Monthly Archives: February 2017

Potato Leek Soup with Broccoli

Cream of Potato Leek Soup with Broccoli

 

 

A comforting soup for a cold winter day. This coconut cream of potato leek soup comes with the healthy addition of broccoli.

 

Potato Leek Soup with Broccoli

Ingredients                                Makes: 6 servings
5 cups of vegetable broth            *Try our Vegetable Herb Broth recipe!
3-4 tbsp of avocado oil or coconut oil
1-2 leeks, chopped fine
3-4 garlic cloves,  minced
5 potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
1 cup broccoli, cut into small-medium sized florets
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp of flour or 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour (for roux)
1 cup coconut milk or 1 small can of coconut milk
sea salt to taste
thyme to taste

Instructions
Warm the vegetable broth in a sauce-pot or dutch oven.

In a large skillet over medium add 2 tablespoons of oil and the chopped leeks. Cook the leeks for about 4 minutes then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When leeks are softened, add the cooked mixture to the broth.

Add another tablespoon or so of oil to the skillet and add the chopped potatoes. Cook the potatoes on medium-high heat, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. Cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes or until they form a golden jacket on the outside, but still firm on the inside. Transfer potato now to broth mixture along with the cut broccoli florets.

Making the Roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Slowly whisk the flour into the melted butter. When it begins to bubble add about a 1/4 cup of just the broth and also whisk it in. The mixture should begin to thicken, as it does continue to add broth until 1 cup worth is whisked in and thickened. Be sure to whisk out any lumps before adding it slowly back into the broth mixture.

Stir the coconut milk into the broth and allow the soup to cook for about 5 minutes before giving it a taste test. Add seasonings such as sea salt, pepper and thyme to taste.

Allow soup to cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are fully cooked.  Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

*Try our Vegetable Herb Broth recipe!

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Nutritional Healing Recipe collection in our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home Page here!

 

Healing Foods for Cancer

Foods That Heal

Eating nutritious whole foods and staying active is anyones best guarantee to a long healthy life. Maintaining a well-balanced nutritious diet will provide the body with the nutrients it needs in maintaining a strong immune system and preventing chronic disease.

Some foods have specific nutrients with health benefits that can help in fighting different diseases. In this section we explore a variety of serious chronic health conditions and look at the specific beneficial foods that can offer support in healing

Healing Foods for Cancer

Cancer is the leading cause of death for both men and women in Canada according to Health Canada statistics. Many things have been found to contribute to the development of cancer; such as smoking, radiation, chemicals, hormones, viruses, chronic inflammation, obesity, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. The good news is that many of these contributors we have control of and are preventable.

Keeping an active healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet is anyones best fight against cancer.  A strong immune system will help fight off viruses and diseases, extending the length and quality of our lives.

Long throughout history man has used food and herbs for healing. Some foods are still recognized and used today to have powerful healing properties. In fighting cancer, certain foods have been found to be beneficial in the fight. Some of these healing foods include: cruciferous vegetables, folate -rich vegetables, turmeric root, ginger, cinnamon and green tea.

Cruciferous vegetables provide strong cancer fighting properties because they are rich in vitamins and nutrients, as well serve as a good fibre source. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a substances known as glucosinolates which have been found to inhibit the development of many types of cancer. Cruciferous vegetables include: arugula, cabbage, bok choy, kale, turnip, mixed salad greens, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, radish, rutabaga, turnips, watercress, horseradish and wasabi.

Folate -rich foods have been the subject of several studies around the world through different cancer institutes. This research has found that diets high in folate -rich foods reduced the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Recent research has found that synthetic supplements of folate like folic acid actually increased the risk of these cancers and accelerated the process opposed to reducing them. It is advised to increase folate intake through folate food sources and not through supplements. Folate -rich foods include: lentils, kidney beans, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, beets, lima beans, sunflower seeds, spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus, green peas, cabbage, avocados, romain lettuce, strawberries, oranges, eggs and bananas.

Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cooking and one of the main components of curry powder. A study conducted by India’s Alagapaa University, published in the Wiley science journal, Microscopy Research & Technique in 2012; found curcumin in turmeric had anti-cancer properties, especially when taken in combination with catechins, a major active ingredient found in green tea. Another study through the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany in 2012 showed that curcumin can inhibit the formation of metastases in both prostate and breast cancer. Many studies have been conducted around the world that all suggest curcumin has strong anti-cancer properties.

Green Tea has long been known for its detoxing abilities. According to a study conducted by The Alagapaa University in India in 2012, when catechins (a major active ingredient in green tea) are combined with curcumin (turmeric), it boosted its anti-cancer effects.

Ginger is a zesty root often used as a spice popular in Indian cooking. Ginger can also be steeped and enjoyed as a tea. Ginger is known for easing gastrointestinal distress and for its anti-inflammatory effects. Cancer research conducted by the Minnesota’s Hormel Institute in 2003 found that ginger can inhibit colorectal cancer growth. In other research, the University of Michigan presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer, that through a recent study ginger was found to kill ovarian cancer cells.

A compound found in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde has been found to inhibit cancer tumour growth, causes cancerous cells to self-destruct and protects DNA from damage. Studies have shown an especially significant improvement to colon cancer and is currently being investigated as a natural anti-cancer agent.

Vitamin D (best absorbed through sunlight) helps fight against skin cancer. The controversy of whether sun exposure causes cancer can be explained. Over-exposure to the sun causing severe sunburns in conjunction with excess omega-6 in a person’s system, is believed to put a person at risk of melanoma later in life. The sun itself is not dangerous, instead it is very healing; just learn to limit your sun exposure. Health experts agree that a person should spend between 10-30 minutes in the sun every day; with arms and legs exposed. Be wary of sunscreens also as many contain toxic ingredients that have been actually (ironically) linked to cancer.

Other food considerations include choosing natural organic foods instead of foods with artificial ingredients added and foods grown using pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. These chemicals are toxic and not just for insects. Scientific studies have linked several artificial ingredients added to foods as carcinogenic. GMO (genetically modified organism) corn has also been linked to cancer and has been banned by several different countries in the world. Pesticide-contaminated foods have actually been the cause of death to several groups of people in different parts of the world. As well, different pesticides have been linked to different types of cancers.

Baking Soda is a naturally occurring substance that traditionally was used as a treatment for colds, the flu and other diseases. Recent studies suggest baking soda can be used in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Cancer is a fungus and can be caused by fungus, as well thrive in an acidic environment; according to research by the Mayo Clinic. Baking soda on the other-hand has strong anti-fungal properties, as well alkalizes the body when consumed. Caution must be advised in taking baking soda regularly as it can deplete the body of vital vitamins and minerals; as well can cause hypertension and fluid retention.

Maintaining a PH of 7.4 has also been recognized to greatly reduce a person’s chances of getting cancer, as well will help in the fight against it. Cancer thrives in acidic environments, but cannot survive in an alkaline one. A person can have a blood analysis done, or have other bodily fluids tested to determine their acidity/alkalinity. Many people today do have acidic bodies as many people today live in acidic environments and consume acidic foods and drinks. Acidic foods include: meats, grains, and sugars. Alkaline foods include: fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. Drinking plenty of water with lemon juice added will also help alkalize the body.

Oxygen has also shown to destroy cancer cells; so be sure to get outside regularly for some fresh air and stay active to keep your heart pumping blood and oxygen throughout your body.

Let an active lifestyle and healing foods be your medicine and may you live a long life.

Written by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive page to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Foods that Heal category to learn more about other benefiting foods in the treatment and maintenance of other serious chronic diseases and conditions.

Try our Ginger Vegetable Stir-fry recipe! Ginger root and vegetables are excellent healing food sources for fighting cancer.

 

Try our Broccoli Pesto Pasta recipe! Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are excellent healing food sources for fighting cancer.

 

*Visit our Recipe Archive page for more recipes deisigned with your health in mind!

