SuperFood: Quinoa

I’d like to introduce one of my favourite and healthiest superfoods, Quinoa.

Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. It is loaded with protein, fiber and minerals, but doesn’t contain any gluten.

Quinoa  is actually not a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain, and has a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

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What Makes Quinoa Such a Superfood?

The carbs in quinoa consist mainly of starch, insoluble fibers and small amounts of sugars. Quinoa also contains some resistant starch, which escapes digestion and feeds the friendly gut bacteria.Quinoa is relatively high in protein compared to other grains, and provides all the essential amino acids. The protein is considered to be comparable to casein, a high-quality protein from dairy products. Also is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc.

 

What are the beneficts of Quinoa?

  • Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar levels and triglycerides. It has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels than other gluten-free foods. As a glutem-free foos is well accepted as an alternative to wheat, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.
  • Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including Quercetin and Kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits.
  • In many ways, quinoa has many qualities that make it a weight loss friendly food. It is high in protein and fiber, and has a relatively low glycemic index value.

But…

  • Quinoa is generally well tolerated, but it contains phytates and oxalates. They may reduce the absorption of minerals and contribute to kidney stone formation in some individuals. But these undesirable plant compounds can be eliminated with soaking, washing or roasting.

 

Main culinary uses of quinoa:

  • Quinoa grain – the grain cooks in around 15 minutes and when cooked, it reveals a small white tail (the germ of the kernel). It creates a light, fluffy side dish and it can also be added to soups, salads and baked goods.
  • Quinoa flour – with a tasty, nutty flavour, it may be used in gluten free baking.  This flour may also be used as a thickener in sauces, soups and other dishes, especially in cases where additional protein may be beneficial.
  • Quinoa flakes – are simply steam-rolled to create a quick cooking flake. Quinoa flakes can be used for a nutritious hot breakfast cereal, pancakes, waffles or smoothies. images (1)
  • Quinoa food products – quinoa is now appearing in a range of breads, breakfast cereal cereals, crackers, pasta and other grain-based foods.

 

What’s the Difference between White, Black, and Red Quinoa?

The seed colors vary due to a resinous coating of saponin on the outer shell. Pigmented quinoa grains are said to have a higher anti-oxidant capacity.  Darker seeds taste more like brown rice. While white seeds resemble white rice in taste.

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White quinoa

White quinoa has a very mild, subtle flavor. This pearly white grain is the most commonly available of all quinoa varieties.

Red Quinoa

Red quinoa color ranges from vivid orange to dark red. When it is cooked however, it turns brown and loses this bright coloring. Red quinoa has a marvelous earthy and fruity flavor.   There are higher levels of phenolic compounds found in red quinoa.

Black Quinoa

Black quinoa is a hybrid variety, and it has more of an earthy flavor than white quinoa and is ever so slightly sweeter.

All quinoa varieties.contain the same general benefits.

 

 

Superlunch For Healthy Hair

Many factors such as stressunderlying illnesses, genetic predisposition, and reactions from using hair care products can affect your hair. But the main factor is your diet.

Here’s a example of healthy lunch that help prevent hair loss and thinning hair. Enjoy!!

 

STARTER: Sauteed spinach with quinoa and nuts

Spinach

Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene and a great source of folate. It also contains iron which helps carry oxygen to the hair.

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Quinoa

This type of whole grain is extremely good for your hair. Loaded with protein, quinoa aids in strengthening hair strands. In fact, the protein extracted from this grain is used in high-quality hair products.

Plus, the vitamin E present in quinoa balances the production of natural oil so the scalp and hair stay properly moisturized and free of dandruff. Quinoa also has biotin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12 that are all vital for hair growth.

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Nuts

Almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts all contain zinc, which minimizes hair shedding. Walnuts also contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acid, which helps boost shine and fullness. Keep a small bag of nuts in your purse for a quick and easy snack… that leads to fab hair!

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More ideas…. Have a look at this blog, “COOKIE AND KATE“, I love it!! These are some examples of recipes with ingredients that help your hair:

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

 

MAIN COURSE: Pan-fried salmon with broccoli and sweet potato, and a hint of rosemary.

Salmon

Salmon is full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B-12. This means salmon will add shine, prevent dry scalp and improve hair growth.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins A and C, which help produce sebum. Sebum is the oily substance secreted by hair follicles and works like a natural hair conditioner. Plus, broccoli is rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids that are required for healthy hair growth.

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Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatos are rich in beta carotene. This antioxidant vitamin is converted to vitamin A once in the body. And vitamin A is necessary for cell growth, including your hair! A vitamin A deficiency often results in dull, dry skin… which then flakes off of your scalp as dandruff.

