Everything You Need To Know About Making Air Fryer Salmon

Air fryer salmon is a great dish for people who want the crispy texture of fried fish without all of the extra oil. With its fatty acids, protein, potassium, and more, salmon is also a healthy and delicious protein choice for your dinners! If you’re looking to try out the new food trend, we did some digging to give you all the info you need on seasonings, sides, oils, and more. Bon appétit!

Prepping Your Salmon

filets of raw salmon on a cutting board

Image via Caroline Attwood/Unsplash

When you’re at the store, keep an eye out for King Salmon because its high fat content and large size should prevent it from drying out or burning. Make sure the filets you’re frying are all the same size so they’re cooked equally when they come out of the fryer. You don’t want one filet charred and the other raw!

Before you start working with the salmon, wait until they’re room temperature, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Do this before you add the oil and seasoning so that the spices stick to the fish instead of running off. If you’re not sure which oil to pick, we’d recommend avocado oil or refined olive oil since they can stand a higher heat than other choices.

Frying Your Salmon

salmon on a baking sheet with lemon slices

Image via Melanie Andersen/Unsplash

Place some foil at the bottom of your air fryer’s basket to keep everything clean (well, as clean as possible). Set the fryer to 400 degrees and cook for around 10 minutes. That’s it!

Because salmon is fairly mild, you can pick a variety of spices depending on what flavor you’re going for. You can pair different spices to complement how the salmon is cooked, the other flavors in the dish, and the side you choose. Go for a rosemary lemon finish with buttered potatoes or cut the flavor of a low-key salmon with garlic green beans.

Spices For Your Salmon:

  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

Sides For Your Salmon:

  • Potatoes
  • Salad
  • Pasta
  • Green beans

Why An Air Fryer?

Photo via Brittany Griffin/Brit + Co

Not only is using an air fryer a healthier cooking option than pan frying, but it’s also faster than deep frying or baking. A lot of recipes take less than 30 minutes, and it’s an appliance that doesn’t have to be preheated. Just season, put in the basket, and cook!

Frying instead of baking will help the skin stay crispy and delicious, and an air fryer is great because it keeps your food crispy instead of soggy, even when you’re reheating something.

Article by Chloe Williams​ for Brit.com

Source: How To Make Air Fryer Salmon — Brit + Co – Brit + Co

Martha Stewart’s “best scrambled eggs in the whole world”

Making eggs with Martha Stewart's scrambled eggs hack

During her cooking demo at the “Food & Wine” Classic in Aspen, Martha Stewart revealed that she got the idea for her new egg hack after finding a pan of leftover clarified butter in the fridge. 

She had been making lobsters the day before and decided that the clarified butter would be perfect with her scrambled eggs. 

“Usually scrambled eggs are overdone or not so tasty,” she told the crowd during the September 2021 event. “I cooked the eggs in the clarified butter, and they looked like golden, beautiful scrambled eggs.” 

I had never made clarified butter before, but Stewart said it created “the best scrambled eggs in the whole world.” Who could pass that up? 

It was time to put Stewart’s egg hack through the ultimate taste test. 

But wait a second, what actually is clarified butter?

“Clarified butter is unsalted butter that has been melted and separated from any of the whey or milk solids that are found in butter,” Stewart explained on an episode of her former PBS show, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.”  

“It will not burn as easily as regular butter because it has none of those milk solids, so it won’t even brown,” she adds, noting that clarified butter is a “very clear, golden liquid” with a higher smoking point. 

Stewart said Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter clarifies nicely, so I grabbed some from my local grocery store before I started cooking. 

It was time to make some scrambled eggs and put Stewart’s hack to the test.

First, I cracked two eggs into a small bowl, sprinkled some salt on top, and gave them a quick whisk. 

I added some of the clarified butter to my pan.

Adding clarified butter for Martha Stewart's scrambled eggs hack

I turned my stove to low heat and waited for the butter to warm up.

