07 November 2018


Aloe Vera is often called the “plant of immortality” because it can live and bloom without soil.
It is a member of the Liliaceae family, along with more than 400 other species of aloe.
Aloe vera has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and studies have linked it to various health benefits as well. For example, the plant is used to treat sunburns, fight dental plaque and lower blood sugar levels.
In addition, aloe Vera is rich in nutrients with more than 75 potentially active compounds, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids and polysaccharides (1).
However, you may wonder whether the plant is safe for consumption.
This article tells you whether you can eat aloe Vera — and whether you should.

Aloe vera leaves are comprised of three parts: the skin, the gel and the latex. They’re best known for their gel, which is responsible for most of its health benefits (1).
While most people apply the gel to their skin, it’s also safe to eat when prepared right.
Aloe vera gel has a clean, refreshing taste and can be added to a variety of recipes, including smoothies and salsas.
To prepare the gel, cut off the spiky edges on the top and alongside the aloe vera leaf. Next, slice off the skin on the flat side, remove the clear gel and dice it into small cubes.
Make sure to wash the gel cubes thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt, debris and residue. Latex residue can give the gel an unpleasant bitter taste.
The latex is a thin layer of yellow liquid between the skin and the gel of the leaf. It contains compounds with powerful laxative properties, such as aloin (2).
Eating too much latex can have serious and potentially fatal side effects (3).
In contrast, the aloe vera skin is generally safe to eat. It has a mild flavor and a crunchy texture, perfect for adding variety to your summer salads. Alternatively, the skin can be enjoyed by dipping it in salsa or hummus.
To prepare the skin, cut off the spiky edges on the top and alongside the plant and slice off the skin on the flat side. Make sure to wash the skin thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris and latex.
You can soak it in water for 10–20 minutes before eating it if you find it too tough to chew.
It’s very important to choose leaves from the aloe vera plant and not from other aloe species, as these may be poisonous and therefore unfit for human consumption.

01 November 2018

Is Beans A Vegetable or Protein


Many people agree that beans are a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals. However, what’s frequently misunderstood is which food group they belong to.

Like vegetables, beans are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that promote your health.
But unlike most vegetables, beans also offer a substantial amount of plant-based protein.
This article tells you whether beans are vegetables or should be categorized as something else.

Botanically, beans are classified into a group of plant foods known as legumes.
All legumes are members of a family of flowering plants called Fabaceae, also known asLeguminosae. These plants produce fruits and seeds inside a pod (1).
As legumes are nutritionally unique, they’re sometimes considered their own food group. However, more frequently they’re categorized with other plant foods like vegetables.
Though the term “bean” may refer to different plant species, many of the types of beans frequently eaten by humans can be further classified into a subgroup called pulses.
Pulses are the edible, dry seeds from legume plant pods (2).
Common varieties of pulses include:
  • Beans: Kidney, adzuki, black, pinto, black-eyed pea, mung, fava
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): Desi and kabuli
  • Dry peas: Whole green, split green, whole yellow, split yellow
  • Lentils: Red, green, brown and black
Other types of edible legumes that are not considered pulses but still types of beans include soybeans and fresh beans.

Nutritionally, beans are famed as a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, including both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Here’s the nutrient content of a typical one-cup (177-grams) serving of cooked black beans (3):
  • Calories: 227
  • Carbs: 41 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Folate: 64% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
Though the exact nutrient content of beans varies depending on the type of bean and the soil in which they’re grown, most beans are particularly high in folate, iron, magnesium, fiber and protein.
Like many vegetables, beans are rich in plant compounds known as phytonutrients, which may help prevent chronic diseases. Research indicates that regular consumption of beans and other pulses can significantly improve your overall diet quality (4).
Because of their nutrient makeup and high fiber content, beans and other legumes are often classified as part of the vegetable food group (5).
They may also be further categorized into the subgroup “starchy vegetables,” alongside potatoes and squash, due to their relatively high starch content compared to other types of vegetables.

Perhaps one of the most unique nutritional features of beans is their protein content.
Unlike other types of vegetables, beans are often considered to be part of the protein food group, too. In fact, beans are a popular substitute for meat and other animal-based protein sources in vegetarian and vegan diets.
Beans are also one of the most affordable protein sources, making them an invaluable component of the global food supply (6).
The USDA counts beans as part of both the vegetable and protein food groups. If they’re used for protein, 1/4 cup of beans (43 grams) is equal to one ounce of meat (28 grams) or other animal-based protein (5).
Beans are usually ranked as a lower quality source of protein compared to animal-based protein, as they lack one or more essential amino acids (7).
Essentially, this means that, compared to animal-based protein, you need to eat more servings of beans in combination with other plant-based protein sources to meet your daily amino acid and protein needs.

Though technically a separate food group known as legumes, beans are very similar to vegetables due to their high fiber, vitamin, mineral and health-promoting phytonutrient content.
Yet, they’re unique to most vegetables, as they’re also quite rich in protein.
Essentially, beans may be considered a legume, protein or vegetable.
Regardless of which category you place them in, regularly consuming beans and other legumes can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
culled from www.healthline.com