Foods, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

nutsandseeds

Nuts and Seeds for a Healthy Weight and a Long Life

Nuts and seeds are healthful, natural foods that are full of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. Although the myth that nuts and seeds are fattening has persisted, the research suggests that nuts are actually beneficial for weight loss. In any case, it’s not the fat content of a diet that makes it healthy, it’s the nutrient content. And based on their nutrient content, nuts are a health-promoting source of calories.

 

Nuts and seeds are nutritionally important. Nuts and seeds contain a spectrum of micronutrients including LDL cholesterol-lowering phytosterols; circulation-promoting arginine; minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and selenium; and antioxidants, including flavonoids, resveratrol, tocopherols (vitamin E), and carotenoids.

 

Eating nuts and seeds reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that nut consumption is beneficial for heart health. Eating five or more servings of nuts per week is estimated to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 35%.1 Eating nuts and seeds protects against sudden cardiac death and reduces cholesterol and inflammation.1-3

 

Nuts and seeds aid weight loss. Someone who is trying to lose weight should not be trying to avoid nuts; in fact, in obese individuals, adding nuts to the diet aided in weight loss and also improved insulin sensitivity, which could help to prevent or reverse diabetes.4 Nonetheless, nuts should not be eaten to excess. Nuts and seeds are high in nutrients but also high in calories, so they should be eaten with consideration for one’s caloric needs. One ounce daily is usually appropriate for women trying to lose weight and 1.5 – 2 ounces for overweight men. Nuts and seeds of course should be eaten in larger amounts for the slim, highly physically active people who could use the extra calories.

 

Nut consumption may enhance lifespan. In the Adventist Health Study, a number of lifestyle factors were found to be associated with longevity. Those who had a high level of physical activity, followed a vegetarian diet, and ate nuts frequently lived on average 8 years longer than those who did not share those habits.5 Similarly in the Nurses’ Health Study, nut consumption was identified as a dietary factor associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancers.6 New research continues to confirm these observations.7

 

Each nut and seed has a unique nutritional profile that lends unique health benefits:

 

Almonds are rich in antioxidants. In one study, people ate either almonds or a snack with a similar fat profile each day for 4 weeks, and the subjects who ate almonds showed reduced oxidative stress markers.8

Walnuts. Diabetics who ate walnuts daily for 8 weeks experienced an enhanced ability of the blood vessels to dilate, indicating better blood pressure regulation.9 There is also evidence that walnuts may protect against breast cancer.10

Pistachios and Mediterranean pine nuts have the highest plant sterol content of all the nuts; plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, and help to lower cholesterol levels.11 Pistachios reduce inflammation and oxidative stress as well as cholesterol.12-14

Mediterranean pine nuts contain a specific type of fatty acid that has been shown to curb appetite by increasing hormones that produce satiety signals.15

Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and hemp seeds are especially high in protein, making them a helpful food for athletes.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and may help to prevent prostate cancer.16

Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E and contain a lignan called sesamin; lignan-rich foods may protect against breast cancer.17-19

Nuts and seeds are best eaten raw. Nuts and seeds should be eaten raw or only lightly toasted. Roasting nuts and seeds forms a potentially harmful compound called acrylamide, and reduces the amounts of minerals and amino acids.

 

Also, remember that eating nuts and seeds with leafy greens can enhance the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients from the greens, so a nut-based salad dressing is an excellent way to absorb more nutrients from your salads.20

 

 

Please share with family and loved ones:  If you need assistance with any of your health needs or concerns, please call us and we will be happy to help.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 14

312-972-WELL

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

There is More Sugar in Yogurt than a Twinkie!

yogurttwinkie

There is More Sugar in Yogurt than a Twinkie

 

Yogurt, made the traditional way, is one of nature’s many health foods. Milk from organic grass-fed cows, rich in calcium, protein, beneficial fats and other healthy nutrients, is fermented using live cultures, resulting in a wholesome, live food teeming with beneficial microorganisms.

 

Yet giant food corporations, led by General Mills (Yoplait) and Groupe Danone (Dannon), and now joined by others including Walmart and PepsiCo, have managed to turn this health food into junk food.

 

Many yogurt products on store shelves today are marketed as healthy, but a close inspection of the ingredients list and a look behind the scenes at how the ingredients are produced—the food’s “fine print”—paint a very different picture.

 

Conventional yogurt is produced with milk from cows that are nearly always confined and unable to graze on pasture, and given a feed containing genetically engineered grains. During the making of yogurt, chemical defoamers can legally be added to conventional milk. And with the addition of artificial sweeteners or high doses of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, synthetic preservatives and the gut-wrenching thickener carrageenan, many yogurt products are essentially junk food masquerading as health food.

 

These products are marketed as healthy in part by displaying the “Live and Active Cultures” seal, which supposedly assures a high level of beneficial microorganisms, also known as probiotics.

 

The seal is found on nearly all conventional yogurt by popular brands owned by corporations such as General Mills and Groupe Danone. No organic yogurt uses the seal. However, testing by The Cornucopia Institute, performed by a food-processing center at a land grant university, revealed that many organic farmstead yogurt products without the Live and Active Cultures seal actually contained higher levels of probiotics than conventional yogurt with the seal.