References

•    Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2014001/article/11896-eng.htm
•    Health Canada; Health Concerns; Cancer: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/dc-ma/cancer-eng.php
•    Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=on
•    Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com
•    American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes.html
•    Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/cancer-oncology
•    Collective Evolution: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/07/15/new-study-links-gmos-to-cancer-liverkidney-damage-severe-hormonal-disruption/
•    Environmental Sciences Europe: http://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5
•    GMO Evidence: http://www.gmoevidence.com/
•    National Cancer Institute:https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet
•    American Institute for Cancer Research: http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/broccoli-cruciferous.html
•    WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/top-cancer-fighting-foods#1
•    Food and Vitamins and Supplements! Oh My!: https://hms.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/assets/Sites/Longwood_Seminars/Nutrition_3_5_13.pdf
•    Authority Nutrition: https://authoritynutrition.com/folic-acid-vs-folate/
•    Cancer.net: http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/food-and-cancer-prevention
•    Cancer Research UK: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/can-turmeric-prevent-bowel-cancer
•    The Truth About Cancer: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/benefits-turmeric-cancer-treatment/
•    Mercola: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/04/curcumin-turmeric-benefits.aspx
•    NCBI; National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21780253 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20653974
•    The Food Revolution Network: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/ginger-cancer-treatment/
•    Health Impact News: http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/ginger-beats-drugs-in-defeating-cancer-motion-sickness-and-inflammation/
•    Natural Society: http://naturalsociety.com/benefits-of-ginger/
•    Nature Works Best Cancer Clinic: https://natureworksbest.com/dr-tullio-simoncini-sodium-bicarbonate-cancer-treatment/
•    University of Arizona News: https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/grant-to-fuel-baking-soda-cancer-therapy-research
•    Chi Machine International: http://www.chimachine4u.com/AA.html
•    Cancer Fighting Strategies: http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/ph-and-cancer.html
•    Wiley Online Library: Wiley science journal, Microscopy Research & Technique in 2012: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1097-0029/issues
•    LMU: Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munchen: http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/news/newsarchiv/2012/bachmeier.html
•    National Library of Medicine: Benefits of Sunlight: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/
•    Mother Earth News: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/nutrition/gmo-safety-zmgz13amzsto

Spicy Vegetable and Cheese Bakes

 

A flavourful appetizer similar to a lightly dressed flatbread pizza with a spicy salsa as a spread instead of the typical tomato sauce.

 

 

Spicy Vegetable and Cheese Bakes

Ingredients                                  Makes: 2 large flatbreads
2 large flatbreads*
1/2 cup salsa
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, thinly sliced and diced
6 green olives, thinly sliced or diced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced and diced
3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
sea salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, finely shredded

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degreed F.  Prepare oven for trays to be placed on center and higher racks, to prevent burning the bottoms.

Scoop 1/4 of a cup of salsa on to each piece of flatbread and spread evenly. Evenly distribute the minced garlic, red onions, green olives and green peppers and topped with the thinly sliced tomatoes. Season the tops with sea salt, pepper or any other herbs or spices of taste. Lastly add the finely shredded mozzarella cheese to the top, evenly distributing it.

Place flatbreads on baking sheets and into a pre-heated oven. Bake for about 7-8 minutes. Flatbread can be quartered. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

*Try our Traditional Spelt Flatbread recipe here!

This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

 

Guacamole and Feta Bakes

Guacamole Feta Baked Bread

 

Guacamole is spread over the top of a piece of flatbread and then topped with crumbled feta. A simple and tasty appetizer that is enjoyable eaten warm and cold.

Guacamole and Feta Bakes

Ingredients                                 Makes: 2 large flat-breads
2 large flatbreads*
1 cups guacamole**
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
For the flatbread in this recipe I often make my own, this way I can make it a little thicker and slightly crispier to make the bread more firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare oven for trays to be placed on center and higher wracks, to prevent burning bottoms. Parchment paper can be used also on trays to prevent burning.

Scoop 1/2 cup of guacamole onto a piece of flatbread and spread evenly. Sprinkle an even distribution of 1/4 cup of feta on top of the bread. Dress all four pieces of flatbread the same. Arrange bread on trays and bake in preheated oven for about 7-8 minutes. Flatbread can be quartered. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

*Try our Traditional Spelt Flatbread recipe here!
**Try our Guacamole recipe here!

