Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure the Common Cold or Fever

Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and share your thoughts and feelings with the world. It is wonderful for sharing information, but not all of that information is necessarily trustworthy.

In fact, the old adage “don’t believe everything you read” is especially true when it comes to social media.

A shared post that went across social media makes the claim that a combination of cinnamon and honey can cure – among other things – the common cold.

Included in a long list of the “benefits” of this remedy is the claim:

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it’s delicious too!

Is There Any Truth to this Cure?

There is no cure for the common cold. It is a viral illness caused by any number of hundreds of viruses and there is no vaccine to prevent it or medication to cure it. Colds typically only last between 3 and 10 days anyway, so a medication to cure it likely isn’t on the horizon since the symptoms would go away on their own almost as soon as any medication would take effect.

As for cinnamon and honey, they may have been used for hundreds of years as cold and flu remedies, but there isn’t any scientific evidence that they have any ability to cure a cold.

They do not have antiviral properties that would allow them to kill a virus such asthe common cold.

Benefits of Honey

Although honey won’t cure a cold, it does have benefits and may relieve certain common cold symptoms.

Recent research has shown that honey can be used to relieve sore throats and coughs.

When studying children with cold symptoms, researchers found that taking honeywas actually more effective at relieving coughs in children and was rated more favorably among their parents than cough medication was.

Drinking warm tea or water with honey mixed in is an effective sore throat remedyas well.

Important Note: Honey should never be given to a child under 12 months old because it can cause botulism – a potentially fatal illness.

  • Infants, Honey and the Risk of Botulism

Cinnamon Ineffective

Although cinnamon is generally considered safe, there is no evidence that it is effective at preventing or curing any type of illness.

It should be used with caution as some people may be allergic to it and certain types (specifically Cassia cinnamon) have properties that may lead to blood thinning. Talk to your health care provider if you plan to take significant amounts or supplements of cinnamon or any other herbal or natural remedy. Even natural and herbal remedies have risks and can cause side effects.

The Bottom Line

As for the combination of cinnamon and honey curing the common cold, it just isn’t true. There is no science that backs up this claim. At this point, you’ll have to wait out the virus and try these other options to get relief from your symptoms:

Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, Shaffer ML, Duda L, Berlin CM Jr. “Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents.” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Dec;161(12):1140-6. PubMed. US National Library of Medicine. 22 Sep 13

Cinnamon. Herbs at a Glance Apr 12. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. US Department of Health and Human Services. 22 Sep 13.

This How to Lose 20 Pounds of Fat in One Month Without Exercise

Often we vow to lose 20 pounds before a special occasion, only to find the date crept up on us and the pounds are still there. As a last-minute resort, it is possible to lose 20 pounds in one month without exercising. While one does need to err on the side of caution when employing any kind of crash diet in order to not immediately regain the weight, by following these steps it is quite possible to rapidly lose those pesky 20 pounds.

Often we vow to lose 20 pounds before a special occasion, only to find the date crept up on us and the pounds are still there. As a last-minute resort, it is possible to lose 20 pounds in one month without exercising. While one does need to err on the side of caution when employing any kind of crash diet in order to not immediately regain the weight, by following these steps it is quite possible to rapidly lose those pesky 20 pounds.

Things You’ll Need

  • Food diary
  • Fruit
  • Scale
  • Low-calorie foods
  • L-Carnitine Supplement
  • L-Glutamine Supplement

Maintain a low-calorie diet of no more than 1,100 calories per day. While this may be hard, you have to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.

Step 2Eat four or five small meals per day instead of three large ones. This keeps your metabolism going all day long and gets you visually accustomed to smaller portions.

Step 4Drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water per day. Cut out all non-diet soft drinks, juice, milk, sweetened iced tea and alcohol. These drinks are empty calories you consume, since they are highly caloric and do not offer much nutritional value. If more variety is needed, diet soda, unsweetened tea and black coffee are also allowable low-calorie options.

Step 5Track everything you eat and drink with a food diary. Doing this while dieting not only gives you an simple way to keep track and total your daily caloric intake; it also ensures that you consume enough water.

Step 6Take a daily supplement, such as the amino acid L-glutamine, to help ease hunger and cravings. Also, add L-carnitine daily to speed up fat burning.

Step 7Limit weighing yourself to only once per week. Weighing yourself more than that usually discourages people when they are not losing weight fast enough.

Step 8

Take a multivitamin daily when dieting. This helps to make sure that your body is still getting what it needs, even though you may be consuming a reduced amount of calories.

The Truth Of Soda You Need To Know

The obesity epidemic is a major health problem. In fact, two-thirds of American adults and one-third of American children are currently overweight or obese and the numbers seem to be rising, according to Roni Caryn Rabin in “The New York Times. The increasing consumption of soda may be a significant contributor to the epidemic of obesity and excessive weight gain, according to an article published in the “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in August 2006. Half of the people in the United States consume sugary drinks every day, notes the Harvard School of Public Health.

