Thursday, January 21, 2010

What NOT to Do With Your Broccoli

Broccoli is believed to be the most nutritious greens around. Broccoli even trumps brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and collards when it comes to packing in the good stuff. It has vitamin C, folate, vitamin B complex, iron, potassium - and everything our bodies supposedly need to grow up strong.

Of course, to get broccoli's benefits, I have to eat it. And I am very picky when it comes to how my broccoli is prepared. It's not about the taste, it's about preserving as much nutrients as I can. According to health experts - there are just some things you DON'T do with broccoli:

* Overcook it. Cook your broccoli however you like it just don't overdo it. Overcooking lets nutrients escape, leaving you with wilted, bitter, and nutrient-less broccoli.

* Serve it unwashed. Eating broccoli raw is good. But wash it first because there's no way of knowing whether it has been contaminated during prep or while in transit.

* Nuke it. Microwaving your broccoli is the fastest way to cook it based on my experience. But as I learned, it's also the fastest way to leak the nutrients out.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Quinoa, The Wonder Grain

Quinoa has enjoyed an increase in its popularity in recent years. A native of South America, quinoa has long been the staple food for many local tribes. While it is not a true grain - it's a plant belonging to the same family as spinach and chard - it is widely used as one. As of now, it is also the grain of choice of many health nuts and wellness buffs.

Quinoa grains are loaded with nutrients like magnesium, vitamins B2 and B6, iron, and zinc. This makes quinoa ideal for people who suffer from migraines, anemia, and weakened immune systems. It is also rich in protein, which makes it a great alternative protein source for vegetarians.

Quinoa can be used for breakfast as a cereal by cooking it as you would with oatmeal. You can toss quinoa into a salad, shape them into burgers with beans, add them to soups, or use them as foil for more substantial courses like meat, poultry, or fish. Quinoa also offers you a healthier alternative to desserts. You can prepare quinoa as a rice pudding for a nuttier and healthier version of the dish.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Toss 5 Ways to Fight Cancer in Your Salad

Are you making the most of your salads? Toss these five cancer-fighting and tasty ingredients together for a salad that is healthy, flavorful, and fun:

1. Dark greens. Darker is better when it comes to choosing your greens. Romaine lettuce, arugula, and spinach are rich in folate, a vitamin B compound that is great for fighting abnormal DNA changes that triggers cancer cells.

2. Carrots. Whether you eat it shredded or in sticks, make like Bugs Bunny and toss in some carrots in your salad. This Vitamin A and beta carotene-rich vegetable can help reduce your risk of developing ovarian and kidney cancer.

3. Tomatoes. Lycopene in tomatoes helps fight free radicals that cause abnormal changes in your cells. Slice a few and toss them in for extra insurance against prostate and colorectal cancers.

4. Beans. Not only are they tasty and creamy, but beans are also great at producing enzymes that slow down tumor growth.

5. Avocados. Avocados are high in fat, but it's good fat - a necessary component that helps your body absorb other nutrients like vitamins A and E. So instead of cheese or mayo, toss in a few avocado slices.

Written By: Kristine Gonzaga