Tag Archive | digestion

Daily Nutrition Nibble: Pick up a Papaya!

Not only are papayas beautiful and delicious fruit, they possess amazing healing properties. Did you know that eating papayas can improve the clarity and texture of your skin, lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and help to promote a healthy digestive system? They are full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, dietary fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. Green papayas are rich in an enzyme called papain which helps to aid in the digestion of protein. Pick up a papaya today!

Authentic Food of the Day: Snow Peas

Snow peas have been around for thousands of years and are enjoyed by many! These young pea pods are delicate and sweet in flavor and are loaded with fabulous health benefits. For example, snow peas are an excellent source of B vitamins which help to boost and maintain our energy levels. These vitamins also help build nerve and muscle tissue in our body. Snow peas also contain immune-boosting vitamin C, helping us stay well during cold and flu season. These peas are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which help promote vision health. They are also a good source of vitamin K for bone health and vitamin A for heart health.

DID YOU KNOW:

– Snow peas are a good source of fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and promotes healthy digestion.

– You can eat the snow pea whole! In fact, these peas are valued for their pods rather than just the peas inside.

The Health Benefits of Nectarines

Did you know that nectarines were named after the Greek god Nekter? These delicious little fruits have been adored for years because of their sweet and juicy flavor.  You can eat them by themselves or include them in salads or fruit salsa. When purchasing nectarines, be sure to look for ones that are moderately firm and brightly colored. The fruit is ready to eat when the flesh is soft to touch and smells fruity. Here are some of the health benefits of eating nectarines.

  • Nectarines are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A.
  • One medium-sized nectarine has 65 calories.
  • The flesh of a nectarine is rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids, that help protect our bodies from cancer and other diseases.
  • Nectarines are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps control blood cholesterol levels.
  • The skin of a nectarine is full of fiber, which helps to promote a health digestive system.
  • Looking to include more potassium into your diet? Nectarines are full of this energizing nutrient

References: Reader’s Digest, Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. 2004. Metro Books, New York, NY.

Authentic Food of the Day: Mangoes!

It doesn’t get any better than biting into a big juicy mango. These fruits have been around for more than 4,000 years and originated in Southeast Asia. Legend has it that Buddha found tranquility in a grove full of mangoes. In India, the mango tree plays a sacred role as the symbol of love. Some people even believe that the mango tree can grant wishes! Mangoes are a good source of vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K. They also have a lot of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Mangoes are a good source of fiber which is important for helping maintain a health digestive system. This fruit is believed to be rich in enzymes which make them great for using as a tenderizing agent in meat marinades.

DID YOU KNOW:

– The Environmental Working Group put mangoes on the list as one of the least contaminated foods with pesticides.

– According to natural foods expert Rebecca Wood, mangoes contain urushinol, a toxic resin that can cause contact dermatitis. The peel and juice seem to be the problem rather than the flesh. It’s possible (but not very common) that eating mangoes in excess could cause itching or skin eruptions.

Authentic Food of the Day: Limes!

Bored with lemons? Give limes a shot! I love citrus fruits and nothing beats a fresh splash of lime in a cold glass of water!  The amazing zesty flavor is perfect for that mid-morning pick-me-up. Limes are popular all around the world and are found primarily in the tropical regions. Famous for helping with scurvy, limes can help speed up the body’s natural healing process. High in vitamin C, limes are great for boosting the immune system and protecting the eyes. They are also good sources of folate, calcium and potassium. Limes have strong anti-viral properties and help in fighting off “bad” bacteria. The folate found in limes has been shown to keep cholesterol levels low and prevent heart disease. The high amount of potassium found in limes makes the juice beneficial for removing wastes. Try drinking lime juice and water when involved in a detoxification program.

DID YOU KNOW:

– Limes are a good source of fiber which is important for keeping our digestive system healthy.

– Rejuvenate your skin with a splash of lime juice. This has been known to help with dandruff, bruises, and rashes.

