Bek’s News Bite – Colsa Corp Cooking Demo

Company Wide Cooking Demo

Starring: Bekah Dewitt from Bek’s Bites

 

When:

 October 24 at 11:30 – 1 pm.

Where:

  • 6728 Odyssey Drive
  • Huntsville, Al 35806

 

Who: Colsa Employees Only!

 

Want to learn more? Contact me through my chat. Want to read interesting stuff? Check this out!

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2- Purple Asparagus and Black Goji Berries

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Purple

 

Purple fruits and vegetables are a bit more common than their blue cousins, but it was still quite a challenge finding a recipe for this week’s color. But I am not afraid of a challenge, and neither are you, dear readers, when it comes to learning about nutrition, and when it comes to improving your health. I hope that you all will enjoy this next post, about purple asparagus and goji berries.

 

Purple Asparagus

This is a variety of asparagus that hails from Italy, specifically the

purple asparagus and black goji berriesAlbenga region.  This “cultivar “is called Violetto d’Albenga. They are made through a process of open pollination the older and more common version of green asparagus were cultivated (after its initial discovery in the wild), far earlier in human history, with ancient Egyptian and Roman records of its cultivation for medicinal purposes.Today, Purple Asparagus, when grown, produces less number of spears but makes up for it with thicker and longer stalks.

Nutritional Facts about Purple Asparagus

  • The purple variety of asparagus has been reported as sweeter than its green cousin. Despite this, the food has no sugars according to the nutrition index.
  • There are only 20 calories per serving of this delicacy, but it has

    purple asparagus and black goji berries

    enough nutrition to provide 20% of your daily value of vitamin C, 10% of your daily value in vitamin A, and 4 grams of protein.

  • There is also good news for the anemic and the iron deficient because just 5 spears of asparagus have 4% of your daily value in iron.

 

Factoid: Be wary about cooking this type of asparagus for too long. The longer it cooks, the more likely it fades to a green color.

Black Goji Berries (Aka. Wolf Berries)

 

purple asparagus and black goji berriesEarlier, I posted about the Chinese philosophy of food and medicinal healing. This berry is often used as an example of how herbs and plants can heal the body and soul in classic Chinese medicinal literature. There are pages, poems, and colloquialisms throughout various Chinese dynasties that directly reference the healing power of the berry.

The berry is cited in, Chinese literature, to be a contributor to long life when it is part of a regular diet and has been boasted to combat facial wrinkles for the women, as well as virility in men.

The plant itself is also a resilient perennial that can self-pollinate, meaning that it makes berries year round, and it is hardy enough to handle frosts.

The most common variety of Goji berry is red, but there is a ‘black’ version that is hardy, full of nutritional value and dyes the water purple /blue when it is brewed in a tea.

purple asparagus and black goji berry tea

Nutritional facts about the Goji Berry

 

  • It is high in vitamins A, C, and E, anthocyanins, and fatty acids.
  • The vitamins A and C in goji berries do fight against the aging process through the protection of free radicals.
  • A handful of these berries also provides 15% of your daily iron value.
  • These berries also contain dietary fiber, something that helps control satiety and keeps the digestive system regular.

 

Factoid: While there are no reports of poisonous effect, the goji tree is technically related to the Nightshade plant. Make sure you are cautious about eating them too often or when they are too ripe.

Asparagus Salad with Blue Cheese and Goji Berries

Do you want something sweet and savory that takes little prep time and is filled with antioxidants and vitamins? Get ready to try this amazing salad combination from mayihavetherecipe.com. Click on the photo for the recipe below.

recipe

 

If you want to read more about nutritious fruits and vegetables, click here. If you want to check out the latest in beks bites, click here!

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2- Blue Corn and Blueberries

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Blue

 

When it comes to vegetation in general, you don’t see the color blue all that often. This makes this next post a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I was not only able to come up with a blue vegetable, but I was also able to find a recipe that merges a blue fruit and a blue vegetable. Put down that cup of coffee so you won’t spit-take about the blue vegetable in the series, blue corn.

 

Blue Corn

blue corn

Funny thing about corn, most of us today assume that only yellow corn exists. The truth of the matter is that, just like other fruits and vegetables, corn has a variety of colors, kernel sizes and uses all over the world. The yellow corn is the only kind we see most often in grocery stores except for tortilla chips, and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was artificially colored.

This variety of corn naturally grows in Mexico and the South Western United States.  Its earliest mention on European record was in 1540, by Spanish explorers, but there is evidence that suggests that the corn itself is much older than the Columbian era. Blue corn also played a huge part in traditional Hopi religious rituals and was associated with the cardinal direction of South West in rituals.

 

Blue Corn Nutrition

 

  • The most noteworthy thing about Blue corn that makes it stand out from its hybrid cousins, is that it has a higher protein value. Specifically, it has 30% more protein.
  • What makes the corn blue is a high level of anthocyanins, a plant-based antioxidant.
  • The antioxidants I just stated helps even out your blood sugar, which is great for diabetics.
  • It can also assist with metabolizing carcinogens and toxins.

 

Blueberries

blueberry

This variety of berry is also native to North American soil and often grew wild in states like Maine, North Carolina, Oregon and New Jersey. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that US scientist and farmers started to focus on modern blueberry cultivation. Since then it is the second most consumed fruit in the United States, next to strawberries. There are three varieties of blueberry bushes and they can produce fruit for 20 years per bush. That is a lot of berries.

 

Blueberry Benefits

 

  • It’s common knowledge to most people that Blueberries have antioxidants, but did you also know that it carries the same type of antioxidant that is found in blue corn, anthocyanin.
  • Blueberries have also been known to have cardiovascular benefits and can help regulate blood sugar.
  • What is most interesting is the recorded cognitive benefits that blueberries have. Upon examination, evidence does point to blueberries repairing and aiding in the production of nerve cells in the brain.
  • They also protect your retinas from oxygen damage, by repairing and producing cells in your eyes.

 

Blue Muffins

 

If you are feeling a little adventurous and want to spice up your breakfast repertoire, then get ready to experiment with muffins made with blue cornmeal and blueberries. It’s simple to bake, interesting to try, and something playful that you can do with the kids. Click on the photo below for the link to the recipe.

 

blue corn blueberry muffin

 

 

If you want to read more about nutritious fruits and vegetables, click here. If you want to check out the latest in beks bites, click here!

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Green

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Green

There is an abundance of the color green in our naturally grown food thanks to the chloroplasts in plants that aid them in the process of photosynthesis. Practically every creature on earth either directly or indirectly feed on the nutrients that plants provide, so there is quite a lot to be thankful for when it comes to greens. Today’s green vegetable after much deliberation is an increasingly popular plant, kale. Today’s green fruit to go with it are Granny Smith apples.

Kale

kaleThe story of kale is an interesting one. Mainly, because cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, share a common ancestor, Brassica oleracea. The plant was modified and bred over time to create the variety of vegetables that we have today, including kale.

Its earliest recorded history is a little confusing, because of the limited translation and vocabulary that was used to define edible plants. Ancient Roman manuscripts described all derivatives of the original plant, Brassica, making it unclear when each cultivation happened.

We do know, that by the middle ages that kale had been cultivated and spread throughout Europe, mainly in France, and Germany.  Even Russia bred a certain variety that would last during the harsh winters. Today, it is highly regarded as a superfood and is a hit among fans of organic foods.

Kale Nutrition

  • Kale has a high number of vitamins such as vitamin K, A, C, and B 1,2,6.
  • The highest vitamin content it has is vitamin K1, which is essential in helping your blood clot and prevent excessive bleeding.
  • Kale also has anti-inflammatory health benefits
  • There is also evidence suggesting that it contains cancer preventative benefits.

Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith Apples originated much more recently than most people realize. Its serendipitous origins started in 1868. The founder of the apple company, Maria Ann Smith found a sapling growing by a creek on her property. She had tossed leftover crab apple seedsgranny smith apples in that area. After the tree grew and bore fruit, she found quickly that they were great for cooking and snacking.

Washington apple orchards grew the apple commercially during the late 1960’s, in the US. It is still popular today for its green color and sour taste.

Green Apple Nutrition

  • Granny Smith apples have a high amount of potassium, an electrolyte that is great for balancing sodium intake, nerve impulses, digestion, and muscle contractions.
  • It also has vitamin A, a vitamin that is an essential antioxidant that boosts your immune system and is useful in maintaining healthy vision.
  • It also has a lower sugar content than the average apple with just 9g.
  • And, it is only 58 calories a serving.

Recipe: Beginners Luck Green Smoothie

While salads are all well and good, sometimes you need a break from routine. So, this recipe is a fantastic way to get the nutrients you need, while you step back from the daily salad. Click on the photo below for a link to the recipe.

detox smoothie

If you want to read more about nutritious fruits and vegetables, click here. If you want to check out the latest in beks bites, click here!

