Green foods, especially green leafy vegetables, are an extremely important part of a healthy diet. There are so many green fruits and veggies to choose from, and they can be added into your diet easily. Adoniah happens to love Brussel sprouts right now. So, guess what we are eating on a daily basis? You guessed it, Brussel sprouts. Some other popular green foods include spinach, collard greens, bok choy, cabbage and broccoli to name only a few. Using a wide variety of these foods is the best way to ensure that you’re consuming enough of them, so that you can take advantage of the following benefits:

Hefty Source of Antioxidants

Most green foods, such as spinach and broccoli, are considered super foods because they contain a high amount of antioxidants. Vitamin A, C and E can be found in most green foods, in addition to other important nutrients such as iron and zinc. Antioxidants play a major role in protecting your body from viruses so they’re important to health. Eating at least three servings of greens each and every day will provide your body with enough antioxidants to keep you protected.

Low in Calories

Green foods, especially dark leafy ones, contain a large amount of water which in turn leaves them extremely depleted of calories. Yeah for me!!! This means that you can eat as many of them as you possibly can, and you don’t have to worry about gaining any weight. In fact, adding these foods to your favorite dishes like enchiladas, soups, casseroles and pastas can help bulk up the meal while keeping the calories under control, so you can eat more of your favorite foods without a jump in calorie intake.

Great Source of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are special chemicals in found in green foods that have a good effect on the body after they are consumed. These properties help to boost your immune system, and they help protect you against cellular damage. In order to get a wide range of these nutrients, it’s important to switch up the foods you eat from day to day. Start feeding your kids greens from a young age so they will learn to enjoy them as they get older.

Just about Carb Free

Although there are a small amount of carbohydrates available in green foods, the carbs that are found in the food are important for your health. These particular carbs are complex, so they are packed with much needed fiber which helps to keep you full longer throughout the day. Fiber also helps to grab pollutants and other unnecessary things within the body and dispose of them before they are absorbed. The fiber also plays a vital role in regular bowel movements. Again, yeah for me!!!

Easy on Your Glucose Levels

Many foods that are consumed in today’s world are processed, and therefore play a role in raising blood glucose levels extremely high before they come crashing back down again. This process can really wreak havoc on your system, and may even lead to diabetes. Diabetes runs heavy in my family so this is something that I have to be worried about. However, green foods are very low in sugars and because they’re packed with fiber and water, they actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Greens, greens, greens, they a so nutritious for you. Eat them up!

Who loves Chinese food?

I do!!!

Let’s make Chinese food healthy by adding some essential, cancer-fighting foods. How do you do that, you might ask.

Add Boy Choy! Bok choy (also known as pak choi and Chinese white cabbage) belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It was first cultivated in China thousands of years ago. Now it is available all over the world.

Cruciferous vegetables include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips.

These vegetables are a good supply of nutrients, and they are low in calories. They are well suited to a healthy diet. Adoniah and I love adding bok choy to our favorite Chinese foods. Here are some of the reasons why this amazing veggie is good for you.

Protection from cancer

  • Bok choy and other cruciferous vegetables have certain anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing lung, prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
  • The glucosinolates found in these vegetables are converted into isothiocyanates in the body, and these compounds help the body to fight cancer.
  • Bok choy contains folate. Folate plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, so it prevents cancer cells from forming due to mutations in the DNA. Vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage.
  • Selenium is a mineral that does not occur in most fruits and vegetables, but it can be found in bok choy. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and it helps to detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Additionally, selenium prevents inflammation, and it also decreases tumor growth rates.

Bone health

  • The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K in bok choy all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
  • Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen.
  • Phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure. However, the two must be carefully balanced for proper bone mineralization. Too much phosphorus with too little calcium intake can result in bone loss.

Blood pressure

  • Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are all present in bok choy. They have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
  • A low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. A high potassium intake is also beneficial because of its vasodilation effects.

Heart health

  • Bok Choy’s folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all help to maintain a healthy heart.
  • In one study, those who consumed 4,069 milligrams of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared to those who consumed about 1,000 milligrams per day.

