Tag Archives: Food and Related Products

Cola acuminata

Botanical Name : Cola acuminata
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Cola
Species: C. acuminata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names :Local name:
Cola is called differently by different tribes:

Tribe Ewondo call it Abeu and tribe Boulou call it Abel

Habitat :Cola acuminata is native to Democratic Republic of Congo.Grows in the forest areas.

Description:
Cola acuminata is an evergreen tree of about 20 meters in height. Its germination can reach 2 to 3 months at a fast rate, and has long and ovoid leaves pointed at both the ends that have a leathery texture. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds can be found in a white seed shell. The nut’s aroma is sweet and rose-like. The first taste is bitter, but sweetens upon chewing. The nut can be boiled to extract the cola. This tree reaches 25 meters in height and is propagated through seeds. C. nitida and C. acuminata can easily be interchanged with other Cola species.

click to see the pictures…>....(01)...(1).…….(2)..(3)....(4).

Cultivation:
Originally a tree of tropical rainforest, it needs a hot humid climate but can withstand a dry season on sites with a high ground water level. It may be cultivated in drier areas where ground water is available. C. nitida is a shade bearer but develops a better spreading crown which yields more fruits in open places. Though it is a lowland forest tree it has been found at altitudes over 300 m on deep rich soils under heavy and evenly distributed rainfall.

Regular weeding is a must and this can either be done manually or by using herbicides. Some irrigation can be provided to the plants, but it is important to remove the water through an effective drainage system as excess water may prove to be detrimental for the growth of the plant. When not grown in adequate shade, the kola nut plant responds well to fertilizers. Usually, the plants need to be provided with windbreaks to protect them from strong gales.

Harvesting and storage: Kola nuts can be harvested by hand, by plucking it at the tree branch. Like in western countries and other countries of the world, it has been harvested by the use of harvesters. When kept in a cold and dry place, Kola nut can be stored for a long time.

Propagation: Usually by seed, although cuttings are sometimes used. Trees will bear in 7-10 years from seed.

Chemical constituents of kola nut:
*caffeine (2–3.5%)
*theobromine (1.0–2.5%)
*theophylline
*phenolics
*phlobaphens (kola red)
*epicatechin
*D-catechin
*tannic acid
*sugar
*cellulose
*water

Medicinal Uses:
Kola nut stimulates the central nervous system and the body as a whole.  It increases alertness and muscular strength, counters lethargy, and has been used extensively both in western African and Anglo-American herbal medicine as an antidepressant, particularly during recovery from chronic illness.  Like coffee, kola is used to treat headaches and migraine.  It is diuretic and astringent and may be taken for diarrhea and dysentery.  It will aid in states of depression and may in some people give rise to euphoric states.  Through the stimulation it will be a valuable part of the treatment for anorexia.  It can be viewed as specific in cases of depression associated with weakness and debility.

Other Uses:
In addition to its medicinal value, Cola plays a significant social role in Cameroon. Among Moslems from the north, Cola is sacred. In other communities, in particular the Bamiléké, Cola is a sign of love and friendship. Furthermore, Cola is consumed in ceremonies in particular dowry ceremonies, ‘tontines’, funerals, wake-keepings, etc. Some people consume Cola to reduce tiredness, hunger and to stay awake. Others consume it for its stimulant effect. Cola from the north is also used to tint clothing. Cola is also used in breweries (Nkongmeneck, 1985).

Kola nuts are perhaps best known to Western culture as a flavouring ingredient and one of the sources of caffeine in cola and other similarly flavoured beverages, although the use of kola (or kola flavoring) in commercial cola drinks has become uncommon. However, recently the use of Kola nut has been reintroduced, most notably in Whole Foods Market 365 Cola  as part of their trend to use natural rather than artificial ingredients. It is also used in Barr’s Red Kola, Red Bull’s new Simply Cola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, Foxon Park Kola, Blue Sky Organic Cola, Sprecher’s Puma Kola, Virgil’s Real Cola, Hansen’s Natural Original Cola, and Cricket Cola, and formerly in Royal Crown Premium. In Barbados the Kola nut is made into a sweet drink known as Clayton’s Kola Tonic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cola_acuminata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_nut
http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/factsheet/Cola_eng.pdf
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/cola_nut.htm
http://www.britannica.hk/botany/kola-nut-369346.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 Organic Foods That Are Worth the Money

1.Apples


The FDA states that more pesticides are found on apples than are found on any other fruit or vegetable — a grand total of 36. One test found seven chemicals on a single apple. Sounds like a good reason to switch to pesticide-free organic produce to me.

Of course, if you do eat apples or any other fruit, use them sparingly and never consume them in the form of fruit juice, which is basically just a glass full of fructose.

No organic? Peel your apples

2.Baby Foods..


An infant’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s, and more vulnerable. Nonorganic baby foods tend to use fruits and vegetables that have been treated with chemicals.