Per her advice, I first checked if the butter was warm enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on top. Stewart says that if the water sizzles, the pan is ready. 

Then I added my eggs to the pan and continuously moved them around with a rubber spatula. 

“You want the eggs to cook and set, but you don’t want them to brown or get too hard,” Stewart says in the clip. “So just stir around.” 

In less than two minutes, my scrambled eggs were ready.

Making eggs with Martha Stewart's scrambled eggs hack

They looked gorgeously fluffy and golden in the pan. I couldn’t wait to see how they tasted with the clarified butter. 

I spread my scrambled eggs on a slice of sourdough and dug in.

Martha Stewart's scrambled eggs hack

These scrambled eggs were absolutely delicious. They were super silky, rich, and creamy, with a texture akin to the delicious eggs I made with crème fraîche for Gordon Ramsay’s breakfast sandwich. 

My family tried the eggs as well and were big fans. My mom loved how “fresh and fluffy” they tasted, while my sister said the clarified butter added more depth of flavor. 

So will I make clarified butter every week for my eggs? Nah, but I also don’t need to — it can last for months in the fridge. Plus, you can use clarified butter for a number of things. My family finished our batch in a week, trying it on everything from branzino to the eggs on Ina Garten’s new avocado toast. 

I think using a brand with higher butterfat, like Kerrygold, and cooking on low heat is really the key to getting a plate of super fluffy scrambled eggs. But if you’ve got some clarified butter lying around, or have some time to whip up a batch, it’ll definitely make for a delicious breakfast.

Article by Anneta Konstantinides 

Source: How to Make Martha Stewart’s Favorite Scrambled Eggs (insider.com)

The #1 Best Oatmeal Topping for Weight Loss

oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, and chia seeds
Shutterstock

We know there is no single magical food that drives more weight loss. However, there are specific foods and nutrients that certainly can support weight loss more than others.

When working toward weight loss, eating a balanced breakfast starts your day off on the right foot. A balanced breakfast can help you feel more full, satisfied, and can even reduce cravings throughout the day.

Oatmeal has long been correlated with improved health such as lower cholesterol and better blood sugar. However, oatmeal itself is a complex carbohydrate. While the fiber and whole grains in oatmeal are good for our heart health, we can level-up this breakfast option for your weight loss goals.

The key is to start your day with a breakfast that is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. While oatmeal alone is a great source of a high-fiber carbohydrate, it lacks protein and healthy fat to round out the meal.

Enter: chia seeds! Chia seeds offer a small protein boost, healthy fat, and a powerful dose of fiber for more fullness and satisfaction on your weight loss journey.

One serving of chia seeds provides five grams of protein. Combined with the six grams of protein in oatmeal, this nearly doubles the total amount of protein in your breakfast. More protein at breakfast ensures better blood sugar, stable energy levels, and may improve hunger levels during the day.

Get creative! Other ways to add protein to oatmeal include using protein powder, Greek yogurt, or milk.

Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known to have an improved effect on metabolic health. Many Americans are lacking in omega-3s and typically consume an overabundance of omega-6s. Thus their 6:3 ratio is skewed to contribute to less optimal health.

Chia seeds may improve your 6:3 ratio. In addition to its health benefits, the fat in chia seeds can also improve satisfaction and feeling full for longer.

We know that diets high in fiber are strongly associated with long-term weight loss. Chia seeds offer 10 grams of fiber per two-tablespoon serving.

These mighty seeds also expand in liquid, further increasing their volume and improving your sensations of fullness.

You can make overnight oats in the fridge, and the chia seeds will absorb the moisture overnight. The consistency is perfect, and you have a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning.