This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, Calcium, Phosophorus, Magnesium and Folate

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

 

Traditional Spelt Flatbread

Traditional Spelt Flat Bread

This flatbread recipe uses simple ingredients and is easy to make. Can be used as a thin-crust for pizza and all kinds of other dressed flatbread recipes.

 

Traditional Spelt Flatbread

Ingredients                               Makes: 4 thin semi-pliable flatbread
2 cups spelt flour* + keep ¼ cup extra for dusting & adjusting dough
1/3 tsp sea salt
3 1/2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil (for cooking)

Instructions
In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, slowly warm the butter and the milk just until melted, then remove from heat source and turn off heat. In another medium-sized bowl add 2 cups of flour and 1/3 teaspoon of sea salt and mix until combined.

Form a small bowl indentation in the center of the flour. Pour the milk mixture slowly into the center of the flour mixture and combine by puling in the sides. The dough should begin to form into a ball, pulling from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and place the dough. Pat down the dough-ball and then fold in the sides towards the center. Repeat this a few times or until the dough is smooth. Spelt flour’s elasticity can break down if it is over-worked so be sure not to over-knead. Form dough into a ball and wrap with cling wrap. Rest wrapped dough at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes has passed, sprinkle a little more flour on the counter and then place your dough. Gently roll the dough with spread fingers so to cut it into 4 equal pieces , then roll them into balls. One at a time roll out a dough ball into about 1/6” thick rounds, that should be about the size of a large dinner plate, with a rolling-pin. Sprinkle a large plate with flour and place your rolled dough here also with a light dusting of flour.

Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat (level 4 on the electric stove dial). When skillet is heated place one flatbread in the pan, cook for around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. It should begin to bubble up then flip and cook the other side, pressing down if it puffs up. There should be small golden brown spots on both sides. The hotter you cook the bread the less pliable it will be and the crisper the outside of it will become.

Stack the cooked bread on a clean plate and keep wrapped with a clean tea towel – the moisture helps soften the surface, making them more pliable. Continue to cook the remaining pieces until finished.

*Spelt flour is used in many of the recipes on this site instead of the typical wheat flour because it offers a healthier, gluten reduced and more easily digestible alternative to the wheat flour. Whole wheat flour or  all-purpose flour can be substituted for the spelt flour in this recipe if preferred.

Alternative Suggestions

Make multi-grain flatbread by adding these additional ingredients.
•    2 tbsp ground flax seed
•    2 tbsp chia seeds

Season the flatbread by seasoning the oil it is cooked in.
•    2 garlic cloves, sautéed in 4 tbsp of oil and then garlic removed to avoid burning (or)
•    1 tsp cumin + 1/2 tsp coriander + 1/4 tsp of sea salt, gently cook seasoning in 4 tbsp of oil

(Portion out the seasoned oil for each flatbread and cook flatbread in the portioned seasoned oil to enhance flavour)

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

Healing Qualities of Cilantro / Coriander

Spice Rack Remedies

Healing Qualities of Cilantro / Coriander

cilantroCilantro is an annual herb closely related to parsley, whose leaves and seeds are commonly used in cooking. In the United Kingdom the plant is often referred to as coriander, but in Canada and the United States the leaves of the plant are called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander.

Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent especially for metal detoxification. We are constantly being exposed to heavy metals through our environment, water and food. These metals accumulate in the body over time and can cause devastating damage to all of the bodies systems.

They can embed themselves in the endocrine system, in muscle tissue, in the organs and even in the bone. Heavy metals toxicity can lead to serious conditions like anemia, impaired organ function, brain dysfunction causing memory loss and mood disorders; as well hormone imbalances.

Compounds in the cilantro leaf bind to these harmful heavy metals and helps them to be removed from the body. Cilantro can chelate these heavy metals so that they no longer circulate in the body and cause health problems.

Cilantro also offers strong antioxidant support which lays the foundation for a healthy immune system and  protects the body against free radical damage. The antioxidant properties of cilantro come with essential oils that possess anti-rhematic and anti-arthritic properties; that also help to reduce skin inflammation.

Oil compounds found in the leaves of the cilantro plant are so powerful that they protect against several types of harmful organisms; as well providing an antibacterial effect against Salmonella that is more efficient than medicinal antibiotics.

