Health Blog

World Food Day – 16 October 2020

From Caesar salad to salmon poke bowl, peanut butter spread to almond cookies and so many other delicious foods in our daily life, how could we not have a World Food Day on our calendar to celebrate all the joy brought by food? World Food Day fall on every 16th October and was initiated in 1945 to celebrate the first launch of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

World Food Day helps to increase global awareness, take action to reduce hunger problems worldwide and ensure healthy and balanced diets are accessible for all. Every year there is a different theme to celebrate World Food Day. In the view of the current crisis this year, the theme for 2020 World Food Day is “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.” This theme is to celebrate and thanks to everyone who involved in transport, fish, plant, produce and harvest food to ensure the public has sufficient and healthy foods. You can also celebrate this day by growing some healthy and organic food on your balcony to join this home food production movement.

Healthy foods easily grow in the balcony

1.Strawberries

Strawberries can grow easily in a small hanging pot or containers which does not take up any floor space. Strawberries are a great source of minerals and vitamins while also low in calories.

2. Grapes

Grapes only need a tiny bit of floor space and will grow upward according to the wood support in the pot. Grapes consist of antioxidants which can help your body fight against diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.

3. Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes are similar to grapes which you do not need a lot of space. Eating tomatoes bring health benefits such as the lower risk of cancer and heart diseases as tomatoes provide antioxidant, vitamin C, vitamin K and minerals to your body.

4. Beansprouts

You can definitely grow beansprouts at home without any hassle, as you only need a small container with some beans and you will be enjoying your stirred fried bean sprout fresh from garden within a week. Beansprouts contain a high amount of protein, fibre and vitamin C which is a good alternative source of protein for vegan.

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Reference: One Green Planet. 2020. 8 Foods That Will Happily Grow On Your Apartment Balcony. [online] Available at: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/foods-will-happily-grow-apartment-balcony/

World Food Day 2020: Date, H., 2020. World Food Day 2020: Date, Theme, History And Significance Of The Special Global Event. [online] NDTV Food. Available at: https://food.ndtv.com/news/world-food-day-2020-date-theme-history-and-significance-of-the-special-global-event-2310662

See the face you love light up with Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid which is commonly known as Vitamin C play important roles inside the human body such as essential for body growth, recover and development of all tissues cell. Human body are not able to produce and store vitamin C. Thus, getting a sufficient amount of vitamin C from your diet is important.

Health benefits of Vitamin C

  1. Boost up your body immune system: Vitamin C improve functions of white blood cells efficiently which expedite your body wounds healing process.
  2. Lower risk of heart diseases, chronic diseases and cancer: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body cells and fight against pollutants such as smoke from fires or cigarette.
  3. Prevent skin ageing: Sufficient intake of Vitamin C are linked with reducing the possibility of wrinkled skin due to its antioxidant characteristics.
  4. Reduce the risk of iron deficiency: Vitamin C promotes iron absorption which prevents your body from iron deficiency.

Good sources of vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits: Lime, orange & grapefruit
  • Peppers: Chilli pepper & bell pepper
  • Blackcurrants
  • Vegetables: Kale, mustard spinach, broccoli
  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
  • Herbs: Parsley & thyme

Do you know?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for healthy women aged between 19 and 65-year-olds is 85mg (approximately 1 ¼ medium of kiwi) while for healthy men aged between 19-65 years olds is 105mg (approximately 1 ½ medium of kiwi) by Health Promotion Board.

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Reference:

C., Health, E., Disease, H., Disease, L., Management, P., Conditions, S., Problems, S., Disorders, S., Checker, S., Blogs, W., Answers, Q., Guide, I., Doctor, F., A-Z, C., A-Z, S., Medications, M., Identifier, P., Interactions, C., Drugs, C., Pregnant, T., Management, D., Obesity, W., Recipes, F., Exercise, F., Beauty, H., Balance, H., Relationships, S., Care, O., Health, W., Health, M., Well, A., Sleep, H., Teens, H., Pregnant, G., Trimester, F., Trimester, S., Trimester, T., Baby, N., Health, C., Vaccines, C., Kids, R., Cats, H., Dogs, H., Here, G., Now, C., Experts, C., Surfaces?, H., Know, C., Blogs, W., Center, N., Management, D. and Stories, F., 2020. The Benefits Of Vitamin C. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#2

Healthhub.sg.2020.Recommended Dietary Allowances [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/192/recommended_dietary_allowances

Sweet potato chestnut mooncake

Are you worried about the high sugar or calories content by eating mooncake? Bake this recipe at home with your family and enjoy a healthier mooncake while celebrating the mid-autumn festival.

