Best Tips To Help You Stop Drinking Soda

The crisp bubbly fizz, sweet taste, and that little caffeine buzz soda gives you can be hard to resist. You know it’s bad for you, but it’s hard to quit something that tastes so good. Well, stop drinking it, plain and simple. Soda is damaging your health and preventing you from losing weight more than you know.

Soda drinkers consume an incredible amount of calories every time they knock back a can. These calories aren’t good either, primarily coming from added sugars. Additionally, you don’t get any vitamins, minerals, or good quality carbohydrates from sodas. You’re actually filling your body with chemicals that can lead to tooth decay, diabetes, and poor bone health. And don’t think that you can get away with drinking diet soda, even though they don’t have any calories. Studies actually have shown that diet soda drinkers are more likely to be obese or overweight. The chemicals in these diet sodas are linked to heart disease and depression, in addition to all the other health risks of regular soda.

So how do you stop drinking soda? When you are conditioned to eating, drinking, or doing something every day of your life, it can be hard to break the habit. If you use a few of these tips below, you should be well on your way to getting soda out of your life.

Count Your Calories:
Counting calories can be a great way to keep your waistline in check. If you toss back cans of soda like they’re the cure for cancer, you may be surprised at how many calories you actually consume purely from soda. The best way to do this is to download a calorie counter app, unless you feel like writing it down every time you drink a soda. And don’t order sodas when you go out to eat. Those free refills rack up the calories real quick.

Switch to Unsweetened Tea:
A lot of people drink soda for caffeine. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, unsweetened green tea or black tea can be a great source of caffeine. If you aren’t a tea purist and need a little extra flavor, try mixing in some fresh lemon juice and a little stevia with your tea to sweeten it. Don’t forget to stay away from artificial sweeteners!

Drink a Glass of Water Instead:
When you feel that desire to drink a soda, drink a glass of water instead. Boredom or stress can sometimes cause people to grab whatever is in plain sight, but these are often unhealthy choices. Pour yourself a glass of water instead of cracking open that can of soda. Chances are soda drinkers don’t drink enough water, so drinking water will cut the urge to drink a soda and ensure you are sufficiently hydrated. Flavor your water with fresh lemon juice or other fruit for added flavors and health benefits.

Try Drinking Seltzer Water:
Soda drinkers are often addicted to the carbonation. If it is carbonation that you seek, try drinking seltzer water. You can get that bubbly craving without the negatives of soda. Just be sure to avoid the flavored seltzer waters because they have artificial sweeteners, which aren’t conducive to your health. You can also make your own seltzer water if you have a Soda Stream.

Break the Habit:
Getting up from the desk at 1pm and heading to the vending machine for a soda may be something you look forward to or are conditioned to every day at work. Without knowing it, you are rewarding yourself as part of your daily routine. You may not even need the soda, but it is a break from work you have grown accustomed to. Rather than going to get that soda, try packing a lunch, walking out of the building for fresh air, or doing a few desk exercises. These are a few options that’ll give you a break from work and help you stop drinking soda.

Aromatherapy With Benefits for Kids

Aromatherapy has been a matter of debate since times immemorial, however despite what any one must say, the ones with in-depth understanding of it and the ones using it sweat by it. And as surprising as it may sound, a lot of them are parents and have used the benefits of aroma therapy to manage their kids. A lot of eyebrows must have gone up at that last statement thinking and considering using aroma therapy for their kids too! Here are some rather surprising benefits of aroma therapy that are bound to make your life a lot easier.

1. Pure natural essential oils from the citrus family like lime, lemon, oranges etc. are known to bring about alertness in kids and adults alike. Smelling these makes you feel freehand energetic to take on the day. Use a diffuser or just spray some in the room when wanting to wake the kids up in the morning. The kids will start associating the smell with feeling of waking up freehand full of energy and will react similarly day after day. Something so simple can making waking the kids up happy a breeze, and quite literally so!

