Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Solutions to the problems with Nuts


— Avoiding Pesticides —The way to minimize your intake of pesticide residues and to induce nut farmers to turn to organic production is to choose organic or wild nuts. Unfortunately, less than 1% of US farmland dedicated to producing tree nuts is certified organic, and as of 2001, there were only 19 states that produced organic tree nuts. Additionally, small farmers may not have large enough production numbers to receive USDA certification.

The good news is that larger organic nut farmers will carry the USDA certified organic seal (or the seal from one of the USDA-accredited certifying agents), and your local store may stock organic nuts imported from other areas.

If your favorite store does not carry organic nuts, please ask them to do so. You can also buy organic nuts online; some shopping suggestions are included below.

— Tips and Alternatives —Nuts are sold in many different forms. Whole nuts, still in their shells are less expensive and will last up to a year without going rancid; just be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts—especially if they're roasted—may last longer if they are kept in the refrigerator. If you plan on storing them longer than six months, consider putting them in the freezer.

You can purchase nuts sliced and chopped. This may save you some work but it will also ensure that those nuts will go bad faster. Whenever possible, purchase whole shelled nuts and cut them up yourself.

Always discard any nuts that look moldy. Choose tree nuts more often than peanuts—they are less likely to have aflatoxin. Delicious nut butters can be made from pecans, walnuts, almonds and many others.

Problems with Nuts

There are a few problems with nuts you should be aware of. But don't worry; we will also suggest solutions!

Personal Health —Aflatoxin — Peanuts are among the top three crops that are subject to infestation by molds that produce aflatoxin, a potent human carcinogen. The toxin has been found in both peanuts and peanut butter, as well as corn, rice, wheat, soybeans, and sorghum. The USDA is responsible for testing peanuts and peanut products to ensure that they do not exceed acceptable levels of aflatoxin. While new methods for eliminating these molds are being implemented, there is still some concern about the long-term effects of ingesting low levels of aflatoxin.

Allergies — Peanuts and tree nuts are both on the list of the eight most common allergens. Children are more likely to develop allergies if their parents or siblings suffer from allergies to legumes or nuts, but even those with no family history of allergies are susceptible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that particularly in families with histories of peanut allergies, nursing mothers should not consume peanuts and tree nuts. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology also recommends that children under the age of three not eat peanuts.

— Environmental —Pesticides abound in the production of nuts. A few examples follow.


Endosulfan is banned in many countries but legal in the US and India, where it is used in cashew production. This pesticide presents health risks to farm workers and to those living near where the chemical is used. In December 2003, Environmental Health Perspectives published a study linking endosulfan to delayed sexual maturation in boys in India. Animal studies indicate that the pesticide attacks the central nervous system, and can cause damage to the kidneys, testes, and liver. It is highly toxic to animals and fish as well.
Cyfluthrin, which has been used for decades on nuts, is known to be highly toxic to marine and freshwater organisms.
Phosmet, used on pistachios as well as apples and peaches, is highly toxic to honey bees.
Atrazine is one of the most widely used pesticides in the US. It is used on macadamia nuts, has been found in well water in the Midwest. It is known to harm aquatic organisms like fish and frogs, and there is some evidence that it may have a negative impact on human reproduction.
Diazinon, well known for its turf and residential pest control applications, is also used on walnuts and is highly toxic to honey bees and birds.
Once harvested, nuts are often fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide. While methyl bromide probably won't cause any harm to you when you eat nuts or other treated crops, it is quite dangerous for the farm workers who use it. Also, it is such a large factor in ozone depletion that the countries around the world are phasing out its use.

Nuts - The surprising benefits to health ( Melaka EST Trial Question 08) - Paper 1

One of the most unexpected nutritional discoveries of the 1990s was that the frequent eating of nuts appears to dramatically improve health1. In particular, nut eating greatly lowers the risk of heart disease. In 1992 researchers working on the Adventist Health Study at Loma Linda University in California reported that those eating nuts daily had up to 60% fewer heart attacks than those who ate nuts less than once per month3. The beneficial effect of nut consumption was found for men, women, vegetarians, meat-eaters, fatter people, thinner people, the old, the young, those who did much exercise and those who did little exercise. The study was large, comprising 31,000 white Californian Seventh Day Adventists and similar benefits of nut eating were subsequently found for African Americans4. Prior to the publication of these results, nutritional advice had usually been to minimise nut consumption on the grounds that they were a "fatty" food.

