Many people are sometimes not able to enjoy many food items due to health restrictions. It is seen that people who have got celiac disease are asked to go on gluten-free diet. Due to this many of them won’t be able to enjoy some of the tastiest delicacies.

Cake is a bakery product which nobody can resist. But due to diet restrictions many people cannot have it. Now, this is no more a concern because one can find stores that provide gluten free cakes which do not have oat, wheat, rye, barley and any other malt flavourings in them.

This is not only good for people who are suffering from celiac but also for people with normal health conditions. In gluten free cakes few of the ingredients change but the taste and flavour always remains the same. This is genuinely healthy for the human body because it will help in bringing down the cholesterol levels and improve the digestion and also the energy levels. This will definitely have a positive effect on the health of the person.

It will also bring down the amount of fat and sugar intake. There might be a certain amount of healthy grains like rice and corn which gives the body the required amount of carbohydrates. When gluten-free items are removed from the diet then it will naturally give way to more substitutes.

So, people will start having more amounts of vegetables, fruits and dairy products as a replacement. So, the change in the diet will definitely improve the health condition of the particular person. Accordingly one needs to avoid having fast foods which are the biggest contributors of fat in the human body. These need to be substituted with salads that are way healthier than burgers and French fries.

People who wish to gorge on cakes should look for stores in their area which supplies gluten free cakes. Nowadays, there is more convenience as now people can also order them online. So, whether it is a plain cake or an iced one, there is the option of ordering the cake of their choice which does not have gluten in them.

For celiac patients gluten is a big no for them. The genetic autoimmune condition damages the gastrointestinal tract and it also affects the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Gluten makes it worse, with cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and other physical ailments.

When going on such a diet plan it is always advised to consult a doctor and one should not take a decision by their own. And when shopping for gluten free products like cakes and cookies one should have a look at the label. Here one should check the level of sugar and fats in the cake.

So, there are a lot of benefits of going on a gluten free diet. Search for stores which provide a wide variety of cakes and other eatables which do not have the gluten in them. 

Getting a full night’s sleep can be difficult for a lot of people. Whether your bladder makes you get out of bed or you wake up at 2:00 a.m. thinking about the cliffhanger on the latest episode of your favorite show, know that you are not alone. According to a sleep study 42% of Americans wake up in the middle of the night and either find it difficult or can’t fall back to sleep. What if there was a cure for this? Rest assured (pun intended), we have this cure. 

The reason for the midnight wakeup is due to high stress levels and an hormone imbalance. This is primarily due to an unhealthy metabolism. If you eat irregularly or have an unhealthy diet, your body actually gets stressed. A lot of people like to indulge in a nighttime snack, which isn’t a bad thing if you are reaching for the right things in the fridge. Actually, making a smoothie with Spirulina, which is high in protein, and fresh fruits and veggies not too long before bed can help you sleep better and lose weight in the process. That’s right, you can lose weight in your sleep! The direct delivery of amino acids from the Spirulina into your system helps repair your muscles overnight, which burns calories. 

If you don’t want to drink a smoothie at night, drinking a shot of wheatgrass is incredible for a restorative night’s sleep. Wheatgrass is a detoxifying agent that helps cleanse the liver, ridding it of toxins. The liver controls hormone function, so wheatgrass helps it do the job. A properly functioning liver won’t lead to adrenaline spikes in the middle of the night. You will not only sleep better, but you will also feel a lot healthier. 

While a healthy diet should aid your metabolism, it won’t help everyone sleep through the night. Now, we always say that it’s best to refrain from eating sugar and salt, but a combination of the two can actually help you sleep, so long as you take the appropriate dose in moderation. While salt helps cellar respiration and produces energy, sugar (glucose to be exact) fuels the mitochondria. Together, sugar and salt are like a battery that helps recharge you throughout the night because they manage stress and stop stress hormone production. Stress, which stems from the diet, leads to improper metabolic function. 

To make this magic sleep remedy, combine 5 tablespoons of organic cane sugar, 1 tablespoon sucanat (completely unrefined sugar), and 2 teaspoons salt. Please do not consume this all before going to bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night, take a pinch of it and place it under your tongue to dissolve. You won’t need to count sheep because you’ll be dozing off before you know it. 

