Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘phytochemical’

Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on April 12, 2012

When I wrote the post regarding anti-inflammatory foods, I decided to buy some Turmeric.  At the time I was not able to claim knowing what it tasted like.  I figured since it was used a lot in curries I would be ok with it.  I thought that it would be a good thing to add to our diet.  Since there are so many things that work as an inflammatory, I am always trying to add anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients into our diet.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to use it, but I was wanting to give it a go.  Turmeric has been used in food and as medicine for centuries.  Seems like the West is doing a lot of research to see what health benefits it has.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  “Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.”

Remember Curcumin is the phytochemcial that give turmeric its color.

And Eat This! has a list of 20 Health Benefits contributed to Turmeric including;

-When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

-Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

-May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

Well, I’ve had it for a while now and I really like the flavor.  I’ve added it to soups, to veggies, and to meat.  You know my standard ground turkey and whatever veggies I have?  Well, it really makes that taste wonderful.  I had cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and ground turkey for dinner a few nights ago, today I decided to have the leftovers in a tortilla.  Since we have a few cucumbers I decided to use some up by slicing it really thin and putting it in the tortilla with the meat and a bit of parmesan cheese.  WOW!  The turmeric and the cucumbers were a party-in-my-mouth flavor.  It was really good.  So now I am going to serve cucumbers with my turmeric ground turkey.  Many people can describe flavors, I can sometimes, but I cannot describe the flavor or turmeric.  I would say that it is somewhat mellow so it won’t necessary overpower what you are using it with.  It is not hot or bitter.  I think it can be used with anything savory.     
 
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,Wiki says “it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell” but I don’t agree.  Maybe I will give it the mustardy smell, but not off the top of my head.

But there is a problem with turmeric.  It dyes everything yellow!  I now have several bowls and utensils dyed yellow because I used them to stir, serve, or store something with turmeric in it.  It is just as bad as tomato sauce when it comes to dying things!

I am familiar with turmeric in its powdered form, but it is a root like ginger, so if you get it in root form you can use it just as you would ginger.  You could chop it, grate it, cut it up . . . the same as ginger. 

If you like the flavor it seems like a great thing to add to just about everything.   Since it is touted as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, help in the treatment of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, improves liver function, prevents some cancers, lowers cholesterol, helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces risk of childhood Leukemia among other things — why not add it to things?

Do you cook with Turmeric?  If so what do you add it to?

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Pecans – A Rich Treat

Posted by terrepruitt on October 15, 2011

PNia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, Cardio Workoutecans are so rich they are like a pastry.  Full of fat and sweetness.  As you can see the nutritional facts are:

(for) About a ¼ cup

200 Calories
20 g of saturated fat
0 g cholesterol
0 mg sodium
4 g carbs
2 g dietary fiber
3 g protein

So as a dessert they are great, with 0 cholesterol, 2 g of saturated fat, and 0 sodium.  One fourth cup makes a great treat.  They have a natural sweetness that could assist in curbing the desire for sugar.

According to Power Your Diet, pecans contain monounsaturated fatty acids (which are said to assist in the reduction of  low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol).  They are a source of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are thought to help in the fight against certain diseases.  Studies have shown that antioxidants help protect against cell damage.  Cell damage is thought to be the cause of diseases such as some cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and Parkinson’s.

Pecans have many phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are presently believed to help reduce the risk of cancer.  As with many foods it has to do with fiber and their anti-inflammatory properties.  Medical research is proving that chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases.  It is not good for the body to remain in a state of chronic inflammation.  Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can serve as a great addition to many diets.

Pecans have a large group of the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, Folate, and pantothenic acid) and also contain minerals such as iron, calcium, iron manganese (which is different from magnesium), magnesium, zinc, potassium, and selenium.

Also, pecans have proved in studies to help lower total cholesterol by over 10%, and the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) by OVER 15%.

And I don’t know about you, but I love pecans.  I can eat them plain, just a handful all by themselves.  Or they make a great addition to a salad.  The salad can be a combination of sweet and savory or just full of veggies.  They also make a great addition to cookies.  Lately – since I have a huge bag of them (I bought a wholesale bag . . . two pounds) I add them to cookie recipes that call for walnuts.  I actually think of them as interchangeable and use them in place of walnuts when I have a bag of pecans and not walnuts.

Pecans with a salty soft cheese makes a great appetizer.  The mixture can be spread on crackers, bread, or can be used to fill celery.  If you mix some chopped nuts with a crumbled cheese you can put it in lettuce boats.

They can add their buttery goodness to any recipe.  Because they add a flavor of buttery richness it is possible to cut down on the butter or added fat when you add them to a recipe where butter is just used as flavor.  They can be chopped and used as breading for chicken or pork  I like to use a mixture of shredded parmesan cheese and pecans to bread pork.  It can be cooked in the oven or cooked in a pan.  Either way, the butter taste from the pecans adds a decadent richness.

In their chopped form they can also be added to a chicken salad.  Than can be added to your regular chicken salad recipe or substitute, pecans and apple for the celery and onions.  Sometimes I crush some to coat the outside of the sandwich when I am making chicken/pecan sandwiches for a tea.

Nuts contain a high amount of fat but all of the additional health benefits they supply make them the perfect desert.  A little cheese and honey or jam — ahhh.  So much more satisfying than a package dessert full of chemicals.

Do you like pecans?  What do you do with them?

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