Four other large studies have since confirmed the benefits to the heart of nut eating2, 5-8. In addition to the cardiac benefits of consuming nuts, the risks of having a stroke9, of developing type 2 diabetes10, of developing dementia11, of advanced macular degeneration12 and of gallstones 13 have all been found to be lowered by eating nuts. Calculations suggest that daily nut eaters gain an extra five to six years of life free of coronary disease14 and that regular nut eating appears to increase longevity by about 2 years.15.

The more often nuts are eaten the better as the benefits appear to increase as the frequency of nut consumption increases. The risk of fatal coronary disease and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes both appear to decrease steadily as nut consumption increases from less than once a week to once or more per day10, 16.

Just what quantity of nuts should be eaten? The studies above suggest that 30 to 60 grams (1-2oz) of nuts should be consumed daily to gain the maximum benefits seen. Whether even larger amounts confer further benefits is currently unknown.

Nuts are of course a fatty food and many might worry that they will put on weight by eating more nuts. After all, 30 grams (or one ounce) of most nuts contain about 800 kilojoules (200 kilocalories). Happily though, on present evidence, nuts do not seem to cause weight gain1,17. For example in the Nurses' Study the frequent nut consumers were actually a little thinner on average than those who almost never consumed nuts6, and daily supplements of almonds or peanuts for six months resulted in little or no increase in body weight18. Nuts appear to satisfy hunger sufficiently well to appropriately reduce the consumption of other food.

Which nuts are best? The definitive answer to this question is currently unknown. In the Adventist Study about about 32 percent of the nuts eaten were peanuts, 29 percent almonds, 16 percent walnuts, and 23 percent other types. These researchers did not ascertain whether the nuts were fresh, oil-roasted, or dry-roasted. The Nurses' Study found that peanuts, which are legumes, appeared to be just as effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease as tree nuts6. Experiments where volunteers were fed nuts as part of their diet for several weeks have found that walnuts19-22, almonds22-25, hazelnuts26, peanuts27, pecans28, pistachio nuts29 and macadamia nuts30 all alter the composition of the blood in ways that would be expected to reduce the risk of coronary disease. Chestnuts, a nut unusually low in fat, do not yet seem to have been studied. The best advice currently is probably to eat a variety of nuts. Walnuts though, because they contain n-3 fatty acids, may be particularly beneficial 31, but this requires further study. Coconuts, on account of their high saturated fat content, should probably be avoided.

It is not completely understood just why nuts are so consistently found to be healthy31. Nuts contain low levels of saturated fats and high levels of unsaturated fats. Consequently, as would be expected, studies have clearly shown that nut consumption lowers blood cholesterol levels. No doubt the lower cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease.

Interestingly though the cholesterol is lowered by a larger amount than would be expected just from the favourable fatty acid composition of nuts31. However the reason for this is not clear. Nuts though are good sources of fibre, vitamin E, folic acid, copper, magnesium and the amino acid arginine, for each of which there is evidence of a role in preventing heart disease31. Nuts are the best dietary source of manganese and contain plant sterols, the compounds now added to some margarines to reduce cholesterol adsorption from food, and are a good source of boron32. The nutrient composition of nuts has been reviewed by King33 and by Chen34.

In New Zealand nuts are not a major part of the diet, most often being eaten in small quantities raw or as peanut butter. However nuts are very palatable and consumption could readily be increased. With a little imagination nuts can easily added to many recipes including home-baked bread, cakes, soups, main dishes, sauces, stuffings, salads and desserts. Waldorf salad, pesto and baklava are internationally well known examples. Thousands of recipes using nuts are readily available on the internet, at for example Epicurious, and RecipeSource. In Australia and New Zealand the peanut-based meat substitutes Nutolene and Nutmeat are manufactured by the Sanitarium food company.

Nut butters too are delicious, particularly peanut, almond, cashew and hazelnut butters. However most commercial peanut butters have saturated fats added to them to prevent oil separation so that it is probably healthier to seek out brands made from peanuts (and salt) only. Unfortunately, virtually all commercial peanut butters have salt added (salt tends to raise blood pressure). Alternatively peanut and other nut butters are easily made at home by roasting, and then grinding, mincing or blending the nuts.

