Food drives the body’s power plant

To stay healthy, the body needs around 50 nutrients in sufficient quantities, including carbohydrates, fat and protein as well as vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Otherwise there is a risk of complaints. Without food, man would starve to death within a month. The body gets all the nutrients it needs to survive from food. He works like a power plant and burns the substances so that they provide him with energy . And he needs the materials all the time, regardless of whether the person is resting or working hard. About half of the energy that the body gains from food is converted into heat. It uses a fraction in the excretions and to shed dead body cells, another part it needs for digestion itself. The rest, that is about 40 percent, is used, for example, for the heart, breathing and physical activities – or it stores it. In addition, the absorbed nutrients serve as building blocks for his cells. People have to ingest around 50 nutrients through food in order to stay healthy. The most important sources of energy are carbohydrates in the form of starch and sugar. They are the fuel that feeds muscles , nerves and the brain . Fats are also an indispensable source of energy. They also cushion the internal organs and form the material from which the elastic sheaths of the cells are made. The body uses the protein in the food as if from a construction kit: It uses it to assemble muscles , skin , hair, hormones or immune cells. Humans also have to take in vitamins and minerals in very small amounts . All vitamins and many minerals are essential, i.e. vital, and that means that humans depend on taking them in through food, as the body cannot usually produce them itself. Then there are the phytochemicals that are not officially part of the nutrients. These substances primarily help the plant itself, for example in repelling pests or, as a coloring or fragrance, attracting animals to pollinate flowers. But they also have many health-promoting effects for humans. Carbohydrates and fiber carbohydrates The body needs carbohydrates for quick energy production. The brain uses them almost exclusively. If the person has hypoglycaemia, they feel tired and exhausted and have difficulty concentrating. If carbohydrates are missing over a long period of time, the body attacks its fat reserves. If both are not available, the substance is at stake: the body breaks down protein, muscles dwindle. Carbohydrates are not really essential because the body can produce them on its own. Nevertheless, it is an important part of the diet. Chemically speaking, all carbohydrates are sugars. There are simple sugars such as grape sugar (glucose) or fruit sugar (fructose), but they can combine to form double or multiple sugars. A double sugar is, for example, household sugar (sucrose), which consists of glucose and fructose. Multiple sugars, especially starch, are made from long chains of single sugars that are found in cereals or potatoes, for example. Fiber Various carbohydrates also combine to form chains that can not be broken down by the digestive system and are therefore indigestible. These are the so-called dietary fibers. They are found in plant foods. When foods contain sugar or starch together with fiber, for example in fruit and whole grain products, these carbohydrates fill you up better and cause blood sugar to rise more slowly than foods that contain sugar or starch without fiber, such as in sweets or white bread. Fats In addition to carbohydrates, fat is an important supplier of energy. It is embedded in the membrane of cells and it is involved in the cell’s metabolism. The body needs the fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, K and carotene (the precursor of vitamin A) . The fat also protects him from the cold and supports internal organs. Man could not survive long without fat. He would lack energy reserves that his body can fall back on in an emergency, because energy can only be stored in the form of fat. This is actually good because he has important energy reserves in an emergency – but bad when the cushions get too big and excess weight results. But that doesn’t mean that too much fat makes you fat. Obesity can also result from too many carbohydrates, because an excess of carbohydrates is converted into fat and stored in fat pads. In moderation, fat is essential. The decisive factor is the type of fatty acids consumed . Experts differentiate between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Then there is the fat-like substance cholesterol . Egg white (protein) In order to produce cells, muscle fibers , bones, organs, hormones or blood, humans have to ingest protein through food. The body then converts these important building blocks into its own proteins. The diet should therefore consist of around 10 to 20 percent protein-containing foods such as cheese, meat, eggs, milk or milk products and fish. Vegetable protein is mainly found in cereals, potatoes, nuts, pulses and soy. As an energy supplier, however, protein is more of a late bloomer. It takes a lot of time to break down protein. The building material is also the body’s last reserve, which it only attacks in an emergency – for example in times of hunger or serious illnesses. A lack of protein can lead to growth damage, muscle wasting or changes in the blood count. The body produces twelve amino acids itself The protein contained in food is digested by enzymes and broken down into 20 different amino acids. These migrate through the small intestine into the blood and are assembled in the cells in a specific sequence to form body proteins. The organism can produce eleven of these 20 amino acids itself, nine can only be obtained from food. So that protein can be used and built up correctly, all of these amino acids must be present in the correct ratio, otherwise the protein build-up will only work in a halt. This is why a varied diet is important: Grain and dairy products, meat, fish and eggs contain all the important amino acids in sufficient quantities. Vegetarians can meet their needs with grains, nuts and dairy products. Vitamins Vitamins are organic substances that the body needs for vital functions. Only very small amounts of the vitamins are required because the body does not burn them and does not build them into the cells. Rather, vitamins maintain the chemistry in the body by regulating many metabolic processes, for example the formation of hormones, the construction of body tissue. They support the immune system and help detoxify the body. The organism cannot produce vitamins itself, or only to a very limited extent. Humans therefore have to take them in through food. Some vitamins, dissolved in water, get into the blood through the intestine : these are the water-soluble vitamins . The blood transports them to where they are needed. However, the body can hardly store them. Vitamins that he does not need are eliminated with the urine. The water-soluble vitamins help convert carbohydrates , fats and protein. Vitamin C strengthens the connective tissue. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) strengthens the condition. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) gives energy. Vitamin B3 (niacin) strengthens the skin and nerves. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) stimulates the metabolism. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supports the immune system. Vitamin B7 (biotin) is needed by the skin and hair. Vitamin B9 or B 11 (folic acid) is important for the embryo and helps to form new blood. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) helps with cell growth. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, do not mix with water. You need fat as a transport medium, otherwise the body cannot use it. Vitamin A is important for the eyes. Vitamin D strengthens the bones. Vitamin E protects against tissue-damaging substances, so-called free radicals, Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting. Vitamin tablets only for those who don’t like fruit Vitamin tablets can be useful if you cannot otherwise absorb enough of these substances, for example if you are on a strict diet, suffer from illness or after an operation. Even in pregnancy , in which the vitamin requirement is significantly increased, supplemental vitamin tablets may be required. Please ask the attending physician here. For those who don’t like fruit and vegetables, these preparations are better than completely avoiding vitamins. However, the artificial vitamins are not an adequate substitute for the natural substances. When pressed in tablet form, vitamins can work differently than in the fruit. In it, they often develop or intensify their effect in interaction with the other ingredients. Minerals The body cannot produce minerals itself. They must therefore be supplied through food or drinks. They only make up a negligibly small proportion of the body mass, but they fulfill vital functions. One of the most important minerals is calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth . Sodium and potassium regulate the body’s water balance and make the muscles work. Magnesium activates more than 300 enzymes and controls the interaction of nerves and muscles. But the body does not need the same amount of every mineral. The body needs a higher dose of the so-called bulk elements such as sodium and calcium: with sodium it is at least 500 milligrams per day, with calcium as much as 800 to 1,000 milligrams. The trace elements such as iron and zinc are different : the body only needs very small amounts of these. A few milligrams, sometimes just a few micrograms, are sufficient. Secondary plant substances Plants are not just made up of carbohydrate fibers, water, fat and protein. They also store tiny amounts of substances that they need to survive: they ward off pests, use dyes or fragrances to attract animals to pollinate or regulate growth. The number of these different plant substances is estimated at 60,000 to 100,000, but only a fraction of them has been researched in more detail. Some of these so-called secondary plant substances are healthy for humans: They are not miracle cures, but they have healing properties. Some of them may prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, or act as antioxidants. Secondary plant substances are found in many types of vegetables and fruits. Cereal products, potatoes and aromatic plants also contain these important substances. They probably only develop their health-promoting effect in interaction with other components of the plant. It’s not just the carrot that contains carotenoids Alpha and beta carotene are among the most important secondary plant substances. These are precursors of vitamin A. There are plenty of carotenoids in carrots, tomatoes, grapefruit, red peppers and apricots. They’re also found in green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale – about ten times more than in a comparable amount of fruit. If you eat enough fruits and vegetables there is no need to fear shortages. However, too much carotene has side effects: The skin turns slightly yellow at times. In rare cases, eating too much carotene can affect the liver. If the consumption is reduced to the usual amounts again, the values ​​normalize quickly. You should be careful with beta-carotene in pill form. Research has shown that it can increase the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers. Polyphenols protect against hardening of the arteries The polyphenols include flavonoids and phenolic acids. These plant substances prevent pests from attacking a plant. Embedded in the outer layers of the leaves and peel, the polyphenols protect the underlying tissue. They are particularly common in apples, but also in onions, endive salad, blue grapes, cocoa, green tea and red wine. Red wine may protect against cardiovascular diseases because of its flavonoids. If possible, fruit and vegetables should be eaten unpeeled, as the polyphenol content is highest under the skin. It gradually decreases with prolonged storage. Phytoestrogens act like the female sex hormone Phytoestrogens, i.e. plant hormones, are mainly found in whole grains and oilseeds such as soybeans and flaxseed. Ingested through food, they compete with the female sex hormone estrogen in the body. They mimic the hormone or block it by docking on the body’s own estrogen receptors. However, it has not been proven whether these plant substances actually inhibit breast and prostate cancer, both of which are dependent on hormones.

