Why you shouldn’t eat pangasius fish

Pangasius is one of the most popular exotic fish that land on our plates. It is usually frozen, cheap and mild in taste. Nevertheless, there are good reasons why we should keep our hands off the freshwater fish. Germans like pangasius: The frozen fish , which mostly comes from Vietnamese aquaculture, is eaten in large quantities in this country. In 2011 alone, 40,000 tons of the exotic sweet fish were bought. It’s so popular because it’s mild in taste, low in fat and boneless. It comes from the South Vietnamese Mekong Delta in the freezers of German supermarkets quite cheaply, although the fish is quite controversial. The consumer advice center advises against buying pangasius from conventional breeding. “A few years ago this fish caught the attention of the supervisory authorities due to increased unauthorized exposure to pharmaceutical residues. Stricter controls improved the situation. However, aquacultures in Asia are still among the more questionable ones. For example, the wastewater from the breeding facilities on site is significant Environmental damage, “write the consumer advocates. Pangasius is only partially healthy Salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The consumer advice center therefore recommends eating fish at least once a week. However, the pangasius is quite low in fat, and therefore hardly supplies the health-promoting fats. In comparison, nuts, flaxseed and also walnut and rapeseed oil have more omega-3 fatty acids. More recommendable than pangasius from conventional farming, i.e. industrial aquaculture , in which the fish are bred en masse, is fish from organic aquaculture, which in the best case is labeled with organic seals such as Naturland or Bioland. A top chef from the Netherlands, Bart van Olphen, goes even further: he recommends buying canned fish. “80 percent of the fisheries exploit our oceans,” says Bart van Olphen in an interview with the  star . “That’s why I visited the 20 percent of fisheries that still fish sustainably.” With the stories of the local fishermen, he wants to show the consumer where good fish comes from. For him, sustainability means catching fish when it is available, i.e. in season. ( Here you will find an overview of when which fish is in season). “In the season, fish simply tastes best. We have methods of preserving fish. For example, by freezing the product. Or – what I like best – canned fish. There is hardly anything more sustainable than it is fresh on site, of course to eat “says Bart van Olphen.

How to recognize the perfect watermelon

Summer, sun, watermelon It is probably THE fruit of summer: watermelon! If the temperatures rise, we can hardly wait to sit in the sun and bite into the fruity and fresh watermelon. But how do we know in the supermarket whether a melon is sweet and ripe? Don’t they all look the same anyway? Not quite! We’ll give you four simple signs to look out for the next time you shop. 1. Finding the stain As each melon grows on the ground, it gets a stain on one of its ends. If it is white, it means that you should leave the melon lying around. On the other hand, if the stain is a bit yellow, you can take it easy and put it in the shopping cart. 2. The knock test Another clue is a simple knock test. Lightly tap or snap your fingers against the bowl and listen for the exact sound. Immature melons have a dull, light sound. Ripe melons, on the other hand, sound hollow and dark. 3. A look at the bowl Even if it doesn’t look nice, it is an optimal sign for the taste: cracks and scars in the skin! They are a good sign that the fruit is properly ripened. In addition, the skin of ripe melons is not shiny and has a rather dull surface. The color is also not entirely unimportant: the darker the shell, the sweeter the red meat inside will taste. 4. Male or female? Yes, melons also have a gender! If the watermelon is large and elongated, it is male. Smaller, round melons, on the other hand, are feminine and taste much sweeter. This also applies to its weight: the heavier a watermelon, the sweeter it is. By the way: just don’t throw away the seeds The unpopular remnant of the melonan ash – the kernels – are full of important vitamins. It is therefore advisable to eat them with you. However, if the kernels are too bitter for you, we will reveal three ideas of what you could do with the watermelon kernels instead.

Disgusting meat on the plate

You should not eat steaks from BSE cows. No chickens that died from bird flu either. A chop can be dangerous if it contains salmonella or trichinae. Animals can also get sick. They become infected, suffer from bacteria and catch viruses. The closer they are crammed together in the barn, the more likely they are to infect their fellows. Factory farming actually promotes the spread of diseases. If we eat the meat of sick animals, we can also get sick. However, many pathogens that harm animals are harmless to humans. This applies to swine fever, for example. The corresponding virus can slip into humans, but it does not make us sick. In foot and mouth disease, the virus can infect our cells, but the disease does not endanger us. Mad cow disease and paratuberculosis affect humans too Other germs, however, can harm us. This applies, for example, to BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy – better known as mad cow disease. The pathogens – small proteins – can trigger the fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans “with a probability bordering on certainty”; this is how experts formulate it with caution. Because the path of infection has not yet been clearly proven. Researchers are also unsure about paratuberculosis. Experts are still discussing whether the pathogen in question can trigger chronic intestinal inflammation, Crohn’s disease, in humans. What is certain, however, is that the bird flu virus can also infect and kill people – although this has so far happened relatively rarely. On the other hand, it is more common for people to become infected with salmonella or trichinae because they have eaten contaminated meat. Farmers have to kill animals when people seem in danger If an animal disease threatens to break out in Germany, the veterinary authorities of the respective federal states order health checks for the respective animal species. Possibly they force the farmers to lock their animals in the barn or to have them vaccinated. The authorities cordon off the affected areas and set up disinfection basins. If the epidemic spreads beyond Germany’s borders, European authorities also intervene. When things get bad, sick and infected animals are killed. This is what the Animal Disease Act wants. This is to break the chain of infection. If the authorities believe that people are also in danger, they order healthy animals to be killed as well – for prevention. BSE In 1985, cattle in Great Britain and Northern Ireland became sick: the animals could no longer stand on their feet, their knees buckled, they crouched on the ground like dogs. After a short time they died miserably. The mysterious disease soon got a name: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which translates as a spongy brain disease in cattle. A few years later, mad cow disease had spread across most of Europe. To date, around 200,000 cases of cattle have become known. Protein threads trigger mad cow disease BSE is not caused by bacteria or viruses, but by the body’s own proteins, so-called prions. These protein threads sit on the surface of many body cells. However, prions do not make you sick until they have changed their spatial structure. If an incorrectly folded and therefore pathological prion adapts to a healthy one, the healthy protein adapts and it also becomes pathological. This creates a chain reaction, at the end of which there are only infectious prions that seriously damage the nerve cells. At first only nerve cells in the body are affected. The infection later travels up the spinal cord and eventually spreads to the brain. This is where the typical holes appear: the brain of sick cattle is like a sponge and literally dissolves. Cows were fed carcass meal The fact that the disease was able to spread so quickly in Europe is due to the production method for animal feed at the time. The producers processed slaughterhouse waste and carcasses into animal meal. Farmers fed the flour to cattle. Because the processing temperature in animal meal production was so low, pathological prions survived the procedure. The result: Infectious flour was fed to cattle, the animals became sick, died and were processed into flour – a cycle was created. When researchers and authorities recognized the error, a new regulation came into force in 1996. It stipulates that slaughterhouse waste and carcasses must be exposed to high pressure and a temperature of 133 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes when processing into animal meal in order to kill germs. Since December 1, 2000, German regulations have prohibited animal meal and animal fat from being fed to animals that are used for food production. The EU authorities have also reacted and in 2001 issued a ban on feeding animal meal to food-producing animals. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: mad cow disease in humans But can people also get BSE? That has not yet been proven 100 percent. Researchers suspect, however, that infectious proteins from cattle can turn human prions into pathological ones and thus trigger a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). VCJD sufferers suffer from symptoms similar to those of infected cows: At first they have difficulty coordinating their bodies and they move unsteadily. There are also visual disturbances. Within weeks or months, those affected find it increasingly difficult to remember: They have memory lapses, and later they can no longer remember anything. Most die within a year. BSE tests are designed to protect consumers The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the responsible state institute, examined vCJD patients of different ages. The researchers suspect that those affected were infected through beef or products made from cattle. Rapid tests for BSE have been carried out in EU countries since the end of 2000. In this way, researchers discovered over 400 BSE cases by January 2008 – in Germany alone. That sounds like a success. But the tests only work in animals whose disease has advanced. In addition, the procedures are only possible for slaughtered cattle. A BSE test for live animals does not yet exist. However, security has increased: Since 2001, meat from untested cattle has not been allowed on the German market. If a sample proves positive in the laboratory, the entire herd of the barn from which the cattle came must be killed. In addition, meat and bone meal may no longer be fed since 2000. Not even on sheep and goats, they can also be infected with the BSE pathogen. Pigs, poultry and fish have not yet been considered to be at risk of BSE, but for safety reasons they are included in the regulation. Musk meat and milk are harmless Will BSE Tests Make Our Beef Safe Again? Not quite. If you don’t want to take any risks, you should know that lean meat and milk are very likely to be harmless. Products that may contain remains of the brain, eyes, intestines or spinal cord of cattle are considered at risk. Normally these organ parts are therefore removed from slaughterhouses as a precaution. When shopping and cooking you should consider: There is no absolute protection against the BSE pathogen. The prions are destroyed at a temperature of 133 degrees Celsius at the earliest. Normal cooking or frying is therefore not enough to destroy the pathogen. Beef stock gelatin can be dangerous In addition, not only meat products are suspected of mad cow disease. Even harmless delicacies such as gummy bears or fruit cakes can theoretically be dangerous because they contain gelatine. In Germany, gelatine is made from 90 percent pork rind – it does not pose a risk. However, there is also gelatine made from beef. Therefore, to be on the safe side, always read the information on the packaging . Find out more about the origin of meat and sausages in the supermarket. Organic meat offers a good alternative, especially if an organic farmer has been breeding his cattle for generations and the feed for the animals comes from their own farm. Bird flu Not only humans but animals can get flu too. If an influenza virus affects birds, veterinarians speak of bird flu or avian influenza. Avian influenza is rampant in Germany again and again. At the end of 2003, not only farm animals were infested, but also many wild animals. They just fell dead from the sky. The bird flu virus first appeared in Southeast Asia. It then attacked birds in America, Africa and Europe. Avian flu pathogens cannot simply spread from animals to humans. Because the cell receptors are different – the animal virus is like a key that does not fit the human organism. That sounds reassuring. But in Asia over 200 people died from the pathogen. It is possible that this virus variant had already adapted somewhat to humans. Scientists fear that the bird flu virus could continue to mutate and adopt properties of the human flu virus. Then the pathogen would be able to infect people even more easily. And it could be transmitted from person to person and spread like an epidemic. Boil eggs, cook meat well It is not yet known whether you can also endanger yourself by eating infected chickens or turkeys. But experts do not rule this out. The possible consequences: symptoms that are reminiscent of a normal flu , up to fatal pneumonia. Therefore, sausage with poultry meat is not necessarily recommended if the product was not heated during production. Because the virus doesn’t like heat. If you heat food to over 70 degrees Celsius, you kill the pathogen. You should therefore cook the poultry and eggs thoroughly. If you blow out raw eggs at Easter, you should rinse them with hot water beforehand to be on the safe side. Store raw poultry products separately. After defrosting poultry meat, dispose of the packaging and the defrosted water. Stay away from strange poultry The bird flu virus is mainly found in bird droppings. But you can also get infected by inhaling or touching sick birds. In Germany, however, the risk of infection is very low. To do this, you would have to get close to the animals. When traveling to countries with bird flu, you should avoid direct contact with poultry. Do not visit poultry markets. Avoid raw or insufficiently fried poultry meat and dishes with raw eggs. And please consider: Cats and dogs can also be infected with bird flu. Therefore, you or your children should not stroke every cat that is running around in the same way. Because scientists have already detected the bird flu virus in domestic cats, large cats and martens. Swine fever Swine fever is a catastrophe for a farmer – because he can lose a lot of money. However, the virus does not harm his health. Even if he eats the chop of an infected pig, he won’t get sick. However, people can transmit the virus: via clothing, shoes or hands. In this way, the pathogen gets into other stables or fattening systems. Piglets usually die first in swine fever. Later, older pigs also get sick. The animals refuse to feed, are weak and have red or blue spots on their skin and ears. Before the farmer sees the symptoms, the animals excrete the virus: They infect their conspecifics through saliva, urine or excrement. The pathogen can affect domestic pigs and wild boars alike. Wild boars can be protected with oral vaccinations: the vaccine is added to feed bait. Foot and mouth disease Farmers fear foot and mouth disease: It kills cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. Wild animals can also become infected: red deer and fallow deer die from the virus, as do wild boars and hedgehogs. Even elephants can get sick – but humans don’t need to worry. Foot and mouth disease is transmitted through contaminated food, feces, saliva, milk or air. The wind sometimes carries the pathogen over 60 kilometers. It probably even wanders up to 200 kilometers over water. Sick animals usually develop a fever. Blisters form on the tongue, mouth, udder and claws. Foamy saliva forms in front of the mouth, the typical foot-and-mouth disease beard. If the virus has infected even a single animal in the stable, there is no rescue for all the others: According to the foot and mouth disease ordinance, the entire herd must be killed. People experience the disease like a cold According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute for Animal Health, there is no need to fear foot and mouth disease. Since the hygiene regulations in Germany are strict, the consumption of meat or dairy products is safe, even if the epidemic is already rampant in German stables. Infected products would hardly have a chance of getting to you. However, you can become infected if you have direct contact with sick animals. However, the risk of […]