2. Bed time stories: Anything routine with kids is bound to give you trouble, be it waking kids up in the morning or putting them to bed at night. While waking them up is taken care of, the question for a bed time solution awaits an answer. The answer to all your bed time woes is the oh so soothing lavender essential oil. Lavender is known to have soothing and calming effects on people. Using the oil around bed time during the bath or in their room after will help putting the kids to bed easier. Similarly, lavender can also calm a hyper toddler and soothe a stressed one. Lavender creates a very relaxing and soothing environment.

3. Study tales: Given the kid’s increasingly decreasing attention span this aromatherapy hack will come as a blessing. Using fragrances form the mint family can help children retain and recall what they have studied. It is as simple as having their room smell of a certain essential oil when they are studying and then giving them a hanky dabbed in the same essential oil when they go about writing their tests.

4. Mosquito protection: Essential oils of citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon grass etc. are known to keep mosquitoes away. No better way to keep your kids smelling great and safe from mosquitoes. One can either buy or make their own DIY sprays to keep the kids mosquito safe. Either ways as long as the essential oils used are natural and pure, your kids will smell terrific all through the mosquito wars.

Aromatherapy deals with very potent and highly concentrated oils, so be very careful when using them for kids. Educate yourself about it or consult an expert in your vicinity to know what aromatherapy oils suit your child, for what purpose you will be using it and how it needs to be use for maximum benefits. Yes, aromatherapy is amazing with kids, when used as prescribed under adult supervision.

Don’t Do This 5 Health Mistakes

Do you want to look healthy? If so, you should avoid making the 5 most common health mistakes. Most people eat unhealthy stuff and don’t exercise at all. As a result, they fall sick. As a matter of fact, one of the most common causes of obesity is overheating and not doing any exercise. Below are 5 mistakes you should avoid should you want to stay in good shape.

Not drinking enough water

For most people, it’s difficult to drink 8 glasses of water on a daily basis, but you can find some easy ways to keep hydrated. You may put some berries in your drinking water to make it delicious. Another good idea is to drink lemon water. Remember: dehydration can cause fatigue, dry mouth, constipation and mood swings. On the other hand, drinking water will help you control your cravings and appetite. As a result, you will be able to maintain your weight. So, you should make it a habit to have at least 8 glass of water each day.

Skipping meals

If you skip meals, your metabolism will slow down. As a result, you will tend to overeat, gain weight and get a lot of serious diseases. Moreover, the lack of energy will cause you to feel tired and sleepy throughout the day.

So, the solution is that you should eat whole foods, such as nuts, beans, seeds, veggies and fresh fruits. This will boost your metabolism, increase your energy, enhance your digestion and keep your appetite under control. Ideally, you should eat three servings of veggies and fruits on a daily basis for improving your overall health.

Not eating protein

You should have enough vegetables in order to get enough protein. If you want to stay healthy, you may want to provide your body with the right amount of calories. This will help your body control your blood sugar levels improving your focus and building muscle mass. You can go for buckwheat, hemp, spirulina, chia seeds, and eggs, for instance. These things will supply your body with protein.

Not eating carbs

The lack of carbohydrates in your body can cause fatigue, headaches, constipation, mood swings and nausea. Also, it can also make you eat too much.

When it comes to carbohydrates, you should make wise choices. You may add legumes, whole grains, seeds, fruit, nuts and vegetables. However, having too much of them is a bad idea.

Not getting fat

Fat can cause obesity if consumed unwisely. In the same way, not eating enough fat may have adverse effect on your body. Your body will work properly only if you provide it with enough fat. Your body gets energy from fat to perform the daily chores. So, you should get a couple of tablespoons of fat on a daily basis. This will help you stay in good shape. You can eat seeds, avocado, olives and nut butters for providing your body with enough fat. It’s a good idea to avoid animal oils and fats.

This Makeup Ingredients That Are Causing You to Break Out

Does your skin seem to breakout more after wearing makeup? If so, you may suffer from a condition known as ‘acne cosmetica’. Acne cosmetica is a mild form of acne that is caused by the ingredients found in certain cosmetics. Although this condition can occur on any area of the body, it is most commonly found on the hairline, neck, face, and scalp. Over time, cosmetics can accumulate in the tiny follicles on your face, and cause a blocked pores. Excess oils build up within these pores, and erupt into a blemish.

