Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘Healthy Recipes & Menu Ideas’ Category

Watercress Salad

leave a comment

Watercress SaladDespite how North Americans may classify them, weeds like watercress can be healthy and can offer medicinal properties. In fact, watercress is listed as an aphrodisiac in Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica from 77 A.D. Ancient Egyptians knew its benefits before it spread to Europe and Asia.

According to Food Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Persians, Greeks and Romans used watercress as a medicine, eating the leaves raw in salads and on sandwiches. Asian recipes often add watercress to soups and sautes.

Young watercress leaves and stems have a piquant, somewhat peppery flavor that adds zest to the rich complement of vitamins and minerals: vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. It is the best vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation.

Watercress’ medicinal uses have expanded through the years. Ancient cultures employed it as a digestive stimulant and tonic, as well as an anemia remedy. Externally, Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar and Bob Flowerdew write in Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit, it served as a hair tonic and was used on skin to remove rashes. Poultices of watercress were used to heal glandular tumors and lymphatic swelling.

Current research is focused on the antiangiogenic cancer-suppressing properties found in this relative of the radish. Watercress’ isothiocyanate compounds make it an excellent plant for juicing by people who want to minimize abnormal cell growth.

To purchase watercress, look in the produce section for a sealed plastic bag with a hydroponically grown cluster of stems and leaves.

You can snip off just enough for mixing into yogurt to serve over grilled salmon.

Or enjoy this vegetable, which has more vitamin K (250mcg in about 3 1/2 ounces) than broccoli (205mcg) and green cabbage (145mcg), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture database, as I do, in a watercress salad that tantalizes the taste buds.

Watercress Salad

2 to 3 cups watercress
2 cups broccoli florets
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped scallion or onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried juice-sweetened cranberries

Trim thick stems off watercress and chop into bite-sized pieces. Steam broccoli florets just until crisp. Cool. Combine garlic, scallion, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss watercress, broccoli and vinegar mixture together. Top with cranberries.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 34 calories, 1g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 18mg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Vegetable Stir Fry

leave a comment

Vegetable Stir FryThe highlight of the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) meeting in July was meeting Karla Chambers, Vice President of Stahlbush Island Farms. Her book, Farming, Food & Fine Art is filled with easy to prepare fruit and vegetable recipes with full color photos that make your mouth water. A Recipe & Coloring Book – The Color of Nutrition is just what is needed to encourage better eating habits. Both can be ordered from Stahlbush Island Farms at www.stahlbush.com or Amazon.

The IFT conference also featured corn as a whole grain that food processors like Kellogg, Post and Pepperidge Farms will be using in cereal bars, crackers, baby snacks and baking mixes because it is gluten-free.

Stevia plants take too much land for growing this alternative sweetener so Cargill (makers of Truvia) and Evolva, a synthetic biology pioneer will be converting corn into steviol glycosides via a fermentation process that begins with genetically engineered baker’s yeast.

Another low calorie sugar called ” allulose” added excitement for beverage, yogurt, ice cream and baked goods manufacturers. It has the bulk, texture and taste of sugar with no calories and 70% of the sweetness. Whether it can be labeled as “natural” is yet to be decided. Allulose is found in small amounts in some fruits but the manufactured product is produced via the enzymatic conversion of corn, sugar or other materials containing fructose.

Cricket powder was a show stopper. Dr. Aaron Dossey, founder and CEO of bug ingredients and research firm All Things Bug, stated that many producers roast and then grind crickets to make a dark, coarse powder. He grinds crickets for heat-treating them, creating a paler, firmer powder with a more neutral flavor with a shelf life of 12 months that could be used in muffins, pancakes, or protein powders.

Aquatic plants could be the next source of healthy oils according to Mark Brooks, senior vice president of Solazme. Algae oil does not contain trans fats and is a monounsaturated fat like olive oil. It could be used in mayo, salad dressings and fried foods in the future.

Vegetable Stir Fry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag (2 cups) frozen sweet corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 bag frozen spinach or 2 packed cups fresh spinach
Toasted sesame seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Saute 3 minutes before adding garlic and corn. Saute 5-10 minutes longer until onions are tender. Add red pepper and spinach. Saute until spinach is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Top with toasted sesame seeds before serving. Makes 4 servings.

