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General Research

General ResearchLifeStyle

EVER HEARD OF WATER WEIGHT?

So much obsession about weightloss nowadays drives people to indulge in all sorts of practices to aid rapid weightloss. So many “road-side” nutritionist has leveraged on this to device different means to boycott the body’s normal physiology.

The most common one is the “keto” diet which involves using chainsaw to almost totally “cut-out” carbs so there can be a rapid and drastic weightloss.

Truly, when you cut out carbs, weightloss occurs rapidly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost fat.

At the initial stage of every weightloss journey, especially the drastic and fast types, what is lost is “water weight”, and after this, weightloss tends to slow down significantly and the individual involved goes into a plateau faster than required.

What happens during a weightloss is the change in muscle mass, amount of fat, water and an “let-out” of gases; if exercise is involved.

Fat, carbs and even protein doesn’t lead to weight gain but an excess of calories coupled with a deficit of physical exercise.

WHAT IS WATER WEIGHT?

Water weight is when the body retains so much water in spaces; sometimes it could cause bloating.

60% of your body is made up of water, so when you lose weight, water reduces first.

Carbs are responsible for retaining water, when you remove them, you remove the body’s ability to retain water and not excess calories.

The body has a means of storing excess energy; its stores it as glycogen and this glycogen is stored with lots of water. When there is a need for carbs during the body’s metabolic duties, thr body automatically sources out carbs from its storage form in the liver and skeletal muscles. This process involves releasing lots of water thats stored with the glycogen which automatically leads to weightloss.

Going by figures, 1g of carbs requires 3-4g of water to store and process it; so when you eat 3 slices of white bread (6g of carbs per slice), you’ve just added 18-24g of water to your body.

RISKS?

The risk involved in cutting out carbs from the diet are mostly related to the gut microbes. Carbs contain resistant starch which provides a healthy environment for the microorganisms present in the gut.

Also, carbs are the major source of energy to the body and fuel to the brain as the brain needs glucose to function properly. Glucose is the major building block for neurotransmitters in the brain and when there is a deficit, there is a break in communication among neurons.

Lack of glucose could lead to seizures and coma, as often seen in “ketoers”

TAKE HOME

To achieve a healthy weightloss, exercise and a mild calorie deficit supervised by a registered dietitian is key.  You didnt gain that weight in 1 month, so losing it in one month is quite unhealthy.

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General Research

SHOULD A PREGNANT WOMAN GO ON A VERY LOW SALT DIET?

Salt is unarguably essential to health, even though some extremist might not agree with this. It is one of the five basic tastes we have receptors for in our mouth (along with sweetness, bitterness, sourness and umami), and it is an important element in the body’s “interior ocean”.

The human body tightly regulates salt concentration because it’s crucial role in supporting chemical reactions  that involve enzyme function, energy and hormone production, protein transport and several other biological processes.

In the context of pregnancy, salt is critical for the development of the glial (immune) cells in the brain which maintain homeostatis, form myelin, and provide support and protection for neurones. It also plays an important role in ensuring adequate birth weight, metabolic function and development of the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular system.

“Salt is especially important to the brain development of premature babies. In premature babies, language, memory, intelligence and coordination were all better in children whose diets had been supplemented with salt shortly after birth”.

A VERY LOW SALT DIET COULD BE DANGEROUS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

A 2007 study found that babies with low sodium in their blood (due to low salt intakes by their mothers during pregnancy) were more likely to be underweight at birth. Low birth weight is associated with a higher risk of developing several health problems later in life.

Another study found that infants with low sodium intake may experience poor neurological function in early adolescence.

IS SALT REALLY THAT DANGEROUS?

The same way carbs has been demonized, is also same way Salt has been unjustifiably demonized by the mainstream media and medical establishment. So many atimes, health care providers who mean well, but not professional, advice patients to completely take off salt from their diet. The only time this is adviceable is during a very crucial kidney problem where sodium and potassium has to be balanced.

Salt has the highest amount of iodine contained in it when compared to other food sources of iodine. Iodine prevents against hypothyroidism leading to goitre.

So many studies tell us that it has never been proven that salt significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension or obesity. In fact, in many cases restricting salt intake can actually increase the risk of these conditions. For example, a review of the largest U.S. database of nutrition and health (NHANES) found a higher rate of cardiac events and death with patients on low-salt diets.

“During pregnancy, the demand for daily iodine increases by 50–70% which occurs to reach around 250 μg/day. Limited information is available on the association of high-risk pregnancy (HRP) with urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and variables such as socioeconomic factors”.

According to a study, among the 73% of hypertensive women adhering to a salt-restricted diet, there was a 112% increased risk of iodine deficiency observed (OR = 2.127; 95% confidence interval [1.178–3.829]; p = 0.011). Adhering to a salt-restricted diet was associated with iodine deficiency (OR = 1.82; 95% confidence interval [1.073–3.088], p = 0,026). Hypertension and salt restriction diet significantly increased susceptibility for iodine deficiency in high risk pregnancy. Therefore, low-salt diet when prescribed to pregnant women (PW) might be carefully followed by iodine nutritional status assessment or universal preconception iodine supplementation.

TAKE HOME

This is not a call for you to sprinkle salt till your ancestors say stop!

Its still very important to note that if you’re hypertensive or have a history, or even are vulnerable to pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, then you should adhere to 2300mg of sodium per day which equals 1 teaspoon.

During pregnancy, make sure there are alternative iodine supplements if you would go on a salt restricted diet.

Seek dietary counsel from a Registered Dietitian 

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General Research

IS OBESITY RELATED TO CANCER

Does Body Weight Affect Cancer Risk?

Being overweight, obese or having a BMI over 30kgmsq (since the society wants to scrap out the word obese) seems to be  linked to an overall increased risk of cancer. According to research from the American Cancer Society, excess body weight is thought to be responsible for about 11% of cancers in women and about 5% of cancers in men in the United States, as well as about 7% of all cancer deaths.  

Being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of 13 types of cancer, which includes:

  • Breast cancer (in women past menopause)
  • Colon and rectal cancer (diet related)
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus)
  • Esophagus cancer (diet related)
  • Gallbladder cancer (diet related)
  • Kidney cancer (diet related)
  • Liver cancer (diet related)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreas cancer (diet related)
  • Stomach cancer (diet related)
  • Thyroid cancer (diet related)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Meningioma (a tumor of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Notice that there is a correlation with diet and almost 80% of all stated cancers. Most part of your body more vulnerable to cancers are the ones exposed to whatever dietary choices you make.

Being overweight or obese might also raise the risk of other cancers, such as:

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Male breast cancer
  • Cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box
  • Aggressive forms of prostate cancer

The bond between cancer and  body weight is stronger for some cancers than for others. For example, excess body weight is thought to be a factor in more than half of all endometrial cancers, whereas it is linked to a smaller portion of other cancers.

Understanding the link between body weight and cancers is quite complex and might tip you off balance a bit. For example, while studies have found that excess weight is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women after menopause, it does not seem to increase the risk of breast cancer before menopause. Reasons best known to science (giggles).

The time of an individual’s life in which they gain weight might also affect cancer risk. Being overweight during childhood and young adulthood might be more of a risk factor than gaining weight later in life for some cancers. For example, some research suggests that women who are overweight as teenagers (but not those who gain weight as adults) may be at higher risk for developing ovarian cancer before menopause.

More research still needs to be carried out to back up some of these claims 

 

How might body weight affect cancer risk?

