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drinking water

The Best Times to Drink Water to Boost Your Health

Let’s be real about why you must drink water. Your internal organs, cells and tissues depend on water to function properly and normalise your temperature. Also, do you know that when you sweat, breathe or digest food, your body loses water? As a result, drinking water is the only way to rehydrate your body. Most importantly, your body needs it to survive. What’s more, your skin and hair loves water.

The recommended amount of water to drink daily is 2.5 litres. On top of that, when you drink water at specific times it boosts your health.

Let’s look at the best times to drink water for optimum results…

  • When you get out of bed in the morning

Make it a habit to drink a glass of water after you wake up in the mornings. Not only does it activate your internal organs and hydrate your body, it also flushes out toxins. What better way to start the day before eating breakfast.

Tips to help…

Wait for half an hour after drinking a glass of water before eating your breakfast.

  • Before you eat a meal

Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps your digestive system. However, if you drink it too soon before you eat or after your meal, the water will affect your digestive liquids. So, it’s important to drink it at the right time.

Tips to help…

Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before you eat as it’s a great digestion booster. And, for your body to get the best nutrient from your meal, drink another glass one hour after your meal.

  • Before you get into the bath

Do you have high blood pressure? Drinking a glass of warm water before having a bath or taking a shower will help to lower it. One reason is because water dilutes the sodium levels (salt) in your body, which is responsible for raising blood pressure. Particularly if your body has high levels of sodium.

Tips to help…

Drink warm water rather than cold water. This warms your body from the inside, while taking a shower or bath warms your body from the outside. The combination of the two lowers your blood pressure.

  • Drink a glass of water at bedtime

Enjoying a glass of water before going to bed is ideal for flushing out toxins your body may have gathered during the day. In addition, because your body is made up mostly of water, this will keep it hydrated during the night.

Tips to help…

The most effective time to drink water at nights is an hour before going to sleep. Above all, it replaces any fluids your body lose during the day.

Finally, if drinking plain water is boring, be creative. Spice up the flavour by adding lemon or lime to a jug of water. Otherwise, experiment with different fruits such as  strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruits or blueberries for a healthy refreshing fruity drink. The important thing is to drink at least two litres of water every day at the specific times I mentioned above. Your overall health will benefit from inside and outside of your body.

Share the love on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so your family and friends can find out about the wonders of drinking water.  Thanks for reading and sharing Fats and Franks latest update.

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7 Ultimate Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water

Amazingly, coconut water is bursting with many health benefits you may not be aware of. If you grew up in the West Indies, you probably drank water from coconuts often as they were freely available. Or perhaps you just enjoyed the drink as a normal part of your everyday diet – unaware of the essential nourishment you were taking into your body.

Not only is it delicious, refreshing and healthy, but you can also use it as a base for smoothies.

Let’s dive in and look at how coconut water should be a must-have drink as part of your healthy daily liquid intake.

The best source comes from green baby coconuts which produces 94% water. For hydration and to quench your thirst, simply push a straw through the soft part of the coconut and enjoy. Also, it’s low in calories, fat, carbohydrate and sugar. What is more, it’s loaded with B-complex vitamins, antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, minerals like iron and zinc. And it flushes out excess water and toxins from your body.

Here are some of the benefits of drinking coconut water…

  1. Lowers your blood pressure

This wonder drink contains high doses of potassium. In fact, it has more potassium than four bananas. This is good news for people with high blood pressure. According to studies, 71% of  people who drank coconut water saw a reduction in their blood pressure. On top of that, it also helps prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries.

  1. Contains vital magnesium

When our body is low in magnesium, you’ll feel tired and won’t have a lot of energy. Even worse, you could develop asthma, diabetes or osteoporosis. Including coconut water as part of your daily liquid intake will give you 14% of the magnesium your body needs.

  1. Loaded with antioxidants

Your metabolism  produces free radicals, which can damage your body. Too many free radicals may cause your body to go into a state of oxidative stress. This increases the chance of your cells getting damaged and can cause diseases. Antioxidants stop free radicals from damaging your body. And you can get your daily dose from drinking coconut water as it counteracts the harm caused by free radicals.