Eat better for the climate: Then you should avoid these two foods

Experts warn that time is running out in the fight against climate change. Everyone can make a contribution in their everyday life – for example with the right eating habits. Six experts from the “BBC” explain what these are. We cause a good quarter of all greenhouse gases with food. Reason enough to rethink your eating habits and minimize your personal carbon footprint. Six experts have explained to the “BBC” how one can eat better for the climate. All of the expert statements revolve around two food groups: meat and dairy products.  Environmental and climate protection concerns us all. This article is part of the project “Let’s tackle it!” the Bertelsmann Content Alliance, to which stern also belongs as part of Gruner + Jahr. With the combined strength and range of our journalistic offerings, we want to generate maximum attention and convey knowledge – for one of the most important topics of our time. #PACKENWIRSAN “Two products that look exactly the same in stores can have dramatically different environmental effects. Adding eco-labels would not only give us better choices, it would also mean that manufacturers would have to measure their environmental impact – which is rare these days Fall is – and then you would have to compete with each other. The biggest way to reduce your impact is to avoid meat and dairy products. That has an even bigger impact than restricting your flights or buying an electric car. “ Richard George, Greenpeace: We should eat a plant-based diet “ Meat causes 60 percent of the world’s food-related greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat and dairy products is a practical thing we can all do to reduce our dietary emissions. If we eat more grains, fruits and vegetables, and less meat, we can Get more food from less land, which eases the pressure to turn forests into farmland. It’s also much healthier for us. “ Patrick Holden, Founding Director of The Sustainable Food Trust: We should eat meat from grazing cattle The most important thing we can do is eat in a way that our farmers can adopt sustainable farming practices. That way, they can rebuild the soil carbon lost in industrial agriculture. We are committed to sustainable nutrition that prevents increased consumption of grass-fed or mainly grass-fed beef and lamb.” “You are reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of your diet and that of your family by eating less – and better – meat and dairy products. But you can start doing more for the planet by becoming an ‘Active Eat Citizen.’ You can be talking to the retailer about where their products come from, lobbying your local politicians, or getting involved in projects to increase green space and local food production in your community. You may think these things are stealing too much of your time. Just a letter, an email or tweet is all you need to get started as an environmental activist. “ Rob Percival, Director of Food and Health Policies at Soil Assocation: We should be consuming organic foods “Organic farming can help combat climate change because organic soils are healthier and store more carbon. Recent studies have linked pesticide use to a collapse in global insect populations. Studies have shown that wildlife on organic farms accounts for 50 percent occur more often than on non-organic farms. Every time you buy organic, you help nature to develop. “ Emma Keller, Head of Food Commodities at WWF: Healthy eating has more than one use “According to our Livewell study, with a healthy, sustainable diet we can reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030. This means that we need more pulses, nuts, fruit and vegetables on our plates and less meat (red , white, ultra-processed), dairy and cheese. ” 