Nuts are an important component of the Healthy Eating Pyramid 35 and peanut butter was a key component in a successful weight-loss study36. The success of this moderate-fat diet in enabling and maintaining weight loss has stimulated the development of a popular Peanut Butter Diet37 . Almonds were a major part of the vegetarian "Portfolio" diet38 which was just as effective for lowering cholesterol as the drug Lovastatin.

There is just one note of warning though. British39 and American40 surveys suggest that between one in one hundred and one in two hundred people may be allergic to one or more types of nuts. Both children and adults can be affected and the most common symptoms seem to be skin rashes and hoarseness in the throat41. For the large majority of the population though, an increase in nut consumption would appear to be desirable and "regular nut consumption can be recommended as a replacement for consumption of refined grain products or red or processed meats"10.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Activities During English Class Form 1 Beta and 1 Omega (Ramadhan Month)

These are examples of English subject activities in Form 1 Beta 2008. Look at how creative, attentive,skillful they are when it comes to group or individual presentation and demonstration. Just look at how at ease they are when it comes to English lessons. In fact, communication is not only in classroom. They do communicate through IT technology...the fastest..which is E-mails. Isn't it fun learning English in MOZAC??? This is a living proof. So ...come to MOZAC and be part of our community.
Some of the topics they presented are on How to make chocolate cake, How to build own blog, How to play rugby, How to knot your tie,and How to change the layout in Friendster.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Create and Share Crafts

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Diet During Ramadhan

DIET DURING RAMADAN

According to Sunna (the practices of Prophet Muhammad, Pbuh) and research findings referred in this report, a dietary plan is given:

1. Bread/Cereal/Rice, Pasta, Biscuits and Cracker Group: 6-11 servings/day; 2. Meat/Beans/ Nut Group: 2-3 servings/day. 3. Milk and Milk Product Group: 2-3 servings/day. 4. Vegetable Group: 3-5 servings/day; 5. Fruit Group: 2-4 servings/day. 6. Added sugar (table sugar, sucrose): sparingly. 7. Added fat, polyunsaturated oil 4-7 table spoons.

Breakfast, iftar:

Dates, three

Juice, 1 serving (4 oz.)

Vegetable soup with some pasta or graham crackers, 1 cup

The body's immediate need at the time of iftar is to get an easily available energy source in the form of glucose for every living cell, particularly the brain and nerve cells. Dates and juices are good sources of sugars. Dates and juice in the above quantity are sufficient to bring low blood glucose levels to normal levels. Juice and soup help maintain water and mineral balance in the body. An unbalanced diet and too many servings of sherbets and sweets with added sugar have been found to be unhealthy, Gumma et al. (7).

Dinner:
Consume foods from all the following food groups:

Meat/Bean Group: Chicken, beef, lamb, goat, fish, 1-2 servings (serving size = a slice =1 oz); green pea, chickpea (garbanzo, chana, humus), green gram, black gram, lentil, lima bean and other beans, 1 serving (half cup). Meat and beans are a good source of protein, minerals, and certain vitamins. Beans are a good source of dietary fiber, as well.

Bread/Cereal Group: Whole wheat bread, 2 servings (serving size = 1 oz) or cooked rice, one cup or combination. This group is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are a good source of energy and provide some protein, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Milk Group: milk or butter-milk (lassi without sugar), yogurt or cottage cheese (one cup). Those who can not tolerate whole milk must try fermented products such as butter-milk and yogurt. Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium, which are essential for body tissue maintenance and several physiological functions.

Vegetable Group: Mixed vegetable salad, 1 serving (one cup), (lettuce, carrot, parsley, cucumber, broccoli, coriander leaves, cauliflower or other vegetables as desired.) Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil or any polyunsaturated oil and 2 spoons of vinegar. Polyunsaturated fat provides the body with essential fatty acids and keto acids. Cooked vegetables such as guar beans, French beans, okra (bhindi), eggplant (baigan), bottle gourd (loki), cabbage, spinach, 1 serving (4 oz). Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, carotene, lycopenes, and other phytochemicals, which are antioxidants. These are helpful in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and many other health problems.

Fruits Group: 1-2 servings of citrus and/or other fruits. Eat fruits as the last item of the dinner or soon after dinner, to facilitate digestion and prevent many gastrointestinal problems. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C. Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber.

Fruits and mixed nuts may be eaten as a snack after dinner or tarawiaha or before sleep.

Pre-dawn Meal (sahur):

Consume a light sahur. Eat whole wheat or oat cereal or whole wheat bread, 1-2 serving with a cup of milk. Add 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or any other monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats in a salad or the cereal. Eat 1-2 servings of fruits, as a last item.

