Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

The healthiest vegetable award goes to…

Watercress!

watercress

 

A recent study (William Paterson University, America) found that watercress is the most nutrient rich vegetable (nutrients such as fibre, Vitamin D, A etc per 100 calories)

Nutrient density is not a new concept. For those familiar with the concept/theory of ‘Functional Foods’ you would be aware of the health and healing properties of various fruit and vegetable groups, such as, the cruciferous group. This is a great concept for using food as medicine and healing (and preventing disease!) through the use of food.

What’s the easiest way to include more watercress in your diet? Salads! Easily add a handful to any of your usual salads or sprinkle a small amount over meats, pastas and pizzas.

How did the other fruits and vegetables rank? See below! (Source: Time)

Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47

Healthy Gummy Treats

Enjoy eating lollies such as gummy bears but looking for a healthy alternative? Try fruit & vegetable gummy treats!

It’s as easy as….
1. Making 1 1/2 cups of juice (poured into a small pot). I made my juice by blending the ingredients in a food processor rather then a juicer to ensure I didn’t lose any nutrients.
2. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of gelatine or agar and allowing it to sit for approx 5 minutes before stirring through the gelatine/agar and ensuring it is mixed well
3. Gently heat the mixture through over the stove for a few minutes to ensure the gelatine/agar is completely dissolved-do not allow to boil!
4. You can add some honey or a tablespoon of Vital Greens/Spirulina powder etc if you wish
5. Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and slice tin. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to set.

The gummy treats I made below are kale, parsley, cucumber, kiwi fruit & lemon with vital greens added.
You can try any combination….just think about what you would put in your favourite juice!

gummy

Smoothies

Looking for a quick snack that packs in a stack of vitamins and minerals?! Here’s some ideas….

Simple Green Smoothies (http://simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge) has a fantastic monthly challenge where they send you great recipes (and the shopping list you will need) for delicious smoothies!

 

Some of my favourites to add to smoothies are…..

Goats Yogurt
Great source of calcium and the amino acid tryptophan and excellent anti-inflammatory. 

Maca Powder
Supports the endocrine systems and hormonal balance

Bee Pollen
A complete food containing B Vitamins and high in protein

Avocado
Great way to add extra good fats to your diet



 

Organic Produce

I recently tried produce from an organic food company and was very happy with the loot I received! The quality was great and it felt good to know that I was eating locally grown and sustainable food.

So it got me thinking…..what really are the pros and cons of organic produce?

Pros of Organic Foods

  • Enhancement of soil quality;
  • Some research finds that organic foods are richer in certain nutrients;
  • Although taste is subjective, there is a school of thought suggesting that organic food is more appealing to the tastebuds;
  • Ensures humane treatment of animals;
  • Increases land biodiversity;

Cons of Organic Foods

  • Generally more expensive;
  • Although, there is a greater demand and supply of organic food, it is not as readily available as conventional foods.  In saying that, however, big grocery chains are now beginning to stock a wider range of organic foods;
  • Organic fruits and vegetables are produced according to the seasons, making it more difficult to purchase a specific food when needed at any time of the year.

Pros of Conventional Foods

  • Cheaper;
  • Greater supply all year round;
  • Can be purchased at any grocery outlet;
  • Readily available.

Cons of Conventional Foods

  • Toxic residues;
  • Negative effects on the environment;
  • Does not have animal welfare at the forefront of its farming methods;
  • Some research suggests that conventional fruits and vegetables may not be as rich in nutrients as organic foods;
  • Often conventional foods have been stored in cold rooms for many months.
If you live in the Melbourne area, I highlight recommend Organic Origins. They deliver and there are a range of fruit and vegetable boxes as well as other organic food products that they deliver.

Another plug for fruit

I think fruit sometimes gets a bad rap due to it’s sugar (fructose) content. There is a place for fruit in our diets and provides many nutrients. Two pieces a day is all you need (and I don’t mean as a juice! WHOLE pieces of fruit….not juice!) Eat fruit that is in season for optimum nutrient content and as I have said in so many other posts….have variety!!