and 40 per cent for haemorrhagic stroke). There was a dose response relationship between the frequency of fruit consumption and the risk of CVD.

"Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including ischaemic heart disease and stroke (particularly haemorrhagic stroke). And not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down. It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or no fruit," said Du.

The researchers also found that people who consumed fruit more often had significantly lower blood pressure (BP).

In a separate analysis, the researchers examined the association of fruit consumption with total mortality and CV mortality in more than 61,000 patients who had CVD or hypertension at baseline.

They found that compared to those who never ate fruit, daily consumers of fruit cut their overall risk of death by 32 per cent. They also reduced their risks of dying from IHD by 27 per cent and from stroke by around 40 per cent.

The research was presented at ESC Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

 

For more information about Fruit Trees please visit our site at PlantOGram.com

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April 4, 2016

Every Halloween do you wonder what to do with your pumpkin seeds?  You're in luck! We have a delicious way for you to use your leftover pumpkin seeds!

Ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheet

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds, rinsed well, dried, and toasted

Directions

 

Butter an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

 

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and honey. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is medium amber and a candy thermometer registers 280 degrees, about 6 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds. Cook until mixture reaches 300 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely. Break into pieces.

Serves 4

Total time: approximately 20 minutes

Idea from: Martha Stewart

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April 4, 2016

Have you ever caught yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Have you ever wondered where the time went? How it already September? Here are a few of our favorite time saving tips!

Finish simple tasks.

Always complete easy tasks without switching between tasks. Switching between simple tasks wastes time because the information gets jumbled, and we have to start the process all over again. Bottom line: Don't try to do two simple tasks at once.

Break up complex tasks.

Complex tasks like building a budget differ from simple ones: You can complete them more quickly and efficiently by breaking them up. Studies show that people who had to complete challenging tasks did so more effectively when they took a two-minute break and worked on something completely different -- for example, doing a crossword when trying to finish your taxes. 

Build willpower.

Willpower is key to efficiency -- and just like the muscles in your body, if you exercise it more frequently, you can improve it. Hone your willpower by breaking a routine like driving the same way to work or by giving up a bad habit like junk food for a week. Willpower gets depleted when you use it too much -- which is why judges and surgeons, who make decisions all day, begin to make generic or underinformed ones later on. Avoid making major decisions after a series of hard choices. When possible, make the toughest decisions when your willpower is strongest -- in the morning for most.

Develop Google discipline.

Gorging on all the data available today has made us a nation of distracted thinkers. How many times have you searched for an answer online only to find yourself wandering through a hyperlink forest, gobbling up factoids, switching from LinkedIn to Facebook to email? Limit your searching to what you need for a project. Whenever possible, turn off all other technology, like email and your phone, when completing a project on your computer.

Keep a calendar, not a to-do list.

To-do lists are ineffective because they lack context: Research shows people leave the most difficult tasks undone at the end of the day. Blocking out time provides structure and gives you micro-deadlines to complete tasks. Leave a few empty spaces for inevitable crises and interruptions, and to make room for tasks that may take longer.

Pull, don't push.

Most of us are bombarded with emails, calls, and requests that don't necessarily need our attention that moment -- or even that day. Pull information when needed rather than passively receiving it anytime. If a project is complicated and involves multiple people, talk about it instead of emailing. Don't constantly check and respond to emails – process messages in batches, like once every three hours. 

Limit your choices.

While you can't change the number of decisions you make for your job, you can limit daily choices at home. For instance, President Obama wears only blue or gray suits to curb unnecessary decisions. He also uses "decision" memos with three check boxes: agree, disagree and discuss.

Prep the night before.

While it's important to get a good night's sleep, the time just before bed is ideal for getting your thoughts together for the next day -- and not just because it lessens what you have to do tomorrow. But avoid overly stressful projects before bed, which may cause you to toss and turn with worry. And don't work on anything with a screen within an hour of bed: Studies show the blue light in screens can lead to fitful sleep.

Idea from Huffington Post

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April 4, 2016

Have you been looking for a safer cleaner to use around the home? Try this homemade orange vinegar cleaner!

Materials

Citrus Peels (I used a combination of navel orange and clementine)
Distilled White Vinegar
Water (optional)
Airtight Glass Container
Spray Bottle
Measuring Cup
Strainer

Directions

 Collect citrus peels and store them in an airtight glass container.
Note: citrus fruits contain d-limonene, a natural solvent that chemically reacts with oil to break it down.

Once your container is full, cover the peels with white vinegar.

Date your jar, and let it sit for about 2 weeks.
Note: when ready, the vinegar should have a strong citrus odor and be yellowish in color.

Strain the peels.

Dilute with water if you so desire.
The concentration depends on your intended use and preference. I used a 1:1 ratio.

Pour into a spray bottle and use.
While I have been using it mostly in my kitchen to clean up stove top grease, this makes for a great, all purpose cleaner.

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Idea from Apartment Therapy

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April 4, 2016

Why Should You Use Homemade Fruit Scrubs?

If you are a fruit lover, you would like to integrate fruits in your daily life in more than one way! Using fruit scrubs is an excellent way to do that!
Making a fruit scrub is simple. While eating a fruit, just make sure that you keep a small portion that can be mixed with a granular substance and used on your face.
They are cheap ways of giving the best treatment to your skin, unless, of course, the fruit you use as a base is too expensive!
Fruits have nutrients and enzymes that are gentle on your skin, these natural ingredients are effective on your skin without exposing it to the dangers of harsh chemicals and preservatives.

Fall/Winter Face Scrub

Oranges have an unique citrus fragrance that revitalizes your senses. Take an orange (1/4 part) and two spoons of cornmeal. Squeeze out the orange juice and mix it with cornmeal. Make a paste. Now wash your face and apply it on your face. Scrub gently and wash off after three minutes. Follow up with a mild moisturizer. It is a perfect treat for your skin during the fall and winter months.

Helpful Tips

Do not use facial scrub more than two times in a week.
Make sure that the granules you use in homemade scrubs are ground finely.
We your face with water before using a scrub.
Do not scrub for more than three or four minutes.
After scrubbing, use a light moisturizer.

Idea from Indian Makeup & Beauty Blog

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com

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April 4, 2016

Cancer: Passion fruit contains rich amounts of antioxidant Vitamin C. It contains 50% of daily RDA value. passion fruitAntioxidants have been proven to protect from free radicals. Free radicals are produced due to increase in pollution. Due to increase in pollution oxidative stress has increased. High oxidative stress increases production of free radical in the body. These free radicals damage normal cell DNA and turns it into a cancer cell. But free radicals have been proven to neutralize these free radicals and protect from cancer. Passion fruit contains Vitamin A and flavonoids which is effective to protect from oral cancer and lung cancer.

Blood pressure: Passion fruit is highly effective to protect from high blood pressure. It contains 348 mg of potassium which is 7% of RDA.  High potassium balance sodium level in the body. High sodium levels in the body increase the risk of high blood pressure and other disease like heart attack or stroke.

Colon Cleanser: Passion fruit contains soluble fiber. Soluble fiber cleanses toxin stored in the colon. These toxins are responsible for the colon cancer. 100 g passion fruit provides 27% of daily fiber required by the body. So it proves best food to clean the colon.

Eye Vision: Due to change in lifestyle low eye vision problem is growing day by day. Loss of eye vision is usually due to lack of nutrition in food. But loss of eye vision can be reversed by including healthy food in the diet. Passion fruit is among those healthy foods that proves beneficial for eye.  It contains a high amount of antioxidant Vitamin A, Vitamin C and flavonoids. These nutrients protect eyes from free radical damage. So it is beneficial to protect eyes from vision loss and improve eyesight.

Increase Blood production: Passion fruit contains high amounts of iron which is 20% of daily required value. Along with iron it is a rich source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C increase the absorption capacity of iron. So it prevents loss of iron and increase the production of blood.

Improves digestion: Fruit contains high amounts of soluble fiber which increase bulk laxative and improves digestion. Also it improves the nutrient absorbing capacity of the body.

Immunity: Vitamin C is highly effective to increase immunity. It increases immunity to protect from common disease like cold, flu and infections.

Cardiovascular Health: Passion fruit contains high amount fiber which reduces cholesterol level in blood. It increases HDL ( good cholesterol) and reduce LDL ( bad cholesterol). So it prevents blockage of blood flow towards the heart. Also high amount of antioxidants protect arteries from free radicals. So it proves highly beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

Improve Sleep quality: It was found that eating passion fruit relaxes the nervous system and induces sleep.

Asthma: Passion fruit is highly effective to reduce symptoms of asthma.

Information from Fitness World

For more information about passion fruit check PlantOGram

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April 4, 2016

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

Who doesn't love Halloween? If you're like me, it's basically your favorite holiday, and you start planning early! Here is a delicious, easy Halloween treat! It's great for a Halloween party!

Ingredients

1 pound strawberries
1 package of white chocolate chips
1 edible ink pen

Directions

Wash and allow the strawberries to dry.  Set out wax paper or a silpat.  

Melt the chocolate on 50% power in the microwave for two minutes.  Stir until the bowl no longer feels warm.  Then microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted.  

Hold the strawberries by the stem and roll in the chocolate until covered.  Then gently place on wax paper.  Allow the chocolate to harden, then draw the ghost faces and/or mummy eyes.  

Now pipe white chocolate onto the mummy strawberries to look like wrappings.  You don’t have to be careful when you pipe the chocolate. I just do a combination of rotating the strawberry and looping the piping hand around the strawberry, and they turn out pretty cute.

Idea from The Sisters Cafe

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