Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘World’s Healthiest Foods’

Strawberries

Posted by terrepruitt on August 14, 2017

I think I might have mentioned that I am not a strawberry fan. I will eat them, but I don’t go all gaga for them. Usually if they are in a fruit salad I will give them to my hubby. But we were invited to a Fourth of July party at the last minute and I didn’t know what to bring. I didn’t think about the Champagne Strawberries, but even if I had it was so last minute that would not have worked. I wanted to bring something cool since it had been hot and I wanted to bring something colorfully patriotic. And, of course, since it was the last minute I wanted to bring something easy. So I opted for strawberries, raspberries, yogurt, and blueberries. Red, white, and blue. Basically using the yogurt like a dip and dipping the fruit into it. Well, a little out of character (I’m usually running late), we arrived right on time. Which is always a bit shocking for hosts. There wasn’t much food out at the time because no one else was there. I thought I would try a strawberry in the yogurt (I like raspberries and blueberries even less than strawberries). Much to my surprise I liked it. I really liked it. The yogurt was Honey flavored Greek yogurt. Then this past weekend I was going to go to a friend’s so I bought some strawberries and yogurt thinking we could snack on that. But then I didn’t end up going. But, I did end up eating the strawberries and yogurt. So it got me thinking about the nutritional value of strawberries. I had thought I had heard something about them having a lot of fiber.

Of course one place I found information on strawberries was Wiki. Wiki says botanically the strawberry is not even a berry because the actual fruit (flesh) doesn’t come from a plant’s ovaries.

Several sources state that strawberries may help prevent heart disease. The World’s Healthiest Foods, says: “Research on the antioxidant content of strawberries is providing us with stronger and stronger evidence about their ability to lower risk of cardiovascular disease.” One website mentioned a study showed that young and middle-aged women’s risk of heart attack was reduced by 32 percent by regularly consuming one of the flavonoids found in strawberries. In animal studies, the anti-inflammatory flavonoid, quercetin, showed to “reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.”

They may also help lower blood pressure with their high potassium and polyphenol content. High potassium, might help lower the risk of strokes. Their antioxidants might help lower the risk of strokes and cancer. The anti-inflammatory flavonoid, quercetin – as mentioned before – might even help with some allergy symptoms.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitStrawberries are high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Nutritional breakdown of strawberries according to the United States Department of Agriculture

Serving Size: 1 cup halves fresh strawberries (152 grams)

Calories: 49
Protein: 1.02 gram
Carbohydrates: 11.67 grams
Sugar: 7.43 grams
Dietary fiber: 3 grams
Calcium: 24 milligrams
Iron: 0.62 milligrams
Magnesium: 20 milligrams
Phosphorus: 36 milligrams
Potassium: 233 milligrams
Vitamin C: 89.4 milligrams
Vitamin A: 44.82 international units

So many people love strawberries. And they can be eaten so many different ways. They can be eaten fresh and all by them selves or added to any variety of dishes. They can be cooked, canned, preserved . . . so many ways.  I normally don’t like fruit in my yogurt, but I liked dipping the strawberries in it.

Do you like strawberries? Were you aware of the many perceived health benefits of strawberries? How do you like to eat them?

 

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

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 »

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?

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

Why, Yes, It is GOOD Fat

Posted by terrepruitt on November 1, 2012

Don’t you just love avocados?  I know so many people who do.  Some people I know could just eat an avocado plain.  Cut it in half, pull it apart, and use a spoon to scoop out the mushy flesh inside.  Ewwww.  Not my thing.  I am not a fan of avocado at all.  I usually get as far as cutting it in half and scoop out a portion, then it starts to get on my hands and under my nails and I am done.  I end up putting it on a dish with a spoon or a knife — depending on the ripeness — and telling my husband he has to deal with it.  I lean towards the idea that they taste like dirt.  But I can’t actually remember the last time I tasted one.  But the idea of it tasting like dirt is stuck in my head.  People are often amazed that I don’t like avocado because most people LOVE them.  They say, “Oh, but you must like guacamole?”  And I don’t.  But there are many smoothie recipes that have avocado in them.  There is also a recipe that came with my blender for tortilla soup recipe that has a bit of avocado in it.  I do like that, but it has a very small bit of avocado.  I think that if you mix avocado with enough other stuff the taste can be disguised.  After looking up nutrient information on them I am going to try to add it to more recipes.  It seems the fat in avocados is unique and has the potential for many health benefits.

According to WH Foods about 85% of an avocado’s calories is from fat.  But as you probably have heard it is a “good” fat.  The properties in the fat contained in avocados have anti-inflammatory benefits.  And you might have heard that more and more research is proving that chronic inflammation in the body is being linked to many illnesses and diseases.

