Prunes are Plums

Prune is the dried version of any type of plum.   There are many types of plums. The dried version of the European plum (Prunus domestica), is the one that is commonly found in stores. There are other versions of plums like Prunus Americana and Prunus Salicina.

Prunes are concentrated source of:

Fiber

Potassium

Vitamin A, B, K

Calcium

Magnesium

Iron

Zinc

Copper

Manganese

Selenium

Boron

There is 7g of fiber per 100 of fruit.  A serving is 3-4 fruits that gives roughly 3g of fiber which is about 12% of daily value.  Dried plums retain both soluble and insoluble fiber and sorbitol. Soluble fiber helps slow down the absorption of glucose that stabilizes blood glucose level.  80% of the fiber in prunes is soluble fiber. Prunes have about 15% sorbitol when other fruits contains less than 5% of the same. The sorbitol, like fiber, absorbs more water and also increases the intestinal microorganisms that improves the guts’ health.

Prunes are rich sources of Glucose, fructose, sorbitol and sucrose. But prunes do not spike blood sugar because it is compact with natural fibers. So, consumption of prunes should be not more than 3-4 prunes.

Fresh plums are filled with water and so packed with water soluble vitamin C, too.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. But we should also keep in mind that plum fruits, during the process of drying will lose its water and vitamin C and ends as a source of concentrated sugar with other nutrients and fiber.  It is the high sugar content that helps dry this fruit without fermentation.  So, 3-4 prunes can be taken, twice or thrice a week but not every day.

It also sounds good that prunes have lower GI when compared to other common dry fruits like raisins, figs and dates.  This low GI number is because of the fiber it is packed with. Fiber keeps you full for longer and helps relieve constipation, too!

Prunes are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), lutein, cryptoxanthin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid that prevents cell mutation and reduce cancer cell formation.

Potassium, an essential mineral found in prunes helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

Vitamin A promotes strong vision and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.

Small children’s digestive system in not fully developed and their requirements are much lesser than adults. Seek doctor’s advice before adding prunes to your child’s favorite food because excess amount will show the symptoms of diarrhea.

It is easy to incorporate prunes to our daily meal. Prunes can be added to oats cereal, porridge that requires no extra added sugar. Prunes are very sweet and can be taken alone or with mixed nuts or salads. Oats porridge with prunes, a delicious and colorful breakfast!

Regular exercise and right portion of meals, every day, will help maintain your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

 

 

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Pepper: Sweet!

Bell peppers

Bell peppers, the Sweet peppers, come in a wide array of vivid colors, the green, red, yellow, orange, purple and black. These plumpy, colorful peppers are naturally sweet, but low in calories! They can either be eaten fresh or cooked.

The green bell peppers have an intense flavour. Chopped bell peppers tossed over soups are salads will enhance the flavour of the dish. Adds crunch and sweetness to the meals.

Fresh bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant. It powers up the immune system and helps in the formation of collagen in the body. Also rich in B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, for the nervous system to function properly.

The red bell pepper is a good source of beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant.  Vitamin A aids in night blindness, boosts the immune system, and keep the skin healthy.

Sweet peppers are also good source of vitamin E that plays a key role in keeping the skin and the hair healthy.

Bell peppers are loaded with adequate amount of essential minerals – iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium.

The Sulphur in the bell peppers makes it to play a protective role from certain types of cancers.

Bell peppers are rich in alpha & beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin.  Lutein and zeaxanthin, help protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Another good source of all these phytonutrients is, tomato!

Cooking for a shorter period in low heat will retain most of their flavour and flavonoid content. Cooking in higher heat can damage the powerful phytonutrients of these bell peppers.

Baby bell pepper mango salsa (2)

Stuffed baby capsicum with mango salsa

Number of servings:4

Baby capsicum                       200g

For salsa:

Mango                                     200g

Tomato                                    100g

Onion – chopped                    50g

Cilantro- chopped                   2 tablespoon

Cayenne pepper                      1/2 teaspoon

Pepper                                     1/2 teaspoon

Lemon juice                            2 tablespoon

 Mix all the ingredients of salsa and stuff the baby capsicum with the mixture!

Calories 212 kcal, Protein 6g, Fibers 7g

Wild & Precious : Low in Calorie!

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Can diabetics eat pumpkin……….?

Sure, why not?

Is pumpkin low in carbs…………..?

Yes. It is low in carbohydrate. It is one of the best plant food in the world, for the pumpkin is chock-full of nutrients!

Pumpkin offers protein, complex carbohydrates, potassium, iron and vitamin A.

This bright orange vegetable is loaded with betacarotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Carrot, sweet potato, spinach, swiss chard, sweet bell pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe, mango are the other good sources of beta carotene. The principal function of vitamin A is in the visual process where it promotes good vision. It also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes and skin. Retinol is another name for vitamin A, for it produces the pigments in the retina of the eyes! The best source of vitamin A are the carotenoids from fruits and vegetables.

Pumpkin is a good source of potassium. Along with calcium, the bone mineral and magnesium, potassium plays a major role in cardiovascular health. Potassium helps the body to excrete excess sodium and at the same time helps increase the calcium retention which prevents the magnesium loss! This intimate relationship between calcium, potassium and magnesium is important for many of the vital bodily functions! Having variety of bright colored fruits and vegetables, is the key.

Is pumpkin good for diabetics? A serious question asked by many diabetic patients! Many list this beautiful orange and plump pumpkin under starchy vegetables and tend to avoid consuming it! In fact, it is one of the best foods for diabetic patients. In moderate amount along with cereals and beans, you can reap the benefits of this wonderful pumpkin. For example, Quinoa, black bean and pumpkin soup is a filling meal with a healthy and nutritious ingredients!

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Pumpkin once boiled has the highest score of GI value as 75. But total carbohydrate is only 6-8%. Surprised!  Yes, the total carbohydrate in baked pumpkin is just only 6-8% when compared to the baked potato with 17%. It is obvious that the total carbohydrate (sugars and starch) in it will not have much effect on the blood glucose levels, provided if you could take the right-portion-size. Portion Size Matters!  The lower carb value that offsets the higher GI Value! Sounds great!

Canned pumpkin is high in carbohydrate that may elevate your blood sugar. So, always grab fresh pumpkin from the market.

The iron in pumpkin is non-heme, that requires sufficient amount of vitamin C to get absorbed. So, enjoy pumpkin with vitamin C rich fruits to enhance the absorption of iron.

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Pumpkin shows up in appetizers, soups, salad, bread, dessert, and savories. It always adds texture, color, and nutrition to the dish. In fact, pumpkin is a wonderful vegetable by itself in addition to being an adaptable ingredient in all savory dishes. Pumpkin soup made with pureed pumpkin and cream & spices yields roughly 150-180 calories per cup. The calorie value shoot up when high-calorie ingredients like cheddar cheese, butter and more cream are added to the soup! Ingredients added to the recipe also matters!

How about roasted salmon and pumpkin for dinner? Sounds great!

Pumpkin seeds also supply protein, minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper and vitamins: A, B1, B2, and B3. Like nuts pumpkin seeds too, a good source of  mono unsaturated fats!          2-3 tablespoons of seeds or nuts/day is recommended for obtaining their special health benefits.

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Pumpkin! Good for you!

To maintain a healthy body weight, enjoy the right portion of the food and of course the right amount of exercise, min.30 minutes, everyday!

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/distortion.htm

http://ginews.blogspot.sg/

To lose weight: Go sweet on mangoes!

Mango is a super food. A good snack. It is a versatile fruit that is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, potassium, and copper.IMG_6873

Do you know that mangoes decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes? It is true that ripe mangoes are high in sugars, and have a High GI. But this does not mean that diabetics and weight watchers should be banned from having it. It can, always be combined, with a low GI food to reduce the GI and balance the calories! The total amount of carbohydrates affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrate or starch or sugar. 1/2 cup (85 grams) cubed mango contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate (60 calories).

One half of a small mango is a good source of both soluble (1.7g) and insoluble fibers (1.2g). Soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol absorption and insoluble fibers help bowel movements and get rid of constipation.

How about having a mango, cucumber salad, for dinner. Cucumber is very low in calorie and GI too! Sounds good….

The antioxidant zeaxanthin, in mangoes, plays a protective role in eye health that ward off damage from macular degeneration.

Mangoes are rich in Beta carotene. β (beta)-carotene, a pro-vitamin A.  According to the study by Harvard School of Public Health, beta-carotene plays major role against preventing the prostate cancer. βcarotene is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient. It has antioxidant activity, that helps protect cells from damage. Being an important flavonoid compound, βcarotene has powerful antioxidant functions, helps scavenge free radicals, there by limiting the damage to cell membranes, DNA and protein structures in the cell. High dietary intake of β-carotene

Sweet potato, brussel sprouts, carrots, kale, turnip greens, spinach mustard greens, carrots, butternut squash, collards, swiss chard, lettuce, apricots, guava, papaya, watermelon, basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, pistachios are also good sources of β-carotene.

It is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Vitamin C helps scavange harmful free radicals. The vitamin B6 or pyridoxine in mangoes, help control homocystiene in the blood, which is harmful to blood vessels, resulting in stroke. Along with Vitamin C, β-carotene, is found to increase lung capacity and relieve respiratory problems, as well as protect from asthma, bronchitis.

Copper, a co-factor for many vital enzymes, is found in moderate amount in mangoes. Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.

Mango peel is rich in phytonutrients, too!

Mango fruit-Nutrition Value per 100 g

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy 70 Kcal 3.5%
Carbohydrates 17 g 13%
Protein 0.5 g 1%
Total Fat 0.27 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.80 g 4.5%

Vitamins

Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.584 mg 3.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.160 mg 1%
Pyridoxine (Vit B-6) 0.134 mg 10%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.058 mg 5%
Vitamin C 27.7 mg 46%
Vitamin A 765 IU 25.5%
Vitamin E 1.12 mg 7.5%
Vitamin K 4.2 µg 3.5%

Electrolytes

Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 156 mg 3%

Minerals

Calcium 10 mg 1%
Copper 0.110 mg 12%
Iron 0.13 mg 1.5%
Magnesium 9 mg 2%
Manganese 0.027 mg 1%
Zinc 0.04 mg 0%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene-β 445 µg
Carotene-α 17 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 11 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg
Lycopene 0 µg

Mango, the king of fruits!

Enjoy this wonderful fruit by adding it to salsa, smoothies and salads. Its sweet flavour make it an excellent ingredients in pies and muffins!  

Moderation is the key. 1/2 cup (85 g) cubed mango – 60 calories. 

 

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Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals that are associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle – related health conditions.

Focus on a balanced diet and regular physical activity to maintain a good health.

References:

www.mayoclinic.com

www.webmd.com

http://www.diabetes.org/

Build Strong Blood

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Iron, a precious mineral, involves in many physiological processes in our body. Most of the iron in the body is a component of the proteins: Hemoglobin – in red blood cells and Myoglobin – in muscle cells. Body tissues constantly need oxygen to keep the cells cleaned and to function efficiently. Iron helps your cells “Breathe!” Yes, hemoglobin carries oxygen from lungs to tissues throughout the body and myoglobin holds and stores oxygen in the muscles for their use. Iron is also a part of enzymes, particularly those involved in energy metabolism.

Our body hoards iron in liver, spleen and bone marrow. It is a precious mineral to be hoarded!

Despite the fact that iron is the fourth most abundant element in the earth, iron deficiency is the world’s most common cause of anemia. The most common dietary deficiency worldwide is iron that affects women and children even more! Decreased dietary iron, decreased iron absorption, or blood loss is the major cause of iron deficiency anemia. Celiac disease ( sprue), an immune reaction to eating gluten, have shown to impair the iron absorption. Significantly iron deficiency is linked with decreased immune function and resistance to infection, diminished work capacity and increased risk of delivery of pre-term and low birth weight infants. Lead, a pernicious metal, inhibits the iron absorption. It not only influences anemia, it even impairs cognitive development, in children!

The Estimated Average requirements of iron 

Teenage boys

Teenage girls

Women

Older

women Men
Age 14-18 yrs 14-18 yrs Pregnant Breast feeding 19-50 yrs Pregnant Breast feeding 51+ yrs 19+ yrs
Iron/day 11 mg 15 mg 27 mg 10 mg 18 mg 27 mg 9 mg 8 mg 8 mg

Growing children require sufficient iron, for their increasing red cell mass. People who engage in regular intense exercise like distance runners, female athletes, and vegetarian athletes need more iron in their diet. Lack of iron, can profoundly affect the physical activity performance, by reducing the oxygen flow to the exercising muscles!

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Heme iron, found primarily in animal foods, is absorbed more efficiently (35%) from a single meal and its absorption is not affected by any other nutrients. The richest is in the liver, followed by oysters, red meat from luscious beef & lamb and dark meat of poultry (duck and goose). Red meat, and liver are good sources of iron, but are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Their intake should be limited, 4-6 oz/day, to promote the heart health.

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Iron from plant sources and egg yolks are considered non-heme iron that takes more effort and energy for the body to absorb. Dark green, leafy vegetables, dried fruits, iron-enriched cereals, beans, lentils, chickpeas, are good plant sources of iron. You can get 0.55 mg of iron from 60 g cooked asparagus and 1.05 mg of iron from 150 g/ 1 cup, sauteed, broccoli in few minutes!

Dried-figs, apricots, raisins, quinoa, oats and rye are also considered as good source of iron. 

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Description Weight (g) Common measures Iron content per measure
Apricot-dried 35 10 halves 0.93 mg
Figs- dried 92 g 5 figs 1.92 mg
Raisins 14 g 1 packet 0.26 mg
Almonds 28.35 g 10oz/24nuts 1.05 mg
Walnuts 28.35 g 10oz/14halves 0.82 mg
Beet green 144 g 1 cup 2.74 mg
Beet-cooked 50 g 1 beet 0.40 mg
Spinach-cooked 180g 1 cup 6.43 mg
Mustard greens- cooked 140 g 1 cup 0.98 mg
Mung beans-sprouted 104 g 1 cup 0.95 mg
Peas 160 g 1 cup 3.15 mg
Rice- brown/long- grain 195 g 1 cup 0.82 mg
Beef- top sirloin 85 g 3 oz 1.47 mg
Oyster-raw 84 g 6 medium 3.87 mg
Scallop 85 g 3 oz 1.38 mg

To know the amount of iron in other foods, please click: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov

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The bioavailability of iron from some of the iron-rich plant foods are poor because other compounds render it, nonabsorbale. Only 2-20% of iron from plant sources is absorbed in a single meal. Phytates, oxalic acid, tannins and antacids block the absorption of iron. For example, spinach is a good source of iron. But it also contains high levels of oxalic acid bound to iron! Consequently, the bioavailability of iron in spinach is significantly less than the amount it actually contains! Phytates are prominent in wheat and tannins are prevalent in teas (non-herbal).

Women, 19-50yrs, consuming a vegetarian diet may need almost 33mg of iron per day, for the bioavailability of iron from plant food sources is much lower when compared to animal food sources!

You will be surprised to learn that the bone-mineral, calcium, inhibits the absorption of iron!

Worried, how to increase your iron level?

Reducing calcium intake doesn’t sound good, for it is needed to increase bone mass to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It is wise, not to mix calcium and iron rich food in the same meal.  A descent separation of calcium and iron rich food will help to improve the iron nutrition.

Cooking spinach, for 2-3 mins, will help reduce the oxalate.  Soaking, fermenting and sprouting will help reduce the total phytates.  By soaking beans and nuts for 24 hrs followed by cooking you can reduce the phytates level by 50%!

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Following a healthy diet including iron-rich foods, and pairing foods for optimal absorption, can help you increase your iron levels, naturally! Yes, iron absorption depends on the type of staple used.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) favours iron absorption in the intestine!

Vitmain C has been shown repeatedly to augment the absorption of non-heme iron in human. Incorporating vitamin C in the form of tomatoes, orange, lime juice, berries, to your meal can help increase the absorption of iron. Make sure that you consume fruits as a source of Vitamin C, minimum 25mg with each meal, to captivate this essential mineral.

Garnish your green salad with toasted nuts/dried fruits and squeeze lime juice over, to balance and  increase the absorption of  iron.

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B vitamins are important for the production of healthy red cells.

  • Pyridoxin, vitamin B-6 found in whole grains, bananas, carrots, cabbage helps the blood to carry oxygen and maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Riboflavin, Vitamin B-2 in liver, fish, egg, milk, wholegrains and fortified cereals help enhance the response of hemoglobin to iron.
  • Cobalamin, vitamin B-12,found in cheese, dairy products, eggs, liver, meat, oysters, salt-water fish, helps in the blood formation. Few foods of vegetable origin like seaweed and tempeh, provide small amounts of B-12. The probiotics in yogurt and other fermented milk products help to produce this B-12 vitamin, right down inside your intestines. Sounds interesting and great, especially for vegans!  

After the 1st year, children should be given a varied diet that is rich in sources of iron, B vitamins and vitamin C

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Balancing your meal with wholegrains, meat/beans, fruits & vegetables, nuts and probiotic drinks will preclude the negative iron balance. Fruits improve the iron status and the bioavailability, for it is rich in vitamin C. Red meat & oyster are not only a good source of heme iron, also the best form for storing in the body, that help absorb the non-heme iron. It is wise to avoid coffee, tea, milk, soy products in combination with iron-rich/fortified foods.

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Iron is more precious than Gold!

References

Go Salad

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Have you ever thought of a quick and easy meal rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories and fat? A meal is considered healthy when  it is rich in essential nutrients. A salad plays vital in improving a meal with its nutrients, vibrant color and flavor! Salad is an excellent way to fill your plate and your body with more nutrients and at the same time low calories.

Salads are loaded with heart-healthy, cancer fighting, bone building vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They are a real good weight-loss and weight-maintenance tools, for they are good source of fibers both soluble and insoluble! Fiber along with water prevents constipation and lowers the cholesterol level!

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Cucumber, celery, mushrooms’ water content helps to fill up and keeps you full for a longer period.

Healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination.” Small consistent changes in your daily eating behavior can result in gradual weight-loss and developing healthier eating habits. Make a simple change to your diet -like add a salad every day, to reap the health benefits and to make you look pretty and fit!

A good salad contributes heart-healthy nutrients like Vitamin – C, a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E , folate, Viamin A.

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Bell peppers, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli are good sources of Vitamin C. Nuts like almond, peanuts & seeds like sunflower, pumkin seeds, sesame seeds, and cooked spinach, swiss chard, avocados are good sources of Vitamin E. Romaine lettuce, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, mustard greens are loaded with heart-healthy, folate. Romaine lettuce, spinach and tomatoes, great for salads, are considered good sources of carotenoids. Carotenoids turned into vitamin A in human body, are essential for immune system, healthy skin and for good eye health.

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A study at Tufts University in Boston found that low dietary intake of vitamin K in women was associated with low bone mineral density (BMD). Spinach and watercress are good sources of vitamin K. In addition, watercress modulates the anti cancer pathway, too!

Many of us count salad as vegetables. I love to make my own salad. My first salad was a simple mixture of diced cucumber, tomato and onion with lemon & mint dressing. Making salad is an art. Thoughtfully, paired ingredients that complement one another in color, taste and texture creates a spectacular and appetizing salad. Chopped salads are incredibly simple and easy to make.

Build a perfect salad! Go raw and brighten up with carrots, tomatoes and pineapple. Vegetables and fruits add different taste & texture while nuts add richness and complexity to salads.

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Dress your salad to your taste. You can make a good dressing with simple and easy ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, chopped mint, honey and pepper. Why bottle dressings when it can be whipped up in seconds?

Plain yogurt is versatile, and nutritious. Use yogurt in place of mayonnaise for egg, tuna, or potato salad. The probiotics in yogurt help inhibit the growth of some harmful bacteria in the gut.

Herbs like parsley, mint, sage, rosemary, thyme have been associated with  lowering blood pressure and controlling blood cholesterol. Incorporate them to your diet by just sprinkling them on your salad or adding them to vinaigrette.

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If you want your salad with extra protein, add some chopped turkey, chicken or fish. Salad can be a beautiful side dish or a spectacular main dish. A classic salad is a meal by itself. Protein rich salmon salad sandwich is a great post-workout meal!

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Fruit salads are very light, refreshing, and more beautiful that can be served as side dish or as dessert

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Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out the best in them. For example, enzymes in papaya and pineapple, will enhance the digestion of protein, and spinach -cooked, will enhance the absorption of more calcium, iron, and magnesium. 

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One cannot live with raw salad alone, for fruits and vegetables are low in calorie and poor sources of protein. So, just combine salad with whole-grains, beans, egg or meat to balance your diet with adequate protein, carbohydrate and good fat. 

A salad can transform a simple meal to an “Extra-value” meal!

References

  • Sarah L Booth, Kerry E Broe, David R Gagnon, Katherine L Tucker,  Marian T Hannan, Robert R McLean, Bess Dawson-Hughes, Peter WF Wilson, L Adrienne Cupples, and  Douglas P Kiel,Vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in women and men 1’2’3’4Am J Clin Nutr February 2003 vol. 77no. 2 512-516
  • Johanna W Lampe, Health effects of vegetables and fruit: assessing mechanisms of action in human experimental studies 1’2’3 Am J Clin Nutr September 1999 vol. 70 no. 3 475s-490s

Vitamin C for bone healing!

Fractured your bone? Don’t worry…. you still can improve the strength of your bone.

