Tag Archives: antioxidants

Family Kitchen: Grilling to reduce carcinogens

Lisa Says: We love to grill and these are great tips to make it even healthier based on a UCLA grilled-burger study published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition last May.   Enjoy the article.
Family Kitchen: Grilling to reduce carcinogens

By by Kim O’Donnel, USA TODAY        Updated // < ![CDATA[
document.write(niceDate("05/24/2011 7:44 PM"));
// ]]>05/24/2011 7:44 PM
 
Like a [...]

Lisa Says: We love to grill and these are great tips to make it even healthier based on a UCLA grilled-burger study published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition last May.   Enjoy the article.

Family Kitchen: Grilling to reduce carcinogens

By by Kim O’Donnel, USA TODAY        Updated 05/24/2011 7:44 PM

 

Like a lot of other American dudes (and I apologize for generalizing, but grilling is by and large a dude thing), he’s setting his sights on the upcoming holiday weekend and a summer of flame wrestling.  Meanwhile, I plot how to make our summer grilling expeditions a tad more healthful. My guy is one open-minded eater who’s eating more plants and whole grains these days, but when he dons that grilling hat, it’s all about the meat, baby.

 

But here’s the thing about grilling meat that we’ve known for a number of years and conveniently ignore when we’re romancing our grates: It makes chemicals that cause cancer. In a nutshell, high heat applied to animal protein makes carcinogens called Heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Add meat drippings to the mix, which create smoke, and you get a mess of polcyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

For advice on scaring away the nasties, I turned to my friend Wendy Bazilian, a Southern California-based dietitian, author and all-around nutrition smartypants. She had one word for me: polyphenols. Translation: These are the disease-fighting antioxidants found in fruit, vegetables, tea, wine, soybeans and, intriguingly, herbs and spices.  Continue reading »
Leave a comment

Antioxidants help arteries stay healthy in people at risk for heart disease

Lisa Says:  This is convincing clinical research showing the health benefits of antioxidants related to heart disease, and even diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and high blood pressure.  The study used supplements which can also easily be found in fresh foods. The conclusion from the research posted by the National Institute of Health said, “Antioxidant supplementation significantly [...]

Lisa Says:  This is convincing clinical research showing the health benefits of antioxidants related to heart disease, and even diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and high blood pressure.  The study used supplements which can also easily be found in fresh foods. The conclusion from the research posted by the National Institute of Health said, “Antioxidant supplementation significantly increased large and small artery elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This beneficial vascular effect was associated with an improvement in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as decrease in blood pressure.”   I’m attaching the summary from Natural News (easier to understand!) and the link to the research is included. So get going on you’re fresh fruits, veges and such !  (HINT: the less cooked the better and best in ‘raw’ form).

 Antioxidants help arteries stay healthy in people at risk for heart diseaseThursday, July 22, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer,  NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews) Antioxidants are substances that protect cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to environmental toxins and radiation. Free radicals are believed to play a role in heart disease, cancer and other disorders. So it makes sense that antioxidants could help protect or even treat many health problems. Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Top 10 Most Hated Foods Kids Should Eat

Lisa Says: great article here on foods we should be eating but generally don’t because we THINK they don’t taste good (au contraire!). While at the national GreenFest in DC recently, we heard noted pediatrician Dr. Greene speak on food ‘imprinting’ which is how we got to eating the foods we do and how to [...]

Lisa Says: great article here on foods we should be eating but generally don’t because we THINK they don’t taste good (au contraire!). While at the national GreenFest in DC recently, we heard noted pediatrician Dr. Greene speak on food ‘imprinting’ which is how we got to eating the foods we do and how to get ourselves, AND KIDS, ‘retrained’ to eat tasty nutritious foods – but that’s the next post. Enjoy the article from Men’s Fitness magazine.
10 Most Hated Foods
And why you should be eating them right now

by Ryan McKee

http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/293

Children are expected to say things like, “I don’t eat eggs, ever.” Or, “Liver? Gross!” However, when adults do it they better have a severe allergy or a convincing health, political, or environmental argument to back it up. Not liking a food, no matter how it’s prepared, makes you seem like an unworldly country bumpkin. On a first date, it tells your companion that you’re unadventurous and unhealthy because your diet rarely strays far from the beaten path.

