Food Facts - Avocado
I lived through the 80’s and 90’s and remember those decades when the now relished avocado would have been the furthest thing from a superfood given its high fat content. Amazing what we have learned about the role of fat in our diet, isn’t it?
There are several things that make this green pitted fruit (yes, technically it is a fruit since it has a pit like a peach or nectarine) a superfood. First of all, it contains a high amount of fat and most of it is monounsaturated which is good for our heart, brains and other bodily organs. It is also a very good source of potassium which helps lower blood pressure amongst other things, and a good source of magnesium which most Americans do not get enough. Did I mention it also has a hefty amount of fiber, about 13 grams per avocado? That is about 50% of your daily fiber needs!
Half of a medium avocado is around 150 calories which is easily incorporable in one’s diet. Many people could even handle an avocado a day at 300 calories. Even though this mighty superfood is higher in fat, there are some studies showing it can help us lose weight, likely due to its satiating effect on the appetite.
Your Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salad with Avocado and Cilantro
Try this delicious black bean and corn salad with avocado and cilantro recipe for a great side dish. I have made this several times and it is GREAT!
Ginger - Food Facts
Most of us have probably had ginger something-ginger ale, candy or tea- to help when we felt sick to our stomachs. It’s a good idea too because ginger has been shown to reduce nausea caused by any number of things including motion sickness, pregnancy (“morning sickness”) and chemotherapy.
Ginger has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in some studies and useful for both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is also being used and studied more to treat painful periods in women, IBS and migraines.
Taking ginger root capsules of 250 1,000 mg divided in 2-4 doses is typical for most ailments and shown to be safe for most people. As always, check with your physician before taking and use extra caution if you are on a blood thinner like coumadin since ginger has a slight blood thinning effect.
Not sure you want to take capsules? Just cozy up with a nice cup of tea. You will get some of the same
benefits at a much lower cost and the added warmth that a cup of tea can bring in the cold
Riddle time: what is small, sweet, fuzzy, and repairs DNA damage?
Yep, kiwi is correct!
Originally from China and called a Chinese Gooseberry, the kiwi became a popular export of New Zealand. Technically, it is classified as a berry. Ounce for ounce, a kiwi has about the same amount of potassium as a banana, more vitamin C than an orange and is a great source of fiber all for around 40- 50 calories per piece of fruit. Check out this 3 ½ minute video on kiwi that includes some evidence based research:
Grab a spoon and enjoy!
Some Other Kiwi Facts:
Kiwi provides 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in every one-cup serving – five times that of an orange, and is a natural immune booster that staves off colds and flu?
Its vitamin K amount is impressive, too – best known for its role in helping blood clot, or coagulation, properly and providing an 89% daily value.
Kiwifruits also feature:
Food Facts - Pomegranate
I hope you all have tried pomegranate seeds because, whew, they are good! I describe them as a burst of deliciousness in my mouth. I love apples though, and since they have an apple- like flavor, this may be partially why. Called Chinese apples, pomegranates are native to areas in the Middle East and now cultivated in many areas of the world, including the USA.
What makes them a superfood though? Well, for starters, they have been shown to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in humans (a good thing), lowering the risk for heart disease. They also have been heavily studied for their anti- cancer properties and have been shown to decrease systemic inflammation. Check the facts out in this abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/
Look for heavy pomegranates that are not blemished and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Now, lastly but importantly, when you cut one, do it in a bowl of water with the fruit submerged in the water or else the juice will spray all over you and it stains badly! Ok, maybe just buy the seeds in the containers and leave the cutting to Martha Stewart.
Your Recipe - Pomegranate Salad;
From the Food Network:
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.