Friday, April 18, 2014

Pump up the Pumpkin

Its fall's signature squash, and almost all of it is edible- fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds. The flesh is rich in antioxidants and vitamins including beta-carotene (essential for eye health), fiber, and vitamin K (which may reduce risk for some types of cancer)

The seeds; known as pepitas are also good for you.  One ounce (about 140 seeds) is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, and studies are now saying they can help prevent the enlargement of the prostate glad.

Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food among many Native American tribes, who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties. In South America, the popularity of pumpkin seeds has been traced at least as far back as the Aztec cultures of 1300-1500 AD.  

Today, China produces more pumpkins and pumpkin seeds than any other country.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oh Oh Oh Oats

Some people look at a bowl of oatmeal and go "blah", but those humble unassuming little flakes have some big benefits!

One cup of oats provides 6 g of protein and 4 g of fibre.  Eat just one cup of oats and you can rack up nearly 70% of your daily needs for manganese, a mineral that helps enzymes in bone formation. (You'll also get good helpings of vitamin B1 and magnesium.)

They fill you up.  They help reduce cholesterol.  They are diabetes friendly.  They support healthy digestion.    They are great for cooking.  They are quick and easy to prepare.

I love my oats with a little bit of maple syrup, cocount flakes and plump juicy raisins... ummmm oats

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nuts about Nuts


Not only are they packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, they are very tasty.  In alphabetical order here are my top 4:

ALMONDS - calcium-rich almonds are a good choice to ensure you're getting enough of this bone-building mineral and are high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin.

BRAZIL NUTS - are great for people with low thyroid function, they are a good source of the mineral selenium, which we need to produce the active thyroid hormone. Selenium also supports immunity and helps wounds to heal.

CASHEWS - are a great choice for vegetarians because of their protein, iron and zinc.  They're also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss.

PISTACHIOS - are rich in vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced, (pistachios are a good women with problem periods) and their shells can be used for crafts :)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

it does a body good!

Milk can come from many different species of animal, with cow, sheep, and goat milk being the most popular. There are also many "milk alternatives" available now, such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk and more. Cow's milk also comes in many varieties including flavored varieties like strawberry or chocolate, lactose-free milks, milk with added omega-3s, hormone free or organic milks and reduced fat milk.  And there are even some who drink human milk!  (personally I'm a coconut girl)

One cup of milk is considered one serving. The nutritional breakdown of milk depends on the fat content. Whole milk, with 32.5% fat contains 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein in one cup. One cup of nonfat or skim milk has about 86 calories, 0 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein

Milk is a source of 9 essential nutrients:

  • Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass
  • Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue
  • Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy
  • Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones
  • Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
  • Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
  • Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
  • Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids

Interesting fact: Cleopatra took milk baths to help her skin stay soft and glowing.

Monday, April 14, 2014

La La La Lemon

As a child, lemons were not my friend - eww bitter!  But now that I'm all grown up, I like the tangy flavor it adds to cookies, chicken and grownup drinks :)

The fact that there are many health benefits of lemons is a bonus. The little lemon has big antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and are often used as a weight loss aid (lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser).  Lemons contain many substances--notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene--that promote immunity and fight infection.

Bet you didn't know that the Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kale

Kale, aka borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. This leafy green, is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties and shares its family tree with vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale chips are a new staple in our house.  Kale is also the main base of my morning juices :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jalapenos

Jalapenos are a variety of chili pepper.

Jalapenos are mostly available green, turning red as they mature. These peppers contain a negligible amount of calories, with only 4 calories in one pepper. They also have less than a gram each of protein and fat and just 0.91 gram of carbohydrates in a serving, making them a good choice for low-carb diets.  PLUS they are wicked tasty!

Did you know:  according to studies, chili peppers can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, that is the key brain pain transmitter. 

-  quick shout out to my youngest sister who is celebrating her birthday today!  Happy Birthday Heather!