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Best Hungarian Food in London

When moving to a new country there are three things you need to sort out- a place to live, a place to work and a place that serves the food you miss from back home. To help you out we’re going to be sharing the best Hungarian food in London.

The Gay Hussar

This bustling establishment in Soho serves authentic Hungarian food, and even better Hungarian red wine. The staff are incredibly attentive, and the kitchen staff clearly know how to cook up an impressive Hungarian feast. We highly recommend the popular fish terrine as starters, and for mains you can’t go past the fantastic traditional goulash or duck livers. The portions are huge, but if you somehow still have room for dessert then definitely give the walnut pancakes a try.


The Rosemary

The Rosemary is adored by many Hungarians living in London, and for good reason. Food is made with the finest ingredients and is absolutely full of flavour. You absolutely cannot miss out on the dumplings, and meatballs with sauerkraut and deep fried cheese are to die for. If you want a place that will make you feel right at home then don’t look any further.


The Budapest Bar

After many sold-out summer pop-up stores The Budapest Bar will soon be opening a permanent venue in early 2018. The atmosphere is absolutely unmatched, with art exhibitions and live music accompanying mind-blowing food and even a vegan goulash. Their handmade sausages are a definite highlight, while the vörösboros marhapörkölt has been wildly popular since their first opening. Be sure to get there soon and support this up and coming local eatery.


Made In Hungaria

Located in the famous Camden Market is this small but sensational stall serving fresh, authentic Hungarian food. They are well known for their lángos, and their beef stew is one of the best around. If you are in the area you truly cannot beat this small, delicious Hungarian restaurant. We promise that the food is significantly better than the photos.


If you’re visiting London feel free to check out UnderTheDoormat homes, and discover more to do in London right here!

Health Benefits of Wine

Wine is heralded as the sophisticated drink of the ages. Drinking wine has been associated with people considered cultured and research shows that wine drinkers have higher IQs than that of people who drink different alcoholic beverages. The reason for this association with elegance stems back to the days when wine was considered for the upper classes because of its expense. Wine, comparative to beer, takes longer to manufacture and one acre of grapes will produce less wine than an acre of barley. However, research is showing new evidence that drinking wine isn’t just to look classy; it’s beneficial for your health too.

Nutrition of Wine

Wine has a variety of nutrients, though most of the time you won’t find the nutrition on a wine bottle label. This is partly due to the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration doesn't like to classify alcohol as a daily part of nutrition. The other reason is that identifying the exact nutritional properties of wine is difficult because it requires over 200 phenolic compounds to be documented within a myriad of confines (Source1). However, research is discovering new nutritional facts about wine every day.

Wine itself comes from fermented grapes which contain many vitamins and minerals. When wine is created, many of these nutrients carry over. Wine contains vitamin B, potassium, iron, manganese, fluoride, and phosphorus. These different vitamins aid in giving you energy, strengthening bones, and benefit the brain, liver, and nervous system (Source2). Wine also contains many antioxidants which help combat the damages of aging and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Polyphenols, quercetin, and resveratrol are some of the active principles in wine, especially red wine, that have shown great promise in researched health benefits (Source3).

Polyphenols are an antioxidant found in grapes and other foods like legumes and green tea. The most common type of polyphenol is flavonoids. The tannins found in red wine have a variety of flavonoid polyphenols (Source4). Quercetin is another antioxidant which protects muscles and the heart (Source3). It is important to note that research may show more health benefits to drinking red wine than white wine.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a polyphenol in wine that research has shown to have a high amount of health benefits. Resveratrol has antioxidant properties that are believed to aid in circulation, reduce the chance of blood clots, improve brain function in learning, mood, and memory, along with treating inflammation. It is also effective in treating depression. Resveratrol even produces similar health effects as what you would experience from exercise. This discovery could be a major breakthrough for people who are unable to exercise with health conditions that require exercise (Source4).

Resveratrol was first found to be a cancer preventative. Using its antioxidant capabilities, it can prevent or delay a score of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, other neurodegenerative diseases, and possibly osteoporosis. Resveratrol is mainly found to aid in preventing age-related disorders (Source5Source6). However, some studies found that the resveratrol in wine was not enough for significant benefits and a supplementation was suggested instead. You should also be aware that red wine contains much higher amounts of resveratrol than white wine because it is fermented longer (Source7).

