Choose Your Bananas Carefully!

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food

The banana industry is dominated by 5 international companies whose operations are so huge they dwarf the export revenues of all the banana-producing countries combined. The social and environmental cost of producing bananas is huge, and has brought misery to thousands. Indigenous people have been driven out of their lands to make way for new uncontaminated plantations, workers earn as little as US$1 a day in some countries and unionised labour is blacklisted. Worse, thousands of tonnes of toxic pesticides are poured on the plantations often sprayed from planes overhead.

With bananas, it’s the cultivation that’s the problem. When they are grown on a large monocultural scale, big companies looking to maximise profits, are liberal with giving disease-prone banana plants major doses of agrochemicals. In addition, the banana bunches themselves are often wrapped on the tree with pesticide-coated plastic bags for protection. Five of the chemicals used on bananas are classified as ‘extremely hazardous’ by the World Health Organisation and 3 organophosphate pesticides are applied that are not approved for use in the UK. On large plantations, more money is spent by the growers on agrochemicals than workers’ wages.

Green Cyprus advises against buying ‘any old bananas’ – you know the ones that are generally available in the supermarkets and fruit sellers. Instead, opt for the smaller, sweeter variety of Cyprus bananas when they are in season, which are grown on a much smaller scale and are therefore likely to be contaminated with lower levels of agrochemicals. Even better, the health shops sell organic Cyprus bananas too when they are in season! Above all and very importantly, you will be supporting the local economy!

Wild About Quinoa

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food
Quinoa is one of the most nutritional superfoods available and worth trying out if you haven’t already. Here’s some information…

Quinoa is a protein-packed food with a nutty taste and chewy texture. It has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa contains all 8 of the essential amino acids and is a complete protein and a low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fibre, it is digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster.

As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like coeliac disease. This versatile seed can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fibre. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body, adding to its detoxifying properties.

Quinoa is also a source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium and as well as impressive quantities of potassium, magnesium and zinc, minerals that are crucial for heart, nerve and muscle function.

Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilise mood. So many good reasons to include quinoa in your diet. If you haven’t tried it, time to give it a go! Available from healthshops and supermarkets.



Organic Coconut Oil for Good Health

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food


Green Cyprus highly recommends the use of organic coconut oil and other coconut products such as ‘flour, butter, sugar and water’ as part of a healthier diet. It’s amazing how many derivatives of this healthy superfruit are available and if you read on about the benefits, it will definitely make you think about adding some of these amazing products to your diet…

Coconut oil has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of western nations where coconut oil is hardly consumed anymore.

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

So how are people using coconut oil and what are some of the health benefits of coconut oil being reported? Some of the most recent research has come from people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, with reports of people improving or even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s by using coconut oil. Alzheimer’s is now seen as a type 3 form or diabetes, and for years we have seen positive results from people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in using coconut oil. There have also been a lot of reports of coconut oil health benefits from those suffering from hypothryroidism, as coconut oil helps boost metabolism and raise body temperatures to promote thyroid health. Restricting carbohydrates and increasing coconut oil in the diet has also led many to report losing weight with coconut oil. Candida sufferers also report health benefits with coconut oil as research now confirms, and those suffering from various skin diseases are also seeing tremendous health benefits by applying coconut oil directly on the skin. The benefits of coconut oil for healthy hair are also well known, and other healthy benefits of coconut oil included fighting off bacterial infections and viruses. Coconut oil is also increasingly being seen to benefit athletes and fitness trainers giving them an advantage in sustaining energy levels longer without drugs or stimulants.

Other coconut products like coconut water are very nutritious and highly effective for rehydration, hydrating quicker than water. It is naturally isotonic containing essential electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes. Coconut butter is ideal for cooking and baking and as with the oil, it does not contain cholesterol or trans-fats. Coconut flour is a great low carbohydrate, gluten-free flour that is also a good source of protein. It is excellent for baking cakes and bread. And there’s even a sugar free raw coconut nectar which you can use in tea and coffee or baking without having to worry about the sugar content so it’s excellent for the health-conscious and those on restricted diets.

Modern day diets leave a lot to be desired. They are too high in carbohydrates, sugar, dairy and the wrong kinds of fat and they can affect our health or make us ill. Coconut products are the perfect antedote and help towards a healthier diet. The evidence is clear to see. Green Cyprus says ‘go buy!’

Sweet as a Cherry

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food

Cherries….so many good things about them and they taste fantastic too. Did you know that cherries are said to be beneficial for bones and joints?

An unwelcome symptom of ageing, but cherries can do a lot to protect you. Their rich anthocyanin content acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, combating pain in joints and muscles. These anthocyanins also have the same heart-protective effect as red wine. Additionally, they may help with sleep problems because they contain melatonin, the nutrient that plays an important role in promoting healthy sleep patterns. Other nutrients include Vitamin B-comples, C, calcium and potassium.

Green Cyprus’s favourite fruit! The dark cherries you find here in Cyprus just taste fantastic especially if you can source them from mountain growers – we could munch through about 1kg of these in one go if given the chance! :)

Oats So Easy…

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food

Oats are well documented as being beneficial to your health. They contain a form of fibre called beta-glucan which has the ability to reduce cholesterol, cutting the risk of strokes and heart disease as well as stabilising blood sugar. Other compounds in oats protect the heart and lungs, reduce the risk of cancer and increase the body’s ability to fight of infections. Serving suggestion: Try making porridge using organic oats and organic chocolate rice milk and add chopped berries e.g. cranberries and raspberries or strawberries. You have to try this – it tastes amazing and is a sure way to give your kids a healthy breakfast too!