 

Consumers tempted to choose products that display the Live and Active Cultures seal over products without it would be wise to reconsider that option.

 

Cornucopia’s analysis of yogurt also found that many conventional yogurt products on store shelves are not really yogurt at all. The FDA has a “standard of identity” for yogurt that specifies which types of ingredients can and cannot be added to a product labeled and sold as “yogurt.” Artificial sweeteners, preservatives and artificial nutrients other than vitamins A and D do not appear on this FDA list. It is puzzling how any product containing these ingredients can be marketed and sold as “yogurt.” This includes most of the Yoplait, Dannon and other conventional brands, as well as most store label brands, including Walmart’s Great Value.

 

The addition of these ingredients is not simply a question of legality; it also raises an important question about the healthfulness of the food. Many ingredients found in yogurt may cause adverse health impacts.

 

For example, research has linked the artificial sweetener aspartame to brain tumors and neurological disease in laboratory animals. Carrageenan, a food thickener, has been shown to promote colon tumors and cause inflammation and digestive disease in laboratory animals. Artificial colors have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. These ingredients and others commonly found in yogurt have no place in a food marketed as healthy.

 

Because it costs more to produce, organic yogurt must be pricier at the check-out, right? Not always. General Mills’ Yoplait Go-Gurt costs more per ounce than many organic brands, despite containing milk from conventional, confined cows fed GE corn and soybeans, rather than milk from grass-fed cows. Go-Gurt, a “fruity” drinkable yogurt in a tube marketed to children, has no actual fruit but tastes and looks like it does due to artificial flavors and colors that require a warning label in other countries. The sweet snack also contains carrageenan, a known gastrointestinal irritant, along with artificial preservatives and synthetic nutrients.

 

In another example, Chobani, a conventional “Greek” yogurt, was priced higher than five different organic brands at a Boston-area Whole Foods Market. (This was before Whole Foods dropped the brand reportedly for using milk from GE-grain-fed cows while marketing itself as “natural.”)

 

Yogurt is big business. Consumers spend $73 billion on this food staple globally and $6 billion in the U.S., where individuals eat an average of 13 pounds of the creamy stuff each year. No wonder Big Food dominates this market; corporate players include General Mills (Yoplait), Group Danone (Dannon, Brown Cow, 85% of Stonyfield Farm), PepsiCo (Muller), Dean Foods (Alta Dena, Berkeley Farms, Meadow Gold), WhiteWave (Horizon, Silk), and the Hain Celestial Group (The Greek Gods, Healthy Valley, Earth’s Best).Consult Cornucopia’s forthcoming Yogurt Scorecard to see how these corporate brands stack up against independents such as Nancy’s, Organic Valley, Kalona, Wallaby Organic and Clover Stornetta, and regional brands such as Butterworks Farm, Seven Stars, Straus, Hawthorne Valley Farm and Cedar Summit. (Teaser: Cedar Summit Farm, a 100% grass-fed dairy in Minnesota, produces yogurt with more omega-3 fatty acids and 20 times as much of the healthy fat CLA as Chobani, according to independent lab tests.)

 

Cornucopia’s forthcoming report outlines the various reasons why people should choose organic yogurt over conventional. The USDA Organic seal on a yogurt product is much more important, in terms of healthfulness, than the Live and Active Cultures seal, the “Greek” label or any other marketing claim or label. In essence, all that is required for making healthy yogurt is organic milk and live cultures.

 

The Cornucopia Institute encourages eaters and food retailers who buy yogurt to purchase minimally processed, organic brands. By doing so you will be supporting organic farmers, sound environmental stewardship, humane animal husbandry, and good health for our families and communities.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you or your family is suffering with a health condition or disease, we will be happy to help you to do the most you can to reverse this condition,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 14

P Carrothers

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Pumpkins are not Just for Halloween

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Pumpkins are not just for Halloween.

Pumpkin has always been a staple in the autumn kitchen, but in I challenge you to take a better look at this amazing, vitamin packed, all natural food, and re-think its versatility in your cleaner-eating lifestyle.

Mostly pumpkin is associated with desserts or sweet treats; making it seem more like a fruit but in fact it is a member of the squash family.

Pumpkin beta-carotene content

The bright orange colour of pumpkin gives away that it is jammed pack with beta-carotene. This anti-oxidant has been linked to helping ward off certain cancers. Although pumpkin is not a high source of fiber, it is packed with vitamins A & C and is fat free!

The nutritional breakdown of pumpkin makes this vegetable a wise, raw choice in baking. And did you know that it can be used instead of fat in many of your favorite recipes?! My mouth is watering just thinking about the possibilities!

Freeze pumpkin pie filling, can I?

Unfortunately, fresh pumpkin is not available year-round. Although canned options are available, why not bake and freeze your own pumpkin for baking and cooking throughout the year? It is one of the easiest things I have ever done in the kitchen… really!

