8 Surprising Ways You Can Use Potatoes, Aside From Eating Them

8 Surprising Ways You Can Use Potatoes, Aside From Eating Them

Potatoes are considered staple food in almost every country. They can be added to many recipes or they can be simply boiled, mashed, baked, roasted, or fried by themselves. They are very delicious and contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, however, the uses of potatoes to do not stop at your plate. Here

1 Polish Silverware

You just noticed that the necklace you would be wearing in the evening party is discolored. No need to rush to the hardware store. The answer is just seating in your kitchen. Just boil some potatoes and after they are cooked, remove them and keep the water. Soak them in the water for 20-30 minutes, wipe properly, and voila!—you have a sparkling new necklace. And oh! You can just eat those boiled potatoes.

2 Remove Rust

The acid in potato is very effective in dissolving the rust from cast iron or old metallic tools and items. Just cut a slice and rub it to the rusty area. Leave it for about 30 minutes and use an abrasive to scrub. You can add salt or soap for better effects.

3 Polish Leather

The cleaning power of the oh so great potato does not stop with just cleaning metal and silverware, you can also use it on those made with leather materials such as bags and shoes. Just rub a slice directly to the leather. Leave for about five minutes, and wipe gently with a clean cloth and or brush.

4 Make Hot or Cold Compress

On cold winter days, it’s such a bliss to keep your hand warm with hot baked potatoes and slowly peel them to eat as they slowly get warm. Potatoes can hold temperatures, either hot or cold, for a long time. They are simply good hot or cold compress alternatives.

5 Skin Care

Time to update your beauty regimen with potatoes! Potatoes are useful in getting rid of oily skin, pimples, blackheads, and improve skin conditions. Make your own potato face mask by blending potatoes to form a paste. Or simply rub a slice in the affected area and leave for a few minutes for smoother, tighter skin.

6 Remove Eye Bags

Cucumbers are always the protagonists in removing eye bags and puffiness around the eyes but don’t you know that potatoes are a better solution. They work faster than any other vegetables in lightening dark circles.

7 An All-Around Cure for Minor Ailments

Our humble potato is so magical that it can be used to ease minor ailments such as spasms, joint pain, arthritis, body pain, heartburn, ulcers, migraine, constipation, and speeds up bruise healing. There are also studies which link potato juice to reduced risks of other diseases such as cancer.

8 Power Source

Potato batteries are common school projects of grade school kids as they possess energy which can easily be harnessed with wire. Although you cannot use them in high-voltage appliances, they can be used to power simpler electronics. You might find it too troublesome to save just a little amount in electricity bills but it would be very useful during unprepared power outages.

Scientists Genetically Modified Hens to Lay Eggs with Human Proteins

Scientists Genetically Modified Hens to Lay Eggs with Human Proteins

Chicken eggs are good, nutritional food sources on their own. However, if we can make them to be more useful, why not?

Scientists genetically modified chickens to produce human proteins in their eggs. This breakthrough can offer a new cost-effective method for producing high-quality drugs with cheaper ingredients.

Genetically Modifying the Chickens

According to the researchers, the project was initially aimed at creating high-quality proteins that can be used for scientific research. However, they soon found that drugs created using these proteins.

This is not the first time eggs have shown their usefulness in drug production. Previously, eggs were used to grow strains of viruses that can be used in vaccines. But this time, researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute tweaked the chickens themselves. They encoded the DNA of the chickens to produce human protein as part of the egg whites

In the study published in BMC Biotechnology, the researchers made sure the genetic modification did not have adverse effects on the chickens—they can lay eggs as normal. The proteins on eggs, on the other hand, can be harvested in high quantities using a simple purification.

High quantities of the proteins can be recovered from each egg system and there are no on the chickens themselves, which lay eggs as normal.

Researchers say the findings provide sound evidence for using chickens as a cheap method of producing high-quality drugs for use in research studies and, potentially one day, in patients.

Eggs are already used for growing viruses that are used as vaccines, such as the flu jab. This new approach is different because the therapeutic proteins are encoded in the chicken’s DNA and produced as part of the egg white.

Three Eggs for a Dose of Drug

The researchers focused on developing two types of protein. One is a human protein called IFNalpha2a which is important to the immune system. This protein has antiviral properties and can be used to fight against cancer. The second is the human and pig versions of a protein called macrophage-CSF which has therapeutic potential. It is being developed to stimulate damaged tissues to repair themselves.

A dose of drug only needs three eggs. The researchers have not produced a drug for patients yet. However, the study offers proof of a new feasible drug production method.

If researchers adapted the same method to produce other human proteins, it can greatly contribute to the production of many protein-based drugs. A few examples of these drugs are Avastin and Herceptin, which are used for treating cancer and other diseases.

Looking at how costly anti-cancer medicines are currently, this would certainly be a more economical substitute. It is less expensive than the current production method of similar drugs. Currently, the only way to produce these proteins is through mammalian cell culture techniques. This is not only very expensive, but it also produces a low yield.

“We are not yet producing medicines for people, but this study shows that chickens are commercially viable for producing proteins suitable for drug discovery studies and other applications in biotechnology,” said Professor Helen Sang, of the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute.

 

Amazing 5 Plant-Based Milk Substitutes to Cow’s Milk

Amazing 5 Plant-Based Milk Substitutes to Cow’s Milk

Cow milk is a common beverage and key ingredient to many recipes. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and high-quality proteins. But while it is very nutritious, there are just some people who can’t or choose not to drink milk. This can be due to an allergy to dairy products, lactose intolerance or dietary preferences.

1 Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is squeezed from the white flesh of brown coconuts. It is very easy to make at home and is sold in the market in pure or diluted/watered versions. Compared to cow’s milk it contains half the fat, a third of the calories and very little to no protein and carbohydrates.

It has the least protein and carbohydrates among available milk substitutes and is the best choice for those with a low-carb diet.  According to some studies, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut milk can reduce appetite and help aid weight loss.

2 Soy Milk

One of the most common plant-based milk that can be seen in most supermarkets is soy milk. It is made of soybeans or soy protein isolate and usually has a mild and creamy flavor. In terms of nutrient value, it is very similar to milk. It has the same amount of protein at half the amounts of fats, calories, and carbohydrates.

However, though there is no concrete evidence, there are concerns on possible health hazards of soy. It has high amounts of isoflavones which can affect the functions of hormones. Still, there is no harm to consuming small amounts.

3 Almond Milk

If you want something light with a little sweet and nutty flavor, almond milk is the best on the shelf. It is made with whole almonds or almond butter and water. It is one of the nondairy kinds of milk with the lowest calorie so it is a good choice for those with a low-calorie diet.

But because it is watered down, with some brands having as less as 2% almonds, it also contains much less fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Almond also has phytic acid, which can decrease the absorption of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc in the body.

4 Quinoa Milk

Another nondairy milk made from water and quinoa grains. Quinoa grains are a good nutritional source of high-quality proteins. Quinoa milk is mostly diluted, with 5-10% quinoa grains.

It has well-balanced nutrients with low fat and moderate numbers of calories, protein, and carbohydrates. However, it is more expensive than other nondairy milk products and is harder to find.

5 Oat Milk

This is one of the current popular food trends this year. Simple, home-made oat milk can be made by just oats and water. On the other hand, manufactured brands may contain oils, salt, and other ingredients to adjust taste and texture.

Comparing to a regular cow’s milk, it contains up to twice the amount of carbohydrates, the same amount of calories and about half the amount of fat and proteins. A little extra about oat milk, it contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which can reduce cholesterol absorption.

7 Healthy Seeds You Should Add to Your Meals For Better Health

7 Healthy Seeds You Should Add to Your Meals For Better Health

Seeds may be small, but they play a key role in our overall healthy diet. As seeds contain all the materials necessary to the initial development of plants, they are packed with nutrients. This includes fiber, vegetarian protein, healthy fats, and other antioxidants.

Here are some healthy seeds you can simply snack on or add to your salads, oatmeal, and smoothies for better health:

1 Flaxseeds

Flax seeds are a good source of polyphenols such as lignans, a hormone-like substance which is an important antioxidant in the body. Experts claim that lignans can help slow the progression of certain cancers especially prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, the outer shell of flax seeds is also rich in omega-3 fats, which can help reduce the risks of heart-related diseases. Several studies reveal that it can reduce levels of bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure especially when eaten regularly for at least three months.

2 Watermelon Seeds

If you are looking to shape up or build muscles, watermelon seeds are low in calories and filled with proteins. A half cup of roasted watermelon seeds contains about 15 grams of protein which is similar to two ounces of chicken or beef.

Watermelon seeds also have other nutrients such as magnesium which is essential for metabolism as well as immune, heart and bone health. Iron which is important in red blood cells which carry oxygen through the body. And folic acid which is good for proper brain function.

3 Chia Seeds

Similar to flax seeds, chia seeds have omega-3 fats which are good for promoting heart health. Chia is also rich in other nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B1, magnesium and protein.