  1. Takes care of hangovers

A hangover is the after effects of drinking too much alcohol, which dehydrates your body. Drinking coconut water restores the electrolytes in your body and makes it hydrated.  In addition, the water works against oxidative stress, which occurs after too much alcohol intake. And it also settles down the acid in your stomach.

  1. Balances pH Levels

A diet of processed junk food is packed with acid-forming foods. This, along with stress and toxic loads causes acidic pH levels in your body. The result is a loss of energy and your body will find it difficult to absorb vitamins and minerals.  Not only that, but when you have an acidic pH, it can promote stressed liver function, osteoporosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and low immune system. The alkalizing effect of coconut water re-establishes a strong pH, reduces acidity and heartburn.

  1. Keeps you looking young

If your body lacks sodium or potassium this could cause water retention and may affect your looks, such as bags under your eyes and puffy face. Because coconut water is full of minerals, essential nutrients and vitamins, it replenishes and hydrates. In addition, it cleanses your body by removing hyper-acidic toxins (responsible for age spots and dry skin) leaving your skin more radiant and youthful looking. Moreover, this wonder drink is a natural laxative, detoxing your internal organs and releasing a build up of waste. For an anti-ageing detox drink, include coconut water as part of your daily intake.

  1. Fantastic as a moisturiser

Skin loves hydration, but the sun, pollution, harsh cleansers or soaps can dry your skin. Making your own facial mask is great for keeping your skin hydrated, regardless of your skin type.

All you need are two tablespoons of coconut water, half a teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey (optional).

To make your face mask do this…

  • Put the coconut water in a bowl with the lemon juice. For dry skin add the honey. Stir the ingredients together.
  • Soak two cotton wool balls in the mixture. With a circular motion, gently massage it into your skin.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

Tip: Use the face mask every other day. If you have oily skin the lemon juice will control the oil. For dry and normal skin, use less lemon juice and include the honey for added moisture.

In conclusion, the benefits of drinking coconut water are essential for your overall health and well being. Besides nourishing you from the inside out, it’s ideal to use for beauty purposes. Look out for fresh, baby green coconuts in your supermarkets as they are the best options. If you choose to buy the ones in bottles or cartons, avoid those with added sugar or preservatives.

Are you a keen coconut water drinker? How has it helped you? Please share your thought in the comments box below.

Remember to tell your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about this amazing drink by sharing this article with them.

Kool and the Gang: My amazing experience of catering for Them

Not only did an unexpected phone call last Friday afternoon plastered a smile all over my face, it also changed the status of Fats and Franks. In the middle of working from home my phone rang.

“Mariama, Kool and The Gang are touring and will be performing at the O2 this Sunday. They need a caterer. Are you up for it?” My friend asked enthusiastically.

Well, after the words she asked me finally sunk in, excitement bubbled up inside. Me, cater for Kool and The Gang? Wow! I have always longed to meet them. But imagine catering for them as well as meeting them. Could my dream really come true? They were my idols growing up. I used to love dancing to their widespread hits.

There was only one big problem, though. I didn’t know for sure if I was going to get the coveted job of feeding one of my favourite groups. Anyway, I put a menu together just in case. And patiently waited for the go ahead call.

Friday evening came. I still had no idea if the promoter were going to choose Fats and Franks to cater for Kool and The Gang. But, I kept my hopes up and planned a menu for them in expectation. I could barely sleep that night imagining meeting and cooking for them.

They said yes

Early Saturday morning, I got the answer I was waiting for. They said yes. Fats and Franks were chosen to provide a delicious course of hot food and buffet style menu for the group. Do you know what that meant? An extra busy day rushing around to buy ingredients and preparing to cook for Kool and The Gang before the concert at the O2 on Sunday.

Can I tell you the beauty of our cooking service? We are able to cook a variety of delicious meals at short notice. Even food that’s not part of our usual recipe. Kool and The Gang wanted a special customised menu. And that’s exactly what they were going to get. After all, Fats and Franks is about creating memorable events. That means saying yes (even at short notice) so we can leave a lasting impression.