Inflammation

  • Choline helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. It also helps in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes, the transmission of nerve impulses, the absorption of fat and the reduction of chronic inflammation.

Immunity

  • The selenium found in bok choy has been found to improve immune response to infection by stimulating production of killer T-cells.

Skin

  • Collagen, the skin’s support system, relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient. Vitamin C works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
  • Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
  • Increasing consumption of plant foods, including bok choy, has been shown to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality, while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
  • Some studies have provided strong evidence that cruciferous vegetables can help people with diabetes to maintain their blood sugar levels.
    So, that moral of the story is to eat bok choy!

Here is my favorite recipe that includes Boy Choy.

Bok Choy Stir Fry

2 Red Bell Peppers – chopped
3 heads of Bok Choy – chopped
1 Cauliflower – chopped
4 tablespoons Braggs Amino Acid
1 Bag of Buckwheat noodles
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 bunch Green Onions – chopped
½ cup Sesame Seeds

Directions:

  • Cook Buckwheat noodles according to package directions
  • Chop all veggies and fry in medium size frying pan for about 5 minutes
  • Add Bragg’s Amino Acid to veggies
  • Chop green onions and set aside for garnish
  • Drain noodles and then plate. Then toss the veggies on top
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds
  • ENJOY!

Calling all vegans… Have you ever been asked, “You don’t eat meat, where do you get your protein?”

Seriously people!

When was the last time you heard of a protein deficiency in the United States?

Mom: “Clara cannot come to school today”
Friend: “Oh why?”
Mom: “Oh she has a protein deficiency. She needs to stay indoors.”

Sorry for the sarcasm (#sorrynotsorry) but I personally have never had a friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintance, neighbor or yoga teacher ever have a protein deficiency.

I was a classical ballet dancer for 20 years. I studied with the Royal Academy of Dance, which is known for its focus on flawless technique and strength in their dancers. I was always a very strong dancer. I could easily say strength was my strength. But fail not, when a teacher or fellow dancer found out I was vegan they would usually ask me where I got my protein.

Let me put this in perspective. My first year in college I walked into a personal trainer’s gym, for the first time in my life. I squatted 315 pounds, three sets of 15. I could dead lift 150 pounds. Later I would actually try to hit my max weight, which was significantly more than this. And people still asked me where I got my protein!

So, lets geek out on some vegan nutrition together!

Looking after your health is more than just getting the fantastic array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre that is found in the vegan diet. It is also about balancing your diet to get enough protein, carbohydrates and good fats.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. These amino acids are like the building blocks of parts of your body and brain-just like a house is built up of bricks, cement, windows and all other bits and pieces. These pieces of the house all serve a purpose, and so do the amino acids. Therefore, it is important to get the complete set where possible.

Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein.

There are a total of 20 amino acids, of which 10 can be made by the body itself. However, an optimal diet will contain as much of these 20 amino acids as possible, in the correct amounts for each person. There are both essential and non-essential. The essential ones are required as your body cannot produce them, whereas the non-essential ones can be made by your body when required.

You may be wondering what the correct amount is? Well, recent research suggests that a good guide for maintaining muscle mass, an optimal immune system and even mood is 1g of protein per kg. These proteins that you eat, get broken down into the 20 amino acids such as l-tryptophan, which then carry out their function in their body. Amino acids do not get stored in the body, and therefore you need a supply of them in your diet daily.

For example, lets look at L-tryptophan (One of the 20 amino acids). Say for example you had some Quinoa for dinner. This is a “complete” protein, containing all the essential amino acids. The protein from this will break down into the different amino acids, and we can take L-tryptophan as an example of one. This L-tryptophan will then travel through your body and when required, your body gets it converted to Serotonin (to improve your mood) and finally Melatonin at night (The sleep hormone).

If your diet does not have enough sources of L-tryptophan in it, you may have low mood as well as trouble sleeping, as just one symptom.

Let’s look at lentils, a commonly eaten vegan food. It is extremely low in an amino acid called Methionine, which is considered the “limiting” amino acid. As the Methionine content is so low, your body is unable to access and use the rest of the amino acids in lentils you eat to make new tissue once this small amount is used up; This is why it is considered a low-value protein.

