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Here’s Why Everyone’s Adding Ice Cubes To Reheat Their Rice

Tag: wellness

Here’s Why Everyone’s Adding Ice Cubes To Reheat Their Rice

Warm. Fluffy. Moist. Nothing could beat freshly cooked rice in every meal.

But what if I tell you that you don’t have to feel pressured to toss your leftover rice away again?

Yes! You can now reheat your rice without drying it further.

In a post uploaded by TikTok famous lifestyle vlogger, Emily Mariko, she shared a video of her heating a salmon and rice in the microwave with an ice cube and piece of parchment paper on top which instantly turned viral with now 78 million views.


What’s the buzz all about?

On September 29, about a week after Mariko posted the video, Instacart tweeted that orders with salmon and seaweed have doubled on the app.

While the video inspired many viewers to do the salmon rice bowl dish, it’s the preparation that has people particularly intrigued, specifically the way Mariko reheats the rice.

We are all familiar with the traditional way of reheating rice in the microwave. For each cup of rice, just add a tablespoon of water, cover, and allow the rice to re-steam.

While Mariko’s way is not so different, the inclusion of ice and parchment paper in the process is what’s making the noise in the mainstream.

In her viral video, the TikTok sensation placed the leftover white rice on top of salmon, added ice cubes on top, and covered everything with parchment paper before putting it in the microwave.

After removing the plate from the microwave, she tossed the still-formed ice and proceeded with the other ingredients which included kimchi, Kewpie mayonnaise, Sriracha, soy sauce, avocado and dried seaweed.


Why use ice cubes?

Instead of using water like the conventional way, Mariko used an ice cube to reheat rice in her microwave. And this is making people’s eyebrows raised with confusion.

Someone has to explain, of course.

Christopher Arturo, a chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, expounded to HuffPost that Mariko’s method of reheating rice with an ice cube and cover on top before microwaving creates steam which will fully reheat the entire food on the plate.

“The ice cube gives something for the microwave to heat, and the steam will diffuse all the way through the food ― so you don’t end up with half the food still cold. Steam is a penetrative form of heat ― it heats fully, evenly and all the way through. The parchment paper lid also helps to hold in the heat. Steam goes up, hits the parchment paper and hot liquid goes down to reheat the food,” Arturo explained.


Why didn’t the ice cube melt?

Most of the viewers may be expecting for the ice cube to melt in the microwave so many were surprised to see that it was still intact. Magic? No, it’s just science!

“If Emily microwaved the food for a longer amount of time, the ice cube would melt fully,” added Arturo..

Apparently, according to The Naked Scientist in 2009, ice melts at a lower temperature than water boils but not in the microwave.

Ice doesn’t melt in the microwave as quickly as one would think. The water molecules in ice are locked in a position of a crystal structure and held together by very strong hydrogen bonds which require a lot of energy from the microwave to break.

What happens, however, is that the tiny amount of water on the surface of the ice quickly turns into steam to help reheat the rice to perfection.

Emily Mariko’s TikTok hack left so many viewers curious about the salmon dish and the preparation of heating rice the best way with the help of science. Now, you don’t have to be sad over stale leftover rice. Just get an ice cube and parchment paper and you are all set up for a happy meal.

Vitamin A: Why You Need It & 5 Of The Best Foods For Upping Your Intake

Vitamin A is a key nutrient highly important for optimal health. Although it rarely gets the spotlight compared to vitamins B and C, it supports many processes in our body including our vision, skin health, immune system and even reproduction.

On a daily dose, it is recommended that men get 900 mcg, women 700 mcg and children 300 mcg.

And while it exists in many foods that we eat, it can also be consumed through supplements if needed.

What Is Vitamin A?


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin along with vitamins D, E and K. Meaning, leftover amounts that are not absorbed by the body are stored in the liver as reserves for later use.


There are two forms of vitamin A found in food: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.


Preformed vitamin A usually comes from animal food sources like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. On the other hand, provitamin A but are made from compounds found in plants called carotenoids that are converted in the body into retinol, an active form of vitamin A.



