Category Archives: Food and health

Caffeine Alert.

Caffeine a central nervous stimulant, is one of the most abused (directly or indirectly) stimulants today. It is commonly found in energy drinks, soft drinks, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, some over the counter pills and the rest. Though, consuming caffeine helps prevent some disease and certain cancers by serving as protective agent, but consuming a harmful dosage of it can be harmful or worse lead to death of an individual. According to Mayo Clinic, “up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults”. That is the equivalent of around four cups of coffee

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Coke addicts, coffee addicts,energy drink addidcts please beware of this little angel but big devil….its fun consuming it but the baggage that comes with it aint so much fun, that’s if you survive it…. Unfortunately Davis Cripe did not.

Late Davis Cripe (may his soul rest in perfect peace), a 16-year old boy, having consumed 3 caffeinated drinks (a large Mountain Dew, a latte and an energy drink) collapsed in class under two hours.  According to sky news report; “It was ruled that the student died after his heart fell out of rhythm due to the amount of caffeine ingested into his system over such a short period of time. And it was believed that the last drink caused the cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) which led to his death an hour later”.

To the Cripe family….I’m sorry for your loss. To the rest of us still living, please its time to take precautions towards our caffeine intake as we do alcohol and/or cigarretes.

Why you should not take a combination of vitamin C and PET drinks: The fact.

Wonder how some Nigerians carry news ehn…once we hear a gist or news, we just start broadcasting it without doing our own research….we don’t even care to know if its false, true or overexaggerated…..can you imagine what a friend said concerning the coke and Vitamin C saga….I quote “Coca cola company produce poisonous drinks just for Nigerians as it contains one chemical found in the drinks produced for our market only”…..I was so annoyed that I felt goosebumps all over my skin….Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind when I read the warning issued by the federal high court was, why would someone take a combination of both in the first place?….I for one never knew Vitamin C was bitter enough to need a soft drink to push it down the throat…..some people though.

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Benzene is used as a preservative in most food and drink products in the form of sodium, potassium or calcium benzoate. Benzene is hazardous due to the carcinogenic nature of the benzene molecule which is formed from the decarboxylation of the preservative (benzoic acid) in the presence of vitamin C, iron or copper under heat or light.

Foods with this preservatives are safe provided you and the retailer are cautious enough… Never buy or drink a soft drink that has been allowed to sit under the sun, especially those containing these chemicals. And please Vitamin C is not bitter….lick it like that.

Also be careful with the way you consume chemical products….consume with caution….different people has different chemical compositions and thus react to things differently…..To those who love taking drugs with drinks……please use water…..that’s still the best.

What you stand to gain by eating banana with groundnut.

I love taking chocolates not because its sweet, but because of the pleasure I derive from it….especially the way my heart melts when it dissolves on my tongue…..God that feeling is bae, but then the rise in dollar has separated us (sad). In my quest of finding myself a new love, I came across this two friends (banana and groundnut). Though at first, it seemed odd and insane to combine both, if it were roasted plantain (Boli) and groundnut now I concur, but this…no freaking way was my reaction. But then you can never know the feeling of something until you try it. I can never forget the first time I tried these babies, it was gross……but then a friend taught me the right way of combing them (eating both together at once, thus allowing the juice to melt on your tongue before swallowing), my God it was awesome. I blessed God for bringing both together and for giving me the priviledge of meeting both. But then as a food scientist, my curiousity set in….what do people tend to derive from this combination? which is complementing which also?

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Even Peter Obi…former governor of Anambra State knows that feeling

So I did my homework and here’s a summary of what you tend to get by combining these two friends;

Apart from fibers which are associated with reduced risk of heart diseases and faster digestion process you tend to get;

  • potassium which helps the body to maintain normal blood pressure and heart functions. Also help with learning by making you more alert
  • vitamin c
  • manganese: helps in the breakdown and digestion of foods
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B3 which helps to support the body metabolism
  • copper
  • biotin
  • carbohydrate, needed for energy
  • protein
  • fat
  • phosphorous
  • zinc

In summary I’d say, eating banana with groundnut is not only bae but highly nutritious with both complimemting each other.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READINGS:

THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST FOOD: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7

Nutrients for a Handful of Unsalted Roasted Peanuts: http://www.foodmatters.com/article/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

25 Powerful Reasons to Eat Bananas: http://www.foodmatters.com/article/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

 

 

Knowing your Food Ingredients

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There’s been this battle in my house for a while now. It’s on my intake of Maggi. Mum says it will damage my health, dad says it will change my body chemistry, I say it is harmless if consumed wisely. So I did a little research after getting tired of the argument (cos I lose all the time, lol.). In my research I found out that a lot of people go with my parents with no backings, just theories and just a few actually go with me with backings. Now I’m going to summarize what I have learnt from both sides, I don’t wanna bore you with scientific jargon (apology to my colleagues out there). Continue reading Knowing your Food Ingredients

Understanding Food Addiction

Being a food addict means being dependent on the good feelings gotten from consuming certain foods (usually common with high palatable foods such as sugar, fat, and salt) which often results in a continuous need to eat, even when not hungry.

Main causes of food addiction

  • biological;

– hormonal imbalances,

– abnormalities in various brain structures,

– side effects of certain medications,

– family history.

  • psychological;

– emotional abuse,

– sexual abuse,

– victim/survivor of traumatic events,

– inability to cope with negative situations in a healthy way,

– chronic low self esteem,

– experiencing grief or loss.

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Chronic self esteem
  • social;

– disturbance in family functions,

– pressure from peers,

– pressure from society,

– social violation,

– child abuse,

– stressful life events.

What happens when one is addicted to food?

  1. One eat more than you can tolerate physicallystk466792-e1406582676363-300x300
  2. You eat till the point of feeling ill
  3. You go out of your way to obtain certain foods
  4. You eat in secret or isolation
  5. You notice a decrease in energy
  6. You find it difficult to concentrate
  7. Start having sleep disorders
  8. Restlessness
  9. Everything becomes irritable
  10. Headaches
  11. Digestive disorders
  12. Suicidal ideas

Effects of food addiction

  • Physical effects which include;

stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity,malnutrition, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, reduced sex drive, sleep disorders, headache, kidney/liver failure, osteoporosis.

  • Psychological effects which include;

low self esteem, depression, panic attacks, increased feeling of anxiety, emotional detachment, suicidal ideas.

  • Social effects which include;

decreased performance at work, decreased performance at school, isolation from loved ones, division within family units, loss of interest in activities, avoidance at functions, jeopardizing finances, jeopardizing career.download-8

How to treat an addiction (food).

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Nutrition therapies by a nutritionist
  • medication such as antidepressants

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In conclusion, addictions though interwoven can be controlled a step a day and can as well be triggered by just a bit of it. So as such, never deal with addictions alone, it only create more fear and isolation. Get appropriate help today.

BREADFRUIT

Breadfruit commonly known as Ji enu and Ukwa by the Igbos, is a member of the Moraceae family. It is a tropical tree commonly grown in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, South Pacific, the Caribbean and Central America, that produces a large, round starchy fruit. This fruit can be used as a vegetable and sometimes to make flour.

SPECIES OF BREADFRUIT

There are two main species;

  • Breadnuts (Artocarpus camansi): known as the wild ancestors of breadfruits and are commonly found in New Guinea, Indonesia, and possibly the Philippines.

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  • Seedless breadfruits (Artocarpus altilis): usually light green, yellowish-green or yellow in color when matured. In Nigeria, it is predominantly found in the South-West; Ile-Ife, Ikire, Ogbomosho, Akure and Ekiti.

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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF BREADFRUIT

Content Nutrient Value
Total calories 103Kcal
Carbohydrates 27.12g
Dietary fiber 4.9g
Ash 0.93g
Water 40.65
Sugar 111g
Protein 1.07g
Vitamin C 29mg
Total fat 0.23g
Polyunsaturated fatty acid 0.066g
Saturated fatty acid 0.048
Methionine 0.01g
Lysine 0.037g
Cysteine 0.009g
Calcium 17mg

 