As a result, by early Sunday afternoon, we prepared the menu to their specifications. My driver collected us and we delivered the food to the O2 arena.

I made sure to dress the part for meeting the group.

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delivery.jpg 1

When we walked into the O2 and set up for Kool and The Gang, I knew that Fats and Franks had suddenly changed status. A long awaited dream had come true. On top of that, a couple of weeks before, we also catered for a popular DJ’s prominent birthday party. That was also an amazing event.

Setting up and displaying the food

We unpacked the food, bread, fruits and cakes and displayed it ready for the group to tuck in and enjoy.

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Meeting Cool and The Gang

The highlight of my evening was when I met Kool and The Gang. After dreaming about meeting them since I was a little girl, my fantasy became a reality. They simply loved the food from Fats and Franks, which made the experience 100% amazing.

I managed to get some selfies in with some of the group members.

I stayed for a while after they ate and chatted with them. It was a wonderful evening to remember. One that will stay lodged in my memory for many years to come. Fats and Franks is now on the map cooking to delight the taste buds of stars and everyone else who appreciate good food, served with a big smile and love.

Ready to step up your event in style and let Fats and Franks cook up a delicious storm for your birthday party, wedding, baby shower or just a romantic dine in for two? No cooking job is too small or too big for us.

Get in touch now and book your event. Call Mariama on 07462 017675 at Fats and Franks for a chat and free quote about your catering desires.

Or complete the contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Pancake Day: How Did it Start?

pancakes

Today is Pancake Day. Interestingly, Pancake Day is related to Lent. In case you don’t know, lent is the 40 day period before Easter. Historically, the Anglo-Saxons set Lent aside for fasting.

Pancake Day is also known as Shrove Tuesday. This was an important day for Christians. It’s the day they went to confession. The Pancake Bell (shriving) would ring to remind them to go to confess their sins. The act meant they were shriven (forgiven) of their sins. Have you ever heard the bell? Some churches still ring the bells today.

In those days, on Shrove Tuesday, people had to make sure all the eggs and fats were used. So, the ideal time to do that was just before Lent. So they make pancakes with the ingredients.

Pancakes were made way back in 1439. The custom was to flip them in the frying pan. An old verse ties in with tossing pancakes.

“And every man and maide doe take their turne. And tosse their Pancake up for feare they burne.” ~ Pasquil’s Palin, 1619.

pancakes-1

Besides tossing pancakes in the frying pan, pancake races started in Buckinghamshire in the town of Olney. Back in 1445, while a woman was frying her pancake, she heard the shriving bell reminding her of confession. She dashed out of the house wearing her apron with the frying pan still in her hand. She started the trend for the pancake race.

From then on, it was usual to have pancake races. They still have them today. Only local housewives can take part and they must dress in an apron, hat or scarf. The other rule is they should have a hot pancake in their frying pan and toss it three times while racing. The winner is the first woman to reach the church and dish out her pancake to the bell ringer. And he also has to give her a kiss.

Now that you know the history of Pancake Day, I’m going to give you the recipe to make pancakes using real ingredients. This is not the packet one available to buy from the supermarkets.

Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (plus a little extra for frying)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Whisk the eggs lightly
  2. Make a small dent in the flour and add the oil and salt
  3. Pour the whisked eggs into the flour mixture
  4. Add the milk and mix everything together till you get a smooth paste
  5. Put the frying pan on the cooker to warm and add a little oil
  6. Pour the batter mixture into the frying pan
  7. Fry for a few seconds until bubbles appear and the colour turns golden
  8. Flip the pancake over and fry for a few seconds on the other side
  9. Add syrup, lemon or sugar (your favourite topping)

Enjoy your delicious pancake. Share the history with your children, family and friends. It’s good to add to their knowledge because not everyone knows how Pancake Day started. Happy Pancake Day.

