Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Raspberry butter sauce with crispy salmon & salad

October 26, 2017

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The raspberries in this sauce make the easy-to-cook salmon a really special dish. Toss the salad greens in the sauce or drizzle the sauce over the salmon – whatever suits your tastes better. Serves 2

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets, skin on
1 Tbsp oil
20 raspberries
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
pinch sea salt
salad greens

Method

  1. Lightly salt both sides of the salmon. Heat oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat until the oil is hot and starts to crackle a little. Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down, and cook until browned and no longer sticks to the pan, about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn the fish over and cook about 3-5 minutes. If the middle is still not cooked to your liking, lower the heat a little and cover the salmon with a lid for a few minutes.
  3. To make the sauce, blend the raspberries and melted butter in a blender until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and mix in the vinegar and sea salt.
  4. Toss with greens and/or drizzle over the salmon.

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Stuffed Calamari

October 5, 2017

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Suits all phases – Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large calamari, with tentacles
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
150g kale, washed and chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
400g tomato puree
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Separate the calamari tentacles from the bodies. Finely chop the tentacles, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onions until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the capsicum and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the chopped tentacles and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until the kale has softened; then remove the mixture from the heat.
  5. Fill up each calamari with an equal amount of the filling, and close them up with toothpicks.
  6. Heat another Tbsp olive oil over a medium-high heat in the same fry pan. Add the stuffed calamari to the skillet and brown all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  7. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the stuffed calamari, cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Adjust the seasoning and serve with a salad or steamed vegies.

 

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Mushroom & Bacon Risotto

October 29, 2015

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – “Chicken Larb Kai”

September 24, 2015

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Foods that Fight Inflammation

August 16, 2015

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.

Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health.

However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Choose the right foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

Foods that inflame

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • margarine, shortening, and lard

Inflammation-promoting foods

Not surprisingly, the same foods that contribute to inflammation are generally considered bad for our health, including sodas and refined carbohydrates, as well as red meat and processed meats.

Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu says. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”

Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver. “Some of the food components or ingredients may have independent effects on inflammation over and above increased caloric intake,” Dr. Hu says.

Foods that combat inflammation

Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

Anti-inflammation foods

On the flip side are foods and beverages that have been found to reduce the risk of inflammation, and with it, chronic disease, says Dr. Hu. He notes in particular fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.

Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well.

Anti-inflammatory eating

To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.

In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. “A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life,” Dr. Hu says.

Foods that fight inflammation-infographArticle sourced here: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

Which Is Worse: High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar?

March 1, 2015

VBK-SUGAR_260868fWhile both sweeteners really aren’t great, high fructose corn syrup, which is found in a wide variety of highly processed foods and beverages such as baked desserts, salad dressings, ketchup, sodas, and ice cream, is the slightly more dangerous choice.

Too much of any sugar is bad for you—in excess, it promotes insulin resistance, weight gain, and inflammation that contributes to chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. From a health perspective, some experts say HFCS (which is, obviously, derived from corn) is no different than table sugar (which comes from sugar cane and sugar beets), but there’s one difference between highly-processed HFCS and regular sugar that gives me pause: Some forms of HFCS may release more fructose within the body than does sucrose, or table sugar (which pales equal parts glucose and fructose). Glucose triggers feeling of fullness to help keep you from overeating, while fructose doesn’t.

Worse: a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that HFCS is significantly more toxic to female mice than table sugar is, harming their reproductive health and shortening their lifespan. Other animal studies suggest that high intakes of HFCS can slow brain function, impairing memory and the ability to learn.

There is also an environmental impact to consider, as the government-subsidized growing of corn requires large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, and depletes the soil of nutrients.

Though some manufacturers, like Hershey, are doing away with HFCS in favor of ordinary table sugar, many still favor HFCS because it tastes sweeter than regular corn syrup, helps maintain a long shelf life for their products, and, until recently, has been relatively inexpensive. But there are better, healthier ways to add flavor, like a splash of maple or glucose syrup or adding vanilla or cinnamon.

Regular sugar can add to the pleasure of eating in small doses, but we consume far too much of it. In fact, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, most of that coming from sugar-sweetened sodas, grain-based desserts such as cookies and cake, candy, energy drinks, ready-to-eat cereals, and yeast breads. So when you’re reaching for a snack, read ingredient lists carefully to avoid added sugars as much as possible. Or stick with naturally low-sugar options like air-popped popcorn, plain Greek yogurt, sorbet, and dried fruit.

Article sourced from: http://www.prevention.com/food/high-fructose-corn-syrup-versus-sugar
Written by Andrew Weil MD

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Cinnamon Curry Steak

February 26, 2015

cinnamon

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Baked Trout

February 19, 2015

baked trout

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken & Fig Salad with Croutons

October 16, 2014

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What’s So Super About Superfoods?

July 15, 2014

superfoods
You may have heard of superfoods. They’re foods that naturally concentrate important nutrients and antioxidants for overall health. In fact, many health professionals emphasize the necessity of superfoods for good health. Steven Pratt, M.D. is one of them. In his book SuperFoods RX:  Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, as well as his other books, he details why he thinks superfoods are so important. 

Pratt, an ophthalmologist who specializes in ocular plastic surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, says he became convinced of the power of these basic foods when he saw the positive results of a few simple diet changes in his patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration—a leading cause of blindness.

“Whether you’re trying to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer, or cardiovascular disease, the same type of preventive dietary measures apply,” Pratt says. “The whole body is connected:  a healthy heart equals healthy eyes and healthy skin. You’ll hear about all these special diets for special health needs, but really, the same diet and the same lifestyle choices prevent the same diseases. With rare exceptions, you don’t need 20 different preventive modalities—just one really good diet.”

And that “one really good diet,” Pratt says, should be founded on superfoods, including blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, spinach, green or black tea, tomatoes, probiotic-rich yogurt and walnuts.

“For example,” says Pratt, “blueberries, broccoli and tomatoes have a large number of peer-reviewed published studies substantiating their health benefits. These foods are readily available, inexpensive and have other benefits, such as high fiber content. And they’ve been used for years, with no drawbacks, side effects or toxicity; you’re never going to see a headline that blueberries are bad for you.”

Broccoli, too, is a superfood star. It’s rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant linked with a reduced risk of a number of cancers. “The phytonutrients in broccoli help detoxify carcinogens found in the environment,” says Pratt. “They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and we know that an important factor in reducing the risk of disease is to support healthy inflammation levels.”

Likewise, Bonnie Minsky, a licensed and certified Nutrition Specialist, Public Health educator and certified menopause educator with a private practice in Northbrook, Illinois, outlines her top ten superfoods. Among the superfoods she indicates provide health benefits far beyond their recognized nutritional value are: pomegranates, cinnamon, avocados, algae, flaxseeds, turmeric and wild salmon.

And let’s not forget about coconuts. Coconuts are superfoods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and ultra-healthy, medium-chain fatty acids.

Even typical holiday foods make the superfood list—so there’s no excuse to not eat them. For example, cranberries are full of antioxidants, including vitamin C and others. Likewise, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

In short, superfoods can mean a super you!

 

Information sourced from http://www.gardenoflife.com/A-Way-of-Life/HEALTHY-LIFESTYLE/ContentPubID/662/settmid/3463.aspxsuperfoods