DISCUSSION

Blood cholesterol and uric acid levels are sometimes elevated during the month of Ramadan (8). Contrary to popular thinking, it was found that intake of a moderately high-fat diet, around 36% of the total energy (calories), improved blood cholesterol profile, Nomani, et al. (9) and Nomani (10). It also prevents the elevation of blood uric acid level (8-10). The normal recommended guideline for fat is 30% or less energy. On weight basis, suggested fat intake during Ramadan is almost the same as at normal days. Fat is required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and carotenoids. Essential fatty acids are an important component of the cell membrane. They also are required for the synthesis of the hormone prostaglandin. Keto-acids from fat are especially beneficial during Ramadan to meet the energy requirement of brain and nerve cells. Keto-acids also are useful in the synthesis of glucose through the metabolic pathway of gluconeogenesis. This reduces the breakdown of body proteins for glucose synthesis. Therefore, the energy equivalent of 1-2 bread/cereal servings may be replaced with polyunsaturated fat.

During Ramadan increased gastric acidity is often noticed, Iraki, et al. (5), exhibiting itself with symptoms such as a burning feeling in the stomach, a heaviness in the stomach, and a sour mouth. Whole wheat bread, vegetables, humus, beans, and fruits -- excellent sources of dietary fiber -- trigger muscular action, churning and mixing food, breaking food into small particles, binding bile acids, opening the area between the stomach and the deudenum-jejunum and moving digesta in the small intestine, Kay (11). Thus, dietary fiber helps reduce gastric acidity and excess bile acids, Rydning et al. (12). In view of dietary fiber's role in moving digesta, it prevents constipation. It's strongly suggested that peptic ulcer patients avoid spicy foods and consult a doctor for appropriate medicine and diet. Diabetic subjects, particularly severe type I (insulin dependent) or type II (non-insulin dependent), must consult their doctor for the type and dosage of medicine, and diet and precautions to be taken during the month. Generally diabetes mellitus, type II, is manageable through proper diet during Ramadan, Azizi and Siahkolah (13).

Pregnant and lactating women's needs for energy and nutrients are more critical than the needs of men (14). There is a possibility of health complications to the pregnant woman and the fetus or the lactating mother and the breastfed child, if energy and nutrient requirements are not met during the month of Ramadan (15-19). Governments, communities, and heads of the family must give highest priority to meet women's dietary needs. In African countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and many other places malnutrition is a major problem, especially among women from low-income groups. Further more, it is common among these women to perform strenuous work on farms or in factories, and other places. Malnutrition and strenuous conditions may lead to medical problems and danger to life. Under these conditions one must consult a medical doctor for treatment and maulana or shiekh for postponement or other suggestions regarding fasting. Quran Al-Hakeem and Hadith allow pregnant women and lactating mothers flexibility during the month of Ramadan.

For practical purposes and estimation of nutrients a diet was formulated, given below:

Iftar:
3 dates, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of vegetable soup, 2 plain graham crackers; dinner: 1 cup of vegetable salad with two teaspoons of corn oil and two teaspoon of vinegar, 2 oz. of chicken, 1/2 cup of okra, 4 oz. of cooked whole chana (garbanzo), 3 tea spoon of oil while cooking main dishes, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of cooked rice, 3/4 cup of plain yogurt, one orange, 1/2 cup grapes, 1 oz of nuts-mixed roasted-without salt; sahur: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of vegetable salad with two teaspoons of corn oil and two teaspoons of vinegar, 1 skinned apple, 2 teaspoons of sugar with tea or coffee.

Nutritionist IV (20) was used to estimate energy and nutrient content in the above diet, which was as follows: energy, 2136 kilocalories; protein, 70g; carbohydrate , 286g; fat, 87g, 35 % of energy of the total intake, (saturated fat 16.9g; mono saturated, 28.4g; poly unsaturated, 34g; other 7.3g; - oleic, 25.6g; linoleic, 29.5; linolenic, 0.6g; EPA-Omega-3, 0.006g; DHA-omega-3, 0.023g; dietary fiber 34g; calcium, 1013mg; sodium, 3252 mg; potassium, 2963mg; iron 13.3mg; zinc, 10mg. When the nutrients were compared with the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), for an adult non-pregnant and non-lactating female (14), the diet met 100% or more of the RDA for protein, calcium, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folate, and C. The energy was close to the RDA, (97%). The dietary fiber level also was met as per the recommendation (11). Consuming food in the above amount by pregnant or lactating female may not meet the RDA for all of the nutrients. They may need supplementation of some minerals and vitamins such as, iron vitamin D, and more energy through bread or rice.

Further suggestions:

Drink sufficient water between Iftar and sleep to avoid dehydration.

Consume sufficient vegetables at meal s. Eat fruits at the end of the meal.

Avoid intake of high sugar (table sugar, sucrose) foods through sweets or other forms.

Avoid spicy foods.

Avoid caffeine drinks such as coke, coffee or tea. Caffeine is a diuretic. Three days to five days before Ramadan gradually reduce the intake of these drinks. A sudden decrease in caffeine prompts headaches, mood swings and irritability.

Smoking is a health risk factor. Avoid smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking negatively affects utilization of various vitamins, metabolites and enzyme systems in the body.

Do not forget to brush or Miswak (tender neem tree branch, Azhardicta indica or other appropriate plant in a country, about 1/4-1/2 inch diameter and 6-8 inches length, tip partially chewed and made brush like). Brush your teeth before sleep and after sahur. Brush more than two times or as many times as practicable.

Normal or overweight people should not gain weight. For overweight people Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to lose weight. Underweight or marginally normal weight people are discouraged from losing weight. Analyzing a diet's energy and nutritional component, using food composition tables or computer software, will be useful in planning an appropriate diet.

It is recommended that everyone engage in some kind of light exercise, such as stretching or walking. It's important to follow good time management practices for Ibada (prayer and other religious activities), sleep, studies, job, and physical activities or exercise.

In summary, intake of a balanced diet is critical to maintain good health, sustain an active lifestyle and attain the full benefits of Ramadan.

Benefits of dates dan prayer to Muslims

Why is it considered healthy to break the Ramadan fast with dates, and why are Muslims recommended to pray before iftar?




Breaking the fast with dates is a Ramadan tradition, as most of its benefits are unique to this particular fast. Breaking one’s fast with dates, as well as praying before iftar, are both mentioned in the Hadith literature: "The Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water.”



One of the many physical benefits of breaking the fast with dates is that our body benefits from the date’s high level of natural sugars. Sugars travel most quickly to the liver, where they are converted into energy more quickly than any other nutrient. Muslims have an immediate need for this energy when they break their fast, for they need energy to perform their sunset prayers. Ironically, one also needs this energy to consume the iftar meal. When a person eats, the body uses energy to digest the food. Eating large quantities of food immediately after fasting is not healthy for the body, which is in a weakened condition. Eating a date first helps the body start its digestive process and gives it the energy to deal with the secondary, more complex foods, eaten during ifta.



Dates are also high in vitamins A and B6, folic acid, potassium, natural sodium, iron, and magnesium. Thus, eating dates daily during Ramadan is like taking a daily multivitamin. This daily multivitamin can create a stronger and healthier body, one more fit for fasting. Dates also contain large amounts of dietary fiber, which can prevent any constipation that might result from eating the traditionally rich foods served during Ramadan. Additionally, dates protect the stomach and intestinal tract from parasites and bacteria, and thus is a good preventative medicine when eating iftar at unfamiliar locations.



Dates also have a special place in Islam. In fact, they were one of the Prophet’s (SAW) most frequently consumed foods. For this reason, their benefit is most likely spiritual as well as physical. If their benefit were purely physical, one could perhaps consume any fruit high in natural sugars before iftar to gain similar benefits. However, the act of following the Prophet’s (SAW) tradition is one way of connecting and remembering him, which is spiritually beneficial for Muslims.



One should pray after eating dates and before eating the main meal, because this short break gives the body time to metabolize the dates and water that have been consumed and to start the body’s digestive processes, which have been resting all day. Eating large amounts of food immediately after breaking the fast resembles starting a car and the driving it without giving it enough time to warm up. As we know, this can damage the engine’s internal mechanics.



The same is true with the body, for jumpstarting the body’s digestive processes can shock the entire organ system. In some cases, this shock could be dangerous. In most cases, however, it is simply an unhealthy way to break the fast. The immediate dangers are apparent in the increased need to sleep after the iftar. This sleepy feeling comes about because the body has expended so much energy on the digestive system that it needs to lower its other bodily functions in order to perform its digestive duties properly. Over time, this habit can cause long-term damage to the body.

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