The strawberry season begins: this way the fruit stays fresh for a long time

Tricks for proper storage One of the most popular times in Germany when it comes to fruit and vegetables begins in May: the strawberry season. But as delicious and fresh as strawberries may be, if you have them at home in large quantities, it is often almost impossible to use them all up in time. Because strawberries spoil quickly and can start to mold after just one day. These simple tricks can extend the shelf life. Dry storage in the refrigerator Strawberries keep the longest in the fridge’s vegetable drawer. Here the temperature is right and it is dry and dark. In addition, when stored in a sieve, the fruits receive sufficient air from all sides. In the meantime, a piece of kitchen paper or newspaper will absorb any residual moisture. In addition, the berries should not be washed immediately after shopping. Due to the moisture, the fruit tends to develop more mold and also loses its aroma. Leaves and stems should not be removed until shortly before consumption. The vinegar trick Vinegar prevents mold and ensures a longer shelf life. Simply fill a bowl with a third of vinegar and two thirds of water and then place the strawberries in it. Let the solution work for a few minutes. Then remove the berries, rinse well and pat dry. This kills all germs. Freezing for fresh strawberries in winter Strawberries can be kept for up to ten months in the freezer. Because of the freezing temperatures, microbes don’t stand a chance here and the fruits are preserved. Wash and dry the berries in a plastic freezer bag before storing. This will prevent them from sticking together after freezing. Shake the freezer bag repeatedly while freezing. From a botanical point of view, the strawberry is not a berry at all, but is one of the nut fruits.

These baked rolls taste best

Which baked rolls are the most convincing? If you don’t feel like leaving the house before breakfast and standing in line at the bakery for a long time, you still don’t have to do without crispy rolls: After all, you can get baked rolls in every supermarket. Packed from the bag on the shelf or from the freezer, as a wheat roll or grainy variant: there is something for every taste. You can see in the video which rolls convinced our testers by far. That’s how we tested Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but not too sticky: This is what the ideal baked-on roll looks like for our testers. They each try a frozen bread roll and a packaged bread roll from the discounter and from the supermarket in the varieties of wheat and multigrain for us. There are also additives in baked rolls Fresh and warm from your own oven, baked rolls taste like the bakery next door – right? At first glance, after all, the same thing is in there. A good bun consists of flour, water, yeast, malt, salt, butter and sugar. But be careful: In the bread you bake yourself there are also additives such as flavor enhancers and preservatives. This also means that the rolls can be kept longer: Compared to the bakery roll, which can only be enjoyed for a maximum of three days, the packaged baked roll has a shelf life of three months. Only the frozen bread can top it: it lasts for a whole year. This is how baked rolls get really crispy How are the rolls really crispy in the oven? To ensure that baked rolls come out of the oven really crispy, you should always preheat them well. If you then add a little water to the baked goods, you can enjoy your rolls particularly crispy and crunchy. We wish you bon appetite!

Don’t Throw These 6 Foods Away!