Why You Need Vitamin A


Although vitamin A is best known for its role in vision and eye health, it is also of utmost importance to our immune function, cell growth, and other processes in our body.


Here are 4 reasons why you ought not to miss vitamin A in your diet.



It supports eye health.


Vitamin A won’t give you superpowers to see in the dark and become completely immune to vision problems. But, it can help protect your eyes from night blindness and vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration.


It plays a role in your vision by maintaining a clear cornea, which is the protective layer of your eyes. Furthermore, vitamin A is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein that is crucial for vision especially in dim light.



It reduces your risk of acne.


If you are aiming for clear skin, then you shouldn’t miss vitamin A in your diet. It does so many wonders to your skin!


You may have heard of retinoids as topical formulas that treat and prevent acne directly. Meanwhile, vitamin A-rich foods fight acne from the inside out.


Vitamin A is an antioxidant which helps fight inflammation and free radicals in our skin that contributes to the development of acne. Additionally, it also speeds up healing and helps normalize oil production in your hair follicles.



It boosts your immune system.


Vitamin A is one of the most widely studied nutrients related to immune function. It is involved in the creation of certain cells called B- and T-cells which play critical roles in stimulating immune responses that guard our body against diseases.



It promotes reproductive health.


In both men and women, vitamin A is essential for reproductive health as well as the healthy development of babies during pregnancy.


In males, vitamin A deficiency can block the development of sperm cells causing infertility. Likewise in females, it also reduces egg quality and affects egg implantation in the womb.


In pregnant women, vitamin A is critical for the normal growth and development of many organs of the unborn child. Moreover, vitamin A deficiency can be extremely harmful to your baby and may lead to birth defects.


Best Food Sources to Get Vitamin A

Vitamins and minerals found in food sources are easier to absorb than those in supplement form.

Thus, here are 5 foods for upping your vitamin A intake the healthiest way possible.



  1. Sweet potato


One whole sweet potato provides 1,403 mcg of vitamin A. Plus, it is low in calories and high in fiber. Bake it in its skin with a salad for a perfect healthful meal!


  1. Carrots


As you may have known already, carrots are rich in beta-carotene. A half cup of raw carrots goes a long way with 459 mcg of vitamin A.


  1. Beef liver


Like humans, animals also store vitamin A in the liver which makes animal livers among the richest sources of vitamin A. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of beef liver contains 6,582 mcg of this vitamin.


  1. Spinach


Along with iron and magnesium, spinach is also rich in vitamin A. A half cup of it boiled contains 573 mcg of vitamin A. Bonus points for being an easy ingredient to incorporate in any recipe.


  1. Salmon

A half fillet of this fatty fish contains 229 mcg of vitamin A. It is very low in saturated fat and a good source of protein.


Perhaps vitamin A is most notable for a healthy eyesight. But its benefits do not just stop with a fine vision. If truth be told, it extends to nearly every important process in our body.


Take note, however, that while deficiency causes so many complications, so is exceeding its daily limit of 3,000 mcg. Eat a balanced meal to ensure you get a healthy amount of vitamin A along with other vitamins and minerals in your diet.


Stay in touch with us at Hearty Health on Instagram at @hearty_health_au


Could Your Hay Fever Be Caused By Your Gut? Here’s What We Know

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 5 people in Australia. In fact, it is one of the most common allergic conditions in the country.

Antihistamines could be an easy quick fix but what if we tell you that you can navigate the symptoms of hay fever by changing your diet?

It all starts with understanding the relationship between your gut, your immune system and your allergies.

The Gut: Where Allergies Start

70% of our immune system is housed in our gut. As a matter of fact, ensuring that our digestive system is in its best shape is key to addressing many bodily woes including allergies.

Our gut partners with our immunity in conjunction with our respiratory system to guard our body against external irritants or “invaders” called allergens.

When our body recognizes anything that is “foreign” including normally harmless substances such as pollen or dust, the immune system may overreact and launch an attack to these stimuli which creates inflammation throughout the body.

