Showing posts with label nutritional facts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nutritional facts. Show all posts

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beet It!

I don’t know about you, but beets were never at the top of my “Yummy Foods” list.   Don’t get me wrong, I love pickled beets, but the idea of eating a raw beet never held any real appeal.   If you’ve ever had a bite of this richly colored root veggie then you know it has a very "earthy," but sweet flavor, which may appeal to some, but never big in my book.

health benefits of beets
Beets and beet greens fresh
from the garden!
So why would I choose to write about it and sing its merits?  Long story short… my liver was in trouble.   I am a petite person, who grew up in a very toxic area of our great nation.   My liver has fallen victim to the huge amount of toxins we live with in our world today.  Raw beets are one of the natural solutions to my overloaded detoxification system.

Beets Cleanse the Body

They are the perfect tonic for the liver.  Beets work as a blood purifier, and may help prevent various forms of cancer (Journal of the American Nutrition and Dietetics). This was all I needed to know.  My "beet adventure" was on!  Then I learned of the beet's nutritional value and the many other benefits it has to offer and I knew it was just what my body was asking for.

Beets are high in vitamins and minerals, so let’s talk about the health benefits of beets and beet juice.

  • Magnesium - this is your chill out and relax mineral. It helps everything in your body to let out a big sigh and say, "ahhhhhh". Use the tops in particular for this one.  Beet green's nutrition rich tops, like many greens, are loaded with this "chill-lax nutrient." 
  • Potassium - is essential for proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Those are some major players, as far as your body goes. 
  • Fiber - how regular are you? A question plaguing Americans today. It's a little secret we all keep to ourselves, but regularity can be a real challenge. "Beets anybody?" 
  • Phosphorus - great for building strong bones and teeth. Also crucial in helping your bodies utilize fats and carbohydrates. Try a new beet recipe to help improve the strength of your teeth, bones, and body. 
  • Iron - feeling tired? Iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.  Drink some beet root juice and feel the benefits. 
  • Vitamins A, B, and C - build strong eyes.  Help yourself maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscle tone, and boost your immune system. 
  • Beta-carotene - a powerful anti-oxidant. 
  • vegetables health
    These organic beets
    are full of vitamins and minerals!
  • Beta-cyanine - gives beets their color and is a disease-fighting antioxidant.   It may also be the key that helps in fighting cancer. 

You Can't Beet It for Nutritional Value

  1.  Beets Can Contribute to Your Mental Health

  2. Betaine, which is used in certain treatments for depression, can be found in the nutrition list for beets.  You can also eat beets to relax your mind and body.  You see, it contains tryptophan, which contributes to a sense of well-being.

  3. Beets can be used to test stomach acid levels

  4. If you’ve ever eaten a lot of beets or beet juice, you may have noticed a pink hew to your urine.  What could this mean?  It could be a sign of low stomach acid.  Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels.  Try it for yourself at home.  Juice some beets with some apples, carrots, and maybe a stalk of celery and see what happens.

  5. Beets are a great Energy Booster

  6. Try some beet salad recipes; cook up some beets; or just learn how to eat beets.  They are low in calories and high in sugar… a great energy boosting combination.  Not to mention, they are filling with few calories… a good recipe for losing a few pounds, which also contributes to an increase in energy levels.
beet recipe
Fresh beet juice with carrots and cucumber!
Yummmm!
The beautiful color of beets also reflects their rich concentration of health-promoting phytonutrient antioxidants, which add free-radical protection to your healthiest way of eating.  They are also rich in folate and manganese.

I’ve learned there are many fantastic tasting ways to eat, drink, and experience beets.  I challenge you to go on your own beet adventure!  You may be surprised, as I was, how much you really can love eating these richly colored, vitamin packed, sweet tasting roots of the earth.  Here is a beet recipe to try!

15-Minute Beets (courtesy of http://www.whfoods.com)
Prep and Cook Time: 5 minute prep; 15 minute cooking
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium beets, about 3" in diameter
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Optional:
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 TBS chopped dill
  • 1 TBS chopped chives
  • 2 TBS Feta cheese
Enjoy!

