Love. Live. Eat.

Superfood Highlight

Superfood Highlight: Acai Berry

Acai Berry Tree

The acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a berry found on the acai palm in South America. They are small, deep purple berries, that have a pack powerful nutritional profile given their tiny size. The acai berry is used in many products such as skincare, shampoos and conditioners, food coloring and packaged foods, and for good reason too. Research has shown that this antioxidant-rich berry may be able to support weight loss, digestion and disease prevention.

Here’s four reasons why you should incorporate the acai berry into your daily routine…

Promotes Skin Health

Our skin needs many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to stay healthy. The best way to ensure you are feeding your skin properly is to consume a predominantly plant based diet, rich in whole-foods. One way to boost your nutrient content is to consume superfoods. A superfood is a food that contains a long list of nutrients so you only need to eat a little at a time in order for it to be beneficial, like the acai berry.

The following ingredients are found in the acai berry, (the ones in color are needed for skin health):

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • B Vitamins } niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin
  • Vitamin K
  • Fiber
  • Omega fatty acids } omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid)
  • Protein
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants } resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin
  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids

Skincare authorities, such as Dr. Nicholas Perricone, and companies, such as Eminence Organics have popularized the berry’s many attributes. In Dr. Perricone’s book, The Perricone Promise, he names the acai berry as his number one superfood. It was chosen because of its beneficial combination of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.

However, you don’t have to apply it topically to reap the benefits of acai. In fact, drinking acai may be best form of ingestion because your body readily absorbs the nutrients as it enters your blood stream quickly. Look for beverages containing acai berry or make a smoothie to get the anti-aging benefits. 

Improved Cellular Health

We all know that health and beauty start form within, as deep as each individual cell. If our cells are damaged, we will eventually incur some sort of ailment. Keeping our cells healthy with a foods like, acai, will keep us strong and radiant from the inside out.

A study published in 2011 reported that the acai berry suppresses biological activity that would degrade cellular integrity. We are only as strong as our weakest cell! Keep those cells healthy with the reparative properties of foods like acai, leafy green vegetables, and sea vegetables.

Acai was also found to boost immune cell function at extremely low doses. If you watch the following video, Clinical Studies on Acai Berries, you can see actual footage of a human white blood cell eating invading yeast cells. When a little acai berry powder is introduced, they gobble more. With no acai, white blood cells were able to engulf about 140 yeast, but in the presence of tiny amounts of acai they engulfed closer to 200. Quite interesting.

Clinical Studies on Acai Berries

Primary research studies suggest that ellagic acid found in acai has the ability to directly inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens in food.

Researchers reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that acai juice was able to protect cells from oxidative damage, and showed anti-inflammatory properties when consumed. It is critical for optimal health to reduce inflammation in the body as it leads to diseases, such as heart disease.

Anti-Aging Effects

Several studies have researched the many compounds the acai berry contains and found them to act as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer functions by virtue of their anti-free radical fighting actions.

In addition, ellagic acid lessens skin wrinkles and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. A study form 2010 demonstrated that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B damage. If you are worried about the effects of aging, which I am sure you are, I suggest stocking your fridge with beverages and foods rich in acai berries, wild strawberries walnuts and pecans.

Process of quality control during the choice of Açai, the brazilian fruit which is considered the fruit of the future.

Protects Your Immune System

This little berry’s list of attributes includes a high level of antioxidant activity. In fact, the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values measuring the antioxidant power of the acai fruit powder has found it to be the highest among fruits and vegetables. 

Acai is a natural free radical scavenger. Free radicals attack your body’s cells by attacking them, through oxidation causing cells to weaken and more susceptible to disease. Antioxidants combat these free radicals and keep your immune system strong. When we have a diet rich in antioxidants our bodies can ward off diseases like cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, neurological damage and many more. 

Need another reason to consume the acai berry? I think not! Try your superfood in the refreshing Acai Super Smoothie. 