This inflammation may manifest into hay fever with symptoms we are all familiar with like sneezing, sniffling and itching. Hay fever typically causes respiratory symptoms in the nose, throat, and eyes.

Allergies may indicate that our immune system is overactive, disrupted or not functioning correctly.

And since our gut works closely with our immune system, an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria within the gut ecology may compromise our immunity and increase our risk of developing allergies.


How Changing Your Diet Can Improve Hay Fever

Within the gut, certain bacteria balance our immune response to external irritants. These bacteria ensure that the immune response is effective but not too violent to the body which often results in chronic inflammation or allergies.

Thus, it makes sense to feed your body with foods that are beneficial to the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system.

Some foods also contain naturally occurring antihistamine that can help you soothe the symptoms of hay fever. This includes the following:

  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Basil
  • Asparagus
  • Salmon
  • Cantaloupe

A study in Allergy Centre Charité Berlin also found that symptoms of hay fever can be significantly reduced by taking probiotic food supplements for people with birch pollen allergy.

Researchers found that a probiotic consisting of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can help alleviate hay fever symptoms and improve quality of life during allergy season.

When your gut health suffers, so does the rest of your body including your immunity. And when your immunity is distorted, so does your defence against allergens. To keep hay fever at bay, a healthy gut is key.

3 Christmas Weight Gain Myths

With all the holiday goodies and treats this Christmas, it’s easy to stuff ourselves silly and start New Year with guilt. This season comes hand in hand with eating which may or may not mean that we eat more and different than we normally do.

Let’s admit it! Christmas is an indulging season and while it could evoke possible and real consequences, not everything that we believe about holiday weight gain is true.

To outline a few, here are three Christmas weight gain myths busted by research.


  1. Seasonal treats are your biggest enemy for overeating.

That pumpkin pie and fruit cake may be tempting but experts found eating ‘socially’ has a stronger impact on our food intake. Yes, we eat more when we have company than dining alone.

In fact, according to experts at the University of Birmingham, we eat 48% more when we eat with friends and family which is a common scenario during Christmas at parties and gatherings.

A potential solution to this? Redesign some of your holiday habits. To avoid unconsciously putting anything in your mouth while at a social gathering, move your conversation to a room with no food in sight. You can also suggest fun activities like game of cards or plan your Christmas get-together window shopping or going to the amusement park.


  1. You can’t undo all your holiday weight gain by sweating.

 Sorry to break it to you but you can’t just cancel out those holiday pounds through exercising, and you shouldn’t have to.

In a study at Texas Tech University where half of the subjects were inactive and the other half were working out five hours a week for 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year, it was revealed that sweating out merely made any difference and both groups gained about the same amount of weight.

Beyond that, the mentality that exercising is a way to compensate or punish yourself for overindulging during the holidays is an unhealthy mindset. There is more to being active than just losing weight like reducing stress, improving mobility and boosting your energy levels.


  1. You are predestined to enter the New Year bigger and heavier.


Fact: Bloating is different from fat weight.

Christmas day feasting can leave us feeling heavier. But one reason why we think we gained more weight than we actually did is because many holiday foods usually have large amounts of sodium and sugar which cause bloating, water retention, and a ‘stuffed’ feeling.

The good news is that bloating comes and goes and most of it will pretty much go away once you resume your regular eating habits. Very few people really gain as much as five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

“Fat gain really does require overeating over many days and weeks and months,” says author and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass.

Do not let your inner food police ruin your holiday spirit. This annual celebration is more than just stressing and obsessing how you will look when the festivities are over. Simply get back on track with your regular eating and exercise habits and you’ll certainly shed all that holiday pounds in no time.

3 Natural Ways To Relieve Stress Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common disorders around the world. In fact, 50% to 75% per cent of adults aged 18 to 65 years old have had a headache in the past year. It’s more than just a painful burden too—headaches can affect the quality of people’s lives as a whole. Thankfully, there are ways to combat headache symptoms! If you don’t have access to medication at the moment or just want something natural and easy, here’s a quick list.


