The Importance of Fruits and Vegetables to Healthy Living

The importance of a good variety of fruits and vegetables to healthy living cannot be overemphasized. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that we all eat a minimum of 400g of fruits and vegetables daily, equating to five portions. This recommended amount helps reduce the risk of serious health conditions including stroke, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The list below highlights some key nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables

  • They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin c, potassium and folate.
  • They provide dietary fibre, helping to maintain a healthy digestive system and lower the risk of bowel and some other cancers.
  • Often low in fat, they help to maintain a healthy weight.

It is advisable to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables to gain the most from your 5 a day, because different types have different nutritional benefits.

The BC Garden Café serves a wonderful array of nourishing, healthy and absolutely delicious salads. Please log on to to order and check out our appetising menu.

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Eat Grape Fruits and Healthy Gums

While it is known that citric acids can weaken teeth and cause their erosion, a new study shows a different take on vitamin c and oral health. Performed by the Friedrich University in Germany and published in the British Dental Journal, the study reported that eating grapefruits everyday may help reduce bleeding gums and heal gum disease.

The researchers involved 58 volunteers with chronic gum disease eating two grapefruits a day, and found that it had a positive effect on gum disease; this was true for smokers and non-smokers. The researchers believe that the effect is due to the increase in vitamin c.

If vitamin c is the vital component in healing bleeding gums, we are left to wonder if oranges and vitamin c supplements have the same effect.

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Organic Food Really is Healthier

Many people today still think organic food is mostly hype and a means for agriculturists to charge consumers more money for the benefits of richer, cleaner soil, as well as the absence of pesticides and genetically modified chemicals.

However, in truth, organic foods are more nutritious and taste better. A study conducted by Newcastle University and funded by the European Union found that organic food contains higher levels of antioxidants and flavonoids, less unhealthy fats, as well as higher levels of valuable minerals.

According to the study, organic milk has 50% to 80% more antioxidants than milk from non-organic cattle and  many organic foods, from onions and cabbage to potatoes and wheat, have 20% to 50% more minerals than non-organic varieties.

Research is ongoing to ascertain what the logical difference is to produce such staggering results, as well as why organic food has a higher nutritional content.

The BC Garden Café serves a wonderful array of nourishing, healthy and absolutely delicious meals. Please log on to to order and check out our appetising menu.

How Tea Lowers Blood Pressure and Increases the Risk of Heart Disease

The results of a recent study in Germany study prove that drinking tea lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart disease. Indeed, black tea had a significant effect on artery dilation and expansion, vital in maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

The important question arises― how can the consumption of black tea protect against high blood pressure? The researchers found that molecular substances in black tea known as catechins help to expand arteries by producing nitric oxide.

Interestingly enough, many tea drinkers in Britain may be unknowingly giving up health benefits to the heart. By adding milk to tea, the German study group discovered that this common habit introduces caseins (proteins found in milk) that block the ability of catechins to dilate blood vessels.

The BC Garden Café serves a fine selection of teas. Please log on to to order and check out our appetising menu.

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Fish Oil as a Healthy Source of Good Fat

It is a well-known fact that fish oil is a healthy source of fat. A recent study suggests that it may also reduce fatty substances found in the blood of people that suffer from type 2 diabetes.

The study, involving over 40 adults taking a supplement with 4 grams of fish oil over 8 weeks, proved that it lowered levels of triacylglycerol, a fatty substance that contributes to heart disease. It was also discovered that levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), good cholesterol, rose with those who took fish oil.

The study was published in the Diabetes Care magazine and reported that people taking fish oil supplements showed LDL (low-density lipids) and HDL feel by almost 1%. Though this may be a small quantity, it is a most healthy reduction in fat in the blood for diabetics.

While taking fish oil supplements is helpful, eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel is the natural way to gain plenty of fish oils.

The BC Garden Café serves a wonderful array of nourishing, healthy and absolutely delicious meals. Please log on to to order and check out our appetising menu.

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Mary Akpa Live at BC Garden Café

On Sunday February 4, 2018, Omenka featured soulful singer Mary Akpa in “Harmattan Colours”, a live music concert at BC Garden Café. Born in Nigeria and raised in southern California, Mary Akpa brings a blend of grounded freedom to her music—a seamless blend of soul, jazz, electronic, and African influences. When Akpa was 18 years old, Arista/La Face Records discovered her, and soon she became lead singer and songwriter for an all-girl band.

Mary Akpa has spent much time touring both domestically and internationally, including performances in Germany, Istanbul, France, and Iraq. She has also written with and for numerous artistes, recording 2 jazz albums, and 2 electronic/down tempo albums, as well as released her debut EP, ‘Brave’ 2012.

Mary Akpa Songs
Brave-EP · 2012
Ka M Kuo Ume
Unseen · 2016
Hello Hello
Unseen · 2016
You Stole My Heart
Unseen · 2016
That Day on the Train
Unseen · 2016
You Are
Unseen · 2016
Don’t Stand in My Way
Brave-EP · 2012
Brave-EP · 2012
Brave-EP · 2012
Unseen · 2016



































The Benefits of Drinking Water

Water is a natural gift from nature and is paramount to good health, because it makes up to 70 percent of our weight. There are three major benefits of drinking water; to speed up our metabolism, make our skins healthier and stay alert.

The first benefit of water, is that it can speed up our metabolism. Increased hydration levels have an effect of increasing the blood volume, which in turn helps the transport of oxygen to our body cells. It also facilitates the transport of waste out the cells. If they are properly hydrated, our metabolism will be optimal. The more water we consume, the more efficiently our cells can work.

The second benefit is that water makes our skin healthier, refreshed, and radiant. To stay hydrated and keep supple skin, we need to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses daily. Our skin looks unhealthy when toxins remain in our body.

Third, it can make us stay alert and focus while helping us relief fatigue as our brains are made up of 85 percent water. If our brain is properly hydrated, it will keep our mood fresh and active. People who drink less water often feel bored and less enthusiastic while those who drink more are energetic and full of zeal.

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Breakfast for Health

Hands up if you eat breakfast at least 5 days a week, especially if you consider your breakfast a healthy one. Note the word ‘healthy’ because it’s very important.

Where things get murky is figuring out what constitutes a healthy breakfast. Is it a well-made glass of green smoothie? A fresh fish salad? Some pancakes, scrambled egg-whites and bacon?

All of these options are healthy and you should be proud of yourself if you are choosing these foods.

Why Eat Breakfast?

We are taught early on that calories are not created equal, and so it matters when you consume them. Breakfast for healthy living should be macro balanced, this means that you should have complex carbohydrates, lean protein and some fat. Aside from the obvious point, being full early in the day will lead to sustained energy and concentration.

Your metabolism is what determines how many calories your body burns at rest (without rigorous physical activity). Several factors including genetics, muscle/fat composition, age, gender and overall health affect this number.

Starting the day off with the right breakfast tells the body to start utilizing energy and burning calories. Most people incorrectly often associate the extra ‘hunger’ from eating breakfast with the body burning more calories and consequentially needing more food. How quickly you feel hungry after breakfast is directly related to what you eat.

What to Eat?

Breakfast is fuel for the body. Starting your day by eating a healthy meal is like giving your body premium speed through the day. But eating the right kind of breakfast is crucial, so ensure it includes quality ingredients such as fibre, protein and fat. These nutrients are key for sustained energy.

The BC Garden Café serves a wonderful array of nourishing, healthy and absolutely delicious dishes. Please log on to to order and check out our appetising menu.

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