Pizza is a popular and tasty dish that is made of four different components, the crust, sauce, toppings, and cheese. Although comprised of only four simple parts, the number of ways you can make pizza is nearly endless using a variety of ingredients, some pizza recipes, and your own imagination.

The Crust

All types of pizza begin with the base or the crust, which can be made from different types of flour such as white and whole wheat to create homemade dough. After rising, pizza dough is stretched, tossed, and formed into a circular shape and then baked in the oven on baking sheets or on pizza stones for an authentic tasting crust.

The Sauce

Sauce for pizza should be tomato based and then seasoned with the herbs and spices of your choice. A perfect pizza sauce is one that is just the right consistency, neither to watery nor too thick. Some people prefer a tangier sauce while others like their pizza sauce to be a bit sweeter. Experiment with varying amounts of seasonings to find the balance you prefer the most.

The Toppings

Toppings for pizza are typically a combination of vegetables and meats with mushrooms and pepperoni being at the top of the list in terms of popularity. Other toppings to consider for making the perfect pizza include artichoke hearts, black and green olives, green peppers, ground beef, hot peppers, onions, and sausage.

The Cheese

Last, but certainly not least is perhaps the absolute best part of pizza, the cheese. In a traditional sense, the cheese of choice for making pizza is most definitely mozzarella. However, you are certainly not limited this type of cheese as there are plenty of delicious varieties to choose from including Asiago, parmesan, provolone, ricotta, and Romano.

Beefy Mediterranean Pizza Recipe

What You Need

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2/3 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef over medium to high heat for about 7 minutes or until it is no longer pink and cooked through. Drain the grease and place the cooked beef in a bowl.

In the skillet, add the oil and heat over medium before adding the chopped onions, minced garlic, chopped mint, cayenne pepper, and salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.

Add the beef to the skillet along with the cup of pasta sauce and simmer over the lowest heat for 3 minutes.

Divide the pound of pizza into four sections. Sprinkle flour onto the counter or tabletop and roll out each section of dough into a small to medium sized circle, about 6 to 7 inches in diameter.

Place the pizza dough on the bottom of 2 greased, rimmed baking sheets. Spread the meat mixture evenly over the dough and bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

After baking, top the pizzas with the shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, sliced onions, and chopped parsley. Set the lemon wedges on top of the pizzas for squeezing.

Serve alone or along with frozen vanilla flavored yogurt.

Serves 4.

It took the largest study of its kind, but the results are undeniable. If you want to live longer and healthier, eat like an Asian peasant. Researchers have known for some time that people living in countries like China, Japan, Thailand, India, Korea, and Indonesia have a lower risk of cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
They just never had the evidence to tell them why. Now they do.

In a Chinese diet study, called the *China-Cornell-Oxford Diet and Health Project*, researchers have been collecting information on eating habits of over 10,000 Chinese since 1983. They’ve found that poor, rural Asians eat a humble, traditional diet-full of soy foods and high-fiber grains and vegetables, with few animal products. This, they say, is the reason for their good health.

Cholesterol levels are low, so low in fact that their average high cholesterol is still about equal to the lowest range in the United States. And only an average of 15 percent of deaths in Asia are due to heart disease, compared with more than 40 percent in the United States.                                                                                              

The super heart-saving Asian diet has won the approval of many nutrition experts because it emphasize plant-based, rather than animal-based, foods. Following this type of eating pattern may be your path to sound health and a long life.

**The Asian food pyramid**

Here are the basic groups that make up the Asian food pyramid. There are many ways to include these foods in your everyday eating without having to give up your own traditions. On the other hand, if you’re tired of the same old meat and potatoes routine, why not buy a Chinese cook book and learn stir-frying.                                                              

**Grains:** According to the Asian Pyramid, most of your diet should consist of unrefined rice, millet, corn, wheat and other grains.

**Vegetables:** Whether from the land or sea, vegetables are a big part of the Asian diet. Including Chinese mustard greens, bok choy, spinach, chestnuts, lotus roots, and bitter melons.