Resources:
The Perricone Promise, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, M.D., Warner Publishing, 308 pages, paperback.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21486000, Inhibitory effect of acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp on IgE-mediated mast cell activation, Sept. 2012
Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):e182-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.01044.x. Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. 
Açai Berries Top the Antioxidant Rankings, Says Study, http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Acai-berries-top-the-antioxidant-rankingssays-study (Accessed November 20, 2008)
Acai Berry Health Benefits, http://www.articlesbase.com/women’s-health-articles/acaiberry-health-benefits-610522.html (accessed November 19, 2008)
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/acai.html

4 Reasons to Eat Goji Berries

goji-berry

The goji berry is the most nutritionally dense fruit. For this reason it has been widely used in China and Tibet for medicinal reasons as well as culinary for thousands of years. Goji berries are still used to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments in China. This amazing superfood contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. No wonder the tiny berry is renowned for increasing strength and longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. 

Here are reasons why you need goji berries in your life:

1. Keeps Weight Off

Goji berries have a low glycemic index which helps to reduce hunger and cravings. These tiny berries are full of fiber, essential amino acids, and complex carbohydrates which keep you feeling satiated longer, reducing your food intake. Goji berries also contain chromium which helps control blood sugar, preserve lean muscle mass and burn fat faster.

2. Nutrient Powerhouses

  • Loaded with vitamin C, goji berries contain more carotenoids than any other food.
  • Goji’s have 21 trace minerals, including calcium, zinc, selenium and iron, which promote good protein metabolism and keep cells healthy.
  • They are high in fiber, a whopping 2 grams per 1/3 cup.
  • Surprisingly, goji berries have 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach. Looks like Popeye was obsessed with the wrong superfood! 

3. Immune System Boost 

Their powerful vitamin, mineral, essential amino acid, antioxidant and polysaccharides content combine to boost the immune system. Studies have shown eating goji berries can help people with diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration and even cancer. Goji berries contain germanium, a mineral that is believed to have anti-cancer properties. In addition, polysaccharides and antioxidants are believed to protect against free radicals that promote cancer and prevent cancer from developing. In one study, after 50 people ate approximately 1.5 ounces of goji berries daily for 10 days, their white blood cell counts and other markers of healthy immune function improved.

4. Skin Savior 

Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants fight off troublesome free radicals that contribute to wrinkles and fine lines as well as protect the skin against UV damage. Carotenoids also give the skin a nice healthy glow. These powerhouses have all eight essential amino acids needed for healthy skin and collagen production.

 

 

 

References:
Amagase, H., & Nance, D. M. (2008). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Study of the General Effects of a Standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi™ [Abstract]. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(4), 403-412. Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2008.0004
Bucheli, P., Vidal, K., Shen, L., Gu, Z., Zhang, C., Miller, L. E., & Wang, J. (2011). Goji Berry Effects on Macular Characteristics and Plasma Antioxidant Levels [Abstract]. Optometry and Vision Science, 88(2), 257-262. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21169874
Du, X., Wang, J., Niu, X., Smith, D., Wu, D., & Meydani, S. N. (2014). Dietary Wolfberry Supplementation Enhances the Protective Effect of Flu Vaccine against Influenza Challenge in Aged Mice [Abstract]. Journal of Nutrition, 144(2), 224-229. Retrieved from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/2/224.abstract
BBC News Magazine. bbcnews.com. Sept. 5, 2006.
“Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum.” College of Public Health, Wuhan University, China. Nov. 26, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5315202.stm

Superfood Highlight: Mulberries

Dried mulberres

The mulberry tree has a short life span and grows fast. Its fruit is a multiple-fruit since each berry is comprised of small cluster of buds. They’re naturally sweet, chewy, multi-seeded clusters of vanilla scented goodness!

White mulberries are the sweetest and contain the most phenols among the various species. They inhibit the digestion of sugar due to their high level of fiber, protein and antioxidants.

Recent studies show that mulberries are heart healthy and contain polyphenols (normally found in grapes and red wine), flavonoids, anthocyanins, alkaloids, and resveratrol.