Gwendolyn Adams
First Level Raw Nutrition Certification
Advanced Practitioner of Health through Nutrition, Exercise and Education
Yoga, Cycling, Group Exercise and Personal Trainer Certified

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plum Healthy

Plum nutritional benefits
Fresh plums from the local farm!
My personal motivation for knowing so much about what foods have to offer is based on my quest for health.   Good health is something that most people take for granted, but there are those of us that are more “health challenged”.   Therefore, getting the most from the foods we eat becomes imperative.  So for those who need, or would like, to take their health; energy level; and external beauty up a notch, I invite you to learn about the benefits of what you are putting into YOUR body.

As I have studied through the years and continue to do so, I am amazed at all the wonderful fruits, we have that can help us live better in so many ways.  This includes the many benefits of eating Plum Fruit.  The plum tree can produce many different colors of plums like:  yellow, green, purple - also known as red plum fruit.  The plum nutritional benefits really are worth knowing, so here is a quick rundown:
  1. Eating plums may reduce your chances of contracting heart disease… the number one killer in this country.   Plums have certain cleansing agents that keep the blood pure and prevent complications of the heart.  That one plum nutrition fact is a “biggy”. 
  2. Ladies, this next one is good for you to know, in particular, because we lose this mineral each month during our fertile years.  Consumption of plums, and prunes, helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body.  This also leads to improved blood circulation, which increases the growth of healthy tissues.  And for those of you who struggle with anemia, eating plums may be even more helpful. 
  3. Researchers have found that plums have anti-cancer agents that may help prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors in the body.  With cancer rates on the rise, eating “on purpose” becomes even more important. 
  4. Fresh plums are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.  Consumption of foods high in vitamin C help body in resisting infectious agents; decreasing inflammation; and in scavenging harmful free radicals.  The benefits of vitamin C are so extensive, I could dedicate the whole blog to the merits of eating foods rich in this nutrient. 
  5. A piece about plums, or prunes-the dried version of plum fruit, would be incomplete if we didn’t bring up the dreaded subject of “constipation.”  There are compounds in plum fruits, such as the fiber and sorbitol, that are known to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system.  So drink your prune juice “regularly”...and you’ll stay that way, too! 
  6. Plum juice concentrate has also been shown to be effective in preventing and reducing human influenza A, so drinking this during "flu season" may be a great first line of defense. 

Savory plum recipes

The plums nutritional benefits can be found in more than just the fresh fruit.   I would be remiss if I didn't wrap this up with a list of some of the wonderful plum recipes using this fabulous fruit:
Plums Fruit
These bit sized plums are a sweet snack!
  • Plum sauce
  • Plum Wine
  • Plum Pudding
  • Prune Juice
  • Plum Compote

Wash your fruits first

Please keep in mind, conventionally-grown stone fruits (ex: plums, apricots, pluots) are often coated with a petroleum-derived wax containing a fungicide to prolong their shelf life, a chemical substance that simply cannot be washed off!  And that is in addition to any pesticides that may have been sprayed during their cultivation.  Whenever possible, seek out organically-grown plums.  That way you ensure the farmers who grew plum trees and other fruit trees are dedicated to sustainability, your health and the quality of their product.  And you are supporting local farmers in your own community!

There are many more health benefits to eating the delicious, succulent Plum Fruit.  So the next time you take a bite into a fresh plum be sure and take the time to pat yourself on the back for making a wise and healthy choice.   Let’s add plums to our grocery list!

Here is a great recipe I found on the web because as we approach fall - any type of fruit crisp smells and tastes so good.

Raw Plum Crisp by Diane Stobo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF63ezSd-5g


Gwendolyn Adams
First Level Raw Nutrition Certification
Advanced Practitioner of Health through Nutrition, Exercise, and Education
Yoga, Cycling, Group Exercise and Personal Trainer Certified