Excess body weight may affect cancer risk in a number of ways, some of which might be specific to certain cancer types. Excess body fat might increase cancer risk by affecting:

  • Inflammation in the body
  • Cell and blood vessel growth
  • Cells’ ability to live longer than they normally would
  • Levels of certain hormones, such as insulin and estrogen, which can fuel cell growth
  • Other factors that regulate cell growth, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)
  • The ability of cancer cells to spread (metastasize)

Does losing weight reduce cancer risk?

Research on how losing weight might lower the risk of developing cancer is limited. Still, there’s growing evidence that weight loss might reduce the risk of some types of cancer, such as breast cancer (after menopause) and endometrial cancer.

Some body changes that occur as a result of weight loss suggest it may, indeed, reduce cancer risk. For example, overweight or obese people who intentionally lose weight have reduced levels of certain hormones that are related to cancer risk, such as insulin, estrogens, and androgens.

While we still have much to learn about the link between weight loss and cancer risk, people who are overweight or obese should be encouraged and supported if they try to lose weight. Aside from possibly reducing cancer risk, losing weight can have many other health benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.

It’s important to lose body weight, but much more important to lose body fat rather than just water fat (glycogen stores). So rather than cutting out carbs with chain saws and axes, reduce the amount of trans fat and ensure you take in quality nutrients. 

 

The science around it all

Overall, the majority of hypotheses proposed over the past 20–30 years have been based around the physiological functions and pathological correlations of compounds intimately involved in general metabolism of adipose tissue or its regulation by systemic factors and the relevance of those compounds to cell proliferation or development that could contribute to abnormal proliferation and migration leading to oncogenesis (development of tumors). The more recently developed concepts to be described below adopt a wider perspective in which the interface between adipose metabolism, inflammation and carcinogenesis is mediated by newly uncovered links involving biochemical pathways which open new perspectives on the obesity/cancer relationship in a more holistic, biologically integrated manner.

 These ideas include the inflammation-induced activation of the kynurenine pathway and its role in feeding and metabolism by activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and by modulating synaptic transmission in the brain. Evidence for a role of the kynurenine pathway in carcinogenesis then provides a potentially major link between obesity and cancer. A second new hypothesis is based on evidence that serine proteases can deplete cells of the tumour suppressors Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) and neogenin. These enzymes include mammalian chymotryptic proteases released by pro-inflammatory neutrophils and macrophages.

The kynurenine pathway represents the dominant pathway of tryptophan catabolism, accounting for the disposal of around 95% of the tryptophan not used for protein synthesis.

According to a research carried out by Jin in 2015, he stated and i quote that “the relevance of the kynurenine pathway is that not only do its components affect the regulation of metabolism, feeding and body mass, largely via the modulation of NMDA receptor activity, but they are also implicated in aspects of carcinogenesis’. Expression of the central enzyme of the pathway – kynurenine-3-monooxygenase (KMO) is greater in human hepatic carcinoma cells than controls and is known to influence cell proliferation and migration.

Other factors like insulin resistance, high glucagon and leptin levels (in obese and diabetic patients), adipokines (adiponectin) which is reduced in obese patients, highly concentrated levels of ceruloplasmin in adipose tissues of obese patients, might also increase an obese patients risk to several types of cancer. 

 

Dietary consideration 

Bowman-Birk inhibitors are relatively small proteins found in plant based foods, highly stable within the intestine and generally resistant to heating and cooking, which are known to be absorbed from the intestine into the blood. 

Several studies suggest that the presence of bowman’s birk inhibitors (BBI) are capable of inducing apoptosis in human breast carcinoma. The BBI is also capable of suppressing carcinogenic processes that include colon, oral leukoplakia, esophageal tumors, leukemia, prostatic hyperplasia and breast cancer (quite elusive though).

An overall healthy diet and lifestyle cannot be over emphasized, whether you choose a ‘only plant based diet’ or you choose to do a variety, make sure you do the right thing for your body MODERATION! 

 

Sources: https://www.nature.com/articles/cddiscovery201567

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/effects.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952217/

 

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General ResearchMen’s Health

NITRIC OXIDE AND PERFORMANCE

 

You may have heard of nitric oxide supplements, which claim to increase workout performance and boost your productivity in general and even enhance endurance in za oza room. You might even find some inside your pre-workout formulas too.

SO WHAT IS, OR WHAT DOES NITRIC OXIDE DO?

“Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that the body produces, and it helps with blood flow (vasodilator) and could also act as a neurotransmitter. Nitric oxide supplements are formulated in order to try to increase the amount of nitric oxide in your blood, which might in turn help increase blood flow to working muscles and help reduce time to fatigue during a workout..

(To be clear, nitric oxide is very different from nitrous oxide, a.k.a. the stuff that gets you high.)

Theoretically, NO supplements could do wonders for your fitness routine. But in terms of scientific evidence, well, let’s just keep our fingers crossed…

So many questions might be running through your mind now like: Are nitrous oxide supplements safe? Do they work? First off, some of those supplements might not actually be nitric oxide—so be careful with which ones you’re buying. “While companies may label them as ‘nitric oxide’ supplements and boosters, they really don’t contain any nitric oxide. For example, Some ‘boosters’ could  contain compounds such as L-arginine

While the L-arginine in your body is involved in nitric oxide production, research is mixed as to whether taking it in supplement form will increase nitric oxide production, and if it could, whether that would actually enhance exercise performance and improve health.

“It’s also important to note that many booster supplements may contain additional ingredients that are not well researched or well regulated, so it’s wise to read labels carefully and seek professional advice before popping them pills.

If you’re looking to still give nitric oxide a try, here’s what you should know.

FUNCTIONALITY.

In the body, nitric oxide is secreted by the endothelial cells, which line the inner walls of the blood vessels, and it communicates with the smooth muscle cells, triggering them to relax. This blood flow regulation plays a role in multiple body functions, including maintaining erections and controlling blood pressure.

NO supplements, however, don’t actually contain nitric oxide. Instead, they contain ingredients (or substrates) that are thought to give your body a nudge to produce more nitric oxide, such as L-arginine and L-citrulline.

“If you’re ingesting nitrate or L-arginine, the idea is that it’s supposed to stimulate the synthesis of nitric oxide in the endothelial cell. So the more substrates there are, the more NO can be produced,”

Because blood is responsible for the transportation of oxygen to working muscles, the reasoning is that the increased blood flow caused by taking NO supplements might help you work out for a longer period of time and speed up recovery time. Proponents also claim that increased blood flow might make your muscles bigger and more pronounced.

EFFICACY OF NO SUPPLEMENTS

Honestly, me self nor know. There’s simply not enough evidence to suggest that they do.

Seemingly, the idea is that these supplements will increase NO, and then because of that, it’ll support the process of vasodilation, and obviously, the downstream  effect of vasodilation would be this massive increase in blood flow, which leads to increased exercise performance and enhanced recovery. “But most, if not all, of [these purported benefits] have not been supported by available evidence.”

In studies that have shown a link between improvements in performance and nitrate levels in the blood, such positive results could simply be a result of extensive training, as exercise itself enhances NO activity. Plus, dietary nitrate comes from other sources, like vegetables, and most studies don’t control for this.

Even if there are benefits to NO supplementation, it’s unclear whether they would apply to everyone. A review of 42 studies related to the effects of dietary ingredients linked with NO and exercise performance found mixed results: the review concluded that while NO supplements may “improve tolerance” to aerobic and anaerobic exercise in people who either aren’t in shape or are moderately trained, there seems to be no benefit in highly trained people.