Enjoy these sweet berries by the handful or add them to your trail mixes, granolas, cereals, yogurts, baked goods and so much more!

Sluggish Thyroid?

If you’re active or have a healthy diet and are still gaining weight your thyroid could be at blame. A sluggish thyroid is becoming more and more common. As mentioned in my last article: Thyroid: Test! Don’t Guess, symptoms of an underacting thyroid include weight gain, fatigue, constipation, cold extremities, hair loss, swollen face or moonface, and depression.

It’s estimated that 13 million cases of thyroid dysfunction go undiagnosed each year, and inadequate blood testing is a major factor, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Blood Test Thyroid Markers

The problem with blood testing is many doctors only order TSH which is not very accurate in diagnosing a thyroid disorder. Additionally, many doctors refer to the pathological lab ranges that come with the test results rather than the “functional” ranges. Pathological ranges are the averages of all the people who have taken the test in the last year. Yes, the averages of both the healthy and the sick. As the sick population keeps getting sicker, the range gets wider and the less useful they become. On the other hand, functional ranges have been carefully researched as healthy parameters for whatever is being tested, in this case it would be a healthy functioning thyroid. To give you an idea of the difference let’s look at TSH. A standard TSH lab range is 0.35-5.5 uIU/mL, but the functional range is much narrower 1.8-3.0 uIU/mL. It’s also important to look at the whole person, including symptoms, and not just the test results.

Blood Test Functional

To better understand the thyroid ask for a complete thyroid panel. A complete panel will include the following thyroid markers:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Total T4
  • Free T3 Index (FTI)
  • Free T3 (FT3)
  • Resin T3 Uptake (F3U)
  • Reverse T3 (rT3)

If you suspect Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis, ask for:

  • Thyroid Antibodies (TPO, TGB)

 

For more information, please give me a call @ (949)338-2201, or email me at lorin@lovetolivenutrition.com to schedule a complementary 15 minute consultation.

 

Winter Squash

Winter squash includes pumpkin, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. This family of vegetables varies in color, size, and flavor though they share some characteristics. Their shells are hard, flesh is sweet and grainy in texture, and they all contain seeds in their inner cavities.

Nutritional Benefits

Winter squash is rich in carotenes, the darker the color the greater the content. In the body carotenes are converted to vitamin A which is needed for visual health, proper growth and development, and skin health. Carotenes also contain antioxidants which protect the body from oxidation, cancer, heart disease, and offer protection against developing type 2 diabetes. Pumpkins seem to offer the most protection against developing diabetes.

In addition, winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin C, B vitamins, and fiber.

How to Select and Store

It’s best to choose winter squash that has hard skin, is heavy for their size, and dull rinds. If the rind is soft it may be an indication that the flesh watery and lacking in flavor. Winter squash has a longer storage life than summer squash, usually between one-six months. When storing, keep in a dark place that is neither too cold or too hot. If you elect to freeze the squash for future use, it is best to freeze suitable pieces for individual recipes.

Quick Serving Ideas

  • Cooked halved squash, pierce in several locations with a knife to allow steam to escape, and then bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a preheated 350 degree oven. Top with butter and maple syrup.
  • Top pureed, cooked squash with cinnamon and honey.
  • Top steamed cubes of winter squash with xvoo, tamari, ginger and pumpkin seeds.
  • Roast pumpkins seeds for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • Add cubes of winter squash to your favorite vegetable soup recipe.

Salmon

 

Holy salmon! This pink fish is quite amazing. Did you know salmon are born in fresh water then spend the majority of their lives navigating through the ocean to return to their birthplace to spawn? It’s no wonder why they are considered powerful brain food!

Nutritional Benefits

Salmon are the stars of the sea. They are an excellent source of protein, potassium, selenium and B12. Wild salmon may have more calories than other fish but that’s because they provide a whopping boost of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Per 3-½ ounce serving, there is 1,000 mg of EPA and 725 mg of DHA; a normal serving is 6-8 ounces.

