Rich in protein, dietry fibre, omega-3, complex carbohydrates and micronutrients such as vitamin k, magnese and folic acid.
A perfect snack or entree, they can be eaten on their own straight from the pod with compliments of a pinch of sea salt. Also fantastic in stir fries and sushi rolls.
Edamame is available frozen at most fresh-food grocery store, and is always available at Japanese restaurants and take-aways. Try them out today!
Super Benefits of…
- Promotes proper digestion, and soothes indigestion
- The strong aroma is a quick remedy for nausea
- Regular use of fresh mint is very good for asthma, relief of congestion, but over dosage may irritate
- Mint oil is a great antiseptic, good for skin, itching and infections
- Kills harmful bacterial growth in mouth causing bad breath!
- Enzymes may help cure cancer
I’ve had a few people ask me some questions about raw foods lately, so I thought I’d answer some of the most common queries as much as I can. I’ve done a lot of my own research on this topic though I’m not a nutritionist so I encourage you to do your own research too; there’s so much information…
A lot of what we eat can contribute to keeping our body properly hydrated on a daily basis. Here are some great ideas of foods which hydrate that you can easily incorporate into your diet if you haven’t already!
The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also…
Snag a few avocados, smash the crap out of them, throw in some lime juice, tomato, onion and salt and go insane.
It’s National Guacamole Day!
Avocados (fruit) have 20+ vitamins and nutrients, contain “good” fats that reduce cholesterol and battle cancer, as well. Often referred to as a…
Health experts agree that we need to eat more whole grains for optimal health. But most people don’t know what whole grains are. They have been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity, but knowing the health benefits doesn’t help you find them in your local grocery store or learn how to cook with them.
The Definition of Whole Grain
Every grain starts as a whole grain when it grows from the earth. This whole grain (actually the seed or kernel of the plant) has three parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm.
- The bran is the outer skin of the seed that contains antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber. (You may have heard of wheat bran or oat bran, which are available in stores and are common ingredients in certain cereals.)
- The germ is the “baby” of the seed, which grows into a new plant when pollinated. It contains many vitamins, along with protein, minerals and healthy fats. (You may have seen jars of toasted wheat germ in stores, which can be added to a variety of foods to boost nutritional content.)
- The endosperm is the seed’s food supply that provides the energy needed for the young plant to grow. The largest portion of the seed contains carbohydrates, and smaller amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals.
So a whole grain is one that contains all three parts of the kernel.
When grains are processed and refined (the most common practice for making breads, cereals, pastas and flours), the bran and germ are removed, leaving behind the white endosperm. During this process, grains become less nutritious, losing 25% of their original protein content and 17 other essential nutrients. While manufacturers then “enrich” the flour with some vitamins and minerals, a naturally whole grain is still a healthier choice. Compared to refined grains (white bread, white rice, white flour), whole grains pack more protein, fiber, vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin E), and minerals (magnesium and iron), as well as some antioxidants not found in other foods.
Types of Whole Grains
Common types of whole grains include:
- Wild rice, which is actually a seed
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
- Oatmeal and whole oats
- Whole rye
Less common types include: amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum and triticale (a hybrid of rye and wheat).
Adding Whole Grains to Your Diet
New dietary guidelines established by the U.S. government in 2005 recommend that half of your daily grains servings should be whole grains. That’s at least three servings of whole grains per day.
The easiest way to increase the amount of whole grains you consume is to substitute some processed grain products with their whole grain equivalent. This is as simple as having a slice of whole grain toast in the morning instead of using white bread, or using whole wheat flour in pancakes instead of white flour. If you’re making homemade soup, toss in a handful of brown rice or barley for added fiber. Make your dessert a healthy one, such as oatmeal cookies, and you won’t have to feel guilty—you’re eating whole grains!
While at the grocery store, be extra careful reading food labels. Words such as multigrain, stone-ground cracked wheat or seven grain don’t necessarily mean the product is made with whole grains. And color doesn’t mean a whole grain either—some brown breads are simply white bread with added caramel coloring. The Whole Grain Council created an official packaging symbol in 2005 called the Whole Grain Stamp to help consumers find whole grain products. But until use of the stamp is used widespread, look for the word “whole” near the top of the ingredients list. (For example, the first ingredient of whole grain bread or cracker should be “whole wheat flour”.)
Besides switching to whole wheat bread, you can easily add whole wheat pasta and brown rice to the menu to increase your consumption of whole grains. Whole wheat pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and appears to be a darker beige color than regular pasta. You can find it in the pasta section of both natural food and regular grocery stores. If you’re not going to eat it right away, you can store an unopened package for six to eight months in a cool, dry cupboard. Whole wheat pasta is prepared the same way as regular pasta (but usually takes a couple extra minutes to cook). To ensure that the pasta isn’t mushy, rinse it off under cool water to stop the cooking process. One cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has about 200 calories and 4 grams of fiber.