Most of us developed these food phobias during childhood, but it’s never too late to get over them. In fact, foods many people hated as children not only provide essential nutrients for adult bodies but they house a potpourri of savors, tangs, and zests. Here are the most common “ick” foods that are actually incredibly good for you—and tasty.

1. BRUSSELS SPROUTS
It’s easy to hate these mini-cabbages without even trying them. They’re the knee-jerk low-water mark for kids. The bitter taste, odd texture, and vague aroma of feet are enough to scare anyone off. However, the same qualities are attributed to fine cheeses.

Health benefits
Very high in fiber and protein, it can be a filling but low-calorie side dish. Scientists also believe the vegetable may protect against cancer because it’s rich in indole—a phytochemical—and vitamin C.

Learn to like it
Buy fresh Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk. These will taste much better than the frozen. Slice each one down the middle and cook them in extra-virgin olive oil with freshly chopped garlic on the stove. Salt and pepper to your taste. To “gourmet-it-up,” add walnuts, shallots, grated cheese, and bacon in moderation.

2. BROCCOLI
These “mini-trees” pack a healthy dose of vitamin K that you typically find in leafy green vegetables. No wonder children view florets with contempt; they represent the antithesis of Snickers bars. However, broccoli can be a man’s best friend. Simple to prepare, it’s a filling side-dish or quick raw snack.

Health benefits
Vitamins C, K, and A are all represented in spades in broccoli. As well as being high in fiber, it has multiple anti-cancer nutrients such as diindolylmethane and selenium. The diindolylmethane is also known to fight other viruses and bacteria. In studies, men who eat a lot of broccoli generally reduce their risk of aggressive prostate cancer and heart disease.

Learn to like it
There’s no need to avoid broccoli on the appetizer tray, just dip it in hummus or add a dab of ranch dressing. You can also crumble some florets on your salad; they will make it more filling. Steam or bake them with olive oil for a quick side dish. If you decide to go more extreme, cover a casserole dish with florets. Pour three tablespoons of melted butter over it and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake for 10 – 15 minutes.

3. FISH
Children find everything wrong with seafood: fishy smell and taste, texture, bone paranoia, etc. However, as an adult, not enjoying the sea’s bounty limits you from multiple ethnic cuisines. Not only that, it is the perfect protein source to help you lose weight and cut down on meat with saturated fat.

Health benefits
The American Heart Association recommends men eat fish twice a week to get enough omega-3, the fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease and the most common type of stroke. Some research even suggests omega-3s increase brain and visual functions and fight everything from asthma to depression. Eating fish instead of other meats can also reduce your cholesterol.

Learn to like it
Not all fish has that fishy-taste. Try halibut, tilapia, mahi-mahi, or throw a tuna steak on the grill instead of a burger. Stuffed flounder will taste like whatever you stuff it with. You can even start with something as small as a couple anchovies in your Caesar’s salad. And there’s the whole world of shellfish and mollusks too. Buy some tempura batter mix and it’s easy to make lightly breaded fish that go great with potatoes or in tacos.

4. TURNIPS
Whoever ever figured out that turnips could be eaten must have been really hungry. They don’t look the least bit appetizing. A bulbous purple root, most men wouldn’t pick one up in the grocery store and think, “Let’s have a go at this.” You wouldn’t even know where to start.

Health benefits
Turnips are a strong source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, manganese, pantothenic acid, and copper; plus they contain thiamine, potassium, niacin, and magnesium. They’re starchy like potatoes, but with one-third the calories.

Learn to like it
Substitute turnips where you usually make potatoes. Not only will this diversify your at-home menu, it will cut down on caloric intake. You can bake, mash, and cut them into French fries. They can also be served raw on a veggie tray.

5. BEETS
Many men pass over beets on the salad bar without ever trying them. It can be hard to know what to make of them. They look like slices of canned cranberry jelly. However, their sweet taste jazzes up a salad. Canned beets even make a cheap, quick, healthy snack by themselves.

Health benefits
High in carbohydrates, they’re a quick energy source without the crash you get from processed carbs. Beets are good source of magnesium, calcium, iron, and niacin, as well as vitamins A and C. Studies also show they reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Learn to like them
Throwing a couple on a salad is an easy way to get used to the odd-looking vegetable. When you’re ready to dive in, make a beet salad. There are a variety of recipes that are tasty and will impress a female dinner guest. A great southern favorite is roasted beet salad with bacon.

