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Lose Weight and Eat Healthy With Peppers!

July 13th, 2012

A member of the nightshade family, peppers have been around for over 7,000 years, and were first enjoyed by the Native Americans.  Peppers can range in color and size, and can taste intensely hot, or even delicately sweet. With so much diversity and flavor, many can’t help but ask, ‘What is it that the humble pepper cannot do?’ They can spice up your favorite salsa, add a hint of sweetness on the grill, add nice color to an omelet — even prevent disease and help you lose weight.

Yes, that’s right!  Many are discovering that these vibrantly colored delights have some pretty amazing health benefits to boot.

The Health Benefits

Peppers and chiles are wonderfully nutrient rich, and contain important carotenes, flavonoids, and more vitamin C than most citrus fruit! Their vibrant colors, ranging from red, yellow, orange and green (and sometimes purple) can be associated with different nutrients. Eating a diverse combination of peppers can offer vitamins A, C, B, beta-carotene and lycopene. These nutrients alone can strengthen eyesight, improve mood, provide energy and vitality, and support the immune system.

Furthermore, peppers are a natural anti-inflammatory, which help ward off disease as well as cancers in the pancreas, bladder and prostate. Consuming them on a regular basis can also lower blood pressure, which consequently, can lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Why Peppers Can Help You lose Weight

Peppers contain few calories, and zero fat and cholesterol.  Yet, this is not the only reason why eating peppers can aid in weight control. A study at UCLA Center For Human Nutrition found that eating chili peppers can better control metabolism.  Even better, participants who consumed the peppers’ nutrients in pill form burned an additional 80 calories and appeared more energetic than those that were given a placebo.

How did that happen? Researchers found that a compound in peppers raises the body’s temperature; a similar effect to when a person goes for a light jog, or jumps rope.  A pepper’s ability to warm the body can also keep us warm in the winter, yet cool in the summer when we perspire.

Finding The Best Peppers To Plant

Choosing a variety of natural peppers to include in your diet can offer the most diverse nutrients, and can keep your body balanced. Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles offers ten varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, including certified organic and heirloom seeds. A few delicious peppers to try are our sweet Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper; perfect for summer sandwiches, our Yankeee Bell Peppers; stuffed with your favorite seasoned goodies, and spicing up chili, fried potatoes and tacos with Habaneros and Conchos Jalapeños.

Sources:

http://www.oprah.com/health/Hot-Peppers-Dr-Perricones-Superfood-No-7-Superfood

http://www.naturalnews.com/029177_peppers_calories.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-peppers

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/04/capsaicin-hot-peppers-weight-loss.html

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The Value of Humble Seed: We ExSeed Expectations!

November 16th, 2011

In the number of years of growing our own herbs and produce, on occasion we may have all purchased seeds from a grocery store or garden supplies store. As we brush off the dust that has settled on each package, one may notice the seeds looked quite normal and were ridiculously cheap. But as the plants begin to grow in size and take shape, one cannot help but grow weary of what our families are actually eating. It is difficult not to wonder: how long were the seeds in the store for? Were they exposed to the sun, rain and other elements? Were these
seeds genetically modified? Or perhaps inoculated with pesticides? Is there a possibility that these seeds were hybrid or pollinated in a controlled environment, and are now unable to regenerate a seed for future planting? In essence, life is like a package of store bought seeds, you never know what you’re going to get. We soon begin to realize that all seeds are not alike.

The Difference: This is why Humble Seed has a different philosophy that allows you more control over your gardening and what ultimately goes on your plate. We do this by ensuring our seeds are non-genetically modified and non-hybrid, we feature numerous organic and heirloom varieties as well. In addition, all of our products are carefully stored within temperature controlled environments prior to being shipped directly to your home or business.  Our convenient garden seed kits offer you the ability to:

  • Grow herbs and vegetables that are fresher and more nutritional than their store-bought counterparts.
  • Save money by purchasing seeds in bulk and growing your own foods.
  • Engage your family around a backyard experience, and educate children on the importance of gardening for a sustainable way of living.
  • Learn how to garden in convenient, inexpensive, and informative ways.
  • Sustain yourself with garden know-how in case future disasters deplete our food supplies.