One serving = 72 calories
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 15g
Fat 3g
Sodium 53 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Roasted Radicchio

leave a comment

RadicchioAt its recent annual meeting, the American Diabetes Association estimated that more than 85 million Americans have prediabetes, and that without medical reimbursement for nutrition education most of them will develop Type 2 diabetes.

Major causes of prediabetes are an increased body mass index, or BMI, and the consumption of foods and drinks that have been sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. To reduce the epidemic of diabetes, Americans need more vegetables and healthy fats in their diet. Nutrition education and menu planning could help with that.

As a person’s blood glucose rises, metformin often is prescribed for blood glucose control. People who take metformin have been shown to have malabsorption of vitamin B-12, which ultimately can lead to diabetic neuropathy. In the journal Clinical Diabetes, Dr. M.J. Zdilla indicates that a B-12 deficiency from metformin use can be corrected by supplementation and the use of other oral therapies. At greatest risk is the person who takes metformin for blood glucose control and proton pump inhibitors for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

When I mentioned this research to a group of people with Type 2 diabetes, and we discussed diet, they were quick to tell me how boring salads can be. After listing at least 20 foods that could be made into a salad, I described how salad ingredients also can be grilled or roasted. Suddenly everyone was more attentive. Radicchio, or Italian chicory, for example, brings color, spice and crunch to any meal.

Radicchio is a unique red vegetable with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals comparable to those in blueberries, minus the sugar. The red color comes from anthocyanidins, flavonoids important for collagen production in blood, soft tissues and ligaments. Anthocyanidins are important for skin and protection of all cells from free radical damage.

Adding a red vegetable to the diet of people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes increases health benefits without any added sugar.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at betty-wedman-stlouis.com.

Roasted Radicchio

1 head radicchio
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cut head of radicchio in half and cut each half into 2 wedges, keeping core attached. Place on baking pan. Drizzle on olive oil and thyme. Roast in 400-degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until tender. Arrange radicchio on plate. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 44 calories, 2g protein, 6g carbohydrates, 6g fat, 56mg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Papaya Sauce

leave a comment

PapayaFifty-one million Americans visit doctors and hospitals annually with digestive system disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A papaya fruit preparation could greatly reduce bloating, diarrhea, reflux and constipation based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine.

Papayas were called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus, according to historical accounts of these yellow-orange fruits indigenous to Central America. Today, papayas are grown throughout the world. In Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit, authors Matthew Biggs, Jekka Vicar and Bob Flowerdew write that growing your own tree is as easy as sowing several black seeds in a hole and weeding out the weaklings. Because one male tree is needed to pollinate 20 female trees, a garden should have several trees. Each sex produces different flowers so both need to be represented. Be sure to select non-GMO papayas, not the 7-inch commercial dwarf, for planting seeds.

Unripe papayas keep for many days and can be cooked to release health benefits. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia describes papayas as rich in antioxidants, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, copper and potassium.

A study in Archives of Ophthalmology by E. Cho et al found that papaya lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a primary cause of vision loss in older adults.

Papayas can help prevent oxidation of cholesterol, according to a 2002 study in Atherosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology. It is one of the richest food sources of folate, which reduces homocysteine in the blood and improves mitochondria energy production.

The highest amounts of papain from the papaya are obtained from slow cooking the fruit over low heat until a puree forms. Traditional Chinese medicine recommends papaya be cooked eight to 10 hours. The accompanying recipe results in a weaker concentration of anti-inflammation compounds than the slow cooker method, but Dr. Burkhard Schutz of Biovis Institute of Naturopathic Diagnosis and Preventive Medicine in Germany showed that both techniques yield healing properties for digestion.

Several years ago I visited John Burns, better known as Johnny Papaya, at his Sarasota home, which is surrounded by papaya and citrus trees. His fresh fruit salads always include papaya and he recommended a wedge of papaya at each meal. A spoonful of papaya sauce as a topping for a salad or fruit cup would provide even more benefits.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at betty-wedman-stlouis.com.