Chemical foundations, heavy moisturizers, and thick eye creams can cause breakouts on the face. Hair gels, pomades, lotions, and body butters can cause breakouts on the rest of the body and scalp. What exactly is in these products that can irritate the skin so badly? Let’s take a look at some of the most common makeup ingredients that are causing you to break out.

Lanolin

Lanolin is an oily substance that is extracted from lamb’s wool. It works wonderfully to moisturize the skin, but it can clog the pores quickly. Many foundations contain ‘acetylated lanolin’, which is a synthetic lanolin derivative in order to make their customer’s face feel smooth after applying it. Although it does make skin soft, it also builds up within pores and later causes acne-like breakouts.

Sulfates

Sulfates are used in facial cleansers to cause it to foam. These are the same sulfates that make laundry detergent and dish soap to create lather. Although cleansers containing sulfates may make your skin feel squeaky clean, over time they can leave a film on your skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts.

Fragrances

Many cosmetics (including foundation) can contain artificial fragrances that help to disguise their chemical-like scent. Although these added fragrances will not clog your pores, they can cause allergic reactions, causing inflammation and a rash-like breakout. If you are experiencing breakouts that do not contain pustules, and instead causes your skin to feel rough or develop a rash, you may not be suffering from clogged pores, but an allergic reaction instead.

Bismuth Oxychloride

Bismuth oxychloride is a standard ingredient used in a lot of top mineral makeup lines. Bismuth oxychloride is a synthetic pearl that is manufactured by combining bismuth, a by-product of lead and copper with chloride and water. It’s used in cosmetics because it has a distinctive pearlescent appearance and a fine texture that adheres well to the skin; however, it is very harsh to the skin and can cause rashes and breakouts.

Alcohol

There are several types of alcohol used in cosmetics, and all of them can irritate the skin. Cetyl alcohol can cause a type of sludge to deposit in the pores, causing pustules to form on the skin. Ethyl alcohol is used in products geared towards individuals with oily skin in order to dry it out; however, it can be excessively drying, leading to irritation and rashes.

Although all of these ingredients are commonly found in cosmetics, there is a way to prevent them from causing damage to your skin: simply make the switch to using all-natural mineral cosmetics. Cosmetics that contain all-natural ingredients use skin-loving constituents that allow your skin to breathe and stay clear of breakouts. If you are currently suffering from acne cosmetica, make sure to use only cosmetics and skincare products made from natural ingredients, and your skin will be healthy in no time.

Knowing Your Skin Type

What’s Your Skin Type?

You’ve heard the buzz about normal, oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin types. But which one do you have?

Your skin performs important functions that allow you to live a normal life, you might not notice it happening but you can be sure your skin is doing its part to keep your body healthy. Read on and enjoy the following interesting facts about skin.

Normal Skin Type

If you have all or most of the above mentioned things then you have a normal skin. You can buy both cream based and gel based products that work for your skin.

Sensitive

Having a sensitive skin type can mean different things to different people. It can be caused by skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or allergies. Sensitive skin can become inflamed and irritated easily. It is important to choose the right skin care for sensitive skin because many cleansers and moisturisers contain ingredients that can cause an adverse reaction.

Oily

Your face feels and looks moist and shiny (especially at midday, when oil is at its peak). You tend to have clogged pores, and your skin is prone to both noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (pimples and cystic zits), which pop up all over.

Dry

Dry skin is characterized by a lack of moisture in its corneous layer, resulting in tightness and even flaking. The skin appears dull, especially on the cheeks and around the eyes. It may lack elasticity, with accentuated fine lines and wrinkles. In more severe cases, itching and burning may occur. Extremely dry skin shows signs of cracking and fissuring.