1. Use a cold compress. 

One study involving 28 women found that cold therapy—by way of a cold gel pack—had a significant impact on reducing migraine pain. This is because a cold or frozen compress can constrict blood vessels and decrease inflammation, according to another controlled study, which ultimately helps decrease headache pain. For relief, apply the compress to the head, temples, and nape. 


2. Have some caffeine like coffee or tea. 

A study suggests that caffeine may be used in the management of headaches since it can constrict blood vessels (as well as improve mood and help with alertness), which has a positive impact on relieving headache pain. In fact, another study has found that caffeine intake also increases the effectiveness of common headache medication like ibuprofen. 

It’s worth noting, though, that as in all things, moderation is important: too much caffeine intake and then suddenly stopping may also cause headaches due to caffeine withdrawal. 


3. Make sure to get enough sleep! 

There’s a thin line between little sleep and too much of it: according to a study, people who get less sleep (less than six hours) had the tendency to get more headaches compared to their counterparts who were able to sleep longer. But then, another study discovered that too much sleep could cause headaches too! Because this is the case, balance is key: if you can, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep to enjoy the full benefits of rest. 


Though headaches can be disabling, there are ways to prevent and relieve this painful disorder so you can be at your best. Don’t let it stop you from living your life! 

Lemon Water: Why It’s Your New Best Friend

Is drinking lemon water just another fad? While it’s wildly popular especially with health and fitness buffs, does it actually do the many things people say it can help with—things like aid weight loss, increase energy levels, improve metabolism, among other things? We want to find out too, which is why we’ve decided to put this list together. 

Truth be told, there isn’t much out there by way of research that tells us whether lemon water has proven health benefits. But this doesn’t mean we’ve all been lied to! Lemon and water, as separate things, have their own numerous benefits backed by studies and research. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should make lemon water your new best friend! 


1. Lemons are great sources of vitamin C. 

Like other citrus fruits, lemons are rich in antioxidants, specifically vitamin C. Just one lemon can already provide 21% of an individual’s recommended DV (daily value). Antioxidants help protect our cells from damage—it’s linked to a reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. That and lemons also have flavonoids, which are known to help fight diseases. 

You can consider adding lemon juice to water as you topping up on vitamin C as the day goes on: it gives you a much needed boost without excessive calories and sugars in the mix. 


2. Water, on its own, is already amazing.

Drinking an adequate amount of water doesn’t just ensure we’re hydrated: it can also help with weight loss by making us feel full faster and speeding up metabolism, and has a positive impact on our digestive health by relieving constipation. 

Because our body has no means to store water, it’s important we drink plenty of it. The recommended water intake for women is eight cups, and ten cups for men, on a daily basis. 


3. Lemon water can freshen your breath!

Lemons are notorious for getting rid of foul odors, while water prevents dry mouth—a condition that can cause bad breath due to bacteria growth in the mouth. You probably know where we’re going with this, right! Combined, and lemon water can help keep your breath fresh, especially if you drink it in the morning and right after meals. 


Whether it’s the hip thing nowadays or not, the benefits of water and lemon are undeniable. Already healthy on their own, why not enjoy the best of both by putting them together? So go ahead and drink up—with benefits like the ones listed above, this is one fad you want to get into for sure. 

3 Ways To Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

For anyone who’s just getting into meditation, starting can seem a bit of a challenge. After all, when you look at the many types of meditation techniques out there, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of time and effort is involved. And while it’s true that meditating can take a while to get used to, once you get the hang of it, it’s sure to become a seamless, integral part of your everyday routine. But what are some of the things that can help you jumpstart your meditation journey? In today’s article, we want to share with you our top three! 