Cilantro is an excellent source for many essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  Especially high in vitamin A which helps maintain healthy vision, vitamin K which supports strong bones and vitamin C which offers strong antioxidant support.

Cilantro leaves are used in the preparation of many Asian, European and Spanish dishes. It is used in the preparation of soups, sauces and pestos; as well is enjoyable in salads, sandwiches and pastas. When added with other spices It can also enhances the flavour of vegetables and of different meat dishes.

Written by: J. Marshall

References

•    The World’s Healthiest Foods/Cilantro and Coriander Seeds: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70
•    Global Healing Center: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-cilantro/
•    Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277627.php
•    Nutrition and You: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cilantro.html
•    National Organization for Rare Disorders: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/heavy-metal-poisoning/
•    Natural Society: http://naturalsociety.com/proper-heavy-metal-chelation-cilantro-chlorella/

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

 

 

Traditional comfort food for those cold winter days; a hearty vegetable and chicken stew with fluffy parsley dumplings.

 

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients                              Makes: 4 servings
5 cups of vegetable broth
2 chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
3 celery stalks, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp thyme, dried or 1-2 tsp fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup spelt flour (for roux)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Dumplings
1 1/4 cup spelt flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder or arrowroot flour
pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg, mixed
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine + 3 tbsp fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Instructions
In a stockpot or dutch oven, warm the vegetable broth over medium heat.

Prepare the soup ingredients by cleaning, cutting, slicing and dicing and then set aside raw chicken pieces in one bowl and the vegetables, onion and garlic in another.

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and then add the vegetable mixture. Cook the vegetables for about 4-5 minutes or until softened, stirring often to avoid burning, then add to warm vegetable stock. Broth can be taste-tested at this point and any additional seasonings like sea salt can be added to taste.

Add a couple more tablespoons of oil to the skillet and turn up heat to medium. Add the chicken pieces to the hot pan and season with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Cook the chicken on one side for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned and then turn over and lightly brown the other side for another couple minutes. The chicken should have a cooked golden jacket but still have some pink on the inside. Transfer the chicken to the warm vegetable broth to finish cooking slowly, as this will make it tender. Add the thyme and the bay leaf to the stockpot, cover and allow it to simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked, about 25-30 minutes.

In a skillet on medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and then slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour mixed with just a pinch of sea salt for the roux. When mixture is fully combined and begins to bubble, then slowly add 2 cups of the broth from the stockpot. Whisk the ingredients together and cook until it begins to thicken. Slowly stir the thickened broth back into the stockpot and then simmer for 8-10 minutes to thicken.

Make the dumplings. Whisk together the 1 1/4 cups of flour, the baking powder or arrowroot flour, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, egg, yogurt, milk and finely chopped parsley until combined. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture until combined.

This dumpling dough mixture should be somewhat runny and can be scooped with a spoon. Reduce heat to low and drop the mixture into the broth in 8-10 large spoonfuls. Simmer, covered, until the dumplings are firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve with parsley.

Recipe Shared by: J. Marshall

This recipe is an excellent source for the Essential Nutrient: Protein.

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

 

Protein – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Protein is made up of amino acids which are essential for growth and development; the building blocks for cells, tissue and muscle. There are 20 different amino acids all which provide their own unique health benefits. The best way to obtain as many of these different amino acids is to eat a diversity of healthy protein sources.

Protein is critical to good nutrition as it plays a role in just about every function in the body. It benefits the digestive system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, helps in energy production and in detoxification as well provides the building blocks for DNA, cells, tissues and muscles.

Characteristics of a Protein Deficiency

It is recommended that protein be between 10 to 20% of your diet, depending on your body composition and lifestyle. Protein deficiencies can result in weight loss, weak and sore muscles, decreased muscle mass and lethargy. Since amino acids are the building blocks of DNA and cells, wound healing is also compromised with low protein intake.

With ongoing protein deficiencies a person can also experience headaches, depression, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety and mood disorders. Digestive functions can also be compromised, causing painful gassy contractions since healthy digestion depends on the amino acids in protein.

