Everything you wanted to know about the nutrition of whole foods.
So, what are pulses? Pulses are part of the legume family; they are the dried seed of the legume plants. Pulses come in many shapes, sizes and colours such as lentils, chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans to name a few. They are full of so many health benefits and environmentally friendly.
“pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe, as well as a source of plant-based protein for animals”~ United Nations International Year of Pulses.
Health Benefits of Pulses (Beans and Lentils)
- Helps Reduce Risk of Cancer Especially of Colon Cancer
Several cancers including the upper digestive tract, stomach, colon, rectum, and kidneys were found to decrease with a higher consumption of beans and lentils according to a Uruguay study between 1996 and 2004.
In three other studies with 101,856 participants it was found that a higher consumption of legumes reduced the risk of colorectal adenoma.
- Helps with Weight Loss
Consumers of beans had healthier nutrient consumption levels, were less overweight and had 22% reduced risk of being obese and lower compared to non-consumers in a survey between 1999 – 2002.
Also, it was found that one serving of beans per day helped with weight loss in clinical trials with 940 participants at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto.
- Lowers Risk of Heart Attack
Pulses are a heart healthy food according to Pulse Canada. Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Follow-up study indicate that men and women who consumed legumes 4 or more times per week had a 22% reduction in heart disease risk, compared with those who consumed legumes less than once a week.
In a 25 year study with 16,000 middle-aged men in a number of countries, it was found that those who ate more legumes had 82% reduced a risk of heart attack.
- Improves Glycemic Index for diabetics
It was found in a study that adding beans and whole grains in the diet of diabetics there was an improvement in their glycemic index. Also, in another study, it was found that whole grain and legume powder reduced need for insulin in patients with coronary artery disease. Many Canadian dietitians recommend eating beans to individuals with diabetes.
- Filled with Good Protein
Wondering how to replace meat in your menu, add beans or lentils. They are a good source of protein, and when combined with a whole grain such as brown rice or millet they provide a complete source of protein without saturated fat. Beans have the highest protein content of all plant foods.
Pulses provide about 10% of the total food protein consumed in the world and have about twice the protein content of most grains. Learn more about: Protein Quality of Cooked Pulses.
- Full of Healthy Fiber
Pulses are a food high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber binds with bile (which contains cholesterol) in the digestive tract carrying it out of the body. A diet with fiber helps with lowering body weight according to research. Blood sugar levels can be stabilized with a high fiber diet according to research.
Why to Include Pulses in Our Diet:
- High in protein – 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of cooked beans is equivalent to eating two ounces of lean protein. The guidelines recommend that most adults eat about 5 1/2 ounces of lean meat a day.
- Lots of fibre – ½ cup serving of cooked dry beans has 4 to 10 grams of fibre.
- Rich in complex carbohydrates.
- Contain iron, zinc, calcium, selenium […]
Delicious nutty sunflower seeds are a popular snack which is undervalued. They may be small but sunflower seeds are a dense source of nutrients and full of extraordinary health benefits. Also, the sunflowers are beautiful flowers with an abundance of nutrition.
6 Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
- Lowers Cholesterol
The high-oleic-acid sunflower oil will lower both triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels according to a study at the University of Sydney, Australia. Vitamin E is one of the antioxidants found in cholesterol particles and helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol.
- Good for Young and Healthy Skin
They are abundant in Vitamin E which is vital for the care of the healthy skin by keeping it hydrated, and helps prevent damage created by the sun and pollution. Studies on dogs have shown that sunflower seeds and flax seeds helped to keep their skin and fur healthy and free from signs of damage even as they aged. Researchers believe that aging humans could have the same benefits.
- Cancer Reduced
The high Vitamin E in sunflower seeds is effective in cancer prevention. Studies at Harvard have shown that Vitamin E protects men from prostate cancer. Also, a study by the Texas Woman’s University suggests that it may reduce the risk of lung cancer.
- Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Through years of research, it has been found that a diet rich in nuts and seeds helps balance blood sugar levels reducing the chance of developing diabetes. U.S. National Library of Medicine gives a list of foods to always choose to help prevent diabetes and sunflower seeds are one of the foods.
“The world faces an epidemic of insulin resistance and diabetes. Our findings support preventing and treating these diseases by eating more fat-rich foods like walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, flaxseed, fish, and other vegetable oils and spreads, in place of refined grains, starches, sugars, and animal fats.” ~ Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Tufts University.