Count the Calories

  • When you break it down, all soda is made up of only sugar and calories. It contains no nutrients and offers no nutritional benefits. A single can of soda contains 155 calories and 39.5 grams of sugar. If you drank just one 12-ounce can of soda every day without changing any of your other eating habits, you could gain 10 to 15 pounds in a year, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Science

  • The University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital notes that the human body is not made to drink calories. The hunger and satiety responses are controlled by a hormone called ghrelin. When the amount of ghrelin in your body increases, you feel hungry. As you eat, the levels of ghrelin drop and you begin to feel full. This response only works with food and not liquids. You can drink as many calories as you want, but they will never make you feel full. As a result, you end up going over your calorie recommendations, because you still eat the same amount of food that you normally would.

It Runs in the Family

  • Some people are predisposed to obesity and excess adipose — or fat — tissue. Genetics also play a role in where fat is stored in your body and how efficiently your body burns calories. According to a study published in “The New England Journal of Medicine” in October 2012, your genetic background may increase your susceptibility to gaining weight from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. If obesity runs in your family, especially if both your parents are obese, be extra careful about drinking soda.

Swap the Soda

  • Because soda offers no nutritional benefit, there is really no need for it in your diet. Sure, it may taste sweet, but the sugar-laden beverage takes a toll on your health. In addition to setting you up for weight gain, drinking soda regularly also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and your susceptibility to cavities. Instead of reaching for a can of soda, grab a bottle of water. Flavor your water with a squeeze of fresh orange or lemon juice or a sprig of mint. If you’re looking for carbonation, reach for a can of sodium-free, unsweetened seltzer water. Herbal teas are another option.

Everyone mistakes makes when cooking salmon

Whenever you take some edible ingredients and start messing around with them to make a meal, the possibility of making a mistake is there. It doesn’t matter how “easy” a dish is to knock together: apply enough inexperience, overconfidence, drunkenness, bad equipment, or bad recipes, and your quick fix can quickly become a quick trash filler. Salmon makes a good centerpiece for any meal, and a healthy one at that—but on the scale of easy things to cook, salmon is nowhere near the top. However, forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and with that in mind, here are a few common mistakes people make when they cook salmon.

Any meal that contains salmon has to start with you actually buying the salmon. And while this can be as easy as grabbing the first bag of frozen fillets out of the freezer section, for the sake of your culinary reputation, you might want to give it a little more thought.

Fresh and unfrozen is always going to be the first choice at the fishmonger, but if you live any distance from the ocean or are shopping out of season, there’s a good chance those options may be mutually exclusive. As in so many areas of life and love, it will be to your benefit to first learn something about what you later plan to shove in your mouth.

Checking out the appearance is a good first way to assess fish quality. Different varieties of salmon will have differences in color and flavor, but in general, brighter colors are better than pale ones. As Matt Duckor notes for Epicurious, avoid any fish that looks dried out or has a brown color instead of the uniform bright reds and pinks you’re looking for

Thawing it incorrectly

When you’re in a rush to eat but a major ingredient is frozen, it can be tempting to lean on the microwave to kill the cold. And while this might be fine if you’re talking about vegetables, this is a huge mistake when it comes to salmon.

Salmon, like most fish, doesn’t take much to cook. In fact, applying the correct amount of heat for the correct amount of time is one of the crucial steps when preparing almost any seafood. Use too much, and it’s all too easy to make the fish dry and tough. Microwave ovens blast electromagnetic radiation at whatever you have decided to warm up. The frequency of the microwaves produced by a microwave oven get along well with water molecules (as well as fat molecules and sugar molecules), quickly getting them all hot and bothered. Since microwaves pretty much never thaw things evenly and since fish are more sensitive to heat than most main courses, this uneven heating with result in rubbery, dry fillets that you’d be lucky to get your cat to eat.

As a general rule, you want to avoid thawing fish using any heat at all. Opt instead for an overnight stay in the refrigerator (not an option for the quick meal) or a sealed bag under cold running water. This second method will defrost your dinner much more quickly than you might expect, and it won’t cook it in the process. After the fish is thawed, it is also a good idea to let it warm up to room temperature before cooking. The colder the fish is before cooking, the more likely you are to overcook the outside before the inside starts to feel the heat.

The Things you should never order from a Chinese restaurant

It’s tempting after a long day at work to take the easy route for dinner and drop some dollars on Chinese food. After all, it’s easy, tasty, and you don’t have to do the washing up, but although going out for Asian deliciousness is an easy choice when you’re tired and hangry, it doesn’t come without its risks. Not all restaurants are created equal, and the same is true for the food they make. In some restaurants, the food on your plate may be indistinguishable from that found on a plate in Beijing, but in others, the food you awkwardly wrangle into your mouth may be about as authentically Chinese as Kentucky Fried Chicken, and have all the health “benefits” to match. So next time you decide to eat with sticks, just remember some things are better left on the menu.

General Tso was a 19th-century Chinese military man, but he was long dead when this dish was invented. And even if he was alive when this American favorite came to be, he probably wouldn’t like it. General Tso’s Chicken started out life in the Hunanese style, sporting several traditional flavor profiles, none of which was sweet. It wasn’t until the inventor of GTC, Peng Chang-kuei, opened a restaurant in New York, that he added sugar to make the dish more appealing to Americans. Adding sugar didn’t help this recipe very much (apart from the flavor, obviously), but it’s not like it was a diet option to begin with, anyway. How could it be, when you have battered and fried meat (and sometimes a few vegetables) covered in a sticky-sweet sauce that contains a bunch of sugar and soy sauce? All that, by the by, means salt, and lots of it.

