Tag Archives: Superfood of the Month

Superfood to the Rescue: Apples

Apples have many essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Antioxidants, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and a few B vitamins provide many of the health benefits attributed to apples. Other important nutrients in apples are calcium, vitamin K, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.

Benefits

Aid in Digestion
Regular consumption of fiber prevents constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach disorders.

Anticancer Potential
Regular consumption of one or more apples a day may reduce the risk for lung and colon cancer.

Probiotic Effects
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts like a probiotic, which improves the functioning of bacteria living in the large intestine. Apples also stimulate metabolism within the digestive tract and promote good bacteria in the gut.

Control Diabetes
The polyphenols in apples reduce the intake of carbohydrates, lower glucose absorption in the digestive tract and stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. These polyphenols also stimulate insulin receptors on the cells throughout the body, which speeds up the removal of sugar from the bloodstream.

Lowers Risk of Heart Diseases
Apples help lower the risk of stroke and various other heart diseases. Apples can help reduce inflammation in blood vessels, while lowering blood pressure in the body.

Superfood of the Month: Rutabaga

Rutabaga is a vegetable that boosts the taste of dishes, and many cultures incorporate it into staple foods or national delicacies. A healthy alternative to potatoes, rutabaga doesn’t have as many “empty” carbohydrates and provides a wide range of minerals and vitamins that benefit overall health.

Benefits

    Anti-cancer Properties
    Perhaps the most important function of rutabaga involves its diverse composition of antioxidant compounds.

    Aging

    Rutabagas effectively prevent premature aging, improve eyesight and stimulate the healthy regeneration of cells.

    Digestion

    Rutabagas are very high in fiber, providing more than 12 percent of the daily requirement in each serving.

    Immune System

    Vitamin C is the major vitamin present in rutabagas, and a single serving contains more than half of the required daily allotment of vitamin C, which is essential for many bodily processes, including stimulating the immune system to produce white blood cells.

    Blood Pressure
    The potassium in rutabagas can help lower blood pressure by reducing the stress and contraction of blood vessels.

    Other health benefits include osteoporosis and diabetes prevention, enzymatic function improvement, increased metabolism and weight loss.

    Recipe

      Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream & Dill

      Turkey Meatloaf
      Servings: 6
      Ingredients

      • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
      • 1 c breadcrumbs (or almond flour)
      • 1 c shredded onion
      • 3 garlic cloves, minced
      • 3/4 c carrots, shredded
      • 1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped
      • 1/3 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
      • 1/4 c ketchup
      • 1 T parsley, chopped
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
      • 1 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp pepper

      Glaze
      • 1/4 c ketchup
      • 2 T brown sugar
      • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°. Add all ingredients in a large bowl (less the ingredients for the glaze). Using a fork or clean hands, mix until fully incorporated.
      2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and put meat on the pan. Use your hands to form a loaf shape, trying to keep it level so it cooks evenly.
      3. To prepare the glaze, mix ingredients in a small bowl.
      4. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and brush glaze over the meatloaf. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish.

      Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream & Dill
      Servings: 4 to 6

      Ingredients
      • 2 to 3 lb of rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
      • Salt and black pepper
      • 2 tsp butter
      • 1/4 c to 1/2 c full-fat sour cream (more or less to taste)
      • 2 T fresh dill or chives, chopped

      Instructions
      1. In a large pot, cover chopped rutabaga with about 1-inch of cold water and bring to a boil.
      2. Add a generous pinch of salt and boil until tender or about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and return the rutabaga to the pot.
      3. Reduce heat to low and let the rutabaga steam for a minute or two. Mash with a potato masher.
      4. Add butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, mix in the chopped dill or chives.

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.