Most of the health benefits of fish come from their omega-3 fatty acid content. Based on more than 2,000 scientific studies, at least 60 different health conditions can be prevented or treated with a higher omega-3 intake. The best known is heart disease. In fact, individuals whose diet contained high amounts of fish reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 47% compared to those who don’t consume fish.

What’s more, salmon and other cold-water fish have been shown beneficial in protecting against several disease such as, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, asthma, macular degeneration, and depression. Fish consumption also plays a role in reducing the risk of several cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, and lung.

How to Select and Store

According to the Seafood Watch guide, wild Alaskan salmon is your safest bet. It is one of the cleanest sources of fish, free from toxins and heavy metals. In the grocery store fresh fish should be displayed on clean metal, plastic or paper sheets on top of clean ice. Look for freshly cut fish that isn’t sitting in a pool of liquid. Try to plan your grocery trip so the meat/seafood counter is the last stop. When you get home, it is recommended to rinse and rewrap your fish, then place it on clean paper towels in a clean plastic bag or container and set it in the coldest area of the fridge.

Ways to Enjoy Salmon

  • Try my spiced salmon recipe, it’s super easy and delectable to the taste buds.
  • Make a salmon salad with: mix canned salmon with 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise made with olive oil or low-fat organic olive oil version, chopped olives and celery. Add salmon mixture to a bed of lettuce, parsley, and bell peppers mixed with olive oil and vinegar.
  • Make a healthy version of lox with:
  1. Gluten free toast or a thin bagel, add a pat of butter, chevre (spreadable goat cheese), parsley then top with wild smoked salmon, add freshly ground pepper if desired ( or try fresh basil and a tomato slice).

References:

Bucher, H. C., P. Hengstler, C. Schindler, ad G. Meier. N-3 “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in coronary HEart Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized controlled Trials.” Am J Med 2002; 112; 298-304.

Fernandez, E., L. Chatenoud, C. La Vecchia, et al. “Fish Consumption and Cancer Risk.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 70(1): 85-90.

Hu, F. B., L. Bronner, W. C. Willett, et al. Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2002:287; 1815-1821.

 

Strawberries

The strawberry is the most popular berry in the world. They are juicy, sweet and full of antioxidants, it’s no wonder they’re favored. There are over 600 varieties of the heart shaped fruit that differ in size, flavor and texture but they all have the same red hue, shape and little green leafy tops. The traditional strawberry season is from June until mid August.

Nutritional Benefits

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, K, flavonoids and fiber. In fact, when total antioxidant capacity was measured out of 50 foods, strawberries were ranked 27th best among U.S. foods and when only the fruits were considered, they came in 4th.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2/3 cups
Calories: 32
Protein: .7 g
Fat: .3 g
Carbohydrates: 7.7 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 4.7 g

Anti-inflammatory Properties

The health benefits of strawberries are primarily due to their flavonoids content. These unique phytonutrients make strawberry a fighter against heart disease, inflammation and cancer. They block the same enzyme as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) which is linked to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma and cancer. However, unlike the NSAIDS, strawberries don’t cause intestinal bleeding or cardiovascular disease. Recent research has shown several blood markers for chronic inflammation can be improved with normal consumption of the heart shaped fruit. For best results, consume the berry 3-4 times a week.

How to Select and Store

When selecting strawberries look for a container full of firm, plump berries that are deep red and still have their little crowns attached. Once strawberries are picked, they will not ripen any further so avoid berries that have a dull color. Remove any berries that are damaged or moldy from the pack then either place back in their original packaging or on a plate lined with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap. Recent research showed the maximum storage time was 2 days without major loss of vitamin C. Wash prior to consumption.