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Yellow

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Yellow

The next color on the spectrum is yellow, and today we will not disappoint. While it was all too tempting to cover a more predictable yellow vegetable and fruit like corn or yellow peppers, it would have been unsatisfying, and would not make for a unique article. Then I recalled an interesting vegetable that my mother loved while I was growing up. The concept is still a little insane in my mind today, but it is definitely real and is a great gluten-free food for those with gluten allergies.  Let’s give it up for:

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

This surreal plant was cultivated in China, a country that apparently cultivated a lot of the fruits and vegetables that we eat today. No one specifically knows when the squash was introduced to the country, but we do know that the first recorded cultivation of squash in China generally started around the 1850’s. The Spaghetti variety of squash was popularized in Manchuria, China, around the 1890’s. It made its way to the United States in the 1930’s thanks to the Japanese founded Sakata Seed Company, and was most popular during WW2.

Spaghetti squash is a hardy winter plant that can grow year-round, and are able to self-pollinate since they can carry both male and female flowers. There have also been recorded instances cross-pollination with zucchini plants.

Spaghetti Squash closeup

Spaghetti Squash Nutrition

  • One cup of the vegetable has only 42 calories, making this attractive for those who are on a calorie restricted diet.
  • It contains only 10 grams of carbohydrates, and the carbs that they do have are considered complex.
  • It contains 0 fat or cholesterol, making it perfect for those trying to avoid cholesterol intake.
  • The squash also contains a good number of vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, Beta-carotene, and potassium.

Lemons

There is no definitive record for the beginning of lemon cultivation, however, its oldest traces were found in northern India. It made its rounds through the Middle East, Italy, and Africa thanks to Arab traders at around 200-100 C.E. Lemons were purely decorative, however, until the 1400’s. This citrus fruit made its way to the Americas, thanks to Columbus, and other Spanish conquistadors, and soon gained cultivation in both Florida and California during the late 18th century/early 19th century.

To this day, there are over 200 different lemon cultivators in the United States, and all of them are bred for specific traits, such as their oil, their pulp, or for disease resistance. They cannot be harvested through machines, and cannot be picked wet.

Lemon

Lemon Nutrition

  • Raw Lemons contain 29 calories and 89% water, making this a healthy snack.
  • Lemons contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that contributes to skin and immune health
  • They also have vitamin B6, a vitamin that converts food into energy.
  • The citric acid of lemons is also beneficial for breaking up kidney stones.
  • They are also a great flavor additive for water, smoothies, and soups.

Recipe: Lemon Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

This week’s combination is a healthy meal that goes well with the fall season. The fiber of the squash combined with the protein of the chicken and tasty lemon juice creates a healthy combination. Click on the photo below for the recipe.

 Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Sources:

http://www.allaboutspaghetti.com/spaghettisquash.html

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

http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Spaghetti_Squash_4145.php

https://www.livescience.com/54282-lemon-nutrition.html

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/lemons#section3

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/fruits/lemon-types.asp

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

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Orange

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2– Orange

That’s right dear readers, we are doing a sequel to the Colors of the Rainbow series! This year we are going to kick it all up a notch by featuring a fruit and a vegetable combination for each color in the spectrum. So, refill that cup of coffee, and stay seated as we introduce the next color on the visible spectrum, the color of sun sets and autumn, orange.

Persimmons

Where do Persimmon’s come from?

Persimmons originated from China at its earliest cultivation and spread to both Korea and Japan over time. It didn’t make its way into the Unitedpersimmons States, successfully, until 1870 a little after Japan was forced to open its borders to the rest of the world in 1853.

After a failed attempt to cultivate the trees in Washington D.C. The United States successfully grafted to California, Florida, and Georgia.

The persimmon tree grows from seed to 40-foot tall trees that bear sweet smelling, yellow flowers. Eventually, the tree creates sweet tasting fruit.

Nutritional Benefits of Persimmons:

  • First, the fruit itself is low in fats and has a 9.5% DV of soluble or insoluble fiber.
  • Also, it has a 55% daily value of vitamin A and a  21% daily value of vitamin C. Both play an important role in boosting your immune system and fighting infections.
  • It also has a good amount of manganese, vitamin B, copper, and phosphorous, all minerals that contribute to boosting metabolism and strengthening bone structures.