These foods are too good for the bin The bananas and avocados in the fruit bowl are mushy and brown and the bread is getting really hard? No reason to dispose of them! Many foods are perfect as little helpers in the household or for beauty care or can be used for other purposes in the kitchen. We reveal which 6 foods you should never throw away! Hair mask made from avocado that has turned brown If the inside of the avocado is mushy and brown, it doesn’t have to end up in the trash. Once the avocado has turned brown and mushy, it looks unsavory and doesn’t taste particularly good either. But you don’t have to throw them away – because the many ingredients and good fats that are in the avocado can be used differently! You can quickly make a nourishing hair mask from an overripe avocado: To do this, crush the pulp of the avocado properly and mix it with lemon juice, a little honey and a dash of olive or coconut oil to a pulp. Put the mixture on your hair and leave it on for about half an hour. Then rinse thoroughly. Straight dry hair looks shiny and well-groomed again afterwards. Body scrub from coffee grounds You shouldn’t just throw away coffee grounds either! Instead, use it as a peeling: the small grains can be used to perfectly remove dead skin, while the caffeine it contains promotes blood circulation and has an invigorating effect. Take used coffee powder directly into the shower in the morning and gently rub it all over your body and face. Egg shells as plant fertilizer Egg shells are perfect as fertilizer for house and garden plants, because the shells contain a lot of nutrients such as calcium , magnesium, copper, iron and fluorine. To release these, the eggshells should be crushed in a blender before fertilizing. The resulting powder can then simply be added to the irrigation water. You should not completely dispose of eggs that have long expired, because you can still use the shell. Delicious croutons made from hard bread When leftover bread has hardened, it usually ends up in the trash. But even if the bread is no longer good as a sandwich, there is another use for it: as crispy croutons! They give salad or soup the perfect crunch and can be prepared quickly and easily in the pan or in the oven. Simply cut the old bread into small cubes and toast it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until crispy brown. Not only does it taste much better, it is also cheaper than pre-purchased croutons. Banana bread and nice cream made from brown bananas Bananas that have gone brown are rather unpopular on their own –  but they are perfect for a delicious banana bread (a great banana bread recipe can be found here!) ! The riper the banana, the sweeter it tastes. Ideal for banana bread because the natural sweetness means that less industrial sugar has to be added. If you don’t like banana bread, you can also freeze the overripe banana and turn it into delicious nice cream, mix it into a smoothie or – but then use it in an unfrozen state – for pancakes or shakes. Simply freeze wilting herbs Do you have fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, coriander or basil at home that are slowly sagging? Don’t throw them away – they can also be frozen just fine. Wash them before freezing and best of all, chop them right away so that the herbs can be dosed more easily afterwards. Then put the herbs in a well-sealed freezer bag in the refrigerator compartment. Both the nutrients and the aroma of the herbs are preserved through freezing.

Healthy or just expensive?

