Health Benefits of Walnuts - Tasty and Nutritious Everyday Snacks

Stressful modern lifestyle, environmental pollution, exhaustion caused by intense work and multitude of personal problems inevitably lead to deterioration of health, which is why we must give ourselves a fighting chance by eating healthy and organic food, at least from time to time. Granted, not many of us love healthy food, because it is frequently perceived as being not tasty, especially in comparison to fat saturated fast food, filled with artificial food additives. Nevertheless, if you take time to learn about the organic food cuisine, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the abundance of tasty and healthy recipes.

But what if you are constantly busy and cannot spend time cooking an elaborate meal? You can simply take a healthy snack with you. Walnuts are the best example of a nutritious and healthy snack that can boost your energy level and provide a wide row of benefits for your health.


Among the most important health benefits of walnuts are:

1. Cancer Prevention

Multiple studies have shown that daily consumption of a handful of walnuts can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer in half and the risk of prostate cancer by 30% to 40%. Mice that have been fed walnuts on a daily basis have shown increased resistance to the spread of cancer cells. Moreover, those male mice that were eating walnuts during 18 weeks period have shown considerable reduction in size of already existing tumors.

2. Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 that help to improve cardiovascular function, including blood pressure. Eating only four shelled walnuts per day will help you forget about high blood pressure, heart aches and will improve your heart health in general. You can actually add walnuts to various delicious meals and surprise your family and friends with interesting salads, containing organic walnuts.

3. Improvement of brain function

Walnuts are a treasure trove of a multitude of vitamins, essential for our brain, such as B2 and B12, A, D C, E, K and many other vitamins and minerals, vital for the healthy brain function. A couple of shelled walnuts or organic raw walnuts without shell will help to boost your brain function and overall mood. Complex of vitamins and microelements replenishes the energy that we lose during the day, which is why walnuts, consumed instead of chips or fries will not only satisfy hunger, but will also boost your attention and mood.

4. Slowdown of the aging process

Walnuts contain powerful polyphenol antioxidants that fight free radicals, responsible for the aging process and our overall health deterioration. Constant consumption of organic walnuts leads to decrease of free radicals and considerable slowdown of our aging process.

5. Reduction of cholesterol levels

Despite the fact that organic walnuts are quite nutritious, they indeed contain over
600 calories per 100 grams, monounsaturated fats, contained in them actually help fighting saturated fats in our body, replacing them and making our blood vessels free of cholesterol plaques.

Bottom line:

If you want to live longer and lead a healthy life, you need to consider replacing your unhealthy snacks with nutritious walnuts that are beneficial for your health and actually are tasty, especially roasted ones. Seven shelled walnuts per day or 14 walnut halves will help to preserve your health, slow aging process and reduce the chance of getting cardiovascular diseases. Choose nutritious walnuts as a source of good taste and long life.

Honey – a Natural Remedy for Various Conditions

Honey has been around for thousands of years and was an integral part of culture of many civilizations. Nowadays, the most common use of organic honey is to dissolve it in a cup of tea or just eat a teaspoon of flower honey to sooth the throat pain. Nevertheless, our predecessors used this nectar of the gods for various purposes, such as fruit and berries preservation, brewing, cosmetic masks, but most importantly as a remedy for an entire plethora of unpleasant health conditions and illnesses. That is hardly surprising, considering the amount of vitamins and microelements that it contains.


Below are some of the widespread health problems that can be eliminated with the help of honey:

1.Honey calms hiccups

Despite the fact that hiccups attacks are frequently associated with people, who drank a bit too much, they can happen to every one of us. In order to calm down this attack you just have to eat a teaspoon of sunflower honey. Spasms will stop and you will finally get rid of the hiccups.

2. Honey eliminates acid reflux

Not so long ago there was conducted a research on the use of honey for acid reflux elimination. The results of this research showed that acacia honey is extremely useful in this respect. In fact, it works much quicker than work any of the medications for this problem resolution that are currently available on the market.

Honey coats the throat and soothes it, gradually reducing the unpleasant acid reflux.