6. LIVER
Just the thought of eating this internal organ will make some people gag. However, eating liver dates back centuries. Certain prehistoric tribes regarded it as the delicacy from the hunt. Medieval Europeans turned liver into everything from pastries to sausages. Get in touch with your primal man—eat liver.

Health benefits
Obviously it is a good source of protein, but it is also nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A. Patients with iron-deficiencies eat it due to its highly usable form of iron and all of the B vitamins. Many also claim it fights fatigue.

Learn to like it
Preparing liver doesn’t have to be a big event. The next time you crave a barbecued steak, substitute thinly sliced beef liver. Fry it in a pan with onions and your favorite barbecue sauce or right on the grill.

7. SPINACH
Popeye made spinach look great when he used it to beat up Bluto. However, when you popped a can and dug in, it tasted like soggy metal. While these green leaves use to primarily appear in cartoons, now they appear on most menus across the country. So ditch the can and prepare a dish that does the leafy vegetable justice.

Health benefits
Like the other vegetables profiled already, spinach’s A and C vitamins, fiber, folic acid, magnesium and other nutrients help prevent cancer, especially colon, lung, and breast cancers, and heart disease. Also the flavonoids in it reduce against age-related memory loss. But a big one in spinach is lutein, which prevents cataracts and macular degeneration.

Learn to like it
The great thing about spinach is its versatility. Throw it in omelets with cheese, turkey, or ham. Pour warm bacon vinaigrette over a bed of spinach and chopped purple onions (a little bit of bacon seems to help mask all healthy foods). Even toss raw spinach with melted margarine and heat in the microwave for a quick side dish. Want to keep it extra simple? Chop up strawberries and walnuts and sprinkle them over a bed of fresh spinach for a delicious salad.

8. AVOCADO
For those who didn’t grow up in the Southwest or California, you may find this creamy green fruit bit odd odd. However, avocados yield the culinary wonder known as guacamole, something no Mexican dish can be without.

Health benefits
Dubbed the world’s healthiest fruit for its source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and oleic acid, a medium avocado can have 27 grams of fat. However, its monounsaturated fat helps lower cholesterol and its folate aids heart health.

Learn to like it
If guacamole hasn’t already turned you on to avocados, add a wedge to a turkey sandwich instead of cheese. Or slice a little with black beans and rice for a hot lunch. The protein will satiate your hunger longer.

9. COTTAGE CHEESE
Curdled milk chunks? Well, when one puts it like that, it’s obvious why children aren’t clamoring for this filling snack. Men don’t usually like this dairy delight as much as women, but we should.

Health benefits
High in protein and low in carbohydrates, cottage cheese is a breakfast that will stay with you. Most of its protein is casein, a slow digesting form that reduces hunger for longer periods of time. It’s also high in calcium, which is important not only for bones but maintaining normal blood pressure.

Learn to like it
If eating cottage cheese with sliced fruit doesn’t intrigue you, try adding hot sauce and salt. It’s great sweet or savory. If you’re already a fan of guacamole, add a few spoons of cottage cheese to your mix. It will make it heartier and prevent it from turning brown.

10. EGGPLANT
If the eggplant were a superhero, it would be Batman. It’s dark, mysterious, and although it doesn’t have superpowers — it’s bold and rich on different levels. Children can’t get past its spongy texture, but adults should champion its ability to adapt differently to each dish.

Health benefits
It has much of the same laundry list of nutrients these other vegetables have offered including fiber, folate, niacin, etc. On top of that, eggplants are a great source of antioxidant called phytonutrients including the potent antioxidant called nasunin, which prevents the damage of cell membranes.

Learn to like it
Eggplant’s porous flesh soaks in whatever flavors surround it and adds its own, making complex tastes: Eggplant Parmesan, ratatouille, Arabian moussaka, and many Indian dishes. It’s a vegetarian’s favorite because it’s a great substitute for meat-based dishes. It can even be grilled like a burger. Each dish is completely different so keep trying.

Leave a comment

Brussel Sprouts-Cancer Protection, Detox, etc & easy to cook !

Lisa Says: We have learned that food has an amazing ability to heal & to balance the body. There’s a great video on how to cook fresh brussel sprouts on this website whfoods.org – something we learned ! very informative site
from whfoods.org -
It’s no surprise that Brussel sprouts look like perfect miniature versions [...]

