Tag Archives: antioxidants

Superfood of the Month: Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich fruit in the world. In addition to a long list of health benefits, this fruit is also sweet, low-calorie and delicious.

Antioxidants
Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins.

Weight Loss
Blueberries are low in calories, but they provide a whopping 3.6 grams of fiber per cup. That’s up to 14 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.

Brain Health
Many studies suggest eating blueberries could improve memory and cognition. The antioxidant in blueberries protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy brain aging.

Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases. In fact, inflammation may contribute to a wide range of conditions, including cancer, autoimmune conditions, heart disease and depression. Because of their high antioxidant content, blueberries have significant anti-inflammatory effects.

Digestion
With 3.6 grams of fiber in each cup, a serving or two of blueberries can help meet your fiber needs while promoting regularity and healthy digestion.

Heart Health
Studies show that eating blueberries could help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease. One study found that eating blueberries daily for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness in women.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Blueberry-Ginger Relish

    Ingredients
    4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, (about 1¾ pounds), trimmed of fat

    Marinade
    3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce (see note)
    2 T dry sherry (see note)
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp brown sugar
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

    Blueberry-Ginger Relish
    1 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
    1 shallot, chopped
    1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
    1 T chopped fresh cilantro
    1 T lime juice
    1 tsp minced fresh ginger
    ¼ tsp salt

    Directions
    1. Place pork chops in a large sealable plastic bag. Whisk soy sauce, sherry, garlic, brown sugar and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Add the marinade to the bag, seal and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
    2. About 20 minutes before grilling the pork, combine blueberries, shallot, chile, cilantro, lime juice, ginger and salt in a small bowl.
    3. Preheat grill to high. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and discard marinade. Grill the chops three to five minutes per side. Let them rest for five minutes before serving with relish.

Superfood of the Month: Carrots

Carrots are crunchy, tasty and highly nutritious. They are a good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants. They’re also a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

Health Benefits
Reduces risk of cancer
• Diets rich in carotenoids may help protect against several types of cancer, including prostate, colon and stomach cancers.
• Women with high circulating levels of carotenoids may also have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Lowers blood cholesterol
• High blood cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
• Eating carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.
Improves weight loss
• As a low-calorie food, carrots can increase fullness and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals.
Improves eye health

• Individuals with low vitamin A are more likely to experience night blindness.
• Carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Chicken and Carrots with Lemon Butter Sauce
Ingredients
• 1 T canola oil
• 4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
• 3/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 12 oz (1/2-in thickness) diagonally cut peeled carrot (about 2 cups)
• 3 T minced shallots
• 1 T chopped fresh thyme
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
• 2 T unsalted butter
• 2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add chicken to the pan. Cook four minutes or until browned on one side. Turn and place pan in the oven. Bake at 400° for eight minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
3. While chicken cooks, arrange carrots in a vegetable steamer. Steam seven minutes or until tender. Remove from steamer and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
4. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add shallots and thyme. Sauté one minute. Add wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add stock. Bring to a boil, and cook five minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add butter, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter melts.
6. Remove from heat. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, parsley and lemon juice, stirring with a whisk. Divide carrots evenly among four plates. Top with chicken, and spoon sauce over chicken and carrots.

Superfood of the Month: Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. One cup of fresh strawberries equals 160 percent of the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C, and is only 50 calories.

Health Benefits
Heart Disease
•Regular consumption of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids found in berries, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women.
•The flavonoid quercetin in strawberries is a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Stroke
•The antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol and anthocyanin reduce the formation of harmful blood clots associated with stroke.
•High potassium intake has also been linked with a reduced risk of stroke.

Cancer
Powerful antioxidants in strawberries may work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.

Blood pressure
Doctors recommend eating strawberries because of their high potassium content. Low potassium is just as risky for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

Constipation
•Eating foods high in water content and fiber, such as strawberries, grapes, watermelon and cantaloupe, can help keep the body hydrated and bowel movements regular.
•Fiber is essential to minimize constipation and add bulk to stool.

Diabetes
Strawberries are a low glycemic index food and high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and keep it stable.

Pregnancy
Strawberries are a great source of folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.

prop stylist: Claire Spollen; food stylist: Kellie Kelley

Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
Serves 4
Ingredients
•1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
•1/2 cup diced peeled ripe avocado
•2 T minced seeded jalapeño pepper
•2 T chopped fresh cilantro
•2 tsp fresh lime juice
•3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
•1 T olive oil
•4 (4-oz) chicken breast cutlets
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•4 lime wedges

Step 1
Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl; toss to combine.

Step 2
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Step 3
Divide chicken and spoon salsa evenly for each serving. Garnish with a lime wedge.