The Health Benefits of Eating Tasty Persimmon Fruits

Persimmon is a delicious, golden yellow/orange red skinned fruit that are full of sweet flavor and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Native of China and Japan, they were brought to the US in the 1880’s and are most available as 2 types: Hachiya and Fuyu.

Hachiya: makes up about 90% of persimmon fruits and has an acorn shape. They are best eaten when they become soft and ripe.

Fuyu: More popular in Japan, they are a little smaller and sweeter than their counterparts, and can be eaten in their hard or ripened state. They look like flattened tomatoes.

Persimmon trees are easy to grow, but a little challenging to come by. American persimmon trees can easily grow in our area, and are frost resistant. This tree can be hard to bud, and the best way to assure optimal growth is to buy young trees at a nursery. They are versatile to a wide variety of soils, and are water, pest, and disease tolerant. It is best to plant them in the winter or early spring.

Persimmons are chock-full of nutrients, including Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and Fiber. Low in Fat, these colorful yellow and orange fruits contain catechins and betulinic acid, which has been found to reduce inflammation and tumor growth. They also contain Zea-xanthin, a carotenoid which helps with eye health and can prevent macular degeneration. They also contain trace amounts of Vitamin K and copper, which helps with red blood cell growth.

They are most widely available September through December in the US, and can be stored in the refrigerator once ripened. They can be eaten whole, or cut into quarters. They are quite versatile with a variety of recipes, and can be added or used in salads, cakes, muffins, cookies, breads, cereals, smoothies, jams, waffles, pancakes, puddings, and sherbets.

Some of my favorite recipes include cubing Fuyu persimmons with grapes, pomegranate seeds, cubed apples, and sliced kiwifruit, and added to a kale salad. Another favorite of mine is a Cinnamon Persimmon Banana Smoothie. Mix eight ounces of almond or coconut milk, add a persimmon, banana, a teaspoon of honey, half teaspoon of cinnamon, and some kiwifruit if desired. Blend together and pour into a tall glass in the morning. This is a great way to jumpstart your day!

Try something new and add Persimmon fruits to your palate! You just may find that they are quite tasty!

Source by Dr. Chad Laurence

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

If I hear someone say breakfast is the most important meal one more time, I’m gonna’ bean ’em with my bran muffin. Every meal is important if you’re interested in health. With the incidence of diabetes on the rise, it’s very important that we have a balanced and stable amount of food going in. Skipping breakfast is not an option for healthy people who want to stay that way. Even in a hurry, there are many nutritious breakfast ideas, and more, when you have the time.

Balance Is The Key To Health: O.K. So the same people who said breakfast is most important also told you to have a balanced diet. They’re right, but what is a balanced diet? Without getting too technical, a balanced diet has the right amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water and fiber. To do this, we need a balance of meat/fish, dairy, grains, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Since this article is about breakfast, we’ll focus on ways to get a balance of about 1-2 servings of carbohydrates, 1-2 servings of proteins, 1 serving of fats, 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables (not fruit juice), 2 glasses of water and one serving of fiber. This is about a third of what you’ll need for the whole day.

Eating Healthy In A Hurry: There are many ways to eat a healthy breakfast in a hurry. In all cases, assume low fat dairy (2% fat or less), 1 glass of water when you wake up and another just before breakfast. Since many of the ingredients are interchangeable, the following examples represent about a dozen different quick healthy breakfast ideas:

1. Bowl of cereal with one cup of milk and a cup cubed fresh fruit. (Substitute hot cereal in winter).

2. Bran muffin, glass of milk, 1 cup cubed fresh fruit.

3. Trail mix bar, string cheese, 1 banana.

4. 2 pieces of whole grain toast with spread & sliced fresh fruit, 1/2 cup cottage cheese.