How to prepare pumpkin for freezing

Carve open and hollow out your pumpkin as if you were making a jack-o’-lantern. At this point, try roasting the seeds for a healthy snack or to use in other recipes such as home-made granola bars.

Now simply cut the pumpkin in pieces or large “chunks” and place skin-up on baking sheets. Bake in the oven like any squash until a fork easily slides out through the skin.

After removing the pumpkin from the oven and it is completely cooled scoop out the pulp with a spoon into 1/2 cup or 1 cup freezer bags. Using a straw, remove all of the air out of the bag as it is being sealed and write the date on with a permanent marker.

You are now well stocked with portions of pumpkin ready to use in your favorite recipes including soups, cookies, muffins, and yes, even the occasional pie. Natural, and preservative free pumpkin… got to love it!

Do you know someone you might like to share this with?

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Tomatoes and Men’s Strokes

tomatos

 

Tomatoes and Strokes in Men

Sauced, stuffed, deep-fried, or au natural – tomatoes are a key part of many people’s diets. Now, new research suggests that eating this juicy fruit and its products could lower the risk of stroke in men, making it much more than a delicious ingredient. Other foods that are known to lower stroke risk, in MEN, are chocolate, whole grains, citrus fruits, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, leafy greens, and fish.

Do you know someone who could benefit from this information, please share.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

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Foods, Uncategorized

Exquisite Pizza Sauce

pizzasauce

Exquisite Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

1 6 ounce tomato paste

6 fluid ounces warm water

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons honey

I teaspoon anchovy paste, optional

¾ teaspoons onion powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients making sure to break up any clumps of cheese especially.

Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors, spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desire.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: S Dillon 2014

312-972-WELL

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Pickled Beet Recipe

pickledbeets

 

REFRIGERATOR PICKLED BEETS

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: at least 24 hours
Makes about 14 (small batch) or 70 (large batch) small pickled beets
    SMALL BATCH

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can beets, preferably small beets (see TIPS)
    LARGE BATCH

  • 1 cup (220g) water
  • 1 cup (230g) apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of cloves, optional
  • 4 or 5 15-ounce cans of beets, preferably small beets

In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and cloves to a boil.

While the pickling liquid heats, drain the beets. If the beets are large, cut into bite-size pieces, irregular chunks are better than even slices (see TIPS). Place the beets in a large glass container with a lid (see TIPS). Pour the hot liquid over the beets. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving, up-ending every so often if the beets aren’t completely submersed.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per small beet/per 3.5 beets (assumes half the pickling liquid is absorbed by the beets): 10/36 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 58/205mg Sodium; 2/8g Carb; 0/1g Fiber; 2/7g Sugar; 0/1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS WW Old Points 0/.5, WW PointsPlus 0/1 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving, 10 beets; 50-calorie serving, 5 beets.
Adapted from a 1964 issue of House & Garden, as published on Epicurious asSwedish Pickled Beets. Since 2005,Swedish Pickled Beets have been a top-visited recipe on my food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.
Foods, Uncategorized

Taco Soup

tacosoup

 

Taco Soup

 

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef, or ground turkey

( It is also good mixing ground turkey and Italian sausage)

1 envelope taco seasoning

1-1/2 cups water

1 can (16 ounces) mild chili beans, undrained

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomato with green chilies

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, optional

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

 

Directions

In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6-8 servings (about 2 quarts).

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived TOH:1998

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Italian Tortellini Soup

totellinisoup

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup Recipe

 

Ingredients

3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed

1 medium onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1-3/4 cups water

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2-1/4 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 3/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash crushed red pepper flakes

Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

 

Directions

Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven; add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

Add tortellini; return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese if desired.

Freeze option: Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth if necessary. Yield: 6 servings (2 quarts).

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived TOH 2008

 

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Cheeseburger Soup

cheeseburger-soup_exps_thn16_2832_d06_22_4b

 

Cheeseburger soup

 

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground beef

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup diced celery

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 package (16 ounces) Velveeta process cheese, cubed

1-1/2 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

 

Directions

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, beef and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

 

 

If you need to stay away from dairy products, instead of milk use ¾ c of heavy cream mixed with ¾ c of water, or chicken broth.  Use a cheese that is not processed, or half Velveeta and have non processed.

 

There is always a way around dietary restrictions, call us if you need help.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived TOH: 1996

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Pumpkin Peppers

pepperspumpkins

Stuffed Peppers
 
4 bell peppers your choice of color
2 cups Mexican rice (Rice-a-Roni works great)
1 shredded chicken breast from the above recipe
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
 
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, rinse peppers, slice off the tops and hollow out the insides, be sure to remove any seeds and the white part inside. If desired, use a small paring knife to cut out a jack-o-lantern face. When water is boiling, put the peppers and tops in and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until peppers are tender. Remove from water and set aside to cool. Mix the cooked rice, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, and black beans together in a large bowl. Fill each pepper with the chicken and rice mixture and top with extra cheese, if desired. Replace pepper top back on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and pepper is done to desired tenderness. Alternately, once peppers are stuffed, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, when ready to cook, preheat oven to 350, remove plastic wrap and bake for 1 hour.