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Soda Pop

Soda Pop

Last Updated 10/20/12

We all know soda isn’t good for us by now right? Wait until you see how bad it really is! Check out this great poster:

Infographic is designed by TermLifeInsurance

If you feel you have sugar addiction, there’re some ways to quit! Like any other addiction, there’re many different programs that offer help.

Health and Food health posters

Health Benefits of Eggs

Health Benefits of Eggs

[Last Updated: January 16th 2013]

Eggs are excellent source of proteins. Also eggs are one of few foods naturally containing vitamin D. They are also a natural good source of vitamin A, B2, B6, B12 and folic acid and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Here is an interesting fact about egg’s cholesterol content from Fooducate: “Eggs have see-sawed in popularity over the years due to their high cholesterol count (more than  65% of the recommended daily intake). Current studies are pointing favorably to the egg, showing that most of the cholesterol formed in the human body results from saturated and trans-fats, and not the cholesterol in the egg. Eggs have no trans-fat and only 8% of the daily value for saturated fat.

On the other hand this is from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D. of

“Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.

When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:

If you are healthy, it’s recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it’s important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.

If you like eggs but don’t want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.”

We always recommend buying organic, cage-free or free-range eggs. Animal cruelty, specially in industrial facilities is very common. It’s a simple rule of nature: if chickens are happier and they’re farm-raised, and they’re not fed with crap, their eggs are healthier!

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How might tea help prevent cancer?

How might tea help prevent cancer?

Depending on the type of tea and its processing and preparation technics, different teas have different health benefits. The predominant polyphenols in green tea and the theaflavins and thearubigins in black teas have strong antioxidant activity that may protect cells against cancer and prevent tumor growth and tumor invasion.

In some laboratory and animal studies, it’s been shown that tea leaves can fight against cancer by slowing tumor growth and tumor invasion. More interestingly, these antioxidants can protect us against harmful radiations, such as UVs. But according to National Institute of Health, although many studies have confirmed the potential health benefits of tea in fight against cancer, there’s not enough data to prove tea is also a cancer fighter in humans.

The reason for variations in protecting benefits of tea may depend on different lifestyles of tea consumers, as well as variations in the type of tea they consume and their preparation technics.

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Starbucks Frappuccino and red bugs!

Starbucks Frappuccino and red bugs!

What was your reaction when you read the title?
You may think Starbucks Frappuccino and red bugs are irrelevant to each other or you may guess we’re talking about an accidental incidence that some bugs visited a poor Frappuccino! So look at this picture and read the story:

Dactylopius Coccus, Image by University of Turin, Italy

These tiny red bugs are not only occupying Starbucks strawberry Frappuccinos, but they’re spreading fast all over internet. The spread of news started not from Wikileaks, but from some vegetarian blogs that were tipped off about the secret red coloring of strawberry drinks. Starbucks did not deny and commented:

“The strawberry base for our Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino does contain cochineal extract, a common natural dye that is used in the food industry, and it helps us move away from artificial ingredients…”

Here’s what you need to know about cochineal by Fooducate,

“Hundreds of years ago, the Aztecs would collect the bugs, briefly boil them in water, dry them in the sun and then pulverize them into a fine scarlet powder known as cochineal or carmine. The powder was used to dye royal garments. It was coveted by the Spanish conquistadors who brought it back to Europe. The relevant pigment in the bugs is a bitter chemical called carminic acid. Food manufacturers began using it about 100 years ago to add luster to products such as pork sausages, dried shrimp, candies, jams, and maraschino cherries.

As food science progressed, cheaper artificial dyes Red #2 and Red #40 replaced the natural cochineal until its production became uneconomical. However, fears over the carcinogenic effects of artificial food coloring helped cochineal stage a comeback, and it is now featured in various food products, including said strawberry frap.”

Take home message: It’s safe to have cochineal and it has been approved by FDA. So as a natural red color, you can skip where the red color came from and enjoy your next Frappuccino!

Source: Fooducate

Health and Food health posters

Question: Why Cheese is yellow, whereas milk is white?

Question: Why Cheese is yellow, whereas milk is white?

Question: Why Cheese is yellow, whereas milk is white?

Answer: In fact, milk is not pure white. It contains very small yellow and orange nutrients called beta-carotene. Beta carotene is precursor of Vitamin-A. Many veggies including carrots are excellent source of beta carotene.
Milk is white because it’s liquid. When during cheese making milk becomes condensed, these pigments become concentrated and therefore the color of cheese is yellow. Sometimes during cheese making process they add natural or artificial coloring.

Health and Food Recipes

Sweet Brilliant Easter Treats

Here are the links of top Easter treats..Hope you make them and enjoy them!

Photo by One Perfect Bite

For the recipe of this yummy bread click here

Photo by PBS

For the recipe of these beautiful chick marshmallows click here

Photo by Land O’ Lakes

These lamb and flower cupcakes look fantastic..I mean they’re so cute that you can’t even bite them. Here is the recipe. has an amazing collection of other recipes for Easter too.

Photo by Hungry Happenings


Photo by Hungry Happenings


Photo by Hungry Happenings

These above treats are made by HungryHappenings. You can find the recipes here.