- Depression Healed Magnesium
Sunflower seeds are a very good source of magnesium which has been found in research to heal depression.
6. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which is known to help in preventing heart disease. In 1986, a study with 39,910 U.S. male health professionals aged between 40 to 75 in a Harvard study found that those who had a good amount of vitamin E had a much lower risk of dying of a heart attack.
Sunflower Seed Nutrition
Half a cup of husked sunflower seeds gives you in terms of daily requirement:
- An excellent source of vitamin E; gives over 116%.
- A great source of vitamin B1 of 69% and Manganese 68%.
- A good source of copper 63% and Magnesium 57%.
- Folate (B vitamin) with over 39%.
- Good protein of 29%.
Also, they are a good source of fiber, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and iron. See full details at Nutrition Data.
- The tallest sunflower grown was 30 feet, 1nch grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany verified on 28 August 2014 according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
- It is the national flower of Russia and the state flower of Kansas, USA.
- One of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ paintings was bought by an anonymous buyer for $39.85 million.
- They are one of the most consumed seeds in the world.
- The Incas used the sunflower as an image of their sun god.
The sunflower seeds have been growing wild since 8,500 BC in North America. They have been eaten by Native Americans for over 5,000 years who grew large flowers for the seeds to […]
A sprig of delicious dill adds a unique flavor to your food and it is full of health benefits.
Dill’s name comes from the Norwegian word ‘dilla,’ meaning to soothe. Dill has been valued for its many health benefits as early as 1500 B.C. In ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts, it was documented as a remedy to soothe flatulence, relieve pain and act as a laxative and a diuretic.
6 Health Benefits of Dill
2. Helps with Digestion
Since very early times, dill was used to cure hiccups, stomachaches and bad breath. It has antispasmodic properties that relieve stomach pain and cramping. Ayurvedic medicine has used the dill seed for stomach problems for centuries.
3. Helps Prevent Bone Loss
Being a good source of calcium, it helps in reducing the bone loss that occurs after menopause. One tablespoon of dill seed contains 3 grams of calcium.
4. Reduces Bloating, Gas, Diarrhea and Constipation from Bacteria Overgrowth
Dill can help prevent bacterial overgrowth which is the cause of the above symptoms. The volatile oil of dill has been studied for its ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
5. Eugenol Oil in Dill Is Good as a Local Anesthetic
Eugenol oil has been used therapeutically by dentists as local analgesic agent as it lessens tooth pain.
6. Eugenol oil also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics (more research is required).
Also we call it a Powerfood!
Dill is a good source of dietary Fiber, Niacin, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
It is low in calories: half a cup of dill has only 2 calories!
For more details go to: Nutrition Data
- Dill was believed to protect against curses and witchcraft during European medieval times.
- It was thought to make one drowsy and was given to crying babies, which is why its original name, dilla also means “to lull.”
- The Dill pickle is at least 400 years old.
- Dill has been used to make green dye.
- Dill was used by Hippocrates for cleaning the mouth.
- Ancient soldiers applied burnt dill seeds to their wounds to help healing.
- 5,000 years ago, in Egypt, the first record of dill as a medicinal herb was found
- Around 3,000 B.C. Babylonians grew dill in their gardens.
- It is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean.
- In the seventeenth century, it was found in many English kitchen gardens.
- It is thought to have arrived in America with early settlers.
“Give your food a Thrill by adding some Dill!”- Roylin J. Picou, Poet
Yummy Recipes with Dill
Quick Easy Pickles Yummy pickles in just over one hour.
Creamy Potato Salad – Vegan Even if you are not vegan, you will love this recipe.
Yogurt Salad Dressing I love adding lots of dill weed to this salad dressing.
Did you know that summer is a very good time to detox? This is because fresh organic fruit and vegetables are much more available and that it is warm so the body finds it is easier to be in a detox process. This is a natural process. When we detox, we eliminate toxins and begin to feel healthier and energised.
- Lemons are the best food for a detox in spring, summer and fall.
- Are highly alkalizing for the body. This helps restore balance to the body’s pH.
- Your liver loves lemons:The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile” says Back to Eden, Mr. Kloss.
- Lemons stimulate bile production and they help cleanse the kidneys.
- Watermelon is the number one food for a summer detox.
- Is high in dietary fiber. This helps keep the colon clean, helping cleanse your body.
- Contains glutathione that helps improve liver function. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent.
