GOMBBS: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Beans, and Seeds

GOMBBS” is an acronym you can use to remember the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods on the planet.   These are the foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant proportion of your diet – these foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity.

G – Greens

Greens Flickr: thebittenword.com

Raw leafy greens contain only about 100 calories per pound, and are packed with nutrients. Leafy greens contain substances that protect blood vessels, and are associated with reduced risk of diabetes.Greens are an excellent tool for weight loss, since they can be consumed in virtually unlimited quantities. Leafy greens are also the most nutrient-dense of all foods, but unfortunately are only consumed in miniscule amounts in a typical American diet. We should follow the example of our closest living relatives – chimpanzees and gorillas – who consume tens of pounds of green leaves every day. The majority of calories in green vegetables, including leafy greens, come from protein, and this plant protein is packaged with beneficial phytochemicals: Green vegetables are rich in folate (the natural form of folic acid), calcium, and contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.  Leafy greens are also rich in antioxidant pigments called carotenoids, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the carotenoids known to promote healthy vision.2 Also, several leafy greens and other green vegetables (such as bok choy, broccoli, and kale) belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables.

All vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables have a unique chemical composition; they contain glucosinolates, and when their cell walls are broken by blending, chopping, or chewing, a chemical reaction converts glucosinolates to isothiocyanates (ITCs) - compounds with a variety of potent anti-cancer effects. Because different ITCs can work in different locations in the cell and on different molecules, they can have combined additive effects, working synergistically to remove carcinogens, reduce inflammation, neutralize oxidative stress, inhibit angiogenesis (the process by which tumors acquire a blood supply), and kill cancer cells.3

O – Onions

Onions, along with leeks, garlic, shallots, and scallions, make up the Allium family of vegetables, which have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects. Allium vegetables are known for their characteristic organosulfur compounds, Similar to the ITCs in cruciferous vegetables, organosulfur compounds are released when onions are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers.    These compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens, halting cancer cell growth, and blocking angiogenesis.4 Onions also contain high concentrations of health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants, predominantly quercetin, and red onions also contain at least 25 different anthocyanins.5,6 Quercetin slows tumor development, suppresses growth and proliferation and induces cell death in colon cancer cells.7 Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention.8

 

M - Mushrooms

 

Mushroom. Flickr: Steve Hopson

Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.  In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer. Even more dramatic protection was gained by women who ate 10 grams of mushrooms and drank green tea daily - an 89% decrease in risk for premenopausal women, and 82% for postmenopausal women.9,10 White, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer properties - some are anti-inflammatory, stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth, cause programmed cancer cell death, or inhibit angiogenesis.In addition to these properties, mushrooms are unique in that they contain aromatase inhibitors - compounds that can block the production of estrogen. These compounds are thought to be largely responsible for the preventive effects of mushrooms against breast cancer - in fact, there are aromatase-inhibiting drugs on the market that are used to treat breast cancer. Regular consumption of dietary aromatase inhibitors is an excellent strategy for prevention, and it turns out that even the most commonly eaten mushrooms (white, cremini, and portobello) have high anti-aromatase activity.11

B – Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are true super foods. Naturally sweet and juicy, berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients - they are among the best foods you can eat. Their vibrant colors mean that they are full of antioxidants, including flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins - berries are some of the highest antioxidant foods in existence. Berries’ plentiful antioxidant content confers both cardioprotective and anti-cancer effects, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, preventing DNA damage, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, and stimulating of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  Berry consumption has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancers and cognitive decline.12 Berries are an excellent food for the brain – berry consumption improves both motor coordination and memory.13

B - Beans

Beans (and other legumes as well) are a powerhouse of superior nutrition, and the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. They act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which promotes satiety and helps to prevent food cravings. Plus they contain soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels.14 Beans are unique foods because of their very high levels of fiber and resistant starch, carbohydrates that are not broken down by digestive enzymes.  Fiber and resistant starch not only reduce the total number of calories absorbed from beans, but are also fermented by intestinal bacteria into fatty acids that help to prevent colon cancer. Eating beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week has been found to decrease colon cancer risk by 50%. 15,16 Legume intake also provides significant protection against oral, larynx, pharynx, stomach, and kidney cancers.17

S - Seeds

Seeds. Flickr: Tobias Klupfel

Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats and are rich in a spectrum of micronutrients including phytosterols, minerals, and antioxidants. Countless studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, and including nuts in the diet aids in weight maintenance and diabetes prevention.18,19 The nutritional profiles of seeds are similar to nuts when it comes to healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, but seeds are also abundant in trace minerals, higher in protein than nuts, and each kind of seed is nutritionally unique. Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fats. In addition to the omega-3s, flaxseeds are rich in fiber and lignans. Flaxseed consumption protects against heart disease by a number of different mechanisms, and lignans, which are present in both flaxseeds and sesame seeds, have anti-cancer effects.20 Sunflower seeds are especially rich in protein and minerals.  Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron and calcium and are a good source of zinc. Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E. Also, black sesame seeds are extremely rich in antioxidants.21 The healthy fats in seeds and nuts also aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables.