Polish off a standard portion of General Tso’s, and you could have put away over 1500 calories — and more salt — than you should eat in a whole day, let alone a single course of a single meal. All that stuff might be ideal for a 19th-century fighting soldier, but that’s not you, so don’t eat it.

Fried Rice

If you are uncertain why this dish is included here, then the clue is in the name. Fried rice is usually made from white rice — which has the lowest nutritional value of any rice option available — which is then thrown in a pan of oil and allowed to soak up the “goodness.” This process results in an oily, starchy, undeniably delicious, but totally unnecessary calorie addition to your meal. And when you’ve just polished off 1500 calories of General Tso’s favorite, the last thing you need is several hundred more on the side. Replace the white rice with brown and you gain a little nutritionally, but a little extra fibre doesn’t change the fact that it still gets fried.

Calorie counts vary depending on the oil used, but start at around 200 calories for just a cup-sized portion, and only go up from there. Unfortunately, although 200 calories doesn’t sound like much, that’s for an amount of fried rice that very few people over the age of five can stop at. And if the chef isn’t deliberately aiming for health consciousness when he rustles up your order, the calorie count—and your doctor’s eyebrows—could easily get much higher.


Honey Facts You need to know

The addiction started eight years ago. I was visiting the Union Square Greenmarket for the first time, and there was a local beekeeper there. He had samples.

Free samples.

Lots of them.

Up until then I’d only tasted the overly sweet, one-note honeys that line most grocery store shelves. But these honeys were different. They were nuanced and complex. They smelled like flowers.

I bought a jar and brought it home. And ever since, I’ve been on a rampage, picking up a jar or two of local honey whenever I travel and precariously pining over the shelves at speciality food stores.

Now, my pantry is crammed. The shelves are sticky. They sag under the jars’ weight.

I’m not alone in this addiction. “There’s something about honey that can just hook you in,” says Rebekah Peppler, Brooklyn-based food stylist and author of Honey. She’s gone down the honey rabbit hole, too.

This is how to fall down that hole yourself.

1. Learn how honey is made.

A fascination with honey often starts with a fascination of how honey is made, a natural process that is as complex and perfect as anything happening at, say, Apple. To put it briefly: Honey is made from the nectar of flowers. Bees suck the nectar from flower blooms and store it in their stomachs. While there, the nectar mixes with protein and enzymes, which breaks the nectar down from sucrose into glucose and fructose.

Once at the hive, the bees deposit the converted nectar into the cells of the hive and fan it with their wings until enough moisture evaporates that it has become the thick syrup we know as honey. The bees cap the cells with wax for storage (because honey isn’t just food for us—bees feed on it as well), which indicates to a beekeeper that the honey can be collected.

2. Find your favorite varietal.

Like wine, honey can be blends of several nectars, or they can be made solely with one type of nectar. A proper honey addict is familiar with the most common single-varieties, has respect for all of them, but has a few he or she loves more than the others. A few of the more than 300 varieties in the United States:

–Acacia: From the yellow clusters of flowers of acacia trees, this is the sweetest, most delicate honey available. It’s clear and almost agave-like

–Clover: Floral and mild. The most readily-available variety and good for all-purpose use.

–Tupelo: From the flowers of Tupelo trees that grow in the swamps of north Florida, this is an extremely rare honey that has a clear, gold-toned color and a rich, buttery flavor.

–Orange Blossom: Another great all-purpose honey, made from the white flowers of orange trees. Perfectly sweet, with fresh citrus undertones.

–Buckwheat: One of the most robust varieties, from the flowers of the buckwheat plant. It’s color is deep, dark brown and its flavor is reminiscent of molasses.

–Chestnut: Another honey that isn’t messing around. Strong and slightly bitter. This personal addict’s favorite.

3. Respect the blend.

“When we place honey bees in an area where certain flowers are in bloom, we get that variety of honey,” says Claire Tauzer, General Manager of Sola Bee Farms. Beekeepers will shuttle bees to certain locations to yield single-variety honeys—a clover field, say, to make clover honey.

But honey made from various types of flowers is also possible. “Honey bees will stick to a single source of nectar and pollen if it is clean and high quality. That said, in many areas and seasons there are many different types of plants blooming that are all healthy and nutritious for honey bees. This is why you get seasonal honey and varietals with more than one flower source, like wildflower honey.”

It’s perfectly acceptable to become addicted to a high-quality blend.

4. Try out thick and thin.

Honey addicts will quickly realize that every honey has its own consistency—some are translucent and flow freely, others creamy and spreadable, and a few thick and practically solid. This is due to the chemical makeup of the nectar that made the honey: the more glucose in the honey, the more likely it will be dense and opaque; the more fructose, the clearer and thinner the honey will be.

Honey addicts should embrace all honeys, regardless of its consistency, including crystallized honey. Tauzer notes: “Quality honey can be crystalized in the jar, which is actually a good thing. It shows that the honey you are buying has not been watered down or overheated and filtered.”

Crystallized honey can be restored to its smooth, liquid consistency by placing the jar in warm water. But a true addict will spread it on toast as-is.

5. Let go of the honey bear.

At this point in your addiction you’ll begin to suspect that the honey you’ve been pouring from those cute plastic bears all your life is amateur stuff. Not enough flavor. Eerily consistent.

It stings, but you’re on the right path.

Honey bears “are not bad in and of themselves,” says Tauzer. “But historically they have been used by very large importers of honey from China and other countries. It’s hard to track the origin or actual flower source of these honeys, and if you don’t know where it comes from, I wouldn’t trust it.”

Zeke Freeman, founder of Bee Raw concurs. “It’s honey, but it’s honey that has been ultra-filtered to remove all traces of pollen and has likely been diluted with less expensive sugars to make it cheaper. Not having any pollen hides the original source of honey and makes it very difficult to tell if other less expensive sugars have been used to dilute the honey.”

Time to let go of those honey bears, addict. Use up whatever bears you have lingering in your pantry, then kiss them goodbye.

Five Things You Should Never Do Before Going to Bed

Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you’ve barely slept? According to a recent CDC study, one in three Americans don’t get the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended seven or more hours of sleep. And even if you’re clocking eight or nine a night, those hours might not be worth their full potential—mistakes you’re making right before hitting the sheets could be sabotaging your shuteye. Ready to start a more beneficial bedtime routine? Here, five habits that can keep you from getting the Zzs you need.

A nightcap might make you feel snoozy initially, but it’s not doing any favors for your sleep quality. According to a January 2015 study from the University of Melbourne’s Sleep Research Laboratory, drinking before sleeping can help you to fall asleep quicker, but then significantly disrupts and alters sleep quality later in the night.

You read on your iPad.

Research shows reading from light-emitting electronic devices like tablets before bed can mess up your circadian clock and have an impact on your overall health and daytime alertness. So if you’re going to read before bed (and that’s a good idea!), make sure you’re using a printed book or a non-light-emitting e-reader.
So this one probably sounds obvious—you shouldn’t down a latte right before bed. But what might be more surprising is that you should probably be tapering off earlier than you’d think. In a University of Colorado at Boulder study, drinking a double espresso three hours before bedtime caused a 40-minute delay in participants’ internal clocks. Other research suggests that people should cut off caffeine consumption at least six hours before bedtime. Consider making that after-lunch coffee your last one for the day to ensure its totally out of your system come bedtime.

You check your social media accounts.

Even if you’re not posting from your bed, your Instagram addiction might affect your sleep quality. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that young adults (ages 19 to 32) who spent the most time on social media were twice as likely to have sleep disturbance than their less-obsessed peers.

Indulging in a slice of cheesecake might be a nice treat every once and a while, but making it your nightly dessert could wreak havoc on your sleep. A 2016 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that greater saturated fat and sugar intake was linked to less restorative, disrupted sleep. One thing that could boost your Zzs? A diet high in fiber, according to the findings.

You snack on foods with high amounts of saturated fat and sugar.You drink caffeine too late.So this one probably sounds obvious—you shouldn’t down a latte right before bed. But what might be more surprising is that you should probably be tapering off earlier than you’d think. In a University of Colorado at Boulder study, drinking a double espresso three hours before bedtime caused a 40-minute delay in participants’ internal clocks. Other research suggests that people should cut off caffeine consumption at least six hours before bedtime. Consider making that after-lunch coffee your last one for the day to ensure its totally out of your system come bedtime.

You snack on foods with high amounts of saturated fat and sugar.

Indulging in a slice of cheesecake might be a nice treat every once and a while, but making it your nightly dessert could wreak havoc on your sleep. A 2016 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that greater saturated fat and sugar intake was linked to less restorative, disrupted sleep. One thing that could boost your Zzs? A diet high in fiber, according to the findings.

The mistakes everyone makes when cooking pasta

There is nothing quite as comforting as a steaming plate of fresh pasta. It doesn’t matter if it’s covered with a rich tomato sauce or creamy alfredo — pasta is one of our favorite dishes. It’s also easy to make. We’ve all had the experience of boiling water and tossing in some noodles. In fact, many of us probably survived on this in college. However, when it comes to pasta, your form matters. There’s a big difference between light, al dente pasta and that gooey mess you sometimes end up with — and it all comes down to how you cook it. Here are some of the top pasta offenses and how to prevent them.

This is one of the most common mistakes. When cooking pasta, always reach for your largest pot and fill it with 5 to 6 quarts of water. Using a larger pot will keep you from having to break up the pasta to fit. It will also ensure your pasta doesn’t come out sticky. Iron Chef Michael Symon shared his tips for perfect pasta with Real Simple. “When you add pasta to a small amount of water, it lowers the temperature of the water substantially more than if you added it to a large amount of water, so the water will take longer to return to a boil,” he explains. “In the meantime, the pasta will sit at the bottom of the pot and start to clump up and become mushy unless you are vigilant about stirring,”

When you use a smaller pot, the pasta has less water to cook in. This results in a higher amount of starch in the pot, which will cause your pasta will to come out sticky after you drain the water. To be safe, always go for a big pot, even if you’re only cooking a small amount of pasta.

