Grains: Friend or Foe?

Are Grains Evil?Are grains evil? Muahahaha….. Of course not! But, You might think so considering that some folks have black-listed this whole food group from their diet. But, the question begs some discernment regarding the health concerns or benefits of whole grains versus their refined counter parts.

What is the difference between refined grains and whole grains?

In a word, processing. The difference between whole grains and refined grains is night and day from nearly every perspective —the sensory (taste, texture, smell, appearance) to the logistical (shelf-life, cooking requirements, etc.). Continue reading

Why Are Oats An All-Star Grain?

Steel Cut Oats

Believe it or not, grains are not evil! Among all grains, oats are a morning comfort food all-star and can also be used extensively in baking. While oats have a similar amino acid profile as wheat, they retain more of their original nutrients than refined wheat products as only the outer inedible husk is removed during milling. According to research, it is the bran component of oats and all whole grains which contain the most important bioactive constituents. But, the nutrient-rich bran is removed during processing of most other grains. Also, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion, a feeling of satiety and appetite suppression. Continue reading

‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’ Giveaway for National Nutrition Month

TVFBWelcome to the virtual book tour for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page. I am proud to take part in this event, which celebrates Registered Dietitians and National Nutrition Month. Keep reading to find out how you can win a copy of Karen’s latest masterpiece!

Don’t be fooled by the title. This is not a book solely for vegetarians. This is a book for anyone who wants to enjoy a greater range of plant-based whole foods, anyone who wants to improve their health, anyone who tends to go “improv” in the kitchen. It is for anyone tired of the same salad or steamed vegetables. Continue reading

How to Make Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Cubes

Turmeric Anti-Inflammation Cubes

Why do I make turmeric cubes —and will probably never again put turmeric root through a juicer again? Well, let’s go back to Juicing Vs Blending. The Plot Thickens. In this post I remarked that plant fiber is a much more interesting character than we realized. More than simply roughage or a bulking agent, fiber is a carrier for the free radical-quenching polyphenols found in many fruits, vegetables and other plants.

However, most plant polyphenols are fused to the plant fiber and can not be extracted [1,2]. So, if consumed as a whole plant or blended, the polyphenols travel through the digestive tract, then into the colon, where they are digested by friendly flora, producing short chain fatty acids (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) [3,4]. These short chain fatty acids deliver many health benefits, from anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties to inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria and increasing mineral absorption. Some also serve as a major fuel for the cells that line the colon [5,6,7]. But, juice those same fruits or vegetables and most of these valuable polyphenol compounds are removed with the fiber. Lose the fiber. Lose the polyphenols. Continue reading

Juicing Versus Blending. The Plot Thickens….

Juicing Versus BlendingIn “Juicing Removes More Than Just Fiber”, Dr. Michael Greger throws a wrench into the ongoing ‘Juicing versus Blending’ debate. While, both can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, research is leaning towards blending as the victor. One of the main arguments against juicing is the fact that extracting juice from fruits and vegetables removes the plant fiber in the process. Adding weight to this argument, research shows that plant fiber is even more important than the well-established benefits to gastrointestinal health as well as managing blood sugar, weight and cholesterol. Fiber, it turns out, is a polyphenol carrier. Continue reading

21-Day Cleanse: Go!

2015 Cleanse

 

Today was the start of my annual cleanse. After the holidays, vacation, followed by a sales meeting, my sinuses are not happy, allergies are acting up, my waist has expanded and my energy is a bit sub par. I’m more than ready to get back on track. This year, I have invited others to join me. Some will be joining me for the full 21 days. Others are joining for 10 days, which is perfect for a first time cleanse. Whether you are participating or just following along, just to check it out, here a few things to keep in mind. Continue reading

Benefits of Raw Cruciferous Vegetables -When Cooked!

CruficersWhat do raw broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes arugula and bok choy have in common? They are all members of the cruciferous family of vegetables. As such, these raw cruciferous vegetables are the produce aisle-equivalent of a wonder drug for protecting the brain, eye-sight, reducing free radicals, eliminating toxins and preventing cancer [1].

Unfortunately, most individual’s intake of crucifers is low and their intake of raw crucifers is even lower. Raw Brussels sprouts anyone? While cooked crucifers are nutrient-dense, providing fiber, vitamin C, calcium and more, the cooked versions lack sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a molecule within the isothiocyanate group of organosulfur compounds. It is the equivalent of a pharmaceutical drug’s main active ingredient and is most responsible for broccoli’s health benefits. Continue reading

3 Ways to Get the Most From Turmeric

Turmeric Anti-Inflammation DrinkUsed for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, the healing powers of turmeric have now gained mainstream awareness. Turmeric and curcumin, the most active constituent of the spice, have been the subject of thousands of studies, revealing the following: Continue reading