CHURROS

churro (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtʃuro]Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʃuʁu]) is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. Churros are traditional in Spain and Portugal, from where they originate, as well as the Philippines and Ibero-America. They are also consumed in the Southwestern United StatesFrance and other areas that have received immigration from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. In Spain, churros can either be thin (and sometimes knotted) or long and thick, where they are known as porras in some regions. They are normally eaten for breakfast dipped in champurradohot chocolatedulce de leche or café con leche. Sugar is often sprinkled on top

History

The origin of churros is unclear. One theory suggests they were brought to Europe from China by the Portuguese. The Portuguese sailed for the Orient and, as they returned from Ming Dynasty China to Portugal, they brought along with them new culinary techniques, including altering dough for youtiao, also known as yóuzháguǐ in southern China, for Portugal. The new pastry soon crossed the border into Spain, where it was modified to have the dough extruded through a star-shaped die rather than pulled.[1]

Another theory is that the churro was made by Spanish shepherds, to substitute for fresh bakery goods. Churro paste was easy to make and fry in an open fire in the mountains, where shepherds spend most of their time.[2][3]

Preparation

Churros in Guatemala

File:Churro-Vendor.ogv

street vendor in Colombia making churros

Churros are fried until they become crunchy, and may be sprinkled with sugar. The surface of a churro is ridged due to having been piped from a churrera, a syringe-like tool with a star-shaped nozzle. Churros are generally prisms in shape, and may be straight, curled or spirally twisted.

Like pretzels, churros are sold by street vendors, who may fry them freshly on the street stand and sell them hot. In Spain and much of Latin America, churros are available in cafes for breakfast, although they may be eaten throughout the day as a snack. Specialized churrerías can be found in the form of a shop or a trailer during the holiday period. In addition, countries like SpainPeruVenezuela and Colombia have churrerías throughout their streets. In Portugal, they are commonly eaten at carnivals, fairs and other celebrations, where they are made freshly at street stands.

The dough is a mixture of flour, water and salt. Some versions are made of potato dough.

Variations

In Seville (Andalusia), the name “calientes” or “calentitos de rueda” is sometimes used instead of the word churro. These tend to refer to the thicker variant, called porra. Calientes are usually fried in the shape of a continuous spiral and cut into portions afterwards. The center of the spiral is thicker and softer, and for many a delicacy in itself. The standard “churro” is also sold under the name “calentitos de papas“, the name referring to the softer mashed potato–like texture.[4][5][6]

In parts of Eastern Andalusia, a much thinner dough is used, which does not allow for the typical ridges to be formed on the surface of the churro. The final result therefore has a smooth surface, and is more pliable and of a slightly thinner diameter than standard Spanish churros. Another difference is that sugar is never sprinkled on them, because the flavour is not considered suitable.

Filled, straight churros are found in Cuba (with fruit, such as guava), Brazil (with chocolate, doce de leite, among others), and in ArgentinaBoliviaPeruChile and Mexico (usually filled with dulce de leche or cajeta but also with chocolate and vanilla). In Colombia and Venezuela, churros are glazed with arequipe and sweetened condensed milk. In Spain, a considerably wider diameter is used to accommodate the filling. In Uruguay, churros can also come in a savoury version, filled with melted cheese.

Churros in American theme parks and street fairs are most often rolled in cinnamon sugar or other flavored sugars.

BURGERS

Hamburger
RedDot Burger.jpg

A Hamburger

Hamburgers are sold at fast-food restaurantsdiners, and specialty and high-end restaurants (where burgers may sell for several times the cost of a fast-food burger, but may be one of the cheaper options on the menu). There are many international and regional variations of the hamburger.

Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site.[30] These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. Most American hamburgers are round, but some fast-food chains, such as Wendy’s, sell square-cut hamburgers. Hamburgers in fast food restaurants are usually grilled on a flat-top, but some firms, such as Burger King, use a gas flame grilling process. At conventional American restaurants, hamburgers may be ordered “rare”, but normally are served medium-well or well-done for food safety reasons. Fast food restaurants do not usually offer this option.

