Oct 29, 2014

Nutritional Value of Moringa For Pregnant Women

Moringa during pregnancy
(This is a guest post submitted by Flora Cox, whose bio appears at the end of the article. This post goes to all the preggy ladies out there. I agree that moringa should be a mainstay in the diet of any pregnant and lactating mom.)
During pregnancy, a woman requires high levels of nutrients to cater for energy requirements by the growing foetus in the womb. The numbers of sources that provide information on how to help a woman cope with the demands that come with pregnancy are ever increasing. Meeting the necessary nutritional requirements is of fundamental importance for the mother and the foetus. Moringa is a supplement that offers high levels of nutritional value for the pregnant women. The following are some of the critical areas of focus when looking at the value of Moringa during pregnancy.
What is Moringa? 
Moringa is a plant that is native in the Asian regions. This plant also grows in the tropical regions. You can find this plant in the  Philippines, some parts of Afghanistan, India’s Himalayan region and Pakistan. 
Moringa’s Nutritional Value
Moringa is rich in nutritional value that is important to a pregnant woman. The Moringa tree consists of many potential nutrients that have essential vitamins and elements such as phytochemicals that are crucial for growth and development. The nutritional compounds are mostly located in the leaves, bark, fruit, seeds and the flowers. 
Components found in the leaves consist of significant deposits of crucial elements necessary for growth. Compounds such as potassium, vitamin C and iron which are necessary for growth are also found in this plant. To make the most of these nutrients, the leaves are cooked together with spinach for enhanced nutritional value. In some cases, these leaves are used as a substitute for greens. You can extract the powder from the leaves by drying them and later crushing them into powder. The powder is used in soup and sauces. The plant contains rich phosphorous and calcium content. 
Why Moringa is beneficial to Pregnant Women
The leaves and pods are very nutritious for expectant women. This is because they play a critical role in increasing milk production. For expectant women, one tablespoon of this powder consists of 23% iron, 40% calcium and 14% of the protein content. This implies that the powder has the capacity to provide the daily iron and calcium needs of an expectant woman. In general, Moringa is an important element for promoting health and vitality for the mother and foetus. Moringa is a strong anti-oxidant and detoxifying agent. This aspect ensures that the foetus remains protected from any harmful substances that the expectant woman might have ingested in form of food. 

While it addresses issues affecting the mother, Moringa also offers nutritional contents that are important for the foetus. A growing foetus requires high levels of iron and calcium during the formation stages. Furthermore, the Omega-3 component promotes foetal brain development that manifests later after birth. 
Where to look gather more information
You can gather more information about the nutritional benefits of Moringa from health consultants. These professionals will also offer more insights regarding what to look out for when considering Moringa. In essence, this information plays a crucial role because it does not just address the needs of the woman. It also addresses the wellbeing of the growing foetus. 
Author Bio

Flora is a part time medical student, who shares her view regarding health issues on many blogs. She is conducting a research on e111 card (European health insurance card).

Oct 22, 2014

Humba or Filipino Pork Adobo

Humba or Filipino Pork Adobo
Humba is one local pork recipe which is said to be an all-time man food. As such, this recipe is something which every woman should have in her cooking repertoire if she were to charm her way into her man’s stomach, er, heart. Now, to be clear, this is not the reason I set out to learn this dish. In fact, I was rather late in trying my hand at this famous recipe -- already married and nearing the age when pork dishes are supposed to be a no-no.

Really, humba or pork adobo is a party favorite among Filipinos. It is a staple in fiestas and celebrations. Simmered long in a mixture of herbs, soy sauce and vinegar, the pork becomes jiggly-soft and delicately flavored, and the thick syrup (the syrup, yes!) is simply, decadently and indulgently divine.

Now I know this is a health blog and that I am supposed to feature healthy recipes here. However, if you’ve been around this blog for long, you may have noticed my contradictions. Yes, I am a compromiser of sorts, at least in the health department. My husband chides me for being so quick to learn new health facts and yet so slow in unlearning bad, old habits.

So then forgive me now if you find it abominable for a health blogger to feature humba recipe here. Humba or pork adobo is villified (and rightfully so) as being cholesterol-laden, saturated fat-bathed and devoid of fiber or antioxidants. Well, I go back to my trusty advice to just pair this with a side of salad greens. And to just practice moderation -- such as limiting yourself to a matchbox-size of serving -- which is nearly impossible with humba unfortunately.

