Category Archives: Healthy Foods

Thirty Minute Meals – Sweet Spicy Salmon

I watch the cooking channel for ideas on how to make their dishes nutritionally better. The Kitchen, a segment of the Food Network channel, had a recipe for sweet and spicy salmon – a thick coating of brown sugar and a dusting of cayenne pepper on both sides of the fish.

I could not wait to make this unusual combination. Just imagine, sugary fish! Remaining

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Brain Nourishments

The expression “senior moment” implies that we associate impaired memory with old age. However, studies have shown that neurons regenerate into old age and new synapses are formed all the time. The adult brain has 100 billion nerve cells or neurons, with branches that connect more than 100 trillion points. It is a neuron forest whose synaptic connections form the basis of memories, thoughts and feelings.

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Health Benefits of Watermelons

The round, green ball with an unparalleled inner sweetness is so much part of summer that without its presence we would never take our jackets off. As soon as we see watermelons on the stands, we know the season is here to head to the beach armed with cooling thirst-quenching watermelons.

The pink inside holds a ton of nutritional gems such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and one important amino acid, citrulline.  And we thought watermelons are merely sugar and water with little black seeds.

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Fennel For Healthy Bones

Fracturing a bone is a painful experience especially if surgical repair is needed. Breaking my wrist, made me all too familiar with it. Since this mishap, the possibility of another fracture has put me on high alert for anything that can lessen the chance. I am always on the lookout for foods that promote bone strength and health.

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Nutrition Benefits of Seasonal Vegetables

Organic tomatoes have arrived at the farmer’s markets. One can tell by their distinct smell and taste so different from tomatoes we find for sale in the winter.

Out of season, tomatoes are grown in hothouses, hydroponically or imported from other countries. Some are genetically modified to withstand shipping and storage while others are picked green and allowed to ripen with ethylene gas.

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Nutritionally, these tomatoes are inferior. They contain some vitamins and minerals, but their phytochemical profile is lacking because the plants grew without sun; therefore, they lost the opportunity to develop health-promoting antioxidants through photosynthesis.

Tomatoes on local growers’ stands are a far cry from these. They are the real vegetable, or fruit as far as the tomato is concerned, ripened by the sun on the vine and grown in healthy, well-fertilized, organic soil. These tomatoes offer their nutritional wealth to fight cancers, protect the heart and bones and prevent neurological diseases.

Tomatoes have numerous health benefits. In addition to vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E and manganese, tomatoes contain antioxidants such as lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, which are extensively studied.

Lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene protect eyes from macular degeneration. The benefit of lycopene for prostate health has been studied and substantiated in scientific literature.

To quote from PubMed’s study, “numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes, and, conceivably, complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes. They consistently lower risk of cancer for a variety of anatomic sites that is associated with higher consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products adds further support for current dietary recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption”.

Tomatoes also contain rutin and quercetin in their nutrient make-up. Rutin preserves and strengthens vascular health whereas quercetin is routinely used during allergy season to reduce inflammation. It is also used for conditions of the heart, gout, chronic infections and cancer.

All vegetables and fruits contain phytonutrients, in particular polyphenols, similar to the ones in tomatoes. Red, blue and purple colored fruits and vegetables are especially high in this group of antioxidants.

Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds in plants that have been found to have different actions. For example, isoflavones in soy, also called phytoestrogens, prevent natural estrogen from binding to receptor sites. As plant estrogens, isoflavones mimic natural estrogen and thereby can reduce the risk of cancer in estrogen-driven breast cancers.

Plant chemicals act as enzymes that make estrogen less effective and by that also reduce risks of breast cancer. Others prevent stimulation of cancer cells and strengthen the immune system by neutralizing free radicals. There are thousands of them, but the complexity of plants leads us to believe that there are even higher levels of these nutrients yet to be discovered.

Nature offers an abundance of plants to preserve and maintain superior health. To be adventurous and experiment is the only requirement necessary to find ways for incorporating their use as food when the seasons present them.

The food we eat fills all of the body’s needs. This includes the gamut of our emotions as well, both positive and negative. Chemical messengers and electrical impulses stimulate organ systems to produce different chemicals that affect our emotions. The release of endorphins makes us feel happy when we experience joy, but overstimulation of endorphins is never a problem. When the event has passed, the body stops the endorphin output and emotions have calmed.

Negative feelings caused by continuous stress, grief, anxiety, anger and depression will release adrenalin, cortisol and nor-epinephrin producing the fight or flight response. While these chemicals course through the body, we are on high alert causing blood pressure and heart rate to rise while breathing becomes heavy. When stress is reduced and conditions return to normal, these chemicals subside. But if stress remains, the process continues. Sometimes, even when normalcy has returned, the body cannot turn off because negative emotions are remembered and leave long-lasting scars.

Fear, anger, grief, shame and disappointment create lesions along neural pathways that disrupt normal energy flow. Holding on to these feelings eventually produces toxins, which lead to disease. It is easy to believe that all illnesses have their source in negative emotions and over time, if left unresolved, settle in the physical body as disease.

It is not a new way of thinking that negative emotions cause sickness and premature ageing. Galen, a physician during the Roman Empire called diseases from emotions “non-naturals” or “the passions or perturbations of the soul”.

Even emotions that we think of as having been created in some part of the brain are biological reactions of a chemical nature. The body uses food for its metabolic processes everywhere including the brain. Even in cases of dementia, food containing B vitamins is recommended and B vitamin supplements used as treatment.

Whether we feel happy or sad comes down to the kind of fuel put into the body. Sugary foods can make us temporarily feel good, but not for long. Vegetable and fruit carbohydrates, good proteins and fats sustain energy. When energy is produced with real food, the body works like a well-oiled machine. A well-fed body can weather negative emotions, resolve them thus avoid devastating diseases. Life does not always run smoothly. We are equipped to handle stress and even a little stress is good on a daily basis. But it becomes a serious issue when negativity lingers unresolved. Look to the power of real food as a first step toward healing.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424325

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10050865

 

 

 

Thirty Minute Meals – Mung Bean Sprouts

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Organic mung bean sprouts are nutritious members of the legume family. As sprouts, they are very low in calories, high in fiber,  vitamin C and vitamin K, some B vitamins, iron and manganese. They are very easy to digest, unlike beans.

Everybody loves pasta, but we deny ourselves this indulgence because we fear carbohydrates and calories.

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Foods For Detoxifying Heavy Metals And Dioxins

Nutrition AdviceThere are ways to detoxify from environmental toxins as for example chelation therapies with specific supplements or IV drips. It is advised to consult a health practitioner or medical doctor when attempting a serious program because protocols have to be strictly observed. This applies also to detoxifying with foods. Dislodging toxins can be very harmful if not disposed of properly.

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Healthy Foods – Asparagus

It is April and asparagus is in season. Although a spring vegetable,  but available all year long due to technology and easy transportation, it never tastes as good as it does when in season fresh from the farms or farmer’s markets. Who does not love asparagus even if it makes pee smell funny?

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Fagopyrum Esculentum – Buckwheat

Always looking for gluten-free food? Try buckwheat. It is another good alternative when running out of ideas. Besides this advantage, it has so much more to give.

Buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat, it is not a grain, but is used as such. It is a fruit seed, similar to rhubarb.

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