Papaya Sauce

2 cups fresh or unripe papaya cubes
1 ripe banana, cut into pieces

Peel and seed papaya. Cut into cubes and place in saucepan. Add banana pieces. Heat over low temperature until a soft puree forms, about 15 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Mash, then pour into bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 2 cups.

Nutrition information per tablespoon: 52 calories, 1g protein, 8g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 37mcg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Eat Beef for B12

leave a comment

Grass Fed BeefPlant foods get all the glory these days as we are challenged to stop eating burgers and choose highly processed meat substitutes. But human beings survive by eating other living things. We need to eat those foods that allow us to survive.

Beef is a significant source of Vitamin B 12 or cobalamin which is needed to form blood and immune cells. support a healthy nervous system and stimulate metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. A Yale University School of Medicine study by Solomon reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2015 indicated cobalamin deficiency was common in the elderly and associated with neurocognitive abnormalities.

Another study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1990 by TUcker et al looked at the biochemical indices of nutrition in healthy people over 60 years old. They correlated the importance of B vitamins- including B12 – with neuropsychological function and concluded that nutrition is critical in the functioning health of the aging brain.

Beef is a far better source of B vitamins than grains or legumes, including fermented soy products. A 3oz serving of beef = 2.51 mcg B12 and 0.08 mg thiamine compared to 1 slice wheat germ bread at 0.02 mcg B12 and 0.1 mg thiamine * or 3 oz chicken at 0.25 mcg B12 and 0.06 mg thiamine (* enrichment with synthetic B vitamins by federal standards).

Grass-fed beef is more expensive because it comes from cattle that eat only grass and other forage foods through out their lives. Conventional beef is fed a diet of grains and other byproducts. USDA standards for grass fed animals require that they must have continuous access to pasture, hay or harvested forage after weaning.

Mayo Clinic outlines the advantages of grass fed beef as less fat, 50% more omega 3 fatty acids than conventional beef, 4 times more CLA or conjugated linoleic acid to reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and improve lean body mass. Grass fed beef is richer in antioxidants- Vitamins E, A. and C.

Critics of meat eating like to argue that cattle produce methane which contributes to environmental change. Methane emissions are substantially less when cattle are grass fed rather than conventional farming according to the University of Louisiana. Furthermore, the journal Global Change Biology reported animal grazing reduces the need for fertilizer and fuel used by farmers.

Cattle do produce methane but animals in factory farms produce more because they are fed poor quality forage which alters their digestive systems. Before we give up consuming beef, poor needs to be done to manage the higher levels of methane caused from natural gas and petroleum production. These sources of methane do not provide us with key nutrients for daily living.

The important nutrition message is that all eaters can lower their global footprint by following 3 simple rules: avoid processed foods and meat from factory farms, reduce food waste, and buy local in season foods.

Grass Fed Beef with Mango Salsa

1 1/2 to 2 pounds grass fed beef sirloin flap steak
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Saute Steak in covered skillet over medium heat until desired degree of doneness, 20 minutes for rare, 30 minutes for medium or 45 minutes for well done. Meanwhile, combine rest of ingredients in small bowl and let flavors blend. Salsa can be made ahead for more flavor blending. Makes 6 servings.

Calories per serving 236
Protein 24 g
Carbohydrates 9g
Fat 9g
Sodium 89 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Fresh Is Best

leave a comment

Broccoli SproutsThe importance of salad vegetables is currently being questioned as feeding the world population takes focus. A recent Washington Post article described lettuce as “leafy-green waste of resources”. Other researchers have criticized salad vegetables as “almost all water” and have to be transported in refrigerated trucks which increases their fossil fuel footprint.

Yes, lettuce is known as the number one cause of foodborne illnesses by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- 22 percent of all food related illnesses in 1998-2008.

Salads can cause overindulgence for dieters who load them up with high fat dressings, croutons, cheese and bacon bits. But, salads offer nutritional benefits if all leafy greens are washed before consumption despite the triple washed declaration on the package. Homemade salad dressings can include healthy choices like celtic or Himalayan sea salt, cultured dairy products with active cultures, and fresh herbs.