The McDonald’s fast-food chain sells the Big Mac, one of the world’s top selling hamburgers, with an estimated 550 million sold annually in the United States.[31] Other major fast-food chains, including Burger King (also known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia), A&WCulver’sWhataburgerCarl’s Jr./Hardee’s chain, Wendy’s (known for their square patties), Jack in the BoxCook OutHarvey’sShake ShackIn-N-Out BurgerFive GuysFatburger, Vera’s, BurgervilleBack Yard BurgersLick’s HomeburgerRoy RogersSmashburger, and Sonic also rely heavily on hamburger sales. Fuddruckers and Red Robin are hamburger chains that specialize in the mid-tier “restaurant-style” variety of hamburgers.

Some restaurants offer elaborate hamburgers using expensive cuts of meat and various cheeses, toppings, and sauces. One example is the Bobby’s Burger Palace chain founded by well-known chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay.

Hamburgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food and are often cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.

In Finland, hamburgers are sometimes served in buns made of ryeinstead of wheat.

A high-quality hamburger patty is made entirely of ground (minced) beef and seasonings; these may be described as “all-beef hamburger” or “all-beef patties” to distinguish them from inexpensive hamburgers made with cost-savers like added flourtextured vegetable proteinammonia treated defatted beef trimmings (which the company Beef Products Inc, calls “lean finely textured beef”),[32][33] advanced meat recovery, or other fillers. In the 1930s ground liverwas sometimes added. Some cooks prepare their patties with binders like eggs or breadcrumbs. Seasonings may include salt and pepper and others like as parsleyonionssoy sauceThousand Island dressingonion soup mix, or Worcestershire sauce. Many name brand seasoned salt products are also used.1235 N LOOP 336 WEST CONROE TX 77301  THANKS TO WIKIPEDIA.

BIPOLAR

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a complex disorder that likely stems from a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. The mood episodes associated with it involve clinical depression or mania (extreme elation and high energy) with periods of normal mood and energy in between episodes. The severity of mood episodes can range from very mild to extreme, and they can happen gradually or suddenly within a timeframe of days to weeks. When discrete mood episodes happen four or more times per year, the process is called rapid cycling. Rapid cycling should not be confused with very frequent moment-to-moment changes in mood, which can sometimes occur in people with bipolar disorder or other conditions such as borderline personality disorder.

Along with manic or depressive episodes, patients with bipolar disorder may have disturbances in thinking. They may also have distortions of perception and impairment in social functioning. THANKS TO WEB MD 1235 N LOOP 336 N CONROE TX 77301

Beans

Beans are one of the longest-cultivated plants. Broad beans, also called fava beans, in their wild state the size of a small fingernail, were gathered in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills.In a form improved from naturally occurring types, they were grown in Thailand since the early seventh millennium BCE, predating ceramics.They were deposited with the dead in ancient Egypt. Not until the second millennium BCE did cultivated, large-seeded broad beans appear in the Aegean, Iberia and transalpine Europe.In the Iliad (8th century BCE) is a passing mention of beans and chickpeas cast on the threshing floor.

Beans were an important source of protein throughout Old and New World history, and still are today.

The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium BCE.However, genetic analyses of the common bean Phaseolusshows that it originated in Mesoamerica, and subsequently spread southward, along with maize and squash, traditional companion crops.

Most of the kinds commonly eaten fresh or dried, those of the genus Phaseolus, come originally from the Americas, being first seen by a European when Christopher Columbus, during his exploration of what may have been the Bahamas, found them growing in fields. Five kinds of Phaseolus beans were domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples: common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) grown from Chile to the northern part of what is now the United States, and lima and sieva beans (Phaseolus lunatus), as well as the less widely distributed teparies (Phaseolus acutifolius), scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) and polyanthus beans (Phaseolus polyanthus) One especially famous use of beans by pre-Columbian people as far north as the Atlantic seaboard is the “Three Sisters” method of companion plant cultivation:

In the New World, many tribes would grow beans together with maize (corn), and squash. The corn would not be planted in rows as is done by European agriculture, but in a checkerboard/hex fashion across a field, in separate patches of one to six stalks each.
Beans would be planted around the base of the developing stalks, and would vine their way up as the stalks grew. All American beans at that time were vine plants, “bush beans” having been bred only more recently. The cornstalks would work as a trellis for the beans, and the beans would provide much-needed nitrogen for the corn.
Squash would be planted in the spaces between the patches of corn in the field. They would be provided slight shelter from the sun by the corn, would shade the soil and reduce evaporation, and would deter many animals from attacking the corn and beans because their coarse, hairy vines and broad, stiff leaves are difficult or uncomfortable for animals such as deer and raccoons to walk through, crows to land on, etc.

