Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Health Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are organic compounds that the body needs in small amounts to perform a variety of metabolic processes. There are 13 essential vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins. Each vitamin has a different role to play. Just like vitamins, minerals are also imperative for the body’s functioning.

People usually fulfill their dietary requirements for vitamins and minerals from their food. You can also take supplements to make up for any deficiency. However, it’s important to note that overconsumption of vitamins and minerals can cause toxicity. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A bolsters the immune system’s functioning so it can fight off infection. It improves vision and helps prevent eye conditions.

Vitamin B

B vitamins ensure the body cells work properly and are imperative for good health and overall well-being. 

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) turns food into energy
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is vital for the growth and development of cells
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) protects the skin and tissues
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps with brain development and keeping the immune system healthy
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) metabolizes carbohydrates and amino acids, and ensures skin, nail and hair health
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) aids red blood cell formation, especially  for healthy growth and development of the fetus

Vitamin C

It protects the cells against free radicals, lowering risk of infection. It promotes the growth, development and repair of body tissues.

Vitamin D

It aids the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus, promoting bone health.

Vitamin E

It acts as an antioxidant, preventing free-radical cell damage.

Vitamin K

It makes proteins responsible for blood clotting and health bone formation.


This mineral helps strengthen bones, regulate heart and muscle function, and aid with blood clotting and wound healing.


Iron makes red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.


It helps with immune system and metabolic functioning. It also helps with wound healing


It regulates the fluid levels outside cells for normal bodily functioning. It also helps lower blood pressure.


It creates thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolic rate.


It aids 300 biochemical processes in the body. It regulates muscle and nerve function, maintains blood sugar levels and helps make proteins and DNA.

Amita Vadlamudi, author of this article also maintains the following sites:

Coffee, the Morning Picker Upper

Coffee is a morning staple in many households. Roughly 64% of Americans consume coffee every single day, adding to its intense popularity. In recent times, coffee menus have become extensive and elaborate, offering customers a bewildering range of options like Cafe Latte, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Con Panna, and much more. 

History of Coffee

Coffee is believed to have been discovered in Ethiopia. The most popular story of the discovery of coffee dates back to 700 AD. Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder, came across his goats prancing around, looking very hyperactive. He deciphered that the cause of their behavior was consumption of these red cherries, the coffee fruit.

Coffee is a natural stimulant due to its caffeine content and is still used as a morning booster to date.

What is Coffee?

Coffee is among the three most popular beverages in the world, including water and tea. It is essentially a beverage brewed from roasted and ground beans of the coffee plant. The coffee tree, known as Coffea, is an evergreen that grows in tropical regions like Africa, The Middle East, Asia, and parts of Central and South America, collectively known as the ‘Bean Belt.’ The coffee bean is actually a seed that develops inside the coffee cherry growing on the coffee plant.  

How Is It Made?


Typically, it takes a coffee plant 3-4 years to bear fruit. The cherries are picked when they reach the right level of ripeness. The pits of the coffee cherries are referred to as coffee beans.


Coffee beans are then processed mainly through two methods: the wet method, which yields mild flavored coffee and the dry method which yields rich flavored coffee.


The taster, or cupper, assesses the coffee’s aromatic quality and taste.


This is a complex process where heat is used to transform green coffee into familiar roasted, dark brown coffee beans. Coffee is then packaged and sold to various grocery stores and restaurants to be consumed in many different forms and flavors, including as a morning java or a recreational, fine-tasting beverage. The café culture has gradually become common all around the world, and continues to serve as an avenue for social interaction today.

Author: Amita Vadlamudi

Apple: Exploring the Miracle Food

The legendary  ‘miracle food that keeps the doctor away,” apple is an excellent everyday snack item. High in Fiber and Vitamin-C, low in sodium content, rich in antioxidants, and with no fat and cholesterol, this juicy fruit provides an array of health benefits. Indeed, apple is one of the most popular fruits all over the world.


Apples date back to the time when humans were evolving. New DNA studies reveal that the first apple trees began to grow wild in Central Asia around ten to twenty million years ago. Research finds that the primary ancestor of the domesticated apple was the ancient tree, Malus sieversii.

Malus sieversii is native to the Tian Shah Mountains of Kazakhstan, where they have existed for millions of years. The original apples started budding in apple forests, near the foot of these mountains and started spreading over miles from there.

These wild apple forests were found in Almata, the second largest city of Kazakhstan, that claimed its title as the place of birth of the apple.

Where do Apples Grow?

Apples can grow in zone 3 to zone 9. They require cold winters, moderate summers, and medium to high humidity. They are not suited to grow near the ocean, where temperatures remain moderate all through the year. Apples need plenty of sunlight to produce the best results.

Top 3 Apple Growing Countries

1.     China

The top producer of apples, China, generates an average of 44 million tons of apples yearly.

2.     United States

The second highest producer of apples churns out an average of 4.6 million tonnes yearly.

3.      Turkey

 The third highest producer of apples produces approximately  3.0 million tonnes annually.