Ingredients (Serves 6 mini mooncake)

Dough
• 90g low-gluten flour
• 12g olive oil
• 65g honey
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon of water

Filling
• 6 medium chestnuts
• 300g sweet potato
• 20g honey

Egg wash
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon of water

Preparation

Dough

  1. Filter 60g of low-gluten flour and mix well together with olive oil, honey, salt.
  2. Rest the dough for 60 minutes in a container.
  3. Add another 30g of low-gluten flour to the dough, mix well and rest the dough for another 30 minutes.

Filling

  1. Boil sweet potato in a pot of hot water for 12 minutes or until well cooked.
  2. Peel off the skin of sweet potatoes and add honey while mashing 300g of sweet potatoes.
  3. Cut chestnut into small pieces and set aside into 6 portions.
  4. Weigh 50g of mashed sweet potatoes, add 1 portion of chestnut into the middle of filling and roll into a round shape.

Egg wash

  1. Add egg yolk and water into a small bowl and mix well.

Assemble and shape of mooncakes

  1. Weigh 15g of dough and flatten the dough. Place the filling in the middle and wrap tightly with the dough. Roll into a round shape and coat some low-gluten flour on the ball.
  2. Put the ball into mooncake mould and press to shape.
  3. Brush egg wash on top of mooncake.
  4. Preheat the oven into 180°C and bake for 20 minutes. After cooling down, the mooncake is ready to serve!

Happy mid-autumn festival! Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. Join our first health blog lucky draw event now by subscribing to our health blog and tag 3 friends on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page giveaway post to win free tickets to treetop adventure park, good luck!❤

Unsaturated fats: Don’t fear the right fat

Unsaturated fats are the good fats to human body and fats are essential for maintaining body functions such as storage for energy, act as protection for important organ and helps in transportation of vitamins within the human body. By replacing saturated fats and trans fat with unsaturated fats in your diet are linked to lower risk of heart diseases and reduce your cholesterol level.

Polyunsaturated fats:

Omega-3

Omega-3 fats cut down the clotting of blood in your blood vessels and prevent the hardening of blood vessels. Thus, lower your blood pressure level and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Foods rich in omega-3:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Chia seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Food products fortified with omega-3

Omega-6

Omega-6 fats help reduce bad cholesterol level (LDL) and promotes a strong and healthy heart.

Foods rich in omega-6:

  • Sweetcorn
  • Soya beans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Rapeseed
  • Almond

Monounsaturated fats:

Monounsaturated fats support maintaining of good cholesterol level (HDL) in your body and at the same time lowering the bad cholesterol level (LDL).

Foods rich in monounsaturated fats:

  • Avocado
  • Brazil nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sesame oil

To achieve a healthy and balanced diet, moderate intake of good fats is important. Too much of good fats will also lead to an excess of calories intake that causes weight gained. Always remember to choose unsaturated fats foods over trans fats and saturated fats foods.

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Reference: nhs.uk. 2020. Facts About Fat – NHS. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition/

Minerals: Go far with Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is essential for the human body to function healthily. Zinc cannot be produced by your body, you will need to obtain zinc from your daily diet.

Benefits of zinc to our health:

Healing of wound: Application of zinc medicine on wounded skin or skin rashes fasten the healing of the wound.

Lower risk of some age-related diseases: Zinc slower down vision loss and development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Regulate of the immune system: Zinc helps in stimulate cells which support the thyroid system, destroy of cancerous or unhealthy cells, blood clotting and more.

Treatment for the common cold: Zinc medicine effectively reduce the symptoms and length of the common cold.

Treatment for diarrhoea: Zinc supplement can help in cure and prevention of diarrhoea.

Foods rich in Zinc:

  • Seafood: lobster, clams, oyster and crab
  • Fish: salmon and sardines
  • Meat & poultry: chicken, pork, lamb, beef and turkey
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains: Brown rice and oatmeal
  • Vegetables: asparagus, kale and mushrooms
  • Nuts and seeds: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds
  • Black beans, lentils and chickpeas
  • Dairy-made foods: cheese and yoghurt

Do you know?