3. Natural honey neutralizes bad breath

It’s not a secret that flower honey possesses antibacterial qualities. This antibacterial effect helps to fight bad breath in people, who suffer from it. In order to use organic honey for this purpose, you’ll need to prepare a mouthwash, consisting of 1 teaspoon of honey, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and half of the cup of warm water. This mouthwash will not only eliminate the bad breath, but will also make your breach pleasant due to the use of cinnamon.

4. Organic honey helps to get rid of dandruff

Dandruff is an awfully unpleasant health condition that not only make you feel embarrassed in the presence of other people, but also brings a wide row of irritating conditions with it, such as itching and burning sensation. However, honey can help you with that as well! Just rub a mixture of 1 part of warm water and 9 parts of honey into your hair, wait 3 hours and rinse your hair. You will feel the relief immediately, while dandruff itself will be fully eliminated within a week.

5. Honey helps to reduce the discomfort during pregnancy

It’s a well-known fact that every women experiences discomfort during pregnancy, the intensity of discomfort varies, but there are none, who are protected from it. Nevertheless, honey can help you reduce the discomfort. Just mix it with warm milk and drink it before going to bed – it will calm the heartburn and morning sickness.

6. Honey can moisturize dry and cracked skin

Many people suffer from dry skin and in some cases, this condition gets so bad that there appear tiny cracks on its surface that hurt a lot, forcing people waste millions of dollars on expensive lotions and creams. In case you prefer natural remedies that have been tested by time, just rub honey on dry skin in such areas as elbows, hands, knees and other areas with dry and/or cracked skin. Leave it on for about half an hour and you will be more than happy with the result.


Natural honey is irreplaceable in treatment of various unpleasant health problems. Its antibiotic properties can help in treatment of wounds and prevent spreading of bacteria. Apart from that, flower honey is amazingly tasty and can be used as a sweetener in pastry, sauces and tea. Therefore, it is essential to have a least a jar of the organic honey at home and be able to get rid of sore throat and cold in no time.

Types and Benefits of Natural Oils

People have been using natural oils since the ancient times. They were an essential part of many cultures due to the great benefits they provide. Nowadays, people use natural oils in various spheres of life, such as healthcare, food industries, childcare, cosmetics, beauty products and the list goes on and on. Nevertheless, when someone mentions natural oil, the first type of oil that comes to everyone’s mind is either olive oil or sunflower oil. However, there exist other not so widespread types of organic oils, which are still extremely beneficial and useful in many spheres of our life.

Below are several types of rare natural oils and their benefits:

Grapeseed oil

grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is extracted from grapeseeds, which are a winemaking byproduct. Considering how many gallons of wine per year is manufactured worldwide, it is hardly surprising that there is no shortage of grapeseeds. Grapeseed oil contains oleic acid that according to the recent studies can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Anti-inflammatory qualities of grapeseed oil help to relief pain and work as antimicrobial agent. Apart from that, grapeseed oil is a great source of vitamin E and antioxidants, capable of protecting your skin from harmful UV influence. Moreover, you can use it as sunscreen not only to protect your skin from the harmful influence of sun, but also to moisturize dry areas of your skin, such as elbows, knees and heels. Grapeseed oil is a powerful emulsifier, which is why it can be used for various dips, sauces and spreads.

Pumpkin seed oil

pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil is a perfect anthelmintic agent, capable of cleaning your body of different types of parasites. It contains a variety of essential vitamins, such as E, A and K – these vitamins are extremely good for your skin. Zinc and antioxidants that contain in pumpkin seed oil prevent aging process and prolong the freshness of your skin, giving it a healthy glow. It also stimulates hair growth, which is especially beneficial for the men with alopecia. Pumpkin seed oil can also be used in culinary. For example, cold-pressed oil can be a perfect salad dressing, especially if mixed with spices. Consumption of pumpkin seed oil can also boost your libido and improve your reproductive health.

Linseed oil

linseed oil

Studies have shown that linseed oil has a calming effect on digestive system. Its anti-inflammatory action calms and soothes the walls of the intestines and colon, relieving pain and helping to get rid of colitis and to ease the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. Linseed oil can also reduce high cholesterol levels by replacing bad cholesterol with good one. It also acts as blood pressure stabilizer and reduces chances of having a stroke. Many people suffer from dry eyes and spend lots of funds on medication for the treatment of this condition. Linseed oil helps to considerably reduce eye dryness and eliminate symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. Moreover, it can be an effective treatment of unpleasant menopause symptoms.