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.

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.

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!

Can you still eat sprouting potatoes?

Do you have to throw away sprouting potatoes? This has probably already happened to most of them: If potatoes remain on the kitchen shelf for a longer time after purchase, they will develop germs for a longer or shorter period of time. Do you have to dispose of the potatoes? Or is it enough to simply remove the germs and then you can eat the tubers as usual? It depends on the length of the germs Whether you can still eat sprouting potatoes depends on how far the germ formation has progressed: If the sprouts are no longer than a few centimeters and the potato itself is still relatively firm, you can eat it without hesitation. If you peel the potatoes and cut out the germs generously, this significantly lowers the content of poisonous solanine. If the tubers are already wrinkled and the germs are longer than a finger’s breadth, the potatoes should no longer be eaten. This also applies if the potatoes are largely green. What is the problem with sprouting potatoes? Potatoes are nightshade plants that produce the poisonous substance solanine in order to protect themselves from predators. This heat-resistant toxin is found in areas that have become green, the skin and the dark “eyes” of potatoes as well as in the germs themselves. In higher concentrations, solanine makes the potatoes bitter. Solanine is only harmful to health if it is consumed in large quantities. Then symptoms of intoxication such as a burning sensation in the throat and stomach or intestinal problems can occur. Because children are often more sensitive to potential toxins than adults, they should best eat potatoes peeled. This is how to prevent potatoes from sprouting Sprouting can be delayed if the potatoes are stored in a dark, cool place – preferably in an unheated, but frost-free, airy cellar. In addition to temperature, exposure to light also plays a central role in the formation of germs: Potatoes should be stored in complete darkness if possible. They should also be kept separate from apples – because apples emit the ripening gas ethylene , which promotes budding.

Are Vegetable Chips Healthier Than Potato Chips?

80 different products in the test Off to the couch, TV on and a bag of chips to nibble on. Just a chip or two. Many nibblers know that it usually doesn’t stay that way. If only the little salty things weren’t there! That is why many people are now turning to supposedly healthier alternatives and getting chips that are not made from potatoes, but from beetroot, parsnip or sweet potato. After all, pulses and vegetables are good for the figure and the manufacturers promise crunch without regrets. But are vegetable chips really healthier? The consumer advice center NRW has tested it. High in Fiber and Less Fat? Specifically, the consumer advice center examined 37 chip variations based on legumes, 21 items with vegetable chips and 22 different puff snacks, which are offered by 27 manufacturers in stationary and online shops. Many of them are advertised with the most diverse health-related statements such as “less fat than …”, “high in fiber” or “high protein content”. First things first: Few products offer real calorie savings compared to normal potato chips. Legume chips only 100 kilocalories less In particular, chips made from legumes are often advertised with claims between 30 and 70 percent “less fat than conventional chips”. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that these statements are true, but that the lower fat content does not automatically mean a correspondingly lower amount of calories, according to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia. For example, the statement “40 percent less fat than potato chips” for the products under consideration was accompanied by calorie quantities that are only 9 to 18 percent lower than those of potato chips. On average, the 37 different pulses made from legumes under review produce around 439 kilocalories per 100 grams. In comparison, potato chips averaged 536 kilocalories per 100 grams. Vegetable chips are sometimes even greasier In the case of vegetable crisps, the judgment of the consumer advice center is even tougher: the supposedly healthy alternative has an average of 496 kilocalories per 100 grams, which is only seven percent below the calorie content of potato crisps. What is particularly noticeable in this product group is the sometimes very high fat content. According to consumer protection, some products were even significantly higher than the fat content of potato chips.   Puffed snacks vary widely in terms of nutritional information In addition to the chips, the consumer center also looked at the difference between puffed snacks and peanut flips. Among the 22 puffed snacks were some products with a fat and calorie content noticeably lower than that of peanut flips. However, the product group shows a wide range in terms of nutritional values. The calorie content is between 377 and 481 kilocalories per 100 grams. The fat content also varies greatly with values ​​between 1.8 and 23 grams of fat per 100 grams. So it’s worth taking a look at the nutritional information here. The conclusion of the consumer advice center: Chips or snacks made from beetroot, parsnips, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, lentils or peas are no healthier than potato chips or peanut flips.

