Friday, March 21, 2008

Figs Recipes To Never Get Constipation

Constipation is a distressing disorder and Figs and Fenugreek are among the best foods that fight it. Constipation occurs when the body finds it difficult to move and excrete the residual mass of foods, that is left in the large intestine. Conventionally, pills that treat constipation contain ingredients that increase peristalsis of the intestines( spontaneous movement) that pulls contents down. After a while these pills are not as effective as before.

Foods high in fiber content like fruits and vegetables ease the formation of a soft stools, as well as they ease their movement down the intestines. Among the very old known foods that prevents constipation are Figs and Fenugreek.

Changing nutritional habits to include the same food every day is not an enjoyable task, and this why I searched for something not to be boring when used habitually. I found 2 recipes at that involve figs in food elements used every day, i.e. bread and fat replacement, and here are the 2 recipes:

1- Fabulous Fig Bread

Makes 1 loaf - 22 slices
1 cup water (boiling)
1 cup California dried figs, stems removed, chopped fine or ground
1 cup pistachios1
1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, or 3 tbsp egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, combine the figs and pistachios; add the boiling water and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350o.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, and gradually beat in the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until lightened - 1 to 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until blended. With a spoon, blend in the fig mixture.

Turn butter into a greased 8½" x 4½" loaf pan, and bake until the bread just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top springs back when lightly touched, 1 to 1¼ hour. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, and then turn out and cool completely. Wrap in plastic and store overnight before serving. Cut into thin slices.
2- Dried figs as to replace fat 
When using pureed dried fruits to replace or reduce shortening or oil in baking, remember not to over-mix or over-bake. Purees should be prepared in a food processor, and the sugar in the recipe should be reduced by at least one-third. As a general rule, use only half of the normal amount of shortening, margarine, butter or oil.
For example, if 1 cup of margarine is called for, use only 1/2 cup. Replace the fat omitted with 1/2 that amount of puree. For example, if 1/2 cup is omitted, replace with 1/4 cup fruit puree.

California Fig Puree
2 cups dried California figs
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoon vanilla
Puree figs, water and vanilla in blender or food processor. Makes about 1½cups


Even better if you include in your habits, boiling Fenugreek seeds and eating them frequently, to never get constipation.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Do We Need a New Body Mass Index to Define obesity?

Are fears of a fat planet overblown? - Diet and nutrition-

Present body mass index gives above 25 for overweight, and above 30 for obese people. Being overweight or obese is an annoying obsession for many people over the whole planet.

Some experts with antagonistic views are skeptical about the severity of obesity problem. They think that too many people are considered fat, with the obese and overweight often lumped together.Experts on both sides of the obesity debate have often criticized WHO's overweight and obesity measures, saying they are too low.

Setting aside the beauty element of the problem and looking at the health element, does obesity definition need a new independently funded body mass index?

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