Posts Tagged ‘flax’
Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.
Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.
Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds
*Iron. 3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy
*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.
*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.
*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.
*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.
*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.
*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.
*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.
You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
- 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
- ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds
Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.
Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.
Dig in and enjoy!
Live natural. Live well.
Fish. Most people think it’s the perfect food for getting your protein and essential fats. A majority of doctors recommend at least 2 servings a week. Eating seafood regularly healthy or completely safe is a myth. That you need to eat fish for optimal health is another myth. So what exactly am I talking about? Seafood is less than perfect because of toxic levels of mercury and radiation it can contain, along with high levels of cholesterol.
Almost all fish are contaminated with mercury as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna (all types)*, swordfish *, sea bass *, oysters, marlin *, halibut, salmon *, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, sea bass *, mackerel *, and shark *. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Keep in mind that mercury exposure is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.
(The above fish, which are asterisked, are not only dangerous to consume, but also endangered due to over fishing. Due to increased demand, the number of sea animals consumed per year is now 90 billion. Blue fin tuna population has dropped 96%. No wonder they’re on the verge of extinction.)
High concentrations of mercury can result in:
*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness
*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness
*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination
Fukushima was such a horrific tragedy in 2011 for the people of Japan and felt all over the world. Unfortunately, the after effects of this disaster will be with us for decades to come. Before unseen radiation amounts has leaked into the Pacific and is contaminating all creatures and plant life living in it. Obviously, the closer to the spill, the higher the levels of exposure and risk are. Fish living near Fukushima have been declared completely unsafe.
I’ve seen some blogs comparing the radiation levels in fish from the Pacific to natural occurring radiation found in a banana. It’s like comparing natural sugar found in fruit to artificial sweeteners. There are different types of radiation, some more dangerous and longer lasting than others. Also, it is well known that radiation exposure is cumulative. The University of South Carolina and University of Paris-Sud finished a study in 2012, which concluded that even low levels of exposure to radioactivity are hazardous to animals and humans. One of the reasons is it that our bodies are unable to flush out radiation, so there is a cumulative effect.
What about all the healthy fat found in fish? Yes, depending on the fish, it may contain high levels of omega 3s needed for healthy brain function and hormone levels. But many of them also contain high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day. If you are high risk for heart disease, you should keep that number under 200mg daily. Just to give you an idea, a dinner containing shrimp will easily exceed 200 mg just from the shrimp alone.
Examples of cholesterol in fish
100 gram serving cholesterol amounts
Oil-packed Sardines 142mg
Striped Bass 103mg
Crab 147 mg
Squid (in calamari) 233mg
Fish are high in omega-3s because of the seaweed they eat. So why not get your healthy fats right from the source? Other great options for healthy fats include flax, chia, sesame, and hemp seeds, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spirulina, kale, acai berries, and walnuts. All of these foods are nutrient dense and some a packed with protein.
Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your eating habits. If you’re nervous about all the fish you’ve eaten over the years, take a blood test for heavy metals. But you can change what you eat today. Have a kale salad topped with roasted cauliflower, and walnuts for a delicious, truly healthy promoting meal.
Live natural. Live well.
Did you know your brain is about 60% fat? That your hormones are made from fat? 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats. Your lungs need fat to work and keep them from collapsing. Fats help you absorb certain nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
I know there’s all this confusing information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t. One myth out there is that fat is bad. Low fat and non-fat products became all the rage in the 90s, but not all fats are created equal.
Monounsaturated fats are the healthy kind. The best example is olive oil, but don’t cook with it. High temperatures change the chemical make up of olive oil, which can make it carcinogenic (cancer causing). For cooking, I’d recommend refined coconut, safflower and non-GMO canola oils.
Great sources for healthy fat: nuts, seeds, and avocado. I suggest adding flax or coconut oil, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds to your morning smoothie.
Signs that you might not be getting enough of the good stuff
* Lack of mental clarity upon awakening
* Weight gain
* Brittle Fingernails
* Poor Sleep
* Poor Memory
* Dry hair & skin
* Lack of Concentration
You might have heard of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids, but aren’t really sure what they do. EFAs can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses. Sources for Omega 3s: seaweeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, borage oil, and primrose oil. Yes, some fish are a great source of EFAs, but almost all fish have dangerously high levels of mercury in them. Fish get their omegas from eating seaweed. So why not eat the original, safer source instead?
Definitely stay away from trans fats/hydrogenated oils: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, repeatedly linked to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems. For the men reading this, trans fats also reduce sexual performance. They’re found in most processed foods, fast food, crackers, and cookies.
You should also minimize most saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel. Coconut oil is actually really healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating.
I know a lot of you reading this are probably thinking, “I’m young, I don’t need to worry about this kind of stuff until I’m in my 40s or 50s.” I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case. More people are overweight and becoming diabetic at a younger age than ever before. I recently saw a patient who had his first heart attack at 35 years old. He grew up eating a typical American diet and rarely exercised since college. The hardening of his arteries started in his 20s. Once that damage is done, it’s really hard to heal. I don’t want to scare you. Hopefully, it will motivate you to make smarter food choices from now on.
So when you’re eating on the run, grab some walnuts instead of pizza. Your body and your brain will thank.
Live natural. Live well.