Carrots

Where do Orange Carrots come from?

carrot

It is a popular belief among historians that carrots were originally cultivated from wild parsnips in Ancient Greece, thanks to various historical records. However, this particular cultivation was a pale yellow version of the carrot that we know today.

However, it wasn’t until the yellow version was crossbred with a red variety from Asia Minor that the orange variety was created for medicinal purposes, in the Middle Ages. Eventually, the purpose of the carrot shifted from medicinal to culinary, and now it is one of the most popular vegetables in the United States.

Nutritional Benefits of Orange Carrots:

  • Carrots carry a  beta-carotene, a type of vitamin that our bodies convert to vitamin A.
  • They also contain carotenoids, a type antioxidant that is responsible for creating a golden glowing pigmentation in your skin.
  • There are existing scientific studies that point to carrots having kidney cancer-fighting properties.
  • Also, those studies also suggest that carrots can help decrease the aging of cells.

Recipe of the week: Persimmon Carrot Soup

Persimmons and Carrots are a common combination in a cake. However, you can combine them into a tasty soup. Today’s recipe is Carrot Persimmon Soup. Click on the photo below if you want to try it out.

 

persimmon carrot soup

 

Sources:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/persimmon-fruit.html

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/persimmon.html

https://www.tytyga.com/History-of-Persimmon-Trees-a/374.htm

https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/persimmon.html

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html

https://legionathletics.com/health-benefits-carrots/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-carrots.html

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2– Red

All the Colors of the Rainbow 2– Red

That’s right dear readers, we are doing a sequel to the Colors of the Rainbow series! This year we are going to kick it all up a notch by featuring a fruit and a vegetable combination for each color in the spectrum. So, refill that cup of coffee, and stay seated as we introduce a fruit and vegetable of my favorite color, Red. Give it up for strawberry & rhubarb!

Strawberries

red strawberries,

The red fruit that I chose for the series is beloved by many around springtime and is one of America’s favorite fruits, the strawberry. They are also the first fruit to come into bloom in the spring season and is consumed at an annual per capita of 4.85 pounds per person.

Just to put it in perspective, California produces 23,000 acres, or 21 tons of strawberries each year. And that just makes up 70% of the yearly crop!  And the demand hasn’t slowed down. According to the University of Illinois, over 53%of 7 to 9-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.

Fun Facts about Strawberries…

  • Strawberries have been mentioned by Roman poets Virgil and Ovid back in the first century A.D. However, production and cultivation of the fruit didn’t happen until the 1300’s.
  • Strawberries aren’t actual berries. Technically, they would be considered an ‘accessory fruit’. The fleshy part of the berry that westrawberry eat is the stem of the plant!
  • Just like apples, strawberries are a member of the rose family. They also have 200 seeds per berry.
  • Romans believed that strawberries could cure melancholy, fever, bad breath, and liver disorders.

Benefits of strawberries include:

  • Antioxidants: Strawberries have a high antioxidant content, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved Regulation of Blood Sugar: Scientists noticed a connection between strawberry intake and better insulin and blood sugar levels. Upon assessment, they noticed that strawberries had a lower GI value in comparison to most fresh fruits.
  • It is also a major source of vitamin C, which is good news to those who can’t eat acidic fruits, like grapefruit or oranges.

 

Rhubarb

What the heck is a rhubarb?

A rhubarb is a root vegetable that contains a long, red stalk, and green triangular leaves. However, you must be cautious during any handling of the plant. The leaves are too dangerous to eat due to a high oxalic acid content. If the plant grows in freezing weather the acid will spread from the leaf to the root. The root itself, however, has many medicinal and health properties. It is a vegetable to many places around the world, but America considers it a fruit since rhubarb has a sweetness.

Rhubarbs have existed for thousands of years and served a medicinal purpose in China. However, it wasn’t until the establishment of the Silk Road that it was introduced to other countries. After many unsuccessful attempts to breed the medicinal properties of the root in Europe, the plant made its way to Russia. Then, gardeners bred the plant based on its sweetness. Eventually, it became a solid substitution for sugar during rationing in the 1800’s.

Benefits of rhubarb include:

  • First, it is a great digestive aid and is natural laxative to cure constipation.
  • Rhubarb has a substantial amount of vitamin K, which helps prevents the oxidation of brain cells. It can help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Also, the vitamin K stimulates bone growth and repair, with a potential to help fight osteoporosis.
  • The trace amounts of copper and iron found in rhubarb are enough to stimulate the production of red cells.