Dry beans come from both Old World varieties of broad beans (fava beans) and New World varieties (kidney, black, cranberry, pinto, navy/haricot).

Beans are a heliotropic plant, meaning that the leaves tilt throughout the day to face the sun. At night, they go into a folded “sleep” position.

 1235  N Loop 336 west  Conroe TX 77301

ZIP LINE

zip-line (or zip lineziplineSyplinezip wireaerial runwayaerial ropeslidedeath slideflying fox, or, in South Africa, foefie slide) consists of a pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of stainless steel, mounted on a slope. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding on to, or attaching to, the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment. They may be short and low, intended for child’s play and found on some playgrounds. Longer and higher rides are often used as a means of accessing remote areas, such as a rainforest canopy. Zip line tours are becoming popular vacation activities, which are found at outdoor adventure camps or upscale resorts, where they may be an element on a larger challenge or ropes course.The jungles of Costa RicaFloridaPuerto Vallarta, and Nicaragua are popular destinations for zip line enthusiasts

The zip-wire has been used as a transportation method in some mountainous countries for many years. In some remote areas in China such as Nujiang (Salween) valley in Yunnan, zip lines served the purposes of bridges across rivers, but due to a poor safety record, they have mostly been replaced by real bridges by 2015.Referred to as “an inclined strong”, one appears in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, published in 1897, as part of a Whit-Monday fair.

In 1739, Robert Cadman, a steeplejack and ropeslider, died when descending from Shrewsbury’s St Mary’s Church when his rope snapped.

Alberto Santos-Dumont used a direct ancestor of the zip-line in spring 1906 for a method of testing various characteristics of his Santos-Dumont 14-bis pioneer era canardbiplane, before it ever flew under its own power later that year.[citation needed]

In the Australian outback, zip-lines were occasionally used for delivering food, cigarettes or tools to people working on the other side of an obstacle such as a gully or river. Australian troops have used them to deliver food, mail and even ammunition to forward positions in several conflicts.1235 N LOOP 336 WEST CONROE TX 77301

SALMON

Salmon /ˈsæmən/ is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family include troutchargrayling and whitefish. Salmon are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic (genus Salmo) and Pacific Ocean (genus Oncorhynchus). Many species of salmon have been introduced into non-native environments such as the Great Lakes of North America and Patagonia in South America. Salmon are intensively farmed in many parts of the world.

Typically, salmon are anadromous: they hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, populations of several species are restricted to fresh water through their lives. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they hatched to spawn. Tracking studies have shown this to be mostly true. A portion of a returning salmon run may stray and spawn in different freshwater systems; the percent of straying depends on the species of salmon.[2] Homing behavior has been shown to depend on olfactory memory.[3][4] Salmon date back to the Neogene

Species

The term “salmon” comes from the Latin salmo, which in turn might have originated from salire, meaning “to leap”.[5] The nine commercially important species of salmon occur in two genera. The genus Salmo contains the Atlantic salmon, found in the north Atlantic, as well as many species commonly named trout. The genus Oncorhynchus contains eight species which occur naturally only in the North Pacific. As a group, these are known as Pacific salmonChinook salmon have been introduced in New Zealand and Patagonia. Coho, freshwater sockeye, and Atlantic salmon have been established in Patagonia, as well