The recommended daily intake of zinc for normal adult age above 19-year-olds is 11mg for male and 8mg for female by the US Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).

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Reference: Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/>

Carbohydrate: Do you know what is Glycaemic Index?

Have you ever come across glycaemic index in food? What is glycaemic index? This is a ranking where value from 0 to 100 is given to specific food depends on after eating this food, how much and how fast this food increase your blood glucose levels.

Foods with high (above 70) glycaemic index:

Foods that are broke down and absorbed fast in your body will lead to a spike in your blood glucose level and results in unstable blood glucose profiles. Thus, rated high in glycaemic index. Foods with high glycaemic index consist of:

  • White rice and white bread
  • Sugary and sweet foods
  • Potatoes
  • Soft drinks with high amount of sugar

Foods with medium (from 55 -70) and low (less than 55) glycaemic index:

Medium and low glycaemic index foods are broke down and absorbed more slowly which increase your blood glucose level in a stable manner. Some of the medium or low glycaemic index foods are:

  • Brown rice
  • Fruits
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Oats

Do you know?

Are foods with low glycaemic index is a healthier choice? Surprisingly the answer is no, as foods with low glycaemic index are not all healthy while not all foods with high glycaemic index are unhealthy. Such as pineapple and watermelon have high glycaemic index, but these are not unhealthy foods.

Apart from that, different recipe and cooking process will change the glycaemic index value. For example, foods that cooked with protein or fat will lower glycaemic index as protein and fat slower down carbohydrate absorption in your body. Having a balanced diet with right ratio of carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals are more important rather than focusing on glycaemic index value of foods.

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Reference: Healthxchange.sg. 2020. Diabetes: Limitations of Glycaemic Index for Blood Glucose Control [online] Available at: <https://www.healthxchange.sg/diabetes/essential-guide-diabetes/diabetes-limitations-glycaemic-index-blood-glucose-control>

Benefits and facts about Soya Bean

Soya beans are the greatest sources for plant-based protein. Therefore, products made from soya bean has been popular and long known as replacement of meat especially among vegan and vegetarian. Why does soya bean become a popular choice as replacement of meat and what are the health benefits of having soya bean?

Products like soya milk, tofu and soy flour which are made from soya bean are rich in essential nutrients, protein.

There are two sources of protein which are from animal and plant. However, plant-based protein such as beans and nuts has been identified as incomplete plant protein due to lack of one fundamental amino acid.

Nevertheless, proteins found in soya bean and animal consists of all amino acids required to build protein in the human body. Thus, soya beans and products made from soya beans are recognised as complete plant protein.

Health benefits of having soya-made products:

  • Rich source of minerals and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin K
  • Higher in omega fats while lower in saturated fat than meats
  • Free of lactose, suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • High in fibre
  • Good source of antioxidants

Apart from the above, soya intake also helps to lower down bad cholesterol level which may reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. Soya consumption may reduce the risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

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Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. Soya Bean — The Unique Plant Protein [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/190/soya_unique_plant_protein>

Trans Fat: Easy to gain, hard to lose

The most unhealthy type of fat is trans fat, as trans fat increases the bad cholesterol level (Low-density lipoprotein) while reducing your good cholesterol level (High-density lipoprotein). Diet with high intake of trans fat is strongly linked to the blood vessel and heart diseases. There are so many negative impacts comes along with intake of trans fat which lead to a ban of artificial trans fat in all foods product in Singapore by Health Promotion Board starting from June 2021.

What is trans fat?

Natural trans fat: Trans fat can be found naturally from certain dairy items and meat in a small amount. However, the effect of trans fat found naturally will be harmful or benefits to your body is still unknown.

Artificial trans fat: During the food processing, the manufacturer will add hydrogen into vegetable oil which results in the oil turn to solid while at room temperature. Food cooked with this oil will have a greater shelf life.