Interesting Differences Between a Supermarket and a Market

market

Perhaps you love the comfort of buying all your shopping under one roof. Then again, maybe the versatility of your local market is more exciting. However, have you ever thought about the differences between a supermarket and a market? This isn’t something most people think about. They just grab their shopping from the usual place they’re familiar with.

So, today I’m going to give you something to think about. And so, the next time you visit your supermarket or market you will be a little wiser

Some remarkable facts about the supermarket

In the past, going to the supermarket used to be a social occasion. Shoppers told the staff what they wanted and the goods would be given to them from behind the counter. They also had to wait for the assistants to measure and wrap loose grocery. This gave the shoppers an opportunity to chat with the staff while waiting. So, visits to the supermarkets were fun and stimulating, especially for lonely people.

Buying the grocery was more like a day out as they had to go to different shops. Shoppers had to make trips to the greengrocers, butchers, bakery, fishmongers and the general store. However, the milkman delivered the milk.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the supermarket started selling fresh meat and foodstuffs.

We have come a long way since then.

  • The supermarket is a bigger version of your local grocery store or corner shop
  • A lot of consideration goes into their location. They’re usually built in residential areas to make it easier for people to do their shopping.
  • Most supermarkets have parking spaces and some open for 24 hours or until 11 pm.
  • People use shopping trolleys while travelling through the aisle to place their items in.
  • Their marketing strategies to reach a larger group of shoppers include advertising, billboards, direct mail and more recently apps on mobile phones.
  • Enticing displays of offers, buy one get one free and discounts in the supermarkets is a clever ploy to get shoppers to spend more money.
  • Many supermarkets belong to commercial chains. They usually own smaller franchise branches within the locality.
  • Supermarkets are cheaper than the corner shops because they buy from manufacturers at a reduced price. Therefore, they can afford to cut their prices.
  • Supermarkets get credit from manufacturers, such as 30 or up to 90 days to pay for goods after they’ve received them.
  • Their profit margins increase by selling many sale items, which are bought by a large number of shoppers.
  • To reduce labour costs, more and more supermarket has self-service checkouts. These are usually manned by one or two employees.
  • Some supermarkets offer banking, insurance, pharmacies, cafes, clothes and petrol station services.
  • Incentives were given to customers in trading stamps in the 1950s. These days you get loyalty cards, club cards or membership cards instead.
  • The traditional supermarkets face stiff competition from stores such as Wal-Mart and Lidl. In addition, for shoppers who prefer to buy in bulk, Costco is also another rivalry for the supermarkets.
  • Larger supermarkets now sell books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, videos, office stationary, cosmetics, toys, kitchen and bathroom items, houseware, electrical goods, flowers, lottery tickets, clothes, alcohol and more.

The supermarket is a one-stop shop for more or less everything.

Interesting information about the market

In England and Wales, most people made a living from livestock farming in the pre-19th century. They also lived on the farms. After church ended, farmers and their wives brought goods to sell on the church grounds. Then market towns developed out of the centers of the local areas and became part of the country life. Some of the places were Market Drayton, Market Harborough, Market Weighton and others. They were also located near castles and crossroads where vehicles passed by. Eventually, market squares developed on large main streets.

Markets had to remain within a certain distance from each other. This law is still in force and a licence is needed from the local town hall.

Walking through a market in the summer is fantastic. However, in the winter, especially on a rainy day it’s not so pleasant. Your food is likely to get wet if you are buying from an uncovered stall. Unless you’re good at managing an umbrella while paying for goods and packing them in your bag.