Chia is often used in several weight-loss diets. The soluble fiber in the seed is proven to slow digestion and make us feel fuller longer, leading to reduced appetite. There are also studies which claim that eating chia after a meal can help reduce blood sugar.

4 Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds have a lot of lignans, particularly the one called sesamin. Several studies linked this type of lignan to heart disease and breast cancer. Sesame seeds, whether in original or in other forms like oil or tahini (ground sesame paste) also contains many nutrients. This includes fiber, protein, omega-6, copper, manganese, and magnesium.

Studies reveal that sesame seeds can help reduce muscle damage and oxidative stress. Research on postmenopausal women also revealed that sesame seeds can help lower blood cholesterol and improve sex hormones.

5 Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds have all the essential 20 amino acids, which makes them a complete source of vegetarian protein. Additionally, studies suggest that the protein in hemp seeds has better quality than most of the other plant sources of protein.

These seeds also contain omega-6, omega-3, vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc. Meanwhile, its gamma-linolenic acid is an essential anti-inflammatory fatty acid which is good for the skin. This is the reason why hemp seed oil supplements are selling on the market.

6 Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are good sources of phosphorus, fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, monounsaturated fats, and omega-6 fats.

There are many health benefits in pumpkin seeds. Several studies reveal that they can lower risks of bladder stones in children. Meanwhile, a higher intake of pumpkin seeds is linked to reduced breast cancer and prostate cancer. Magnesium is also important for maintaining blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

7 Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds may help protect against various diseases and fight inflammation in older adults. They contain a good amount of protein, vitamin E, vitamin V1, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folic acid, and monounsaturated fats.

Sunflower seeds are also proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol as well as calm nerves and muscles.

Too Much Fried Chicken Will Kill You—New Study Revealed

Too Much Fried Chicken Will Kill You—New Study Revealed

Fried chicken, fried fish, french fries—These are just a few of the oil-fried dishes that are common in our dining table and many fast food menus. As they say, whether you are a cooking enthusiast or someone who hasn’t held a pan in your lifetime, nothing could go wrong with fried dishes. They are very easy to cook and delicious.  However, a new study revealed that fried food, especially fried chicken and fried fish is linked to early death.

In a paper published in The BMJ, researchers suggested that reducing our consumption of fried foods would have a big, positive impact on our health. Investigating the data of US women aged 50-65; researchers found that a greater intake of fried food is associated with a higher risk of heart-related diseases.

Death Risk and Fried Food

The researchers used the data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which assessed the diet of more than 100,000 women in the US during 1993-1998. They then traced the respondents to know how many of them died and assessed their cause of death through their death certificates.

Until 2017, there were 31,588 deaths. These include 9,320 deaths due to heart-related diseases, 8,358 deaths due to cancer and 13,880 deaths from other causes.

The researchers then looked at the fried food consumption of the respondents. The previous questionnaire includes items such as fried chicken, fried fish/shellfish, and other fried foods like French fries, fried potatoes, fried rice, fried cassava, fritters, potato chips, tortilla chips, corn chips, and pork skins. They also accounted for other potentially influential factors such as overall diet quality, lifestyle, and income level.

Results revealed that one or more servings of fried chicken a day increase the risk of death from any cause to 13 percent than those who did not eat any. It also increases the risk of heart-related death to 12 percent.

Meanwhile, one or more servings of fried fish/shellfish a day were linked to increased risk of death from any cause by 7 percent and increased higher risk of heart-related death by 13 percent compared with no fried food.

Other fried food dishes also contributes to an 8 percent higher risk of early death compared with those who did not eat fried food.

Why are Fried Food Bad For Your Health

But why is fried food so bad? The researchers listed some possible answers. One reason is frying makes food “crunchy and more appetizing,” making people can’t help but take a few more bites which lead to excessive intake.

The frying process also affects the food in many ways. Frying deteriorates oils through the process of oxidation and hydrogenation, which causes the food to have a lower amount of water and a higher amount of trans fat.

Frying also results in higher levels of dietary advanced glycation end products in food. This is associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases and heart-related death. On the other hand, the high temperature in frying can lead to the formation of acrylamide in some foods, such as French fries and potato chips, which causes cancer and heart diseases.

Lastly, researchers also revealed that fried foods in fast food chains such as fried chicken or fried fish could be “ultra-processed foods that are usually high in added sodium,” which is linked to higher risk of early death.

“Reducing the consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, may have a clinically meaningful impact across the public health spectrum,” the researchers concluded.

Fried foods are just so crispy and tasty, making them one of our all-time favorite dishes. However is it really worth to exchange our life with just a few moments of indulgence?