Posts Tagged ‘nutrients’

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

Cacao….for chocolate addicts!

My new favourite treat for these cold days is to mix 1tsp of cacao powder into half a mug of almond or soy milk with 1/2-1tsp of Natvia. Zap in the microwave for 1 minute. Then add boiling water. Mmm delish!

This healthy treat is packed full of goodness. Cacao 10 times more antioxidants then green tea, wine and blueberries. It also helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced and is one of the richest sources of chromium and magnesium. 

Organic Road is the brand I prefer. It is certified organic, 100% Australian owned and has no added nasties. It’s available at Healthy Life health food shops.

 

 

Aloe Vera Juice

Most of us would be aware of the healing properties of aloe vera when applied topically to the skin for problems such as burns.

Aloe vera is also available as a drink and manufacturers claim that it is a powerful elixir.
However, results from a small number of scientific researches shows that it may actually lead to problems of the gut.

The internet is full of pro and con articles about whether aloe vera juice is beneficial or not. I’ve given it a try, having about 30-50ml a day. I haven’t noticed any ill effects and actually think it has soothed my stomach a little. As always, everything in moderation…we’ll see what happens!

The brand I decided to try was this one



 

 

You can buy it at Coles Supermarkets. It was the most reasonably priced one I could find that didn’t have hidden nasties such as sugar and chemicals.

Health Tonic

My new favourite health tonic…..for the days that you need a pick me up!

Juice:
Half a lemon
One or two knobs of ginger (depending on how strong you want it)
A handful of baby spinach leaves
5 pieces of celery
2 cucumbers
Small bunch of mint leaves

Then mix the juice with a tablespoon of Vital Greens and about 50ml of Aloe Vera Juice. Water it down to the strength that suits you. You should be able to get 3-4 glasses once watered down.

This tonic is also great if your stomach is feeling a bit funny or if you feel like you might be coming down with a cold.

Super Charged Food

I was recently given a copy of the Super Charged Food recipe book. Its packed full of tips and ideas to live and eat a wholesome diet and lifestyle.

It’s based on the principal that Food is Medicine (absolutely agree! Even had a uni subject by the exact title).

Lee Holmes, the author, also has a a website full of great and inspiring ideas. It’s http://www.superchargedfood.com

 

Some of my recent favourite receipts soon to be posted!

Chocolate!

I love chocolate! DARK chocolate! And luckily for me it has health benefits. I also try to go sugar free.

My lovely in-laws took me on a chocolate tour this weekend and we spent a couple of hours sampling delicious chocolotier chocolates.

Chocolate that has health benefits is fresh, has a high % of cocoa (70% or more) and few added ingredients, such as sugar.
The great thing about dark chocolate is that it is so rich that you only need a little to be satisfied!

 

Holly Cinnamon!

I LOVE Cinnamon. Especially in winter with it’s warming qualities.

It is also super healthy. It helps control blood sugar and cholesterol. It has antimicrobial benefits and is good for nausea and an upset stomach. It can help boost the performance of insulin, contains Iron, Vitamin K, Manganese, Calcium and fibre. Wow!

Use it in muffins, stews, tea, biscuits, breads and with honey as a face mask.

Essential Nutrients

I was recently reading the Australian Guide To Healthy Food (an excellent magazine! Highly recommend it!) and came across a page that summarises what we really need and aren’t usually getting enough of. A simple article but a great reminder!

Salads

Summer is a great time to include delicious and nutritious salads in your diet. Use the following info to help add variety to your salads and maximise the nutrients you are getting.

Milk 101

There are so many types of milk; cows, soy, oat, rice, almond, full fat, low fat, skim…the list goes on.

So what’s what and which one is best for you?

Type Info Pros Cons Something to consider….
Full Fat Cows Milk Traditional form of milk. Either fresh or longlife.

Most of the milk available in grocery stores is both pasteurized and homogenized. Even though pasteurization alters the quality and nutritional value of milk.

Source of protein, zinc, calcium, Vitamins A & B and Iodine.

One of the best sources of calcium available.

Products are available that are closest to the source, natural and fresh which maintains there

Higher saturated fat content that most other types of milk.

Can be difficult on digestion for some people.

Skim milk goes through extra processing to remove the fat……how much milk do you drink in a day? Is it better just to have the real deal?
Skim/Low fat milk. Cream, with its heavier fat content, settles to the bottom of storage tanks if the milk is allowed to sit for a short period of time. 
Once the separation occurs, a machine simply pushes, or skims, the lower-fat milk off the top. This is how skim milk gets its name. The lighter 1% and 2% milks are made in the same manner, by skimming lower-fat milk off the top. Additional steps separate the milk and fats to reach the targeted fat percentage. Lower fat content. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, its concentration in milk is reduced through the removal of fat.
Soy Milk Generally made by soaking and grinding soy beans. Lactose and cholesterol free.

Research has seen links between soy intake and decreased risk of certain cancers.

Lower source of calcium so look for calcium enriched.

Be aware of genetically modified (GM) products.

A dairy free alternative for those that are lactose intolerant.
Oat Milk Oat Milk is made from oat groats (hulled grain broken into fragments), filtered water, and potentially other grains and beans, such as triticale, barley, brown rice, and soybeans. Cholesterol free. Low in fat.

Research has shown it can lower cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Not the best milk to cook with.
Rice Milk Rice milk is made by pressing the rice through a mill stream using diffusion to strain out the pressed grains. It is sometimes also made at home using rice flour and brown rice protein, or by boiling brown rice with a large volume of water, blending and straining the mixture.

Be sure to look for sugar free varieties.

Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic of all milk products. People with lactose intolerance or casein allergy cannot have dairy, and those with soy or nuts allergies cannot drink soy or almond milk. Rice milk contains a generous supply of balanced nutrition for those who are not able to tolerate other milk alternatives. Since rice is highly starchy, so is rice milk. One cup of rice milk contains 33 grams of carbohydrates, 3 to 4 times the amount in milk or soy milk. If you have diabetes, rice milk may cause a sudden sugar overload. Therefore, you may be much better off drinking cow, soy or almond milk.

Remember……Variety is the spice of life! Using a range of milks will expose you to a greater number of nutrients. Try different types and listen to your body!