Lisa Says: We have learned that food has an amazing ability to heal & to balance the body. There’s a great video on how to cook fresh brussel sprouts on this website whfoods.org – something we learned ! very informative site

from whfoods.org -
It’s no surprise that Brussel sprouts look like perfect miniature versions of cabbage since they are closely related, both belong to the Brassica family of vegetables. Brussels sprouts are available year round; however, they are at their best from autumn through early spring when they are at the peak of their growing season.

Brussels sprouts grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stem of a plant that grows from two to three feet tall.

Food Chart

* Health Benefits
* Description
* History
* How to Select and Store
* How to Enjoy
* Safety
* Nutritional Profile
* References

Health Benefits

Cancer Protection from Special Sulfur-Containing Phytonutrients

Plant phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts enhance the activity of the body’s natural defense systems to protect against disease, including cancer. Scientists have found that sulforaphane, one of the powerful glucosinolate phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, boosts the body’s detoxification enzymes, potentially by altering gene expression, thus helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances more quickly.

Additionally, researchers in the Netherlands investigated the effect of a diet high in Brussels sprouts on DNA damage. They compared two groups of healthy male volunteers. Five men ate a diet that included 300 grams (about 10 ounces) of cooked Brussels sprouts daily, while the other five men at a diet free of cruciferous vegetables. After three weeks, the group that ate Brussels sprouts had 28% decrease in measured DNA damage. Reduced DNA damage may translate to a reduced risk of cancer since mutations in DNA allow cancer cells to develop.

Sulforaphane, which is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts are chopped or chewed, is already known to trigger the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals, inhibit chemically-induced breast cancers in animal studies, and induce colon cancer cells to commit suicide. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition also suggests that sulforaphane may help stop the proliferation of breast cancer cells, even in the later stages of their growth.

Sulforaphane may offer special protection to those with colon cancer-susceptible genes, suggests a study conducted at Rutgers University and published online in the journal Carcinogenesis.

In this study, researchers sought to learn whether sulforaphane could inhibit cancers arising from one’s genetic makeup. Rutgers researchers Ernest Mario, Ah-Ng Tony Kong and colleagues used laboratory animals bred with a genetic mutation that switches off the tumor suppressor gene known as APC, the same gene that is inactivated in the majority of human colon cancers. Animals with this mutation spontaneously develop intestinal polyps, the precursors to colon cancer. The study found that animals who were fed sulforaphane had tumors that were smaller, grew more slowly and had higher apoptotic (cell suicide) indices. Additionally, those fed a higher dose of sulforaphane had less risk of developing polyps than those fed a lower dose.

Brussels sprouts’ glucosinolates have been shown to help prevent the development of colon cancer in response to exposure to heterocyclic amines, the carcinogenic compounds produced when meat is grilled or otherwise charbroiled. In an animal study published in Carcinogenesis, researchers looked at the effects of drinking water supplemented with Brussels sprouts or red cabbage juices on the liver and colon of laboratory animals that were also given a heterocyclic amine carcinogen.

Brussels sprouts reduced the development of pre-cancerous cells 41-52% in the colon and 27-67% in the liver, and drastically diminished the size (85-91%) of pre-cancerous lesions in the liver. Red cabbage moderately decreased (19-50%) the number of pre-cancerous lesions that developed in the liver and markedly reduced (41-83%) the size of those that did occur. These highly protective effects are due to crucifers’ ability to significantly increase the activity of enzymes involved in both Phase I (CYP4501A2) and Phase II (glucuronidation via UDPGT-2) detoxification.

Brussels sprouts’ stronger protective effects are thought to be due to the fact that this cruciferous vegetable contains 2-3 times the amount of glucosinolates than are found in red cabbage. Glucosinolates increase Phase II glucuronidation activity, one of the primary pathways through which toxins made even more dangerous by Phase I are rendered water-soluble and ready for elimination from the body.

New research has greatly advanced scientists’ understanding of just how cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale help prevent cancer. When these vegetables are cut, chewed or digested, a sulfur-containing compound called sinigrin is brought into contact with the enzyme myrosinase, resulting in the release of glucose and breakdown products, including highly reactive compounds called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are not only potent inducers of the liver’s Phase II enzymes, which detoxify carcinogens, but research recently conducted at the Institute for Food Research in the U.K. shows one of these compounds, allyl isothicyanate, also inhibits mitosis (cell division) and stimulates apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human tumor cells.