Any box of pasta you buy will have directions on the back. While these directions can be helpful, don’t think of them as written in stone. Associate food editor at Good Housekeeping, Sherry Rujikarn reminded readers we should always follow our instincts when it comes to cooking perfect pasta. Don’t stop cooking it just because the box said it should be cooked for 10 minutes. “Think of the time listed as a suggestion, not the gospel,” Rujikarn explains. “After cooking more than a thousand pots of pasta, I’d say the box is accurate only about 50 percent of the time.” Rujikarn said our pasta can often be completely undercooked when the cooking time is up, so always taste a noodle or two before draining the pot. According to her, it’s always safer to keep cooking your pasta until it’s cooked, but still firm. “Depending on how undercooked it is, you’ll want to continue in 30-second to one-minute intervals, tasting along the way,” she recommends. “Remember, you can always continue cooking, but you can’t undo a mushy noodle.”

If you read the back of your box of pasta, it will tell you to boil the pasta in salted water. Maybe it’s because we’re all trying to eat a little healthier, or maybe it’s just pure laziness, but many of us skip that step. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and had no idea that by omitting the salt, I was opting for slimy pasta.

Assistant food editor Kelly Foster explained to The Kitchn why salt is so important. “When I was in culinary school, our chef’s rule of thumb was that the water should be as salty as the sea,” she shared. “That may be a little on the extreme side, but pasta water certainly needs more than just a pinch of salt.” And don’t worry about your sodium levels. The pasta won’t absorb most of the salt, it just roughens up the noodles so they don’t get slimy. Foster recommends adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt for every 5 to 6 quarts of cooking water.

No time to measure? No problem, just go by this guideline from Good Housekeeping’s associate food editor, Sherry Rujikarn. “My personal rule of thumb is to throw in a small palmful of salt for 1 pound of pasta in a 7- or 8-quart pot,” she recommends. “No need to worry about using that much salt, most of it will be going down the drain anyway.”


The Things you should never order from a sushi restaurant

Sushi lovers can all agree that there’s nothing else quite like it in the world. It’s not just my opinion, but a popular one — the number of sushi restaurants in the Unites States has been growing steadily since the 1980s, with more than 3,000 sushi establishments now set up in America. I’d say that particular food group has quite the fan club. Still, before you sit down to enjoy your next sushi meal, it’s important to know that not everything on the menu is a great choice. There are a few items you should never eat at a sushi restaurant, no matter what your server says.

Mackerel pike, also known as sanma, is a freshwater fish found in northern waters, and can be found in sushi restaurants as sashimi (raw fish sliced thin and served with shredded white radish or rice) or sunomono, which is also raw but served with a vinegar dressing. You also may find it seared, pressed, or fermented. No matter how it’s served, registered dietitian Jackie Arnett Elnahar says you should always stay away from freshwater fish when ordering sushi, as they are more likely to have parasites. Though parasites are a risk you take any time you eat raw fish, that risk is much higher when the fish is coming from freshwater habitats.

Bluefin tuna might not be harmful to you, but ordering it may do harm to the environment. Ryan Bigelow, program engagement manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, says bluefin tuna populations are depleted and still being overfished. Some environmental groups are petitioning the U.S. government to list them as endangered and attribute their decline largely to demand in sushi markets. Bluefin tuna, also known as maguro, is seen in many dishes at sushi restaurants, such as the all-popular rolls, but also often served alone. Since sushi is often named by the part of the fish, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for the names akami (lean meat from the sides of the fish) and toro (the fatty part of the fish’s belly). The toro is often broken up even farther into two parts called the otoro and the chutoro. Since there are three main types of tuna sold at sushi restaurants, you’ll want to ask your server or chef what type of tuna they are using when you order. The other types often used are yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna. “In international waters, the measures to help the bluefin populations recover and reduce the catch of threatened, endangered, and depleted species are ineffective,” says Bigelow. You can do your part by making sure the bluefin isn’t part of your dinner. “Look for albacore tuna belly (shiro maguro) instead,” he advises.

Registered dietitian Jackie Arnett Elnahar says the mercury content of all tuna should take it off your menu if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breast feeding. (Some research shows light canned tuna in water is safe for these women, though there is not widespread scientific consensus. Playing it safe is probably a good idea.)

You Need To Know deadly foods you probably have in your kitchen

Humans are one of the few creatures on this planet who have the capability of ignoring our basic survival instinct. We jump out of perfectly good airplanes — something that still sets off alarms in the most veteran skydivers — and we push ourselves to the edge of death and back with physical demands on our bodies that defy reason with activities like ultra-marathons in the desert, living in microgravity, and setting the world record for holding one’s breath under water.

Yet as contradictory as it sounds, testing these limits is probably what makes us feel the most human or the most attuned to nature and our own potential — particularly when it comes to soaring above the skies, jumping eight feet in the air… and eating the most bizarre, even dangerous, dishes set in front of us on the dinner table.

What are some of the deadliest foods the world has ever seen? Poisonous or harmful by design, not accident, and something that has us questioning our sanity when we choose to take a bite?

1. Fruit Seeds

Like apples, cherry pits contain a type of hydrogen cyanide called prussic acid. Don’t go eating a cup of ground pits, or peach and apricot pits for that matter.

2. Rhubarb

Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which causes kidney stones. It’ll take 11 pounds of leaves to be fatal, but much less to make you seriously ill.

3. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is actually a hallucinogenic. Yes, you can trip on it, but it’s said that eating just 0.2 oz of nutmeg could lead to convulsions, and 0.3 oz could lead to seizures. Eating one whole will supposedly lead to a type of “nutmeg psychosis,” which includes a sense of impending doom.

4. Potatoes

Glycoalkaloids, also found in nightshade, can be found in the leaves, stems, and sprouts of potatoes. It can also build up in the potato if it’s left too long, especially in the light. Eating glycoalkaloids will lead to cramping, diarrhea, confused headaches, or even coma and death. It’s said that just 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight could be fatal. Avoid potatoes with a greenish tinge.

5. Almonds

There are two variations of almonds, sweet almonds and bitter almonds. The bitter ones supposedly contain relatively large amounts of hydrogen cyanide. It’s said that even eating just 7 – 10 raw bitter almonds can cause problems for adults, and could be fatal for children.

6. Raw Honey

Because it doesn’t go through the pasteurization process in which harmful toxins are killed, unpasteurized honey often contains grayanotoxin. That can lead to dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting that last for 24 hours. Typically just one tablespoon of concentrated grayanotoxin can cause the symptoms above. Consuming multiple tablespoons would be a bad idea.

7. Tomatoes

The stems and leaves of tomatoes contain alkali poisons that can cause stomach agitation. Unripe green tomatoes have been said to have the same effect. You would need to consume vast quantities for it to be fatal. Not exactly high-risk, but you might avoid eating tomato leaves.

8. Tuna

The danger in tuna is the mercury that the fish absorbs. Once in your body, mercury will either pass through your kidneys, or travel to your brain and supposedly drive you insane. The FDA recommends children and pregnant women do not consume tuna at all. While it’s unlikely that eating a massive amount of tuna in one sitting will kill you, it’s a good idea to monitor your weekly intake. Click hereto visit the Environmental Working Group’s tuna calculator to see how much is recommended.

9. Cassava

The leaves and roots of cassava are surprisingly rich in cyanide. By this point, we may as well wish cyanide were the most delicious, sumptuous substance on the planet if we had to die to enjoy a bite… there is not much in the way of flavor, though. Cassava is a tropical vegetable originally from South America, but has gained popularity in Africa, particularly for its juice, which can be fermented to produce a drink called piwarry.

10. Cashews

Raw cashews you might find in a supermarket are not actually raw, as they’ve been steamed to remove the urushiol, a chemical also found in poison ivy. This chemical can cause the same effect as poison ivy, or poison oak. High levels of urushiol can supposedly prove fatal. People who are allergic to poison ivy are likely to have a fatal allergic reaction to eating actual raw cashews.

The Ways Eating avocado seeds

If you’ve logged onto Facebook in the past few days, you may have seen a viral video demonstrating how you can prepare the seed of an avocado for consumption. The video claims the seed is the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit, and that by drying it, chopping it up into pieces, and blending it, you are left with a powder-like substance that you can mix into smoothies or use for baking, adding an extra nutritional boost to your diet. The video has gained more than 25 million views since it was published on March 13.

So what’s the deal? Have we been missing out on a highly nutritious part of one of our favorite superfoods?

Not so much, says Health‘s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD.

“I’m a huge avocado fan. I eat them daily, and recommend them to my clients, but I have reservations about eating the seeds,” she said. “While there is some research about beneficial compounds in the seed, the safety of ingesting it hasn’t been established, so the risks versus benefits aren’t fully known.”

The research on avocado seed consumption is very limited. In the studies that do exist, scientists conclude that additional research needs to be done to determine whether it’s safe or beneficial to eat them. Additionally, the existing studies have focused on the potential benefits of avocado seed extracts, rather than the consumption of the seed itself, and they provide information only on lab testing, not on clinical data.

“There is a body of evidence exploring potential health benefits in extracts of the avocado seed, but these potential benefits versus risks of eating the avocado seed are not well fleshed out,” said Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LDN, an Atlanta-based nutritionist.

Even the California Avocado Commission writes on its website that it does not recommend the consumption of the avocado pit: “The seed of an avocado contains elements that are not intended for human consumption.”

The bottom line: Until more research is done to establish if the seeds are safe to eat, and how much and how often you should eat them, stick to eating the avocado’s creamy flesh. “It’s chock-full of good fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber,” Sass said.

Here Dealing with Acid Reflux: Best Foods to Eat

Trouble sleeping, heartburn, nausea and coughing — yup, it’s safe to say that acid reflux is no fun! But the first defense against the symptoms of acid reflux is your lifestyle, and specifically the foods that make up your diet. While everyone has different acid reflux triggers — and you’ll need to adjust your diet to accommodate yours — these foods may help ease your symptoms, especially if you eat them instead of common acid reflux triggers.


The first rule of eating for acid reflux is to get back to basics — and that means focusing on plain water. Good ol’ H2O helps dilute the acid in your stomach to suppress acid reflux flare-ups. Oh, and it’s great for you overall, helping support everything from healthy brain function to detoxification. Sip flat water instead of the fizzy stuff, since carbonated drinks can worsen your symptoms.

If you need a bit more flavor with your water, try one of these ultra-refreshing combinations. Just omit the peppermint or ginger to make them acid reflux friendly

Herbal Tea

Let’s be honest — if you’re used to a cup of coffee or black tea every day, sipping plain water all the time just won’t cut it. And while coffee and black tea both worsen acid reflux, which may make them a no-go in your diet, herbal teas generally help ease your symptoms. Pick a gentle blend, like rooibos, chamomile or fruit teas, and avoid mint teas.

Flex your culinary muscles by making your own tea using fresh herbs — we’ve got your go-to guide right here!

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies!

Eating healthy may actually feel easier on an acid reflux diet since you can load up your plate with vegetables! While acidic tomatoes are off the table, and so are higher-fat fried vegetables (sorry, fries don’t help!) the vast majority of veggies are acid reflux friendly. Spinach, mushrooms, squash, potatoes, eggplant — they’re all on the table (literally and figuratively). Include a few of your faves at every meal, and try one of these delicious veggie-packed recipes to get you started.

Berries, Melons and Bananas

More good news: you can include lots of delicious fruit and keep your acid reflux in check! Berries, melons and bananas are your best bets for controlling acid reflux, since they’re easy on your stomach and they’re not acidic. Just avoid citrus fruits — their high acid content may worsen your symptoms.

Give this roasted strawberry amaranth porridge a try for an acid reflux-friendly breakfast, or use this delicious smoothie recipe template to make a different fruit smoothie every day.

Low-Fat Dairy

While saturated fat isn’t really the nutritional pariah it once was, you should still avoid concentrated sources of fat if you have acid reflux — and that includes full-fat dairy. Since fat is tough to digest, it increases your stomach acid levels, worsening your symptoms. Stick to skim milk, nonfat yogurt (try this guide to make Greek yogurt!). Opt for low-fat cheese and eat it in moderation to control your acid reflux.

Lean Fish and Poultry

Another common source of fat? Meat and fish. Control your acid reflux by opting for the leanest fish and poultry options possible: white fish (like tilapia and sole) and boneless, skinless turkey and chicken breast.

Don’t worry — lean doesn’t mean flavorless. Try this perfectly-seasoned tilapia, juicy chicken breast or slow-cooker turkey breast.

Low-Sodium Broth

OK — so you’re probably not planning to drink broth on a regular basis (unless you’re into the bone broth trend) but including broth in your cooking is one of the best ways to help acid reflux. Use a few tablespoons of broth in place of oil when you saute meat and veggies to keep your fat intake low, and cook grains (like rice) in broth to add flavor without the need for butter or oil. Go for classic low-sodium broth from the store, or get creative and make your own vegetable broth at home.

Why Butter is really good for you

Is there any ingredient that conjures up as much love — and guilt — this time of year as butter?

According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, about 25 percent of all US butter sales take place in November and

December, when home chefs are preparing their office Christmas cookies and presents of spiced nuts and rugelach. The Calorie Control Council warns that when you sit down for that big Yuletide meal, you could end up downing the equivalent of 3 1/2 sticks by the end of the night.

And that might not be such a bad thing.

“Butter is delicious,” nutritionist Sally Fallon Morell — one of the ingredient’s biggest boosters — told The Post. “It is the queen of fats, the healthiest fat in nature. We should be eating more of it!”

Since the first cattle arrived in Plymouth Rock, in 1624, the US has had an intense on-again, off-again love affair with butter, praised as virtuous and nutritious in some periods and decried as corrupt, unhealthy and even poisonous in others.

At butter’s peak, in the 1920s, the average American consumed 18 pounds — or about 72 sticks — of the stuff per year. At its nadir, in 1992, it had dropped to 4 pounds. Americans had become so fat-phobic that they largely banished it from their refrigerators. As recently as 2006, margarine sales outpaced butter’s. Even the holidays were sadly devoid of that luscious golden fat, as families trotted out tubs of Country Crock.

“Americans were programmed to equate butter and fat with heart disease and poor health,” said Elaine Khosrova, author of the new book “Butter: A Rich History” (Algonquin Books), which delves into the ways Americans were tricked into adopting a low-fat diet.

But new studies have shown that consuming butter — within reason — is not only not bad for you, but beneficial, full of vitamins and healthy fatty acids that help prevent tooth decay, cancer and even (gasp!) obesity. Americans seem to be responding with typical gluttonous gusto. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2015 alone the average person consumed 23 sticks of butter, the highest amount since World War II, if not quite reaching Roaring ’20s levels.

“The attitude toward butter is radically changing, especially among younger people,” Khosrova said. “Even in my small town of 3,000 people in upstate New York, our supermarket has six different kinds of cow butters.”

Butter has been around since ancient times. Romans used it to treat coughs and aching joints, while Hindus offered gifts of clarified butter, or ghee, to the god Krishna for his birthday. But mostly, the irresistible fat — created by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk and then skimming the fat off the top — has been enjoyed for its rich flavor. When the pilgrims traveled to the New World, they brought cows on the ship not just to plow the land but with the idea of making butter.

With the advent of the cream-separating machine in 1878, butter production became big business. But with little regulation, bad, rancid butter at cheap prices soon proliferated in the market. “It was not always a sanitary product . . . but poor-quality butter was all some people could afford,” Khosrova said.

That’s when margarine stepped in. Invented in 1869, when Napoleon III offered a cash prize to anyone who could create a cheap, plentiful butter substitute for poorer classes and the military, the substance — made with beef fat mixed with milk and salt — never took off in France.

But the prize-winner, chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès, was able to sell the patent in America to the US Dairy Company in 1871. Dyed a golden color to look more like real butter, margarine proved a more palatable alternative to the low-grade “dirty” butter sold to the lower classes.

By 1882, dairy farmers began to see it as a legitimate threat. Powerful butter-makers lobbied to have margarine banned and succeeded in several states, though those laws were swiftly struck down as unconstitutional. A few years later, however, the Federal Margarine Act enacted a 2 cent tax on margarine and charged those who made or sold it hefty fees.

By 1900, 30 states had banned yellow margarine; five states even passed laws mandating it to be dyed pink.

While the Great Depression made butter almost prohibitively expensive, it was World War II that finally ended the war on margarine. The US lost much of its farm labor as men went off to Europe to fight, and the government had to ration it and lift regulations on margarine.

There was a big cultural shift, too. Post-war Americans were craving stability and uniformity, and those desires extended to their food. “There was an infatuation with foods that always looked the same. That were packaged well and looked neat and tidy and perfect,” Khosrova said. “People didn’t want rustic-looking food. They wanted superior ‘scientific’ commercialized food.”

Even beloved chef Julia Child couldn’t revive butter’s reputation. Americans delighted in watching the unabashed Francophile douse dishes in decadent beurre on her TV show “The French Chef,” which ran from 1963 to 1973. But her fans still regarded butter as an unhealthy extravagance. “[Child] had a wide audience, but she never took on [fat and butter] scientifically,” Khosrova said. “It was all about the pleasure, and that’s how Americans saw it: a guilty pleasure.”

That was largely due to research by one physiologist named Dr. Ancel Keys, who was beginning to link heart disease with the consumption of fat, particularly butter. Keys compared diets between weak-hearted Americans and Brits with their healthier counterparts in Japan and Italy and found that those who suffered from heart disease ate significantly more fat. (His study conveniently eliminated such butter-loving, heart-healthy nations as France, Holland, Switzerland and Norway.)

In 1961, Time magazine put Keys on its cover, promoting his version of a healthy diet: “70 percent of calories from carbohydrates and 15 percent from fat.”

Then, in 1977, Sen. George McGovern’s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published dietary guidelines that asked Americans to cut fat and increase carbs. “That’s when anti-fat became gospel,” Khosrova said. By the end of the 20th century, the average American was consuming just 4.5 pounds of butter per year, compared with 17 pounds at the turn of the century.

Meanwhile, Americans were getting sicker, and fatter.

“It wasn’t until the 21st century, when Americans were becoming obese and more diabetic, that headlines began to appear dismantling anti-fat,” said Khosrova. Ironically, it turned out that trans fats — found commonly in partially hydrogenated oils, and margarine — were the real culprits for Americans’ bad hearts and expanding waistlines.

Why did it take so long? Food lobbies that were making a pretty penny on vegetable and soybean oils, for one. But also, it was embarrassing. After all, the government had used anti-fat dogma to influence school policy and health legislation and federal dietary guidelines. And the governing theory — that butter would solidify in the body — was a hard one to shake, even if it turned out to be erroneous. According to Khosrova, “Fat is actually broken down to basic molecules and the body rebuilds it based on what it needs.”

Morell — whose book “Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness” comes out in January — said she consumes four tablespoons of (all-natural, grass-fed) butter a day. But much of the science suggests that having 30 to 35 percent of your calories come from fat is just fine.

“Your body will tell you when you’ve had enough,” Morell said. “Unlike carbs, which you can keep eating without feeling anything, if you eat too much dairy you start to feel queasy.”

And it’s trendy, too. Restaurants — such as Momofuku Ko in the Lower East Side — offer their own house-made butter for a pretty penny. Small-batch creameries sell irregularly-shaped lumps of butter packaged in precious, individual wrappers. There are even butter-making kits and small glass churns people can buy to produce their own cream.

There are, however, still some stubborn holdouts clinging to their margarine. “Many baby boomers still can’t bring themselves to enjoy it,” Khosrova said. “They hear me, they read the book, and they still say, ‘No butter: It’s going to clog up my arteries!’ ”