 

BEETS AND IMPROVED WORKOUT?

 A few studies have shown that nitrate supplementation through beetroot juice can be effective at increasing endurance and overall power. One study found a link between 15 days of beetroot juice supplementation and an increase in power max during moderate–intensity cycling tests. While more research is required, it might interest you to note that of the ingredients that may have an impact on NO levels and exercise performance, beetroot juice is the most promising.

“Beets are the highest dietary source of nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Because of their natural nitrate content and it’s ability to convert to nitric oxide so well, beets have been shown through many studies to support the heart, especially by improving blood pressure,”.

Beets are also linked to other nitric oxide benefits, including improvements in both increasing strength and endurance performance as well as improvements in cognition during exercise, lower inflammation levels, greater antioxidant function, improved cognition.

Plus, beets are also good for your heart and muscle recovery, and are a good source of fiber. 

It’s important to note that blood nitrate levels peak within 2–3 hours. Therefore, to maximize their potential, it’s best to consume beets 2–3 hours before training or competing

 

SIDE EFFECTS OF NITRIC OXIDE SUPPLEMENTS

Even though the jury’s out on whether NO supplements really do improve performance, Bloomer says if you want to try them at a low dosage, go ahead. That said, if you’re prone to hypotension (or low blood pressure), you might want to skip them, as they could leave you feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

You should note that high dosages of NO supplements could put your kidney function at risk, particularly if you already have a nitrate-heavy diet. In such cases, “it might actually cause a reduction in performance, because your kidneys are too stressed out trying to process all this extra nitrate. To be on the safe side, just stick to the dosage stated on the package.

DOES NITRIC OXIDE HELP SEXUALLY OR BOOST LIBIDO

Since Nitric oxide itself plays a  substantial role in initiating and sustaining erections in males, and since it also increases blood flow to the penis, which can help a man maintain his erection, it could increase performance in bed and help you go longer. But there are other intrinsic factors to this.

A recent study did show that L-arginine supplements might enhance the effects of a common erectile dysfunction drug, but studies on people without dysfunction is limited, so general benefits aren’t totally known.

IS NITRIC OXIDE DANGEROUS FOR YOUR LIVER?

“While research isn’t conclusive, the answer to this may depend on whether you’re ingesting high amounts of synthetic nitrates and nitrites from processed meats or eating nitrates naturally from vegetables,”.

The World Health Organization and American institute for cancer research advise against any intake of processed and cured meats, and most contain sodium nitrates and nitrites. “Some research has linked sodium nitrates to free radical damage to cells including those in the liver, however much of this research has been conducted on animals with human studies being based on correlation rather than causation,” she says.

 

FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN NITRIC OXIDE

Beetroot juice contains a notable amount of nitric oxide, and there is research to show that drinking it before competition can help with performance. One study found cyclists who drank beetroot juice two to three hours before exercise increased peak power and pedaling velocity. Another review also shows that beetroot juice can increase overall endurance and power for athletes.

It could also be found in leafy greens and other vegetables, but in smaller amounts. Vegetables are rich in nitrates, and high nitrate intake is associated with higher nitric oxide levels in the body, reason why incorporating veggies to your diet is important; so long as you have a healthy oral microbiome. Regular use of antibacterial mouthwash actually kills the bacteria that aid in production of nitric oxide from nitrates (and may impact the bacterial balance in your lower digestive tract),”.

There are a few vegetables with nitric oxide, but the ones with the highest nitrite content are beets which tops the list, as well as celery, chard, watercress, lettuce, spinach, and arugula. The next group with the greatest amount includes cucumber, celeriac, Chinese cabbage, endive, fennel, kohlrabi, leeks, and parsley.

 

IS DAILY INTAKE OF NITRIC OXIDE ADVISED?

Consuming nitrates through food is totally encouraged. The research on beet juice and beet powder shows the best success in improving exercise performance and heart health with daily consumption of at least 2 weeks. “Nitrate content may be an additional reason high vegetable intake is associated with better heart health, too,”

When it comes to supplements containing ingredients other than pure beet or vegetable powder, you want to be careful. Supplements are not well regulated for safety, purity, potency or effectiveness of claims, so if you do choose another “nitric oxide booster” pick one that is third party tested, preferably by NSF for Sport or Informed Choice for Sport.

To be candid, from a professional view, I don’t think you should supplement daily. No dietitian would recommend it. There isn’t much research on these supplements, so it’s difficult to assess what the long term side effects might be. Instead, just eat your darn veggies  or beets to get your nitric oxides you must. 

SOURCES: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-beets#section3

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General Research

GRANOLA: CEREAL OF THE YEAR

Granola is a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, spices, honey or other sweeteners such as brown sugar, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until it is crisp, toasted and golden brown. Dried fruit, such as raisins and dates, and confections such as chocolate are sometimes added. Granola is often eaten in combination with yogurt, honey, fresh fruit (such as bananas, strawberries or blueberries), milk or other forms of cereal.

The granola cereal is quite healthy since it contains oats, nuts and seeds; but it is also important to note that it contains some ingredients as chocolates, oils and syrups which may be high in added sugars and fats. 

History

The names Granula and Granola were registered trademarks in the late 19th century United States for foods consisting of whole grain products crumbled and then baked until crisp, in contrast to the, at that time (about 1900), contemporary invention, muesli, which is traditionally neither baked nor sweetened.

Granula was invented in Dansville, New York by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium in 1863.

 Granula was composed of Graham flour and was similar to an oversized form of Grape-Nuts.

Nutritional Benefits 

Granola is calorie-dense, as well as rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. In particular, it may provide iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

However, its nutritional profile varies widely depending on the specific ingredients used.

 

Nutrients ½ cup of kellogs low fat granola (50g) ½ cup of gyspy crunch low fat granola (50g)
Calories 195 260
protein 4.4g 7g
fat 2.9g 13g
carbs 40.5g 28g
fibre 3.5g 4g
sugar 14.2g 12g

 

The table clearly gives a comparison between two brands of granola and shows how Certain brands may have more calories, protein, fiber, fat, or sugar than others.

Benefits of granola

Although there’s little scientific research on granola itself, common ingredients, including oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, and almonds, are linked to numerous health benefits.

Filling and high in fiber

Most granola is rich in protein and fiber, which both contribute to fullness.

Protein even influences levels of important fullness hormones like ghrelin and GLP-1 ( The main actions of GLP-1 are to stimulate insulin secretion (i.e., to act as an incretin hormone) and to inhibit glucagon secretion, thereby contributing to limit postprandial glucose excursions. It also inhibits gastrointestinal motility and secretion and thus acts as an enterogastrone and part of the “ileal brake” mechanism)

High-protein ingredients in granola may include nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, and seeds like hemp, pumpkin, and sesame.

Additionally, high-fiber foods like oats, nuts, and seeds slow down the emptying of your stomach and increase digestion time, which can help you feel fuller for longer — and may aid appetite control.

Other potential health benefits

Granola may also:

Improve blood pressure. High-fiber ingredients like oats and flax seeds have been shown to help in the management of high blood pressure 

Reduce cholesterol levels. Oats are a good source of beta glucan, a type of fiber that works to reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, two risk factors for heart disease 

Reduce blood sugar. Whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds may help manage and control blood sugar levels, particularly in people with obesity or prediabetes 

Improve gut health. Granola has been found to increase levels of healthy gut bacteria, compared with refined breakfast cereals

Provide many antioxidants. Ingredients such as coconut, chia seeds, and Brazil nuts are good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants like gallic acid, quercetin, selenium, and vitamin E

Downsides of granola

Although granola contains several healthy ingredients, it can be high in calories and packed with added fats and sugars.