- Is a good source of potassium. Potassium balances the high amounts of sodium in our diets which supports your kidneys and is great when cleansing.
- Reduces inflammation: Less inflammation means lower toxic load in the body.
- It is extremely alkaline-forming in the body. Fat cells contain toxicity and acid. Your body will not let go of fat cells while you are still acidic.
- Contains high amounts of citrulline. This helps to create arginine which removes ammonia and other toxins from the body.
- 1 cup of watermelon is only 47 calories. This is great for weight loss.
Read more about Watermelon Health Benefits.
- Cucumbers are helpful in helping flush toxins out of the body. The high water content in cucumbers gets your urinary system moving.
- A half-cup of sliced cucumber only has 8 calories.
- Highly Alkaline-Forming Food. Eating more alkaline-forming foods is an important part of keeping a balanced diet.
- Raspberries are low in calories making them an ideal fruit for people who want to lose weight.
- The glycemic index of raspberries is 3, meaning they are a low glycemic load food. They have a low effect on our blood sugar, helping us to maintain it and keeping it from spiking.
- Blueberries are one of the most healing foods.
- Have been found to reduce inflammation in many studies on animals;
- Have antiviral properties and help to block toxins from crossing the blood-brain barrier to gain access to the delicate brain.
- Celery is filled with fiber that is good for weight loss and is about 95% water.
- Is a negative calorie food. It takes the body more calories to digest it than the food itself contains.
- Spinach alkalizing the body helps to balance the body.
- Full of anti- inflammatory antioxidants. Fat cells produce chemistry that creates inflammation which can lead to Obesity.
- Avocados contain glutathione which helps the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals.
- Can also lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity.
- Flaxseeds have a balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which reduce inflammation.
- Are high soluble and insoluble fibre. This helps stabilise blood sugar and promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
- Mint leaves are great for summer cooling.
- Help you digest your food more effectively. It improves the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder, to the small intestine, where it breaks down dietary fats.
Toxins in our food and in our […]
|Lemon (Citrus limon), fresh, without peel
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients
Nutrition Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.190 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||88%|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||1%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
Pecans are gourmet nuts with a delicious buttery taste and not just in a pecan pie. Also, pecans have an abundance of health benefits making them a great powerfood addition to our meals and even our snacks!
‘Pecan’ means ‘a nut requiring a stone to crack’ it in Algonquian. They are technically a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk, not really a nut.
6 Health Benefits of the Pecan
The research since 2000 clearly indicates that the pecan are a healthy addition to your diet as well as being tasty.
A study at the Loma Linda University found that eating a diet supplemented with pecans, gamma-tocopherol levels in the body doubled and bad cholesterol in the blood decreased by 33 percent. “This study is another piece of evidence that pecans are a healthy food,” says researcher Dr. Haddad.
To hear more about what researcher Dr. Haddad has to say watch this video:
Helps Keep the Heart Healthy
Pecans are rich in one form of vitamin E; gamma tocopherol which is helpful in preventing coronary heart disease.
High in Antioxidants
Foods that have a high antioxidant capacity can decrease the risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Also, pecans contain the highest antioxidant capacity compared to all nuts according to the largest USDA study of food antioxidants.
Protects Your Nervous System
Adding pecans to your diet are helpful in protecting the nervous system and may delay the progression of age-related motor neuron degeneration such as diseases like ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This is according to research at the Center for Cellular Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Do they Create Weight Gain?
Also, a study found that eating nuts did not increase weight, so a few pecans a day and can be eaten without gaining weight.
Pecans are Nutrient Dense
- They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, oleic acid, vitamin B1, thiamin, magnesium, protein and zinc.
- Also, they are a good source of protein containing very few carbohydrates and are sodium-free.
- Approximately 20 halves contain 196 calories so you can eat 10 halves for less than 100 calories.
Above from: Nutrition Data
Fossil pecan remains show that the pecan tree was prehistoric.
Native Americans cultivated the wild pecan in the 1500’s.
They are native to the Mississippi valley. The world’s largest pecan nursery is located in Lumberton, Mississippi.
Fun Pecan Facts
- A pecan pie contains about 78 pecans!
- 80% of the world’s pecans are grown in the U.S.
- There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans and many are named for Native American Indian tribes (Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee).
- Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919.
- The pecan comes in many sizes: mammoth, extra-large, large, medium, small and midget.
- Before a pecan can be sold, first it is cleaned, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
- Texas has over 70 million wild pecan trees; the pecan tree was officially designated the Texas state tree in 1919.