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Rosemary

Rosemary  is known to improve circulation, particularly to the scalp. When blood flows to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Rosemary also contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage.

 

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DESSERT: Yogurt with Fruit

Bright-colored fruit

Mango, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and peaches are all rich with vitamin C, an essential for making collagen that gives structure to hair.

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Lowfat Yogurt

Aside from the vitamins D and B-5 that dairy delivers, all that calcium plays a major role in hair growth. Low-fat yogurt contain casein and whey, both high in protein, which prevents dry scalp.

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Other foods your hair loves:

  • All green vegetables
  • Wild rice
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Hemp seeds
  • Tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame (young green soybeans)
  • Berries

SUPERSALAD TO FIGHT ANEMIA

Anemia is one of the most common disorders of blood. A person is said to have anemia when the number of red blood cells or the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood is low. Hemoglobin is a protein present inside the red blood cells and it helps in the transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. Women are more prone to anemia.

Superfoods To Fight Anemia:

A healthy diet is a prerequisite for any anemic patients. It is vital for you to include foods that are rich in Vitamin B12, folic acid and Vitamin C in your diet apart from most important ingredient iron.

The following is a salad recipe that will help you to get rid of anemia.

INGREDIENTS (2 Serves):

1/4 bag baby SPINACH leaves.

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Spinach is a very popular leafy vegetable that help in preventing anemia. It is a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A, B9, E and C, iron, fiber and beta carotene. It will help in improving the overall health of your body. It is found out that half a cup of boiled spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron and this accounts for about 20 percent of the iron requirement for a woman’s body.

 

1 raw BEETROOT (about 90g), peeled and julienned or grated.

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Beetroot is known to be very effective in fighting anemia. It is a vegetable that is filled with iron content. It will help in repairing and reactivating your red blood cells. Once the red blood cells are activated, the supply of oxygen to all parts of the body increases.

2 small TOMATOES (1 medium)

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Vitamin C is the main ingredient in tomatoes along with lycopene. The Vitamin C in tomatoes helps in easy absorption of iron. Tomatoes are also rich in beta carotene and Vitamins E and hence help in natural conditioning of the hair and skin.

1 hard-cooked large EGG, peeled and sliced.

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Eggs are a rich source of proteins and contain a lot of antioxidants that will help in stocking up vitamins in the body when you are suffering from anemia. A large egg is said to contain 1 mg of iron.
1/4 cup shelled lightly salted PISTACHIOS.

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Pistachio nuts are the best source of iron as it contains 15 mg of iron in 100 grams of nuts.

1 Apple And 10 Dates.

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Apple and dates are also known to help in boosting iron levels in the body. The apple contain Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb non heme-iron. Apple contains too 0.12 mg of iron per 100 grams. Dates also contain high quantities of iron and are very useful to fight anemia.

1 Tablespoon HONEY.

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Honey contains a good amount of iron. You will get about 0.42 mg of iron in 100 grams of honey. Moreover, honey also contains copper and magnesium that will help in increasing the hemoglobin in your body.

1 tablespoon BALSAMIC VINEGAR and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin OLIVE OIL.
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SALT & PEPPER to taste.

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Method:

  • Scatter the spinach leaves onto a large platter. Slice the beetroot into wedges and arrange on top of the spinach. Scatter over the sliced egg, tomatoes and choped dates.
  • Chop the pistachios and toast briefly in a dry frying pan over medium heat.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Peel the apples and cut into matchsticks. Mix everything together and place in the fridge to meld the flavours.

 

 

Kale, the king of all the super healthy greens

I’d like to introduce you one of the best vegetables in this world, Kale.

Kale is one of the healthiest plant foods in existence. Kale is also called borecole, is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either a smooth or curly shape.

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Kale is one of many nutritious cultivars of Bassica Oleracea, others include brocoli, cauliflower, collard, and Brussels sprouts.

What’s in a serving?? Cooked Kale (1 cup/ 130g)

  • Calories: 36 (152kJ)
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Total fat: 0.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.3g
  • Fiber: 2.6g

Kale contains more than twice the level of antioxidants contained in other leafy greens, which are themselves excellents sources. Kale includes beta-carotene, vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. But many substances that happen to be antioxidants also have other important functions. This includes the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large amounts in kale.

Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that has many important roles in the body, and Vitamin K, an important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting.

Kale contains substances that bind bile acids and lower cholesterol levels in the body, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Steamed kale is particularly effective.