Markets have evolved a lot since they first started. Markets in different areas cater to people from different cultures. Let’s look at the modern market:

  • There are many popular markets in the UK, especially in London.
  • Markets are made up of many shops and stall owners selling items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, clothes, second-hand books, collectable items and more.
  • Some markets such as Borough Market have a place to sit for a break and enjoy lovely fish and chips, sip a lovely cup of steaming hot chocolate from a chocolatier or enjoy a smoothie. You also have a choice of Italian or Spanish delicacies.
  • Brixton Market started on Atlantic Road in the 1870s and expanded to Brixton Road and Electric Avenue. By the way, Electric Avenue was one of the first streets in the UK to have electric lights. Brixton Market is famous for its ethnicity selling foods, fish and meat for the African and Caribbean community. And a big selection of hair shops catering for women who wear wigs, weaves or want to maintain their natural Afro hair.
  • Greenwich Market has been around since the 14th century. Those days they were known for selling livestock, fish, eggs, meat and poultry. The original stables and slaughterhouse are still there. These days they sell street food and crafts.
  • One of the oldest markets, Spitalfields, is located in east London. It dates back to AD 300/400 and was once a Roman cemetery. Archaeologists dug up the body of a pagan woman in 1999 from the Roman era. She was found in an ornate Sarcophagus, which is a coffin. If you’re looking for shoes, clothes, vintage, bric-a-brac, designer merchandise and souvenirs, this is the market to go to.
  • Covent Garden Market attracts at least 44 million tourists each year. This place is, trendy, buzzing with activities and has a wonderful atmosphere. It’s near the Royal Opera House and the National Gallery. After spending your money on known brands such as Chanel, Burberry and Laduree you can pop into the Shake Shack for a yummy American style burger.
  • Portobello Market was birthed from when the area was just a path in the country. It’s named after Porto Bello Farm, which got its name from the Porto Bello town in Panama. The British captured it from the Spanish during the war in 1739. This market has many chic shops and the area is famous. Hugh Grant starred in the film, Notting Hill, which was made there and one of UKs oldest cinema, The Electric Cinema is based there.

Finally, although supermarkets are convenient because they have everything under one roof, markets are much more interesting. They are diverse and cater for people that are more ethnic from all lifestyles. In addition, most markets have an amazing history behind them. And you get to meet unique people, sample mouth-watering food and grab a bargain in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Tomatoes Are You Eating?

tomatoes

This is interesting. In the 16th century, the Spanish transported tomatoes to Europe from where they originated in South America. Those tomatoes were wild and green. However, as peoples’ knowledge increased, the breeding development produced many varieties of tomatoes. You can choose from red, yellow, purple, green or orange tomatoes.

As time progresses, more methods are tried.

Tests are carried out on tomatoes to see how they could be used to fight certain illnesses. This is done by inserting vaccines in them carrying antibodies and proteins. So far, they have only used mice in this experiment.

Today you have a variety of tomatoes available. This is done by cross cultivation to produce seeds.

Also, because they pluck supermarket tomatoes from the vine, they’re usually lighter in colour. But, to meet the demand they have to harvest them early. However, this can have an impact on their quality and taste.

So, do you know about the tomatoes you are eating?

Plum tomatoes

plum-tomatoes

Plum tomatoes are Roma or Italian tomatoes and grown in the UK, USA, Australia and Mexico. They’re sold mostly in supermarkets.

They’re firm and slim (egg-shaped) and are usually used in cans and turned into tomato paste. This is because they have fewer seeds. Cooks love these as they’re easier to use than the other varieties. And they’re available out of season.

 

Tinned tomatoes

These tomatoes are equally as good for you. The next time you buy tinned tomatoes, choose ones with lots of tomatoes and thick juice. A little tip here. If you want to chop them, use a pair of scissors and cut them while they are still in the tin.

According to studies, tinned tomatoes produce carotenoid pigment lycopene. This is because lycopene is easier to absorb when heated. And tinned tomatoes are usually used for cooking. Therefore, the benefit of eating them can stop lung, prostate and stomach cancers from developing.

In addition, they have vitamin K, which strengthens bones. Antioxidant vitamins C and E together with lycopene is good for your heart health. This reduces the possibility of heart diseases.

 

Vine tomatoes

vine-tomatoes

Supermarkets bump up the prices of vine tomatoes to make you think they’re special. However, vine tomatoes are simply tomatoes ripened on the vine compared to commercial ones that are picked green (when matured) then ripened. Commercial tomatoes have to endure journeys by ships to different countries. So, it’s easier to pick them green to prevent bruising and splitting. And in time they become ripe, usually before they end up on the supermarket shelves.