Themed Bundled Packages:
When you purchase a garden kit, you get to choose from a variety of carefully themed packages that are convenient and wonderful for busy lifestyles. Whether you are a spicy food fan and prefer a variety of hot and spicy chilies, want to grow your own herb garden, or someone who
follows a raw, vegetarian or healthy diet and desires the freshest and most nutritious vegetables to choose from; Humble Seed has a package that will suit your gardening needs. We also offer The Producer, a bulk seed kit with a vast array of fruits and vegetables for larger gardens.

Safe Packaging: Our seeds are never exposed to harsh conditions and are stored in environmentally controlled conditions until shipping. This ensures optimum germination when planting. Before being shipped, seeds are packaged in re-sealable Mylar® bags which provide further seed protection, as well as the opportunity to plant right away or in the future.

We Believe In Open-Pollinated Seeds: Humble Seed features seeds that are open-pollinated. This means that each seed is naturally pollinated by birds, insects, wind, and other natural processes. Outside of our jalapeno, hybrid parent plants are never used, and your seeds can be harvested and re-planted, producing the same plant as the parent.

Guaranteed Non-GMO Seeds: We use only non-GMO seeds and ensure that seeds were never genetically modified or changed, and will traditionally grow the same plant in which originated. Non-GMO seeds also contain the maximum amount of nutrition a human needs to sustain vitality and good health. How much do you know about Genetically Modified plants and seeds? Take the quiz below!

Test your GMO Knowledge!  Quiz yourself with these True-False and Multiple Choice questions.

 

1. What are three of the most common genetically modified foods?

a. corn, soy and potatoes

b. broccoli, soybeans and carrots

c. almonds, green beans, tomatoes

d. Walnuts, parsley and kiwi

 

2. (True or false) The top five most common genetically modified foods are genetically modified to produce their own insecticide.

 

3. Which television network showed a poll that found 93% of people want the government to require labeling on GMO foods?

a. NBC

b. ABC

c. ESPN

d. The Food Network

 

4. (True or false) In the genetic modification process, biotech scientists often use viruses and bacteria to invade cells of plants and in-plant foreign genes.

 

5. Based on animal research, what problems can result from consuming GMO foods?

a. reproductive problems

b. infertility

c. auto-immune
diseases

d. all of the above

 

6. (True or false) One way to identify GM seeds is to simply look at the package.

 

Answers: 1)a, 2)True, 3)b, 4)True, 5)d, 6)False

 

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Color Your Plate and Palate with Super Foods

August 2nd, 2011

 

Super foods—some grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and more—offer a great source of antioxidants and essential nutrients. And they’re low in calories, which make them an excellent choice for weight control and weight loss.

Did you know that the colors of fruits and vegetables also put them in their own group of super foods?

Green super foods, such as broccoli, parsley and spinach, contain large amounts of chlorophyll, which is what gives green vegetables their wonderful green coloring. When chlorophyll found in green vegetables is consumed, hemoglobin in blood is increased. Hemoglobin provides more oxygen-rich blood, and oxygen-rich blood helps cells thrive. Green super foods also contain large amounts of easily digestible nutrients, minerals, proteins and vitamins.

Orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, mangoes, oranges and pumpkins, are high in beta carotenes. Beta carotenes may help improve immune function and reduce the risk of heart disease. And beta carotenes help strengthen eyesight, the esophagus, the lungs, and the stomach and may help fight cancer in these areas.

Red fruits and vegetables, such as pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, tomatoes and watermelon, offer large amounts of lycopene. Lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical, helps protect cells against damaging free radicals. Studies have demonstrated that lycopene may help fight lung and prostate cancers.

In the moments when we’re enjoying a refreshing, tasty slice of watermelon or flavorful, crunchy carrot we don’t always think about the increased health benefits they offer, but they’re there—super benefits from super foods!

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Seed Spotlight: Washington Cherry Tomato

March 22nd, 2011

 

Whether you’re hungry for a healthy snack or making appetizers, salads, and more, cherry tomatoes are a great choice for nutritional eating and enhancing a variety of foods. When picked fresh from the vine, radiant red cherry tomatoes offer full-of-flavor juices that showcase the wonderful flavors of the gardening season, and these little beauties will keep growing all season long.

Our organic Washington Cherry Tomato seeds produce 1 ¼” meaty and flavorful fruits. Seeds can be sown in spring after the average last spring frost and when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees. Tomato plants can be grown in a warm area that receives plenty of sunlight. In warm winter/hot areas, they can also be planted in early fall for winter harvesting. If growing cherry tomatoes you will need a tomato cage or other support system. Cherry tomatoes are lycopene-rich!

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy cherry tomatoes try slow roasting them. Richly flavored, they pair well with soft cheese and crackers—it’s the perfect warm weather appetizer. Simply cut cherry tomatoes in half, lengthwise, then place cut side up in a roasting pan. Sprinkle cut tomatoes with fresh thyme leaves then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Liberally drizzle tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil then place roasting pan in a 200 degree oven for 6-8 hours. When finished, the tomatoes will be collapsed but not dried out. Cool then serve with accompaniments. Tasty tomatoes indeed!

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The Power of Peppers

January 6th, 2011

 

The next time you plant peppers seeds in your garden ponder this as your peppers grow and thrive: in addition to adding vibrant colors and a wide range of flavors to you plate and palate, peppers—both mild and hot—offer an abundance of health benefits, including:

1. Vitamins A, C and K – Bell peppers are chockfull of these vitamins. Vitamins A and C, by way of carotenoids, help support immune function, as well as help to prevent cell damage and diseases related to aging. Vitamin K helps protect cells from oxidative damage, and it helps to strengthen bones.

2. Red bell peppers contain lycopene, a carotenoid which helps to prevent some forms of cancer, such as cancers of the cervix and prostate cancer.

3. Capsaicin, mostly found in the white membranes of hot peppers, is the star when it comes to the benefits of peppers. Capsaicin, considered a superfood, has been shown to: relieve cluster, migraine and sinus headaches; aid in arthritis relief; and act as an anti-inflammatory. It is also acknowledged for improving mood and raising endorphin levels.

These are just a few of the wonderful health benefits of peppers. Vegetables, as humble as they may seem, are natural wonders that everyone should eat more of for increased nutrition.

Here’s a tasty stuffed jalapeno recipe, perfect to serve as an appetizer.

Stuffed Jalapenos, Southwest-Style

8 large jalapenos, halved, lengthwise, seeds removed
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 package cream cheese, softened
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Hickory smoked bacon slices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder and salt. Stuff peppers generously with cheese mixture. Wrap bacon slices around peppers then secure with toothpicks. Bake until bacon is crisped.

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Garden Vegetables: A Kaleidoscope of Health

November 20th, 2010

 

Fruits and vegetables come in all shades of vibrant colors—green, orange, red, yellow and more—that will make your plate and palette pop. But did you know that each color offers health benefits as well?

Plants contain phytochemicals which protect them from things like UV rays and garden villains. These same phytochemicals help boost our immune system when consumed and have been shown to act as free radical scavengers. Here is a short list of vegetables with some of their benefits.

– Tomatoes and red bell peppers: their bright red color comes from lycopene, a carotene and caratenoid pigment. Lycopene has been considered a potential agent for prevention of some types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.

– Carrots and winter squash: their vibrant orange color comes from beta carotene, which can be converted to active vitamin A. The phytochemicals found in orange and yellow vegetables may help lower the risk of some forms of cancer, as well as help vision and heart and immune systems.

– Broccoli: its green comes from indole-3 carbinol (I3C), a compound that occurs naturally in broccoli and other green vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, and more. I3C has been shown to inhibit the development of cancers of the breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach in some animals.

– Eggplant: it’s chock-full of anthocyanins, water-soluble vacuolar pigments that belong to the parent class of molecules called flavonoids. These anthocyanins have been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.

So much potential in small packages! The next time you eat your favorite fruit or vegetable look at its color and think about the health benefits that may come from eating it. There’s so much to appreciate and more there than meets the eye!

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