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Flavor network and the principles of food pairing

Flavor network and the principles of food pairing | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

The cultural diversity of culinary practice, as illustrated by the variety of regional cuisines, raises the question of whether there are any general patterns that determine the ingredient combinations used in food today or principles that transcend individual tastes and recipes. We introduce a flavor network that captures the flavor compounds shared by culinary ingredients. Western cuisines show a tendency to use ingredient pairs that share many flavor compounds, supporting the so-called food pairing hypothesis. By contrast, East Asian cuisines tend to avoid compound sharing ingredients. Given the increasing availability of information on food preparation, our data-driven investigation opens new avenues towards a systematic understanding of culinary practice.

 

As omnivores, humans have historically faced the difficult task of identifying and gathering food that satisfies nutritional needs while avoiding foodborne illnesses. This process has contributed to the current diet of humans, which is influenced by factors ranging from an evolved preference for sugar and fat to palatability, nutritional value, culture, ease of production, and climate. The relatively small number of recipes in use (∼10E6, e.g. http://cookpad.com) compared to the enormous number of potential recipes (>10E15), together with the frequent recurrence of particular combinations in various regional cuisines, indicates that we are exploiting but a tiny fraction of the potential combinations. Although this pattern itself can be explained by a simple evolutionary model or data-driven approaches, a fundamental question still remains: are there any quantifiable and reproducible principles behind our choice of certain ingredient combinations and avoidance of others?

 

Although many factors such as colors, texture, temperature, and sound play an important role in food sensation, palatability is largely determined by flavor, representing a group of sensations including odors (due to molecules that can bind olfactory receptors), tastes (due to molecules that stimulate taste buds), and freshness or pungency (trigeminal senses). Therefore, the flavor compound (chemical) profile of the culinary ingredients is a natural starting point for a systematic search for principles that might underlie our choice of acceptable ingredient combinations.

 

A hypothesis, which over the past decade has received attention among some chefs and food scientists, states that ingredients sharing flavor compounds are more likely to taste well together than ingredients that do not (for more info, see http://www.foodpairing.com). This food pairing hypothesis has been used to search for novel ingredient combinations and has prompted, for example, some contemporary restaurants to combine white chocolate and caviar, as they share trimethylamine and other flavor compounds, or chocolate and blue cheese that share at least 73 flavor compounds. As we search for evidence supporting (or refuting) any ‘rules’ that may underlie our recipes, we must bear in mind that the scientific analysis of any art, including the art of cooking, is unlikely to be capable of explaining every aspect of the artistic creativity involved. Furthermore, there are many ingredients whose main role in a recipe may not be only flavoring but something else as well (e.g. eggs' role to ensure mechanical stability or paprika's role to add vivid colors). Finally, the flavor of a dish owes as much to the mode of preparation as to the choice of particular ingredients. However, one hypothesis is that, given the large number of recipes we use in our analysis (56,498), such factors can be systematically filtered out, allowing for the discovery of patterns that may transcend specific dishes or ingredients.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Anna V. A. Resurreccion's comment, June 5, 2013 4:41 PM
Interesting analyses of flavors; looking at similarities and dissimilar patterns. Garlilc appears to be common to all but North Aerican diets. I hope the authors will include AFRICA. This study might unlock the key to introducing nutrition in diets of populations worldwide.
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Reveal The Great Tasting Potentialities Of Hemp Seeds

When you've watched an artery-clogging episode of "Man vs. Food" or any competitive eating challenge, you might have a bizarre moment when you start to desire a bowl of chargrilled vegetable salad scattered with light vinaigrette and pulverized mozzarella or a small plate of steamed trout fillets with pak choi, lime, and chili. Fatty and greasy foods can be interesting options for a meal yet when you are faced each day with a stack of anything that is fried and all you are observing are slabs of dark brown meats, you will start to sense the weight of all that fat and grease when you have to go up three or even two flights of stairs. Hemp seeds will assist you to go up three or even five flights of stairs, at the same time still maintaining your meals plentiful and fulfilling as always. The medieval "superfood" is not only a good provider of vitamins and minerals, it also provides layers of tastes in every recipe - thus the super seed isn't just an added boost to a nutritious smoothie. Every experienced cook, every educated chef will have at least a packet of the healthy and appetizing additive in a cupboard. So should you. Full of protein, significant fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, and natural antioxidant Vitamin E, hemp's nutritional capability has been employed for centuries from around the globe and it has initiated many by-products just like oil, butter, powder, and milk. Lately however, the superfood is now an essential additive in every rich, tasty dish - from great tasting one-pot dinners to light pasta meals, hemp can transform any dish into a fantastic meal. Because the seed provides a nutty flavor, it is normally ideal to mix it in hearty dishes just like comforting pork and rice one-pot meal (spicy pork meatballs and rice slowly stewed together) or easy Mexican beef chili (braised beef with cumin, tomatoes, and pinto beans). You could incorporate hemp seed for pasta sauces like Portobello ravioli with balsamic sauce or you can use it to add consistency to dressing as in herbed oil with rosemary, sage, and thyme or vinaigrette with cumin and agave nectar. To further improve the flavor profile of your dressing (whether it's for salads or grilled fish or meat), you'll like to use hemp seed oil. The oil will work nicely with a balsamic reduction, which you can smear over a rich delectable avocado salad with a pungent corn and mint filling and fresh leaves of mesclun. You can even use the oil to power-up a bowl of popcorn. Simply add the oil, a little nutritional yeast (it gives off a cheese-like flavor), and a little salt. Hemp's amazing benefits and extraordinary power with regards to adding flavor to any menu will count on your ingenuity in the kitchen. You don't need to adhere to the recipe books and think of the ancient "superfood" as a mere addition to smoothies or treats. Widen your culinary horizon and get started cooking with this awesome ingredient to produce healthy and delectable meals right now. Learn more from healthy food blogs and healthy food tips . Visit this site for your food preparation needs.