**Soy:** Whether they’re made into milk, tofu, paste, noodles or sheets, soy beans are an important part of the Asian diet. Rich in fiber and phytoestrogens, soy beans are a proven ally against heart disease and cancer.

**Legumes:** When you cut out animal products, you may worry about getting enough protein. A great vegetarian substitute is the small but mighty protein-rich legume. Peas and beans are a huge source of fiber. They should be part of at least one meal a day. Besides soybeans, other legumes you can try for an authentic Asian taste are mung beans, chick peas, and lentils.                                                                                             

**Nuts and seeds:** Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts and chestnuts are all popular ingredients in Asian cooking. Many are crushed and mixed with water to form nut milk, which is then used in sauces, desserts, and dressings. Try to get about a handful of nuts and seeds every day.

**Fats and oils:** Small amounts of peanut, golden sesame, soy, and corn oils may be eaten daily.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

**Seafood:** Although it’s often more expensive than chicken or red meat, fish is worth the extra pennies. It’s full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but low in cholesterol. People living in places where eating fish is part of the culture have much lower cholesterol levels. To make fish go further in your budget, follow the Asian way and chunk it up in your favorite stir-fry or soup.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

**Meat:** Compared with a Western diet, the traditional Chinese diet has much less protein. And what protein the Chinese do eat generally comes from plant sources, not animals. To help keep your arteries healthy, some experts recommend eating red meat only once a month and cutting back on poultry and eggs: no more than an average serving each week.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

**Herbs:** No eating plan would be complete without the herbs and spices unique to that culture.  Many not only add flavor and spice to the food, but some,  like garlic, turmeric, and fenugreek, provide powerful heart protection too.

**Sweets:** If you want to follow the Asian diet, you must cut back on sugar and sweets. In Asia, fresh fruits, not sweets, are served for desert.

Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the various tissues of the body. Life and iron are inseparable: with the sole exception of lactic acid bacteria, all living organisms require iron as an essential element for growth and multiplication. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem in the world.

Free ionic iron hardly exists in the body. All the intracellular iron is either in hemoglobin or in the iron-storage protein ferritin.

ABSORPTION

Iron is rather unique in that nature regulates its absorption, because there is no mechanism that enables excretion of excess iron1 The precise mechanisms and control of iron absorption are not clear.

The duodenum is the main site of iron absorption. Small intestinal iron absorption is by a process of diffusion. The amount of iron absorbed is 1%-5% of the dietary iron in a normal man, studied using a radioactive isotope.

Because of the multiplicity of factors affecting iron absorption, it is not possible to make a valid estimate of iron absorption from a meal. The absorption varies with foods, being higher with a rice-based diet and lower with millets. Germination and baking increase absorption, while it is reduced with tannins, tea, tamarind, phytate and cereals. Food analysis reveals considerable tannin in cereals, pulses, soybeans, and condiments like tamarind, turmeric and chillies. Absorption from soybean is enhanced when taken with meat or vitamins. Prolonged warming of meals decreases their vitamin C content, and hence, iron absorption. The amino acid cysteine enhances iron absorption from vegetables, animal foods, and iron salts.

Iron in meat and liver is better absorbed than that in eggs and leafy vegetables. With animal foods, the mean iron absorption ranges from 7% from ferritin to 22% from veal muscle, with intermediate values of 11 % from fish and 13% from liver. Animal protein in beef, pork, chicken or fish (but not egg and milk) increases absorption of non-heme iron from vegetable sources. On a rice-based diet, iron absorption increases with the addition of 40 g fish.

Iron absorption on a cereal diet is decreased because phosphate and phytates precipitate ionised iron. Soya protein is a major inhibitory factor of iron absorption due to its phytate content.4Fiber in wheat and maize decreases iron absorption. Tea and coffee form insoluble iron tannate that is not absorbed. Coconut milk, used extensively in cooking in Thailand and southern India, inhibits iron absorption.

Iron absorption increases with iron-deficiency anemia, low plasma iron, increased red blood cell activity in the bone marrow, pancreatic deficiency, and in women. Increased iron absorption occurs in normal persons during menstruation, pregnancy, puberty, and after blood loss. Iron absorption is increased if iron body stores are depleted.