Combination

Combination skin occurs when two or more different skin types occur on your face at the same time. Typically, combination skin is when some parts of your face are dry or flaky, while the center part of your face, nose, chin, and forehead (called the T-zone) is oily. Combination skin can also describe conditions where wrinkles and breakouts or rosacea and dry skin are present at the same time.

Mature

Skin becomes less elastic and less toned. Wrinkles and furrows form, cheeks are less chubby, facial contours lose their clarity, and features are less harmonious.

Use these tips to help your dry skin:

  • Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once daily.
  • Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps.
  • Don’t scrub while bathing or drying.
  • Smooth on a rich moisturizer right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin but are often messier. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
  • Use a humidifier, and don’t let indoor temperatures get too hot.
  • Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.

Five Most Popular Acne Causes

Acne is a condition that can lead to any one feeling too embarrassed to leave the house. The bright red scars that can be left make many people feel as though they will never have beautiful, glowing skin that is free of blemishes and scars again. This leads to depression and a lack of self-confidence.

There are many remedies that are available for those that are suffering from acne, but, before deciding on a therapy, patients are encouraged to consider what may be causing the pimples so that they can decide the perfect acne therapy plan.

Hormones

Hormonal acne is one of the most common forms of this skin condition. Women are more prone to getting pimples because of their hormones than men. Often, this condition can be easily identified because women will break out while they are menstruating or when they are pregnant. The rest of the time, their skin may be oily, but is not breaking out.

Grease

Individuals that work in environments with a lot of grease are more likely to develop pimples if they touch their face a lot throughout the day. For example, if a person works in a fast food restaurant, touches greasy fries with their hands, and then touches their face, all the grease on their hands will be left on their face to clog their pores.

There is a surprisingly large number of patients that think they have this condition, but they simply quit touching their face and see a tremendous difference.

Cleaning

Sometimes, patients do not properly clean their face and then wonder why they get pimples. Individuals with this skin condition may get pimples regardless, but the less that they cleanse the more they are going to get. Simply guaranteeing that a proper routine is followed both morning and night can help make the condition more manageable. exfoliation, deep cleansing therapy and simply washing the face off with cool water throughout the day can help manage this skin condition if this is the cause.

Diet

What goes in the body, eventually comes out of the body, and some of it makes its way out of the body through the sweat glands. As bacteria is pushed out, it needs to be washed off, hence the cleaning section above. Sometimes, however, this is simply not enough.

Patients with an extremely unhealthy diet are encouraged to make subtle diet changes over time to see if this makes a difference. Unlike previously thought, chocolate does not cause acne. Some other foods, particularly greasy foods such as pizza and chips, are still thought to give to this condition.

Overdoing it

Overdoing it when it comes to spot treating the skin may seem harmless, because these therapy are supposed to get rid of pimples. While this may make sense, it is often counterproductive. Instead of getting rid of more blackheads and pesky pimples, this actually causes the skin to dry out, making it produce more oil than it ever did before, and resulting in more pimples.

Instead, patients are encouraged to follow a regular therapy program and watch the pimples slowly fade away.

Just like every person is different, so is every skin condition. One thing may help one person, yet that same thing may do nothing to help another person. Often, finding the perfect remedy depends on the cause, and it may take some trial and error to figure out exactly what the cause is, and how the skin condition should be treated. Many people find relief in knowing that once they get their pimples under control, laser therapy can help take care of the scars.

How To Treat Care of Acne Once and for All

There are many myths out there about acne treatment, and it is disappointing. Each time someone tries something new and it doesn’t work, they feel worse and worse. They may believe it is just something they have to live with. Yet it can be painful and it can be embarrassing. It can leave scars too which lead a person to feel self-conscious. There is a way to change all of it!

The Right Treatment

If you have tried several acne treatment options without success, the problem isn’t you. The problem is most of the products on the market are only designed to target one issue. They work on opening the pores or changing the amount of oil the skin produces. Yet they can have harsh ingredients in them that will harm your skin and have affects you don’t like.

A professional can take a good look at the various factors that are linked to your acne situation. They can help you to take a new approach so you can feel good about the way you look. Breaking the continual cycle is where it all starts for successful acne treatment.

Facials

Opening up the pores is one of the many benefits from facials. This is one of the lesser known ways to take care of the issue. When you go in for this type of acne treatment, the right ingredients will be used to help create a mask. When it is removed, the skin will have the right balance so it isn’t too dry or too greasy.

Dirt and debris will be removed that could be clogging your pores. When the pores are clogged, sebum builds up and that is going to trigger the right conditions for pimples. This acne treatment also helps to reduce stress so you can relax. The more you stress about pimples, the more you going to get them!

Exfoliating

If you don’t take the time to exfoliate your skin a couple of times per week, you allow dirt, debris, and dead skin to build up. You can’t see it with the naked eye, but it is there lingering and creating the right conditions for acne problems. A professional can do a deep cleaning and exfoliation with special tools.

This will allow the fresh layers of skin below to be exposed it will also help you to have cleaner skin and to reduce the possibility of outbreaks. You may need to change the makeup products you use too. Some of them actually trigger acne and then you add more to cover it up but the cycle is continuous.

Changing to makeup products made from better quality ingredients or natural minerals may be a change that helps your skin look and feel much better. Make sure you remove all make up at the end of the day. If you allow it to linger because you are tired, it can create pimples for you. Avoid using makeup removes with strong chemicals as they can irritate the skin.

High Tech Treatments

Everyone has a different situation when it comes to acne problems. For the more advanced issues, there are high tech treatments that can help with reducing fluids, reducing outbreaks, and even reducing the signs of scarring. This type of acne treatment is advanced and it should only be conducted by a professional. Ask about the procedures and the equipment they use.

How often you have to go in for such procedures depends on your situation. The professional can discuss with you the ongoing treatment plan that they feel is going to offer you the best overall results.

Did You Know Having a Pet Can Benefits Your Health?

In some cases having a pet in the home can actually help a child from developing some allergies and develop stronger immune systems. When a child is brought up with pets, it is less likely they will develop allergies to animals. As they grow up they will have more self-confidence and a better self-image because of the responsibilities they are given with feeding, caring for and playing with their pets. They will be a more compassionate and caring person.

A pet can help improve your socialization skills as you meet and interact with other pet owners. You may meet others at Training Classes where others are trying to train their pet with the same parenting skills or you may interact with others at a dog park. Pet owners enjoy sharing information about their pets good or bad. So if you are shy, share your pets stories with others and you will find how other pet owners or lover of pets will listen and begin a conversation sharing their information that may be similar or even more hilarious than yours. This is also a good way to meet others of the opposite sex.

The National institute of Health have conducted heart-related studies and the findings show that pet owners had decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels which can minimize the risk of a heart attack. Hugging an animal and even petting them helps calm you. They are warm, soft and responds to your affection which calms your nerves and makes you feel relaxed. Watch fish in an aquarium and you will find peace and serenity as the fish swim silently back and forth up and down. Your anxieties developed during your difficult and busy day will be lessened and you’ll enjoy your evening better with your loved ones and friends.

Dog owners are able to walk, run, jog, bike, hike with their canine friend which are exercises that can help you stay fit. It’s so much better exercising with a friend as a dog or as some people do with their pig, or cat. Have you seen people train their pets ride on their motorcycle or even train them on surfboards? What fine companions that make exercising more fun and the time will go by much quicker.

When you are feeling depressed or lonely, a pet may give you that feeling of joy and happiness especially the sick and elderly. A pet sometimes do funny antics and you’ll have someone to talk to instead of being home alone. You can complain and curse and they won’t walk away from you and tell you to stop complaining. They sit and listen and don’t judge what you are saying. They take away that loneliness because they are faithful and loyal to you always there. Dogs and even some cats are good at keeping you safe as they warn you of intruders and even dangers in the house. Best of all you don’t even have to live in a house and they will still love you.

There are so many reasons pets are useful animals in helping humans remain healthy. So if a person in not already allergic to the pet fur and does not have a pet, go out and adopt a cat, dog, fish, rabbit or whatever animal that may appeal to you. Out there is an animal that may help make you live longer, feel euphoric, and become a better person. There are many animals in the animal shelters that are waiting to be adopted who can help you solve some of your health problems. Go out there today and make a pet happy and yourself healthier.

Tips To Accelerate Your Knee Replacement Rehabilitation

Before going through knee replacement surgery, many of us will have questions about a number of issues involved during the surgery and more importantly after the surgery and when the physical rehabilitation takes place.

The physical rehabilitation after surgery will be the most crucial part and will play a vital role in how quickly you recover. Of course there are other pre-surgical factors to take into account like your over all health and level of fitness as well.

Many of the patients I have seen over the years will get confused due to the amount of information from well-intentioned family and friends on what to do to help in their recovery. I have seen many patients heal and make a full recovery as expected and a few who have not due to poor advice or not following through with instructions provided by the medical professionals.

I have listed three tips on how anybody can accelerate their total knee replacement recovery if followed and practiced daily.

1. Keep Hydrated With Water: Keeping yourself hydrated with fresh water will help in the recovery process. Water is one of the main components of life, it carries the blood cells that are needed for healing. By taking in water we keep our blood flowing properly and oxygen levels high enough to heal the surgical site.

Making you are well hydrated with water also helps in the prevention of blood clots. Staying hydrated also helps in flushing out toxins that have accumulated during the surgical process with the addition of anesthesia and other pain medications. The sooner you can get these toxins and other residues out of your body the better you will feel.

2. Keep Your Physical Therapy Routine to a Minimum: This one will catch a few of you by surprise. After all, everyone that has taken the time to give you their opinion of the procedure has told you how important your physical rehabilitation is right?

Well in a sense they are however, many of my former patients also felt that they had to be in non-stop physical therapy causing themselves increased pain and swelling which in turn slowed down their recovery.

When it comes to knee replacement surgery, more is not better, If you can go through your physical therapy routine two times daily correctly, that will be sufficient to reap the benefits and help reduce chronic pain and edema therefore accelerating your recovery.

3. Use Your Pain Medication As Prescribed And Other Modalities: One of the biggest problems I would run into after starting with a patient in home health is the fact many are concerned to get off the pain medication as soon as possible. That’s understandable, but not at the cost of staying in chronic pain which will slow down your bodies ability to initiate the healing process.

Your body is working overtime after surgery to begin the healing process, there will be pain involved and to stop taking your pain medication altogether will hinder your physical rehabilitation efforts along with your ability to rest comfortably.

Take the pain medication as prescribed. Also you will be instructed by your rehabilitation professionals how and when to use both heat and ice to help with pain control. Make an effort to use both at the proper times. Ask your rehabilitation professional when is the proper time to use these modalities during your recovery.

Using the pain modalities along with the pain medication prescribed in a timely fashion will help you considerably during the healing process.

If you can follow these three simple tips during your recovery period, you will be doing everything you can in speeding up your recovery process. These are basic principles that are generally stressed before and after surgery yet few will follow them as instructed.

No one will promise you your recovery will be easy, it will take work and planning but if done correctly, you can speed up the recovery process and get back to enjoying your new pain free mobility.

Something You Should Know About Peanuts – More Than Just a Way to Pass the Time of Day

There was this alter ego of the Walt Disney Goofy (of Mickey Mouse fame) called Supergoof and he got his powers from the super goober patch in his backyard. Goobers and groundnuts are the other names for the more common peanuts. This otherwise super goofy character got his sinews and jet power from gobbling all those peanuts, sneaking out of his back door and emerging from the goober bushes transformed!

In the real world, Peanuts are a legume crop grown for its power packed edible seeds, grown in the sub-tropics and the tropics where the weather is warm and the soil well drained. India is the second largest producer of peanuts in the world.