Photo by Sandra Mangas

To see how to bake a cake inside an egg, check out its recipe here.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Health and Food Recipes

Awesome Easter Treats to Bake

Awesome Easter Treats to Bake

Here’s an amazing collection of the most brilliant easter treats:

1- Chick pops:

Chick pops by Bakerella

Easter Cake Pops
Easter Cake Pops
Find the recipes of chick pops here

2- And even more brilliant than chick pops are sheep pops:

Bakerella’s sheep

Sheep Cake Pops

3- And the list of pops goes to bunnies:
Bunny Cake Pops

And for the link for the recipe of these cute sheep and bunny pops, click here.

Health and Food health posters live longer

Health Benefits of Dates

Health Benefits of Dates

Dates contain substantial amount of dietary fiber and therefore are beneficial in improving the digestive system, specially in treatment of constipation.
Dates are extremely rich in minerals as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and C. And they don’t contain Cholesterol and other forms of harmful fats

You can enjoy your dates as a snack with your coffee or tea. You can also add dates to your cereal. Another option which is also my favorite is to make a dates omelet. We will share the recipe soon.

Health and Food health posters live longer weight loss

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

[Last updated: September 28th 2012]
Sunflower seeds are excellent source of vitamins B1, B5 and E. Vitamin E is a very important vitamin that acts as an antioxidants in our bodies and fights against free radicals. Therefore vitamin-E is considered as an anti-aging and immune-booster vitamin. More importantly women, specially pregnant and breast-feeding women need to have more intake of vitamin E. The good news is, only 50 grams of sunflower seeds kernel provides 100% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E.

These seeds are a good source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron and manganese.
Also sunflower seeds contain some amino acids, dietary fiber and linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid). Those who should limit their fat consumption can also benefit from sunflower seeds, because these seeds contain good fats and they also lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol).

You can enjoy your sunflower seeds kernels on breads or muffins for a breakfast with nutty flavor;
Or Sprinkle them on your salad; Or add them to yogurt for a delicious healthy snack. You can make sunflower seed butter with them or you can prepare some pesto with it. Keep calm and eat sunflower seeds!

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Mood-Booster Foods

Mood-Booster Foods

[Last Updated: November 21st, 2012]

These foods are considered as mood-boosters:
Chocolates for their antioxidants
Eggs for their Vitamin B12 and D
Walnuts for their Omega-3 and Magnesium
Whole wheat breads for their fiber
Bananas for their magnesium
Fish for its omega-3
Spinach for folic acid
Milk for it’s calcium, vitamins and minerals
and orange for it’s vitamin C

Many researches have shown that these vitamins, minerals or nutrients may help to swing our mood to a happier state when everything is upside down.

Health and Food health posters

What Happens When You Lose Fat

What Happens When You Lose Fat

What Happens When You Lose Fat

Here is what happens when we lose fat. See the extensive benefits of losing fat in different areas of body:

Health and Food health posters live longer weight loss

Blueberries health benefits

Blueberries health benefits

Fruits and veggies are the best sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These substances may help us to have a healthier body and protect us against many diseases and aging.

Blueberries are excellent sources of fiber, which helps to maintain gastrointestinal health. Also blueberries help to strength the cardiovascular system. Interestingly, blueberries lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Have you ever been on a diet? Well now add blueberries in your healthy diet and exercise program to see a flatter stomach. Blueberries contain extreme amounts of antioxidants and vitamins, which makes blueberries a super-fruit in fight against aging.

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Spicy Foods Fight Heart Disease

Spicy foods, such as those foods you may have tried in Indian, Mexican or Korean restaurants, infused with curry and different peppers, have been shown to fight heart disease — the number one cause of death in the western world. Capsaicin, the compound that is responsible for the hot taste of spicy foods has been determined to be key in bolstering the protective qualities of the heart. Interestingly, this ingredient of spicy foods, affects both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as the health of blood vessels.

spicy vegetarian bibimbap

Some studies such as a new study in Hong Kong indicated that spicy compounds reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol through a process of increasing the breakdown and excretion of cholesterol. Also, the capsaicin compounds relax the heart wall’s muscles and increase the heart’s blood flow.

This video summarizes some benefits of spicy food from helping in cold and flu to fighting some types of cancer, and even helping digestion.

Health and Food health posters Health Videos weight loss

Raspberries: Nature’s new fat burner?

Raspberries are famous for their substantial amount of vitamin C and antioxidants. But recent studies have shown that raspberries are also very strong fat-burners. Researchers in Japan were looking for natural fat-burning substitutes for capsaicin– a compound in peppers that causes its burning and spicy taste and has strong fat-burning properties- and they found out that raspberries have even more fat-burning properties than red pepper, and they taste much better too!

The fat-burning properties of raspberry is from its ketones compounds. Raspberry ketones are the major aromatic compounds of raspberries that cause its smell and taste. These ketones has similar structure as capsaicin.
Many claim that raspberry ketones supplements have similar fat-burning properties. As you can see in this video of the Dr. Oz show, weight loss expert and dietician Lisa Lynn illustrates the benefits of raspberry ketones by showing the people who have raspberry ketones before and after taking the supplement.

