TAG: Food

Kale: A Certain Superfood

Kale: A Superfood

Kale is a dark leafy green vegetable that belongs to the brassica family, a group that includes Brussels sprouts, collards, and cabbage. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, and its rich antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory compounds make it a potent health-promoter. Research indicates that eating kale regularly may help to protect against certain cancers and to lower cholesterol (a risk factor for heart disease), as well as supporting the body’s natural detoxification system. According to the George Mateljan Foundation (2012), Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C; a very good source of fiber, calcium*, and potassium; and… read more

Potassium Packs A Punch

Potassium Packs A Punch

Potassium is needed to build muscle, use carbohydrates effectively, and facilitate normal body growth. It’s critical for muscle control, blood pressure regulation, and nerve function, and it may play a role in the prevention of a variety of illnesses. There is evidence that not getting sufficient dietary potassium in relation to sodium may trigger high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Severe potassium deficiency is uncommon, though it can be caused by poor control of diabetes, very low-calorie diets, overuse of certain laxatives or diuretics (including caffeine), some medications, intense exercise, alcoholism, and severe vomiting or diarrhea. However,… read more

Eating A Rainbow

Eating A Rainbow

Health-promoting antioxidants called anthocyanins give certain foods their blue, violet, or reddish-purple coloring. Evidence suggests that eating purple and blue fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, gum disease, stomach ulcers, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, urinary tract infections, age-related memory loss, and obesity. Choosing blue and purple foods may provide other benefits as well. For example, research has shown that blue corn chips are higher in protein and lower in starch than white corn chips, and they also have a lower glycemic index, which means that they may be better for those with diabetes and dieters…. read more

Potato Powerhouse

Potato Powerhouse

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source, but potatoes are much more than just an energy booster. Potassium supports optimal muscle performance and potatoes are actually higher in potassium than bananas, the fruit often lauded as a top potassium source. Potatoes also contain iron and B and C vitamins, and their skins are a great source of fiber (you can increase your fiber intake by eating a larger number of smaller potatoes rather than one or two big ones because you’ll consume more fiber-rich skin this way). Potatoes have gotten a bad rap as a fattening food, but the reason… read more

Food Appreciation for Kids

Teaching children about food

We have come a long way from the notion of knowing where our food comes from. In America especially, there seems to be a drive-through for nearly everything. You don’t even have to leave your vehicle to have a full meal. Things like fast food restaurant signs are everywhere, and so begins the connection that this is an option where food can be obtained. Concurrently, when you have budding readers, every opportunity to read is important. Things like environmental print, or printed words that are in everyday surroundings, provide reading material when children are out and about. One study showed that… read more

A Healthy Alternative?

agave plant

Agave (pronounced ah-GAH-vay) nectar is derived from the agave plant, a spiky cactus native to Mexico that is also the source of Tequila. Agave is approximately 84% fructose, the sugar that gives fruits and vegetables their sweetness. Agave nectar is similar to honey, but not as thick, and it’s higher in calories than white sugar. It’s also 1.5 times as sweet as regular sugar, which means that if you want to use it to replace sugar in baking, you need to reduce the amount. To substitute agave nectar for white sugar, for each cup of sugar called for by the… read more

The Third Fiber – The Healthy Starch

Bowls_of_grains

Despite its name, Resistant Starch performs in a similar nature to both soluble and insoluble fiber. Some even classify it as third type of fiber. Although it is indeed a starch, resistant starch (RS) cannot be fully broken down and absorbed. This creates unique health benefits, including improved digestion, lower rates of insulin release, lower levels of blood cholesterol and fat, and improved weight management. There are four known types of resistant starch. The first type, “physically inaccessible”, is unable to be broken down and digested. It is found in beans, seeds, and whole or partially milled grains. Physical inaccessibility is… read more

Uses for Fenugreek

Uses for Fenugreek

Fenugreek, a member of the legume family that includes peas, peanuts, lentils, and beans, is among the world’s oldest cultivated plants. Fenugreek seeds are small and yellow-brown in color. They are rich in protein and their flavor is bittersweet. Fenugreek seeds are often used in curries and other spice blends due to their aromatic qualities. Fenugreek can be used in pickles, chutneys, fish and vegetable-based dishes, breads and rolls, dahl, stews, and halva (a dessert). Fenugreek seeds have a strong flavor, so amounts called for in recipes are typically small. Fenugreek seeds are usually toasted lightly before using. However, it’s… read more

Sustainable Pet Ownership

Owning pets

Some say that pet ownership can be bad for the environment, but there are ways to reduce your pet’s ecological footprint. 1. Make your own pet products from recycled or locally sourced materials: It’s easy to make a bed for a cat or dog using old blankets and most pets love homemade toys. There are plenty of free pet craft patterns available online. 2. Buy pet supplies locally: Most pet products are shipped from faraway countries. Purchasing from local companies reduces carbon emissions. 3. Choose green pet products: Look for items with less packaging, recycled materials, and eco-friendly ingredients. Select… read more

Food Justice

Pears

In her book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, Julie Guthman argues that simply buying organic, local, or otherwise environmentally friendly foods is not sufficient to reform the food system. Rather, she suggests that such approaches simply allow the affluent to opt out of the current system. Meanwhile, the vast majority continue to purchase pesticide-laden, hormone-contaminated, environmentally unfriendly food produced by exploited agricultural workers because they cannot afford to do otherwise. Purchasing organic, local foods certainly provides many benefits for buyers, local farmers, and a small percentage of farm workers who will not be exposed to… read more