Recipe of the week

It is no coincidence that I chose both strawberry & rhubarb as the combination of red. The most common recipe with both ingredients is strawberry rhubarb pies. So, as an attempt at a healthy dessert substitute with little processing, here is the easy to make, gluten free, Strawberry Rhubarb Bars. Click on the photo for the recipe!

 

red, strawberry & rhubarb

 

Sources:

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

https://extension.illinois.edu/veggies/rhubarb.cfm

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32

https://extension.illinois.edu/strawberries/facts.cfm

https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/strawberryhistory.html

Nutrition Around the World – Part 6- The African Heritage Diet

Nutrition Around the World – Part 6

We are all taught from a very early age that different countries with diverse cultures exist around the world. Whether the country has only existed for a few decades or thousands of years, each one has differing views and traditions that they cherish in their own ways.

This implies that each culture views nutrition differently, which is reflected in their eating and drinking habits.

We are going to look at local eating habits from around the world, in the attempt to find a greater understanding of nutrition around the world.

The African Heritage Diet

We cap off this worldwide nutrition series from the cradle of civilization, Africa. Whether you are from the Southeastern parts of the United States, the Caribbean, or Brazil, the local diet all has its influences from the West African coast.

african diaspora

This widespread influence is due to the event that has been described by historians as the African diaspora. The term African diaspora has been used by historians to describe the trans-Atlantic slave trade during the 1500’s to the 1800’s. The African slaves brought parts of their culture, such as religious practices, language, and cooking styles. Today, African cooking has woven its way into many cultural cuisines.

The Four Regions of African Influence

 Grocery store in Africa

Africa

           The original African diet is plant based and is filled with leafy greens, local roots, tubers, spices, grains, and lean meats. The cooking styles vary at a slight depending on the local area. For instance, Central West Africa has a focus on vegetable soups and mashed grains/tubers, Eastern Africa has a focus on cabbage, kale, couscous, and sorghum; other parts of Africa focus on a diet that is specific to the Muslim religion. Any nutrition issues that come from the regions that practice the traditional diet does not come from the diet itself, but from outside factors such as food scarcity.

 

Afro-South America

Soups and stews are very popular in Brazil, as well as rice, beans, and tubers such as yucca and cassava. Popular vegetables and fruit in the area include, but are not limited to okra, peanuts, guava, and mangoes. Seafood like red snapper and spices like cilantro are also popular in the area and appear on many plates.

 

Afro-Caribbean

Caribbean Cuisine has a combination of African, Spanish and French culinary influences. Since the island is surrounded by water, seafood is the most common meat of the area. They rely on tropical fruits such as papaya, guava, and plantains, and they have quite a few dishes that feature rice, peas and whole wheat flour and curried vegetables.

 

African-American

Much like Afro Caribbean cuisine, African American cuisine has a combination of French, African, and Spanish cooking styles. Cabbage, okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and a combination of greens such as turnip greens, dandelion, and mustard are what makes up most of ‘soul food’ dishes. Pickling is also a popular way to preserve food in the South with vegetables such as cucumbers, beets, radish, and carrots.

 

Plates of Expression

African Peanut Soup

Peanut soup is filling, colorful, and packed with the right combination of flavors. Sweet potatoes combined with the creaminess of coconut milk and a nutty base makes for a warm and tasty soup. Click on the photo below to get the recipe.

african peanut soup

 

Black Beans and Brown Rice

This dish is quick, simple, and filled with the right amount of spice. If you want a vegetarian dish that is filling, and savory, try this African staple. Click on the photo below the text if you want to try to make this dish yourself.

 black beans with brown rice

 

Light Seafood Gumbo Recipe

If you want a hearty soup with the taste of the South, then look no further than Louisiana Seafood Gumbo. The combination of vegetables, peppers, spices, and shrimp make a healthy and flavorful meal that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. If you’d like to try the recipe yourself, click on the gumbo below.

seafood gumbo

 

Sources:

https://oldwayspt.org/traditional-diets/african-heritage-diet

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/030612p26.shtml

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/which-countries-have-the-healthiest-diets-a6971466.html

 

For more Bites like This one, Click Here

 

Nutrition Around the World- Part 5- The Okinawa Diet

Nutrition Around the World – Part 5

We are all taught from a very early age that different countries with diverse cultures exist around the world. Whether the country has only existed for a few decades or thousands of years, each one has differing views and traditions that they cherish in their own ways.