5 Brain Food Supplements

Did уоu actually know thаt thеrе аrе certain foods thаt оnе саn eat whісh wіll help thеm tо bесоmе a lot smarter аnd аlѕо hаvе a brain thаt wіll bе able tо function аt full capacity аnd perform maximum results? If уоu don’t, thеn уоu ѕhоuld count уоurѕеlf lucky today, аѕ hеrе аrе 5 brain food supplements thаt mау sound surprising оr astonishing tо уоu аt fіrѕt sight: 1. Pork Whу іѕ pork a great brain supplement? Thіѕ іѕ bесаuѕе pork іѕ actually vеrу rich іn Thiamine, whісh іѕ a vitamin thаt encourages healthy blood fоr уоur brain. Thе reason whу уоu mіght bе confused іѕ bесаuѕе уоu probably know thаt mоѕt pork іѕ high іn fat аnd unnaturally processed. Thе pork hеrе refers tо thоѕе thаt аrе аѕ organic tо possible, аnd thоѕе wіthоut fatty cuts. 2. Nuts Nuts ѕuсh аѕ almonds аnd walnuts аrе great brain supplements аѕ thеу contain omega fatty acids thаt аrе important іn brain function. Thеѕе nuts аlѕо contain high nitric oxide thаt helps tо stimulate healthy blood flow, аnd аnу fоrm оf healthy blood flow іѕ definitely good fоr уоur brain. 3. Eggs Eggs аrе great bесаuѕе thеу contain thе highest natural source оf choline, a kind оf nutrient thаt actually helps tо boost thе memory center оf thе brain. Choline аlѕо helps уоur brain gеt fired uр fоr high level thinking thrоugh increasing neuron firing. Organic eggs аrе thе best fоrm оf eggs thаt contain thе highest level оf choline іf уоu еvеr decide tо make thеm раrt оf уоur diet. 4. Rеd berries Thеrе аrе mаnу forms оf rеd berries, ѕuсh аѕ raspberries, cherries аnd strawberries. Rеd berries hаvе high quantities оf polyphenols thаt wіll help оnе tо control thе hormones іn уоur brain, especially thе ones thаt tell уоu whеn tо eat аnd whеn tо stop. Bу eating mоrе rеd berries, уоu wіll bе able tо bring thеѕе hormones undеr control аnd curb уоur cravings fоr mоrе food. 5. Blue аnd black berries Apart frоm rеd berries, blue аnd black berries аrе аlѕо great аlthоugh thеу serve a different purpose. Blue аnd black berries contain mоrе omega fatty acids just like nuts, аnd саn serve аѕ a replacement fоr people whо dо nоt like tо eat nuts. Bе sure tо bе eating thе berries directly rаthеr thаn consuming blueberry оr blackberry juice, аѕ consuming juices wіll raise уоur sugar intake tо unnatural levels.