Please note that there hasn’t been any scientific research on the effects of raspberry ketones on humans and all the studies were performed on mice. So still it’s not clear that KETONES SUPPLEMENT is as effective as the fruit itself in burning fat or not.

Reference: Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, & Okuda H. (2005). Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sciences. 77(2), 194-204.

[Last Updated: October 22nd 2019]

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Does Drinking Soda Cause Heart Disease?

Various studies suggest there is a link between drinking soda and heart disease. The latest study from Harvard School of Public Health suggest that sodas are associated with 20% increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) as well as some adverse changes in lipids, inflammatory factors, and leptin.

a soda a day

“Even a moderate amount of sugary beverage consumption — we are talking about one can of soda every day — is associated with a significant 20% increased risk of heart disease even after adjusting for a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors,” senior author Dr Frank B Hu (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA) told heartwire . “The increased risk is quite substantial, and I think has important public-health implications given the widespread consumption of soda, not only in the US but also increasing very rapidly in developing countries.”

Hu says that one of the major constituents of soda, high-fructose corn syrup, is subsidized in the US, making such drinks “ridiculously cheap” and helping explain why consumption is so high, particularly in lower socioeconomic groups.

“It has been shown for minority groups — such as African Americans and Asians — that they are more susceptible to the detrimental effects” of sugary drinks on diabetes incidence, he notes.

[Last Updated on May 20th 2014]
Source: medscape

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Soybean Fights Against Lung Cancer

Researches in Japan indicated that the consumption of soy and other beans may decrease the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers. Although these beans don’t show this benefit on smokers.

Soybean and other beans contain isoflavone, a form of antioxidants which is also a well-known breast cancer fighter. These are a class of flavonoids that have anticancer, antibiotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

In Another study published in 2013, the researchers showed that eating soy foods such as tofu may help women who are diagnosed with lung cancer to live longer. The study was performed on Chinese women from Shanghai and was published on the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The researchers concluded that high consumption of soy is associated with a higher survival rate.

Previously, scientific studies were shown that eating a lot of fruits and veggies are very helpful in PREVENTING lung cancer. More importantly, eating supplements does NOT have the same benefits in prevention of lung cancer.

{This article was last updated on October 21st 2019, by Dr. Nima Schei.}

Health and Food health posters

Sodium Reduction Tips

Salt is everywhere! Many people know they consume more than enough salt and some people don’t. Some want to reduce their salt (sodium) intake, but don’t know how to do that. Sometimes it’s hard to find useful sodium reduction tips. Here’s a useful guideline from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows how we can cut our salt intake. Remember, all forms of salt, from sea salt to kosher salt, have the same health effects and medical literature emphasizes that you should avoid having too much salt from any origin.

Overall, our body requires minerals, such as sodium (salt) every day for normal biological functions, especially when we’re active. I should note that some forms of salt, such as Himalayan salt are better than others. It’s been shown that there are more than 80 types of minerals are found in pink Himalayan salt.

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A Shocking Fact: Salt Consumption Is Skyrocketing!

Salt is everywhere and our salt consumption is skyrocketing. Is it true that salt consumption can be detrimental for your health? Should we reduce our salt consumption to zero? Here’s some interesting facts about salt consumption by Americans. It’s not only Americans that have a salty taste, but it’s also true for many other people around the world. Probably salt is the common point of all foods in the world!

  • 90% of Americans consume too much salt.
  • 44% of salt comes from 10 foods: breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes, and snacks.
  • 65% of salt comes from retail processed foods.
  • 25% comes from food served at restaurants.
  • 10% comes from salt added at the table.
  • 10% occurs naturally in foods.
  • $20 billion a year is the cost of salt-related chronic disease.
    The bottom line? Americans would be better off eating less salt.

Interesting fact is that only 10% of our daily salt comes from the salt added at the table. The majority of salt is coming from processed food and this is also the major target if we want to reduce our daily salt intake. But from the standpoint of the food industry, reducing dietary sodium is a big problem.

From the business case, it’s expensive, risky, and difficult. Although manufacturers have gained huge progress in the past couple of years on sodium reduction, but there’s limited room for further progress. Simple fact is that manufacturers don’t tend to spend tons of money on something that doesn’t bring any profit in return. As an example, bakers or cheese producers have to spend millions of dollars on re-inventing their formulas and on the other hand, customers are not willing to pay more for less salty products.

If you’re interested in more information about salt consumption, please visit CDC’s website. Although the bureaucracy around CDC, makes it not my personal choice as the best unbiased resource.

More interestingly, since the publication of this article, the view about SALT consumption has evolved. As of now (October 2019), the guideline is to restrict salt consumption if you have high blood pressure. This video from the Cleveland Clinic summarize it very well.

This is another educational video from Dr. John Mcdougall MD. The interesting part (that I also believe in) is that you need to focus more on your food, its quality and its source, rather than how much salt you consume.

This article is updated on October 21st 2019, by Nima Schei MD.