No organic? Make your own purees by tossing organic fruits and vegetables into the blender.

3.Butter and Milk..


Dairy cows eat grains that are heavily treated with chemicals, which show up in the milk. Non-organic milk can also contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.

However, RAW milk is nearly always better than organic milk if it is purchased from a conscious farmer. In that case, it may not be certified organic, but it will essentially be organic anyway, and drinking your milk raw is KEY. The linked article should have written loads about this difference, but failed entirely to do so.

4.Cantaloupe


Cantaloupes often are contaminated by five of the longest-lasting chemicals. Dieldrin, a very toxic and carcinogenic insecticide, still gets taken up through the cantaloupe’s roots even though it was banned in 1974.

No organic? Thoroughly wash the outside of the melon, since a knife can drag exterior residues through the flesh as you slice it.

5.Cucumbers


Cucumbers were ranked the 12th most contaminated food and the second in cancer risk due to their pesticide content.

No organic? Peel the cucumbers, since the waxes used to make the skin shiny also tend to hold chemicals.

6.Grapes….


Grapes get treated with numerous chemicals, especially Chilean grapes, which can be sprayed with as many as 17 of them. Grapes are also, whether organic or not, especially high in fructose — you might want to consider eating the grape skins and leaving the grape itself alone.
No organic? Search out grapes grown domestically; they are treated with fewer chemicals.
7.Green Beans ..
There are over 60 pesticides that are registered for use on green beans in the U.S.

No organic? Choose fresh beans over canned or frozen. Wash them well.

8.Spinach …..


The chemicals used to treat spinach may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production.

No organic? Vigilantly wash each leaf separately under running water.

9.Strawberries..


Strawberries are among the most contaminated of all produce. Once again, be wary of overdoing it with fructose when you eat fruit.

No organic? Choose local berries over long-distance ones (which generally involve more spraying). The package should say where they’re from, or the supermarket’s produce manager should know.

10.Winter Squash..


Winter squash, like cantaloupe, can absorb dieldrin from the soil.

No organic? Buy Mexican. The soil in Mexico is largely uncontaminated by dieldrin.

Source: Real Simple November 2010

 

Washing May Not Always Produce Get Rid of Bacteria.

Washing produce, even very carefully, may not remove all the bacteria present.
……
Rough surfaces provide lots of places in which bacteria can hide out. You may want to wash rougher-surfaced fruit more carefully.

However, according to Live Science:

“For vegetables and other foods that are eaten raw, the best way to prevent outbreaks … is through cleaner farming practices … When the water used to irrigate the food crops is drawn from wells that are near livestock, fecal bacteria can spread through the water to the food.”

Source: Live Science May 12, 2010

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Eat Slow and Cut Your Calories

For ages, mothers have admonished children to slow down and chew their food. It turns out they’re onto something.

………………….

Researchers have found evidence that when people wolf their food, they end up consuming more calories than they would at a slower pace. One reason is the effect of quicker ingestion on hormones.

In one recent study, scientists found that when a group of subjects were given an identical serving of ice cream on different occasions, they released more hormones that made them feel full when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of 5.

In other words, it can’t hurt to slow down and savor your meals.

Sources: New York Times February 22, 2010

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Food Additives to Remove From Your Diet

Many food additives have been studied and linked to various diseases. Becoming informed about the additives in everyday food items can make for an easier shopping experience and healthier food for everyone.

………………..CLICK & SEE

Here’s a list of some of the most medically questionable and harmful additives in everyday foods:

1.Sodium nitrite
2.BHA & BHT
3.Propyl gallate
4.Monosodium glutamate
5.Trans fats
6.Aspartame
7.Acesulfame-K
8.Food colorings (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow)
9.Olestra
10.Potassium bromate
11.White sugar
12.Sodium chloride (salt)
Since some of these may not be familiar to you, sodium nitrite is a preservative added most commonly to bacon, ham, hot dogs, sandwich meats, and smoked fish. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are other preservatives added to foods like cereal, gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. Propyl gallate is found in meats, chicken soup base, and gum. All of these preservatives have been linked to cancer.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause migraines and other adverse effects. Trans fats are being eliminated from most foods, as the studies linking them to heart disease, strokes, and kidney problems are widely accepted.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in products like NutraSweet and Equal as well as diet foods and soft drinks. And acesulfame-K is a newer sweetener used in soft drinks and some baked goods.

Many food colorings have been banned by the FDA, but some can still be found in foods that require a particular color. Olestra was common for a time in potato chips as an additive that prevented fat from being absorbed in your digestive system. Food colorings have been tied to cancer and Olestra also blocks vitamins from being processed.

Potassium bromate is sometimes added to white flour, breads, and rolls to increase the volume of the products, but it has cancer-causing properties that have prompted some states in America to actually require a label to that effect.

Finally, white sugar and sodium chloride (salt) can be dangerous if not kept to a minimum.

Source: Health News June 29, 2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]