Not everything that is on the local salad bar should be consumed raw according to Elizabeth Jefferey, Ph.D. at the University of Illinois-Urbana. Her laboratory focuses on biochemical and nutritional diet components. Cruciferous vegetables- broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard- offer better detoxification benefits if they are consumed lightly steamed. Heat penetration releases enzymes for helping the liver clear deleterious compounds that can be toxic to the body. Frozen broccoli does not offer any of those same benefits because blanching degrades the compounds needed to release sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that have been found important in cancer prevention.

Sprouts can be dangerous because of salmonella contamination but growing your own is easy. Hydoponically grown broccoli, radish and alfalfa sprouts offer nutrient benefits for a healthy salad and can be the base for the salad like the recipe below.

One cup serving comparison of salad greens can help you make healthy choices. One of the major reasons for consuming raw salad greens is for the fiber content which is not taken into consideration when growers say that soli should be used for potatoes or corn instead.

Romaine lettuce: 76 mg Folate, 14 mg Vitamin C, 1456 IU Vitamin A
Red Leaf Lettuce: 28 mg Folate, 10 mg Vitamin C, 1064 IU Vitamin A
Iceberg Lettuce: 31 mg Folate, 2 mg Vitamin C, 182 IU Vitamin A
Radicchio: 24 mg Folate, 3 mg Vitamin C, 111 IU Vitamin A
Arugula: 19.4 mg Folate, 4 mg Vitamin C, 474 IU Vitamin A
Alfalfa Sprouts: 11.9 mg Folate, 3 mg Vitamin C, 51 IU Vitamin A
Radish Seed Sprouts: 36.1 mg Folate, 11 mg Vitamin C, 149 IU Vitamin A

For a healthy salad, lightly steam your cruciferous vegetables before adding them to your salad greens and garnish with slices of radish and tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes increases the lycopene benefits. Since lycopene in tomatoes and Vitamin A benefits from salad greens are lipid soluble, fat is important in your salad dressing.

Broccoli Sprouts Salad & Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 cup fresh broccoli sprouts
1/4 cup thin cucumber slices
1 plum tomato, sliced
Red pepper slice
2 tablespoons Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Arrange sprouts, cucumbers and tomato slices on plate. Top with red pepper before drizzling on dressing. Makes 1 serving.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 scallions, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or dill

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Whisk until blended. Chill until ready to serve.

Calories per 2 tablespoons 67
Protein 1g
Carbohydrates 1g
Fat 5g
Sodium 182 mg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

leave a comment

Chocolate Spinich SmoothieSmoothies are a refreshing way to get your summer fruits and camouflage vegetables for children and those who won’t even look at a slice of tomato. But many recipes are high glycemic, eliciting the same elevated sugar responses you might experience after eating a candy bar.

To keep the sugar level under control, follow this rule: Use two vegetables to one fruit. Having twice as much vegetable as fruit allows smoothies to be enjoyed by everyone.

On Thursday, I will present a “Fasting, Juicing & Smoothies” seminar at Peaks of Health Metabolic Medical Center in Largo, outlining healthy guidelines for your nutrition regimen and addressing the importance of healthy eating habits. Healthy eating can increase telomeres in all the cells of the body and provide vital information to DNA. As we age our bodies need more positive lifestyle choices, such as exercise, meditation and a nutritious diet, to preserve cell metabolism.

With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget how important eating good-quality food can be. Smoothies make for a fast snack or lunch when driving, studying or even answering email.

Consider adding protein powder and coconut oil or avocado to your smoothie to slow down the sugar absorption from the fruit. Consumer Reports found in 2010 that many protein products it sampled had levels of protein lower than what was stated on the label. Nonprotein nitrogen compounds can give a higher nitrogen reading, which is listed as protein on the label. Reputable manufacturers account for nonprotein nitrogen ingredients and don’t mislead consumers by overstating protein content. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not stipulate how protein content is calculated on the nutrition label, consumers should choose products from producers that certify their formulas.

Not all protein powders add amino acids to a smoothie. The processing of protein powders requires heat and oxidizing agents plus solvents to sterilize and pasteurize the product. This process deactivates protein digestibility but cannot be determined from the label. Look for Non-Denatured Protein on the label to select good-quality protein powder.

