Archive for August, 2011

Small tomatoes in Korea

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What could be more refreshing and colorful on the summer menu than a tomato? Whether eaten alone or alongside other fresh summer vegetables, the tangy taste appeals to most. Herbs of thyme, basil, sage, oregano, and dill enhance its flavor in recipes. For many ethnic dishes, tomatoes pair well with chili, cumin, or curry powder for more pungent tastes.

Tomatoes make a great addition to most any sandwich or as the main ingredient. Nothing beats red ripe tomatoes sliced and served on whole wheat bread with your favorite salad dressing or add strips of cooked turkey bacon and fresh spinach. Tomatoes add color, taste, and extra nutrients to many salads. Use as the base for all kinds of interesting combinations from plain cottage cheese to meat salads or in livelier combinations of nuts, cheese, and vegetables. The list is endless.

Not only does the flavor of tomatoes appeal to most, they’re loaded with needed nutrients such as rich sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants includes Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Antioxidants protect against oxidation processes which damage cells and are believed to cause the body to become more susceptible to blood vessel disease, cancer, and other problems.

Lycopene seems to concentrate in the prostate gland and tends to abate prostate cancer. Tomatoes not only may help to prevent cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) reports recent studies found that components of tomatoes stopped growth of cancer cells in the breast, lungs, and endometrial.

As summer winds down, enjoy the tasty treat of many varieties of tomatoes. Go to the link below for a great recipe, “Stuffed Tomatoes with Feta and Pine Nuts.”

And the added bonus? Tomatoes are low in calories. Eat and enjoy!


Source: http://www.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10196&news

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My Granddaughter misses out on a healthy and delicious treat. She’s allergic to tree nuts. For those who aren’t, not only are nuts tasty and packed with nutrients, now research confirms they may help with weight loss.

Tree nuts (pistachios, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and macadamia nuts) provide excellent sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals (carotenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, proanthocyanidins). Although often shunned by weight-watchers because of their calorie content from fat, the type of fat in nuts contributes to a healthy diet and to cardiovascular fitness.

Nutrients in nuts may curb appetite and contribute toward a sense of fullness. The monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, in nuts may contain an appetite suppressing compound. Additionally, protein and dietary fiber increase satiety.

In one study of over 30,000 people, a significant number lost weight when nut consumption increased to more than five servings per week compared to those who consumed less than one serving per month.

In another study of 645 subjects, those who consumed three ounces of almonds along with a moderate-fat diet with equal calories from protein and carbohydrate lost eighteen percent of body weight compared to eleven percent lost by those on a low-fat, complex carbohydrate diet. Other studies yielded similar results.

Portion control is important. What is a serving of nuts? A one-ounce serving or about one-fourth cup provides between 155 to 203 calories. Cashews have the lowest number of calories followed by pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pecans, and macadamias at 203 calories. Equivalents for one serving include twenty-three almonds, eighteen cashews, nineteen pecan halves, and fourteen walnut halves.

Rather than go nuts trying to lose weight, grab a handful of those nuggets in place of high-carbohydrate foods and enjoy knowing they are a user-friendly way to help control weight.

Reference: Wien, M., Sabate, J., “Tree nut consumption and weight management: A scientific review of literature.”  Weight Management Matters. 9:1; Summer 2011.

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Remember when Mom told you to chew your food? Now evidence suggests extra chewing may reduce the amount eaten and result in weight loss.

Earlier studies showed different results associated with chewing and obesity. Some found that eating fast and chewing less increased weight while other studies showed no relationship.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that chewing food forty times instead of the typical fifteen caused participants to eat nearly twelve percent fewer calories. Researchers compared differences in how fourteen obese young men and sixteen of normal weight chewed a typical breakfast. They also compared the amount of food eaten, blood sugar levels, and certain appetite regulating hormones.

The study found a connection between the amount of chewing and several hormones that tell the brain when to eat and when to stop. Increased chewing lowered the blood level of ghrelin. This hormone, secreted in the stomach especially when one is hungry, stimulates appetite.

They also observed higher levels of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone secreted in the duodenum. CCK stimulates the gallbladder to secrete bile into the intestines to break down fat and into the pancreas to release pancreatic digestive enzymes. CCK also seems to affect appetite centers in the brain to let the body know it has enough food for now.

Obese people may have lower levels of CCK and therefore reduced feelings of fullness that make losing weight more difficult. In the future, ghrelin, CCK, and perhaps other hormones may become a breakthrough in helping individuals to control their appetites. Meanwhile, chew your food more than usual. It won’t hurt, and who knows, you may lose weight.

Reference: www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-chewing-weihgtlotre762607-20110729,0,2793999.story

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