Inorganic ferrous and ferric salts are both absorbed, but ferrous iron is absorbed better. There is no difference in the absorption of the inexpensive ferrous sulphate and the more expensive slow-release iron tablets. Hemoglobin iron is absorbed intact as heme, even at neutral pH, and is not affected by dietary phosphate or phytate.

Gastric acidity maintains the solubility of inorganic iron, which aids the formation of small molecu les with ascorbic acid, citrate, fructose, and amino acids. Citrate and ascorbate, being soluble, are more easily absorbed, while tannate (from tannic acid in tea), phytate and phosphate are not so readily absorbed.

Vitamin C reduces ferric iron to ferrous iron which. remains soluble even at neutral pH and is better absorbed. Even when the diet is poor in iron, vitamin C supplement with each meal enhances iron absorption.? Vitamin C taken in divided doses with each meal will increase iron absorption to a greater extent than a single large dose with breakfast.

Calcium inhibits iron absorption. Radio-iron absorption tests in human volunteers show decreased absorption with cimetidine and antacids.

BLOOD LEVELS

PLASMA IRON :- Normal plasma iron level is 60-160 micrograms per 100 ml (10.74-28.6 micromol/l); the total plasma iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is 280-400 microgram per 100 ml (50.1-71.6 micromol/l), of which about one-third is normally saturated.

The iron-binding proteins are transferrin (siderophilin), lactoferrin (found in milk, tears, saliva, bile, seminal secretions, and cervical mucus), and desferrioxamine (a fungal product). Mucosal transferrin binds iron in the lumen of the gut to transport it across the brush border of the intestinal mucosa. Plasma transferrin transports protein and binds two atoms of iron; its half-life is eight days, but varies widely because iron deficiency itself is a stimulus to transferrin formation.

STORAGE

The total body iron is 3-5 g (54-90 mmol), the bulk of which is in hemoglobin. The sites of storage are the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, where iron is stored as ferritin or hemosiderin.

Ferritin, derived from the reticuloendothelial tissue of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, is a spherical storage iron protein which binds up to 4000 atoms of iron per molecule. It has 24 subunits arranged in a cluster like a raspberry, and contains 20% iron. Ferritin represents the soluble, readily mobilizable fraction of storage iron; its estimation, by radioimmunoassay, helps in diagnosing iron deficiency or overload. This estimation is less expensive than that of serum iron and TIBC. The normal values range from 12 to 250 micrograms per litre; values less than 10 micrograms per litre denote iron deficiency.

One microgram per litre of serum is equivalent to 80 mg (1.4 mmol) storage iron. Storage iron is about 980 mg (17.5 mmol) in normal men and 450 mg (8 mmol) in women. In iron overload, the values are higher; in acute liver cell damage, too, release of ferritin gives abnormally high values.

The structure of hemosiderin is not well understood, but it is believed to be a degradation product of ferritin. Hemosiderin iron is not readily released.

Desferrioxamine is a chelating agent that binds iron and excretes it in the urine. The urinary excretion of iron is thus easily measured, and this method is utilized to estimate iron stores. Injection of desferrioxamine in patients with decreased iron stores results in diminished urinary iron excretion.

Transferrin is a glycoprotein synthesized mainly by the liver. It can bind two ferric iron molecules and is responsible for the total iron-binding capacity of the serum, which is 250-370 micrograms per 100 ml.

EXCRETION

Absorbed iron is tenaciously bound to protein. The little excretion that occurs, as with shedding of the inner lining of the digestive tract (desquamation of the epithelium of the mucous membrane), cannot be correctly assessed. Iron passed in stool is mostly unabsorbed dietary iron; some iron is also -lost through the bile. Desquamation of the skin increases iron loss with sweating in the hot, humid climate of the tropics. The urinary loss of iron is negligible.