Fats like vegetable oil, coconut oil, and nut butters are often included to help bind the ingredients, add flavor, and aid in the toasting process.

However, these can supply excess calories. Eating more than the specified portion may lead to unwanted weight gain, increasing your risk of obesity and metabolic disease.Additionally, its ideal to limit your sugar intake to 10% of your total daily calories, which equates to about 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar for someone following a 2,000-calorie diet .Some granolas might contain nearly 4 teaspoons (17 grams) of sugar in a single serving. Because it’s common to eat more than the standard serving size, you could be getting a substantial amount of sugar in just one bowl.

It is important to watch out for ingredients like chocolate chips, honey, and dried fruit with added sugar.

SUMMARY

Granola may prompt weight gain if eaten in excess, as it can be high in calories from added fats and sugars. What’s more, sugar is linked to chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

How to choose a healthy granola

Because ingredients vary widely by brand, it’s important to read nutrition labels carefully when shopping for granola.

Check the ingredient list, avoiding products that list sugar or sweeteners —including natural sweeteners like honey — within the first few ingredients.

Instead, the first few ingredients should be whole foods, such as oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

You may also want to look for varieties high in protein and fiber. Aim for at least 3–5 grams of fiber per serving 

What’s more, you should carefully consider serving sizes, which vary from 2 tablespoons (12.5 grams) to 2/3 cup (67 grams). Particularly small serving sizes can be misleading, as you’re likely to consume more than that amount.

Finally, you can make granola yourself to minimize or eliminate added sugar and fat. However, remember that nuts and seed are still calorie-dense, so be sure to watch your portions even for homemade varieties.

The bottom line 

Granola is a nutritious, filling cereal.

However, many varieties are high in calories and packed with excess sugar, which can harm your health.

Be sure to carefully read labels, choosing products with whole ingredients — like raisins, seeds, and nuts — that are high in protein and fiber.

No one should deceive you into using it as a super food to aid weight loss or cure diabetes or other non communicable diseases.

Sources: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17928588/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-granola-healthy#Meal-Prep:-Everyday-Breakfast

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granola

 

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General Research

BEANS: TYPES. BENEFITS AND RECIPE

 

Back in college years, a senior would take his guitar and always sing “i love beans, i love beans oh” and we’d look at him in awe with questions like- same beans that makes anyone purge, and even gives heartburn to some?

Oh well, but really, those tiny little seeds called beans are quite nutritious and serve a great deal of health benefits to its consumer. 

Let’s take a little survey on some types of beans, shall we? 

 

 

  1. BLACK BEANS 

 

      ” The black turtle bean is a small, shiny variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) especially popular in Latin American cuisine, though it can also be found in the Cajun and Creole cuisines of south Louisiana”. Like all varieties of the common bean, it is native to the Americas[2], but has been introduced around the world. It is also used in Indian cuisine, Tamil cuisine, where it is known as karuppu kaaramani and in Maharashtrian cuisine, where it is known as Kala Ghevada.

Virtually 70% of the calories contained in black beans are from carbohydrates, and most of these carbs are in the form of starch. Interestingly, this starch is the “resistant starch” which doesn’t digest easily and passes through our upper digestive system without being broken down into simple sugars. So there is no fear of an increase in blood sugar.

 

NUTRITION 

According to the National Nutrient Database one-half cup (86g) of cooked black beans contains approximately:

Energy: 114 kilocalories

Protein: 7.62 g

Fat: 0.46 g

Carbohydrate: 20.39 g

Fiber: 7.5 g                                                         

Sugars: 0.28 g

Calcium: 23 milligrams (mg)

Iron: 1.81 mg

Magnesium: 60 mg

Phosphorus: 120 mg

Potassium: 305 mg

Sodium: 1 mg

Zinc: 0.96 mg

Thiamin: 0.21 mg

Niacin: 0.434 mg

Folate: 128 msg

Vitamin K: 2.8 mg

Like other legumes, Black beans also offer a variety of phytonutrients like saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and quercetin, all of which possess antioxidant properties.

 

RECIPES 

  • Make a hearty black bean soup by blending cooked black beans with onions, tomatoes, and your favorite spices
  • Add black beans to burritos
  • Blend cooked black beans with garlic, onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice for a quick and easy bean dip
  • Mix black beans, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, and salsa together for a simple taco salad.   Try these healthy recipes using black beans:
  • Black bean burgers with chipotle mango guacamole
  • Poblano chilaquiles
  • Veggie fajitas
  • Healthy two-grain southwest salad
  • Heart-healthy chipotle chili

 

 

2.  BLACK EYED PEA (COWPEA)

 

Commonly referred to as white beans or iron beans by Nigerians, Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics covering Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States, and Central and South America. It originated and was domesticated in Southern Africa and was later moved to East and West Africa and Asia.

The grains contain 25% protein and several vitamins and minerals. The plant tolerates drought, performs well in a wide variety of soils, and being a legume replenishes low fertility soils when the roots are left to decay.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (170 grams) of cooked black-eyed peas contains the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):

Calories: 194

Protein: 13 grams

Fat: 0.9 grams

Carbs: 35 grams

Fiber: 11 grams

Folate: 88% of the DV

Copper: 50% of the DV

Thiamine: 28% of the DV

Iron: 23% of the DV

Phosphorus: 21% of the DV

Magnesium: 21% of the DV

Zinc: 20% of the DV

Potassium: 10% of the DV

Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV

Selenium: 8% of the DV

Riboflavin: 7% of the DV

 

RECIPES 

  • Could be cooked alongside palm oil, fish and vegetable
  • Could be blended then fried and used to make akara (beans cake) or blended and boiled in nylon or bowls and used to make moi moi (beans pudding). You can go totally local by adding pap, oats, or bread to this recipe. Yummy! 

In addition to the nutrients listed above, black-eyed peas are high in polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body to prevent cell damage and protect against disease.

 

 

3. CANNELLINI BEANS 

 

Cannellini beans are a type of kidney bean known for their large size and creamy white hue. They’re especially popular in Italian fare, particularly in Tuscany, and have a subtle nutty flavor. When cooked, they take on a pleasant, almost fluffy texture.

“Cannellini beans can be substituted for other, similar white beans. Whether you’re trying to eat more plant-based protein or you just enjoy their taste and texture, cannellini beans are an excellent healthy choice”.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup of cannellini beans, boiled and cooked without salt, contains 

  • calories- 225kcals
  • protein- 15.4g, 
  • fat-0.9g 
  • carbohydrates-40.4g 
  •  sugar-0.6g 

Cannellini beans contain a wealth of B vitamins, including B12. They also provide iron, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals.

 

RECIPES

Beans: 

  • 1.5cups: dry cannellini beans, soaked in water 8 hours overnight 
  • 1.5 cups garlic, coarsely chopped 3 cloves fine sea salt 
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 tbsp onion, finely diced 1 garlic, minced 3 cloves diced tomatoes
  •  1-28oz can dry white wine
  •  1/2 cup dried dill 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp feta cheese,
  •  crumbled 6oz salt and pepper to taste                   
  •   Dill Oil: fresh dill, 
  • loosely packed 1 cup lemon zested and juiced
  •  1 extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup 
  • sea salt 1/4 tsp

Direction

Prep Time: 25 minutes   Cook Time: 90 minutes   Yield: 6 servings

For the tomato baked beans:

  1. Add soaked beans and 4 cups of water to a large pot over high heat. Add chopped garlic and fine sea salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

        2.While the beans are cooking, make the tomato sauce: Add olive oil to an oven-safe enamel pot over medium-              high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add                  canned tomatoes (including juice), wine, and dried herbs. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 10-            15 minutes, until slightly thickened and saucy.

        3.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the beans are cooked, drain and add them to the pot with                 the tomato sauce. Toss to combine the beans and sauce. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the surface of                     beans, and then place the pot in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until feta crumbles are melted and            sauce is bubbling.

Allow to cool, and serve with a drizzle with lemony dill oil (recipe below) and some crusty, whole grain bread. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

For the lemony dill oil:

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until a thin pesto-like texture has been achieved. Drizzle over beans upon serving.

 

4. FAVA BEANS 

 

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are one of the oldest cultivated crops. Unlike other beans, fava beans are eaten when they’re still young—additionally, immature pods and leaves are edible as long as you don’t suffer from favism. They’re popular in soups, steamed inside their pods, mashed, and fried.

 

NUTRITION 

Raw mature fava beans are

  •  11% water, 
  • 58% carbohydrates, 
  • 26% protein, and 
  • 2% fat
  •  341 calories 
  • Folate (106% DV) and dietary minerals, such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and
  •  iron (range of DV 52 to 77%), have considerable content (table).
  •  B vitamins have moderate to rich content (19 to 48% DV).

 

RECIPE 

Fava bean salad with fennel and radish.

  • 1 cup of shelled fava beans 
  • 1.5 tbsps of fresh lemon juice 
  • 1.5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper 
  • ⅛ tsp salt 
  • 2 cups of thinly sliced fennel bulb 
  • 2 cups of arugula leaves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced radish 
  • ¼ cup walnuts toasted and chopped 
  • 1.5 ounces singing brook. 

Directions 

Step 1

Remove shells from beans. Place beans in a large pot of boiling water; cook for 20 seconds. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain well. Remove and discard tough outer skins from beans.

Step 2

Combine juice, oil, pepper, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beans, fennel, and arugula; toss to coat. Place about 3/4 cup fennel mixture on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle evenly with radish, walnuts, and cheese.

 

 

5.  LIMA BEANS 

 

Also known as butter beans, lima beans are native to Central and South America—in fact, Lima, Peru, is their namesake. Lima beans are usually seen in dishes such as succotash, or simply boiled with a salty piece of meat. They’re particularly high in potassium, and like other legumes, can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

The pod of the lima bean is flat, oblong and slightly curved, averaging about three inches in length. Within the pod are the two to four flat kidney-shaped seeds that we call lima beans. The seeds are generally cream or green in color, although certain varieties feature colors such as white, red, purple, brown or black.

 

NUTRITION 

According to USDA, ½ cup of Lima beans contains: 

  • Calories: 88
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 6.2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15.7g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 5.3g

Lima beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them.

 

RECIPE 

Rosemary Olive Oil White Bean Dip

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Direction 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and going together 
  2. Serve with raw vegetables or whole grain crackers. 

 

6.GARBANZO BEANS 

Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans, are, of course, the building blocks of Mediterannean and Middle Eastern staples such as hummus and falafel. They were first cultivated in the Middle East around 7,500 years ago, and have remained popular for their versatility and high protein levels. They’re a well-known meat substitute, and they can also be roasted, eaten cold, or ground into flour and baked.

 

NUTRITION 

Serving Size 100 g

Calories 378

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 6g                                         8 %

Saturated Fat 0.6g                             3 %

Sodium 24mg                                         1 %

Total Carbohydrate 63g                     23 %

 Dietary Fiber.        12g                        43 %

Sugar                      11g

Protein                    20g                        40 %

Vitamin D              0.00mcg                 0 %

Calcium                  57.00mg                 4 %

Iron                          4.31mg                 24 %

Potassium              718mg                   15 %

 

Chickpeas contain a soluble fiber called raffinose, a type of oligosaccharide that is fermented in the colon by beneficial bacteria called Bifidobacterium. As bacteria break down this fiber, a short chain fatty acid called butyrate is produced. Butyrate plays a role in reducing inflammation in the cell wall of the colon, promoting regularity in the intestines, and possibly preventing colorectal cancer by promoting cell apoptosis (death).

 

RECIPE 

Chickpea meatballs with crunchy romaine salad 

  • 3 cups torn romaine lettuce (about 3 oz.) 
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber 
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes (about 5 oz.)
  •  1/3 cup slivered red onion 3 garlic cloves, 
  • divided 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), 
  • divided 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 
  • divided 1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt, 
  • divided 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, 
  • drained 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1 large egg

 

Direction 

Step 1

Combine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion; set aside.

Step 2

Grate 1 garlic clove. Whisk together lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, pepper, grated garlic, 3 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3/8 teaspoon salt; set dressing aside.

Step 3

Chop the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Process chickpeas in a food processor until almost ground, about 15 seconds. Add panko, cumin, paprika, chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons tahini, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until almost smooth, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add egg; pulse just until combined, 5 to 6 times. Shape mixture into 20 balls (about 1 slightly heaping tablespoon each).

Step 4

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add chickpea balls to the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and crisp on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve chickpea balls with salad; drizzle with tahini dressing. Serve immediately.

 

7.GREAT NORTHERN BEANS 

Great northern beans are a variety of white beans known for their creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re popular in soups, stews, and casseroles, as they retain moisture well, and can maintain their shape after boiling.

 

NUTRITION 

NUTRITION

Serving Size: 1/2 cup (130g)

Calories 90

%DV*

Total Fat 0g 0%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Trans Fat 0g -%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 460mg 19%

Potassium 280mg 8%

Carbohydrate.  17g 6%

Dietary Fiber 6g 24%

Protein 6g

Sugars 0g

Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 6%

Iron             8%

 

RECIPE 

White beans and  collard greens soup 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  •  3 garlic cloves, 
  • minced 1/2 cup pinot grigio or other light white wine 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  4 cups finely shredded collard greens (about 6 ounces) 
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme 
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

 

Direction 

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add greens, thyme, and broth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until the greens are tender. Add beans; simmer for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

 

8. KIDNEY BEANS 

kidney beans can be white, light, or speckled, and they aren’t the same thing as red beans (More on that later). Kidney beans are best known for their appearances in chili or alongside rice, Cajun-style.

 

NUTRITION

 (per 100g or 3.5 ounces)

Calories: 127

Water: 67%

Protein: 8.7 grams

Carbs: 22.8 grams

Sugar: 0.3 grams

Fiber: 6.4 grams

Fat: 0.5 grams

 

Apart from its ability to provide slow burning complex carbohydrates, kidney beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with kidney beans is a good idea—especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, kidney beans are low in calories and virtually fat-free. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And remember: If you’re pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

 

RECIPE 

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2-in.)
  •  1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  •  1 tablespoon ginger
  •  1 teaspoon fennel
  •  1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 3 green cardamom pods, cracked open 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  •  1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  •  1/2 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 can (14.5-oz.) whole peeled plum tomatoes, without juice
  •  1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced About
  •  1 tsp. salt 
  • 6 cups cooked red kidney beans (about four 14-oz. cans), rinsed and drained 
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2- to 1-in. florets 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped 
  • 6 to 8 cups hot cooked brown rice

Direction 

Step 1

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 4- to 5-qt. pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in cinnamon, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, fennel, cumin, and cardamom and fry, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cayenne, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala and fry, stirring, 1 minute. Shred tomatoes into a pot with your fingers. Stir in serrano chile, salt, kidney beans, cauliflower, and 1 1/2 cups water. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and liquid has thickened into a velvety-looking sauce (add more water if necessary).

Step 2

Season beans with salt. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve hot over brown rice, with plain yogurt on the side if you like.

Step 3

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving of curry.

 

9.LENTILS 

Another ancient legume, lentils are native to Central and West Asia but popular around the world. They work excellently in soups and stews, such as dal, but they can also be fried, baked, stuffed into breads, or ground into flour. Like other beans, lentils are nutritionally rich, particularly when it comes to protein, folate, thiamine, and iron.

 

NUTRITION (1 cup- 198g)

Calories: 230

Carbs: 39.9 grams

Protein: 17.9 grams

Fat: 0.8 grams

Fiber: 15.6 grams

Thiamine: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Niacin: 10% of the RDI

Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI

Folate: 90% of the RDI

Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI

Iron: 37% of the RDI

Magnesium: 18% of the RDI

Phosphorous: 36% of the RDI

Potassium: 21% of the RDI

Zinc: 17% of the RDI

Copper: 25% of the RDI

Manganese: 49% of the RDI

 

RECIPES

Lentil cake with mint yoghurt 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 
  • divided 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  •  1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 large eggs 1 (17.6-oz.) pkg. 
  • steamed brown lentils (such as Melissa’s)
  •  2 cups packed baby arugula
  •  2 cups packed baby spinach
  •  3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  •  3 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios

Direction

Step 1

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Place onion mixture, oats, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, eggs, and lentils in a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times. Shape mixture into 12 patties.

Step 2

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a pan over medium-high. Add 6 patties to the pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan. Repeat with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining 6 patties.

Step 3

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula and spinach; toss.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, yogurt, juice, and mint in a bowl. Divide arugula mixture among 4 plates; top each serving with 3 patties and 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Sprinkle evenly with pistachios.

 

10.LIMA BEANS 

Also known as butter beans, lima beans are native to Central and South America—in fact, Lima, Peru, is their namesake. Lima beans are usually seen in dishes such as succotash, or simply boiled with a salty piece of meat. They’re particularly high in potassium, and like other legumes, can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

 

NUTRITION 

Serving Size

1 cup (170g)

Calories 209

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 0.5g             1%

Saturated Fat 0.1g 1%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 28.9mg 1%

Total Carbohydrate 40.2g 13%

Dietary Fiber 9.2g             37%

Total Sugars 2.8g               6%

~ No added sugar data collected ~

Protein 11.6g                         23%

Vitamin C 17.2mg             19%

Vitamin D 0mcg               0%

Iron 4.2mg                         23%

Calcium 54.4mg               4%

Potassium 969mg             21%

Phosphorus 221mg 18%

 

RECIPE 

Smoky turkey and sweet potato chili 

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  •  1 cup Mexican beer 
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 medium-size green bell peppers, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 (8-oz.) package dried lima beans l large onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 5 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock 
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch peeled sweet potato cubes 
  • Garnishes: green onions, cilantro, sweet mini pepper slices

Direction 

Step 1

Season turkey with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté turkey in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer mixture to a 6-qt. slow cooker.

Step 2

Add tomato paste to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds. Add beer, and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced by half; stir into turkey mixture. Add beans and next 8 ingredients; stir in stock. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours. Stir in sweet potatoes; cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

 

11.NAVY BEANS 

Navy beans (haricot beans ) , the legume of choice for baked beans, are a type of white bean native to (and domesticated in) the Americas. Unfortunately, navy beans don’t get their name from their color. Rather, they were frequently served to soldiers in the U.S. Navy. You’ll mostly see them in baked beans, but they’re also popular soup beans.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (182 grams) of cooked navy beans contains roughly (43):

Calories: 255

Protein: 15.0 grams

Fiber: 19.1 grams

Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the RDI

Manganese: 48% of the RDI

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 29% of the RDI

Magnesium: 24% of the RDI

Iron: 24% of the RDI

 

RECIPE 

Navy bean soup

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups dried navy beans (about 1 pound) 
  • 6 cups warm water 
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled 3 whole cloves
  •  2/3 cup chopped celery
  •  3 thyme sprigs 
  • 3 parsley sprigs 
  • 3 smoked ham hocks (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  3 cups chopped kale
  •  2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
  •  1 1/2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion 
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced carrot 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Direction 

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans; rinse and drain.

Step 2

Return beans to pan; cover with 6 cups warm water. Stud whole onion with cloves; place in pan. Add celery, thyme, parsley sprigs, ham hocks, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 3

Discard onion, thyme, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf. Remove ham hocks from pan; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; finely chop to yield 1/3 cup meat. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Add meat, kale, potato, chopped onion, carrot, salt, and pepper to pan; stir well. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until beans and vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley.

12.PINTO BEANS 

These brown, speckled beans are one of the most popular varieties around, especially in the Americas. They’re usually eaten whole, in a situation like a soup or chili, but they’re also popular mashed and then refried. Pinto beans are especially high in protein, manganese, fiber, and folate, and eating them can lower cholesterol, according to the American Society of Nutrition.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (171 grams) of cooked pinto beans contains roughly (40):

Calories: 245

Protein: 15.4 grams

Fiber: 15.4 grams

Folate (vitamin B9): 74% of the RDI

Manganese: 39% of the RDI

Copper: 29% of the RDI

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI

 

RECIPE 

Cheesy, smoky pinto beans 

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and divided 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 1/2 cup)

Direction. 

Place half of beans in a bowl; coarsely mash with a fork. Place mashed beans, remaining half of beans, chicken stock, paprika, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 ounce cheese until melted. Divide bean mixture among 4 plates; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese.

 

13.RED BEANS 

Dude sure looks like kidney beans, but if you take a closer look, its shorter in size. Also known as adzuki beans, they are a type of mung bean (green gram, maash or moong). In East Asia, where they were cultivated, red beans are often sweetened and incorporated into desserts (Pastries stuffed with red bean paste, for example), but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in savory dishes just as well. 

 

NUTRITION 

For a Serving Size of 0.25 cup (50g)

Calories 170 Calories from Fat 4.5 (2.6%)

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 0.5g

Sodium 10mg           1%

Carbohydrates 30g

Net carbs 27g

Fiber 3g           12%

Protein 12g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A 0μg             0%

Vitamin C 3.6mg 7%

Calcium 80mg             8%

Iron 2mg           25%

 

RECIPE 

Vegetarian red beans and rice 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried red beans 
  • 3/4 pound frozen meatless smoked sausage, thawed and thinly sliced
  •  3 celery ribs, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning Hot cooked long-grain rice Hot sauce (optional) 
  • Garnish: finely chopped green onions, finely chopped

Direction

Step 1

Combine first 8 ingredients and 7 cups of water in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender.

Step 2

Serve red bean mixture with hot cooked rice, and, if desired, hot sauce. Garnish, if desired.

 

14.SOYBEAN

Soybeans might just be the most versatile bean out there: Just ask tofu, soy milk, soy meal, soy flour, miso, and liquid amino. Originating in East Asia, soybean cultivation predates written records, putting the protein-packed beans up there with garbanzo beans and lentils. That protein content makes them popular meat and dairy substitutes, but soybeans are also great on their own.

