Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘thyme’ tag

Roasted Radicchio

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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

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


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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