Cooking Shows

New Year, New Leafy Recipes!

Hello and welcome to another nutrition blog entry in my healthy eating series! Today we are going to start a segment where we dive into the various types of leafy green vegetables and uncover why they are important to our diet.

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But before we get started, some of you might be wondering what exactly is a leafy green and why should you add them to your diet. Leafy greens are a term that refer to any vegetable that produces edible leaves. Think about kale, spinach or any garden variety lettuces. These vegetables produce delicious leaves for us to consume and obtain vital vitamins, minerals and fiber from.

And eating a diet abundant in leafy greens can offer health benefits such as: a reduced risk of obesity, a reduced risk of heart disease or high blood pressure and help prevent mental decline.

So tune in each week to discover a new way to incorporate tasty leafy greens into your healthy lifestyle!

Cheers,

Fey

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Cooking Shows

Professional Development Opportunity! Training Weekend.

Hello and welcome everyone to what would normally be another article in my nutrition series! Today I’m starting my monthly three day training program, so there won’t be any nutrition article today.

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In case you missed my first post on the topic, I’ve been awarded an opportunity through the studio I work at to take a professional Pilates instructor course! I am thrilled and feel so blessed to be given this amazing experience to progress my professional career as a trainer. This scholarship is only presented once a year to employees who show merit and a passion for fitness, so it was a dream come true to be given such a rare gift. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I am currently finding hard to put into words.

The only downside to this program is that one Friday a month I won’t be able to post my normal nutrition blog because I’ll be away from the internet and in training.

Not to worry, the rest of the month will remain unscathed, and you can expect blog entries on the regularly scheduled time and format.

Thank you for your patience with this wonderful growth opportunity I’ve been blessed with, and I look forward to posting another entry next week as life returns to normal.

Cheers,

Fey

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Cooking Shows

Munch on Mangoes for Great Health!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! As the year winds down in the pleasant time between Christmas and New Year’s, I thought we could talk about a delightful treat- Mangoes!

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Mangoes are a tropical fruit with a creamy juicy pulp and large oval-shaped seed in the center. Many people comment that a mango tastes like a cross between a peach and a pineapple, and you get the best of both worlds on this one in terms of taste! But besides being a great addition to recipes, or eaten raw, mangoes also have health benefits to add to your diet such as: assisting in immune system function, protecting our heart and improving cognitive function.

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Mangoes also contain these helpful nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Antioxidants

Vitamin A is necessary for human growth and development, cell recognition, sight, proper immune system function, sexual reproduction, as well as helping the heart, lungs, and kidneys to function normally. While Vitamin A sounds like a miracle, be careful how much you take. If you ingest too much it can be harmful to the body. Most doctors recommend that adult men consume 900 mcg per day, and women take 700 mcg per day to stay within healthy levels.

As you may know, mangoes are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness. Which is especially important now that cold weather seems to be here to stay for most parts of America.

Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables and foods high in Vitamin C, like mangoes, had the largest positive impact.

Other studies have found that activities such as daily walking, combined with mango intake, can reduce blood pressure. So if you are concerned about your heart health talk to your doctor about adding mangoes to your diet.

Vitamin C also increases iron absorption in the body, so if you suffer from an iron deficiency or anemia, then mangoes might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Vitamin K is important to the body because it is needed for the body to product a protein called prothrombin, which allows the body to support bone metabolism and form helpful blood clots (like when you get a papercut and the blood clots to stop the bleeding, not the scary kind of blood clot). Vitamin K creates healthy, strong bones by increasing their density. Denser bones are less likely to break or sustain injury.

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Now, you may be thinking, “why on earth do I care about fiber?” But worry not, I am about to explain about the different types of fiber, and why you should care.

Soluble Fiber is like the police force of the body. This type of fiber attaches itself to cholesterol particles in the body and helps them to be removed when we visit the restroom. This is very important because it helps to reduce the body’s overall cholesterol levels, which can be a contributing factor to heart disease.

Insoluble fiber can be thought of like a massive sponge in the large intestines. This type of fiber draws in water and helps regulate the movement of food through our intestines. So if you are having problems going to the restroom, then the insoluble fiber in prunes can help.

Folate, which is one of the B vitamins, is important for tissue growth and normal cell function. Further, folate is especially important for pregnant women and our active aging populations.

Meanwhile, potassium helps the body maintain a normal blood pressure and nerve function. This means that mangoes can help the nervous system regulate muscle movements more effectively. This is important for weightlifters such as myself, as it maximizes all that hard work we put in at the gym each week.

The potassium and vitamin C in mangoes also combine to protect our heart. Heart health is important for me since I live with Atrial Fibrillation. So when I read studies like the one from Vanderbilt Medical School stating that a daily intake of potassium can lower the risk of developing heart disease, I definitely made sure to start eating mangoes so my own heart condition doesn’t worsen.

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Copper is a very vital mineral that every part of the body needs in order to function. Why, you might ask? Because copper helps our bodies make red blood cells, keep our nerve cells healthy and support our immune system. Copper also helps our body form collagen, absorb iron from the food we eat and assists in energy production. That sounds like a super important mineral to me!

As you may know, mangoes contain a fantastic source of antioxidants to fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight some cancers and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.

Science is also starting to show that diets rich in antioxidants have a positive effect on cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. While these illnesses currently have no known cure, diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can lower the risk of developing these diseases later in life.

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Cooking Shows

Acai Berries Are More Than a Fancy Buzzword!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! On this dreary rainy day I thought we could remember the splendor of summer by talking about acai berries!

Why acai berries? Because these last few years they have become a buzzword food that few of the clients I work with actually know why. So today I thought I would set the record straight about why people consume acai berries– other than for their delicious taste! Acai berries, powders and juices are more than just a fancy new talking point for health enthusiasts, they also have health benefits to add to your diet such as: protecting our heart, improving cognitive function and slowing down certain cancers.

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Acai berries also contain these helpful nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemical- Anthocyanins

Vitamin A is necessary for human growth and development, cell recognition, sight, proper immune system function, sexual reproduction, as well as helping the heart, lungs, and kidneys to function normally. While Vitamin A sounds like a miracle, be careful how much you take. If you ingest too much it can be harmful to the body. Most doctors recommend that adult men consume 900 mcg per day, and women take 700 mcg per day to stay within healthy levels.

Now, you may be thinking, “why on earth do I care about fiber?” But worry not, I am about to explain about the different types of fiber, and why you should care.

Soluble Fiber is like the police force of the body. This type of fiber attaches itself to cholesterol particles in the body and helps them to be removed when we visit the restroom. This is very important because it helps to reduce the body’s overall cholesterol levels, which can be a contributing factor to heart disease.

Insoluble fiber can be thought of like a massive sponge in the large intestines. This type of fiber draws in water and helps regulate the movement of food through our intestines. So if you are having problems going to the restroom, then the insoluble fiber in prunes can help.

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Calcium is the essential mineral everyone was taught as a kid would help us build strong bones. And you are right in remembering that from 3rd grade science. Calcium is vital for the health of our bones, and for slowing down bone density loss as we age. The mineral calcium also impacts the muscle that surrounds blood vessels, causing it to relax. Which is important for blood pressure and muscle contraction. Just remember, it is difficult for the body to effective absorb calcium without the presence of Vitamin D in the body, so be sure to have an adequate source of Vitamin D in your diet to maximize the effects of calcium.

As you may know, acai berries contain a fantastic source of antioxidants to fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight some cancers and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.

Science is also starting to show that diets rich in antioxidants have a positive effect on cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. While these illnesses currently have no known cure, diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can lower the risk of developing these diseases later in life.

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Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that have disease-fighting properties when ingested by humans. This is just a complicated way of saying that phytochemicals are an important part of a healthy diet to prevent certain diseases.

The phytochemical, anthocyanin, found in acai berries, has been shown to lower oxidative stress and inflammation, which can promote brain health and function. Anthocyanins are also being shown by scientific research to enhance and improve memory. Scientists think the compound works by reducing neuro-inflammation, increasing synaptic function and improving blood flow to and in the brain. But the amazing benefits of anthocyanin don’t stop here. This phytochemical has been shown by other studies to reduce the risk of heart attacks in young or middle-aged women when consumed as a part of a daily diet, and acai berries also work to decrease the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. Furthermore, laboratory studies are starting to show that anthocyanins have anti-cancer properties that prevent certain cancers from spreading, they induce cancer cell death and inhibit the growth of some tumors! Thank goodness for anthocyanins!

 

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Cooking Shows

Professional Development Opportunity! Training Weekend.

Hello and welcome everyone to what would normally be another article in my nutrition series! Today I’m starting my monthly three day training program, so there won’t be any nutrition article today.

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In case you missed my first post on the topic, I’ve been awarded an opportunity through the studio I work at to take a professional Pilates instructor course! I am thrilled and feel so blessed to be given this amazing experience to progress my professional career as a trainer. This scholarship is only presented once a year to employees who show merit and a passion for fitness, so it was a dream come true to be given such a rare gift. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I am currently finding hard to put into words.

The only downside to this program is that one Friday a month I won’t be able to post my normal nutrition blog because I’ll be away from the internet and in training.

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Not to worry, the rest of the month will remain unscathed, and you can expect blog entries on the regularly scheduled time and format.

Thank you for your patience with this wonderful growth opportunity I’ve been blessed with, and I look forward to posting another entry next week as life returns to normal.

Cheers,

Fey

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Cooking Shows

Portable Nutrition with Bananas!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! Today I thought we would cover an iconic fitness fruit you commonly see in gym bags or on websites telling you to eat better- the portable banana!

Dainty bananas are a popular addition to any nutrition site or fitness regimen because of their nutritional benefits and portability. I mean, they already have a travel friendly wrapper included! But bananas are more than just the lazy person’s travel food, they also have health benefits to add to your diet such as: protecting our heart, strengthening our bones and boosting our mood. These health benefits are wonderful for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation,as we can use all the help we can get to help our hearts function better and safer.

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Bananas also contain these helpful nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Tryptophan (an amino acid)

As you may know, bananas are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness.

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Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health,the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables, and foods high in Vitamin C, had the largest positive impact.

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Meanwhile, potassium helps the body maintain a normal blood pressure and nerve function. This means that bananas can help the nervous system regulate muscle movements more effectively. This is important for weightlifters such as myself, as it maximizes all that hard work we put in at the gym each week.

The potassium and vitamin C in bananas also combine to protect our heart. Heart health is important for me since I live with Atrial Fibrillation. So when I read studies like the one from Vanderbilt Medical School stating that a daily intake of potassium can lower the risk of developing heart disease, I definitely made sure to start eating bananas so my own heart condition doesn’t worsen.

 Magnesium works with Potassium for bone health in the body. Potassium works hard to protect us against osteoporosis and Magnesium is a powerhouse for bone formation. These two minerals combine to ensure that our bones are strong for the long run.

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Boost your mood with the amino acid Tryptophan! Science is showing that tryptophan may help prevent cognitive decline and boost our moods. While more research needs to be done in this area to uncover how much of an impact bananas and amino acids can have on our moods, it can’t hurt to munch on a banana the next time you are feeling grouchy!

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Cran-tastic Cranberries For Your Health!

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Cooking with Fey! In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday next week I thought we could talk about an iconic fall treat, cranberries!

Cran-tastic cranberries have health benefits to add to your diet such as: helping heal UTIs, protecting our heart and warding off dental concerns. These health benefits are wonderful for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation, as we can use all the help we can get to help our hearts function better and safer.

Cranberries are also an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Antioxidant Polyphoenols like Proanthocyandin

As you may know, cranberries are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness.

Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables and foods high in Vitamin C, like cranberries, had the largest positive impact.

Vitamin K is important to the body because it is needed for the body to product a protein called prothrombin, which allows the body to support bone metabolism and form helpful blood clots (like when you get a papercut and the blood clots to stop the bleeding, not the scary kind of blood clot). Vitamin K creates healthy, strong bones by increasing their density. Denser bones are less likely to break or sustain injury.

Think of manganese as a superhero for our bones. This mineral helps bones grow and then maintain their density. Manganese, when combined with calcium, zinc and copper, supports bone mineral density in any age of human development. However, this is very important in our active ageing populations. As you may have heard, when we age our bones begin to lose their density. This can cause bones to become weak and break easily, so manganese is important to make sure we are ingesting enough of as we get older.

Copper is a very vital mineral that every part of the body needs in order to function. Why, you might ask? Because copper helps our bodies make red blood cells, keep our nerve cells healthy and support our immune system. Copper also helps our body form collagen, absorb iron from the food we eat and assists in energy production. That sounds like a super important mineral to me!

Additionally, cranberries contain a fantastic source of antioxidants to fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from a previous blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight some cancers and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.

Proanthocyandin is a type of polyphenol found in cranberries. And here’s a quick rundown on polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of micronutrient humans can ingest by eating specific plant-based foods. These micronutrients are packed with antioxidants and health benefits. So, jumping back to proantocyandin, researchers at the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that this polyphenol from cranberries was able to prevent oral bacteria from sticking to our teeth. Which is great news for dentists, as the less bacteria that attaches to our teeth the healthier they are and the less chances there are of our teeth developing dental problems down the road. Think of proanthocyandian as Teflon for our teeth. The polyphenol creates a barrier bacteria can’t stick to and cause harm to our teeth!

Proanthocyandin is also somewhat of a superhero in the circles of UTI patients. UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection, and if you’ve ever had one of these awful infections then you know how much of a lifesaver cranberries can be. In the same way proanthocyandin prevents bacteria from sticking to our teeth, this same polyphenol prevents the UTI bacteria from attaching themselves to the urinary tract walls, which can prevent the spread of the infection and decrease the time you have one. This treatment has actually been around for hundreds of years, as Native Americans used cranberries as a treatment for bladder and kidney diseases.

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