More and more manufacturers are enriching foods with additives, such as vitamins or lactic acid bacteria. Such yogurts, drinks or snacks should be healthy. Is that correct? Or do they even harm? Probiotic yogurt, margarine with healthy fatty acids , drinks with additional minerals : more and more products of this type can be found in supermarkets today. The most common additives are lactic acid bacteria, plant sterols, omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid. Such foods are called functional food by experts because they promise additional benefits. You should be healthy. Consumers should take a critical look at this promise. Only a few manufacturers can prove the added health value with scientific studies. It is also questionable whether anyone needs these added substances at all. Functional foods, nutritionists warn, seem to be more of a clever advertising strategy in order to be able to sell the fortified foods more expensively. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) emphasizes: Functional foods cannot compensate for nutritional errors. They should therefore only be used in addition to a varied diet with regular fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereal products. Lactic acid bacteria Yogurts, cream cheese or sourdough bread can be enriched with live lactic acid bacteria. Manufacturers advertise that these foods strengthen the immune system, regulate digestion , maintain the intestinal flora and protect against diseases. That is why such probiotics are healthy. Studies have shown some of the health effects of these foods, while other effects have only been investigated by scientists in model and animal experiments. One thing is certain: lactic acid bacteria contribute to maintaining a healthy intestinal flora. They are resistant to the aggressive digestive juices of the stomach, to a large extent they reach the intestine alive and ensure a good climate there. They promote the growth of useful intestinal bacteria and displace the less good ones. After antibiotic therapy, they help to rebuild the normal intestinal flora. The same applies after suffering from diarrhea. However , studies have not yet been able to prove whether probiotics can prevent cancer and allergies , as manufacturers occasionally claim. Healthy bacteria in normal curd too Lactic acid bacteria only settle in the intestine for a few days. If the microorganisms are to help digestion over the long term, you have to keep buying probiotic foods. Live lactic acid bacteria, which are contained in normal yoghurt, curdled milk or buttermilk, work just as effectively – provided the milk products have not been heat-treated. Because heat kills the living microorganisms. The DGE therefore recommends consuming low-fat, acidified milk products every day. By the way, lactic acid bacteria also live in fresh sauerkraut. Extra food for the helpful microorganisms Often producers enrich their drinks and desserts with indigestible carbohydrates , for example with inulin or with oligofructose. They enter the large intestine unchanged. There they serve as food for the lactic acid bacteria, as a result these bacteria multiply well. Such additives are called prebiotics: they achieve the same goal as probiotics, but in an indirect way. Because the body can only tolerate a limited amount of indigestible carbohydrates, caution is advised with prebiotic foods: If the body is given too much inulin, diarrhea is at risk. Plant sterols In the EU there are margarines, salad dressings and dairy products that are fortified with plant sterols. These so-called phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol and are supposed to prevent too much dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. How do they do that? Researchers believe that when you eat phytosterols, less food cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines. Many studies show: Plant sterols actually help to lower cholesterol levels. Few people do not respond to them at all. A question of the dose But be careful: the benefits of phytosterol-containing foods are controversial. Because even if they can help lower cholesterol, there is no study that shows that consuming them helps prevent heart attacks. What’s more, some people with a genetic disorder ingest high amounts of these phytosterols through the intestines, so that they get into the bloodstream – which normally rarely happens. The concentration of these sterols in their blood is then particularly high, which could be associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Overall it can be said that the data situation is very unclear. Therefore, a phytosterol-containing margarine is only suitable, if at all, for people who already have a slightly elevated cholesterol level. Under no circumstances should they be eaten preventively. Do not use several products at the same time It shouldn’t be more than three grams of phytosterols per day anyway. Nutritionists recommend a maximum of 1.6 to two grams per day, which corresponds to around 20 grams of a phytosterol-containing margarine. And those who already use this margarine should avoid other phytosterol-containing foods, such as milk or yoghurt. People taking cholesterol-lowering medication should ask their doctor whether they should be getting any extra plant sterols from their diet at all. Incidentally, an appropriately fortified margarine does not replace a healthy, low-cholesterol diet with a few saturated fatty acids and lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and vegetable oils. Those affected should not do without it under any circumstances, not even if they are taking medication. Omega-3 fatty acids Numerous scientific studies prove: Natural omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on health. They help to reduce high triglyceride levels or high blood pressure and can prevent arteriosclerosis, including those of the coronary arteries. Many food manufacturers therefore enrich products with omega-3 fatty acids, for example bread, eggs, margarine or soft drinks. It has been scientifically proven: Omega-3 fatty acids work when they are taken as capsules or when they are in the hen’s egg. They occur naturally in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring or in some vegetable oils, especially rapeseed oil. Walnuts are also a good source. To increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the DGE therefore recommends eating high-fat fish regularly, about once or twice a week, and also using vegetable oils, especially rapeseed oil. Folic acid Folate – that’s the name of the natural form of the vitamin, folic acid is the name of the synthetic form – is a class B vitamin . It is said to protect against cardiovascular diseases. However, this has not yet been clearly scientifically proven. Folate is found in abundance in many foods, for example in oranges and orange juice, in grapes, tomatoes, green vegetables, whole grain products or in meat, including in liver, as well as in dairy products and eggs. Nevertheless, the DGE regards it as a so-called critical nutrient: Many people of all ages consume too little folate. A folate deficiency is rarely seen, however. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends women who want to have children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, to take a preparation with folic acid. This can prevent deformities in newborns, such as an open back, or a miscarriage. Some table salts are fortified with folic acid. Some scientists are calling for flour to be fortified with the B vitamin , as is done in the USA or Switzerland. Other scientists are critical of this. Whether folic acid is harmful has not been researched It is not clear whether the additional intake of folic acid increases the number of twin births. It is also unclear whether folic acid taken in addition promotes the growth of cancer precursors, for example in the colon. Studies show that high doses of folic acid can mask a deficiency in vitamin B12 . The problem particularly affects older people who cannot easily absorb vitamin B12 from food. Functional drinks Anyone who buys drinks that are fortified with the vitamin combination ACE – provitamin A and vitamins C and E – should be critical. The added amounts of vitamins often exceed the daily dose recommended by nutritionists several times over. The excess of vitamins C and E is not a cause for concern. It becomes problematic with provitamin A , beta-carotene. Because artificial beta-carotene is suspected of promoting bone fractures and increasing the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Some studies confirm this connection, others could not prove it. Energy drinks have dubious benefits The demand for energy drinks is great. The advertised stimulating effect of the drinks is questionable. The caffeine content often corresponds to that of a cup of coffee and the other invigorating ingredients are substances that the body also produces, such as taurine. The benefits and risks of energy drinks have not yet been researched in scientific studies. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment warns of possible dangers. For those who drink alcohol in addition to the energy drinks, the mixture can be health-critical: Coffee and alcohol mutually reinforce their effects. Guarana drinks contain a lot of caffeine, plus theobromine from cocoa beans and theophylline, obtained from the leaves of the tea bush – all substances have a stimulating effect. When children drink guarana, they can become temporarily cranky and nervous, perhaps even anxious.