Via gedward1336n
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gedward1336n's curator insight, March 28, 2013 2:33 PM

When you've watched an artery-clogging episode of "Man vs. Food" or any competitive eating challenge, you might have a bizarre moment when you start to desire a bowl of chargrilled vegetable salad scattered with light vinaigrette and pulverized mozzarella or a small plate of steamed trout fillets with pak choi, lime, and chili. Fatty and greasy foods can be interesting options for a meal yet when you are faced each day with a stack of anything that is fried and all you are observing are slabs of dark brown meats, you will start to sense the weight of all that fat and grease when you have to go up three or even two flights of stairs. Hemp seeds will assist you to go up three or even five flights of stairs, at the same time still maintaining your meals plentiful and fulfilling as always. The medieval "superfood" is not only a good provider of vitamins and minerals, it also provides layers of tastes in every recipe - thus the super seed isn't just an added boost to a nutritious smoothie. Every experienced cook, every educated chef will have at least a packet of the healthy and appetizing additive in a cupboard. So should you. Full of protein, significant fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, and natural antioxidant Vitamin E, hemp's nutritional capability has been employed for centuries from around the globe and it has initiated many by-products just like oil, butter, powder, and milk. Lately however, the superfood is now an essential additive in every rich, tasty dish - from great tasting one-pot dinners to light pasta meals, hemp can transform any dish into a fantastic meal. Because the seed provides a nutty flavor, it is normally ideal to mix it in hearty dishes just like comforting pork and rice one-pot meal (spicy pork meatballs and rice slowly stewed together) or easy Mexican beef chili (braised beef with cumin, tomatoes, and pinto beans). You could incorporate hemp seed for pasta sauces like Portobello ravioli with balsamic sauce or you can use it to add consistency to dressing as in herbed oil with rosemary, sage, and thyme or vinaigrette with cumin and agave nectar. To further improve the flavor profile of your dressing (whether it's for salads or grilled fish or meat), you'll like to use hemp seed oil. The oil will work nicely with a balsamic reduction, which you can smear over a rich delectable avocado salad with a pungent corn and mint filling and fresh leaves of mesclun. You can even use the oil to power-up a bowl of popcorn. Simply add the oil, a little nutritional yeast (it gives off a cheese-like flavor), and a little salt. Hemp's amazing benefits and extraordinary power with regards to adding flavor to any menu will count on your ingenuity in the kitchen. You don't need to adhere to the recipe books and think of the ancient "superfood" as a mere addition to smoothies or treats. Widen your culinary horizon and get started cooking with this awesome ingredient to produce healthy and delectable meals right now. Learn more from healthy food blogs and healthy food tips . Visit this site for your food preparation needs.

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Coconut Oil and Diabetes

Coconut Oil and Diabetes | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

Indeed Virgin Coconut Oil has a substantial effect on blood sugar levels. My wife and daughter (both have type 2 diabetes) measure their blood sugar levels at least three times a day. When they eat the wrong foods and their blood sugar levels get to 80-100 points above normal, they don’t take extra medication, they take 2-3 tablespoons of the coconut oil directly from the bottle. Within a half hour their blood sugar levels will come back to normal. Ed, Coconut Diet Forums

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Chia pudding: A breakfast rich in Omega-3

Chia pudding: A breakfast rich in Omega-3 | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

If you shop at Whole Foods or a natural grocery store, you've probably noticed a lot of chia products popping up lately — in pure seed form, in strange...