I suspect the only healthful thing you’d get out of this dish is the surge of pleasure chemicals you’ll experience when you taste this. No kidding. This dish is man food and woman food and kid food. It’s that good.

Different regions in the Philippines hold 
slightly different versions of humba or pork adobo.
Some like it salty and umami-rich.
Some like it sweetish.
Some put in mushrooms.
Some put in purple yams.
Some like it saucy.
Some like it almost dry and with only the oil remaining.

Personally, I like it saucy and a tad sweet, with lots of herbs and with lots of purple or white yam. The photo here is a throwback, one that I snapped maybe a year ago. I no longer cook humba nowadays as a rule. The only exceptions are on church occasions and birthdays. When I do find myself confronted with this gastronomic temptation called humba, I now stick to the sauce and the yams.

Here’s my version of humba.

  1. Buy a kilo or two of pork. In Filipino groceries, there are adobo cuts which are typically 1 cubic-inch cuts of pork, with some accompanying fat.
  2. Wash and drain the pork and put into a non-reactive pot.
  3. Pour in coconut vinegar up to about half the level of the meat.
  4. Pour in soy sauce up to about ¾ of the level of  the meat.
  5. Put in, in no particular order, 3 to 5 cloves of crushed garlic, chopped onions, a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, about 3 to 5 bay leaves, a dash of black pepper powder, about 1/4 cup of fermented black beans, some mushrooms, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar and chunks of purple yam. There's also this saging-saging which I do not know the English term of.
  6. Add in enough water to cover the meat. Some use 7up or Sprite instead of water, I don’t know why, though it does make it more flavorful, though less healthful.
  7. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer until the meat becomes jiggly-soft and the liquid turns into a dark, thick syrup. The best of humbas take about 4 to 6 hours of slow simmering.

Enjoy with moderation and don’t forget the salad of greens to counter the fat. Enjoy at your own risk, lol.
Humba or Filipino Pork Adobo

Oct 16, 2014

Product Giveaways: Porcelana Whitening Lotion and Sunblock with SPF 30

Remember my product review on Novuhair Anti-hair loss/hair fall shampoo and hair tonic? Well, the people behind that bestselling product have graciously sent me a gift pack containing their new beauty products -- Porcelana Whitening Lotion and Porcelana Sunblock with SPF 30.

Here are the descriptions of the products as printed on their labels:

Porcelana Sunblock with SPF 30
A lightweight and mineral oil-free cream that helps protect the skin by stopping the harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin.
Directions for use: Apply liberally on desired areas before sun exposure. For added protection, reapply after swimming, excessive perspiration or extended sun exposure.

Note: This product is not organic as it contains parabens as well as TEA or triethanolamine.

Porcelana Whitening Lotion
Porcelana Whitening Lotion is a light and non-greasy lotion that moisturizes, lightens and protects the skin naturally with Lumiskin, an extraordinary antioxidant that makes the skin lighter and more radiant. The addition of Chamomile extract known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties makes Porcelana safe even for sensitive skin.

Notable ingredients include almond triglycerides and chamomile extract.
This is not an organic product though, as it contains parabens -- 5 kinds to be exact.

For some weeks I have been mulling over what I would do with these products. You see, I have been trying, ever so slowly, to wean myself from toxic-laden products -- either in food or toiletries -- and these products are not entirely organic in the purist way. Though certainly much better off than the rest of the mainstream toiletries we often see in grocery aisles, these products contain parabens which I do not approve of.

However, if it’s of any comfort to you, we really cannot avoid toxins. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the TV in our living room, the wifi in the etherspace, the bottles in our medicine cabinet -- why, even our own metabolic processes -- are bombarding us with toxins every hour. You know what I just do? I make sure I eat antioxidants in the form of live fruits and vegetables and some choice (not commercial) food supplements and then I try to get enough sleep and put in exercise (argh, though).

Now back to the products: I am simply featuring them here as my way of thanking the people who sent them to me for free. I’m also thinking of sending these free to any of my readers in the Philippines.

If you want to receive one of these products, and if you don’t mind the parabens, do the following:
  1. Like the Be healthy and well facebook page. If you have liked it already, just tell me your facebook name so I can verify that you have indeed, liked.
  2. In the comment box below, tell me how you came across my blog (examples: searched for moringa in google, referred to by a friend, seen in topblogs.ph, or just stumbled upon it, etc.) and then tell me what you like about my blog. I will not dare ask you what you do not like about my blog as am weak-hearted like that, lol. That’s it. I will pick two next week and ask the winners via email for their mailing addresses I will use in sending the products.

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