  1. Meditating doesn’t mean being thoughtless. 

Many people who are new to meditation think it’s all about emptying the mind—but that’s just not the case! It’s downright impossible not to think of anything at all, and trying otherwise will not only be futile, but it can also turn you off from meditating. Instead of fighting your own naturally occurring thoughts, a healthier way of managing them while in the middle of meditation is to be aware of them enough to let them go. Once a thought has run its course, observed without you attaching meaning or judgment to it, you can then go back and refocus on your body and breath, and what you’re sensing and feeling at a given moment. 


  1. Always start with a realistic goal. 

Are you the type to go big or go home? This mindset is admirable, but not if it sets you up for failure. If you’re new to meditation, there’s nothing wrong with a 2 to 5-minute session a day to start with. First and foremost, test the waters and figure out what works for you—because, in all honesty, there are a lot of things to consider, and what’s effective for a handful of people you read about online may not be the approach for you. You can start small, meeting little achievements as you go, and from there, you can build up a steady, lengthier meditation session that fits your schedule and needs.  


  1. Right vs. Wrong vs. You

You’ll find a lot of “experts” online who will tell you exactly how to meditate, going as far as to convince you that theirs is the right way. While we’re not saying they’re wrong, more often than not, their “tried, tested, and proven” methods have been tailor-fit for them and them alone. This means that while you can give what has worked for them a try, don’t let yourself get boxed in: it may not work out for you in the long run, and you’ll feel unaccomplished and frustrated. Here’s what you can do instead: take everything that you consume from these meditation gurus as suggestions but don’t forget to try new things for yourself. Experiment a little bit and find something awesome that works right, just for you. 


Beginning something new is always a challenge, and because it is, it’s perfectly fine to start small. You don’t have to be a Zen Master on day one—all you have to be is dedicated and willing to see what you’ve committed yourself to until the very end. So keep on meditating no matter how slow the start. Over time, you’ll find the calm, peace, and balance you’ve been aiming for! 


3 Types Of Meditation To Try Today

Studies show one great thing about meditation: that not only is it good for our mental health, it also has a positive impact on us physically. According to research, it can reduce stress, help lower anxiety levels, improve sleep, and even decrease blood pressure to name a few of its many benefits. But with so many types of meditations out there, which one is right for you? In today’s list, we pick out our top three!


Mindfulness Meditation

Does your mind tend to wander all the time? Do you feel like your brain is all over the place, unable to move on from the past, stressing over the present, and worrying about the future? If this is the type of mental chatter you deal with on the daily, then it’s time for some mindful meditation. 


Day to day, our minds are bombarded with so many things that we often don’t have time to sit down and listen to ourselves. But with this type of meditation, we’re able to focus on breathing, what we’re feeling, as well as what we’re seeing – all without going anywhere beyond or deeper. An article published by Harvard best describes what mindful meditation is: every time your mind starts to wander, mindfulness will help you come back, rest, and settle your mind. 


Progressive Relaxation

Stress manifests itself in many different ways, even physically. Sometimes we don’t even notice it turning into tension that renders us more tired than we really are so that we’re incapable of doing anything else as our day draws to a close. With the help of progressive relaxation however, we’re able to relax our muscle groups one at a time in a specific pattern – but by way of tightening the muscles first. It may sound counterintuitive to start relaxation by tensing up, but this actually helps us become familiar and recognize what muscle tension is like, making it easier for us to identify whenever we’re stressed in the future. 


Here’s a great reference to follow for the meantime while you haven’t memorized each muscle group. Alternatively, you can also look for an audio guide. 


Movement Meditation

Have you ever seen someone doing Tai chi? Originally a martial art, it’s a perfect example of movement meditation. Just like other types, the slow and graceful movements involved in this meditation is not just for show: it’s a great way to focus and reconnect the mind and the body. With so much to do, we often move on auto-pilot, our minds and bodies no longer connected or moving as one. Movement meditation can change that. 


One of the greatest benefits of movement meditation is related to mental health, according to Harvard, and is a great treatment alongside psychotherapy and medication. 


These are just three of the meditation types we prefer, but there are others to choose from depending on your preference. No matter which one you choose though, it’s undeniable: the benefits are tried, tested, and proven to help you in your pursuit of a happier, healthier life!