So, what are the best sources of protein with the best range of the essentials? Here are my top 5 sources:

  1. Seitan – made from gluten, it is commonly known on the vegan scene and has a very high 25g of protein per 100g serving.

  2. Soybeans – this has 10g of protein per 100g serving and includes sources such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame. It is also a complete source of protein as mentioned above so a good addition to your daily vegan menu.

  3. Buckwheat – 6g per 100g, which is low, however, it is complete

  4. Ezekiel Bread – 8g per 100g, and once fed a besieged Jerusalem!
  5. Quinoa – 8g of protein per 100g, and a great source of fiber too! Can easily replace your rice or cous cous.

Alongside this, food combining such as peanut butter sandwiches, hummus and pita and rice and beans also allows you to have the complete range of amino acids. So, take a step forward with your health today and make sure to include some good sources of protein so you feel the best you can every day, physically, spiritually and mentally.

Have you been sick lately? Well, I have!

Since I am still breast-feeding I won’t take medication. I needed to rely on natural healing. So, where do I find good Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It is also popularly referred to as ASCORBIC ACID. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant for the combination of collagen, which makes veins and body muscles solid. Also, it is a stand out amongst the best and most secure supplements. This vitamin helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. In addition, it is abundant in vegetables and fruits. Excellent sources of vitamin C include oranges, green peppers, watermelon, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with vitamin C. Winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapple are also rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, air, and heat, so you’ll get the most vitamin C if you eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.

So why is vitamin C so important?

The importance of this nutrient cannot be overemphasized. Medical practitioners have kept reiterating why the intake of vitamin C in abundance is good for our health. The following are reasons why vitamin C is highly regarded today;

1. Wound Repair:
Vitamin C helps to repair our wounds and injuries as it facilitates the growth of connective tissues that speed up the process of healing wounds.

2. Asthma Control:
Also, vitamin C helps reduce the symptoms of asthma. And it helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution in the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms.

3. Treatment of Common Cold:
Our body’s immune system is enhanced by Ascorbic acid. As we all know, our immune systems protect us from colds and coughs. Also, vitamin C strengthens our body’s resistance to infections by facilitating the absorption of iron. Moreover, it fights against viruses.

4. Curing Diabetes:
One of the chief reasons for diabetes, as found by various studies, is low levels of vitamin C. Supplements of vitamin C are beneficial as a cure for diabetes, as they help in the processing of insulin and glucose.

5. Curing Cataracts:
Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more commonly when cataracts are present. An increase of vitamin C intake increases the blood supply to the ocular areas of the body. Vitamin C also helps in improving vision for those with uveitis (an inflammation of the middle part of the eye).

6. Preventing Heart Diseases:
People who have low levels of vitamin C may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease, all potential results of having atherosclerosis. Adequate amounts of vitamin C is essential for the protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause them.

7. Immunity:
Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. In addition, vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system of the body and its stimulation of white blood vessels.

Some other very important reasons why we need vitamin C include;

– Maintaining healthy gums
-Treating allergy-related conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and hay fever (called allergic rhinitis)
-Reducing effects of sun exposure, such as sunburn or redness (called erythema)
-Alleviating dry mouth, particularly from antidepressant medications (a common side effect from these drugs)
– They affect the mood of a person, and they are critical to the proper functioning of the brain

 

Top 10 Vitamin C Foods List

1) Oranges
1 large: 82 mg (over 100% Daily Value)

2) Red peppers
½ cup chopped, raw: 95 mg (over 100% Daily Value)

3) Kale
1 cup: 80 mg (134% Daily Value)

4) Brussels sprouts
½ cup cooked: 48 mg (80% Daily Value)

5) Broccoli
½ cup cooked: 51 mg (107% Daily Value)

6) Strawberries
½ cup: 42 mg (70% Daily Value)

7) Grapefruit
½ cup: 43 mg (71% Daily Value)

8) Guava
1 fruit: 125 mg (over 100% Daily Value)

9) Kiwi
1 piece: 64 mg (33% Daily Value)

10) Green peppers
½ c chopped, raw: 60 mg (100% Daily Value)