Nevertheless, the varieties are the same. The difference is how they are left to ripen. Tomatoes have a maturing ripening process as you can see from the table below…

Tomato Ripening Stages.png

Image source

 

Cherry tomatoes

cherry-tomatoes

These are round and are a genetically mixed combination of garden tomatoes and wild currant-type tomatoes. They come in various sizes. Some are as small as the tip of18 your thumb or as big as a golf ball. Moreover, the colours are red, yellow, green or black. But, the most common colour is red.

They’ve been around since the 15th century and were grown in Mexico. Europe produced the first batch of yellow cherry tomatoes in the 16th century.

Health benefits of tomatoes

The combination of lycopene and antioxidant in tomatoes are good sources of health benefits. This is especially essential for women prone to develop osteoporosis. Tomatoes make bones stronger.

Some other health benefits are:

  • Eating fresh tomatoes or its extracts lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • The extracts stop blood clumping in the cells and therefore protect the heart.
  • Raw sliced tomatoes produce vitamin C, biotin, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, copper, folate, vitamins A, B3, B6, E, zinc, iron, protein, magnesium and more.
  • The antioxidant in tomatoes also protects the liver, kidneys and bloodstreams.
  • Regular intake of tomatoes helps reduce cancers such as breast, prostate, stomach and lung.
  • Including tomatoes in your diet can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Organic ketchup contains a high dose of lycopene.

So, in conclusion, tomatoes (whether tinned or fresh) are good for you. It does not matter which variety you choose. To get the health benefits, include them in your dietary intake.

 

The History Behind Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is nearly here and the shops will be bursting with red roses, delicious chocolates and other gifts. Couples are busy planning romantic stuff, cosy weekends away, candlelight dinners and more.

However, have you stopped to think about how Valentine’s Day started? Do you think it’s associated to cupid? That’s the little angel with the love arrow.

cupid
Cupid

Although cupid is connected with desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, he’s nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. So, let’s look at the history of the most loved-up day.

 

Where did Valentines Day come from?

Interestingly, Valentine’s Day is about love, but it started after the gruesome death of St. Valentines, a priest. The ruler of Rome in the third century, Emperor Claudius, wanted to grow his army. So, he tried to coax men to join and go to war. However, they wanted to stay with their wives and families instead. He was angry with them. To get revenge he banned marriages.

The priest, St Valentines, didn’t think that was fair. And so, he carried on marrying couples in secret. However, one night the guards caught him and locked him up in prison. The death sentence hung over his head.

The young people rebelled. They took flowers and notes to him in prison to support him. In addition, a lovely young woman, one of the prison guard’s daughters visited him a lot to comfort him. Just before they beat St Valentines to death and beheaded him, he wrote a thank you note to her. And signed it, “Love from your Valentine. The day was February 14th, 270 A.D.

 

Some other Valentine’s Day facts

  • Hundreds of years ago, children dressed up like adults, visited the adults and sang for them. One of the popular songs they sang were, “Good morning to you, Valentine. Curl your locks as I do mine. Two before and three behind. Good morning to you, Valentine.”
  • A student, Esther Howland, made the first distinctive Valentine’s card. She used lace, ribbons and coloured pictures. People called her “Mother of the Valentine” because of her wonder creativity.
  • Charles Duke of Orleans, a Frenchman, wrote the first Valentine’s poem for his wife, in 1415. He was in prison at the time and spent 25 years there. In his poem, he called her “Ma tres doulce Valentinee” meaning “My very sweet Valentine.” He wrote 60 poems to her.
  • In Japan, women give chocolates and gifts to their men on Valentine’s Day. And, on White Day, the 14th March, the men gives chocolates to their women.
  • Did you know teachers are very popular on Valentine’s Day? They get over 650 million cards from the children in the classroom.
  • Juliet from the Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, get over 1000 letters each year from people trying to keep the romance alive.
  • Young men and women picked names from a bowl on Valentine’s Day in the middle ages. They wore the names on their sleeves for one week. The famous saying, “You wear your heart on your sleeves” began from that time.

