Nutrition

Asparagus is delicious and packed full of Nutrients–April 19, 2011

Asparagus contains folate, rutin and glutathione.  Glutathione is helpful for healthy liver function. Gluthathione is a small protein composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. Nutrition researchers have regarded it as the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body. 

Asparagus is one of nature’s true food heroes as a source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Asparagus is also packed in the naturally occurring phytochemicals of glutathione, rutin, and folic acid. Rutin is important for healthy blood vessels. Asparagus, next to orange juice, is regarded as the second best whole foods source of folic acid. Folic acid is known to lower the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, liver disease, and spina bifida.Please check out this link, it’s amazing all the goodness in asparagus. This link lists all the benefits http://healthmad.com/alternative/health-benefits-of-asparagus/  I love asparagus and eat it all the time. I will be posting some easy recipes soon under the “recipes” tab. I know that asparagus has some cancer fighting agents and I feel this might have been beneficial in my HcG levels coming down. 

Funny Fact: not everyone, but depending on your genetic makeup, after eating asparagus your urine may smell funny.  In fact, it’s the result of a simple chemical reaction. Asparagus contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan. (It’s also found in rotten eggs, onions, garlic, and in the secretions of skunks.) When your digestive tract breaks down this substance, by-products are released that cause the funny scent. The process is so quick that your urine can develop the distinctive smell within 15 to 30 minutes of eating asparagus.
 

Tofu–Why we need it!–April 16, 2011

It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. Tofu is a great addition to many types of food.  A lot of times you won’t even know it is the recipe b/c it really does take on the taste of whatever it is you are making.  It has a consistency of meat (somewhat), so if you are new to being vegetarian/vegan or just don’t feel like meat, your senses will be tricked.  It is made of soybeans and water, but is packed full of nutritional value. Most restaurants now offer tofu in place of shrimp, chicken or whatever. Give it a try! It had a bad rap for the way it tastes, but now a days there are many good tofu companies out there. You’ll never know if you don’t try!

How Berries Pack a Punch and all the Health Benefits–April 15, 2011

This is a little early, but it’s a nice spring-like day here and I’m ready form some summer berries.  Try to eat local as there is usually a lot less chemicals on them. Enjoy the read!

Written by Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger, MPH, RD of HealthCastle.com

After a long winter of dutifully fulfilling your fruit intake with apples, bananas and oranges, summer berries are a long-awaited treat. During the warmer months, when berries are in season, you can enjoy all the benefits these tiny fruits have to offer – and you may be surprised to learn how much more they have to offer than sweet delicious flavor.

 Berry Good Health Benefits

You’ve probably heard the buzz about the health benefits of phytonutrients – naturally occurring compounds found in plants. There are hundreds of known phytonutrients, and some have antioxidant properties that can help improve immune function and reduce the risk for chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Since phytonutrients are most concentrated in the peel or skin of fruits and vegetables, berries – with their edible skin and high skin-to-fruit ratio – are an especially concentrated phytonutrient source. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries all have particularly high ORAC scores (ORAC is a scientific measurement of antioxidant content) and are four of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants. The blueberry has the highest ORAC score of all the berries.

Berry benefits don’t stop at chronic disease prevention. A low-calorie, high-fiber choice, berries make a satisfying snack or addition to any meal. You can also find nutrients like folic acid and vitamin C in abundance in berries. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that a serving of strawberries has even more vitamin C than an orange!

Tips for Enjoying and Preparing Berries

When you’re shopping, select berries that are firm and deeply colored. (Berries with deep, vibrant color are packed with even more phytonutrients.) Avoid berries with moldy spots, and to best preserve the fruit, don’t wash it until you are ready to eat it.

Berries can be eaten on their own or tossed into yogurt, smoothies, breakfast cereal, or fruit salad. Try adding berries to a green salad for an interesting, delicious twist on the conventional supper side dish. Or, puree berries with a touch of ground chipotle pepper for a sweet and spicy glaze on roasted meats.

Local Berries are the Best

When possible, purchase berries from local farm markets during the growing season. In the US, finding your local farm market should be easier than ever, since there are now more than 3,700 farm markets – more than twice as many as there were in 1994. Since fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients soon after they are picked, local produce provides the most nutrition because of the reduced time between harvest and consumption. Plus, freshly picked berries have unbeatable flavor on top of their extra health benefits. If you have kids (or you’re a kid at heart), a trip to the pick-your-own berry patch is a fun way to gain a broader appreciation for produce – and, of course, to taste your own freshly picked bounty. But hurry – berry season doesn’t last long!

The Bottom Line

Though small in size, berries pack in big benefits. A low-calorie treat full of fiber and chronic-disease-fighting antioxidants, berries are always a healthy and versatile choice. Berries that are consumed closest to harvest time are the most nutritious and taste the best, so choose local berries when you can.

By:  Jackie Burrell on April 13, 2011

 Quinoa Revolution: Sprinkled in salads or piled like pilaf, queen grain of the Inca is a delight

Sprinkled in salads or piled like pilaf, the queen grain of the Incas is a delight.

