Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tropical Fruits in the USA Markets

Fig 01- Two kinds of tropical fruits

If you visit any groceries in the USA, you may easily spot tropical fruits. Banana is the most favorite fruit both in America and the world.

Average American consumed banana 27.38 pounds (12.4 kg) per person per year.

Other tropical fruits sold in the markets:

- Avocados
- Pineapples
- Guavas
- Mangoes
- Plantains

Where are these tropical fruits coming from?

Yes, your guess might true that Latin America countries are the main sources not only tropical, but also other fruits.

However, some tropical fruits such as mango and plantains may grow very well in some states of America.


Fig 02- Banana sold in the grocery


Fig 03- Three mangoes

Several states which produce tropical fruits include:

- Georgia
- Florida
- Texas
- California.

We love California plantains and Texas mangoes. We buy plantains almost once a week. We steam or fry the plantains.

Texas or Florida mangoes are abundance in the summer, start from late May every year.

I have noticed that mangoes price quite lower during summer seasons, especially in Mexican and Asian groceries.

Instead of banana, what is your most favorite tropical fruit?

Friday, April 30, 2021

About Cashew and the Creaminess of Cashew Butter in the Cashew Milk

Fig. 01. Creamy cashew milk

Have you seen the cashew tree? Do you use any part of this plant?

If yes, what part and what is the purpose?


From some sources, we know that cashew plant originates from Brazil, then spreading to the countries along the equator line and the other tropical areas that have good:
- soil
- temperature
- and the length of sunlight for this plan to grow.

The plants can reach between 26 – 50 feet (or 8-15 m) in height.

Cashew (from word Caju) belongs to Anacardiaceae family, and the species Anacardium occidentale is most commercial plant.

People can use any part from the cashew plants.

From a cashew tree, people use almost all its properties: leaves, barks, seeds, shell of seeds.


Fig. 02. The cashew milk is thicker than dairy whole milk and soy milk

Cashew apple (enlarge fruit ripe), seeds, wood and other parts are used as following:

- the fresh fruits or cashew “apple” can be eaten raw.

- juice from fruits for beverage, fermented for wine, or for jam and jelly

- gum is used in pharmaceutical as substitute for the expensive Arabic gum

- oil from the seed- shell for varnishes

- seeds also for oil and milk

- seeds for snacks in vary presentations, such as roasted cashew or chocolate cashew

- timber for furniture and charcoal


Fig. 03. Fig. 03. The flowers, illustration

The properties of the cashew plants are also used as folk medicine.

Different countries use different part of cashew for preventing and healing the signs and symptoms of the certain disease process.

The cashew tree does not grow around here. Luckily, we can enjoy the seeds, either, raw, roast, or any cooked cashew seeds. We are still able to get the benefits of seeds from the cashew tree.

Beside seeds, the cashew milk is also available here. I got cashew milk from Silk. I was looking for Soy milk, but I had met Cashew milk. This milk is new for me, so I took it for a try.

This cashew milk has luxurious creaminess. From the box I learn that this milk has no cholesterol and no saturated fat. The cashew milk has 50% more Calcium than dairy milk.

This milk is a quite thicker than dairy whole milk and soy milk. The richer creamy looks good for my smoothies. Now, I have a plan to make smoothies this weekend.

Do you like smoothies, and what milk do you prefer?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Should We Have 3 Shots of Covid 19 Vaccine?

Fig 01- A little corner and barn

You may read from many mainstream medias such as CBS, Health and CNBC in these days that we might get 3 shots of Covid 19 vaccines.

Why?

Several reasons are:

- immunity will wane over time (several months to a year)
- third shots could increase capability of immunity to fight variants from the united kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

In fact, there are two kind of vaccines, Biontech-Pfizer and Moderna have been administered in the USA.

I believe many European countries such as United Kingdom, France, Germany and Denmark vaccinated their citizens with Biontech-Pfizer.

Some other countries include “Poland, Romania, Belgium, Greece, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta” are using Moderna vaccines (reported by Politico, April 22, 2021).


Fig 02- Green leaves, illustration


Fig 01- Decor beads, illustration.

What are different between two vaccines in term of third shots?

Here are the answers:

1) Biontech- Prizer vaccine (quoted from Pfizer's chief executive)

- immunity will wane about a year
- third shot is needed after 1 year of second shot
- could be re-vaccination annually, like a flu shot.

2) Moderna vaccines (quoted from company's chief executive)

- protection against coronavirus about 6 months
- third shot is available in the Fall
- could be annual shots

However, Dr Anthony Fauci, NIAID director said that possibility to take third shot and annual vaccines will be known after Fall.

So, let’s wait. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Fruits with flavored chia in cups

Fig 01- Fruits and chia seeds in easy-to-carry cups.

Del Monte and Dole are very familiar brand for either fresh or packaged fruits or vegetables.

For tidbits fruits on the go, I prefers Dole. The most I like is tidbit tropical fruits in small plastic cups.

What I do?

I empty the cup into the glass and add some ice. This is my way keep hydrate in the cool weather

When I picked what I need to fill the Food Bank, I also bought fruits, either in the cans or in the cups.

I saw the bigger package of chunk fruits in the dark black packages with contrast color of fruits.