Protein Food Sources

All meats are excellent protein sources, although pork is not considered a healthy choice. Eggs, dairy and yogurt are also great sources for protein. For vegetarians, legumes of all kinds, and some seeds and grains are also good sources of this essential nutrient.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Protein

This chart lists the best food sources for protein, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of protein in every single serving.

Protein Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Chicken and Dumplings recipe! Chicken is an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient protein.

 

Written by: J. Marshall

References

•    Canadian Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.ca
•    The World’s Healthiest Foods: www.whfoods.com
•    University of Maryland Medical Center: umm.edu
•    Global Healing Center: www.globalhealingcenter.com
•    Body Building: http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/ultimate-list-40-high-protein-foods.html
•    Healthaliciousnes: https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-protein.php
•    Health Canada: Dietary Reference Intake Tables: http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/reference/table/index-eng.php
•    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services / Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI): https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

Muffin-Tin Mushroom Frittatas

Mushroom Frittatas

 

A tasty egg dish similar to the omelette made into bite-sized portions using a muffin-tin. It is easy to make and can be enjoyed warm or cold.

 

Muffin-Tin Mushroom Frittatas

Ingredients                           Makes: 10 mini frittatas
6 large eggs, mixed
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup mixed mushrooms, slice and dice
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 roma tomato, diced
sea salt & pepper to taste
coconut oil for greasing muffin pan
avocado oil or coconut oil for cooking

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt and stir to evenly coat. Continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until the mushrooms release their moisture and start to turn brown. Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and sauté onion, green pepper and garlic just until tender, be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, cooled sautéed vegetables and diced tomatoes and mix well. Spoon 1/4 cup of mixture into a prepared muffin pan.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until center is set and lightly browned. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive here; to learn more about the nutritional value of healthy foods, essential nutrients and the beneficial foods that help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious nutritional recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

Selenium – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Selenium is a mineral important for many body processes including antioxidant protection against free radical damage. Antioxidants protect the body from cell damage and aging; as well it helps to regulate body inflammation and boost the immune system.

Selenium is a key nutrient in counteracting the development of different viruses and can slow down the progression of some disease. Some scientific evidence also suggests that selenium can reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. Through its ability to fight inflammation, selenium also improves blood flow and helps lower the chance of heart disease.

A diet rich in selenium has been found to boost fertility in both men and women; as well may help to prevent mental decline and improve memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Through assisting in the production of active thyroid hormones, selenium also has the ability to regulate thyroid function, and protect it from oxidative stress. The thyroid gland controls numerous important body functions including appetite, sleep, temperature, weight and energy.

Characteristics of a Selenium Deficiency

A selenium deficiency can result when food is grown in soil deficient of this essential nutrient. A deficiency can result in a weakened immune system, infertility, hypothyroidism, mental fog and fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, fingernail discolouration and hair loss.

Selenium toxicity can also occur through the regular use of supplements, as well through the interaction of other medications. Too much selenium in the system can be toxic and even fatal. Signs of a selenium poisoning include: bad breath, brittle nails, skin lesions and rashes, hair loss, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, muscle soreness, tremors and facial flushing. In serious cases selenium toxicity can result in intestinal and neurological complications, heart attacks, kidney failure and even death. If considering taking selenium supplements, talk to your family doctor first.

Selenium Food Sources

Good sources of selenium include chicken, fish, eggs, some nuts and seeds, yogurt and baked beans. It is always best to get your essential nutrients from real whole food sources other than supplements.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Selenium

This chart lists the best food sources for selenium, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of selenium in that single serving.

Selenium Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Muffin-Tin Mushroom Frittatas recipe! Eggs and mushrooms are excellent whole food sources for the essential nutrient selenium.

 

Written by: J. Marshall

References

•    Canadian Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.ca
•    The World’s Healthiest Foods: www.whfoods.com
•    WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-selenium#1
•    University of Maryland Medical Center: umm.edu
•    Dr. Axe, Food is Medicine: https://draxe.com/selenium-benefits/
•    Global Healing Center: www.globalhealingcenter.com
•    Health Canada: Dietary Reference Intake Tables: http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/reference/table/index-eng.php
•    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services / Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI): https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx