Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Omega 3’

Good Nut

Posted by terrepruitt on August 22, 2013

Walnuts are awesome.  As you may have read in some of my other posts, my hubby doesn’t really like walnuts.  I find that fact rather funny because he likes pretty much everything, but he is not fond of walnuts.  One day I had a bag of pecans on the table and I was having some for dessert.  He grabbed a couple and ate them.  As he was eating them he looked at me and said something like, “What?  These are so good.  Why did I not know these are so delicious?  I am amazed!”  I actually laughed at his reaction to them because pecans really are very yummy.  They are rich and slightly sweet and he didn’t know the joy.  Walnuts are different and he doesn’t care for them.  I think walnuts are awesome.  The thing I like about nuts is they can be used in sweet or savory dishes, or even eaten by themselves.  Walnuts are a bit harder than pecans.  Pecans almost feel stale or old because they are kind of soft.  Walnuts are hard and they are not as rich, but they are very good and good for you.

Walnuts have Omega 3 fatty acids in them. You might have heard that Omega 3 fat is the fat that we need to consume.  Research has indicated that we don’t eat enough of it AND that it is a helpful and healthful fat.

My research has uncovered 1 ounce / roughly 28 grams has

190 calories
4 grams of protein
18 grams of total fat (1.5 grams of saturated fat and 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat)

4 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
28 mg of calcium
.82 mg of iron
125 mg of potassium
11 grams of Linoleic acid
2.5 grams of Linolenic acid

The Linoleic acid is the Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  And it is the Omega 3 that we want.  Omega 3 is considered an anti-inflammatory.  As I have mentioned in numerous other posts, anti-inflammatory foods are a welcome part of a healthy diet.  With more and more research pointing to the association between chronic inflammation in the body and disease, it is a good idea to consume foods with an anti-inflammatory effect.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods site:  Research has shown walnuts to help with cardiovascular health.

They have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease total cholesterol, and increase omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells.  Also decrease the risk of excessive clotting and excessive inflammation.

For me, as I mentioned they can be eaten in savory dishes, like with green beans (click here for a green been recipe) or in sweets.  I like to put walnuts in my banana bread, but I don’t because John doesn’t like them and I primarily make the bread for him.  But I do put them in the Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies (click here for that recipe).  He actually is ok with them in the green beans and the cookies.  I also think they are a great snack or dessert.

Do you like walnuts?  How do you like to eat them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Zucchini Has Antioxidants and Vitamins

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2012

I don’t think I really knew that the zucchini is a hybrid of the cucumber.  I do sometimes have trouble telling them apart when they are cut up in a salad, but I never really thought about their relation.  I guess I figured they were related somehow.  Since zucchini and cucumbers are related that makes zucchini a fruit.  Geez louise.  I would be in so much trouble if my life depended upon knowing the difference between what actually is a fruit and what isn’t.  Most of the vegetables I think of as vegetables are actually fruits.  The culinary world and the world of botany doesn’t always match up.  Wiki describes the zucchini in the following appetizing way:  “swollen ovary of the zucchini flower”.  Yeah thanks, I want to eat swollen ovaries. 🙂 I am mostly familiar with the green zucchini, however, it is called a summer squash.  I call yellow zucchini squash, not zucchini.

You might see recipes calling for courgettes . . . that is zucchini.

In regards to nutrition, zucchini are low in calories.  They are a great source of antioxidants.  In about 100 grams of zucchini there is 17 mg of vitamin C.    It seems the best way to get the most antioxidants out of the fruit is to steam them.  I am not sure I’ve tried them that way.  I like to roast them, but the time involved to get them the way I like them usually keeps me from making them that way.  As I mentioned in my Grated Zhuccini is GREAT post I actually like to grate them and mix them into other foods.  I think they go great with linguine and rice.  Not linquine and rice together, but one or the other.  A comment made on that post was asking if they are stringing when they are grated, but they are not, after it is cooked it has the consistency of cheese.  My last mix was turkey . . . . which is yummy too.  I also like them raw, sliced paper-thin, in green salads.

My mom makes them into cheese boats.  That’s a great way to cook them too.  Kind of like the eggplant I did, but she takes a little out from the middle and then puts cheese in them.  I only did that once.  That was really good.

Zucchini has a few of the B vitamins, as you can see below.

Also since the seeds contain Omega 3, zucchini might be one of those anti-inflammatory foods that can help with the inflammation of the body.  So many other foods (sugar, dairy, foods with transfat, refined grains) ADD to chronic inflammation it is always nice to get the foods into our diet that help combat it.  I say “might” because the information I read had said that studies have yet to prove . . . but if the seeds have Omega 3 the might help in the battle.

According to WHFoods, 1 cup (113 grams) of raw zucchini contains:

vitamin C 32%

molybdenum 18%

vitamin B6 12.5%

manganese 10%

vitamin B2 9.4%

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Niapotassium 8.4%

folate 8.1%

fiber 4.9%

magnesium 4.8%

vitamin A 4.5%

phosphorus 4.2%

vitamin K 4.2%

vitamin B1 3.3%

tryptophan3.1%

copper 3%

vitamin B 32.7%

protein 2.7%

omega-3 fats 2.5%

Calories (18) 1%

Since is it summer time here and they call zucchini a summer squash, it’s a good time to post about it.  Especially since I received some in my organic produce box.

How do you prepare zucchini?  Which color do you use?  Which is your favorite?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flax Seeds – Big Things In A Tiny Seed

Posted by terrepruitt on April 10, 2012

For a long time now, I have been hearing about the nutritional benefits of flax seeds. I know one of my Nia friends said she uses them. They have probably been in the spot light a bit more lately as more and more information becomes known and available about inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the body’s response to things in it that shouldn’t be in it—as in, a very large part of the average Western Diet. With the over processing of food comes a huge amount of chemicals and chemically altered compounds. These types of things are not meant to be in our bodies and used as “nutrition”. In addition, the average Western Diet contains too much omega-6 fats. Omega 6 fats are linked to health issues and inflammation. Flax seeds contain omega-3 which is an anti-inflammatory agent, among other things. There is a ratio of the fats that is thought to be the optimal. I’ve heard that it is 3 to 1. Wiki states: “Modern Western diets typically have ratios of n−6 to n−3 in excess of 10 to 1, some as high as 30 to 1.” 

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Flax seeds can be eaten whole, but they are difficult to digest so the common thought is to grind them so that their nutrition is readily available. I didn’t know that when I bought them otherwise I probably would not have bought such a HUGE quantity. I just remember see information that said to put them in things. I thought I could just toss them into — whatever. Well, it seems like I can, but I might not be getting all the nutrition out of them eaten that way then if I grind them.

Omega 3 is thought to do many wonderful things. It is thought to help protect against heart disease, cancer (both prostrate and breast cancer), and diabetes. And help with high blood pressure through both control and prevention. Also studies are showing that flax seeds can help lower cholesterol. Some studies show that flax seeds may help in reducing hot flashes. As little as “40 grams (1.4 ounces) of crushed flaxseed each day” (per WH Foods) cut the flashes in half.

Web MD says: “Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Lignans which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
Fiber
. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.”

Remember lignans are phytochemicals!

Flax seeds are best stored whole in the fridge. Once ground they tend to go rancid quickly, they should be used within a week. I guess I could grind some once a week and just make sure that I use it all. As with many foods that deliver great health benefits, they are still meant to be a part of a healthy diet. None of the amazing foods are meant to make up for an unhealthy diet, they are to ADD to a healthy diet.

As I first mentioned I know one of you uses them. But I don’t think she said how.  I could use some ideas as I now have four HUGE bags!

What about you, do you use flax seeds as a supplement? How do you use them? Do you grind them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How Do They Get More Nutrients In Those Eggs?

Posted by terrepruitt on August 30, 2011

Nia teacher eats eggs, Nia San Jose, Los Gatos Nia, Eggs Omega 3When I first saw an egg package that said the egg had more nutrients I made a mental note to look into that.  I had been thinking, “How can they do that?  Did they inject the egg with the additional nutrients they claimed it had?”  I mean it seems like that is how they would have to do it, right?

The last time I was in the store buying eggs I grabbed a carton that said, “Now!  For Your Nutritious Diet High In . . . ” in big flashy letters. All the while I am thinking, “Ok, I’m a sucker.”

First of all let me share with you some other information that I found while looking up the information on “more nutritious” eggs.

Brown eggs are NOT more nutritious than white eggs.  I was under the impression that brown eggs were better for you.  Don’t know when I heard that or who from, but that is what I always thought.  Turns out it is actually the color of the hen that determines the color of the egg.  A brown egg comes from a hen with red feathers and a white egg comes from a hen with white feathers.

A brown egg might be more nutritious than a white egg if the hen laying the brown egg was fed better feed.  Ya see, THAT is how eggs get more nutrition packed into them . . . the feed.  What the chicken eats is what affects the nutrition of an egg.  When I was looking for information I saw many things that said organic is best and free range is best.  This makes sense to me because eating food without a lot of chemicals on it seems to be better for all of us and being able to eat what is natural is another thing that seems to be best.  So an organic egg would mean that the chicken’s diet did not have a lot of chemicals on it.  A free range egg would mean that the chicken was able to roam free and eat what a chicken would naturally eat.

The eggs that I purchased claimed to have won awards for best taste.  I don’t eat eggs plain so I don’t know that I can actually tell a better tasting egg.  These eggs also claim that their hens are feed “an improved all-natural, all-vegetarian diet with no animal fats or animal by-products.”  The inside of the carton continues to say that the no hormones are added to the laying hens’ diets and no antibiotics are “used in the production of the Egg-land’s Best eggs.”

Now a hen’s natural diet would include insects.  I don’t know if insects are considered ok in a vegetarian diet or if these hens don’t actually get any insects.  But according to the packaging the diet fed to these chickens makes the eggs high in vitamins D, B12, and E.  Also the were able to produce eggs with 25% less saturated fat than regular eggs.  The pretty packaging claims there is 115 mg of Omega 3 and 200 mcg of Lutein.  At this point there is no RDA for either nutrient, but Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced in the body.  Lutein acts as an antioxidant which helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.  So eggs containing these two nutrients seem like a better choice to me.

The Egg-Land’s Best claims their diet is patented.  From what I have seen in looking around, in order to produce Omega 3 enhanced eggs the hen’s would have to be feed flax seed or fish oils.  I am thinking that fish oil would make the diet not vegetarian.  Some things I glanced at in looking into this topic suggested that eggs produced by hens who had fish oil as part of their diet produced a fishy tasting egg.  Again, not sure about that, but it make me giggle.

I just think it is interesting that the only way to produce a more nutritious egg is to feed the hens better nutrition.  Kind of telling, yes?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anti-Inflammation Foods

Posted by terrepruitt on November 2, 2010

I did a post on inflammation, listing a few things that might contribute to chronic inflammation. A state that stresses the delicate balance of the body. It really seems as if overly processed foods and fast foods are the culprits which is just more reasons to avoid foods of that nature. There are some foods that studies have shown that help fight inflammation, foods we can call “anti-inflammation foods” per se.

Omega 3 oil cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, herring, sardines)

Grass feed beef

Sweet potatoes

Onions

Olive oil

Hemp Oil

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Brussels sprouts

Kale

Cherries

Blue berries

Mangos

Turmeric

Ginger

Garlic

Cinnamon

Apples

Red grapes

Carrots

Green leafy vegetables; dark green leaf lettuce, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens.

Now please keep in mind this is just a partial list. Everyone is different and with so many different bodies, one needs to take what they read and realize that it will not work for everyone. You have to work on yourself and your own diet. See how you feel when you cut some of the “inflammatory foods” out of your diet and add some of the “anti-inflammatory” foods in.

I teach Nia classes because I believe, in addition to food that helps, movement/exercise/being active helps.  I want to help people.

Again food that might help the immune system balance itself and not react with inflammation, something worth thinking about.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Cancer Is in ALL of Us

Posted by terrepruitt on September 11, 2010

Cancer is in all of us.  Could be why we all know someone affected by it.  We all have it in us.  Experts call it “cancer without disease”.  There are microscopic occurrences of cancer in all of us.  Our bodies fight it off, kill it, or just don’t allow it to grow, but it is there.  I watched Dr. Oz and learned some things I want to share.  There is a process in our bodies called angiogenesis, this is a awesome and necessary process, it is when new blood vessels are formed.  This is something that occurs when a wound is healing.  It also occurs as a catalyst for cancer.  When those cancer cells release chemicals causing new blood vessels to form that feed those cancerous cells or tumors that is when cancer becomes a problem.

There are ideas about fighting cancer before it becomes a problem.  Love that idea.  Let’s prevent and not have to deal with the result of the disease once the cells are out of control.  What the talk is about is “starving” the cancer – ANTI angiogenesis.  It is thought that there are foods that will assist with that.

The episode I watched talked about five foods that will help starve the cancer cells that may be/are present before they become an issue that has to be dealt with.  The guest Dr. said, “It’s not about Doctors and drugs, it is about you and what you eat”.  (Love that!)

The video on the site only has what I summed up for you (above), but I was taking notes so I could post it for you:

Five foods to assist with Anti-Angiogenesis:

1) Bok Choy
   A Chinese Cabbage.  (I don’t think I have ever had it.)
Dr. Li said it has brassinin which is believed to help fight cancer.  His advice was to eat 1/2 Cup three times a week.

2) Cooked Tomatoes
(I have heard this before, but I forgot.  I need to put it on my hubby’s plate.)
   Tomatoes have lycopene, but cooking them increases the availability by two times.  So COOKED tomatoes are what they recommend for preventing prostate cancer.  The recommendation is for a 1/2 cup serving 2 to 3 times a week.

3)  Flounder
    (I don’t like fish.)
    This is an omega three rich food and they say a 6 oz serving 3 times a week.

4) Strawberries
   (I don’t like strawberries either, do you know why?  The seeds.  And you know what?  That is where the good stuff is!)
   They indicated on the show that strawberries are believed to be an anti-angiogenesis food in addition to them being high in antioxidants and they said its the seeds.

5) Artichokes
   (I like artichokes, but with mayonnaise (which is not good in the amount needed to eat an artichoke) and I am not a fan of the hearts—and you guessed it that is where the good stuff is.)
   They compared it to milk thistle and said the artichoke is a flower, the show also recommended a “per day” intake of the artichoke, he said 1/2 cup per day.

Some of these suggestions I’ve heard of, some of them are new to me.  I’ve also heard before that cancer is in all of us, but I hadn’t heard about angiogenesis and therefore I hadn’t heard of ANTI-angiogenesis.  It found it interesting.  I wanted to share.  I think I’ll try some Bok Choy next week and make certain that I get tomatoes on our plates.  I’ll hold off on the fish.  What about you?  Do you eat these foods?  Might you start?  How do you cook Bok Choy?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Sunflower Seeds

Posted by terrepruitt on August 17, 2010

I love sunflower seeds.  I love them on my salad.  That is usually how I eat them recently.  I used to shell them, now I just sprinkle the already hulled ones on my salad.  According to the package I have right now they are pretty high in fat.

1/4 Cup has 17 grams of fat

—Calories 200
—Cholesterol 0 mg
—Sodium 135 mg
—Carbohydrates 8g
—with fiber at 3g
—Protein 7g

Someone on Facebook said that she read that they help people suffering with allergies . . . . sneezing and itches.  I eat sunflower seeds so I don’t know that this helps me, but it might help others.  From what I am seeing on the internet, it is the Omega 3 in the sunflower seeds that might be the reason for help because that particular fat helps with inflammation.  Which, if you are an allergy sufferer, you know inflammation is a symptom of allergies.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium and it helps reduce the severity of asthma. It also helps prevent high levels of histamine in the blood. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides 31.9% of the daily value for magnesium.  Sunflower seeds are very high in vitamin E and vitamin B.

Sunflower seeds also might help enhance the immune response because of the phytosterols.  Allergies are just the body’s way of fighting off substances that are bothering it.  So this could be another reason they are thought to help.

I couldn’t find the article that said specifically that sunflower seeds help.  I just found a lot of information that states what they contain, so to me that can point to possible allergy relief.

They are pretty high in fat so it is important to keep that in mind when including them in your diet.  Do you like sunflower seeds?  If you do, do you just eat them plain or do you add them to recipes?

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