When you break a bone, your body takes immediate action to repair the damage. The healing is a continuous & energy intensive process. So, good nutrition is necessary to ensure perfect and speedy recovery. You may have to work harder to build bones regardless of your current bone status. Healing requires good blood circulation and adequate nutrition through variety of food.

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When you think of bone health, milk is the first food that comes to your mind. Of course, it is an excellent and easy source of calcium, for a glass of milk (240ml/80z) will provide 300mg of calcium.  Calcium recommendation for an adult is 1000mg/day. Calcium is an essential mineral for the bone, muscle and heart activity.

Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Salmon, sardines, anchovies are among sea foods, rich in calcium. Spinach, collards and swiss chards are good vegetable sources of calcium. Broccoli, turnip leaves, asparagus, and mustard greens also contain fair amount of calcium. White beans, kidney beans, calcium fortified soy products & cereals, contains moderate amount of calcium. A teaspoon of sesame seeds over cooked greens and a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to green salad, will enrich the dish with calcium.

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Excess salt, soda and caffeine consumption will decrease the calcium absorption. For bone health, it is best not to drink too many soft drinks or cups of coffee or tea, everyday.

It is not just the calcium that is essential for the formation of bone. You also need good amount of protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin C for bone formation and quick healing. 

Protein plays important role in enhancing the integrity of your bones. Bone is a connective tissue composed of an organic protein, collagen that gives strength & flexibility to the bone and muscles. By volume, half of bone is comprised of protein. Poor protein status will take longer time to heal.

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Intake of protein and calcium should be adequate for bone repair.  A constant stream of amino acids, building blocks of protein, is required through regular balanced diet. For elderly, the protein intake is little higher than the recommended intakes. Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and soy foods are considered high biological value protein foods.

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Edamame (fresh green soybean) and calcium fortified tofu, tempeh, and soy beverages are excellent sources of bone-building protein. Soy milk contains plant estrogen that increases the absorption of calcium.

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Among nuts almonds, pistachios, sunflower, and walnuts seeds have the highest amount of protein but high in calories, too!  So, just a handful of any plain or baked nuts a day, is sufficient.  Control intake of pecan and macadamia, for they are lower in protein and high in fat content.

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential for the dietary calcium to get absorbed by the intestine.  You could drink milk all day, but the calcium in it would not do much good to your bone unless it is accompanied by vitamin D. Mushroom, egg yolk, oyster, sardines, tuna, herrings, are good sources of Vitamin D. Milk also contains some amount of vitamin D.

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Expose yourself to sunlight, everyday (before 9:00am and after 4:00pm) for vitamin D. Sunlight exposure is truly one of the powerful healing therapy. Yes, skin produces vitamin D when hit by ultraviolet light from the sun.  An UV advantage!   But this healing rays cannot penetrate glass. So, by just sitting inside a car or a glass room, you cannot generate vitamin D. You need to step out of the door and enjoy the sunlight!

Kidney beans are a good source of calcium and also rich in vitamin K that activate proteins during the bone formation. Other vitamain K rich foods are lettuce, spinach, turnip leaves, broccoli, and liver.

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Vitamin C promotes the formation of new connective tissue, the collagen, that holds our body together. Collagen is the most abundant protein when compared to other proteins in our body. No heart or other organs and blood vessels could perform its function without the collagen, protein. Vitamin C is essential in every steps that involved in the manufacturing of collagen! Fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Include variety of fruits to every meal, every day.

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Good blood circulation and consumption of high biological value protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin K  rich food will speed up the healing process of bone, and also help reduce the chance of getting fracture in future.

References

  • Rober P Heaney and Donald K Layman: “Amount and type of protein influences bone health,” Am J clin Nutr May 2008 vol.87 no. 5 15675-1570S
  • H E Theobald: “Dietary calcium and health,” 2005 British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 30, 237-277
  • Bess Dawson – Hughes: “ Calcium and Vitamin D Nutritional Needs of Elderly Women,” J. Nutr. April 1996 126: 1165S-1167S
  • Jean Philippe Bonjour, Valerie Benoit, Brigitte Rousseau, and Jean-Claude Souberbielle: Consumption of Vitamin D and Calcium Fortified soft white cheese lowers the biochemical marker of bone resorption TRAP 5b in Postmenopausal women at moderat risk of osteoporosis fracture,” J. Nutr. April 1 2012 vol. 142 no. 4 698-703
  • www.nof.org
  • www.mayoclinic.com
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov