If you've ever had red bean ice cream at a Japanese restaurant then you’ve already eaten Adzuki beans! They are originally from China and are also grown in Japan where they are very popular, and more recently in some parts of the US.
We love them for the same reason we adore all beans, because of the protein content. However adzuki beans are unique because they offer the lowest amount of fat and highest protein per bean than any other! Want to find out more?
Read our article on Adzuki beans written by Glowpeople for Goumbook.com
Soy products have been the craze for the last few years with some people swearing by them and others condoning them for the long term negative effects on the body. Soy is one of the most processed foods out there, there are however many variations on how its made and used and whilst some are bad for you, others are ok. Contrary to common belief, asian cultures don't live on soy foods, and when they do eat them, its usually in a fermented form that holds health benefits for the body.
Soy milk in my books is a big no-no as it is always extremely processed and honestly has no nutrients at all.
When it comes to Tofu and Tempeh, which one is a better choice? Tofu is a blank canvas, ready to take on the flavour of any spice, sauce or condiment it meets. It comes in a wide array of textures from soft to extra firm and is created by coagulating soybean milk (which in itself is processed) and pressing the curds into a block. Regular Tofu is usually packed in water in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. 'Silken' Tofu is packaged in a box and doesn't need to be refrigerated, it crumbles more easily then the regular one and is used most often in sauces and dressings. These versions are heavily processed and not the ideal choice for regular Soy consumption.
Tempeh is much less processed then Tofu, which makes it a smarter choice on a regular basis. While Tofu has practically no flavour and is soft, Tempeh has a nutty taste and firm texture. It is a great choice if you're trying to mimmick the taste of meat in your recipes and is produced by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans and then pressing them into a dense patty (you can actually see the soy bean in the product itself as in the picture below on the left). I also just want to mention that fermented foods are great for us because they increase good bacteria in the gut. Tempeh contains about 35% more protein then tofu and about 7 times more fiber too! The reason for the higher level of nutrients is that it is less processed and has therefore retained more nutrients from the original soybean. You'll find it in the refrigerator section of your supermarket.
In most cases, the fresher the vegetable, the healthier it is. Tomatoes however are the exception! Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene and your body can absorb more from cooked tomatoes than those that are fresh and uncooked.
The cooking/processing of tomatoes makes for more Lycopene availability in the final product. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that protects and rejuvenates our skin. It provides antioxidant protection from environmental damage, shielding skin from premature aging and reducing skin cell damage. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Tomatoes are also packed with Beta-carotene, vitamin C and Vitamin E to keep skin looking young and fresh. I personnally always buy tomato paste/sauce in jars rather then cans as there is no leakage from the contianer into the food. You can also make your own tomato paste, this is an Easy Recipe to make at home!
An ancient relative of wheat, Spelt is a wonderfully nutritious and ancient grain with a deep nut-like flavor. It has a higher water solubility that helps your body easily absorb its protein, vitamins and minerals. It offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its relatives from the wheat family. It is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of protein, copper, and zinc.
Spelt is better tolerated in the body then any other grain. Allthough it contains gluten, some Celiac patients and most wheat intolerant people find it non-problematic.
You can cook the grain like risotto, toasting then adding stock, then simmering until completely cooked. There are also lots of different spelt pastas on the market (you will find them in Organic food stores) . You can also use Spelt flour to replace wheat flour in all your baking recipes. It is much lighter on the digestion and the taste is very similar so your recipes won't taste very different.
Butternut squash and Pumpkins are great store cupboard items as they last for weeks and are a great superfood. Just one cup provides 300% of the daily value of Vitamin A, and its an excellent source of Vitamin C, and one of the few vegetable sources of Vitamin E. It's are great shaved with a potato peeler, it can also be added to stir-fries or chinked and added to a tray of roasted vegetables. Roasted butternut and sweet potato soup is easy to make and is packed full of vitamins and minerals. It can easily be turned into a nutritious supper with the addition of a handful of leftover chicken or turkey.
Try this easy Butternut squash and Sweet Potato soup recipe.
There's nothing wrong with a platter of crudités or a salad if you want to improve your diet, but steaming may help improve the cholesterol-lowering capabilities of some produce, including asparagus. Other veggies that get better after a short bout in the steam: beets, okra, carrots, eggplant, green beans, and cauliflower. RealAge Researchers think steaming these veggies may help them do a better job of binding bile acids, which means your liver needs to use up more LDL cholesterol in order to make bile. That translates into less circulating LDL in your bloodstream.
When it comes to cholesterol, olive oil is a nutritional superstar! It is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL. In fact, in a study of people with high cholesterol, blood samples showed less potential for harmful clotting just two hours after the subjects ate a meal with olive oil. That's because olive oil is rich in phenolics, plant substances that makes blood less likely to clot. All you need is about 2 tablespoons a day for benefit (use it in place of other fats). The regular use of Olive oil is one of the main reasons why the "Mediterranean" diet is often hailed as the healthiest to follow.
Have you been over-indulging the last few weeks or do you just generally feel sluggish? Are you looking for a quick and effective way to get back on track? Why don't you try a super-easy one-day juice detox. Many people are put off by juice cleanses because they can't handle the thought of being without food for days...so this is the next best thing, because everyone can give up a day of food without much anxiety. I personally do this quite frequently to give my system a well earned break, and today is one of those days! I made 2 jugs of fresh juice first thing in the morning: the first is a blend of Fresh kale, celery, cucumber and apple. The second is Beetroot, Carrots and a bit of Ginger. I prefer to blend rather than juice my vegetables as I like the fiber to be in there, but both are amazing for you and it just comes down to personal preference. Drink a glass every couple of hours, alternating between the 2...and of course lots of fresh water throughout the day (with a squeeze of lemon). It does wonders for the body, mind and spirit!
Good, strong health is not about what you eat or drink occasionally. Your body forgives those disgressions (good and bad).
Optimum health is determined by what you eat and drink and think on a daily basis. That's why its so important to approach health as a lifelong practise.
Don't strive for perfection, strive for CONSISTENCY.
NTERESTING FACT: Did you know that pasta cooked 'al dente' has a lower glycemic Index than fully-cooked pasta? The term 'al dente' literally means 'to the tooth', and can be best translated as 'chewy'. It is a pasta that is boiled just to the point of being cooked through, and remains firm. Al dente pasta resists the effects of digestive enzymes more than regular cooked pasta and so breaks down slower in your body, and as a result has a lower glycemic index.
Are you ready for change? Join our Detox Workshops