by Karen Roth, MSNC
With autumn upon us, what better time to enjoy seasonal fall vegetables? Beets are one of those vegetables many people shy away from. They seem intimidating. While the preparation calls for a little work, they're worth it for their exceptional nutrient benefits. Beets are an excellent source of folate and potassium. They're also low calorie, with 1 cup of beets coming in at only 75 calories. Here's a recipe you can make that's easy and delicious. (Hint: don't throw out the beet greens!)
BEET & PINE NUT SALAD
1 ½ cup of beets (cooked and peeled)
½ tsp. of salt
2 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart®, natural flavor
1 tbsp. of pine nuts
2 tbsp. of goat cheese
1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
Beet greens are similar in texture to Swiss chard and spinach. They are a great nutrient for healthy vision, since they're packed with lutein. They also contain about 800% of your daily requirement for vitamin K, which plays an important role in supporting bone health.
Beet greens contain only 40 calories per cup, and one cup of cooked beet greens provides about 150% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, and 37% of potassium. Try this simple recipe before tossing beet greens into the trash.
BOILED BEET GREEN SALAD
1 bunch of beet greens, thick stems removed
1 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart®, garlic flavor
¼ slice of lemon
¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper
1 tsp. of sesame seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Now for another fall favorite – winter squash. You'll find many varieties of this healthy vegetable. One of my favorites is Delicata Squash. It cooks fast, and it's creamy and slightly sweet. The skin is thin, and is even edible if you like. Winter squash is generally low calorie and contains a good amount of folate and other B vitamins, like B-1, B-3, and B-6. Typically, one Delicata Squash is enough for two people. Next time you're in a hurry, consider trying this recipe instead of a potato.
STEAMED SQUASH WITH MAPLE SYRUP
1 Delicata Squash, cut in half long-ways and de-seeded
1 tsp. Olive Your Heart®, natural flavor
1 tsp. maple syrup
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Enjoy the new seasonal vegetables coming your way this fall!
by Karen Roth, MSNC
Foods that are healthy for our skin include alkaline foods, like vegetables, fruits, olive oil, or herbal and green teas. We can also combat free radicals with powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, quercetin, beta-carotene, and selenium. Papaya, bell peppers, and broccoli are high in vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, olives, and almonds. Brightly colored sweet potatoes and carrots provide beta-carotene. And foods that are high in selenium include tuna, shrimp, salmon, or sardines. If you don't get enough of these nutrient-rich foods in your diet, a supplement may be a great option.
Essential fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil, can also promote skin health. Look for the beneficial omega-3s EPA and DHA. And, last but not least, sufficient water intake is critical. Filtered water not only hydrates the skin, but also flushes toxins out of the body. Aim for half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 140 pounds, your water intake should be 70 ounces.
Healthy, glowing skin starts from within. And you have it within your power to feed your skin with healthy, skin-loving nutrients.
by Karen Roth, MSNC
People are changing their diets to include more salads. That’s a good thing. But, it’s important to remember that you may be sabotaging your health by what you put on top of your salad. It's important we always check the labels.
Many of the off-the-shelf dressings still contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrogenated oils. It’s no secret... it’s clearly marked. And the fat-free dressings usually contain a good amount of sugar and sodium. They have to make up for the taste somehow!
I recently read the label on a fat-free raspberry dressing that not only listed high fructose corn syrup, but also red dye 40 and blue dye 1. Why would they need to add red dye 40? To compensate for the product only having 2% or less red raspberry juice!
And don’t be fooled by the “spray-on” dressings. They have multiple preservatives that may be harmful to our health. I even saw a honey mustard flavor that had yellow dye #5 and artificial flavors and preservatives. Why buy unhealthy brands when we can make our own salad dressings in less than five minutes. Your body and wallet will appreciate these recipes:
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
¼ cup, plus ½ tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of anchovy filets (add an extra ½ tsp. if you like a stronger flavor)
¼ tsp. of dry mustard powder
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart® Garlic Flavor
In a blender combine the first eight ingredients, and pulse on low speed increasing slowly to a medium range and blend until smooth (approximately 20 to 30 seconds). Slowly pour the olive oil through the opening of the lid for an addition 10 to 15 seconds.
Makes 2 cups. Each 2 tbsp. serving delivers 2,960 mg of omega-3s.
¾ cup of Olive Your Heart® Natural Flavor
¼ cup of raspberry vinegar (if unavailable in your area, use apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of dried basil
½ cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
¼ cup of water
2 tbsp. of honey
Fill the blender with all of the ingredients, except for the honey. Blend on low, slowly adding the honey through the lid opening. Then continue blending at a medium setting for 20 to 30 seconds.
Makes 1-¾ cups. Each 2 tbsp. serving delivers 2,960 mg of omega-3s.
Olive Your Heart®, blending Greek extra virgin olive oil with Norwegian marine oil, comes in the following flavors: natural, garlic, basil, and lemon. It’s non-GMO and contains no artificial ingredients. Olive Your Heart® is also delicious on its own as a salad dressing. You can’t get healthier than that!
by Karen Roth, MSNC
The olives used in Carlson Olive Your Heart® are made from ancient olive trees from the Kolymvari region in western Crete, Greece. Olive Your Heart® uses a base of Terra Creta extra virgin olive oil because of its low acidity and high levels of polyphenols – and also for its guaranteed quality and great taste.
Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They are bursting with antioxidants that support overall good health. Think of antioxidants as crime fighters protecting the home front.
The low level of acidity in extra virgin olive oil is what gives it its complexity and delicacy of taste. Extra virgin olive oil is closest to the natural state of the olive, since it’s from the first pressing. It is the purest form of olive oil.
Oleic acid is a beneficial monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. Oleic acid has the ability to resist free radical attacks, which protects cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, just as it protects the oil from spoiling. Omega-9 fatty acids are linked to healthy cardiovascular systems, healthy cholesterol levels, improved immune function, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Olive Your Heart® also contains 1,480 mg of omega-3s from sustainably-sourced, high-quality, wild-caught Norwegian fish oil. The two really important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which support cardiovascular health, brain function, joint health, and immune function. Here are some other ways it can benefit our heart:
Fish oil, such as that found in Olive Your Heart®, contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Ninety percent of the omega-3s found in the brain are DHA, so it makes sense that supporting the brain will lead to heart healthy practices, like exercise and social interaction.
Olive Your Heart®, with its unique blend of extra virgin olive oil and omega-3s is a heart-smart choice – and a convenient way to get your omega-3s, especially for those who don’t like swallowing supplements.
by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
February is National Heart Month, and coincidentally Valentine’s Day too! We need to protect those magnificent hearts of ours as much as possible. An average heart can pump 2,000 gallons of blood each day throughout the body, which is amazing to me. As most of us know, in order to keep our heart functioning optimally, it’s important we try to avoid smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive stress, and environmental pollutants and that we maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Certain herbals and nutritional supplements also support a healthy heart. Here are some of my favorites:
Fish oil is the first of the nutrients I will highlight for heart health. Many cardiovascular benefits of fish oil include: promoting healthy blood clotting, supporting normal heart rhythm, maintaining healthy normal triglyceride levels (circulating blood fats), supporting normal blood pressure, and promoting optimal blood vessel health. The omega-3s that it provides also support our immune system.
Vitamin D is one of the most beneficial nutritional supplements for supporting heart and immune system health. However, the amount of vitamin D3 required varies from person to person. The best way to know how much you need is to have your vitamin D levels tested by your health practitioner.
Research over the past several years has been showing how valuable and necessary vitamin K is for adults as well as children in promoting healthy cardiovascular function, blood flow (by maintaining vascular elasticity), and bone and teeth calcification. Vitamin D3 is important for calcium transport and absorption, to help ensure vitamin K makes it to the parts of our body where it’s needed most.
Most of vitamin K’s benefits are derived from its role in making several key proteins, particularly osteocalcin and matrix GLA protein. More technically, vitamin K promotes the carboxylation of these proteins. (Carboxylation adds one carbon, one hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.) Without carboxylation, these proteins cannot do their jobs. Without enough vitamin K2 as MK-7 in the body, a significant amount of osteocalcin will remain inactive and unable to bind calcium.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that oversees over 350 enzymatic processes in our body. It assists in immunity, irritability, rapid heartbeat, relaxing smooth muscles, maintaining healthy normal blood sugar, and so much more. Magnesium is extremely important for muscles, and the heart is a crucial muscle. Start with a small amount of chelated magnesium, like 250mg in the evening before bed. The amount that each person will tolerate varies.
Calcium is very important also for the heart. Like other muscles in the body, the heart requires calcium for contraction. Calcium flows into the muscle cells and works as a switch to allow heart muscle fibers to slide past each other and contract. Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 & vitamin K1 and K2 all work together to benefit our cardiovascular system.
Adding more antioxidants into our regime has proven to be highly beneficial to heart and overall health. Antioxidants defeat free radicals and are responsible for preventing oxidative stress. Now we could eat 70% or higher dark chocolate to get more antioxidants, which may not be the best thing to do because some of us can over eat a good thing like dark chocolate…present company included, or use supplemental antioxidants like vitamin E and CoQ10.
Vitamin E, is an important antioxidant that protects our tissues. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is uniquely suited to intercept free radicals, and protects the fats in low density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidation.
CoQ10 is another important antioxidant and fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies produce. We produce CoQ10 in the mitochondria of our cells, which is called the powerhouse of the cell. This is where ATP (energy production) is done. CoQ10 is a key component of the electron transfer chain involving ATP production. It is concentrated in our muscle cells, liver, and highly concentrated in our heart muscle. There are many factors why we may not have enough in our body. As we age, we make less of it, and it is very depleted by statin drugs and many blood pressure drugs.
To improve mitochondrial function, you can also opt to add in D-Ribose. This is a naturally-occurring carbohydrate that promotes healthy heart function, provides energy for the cells, and increases muscle strength. If you are occasionally fatigued or have been excessively work out, ribose is a supplement you may want to look more into adding to your supplement routine.
Another is the amino acid L-Carnitine. It plays a critical role in increasing ATP-energy production, and it is responsible for transporting fatty acids into the cell where energy is produced. L-Carnitine also improves triglycerides levels.
As you can see there are many important nutrients that support heart health. What you decide to add in and how much you should take would best be determined by a health care practitioner. A special note to those who may already be on heart medications is to be sure to check with your practitioner as many of these (fish oil, vitamin E, CoQ10) are mild blood thinners or mild clotting agents (like vitamin K) and may not be able to be taken with certain anticoagulant medications. Help maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular wellness through a variety of supplement options and combinations.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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