6 tips to keep your bread fresh longer

Correct storage is essential Whether for breakfast, in the office or at dinner: a life without bread – whether savory or sweet topped – is unthinkable for many people. It is not for nothing that the Germans are considered bread champions. In no other country in the world are there so many different types of bread as in Germany – namely around 300. For most of them, nothing beats fragrant, preferably still warm bread. It’s just a shame that the bread is often dry or even hard the next day. But with the right storage, your bread will stay moist and fresh longer. Tip 1: Store your bread in the bread bin Bread is mostly sold in paper bags or plastic bags. Even if it will last a few days, it is best to remove the packaging. Instead, store your bread in a bread box, for example one made of steel * 🛒. It is important that this is not hermetically sealed. This allows the air to circulate better, which means that the bread neither gets too moist nor hardens too quickly. Clay bread pots have the advantage that they absorb water and transport it outside, but also return it to the bread if necessary. Wooden bread boxes  have an antibacterial effect due to the tannic acid contained in the wood. In wooden bread boxes, however, the bread should be wrapped in a paper bag. This improves air circulation. Important: clean the bread bin regularly. To do this, remove the crumbs and wash the bread box with vinegar at least once a week. This ensures that mold does not form. Tip 2: keep your bread at room temperature Many think that bread stays fresh the longest in the refrigerator. But that is a fallacy. Bread loses moisture particularly quickly in the refrigerator, which means it hardens more quickly and also loses its taste. In fact, the bread keeps best at room temperature – i.e. at 18 to 22 degrees. You should only store bread in the refrigerator when it is warm and humid outside. This climate favors the mold of the bread. If you store it in a bread box, make sure that it is not in the immediate vicinity of the coffee maker, stove or microwave. These give off heat, which – just like cold – can also damage the bread. Tip 3: Always store bread on the cut surface If you want to prevent your bread from drying out quickly, you should always place it on the cut surface in the bread box or clay pot. In this way, the moisture cannot escape as quickly through the cut surface. Tip 4: The darker the bread, the longer it will keep Basically, the darker the flour used, the longer the bread will last. This is indicated, among other things, by the initiative “Too good for the bin” of the Federal Ministry of Consumers. While white bread only lasts around three to four days due to its high wheat content, whole grain bread stays fresh for up to four, sourdough bread even for up to seven days. So if you want your bread to last for several days, you should use wholemeal or sourdough bread made from rye or whole grain meal. Tip 5: It’s best to freeze leftovers Single households in particular will be familiar with the problem: The quantities in which bread is sold are often too large. If you want to keep the excess bread from getting old, you can freeze it right after you buy it. You can either freeze the bread in one piece or in slices. So you can simply thaw and consume it in portions if necessary. Tip 6: don’t throw away old bread! If stale bread that has become dry does accumulate, don’t throw it away. A trick to get light bread and white flour rolls crispy again: Brush the crust with a little water and bake it for about ten minutes. You can use really old bread and rolls, for example, to make croutons for salads or soups. Dry rolls are also ideal for making bread dumplings. However, if mold has already formed, you should definitely throw the bread away. In this case it is not enough to cut away the moldy part. This is because the mold spores can already have penetrated the entire bread before they become visible as mold.

