Tag Archives: healthy foods

Superfood of the Month: Mushrooms

Although mushrooms can be found in the produce section of the grocery, they aren’t a fruit or a vegetable. They have a great deal of nutritional value and are full of micronutrients. There are more than 70,000 types of mushrooms, but only around 250 species are edible.

Benefits
• Mushrooms absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients from plants and soil. On trees, they often soak up nutrients that have been building for decades, creating powerhouse supplements.
• Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins, iron and selenium.
• Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. A 3-ounce portabella cap has more potassium than a banana. They have essentially no fat and no cholesterol.
• The best news about mushrooms is a powerful micronutrient called ergothioneine, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Cooking releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells.
• Mushrooms have high levels of polyphenols that give them a higher antioxidant level than green pepper and zucchini.
• Commonly available mushrooms like white button mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, shitakes and creminis may contain very small amounts of agaritine, which may be carcinogenic in extremely high doses. Cooking removes the agaritine, so try to eat cooked mushrooms.

Recommendations
• If you buy canned mushrooms, be careful of added sodium. Mushrooms naturally have no sodium. Choose fresh or dried mushrooms when possible.
• Store mushrooms unwashed in a paper bag in the fridge. If bought packaged in plastic, transfer them to a paper bag or cover the tray with a paper towel.
• When choosing mushrooms at the market, look for dry mushrooms with smooth caps, firm gills and a fresh smell.
• Don’t soak mushrooms in water. They are very porous and absorb water quickly.
• Clean mushrooms with a quick rinse and wipe with a damp cloth.
• Don’t peel mushrooms. Cut off the firm, dark areas of the stems.
• Avoid eating mushrooms raw – even if they are on the salad bar. Cooking unlocks more nutrients and safely degrades any trace of agaritine.

Superfood of the Month: Red Cabbage

Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that’s delicious raw and cooked.

While both red and green cabbage are good for you, red cabbage packs a more powerful nutritional punch and more antioxidants. It’s also known as red kraut or blue kraut and can provide much-needed probiotic benefits.

Benefits
1. Boosts the Immune System
-Contains vitamin C
-Stimulates the activity of white blood cells

2. Fights Inflammation and Arthritis
-Contains phytonutrients that may help reduce chronic inflammation
-Has sulforaphane, a potent inflammation killer found in many cruciferous vegetables

3. Aids Healthy Bones and Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis
-Is a vitamin K-rich food

4. Combats Chronic Disease
-Is high in antioxidants to give the body its best chance to prevent and combat serious chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes

5.Promotes a Healthy Gut
-Improves gut health by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria

Fresh Burrito Bowl
Ingredients
1/4 cup black beans
1 tsp chicken broth
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of garlic powder
1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 oz pre-cooked grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 T non-fat Greek yogurt
2 T fresh salsa
Fresh cilantro as garnish
Sliced green onions as garnish

Directions
1. Microwave black beans with chicken broth, oregano, cumin, cayenne and garlic powder on high for 30 to 45 seconds until heated. Set aside.
2. Put sliced red cabbage in a bowl and spoon black beans on top. Layer with sliced chicken, Greek yogurt, salsa, and cilantro and green onions.

Superfoods to the Rescue: Beets

Beets come in many colors – red, pink, golden, white – and a variety of sizes. Small- to medium-sized beets are best for flavor and texture, whereas very large beets may be tough and fibrous.

They’re full of essential, everyday nutrients, such as vitamin B, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and potassium.

Beet Benefits
~Eating beets lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
~Beets are rich in betaine, an amino acid, and B-vitamin folate.
~Beets may improve stamina.
~Eating beets improves brain function.
~Research shows that betaine can help prevent and reduce accumulation of fat in the liver.
~Beets are rich in betalains, potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that battle radical- and inflammation-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity and cancer.
~Betacyanin, the pigment that colors beets, may protect against common carcinogens.

How to Eat Beets
People can eat beets raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, sautéed or even as chips. They are delicious when paired with salty or creamy cheeses, nuts and citrus. Use beet leaves to any recipe that includes spinach or chard.

Beets Recipe
Spicy Fish Tacos with Beet Slaw

Fish
•3/4 lb tilapia or other white fish
•1 tablespoon clean taco seasoning
•2 tablespoons olive, coconut or avocado oil
•4 tortillas
•1 avocado

Slaw
•1 cup spiralized beets (or julienne beets)
•1 jalapeno thinly sliced
•1/2 cup onion (spiralized or julienne)
•1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
•Handful of cilantro, minced
•1 lime, juiced
•Salt to taste

Step 1
To prepare the slaw, toss the spiralized beet and onion with jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice and salt to taste.

Step 2
To prepare the fish, heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Sprinkle the fish with taco seasoning and sear for 3 to 4 minutes per side until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Step 3
Divide the fish between the tortillas, and top with slaw and sliced avocado.