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

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘western diet’

Fennel Another One Of THOSE Foods

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2012

As you may have read, I recently received fennel in my organic produce box that I have delivered.  I was excited because I have heard of fennel, but never cooked with it.  I think I might not have even realized that I have had some before.  As I am thinking about it, I bet I had it put on my plate at a restaurant and assumed it was onion and didn’t eat it.  It looks like onion to me although it does not have an onion flavor at all.  The information I am seeing is that it is compared to anise.  Fennel is an herb that is used both as a flavor and a vegetable.  The bottom portion, the bulb is eaten as a vegetable.  It is related to carrots, parsley, dill, and coriander as it is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae).  Its fronds remind me of the greenery on carrots, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are related.  Fennel is vegetation of which all of it can be eaten, the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds (I know I’ve had the seeds).  According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, this plant contains a unique combination of phytonutrients.

There is one, anethole, that has shown in animal studies to help with the reduction of inflammation and help prevent cancer.  Now, I have stated over and over that chronic inflammation is the body is not good.  Inflammation is an immune response in the body so having the body be in battle mode all the time is not a good thing.  The American lifestyle with its high stress and the average Western Diet which is full of food stuffs have been shown to CAUSE inflammation.  Having herbs and vegetables that can be easily added to the diet and might help with a chronic condition sounds good to me.  Anethole has also been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties according to Nutrition You Can.

Fennel also has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  Vitamin C is the antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals, the things, that in excess, can cause damage in the body.  Potassium is the electrolyte that is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system.  And dietary fiber is necessary to help with digestion and elimination, which when both are properly working systems tend to signify health.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

USDA National Nutrient database states the Nutrient value 1 cup of sliced fennel is as follows:

Energy kcal  27
Protein 1.08 g
Total lipid (fat)  0.17 g
Carbohydrate 6.35 g
Fiber, total dietary  2.7 g

Calcium, Ca mg 43 mg
Iron, Fe  0.64 mg
Magnesium 15 mg
Phosphorus, P 44 mg
Potassium, K 360 mg
Sodium, Na 45 mg

Vitamin C 10.4 mg
Vitamin A 117 AU

I am interested in foods that can help with chronic inflammation, I would like to have more of them in my diet.  At the same time I am interested in reducing the foods in my diet that cause inflammation.  How about you?  Are you interested in foods that might help with chronic inflammation?  Do you think you could add fennel to your diet?

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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?

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