Major sources of trans fat:

  • Deep-fried foods: chicken nugget, fries and doughnuts
  • Snack: popcorn, potato chips and chocolate bars
  • Baked products: cakes, biscuits and pies
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Margarine and vegetable shortenings
  • Convenient meals: Instant noodles and frozen pizzas

Ways to cut down on trans fat intake:

  1. Go through the food nutrition label carefully and buy the product option with no or lowest saturated fat
  2. Avoid the purchase of snacks and junk food
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits and cut down on red meats as they contain natural trans fat
  4. Pick healthier cooking oils like sunflower and olive oil
  5. Buy products with Healthier Choice Symbol

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We are now having our first health blog lucky draw event, subscribe to our health blog and tag 3 friends on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page giveaway post to join, good luck!❤

Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. 5 Things to Start Doing Now That Artificial Trans Fat Has Been Banned [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2067/5-things-to-start-doing-now-that-transfat-has-been-banned

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Trans Fat: Double Trouble For Your Heart. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114>

Bone To Be Wild? Then You Need Calcium!

Calcium is an important mineral that is essential to build up strong teeth and healthy bones. Calcium also helps in blood clotting and control nerves, muscle and heartbeat. However, too much calcium supplement will have side effects while too less of calcium intake will lead to deficiency and result in osteoporosis (weak & fragile bone).

Dietary sources of calcium intake:

  • Salmon, pilchard and sardine
  • Dairy-based products: cheese, yoghurt and milk
  • Green vegetables: spinach, watercress and broccoli
  • Soya milk with additional calcium
  • Fortified products: cereals, flour and fruit juices
  • Chia seeds, almonds and sesame

Do you know?

The recommended daily intake of calcium for normal adults age between 19 and 50-year-olds is 800mg (approximately 2 glass of 250ml of low-fat milk) by Health Promotion Board.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency:

  • Muscle cramp
  • Bones fracture easily
  • Numbness in your fingers, face and feet
  • Poor memory
  • Soft and breakable nails
  • Hallucinations

Too much of calcium will lead to:

  • Stomach-ache
  • Bone pain
  • Weak muscle
  • Kidney problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Tiredness

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We are now having our first health blog lucky draw event, subscribe to our health blog and tag 3 friends on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page giveaway post to join, good luck!❤

Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. Recommended Dietary Allowances Choose Beverages and Food with Less Sugar [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/192/recommended_dietary_allowances

Medicalnewstoday.com. 2020. Calcium: Health Benefits, Foods, And Deficiency. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248958> [Accessed 21 August 2020].

Carbohydrate: Facts about free sugars

High intake of sugar not only cause tooth problems but also obesity and other health issues. Free sugars are the hidden risks in your daily diet that lead to health problems.

Free sugars are:

  • Added sugars in drinks or food products. Such as cereals, soft drinks, cake, yoghurt and biscuits. Sugars might be added during the food processing at the factory, or by the baker at the bakery shop or by yourself at home.
  • Sugars which naturally found in foods like honey, vegetable juices, fruit juices and syrup. These are considered as free sugars as their food structure has been changed and these sugars are ‘freed’.

Sugars that are naturally found in fruit, vegetables and dairy-based products (eg. milk) does not consider as free sugars. However, these sugars still contribute to your total sugar intake.

Recommended daily intake of total sugar:

The recommended daily intake of total sugar is less than 10% of your total energy intake by Health Promotion Board. For example, if your daily calorie intake is 2000kcal then your total sugar intake should be 50g (10 teaspoons) of sugar. However, additional cutback to 25g (5 teaspoons) of sugar is greatly encouraged as this will bring more significant benefits to your health.

Tips to cut down sugar in food & drinks:

  • Replace soft drinks with sparkling water mixed with lemon or mint
  • Reduce sugar or opt for sugarless hot drinks, add low-fat milk instead
  • Fruit juices without added sugar still contain a high level of sugar, limit your intake less than 150ml every day or eat whole fruit instead
  • Read the nutrition label and pick the product with the lowest total sugar level
  • Try to go for sliced strawberry or banana as your toast spread rather than serving with chocolate, honey or jam on your toast.
  • Purchase unsweetened cereals and avoid those flavoured with honey or chocolate

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We will be having our first health blog lucky draw event next week, more details will be announced on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page ❤

Reference: nhs.uk. 2020. Sugar: The Facts. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-does-sugar-in-our-diet-affect-our-health/>

Healthhub.sg.2020. Choose Beverages and Food with Less Sugar [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/15/dietary_guidelines_adults#:~:text=Our%20sugar%20consumption%20should%20be,such%20as%20cakes%20and%20candies>