Top 10 Foods for Optimal Eye Health

 

Eating the right foods is essential for maintaining healthy eyes. Antioxidants have been credited with preventing illness and anti-aging protection from degenerative disease.

Foods rich in carotenoids, the antioxidant pigment that gives color to produce, have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. 1 As a rule, fruits and vegetables with the most color have more antioxidants.

Studies show that a higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that often appear together, is related to a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related eye conditions.2 Continue reading “Top 10 Foods for Optimal Eye Health”

British Journal Study Confirms Organic Produce Significantly Higher in Antioxidants

Eating Green is a single act with a dual purpose, a healthier planet and a healthier you

Consumers are becoming concerned about food, health and safety issues and the social and ecological implications of their purchases. There is a growing distrust of conventional agro-industrial foods and consumers perceive organic products to be a more sustainable system delivering better-tasting, healthier and safer food.

A ten-year study by scientists at U.C. Davis in California found that the level of quercitin, the most common flavonoid in the human diet and the major flavonoid in tomatoes, increased 79 percent as a result of organic management. Also remarkable, the level of kaempferol, a natural antioxidant thought to prevent arteriosclerosis.

According to a report by The Organic Center in Boulder, Colorado, eating organic fruits and vegetables will increase the body’s antioxidant intake by about 30 percent, as compared to conventionally grown produce[1] Continue reading “British Journal Study Confirms Organic Produce Significantly Higher in Antioxidants”

Blending is not Juicing

Blenders are often confused with juicers and many people think that they probably serve the same function. Blenders make delightful smoothies, do a fine job of grinding spices and coffee beans and my personal blender can emulsify tasty salad dressings in a snap. Smoothies, especially green smoothies are a great addition to a healthy diet, however juicing offers a number of different advantages.

A blender is not the best choice for carrots nor will you be able to make a crisp glass of fresh apple juice with it. Blenders produce a smooth beverage with a lot of bulk that can be very filling.  A blender breaks down produce with rapidly rotating blades and the output contains everything that went in, including the fibrous skin, pith and flesh.  It is important to avoid blending to the point where the fibrous structure is broken down.  Continue reading “Blending is not Juicing”

The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!

The average American diet, heavy in animal products, requires the production of an extra ton and a half of greenhouse gases compared to a plant based diet.1 A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes is environmentally responsible and can help maintain a healthy weight.

In recent years, however many diet books have blamed plant foods, which are high in carbohydrates for the obesity crisis. While the theory persists, health care professionals have advised against low-carbohydrate diets for years.

A  study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 47 percent of calories from carbohydrates) is associated with a greater likelihood of being overweight or obese.2 The July 2009 study found that the lowest risk may be in consuming a diet with 47 to 64 percent of calories from carbohydrates. This was not the first study with these findings.

Continue reading “The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!”

Summer Salad: Pasta, Baby Spinach and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet; they provide energy and are necessary for proper organ function. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are created when commercial processing removes the fiber-rich outer hull and bran in whole grains that result in products such as, white rice, white flour, white sugar, white bread, etc.

Simple carbohydrates are absorbed and digested very quickly and spike blood sugar causing a rush of energy followed soon after by a crash. This is an unhealthy outcome.

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates release energy slowly and are found in vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains, such as oatmeal and pasta. Unlike simple carbs, these foods are also high in vitamins and minerals.   

Pasta has been criticized in recent years as a leading culprit in the rise of obesity. The fact is that pasta is a healthy carbohydrate and a central component of the Mediterranean diet, widely recommended as an effective regimen for maintaining a healthy weight.

Unlike wheat used to make bread, pasta is made from durum, a hybrid of wild grasses and an entirely different species. Like Kamut, durum is much older than modern wheat and has not been as domesticated. Continue reading “Summer Salad: Pasta, Baby Spinach and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing”

Draw Raves with this Luscious Curried Couscous Stir Fry!

Couscous (KOOS-koos) is widely consumed in the Middle East and a staple throughout North Africa, where couscous is the national dish of countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia.

In the 2008 cult classic, “Pineapple Express,” couscous was described as a food so nice, they named it twice and indeed this quick cooking type of pasta is gaining in popularity.

While the granules may look like grains, couscous is actually a form of pasta made by rolling durum wheat flour (semolina) with salted water to form small kernels. Couscous is a light, tasty and very convenient ingredient, as it cooks in just five minutes. Continue reading “Draw Raves with this Luscious Curried Couscous Stir Fry!”

Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous glazed bundt cake? The sheer volume of most bundt cakes make the choice all the more worthwhile. This luscious cake is filed with apple chunks and cranberries, topped with a sweet lemon glaze and calls for Fuji apples. Fuji is a variety that is large, firm and crisp, which makes them perfect for baking.

Poppy Seeds add More than Crunch and Color to Baked Goods

Poppy seeds are a lovely addition to cakes and quickbreads, but they don’t just add color and crunch!  Even the small amount sprinkled on a roll contains some niacin and folate and just one teaspoon of poppy seeds supplies measurable amounts of iron, calcium and zinc. Continue reading “Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!”

Welcome Spring with this Delightful Roasted Asparagus Salad!

Roasted Asparagus Salad is a riot of flavors, textures and nutrition

Roasting asparagus spears takes this spring superfood to new heights that impart unique sweet flavor and a moist, tender texture.

Eating asparagus can help flush excess fluid and salt from the body, and that can help prevent urinary tract infections. That is because asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which makes it a natural diuretic.

Asparagus is packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals,  An excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate, asparagus is a very good source of fiber, B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.

This delicious dish also features ripe avocado, sweet red onion and bite sized grape tomatoes that contain numerous health benefits. Continue reading “Welcome Spring with this Delightful Roasted Asparagus Salad!”

Crockpot Cookery ~ Vegan Basque Stew

Vegan Basque Stew

Coming home to a fully cooked one-dish supper was once only possible if someone else cooked the meal for you. Having a slow cooker means that with a minimum of time and preparation you can have a delicious meal waiting at the end of the day.

Meals made in a crockpot are easy to assemble and especially useful for dishes that improve with long simmering.  Stews are an obvious choice, as flavors deepen and sauces thicken during slow cooking. You need only to adjust the seasonings before serving. Continue reading “Crockpot Cookery ~ Vegan Basque Stew”

Cauliflower Ranks Among CDC’s Top Powerhouse Vegetables

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, highly nutritious vegetables that include broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, arugula, boc choi and collard greens among others.

Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of beneficial biological compounds. These delicious superfoods are rich in antioxidants, contain high levels of phytochemicals, essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. Cruciferous vegetables are also the best source of phenolic compounds, which confer strong antiseptic and antibacterial benefits. Continue reading “Cauliflower Ranks Among CDC’s Top Powerhouse Vegetables”