Source: The #1 Best Oatmeal Topping for Weight Loss, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That

Air Fryer Super-Easy Recipes

After figuring out what an air fryer is and, equally as important, which is the best air fryer, the number one question prospective air fryer-owners have is usually “What can I make with one?” The truth is: so much! Crunchy snacks, juicy main courses and mouthwatering desserts that are easy to make, even if you are a beginner. The best part is that there’s less clean up since you are are eliminating the need for a ton of oil — making it a healthier option as well! From Mediterranean chicken bowls to homemade cannolis, here are the best air fryer recipes you have to taste for yourself. Quick note: some of these recipes call for an oven or a grill, but you can make them in the air fryer instead. Experiment with temps and cooking times according to how cooked and crispy you like it!

This first recipe might be one of your favs:

a plate of food on a table

Air Fryer Steak Fajitas

You probably have a favorite fajita recipe on hand, but this seasoned, air-fried steak will undoubtedly upgrade your go-to.

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Steak Fajitas »

Or how about:

a plate of food on a table

Air Fryer Zucchini Tots

Instead of using the oven, blast these veggie tots in the air fryer for an extra-crispy crust.

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Zucchini Tots »

In the mood for a bowl:

a bowl of food on a plate

Air Fryer Mediterranean Chicken Bowls

Cooking juicy tomatoes in with the chicken creates an amazing Mediterranean-style sauce.

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Mediterranean Chicken Bowls »

Article by Katie Bourque, Samantha MacAvoy for House Beautiful©

Check out more air fryer recipes at the link below!

Use Your Air Fryer to Make These Super-Easy ‘Fried’ Avocado Tacos (msn.com)

Did You Get Your Vitamin D Today?

It’s hard to say enough about the health benefits of vitamin D. Check out the great things it can do for your body and how to treat a deficiency.

Healthy foods containing vitamin D.

Did you get your dose of vitamin D today? You might not think it’s a big deal but vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and a lack of it can lead to many health problems. 

It’s one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), but it is not technically a vitamin because it’s produced in the human body. And when it’s obtained from foods, it must be transformed by the body before it can benefit from it. So how can you get adequate vitamin D into your diet, and treat a deficiency?

Health Benefits of Vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium—that’s why milk is often vitamin-D fortified. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D can increase bone mass and strength, preventing osteoporosis and broken bones. It can even slow the deterioration of cartilage that causes arthritis.
  • It strengthens the immune system, giving the body greater ability to reduce inflammation from infections, and it increases muscle strength.
  • Vitamin D has been connected to the prevention of colon cancer, and there is some evidence that it can help protect people from prostate and breast cancer as well.
  • Medical research suggests that it may have a role in preventing diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Where Do You Get Vitamin D?

The easiest way is by getting some sun. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys, transforming it to active vitamin D (see diagram, below).

You need 5-30 minutes of midday sun (between 10 am and 3 pm), two or more times a week—easy enough if you can go outside for your lunch break. However, if you live north of the 42 degrees latitude line (north of Boston and Northern California), from the months of November to February, the sunlight is not strong enough to produce adequate vitamin D. But if you live south of Los Angeles or South Carolina, the sun is strong enough all year long.

Image courtesy of Harvard Men’s Healthwatch

Are You Vitamin D Deficient?

Many people who live at northern latitudes or work inside all day are often vitamin D deficient because they don’t get enough sun and because the vitamin also does not occur naturally in very many foods. It is, however, added to some foods like vitamin D fortified milk and cereal (milk fortification was originally introduced in the U.S. in the 1930s to fight rickets—or softening of the bones—caused by vitamin D deficiency, which was a major health problem then). You can find it naturally in cod liver oil, egg yolks, salmon and other fish, beef, and cheese, but consider taking a vitamin D supplement to make sure you are getting enough. If you take a calcium supplement, consider taking one that includes vitamin D.

How Much D Do You Need?

Health professionals agree that most people don’t need more than 600 to 800 IU per day. Some people may need a higher dose, but your doctor would advise you on the proper amounts. Unless your doctor recommends it, avoid taking more than 4,000 IU per day, which is considered the safe upper limit.

Article by Farmers’ Almanac Staff.

Source: Did You Get Your Vitamin D Today? – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

Mediterranean diet ranked as best diet of the year for 5th time

Linda Raymond/Getty Images
Linda Raymond/Getty Images

The Mediterranean diet, based on traditional eating habits in regions of Greece, Italy, and Spain, has been named the best diet overall for the fifth consecutive year by a panel of experts for US News & World Report. 

Rich in plant-based foods, with moderate amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats, the diet also earned top ranking as the easiest diet to follow, best plant-based diet, best for heart health, and best for diabetes.  

The rankings were determined by a panel of specialists in nutrition, heart health, diabetes, and weight loss. The panel analyzed 40 popular diets, ranking them on criteria such as how easy they are to follow, potential for short- and long-term weight loss, and potential to influence certain diseases like diabetes. 

Experts have praised the Mediterranean diet for being nutritionally balanced, easy to maintain over time, and inclusive of a wide range of foods, including red wine. Extensive research suggests it’s linked to a longer, healthier life. It can be time consuming to follow, though. 

The Mediterranean diet is linked to benefits like lower risk of disease and healthy aging

The Mediterranean diet is based around how people eat in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, which includes so-called “Blue Zones” where people tend to live the longest, healthiest lives. 

Since the diet incorporates a wide range of traditions and ingredients, it doesn’t focus on specific recipes. Instead, the basic principles include eating plenty of produce like leafy greens, whole grains, legumes, herbs and spices. It’s also rich in healthy fats, like olive oil and nuts, as well as lean protein from sources like fish and poultry. 

Research suggests these eating habits are linked to benefits like better heart health, lower risk of diabetes, less inflammation, and may stave off age-related cognitive decline. 

The diet is easy to follow and sustain long-term 

One of the biggest draws of the Mediterranean diet is that it includes a huge variety of foods. It doesn’t cut out any foods or restrict calories. As a result, people are unlikely to experience any risks from Mediterranean eating, according to the expert reviews. The flexibility for individuals to follow the diet based on their own preferences and lifestyle makes it easy to maintain long-term, according to people who follow the diet. 

Other well-balanced, adaptable diets, like the DASH and flexitarian diets, were also ranked highly by experts.

In contrast, more restrictive eating plans, like the keto diet and Dukan diet, ranked poorly, since they’re more challenging to maintain over time. Severely restricting food groups or calories can also create a risk for nutritional imbalance or disordered eating, research suggests.

If you’re looking for fast weight loss or convenience, Mediterranean eating may not be ideal

No diet is perfect for everyone. Among the few downsides of the Mediterranean diet is that it takes time and knowledge to prepare healthy foods, and ingredients can sometimes be costly, according to the expert reviews.  

Since the diet wasn’t designed for weight loss, it doesn’t mandate how much you should eat or provide specific meals or eating structure, which may make it hard to lose weight quickly, experts said. 

It does encourage moderation with red meat, sugar, and processed foods, which means it can work for weight loss, particularly as part of a healthy lifestyle, research suggests.  

Whether the Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight depends on how it compares to your current diet and your specific meal plan, including portion sizes. 

Article by Gabby Landsverk for Insider©

Source: Mediterranean diet ranked as best diet of the year for 5th time (msn.com)

What is Dry January?

Dry January is when people abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month of January. It officially began in 2013 when the organization Alcohol Change UK started a Dry January campaign encouraging people to take a break from drinking for the month.

dry january
OSCAR WONGGETTY IMAGES

After a holiday season filled with festive cocktails, champagne toasts, and plenty of parties, you might be thinking about taking a short break from drinking. It could be part of your New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle, or maybe you just want a chance to think about the role that alcohol plays in your life.

Crystal Currie, a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapist and founder of Compass Life Skills & Counseling, explains that taking a closer look at your relationship with alcohol means first examining what it’s actually doing for you.

“For most people that I have worked with, they’ve created a bond with the alcohol in the sense that it becomes a way of getting a need met,” she says. “And so what I work with my clients on is how can we get the need met without the alcohol? That’s what they ultimately want to do. We end up breaking the bond that they have with the alcohol because they feel empowered.”

Even if you consider yourself a casual drinker, taking a break from alcohol for the month of January can be good for you. Health experts say there are plenty of health benefits to Dry January, from improved sleep to better skin to more energy. And you might even find that you’ve got more time to get started on some of your goals for the new year.

If you’re a heavy drinker, get in touch with your doctor before attempting Dry January. “It’s important for people to know that alcohol is one of the drugs where you can actually die from withdrawal symptoms, so it’s important to be cautious,” explains Brittney Whiteman, a licensed advanced alcohol counselor with American Addiction Centers. “It’s very dependent on person and on usage, so if you’re going to make a change in that sense, you might want to consult your doctor.”

If you have alcohol use disorder, there are still ways you can stop drinking or rethink your relationship with alcohol, but Dry January might not be the best approach. The best course of action will be to talk to your doctor and come up with a safe plan.

Is taking a break from drinking worth it?

However, for moderate or social drinkers, taking a break from drinking can be a healthy opportunity for you to evaluate the role that alcohol plays in your life.

“You don’t have to think that you have a problem with alcohol for alcohol to be a problem in your life,” explains Currie. “Usually by the time you realize alcohol is maybe a problem and you need to take a break, it’s already started to cause some damage.”

Some of the signs that you might want to take a break from drinking can include:

  • You’re feeling ineffective at work or in your personal life
  • Your drinking is having a negative impact on your relationships
  • You’re preoccupied with when you’ll be able to drink next
  • You aren’t able to do simple activities without drinking
  • You often feel irritable (especially while drinking or after drinking)
  • You often feel dehydrated and/or bloated
  • You sometimes forget what you did while you were intoxicated
  • You’re spending more money than you want to on alcohol
  • You have trouble stopping after you’ve started drinking

Of course, you might not be experiencing any of the above and still want to take a break from drinking. You don’t necessarily have to be seeing negative consequences from drinking in order to decide you want to do Dry January. Maybe you’re doing it in solidarity with a friend, or maybe you want to experience some of the health benefits of an alcohol-free month. No matter the reason, you can decide to stop drinking whenever it feels right to you.

What are some of the benefits of Dry January?

It’s likely you’ll see improvements to your physical and mental health if you abstain from drinking for a few weeks. Some of the health benefits of Dry January can include:

✔️ Improved sleep. Although you might find that alcohol makes you feel drowsy, you aren’t actually benefitting from deep sleep after imbibing. Taking a break from drinking can change that.

“You’ll actually get better sleep,” explains Currie. “When you initially drink, you feel better, you feel excited, but what happens when the alcohol starts to metabolize in your body, it has a counter effect on your sleeping pattern. You don’t sleep as deeply and as effectively as you would when you’re not drinking.”

✔️ More energy. Of course, if you’re sleeping better, you’ll feel more rested. You’ll also just feel more energized overall.

“When you discontinue drinking, you’re going to feel more awake, more alert, and more energized,” explains Whiteman. She adds that you might feel more motivated to do things that you wouldn’t do if you were hungover. “For example, if you like to work out, or you want to clean your house, or you want to go get a coffee with a friend, you might not really have the energy or feel like doing that if you feel like crap.”

✔️ Better skin. “Your skin is going to improve because you’re not going to be as dehydrated,” explains Whiteman. “Alcohol is a dehydrating agent.”

✔️ Weight loss. A glass of wine has about 125 calories, while a beer has around 155 calories, according to WebMD. A shot of liquor has about 96 calories, but if you’re mixing it with soda, that’s adding calories too. So if you’re having three or four drinks on a night out, it can really add up. A 2018 study from the University of Sussex found that 58% of people who did Dry January reported that they had lost weight.

✔️ Better stress management. If you’ve ever gone for a big glass of wine after a challenging day, you’re certainly not alone. According to Currie, one of the benefits of taking a break from drinking might be that you’ll find new ways to relieve stress that don’t involve alcohol.

“You’ll be able to identify how to better deal with stress or difficult situations because you’re not using alcohol as a way to release the stress that you’re dealing with,” she explains.

✔️ Improved relationships. You might notice that your relationship with your significant other or other loved ones improves when you stop drinking. “Maybe you’re not fighting as much, or maybe you find other mutually enjoyable activities that you can do with your significant other that don’t involve drinking,” says Whiteman.

✔️ Decreased anxiety. If you’ve ever had “hangxiety” the day after drinking (a.k.a. feeling anxious about what you said or did the night before) then cutting out alcohol means you’ll probably be less likely to experience these symptoms. But it’s important to note that if you experience anxiety symptoms, it’s best to manage those with a professional.

How to do a successful Dry January

If you’ve decided to give Dry January a try, there are some tips and tricks that can help you abstain from alcohol for the month.

✔️ Rely on a support system. “You’re going to want a support system, whether that’s friends, family, a significant other, somebody who’s going to support you and encourage you in making this change — somebody who’s going to help remind you why you want to do this,” Whiteman explains.

✔️ See if there’s anyone you can do it with. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a family member, doing Dry January is easier if you’re not doing it alone. “Connect with someone that you can do it with, because it’s good to have that encouragement and that motivation,” Currie says.

✔️ Write down your goalsMaybe you want to have more energy on the weekends, be more present with your family, be more focused at work, or focus on exercise. Whatever your reasons are for doing Dry January, you should write them down somewhere.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

“Identify what your goals are so that the days you do want that drink, you can kind of reflect back like, Maybe I don’t want that drink because I want these things so much more,” explains Whiteman.

✔️ Get rid of all the booze in your house. You don’t have to pour it all down the drain, but see if you can store your bottles at a friend or family member’s house for the month. That way, you won’t be tempted to pour a drink just because it’s there.

✔️ Create some activities to do in place of drinkingIf you’re used to meeting up for happy hours with friends or unwinding with a glass of wine each evening, you’ll want to find alternatives that don’t involve drinking. You can see if your friends would be willing to meet for coffee instead, or take a meditative walk to end your day.

✔️ Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you do drink during the month, have some compassion for yourself and don’t beat yourself up. “It’s completely okay, just celebrate the actual progress that you did make and the amount of days you did go without drinking alcohol,” says Currie.

Whiteman also notes that you can lean on your support system if this happens. “What’s important is how you respond to that mistake. Do you throw in the towel and say, Well I drank yesterday so might as well drink again today, or do you reach out to that support system and say Hey, I had a tough day yesterday, can you help me refocus and get back on track? It’s important to take things one day at a time.”

What happens in February?

After you’ve successfully completed Dry January, you might find that you don’t have as much desire to drink. But if you do decide to reintroduce alcohol into your life, go slow.

“I think it’s important to be mindful that your tolerance has changed and the amount of alcohol that you previously drank before starting Dry January is going to have a different effect on you come February,” says Whiteman.

And just because the month is over, it doesn’t mean you have to go back to your old habits.

“Your life was different for the past 31 days and you were able to develop some new activities and some new skills. Just because it’s a new month, you don’t have to throw all of that away,” Currie notes.

Article by Jamie Ballard for Woman’s Day©

Source: What Is Dry January? It Can Have Some Major Health Benefits (womansday.com)

Don’t Take This Supplement Anymore, Experts Warn

See the source image
https://hwm.wisconsin.edu

Based on recent scientific evidence, many health experts are lukewarm to reluctant to recommend taking multivitamins or supplements. (The exceptions are vitamin C and vitamin D, which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has publicly recommended, saying good data indicates they may help improve immunity.) Multivitamins, in particular, have come under increased skepticism in recent years, after a major 2019 meta-analysis at Johns Hopkins involving 450,000 people found that they don’t lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, death after a heart attack or stroke, or early death in general.