The salmon has long been at the heart of the culture and livelihood of coastal dwellers, which can be traced as far back as 5,000 years when archeologists discovered Nisqually tribes remnants.[102] The original distribution of the Genus Oncorhynchus covered the Pacific Rim coastline.[103] History shows salmon used tributaries, rivers and estuaries without regard to jurisdiction for 18–22 million years. Baseline data is near impossible to recreate based off the inconsistent historical data, but confirmed there have been massive depletion since 1900s. The Pacific Northwest was once sprawled with native inhabitants who practiced eco management, to ensure little degradation was caused by their actions to salmon habitats.  As animists, the indigenous people relied not only for salmon for food, but spiritual guidance. The role of the salmon spirit guided the people to respect ecological systems such as the rivers and tributaries the salmon used for spawning. Natives often used the entire fish and left no waste by creating items such turning the bladder into glue, bones for toys, and skin for clothing and shoes. The first salmon ceremony was introduced by indigenous tribes on the pacific coast, which consists of three major parts. First is the welcoming of the first catch, then comes the cooking and lastly, the return of the bones to the Sea to induce hospitality so that other salmon would give their lives to the people of that village.[104] Many tribes such as the Yurok had a taboo against harvesting the first fish that swam upriver in summer, but once they confirmed that the salmon had returned in abundance they would begin to catch them in plentiful.[105] The indigenous practices were guided by deep ecological wisdom, which was eradicated when Euro-American settlements began to be developed.[106] Salmon have a much grander history than what is presently shown today. The Salmon that once dominated the Pacific Ocean are now just a fraction in population and size. The Pacific salmon population is now less than 1–3% of what it was when Lewis and Clark arrived at the region.[107] In his 1908 State of the Union address, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt observed that the fisheries were in significant decline:[108][109]

The salmon fisheries of the Columbia River are now but a fraction of what they were twenty-five years ago, and what they would be now if the United States Government had taken complete charge of them by intervening between Oregon and Washington. During these twenty-five years the fishermen of each State have naturally tried to take all they could get, and the two legislatures have never been able to agree on joint action of any kind adequate in degree for the protection of the fisheries. At the moment the fishing on the Oregon side is practically closed, while there is no limit on the Washington side of any kind, and no one can tell what the courts will decide as to the very statutes under which this action and non-action result. Meanwhile very few salmon reach the spawning grounds, and probably four years hence the fisheries will amount to nothing; and this comes from a struggle between the associated, or gill-net, fishermen on the one hand, and the owners of the fishing wheels up the river.

On the Columbia River the Chief Joseph Dam completed in 1955 completely blocks salmon migration to the upper Columbia River system.

The Fraser River salmon population was affected by the 1914 slide caused by the Canadian Pacific Railway at Hells Gate. The 1917 catch was one quarter of the 1913 catch.

Diamonds

Diamond is a solid form of carbon with a diamond cubic crystal structure. At room temperature and pressure it is metastable and graphite is the stable form, but diamond almost never converts to graphite. Diamond is renowned for its superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, it has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial applications of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells.

Because of its extremely rigid lattice, diamond can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors).

Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths of 150 to 250 kilometers (93 to 155 mi) in the Earth’s mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved minerals and replaced them with diamonds. Much more recently (tens to hundreds of million years ago), they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.

Synthetic diamonds can be produced in a high pressure, high temperature method (HPHT) which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earth’s mantle. An alternative, and completely different growth technique is chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

Diamond simulants are non-diamond materials that resemble real diamonds in appearance and many properties. These include cubic zirconia and silicon carbide.

Special gemological techniques have been developed to distinguish natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds, and diamond simulants.

Because so many factors determine the value of diamond, there is no listed price for per unit of diamond, unlike listed prices for per unit of precious metals.

 

Origin in mantle

Eclogite with centimeter-size garnet crystals.

Most gem-quality diamonds come from depths of 150 to 250 kilometers in the lithosphere. Such depths occur below cratons in mantle keels, the thickest part of the lithosphere. These regions have high enough pressure and temperature to allow diamonds to form and they are not convecting, so diamonds can be stored for billions of years until a kimberlite eruption samples them.[14]

Host rocks in a mantle keel include harzburgite and lherzolite, two type of peridotite. The most dominant rock type in the upper mantle, peridotite is an igneous rock consisting mostly of the minerals olivine and pyroxene; it is low in silica and high in magnesium. However, diamonds in peridotite rarely survive the trip to the surface.[14] Another common source that does keep diamonds intact is eclogite, a metamorphic rock that typically forms from basalt as an oceanic plate plunges into the mantle at a subduction zone.[12]

A smaller fraction of diamonds (about 150 have been studied) come from depths of 330–660 kilometers, a region that includes the transition zone. They formed in eclogite but are distinguished from diamonds of shallower origin by inclusions of majorite (a form of garnet with excess silicon). A similar proportion of diamonds comes from the lower mantle at depths between 660 and 800 kilometers.[12]