Five quick superfood dishes for the home office

Superfood expert reveals her favorite recipes The days in the home office – whether with or without children – often pose the challenge of still eating healthily. You quickly reach for frozen pizza or fish fingers when it has to be done quickly. But there is another way! Probably no one knows this better than the mother of five, Liane Peters-May, who, in addition to family and household, also runs a deli in Geldern in the Lower Rhine region, which has made one thing its mission: to make life a little nicer for guests – tastier, healthier, fresher and lighter. She and her business partner also closed their shop during the Corona crisis and, like many other restaurateurs, hope to be able to reopen soon . Liane gave us five simple and quick recipes that will get you and your family over lunchtime and taste delicious too! Spinach curry Ingredients for two servings: 1 can of chickpeas 200g baby spinach 1 zucchini 1 small onion 2 cloves of garlic 1 red chilli pepper 1 piece of ginger (1cm) 1 tbsp curry powder 2 tbsp coconut oil 60g red or yellow lentils 200g coconut milk 100-200ml water salt, freshly ground pepper Rinse the lentils in a sieve, drain the chickpeas into the sieve, rinse and let drain. Chop the onion, garlic, chilli pepper and ginger into small pieces. Cut the zucchini into slices. Heat coconut oil, roast the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in it for five minutes until it is fragrant. Add the lentils, zucchini and chickpeas, deglaze with the coconut milk and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with the baby spinach. If complex carbohydrates are desired, whole grain rice, couscous or colorful quinoa can be served with it. Ingredients for two servings: 3 zucchini salt and freshly ground pepper 1 stick of leek 3 eggs 1 tbsp olive oil 150g feta cheese 3 tbsp dill 60g potato starch 1 teaspoon baking powder oil for frying 200g Greek yogurt 1 clove of garlic 1 teaspoon lemon juice Salt & pepper Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Chop the dill, finely chop the leek, grate the zucchini and mix with ½ teaspoon salt. Drain in a sieve for about ten minutes. Then squeeze it out again vigorously. Mix the zucchini with the eggs and leek. Crumble in the feta, add the dill and season with salt and pepper. Add the potato starch and baking powder and mix well. Heat the oil in a pan and add a tablespoon of zucchini batter to the pan, fry the buffers on each side until golden brown. Put the finished pancakes on a plate with kitchen paper and place in the hot oven. Mix the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce and serve with the buffers. Lentil salad with roasted tomatoes   Lentil salad with roasted tomatoes Ingredients for two people: 200g cherry tomatoes 4 tbsp olive oil 250 g lentils (canned) 100 g feta cheese 1 spring onion ½ cucumber ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp lemon juice Salt, freshly ground pepper Brush the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast in an ovenproof dish at 220 degrees for about 15 minutes. Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils in a sieve, crumble the feta, chop the parsley, cut the cucumber into fine crescents, finely dice the onion and add everything to the bowl for the dressing and mix. Arrange the lentil salad on two plates and top with the roasted tomatoes. This goes well with whole grain bread and homemade spread. Pancakes Pancakes Ingredients for eight people: 150g tender oat flakes 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 ripe banana 300ml oat milk coconut oil for frying Grind the oat flakes in the food processor to flour, transfer to a bowl and mix with baking powder. Puree the banana and add to the dry ingredients together with the oat milk and stir until smooth. Heat the oil in a pan and add one tablespoon of batter to the pan for each pancake and bake on both sides for about three minutes until golden brown. Overnight Oats Overnight Oats Ingredients: 40g oat flakes 150g vegetable milk (oats, almond, coconut) cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, raw cocoa as desired, fruit, nuts 100g pureed blueberries Mix the ingredients together the night before and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, arrange the oats and add fruit and nuts and garnish.

New study: Those who eat a lot of ready meals get old faster

Ready meals make you fat – and now they are also old! The fact that ready meals are often unhealthy is nothing new. They contain lots of flavor enhancers and additives, as well as too much salt and unhealthy fats. In doing so, they switch off our natural appetite suppressor in the brain.  The result: Unbridled hunger and obesity. The risk of type 2 diabetes and brain diseases such as dementia also seem to increase with frequent consumption of finished products . Now it has been shown: Even on how quickly we age, convenience foods can have a negative impact, as a new study by Spanish scientists suggests. Telomeres provide clues about our biological age A new study by scientists at the Spanish University of Navarra gives clear indications that regular consumption of ready-made meals makes us grow old faster. In their study, the researchers analyzed the eating behavior and the state of health of around 900 older people and then divided them into groups: Group 1 ate the fewest finished products, Group 4 the most. After the subdivision, there were also clear differences in terms of health: In the fourth group there were significantly more cases of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In addition, the people from group 4 had shorter telomeres. Telomeres are a kind of protective cap at the ends of our chromosomes that shorten as we age. The shorter they are so the older we are – at least physically. Because our biological and our actual age can differ by a few years, depending on lifestyle and disposition. Cooking fresh is worth it! Although it is known that ready-made and convenience meals are not necessarily healthy, millions of them are bought every year. Because they have a great advantage: They require little or no preparation time and can therefore be easily integrated into the stressful everyday life. However, as the Spanish study shows, it seems more than worthwhile to spend more time cooking. Fortunately, there are enough healthy, balanced and, above all, fresh meals that can be prepared in just a few minutes. We have collected some of the most delicious lightning recipes for you. Self-experiment – Can healthy eating make you happy? Amazing results after only 3 days! Does it have to be the bar of chocolate that we “treat” ourselves to in order to be happy? Or isn’t there a healthier way? This is exactly what RTL reporter Thorsten Sleegers wants to find out in a self-experiment. The nutrition expert Alexander Nicolai accompanies him. You can find out in the video what he found out in this exciting experiment and how much his mood changed in just three days!