But those are not the only beneficts of this vegetable, Kale is actually loaded with compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer. But also, is very high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A, and many important minerals, some of which are generally lacking in the modern diet. This includes calcium, potassium and magnesium. Kale is as well high in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that have been linked to a drastically reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Low in calories, full of nutrients and a exceptionally source of good benefits… Are you thinking in include Kale in your diet, aren’t you? 🙂

SEEDS

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds of the chia plant (Salvia hispanica).Chia seeds are small, flat and oval-shaped, with a shiny and smooth texture. The color can range from white to brown or black. They can be soaked in liquid and added to porridge, made into pudding, used in baked goods, smoothies or simply sprinkled on top of salads or yogurt. Soaking chia seeds before eating is optimal, but not necessary.

Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

Several studies have shown that chia seeds provide benefits for metabolic health, and reduce several risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. It contains many powerful antioxidants that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of many essential minerals, but a poor source of vitamins. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

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FLAXSEEDS

Flaxseeds (also known as common flax or linseed) come in two basic varieties: 1. brown; and 2. yellow or golden (also known as golden linseeds).Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called solin (trade name Linola), which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3 FAs. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and lignans (beneficial plant compounds), recent studies show flaxseeds may help reduce belly fat and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

Ground flaxseed – but not flaxseed oil – may also help with menopausal symptoms.

Flaxseed is being studied for many other conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes to osteoporosis. At this point, there is not enough evidence to support flaxseed for these conditions.

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SESAME SEEDS

Sesame seed is one of the first recorded seasonings. It grows widely in India and Asia. These tiny seeds come in shades of brown, red and black, but the most common color is a pale grayish-ivory. Sesame seeds have a nutty, sweet aroma with a milk-like, buttery taste.

These powerhouse seeds provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. Due to their antioxidants, a recent animal study showed sesame oil may help lower inflammation and improve brain health.

In addition, sesame seeds contain many health benefiting compounds such as sesamol and sesaminol, they are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the human body.

Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin.

The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

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PUMPKIN SEEDS

The pumpkin plant, along with its seeds, has been used in the traditional medicine of many countries, including India and Mexico. Pumpkin seeds promote good prostate health and offer anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Subtly sweet and nutty with a somewhat chewy texture, pumpkin seeds are lower in fat than other seeds and offer essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. Pumpkin seeds also contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which likely contribute to their known prostate and heart health benefits

Cucurbitin is an amino acid that has shown anti-parasitic activity in vitro. Human studies conducted in China have shown pumpkin seeds to be helpful for people with acute schistosomiasis, a severe parasitic disease occurring primarily in Asia and Africa that is transmitted through snails. Preliminary human research conducted in China and Russia has shown pumpkin seeds can assist with resolving tapeworm infestations.

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SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten as a healthy snack than as part of a meal. They can also be used as garnishes or ingredients in various recipes. The seeds may be sold as in-shell seeds or dehulled kernels. The seeds can also be sprouted and eaten in salads.

When in-shell seeds are processed, they are first dried. Afterwards, they may also be roasted or dusted with salt or flour for preservation of flavor.

Excellent source of protein, iron, folate, zinc, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. In fact, sunflower seeds are one of the best whole-food source of vitamin E, a nutrient that may slow the effects of aging, boosts the immune system, and prevents cardiovascular disease. They are also packed with four times more antioxidants than blueberries, walnuts, and peanuts, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

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HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds are produced from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa L. While hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family, the two plants are quite different

Hempseed has an excellent content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and contain all nine essential amino acids. These compounds have beneficial effects on our cardiovascular health. Recent studies, mostly in animals, have examined the effects of these fatty acids and dietary hempseed itself on platelet aggregation, ischemic heart disease and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. The purpose of this article is to review the latest developments in this rapidly emerging research field with a focus on the cardiac and vascular effects of dietary hempseed.

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SuperVeggies

Cruciferous greens

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae). These vegetables are widely cultivated, with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such as cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables. They are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals.

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Arugula

Arugula, also known as rugula, rucola or garden rocket, is one of the nutritious green-leafy vegetable of Mediterranean origin. Like most salad greens, arugula leaves provide the body with potassium, calcium, copper, manganese and iron. They also contain folic acid and the vitamins A, C and K. Also is particularly rich in erucin, which was shown in this new study to halt breast cancer cell growth by 95%, and killed 45% of them outright in vitro. Erucin is very similar to the well-known compound sulforaphane found in broccoli.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains vitamins A, K, calcium, fibre, beta-carotene and other antioxidants (notably indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane). Broccoli is known to have a protective effect against cancer. It also contains a wide range of phytochemicals which protect against many chronic diseases, and combat depression, improve bone strength and aid digestion.

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Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts, like other vegetables in the Brassica family, contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant which is believed to reduce the risk of developing cancer and stunt tumour growth. It is this sulforaphane which produces the sulphur smell if Brussels sprouts are overcooked. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of folate, vitamin K and vitamin C.

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Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage is actually a abundant way to obtain vitamin D, that allows for the assimilation of calcium as well as phosphorus, and therefore guarantees healthy teeth and bones.

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Collard greens

This dark leafy green, a staple in the south, is delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals. Collards contain vitamin C, E, K, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Collards also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which help detox the body and lower oxidative stress, decreasing the risk of cells becoming cancerous.

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Kale

Kale is a dark leafy green, a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K, plus it contains calcium and potassium. Additionally, kale contains carotenoids – specifically, lutein and zeaxathin. Consuming both may help prevent Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

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Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, iodine, and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C. Many benefits from eating watercress are claimed, such as that it acts as a stimulant, a source of phytochemicals and antioxidants, a diuretic, an expectorant, and a digestive aid. It also appears to have antiangiogenic cancer-suppressing properties; it is widely believed to help defend against lung cancer.

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Beet green

Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occuring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin).

More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.

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Chard 

Chard is a colorful, leafy green that can be confused for spinach. This super food is a variety of beet that comes from the same family as beets and spinach. Chard has many health benefits. They are armed with carotenoids, antioxidants, and many vitamins and minerals. Chard is a good source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. Betalains and beta-carotene are considered antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Lutein is the main carotenoid found in chard that works to maintain eye health. Carotenoids and antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals in the body. Manganese is also a form of antioxidant. Beta-carotene can transform into a form of vitamin A. This vitamin is good for maintaining healthy skin, teeth, and bones. It is also known as retinol that helps to protect your eyes.

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Chicory

Chicory root fiber increases calcium absorption while helping to maintain a healthy balance of ‘good’ bacteria in the colon. It helps lower cholesterol levels and has minimal increasing impact on blood sugar. Gradually add to your diet to prevent gas and bloating.

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Dandelion leaves

Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.

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Leaf lettuce

Good source of vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron and potassium, including chromium. Chromium is a component of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which helps maintain normal blood glucose levels by making insulin more efficient. This will fight insulin resistance which is often associated with PCOS. Furthermore, chromium promotes weight loss due to its ability to help control cravings, reduce hunger, and control fat in the blood.

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Spinach

Spinach is known for its high levels of vitamin A, giving every forkful of spinach immunity boosting, vision protecting, skin enhancing powers. A cup of cooked spinach packs up to 12% of the recommended daily dose of calcium and enough vitamin K to help prevent bone loss. spinach’s glycolipids may help prevent the development of tumors, Plus, the galactolipids in spinach have been linked to the prevention of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Spinach is also a good source of iron.

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Superfruits

Blueberries

Blueberries, a popular example of a superfood, are not especially nutritious, having high content of only three essential nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.

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Cape gooseberry (inca berry)

Low in calories and contains modest levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B3, while other nutrients are at low levels. Basic research on the cape gooseberry has provided preliminary evidence that its constituents, possibly polyphenols and/or carotenoids, may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Goji berry (wolfberry)

Goji berries are small red berries, smaller than an average sultana, that are generally dried and then rehydrated to be traditionally consumed in teas, soups, sauces and alcohols of China and Japan. They are known to be exceptionally high in antioxidants, and studies have shown consumption “increases plasma zeaxanthin and antioxidant levels” which suggests a general health benefit with particular respect to reducing vision degradation due to aging.

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Kakadu plum

Kakadu Plum is the latest “super fruit” to emerge on the world market. A traditional “bush food” native to Australia’s Northern Territories, the kakadu plum is said to have nature’s highest concentration of vitamin C as well as unique phytonutrients not found in other fruits.

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Camucamu

A small tropical fruit (Myrciaria dubia) shaped like a cherry that contains high vitamin C content, flavonoids and anthocyanins. A 2008 study suggested that it may have powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Citrus (including oranges,grapefruits and lemons)

Citrus fruits are considered to be a superfood for skin care because they contain phytonutrients that function as antioxidants, protecting you from free radicals that damage skin cells and lead to signs of aging. Plus, just one orange provides more than the daily requirement of vitamin C needed to fortify muscles, blood vessels, bones and teeth.

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Coconuts

Coconuts may help benign prostatic hyperplasia. The hexane fraction of coconut peel may contain novel anticancer compounds.  Young coconut juice has estrogen-like characteristics.

The coconut water has been marketed as a natural energy or sports drink due to its high potassium and mineral content. Low levels of fat, carbohydrates, and calories.

imagesLúcuma

Pouteria lucuma (one of two species sometimes known as “eggfruit”) is a subtropical fruit native to the Andean valleys of Peru. It has high levels of carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins.

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