- The shell of a pecan is a great mulch for gardens.
Grapefruit has been scientifically proven to help with health and weight loss. The good news is you don’t have to go on a Hollywood fad diet to get those benefits.
“So far I’ve always kept my diet secret but now I might as well tell everyone what it is. Lots of grapefruit throughout the day and plenty of virile young men at night.” – Angie Dickinson
Grapefruit and Weight Loss
Here are two studies verifying grapefruits help with weight loss:
- A 12 week study had people who were overweight consume half a fresh grapefruit before a meal for 12 weeks, the results showed they lost almost 5 pounds after 4 weeks, and almost 11 ½ pounds after 12 weeks.
- Another study with 91 obese patients was conducted to find out how grapefruit affected body weight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. They found that those who ate half of a fresh grapefruit before meals (meals had no restriction) lost 3.5 pounds in 12 weeks, improved insulin resistance and had a reduction in two-hour post-glucose insulin level.
Grapefruits Burn More Calories Than They Contain
This fruit is similar to celery, as it is made up of about 60 percent water, with a bit of healthy fiber thrown in. The fiber helps with digestion and makes you feel full.
Caution: Grapefruit juice’s interaction with drugs can be deadly. If you are taking any of the medications listed here, do not eat grapefruit: Grapefruit Interaction with Drugs List.
We know grapefruit is helpful for weight loss. Grapefruits are also full of pectin, nutrients, are low in calories and contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. On top of all those wonderful elements, they have many health benefits.
- Red Grapefruit Lowers Cholesterol & Fights Heart Disease. One red grapefruit a day can help keep heart disease away, according to a study by Israeli researchers in 2006. A major risk factor for heart disease is high blood cholesterol. In the study, the patients consuming one grapefruit per day significantly reduced cholesterol compared to a control group of patients that did not. The researchers say it may be because grapefruit has a high level of antioxidants.
- Helps Reduce Lung Cancer Risk
White grapefruit contains a high amount of the flavonoid, naringin, which inhibits the activation of a cancer-causing enzyme. Pink grapefruit has some too, along with the antioxidant lycopene.
- Inhibits Colon Cancer:
Limonin, grapefruit pulp powder and the flavonoid naringin, were examined in a study in relation to colon cancer cells. The scientists concluded that eating grapefruit may help to suppress the development of colon cancer.
- Helps Repair Prostate Cancer
A study has shown that the citrus flavonoid naringenin stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells.
- Flushes Heavy Metal
Grapefruit is full of pectin which binds to heavy metals, flushing them out in the digestive process. A study was performed with hospitalized children between the ages of 5 and 12 years who had high blood serum levels of lead. They were given three dosages of citrus pectin per day for 28 days. The scientists found that there was a dramatic decrease in blood serum levels of lead as a result.
- Full of vitamin C, to help keep colds at bay
It has been found that there are power foods to help us fight cancer. This is important as according to WHO, cancer is expected to rise 70% over the next 20 years even though there have been many advances in medical technology and knowledge. President Barack Obama, on January 13, 2016 announced a national initiative to find a cure for cancer.
Is it best that we just wait for the medical system to find a cure or can we do something for ourselves now?
The place to begin is with eating healthy real foods, especially foods that have been proven scientifically to help in fighting cancer. Here are six of them.
6 Power Foods to Help Fight Cancer
1. Tomatoes Help Lower Cancer Risk
- Breast cancer can be reduced with tomatoes with their high amounts of carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids) as shown by research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .
- Prostate cancer was found to be reduced in a study showing men who ate more than 10 portions of tomatoes or tomato products per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 18% compared to men who ate less than 10.
- Consuming tomatoes and tomato-based products has been shown to lower risk of lung, stomach, and prostate gland cancer and it may also preventive it for breast, cervix, oral cavity, colon, esophagus, and pancreas. It is clear that the current evidence favours the consumption of tomatoes and tomato products rather than lycopene supplements as stated in the Oxford Journals.
- Cruciferous vegetable have been shown to lower overall cancer risk according to research at Oregon State University.
- They have been found to help inhibit and regulate cancer-causing genes and “key to eliminating cancer” according to research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- It was found that people who ate greater amounts of cruciferous vegetable Brussels sprouts had a lower risk of cancer, as stated at the National Cancer Cancer Institute fact page.