The secret world of legumes

Though peanuts are commonly classified as nuts, they are actually legumes. Peanut pods develop underground and this has given rise to its scientific name Arachis hypogaea – hypogaea meaning underground. These legumes have nitrogen fixing properties. In their root nodules, they harbour symbiotic bacteria which make ammonia from nitrogen in the air. Ammonia is used by the peanut plant to make amino acids and nucleotides (protein). In turn the bacteria use sugars from the plant. However, peanuts are similar to tree nuts like almonds and walnuts in their nutritional profile.

A complete food for complete health care

Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients and are an excellent source of protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals:

Protein: A cup of peanuts contains 38 gms of protein which is a source of many of the amino acids required by the human body to perform hormonal and neurological functions.

Fats: Fats are essential for a balanced diet; it is a fallacy that a diet should be fat free. 78% of the calories in raw peanuts are from fat: but this is the good mono and poly unsaturated kind which actually lowers LDL cholesterol and the twin risks of diabetes and coronary disease.

Vitamins: Peanuts also contain niacin, folate, Vitamins E and B6, thiamine, riboflavin. These help protect levels of Vitamins A and C. They also keep the body in good ticking order by regulating appetite and healthy digestion and metabolism: all great for good skin. Folate is good for the developing foetus as it lowers the risk of birth defects, both spinal and neurological.

Minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, iron, potassium and calcium are essential for bone and tooth health, muscle contraction, blood clotting and general immunity. Peanuts are a rich source of them all.

Fibre: Peanuts contain insoluble dietary fibre which is considered necessary for weight loss and beneficial for controlling type 2 diabetes.

Peanut milk is being promoted in Africa to fight malnutrition: it is lactose free, extremely nutritive and affordable.

Benefit more than the human body

The nitrogen fixing property of this leguminous plant means that they improve soil fertility. As a consequence, the soil needs less nitrogen based fertilisers. Rotating crops involving peanut plants is sensible agricultural practice as a peanut crop leaves behind nitrogen enriched soil for a different crop to utilise.

Peanut oil is used in cooking and is a healthy alternative as it is unsaturated fat, resistant to rancidity. The residue protein- rich cake after oil manufacture is used as soil fertiliser and supplemental feed for livestock.

Industrial use of peanut oil may not be common knowledge. Nevertheless, it is used in paint, varnish, lubricants, insecticides and even nitroglycerin. Many cosmetics and soaps also use this oil or its derivatives.

Peanut shells, believe it or not, are used to manufacture hardboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose and glue!

Can peanut butter be far behind?

This protein packed product should ideally have peanuts, salt and not much else, but it is usually sold sweetened. It is a good and easy way to supplement your protein in-take: a serving of 2 tablespoons is recommended. It is often the body builder’s good friend.

A word of care

We increasingly hear of peanut allergies. The symptoms range from mild allergic reactions like watery eyes and skin rashes to the life threatening anaphylactic shock. These allergies have been traced to family history and the consumption of soy products. But unless there is an actual diagnosis of an allergy, there is no need to avoid peanuts. The good news for allergy sufferers is that designer peanuts without the allergy causing protein trigger are on the block.

Peanuts are also susceptible to a type of fungal infection which produces a toxic compound called aflatoxin. Still, organic and modern methods of farming can go a long way in ensuring crop safety.

Common sense also dictates that no food supply is ever 100% safe. We live in a sea of toxins and have always stayed afloat. In fact there is a much greater possibility of getting e-coli infection from contaminated food than danger of exposure to aflatoxin.

Peanuts have a very high calorific content. The way to get a mouthful of the benefits would be to replace empty calories from snacks like chips and pastries with these tasty and health filled legumes.

Gastronomic paths

Raw peanuts are mostly used in cooking. Spicy peanut sauces are widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine including those of Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. In India, cooking, particularly in the Deccan plateau region involves multiple and extensive use of this nutritive legume: in masalas, chutneys and as additions to vegetable dishes.

Tender peanuts are delicious, boiled in their cases with a dash of salt. Roasting is another popular choice and actually improves the antioxidant properties.

There are many packaged brands in the market which offer peanuts batter fried or dusted with exotic flavours.

So, the next time you pick up a packet of peanuts, just remember that it is a super-goober, indeed!