Take heart with berries, beans, and other healthy fare.
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.
Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.
"Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant," says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.
Health.com: 20 healthy salmon recipes
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.
"Avocados are awesome," says Dr. Sinatra. "They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health."
Health.com: 8 avocado recipes besides guacamole
Olive oilFull of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they're the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.
NutsWalnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet, says Dr. Sinatra. "And like olive oil, they are a great source of healthy fat."
Health.com: 8 super nuts
BerriesBlueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
"Blackberries and blueberries are especially great," says Sinatra. "But all berries are great for your vascular health."
Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.
But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost. The Physicians' Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn't eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.
Health.com: What can you make with fresh baby spinach?
Flaxseed Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.
SoySoy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it's still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.
Health.com: Supplements for cholesterol: What works?
Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.
Neither Mexico nor India: The world's hottest chilli comes from a tiny greenhouse in Cumbria
By JAYA NARAIN
Last updated at 8:39 AM on 3rd December 2010
Last updated at 8:39 AM on 3rd December 2010
It is so hot weapons experts plan to use a couple in a spice bomb to incapacitate enemy soldiers on the battlefield.
But the world’s hottest chilli does not hail from India, Thailand or Mexico but from a small greenhouse in Cumbria.
It was created by crossing three of the hottest varieties of chilli pods known to man.
The Naga Viper rates an astonishing 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures heat by the presence of the chemical compound capsaicin
The result is a record breaking chilli that will make your eyes stream, throat burn, nose run and much, much worse.
The Naga Viper chilli packs an astonishing 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures heat by the presence of the chemical compound capsaicin.
Experts at Warwick University carried out tests on the chilli and officially declared it the hottest.
It beat competition from the ferocious Bhut Jolokia pod - the previous holder - to take the title of the world’s hottest chilli in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Creator, Gerald Fowler, a full-time chilli farmer for five years, said: ‘When they grow chilli in India or the Caribbean they’re used to the heat and the drought. When they’re grown over here I think they fight back against the harsher climate and produce even more heat.’
Dozens of customers at Mr Fowler’s village pub, the Engine Inn, signed a disclaimer stating they are of sound body and mind before sampling a curry cooked with Naga Viper. Only two managed to finish the whole dish.
He sells the chilli as a tongue-blistering sauce for curries but says he is getting a lot of interest from chilly growers keen to get their hands on the seeds.
Gerald Fowler with his Naga Viper chilli pods, the hottest chilli pods in the world
‘It’s painful to eat,’ said Mr Fowler, 52, who runs the Chilli Pepper Company, in Cark-in-Cartmel, near Grange-Over-Sands. ‘It’s hot enough to strip paint.
‘It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it’s a marvellous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great.’
The most popular chilli – Jalapeno – measures a pitiful 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville scale.
Mr Fowler’s Naga Viper is more than 270 times hotter and trumps the previous world record holder, the Bhut Jolokia, at 1,001,304.
The Indian Government has been examining ways of using the very hottest chillis such as the Bhut Jolokia to produce a spice bomb that would completely incapacitate enemy soldiers without killing them.
Earlier this year they created an 81-mm tear-gas like grenade which could be thrown by a soldier.
The mix of spices and phosphorous chokes the enemy’s respiratory tract, leaving targets barely able to breathe for a time.
It also causes severe stinging to the skin as well as streaming eyes, a burning throat and disorientation.
Mr Fowler crossed the Bhut Jolokia, with two other varieties, the Naga Morich and Trinidad Scorpion, and grew the plants in his 8ft by 16ft heated greenhouse.
He said: ‘The chef Heston Blumenthal gave a volunteer our chilli oil and monitored their brain activity on a CAT scan. It showed the part of the brain which registers heat was right next to the part of the brain which makes us feel happy.’
He said: ‘Some people have actually eaten the raw pods, because that’s the sort of macho thing that some people do, and posted it on YouTube. A couple were sick.’
Mr Fowler has sold chilli seeds to the Eden Project in Cornwall, to the Edinburgh Horticultural Society, and to farmers in Afghanistan, as a alternative to growing poppies for opium.
‘I’ve been growing chilli for 10 years, and doing it full-time for five,‘ he said ‘I was a website designer and just got drawn into it when my dad got a chilli plant.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1335043/Worlds-hottest-chilli-grown-tiny-Cumbrian-greenhouse.html#ixzz1CBJqPTms
The Chile Pepper Institute has had many inquires about the Naga Viper, the latest claimant to the world's-hottest chile pepper, since yahoo and other wire services have run the story. The Chile Pepper Institute can not confirm that the Naga Viper is the world's hottest. To confirm that the Naga Viper is the world's hottest, a scientific replicated experiment will have to be done. Mr. Gerald Fowler, the developer of the Naga Viper, is a member of the Chile Pepper Institute. The Chile Pepper Institute has contacted him and asked for a seed sample. If Mr. Fowler is willing to submit a seed sample, The Chile Pepper Institute would grow the Naga Viper and the Bhut Jolokia side-by-side in replicated trials at New Mexico State University in 2011. The Chile Pepper Institute will keep our members appraised of the results.