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How to Make a Difference in Your Child’s Health with Real Food

How to Make a Difference in Your Child’s Health with Real Food | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

Food manufacturers, for example, label foods they sell as “healthy”, “natural“, “trans fat free”, “whole grains” or “low-fat“. Do these claims make foods healthy? Although the pressure to buy these products is always there, it’s important to realize that our children’s health begins with us. If we don’t go beyond store bought foods and educate ourselves about what will keep our children healthy during the formative, developmental years, it will have negative effects for the rest of their lives.

With that said, it’s critical for children to receive healthy, proteins, and cholesterol for brain, heart, and other body organ system health and development. So it’s up to us, the parents, to be willing to go outside of what conventional wisdom recommends for nutrition, as most conventional ideas about what is believed and taught is actually harmful for children’s health.

Making smart choices for your child’s diet really can make an enormous difference in their ability to learn and develop, ward off illness and disease, maintain energy and focus, stay physically active and keep moods balanced out.

Be interested and interactive with your child about healthy choices for health and life. Here are some suggestions:

Just like grownups, children need real foods with full fats and proteins for good health. Foods with fat are replete with essential nutrients our bodies need to maintain various functions. If you aren’t eating these foods already, consider the following: raw milk, grass-fed meats and poultry, eggs from pasture-raised hens, organic fruits and vegetables, raw, sprouted nuts and seeds, whole, sprouted and soaked grains, rice, and legumes. Foods that have been processed (changed or altered somehow) with preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, high-heat, or are low-fat or non-fat are all foods we should avoid consuming. Real, traditional, whole foods from nature provide the correct balance of nutrients and other essential components (like essential fatty acids, antioxidants, co-factors, and enzymes necessary for absorption, correct digestion, and good health).

If you are on a budget, don’t despair. You can still make some healthy changes without overspending. Removing processed foods and replacing with real foods are the main idea. Try making nutritious broths from scratch with bones, water, salt, celery, carrots, and onions. You can add a little meat to it for more sustenance and this can make several meals. Include plenty of vegetables, some sprouted bread with plenty of butter, and you will have a nutritious, economic meal. Here are some tips for saving money on organic foods.

Help your child to understand the connection between a healthy immune system and a healthy diet, which keeps you from becoming sick. When children eat healthy foods and have energy, focus, and feel good, they will be more motivated to make healthy choices as they grow older.

Provide a good variety of healthy cooked and raw foods. Also consider fermented, raw foods that are nutrient-rich such as yogurt and kefir, and lacto-fermented vegetables (see recipes at the end of Getting the Most out of Your Vegetables). Fermented foods are naturally rich in friendly bacteria and have a profoundly positive effect on both the immune and digestive systems.

Avoid as much as possible, refined sugars and processed foods. Beware of processed foods that are believed to be healthy such as pasteurized dairy, low-fat foods, cereals, crackers, tortillas, pastas, food bars, and store-bought breads (those that are not from soaked, sprouted, or fermented grains). For some good descriptions of how to tell what foods are healthy and what aren’t, read this article about knowing your foods.

Spend time in the kitchen with your child, helping them to learn how to make healthy, delicious foods to serve in your home. Let your child experiment and become exposed to the process of making healthy foods.

If traditional, whole foods are new to you, start some research about where to shop in your local area as well as on the Internet. Here are some great resources for real food from reputable companies and farms.

Shop for food with your child. Let your child be involved in going to the health food store, farmer’s market, or local farm where you buy food. The more your child becomes connected to where food comes from, the more active and interested he or she will be in eating healthy.

Vegetables are important, but they should be properly prepared and served with healthy fats. Serving vegetables with butter, olive oil, or animal fats like lard and tallow is very important to ensure absorption of the nutrients in these foods. Animal fats contain fat-soluble vitamins which help with digestion of vegetables and fruits. Another great way to serve vegetables is by culturing and fermenting them. Here’s a great article about how to make your own cultured vegetables at home from Donna Gates (Body Ecology). Cultured vegetables not only provide more nutrients than raw or cooked vegetables, but also contain beneficial bacteria known as probiotics which support your child’s immune and digestive system.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since the body has been in a fasting state for many hours. It can be an especially challenging time to get in enough nutrients. Fats and proteins are important, but also consider vegetables as a possible component of breakfast. Be willing to think differently about breakfasts and consider preparing items like eggs from pasture-raised hens with no-nitrate bacon or sausage from naturally raised beef or pork. You can incorporate all types of vegetables as well as leftover meats into omelettes such as broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, squash, and zucchini. For some good ideas about breakfast makeovers, read this article.

Plant a garden with your child, whether it be a community garden, a school garden, or a garden in your own backyard.
Teach your child about the importance of sustainable and organic foods and why organics are superior to the conventionally-grown variety.