Varieties of Apples

There are around a whopping 7500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world. The most popular types of apples include Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, McIntosh, Baldwin, Honey Crisp and Fuji.

Uses of Apples

Apart from being consumed in its natural state, apples have a plethora of other uses.

Apples are a popular ingredient in baked goods and pastries. The all-american apple pie is one of the most popular and loved desserts in America. Apples are also used to make apple cakes, apple bread, apple sauce, apple cider, and apple vinegar. Apple juice is a popular lunch box item.

Nutritional Benefits of Apples

Apples are low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K.

The Most Common Cooking Oils

The most common inexpensive cooking oils today are the vegetable oil, canola oil and corn oil. Although each one them can be fully substituted for another, each of them has slightly different properties lending them individual favorites.

Vegetable Oil

The term “vegetable oil” actually can refer to a number of different oils. Vegetable oils are any oils, which originate from plant sources. The health benefits associated with vegetable oil depends on the particular oil and what plant it is sourced from.

Most vegetable oils come in the form of a mixture of different oils. A common combination for vegetable oil consists of soybean, corn, canola, sunflower, palm, and safflower oils. Vegetable oils are a popular type of oil, but due to their refined nature, they do not boast the same high nutritional levels as some of the other cooking oils available today.

Typically, vegetable oils have a high tolerance for heat. This means you can use the oil for a wide range of cooking applications including frying, baking, and as an ingredient in salad dressings.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is one of the more popular cooking oils used by expert chefs and home cooks. Containing high levels of monounsaturated fat, it is also a very good source of polyunsaturated fat.

Canola also has a nearly even ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have essential nutrients that help the body combat a number of health conditions and diseases.

Canola oil is a convenient option for everyday cooking for a variety of dishes. The fact that it has a neutral flavor and can endure high levels of heat makes it a good option for most home cooks.

Corn Oil

Corn oil is vegetable-derived oil with a reputation for cooking a variety of dishes. Most popularly used for deep frying, corn oil goes through a lot of complex processes to refine it into the form it is used in by cooks.

Corn oil contains a high fat content and it also boasts other important nutrients like vitamin E. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in corn oil is 46:1. This is a drastic imbalance between the inflammatory omega-6 and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which is why it is not good to have too much of it.

Corn oil has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for deep frying applications. Its buttery flavor makes the foods more palatable.

Also look for the “Cooking Oils – Gourmet Choices” article by Amita Vadlamudi on her Wix website,


Eggs have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. The eggs of the most common choice are produced from the chickens.

Eggs are considered to be nutritious and a good part of a healthy diet. While being one of the best sources of protein, eggs also contain several essential nutrients including:

• Vitamins A, B-2, B-12, B-5, D, E.

• Biotin

• Choline

• Folic acid

• Iodine

• Iron

• Selenium

Around 12 percent of the edible part of the egg is protein. Fat, which is mostly unsaturated is present in the yolk. Eggs also contain a rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for healthy brain function and good eyesight.

Eggs are versatile and can be consumed in many ways. They can be fried, hard boiled, poached, scrambled or made into omelets. Eggs are one of the main ingredients in the breakfast items such as pancakes and waffles and baked dishes such as cakes and cookies. They are also used in main dishes such as quiches and meatballs and as coating around fried or baked meat, poultry and fish dishes.

Chicken eggs can be found in either white or brown color. While brown eggs are priced higher than white eggs, there is little to no nutritional difference in them. The difference is in the color of the shell and is dictated by genetics. White eggs are said to be produced by breed of chickens with white ear lobes whereas the brown eggs are laid by breed of chickens with red ear lobes.

Eggs also have non-food uses. Egg whites are used to produce influenza vaccine. They are also used as ingredients in facial cleansers because of their protein-rich nature. And combined with olive oil, eggs are used as natural hair conditioner. One of the most unusual uses of eggs in the history was as a medium to contain pigment for fresco paintings by artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli.

Check out more of Amita Vadlamudi’s posts on her other Websites:

The Popular Drink Tea

Tea, the second-most consumed drink in the world, comes from a versatile plant Camellia sinensis. All types of teas including Black, Green, Oolong, White, and Pu’erh are extracted from a sub-tropical, evergreen plant. The plant that produces tea is native to Asia, but is now grown in many parts of the world. The tea plant properly grows in loose, deep soil at high altitudes, and in sub-tropical climates.

Tea is popularly consumed all over the world, but China is considered to be the largest consumer of tea, at 1.6 billion pounds a year. India, United States, Turkey, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are also high tea consuming countries. A study shows that the world’s tea consumption has annually elevated by 4.5% to 5.5 million tons over the past few decades.

The first time that tea was ever mentioned in writing was in Chinese documents about 4700 years ago. Today, the tea bush grows in various parts of the world including India, Sri Lanka, China, and Africa. History tells us that tea was probably first invented in China in 2737 B.C.E. The discovery of tea was accidentally made by the Emperor Shen Nong – an intelligent ruler and scientist. Once tea became a household name in China, a Japanese Buddhist monk – Saicho introduced tea in Japan. From there, tea eventually was introduced in the West and it wasn’t until the 17th century that people started enjoying the hot beverage.

By the early 1700s, the East Indian Company settled in India as a trading power and began selling tea. In this way, tea became accustomed to the natives of India and gradually became their favorite beverage.

Though not high in nutritional value, tea contains good amounts of magnesium and potassium. It has lower amount of caffeine than does coffee. Both green and black teas are high in antioxidants which help prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body.

The author of this article Amita Vadlamudi is an avid reader and a blogger on many varied and interesting subjects. Amita Vadlamudi’s other articles on food and nutrition may be found at her Wix website.

Milk Derivatives


Milk is an important source of healthy nutrients such as vitamins A, B-2, B-12, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

In addition to these nutrients, milk also contains fat, carbohydrates, and protein in the form of glucose which gives the milk a slightly sweet taste.

There are various products that are created from milk such as cheese, cream, yogurt, and buttermilk. Since they are produced from milk, they are known as “dairy products”.

How Dairy Products Are Produced?

1.    Cream

The cream is the type of dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer. It is skimmed from the top of the milk before it undergoes the process of homogenization.

Before homogenization, the fat rises to the top but this process takes time. In the industrial production, this process is elevated by using centrifuges known as separators.

2.    Cheese

Cheese comes in a number of varieties and each variety goes through an entirely different making process depending on its ingredients and characteristics.

Typically, cheese is made from pasteurized or raw milk. Varieties of cheese made from raw milk impart a different flavor and texture to the finished product.

3.    Buttermilk

Buttermilk is made from the residual liquid that remains after the butter is churned out from milk. It is generally flecked with tiny spots of sweet and creamy butter.

4.    Yogurt

In order to produce yogurt, fresh milk is fermented. The fermentation process includes the addition of lactic bacteria into the heated, pasteurized, and homogenized milk.

The bacteria help convert the lactose into lactic acid. It eventually thickens up which gives the milk a tangy taste. When the milk reaches this stage, it is transformed into yogurt.

How Skim Milk Is Produced?

The fresh milk has to sit and settle for a while, the cream where most of the fat resides is left behind with time. This is a traditional way of producing skimmed milk.

The quicker and modernized way of making low-fat or skim milk is by adding the whole milk into a machine – centrifugal separator.

The machine separates the fat globules out of the milk. However, during the skimming process, vitamin A and vitamin D are lost. Federal law mandates that milk solids must be added in the milk as they help compensate for the essential nutrients that are lost from the processed milk.


Amita Vadlamudi likes to research and write about food and agriculture topics. See Ms. Vadlamudi’s other articles on similar subjects on her Wix Website. Her resume can be found at

About Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural stimulant and the most common drug used around the world. It is found in tea, coffee, and cocoa plants. It works by stimulating the brain and allows you to stay alert by preventing the onset of tiredness.

Historians first tracked the brewed tea containing caffeine as far back as 2737 B.C. However, according to a Chinese legend, the Chinese emperor Shennong accidentally discovered tea when tea leaves fell into a pot of boiling water and resulted in a fragrant and restorative drink! The earliest known credible evidence of coffee drinking or knowledge of coffee appears in the middle of the fifteenth century in the Sufi monasteries of the Yemeni southern Arabia.

Where is caffeine found?

Caffeine can be used in a variety of foods and beverages; however, it is derived from a few main sources such as tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts, and coffee beans.

Some of the most common foods and drinks that contain caffeine are:


This is perhaps the most commonly consumed form of caffeine. An 8 ounce of coffee contains approximately  100 milligrams of caffeine. However, the serving size and the brand of coffee can also make a huge difference in the amount of caffeine present.

Soft drinks:

Both diet drinks and soft drinks tend to contain substantial amounts of caffeine, a 12-ounce soft drink contains around 23 to 69 milligrams of caffeine depending on the brand.


Some brewed teas, especially black and green tea contain certain levels of caffeine. An 8 ounce of black tea contains  35 milligrams of caffeine whereas 25 milligrams of caffeine is found in 8 ounces of green tea.


Since cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, chocolate bars too can contain some caffeine! In general, the higher the level of cocoa the more caffeine there will be. An  1 ounce chocolate bar contains   approximately  15 milligrams of caffeine.

Effects on health

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it is an effect that possibly starts 15 minutes after the ingestion of caffeine and lasts up to six hours. The main effect of caffeine is increased alertness and reduced sleepiness but the drug can also cause some problems.

Excessive intake of caffeine can lead to long or short-term complications. Too much caffeine is known to produce certain side effects such as insomnia, difficulty concentrating, muscle tremors, fast heartbeat, heartburn, nervousness, irritability etc.


Amita Vadlamudi, the author of this article is an avid reader of non-fiction books and author of articles on many topics. Some of Ms. Vadlamudi’s other articles may be found on her Slideshare and Behance websites.