 

NUTRITION 

One cup (172 grams) of cooked soybeans contains roughly (34):

Calories: 298

Protein: 28.6 grams

Fiber: 10.3 grams

Manganese: 71% of the RDI

Iron: 49% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 42% of the RDI

Vitamin K: 41% of the RDI

Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 29% of the RDI

Folate (vitamin B9): 23% of the RDI

The amino acid composition of soybean protein complements that of cereals. Also, the high biological value of soy proteins increases their value as feedstuff.

Trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors in flours lower protein digestibility. However, despite demonstrated growth inhibition in animals, due to antinutrients, methionine supplementation in infants is useful only when dietary protein intake is marginal. 

 

RECIPE 

Spicy yellow soybean, lentil and carrot curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 1/3 cups finely chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  •  4 cups vegetable broth, divided 
  • 2 cups finely chopped carrot 
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup dried small red lentils
  •  1 (15-ounce) can yellow soybeans, rinsed and drained
  •  1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 6 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Directions 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry paste; cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth, carrot, ginger, red pepper, and garlic; cook for 6 minutes or until carrot is tender, stirring occasionally. Add 3 1/2 cups broth, lentils, and soybeans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Divide evenly among 6 bowls; dollop with yogurt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Beans contain a variety of nutrients and fibers with potential anticancer effects.

Fibers, such as resistant starch and alpha-galactosides, pass undigested down to your colon, where they’re fermented by friendly bacteria, resulting in the formation of Short chain fatty acids.

Short chain fatty acids like butyrate may improve colon health and lower your risk of colon cancer.

 

CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER 

Beans is inarguably one healthy food filled with loads of goodness, fibre, phytochemicals and other nutrients.

Could be used in different cuisines and for different purposes.

But one thing is very obvious from this write up and that is the fact that out of 14 different species of beans, all of them have a higher amount of carbohydrate than protein.

 

SO?

No one should talk you into eating just beans because you are battling with spikes in your blood glucose.

Remember the incidence of flatulence that comes with eating beans, enjoy the new recipes.

 

Sources: https://www.myrecipes.com/ingredients/types-of-beans

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-beans-legumes

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52

 

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General Research

PINEAPPLE: FORBIDDEN APPLE IN PREGNANCY?

 

The happiest moments in a family and couple’s life is that period when the wife is heavy with child. Everyone is expectant, and also,everyone has one advice to give; especially dietary. 

One of those many advice is the intake of pineapples during pregnancy;so many claims that pineapple contains ‘bromelain’ ( a protein digesting enzyme), which poses a threat of  miscarriage or induces premature labour on the woman. 

BROMELAIN 

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme mixture derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant. It has a centuries-long history of being used to treat medical ailments, primarily throughout Central and South America.

It is currently categorized as a dietary supplement, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bromelain may be used alone or in conjunction with other medications. People use bromelain topically, to remove dead skin from burns, and orally, to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages.

Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid, for osteoarthritis, and to reduce soreness in aching muscles.

Potential health benefits

Bromelain and its potential health benefits have been studied extensively in multiple areas. These include:

1. Osteoarthritis 

Clinical studies found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective treatment for the pain, soft-tissue swelling, and joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.

The review focused on bromelain’s effectiveness in treating arthritis of the knee and shoulder. The studies analyzed varied significantly in terms of dosage. Improvements were found in some study participants given 400 milligrams of bromelain, two times daily.

 

2. Cardiovascular disease

A source  reported that bromelain was effective at treating cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

Bromelain inhibits the ability of blood platelets to stick or clump together (aggregation). This may help reduce clot formation and cardiovascular events.

3. Asthma

The results of an animal study indicated that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory effects might be beneficial to people with asthma or other forms of allergic airway disease.

4. Chronic sinusitis (chronic rhinosinusitis)

A pilot study found that bromelain tablets were effective at alleviating swelling, congestion, and other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. Study participants were given bromelain daily for a 3-month period.

5. Colitis

An animal study found that purified fruit bromelain reduced inflammation and healed mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease in rats.

6. Burns

A study review found that bromelain, when used as a topical cream, was highly effective at safely removing damaged tissue from wounds and from second- and third-degree burns.

7. Cancer

A 2010 study  indicated that bromelain shows promise in combating cancer. Bromelain may have the ability to positively impact cancer cell growth, and it may help to control the key pathways supporting malignancy.

 

NUTRITION 

Positive nutritional effects have been shown in bedridden, tube-fed, nursing home patients who received a supplementary digestive aid containing bromelain plus an extract of Aspergillus niger. Total protein concentration improved significantly with the supplement (P < 0.02), which was reversed after withdrawal.

 

DOSAGE 

Two slices of pineapple contain approximately 100 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), approximately the recommended daily adult intake. Commercially available bromelain supplements contain predominantly stem bromelain, as compared with fruit bromelain.

The usual dosage of bromelain is 40 mg 3 or 4 times daily. However, because bromelain is regarded as being relatively nontoxic, doses of up to 2,000 mg/day have been used.Most commercial products contain bromelain 500 mg; manufacturers suggest a dosage regimen of 500 to 1,000 mg daily.

 

PREGNANCY 

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Clinical evidence to support the traditional use of pineapple as an emmenagogue and abortifacient is limited. Previously, bromelain/trypsin (as Kimotab) was investigated for use in breast engorgement during lactation.

A cup or two of pineapple juice per week won’t do any harm to mother or foetus, rather it supplies a lot of benefits as: 

  • 2 slices of pineapple contains about 100mg of vitamin C which is a bit above the daily value for pregnant women (85mg/day). Vitamin c helps repair and prevent cell damage by warding off free radicals. 
  • Contains manganese which helps build strong bones and connective tissues 
  • Might be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post menopausal women

 

HEALTH RISKS

Because pineapples contain a whole lot of vitamin c, overconsumption may lead to diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and heartburn for some people. 

Additionally, extremely high amounts of bromelain can cause skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Bromelain can also interact with some medications. Those taking antibiotics, anticoagulants, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, insomnia drugs and tricyclic antidepressants should be careful not to eat too much pineapple.  

 

SOURCES: https://www.drugs.com/npp/pineapple.html

https://www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/bromelain#health-benefits

 

 

 

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General Research

ADRENAL FATIGUE: What it really is

OVERVIEW

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of nonspecific symptoms ranging from body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and some digestive problems. These complaints somewhat mimic signs of adrenal diseases, syndromes and medical conditions.

Proponents always paint adrenal fatigue as a mild form of adrenal dysfunction, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis. 

According to Mayo clinic, adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests and special stimulation tests that show inadequate levels of adrenal hormones. 

The unproven theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.

Most frustrating situation ever is having signs and symptoms wrongly diagnosed by unqualified practitioners. 

Unproven remedies for so-called adrenal fatigue may leave you feeling sicker, while the real cause — such as depression or fibromyalgia — continues to take its toll.

 

THE CONCEPT OF ADRENAL FATIGUE

Symptoms associated with ‘adrenal fatigue’ include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure and lightheadedness, darkening of the skin, loss of body hair, body aches, hormone imbalance, poor digestion, insomnia, sleep disorders, lowered immune system, inability to cope with stress and loss of concentration. 

According to a systemic review of adrenal fatigue literature, published in the journal of BMC Endocrine Disorders, with 58 analysed studies, testing used in most studies included direct awakening cortisol, cortisol awakening response and salivary cortisol rhythm.

Researchers found conflicting results and concluded there is no firm evidence that the condition exists. 