Because the accompanying Chocolate Spinach Smoothie recipe contains spinach and cocoa, people prone to kidney stones may want to limit their consumption. The most common form of kidney stone is calcium oxalate, but, according to Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, former professor of oral medicine at the University of Alabama, stone formation is caused by poor hydration and low vitamin C in the diet, not oxalates.

William Shaw, Ph.D., of Great Plains Laboratory in Lenexa, Kan., posits that oxalates from spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops and rhubarb pave the way to kidney stones and disorders like fibromyalgia, candida, anemia and autism.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at betty-wedman-stlouis.com.​

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ small ripe banana
1 cup fresh spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
½ tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons amino acid or protein powder
½ cup 2 percent fat plain yogurt (optional)
3 ice cubes or ½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 109 calories, 12g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 62mg sodium.

Note: You can throw in half of a ripe avocado to improve satiety, adding another 40 calories and 2g of fat.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

BEETS

leave a comment

BeetrootBeets are “the most under appreciated food in the history of eating “, according to Carolyn Pierini, a nutrition consultant at the A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine) meeting in Hollywood, FL last month. Beets have been used as a source of food for centuries because they can be grown most of the year in a wide variety of climates and have long storability.

Today beets are recognized as a super food and beet powder is an active ingredient in nutritional supplements. Beets are reported to have the ability to boost stamina, improve cognition and support heart health in Drs. Nathan Bryan and Janet Zand, The Nitric Oxide (NO) Solution. Several recipes included in the three day meal plan include beets for those wanting to exercise longer with less effort.

During the A4M conference I could also measure how many beet meals I needed by using saliva strips to indicate my nitric oxide levels. A lozenge made from beetroot, hawthorne berry and other botanicals did help increase the nitric oxide levels in my saliva from low to normal. But I decided that eating beetroot, arugula, spinach, kohlrabi, endive and parsley offered a more tasty way to enhance my NO factor.

Beetroot nitrate is the source of nitric oxide and it penetrates cell membranes sending signals to every cell in the body. Research demonstrates that NO gets blood flowing and makes platelets less sticky plus brain cells communicate better mood and neurological function. Studies reported in Hypertension indicated blood pressure was substantially reduced after drinking about 2 cups beetroot juice.

Nitric oxide has been the subject of over 130,000 published scientific papers since its discovery in the 1980’s by 3 scientists who were later awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998. NO is the master regulator of blood flow which affects every organ and tissue in the body.

A plant based diet of fruits and vegetables delivers more nitrates into the body which are converted to nitrite by bacteria. Beets are an amazing source of concentrated nitrate.

Beet benefits are also found in the compound betaine predominately from pigments in the beetroot. When beets are cooked in water, some loss of betaine results so roasting beets in the oven is a healthier way to save the nutritional benefits. Peeling and slicing them without cooking is popular with raw food advocates. This recipe can be a delightful salad whether it is made with cooked, roasted or raw beetroots.

Marinated Beets with Goat Cheese

4 small beetroots, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces goat cheese

Thinly slice beetroots. Combine oil, vinegar and honey. Pour over beets. Marinate at least 1 hour or overnight. Place beet slices on serving plate. Top with thyme and goat cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Calories per serving 79
Protein 7g
Carbohydrates 10g
Fat   4g
Sodium 68 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Eye Health & Butternut Squash

leave a comment

Eye health is the subject of mounting research as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), glaucoma and cataracts become the main causes of vision loss/blindness in the U.S. today. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that ARMD has resulted in blindness for over a million people worldwide yet it is unclear how and what triggers the disorder.

ARMD results when light sensing cells in the back of the eye or retina malfunction and tissues are deprived of oxygen and nutrients needed to keep the eye healthy leading to gradual deterioration of vision.

The central part of the retina contains a yellow pigment that serves to protect the eye from sunlight and harmful effects of blue light from computer screens. Reduction of this protective pigment is linked to poor diet and air pollutants like cigarette smoke, vapors from cleaning products and ionizing radiation according to Dr. Walter Pierpaoli, M.D., president of Interbion Foundation for Basic Biomedical Research, Zurich, Switzerland.

Most treatments for both wet and dry forms of ARMD rely on nutritional supplementation of lutein and zeaxantrhin to slow down progression. Dr. Changxian Yi in the Annual New York Academy of Science reports improvement with melatonin, zinc and selenium supplementation. Melatonin is an extremely effective antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body.

A 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Seddon et al listed vitamins E and C, Carotenoids, zinc, selenium and krill oil along with lutein and zeathanin as protectors of eye health.

Once damage is done to eye tissue, it is hard to repair so food becomes the best medicine for eye health. As far back as 1977 in Science, quercetin in fruits and vegetables was hailed as important for healthy vision. Today, anthocyandins from bilberry and wild blueberries are added to dietary supplements for vision health.

Vision changes can cause alterations in mental status especially since most people are visual learners. Ant thing worse that 20/40 can influence cognitive function according to Chung et all in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology Therapy. Those with cloudy vision of cataracts or the three million with glaucoma or 25 percent of the population over 75 suffering from ARMD can all benefit from a healthy diet of carotenoids found in wi nter squash, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, radicchio and kale.

My favorite way to enjoy carotenoids is Butternut Squash & Chopped Pecans.

Butternut SquashButternut Squash & Chopped Pecans

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
! medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Peel squash and remove seeds. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Melt butter in skillet. Add onion. Saute until onions are tender. Add Squash cubes. Stir to coat squash with butter and onions. Cover and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in pecans. Top with parsley just before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Calories per serving 122
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 14 g
Fat 7 g
Sodium 46 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

September 28th, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Seafood = Brain Food

leave a comment

The secret to immortality comes from the sea according to Shin Kubota at Kyoto University. He tends jellyfish and reports they contain apoaequorin- a protein proven to support brain function like memory and learning.

Japan has the world’s oldest population and also enjoys the culinary delights of sea cucumbers and sea urchins. Both of these marine species are able to change the elasticity of collagen within their bodies so researchers are considering they may hold the key to maintaining youthful skin in humans, according to Professor Maurice Elphick in General and Comparative Endocrinology. Peptides within these echinoderms cause rapid stiffening and softening of the collagen in their cell walls which may provide the secret to preventing wrinkles.

Most Americans have become aware of omega 3 fatty acids from seafood sources like wild Alaskan salmon, but few realize that it also contains a healthy dose of astraxanthin to support the cardiovascular system and joint health. Findings reported in Atherosclerosis recommend daily supplementation of 0.5 to 4.5 grams omega 3 fatty acids to improve a blood vessel’s ability to relax. Higher doses were not effective.

We need to start looking to other sources for marine-based fatty acids and minerals in the diet. In December 2012, the New York Times featured a whelk and potato chowder on the front page of the food section. Whelks are a by-catch of the fishing industry that can be boiled in salt water and served as an Atlantic sea snail with garlic butter. Whelks, conchs, and murexes contain concentrated amino acids which have been enjoyed by other cultures to boost libido, increase energy, and improve muscle tone.

To get in the spirit of enjoying the fruits of the sea, try a classic dish called Bouillabaisse or fish soup. It is more of a stew than a soup which originally was cooked on the beach by fishermen using any of their catch that had little market value. Today, Bouillabaisse can be found on some seafood restaurant menus featuring tomatoes, potatoes, onions and saffron to complement an assortment of seafood choices. It fits into the MIND diet (Mediterranean Intervention Neurodegenerative Delay) and the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). Fish and seafood really is brain food. Try adding various assortments of seafood to this recipe for a quick and tasty meal.

BouillabaisseBouillabaisse

1 small onion or leek, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 cups water or fish stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Large pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 fresh sprig
1 1/2 pounds fish, cut into bite-size chunks
2 potatoes, peeled & sliced thin
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, saffron, bay leaf and thyme. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Add fish and potatoes. Simmer until fish and potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes over low heat. Season to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Calories per serving 246
Protein 24g
Carbohydrates 13g
Fat 4g
Sodium 232mcg (No salt added)

Written by PFAdmin

September 28th, 2015 at 3:03 pm