- Isothiocyanates, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables have been found in studies suggest that they may lower overall cancer risk, including colon and prostate cancer.
3. Avocados Help Cure Cancer
- The glutathione found in avocados has been found to help prevent some kinds of cancers.
Researchers found extracts from Hass avocados kill or stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells that lead to oral cancer.
- Avocado extract was found to inhibit prostate cancer.
- Molecules in avocados have been found to attack leukemia stem cells directly while leaving healthy cells unharmed according to a study.
4. Garlic Fights Cancer
- Lung cancer was decreased by 44% in a study with those who ate raw garlic two or more times a week according to a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The researchers also found that even smokers who ate raw garlic decreased their risk of lung cancer by around 30%.
- Garlic, as an allium vegetable, has been found in a study to protect against stomach and colon cancers.
- “In test tubes, garlic seems to kill cancer cells. And studies suggest that people who eat more raw or cooked garlic are less likely to get colon and stomach cancers and cancer of the esophagus.” – University of Maryland Medical Center.
5. Legumes (Beans and Lentils) Reduce Cancer Risk
- Prostate cancer was found to be lower in a six-year study of more than 14,000 Seventh Day Adventist men living in the United States. Those with the highest intakes of legumes (beans, lentils, or split peas) had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer
- Legumes were found to reduce […]
If you’ve already decided you don’t like Brussels sprouts, it’s probably because at some point in your life someone served you some where their tasty, nutty, sweet flavor was boiled away. When you learn how to cook them properly, you may find them totally yummy!
Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbages and are in fact in the same family.
5 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
1. Keeps Bones Strong and Healthy
Brussels sprouts are full of vitamin K, which is responsible for good bone health. One cup of Brussels sprouts has over 270 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement. Studies have found vitamin K to be helpful in increasing bone density and reducing fractures in osteoporosis patients.
2. Helps Fight Cancer
The research for how Brussels sprouts helps fight cancer is vast. Here are a few highlights.
- Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, which have been shown to lower overall cancer risk according to research at Oregon State University.
- It was found that people who ate greater amounts of Brussels sprouts had a lower risk of cancer, as stated at the National Cancer Institute fact page.
- Cruciferous vegetables have been found to help inhibit and regulate cancer-causing genes. Cruciferous vegetables are “key to eliminating cancer” according to research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- Also, Brussels sprouts are a glucosinolate-containing cruciferous vegetable, which a 1995 study found reduces colon cancer.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
When Brussels sprouts are steamed, the fiber components bind with intestinal bile acids, helping them to pass out of the body. This creates a need in the body to replenish lost bile acids, using the existing supply of cholesterol, thus reducing it. Uncooked Brussels sprouts do have some ability to lower cholesterol, but it’s low compared to the process of steaming, according to the Western Regional Research Center.
4. Provides A Good Source of Protein When Combined with a Whole Grain
Brussels sprouts contain a good quantity of protein. There’s 4 grams of protein in one cup of Brussels sprouts. You will get the most protein when you eat them with a whole grain as they need the balance of other amino acids.
5. Promotes Weight loss
One cup of Brussels sprouts has only 56 calories. They are low in fat and have 4 grams of fiber. This fiber has many benefits for your digestive system and gives you that ‘full’ feeling. They are nutrient dense so your body is also satisfied long term.
Brussels Sprouts Trivia
- They are spelled Brussels sprouts, NOT Brussel sprouts and NOT brussel sprouts.
- A team of scientists with local schoolchildren lit a Christmas tree in London, England from the energy of 1,000 Brussels sprouts!
- Brussels sprouts are used in Chinese medicine to improve digestion.
- Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetable in Britain and America!
Brussels Sprout Nutrition
One serving of Brussels sprouts will meet your needs for vitamin C and vitamin K for the day. Brussels sprouts are one of the top 20 most nutritious foods as scored by the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.
One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides:
274 percent vitamin K
162 percent vitamin C
24 percent vitamin A
24 percent folate
18 percent manganese
14 percent potassium
14 percent vitamin B6
12 percent thiamine vitamin B1
10 percent iron
4 grams protein
4 grams fiber
270 mg of omega-3 fatty acids
Brussels sprouts also contribute to your daily need for calcium, providing 37 milligrams in one cup.
History of Brussels Sprouts
- The name Brussels sprouts comes from Brussels, Belgium where they were first grown in quantity in the sixteenth century.
- Brussels sprouts are said to have been developed from wild cabbages in the […]