Model good eating habits with your children by eating the same kinds of foods with them when you are together. Even though your child will show some rebellion about some things, he or she really will be affected by your habits, and try to emulate the things you do.

Become an activist in your community and encourage your child to follow along. Children learn by example and if your actions show that you care about healthy food, your children will grow to care about it as well.

Communicate to your child that although eating healthy is important, it’s what a person does 90 percent of the time that counts. Occasionally there will be situations where eating healthy is simply not possible – due to outings or visits with other important people in your life who may not follow your philosophy. Be reasonable about these instances, as your child will only have access to food provided to him or her by the responsible adult, or possibly older children.

In instances where your child will be away from home, such as school lunch or on other outings, consider sending healthy foods in a sack to encourage good eating habits while he or she is not in your care. Here are some great ideas about packing foods for lunch and other occasions, by using foods and leftovers from meals you’ve already prepared.

When you are planning to make changes in your child’s diet from processed to traditional foods, it may be most effective to integrate changes gradually. You can replace some items right away that are unhealthy with healthy choices you know your child will like. The more you expose your child to the healthier choices, the more he or she will come to expect eating those foods and enjoy them.

Don’t become discouraged if your child resists change. Be willing to rotate by offering different choices and provide encouragement and perhaps a reward like a fun outing or a break from school work or chores now and then as incentives to try new foods. If your child isn’t eating something you believe he or she should be, take a break from the food and return to it in a few weeks or a month. Above all, keep trying!

 


Via Giri Kumar
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Cocoa may help aging brain function

Cocoa may help aging brain function | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- People who ate high or moderate levels of cocoa flavanols for two months improved significantly in some thinking assessment tests, a U.S. food expert says.

"A study in the journal Hypertension found elderly people with mild cognitive impairment given dietary flavanols from chocolate did better on cognition tests," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement. "They also experienced a decrease in insulin resistance, which helps regulate blood sugar, as well as improvements in blood pressure, compared with those who consumed only small amounts."

Flavanols are a type of flavonoid -- the phytochemical associated with the many health benefits of cocoa, Lempert said.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/08/23/Cocoa-may-help-aging-brain-function/UPI-63251345779302/#ixzz24ROVRvvj


Via Charles Tiayon
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Eleni Sideri's curator insight, March 10, 2013 5:57 PM

chocolate vs ania

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10 Benefits of Coconut Milk To Stay and Improve Your Health | FitnessProspector.com, Fitness and Exercise

10 Benefits of Coconut Milk To Stay and Improve Your Health | FitnessProspector.com, Fitness and Exercise | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

Following are some of the health benefits of coconut milk:

Helps to maintain blood sugar places:

Glucose intolerance may cause manganese deficiency in your body. Coconut milk is a rich source of manganese. Whole grains, legumes and nuts are some other excellent sources of manganese.

 

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Via AlGonzalezinfo
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AlGonzalezinfo's curator insight, January 28, 2013 8:04 PM

Great article on the many benefits of coconut milk

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Worst foods to feed your child

Worst foods to feed your child | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it
Wondering what the worst foods you can feed your child are? See if they are in your pantry or fridge (The 10 worst things to feed children.
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74 Alkaline Foods to Naturally Balance Your Body | Bembu

74 Alkaline Foods to Naturally Balance Your Body | Bembu | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it

Trying to go alkaline? It’s easier when you know which foods help your body stay get to and stay in an alkaline state. A general rule of thumb is that you can eat these foods without worrying about any acidic effect they’ll have, although some are more alkaline than others. It isn’t necessary to eat only alkaline foods in order to get body’s pH levels to be alkaline, and a certain percentage of foods can be acidic, but it’s best if they’re natural, whole foods like fruits.


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Richard Haddad Zen Pharma's curator insight, April 8, 2014 10:01 PM

Depuis quelques temps j'insiste sur l'équilibre acido-basique par la prise de pamplemousse ou de citron le matin au réveil ,pourquoi ? Durant les longues heures de sommeils les déchets s'accumulent dans la lumière du tube digestive , la prise de pamplemousse par exemple va " nettoyer" cette acidité ,et permet un retour à un état "basique" indispensable pour un bon fonctionnement de l'organisme . Je vous présente la 2 tableaux qui apportent d'autres solutions pour un retour a un équilibre basique donc "alcalin" indispensable à un bon fonctionnement  de l'organisme . A suivre 

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Eat Whole Grains to Fight Inflammation | Runner's World

Eat Whole Grains to Fight Inflammation | Runner's World | Wholefoods lifestyle | Scoop.it
There's a reason the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of the grains eaten in one day be whole grains. Why? Antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense, and fiber-full whole grains have been shown to ...
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