 

References:


1. Carter P, Gray LJ, Troughton J, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Aug 18;341:c4229.

Journal of Clinical Investigation (2011, March 24). High levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/03/110323135631.htm

2. Stringham JM, Bovier ER, Wong JC, Hammond BR Jr. The influence of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance. J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):R24-9.

3. Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, Dashwood RH. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 Mar;55(3):224-36.

Cavell BE, Syed Alwi SS, Donlevy A, et al., Anti-angiogenic effects of dietary isothiocyanates: mechanisms of action and implications for human health. Biochem. Pharmacol., 2011. 81(3): p. 327-36.

4. Powolny AA, Singh SV. Multitargeted prevention and therapy of cancer by diallyl trisulfide and related Allium vegetable-derived organosulfur compounds. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):305-14.

5. Pierini R, Gee JM, Belshaw NJ, et al. Flavonoids and intestinal cancers. Br J Nutr. 2008 May;99 E Suppl 1:ES53-9.

6. Slimestad R, Fossen T, Vågen IM. Onions: a source of unique dietary flavonoids. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10067-80.

7. Miyamoto S, Yasui Y, Ohigashi H, et al. Dietary flavonoids suppress azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Jan 27;183(2):276-83.

Shan BE, Wang MX, Li RQ. Quercetin inhibit human SW480 colon cancer growth in association with inhibition of cyclin D1 and survivin expression through Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Cancer Invest. 2009 Jul;27(6):604-12.

Xavier CP, Lima CF, Preto A, et al. Luteolin, quercetin and ursolic acid are potent inhibitors of proliferation and inducers of apoptosis in both KRAS and BRAF mutated human colorectal cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2009 Aug 28;281(2):162-70.

8. Ravasco P, Aranha MM, Borralho PM, et al. Colorectal cancer: Can nutrients modulate NF-kappaB and apoptosis? Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):42-46.

9. Hong SA, Kim K, Nam SJ, et al: A case-control study on the dietary intake of mushrooms and breast cancer risk among Korean women. Int J Cancer 2008, 122:919-923.

Shin A, Kim J, Lim SY, et al: Dietary mushroom intake and the risk of breast cancer based on hormone receptor status. Nutr Cancer 2010, 62:476-483.

Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, et al: Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009, 124:1404-1408.

10. Hara M, Hanaoka T, Kobayashi M, et al: Cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and gastrointestinal cancer risks in a multicenter, hospital-based case-control study in Japan. Nutr Cancer 2003, 46:138-147.

11. Chen S, Oh SR, Phung S, et al: Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus). Cancer Res 2006, 66:12026-12034.

12. Bazzano LA, Li TY, Joshipura KJ, Hu FB. Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. 2008 Jul;31(7):1311-7.

Hannum SM. Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004;44(1):1-17.

Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Willis LM. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1813S-7S.

Stoner GD, Wang LS, Casto BC. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Sep;29(9):1665-74.

Cassidy A, O'Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al: Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2011, 93:338-347.

Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, et al: Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res 2002, 36:1023-1031.

13. Bickford PC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph J. Effects of aging on cerebellar noradrenergic function and motor learning: nutritional interventions. Mech Ageing Dev. 1999 Nov;111(2-3):141-54.

Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.

14. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al. Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2011 Feb;21(2):94-103.

Aune D, De Stefani E, Ronco A, et al. Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Nov;20(9):1605-15.

15. O'Keefe SJ, Ou J, Aufreiter S, et al. Products of the colonic microbiota mediate the effects of diet on colon cancer risk. J Nutr. 2009 Nov;139(11):2044-8.

16. Singh PN, Fraser GE. Dietary risk factors for colon cancer in a low-risk population. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Oct 15;148(8):761-74.

17. Aune D, De Stefani E, Ronco A, et al. Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Nov;20(9):1605-15.

18. Nash SD, Nash DT. Nuts as part of a healthy cardiovascular diet. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008 Dec;10(6):529-35.

Sabaté J, Ang Y. Nuts and health outcomes: new epidemiologic evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1643S-1648S.

Mattes RD et al. Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1741S-1745S.