IRON Loss IN WOMEN

A woman loses additional iron during her reproductive life: (i) during each menstrual cycle 30-60 ml of blood is lost, which involves a monthly loss of 15-30 mg (269-537 micromol) iron; (ii) during pregnancy the fetus, placenta, and loss during parturition drain the mother of over 500 mg (9 mmol) iron, which would require an increase in the daily absorption by 2 mg (36 micromol); and (iii) during lactation, there is an additional daily loss of 1.5 mg (27 micromol) iron. Owing to such losses, women–even in Western countries-have low iron stores.

DEFICIENCY

Anemia are the most common and widespread nutrition problems. A vast majority of cases are due to iron deficiency. On a global basis, 2.15 billion persons are anemic or iron-deficient.

Iron is also utilized by the brain. Iron uptake is maximum during rapid brain growth in the fetus 15 Iron-deficient infants are below par in mental and physical development. Iron intervention can reverse these development delays.

A post-cricoid web is often associated with iron deficiency; when followed up, some of these developed cancer in that region. Lowered levels of intestinal disaccharidases occur with iron deficiency anemia; this’ is corrected by oral iron supplement.

Serum ferritin radioimmunoassay is the most reliable test for iron-deficiency anemia. Little additional information is gained from other noninvasive tests.

Healthy Dark Chocolate continues to garner front page status as more and more scientific research studies on the health benefits of dark chocolate publish their findings, and this is great news for current and potential at risk diabetics.

Chocolate, that universally popular comfort food, has for years meant only one thing for diabetics … risk! For a diabetic indulging in a chocolate treat, physiological effects needed to be monitored and action taken if so indicated.

For the informed diabetic, that situation is changing, and dark chocolate may once again be a worry free treat as well as an extremely healthy part of ones daily diet.

Before moving into the clinical aspects of dark chocolate, let’s define what is “HEALTHY” dark chocolate in relation to the diabetic.

The raw cocoa bean is a super rich source of antioxidants; specifically, a group of antioxidants known as ‘flavanols’. In fact, raw cocoa contains an astonishing 10% antioxidant concentration per mass, the highest concentration level of antioxidants in any known food.

Flavanols are the primary reason for cocoa products being very cardiovascular system friendly. As is the case with many natural foods, the antioxidant values of the raw cocoa fall considerably during the chocolate making process.

After fermentation and drying, the cocoa beans, in almost all cases, are roasted in high heat and pressure. Just as with most fruits and vegetables that you are familiar with, this cooking process destroys many of the original beneficial nutrients.

The good news is that even after the antioxidant loss through the roasting and pressing process, this bitter cocoa powder STILL has more than twice the antioxidant rating than the nearest rated fruit … “prunes”.

The manufacturer now will add sugar, emulsifiers, oils, and other ingredients to create the desired taste and texture for their product.

So, how does dark chocolate, rich in flavanols, help your body do battle against diabetes? Primarily, these antioxidants counteract insulin resistance, a serious risk factor.

Insulin resistance is a serious condition which can multiply your chances of developing diabetes and heart problems. This condition prevents your cells from effectively turning blood sugar into energy, so the excess sugar accumulates in your body. This condition is known as pre-diabetes.

By introducing a consistent, high quality source of the flavanols found in dark chocolate, insulin function is improved, blood sugar is better controlled, and the threat of blood sugar build up and pre-diabetes is lessened.

These hard working flavanols provide another very important benefit for the diabetic. Studies have shown that they are very effective in helping to keep blood vessels healthy and improving blood flow. Circulatory problems are a very real risk for the diabetic, and extreme cases can result in necessary loss of an extremity.

Numerous studies have indicated that flavanols may exert significant vascular protection not only from their antioxidant properties, but also from increased nitric oxide availability.

Nitric oxide, or “NO”, is a critical component in healthy blood flow and blood pressure control, two very important factors in controlling diabetes. Studies have shown that antioxidants in cocoa help the body process NO which helps prevent fatty substances in the blood from oxidizing and narrowing the arteries, leading to high blood pressure, another serious diabetes risk factor.

In part 2 of “Healthy Dark Chocolate and Your Diabetic Health”, we will look at several case studies that clearly define the potential positive impact of healthy dark chocolate for the current or pre-diabetic, and explore how to determine which Chocolate products are in fact “Healthy”.