Posts Tagged ‘legumes’

To Carb or Not to Carb

 

Thank you, Dr. Atkins. You made carbohydrates a dirty word. Somehow you made it ok to eat pork rinds and drink diet Coke, but taboo to eat brown rice and black beans. And broccoli. Don’t forget broccoli has way too many carbs. Huh?

 

Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. We should minimize or completely avoid simple carbs and enjoy complex carbohydrates in moderation. If you exercise on a regular basis, you can eat more. What a motivator for hitting the gym, right?

 

Complex Carbohydrates
Many are known for their lowering cholesterol abilities and high fiber content . Fruit contains complex and simple carbohydrates.

Sources
* Millet, oats, barley, whole wheat
* Brown, red, & wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat
*Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, black beans
* Sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia seeds
* Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
* Whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, pasta

 

Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs can cause a sugar imbalance. Considered empty calories (no nutritional value), eating too much sugar is stored as fat. When eating out or buying pre-made food, be careful. Sugar is a commonly added to sauces, bread, salad dressings, ketchup, and soups. I call it the lazy cook’s spice.

Sources
* Honey
* White or brown sugar
* Corn syrup
* Lactose (in dairy)
* Dextrose, sucrose, and fructose

So, don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Have 5 servings of organic fresh fruit daily. And please eat your broccoli. Having the occasional sweet treat is fine. But if you’re diabetic, have cancer, or know that the occasional cookie will turn into a dozen a day, definitely stay away. Bon appetit!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

The absorbed iron is transported as plasma ferritin and stored in liver, spleen, bone marrow and kidney. When red cells are broken down, the liberated iron is reutilized in the formation of new red cells. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and cell growth by helping the blood transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is needed.

Are you getting enough iron?

Iron deficiency symptoms include: Pale skin & nail beds, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue and mouth, light headed, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache, weakness. Other symptoms include heartburn, gas, vague abdominal pains, numbness and tingling in the extremities, heart palpitation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Some iron loss occurs naturally. The total daily iron loss of an adult is about 1 mg and about 2 mg in menstruating women.

 

Daily Requirements of Iron

Children, men and women according to age have different nutritional needs. Please see chart below for guidelines.

Children
7 mos – 1 yr 11 mg         1 yr – 4 yrs 7 mg

4 yrs – 8 yrs 10 mg          9 yrs – 13 yrs 8 mg

Men
14 yrs – 18 yrs 11 mg        19 yrs + 8 mg

Women

14 yrs – 18 yrs 15 mg

19 yrs – 50 yrs 18 mg
51 + yrs 8 mg

Pregnant 27 mg

Lactating 14 yrs – 18 yrs 10 mg
19 + yrs     9 mg

 

Sources of Iron

Food                         Iron in mg             Food                       Iron in mg

Black beans              7.9                               Tofu                         4.6
Garbanzos                6.9                               Lima beans             4.5
Pintos                       6.1                              Lentils                     6.6
Navy                         5.1                                Split peas               3.4
Soybeans                 8.8                           Kidney Beans         5.2

Fresh Peas              2.9                            Tempeh                    2.2

 

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

Spinach                   6.4                             Kale                       1.8
Beet greens            2.8                             Acorn squash         1.7
Swiss chard            4.0                             Brussels sprouts   1.7
Tomato juice           2.2                             Potato w/skin         1.4
Butternut squash    2.1                              Beets                      1.0

Fruit

Prune juice (1 cup)  10.5                            Dates (10)              2.4
Dried peach             5 3.9                            Prunes                   1.8
Raisins, ½ cup        2.6                          Strawberries, 1 cup   1.5

Grains (¼ cup dry)
Rice bran                     10.8                    Wheat bran/germ      1.9
Quinoa                         4.6                     Cream of wheat           8.1
Millet                            3.9                      Oat or cornmeal         0.7

Seeds (approximately ¼ cup)

Pumpkin seeds           4.0                    Sunflower seeds          2.4

Hemp Seeds              13.6

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses  3.2                  Brewer’s yeast, 1 tbs        1.4
Tahini 2 tbsp               2.7                   Cashews ¼ cup               2.0

 

So next time your at the farmers market, pick up some some kale and spinach and add them to your black bean chili or next soup. Or top your green salad with pumpkin seeds.  Not only will it taste great, but you’ll feel more energized.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Doing the right thing

Are you thinking of giving up meat?  Maybe you just want to cut back? Is it for environmental, health, or ethical reasons?  Worried about protein?  Or for those of you are already a vegetarian, are    sick of the question, “How do you get enough protein?” There is a myth in most Western countries, that you need to eat animal products regularly to get enough protein.  You’ll see from the list below, that this is not the case.  Cases of protein deficiencies almost exclusively exist in cases of overall malnourishment.   What I see more of in my clinic is an iron deficiency, but that occurs just as often in meat eaters as vegetarians and vegans.  (More on that in a future blog.)

Practically all vegetarian foods contain some protein, but soybeans are definitely one of the best sources. Soybeans contain all the essential amino acids and surpass all other plant foods in the amount of protein that they can deliver to humans. It is important to stay away from genetically modified soy products.  The product must be labeled organic and/or non-GMO to make sure.

All of you reading this should know, that I’m always encourage my patients to healthy, organic, locally grown foods.  Becoming a vegetarian is a very personal decision.  But if you want to give it a try and have adequate nutritional support, I’m here for you.

Some of the great vegetarian sources of protein

PROTEIN IN GRAINS: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice

VEGETABLE PROTEIN: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini

PROTEIN IN FRUITS: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon

If you want to be absolutely certain that you are getting enough protein, you should eat food combinations which form a complete protein, such as:

* Legumes + seeds
* Legumes + nuts
* Legumes + grains

Chances are you already eat complete proteins without even trying.  See how easy it is? Here are some tasty and healthy complete protein combinations:

* Beans on whole grain toast
* Corn and beans
* Hummus and whole wheat pita bread
* Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, hemp, etc..)on whole grain bread
* Brown rice pasta with beans
* Rice and beans, peas, or lentils
* Split pea soup with whole grain or seeded crackers or bread
* Tortillas with refried beans
* Veggie burgers on whole grain bread

Live natural.  Live Well.

Heather

Like us on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter!
Links of Interest











Pre-order the paper book now.

This smart, interesting, easy-to-read guide will have you healthier and happier than you’ve ever been. A great synthesis of East meets West, Fix Your Mood with Food covers it all.” —Rory Freedman, Co-author of Skinny Bitch

Get it from the following locations:

Amazon

Indie Bound

Barnes & Noble