Diamond is thermodynamically stable at high pressures and temperatures, with the phase transition from graphite occurring at greater temperatures as the pressure increases. Thus, underneath continents it becomes stable at temperatures of 950 degrees Celsius and pressures of 4.5 gigapascals, corresponding to depths of 150 kilometers or greater. In subduction zones, which are colder, it becomes stable at temperatures of 800 degrees C and pressures of 3.5 gigapascals. At depths greater than 240 km, iron-nickel metal phases are present and carbon is likely to be either dissolved in them or in the form of carbides. Thus, the deeper origin of some diamonds may reflect unusual growth environments.[12][14]

In 2018 the first known natural samples of a phase of ice called Ice VII were found as inclusions in diamond samples. The inclusions formed at depths between 400 and 800 kilometers, straddling the upper and lower mantle, and provide evidence for water-rich fluid at these depths

1235 N. LOOP 336 WEST CONROE TX 77301

Because of its extremely rigid lattice, diamond can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors).

Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths of 150 to 250 kilometers (93 to 155 mi) in the Earth’s mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved minerals and replaced them with diamonds. Much more recently (tens to hundreds of million years ago), they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.

Synthetic diamonds can be produced in a high pressure, high temperature method (HPHT) which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earth’s mantle. An alternative, and completely different growth technique is chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

Diamond simulants are non-diamond materials that resemble real diamonds in appearance and many properties. These include cubic zirconia and silicon carbide.

Special gemological techniques have been developed to distinguish natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds, and diamond simulants.

Because so many factors determine the value of diamond, there is no listed price for per unit of diamond, unlike listed prices for per unit of precious metals.

Cinnamon

1. Cinnamon Is High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Health Benefits Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum.

It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable and was regarded as a gift fit for kings.

These days, cinnamon is cheap, available in every supermarket and found as an ingredient in various foods and recipes.

There are two main types of cinnamon:

  • Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
  • Cassia cinnamon: The more common variety today and what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed.

When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde.

Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

SUMMARYCinnamon is a popular spice. It’s high in cinnamaldehyde, which is thought to be responsible for most of cinnamon’s health benefits.

2. Cinnamon Is Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.

In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano.

In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative.

SUMMARYCinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.

3. Cinnamon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is incredibly important.

It helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

However, inflammation can become a problem when it’s chronic and directed against your body’s own tissues.

Cinnamon may be useful in this regard. Studies show that this spice and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties.

SUMMARYThe antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower your risk of disease.

4. Cinnamon May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease

Cinnamon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.

In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram or about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood markers.

It reduces levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while “good” HDL cholesterol remains stable .

More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 mg per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels.

In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

When combined, all these factors may drastically cut your risk of heart disease.

SUMMARYCinnamon may improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

5. Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to the Hormone Insulin

Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.

It’s also essential for transporting blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells.

The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin.

This is known as insulin resistance, a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this important hormone do its job.

By increasing insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, as discussed in the next chapter.

SUMMARYCinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Cinnamon is well known for its blood-sugar-lowering properties.

Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.

First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after a meal.

It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive tract).

Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin .

This greatly improves glucose uptake by your cells, though it acts much slower than insulin itself.

Numerous human studies have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10–29%.

The effective dose is typically 1–6 grams or around 0.5–2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day.

For more information on how you can lower your blood sugar levels, check out 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally.

SUMMARYCinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1–6 grams or 0.5–2 teaspoons per day.

7. Cinnamon May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common types.

Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study in mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped protect neurons, normalized neurotransmitter levels and improved motor function .

These effects need to be studied further in humans.

SUMMARYCinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies. However, human research is lacking.

8. Cinnamon May Protect Against Cancer

Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.

Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.

Overall, the evidence is limited to test-tube and animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer.

It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.

A study in mice with colon cancer revealed that cinnamon is a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth .

These findings were supported by test-tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells .

Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing humans needs to be confirmed in controlled studies.

For a list of 13 foods that could potentially lower your risk of cancer, you might want to read this article.

SUMMARYAnimal and test-tube studies indicate that cinnamon may have protective effects against cancer.

9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.

Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.

It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella.

However, the evidence is limited and so far cinnamon has not been shown to reduce infections elsewhere in the body.

The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath.

SUMMARYCinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.

10. Cinnamon May Help Fight the HIV Virus

HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down your immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS, if untreated.

Cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties is thought to help fight against HIV-1, the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans .

A laboratory study looking at HIV-infected cells found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants studied .

Human trials are needed to confirm these effects.

SUMMARYTest-tube studies have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main type of HIV virus in humans.

It Is Better to Use Ceylon (“True” Cinnamon)

Not all cinnamon is created equal.

The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses.

All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content.

Ceylon (“true” cinnamon) is much better in this regard, and studies show that it’s much lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety .

Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.

You may be able to find Ceylon in some health food stores, and there is a good selection on Amazon.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet.

It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits.

Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety.

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Sugars

Stop sipping so much sugar!

We all know water is the number one drink to quench your thirst. But when you’re in the mood for a little something more, you might order up a juice, cocoa, margarita, or iced tea. Problem is, those choices can be deceptively high in sugar and calories—and in some cases, you’d be better off drinking a soda. Sugary drinks make up almost half of all added sugar in the average American’s diet, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That’s why making smarter choices about these sips can pay off big time for your waistline and your health. Here are 15 places to start.

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Fruit juice

You’d think juice would be healthy—it’s made from fruit, after all. Problem is, while fruit is rich in fiber, juice is not. So even if you opt for 100% fruit juice and avoid drinks with added sugar (like cranberry or grape cocktail), they’re still high in the sweet stuff. For instance, a cup of grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar and a cup of apple has 31 grams—not far off from what you’ll find in a can of lemon-lime soda, which racks up 44 grams.

Make over your drink: “I don’t recommend juice ever, even 100% fruit juice,” says Ilyse Schapiro,RD, author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? ($11; amazon.com). “You’ll feel much more full from eating the fruit, which has fiber, versus drinking the juice,” she says.

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Hot cocoa

The sip is practically necessary on a chilly winter day (post-snowball fight, natch), but keep in mind that it’s more of a dessert than an afternoon snack, says Chicago-based nutritionist Renee Clerkin, RD. A typical 16-ounce mug with whipped cream packs 400 calories and 43 grams of sugar—more than a can of cola.

Make over your drink: When you need a winter warm-up, Clerkin recommends DIYing a mix of non-Dutch processed cocoa and sugar. That way, you control the amount of sweetness. Start with one teaspoon of sugar and gradually increase the amount to taste. (One teaspoon contains 4 grams of sugar.) Adding spices like a dash of cinnamon or cayenne will add even more flavor, allowing you to use less sweet stuff.

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Sweetened iced tea

Tea is no doubt a good choice; it’s full of disease-busting antioxidants. But syrupy-sweet iced teas contain a wallop of the white stuff, practically canceling out the health benefits. One popular brand has over 30 grams of added sugar in one bottle. Yep, that’s more like dessert.

Make over your drink: Unsweetened iced tea is your best bet, whether you’re getting a bottled or at a restaurant, since it contains zero added sugar. If plain is too bitter, Schapiro suggests adding 1 teaspoon (or one packet) yourself—it will still be less than a pre-mixed tea. Squeeze a lemon or orange on top for an additional flavor bood.

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Flavored coconut water

Part of the reason coconut water is so hot right now is because it’s packed with electrolytes, like potassium; one 16-ounce container supplies more than 25% of the mineral you need in a day. “Electrolytes are minerals that help keep the body’s fluid levels in balance so that the body is hydrated,” says Clerkin. “You probably don’t need to sip coconut water all day, but it can be helpful if you’re sweating a lot during the summer or activity,” she says. Read labels carefully, though. Flavored versions, like pineapple or mango, can pack more than 30 grams of sugar per 16-ounce container. Some have less because they use calorie-free sweeteners.

Make over your drink: Stick to plain coconut water, says Clerkin, which doesn’t contain added sugar. “Drink it when you need to hydrate, not just casually throughout the day,” she says. “Remember it still contains calories.”

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Energy drinks

Even though they usually don’t contain a ton of calories, an 8-ounce serving can run you more than 25 grams of sugar—and no, they aren’t healthy just because they’re fortified with B vitamins.

