Most people probably know flaxseeds are good for us. Check out these compelling reasons to eat more flax:
Flax is so easy too! Buy them ground or grind them in a coffee grinder and add to hot cereal, yogurt, smoothies, soups, casseroles, muffins, applesauce… the list is pretty long here.
Store opened containers of flax in the fridge or freezer as the oils are delicate and need some protection against the elements.
Fruity Flaxseed Muffins
These moist and high-flavor flax muffins are not only good for you, but they taste great too.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Coat inside of liners with a quick squirt of canola cooking spray.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat together the pineapple with juice, apples, canola oil, egg, egg whites or egg substitute, sour cream, and molasses until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in raisins or dried fruit.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flaxseed.
4. Add flaxseed mixture to sour cream mixture, beating on low speed just until combined (batter will be a little lumpy). Spoon batter by 1/4 cupful into prepared muffin pan.
5. Bake in center of preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and springy to the touch.
Yield: 12 muffins
Nutritional Analysis: Per muffin: 194 calories, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fat, .8 g saturated fat, 2.1 g monounsaturated fat, 2.6 g polyunsaturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 4.5 g fiber, 224 mg sodium, 1.7 g omega-3 fatty acids. Calories from fat: 28%.
Source: The Flax Cookbook: Recipes and Strategies for Getting The Most from The Most Powerful Plant on the Planet. From WebMD website.
Ask a roomful of people if they like beets or could leave them and chances are most people will leave them…off their plates.
Beets offer a wide range of health benefits for almost everyone, especially for athletes:
Increased blood flow and oxygenation: Beets are rich in nitrates, which our body changes to nitric oxide. This enhances blood vessel dilation and flow, strengthening muscle contractions and reducing the amount of oxygen that our muscles need.
Unique antioxidant profile: Beets get their red color primarily from betalain antioxidant pigments. These particular types of betalains in beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.
Reduce Blood Pressure: Nitrate-rich beets have shown to reduce blood pressure.
Inflammation: Many of the nutrients in beets have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. This may help combat chronic, low- grade inflammation-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Detoxification support: The betalain pigments in beets have been shown to support our body's natural detoxification process by binding to toxins so that they can be excreted from our bodies.
Potential anti-cancer benefit: The betalain pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth (in laboratory tests).
One caution when consuming beets is they are high in oxalate. This is a compound found in the soil that has no known benefits to humans. For people who develop calcium- oxalate kidney stones, it can increase the risk for more, so likely best to avoid beets if you fall in this group.
Beets can also cause urine to become red or pink, a condition dubbed, “beeturia.” It's possible for beets to impart a red color into bowel movements as well. It’s perfectly harmless though, although it may cause alarm until you remember you had that roasted beet salad the night before.
French "Peasant" Beets
Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side
For some more great recipes, check out:
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of several other nutrients like fiber, potassium and some B vitamins. More impressively, though it contains a compound called apigenin that has been shown to inhibit cancer growth. Maybe ants on a log should be enjoyed by children and adults everywhere.
Read this scholarly article on apigenin:
Most people think of eating raw celery or including it in a recipe like a soup. Try it as a main vegetable dish in this braised celery dish. You won’t be disappointed! It is super easy and fast to make.
Your Recipe: Braised Celery
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine
Chocolate - It's about time!
A new study just released speaks of new research on chocolate:
Recent studies shown decrease in irregular heart beats with chocolate-
Read Heart Study
This is not the first time chocolate has been shown to have health benefits. What is a little different with this study is that benefits were seen with milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has more beneficial compounds called flavonoids but clearly, all chocolate has a sweet spot for our health. The only caveat? You know it- don’t eat too much or you will start to burst at the seams.
This Weeks Recipe
Instead of a recipe for chocolate, we want to teach you how to eat chocolate (and you thought you already knew how, didn't you?)
Try this mindful eating activity from the NY Times while eating it. It really makes a difference in the enjoyment of that Ghiradelli square!
Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate*
“Mindful eating is eating with intention, attention and awareness. The purpose of eating chocolate is pleasure. So when you are eating what you love, give it your full attention and love what you eat.” — Dr. Michelle May, founder of AmIHungry.com, which teaches mindful eating.
Liz Weinandy, M.P.H., R.D.
Besides being a member of the 614Fitness community, Liz is a Registered Dietitian and staff dietitian at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. She has published numerous articles on diet and appears often on local television.