You will probably never look at Valentine’s Day the same again. Now you know the history behind it, you’ll treat it more than a commercialised day. The priest, St. Valentines, who died for his passion for preserving marriage, was indeed a martyr.

 

 

The Benefits Of Honey

Honey has been referred to as liquid gold because of its amazing properties.
It’s so good that realfoodforlife.com has included it in their list of ‘power foods that you need in your kitchen right now’.

Here are some of the good bits about honey,

  • Ever wondered why your Nan gives you honey when you’ve got a sore/ tickly throat? It’s because honey helps soothes the throat and helps stop a nocturnal cough and also helps you to get a better nights sleep. A much more natural and tastier way than cough syrup.
  • If you’re working out and need an energy boost then honey is great as it has natural, unprocessed sugars that quickly enters the bloodstream and creates a short term boost. Much better for you than chocolate and processed sugars.
  • Honey can treat dandruff and help relieve the itching sensation, mix honey with 10% warm water and apply it to the scalp, leaving it for 3 hours before rinsing can really help with the irritable itches and scratches.
  • Honey can help with burns and wounds as its an antibacterial property, according to a study, some people with wounds applied honey to the area of concern and showed signs of improvement. Cheap, cheerful and smells nice too!
  • Honey can help with memory, a study showed that the anti oxidants in honey may help prevent cellular damage. A spoonful of honey a day can help a postmenopausal women short term memory and after 4 months of taking 20 grams a day of honey the women showed better signs of short term memory than the women who were taking hormone pills.
  • Honey tastes amazing on toast, in tea and when baking, it’s such a good product to have in the cupboards, so next time you’re doing your shopping in Tesco pick up a jar of honey and give it a whirl, your body will thank you.

Not only is honey good for you, in a way it’s good for the environment as it’s keeps the bees alive and working and we all know that we need to keep bees alive and treasure those little things for our environments sake. #lookafterbees !
Thank you for reading this post on The benefits of honey, I hope that it’s been helpful and interesting,

The health benefits of eating plantain

For as long as I can remember, eating plantain has always been part of my food diet.  As a child, I used to mainly eat it boiled. But as an adult I mainly eat it fried.

Plantain is a very popular food in West Africa and the Caribbean, and it’s served with most main meals.  Plantain is part of the banana family, but they are a vegetable not a fruit so they have to be cooked.

Although I have been eating plantain for years, I have been unaware of its health benefits until now.  In fact, I was shocked at the amount of goodness that can be found in plantains, especially when eaten boiled, mashed or roasted.

Below are some of the health benefits I came across:

  • Plantains have more vitamin A than bananas. They also play an important part in the visual cycle and help to enhance skin complexion.  So, if you want to maintain your vision and your complexion, try incorporating boiled plantain into your weekly diet.
  • Plantain Tea is meant to be great for treating gastritis, diarrhoea and IBS.  As we live in England, the chances of getting plantain tea is like the chance of finding a £50 note on the street.  So the next time you hear that someone is going to the Caribbean ask them to get some plantain tea for you.  If you do know where to buy plantain tea in the UK, Please share the name of the shop with us.
  • Plantain is packed with fibre, which helps to lower heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
  • Plantains are high in Vitamin C. Eating plantain helps fight infections that can lead to common sicknesses.  It also helps to promotes healthy gums and teeth.  Plantain contain high levels of Folic Acid, which is important to women who are trying to or have already conceived.

So as you can read, plantain is a really good vegetable to have in your daily diet.  Not only are they sweet and delicious, they really do offer a lot of health benefits if cooked right.

If you fancy trying plantain but not sure how to cook it, I have listed a recipe below for you to try.