Celebrating Healthy Breakfast When There’s Time: The weekend is when we can slow down a bit and really enjoy the time spent preparing and eating a healthy breakfast, together. This is also when we increase the servings to the max of our range of nutrients. Water and low fat dairy are assumed just as with the breakfasts above. The frittata and fry breakfasts can be doubled and reheated the next day if you want to save time and don’t mind leftovers.

1. Fry breakfast per person: 1 cup frozen hash browns, browned and set aside. 1/4 cup cooked meat/sausage. 2 cups fresh vegetables. 1 egg. Stir fry the vegetables lightly, add meat, stir and set aside. Layer potato in pan, add vegetable meat combo on top, beat egg and drizzle over vegetables, sprinkle a little low fat cheese on top. Cover and cook over medium heat until eggs are done.

2. Flap jacks & Egg: 3-5, 4″ diameter pancakes with spread. 1 cup sliced fresh fruit on top of pancakes. 1-2 fried egg. 1 glass milk of 1’2 cup cottage cheese. Substitute 2 pieces French toast, toast, muffin, waffles for pancakes and meat for eggs, or for half the eggs.

3. Lazy Frittata (per person)& Toast: 2 eggs, beaten, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1-2 oz chopped cooked meat/sausage. Spray small pan with cooking oil, heat to low/medium, add egg mixture, sprinkle cheese in immediately, sprinkle meat in. Cook until egg hardens. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Serve with toast, spread and fresh fruit.

As long as you keep the amounts and balances of foods represented in these recipes, you can do pretty much what you want. As you can see, there are hundreds of healthy breakfast combinations. This article is just a sampling, so you can be creative and come up with your own ideas based on your favorite foods. Enjoy!

Source by Glen D. Williams

Vegan Protein

The first place to get protein as a vegan is from certain fruits & vegetables, I’ll bet you didn’t realize spinach and cauliflower are a complete protein. There are many ways that you can eat these two vegetables. I don’t like to cook my spinach too much but I typically cook cauliflower to the point that it’s soft either by steaming or sauteing it. Cauliflower is an excellent replacement for rice in my opinion and healthier than your traditional white rice. I often times mix it with curry or beans as if it were rice or quinoa. I make my salads using spinach instead of plain watery lettuce. Spinach has a high nutritional value which makes it the perfect replacement so I like to mix it with avocado, oil and chick peas to make it creamier and more chewy. Some fruits are believed to be complete in protein such as Goji Berries because it contains 18 amino acids. I usually buy dry Goji berries by the pound at my local organic super market and eat it with my other dry nuts and seeds. These fruits and vegetables are one of the many options nature gives you for protein.

Nuts and seeds are a perfect snack food to give you what you need as far as Amino acids. Walnuts, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chia seeds, hemp seeds have all the amino acids needed to consider them a complete protein. There are many ways to incorporate these foods into your diet such as baking granola bars and adding nuts and seed to them or blending these nuts and seeds into a paste and mixing it with fruit preserves on some bread to make a tasty sandwich. Another cool thing I like to do is get the hemp in powder form and mix it in almond milk with a health natural sweetener and psyllium husk for fiber. You can also get a lot of these nuts and seeds in powder form and mix them in you guacamole which is what I do. You can also mix the powder into your pancake or muffin batter etc. Though I usually eat most of these protein sources as is throughout the day if I want to stay away from cooking, but you don’t have to do that it’s totally up to you.

The third place I get my protein from is from split peas, quinoa, and lentils. You can consume these ingredients already baked in chips, or boiled etc. My main way to prepare them is in a large pot of boiling water with a little bit of salt and maybe other seasonings added to it. Once done don’t be scared to give it a creamy vegan touch by adding avocados. You can also use quinoa, split peas, and lentils in flour form and make a variety of stuff from desserts to breakfast food by substituting wheat flour in your favorite recipe. I have bought split pea, quinoa and lentil chips many of times. This way of consuming a complete proteins makes for a quick vegan snack. I usually make my guacamole to accompany the chips.

Source by Marcus Gardin