Crucifers Cut Risk of Bladder Cancer

Human population as well as animal studies consistently show that diets high in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, are associated with lower incidence of certain cancers, including lung, colon, breast and ovarian cancer. Now, research published in the International Journal of Cancer (Zhao H, Lin J) suggests that bladder cancer can join the list.

University of Texas researchers analyzed the diets of 697 newly diagnosed bladder cancer cases and 708 healthy controls matched by age, gender and ethnicity. Average daily intake of cruciferous vegetables was significantly lower in those with bladder cancer than in healthy controls.

Those eating the most cruciferous vegetables were found to have a 29% lower risk of bladder cancer compared to participants eating the least of this family of vegetables.

Crucifers’ protective benefits were even more pronounced in three groups typically at higher risk for bladder cancer: men, smokers, and older individuals (aged at least 64).

Diagnosed in about 336,000 people every year worldwide, bladder cancer is three times more likely to affect men than women, according to the European School of Oncology.

Crucifers’ well known cancer-fighting properties are thought to result from their high levels of active phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which our bodies metabolize into powerful anti-carcinogens called isothiocyanates.

Isothiocyanates offer the bladder, in particular, significant protection, most likely because the majority of compounds produced by isothiocyanate metabolism travel through the bladder en route to excretion in the urine, suggested the researchers.

Optimize Your Cells’ Detoxification / Cleansing Ability

For about 20 years, we’ve known that many phytonutrients work as antioxidants to disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA, cell membranes and fat-containing molecules such as cholesterol. Now, new research is revealing that phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, work at a much deeper level. These compounds actually signal our genes to increase production of enzymes involved in detoxification, the cleansing process through which our bodies eliminate harmful compounds.

The phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables initiate an intricate dance inside our cells in which gene response elements direct and balance the steps among dozens of detoxification enzyme partners, each performing its own protective role in perfect balance with the other dancers. The natural synergy that results optimizes our cells’ ability to disarm and clear free radicals and toxins, including potential carcinogens, which may be why cruciferous vegetables appear to lower our risk of cancer more effectively than any other vegetables or fruits.

Recent studies show that those eating the most cruciferous vegetables have a much lower risk of prostate, colorectal and lung cancer-even whencompared to those who regularly eat other vegetables:

In a study of over 1,000 men conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, those eating 28 servings of vegetables a week had a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer, but those consuming just 3 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables each week had a 44% lower prostate cancer risk.

In the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer, in which data was collected on over 100,000 people for more than 6 years, those eating the most vegetables benefited with a 25% lower risk of colorectal cancers, but those eating the most cruciferous vegetables did almost twice as well with a 49% drop in their colorectal cancer risk.

A study of Chinese women in Singapore, a city in which air pollution levels are often high putting stress on the detoxification capacity of residents’ lungs, found that in non-smokers, eating cruciferous vegetables lowered risk of lung cancer by 30%. In smokers, regular cruciferous vegetable consumption reduced lung cancer risk an amazing 69%!

How many weekly servings of cruciferous vegetables do you need to lower your risk of cancer? Just 3 to 5 servings-less than one serving a day! (1 serving = 1 cup)

To get the most benefit from your cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, be sure to choose organically grown varieties (their phytonutrient levels are higher than conventionally grown), and steam lightly (this method of cooking has been shown to not only retain the most phytonutrients but to maximize their availability).

For a brief overview of the process through which cruciferous vegetables boost our ability to detoxify or cleanse harmful compounds and examples of how specific phytonutrients in crucifers work together to protect us against cancer, see our FAQ: Optimizing Your Cells’ Detoxification/Cleansing Ability by Eating Cruciferous Vegetables.

For Healthy Skin and Immune Function, Think Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C supports immune function and the manufacture of collagen, a protein that forms the ground substance of body structures including the skin, connective tissue, cartilage, and tendons. A large study conducted on nearly 20,000 men and women in England found that people with the highest vitamin C levels had half the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or cancer. Risk of dying from heart disease was reduced by 71% in men and 59% for women in the group with the highest vitamin C levels.

In addition, a cup of Brussels sprouts contains a whopping 1122 IU of vitamin A plus 669 IU of beta-carotene, both of which play important roles in defending the body against infection and promoting supple, glowing skin.