Make over your drink: Skip these entirely—and not just to save on sugar. Drinking just one Rockstar energy drink raised healthy people’s blood pressure and norepinephrine (a stress hormone) levels more than a placebo drink, revealed a recent study in the journal JAMA. That may not be good for your heart. If you need a boost of caffeine, opt for a cup of coffee instead.

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Sweetened yogurt drinks

Probiotics is such a hot buzzword right now because, as research shows, the beneficial bacteria help keep your gut healthy. So you may be trying to get more in your diet. Enter probiotic yogurt drinks or kefir. They can be a healthy choice, but flavored versions rely on sugar to decrease yogurt’s traditional tang. A small bottle may pack 26 grams of sugar, and contain multiple forms of the sweet stuff, including sugar, fructose, and fruit puree or juice.

Make over your drink: Plain versions are your best bet, since the only sugar they contain is from the milk itself. (A typical 1-cup serving of plain contains around 12 grams.) If that’s not happening, consider skipping non-fat varieties and going for low-fat instead. In one popular brand, making that switch could save you nearly two teaspoons of sugar per serving.

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Sweetened non-dairy milks

Non-dairy milks like almond milk, cashew milk, and soymilk say they’re better than cow’s milk, but choose the wrong one and you’ll end up with a sugar bomb for breakfast. “A glass of chocolate plant-based milk can have the same amount of sugar as a handful of cookies or a chocolate bar,” says Shapiro.

Make over your drink: Read the ingredients and nutrition panel before you buy. That’s because even deceptively innocent “plain” or “original” varieties may contain added sugar, says Schapiro. Look for unsweetened, unsweetened vanilla, or new reduced sugar flavors. And try the different types of plant milks—almond, cashew, rice—until you find one that you like the taste of when unsweetened, she says.

 

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Tonic water

You’re probably sipping this as part of an alcoholic drink, not on its own. But if you’re doing it because you think a “gin and tonic” is healthier than a “rum and coke,” you’re out of luck. Twelve ounces of tonic water adds 124 calories and 32 grams of sugar to your glass (that’s 8 teaspoons). Compare that to a cola, which isn’t too far off at 182 calories and 44 grams of sugar per 12 ounces. Whoops.

Make over your drink: When you’re ordering up a booze beverage, ask for seltzer. Why? It’s sugar- and calorie-free.

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Fancy coffee drinks

“Most people are blown away when they look at the calories and sugar in their lattes and Frappuccinos,” says Schapiro. Case in point: a grande white chocolate mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks has 61 grams of sugar. Sure, some is from the milk, but most is from sugars that add up to nearly one-third of a cup of the sweet stuff. A vanilla latte is better, but still comes in at 35 grams of sugar for a medium size.

Make over your drink: Stick with coffee with milk, adding a packet of sugar yourself or sweetening it up with a shake or two of cinnamon or nutmeg at the barista bar. Want something fancier? Go for a café misto (coffee with steamed milk), recommends Schapiro.

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Sports drinks

Finish a bottle of one typical sports drink, and you’ll have downed more than 50 grams of sugar. No surprise, considering sugar is listed as the second ingredient after water on the label. If you’re training for a marathon, that makes sense; the sugar supplies carbs that help keep up your energy during the tough workout. Sitting at your desk all day? You don’t need the extra sugar and calories.

Make over your drink: “Unless you are seriously training for a marathon or triathlon, you do not need to consume sports drinks,” says Schapiro. Even if you regularly exercise three to five days a week, she recommends hydrating with water only.

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Margarita

Your favorite Cinco de Mayo sip is among the worst cocktail options. “A margarita made with a bottled mix can have more than 500 calories and more than 35 grams of sugar. That’s the equivalent to the sugar in two and a half to three pieces of cake,” says Clerkin. And you wouldn’t wolf down three pieces of cake in one sitting, right?

Make over your drink: Not all cocktails are off limits. Your favorite booze plus soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime is a great bet because it’s almost sugar-free. “Pure alcohol, like vodka or tequila, does not have any carbs, protein, or fat,” says Clerkin. A 1-ounce shot of tequila mixed with soda water and a squeeze of lime juice sets you back just 70 calories.