This implies that each culture views nutrition differently, which is reflected in their eating and drinking habits.

We are going to look at local eating habits from around the world, in the attempt to find a greater understanding of nutrition around the world.

Okinawa Beach

The Okinawan Diet

Okinawa, Japan is home to the world’s longest living population. Inhabitants of the island of Okinawa have five times the number of residents that live to be 100 years old, with the average Japanese lifespan being 84 years old. That is certainly longer than most of us would imagine for in America with an average of 78.8.  After much research that was conducted, top scientists who studied the people of Okinawa concluded that there were two reasons behind their longevity. The first being the type of food they ate, and the second was their philosophy behind the practice of eating.

 

The Caloric Density Pyramid

The people of Okinawa tend to eat a fewer number of calories compared with the rest of the country, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily nutritionally deprived. They eat their food, not based on a specific number of calories, but rather on a scale of caloric density. The scale runs from Featherweights (0.0) to Heavyweights (3.1) as a guide for how much you should eat every day. They eat fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, and soybeans freely. In moderation, they ate sweet potatoes, white fish, yogurt, whole grains and cooked beans. They watch their portions with soy cheese, hummus, lean meats, and bread. On rare occasions, they eat dark chocolate, oil, cheese, nuts, and cookies.

Caloric density pyramid, okinawa diet

I will provide an example of the scale with the difference between white fish vs red fish.

It is well-known by most dietitians, that fish have important omega-3’s that is good for the human body. The white fish is flaky and has a low-fat content, making it a 1.0 on the caloric density scale, putting it in the lightweight category (0.8-1.5). The redfish is fattier and has a density of 1.8, putting it just barely in the middleweight section (1.6-3.0). Given a choice between the two, the healthier option is easily the white fish.

 

Eating Mindfully

confuciaThe Okinawan’s actively practice in a form of eating known in their native language as “Hara Hachi Bu”. The exercise is based on a teaching by Confucius, that urges “eating mindfully until you are eight out of ten parts full.” In Japanese culture 8 is considered a lucky number, which is probably why that number was chosen for the practice. Eating slowly, and deliberately helps the diner focus on whether they have achieved satiety or not.

This gives their bellies time to signal to the brain that it is full. This exercise leads to the result of the average consumption rate of the population to be 1200 calories in lieu of the standard 2,000. But that does not mean that they starve themselves. The foods that they eat are often times nutrient-rich, preventing the body from feeling starvation. It is only simply caloric restriction.

 

The Basic Rules of Thumb for the Okinawan Diet

 

  • Focus on Colorful foods: Okinawans eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and roots that grow seasonally. They most often eat yellow and orange plants, that are filled with carotenoids. Carotenoids help the immune system, boost brain development, and lower inflammation.
  • Stick to Tubers more than Grains and Dairy: Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that help with the prevention of aging. They also do not spike the blood sugar as much as white potatoes. Brown rice, tends to be enjoyed over white, and there are only trace amounts of dairy involved because most of the Asian population are lactose intolerant.
  • Mushrooms and Seaweed: These add the most nutrients to the diet, either adding trace elements like calcium, iodine, and iron or boosting the immune system.
  • Eat Seafood and Lean Meats: If you indulge in meats, make sure that they are the lean kind that contains healthy fats. These types of meat can reduce your cholesterol and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

 

 Okinawan Recipes:

 Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette

If you want your greens with a little bit of spice, then try some Watercress with Chile and Vinaigrette. It is a lovely combination of spicy and sour,  that is added with the warmth of the soup. Click on the corresponding photo to get the recipe.

watercress soup

Chanpuru Style Tofu Stir-Fry

Maybe stir-fry is more your jam? This combination of daikon radish, miso, sake, with a touch of spice from ginger, make this healthy dish packed with explosive flavor. If you want to try the recipe, click on the related photo.

 stirfry, okinawan diet

Okinawa Shoyu Pork

There is always slow cooked pork over noodles. Marinated with soy sauce and a touch of sweetness makes this soup perfect for a hearty meal. Click on the photo for the recipe!

pork bowl, okinawan diet

Sources:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/okinawa-diet.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-buettner/okinawa-blue-zone_b_7012042.html

https://draxe.com/okinawa-diet/

http://okinawa-diet.com/okinawa_diet/okinawa_diet_food_pyramid.html

http://okinawa-diet.com/okinawa_diet/caloric_density_pyramid.html

 

For more Bites like This one, Click Here