UTILIZATION OF BREADFRUITS

  • Breadfruits can be mixed with yam in the preparation of pounded yam
  • The pulp can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, or fried like yam
  • It can be fried like plantain chips
  • It can be made into porridge
  • It can be processed into flour
  • It can be cooked with coconut cream
  • It can be used as a complementary food
  • As bread made from fermented breadfruit flour
  • As sweet snack made from preserved paste

BENEFITS OF BREADFRUITS

HEALTH BENEFITS 

  • Breadfruit helps the body develop resistance against infections due to the presence of antioxidants
  • It helps reduce blood pressure in the body due to the presence of potassium
  • It helps in regulating heart rate by minimizing the effects of Sodium
  • It reduces cholesterol level
  • Source of energy
  • Aids digestion

SKIN BENEFITS OF BREADFRUITS

  • Breadfruit helps to prevent excessive skin inflammation
  • High amount of vitamin C in breadfruit helps in the production of collagen
  • It encourages new cell growth
  • It cures skin infections
  • Treat skin diseases

Breadfruit benefits the body as it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which stimulates skin and hair growth, regulate metabolism and promote bone health. It inhibits the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes and prevents overproduction of nitric oxides,thus preventing skin inflammation.

STORAGE AND ITS EFFECTS ON BREADFRUIT

Breadfruit  is stored under water to delay its ripening process and extend its shelf life for a few more days.

  • Research by Ragone in 2006 showed that, storing in cool place or under water delayed ripening by 3-5 days
  • Research by Worrell  in 2002 showed that, storing at low temperature (13°C) delayed ripening for about 10 days
  • Storage at temperatures between 12-16°C delays ripening for a maximum of about 20 days.

Compiled: ARIGBEDE Titilope 

Do you have any other information on breadfruit? Leave a comment

 

 

FOOD POISONING

Food as defined by Codex Alimentarius Comission is any substance whether processed, semi processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption. It includes; chewing gum, drinks and any substance which has been used in the manufacture, preparation or treatment of food.

Food poisoning results from the indigestion of contaminated food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or the toxins made by these germs. It can also be a result of eating poisonous plants e.g mushroom and animals e.g pufferfish. It can be referred to as Food borne Diseases or Illness.

THE FOOD POISONING CHAIN

  • A bacteria must be present
  • The bacteria must have the right conditions to grow i.e warmth (between 5°C – 60°C ), moisture and foodtdz
  • The bacteria must have the time to grow and multiply

HIGH RISK FOODS

Some high risk foods include:

  • meat,
  • poultry,
  • dairy product,
  • eggs,
  • seafood,
  • cooked rice,
  • pasta,
  • salads,
  • coleslaw,
  • pasta salads, and
  • fruit salads.

PEOPLE AT RISK

Everybody is at risk of food poisoning but the elderly, babies and pregnant women are mostly at risk due to their weak immune systems.

CAUSES OF FOOD POISONING

  1. Physical causes: presence of bone/bone chips, metal flakes, peces of product packaging material, stones, insects e.t.c.
  2. Chemical causes: presence of pesticides, insecticides, incomplete removal of cyanide in cassava processing e.t.c.
  3. Biological causes: could be parasite, virus or bacteria infection. Some of this is illustrated below:

Bacteria

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Parasites

parasites

Viruses

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Source:  Food poisoning, Mayo Clinic staff © 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Overall causes include:

  •  Improper storage of foods (always store wet foods below dry ones)
  • Ensure Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Mode of preparation
  • Poor hygiene
  • Improper food handling

SYMPTOMS

Salmonella typhi induced symptoms: fever, chills, aches, swollen lymph nodes

Staphylococcus aureus induced symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea

Salmonella induced symptoms: lower abdominal cramps, diarrhea

Clostridium botulinum induced symptoms: Vertigo, visual disturbances, paralysis

PREVENTION

  • Good personal hygiene

hygiene

  • Avoid cross contamination (never pass wet foods over dry ones, never touch foods immediately after touching meat)

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  • Pest and animal control
  • Avoid the temperature danger zone
  • Cook properly

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  • Avoid spoiled foods and foods in damaged containers or packaging
  • Training of food handlers both at home or in a food premises in safe food handling

CONCLUSION

Food poisoning is inevitable but can be prevented. and as such it is important to adequately clean, chill, separate and cook foods properly.

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