Ways to Enjoy

  • Make a summer salad with arugula, strawberries and almonds.
  • Toss in a fruit salad for your next summer BBQ.
  • Serve with a bowl of fresh organic cream for dessert or top a bowl of Coconut Tapioca Pudding with strawberry slices.
  • Top your morning cereal with fresh strawberries.
  • Make a healthy parfait with Greek yogurt, strawberries, flaxseeds and granola.
  • Or, enjoy a bowl of fresh berries solo!

Resources:

Ellis CL, Edirisinghe I, Kappagoda T et al. Attenuation of Meal-Induced Inflammatory and Thrombotic Responses in Overweight Men and Women After 6-Week Daily Strawberry Intake: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011 Jan 13. 2011.

Meyers KJ, Watkins CB, Pritts MP, Liu RH. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of strawberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Nov 5;51(23):6887-92. 2003.

Reber JD, Eggett DL and Parker TL. Antioxidant capacity interactions and a chemical/structural model of phenolic compounds found in strawberries. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Mar 8. 2011.

Apricots

Apricots are tiny, orange fruits with velvety skin. They are sweet, smooth and have a texture somewhere between an apple and a plum. Though they are available year round, in North America the best season for picking apricots is June- August. Any fruit found in the winter is most likely imported from South America or New Zealand. A healthy diet should include apricots as a yummy way to increase fiber and antioxidant intake.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 apricot
Calories: 17
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
Dietary Fiber: .7 g
Sugars: 3.2 g
Protein: .5 g

Nutrition Highlights

Apricots are a low fat, high fiber fruit; making them a good choice for weight loss candidates. They are also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, iron and carotenes.

Potassium is an electrolyte along with sodium and chloride. Electrolytes are found in pairs and together and function in the maintenance of:

  1. water balance and distribution
  2. kidney and adrenal function
  3. acid-base balance
  4. muscle and nerve cell function
  5. heart function

Potassium and sodium should consumed in a 5:1 ratio for optimal health. However, Americans have a ratio of less than 1:2 due to eating too much processed foods and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables have a ratio of at least 50:1, so it is easy to boost potassium without increasing sodium levels. Potassium is probably the most important dietary electrolyte and deficiency is characterized by mental confusion, irritability, weakness, heart disturbances and muscle contraction.

Apricots are also a great source of lutein and lycopene. These carotenes are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their orange, yellow and red hues. Carotenes are important for heart and eye health as well as preventing cancers.

How to Select and Store

The best season for picking apricots is June- August. Often times they are picked prior to ripening, because they bruise easily when they are soft. To ripen, store at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for 3-5 days. For highest antioxidant content, choose apricots that are already ripe. Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.

Ways to Enjoy

  • Eat whole or in fruit salads.
  • Sear apricots in a stainless steel pan with a little butter and cinnamon.
  • Add chopped, fresh apricots to your gluten free or whole grain pancake batter.
  • Add dried, diced apricots to your home made trail mix.
  • Skewer whole or halved fresh apricots, brush with honey and BBQ on the grill or broil in the oven until golden brown.

References:

Olszwska, M., R. Glowacki, M. Wolbis, and E. Bald. Quantitative Determination of Flavonoids inthe flowers and Leaves of Prunus spinosa L.” Acta Pol Pharm 2000;58(3): 199-303.

Willis, R. B., F. M. Scriven, and H. Greenfield. ” Nutrient Composition of Stone Fruit Cultivars: Apricot, Cherr, Nectrine, Peach and Plum.” J Sci Food Agric 1983;34 (12): 1383-1389.

Sweet Potatoes

 

One of the oldest vegetables known, the sweet potato dates back 10,000 years. There are over 400 varieties of this scrumptious root vegetable. The most commonly consumed variety has orange skin and a long tapered shape; however, they are also purple, white, red, yellow and light orange. Be sure to make sweet potatoes a regular occurrence in your diet for immunity boosting beta-carotenes and anti-aging antioxidants.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: ½ cup
Calories: 90
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 36 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 20 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Sugars: 6.5 g
Protein: 2 g

Nutrition Benefits

Sweet Source of Antioxidants

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, used to make vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is necessary for proper immune function, eye-sight, skin health and proper growth and development. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes are abundant in anthocyanins. Found in the flesh of dark purple sweet potatoes, this antioxidant comes in handy in the digestive tract where it is used to lower the risk of heavy metals and oxidative damage. Anthocyanins also help reduce unwanted inflammation throughout the brain tissue and nerve tissue in the body.