The information I am seeing is that avocados are thought to help lower blood cholesterol levels.   Also since they contain oleic acid it is believed they might help lowering risks of heart disease. These are some of the things that are meant by avocados contain “good” fat.

World’s Healthiest Foods nutrient information on Avocados:

1.00 cup (146.00 grams) = 233.60 calories

fiber 9.78 g   /  39.1% of the DVDance 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
vitamin K 30.66 mcg / 38.3% of the DV
folate 118.26 mcg / 29.6% of the DV
vitamin C 14.60 mg / 24.3% of the DV
vitamin B5 2.03 mg /20.3% of the DV
potassium 708.10 mg / 20.2% of the DV
vitamin B6 0.38 mg  /19.0% of the DV

WebMD states:

“Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.”

According to Wiki, avocados originated in Mexico.  Wiki further states “The avocado is a climacteric fruit (the banana is another), which means it matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree.”  I didn’t know that.  I always thought they were picked too soon, but apparently they ripen off the tree.

So do you like avocados?  How do you eat them?  Do you have any recipes that you put them in?

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

No Need To Soak Your Oats

Posted by terrepruitt on April 3, 2012

All in the quest for something quick and easy to eat before I teach my Nia classes . . . . I am on my sixth oat post.  The last post was about why some people believe we need to soak our oats before eating them. This post is about why some people believe we should not bother soaking our oats before eating them and even a little bit about we should not soak the oats before eating them.

One of my favorites sites wrote up information from the point of view of “I”, so I am thinking that it is George Mateljan’s point of view since he is the founder of The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods.  He says he doesn’t even consider oats to be particularly high in phytic acid.  Given that the phytic acid is in the outer layers his belief is that cooking reduces the levels of it.  He states that studies have shown that absorption rates of zinc and copper do not get much higher when ALL the phytic acid is removed and in an average kitchen not all of the acid will be removed so soaking is not really contributing that much to the grains nutrition.

I’ve seen articles call phytic acid the “antinutrient”, but in fact it contains antioxidant properties along with a phosphorus (mineral) and inositol (Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.).  Dr. McDougall stated in one of his newsletters:

“It acts as a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. Phytic acid is linked to a reduction in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases in people.”

The Oxford Food & Fitness Dictionary states:  “There is some evidence that those who regularly eat high fibre diets adapt to the high phytic acid content by secreting an enzyme which can break phytic acid down into inositol and phosphorus.”

And the Wiley Dictionary of Flavors in regards to Phytic Acid states:  “An acid found in grains that would normally block the absorption of calcium in the body. However, phytase is present in most of these grains and allows for the hydrolysis of phytic acid by the body as well, nullifying the effect.”

Everything I’ve read seems to agree that phytic acid can bind with minerals and keep the body from absorbing them.  But nothing states that it happens to ALL of the minerals, nothing states that it happens all the time, and nothing states that it happens in every BODY.  Also some people and research believe that it is a GOOD thing that phytic acid binds to minerals because it helps remove toxins that are in the body.  So it could be that a portion of it DOES keep the body from absorbing minerals but the other portion takes out some bad metals and toxins in the body.

Another site states a study, from the Journal of Nutrition, showed that phytic acid stimulates the production of phytase in the gut.  Phytase activity increased the absorption of some minerals.

One study states that while this type of activity might interfere with the absorption of minerals it “may protect against the development of colonic carcinoma” when left undigested in the colon.  Research is showing that phytic acid “is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers”.

Many people stated that with a healthy diet there isn’t really a threat of malnutrition from lack of minerals and bone loss because we do eat other foods that supply us with minerals.

The more I look the more I see the subject being very controversial.  Yet, I see many sources stating why it is not necessarily necessary, it seems the only reference I see stating that it is necessary is Nourishing Traditions.

My posts are obviously not here to tell you what to do.  They are here to share with you what I have learned, what I have found.  I have found two different sides to the story (well, that is excluding the sides that say we shouldn’t eat grain at all, and the side that says we should eat more grain).

Since it seems as if there are benefits to soaking and benefits to not soaking, I would say soak your oats and see how that works for you.  If you sense that they are more easy to digest and you have the time and forethought to do it, then do it.  Why not?  But if you don’t sense a difference and/or you don’t have the time and forethought, I would think that you would be receiving the mineral binding toxic eliminating benefit.  Basically like EVERYTHING else, it is up to you.  There is always going to be information saying the opposite things, so we need to research it and then do what we think, what we feel, what we sense is best for us.

So, what do you think?  Do you think it is necessary to soak oats?

Posted in Food, Oats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »