♥ Daily Dose | What’s Your Nut I.Q?

Nuts_pbAccording to a large 30-year study, eating a handful of nuts every day could lower your risk of dying by 20 percent. Nuts are full of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat. They’re also a good source of protein and healthy fiber too. NOTE:  If you thought nuts were off-limits when trying to lose weight, think again. The fiber will help fill up you and the healthy fat will help keep you satisfied longer.

Researchers report a decreased risk for most major causes of death like heart disease and cancer. Nuts are rich in healthful unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients*. Here’s how you can benefit and enjoy them.

  • Eat nuts seven or more times per week. Eating nuts just once a week lowered the risk of dying by 11 percent.
  • Eat one ounce of nuts per day — approximately 1/4 cup or one “handful”.
  • Beware of canned and packaged nuts (e.g., in Trail Mixes) that have been processed with oil and salt. It’s healthier to buy them raw and roast them at home without the additives.
  • Limit your intake of Brazil nuts to one per day or only occasionally due to their unusually high levels of selenium* (an essential mineral). One Brazil nut contains 70-90 mcg of this mineral and the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is 55 mcg.  Selenium is found in soil. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include nausea, vomiting, brittle nails, nail loss/discoloration, hair loss, fatigue, irritability, and “garlic breath”.  Continue reading “♥ Daily Dose | What’s Your Nut I.Q?”

Pineapple Mango Guacamole

mango_Ataulfo honey-mango

Mangos are in peak season, so find ways to include these refreshing tropical fruits in your daily eating plan. They’re filled with nutritious goodness, flavor, and antioxidants.

Here’s why this colorful fruit makes the A-list of Fountain-of-Youth Foods. Pair it with avocados, an amazingly healthy superfood, that’s rich in fiber, healthy fats and phytonutrients and you’ll have a naturally creamy salsa for fresh fish, chicken or tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • Juice from 3/4 of a whole lime
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/16 of 1 jalapeño, diced (use more or less based on your desired level of heat)
  • 1 large ripe mango (other than the Honey Mango variety), diced
  • 14 oz. Pineapple-Honey Mango Salsa* (see below)

1. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl and serve.

*Pineapple-Honey Mango Salsa (Tastes great on its own!)

  • 4 honey mangos (a.k.a. Manila or Ataulfo Mango), diced
  • 1/4 of 1 small fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/16 of 1 jalapeño (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. red onions
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 of 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lime

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Look for honey mangos that have some ‘wrinkling’ on the outside. They may look like they’re older, but that’s when they are sweet, creamy in texture, and ripe! Also, if you’re in a hurry, mix in your favorite prepared guacamole (I like Whole Foods’ fresh guacamole) with the fresh mango, jalapeño and Pineapple-Mango Salsa.

Height and Heart Disease

A study by the European Society of Cardiology reported short people had a fifty percent higher risk of having heart disease.  Heart problems included angina (chest pain), heart attack, and angioplasty (the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel).   Continue reading “Height and Heart Disease”

Grilled Arctic Char with Cilantro Island Sauce

Artic char flesh resembles salmon
Arctic char flesh resembles salmon, but has a milder taste

Icelandic Arctic char, also known as salmon trout, is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.   If you haven’t tasted Artic char, it’s well worth giving it a try.  Arctic char tastes similar to salmon (even looks like salmon with its pinkish-orange flesh), but is milder in flavor.

Arctic char is an excellent choice if you don’t like a strong tasting fish, but want to include fish in your diet for its health benefits.  Be sure not to overcook this versatile delicacy or you’ll lose its natural moistness.  A quick grilling on both sides is all you need.   Continue reading “Grilled Arctic Char with Cilantro Island Sauce”

Cajun Coconut Curried Shrimp

Here’s an easy meal that’s bursting with taste and texture.  This dish blends the signature flavors of Louisiana, Thailand, and India into a single pot filled with colorful veggies and shrimp.  The light coconut milk adds rich and creamy goodness to this flavorful curry while the Cajun seasoning adds a nice subtle ‘zing’.

Shrimp is high in protein and very low in fat
Shrimp is high in protein and very low in fat

Shrimp is a good source of protein and iron.  It’s very low in saturated fat although high in cholesterol content (200 mg.* in 3.5 oz, or about 12 large shrimp).  However, scientific research dismisses the link between high cholesterol and shellfish and may, in fact, raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol).  Shrimp also contains good-for-the-skin selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids which can counteract the effects of premature aging.

*The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a maximum intake of 300 mg. of cholesterol per day.

NOTE: Vegetarians can substitute shrimp with tofu for a flavorful, satisfying main dish. Continue reading “Cajun Coconut Curried Shrimp”