Sporamins, storage proteins, are made when the vegetable is exposed to damage. These proteins help it to heal. We may get some of the same antioxidant benefits when digesting the vegetable.

Blood Sugar Regulator

You may associate starchy vegetables with a roller coaster ride as far as your blood sugar goes; unlike regular spuds, sweet potatoes are classified as an “anti-diabetic” food and work to keep blood sugar regulated. Studies have shown sweet potatoes actually help to stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin response. They are a good source of dietary fiber and a protein hormone called adiponectin that helps regulate insulin. People with higher adiponectin, tend to have healthier insulin metabolism and therefore lower blood sugar levels.

Tips

  • Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and stored at room temperature.
  • Store in a cool, dark, and well ventilated place where they will keep for a week and a half.
  • If buying organic, consume the entire sweet potato. If buying conventional, peel skin and eat the flesh as the skin is treated with dye or wax.
  • Consumption of boiled and mashed sweet potatoes has been shown to raise vitamin A levels in children. Boiled sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic level than roasted or baked.
  • Add some xvoo or organic butter to your sweet potatoes to absorb the beta-carotenes.
  • Try delicious Sweet Frites with Garlic & Sea Salt or Sweet Mash.

 

References:

Hou, W. C., Y. C. Chen, H. J. Chen, et alantioxidant Activities of Trypsin Inhibitor, a 33 KDa Root Storage Protein of Sweet Potato (Ipomeoa batatas (L.) Lam cv. Tainong 57).” J Agric Food chem 2000; 49(6): 2978-2981.

Mills JP, Tumuhimbise GA, Jamil KM et al. Sweet Potato Beta-carotene Bioefficacy is Enhanced by Dietary Fat and Not Reduced by Soluble Fiber Intake in Mongolian Gerbils. J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):44-50. Epub 2008 Dec 3. 2009.

Wallerstein, C. “New Sweet Potato Could Help Combat Blindness in Africa.” British Medical Journal  200030;321(7264): 786.

 

 

Chickpeas, a.k.a. Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas or more commonly called garbanzo beans, are a part of the legume family. These little beige beans are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. These tiny beans are full of fiber, just 2 cups meet our RDA. When combined with a high quality grain, garbanzos become a complete protein.

Nutrition Highlights

An excellent source of molybdenum, a trace mineral involved in several enzymatic processes in the body including alcohol detoxification. Also a great source of folic acid, a vitamin used to make healthy new cells. Folic acid is important for everyone especially expecting mothers. Garbanzo beans are high in manganese, used to keep your bones healthy and protect cells from free radical damage.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size ½ cup
Calories: 130
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 30 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 7 g

Cholesterol Lowering Effects

Due to a high fiber content they are beneficial in lowering cholesterol and improving blood sugar levels. These small beans are a good dietary choice for diabetics or those with high cholesterol. In a recent study comparing dietary fiber from garbanzo beans to other dietary sources, the group with fiber from garbanzo beans had better blood fat regulation, including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Digestive Support

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Garbanzo beans of at least 2/3 insoluble fiber. This type of fiber passes all the way through the digestive tract virtually unchanged until it reaches the large intestine where it becomes food (known as short chained fatty acids) for our healthy bacteria. The SCFAs keeps colon cells active and healthy, lowering the risk for colon cancer and other colon problems.

Tips for Using

  • If purchasing canned, choose a brand without added salt
  • Make humus and pair it with cut up fresh vegetables for a quick snack
  • Add it to your favorite salad for extra protein
  • Try Curried Chickpea Salad
  • Make a batch of tasty Crispy Roasted Chickpeas for your next party
Page 1 of 212