Walnut oil

walnut oil

Walnut oil is manufactured from dried walnuts, using cold-press technology. Strong antioxidant properties as well as presence of ellagic acid make walnut oil a perfect ingredient for cancer prevention. Due to the fact that it contains Omega-9, melatonin and copper, walnut oil is irreplaceable for blood pressure stabilization, reduction of heart problems risk, improvement of skin and maintaining an ideal hormonal balance. Apart from that, walnut oil is rich with group B vitamins, such as B2, B1 and even vitamin E. This vitamin complex helps to improve your skin, giving it nice texture and eliminating imperfections.


Despite the fact that many people known only of olive and sunflower oils, there exists a wide row of amazingly useful organic oils. Using them instead of chemical remedies can help you stay healthy and strong, as well as to prevent poisoning of your body with undesirable chemical components that are undoubtedly present in chemical medications, lotions and other cosmetic products.

A Taste of Empire: Toronto Play with Jovanni Sy

Rumour has it Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world. What springs from this colourful mélange is a vibrant arts scene, unparalleled in its diversity.

Actor Jovanni Sy (whose family hails originally from the Philippines), workshopped a new piece that combines the modern TV cooking show concept with a lesson in European colonial history.

Actor Jovanni Sy

Sy is the artistic director of Cahoots Theatre Projects, a company dedicated to the production of new material that reflects Toronto and Canada's cultural mix.

In A Taste of Empire, Sy prepares a Filipino fish dish, Rellenong Bangus, for the audience. The performance took place in an actual demonstration kitchen.

While performing the act of gutting a fish and putting together the stuffing, sy provides anecdotes about the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. He also peppers the 1-hour play with side notes about the globalization of jobs and food production.

Jovanni Sy Pulls Off One Man Show (and Dinner!)

The entire creation is a sly conceit that largely works on several levels: it's entertaining as a new concept, Sy is particularly talented in having to prepare a dish in real time while also spouting a monologue and by the end of it, the play has touched upon real-life issues which are pressing in the world today.

Did you know 75% of our garlic comes from China? In fact, the same percentage of our onions also comes from that country.

Also, this so-called food crisis has been fueled by speculators and protective measures imposed by countries and not just a supposed shortage of oil.

A Taste of Empire is Playful and Illuminating

The play is saved by Sy's energetic performance. It's no mean feat to be the only person on a "stage" and having your audience stare you down.

There's also a bit of humour when Sy takes what's left of the fish, after it's been gutted, and makes it into a puppet to tell you where its been, what things its been eating and why it doesn't feel good.

Also, as the chef, Sy does tell us the origin of Rellenong Bangus – a stuffed fish which tells the story of the Filipines with its unusual European ingredients of potatoes, peas, carrots and raisins.

It is a rather fanciful story – made up for the purpose of the play – and makes you smile. I'd prefer not to give it away as Sy is hoping to mount an official version of the play in 2009.

All I can say is to tip my chef's hat to Sy, playwright Tara Beagan and director Guillermo Verdecchia for an illuminating and entertaining piece. I hope it returns in full form next year.

Up next week - a recipe for Rellenong Bangus. Other Filipino recipes include: Chow Mein Filipino Style, Filipino Christmas Rice Cakes and Cassava Cake.

A Guide to Common Southeast Asian Tropical Fruit

Some of the following are highly recommended for when steamy heat has sapped the body, and others are either very unusual or prohibitively expensive outside the region. Washed, peeled fruit is also a safe travel snack option for avoiding tummy bugs. Take advantage of an Asian trip to try them.

Milk Fruit

Said to only be found in Vietnam and Cambodia and with a very short season, apple-shaped milk fruit is named for the milky sap which oozes from the skin when it is cut. With a striking purple and green skin, the very sweet translucent flesh harbors large seeds.

milk fruit
Milk Fruit

Dragon Fruit

Brilliant magenta pink skin with the scales which give this fruit its name cover white flesh peppered with tiny black seeds. Vietnam is the largest local producer, although Thailand, Cambodia and other countries are catching on to this easy-to-grow cactus which probably originated in South America but has spread like a weed across Asia. Sweet but quite neutral in taste, juicy dragon fruit is high in fiber.

dragon fruit
Dragon Fruit


The workhorse of Asian fruit, coconut is high in potassium and young coconut juice both quenches thirst and replaces much-needed minerals leached out from sweating. Travelers worried about stomach bugs love coconuts as they are completely sterile – so sterile the juice has even been used for emergency plasma transfusions. Its flesh and milk is integral in a variety of Asian dishes. After a hard day in the tropical heat, coconut juice beats dehydration.



Cambodia and Thailand both produce magical salads from grated green papaya, with Thailand's famous som tam by far the spicier. Papaya flesh is also perhaps the most powerful meat tenderizer of all, turning the toughest of beef into mush if it is left for too long. Papaya is an omnipresent fruit in Asia, and the rich orange flesh of a tropical papaya makes its Western cousins pale in comparison.



Walnut sized yellow-brown skin covers opaque, juicy sweet flesh. Longan is often found on sale at roadside stalls as a traveler's snack and sugar hit. It is Thailand's largest fruit export.



Rough, bright red skin covers a luscious opaque flesh. The tinned version often found overseas does not do justice to the fresh version.



Brilliant red with long, yellow-green hairs, this round berry-like fruit is a perennial favorite. Named after the Malay word for hair, it originated in the lowlands of Malaysia but in now available across the region. Inside, sweet, firm white flesh covers a black stone. Rambutan makes a wonderful addition to fruit salads and shakes.



Peel away the brilliant purple, pithy skin to reveal white, sweet segments of flesh, each with a large pit. Mangosteen is considered the queen of fruit – durian is the king.


Jack Fruit

Leave removing the sweet yellow pods inside this largest of all tree-grown fruits to the experts or risk fingers being glued together with the thick sap of the green, knobby skin and internal membranes. Green jackfruit is used in soups and stews. Once ripe, it has a distinctive smell some say is reminiscent of a durian. Originally native to India.

jack fruit
Jack Fruit

Snakeskin Fruit

Literally looks like the skin of a snake on the outside and peels back to reveal a creamy meat. This fruit is particularly popular in Vietnam but is now seen on market stalls throughout most of the region. Beware of the small hairs scattered on the outside of the skins – they may itch.

snakeskin fruit
Snakeskin Fruit

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Adobo, Lechon, Lumpia and Halo Halo

The seven thousand island archipelago that makes up the Philippines has some tasty foods for the adventurous traveller. It shares many common ingredients with recipes found in other Southeast Asian countries. But what makes Filipino cuisine different is that many dishes are not pungent and spicy like nearby Thailand and Indonesia.

 Spanish colonization has had a big impact on the evolution of Filipino food. The national dish, chicken or pork adobo, is slowly marinated in a sauce containing vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and pepper. The word adobo is also used to describe a style of cooking. Ginataan is anything that is cooked in coconut milk, and inihaw is a dish that has been grilled or broiled.


 Lechon (roast pig) is a Filipino favourite eaten during major festivals and its crispy skin is enjoyed with a sweet liver paste. There are no shortages of seafood, restaurant menus frequently offer such specialties as bangus, (milkfish) hipon, (shrimps) and sugpo (prawns). Other fare of Spanish origin includes morcon (beef rolls) and embutido (pork rolls). The "merienda", or afternoon snack, is an important Filipino tradition. A common favourite is bibingka, a cake made with flour, eggs and coconut milk which is then cooked in a pan lined with banana leaves.


 Chinese influence can be seen in many Filipino dishes. Lumpia are spring rolls stuffed with minced meat or vegetables, and Yangzhou fried rice is sold in panciterias (a term that is used for a Chinese style restaurant but the name is Spanish).


 Pancit is the generic name for noodles and Pancit Molo, a variation of wonton soup is a specialty from the town of the same name in the Iloilo province of the Philippines. Rice is an important component of the Filipino diet as in other parts of Southeast Asia, and many Chinese dishes introduced to the Filipino population have been given Hispanic names. Case in point, arroz caldo. This is a dish that can be ordered in fast food restaurants and is similar to Chinese congee. Basically it is rice porridge with slices of chicken with spring onions added on top.

 The Americans brought pizza, burgers, sandwiches and salads and now these foods can be found in the big shopping malls that occupy downtown Manila.

 Unlike other countries in Asia, bakeries are found all over the Philippines and this again reflects a strong European influence on the national cuisine. Ensaymadas are sweet rolls topped with cheese and are eaten at breakfast and with afternoon tea.


 Halo Halo (translated as mix mix) is a multi-layered dessert with several ingredients. It's a tempting snack especially in the hot and humid climate of the Philippines. It's made with jackfruit, plantains, preserved sweet beans and gelatin cubes. Shaved ice and coconut milk make this mixture very enticing, and ice cream is usually added on the top. As in many other Filipino dishes, Asian and Western ingredients combine to form something delicious.

halo halo
Halo Halo

Filipino cuisine is a relative newcomer to cities in North America and Europe. And, if you are looking for a taste of something different and don't know where to find a Filipino eatery look in the yellow pages. Many dishes are easy to prepare at home and the ingredients can be picked up in an Oriental or Spanish food store.

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A Nirvanic Nepalese Meal

Nepal, tucked between Tibet, Bhutan and India, offers a unique dining experience for the hungry traveller.

Nepalese Meal

Look north of India and south of Tibet and you'll uncover a complex little country of about 30 million with more than 90 ethnic minorities and 70 languages spoken.

Nepal is a wondrous mix of peoples and beliefs, a majority of whom practice Hinduism with a large sprinkling of Buddhism as well as some Muslim and Sikh adherents thrown in.

Known as the "Rooftop of the World," it has served host to countless international trekkers and mountain climbers seeking to conquer Everest and other assorted peaks.

But first, you must land in the traffic-choked capital, Kathmandu, with its myriad of restaurants and incredible array of foods from around the world. One journalist told me he had the best pizza there! Actually, Fire and Ice is well-known for its thin-crust concoctions. As well, you can easily find Chinese food, Japanese (may I recommend Momo Tarou in Thamel for those hankering for a taste), Korean, Israeli, French and of course, Indian.

Instead, I prefer to focus on what counts as Nepali food – recognizable as a blend of Indian and Tibetan, in a way.

Other lightly-spiced dishes to try include: Asian BBQ Ribs, Party Potluck Noodles, Lemongrass Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Caribbean-Inspired Meals, and Persian Chicken Dishes.

Restaurant in 19th CenturyBuilding

The gorgeous Thamel House Restaurant provides a terrific dining experience in a restored 19th century, timbered Newari building. Newars, who number more than 1 million, are from the Kathmandu Valley.

Known for being farmers, merchants and artists, they are the most dominant group you'll encounter in the capital.

My Nepali friend and I opted for the full course non-vegetarian meal (there is a vegetarian option) which cost a paltry 650 Rs (rupees), the equivalent of $10.

For that, we got an all-you-can eat tasting menu with 13 dishes including a very strong local eau-de-vie and tea or coffee.

It begins with roasted soya beans and then some mo mos – a Tibetan dumpling which is either stuffed with veggies or buffalo meat.

After that, you're handed one of those giant steel Thali platters supporting small nation-states of food.

There is some tasty fried potato (initially, I believe, soaked in chicken broth) and then plain basmati rice.

Wild boar bucks the senses

Off on the ringside are Suruwa (mutton, chicken and vegetable simmered into a thick soup), some dal (lentils) and a thick gravy-like lamb dish called Khasi Ko Ledo. There's also some grilled chicken and mixed vegetables.

Khasi Ko Ledo

Most exceptional for me was the spicy wild boar (Bandhel Tareko), which is boiled and then sautéed in spices (most likely some mustard seed, coriander, cumin etc….), absolutely delicious. It was crispy on the outside and juicy when I bit in. I only wish I could have eaten more.

Other side dishes include Achar (home made pickles), Saag (fresh greens cooked in spices) and Shikarni – a "national yoghurt" dish which is whipped with cashews, almond and cinnamon. I found this to be a divine discovery as well.

Sitting in the rooftop of the restaurant, cross-legged, in the Rooftop of the World was a magical experience. Namaste!