UPDATE - Currently, there are no seeds of this variety available http://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/
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El Paso restaurant owner plans show on Cooking Channel
Posted: 01/12/2011 12:29:08 AM MST
The best food of your trip won't be served in a restaurant.
At least not if your traveling partner is El Paso restaurant owner/chef Sai Pituk.
"The best food in the world is not made in five-star, stainless steel, picture-perfect kitchens," Pituk said. "They are made on the streets of the world."
To adventurous travelers like Pituk, street cooks are magicians who create their culturally enriching meals with little more than a cart and a griddle, mortar or deep-fryer.
Pituk, who owns Tara Thai Restaurant at 2606 N. Mesa and is in the process of opening two more restaurants, The Kitchen (5380 N. Mesa) and the Gastro Pub (1360 Lee Treviño) - both former locations of Marcello's Ristorante Italiano - is going to chronicle her travel and culinary adventures on the Cooking Channel.
The working title for the series is "Savory Streets with Sai Pituk."
"The show is a travel cooking show," she said. "It's going to explore the real cooks of the world; the cooks on the streets."
Two pilots were filmed - one last summer during the annual Music Under the Stars concerts at the Chamizal and another at the Whole Enchilada Fiesta in Las Cruces.
Filming for the series will begin this summer, possibly in Spain, with the first show airing in the fall.
"I wanted to go to Thailand first but, you know," she said. "I'm going to go all over the world and find the most interesting street cooks and discover the stories behind them. Then I'm going to learn how to cook what they are cooking and the viewers are going to be able to watch the process and learn with me how to cook these types of food."
The idea for the travel/cooking program came to Pituk during a three-month visit to Thailand.
"I walked the streets of Thailand and asked the people, 'Hey, who makes the best curry? Who makes the best noodle dish' or whatever I was learning how to make and they would tell me and I would go to that street vendor and I would barter with them to teach me."
Sometimes she would pay them with a pair of Levi's Jeans.
"Those guys have been doing those recipes for generations," she said. "They are the masters of what they do. That's how I learned how to cook."
What impresses Pituk the most about street cooks is the way they conjure up not just a delicious snack or meal but the very essence of a place.
"Every city has it's own culinary swagger," Pituk said. "It's my job to get into those nooks and crannies of that swagger and bring it home to the viewer."
From banana leaves stuffed with sticky rice sold on a Thai train to harira soup, a traditional Moroccan broth of chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and turmeric - the cuisine of the people - is found in practically every country.
"Any country that is big on street food I want to visit," Pituk said.
"Places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Alaska and of course New York. I want to go everywhere."
Pituk said she is also going to share her experiences in dishes at her two new restaurants.
"It's nice to have an outlet to everything that I have seen, smelled and tasted," she said. "At Tara Thai I'm restricted to just Thai food but at the other two kitchens I'll be able to share more experience with different ingredients with El Paso diners."
The El Paso version of street foods is not as extravagant as international cities.
"You would be hard-pressed to find an outside food vendor in El Paso because of the city regulations," said Nick Gomez, a pharmaceutical salesman who travels around the country. "My favorite street foods are in Chicago along the walking paths in the northern part of Lincoln Park."
Gomez said you'll come a across all kinds of vendors selling chicharrones, tacos and cups of freshly cut pineapple, mango, watermelon and melon tossed with lemon and orange juice, cayenne pepper and salt.
He said he would love to see more food trucks, carts and even hot dog vendors around San Jacinto Park downtown.
"I really think street food is a window into a city's soul," Gomez said.
"The closest thing we have to clump of local vendors like that are the ones at the Fox Plaza swap meet on Sundays. I know it's not the most glamourous place but the food is good and authentic."
Because of its proximity to Mexico, street food such as elote en vaso (corn in a cup) served with butter, lime juice, crema Mexicana chili powder and lime wedges are very popular.
"I remember going over to Juárez when it was safe to do so and eating tacos on the corners of Juárez Avenue," said Larry Mendoza, who used to go over the bridge with friends while a student at UTEP in the '90s. "They used to have different kinds of meat on a steel rod and the vendor would cut it off and make tacos right in front of you."
It is memories such as those that Pituk wants to share with viewers of "Savory Streets with Sai Pituk."
"Germany, New York, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan each has its own food swagger," she said. "It's fun to pick up on some of the ingredients they use in a particular country like in Thailand where fish sauce is very prevalent. It's fun to take those ingredients and use them in American cuisine or Mexican cuisine."
And El Paso's food swagger?
"El Paso doesn't really have one right now, but it's up and coming," she said. "With the new talent of chefs that we have coming into town, El Paso would be accommodating to the new cuisine that's coming into the city and they will be a part of the culinary revolution in El Paso."
Victor R. Martinez may be reached at email@example.com; 546-6128.