Brown rice is healthier than white rice and has significantly more nutrients. The refining process that transforms brown rice into polished, white rice strips away most of the vitamins and minerals and completely removes all of the fiber and essential fatty acids—basically leaving only the starch behind. White rice must be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron, but at least eleven lost nutrients are not replaced at all. Brown rice is a concentrated source of fiber, which speeds up the removal of cancer-causing substances from our bodies. It is also an excellent source of selenium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. You can find quick-cooking “instant” brown rice, which are parboiled to speed cooking time. Because of this pre-cooked process, they are slightly lower in nutrients than regular, slow-cooking brown rice, which can take up to an hour to cook. However, look for microwavable pouches of brown rice on the shelf and in the freezer section. These are still high in nutrients and cook in minutes!
Studies Prove the Benefits of Whole Grains
A 2006 study by Tufts University showed that people who consume the most whole grains are 42 percent less likely to develop diabetes. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people with a diet high in whole grains showed a lower risk of both diabetes and heart disease. In 1997, the FDA authorized the claim that the soluble fiber in oats reduced the risk of coronary heart disease; this approval was extended in 2005 to include the fiber in barley as well.
Whether you want to reduce your risk of disease or you simply want to eat fewer processed foods, adding whole grains to your diet makes sense. So the next time you sit down to watch a movie, bring along a bowl of popcorn and snack with a clear conscious. Whole grains couldn’t be tastier!
It’s hard to believe that, a couple years back, I didn’t even know what juice was.
My dad was thinking about buying a juicer, but the guy at the store said that he had to make sure he liked juice before he bought one. I just didn’t get it. When I thought of juice, I thought of the fruit juice…
September 1, 2011 - Super Foods. Inspired by the documentary Food Matters.
Superfoods from the Food Matters Website
- Wheat Grass
- Barley Grass
- Wild Blue-Green Algae
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Goji Berries
- Raw Cacao
- Coconut Oil
- Royal Jelly
- Bee Pollen
- Aloe Vera
“Superfoods Everyone Needs” from Webmd
Blueberries - High in potassium and vitamin C, lowering risk of heart disease, cancer while also being anti-inflammatory. The darker the berry, the more antioxidants. This doctor recommends about 1/2 cup every day. Frozen berries are just as good as fresh.
Omega 3-Rich Fish - Most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish, look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Other forms of omega-3’s are available in fortified eggs, flax seeds and walnuts. These are also high in monounsaturated fats [wiki] which can lower cholesterol.
Soy - A study in 2003 demonstrated that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barely, almonds and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. To get a good dose of soy eat tofu, soy milk and edamame (as opposed to soy powder). Note: If your family has a history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.
Fiber - Eating fiber will maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, making you feel full longer which is helpful in weight management. Get fiber from whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. Beans are great in any form, though canned beans tend to have more sodium than necessary.
Tea - A study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn’t. Some studies have found that ECGC, the antioxidant found in green tea, can inhibit growth of cancer cells.
Calcium - Calcium builds strong bones and prevents osteoporosis, and may also help with weight loss. From Age 19-50 the recommended level of daily calcium is 1,000 mg.
Dark Chocolate - Packed with antioxidants which lower blood pressure. Chocolate should have 60% or higher cocoa content, the darker the better.
10 Everday Superfoods from WebMd
Should be noted that all superfoods should be consumed in reasonable portions. As an example, nuts are a terrific source of nutrients, but eating too many of them will result in weight gain.
- Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt - Higher in calcium than some other dairy products and includes protein and potassium, including probiotics that balance the bacteria in your gut. Alternative to this is skim milk.
- Eggs - Eggs contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline [wiki] which is good for brain development and memory. According to various studies, persons who eat eggs in the morning are more likely to eat fewer calories during the day.
- Nuts - Though nuts have high fat content, their protein, hearth-healthy fats, high fiber and antioxidants make them a superfood. Portion control is important when consuming nuts on a daily basis. An ounce a day is good enough!
- Kiwis - One of the more nutritionally dense fruits, as they are full of antioxidants. One kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C, and is a good source of potassium, fiber, as well as a decent source of vitamin A and E. Kiwis also have a mild laxative effect due to their high fiber content.
- Quinoa - One of the best whole grains you can eat as it is high in protein, fiber and iron. Contains plenty of zinc, vitamin E and selenium to control weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
- Beans - Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol as well as soluble fiber which fills you up and helps your body get rid of waste.
- Broccoli - Rich in vitamin A, C, K and contains plenty of fiber.
- Sweet Potatoes - Packed with vitamin A, C, calcium and potassium. In the same line are pumpkins, carrots, butternut squash and orange bell peppers.
- Berries - Loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Problem solved: convert your friends vegan <3