You see them everywhere. On supermarket shelves, near a deli check-out and in cafeterias everywhere, bananas are so common we tend to take them for granted. Bannanas just don’t get the love they deserve. One medium banana has about 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and what surprised me, zero grams of fat. One nana does clock in at 23 grams of carbs, about twice in an average fruit. Bananas are lower in water than other fruits which concentrates the carb content.
But what elevates bananas to nutruitional superstars is the potassium payload– almost 400 mg per serrving. Potassium is essential for regulating heart rate and blodd pressure. Age, exercise and and some medications can deplete potassium leading to irregular heart beats , increased blood pressure, and even stroke. Keep in mind that any … Continue Reading… →
The yellow and rust colors of fall have made me hungry for the sweet, fleshy meat of winter squash. Butternut, crook neck, turban and acorn are shaped differently but offer very similar nutritional payloads. The deep orange color is packed, I mean packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene. One half cup of cooked squash can have 100-200% of the RDA for this essential vitamin as well as 25% of the RDA of vitamin C. Fat free and salt free, one half cup has 120 calories and 12 grams of carbs. By comparison, the same amount of a white potato has about 60 calories and the same amount of carbs.
Given the slightly stringy/gritty texture of winter squash I expected squash to be a good source of fiber. I was wrong. In fact … Continue Reading… →
Its hard to open up a health or beauty magazine without an article that links diet and beautiful skin. While its certainly a no-brainer that what we eat affects how we look I want substantive claims that directly link good nutrition to smooth younger looking skin.
Some of the best evidence comes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, aka the NHANES study. This long ( ten year), large (17K men and women) study compared daily food intake with a wide range of health issues including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But what makes this a must keep study for me is the relationship they studied between diet and wrinkles. To bottom line it, the NHANES found that people on diets high in protein, fiber, vitamin C, linoleic acid and … Continue Reading… →
With spring just weeks away, the vegestable stands are piled high with perfect green artichokes. These round petaled beauties are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. For centuries most Europeans viewed green foods as poisonous but arichokes were already popular in 15th century Italy and France. In the 19th century, European immigrants brought them to Northern California where they flourished in the cool, foggy climate.
I love artichokes and was delighted to learn they are nutritional superstars. Rich in vitamin C ( the anti-wrinkle vitamin) folacin, and magnesium, a big beautiful artichoke has just 60 calories. But their real payload is fiber with one whole artichoke clocking in at 6.5 grams of fiber at just 60 calories. Awesome! By comparison, 1/2 cup of cooked beans has more than triple the calories ( 150) for … Continue Reading… →
Sweet potatoes are a close second behind cranberries as an iconic holiday food. While the plain white potato is a high carb time bomb, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition. They are actually related to morning glory flowers rather than the true potato. Sweets have as much fiber as famous – for- fiber oatmeal and about 30%RDA of vitamin C. For only about 120 calories, 1 cup of sweet potatoes has 500% RDA for vitamin A. This is almost scary high since too much vitamin A can cause bone and nerve problems. But unless some fool invents the sweet potato diet, one or two sweets/week will not cause a problem.
The real dangers with these orange beauties are the extra ingredients that are commonly added. Top of that list is … Continue Reading… →
I have to admit that when I think of walnuts, I think of chocolate chip cookies, apple crumb pie and fudgy brownies studded with nuts. But all by themselves, walnuts turn out to be a great beauty food. They are high in linoleic acid and fiber– two factors linked to fewer wrinkles. In addition they are high in antioxidants and low in saturated fats. Studies have shown that walnuts lower both cholesterol and C-reactive protein which are two markers for heart disease. All good, but keep in mind that like its other nut cousins, walnuts are pretty high in calories clocking in at almost 400 calories/half cup.
Instead of thinking of walnuts as a baked goods best friend, I now sprinkle walnuts over a green salad, a bowl of … Continue Reading… →
While most skin care experts I know are concerned that a strict vegan diet is too low in protein for the body’s growth and repair, a vegetarian diet with eggs and dairy products can be an express train for great health and beautiful skin. But not all vegetables are equal and during Vegetarian Awareness Month, I want to look at the best choices– and its the perfect season to do it. The markets are bursting with a beautiful harvest in gorgeous colors. Turns out that the deeper jewel colored fruits and veggies like blueberrries, figs and eggplant are rich is an awesomely powerful class of antioxidants called anthocyanidins.
Anthocyanidins are found in fruits and vegetables with deep red, blue, and purple colors. Not only do they protect the body from the effect of free-radicals, laboratory studies … Continue Reading… →
Yesterday was the first day of fall– and nothing says fall like a ripe juicy pear. These beauties provide hydration and if you eat the skin, a nice serving of both fiber and vitamin C. In fact one pear provide 4 grams of fiber at the cost of just 95 calories. By comparison 1/2 cup of cooked beans ( famous for their fiber) have 6 grams of fiber at 150 calories.
All pears eg Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett, and Comice share the same nutritional profiles. Most of the nutritional payload in pears is in the skin, so canned and cooked pears don’t have the same anti-aging benefits.
Selecting the perfect pear can be a bit challenging. A ripe pear is very fragile so they are always taken off the tree when … Continue Reading… →