Fiber-rich Brussels Sprouts Support A Healthier Colon

Add Brussels sprouts to your diet, and you’ll increase your fiber intake. A cup of Brussels sprouts contains more than 4 grams of fiber, and both soluble and insoluble fiber are present in roughly equal amounts. Fiber not only fills you up, satisfying your hunger, but nourishes the cells lining the walls of the colon, promoting colon health and helping to prevent diseases such as diverticulosis and colon cancer. In addition, fiber aids elimination by forming a soft, bulky stool that is easily passed.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, is known to reduce the risk of a number of cancers, especially lung, colon, breast, ovarian and bladder cancer. Now, research reveals that crucifers provide significant cardiovascular benefits as well.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii have shown that, at the tiny concentration of just 100 micromoles per liter, a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables, indole-3-carbinol, lowers liver cells’ secretion of the cholesterol transporter, apolipoproteinB-100 by 56%! Apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB) is the main carrier of LDL cholesterol to tissues, and high levels have been linked to plaque formation in the blood vessels.

When liver cells were treated with I-3-C, not only was apoB-100 secretion cut by more than half, but significant decreases also occurred in the synthesis of lipids (fats), including triglycerides and cholesterol esters. (Maiyoh GK, Kuh JE, et al., J Nutr.)

Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis

While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitamin C-rich foods, such as Brussels sprouts, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.

The findings, presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases were drawn from a study of more than 20,000 subjects who kept diet diaries and were arthritis-free when the study began, and focused on subjects who developed inflammatory polyarthritis and similar subjects who remained arthritis-free during the follow-up period. Subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.

A Birth Defect Fighter

Especially if you are pregnant, consider learning to love Brussels sprouts. A cup of Brussels sprouts supplies 93.6 mg of folic acid, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division because it is necessary in DNA synthesis. Without folic acid, the fetus’ nervous system cells do not divide properly. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, including neural tube defects like spina bifida. Despite folic acid’s wide occurrence in food (it’s name comes from the Latin word folium, meaning “foliage,” because it’s found in green leafy vegetables), folic acid deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world.

Description

Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family and therefore kin to broccoli and cabbage. They resemble miniature cabbages, with diameters of about 1 inch. They grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stem of a plant that grows as high as three feet tall. Brussels sprouts are typically sage green in color, although some varieties feature a red hue. They are oftentimes sold separately but can sometimes be found in stores still attached to the stem. Perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts have a crisp, dense texture and a slightly sweet, bright and “green” taste.

History

While the origins of Brussels sprouts are unknown, the first mention of them can be traced to the late 16th century. They are thought to be native to Belgium, specifically to a region near its capital, Brussels, after which they are named. They remained a local crop in this area until their use spread across Europe during World War I. Brussels sprouts are now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. In the U.S., almost all Brussels sprouts are grown in California.

How to Select and Store

Good quality Brussels sprouts are firm, compact and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves and should not be puffy or soft in texture. Avoid those that have perforations in their leaves as this may indicate that they have aphids residing within. If Brussels sprouts are sold individually, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels sprouts are available year round, but their peak growing period is from autumn until early spring.

Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a plastic bag, they can be kept for 10 days. If you want to freeze Brussels sprouts, blanch them first for between three to five minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Tips for Preparing Brussels sprouts:

Before washing Brussels sprouts, remove stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. Wash them well under running water or soak them in a bowl of water to remove any insects that may reside in the inner leaves.

Brussels sprouts are usually cooked whole. To allow the heat to permeate throughout all of the leaves and better ensure an even texture, cut an “X” in the bottom of the stem before cooking.

While Brussels sprouts are usually served as a side dish, they also make a nice addition to cold salads.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Braise Brussels sprouts in liquid infused with your favorite herbs and spices.

Since cooked Brussels sprouts are small and compact, they make a great snack food that can be simply eaten as is or seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine quartered cooked Brussels sprouts with sliced red onions, walnuts and your favorite mild tasting cheese such as a goat cheese or feta. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an exceptionally healthy, delicious side dish.

Safety

Brussels Sprouts and Goitrogens
Brussels sprouts contains goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances in certain foods that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Individuals with already existing and untreated thyroid problems may want to avoid Brussels sprouts for this reason. Cooking may help to inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in food. However, it is not clear from the research exactly what percent of goitrogenic compounds get inactivated by cooking, or exactly how much risk is involved with the consumption of Brussels sprouts by individuals with pre-existing and untreated thyroid problems. For more on this subject, please see What are goitrogens and in which foods are they found?