It is very important to note and understand the difference between adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue, sometimes, the symptoms seem to overlap and look alike. People with adrenal insufficiency often experience joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dry skin asides fatigue.Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed by a physician through ACTH Simulation and Insulin-Insulin Hypoglycemia tests.  

OTHER POTENTIAL EXPLANATIONS: 

These might include thr belief that the hallmark symptom of adrenal fatigue, which is fatigue may just be related to other diseases or presence of long term stress factors. For example, conditions that might mimic symptoms of AF include anaemia,  thyroid disease, growth hormone deficiency, depression, fibromyalgia, menopause etc.

It is adviceable that registered dietitians explore symptoms, medical history and lifestyle factors during nutrition assessment of a patient inquiring about adrenal fatigue. 

PROPOSED INTERVENTION: 

This includes moderate exercise, an adequate diet that supports adequate blood sugar regulation (diets rich in pulses, whole wheat, complex carbohydrates and protein (both plant and animal sources), adequate sleep, stress relief and management techniques.

Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is adviceable as they can trigger the production of cortisol which could cause a spike in insulin production and increase stress levels.

ADRENAL CONDITIONS:

There are so many conditions related to the adrenal glands, but to mention a few important ones, we have: 

  1. Addisons disease: primary adrenal insufficiency caused by insufficient steroid hormone production despite adequate adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. Low ACTH hormone levels are caused by a problem associated with the pituitary gland and are considered secondary adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms include low blood pressure, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dysregulation of blood glucose, darkening of skin. 
  2. Adrenal insufficiency: this happens when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol; symptoms include fatigue and muscle weakness.
  3. Adrenal crisis: is caused by chronic adrenal insufficiency, addisons disease, tumors and severe sepsis. Symptoms include abdominal pains, confusion or loss of consciousness, loss of appetitie, dehydration.
  4. Cushings syndrome: this occurs when there is excessive levels of cortisol in the blood stream as a result of exogenous or endogenous factors. 

           Exogenous: steroids

           Endogenous: adrenal or pituitary gland 

tumour.

           Symptoms include weight gain, depression, 

           mucle loss. 

  1. Primary hyperaldosteronism: occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone aldosterone (causing hypertension and low blood potassium levels), it can be caused by hyperactivity in one or both adrenal glands or sometimes related to an adrenal tumour.

Symptoms include high blood pressure, heartache, fatigue, low potassium levels and numbness.

Notice how fatigue is a symptom of all adrenal conditions? Stress management techniques should be learned and maintained by all and sundry to avoid stories that touches.

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General Research

Postprandrial somnolence

Most times we feel drowsy after eating some foods. This might occur as a result digestion patterns and sleep cycles. Some researchers has come up with theories as to why this happens; but they still agree it’s a natural response and not a cause for alarm.
Drowsiness after eating is due to an increase in energy levels which could be termed ‘postprandrial somnolence’.
Postprandial somnolence (colloquially known as the itis food coma, after dinner dip, or postprandial sleep) is a normal state of drowsiness following a meal (regardless of the time of the meal). Postprandial somnolence has two components: a general state of low energy related to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in response to mass in the gastrointestinal tract, and a specific state of sleepiness. While there are numerous theories surrounding this behavior, such as decreased blood flow to the brain, neurohormonal modulation of sleep through digestive coupled signaling, or vagal stimulation, very few have been explicitly tested.
Physiology
Insulin, large neutral amino acids, and tryptophan
When foods with a high glycemic index are consumed, the carbohydrates in the food are more easily digested than low glycemic index foods. Hence, more glucose is available for absorption; and the more the glucose, the more the amount off insulin for absorption. Insulin stimulates the uptake of valine, leucine, and isoleucine into skeletal muscles, but not uptake of tryptophan. This however, lowers the ratio of these branched chain amino acids in the bloodstream relative to tryptophan (an aromatic amino acid), making tryptophan preferentially available to the large neutral amino acid transporter at the blood–brain barrier. Uptake of tryptophan by the brain thus increases. In the brain, tryptophan is converted to serotonin (the hormone responsible for moods and sleep cycles) which is then converted to melatonin. Increased brain serotonin and melatonin levels result in sleepiness.

Insulin-induced hypokalemia
Insulin also can cause postprandial somnolence via another mechanism. Insulin increases the activity of Na/K ATPase, causing increased movement of potassium into cells from the extracellular fluid. The large movement of potassium from the extracellular fluid can lead to a mild hypokalemic state. The effects of hypokalemia can include fatigue, muscle weakness, or paralysis.

Some health experts also suggests that food coma could be caused by a slight shift in blood flow away from the brain to the digestive organs. Eating helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
The PNS regulates certain processes in your body like slowing the heart rate and regulating blood pressure and digestion. The PNS is triggered when the stomach expands from accommodating a large meal. As a result of this, blood flow is directed to the working digestive organs and less to the brain. This slight diversion may cause you to feel drowsy and fatigued.

Why do people feel tired after eating?
Apart from the physiology explained above, a person may feel tired after eating due to what, when and how much the person consumes per sitting.
A large meal would obviously lead to a rush of insulin to help in absorption and moving of glucose to cells where they are needed.
A person’s circadian rhythm might affect how they feel after eating; well, that doesn’t mean calories know time.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that people naturally have a lull in energy 2.am and again at 2pm which might explain why you have to take a nap after lunch. Meal timing are very essential.

Remedy?
• Small but frequent meals are preferable to very heavy meals.
• Quality sleep matters.
• Light exercise after eating would help. A walk would do.
• Avoid drinking alcohol with meals.
• Do more of fluids.

 

Sources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323379.php#seeing-a-doctor

 

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General Research

Prebiotics and probiotics: a little glimpse

There are bacteria present in our entire system, our guts especially and the largeness of a colony determines if our guts and us would he healthy. These bacteria could be helpful or harmful, but we would look more at the helpful ones.
In the light of that, we’d be seeing what prebiotics and probiotics are and how beneficial they are to our gut.

🔥 Prebiotics are non digestible part of foods like banana, garlic and onions which goes through the small intestine undigested and ferment when they reach the large intestine. This fermentation process helps in feeding beneficial bacteria colonies  and help increase the number of desirable bacteria in our digestive system that are associated with better health and reduced health risk.

🔥Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are created during the fermentation process of yoghurt, sauerkraut e.t.c.

There are two major beneficial bacteria present in our gut which are: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

Lactobacillus is present mainly in yoghurt and other fermentable products and helps with diarrhoea and people who are lactose intolerant.

Bifidobacterium also can be found in dairy products and helps to ease irritable bowel syndrome.
It helps to fight againts harmful bacteria, helps againts constipation and give immune system a boost.

To easily understand probiotics and prebiotics, you can call probiotics the ‘seed’ that is planted prebiotics is the water and fertilizer that helps it grow and thrive.

Additional benefits of both is that it could help prevent halitosis (bad breathe), enhancing mineral absorption especially vit B12(intrinsic factor).
Its important to note also that anaemia or nervous system damage could rise from the deficiency of vit B12, so its important to always add CARBS to your diet😏🙄.

Food sources: fibre rich containing foods, especially carbs 🤧🤧; they contain resistant starch which is fermentable and healthy for the gut, onion, garlic, asparagus, apple with skin, oat, wheat and bran bread, yohhurt , kefir, e.t.c.

Note: 90% of your feel good hormone(serotonin) is produced in your gut, so the healthier your gut, the happier you are😘😊😊.

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