Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘strawberry’ tag

Fresh Fruit & Vitamin C

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fresh-fruit-and-vitamin-cFresh fruit salad needs to be a staple choice in menu planning to provide adequate Vitamin C in the diet, especially when short winter days and sneezing friends can alter your immune status. A healthy fruit salad enhances natural killer cell and lymphocyte production in the body. Vitamin C and the peroxide produced in your body can kill microorganisms and even destroy some bacteria like pneumococci.

Pass on the waldorf salad and choose fruits high in Vitamin C like kiwi fruit, strawberries, papaya, oranges and mango. Even star fruit or carambola has more Vitamin C than blueberries, apples, and bananas. Instead of sending canned fruit cocktail (5 mg Vitamin C), add a tangerine (22 mg Vitamin C) to the school lunch. Forget snacking on grapes to drown out the dinner hunger, eat 1/2 grapefruit or an orange.

Vitamin C is one of the least stable vitamins in our food supply so canned fruits or vegetables have virtually lost their ascorbic acid content. The less processed diet of our forefathers contained more Vitamin C than our currant foods which may be contributing to chronic diseases. Fruit juices that are pasteurized are poor sources of this critical nutrient. Fresh squeezed juices are becoming more readily available and home juicers may even be making a comeback.

Guinea pigs, apes and humans somewhere or somehow in the evolutionary process lost their ability to convert glucose into ascorbic acid in the liver. Some Vitamin C is stored in the body – adrenal glands, pituitary, brain and eye- but not sufficient for meeting daily needs. Those who smoke, take antibiotics, aspirin or pain medications and have environmental toxin exposures to lead, mercury or cadmium may need 2 to 3 times more Vitamin C.

Linus Pauling, Ph.D. a two time Nobel prize winner, stressed the importance of Vitamin C as a means of treating and preventing the common cold. Studies used to prove Dr. Pauling’s hypothesis prescribed ascorbic acid too low to be effective in any medical condition but many researchers now believe his biochemical expertise outweighs the doubters.

The aging population needs to take special heed to including fresh fruit salads in their diet because Vitamin C is crucial to the formation and maintenance of collagen in skin, ligaments, joints, capillaries, bones and gums. Ascorbic acid heals wounds, reduces bruising, and maintains healthy blood cells. Add to that, Vitamin C stimulates dopamine and epinephrine for stress hormone management in a fast changing world.

Ascorbic acid is one of the best antioxidants available in food and as a dietary supplement. Those wanting to select non-GMO supplement choices need to look for tapioca or cassava based Vitamin C because most Vitamin C is produced on corn.

Fresh Fruit with Mango Vinaigrette

2 kiwi fruit, peeled & sliced
1 orange, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup papaya cubes
1 carambola, sliced
10-12 strawberries
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 green onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, basil, cilantro
1 mango, peeled & cubed

Arrange fruit on serving dish. Combine oils, vinegar, salt, green onion, garlic, herbs and mango in blender. Puree. Serve 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over fruit salad or garnish with plain yogurt. Makes 4 servings.

Calories 98 (no dressing), 188 (with dressing)
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 17 (no dressing), 23g (with dressing)
Fat 0 (no dressing), 9 g (with dressing)
Sodium 10 mg (no dressing), 55 mg (with dressing)

Written by bwsl

February 9th, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Chocolate

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Strawberry Salad with Chocolate DressingBefore you munch down on all that chocolate candy in the Easter basket, consider the real truth about which dark chocolate has cocoa flavanols to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

Only a special patent and proprietary process of chocolate production conserves the naturally occurring flavanols from cocoa beans. That patent is held by a family owned chocolate company whose interest the past 10 years was to develop a heart healthy indulgence. Along the way, another big chocolate company tried to infringe on the patent process but closer scrutiny indicates that their dark chocolate label reads very different than the original producer in maintaining cocoa flavanoids. Don’t be fooled by “natural source of flavanol antioxidants”.

The cocoa bean is one of the richest sources of flavanols but the content of flavanols in RAW cocoa beans is different when it is made into chocolate , unless the patent process is used. Chocolate manufacturers roast, ferment, pulverize and even alkalize cocoa which destroys the flavanols.

What about the studies that report cardiovascular disease improvement in blood pressure and blood flow through arteries. A close look at the studies show that the cocoa source used in these studies come from the same patent and proprietary source company. Even the press release of the FASEB Journal article in March 2014 entitled “Dark Chocolate Deters Atherosclerosis” needs to be read closely in order to pick up the statement : “study participants received either specially produced dteasark chocolate with high flavanol content or chocolate that was regularly produced”. Researchers call that “stacking the deck” for showing dark chocolate is healthy.

Since there is no standard method for analyzing flavanols in foods, chocolate manufacturers have the consumer believing that the higher the cacao (70%, 72%, 86%) must indicate more flavanols. Unfortunately, people are consuming hundreds of calories daily thinking they are eating healthy. Flavanols are bitter tasting so sugar is added- usually at least 1 teaspoon per serving.

Your best bet for consuming any flavanols is to add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder into coffee, warm coconut beverage, oatmeal or yogurt. Don’t even bother thinking milk chocolate or cocoa mixes have flavanols. Another way to use cocoa powder is to make this chocolate dressing for fruit salads. A chocolate bar can be grated as a topping for the salad.

Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Dressing

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce, washed
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, washed
2 cups hulled & sliced strawberries
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons CocoaWell powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted macademia nuts
Grated dark chocolate square, optional

Arrange romaine and spinach leaves on plate. Top with strawberries. Combine vinegar, oil, cocoa powder and salt in small bowl. Beat thoroughly. Drizzle over strawberries. Top with nuts and grated chocolate. Makes 4 servings.
Calories per serving : 98; Protein 2 g, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fat 12 g, Sodium 235 mg.

Written by bwsl

December 24th, 2014 at 7:34 pm