Leave a comment

PRODUCE & CERVICAL CANCER Fruit, Veggies Reduce Disease Risk by 60%

Just in time for January’s Cervical Health Awareness Month, a new study substantiates the protective powers of produce. Previous research has suggested that women who eat the most veggies are 50% less likely to have the kind of persistent infections that can lead to cervical cancer and infertility. Now new data points to a 60% [...]

Just in time for January’s Cervical Health Awareness Month, a new study substantiates the protective powers of produce. Previous research has suggested that women who eat the most veggies are 50% less likely to have the kind of persistent infections that can lead to cervical cancer and infertility. Now new data points to a 60% lower cervical cancer risk among women with the highest produce intake. The same study found a nearly 70% increased risk among those with the highest intake of animal fat.

Analyzing dietary data for 1,218 women, State University of New York at Buffalo researchers found certain nutrients offered extra protection, including antioxidants like beta-carotene (found in bright orange carrots, cantaloupe and pumpkin), lycopene (found in watermelon, guava and tomatoes), lutein (found in leafy greens like spinach and Romaine), and vitamin C (found in red bell peppers, pineapple and bananas). Women who ate the least fiber were twice as likely to develop cervical cancer, another reason to load up on those fiber-rich berries, artichokes, beans and pears, which offer similar protection against breast cancer.

Eating more fruit and veggies — and less fat-laden meats — is women’s best bet against obesity, which doubles the risk of developing cervical adenocarcinoma (a malignant cervical cancer). Both genders will benefit from a more plant-based diet, associated with a lower risk of lung, colorectal and prostate cancer.

(see full article at dolenutrition.com)

Leave a comment

Why your foods should be colorful?

from www.whfoods.com
n the world of processed food, you cannot judge the quality of a food by the way it looks. Artificial colors, mechanical processing techniques, and genetic engineering can create foods that look fantastic, but have very little nutritional value. Don’t judge your processed foods (and in many cases, even your non-organic, unprocessed foods) by [...]

from www.whfoods.com

n the world of processed food, you cannot judge the quality of a food by the way it looks. Artificial colors, mechanical processing techniques, and genetic engineering can create foods that look fantastic, but have very little nutritional value. Don’t judge your processed foods (and in many cases, even your non-organic, unprocessed foods) by their color! It’s sometimes the 2 parts per million of citrus red dye number 2 that gives the orange peels their rich color – but this artificial dye cannot be legally used on organic oranges.

When eating the World’s Healthiest Foods that have been organically grown, the situation is exactly the opposite. The more colorful your meal, the greater likelihood you will receive a rich diversity of nutrients. The World’s Healthiest Foods are NATURALLY colorful. They are rich in phytonutrients that provide them with a rainbow of colors. The combination of phytonutrients in colorful fruits and vegetables have a variety of actions: they act as powerful antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory effects, help the way neurons communicate in the brain and help reduce the effects of aging.

These phytonutrients give carrots and winter squash their rich orange-red color, make beets a brilliant red and green leafy vegetables, such as kale, a deep green. In fact if you eat the leafy greens like mustard greens or chard or kale, you should also think about what happens to leaves in the fall of the year, as they change to yellow or orange or red. These colors are actually in the leaves year-round, but just get overshadowed by the green. You’re actually eating a variety of colors when you eat a green leafy vegetable! Enjoy the World’s Healthiest Foods for their colors and you will be also be enjoying them for their unique nutritional richness.

Leave a comment

Acai Berries and Antioxidant Values

Lisa Says:  Happened to see this article.  Actually, despite other companies claims, Nature’s Sunshine Thai Go has been found to have THE highest ORAC (antioxidant) value across the board.  PERIOD.  We have more info if anyone is interested.    Just email us (and it really does taste great).
http://www.mynsp.com/rex/products/guide.aspx?stockNum=4095

What do you know about the acai berries?

The acai [...]

Lisa Says:  Happened to see this article.  Actually, despite other companies claims, Nature’s Sunshine Thai Go has been found to have THE highest ORAC (antioxidant) value across the board.  PERIOD.  We have more info if anyone is interested.    Just email us (and it really does taste great).

http://www.mynsp.com/rex/products/guide.aspx?stockNum=4095

What do you know about the acai berries?

