Archive for May, 2014


Coffee Flour: The Next Superfood?

A new product is set to hit the market in 2015, and it could be the buzz of the baking industry — coffee flour. Made from byproducts of coffee production, this new ingredient can help farmers bring home more profit and give consumers a new option in healthy cooking.

Coffee beans are actually the seeds of a fruit called the coffee cherry. When the seeds are extracted to make coffee, they leave behind edible and nutrient-rich fruit pulp that is usually discarded. A former director at Starbucks saw the amount of waste created in the production process and set out to find a way to use it. He discovered that the leftover fruit could be dried and milled into flour, which could then be used in baking.

The flour, which tastes more like dried fruit than coffee, provides a host of nutritional benefits:

  • Gluten-free
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • 3 times more protein than kale
  • 5 times more fiber than whole-grain flour

Producing the flour helps coffee farmers as well. The start-up company developing the process estimates that farmers could take home 30 to 50 percent more profits with just 25 percent more effort.

All that and a little kick of caffeine in your cookie — what’s not to love?


How are real estate agents paid?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll probably work with a real estate professional during the transaction. If you’re a seller, the REALTOR® that you work with will offer expert advice about the community and competition, provide marketing and advertising, and handle schedules for all the transactions that must occur. For buyers, the agent will help them identify properties that fit their needs, handle negotiations and also help with the paperwork and scheduling.

For all that they do, agents are paid by commission, rather than on an hourly rate. The commission they receive is based on the sale price and only after the completion of the sale. If they do not sell the home, or if they are unable to locate a home for a buyer, they aren’t paid.

How much is the commission?

The typical commission is about 6 percent of the sale price, and it is usually split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. The commission percentage that the seller agrees to pay is negotiable.

Who pays the commission?

The fee for the transaction is subtracted from the proceeds of the sale. It’s important to note that the fee comes out of the cost of the house and is not tacked on in addition to the sale price.


Early warning signs of diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects almost 24 million people in the United States and is the seventh leading cause of death in the country.

Complications associated with diabetes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Nervous system disease
  • Amputation

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to get a diabetes diagnosis. According to the CDC, almost 80 million Americans have prediabetes; the vast majority of whom don’t even know they have it. Left untreated, prediabetes can progress into full-blown Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t ignore the warning signs.

There are some symptoms that can indicate that you may be prediabetic.

  • Feeling much hungrier or thirstier
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling weak or fatigued
  • Blurred vision
  • Recurring gum or skin infections
  • Cuts and bruises take longer to heal
  • Urinating more often
  • Tingling sensation in your hands, feet or legs

What to do…

If you suspect that you have diabetes, there is no time to waste. Catching it early is always the best option. If you are overweight, make modifications to your diet and start on an exercise program. Make better dietary decisions and cut down on calories. Most importantly, see your doctor to be tested as soon as possible.


Relieving allergy symptoms naturally

Ah, spring. Sunshine… gentle rain… the smell of fresh-cut grass… leaves on the trees… flowers in bloom.

For many, spring means itchy, watery eyes… sneezing… congestion… and watching mold and pollen counts religiously.

What causes allergies?

Allergens can cause certain cells in the body to produce histamine, which cause certain reactions such as tearing, excess mucus and a runny nose. When this happens, you need to rid your system of those allergens, or take an antihistamine to relieve the symptoms.

If you suffer from hayfever in the spring and don’t want to use over-the-counter medication to treat your allergies, there are some natural remedies that you can try.

Vitamin C

Sometimes Vitamin C is touted as a cure for the common cold, but research doesn’t prove that at all. However, Vitamin C does prevent the formation of histamine when compared to the typical OTC options, which work by interfering with the histamine after it’s produced.

Saline rinse

Before you feel the effects of the pollen in the air, spritz a saline rinse to clear the pollen. Although it may not rid your system of all pollen, it may get enough to reduce your need for drugs.

Fish oil supplements

Studies have shown that taking fish oil can help reduce the level of leukotrienes in your system, which are the chemicals that contribute to allergic reaction.


Some studies suggest it can be as effective for nasal symptoms as an antihistamine, with no accompanying sleepiness. Other herbs that can help with allergies include goldenseal and nettles.


Found in Indian cuisine, this spice can act as a decongestant.

Eat onions

Onions have quercetin in them, which is a bioflavonoid that can help minimize watery and itchy eyes, asthma and hay fever.

HEPA filters

High-efficiency particulate air filters can catch pollen and other allergens. Use them in vacuum cleaners and in your air conditioning system and make sure to clean or change them regularly.


Although experts don’t know for sure why acupuncture helps, studies indicate that it does. Acupuncture helps relieve a number of maladies, and probably helps allergies because it relieves inflammation in the immune system and helps us get rid of substances involved in allergic reactions.


The many health benefits of drinking lemon water

Everyone knows the benefits of drinking water, and it is well-documented that most Americans don’t drink enough water and live in a constant state of minor dehydration. Anything we can do to make ourselves drink more water is a plus.

Adding lemon to your water is not just something you should do at restaurants. Lemon does not add calories to your water, and in addition to tasting better, it can also help balance your blood sugar, stimulate metabolism and cleanse your skin.

Lemons are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Drink warm lemon water (maybe mix in a little honey) first thing in the morning. If you drink it 15 to 30 minutes before having breakfast, it will help you get the full benefits of the lemon water.

Aids digestion

When combined with hot water, lemon may help a number of common digestive problems.

  • Encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract
  • Relieves symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas and bloating
  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Reduces the amount of mucus production in the body
  • Helps dissolve gallstones

Healthy skin

Lemon is a natural antiseptic that can help treat skin problems. It is high in vitamin C, which can help the appearance of healthy skin and can help reduce wrinkles and spots on the skin.

Dental benefits

Lemon water may relieve tooth pain and can help your gums stop bleeding if you’re seeing a little “pink in the sink” when you brush. It can also help alleviate gingivitis, which can contribute to bad breath. One warning though: lemon may cause some damage to the enamel surfaces of the teeth.

Diet and weight loss

Lemon is full of pectin fibers that make you feel full faster and longer.

Reduces inflammation

Drinking lemon water on a regular basis removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

Helps with sore throat

The vitamins in lemons can help prevent you from getting a sore throat, but if you do happen to get a tickle, gargle with lemon water to help get rid of the infection.

Cleanses your system

Lemon helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function and stimulating your liver.

Source of antioxidants

Water with lemon is an excellent source of antioxidants, which prevent the development of free radicals in our body.

Added benefits

Some people have managed to cut their consumption of coffee with hot lemon water. While there is no caffeine in lemon, of course, it can be used to replace your morning joe.