Dr. Oz recently asked his fans to play a prank. The hoax: Tell a loved one they’d be joining you on a one-year kale-only diet. Kale, kale, and more kale.
Funny, but some people sort of do become singularly focused on certain veggies, eating a lot of kale, or broccoli, or spinach, and not much of anything else. We were curious: What type of variety should we be aiming for when it comes to produce?
Most of us are so exhausted by the time we get home from work that we want nothing more than to plop down on the couch and have dinner magically appear before us – myself included. But that’s a reality most of us don’t know. Couple that with trying to find ideas for healthy, gluten free dishes and you have a recipe for dinner disaster.
If this describes your current scenario, fret not, as we’ve compiled a list of five simple and healthy recipes that will have you looking forward to your nightly meal instead of dreading it by the noon hour.
Curried Rice with Shrimp – This gorgeous and healthy dish from Real Simple takes your weeknight dinner from ‘blah’ to ‘ta-da’ in a flash. Let the exotic flavors of curry and basil win you over, and the shrimp and rice keep you satisfied for hours.
Lentil Soup – The weather may still be a little warm for soup just yet, but fall and winter are right around the corner. We say warm up and fill up with this healthy dish that features tomato, kale, carrots, and, of course, fresh green lentils. (more…)
There are many reasons to love lentils for all the health benefits and nutrition they provide at such a low monetary cost. With almost 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber in one cup of cooked lentils it is no wonder that cultures the world over consider lentils essential to their diet. In marked contrast to the long soak and cooking process of beans lentils take less than an hour to simmer and in some cases, such as sprouting and soaking for pancakes, they require little or no cooking at all.
It is when you introduce the mighty lentil into your diet that you discover that this powerhouse food is not only packed with nutrition, but is also delicious and can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. If you are only familiar with the common Spanish Brown or the small French puy lentil than you are in for a pleasant surprise to discover that there are many more types and each a powerhouse in its own way.
Lentils originated in India and became a daily part of the Indian diet. Meals almost always include a lentil dal, for instance and are balanced with a serving of rice, rotis, a vegetable dish, yogurt and a salad. Here you find a variety of lentils providing a more diverse protein source, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Look for these lentils in your local health food store or Indian market and try them out for yourselves.
Although iron is classified as a trace mineral, it’s essential for overall health. Many of the body’s functions rely on iron and if you get too little, your body can’t function properly. On the flip side, getting too much can also be detrimental to your health.
There are two main types of iron; heme and non-heme. Heme iron is the type found in meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme, on the other hand, can be found in both plant and animal sources. The biggest difference between the two types is how well the body absorbs them. Heme iron is much more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron, yet most of our dietary supply comes from non-heme sources. Enriched breads and cereals, lentils, legumes, dark leafy greens, and some dried fruits are foods rich in this type of iron. Although the iron found in these foods is typically harder to absorb, your can improve your body’s absorption rate by pairing your non-heme-rich food sources with a food high in heme iron, vitamin C, citric or lactic acid, and certain sugars.
Most of the body’s iron is found within two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in the body’s red blood cells while myoglobin is found in the muscle cells. In both, iron helps accept, carry, and release oxygen to the cells of the body. In addition, iron keeps your immune system strong and helps your body produce energy.
When a food is titled organic, that means that it was produced using methods that avoided synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The food does not contain genetically modified organisms and it was not involved in radiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives while being processed. If livestock or meat products are labeled organic that means the animal was raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
Obviously this is how farming used to always take place. Synthetic inputs are a creation of more modern times. All of these organic practices have been linked to sustainability in that they foster the cycling of resources, contribute to ecological balance, and protect biodiversity.
The health benefits of eating organic products come from the simple fact that one is consuming food, not chemicals. While the jury is still out on what impact these chemicals and artificial elements exactly cause, if you’re like me, I’d prefer not to eat a bug spray or an artificial flavor if I can avoid it. Even if it may not be “that bad” for me.