The acai berry comes from a special variety of palm tree that is native to South America. The scientific name for this palm tree is Euterpe oleracea. The food called “hearts of palm” is sometimes harvested from this tree and shipped worldwide, but the fruit of this palm has remained part of a much more local tradition. In the herbal medicine traditions of Brazil, fruit seeds from this palm have long been used for treatment of certain health problems, especially conditions involving fevers.

The acai berry has been receiving a lot of attention recently in the mass media for its proposed health benefits including those related to the following areas: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-mutagenic, and improving the cardiovascular system. While it seems to be a potentially healthful fruit, it has not been included as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods for two reasons. First, it does not fit the criteria of being accessible and familiar to a large segment of the U.S. population. Second, there is currently little research on the consumption of the acai berry as a human food. What does exist is test tube research on chemical qualities of the food itself, but no clinical trials with human beings to determine the effects of the acai berry when it is consumed as a food. We would point out that current research on the acai berry shows that it is a rich source of some important antioxidant nutrients – especially anthocyanins – and that it seems to have a definite impact on the metabolism of a substance in our body called nitric oxide. This connection would open the door to some potentially important benefits from the acai berry on cardiovascular health – although we are going to need a good number of human studies to determine if this possibility is correct.Since we thought you may be potentially interested in some of the research that does exist for acai, we did a search for you on the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database and found recent research abstracts for you, Acai Berry – abstracts

2 Comments

To Sprout or Not To Sprout

Lisa Says: we eat sprouts every day now (organic brocolli).  We used to grow them but at $1.50 for a weeks supply for BOTH of us, it is the ABSOLUTELY cheapest healthy food you can buy.
article courtesy of www.Nutrition777.com   To Sprout or Not to Sprout 
“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put [...]

Lisa Says: we eat sprouts every day now (organic brocolli).  We used to grow them but at $1.50 for a weeks supply for BOTH of us, it is the ABSOLUTELY cheapest healthy food you can buy.

article courtesy of www.Nutrition777.com   To Sprout or Not to Sprout 

“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” (Ezekiel 4:9a; NIV)

Our dear friend, Maureen D’Amelio, originally gave me today’s recipe. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe along with recommending certain brand names of ingredients. The recipe calls for tortillas. All tortillas are not created equal in today’s massive bakeries. I recommend using sprouted grain tortillas. Perhaps you’ve heard of sprouted breads before. Ezekiel bread is now a popular bread that uses sprouted grains. Sprouting of grains is an “old-time” tradition, beginning centuries ago and is mentioned numerous times in scripture. Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, also presents a treatise on the benefits of sprouted foods.

According to Food For Life’s website, germination (or sprouting) changes the composition of grain and seeds in numerous ways. Sprouting increases vitamin content and neutralizes phytic acid–a substance present in grains–that inhibits absorption of nutrients. Sprouting neutralizes or “predigests” grains through enzymatic activity. The enzymes produced during the natural sprouting process “in effect” break down amino acid protein bonds to promote digestibility of the entire grain. Many people who are allergic to grains, will tolerate them well when they are soaked or “sprouted.”

Sprouted grain bread has numerous advantages over “enriched” wheat flour breads. As I’ve mentioned several times before, white breads have very little nutritional value. (Remember, the whiter the bread, the faster you’re dead.) White breads are made from the endosperm (or the inside portion of the wheat kernel) which contains primarily carbohydrates and few vitamins and minerals. The milling of grain into white flour removes the bran and the germ. This results in the loss of natural fiber, bran, and 22 vitamins and minerals. To compensate, vitamins and minerals (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, and folic acid) are added back, “in a synthetic form,” thus “enriching” the flour. The combination of the formula from Ezekiel 4:9 of wheat, barley, lentils, spelt, millet and beans when sprouted creates a complete protein that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs.

As a comparison, I’ve printed the ingredients label for the sprouted grain tortillas that I use, followed by the ingredients from a common white flour tortilla. You be the judge. Which one would you choose to feed to your family…or eat yourself?

Ingredients for sprouted grain tortillas: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Unhulled Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Sea Salt.

Ingredients for common white flour tortilla: Enriched Bleached Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oils); Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate, and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Propionic Acid, Calcium Propionate, Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Benzoic Acid, and Phosphoric Acid, (to Preserve Freshness), Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, L-Cysteine, Sodium Metabisulfite).

Leave a comment