Improving Your Heart

Reducing the risk of heart disease and mortality due to a heart attack is one of the most well-backed arguments for the health benefits of wine. The case for wine began with something called the “French Paradox” (Source8). Unless you live in France, you may not be aware of the extremely low heart-attack rate there. Researchers decided to investigate this and found that between France and Northern Ireland, French men had a low risk of ischaemic heart disease because of their regular, moderate drinking versus the binge-drinking more prevalent in the Irish Lifestyle (Source9).

While much research has shown any alcohol drunk in low to moderate amounts does reduce your risk of heart disease, several studies show that wine is the best alcohol with the most improvement. More in-depth studies show that resveratrol and proanthocyanidin are mainly responsible for the protection of your heart through wine (Source10). The way that resveratrol accomplishes this is by first maintaining and protecting the heart muscle and also lowering your chance of developing blood clots. By using its antioxidant properties, resveratrol fights cell death and oxidative stress to protect the heart against protein breakdown. It also has an antithrombotic effect which expands blood vessels to aid in circulation (Source4).

Lowering the Risk of Cancer

Research has shown wine to reduce the risk of colon, ovarian, prostate carcinoma, and basal cell cancer. Studies have shown that having one glass a day can lower your risk of cancer in your esophagus, in your lungs, and even lower your chance of relapsing or developing new cancer during the five year period after diagnosis. A glass of wine a day may not just help you prevent cancer; it may actually help you defeat it too! The reason for this is our favorite wine compound, resveratrol (Source11). Resveratrol can suppress the growth of cancer tumors and kill cancer cells. Evidence suggests that Resveratrol actually binds to the DNA of a cell to prevent inflammation and target malignant cells to destroy them (Source12).

Reducing the Dangers of Aging

We all hate the idea of aging, but what you might hate even more are the numerous dangers that come with it, from dementia to losing eyesight to strokes. Wine may be the key to change a lot of that. Aging happens when oxidation of the cells occurs which damages the cell and the DNA. Because of wine’s high amount of antioxidants, a light to moderate daily drink of wine could protect your cells and DNA from oxidizing. Research first believed that this effect was due to the ethanol in alcohol. However, a study on the oxidation of cholesterol used red wine, white wine, and ethanol. Red wine showed the effect of inhibiting cell oxidation (Source13).

Other studies which compared the health benefits of alcohols found that wine could protect you from a stroke better than other alcohols like beer and spirits. Their belief was that the compounds in wine worked together with the ethanol to produce better results (Source14). Wine was found to lower the risk of dementia, prevent age-related decline in cholesterol levels and inflammation, and even to activate genes that sustain your life longer (Source15,Source16,Source17).

Type II Diabetes Benefits

Type II diabetes is a chronic illness that makes it hard to keep blood sugars low, maintain a healthy weight, and continue a healthy life. Sufferers often have to keep very strict diets along with several medications. However, wine on a regular moderate basis can actually help prevent diabetes and help keep it under control as well. Several studies on rats have shown promise as the resveratrol in wine lowered both blood glucose and triglyceride numbers. Other studies showed that it reduced the diabetic neuropathic pain that many people with diabetes struggle with (Source18). Red wine has also shown benefits in lessening insulin resistance which in turn, also lowers blood sugar levels (Source19). While wine has been shown through several studies to improve these numbers, it is also important to note that the biggest improvement was alongside a healthy diet (Source20)

Protect Your Teeth

Many of us were taught from an early age to brush your teeth every day. However, sometimes that is not enough to get rid of the bacteria on our teeth. Bacteria can into a biofilm which creates plaque. Aside from a dentist scraping it off our teeth, plaque can be difficult to get rid of. Even fluoride and antimicrobial rinses may not be enough. The great news is a study came out with evidence to show that red wine can help get rid of the pesky bacteria. All of the solutions using red wine, even dealcoholized red wine showed almost complete and early removal of the plaque bacteria (Source21). Apparently, a glass of red wine a day could keep the dentist away too!

Wine has a myriad of health benefits, especially red wine. Research continues to show promising results in that area, even to the point of possibly using components such as resveratrol as a supplement to guard your heart, brain, and against cancer.

It blows me away how much a few fermented grapes can accomplish. However, with any alcohol, the benefits can become hazards if you drink too much. Moderation is usually defined as two glasses for men and one glass for women of five ounces of wine. Drinking more than this is not recommended as it could give you a higher risk for diseases. Wine isn’t just for looking classy anymore; it’s for keeping you healthy.

Health Benefits of Beer

Beer is the number one alcoholic drink worldwide and the third most popular drink just under water and tea. It is common for social gatherings, restaurants, sporting events, even one round of television commercials can offer various beer choices. The great thing about beer is because of its commonality, there are hundreds of varieties and options for you to choose. You can opt for a lighter beer, a stronger one, a fruity one, a spicy one, and all the variants in between. However, this is not even the best thing that I love about beer. As much diversity comes from making beer itself, there are just as many health benefits of drinking beer.

Nutrition of Beer

Beer is an alcoholic beverage typically made from a brew of water, grain, and hops which is then fermented with yeast. Usually made with malted barley, some brewers also use wheat, maize, or rice. Unique beers may also add fruits, herbs, and spices. While beer is known for its calorie content and blamed for the so-called “beer belly,” beer actually has nutritional value that is healthy for you. To begin with, beer contains protein and vitamin B, even more than wine. It also has antioxidants matching the amount of wine through the specific content differs because of the different ingredients used to produce the drinks (Source).

Beer also contains xanthohumol and related prenylflavonoids. Xanthohumol has recently been in studies as a cancer chemopreventive agent. The prenylflavonoids have shown promise in prevention or treatment of menopausal symptoms, including ‘hot flashes’ and osteoporosis (Source). These few benefits are just the beginning of what drinking beer can do.

Protect Your Heart

Out of all the research around beer, you will find that lowering your risk of heart attack is the number one research-supported health benefit of drinking beer. One study showed that past, light, moderate, and heavy drinkers experienced slower decreased in good cholesterol known as HDL. The majority of studies find that light-to-moderate drink is inversely related to the risk of heart disease. That means you are helping keep your heart healthy by drinking one beer a day or about 330 mL, an amount considered a moderate consumption. Drinking that much beer can lower your “bad cholesterol and increase your “good” cholesterol (Source). While the studies have been over multiple alcohols and one review even claims that the beneficial effects are due more to the ethanol content than the components of each type of drink, the results of a study done in China found slower HDL cholesterol decreases were greater in beer.

Prevent Gallstones

Gallstones are a rather common occurrence, happening in about one of three women and one in six men. Gallstones, form in the gallbladder, are tiny hardened deposits of bile and cholesterol. There are several causes of gallstones, including obesity, pregnancy, and some medications. However, in a study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, research suggested that alcohol may reduce the cholesterol in the digestive fluids which gallstones form from (Source). ​

Conducted with men and women aged 40 through 74 years old, the participants were studied for 14 years for signs of gallstones. What they discovered was that for every unit of alcohol consumed per week, the risk of gallstones decreased by 3%. That’s pretty incredible! Unfortunately, they didn’t specify the alcohol used, but given the large sample and the length of time, I am sure there were plenty of beer drinkers among the lot. I wonder if they knew how healthy it was for them!

Control Type II Diabetes

For those who have type II diabetes, you may be happy to hear that drinking a glass of beer every day could help you to keep in under control. For those who don’t, you might be happier to hear that a glass of beer daily can lower your risk for diabetes by 53% (Source). The most common cause of type II diabetes is a pancreas that does not make insulin properly. Beer can fight this, lowering fasting glucose and reducing insulin resistance (Source). One of the studies did find that the protective effect of the beer was more prominent among individuals who were following a strict Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats such as olive oil, and white meat such as fish. Unfortunately, the same health benefits of beer were not found for type I diabetes.

Strengthening Bones

We all know that milk is promoted for its calcium to build strong bones, but did you know that beer also strengthens bones? Silicon may sound suspiciously like a dangerous chemical, but it is actually extremely important for your bones. Silicon is needed for bone formation and for bone health. If your daily consumption of silicon is high, then you will have higher bone mineral density. So where does beer fit into this? Beer actually contains silicon and is claimed to be one of the richest sources of dietary silicon. One study measured the amount of silicon in beer which varied from 6.4 to 56.6 mg per liter. Considering you only need 5-10 mg a day, a glass of beer should contain enough. If you're looking to optimize your intake, beers derived from barley will tend to contain more silicon than a wheat-based beer (Source).

Healthy Eyes

Another beer health benefit that may come as a surprise is health benefits for your eyes. A study published in the book Comprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology found that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, including beer, lowers risks of eye diseases. Having less than 3 drinks a day will help you to avoid cataracts and other eye diseases caused by aging. The reasoning behind this actually has to deal with the oxidation process of aging. As the body ages, it receives more oxidative damage. Antioxidants protect the body from this damage. Beer not only contains antioxidants but also has been shown to increase antioxidant activity in the plasma of a cell, protecting you from the damages of aging and aging eyes (Source).

Mental Health Benefits

While excessive drinking can cause problems with mental health, studies have shown improvements in stress, mood, lowering of depression, and lowering risks of neurodegenerative diseases can be found through frequent moderate beer consumption. Most of us don’t need a scientific study to know that low to moderate beer consumption can make us feel happier, affectionate, and care-free. However, beer can also reduce stress, tension, and depression. It can also benefit other brain functions like short-term memory and problem-solving abilities (Source). Another study, looking further into the antioxidant capabilities of beer, found research supporting alcohol in the prevention of dementia and benefit oxidative stress. One further study supports these findings by also pointing to beer’s prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

Everything in Moderation

Of course, whatever the health benefits, too much of anything is a bad thing. It is important to keep moderation as a key idea when drinking beer. While there is no universally accepted standard, one to two drinks of 12 fluid ounces seems to be the most common amount. Usually women are recommended to consume less than men because of the typical difference of body-mass index between men and women. If you are going by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, then a moderate amount of beer would be two glasses for men and one glass for women of 12 fluid ounces of beer daily. The important thing to keep in mind is balancing your drinking in a way that uses the health benefits with none of the risks (Source).

Beer is full of great health benefits, especially for protecting your heart. It is full of antioxidants which protect you against the damages of aging while also providing you with protein and vitamins. While heavy drinking and binge drinking aren’t recommended and have been found to have the opposite effects of these health benefits, light to moderate drinking, either frequently or daily, can help with type II diabetes, stress, mental health, prevent gallstones, and build strong bones. Now, go enjoy your beer benefits by toasting with a glass of your favorite brand!

How To Find Cheap Flights?

If you are like me you love to travel, exploring new places and revisiting old favorite haunts. In my 20s, it was harder to fulfill my wanderlust with a lighter wallet, so I learned a few tricks to maximize my trips while minimizing the cost. In fact, traveling almost anywhere in the world is easier and cheaper, thanks to the world wide web.

A few extra clicks and tricks can save you hundreds of dollars in up front and hidden fees. If you put in a little work and have a little flexibility, these travel tips and hacks can get you on your way. Where do you want to go first? Follow my advice and hit the skies.

1. Know How to Search...

There are a number of search engines, and I've tried them all. However, all are not equal. Here are some of my favorites:

2. ...But Search in Secret!

Have you ever done a flight search, and then minutes later you check again and the prices have gone up? Does it feel like they are watching you and raising prices just for you? Well, sad to say, that is partially true. Due to the cookies in your browser prices will increase when a route is searched repeatedly. These booking portals and airlines want to scare you into booking your flight quickly. There is a way around this: do your searches incognito.

Here's how to go incognito, and it's very simple:

  • if you use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”.​
  • If you use Safari or Google Chrome, hit Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”.

This opens a new browser window where your information is not tracked, so your prices will not be inflated.

Each time you re-open an incognito window, your cookies will be reset. Then make sure you close your windows completely before doing a new search, so your previous searches aren't remembered.

3. Know When to Fly...

Planning ahead for a big trip? Certain times of the year are better than others. Generally, the cheapest times of year to fly are January through early May, and again in September through early December... generally, if kids are in school, it's cheaper and easier to fly. The most expensive times to fly are during peak summer, which is the middle of June through the middle of August. Also, Christmas and New Years are more expensive than other times.

Also, when looking at your desired location, keep in mind that during holidays and festivals travel will be more expensive. So if you are looking to save some money, don't fly to China during the Chinese New Year, to Rio during Carnival, to Dublin during St. Patrick's day, to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, for example.

4. ...And Be Flexible

You've probably heard that Tuesday is the best day to fly to save money. It used to be standard operating procedure for airlines to load their best fare at 2:00pm on a Tuesday, but now thanks to the internet fares are posted throughout the week, and at various times. Your best bet is to do a search for an entire month. The numbers won't lie: sometimes Tuesday is best, sometimes it's Thursday, sometime's it's Saturday.

To truly be flexible, log into your favorite travel website (like the ones I listed above) and enter your departure and arrival cities. Select "one-way" even if you are going round trip, as this will ensure the cheapest days. Then select "depart" and check "whole month." The cheapest option will be clear. Then do the same with your return flight as a "one-way" option.

5. Plan in Advance

Planning a spur of the moment trip to Paris? Wonderful for you, but don't expect any airline deals. If you really want a cheap flight, you need to plan ahead. Flying internationally? Anywhere from two to eight months will give you the best options. If you are flying in the continental United States, one to three months is the best time to book. If you are looking to travel during peak months, add one to two months to this timetable.

6. And Don't Wait until the Last Minute

Do last minute deals pop up? Of course? But you are more likely to be stranded at the airport without an option. Decades ago airlines would slash prices to fill empty seats in the final days before a flight. Now business travelers plan at the last minute and are willing to pay more, so those seats are held at full price (and usually claimed) at the last minute.

7. Go Out of Your Way (Just a bit)

Quick, what's the closest airport to Manhattan? Spoiler: it's LaGuardia. This Queens airport is a short cab ride from all the action in Manhattan. But maybe your travel is cheaper if you fly into JFK or Newark, both slightly further away. Or maybe if you expand outward you can get a cheaper deal. Fly into Stewart Airport (in Newburgh), or Hartford, or Philadelphia, and take a bus or train into New York. Most major cities in the United States and Europe have multiple airport options, so do your research.

If you are willing to make your journey longer, adding a couple of hours travel near your home could result in savings. For example, if you live in Washington D.C. and want to go to Berlin, you could save a lot of money by flying out of New York, Philadelphia, or Boston. A few extra hours on a train or a bus can make your flight time cheaper.

8. Pick a Cheap Airline

Every country has an inexpensive airline for travel. For example, Spirit Airlines in the United States or RyanAir in Europe are no frills airlines. Rates are cheaper, but they get you with additional charges. Checking bags, leg room that doesn't packed you like sardines, an aisle seat, early boarding, and any food options will all come with a mark up. It hasn't happened yet, but in the near future you might even be charged for using the bathroom while on a flight.

9. Layovers

How long are you willing to travel? If you really have the time, adding one or two stops to your itinerary will make your trip much cheaper than flying non-stop. That said, this advice comes with a big warning: make sure your layover isn't too short. If your layover is under three hours, any number of factors (bad weather, different terminals, holiday season) could cause you to miss your connection. And if you book your travel through a travel website instead of directly through the airline's website, your chance of a full refund or exchange is much less likely.

10. Use a Travel Agent

While they seem like a service of olden days, travel agents can help you save money if you are flexible on time and can book in advance. Travel agents have special rates that are unaccessible to the general public. Your best bet is to do your own independent research and bring your findings to a travel agent. They can tell you if they can find you a better rate. Another advantage of travel agents: they can help you extend layovers so you can enjoy a day or more in a new city, rather than just hanging out at the airport. Plus, travel agents know a lot about many places, and can offer suggestions to places you may not know.

11. Get With the Program

All airlines have frequent flyer programs. Take two minutes and sign up. There is literally nothing to lose, as they don't charge for membership. If you travel multiple times a year, you are likely to earn miles at a variety of places. Many airlines allow you to go up to two years without travel before you lose miles. Other airlines allow for you to accrue miles without ever losing miles, no matter how long you go before flights. Open accounts before every flight on a new airline, and down the road your free flights await.

With a little bit of knowledge, patience, and flexibility, you can travel the world without breaking your bank account. There are deals, freebies, and incentives for those who have flexibility with dates, airlines, and destination (and departure) cities. As long as you plan enough in advance, you can find the trip at the budget you desire. This will allow you to travel more often. Soon enough, you can be a seasoned world traveler!

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