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Flavored “nutritional” waters

It’s just like drinking sugar water—even if it does have vitamins added to the mix. Some bottles pack 30 grams of sugar (7 teaspoons) or more. “Even if they don’t have added sugar, they have to be flavored somehow,” Schapiro says. “This means they may contain artificial sweeteners or Stevia. And just because it uses a more natural calorie-free sweetener doesn’t make it healthy.” (For example, studies show the sweet taste can spur cravings for more sweet.)

Make over your drink: There’s nothing wrong with not loving plain H2O. To spruce it up, add natural, sugar-free flavor by infusing water with lemons or fresh fruit. Do that either using a water pitcher with a built-in infuser (like the Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher, $20; bedbathbeyond.com) or simply put cut up fruit in a water jug and enjoy.

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Lemonade

You know lemonade is sweet, of course. But it sounds like a better option than soda, right? It’s got lemons! It’s practically a fruit! Here’s the kicker: you’re probably drinking mostly sugar water. Consider a powdered lemonade drink mix; the first two ingredients are sugar and fructose (also sugar), plus artificial colors. Another lemonade brand uses high fructose corn syrup.

Make over your drink: Now’s the time to make it at home to cut down on sugar. Try this recipe for rosemary lemonade (which contains just 10 grams of sugar per cup).

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Smoothies

Walk into any high-end gym and you’ll see a smoothie bar. Safe to assume they’re healthy, right? Not so much. Even though they’re packed with fruit, you really can have too much of a good thing. “Fruit is healthy, but too much fruit adds up in calories and sugar, leading to blood sugar spikes and crashes,” says Schapiro. One popular green bottled smoothie may advertise “no sugar added” but all of the juice and fruit purees add up to 53 grams of sugar per bottle. And, it’s green, so you’d think it’d be a smart option.

Make over your drink: Schapiro prefers that you eat your fruit whole, but a smoothie can pack a lot of nutrition in a handy container you can run out the door with on busy mornings. Rather than buying a bottle at the store or hitting up a smoothie place, make it at home where you can control the ingredients.

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Beer

It’s all about what—and how much—brewski you’re knocking back. Drink a Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita (beer + margarita) and you’ll get 198 calories for a tiny 8 ounces, double the amount in the same amount of soda. Even if you’re drinking traditional beers, they tend to contain more calories and carbs compared to wine and spirits, says Clerkin. The higher alcohol content of beer, the more calories, too. With rising alcohol content—especially in some craft brews (double IPAs, we’re looking at you)—some contain 300-plus calories in one 12-ounce bottle.

Make over your drink: First order of business—make sure you stick to the recommended one alcoholic drink per day for women, and two for men. Now that that’s out of the way, if you like beer, you can opt for light versions to save half the carbs and 50 calories per brew, says Clerkin. Other options: Guinness (126 calories) or Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner (161 calories) and Summerfest (158 calories). If you want something fruity, opt for a radler, a mix of beer and fruit soda, which keeps alcohol content low. A Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit is 125 calories per 12-ounce bottle.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is made of hulled oat grains – groats – that have either been milled (ground)steel-cut, or rolled. Ground oats are also called “white oats”. Steel-cut oats are known as “coarse oatmeal” or “Irish oatmeal” or “pinhead oats”. Rolled oats can be either thick or thin, and may be “old-fashioned”, or “quick”, or “instant”. The term “oatmeal” is also used in the U.S. and parts of Canada as another word for an oat-based porridgepopular in such countries made from either ground, steel-cut, or rolled oats.

Nutrition[edit]

Unenriched oatmeal, cooked by boiling or microwave, is 84% water, and contains 12% carbohydrates, including 2% dietary fiber, and 2% each of protein and fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, cooked oatmeal provides 71 Calories and contains 29% of the Daily Value (DV) for manganese and moderate content of phosphorus and zinc (11% DV each), with no other micronutrients in significant content (see table on right).

Health benefits

Oatmeal cooked with water to create a runny bowl of porridge

Oatmeal and other oat products were the subject of a 1997 ruling by the Food and Drug Administration that consuming oat bran or whole rolled oats can lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-fat diet via the effect of oat beta-glucan to reduce levels of blood cholesterol.[6] A similar conclusion was reached in 2010 by the European Food Safety Authority