Smoothie of the Day: Vitamin C Pineapple Berry Booster

I have been hearing from a lot of people that there is a cold/flu “bug” going around right now. This means we need to keep our immune system strong by including nutrient-dense foods in our diet. I love this smoothie because it is a great way to get a big dose of vitamins, especially vitamin C. It addition to vitamin C, it’s loaded with beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and biotin. The flesh of a pineapple has been shown to aid in digestion and help reduce the risk of blood clots. Strawberries  contain a concentrated source of nutrients that make them a good for promoting good heart health. Try this smoothie out today!

Vitamin C Pineapple Berry Booster

  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1 handful cranberries
  • 1 C organic strawberries
  • 1 C pineapple juice
  • 1 C plain yogurt
Cut the pineapple into chunks and remove the stems on the strawberries. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Authentic Food of the Day: Bok Choy!

Ok, I will admit it. Up until about three years ago, I had never tasted bok choy in my life. It just wasn’t a common vegetable that I would think to include in my diet! Once I tried it, I was hooked! Today, I probably prepare one meal a week with bok choy as either a side dish or included with the main entrée. It has a fantastic texture and a very smooth taste. Bok choy is in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts and is full of healing properties. Studies have shown that bok choy can reduce the risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers by 30 percent and in smokers by 69 percent! Bok choy is a good source of calcium, a nutrient needed to keep our bones, teeth, and joints healthy. This vegetable has also been shown to promote good heart health and optimal brain function. Bok choy is a good source of vitamin C, a nutrient needed to keep our immune system strong.

DID YOU KNOW:

–  Bok choy is full of beta-carotene that can be converted to vitamin A to help reduce the signs of aging.

– Bok choy helps the liver in detoxification and protects it from the effects of stress, pollution, and aging factors in our modern environment.

Daily Nutrition Nibble: Eat some Enzymes!

Did you know that raw foods are full of enzymes that help boost our immune system, aid in digestion, and help with the metabolic and regenerative processes in our body?  When we aren’t getting enough enzymes in our diet, we can feel tired and generally unwell. Try eating raw nuts, fruits and vegetables. You can also start sprouting your own seeds for some added enzymes in your diet! Some of the easiest seeds to sprout include lentils, quinoa, mung beans, and alfalfa. Make a mental note that cooking food destroys the beneficial enzymes, so make an effort to eat raw as often as possible.

Smoothie of the Day: Pineapple Grapefruit Smoothie with Ginger

This is a great smoothie to make first thing in the morning! It’s loaded with nutrients that will help get you energized and happy. The grapefruit in this smoothie is a good source of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, folate and calcium. It’s also a good source of fiber which will gives the sense of “fullness”, making it an ideal food for people looking to manage their weight. The pineapple in the smoothie is a great source of vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and vitamin B6. It also provides the body with anti-inflammatory benefits, making it the perfect food for those healing from an injury or suffering from joint pain. I like to add a little ginger to this smoothie for a nice kick of flavor. The ginger promotes good circulation in the body in addition to boosting immunity and moods. Give this smoothie a try today!

Pineapple Grapefruit Smoothie with Ginger

  • 1 1/2 C fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 grapefruit (peeled)
  • 1 in ginger root (grated or cut into little pieces)
  • 1 C coconut milk

Add all ingredients to your blender and process until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Authentic Food of the Day: Asparagus!

The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times.  It was thought to be cultivated in ancient Egypt with varieties discovered in northern and southern Africa. Today, asparagus is cultivated in most subtropical and temperate parts of the world with the majority of commercially available asparagus grown in United States, Mexico, Peru, France, Spain and other Mediterranean countries.  Asparagus is loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, C, and K. It’s also full of folate, B vitamins, dietary fiber, manganese, and iron. Asparagus is a good food for promoting a healthy heart, good digestion, and strong bones. It’s also considered a diuretic due to it’s mineral profile combined with the amino acid asparagine. Asparagus helps to give your immune system strong with it’s nutrient content that fights off free-radicals. The most nutritious way to prepare your asparagus is to saute it for about five minutes. You can also grill or broil the stalks and add sea salt, pepper, and olive oil for added flavor.

DID YOU KNOW:

– If you suffer from PMS, asparagus may be useful in preventing water retention associated with “that time of the month”.

– Historically, asparagus was used to treat problems such as arthritis and swelling.