Ah Nuts!- Hazelnuts

Let’s Talk Nuts and Legumes

So, I have covered fruits and vegetables quite a lot on this blog over the last two years. And it has been fun. But people often have a love-hate relationship with legumes. So, for a couple of weeks, we are going to be covering the origins, benefits, and pitfalls of legumes all over the world. Who knows? Maybe, there will be a recipe linked in there that is relevant to your interests? Get ready to get your nutrition on, because we are going to be talking about…

 

Hazelnuts

 

One would think that I would cap this series off with peanuts, but I find it to be somewhat of a “low hanging fruit” out of all the nuts that I could talk about.  So I am ending this series on one of my favorite nuts that are well known in both flavors of coffee and in Nutella, the hazelnut. This nut existed as far back as the middle part of the stone ages in a colony back in Scotland.  To put that in perspective, that was 10,000 years ago, when humans were hunters and gatherers, making this nut older than most of today’s cultivated vegetables. It’s a hardy tree that can last through many cold climates and is cultivated today mostly for the confectionary industry.

 

The Benefits of Hazelnuts

 

  • Healthy Fats-  There are both good kinds of fat and bad kinds of fat in the human body. According to livestrong.com, “Hazelnuts contain heart-healthy fats that can protect heart health. Specifically, they are high in healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and low in unhealthier unsaturated fats. Hazelnuts are a good source of oleic acid. Oleic acid can help to lower levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and can raise levels of good cholesterol, HDL, in the body.”
  • Phytochemicals- Hazelnuts contain flavonoids, phytochemicals that are responsible for brain health, help with immunities to allergies, and improve circulation.
  • These heart-healthy nuts also have quite a few vitamins and minerals. Such as, Vitamins E (which is great for skin and nails), Vitamin B, and folate.

 

 

Hazelnut Recipes

Click on the photos below if you find anything that you like! These recipes are mouthwatering and are more than just desserts.

Sausage and Sage Stuffing

For those who want to be a little bit inventive with their Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, or if you just want something to do with hazelnuts that are not sweet, here is the perfect recipe for your taste buds. You have the tang from cranberries, the light spice of the sausage, the herby taste from the sage, and a nice nutty crunch to add to the quality of the blend.

 

 

hazelnuts, legumes ,nuts

 

 

 Candied Hazelnuts

If you do want your hazelnuts on the sweet side of things, then look no further than the most traditional way of incorporating them into a dessert, Candied Hazelnuts.

 

hazelnuts

 

Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

Did you know that hazelnuts went with Italian food? I sure didn’t. These little guys add a crunch that is missing from your traditional fettuccine recipe and is a great way to add subtle flavoring to the dish.

hazelnuts

 

Want some more good tips? Check out this recipe here! If you want to book an appointment, head here and click on the pop-up!

Ah Nuts- Lima Beans

Let’s Talk Legumes

So, I have covered fruits and vegetables quite a lot on this blog over the last two years. And it has been fun. But people often have a love-hate relationship with legumes. So, for a couple of weeks, we are going to be covering the origins, benefits, and pitfalls of legumes all over the world. Who knows? Maybe, there will be a recipe linked in there that is relevant to your interests? Get ready to get your nutrition on, because we are going to be talking about…

 

Lima Beans

lima beans, nutrition

 

They are considered the most dreaded of ‘vegetables’ to be found on the plates of 5-year-olds all over the US and are even relegated to the list of “anything but those” for most US adults. But are they really deserving of this much hate?

It turns out that this bean had a greater importance in prehistoric South American culture. The earliest traces of the lima bean have been found in Peru that go as far back as 6,000 t0 5,000 BCE. They were considered a luxury among the Mochica and Moche tribes of Pre-Columbian Peru. Pictures of the lima bean were even found in their earliest form of writing on pottery pieces.

That’s one very important bean!

Now that we know it was important, just how much does it measure up in terms of benefits for our daily diet.

 

The Benefits of Lima Beans

 

  • Protein- These are the building blocks of our body, and Lima beans provide quite a lot of it. With a whopping 24% of protein in its daily value, it is great for growth and development in cells, tissue, bone strength and cognition.

 

  • Dietary Fiber- If you don’t digest your food properly, your body will keep in toxic waste, leaving you with nothing but diarrhea and disappointment. The right nutrient that prevents this from happening is dietary fiber and a single cup of lima beans offers 50% of your daily value of dietary fiber.

 

  • Manganese- You hear about antioxidants in things like berries, but did you know they exist in lima beans? These antioxidants come in the form of manganese, an antioxidant that specifically aids the immune system, and can even help with the prevention of cancer.

 

  • Low Glycemic Count-Do you worry about your blood sugar? If so, you are in luck, because lima beans only have a glycemic index count of 17. In a scale of 1-100, that isn’t too bad at all!

 

Pitfalls:  Do NOT eat them raw!

Lima beans, in their natural state, contain a form of cyanide that can be toxic, when eaten uncooked.

Fortunately, after you boil them for 10 minutes or so, they will become safe to eat.

Lima Beans Recipes

Click on the photos below for the recipes! These were all courtesy of Food Network. Give them a visit!

Sauteed Lima Beans with Bacon

 

recipe, lima beans

 

Do you want to know how the South cooks their lima beans? With bacon, lemon juice, and shallots.

 

 

 Oxtail Stew

 

lima beans, recipe

 

Are you in the mood for something more substantial with a hint of spice? Try out this oxtail recipe with lima beans in it!

 

Sufferin’ Succotash

 

lima beans

 

Do you want to know how the indigenous tribes ate their lima beans? This is one of the ways they did it!

 

Sources:

https://www.organicfacts.net/lima-beans.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/life/food/2007/07/11/Lima-beans-history-is-ancient-exalted/stories/200707110267

http://mentalfloss.com/article/30159/dietribes-lima-beans

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4340/2

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/foods-that-could-kill-you_n_4039765.html

Madison Ready Fest: The Final FINAL Reminder!!!

Hey gang! This is your ultimate, final, absolutely last reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Ah Nuts – Almonds

Let’s Talk Legumes

So, I have covered fruits and vegetables quite a lot on this blog over the last two years. And it has been fun. But people often have a love-hate relationship with legumes. So, for a couple of weeks, we are going to be covering the origins, benefits, and pitfalls of legumes all over the world. Who knows? Maybe, there will be a recipe linked in there that is relevant to your interests? Get ready to get your nutrition on, because we are going to be talking about…

 

Almonds

 

These hard nuts to crack are originally from the Middle East, as well as parts of North Africa and India. It was domesticated as far back as before the bronze age( 3000–2000 BCE), and have been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for generations. Interesting factoid, archeological traces of almonds were found in Tutankhamun‘s tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC), and they have been able to be exported and cultivated from as far as Germany and Iceland.  Some of them even grow today in the US, as a major California crop. But what makes almonds good for us?

 

The Benefits of Almonds

  • Alkaloids- They can strengthen your immune system, and almonds have a bunch of alkaloids that can help boost it.
  • Vitamin B- This nutritiously dense seed can boost cell metabolism, meaning that your body can grow and repair itself faster and more efficiently.
  • Vitamin E- This nutrient is dissolved in fat and has a role in things like eye function and smooth muscle growth.
  • Antioxidants-  When we get too much oxygen in our blood, it starts to cause a literal fire in the bloodstream, and we die from the explosion. We combat this by eating antioxidant-rich food, which has properties that fight those chemical reactions in our bodies.
  • Monosaturated fat- Almonds are a nutrient dense food, that is filled with monosaturated fat. These fats are essential for heart health and organ function.

Almond Recipes

Click on the photos below for the recipes!

 

 Almond Encrusted Chicken

almonds, recipe, almond encrusted chicken

 

Do you need an extra crunch in your next meal? How about some protein on top of your protein? This is where Almond encrusted chicken comes in to save the day and end your dietary woes. This crunchy chicken recipe will give you a chance to try a different spin on the same old recipe.

 

Blueberry Almond Milk Smoothie

blueberry almond smoothie, almond

What if you need a boost in antioxidants? Here is where berries and almonds meet for a sweet and refreshing beverage. This blueberry almond milk smoothie is great for getting breakfast on the go and is great when cold.

 

Strawberry Almond Salad

almond,

 

 

Maybe you just want a variety of tastes as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals? That is where the strawberry almond salad comes in. It’s sweet, savory, nutrient dense, and good on a warm summer day.

 

Sources:

The Benefits of Almonds

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269468.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond

Madison Ready Fest: The Final Reminder!!11!

Hey gang! This is your last reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Ah Nuts – Chickpeas

Let’s Talk Legumes

So, I have covered fruits and vegetables quite a lot on this blog over the last two years. And it has been fun. But people often have a love-hate relationship with legumes. So, for a couple of weeks, we are going to be covering the origins, benefits, and pitfalls of legumes all over the world. Who knows? Maybe, there will be a recipe linked in there that is relevant to your interests? Get ready to get your nutrition on, because we are going to be talking about…

 

chickpeas

Chickpeas

Also, known as the garbanzo bean or Egyptian pea, is famous for being one of the very first legumes domesticated in the fertile crescent valley of Mesopotamia. They are most commonly found and are most popularly consumed in countries from Africa and Asia. Which makes sense, because these little guys are packed with various vitamins and minerals, and are a good protein substitute for meat. What’s more, they serve as the backbone for one of the more delicious treats to bring at a party, hummus. But what sort of vitamins and minerals do they have? And how do they benefit the people eating it?

The Benefits of Chickpeas

  • Fiber: This combined with the natural protein and complex carbohydrates of the chickpea create satiety. This satiety helps people eat less in the long run.
  • Vitamin B: Specifically, it has vitamin B6, a foliate that helps your body create new cells, and helps your body copy/synthesize new DNA.
  •  Phytoestrogens: this important micronutrient mimics the body’s natural female hormone estrogen. This means that it is a useful aid for women going through menopause or suffering any other imbalances that come from a lack of estrogen.
  • Iron: Chickpeas have a good amount of iron, which plays a part in the reproduction of blood cells and growth of other cells.
  • Starch: The kind of starches that are found in chickpeas are considered complex. If you recall from the last article, it means that it takes longer for your body to digest. Therefore, it is the kind of food that exists to prevent blood sugar spikes.

Chickpea Recipes

           Classic Hummus

One of the more traditional ways to enjoy chickpeas in the Mediterranean is hummus. With the right ingredients mixed together, hummus is a tasty treat for either binging on when you are home alone or for putting out when you are throwing a quick gettogether. Click on the photo below for the recipe.

 

chickpeas, hummus, recipe
Photo: Tasty.co

 

Shrimp Curry with Chickpeas and Cauliflower

I bet you didn’t know that you could put them in curry! There are more to chickpeas than hummus, and this is only the tip of the iceberg of what you can do. It is great if you want to put a little bit of spice into your cooking. Click on the photo for the recipe.

chickpea, curry, chickpeas
Photo: Bon Appetite.com

 

Sources:

https://draxe.com/chickpeas-nutrition/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244.php

https://www.livestrong.com/article/557013-how-to-roast-dry-chickpeas/

Nutritional Myth Busting – Carbs

Are All Carbohydrates Bad?

I mentioned in one of the past articles, the dangers of fad diets. They promise quick weight loss via either the removal of or the restriction to a specific food item. One of the more popular diets that have been around for quite a few years is a diet the reduces or removes the consumption of carbohydrates. But, are those carbohydrates as bad as people say they are? Or is there more to the story that we are just not seeing? Today, we are going to dive into what makes a carbohydrate good, and what makes a carbohydrate bad.carbohydrates

What is a Carbohydrate?

First, we need to look into what makes up a carbohydrate, and how it functions.  The scientific explanation behind a carbohydrate, according to the dictionary, is “ any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (such as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods”. Wait. Did they mention green plants? And it constitutes a major class of animal foods? What gives?

Carbohydrates are practically in everything we eat, and we need them in order to function. According to Harvard University, “Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity.” So, if that’s the case, why are people so worried about carbohydrates as part of their diet? The answer is simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates

First, we are going to talk about simple carbs, the stuff that is bad for you when you eat too much of it. Simple carbs come from mostly highly processed or junk food. Simple carbohydrates are made of simple sugars that your body can break down fast and are mostly found in food mass produced for consumption. Naturally, you can spot these simple carbs a mile away like ice cream, cakes, fast food,

candy, and so on.

But here is the interesting bit. There are still simple carbohydrates found in nature. Specifically milk,

natural sweeteners like honey and molasses, and some fruits.  It is possible to go overboard with things like sweeteners, and you should watch out for it, but the benefits of things like the vitamins and fiber in fruit and the calcium in milk outweigh the disadvantage of the simple carbohydrates in them.

So, if you have a choice between a snack that is highly-processed like potato chips or a piece of fruit/cheese, then you probably want to choose the latter over the former.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are made of a combination of starches and fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

Starches are mostly found in plants and whole grains, that break their sugars down more slowly. They break down into glucose, the natural sugars in the world that fuels our cells and organs.

To quote Livestrong,”Soluble fiber attracts water and helps slow digestion. Insoluble fiber resists water and acts as bulk in your digestive tract, leaving you feeling fuller over longer periods of time. Both forms of dietary fiber play an important role in nutrition by stabilizing your blood sugar and cholesterol level. ”

Complex carbohydrates are the carbs that are found in whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and brown rice.  These carbs are the kind that are good for you and are vital for everyday nutrition.

In Conclusion

There are two different types of carbohydrates, those found in junk food, and those found in the things that grow naturally. We divide those into two different types of categories, Simple carbohydrates, and complex carbohydrates. When fad diets tell you to cut all carbs out, they are telling you to nix both good and bad carbohydrates. So, this results in not taking in any bad carbs, but also leaving out the good carbs.  By doing that, they are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

You don’t have to punish yourself for eating corn on the cob or a baked potato with a little bit of salt or butter on it. That being said, you shouldn’t go nuts on the french fries either. Just use your better judgment and all will be well.

Want to learn more about nutrition myth busting? Click here! If you want to set up an appointment, click on the pop up on the homepage!

Madison Ready Fest: Your First Reminder!!

Hey gang! This is a reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Nutrition Myth Busting- Artificial Sweetners

Are Sweeteners Just as Bad as Sugar or Worse?

Artificial sweeteners have existed longer than breakfast cereals and boxed macaroni and cheese, yet it is still a hot topic among dieters and scientists today. Some claim that it is a useful way to simulate sweetness without the calories, while others see it as a cancer-inducing Frankenstein. So, what is the answer? Does it impact your diet soda and health negatively?  The only way to find out is to investigate.

The Beginning of Something Sweet

Sugar substitutes in its earliest form existed since Ancient Rome. The only sweetener that existed in this time period was lead acetate or ‘sugar of lead’. It stopped getting popular after the public found out about the substance leading to lead poisoning. Since then, it is banned from use by pretty much everyone.

artificial sweetner

 

The first safe artificial sweetener came into existence in 1879. In an attempt to create a food preservative, Constantine Fahlberg, created the compound.  He named the compound “saccharin”, a derivative of the Latin word saccharum which means sugar. It became popularized during World War 1, most likely due to the rationing of the real thing. It, and other artificial sweeteners, to this day, are popular among the public.

 

 

 

The biggest rumor that I have heard regarding artificial sweeteners being dangerous, is that they cause cancer when consumed long-term. I have heard this one a dozen times, but does it hold water?  Is there any real evidence supporting this?

Oh, Rats!

Scientific studies, regarding artificial sweeteners, were conducted in both the 1960’s and 70’s.   These studies included injecting the sweetener into both lab rats and chicken embryos at regular intervals. artificial sweetner, myth, cancerWhen the rats were starting to develop signs of bladder cancer, the scientists concluded at the time, “those artificial sweeteners must have caused it “, and published their findings for the world to see.

This caused Canada to ban the substance entirely in 1977. The FDA had toyed with the idea of banning it due to these studies, but due to a major uproar from the public, they simply ordered companies who used it to put a warning label on the substance.

But was any of this even necessary?

A Several Decade Consensus

As time marched on, the substance, which caused bladder cancer in lab rats, caused little to no changes in the human population over the years. In fact, the bladder cancer rate in the United States Population has barely changed over several decades. It was harmful to the rats and other small animals because of their different urine composition in comparison to humans.

According to an expert on the matter, “…it was discovered that saccharin causes cancer in male rats by a mechanism not found in humans. At high doses, it forms a precipitate in rat urine. This precipitate damages the cells lining the bladder and a tumor forms when the cells regenerate.” So what caused cancer in small animals, does not cause cancer in humans.

And since then, there has not been any conclusive evidence regarding any ill effects from artificial sweeteners.

A Long Way to Go

But there is no conclusive evidence to the effects of artificial sweeteners in its link to things like disease or obesity.  Because most of the studies regarding this subject are speculative, no one can conclusively say whether artificial sweetener is good or bad for you.

According to a 2010 Pediatric Obesity publication, they concluded in their studies that, “At the current time, the jury remains out regarding a possible role of increased artificial sweetener use in the obesity and diabetes epidemics, whether adverse, beneficial or neutral.”

What Does it Mean for You?

Too much of anything in your body can become toxic. If you drink too much water, eat too many bananas, or eat too many oranges, you will die from that sort of toxicity.  Just moderate your diet coke drinking habits and you will be fine. If you have issues with sugar or obesity, then you can use artificial sweeteners, since they don’t affect your blood sugar. But I wouldn’t hold my breath about it making me thinner anytime soon.

If you like Articles like this, check out the one about Milk. If you want nutrition advice from Bekah herself, Go here and click on the pop-up.

Madison Ready Fest: Are you ready?!

Hey gang! I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!