It’s official: Quinoa has achieved cult status. The ancient Incan grain has captured the public’s imagination with its mix of nutritional superpowers, delicious flavour and rainbow colours, popping up on trendy restaurant menus and holistic health websites.

With all nine essential amino acids, it’s a complete protein — like meat — which makes it the Holy Grail of the vegetarian world. And, it’s gluten-free.

“It has an incredible cult following,” says Alex Postman, editor-in-chief for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine and website, where quinoa is one of the top search terms. “It’s so nutritionally packed. But the first time I cooked it, I said, ‘What is up with this?’ I was not a quinoa connoisseur.”

That’s because there are a few small, but simple tricks for turning that bag of tiny seeds into a gustatory wunderkind. First, quinoa needs to be rinsed before use, to eliminate the bitter coating that surrounds each seed. Overcook it or use too much water, and quinoa loses its marvellous, fluffy texture. And then there’s the colour — black quinoa cooks into inky hues and red stays richly vibrant. That can be a perk or a liability.

Postman’s first quinoa escapade resulted in a terminally soggy side dish — and instead of ricelike appeal, her red quinoa was unexpectedly assertive in flavour. The darker the colour, she says, the nuttier the taste.

“It comes in a spectrum of colours, from white to pink, orange and black. I would advise first timers to start with the lighter types, because those are a little blander,” she says.

That blandness makes quinoa a perfect palette for creation.

“I’ve come to love it,” says Postman. “It’s so versatile. You can add pesto or a vinaigrette or leftover roasted veggies. It’s a really great vehicle for flavour.”

Professional chefs use quinoa in a wide range of ways. Charlie Ayers, the former Google chef, uses quinoa in soups, stuffing and salads.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Wheatley
    May 16, 2011 @ 17:16:01

    My story may be a bit different than most, in that my husband and I have been trying to conceive for over 10 years now (both diagnosed healthy, with the exception of low sperm count for hubby due to vericocele). Earlier this year (2011), we had pretty much given up hope of ever “getting pregnant” and started to look into Fostering. About 3 weeks or so ago, I started feeling consistently bad. Constant headache, frequent nausea, no energy . . . and spotting instead of an actual period. After week 1 of this, I took a home test (negative), but in the weeks that followed, I increasingly felt worse. Spotting turned into occasional discharge (old blood) and last Saturday, hubby convinced me to take another home test. First test positive (and keep in mind this is the first time in my life and after using no contraception for 10+ years). Hubby and I bothin disbelief, so he bought an additional 5 tests (diff brands) from the drugstore. All positive. Woke up the next day feeling worse. No bleeding anymore at this point, but extreme nausea and unable to keep even water down. Assumed standard (just more severe) morning sickness. Happily called my regular doc for appointment for blood test the following Monday (5/9/2011). She told me at this point she had no doubt I was indeed pregnant and it was all hubby and I could do to get home without getting in a car accident. After a few hours at home, started bleeding. Immediately called my doc and she advised I go to the ER immediately. After blood tests, ultrasound, and pelvic exam, was told officially “you have what we call a complete molar pregnancy.” OB/GYN on staff at the ER fully explained what this meant and since my bleeding was uncontrollable at this point (words cannot even begin to expres how bad), she advised I go in for D&C that night. I am now on the 4th day after the D & C. Physical pain is minimal. Emotional pain still in hiding. Bleeding (post D&C)already almost non-existent. Just trying to remember to breathe and wondering just when this will really hit me. Scared about the cancer risk and the unknown (I go on Monday, 5/23/2011 for 1st appointment post d&C). Regular doc called today to tell me that my TSH levels (granted, she did my bloodwork the day I got the D &C) are dangerously low (hyperthyroidism). Scared I will never again see a positive pregnancy test. Angry that I will have to wait at least 12 months to regain even a little hope in my heart. Oddly, somewhat grateful for the whole experience because at least I now know I can get pregnant (had lost all hope of even that). New emotion every 2 minutes. Will this ever get better?

    Thanks in advance for this blog. Feeling very alone right now.

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  2. inspirehealth16--Suzanne Williams
    May 17, 2011 @ 00:20:45

    Jennifer,
    I wrote you personally to your e-mail. I sent a long response on how to cope, things to try and a little of what to expect. I started this blog for this reason. I wanted to give molar pregnancy a voice, someone to talk to who has experienced this. After reading my personal e-mail to you, please feel free to stay in contact and ask anything you want. I look forward to talking to you more.
    Suzanne

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  3. Cristina Mares
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 13:47:21

    Hi reading your blog has really motivated me. I had a cmp in 6/11/12 and d&c 6/18/12. Hcg went to 17 but back up to 51 in a few weeks. I was started on chemo 3 weeks ago IV which brought me to 18. Still on treatment. Im 25 & have a 4 yr son.

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    • Inspiring Life--Inspiring YOU!
      Oct 03, 2012 @ 21:56:48

      I’m so happy that reading my blog has motivated you. That is the whole reason I started writing was b/c I felt so alone, like no one had a clue what was going on. I needed to speak out and help others. Give them something to read and feel good, ok, not alone while going through this life changing ordeal. I hope you will continue to drop, I’m sure you will, stay strong and let me know how you are doing. I wish you the best and thanks for taking time to write in.
      Suzanne

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