Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Spotlight on: Spinach

  • Leafy, green vegetables, like spinach, provide more nutrients than any other food.
  • Researchers have found at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that have been known to act as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents, combating specific cancers like ovarian and prostate cancer.
  • The vitamin K in spinach provides 200% of the daily value in fresh spinach and nearly 1000% of the daily value in boiled spinach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Spinach Lasagna

2 egg whites
26 oz of prepared spaghetti sauce
24 oz of ricotta cheese
10 oz of Lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped, then squeezed dry
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated, reserve ½ cup
¾ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated and divided, reserve 2 tablespoons
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare lasagna noodles as directed on the package. Combine parmesan cheese, ricotta cheeses with the egg whites, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour ¼ cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out using a spatula. Cover the sauce with a single layer of lasagna noodles. Spread about half the cheese mixture over the noodles, and then cover with about half of the spinach and shredded mozzarella cheese. Finish this layer with half of the remaining spaghetti sauce. Add a second layer of noodles, topping with the remaining cheese mixture, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of noodles and remaining spaghetti sauce. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe: Wilted Spinach Salad

10 to 12 ounces spinach, washed and torn into pieces

¼ cup minced red onion

5 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced

2 hard-cooked eggs, 1 chopped and 1 sliced

2 to 4 slices bacon

1 to 1 ½ tablespoons bacon drippings

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place prepared spinach in a large bowl. Add onions and radishes. Refrigerate, tightly covered. Fry or microwave bacon until crisp; remove to paper towel and set aside. In a small jar or measuring cup combine drippings with sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Refrigerate all ingredients until just before serving. When ready to serve, microwave the dressing on high for 30-45 seconds. Toss the chopped egg with the greens then pour the hot dressing over greens mixture; toss again lightly. Top with sliced egg and crumbled bacon.

Keep those Arteries Healthy

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading health concerns today. We may associate heart disease with aging but the mechanisms that bring this condition start during the peak of our years. Being young does not excuse us from indulging in unhealthy eating habits. It might seem that we are indestructible going about our daily activities but just like a thief, all these habits creep into our body eating its way into our body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stick to White Meat

Meat is an excellent source of protein and it should always be a part a healthy diet. But if you’re planning to consume meat everyday then sticking to white meat is an excellent way of keeping our arteries free from obstruction. Chicken meat is a good alternative to red or fatty meat. But before reaching out to that piece of chicken on the table make sure that you stay away from the skin. Chicken skin has the highest concentration of fat.

White meat refers to meat which is literally white   in color. Examples of white meat are those from chicken, fish, shrimps and even alligator meat. Red meat on the other hand refers to pork, beef, veal, mutton or those that are red in color.

Keep away from Sugary-drinks

Sodas and other sugary-drinks are known to cause diabetes but this has also been proven to be a cause of clogged arteries. Consumption of sodas could lead to weight gain, a tell-tale sign that heart disease might already be setting in. Sodas elevates blood pressure which could damage the arteries. Sugar content could also coat free flowing fats in the blood increasing the likelihood of these getting embedded in the arteries and clogging it up.

Eat More Veggies

Incorporating more vegetables into your every diet serves two purposes, it helps clear your body from impurities and inadvertently reduces your meat intake. Leafy vegetables in particular contain nitrates which are directly sourced from the soil. This is converted into nitric oxide and important ingredient for healthy blood circulation. It prevents the formation of plaques, resists blood coagulation all essential for the normal flow of blood. People who include leafy vegetables for example could lower their blood pressure by 11mmHg in a few hours.

Fish and Omega 3 rich foods

Fish has two factors going for it, it’s considered as white meat and is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish meat is leaner and contains none of the fat contained in animal or red meat. While the fat it contains which is Omega 3 works to clear the arteries.

A healthy diet is one that does not starve us from the things we love to eat. But one that promotes moderation and eating food in the right amounts. Most diets fail simply because people find them to stifling. Rather than encouraging people to stick to a healthy diet, it becomes a constant struggle for people each day.

Eating is one of the simplest joys of life. And denying ourselves of these simple joy makes life less interesting. Just remember to eat more healthy foods and keep everything to a minimum. The body has an excellent system for eliminating wastes that if left uncontrolled could clog our arteries. The problem is when our body finds itself overwhelmed and unable to eliminate artery-clogging deposits.

Food for Thought: Stop the Snacking

Having a hard time dieting and resisting the urge to “snack” on everything you see? Most people struggle with this aspect of dieting the most, because in every social situation there seems to be food – in excess- and it’s usually unhealthy.

So if you are looking for a way to stop the snacking, perhaps you just need to do something to keep your mind off the fact that you are hungry. 

Here are some tried and true suggestions of things that you can do to avoid eating between meals or ways to avoid grazing throughout the day.

When you get the urge to “snack” try these ideas instead…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Clean out the junk drawer.
  • Paint your nails.
  • Play a game on your phone.
  • Pin 10 things on Pinterest… or more!
  • Doodle.
  • Do one thing on your “To Do” list.
  • Work on a craft project.
  • Read a book or a magazine.
  • Do one of your Pinterest pins.
  • Write in a journal or on a blog.
  • Color in a coloring book.
  • Write a “To Do” List.
  • Catch up on emails.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Do a puzzle.
  • Do 50 jumping jacks.
  • Drink a full glass of water.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Take a nap.
  • Organize/edit photos.
  • Clean out your closet.
  • Walk to the park.
  • Suck on a peppermint candy.
  • Read a food journal.
  • Do 25 crunches.
  • Create a mood diary.
  • Learn 10 Yoga moves.
  • Pin a new workout routine.
  • Work on a menu plan.
  • Chew some gum.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Walk around the block.
  • Clean the toilets.
  • Write out 50 blessings.

Spotlight on: Carrots

  • The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and a few other conditions.
  • Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits of this great vegetable. By cooking them you free the beta-carotene from the fiber, thereby allowing your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.
  • If you eat just a half cup of carrots each day you will get more than the recommended dosage of beta-carotene in your diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Creamy Carrot with Curry Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: Chopped pistachios

Heat oil in sauté pan until shimmering.  Add carrots, then onion, sauté until golden brown (about 7 minutes).  Reduce heat and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking about 10 minutes longer. Add curry and sauté a minute longer. Add broth and simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.  Using a blender, puree in a blender for about a minute.  Return to pot and add enough half and half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float the pistachio garnish.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe: Banana Zucchini Carrot Bread

  •  2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and pour into large bowl.  Add bananas and mash.  Add grated zucchini and shredded carrots.  Mix well. Add sugar, vanilla and beaten egg.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt, and mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Pour in 4×8 loaf pan to two large muffin pans.  (Yields one loaf or 12 large muffins.) Bake loaf for 60 to 75 minutes.  Bake muffins for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Food for Thought: Anti-aging Foods

Aging is a difficult thing… and it can be tough on your body.

Even when you make the appropriate food choices and exercise, it still may feel like you aren’t doing enough to reverse the physical signs of aging.

Because there is no “Fountain of Youth” we offer you these foods that contain vitamins and nutrients that contain anti-aging properties.

Add some of these foods to your daily diet and see what difference they make for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flaxseed – full of DNA-boosting omega 3s, zinc and selenium

Spinach – contains antioxidants Vitamin A and C

Grapes – antioxidant polyphenols, resveratrol, aids in cell repair

Red snapper – high in omega 3 fats that reduce oxidative damage to cells

Almonds – high in antioxidant Vitamin E and a great source of zinc and iron

Oysters – contains the antioxidant selenium as well as DNA-boosters Vitamin D and zinc

Canola Oil – contains Omega 3 fats as well as antioxidant Vitamin E

Collard Greens – great source of Vitamin A, folate and fiber, which are all linked to longer DNA strands

Dark Chocolate – contains the antioxidant resveratrol that is thought to fight aging cells

Bell peppers – antioxidant beta carotene and Vitamin C help in DNA repair

Guacamole – great source of telomere-lengthening Vitamins E and C, and folate

Peanut Butter – full of DNA-improving nutrients: Vitamin E, folate, and resveratrol

Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Plums

  • Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.
  • Eating plums, which come from the same fruit family as cherries and peaches, helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.
  • Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Plum Salsa and Basmati Rice

1 ½ cups of water

1 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained

¾ pound plums, pitted and chopped

½ medium red onion, minced

3 habanero peppers, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro

1 teaspoon sugar

¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Place water in medium saucepan and stir in rice. Bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and fluff with fork.  In a bowl, mix the plums, peppers, onions, cilantro and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-heat. Place chicken in oil and brown 1 minute per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 additional minutes per side.  Serve over rice with plum salsa.

Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad

½ cup water

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

15 seedless grapes, halved

½ orange, sectioned

10 fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 apple, cored and diced

1 peach, sliced

1 plum, pitted and sliced

15 pitted Bing cherries

¼ cup fresh blueberries

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the rhubarb, turn heat to low, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.  Mash and chill in the refrigerator about one hour.   To serve, mix the grapes, orange, strawberries, apple, peach, plum, cherries, and blueberries with 2/3 cup of the rhubarb sauce.  Stir gently, but thoroughly to coat.  Refrigerate for at least two hours for all of the flavors to blend well.

Heart Health 101: Obesity and Heart Disease

It’s a well-known fact that being overweight increases your chance of being at risk of many chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  But research shows that even a small amount of weight loss can lessen your risk of falling victim to these deadly diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research also shows that, unfortunately, eating just 100 more calories a day than you should, can cause your body weight to be in the obese category and not just the overweight category.

To determine whether you are overweight or obese, use a BMI Calculator.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI between 30 and 39.9 is considered obese.  If your BMI is greater than 25 and you are older than 30 years old, you should strongly consider losing weight to reduce your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

Food for Thought: Coconut Water is All That

You have seen people drinking it on the subway, in the elevator, at the gym and maybe even in those posh cafés and grills, but what’s the big deal about coconut water?   Well, that’s easy, coconut water is incredibly healthy and one of the best drinks to hydrate the body.  And besides aiding in digestion and helping to remove harmful toxins from your body, coconuts have anti-viral, anti-microbial, AND anti-fungal properties that can help cure disease!

Coconut water is low in carbohydrates, low in sugars and is 99 % fat free.  Many nutritionists are calling coconut water the “sports energy drink” of today’s day and age because it is naturally good for you and full of the vitamins we need to ward off fatigue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When compared to sports drinks, coconut water:

  • Contains more potassium, about 294 mg.
  • Has less sodium, at about 25 mg.
  • Has 5 mg of natural sugars.
  • Is very high in chloride at 118 mg.

(Data based on a 100 ml size drink.)

Because coconut water contains organic compounds possessing healthy growth promoting properties, drinking it has been known to help the following:

  • Raise your metabolism.
  • Boost your immune system.
  • Promote weight loss.
  • Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
  • Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  • Naturally replenish your body’s fluids after exercising.
  • Detoxify and fight viruses.
  • Boost poor circulation.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Cleanse your digestive tract.
  • Treat kidney and urethral stones.
  • Balance your pH and reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu, herpes and AIDS.
  • Orally hydrate your body; it is an all-natural isotonic beverage.

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Carrots

  • The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and a few other conditions.
  • Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits of this great vegetable. By cooking them you free the beta-carotene from the fiber, thereby allowing your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.
  • If you eat just a half cup of carrots each day you will get more than the recommended dosage of beta-carotene in your diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Banana Zucchini Carrot Bread

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 extra large egg

1 cup sugar

3 medium bananas

1 cup chopped zucchini

½ cup grated carrots

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and pour into large bowl.  Add bananas and mash.  Add grated zucchini and shredded carrots.  Mix well.

Add sugar, vanilla and beaten egg.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt, and mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Pour in 4×8 loaf pan to two large muffin pans.  (Yields one loaf or 12 large muffins.)

Bake loaf for 60 to 75 minutes.  Bake muffins for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Let cool and serve.

Recipe: Creamy Carrot with Curry Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ pounds peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 pinch salt

3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced

2 tablespoons curry powder

3 cups chicken broth

1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Garnish: Chopped pistachios

Heat oil in sauté pan until shimmering.  Add carrots, then onion, sauté until golden brown (about 7 minutes).  Reduce heat and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking about 10 minutes longer. Add curry and sauté a minute longer. Add broth and simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.  Using a blender, puree in a blender for about a minute.  Return to pot and add enough half and half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float the pistachio garnish.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Oil 101: Choosing the Best Oil for Your Colon

In a recent animal study, it was found that diets that included canola oil rather than corn oil had less of a chance of growing colon tumors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the reasons that gives canola the edge is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, where corn oil is higher in omega-6 fatty acids.  In the animals tested, researchers charted the size and number of colon tumors and tested their blood for its fatty acid amount.  When comparing animals whose diets contained corn oil verses canola oil, the animals whose diet included canola oil had fewer tumors and much smaller tumors on average.

While researchers will next attempt this same study on humans, researchers and nutritionists alike agree that only good can come from including more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.