How to Roast Plantain

You will need:

  • Greaseproof paper
  • Sharp Knife
  • Baking Tray

Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 ripe plantains (the amount you use is dependent on how many you wish to make).
  • Pinch of grounded sea salt
  • Pinch of grounded course black pepper

Instructions

 

  • Line the baking tray with grease proof paper

 

  • Pre heat oven at gas mark 6.
  • Peel the plantain then slice them diagonally.
  • Place the sliced plantain onto the roasting and place in the oven.
  • Roast them for around 20 minutes, or until they turn golden.
  • Once cooked, leave to rest in the tray for a couple of minutes so they cool down.
  • Serve immediately.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.  Look out for Fats and Franks Kitchen’s next post which will be on the origins of Curry Goat and why it is so popular.

 

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

How can eating a small fruit like an apple a day keeps the doctor away? First, let’s look at the history of where this statement came from. In Wales, during the 1860s there was a proverb which said, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” However, the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” didn’t appear in print till 1922. Source

So, how true is it? Does eating an apple a day make you healthy? According to scientific studies, this won’t stop keep you away from the doctor’s surgery, completely. However, eating apples is good for your health in lots of different ways. As a result, carry on eating those apples.

Which are better – green or red apples?

For such a small fruit, there is a lot of debate about which colour apple is better for you. Before we look at the differences, let’s consider their sugar content.

I’m sure you agree that red apples are sweeter and tastier than green apples. That’s because they contain more natural, healthy sugar. This is not the type of sugar in processed food.

Red apples such as Golden Delicious is tastier than green Granny Smith, which is a little tart.

The major differences between the two are the chemical anthocyanins found in the skins. Red apples have anthocyanins, but green apples don’t. However, cross-bred red apples have different levels of this chemical. During the crossbreeding process, it transfers from one red apple to another.
At the end of the day, both green and red apples are good. It’s a matter of which taste you prefer.

Health benefits of eating apples

Apples are loaded with health benefits. Some of them are…

  1. They’re low in calories. When you feel the munchies, grab an apple instead of a bar of chocolate. The apple will satisfy your hunger pangs.
  2.  Eating apples can prevent strokes.
  3. Apples have lots of fructose (natural sugars) which controls blood sugar levels.
  4. The juice in apples fights tooth decay. It can kill as much as 80% of bacteria that causes tooth infections.
  5. You need Vitamin C to boost your immune system. Get your daily dose from eating apples.
  6. Fight heart disease by including apples in your daily healthy diet. They contain flavonoids, which prevents coronary and cardiovascular heart diseases.
  7. Help keep colon, prostate and breast cancers away by eating apples.
  8. They lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Eating apples combined with a healthy diet and exercise will keep your cholesterol at a risk-free level.
  9. Eat five or more apples each week to keep asthma under control. The bioflavonoids will keep your lungs and respiratory systems in good condition.
  10. Eating stewed apples can stop diarrhea and gastroenteritis.

How to choose apples and the storing process

Do not buy apples with brown bruises. Moreover, the best ones are firm when you touch them. Also, big apples are sometimes overripe. Apples are at their best in the right season. They usually ripen during the autumn.

Out of season, they’re stored in a cool place. This reduces the oxygen balance and affects the chemicals in the apples. Therefore, storing apples for months will stop them from maturing naturally. In addition, prevent them from going soft. However, after they arrive in the supermarket or on the greengrocer’s shelves, the maturing process continues under natural light and they turn soft quickly.

Tips for freezing apples

First, wash the apples. Then peel, core and slice them. To stop them from going brown, dip the slices in lemon juice or salt water. Sprinkle sugar between the layers before putting them in freezer bags of polyethene containers. Keep them frozen for up to nine months.

Dried apples are another option

Drying apples go way back. In the 12th century BC, Egyptians loved dried apples. Drying apples also preserve them. Natural sugar is concentrated and moisture gets lost during the drying process. This is ideal for athletes as the carbohydrate from dried apples turns to energy.

In conclusion, although an apple a day won’t stop visits to your GP, there are many health benefits in them. So, eating apples will definitely reduce the number of times you visit your doctor. On top of that, they will help fight or prevent many illnesses and keep you in good health. Also, consider your overall diet in maintaining great health. Apples are one in five of your daily recommended fruit intake.