Rarely do experts step out to warn against taking a specific supplement because it can be harmful. But that’s what happened recently, when a national task force warned against taking this supplement because it can increase the risk of cancer or fatal cardiovascular disease. 

Avoid This Supplement

In May, the United States Protective Task Force (USPTF) published a draft statement on its website saying it officially recommended against taking beta-carotene supplements. Task force members said studies indicate beta-carotene supplements may increase the chances of lung cancer in people who are already at higher risk (such as people who smoke or have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace). 

What’s more, five studies found a “statistically significant increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality” in people who took beta-carotene supplements after four to 12 years of follow-up.

“Beta-Carotene Can Be Harmful”

In the letter, the task force also there was insufficient evidence to recommend taking vitamin E supplements. But its warning about beta-carotene was more stark.

“The evidence shows there is no benefit to taking vitamin E and that beta-carotene can be harmful because it increases the risk of lung cancer in people already at risk, such as those who smoke, and also increases the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke,” said John Wong, MD, of Tufts Medical Center, in a statement.

What Is Beta-Carotene?

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or a natural plant chemical, one of several red, orange and purple pigments found in fruits and vegetables. It is naturally found in foods like carrots, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and apricots. 

Fruits and vegetables are excellent for your health, and strong evidence shows that consuming several helpings a day reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, just to name a few.

But isolating certain chemicals from fruits and vegetables in supplement form is a different story. More is not necessarily better. Some commercial beta-carotene supplements can contain many times more beta-carotene than experts recommend you get from a healthy diet.

The best course is to eat a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and other nutritious whole foods. “Pills are not a shortcut to better health and the prevention of chronic diseases,” said Larry Appel, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research. “Other nutrition recommendations have much stronger evidence of benefits—eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat. 

Article written by Michael Martin for ETNT©

Source: Don’t Take This Supplement Anymore, Experts Warn (msn.com)

6 Types of Healthy Tea You Ought to Brew

What are the health benefits of tea?

Just to be clear: “Tea is food, not medicine,” says Leah Boalt Richardson, the director of World Tea Academy. In other words, it has not been proven that tea can cure or heal any disease or ailment. Nor is there any solid evidence of tea being able to speed up your weight loss journey, she adds. So don’t bother shelling any cash on those so-called “fat-busting” detox teas.

Types of healthy “true” tea

All teas are “healthy” teas, says Richardson — there’s no type that’s better than the other. But, to give you an idea of how they differ, here are the six types of true teas and what makes them taste and look so unique:

Green Tea

Green tea leaves are picked from the camellia sinensis plant then are sometimes withered a bit but are always cooked (either pan-fired or steamed) to prevent as much oxidization as possible, says Richardson. Stopping the oxidation process in its tracks helps to preserve their rich green color and the grassier taste. Because the green tea leaves aren’t as processed as other darker teas, they tend to have higher levels of catechin, one of those polyphenols that fights off those pesky free radicals.

Flavor: grassy, vegetal, herbaceous

White Tea

best types of healthy teas
© Solstizia – Getty Images

Black Tea

What makes black tea black is the oxidation process. When the leaves are rolled then exposed to oxygen-rich air, they begin to produce theaflavin and thearubigin — antioxidant polyphenols that give the leaves their dark red/brown pigment. Eventually, they appear black. Oxidation is also what helps to give black tea its bold flavor profile.

Flavor: sharp, bitter, full-bodied, malty, floral

Examples of black tea: Earl Grey, Assam, English Breakfast, Darjeeling

Yellow Tea

This may be one of the least known teas in the West since “it is difficult to source because the harvest time is short, the processing is complex and time-consuming, and, until recently, China was the only producer,” Richardson writes in her book Modern Tea. Yellow tea is made with leaf buds plucked in early spring. They are then processed like green teas through pan-firing or treated with a gentle heating method called men huan (sealing yellow). Next they are wrapped in paper or a dampened cloth and left to cool before potentially being pan-fired again. How many times they are pan-fired and how long they are wrapped depends on the tea maker, but this process can last three to four days, says Richardson.

Flavor: sweet honeysuckle and apple notes

Examples of yellow tea: Gentleman Mountain Silver Needles, Mengding Yellow Sprout, Huo Mountain Yellow Sprout

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized so many of them don’t quite reach that dark, full-bodied taste of black teas, but this brew has its own kind of yummy. The taste of oolong varies greatly depending on how long the tea maker decides to oxidize the leaves. “The levels of oxidation can range anywhere from as little as 10 percent, making it similar in appearance to green tea, to as much as 80 percent, resulting in what looks like black tea,” writes Richardson.

Flavor: toasty, slightly sweet, potentially grassy, sometimes floral or fruity

Examples of oolong teaBaozhong, Tung Ting, Tie Guanyin, Da Hong Pao, Bai Hao

Dark tea (Pu ‘erh)

Pu ‘erh — which originated in Yunnan Province in China and now is popularly called “dark tea” in the West — goes through an extra step that other teas skip: a fermentation process that is often kept secret by tea makers, says Richardson. Though our lips are sealed regarding the details (really, we couldn’t tell you if we wanted to), in general, “fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat,” says Richardson. Next the leaves are aged for a while — sometimes for years, according to experts from Reishi Tea and Botanicals. This all gives dark tea its uniquely robust flavor.

Flavor: earthy, smooth, woodsy, slightly sweet

Examples of dark tea: Shen Pu ‘erh, Shou Pu ‘erh

Choose your brew

In short, if you ever get curious, there’s a whole world of tea to explore. Each brand and each variety have their own distinct flavor profiles — and some would suggest that they also have their own unique health benefits, but remember: there’s not enough research to declare that any tea will have a significant impact on anyone’s physical health. But routinely taking some time to sit, breathe and sip on your favorite brew may do wonders for your mental well-being in the long run.

Article by Adele Jackson-Gibson for Good Housekeeping©

Source: 6 Types of Healthy Tea You Ought to Brew, According to Tea Connoisseurs (msn.com)

What Drinking Black Coffee Says About You

A barista prepares a cup of Geisha Natural coffee variety at the Elida farm, in Boquete, Panama, on January 22, 2020. - Panamanian coffee Elida Geisha Natural was cataloged the most expensive coffee in the world on 2019, when it was auctioned at 1,029 US dollars the pound. (Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images)
© Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

People who drink black coffee might be at a lower risk of developing diseases, such as Parkinson’s, heart diseases, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, according to various studies, CNN reported.

Research also suggests that if you like black coffee, then you’ll also probably like bitter dark chocolate, CNN reported.

“We know there’s growing evidence suggesting there’s a beneficial impact of coffee consumption on health. But reading between the lines, anyone advising someone to consume coffee would typically advise them to consume black coffee due to the difference between consuming black coffee and coffee with milk and sugar,” caffeine researcher Marilyn Cornelis, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine told CNN.

The health benefits of coffee are more prominent if one decides to forego milk, sugar and creamer, she said.

“One is naturally calorie free,” Cornelis said. “The second can add possibly hundreds of calories to your coffee, and the health benefits could be quite different.”

According to her research, people with this genetic predisposition might like to drink multiple cups of coffee per day because they metabolize caffeine faster, CNN reported.

“The stimulating effects wear off faster, and they need to drink more coffee,” Cornelis said. “This could explain why some individuals seem to be fine consuming a lot more coffee relative to someone else who might get jitters or become very anxious.”

Cornelis believes the proclivity for black coffee has less to do with taste and more to do with the caffeine boost associated with the drink. “Our interpretation is these people equate caffeine’s natural bitterness with a psycho-stimulation effect,” she said. “They learn to associate bitterness with caffeine and the boost they feel. We are seeing a learned effect.”

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Writer Kendall Tietz.

Source: What Drinking Black Coffee Says About You (msn.com)