There is a series of Del Monte Fruits and Chia. The size available is 2 - 7 oz.cups. 


Fig 02- Grab some goodness from 2 - 7 oz.cups.

What are in the delicious cups? There are combination of pieces of delicate fruits and chia seeds:

  • Apples in raspberry cherry flavored chia

  • Mangos in pineapple flavored chia

  • Pears in blackberry flavored chia

  • Mixed fruits in tropical flavored chia

  • Peaches in strawberry dragon fruit flavored chia


Fig 03- Chia seeds floating on the surface.

Whole serving in the cups provide:

- 100% daily value of vitamin C,
- 800mg of omega-3 fatty acids,
- 4-5g dietary fiber

The ingredients: pears, hydrated Chia seeds (water, Chia seeds), sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, ascorbic acid (to protect color), Carmine, vegetable extract for color.

I have photos of Pears in blackberry flavored chia. The package looks nice and appealing. The crisp chunk pears are juicy, but the juice mixed with chia is quite thick for me.

They look great and whoever like chia seeds for their benefit, great cups for snack. The only one thing, Del Monte use carmine for their natural food color which is give the red or crimson color.

Since carmine is produced from bugs or insects, I feel I do not eat 100% fruits from these cups. Just reminder for who have allergic reaction to extract insect, it could be cause to mild hives or anaphylatic shock.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Why do Birds Sing in my Backyard in the Morning?

Fig 01- A bird, photo taken from my neighborhood.

I just wonder birds sing loudly in my backyard every morning. They keep singing their songs and will reduce their choirs or stop singing at all about 11 AM.

By searching through internet, I found several other birds that sing from dawn to the late morning. Some of them:
- blackbirds
- thrushes
- woodpigeons
- wrens
- warblers
- great tits
- blue tits
- sparrows
- finches
- common pheasant
- Chaffinches


Fig 02- Succulent, just for illustration.


Fig 03- Pelican swimming in the city lake

I recognized 3 kinds of birds only:
- crow
- robin
- dove

Then, the question: Why do Birds Sing in my Backyard in the Morning?
Several answers I found from internet:
1) A sing is a kind of opportunity, before foraging and social interactions.
2) It is messages to others to stay away
3) Just for practicing purposes
4) Louder sing to intimidate rivals, but attractive to females for mating.

Have you experienced to hear loud songs of birds in the morning? Where? Do you recognize the bird's species?

Friday, April 16, 2021

Stretching to Prevent Leg Cramps

Fig 01- Grits and pickled jalapenos for breakfast after stretching

Have you had experiences muscle cramps in your leg? Some sources mentioned the causes of muscle cramps as the following:

-long period exercise

-dehydration

-tired muscle

-pregnancy

-age

-dialysis

-medicine

Even muscle cramps are harmless or they might be a common problem that affect on any one, the experience of cramps could lead to:

-reduce quality of our life

-reduce quality of sleep

-reduce our daily activities


Fig 02- A little sweet snack

Depending of severity and frequency of the symptoms of muscle cramps, the treatments can be invasive and non invasive. Some of us prefer to take medications to prevent-leg-cramps, or alternative medications, such as acupuncture or dry-needling. 


Fig 03- Pumpkins, illustration only

Non-drugs treatments are also effective to prevent-leg-cramps, such as:

-massage

-relaxation

-change sleeping and sitting position

-heat therapy

-physical exercise

-stretching

Stretching, many benefit of it. Stretching can ease pain and improve flexibility. Muscle stretching, 10 seconds calf muscle stretching three times a day for 2 months can treat and prevent musle cramps in the leg.

For simple stretching, I share 3 Easy Moves to Get Rid of Leg Cramps

(https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/fitness/a3896/prevent-leg-cramps/)

At last, beside stretching or any non-drugs treatments, staying hydrate is important to prevent the leg cramps.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Proper Times to Take Pills

Fig 01- Gerbera Daisy

As we know, our body has a biological clock. Functions of organs in our body follow circadian rhythms, 24 hour cycles.

We may divide the body rhythms in at least 4 different times (please read Emily Anthes, published in The Atlantic, August 18, 2020):

1) Morning

- Increasing of our body temperature, blood pressure, cortisol levels and heart rate.

2) Mid- morning time

- our body at the level of most vigilant

3) Afternoon hours

- Performance of our body is at peak in terms of organization, flexibility, and strength.

4) Night

- pineal gland starts to release melatonin

- when sleeping: there is increasing level of gastric acid 


Fig 02- Flowers in the garden

What are consequences of our biological rhythm to our medications? let’s say relation between the proper time to take pill and activity of our body.


Fig 03- Three mangoes, illustration only

Here, we make examples of two medications (please read Jackie Middleton, published in Best Health, April 2, 2021):

- blood pressures medications

- cholesterol medications

It is suggested to take blood pressure medications at night, because the cholesterol level is higher at night. Hence, taking pills before bed time will reduce the cholesterol level.

Moreover, researchers found that dropping of blood pressure occurs when patients take medications at night.

Finally, we should consult to our physicians about the best time to take any medications.

Tropical Fruits in the USA Markets

Fig 01- Two kinds of tropical fruits If you visit any groceries in the USA, you may easily spot tropical fruits. Banana is the most favorite...