A Cook's Diary

Arsenic in rice and other food news

Arsenic in rice and other food news | casaveneracion.com

There aren’t a lot of good news in the country these days as they are mostly dominated by politicking and who’s going to run for president next year. Hmmm… as thought that will make a lot of difference in the overall health index of the population. But, never mind, if government cannot provide proper health care, there are are few things you can do as individuals to help you fare better than others.

There might be arsenic in your rice but you can remove it

First, there’s bad news. Your rice might be loaded with arsenic. You might remember arsenic from your high school chemistry and you might have read somewhere that it has been called “King of Poisons”. People have been committing murder with arsenic for centuries (surely you’ve heard of the Borgias?). In Western literature and pop culture, probably the best known arsenic poisoning is found in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Strong Poison. There’s Joseph Kesselring’s play Arsenic and Old Lace which was adapted into a movie by Frank Capra. Arsenic is also is the most used poison in Agatha Christie’s novels.

Okay, so arsenic is deadly. And it is in rice? Yes, in veggies, fruits and drinking water too. Read how to get rid of arsenic in rice.

Coffee may have more health benefits than previously claimed

Caffeinated Women May Be Fighting Depression With Every Cup - NPRIn a study published in 2011, it was found that “depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption. Further investigations are needed to confirm this finding and to determine whether usual caffeinated coffee consumption can contribute to depression prevention.

Now, that is something that makes sense to me. Caffeine is a stimulant and for anyone who needs (or wants) an upper to get through their daily lives, nothing is more natural than caffeine. I confess that I consume anywhere from four to six cups of coffee in a day (more, occasionally) and, although some days are more trying than others, I have never been diagnosed with clinical depression.

If reading that has given you incentive to drink more coffee, try these:

1 – Nutella coffee
2 – Cajun coffee
3 – Cafe con leche

Eating spicy food may lead to a longer life

Spicy Foods Linked To Longer Life, Study Finds - ForbesForbes.com reports on a study conducted in China which found a correlation between regularly eating spicy food and longevity. It has to do with a compound called capsaicin.

Do fresh and dried chilis provide the same amount of health benefits? Apparently not, according to the study.

Those who consumed fresh chili, as opposed to dried, tended to have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes.

So, go and plant chilis. It’s isn’t hard and chili plants consume little space (you can grow them in pots!). Ours are just sprouting all over in the garden.

Then, add chilis to the dishes you cook. Some suggestions:

1 – Crisp tofu in tomato chili sauce
2 – Stir fried pork and chayote strips with ginger and chilies
3 – Chili eggplants

A final note: Relative to the coffee and chili news, I will repeat what I always say when writing about “researches” and “studies”. Most of them are not independently conducted and are, in fact, financed by interest groups with a lot to gain, or lose, in the outcome. So ALWAYS be wary about claims that this or that food will benefit or harm you. Read more and decide what make sense and what do not.

Stock photos from Pixabay

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