It might be a little early for to start planning Halloween, but we couldn't help ourselves! This idea is easier and a lot cleaner than traditional pumpkin carving.
Add Dots: Cut a circle from a foam sponge and dab it in a shallow dish of paint. Press the dot directly onto your pumpkin, or onto a white stripe that you previously painted (and let dry).
Make 'Em White: Paint your pumpkins with a couple of coats of white craft paint and let them dry. Use markers and paint pens to add squiggles and squares or even to write a short Halloween story.
Make 'Em Black: Cover pumpkins with a couple of coats of black craft paint. Draw on the dry surface with chalk or a white paint marker.
Idea from: Parents
Mango: "King of Fruits"
Botanical name: Mangifera Indica
An ancient fruit and arguably the most popular in many parts of the world, mangos are in the same family of plants as pistachios and cashews, which are also tropical, fruit-bearing trees that can grow up to 100 feet in height. Oval in shape and around five inches long, mangos are heavy because of the single, large seed or stone in the middle, which makes them a drupe.
Mangos have a yellow-golden tone when ripe, sometimes with patches of green. The fruit surrounding the seed is succulently sweet, fresh, and juicy with just the right touch of tartness. Their natural tenderizing properties make mangos a great ingredient for marinades for any type of meat.
Mangos were first cultivated in India several centuries ago. Most mangos consumed in the U.S. are produced in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, and Haiti.
The best way to choose a mango at the store is not as much about the color as it is its firmness. Push gently against the skin with your thumb. If it's "squishy," it's too ripe; too hard and it's not yet done. It's perfect when it gives ever so slightly to gentle pressure, and may also have a fruity aroma on the stem end. If unripe, you'll want to keep it at room temperature - not refrigerated - so it can become not just softer, but also sweeter. To speed up the ripening process, place it in a brown paper bag for a few days, checking at regular intervals.
Refrigerate mangos when they’re at optimum stage of "doneness." Uncut, they can keep for around five days. Peeled and chopped, they’ll be fine in the freezer in an airtight container for six months or so.
Health Benefits of Mangos
One cup of mangos has 100 calories. The same amount provides 100% of your daily vitamin C recommendation for promoting healthy immune function and collagen formation, and 35% of your vitamin A, important for vision, bone growth, and maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin – plus, it’s shown by clinical studies to help protect your body from lung and mouth cancers.
Besides having more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, mangos contain flavonoids like betacarotene, alphacarotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which help vitamin A to impart antioxidant strength and vision-protecting properties, maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin.
Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes, like mangos, is known to help protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers. The potassium in mangos is an important cell and body fluid component to help control your heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is required for GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) hormone production within your brain. It also controls homocysteine levels within your blood, which may be harmful to your blood vessels and may cause stroke. Required for the production of red blood cells, copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c oxidase and superoxide dismutase.
One cup of mangos provide 12% of your daily dietary fiber, which not only helps keep your system running smoothly, but also shortens the time waste spends in your colon, reducing the risk of colon cancer. In fact, mangos have been shown in clinical studies to protect against cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate, as well as leukemia. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic antioxidant compounds in mangos are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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
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.
Total time: approximately 20 minutes
Idea from: Martha Stewart