Natoli S, McCoy P. A review of the evidence: nuts and body weight. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(4):588-97

19. Kendall CW, Josse AR, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJ. Nuts, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104(4):465-73.

20. Bassett CM, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN. Experimental and clinical research findings on the cardiovascular benefits of consuming flaxseed. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Oct;34(5):965-74.

Webb AL, McCullough ML. Dietary lignans: potential role in cancer prevention. Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(2):117-31.

Saarinen NM, Wärri A, Airio M, et al. Role of dietary lignans in the reduction of breast cancer risk. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jul;51(7):857-66.

Coulman KD, Liu Z, Hum WQ, et al. Whole sesame seed is as rich a source of mammalian lignan precursors as whole flaxseed. Nutr Cancer. 2005;52(2):156-65.

21. Shahidi F, Liyana-Pathirana CM, Wall DS. Antioxidant activity of white and black sesame seeds and their hull fractions. Food Chemistry 2006;99(3): 478-483.

 

Walnuts are So Good for You (and Mice)

A diet high in walnuts may significantly decrease a person's risk of breast cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Marshall University School of Medicine and presented at a conference of the American Association for Cancer Research.

A chemical analysis showed that omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols contained in walnuts all contributed to the mice's tumor resistance.

"The omega-3 fatty acid, the phytosterols and antioxidants individually have been shown to prevent or delay cancers" Hardman said. "So if you add them all together, it looks like it may be really good."

In another study, Hardman found that feeding mice a diet enriched with the same omega-3 content as that contained in the walnut dose given in the current study was not as effective as eating the whole walnut.

"It did reduce cancer incidents," she said, "but not as dramatically as the walnut-containing diet did. So it's something else other than the omega-3 in the walnut that's contributing to the suppression of cancers."

Hardman noted that the effect of the whole food was probably greater than the sum of its parts.

With dietary interventions, you see multiple mechanisms when working with the whole food, she said.

For 20 years, I’ve been telling people to eat walnuts as a superfood; now we know it’s good for mice too.

Nuts and seeds contain plant sterols and other phytochemical compounds that we are just beginning to understand their benefits. Eating the whole food guarantees we are getting all of the known and unknown beneficial micronutrients contained in these superfoods.

 Sources for this story include: health.usnews.com www.voanews.com.

Fats from Avocados, Raw Nuts and Seeds are Vital to Health

Nuts and seeds are some of nature’s ideal foods for humans and the best way for us to get our healthy fats. They can satiate true hunger better than oils because they are rich in critical nutrients and fibers and have one-quarter the calories of an equal amount of oil. They should be part of your healthy eating-style. Many people perceive raw nuts as high-fat, high-calorie foods that should be avoided or consumed in only token amounts. The important role of raw nuts and seeds in the American diet has been almost completely ignored by nutritional advisers, and their absence is a huge flaw in American cuisine. The results of recent research have changed this perception completely. Today, more and more researchers are finally aware that it is not fat in general that is the villain, but saturated fat, trans fat, and fats consumed in a processed form. Fats from avocado, raw nuts, and seeds are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that not only offer unique health benefits, but also maintain the freshness of the food, preventing rancidity of the fat within.

Recent evidence shows that the frequent consumption of nuts is strongly protective against heart disease. It has been shown that people eating nuts daily, or more than once a day, had a 59 percent lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease.1 In addition, several clinical studies have observed beneficial effects of diets high in nuts on lowering cholesterol levels. The beneficial effects of nut consumption observed in clinical and epidemiologic studies underscore the importance of distinguishing different types of fat. One study estimated that every exchange of one ounce of saturated fat to one once of nut-fat from consuming a whole nut was associated with a 45 percent reduction in heart disease risk.2

Study after study shows that raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but also extend lifespan and protect against common diseases of aging. They also provide a good source of protein, which makes up about 15 to 25 percent of their calories.3 Nuts’ hard shells also keep them well protected from pesticides and environmental pollution. Raw nuts and seeds, not the salted or roasted variety, provide the most health benefits.

Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.4 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber asso ciated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.

While nuts and seeds have great health benefits, they are higher in calories and fat compared to vegetables, beans, and fruits so they should be consumed in smaller amounts. Nuts and seeds contain about 175 calories per ounce, and a handful could be a little over one ounce. For most of us, they are not a food that should be eaten in unlimited quantity. Unless you are thin and exercising frequently, hold your consumption of raw nuts and seeds to less than two ounces a day.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

1. Kahn HA, Phillips RI, Snowdon DA, Choi W. Association between reported diet and all cause mortality: Twenty-one year follow up on 27,530 adult Seventh-Day Adventists. Am J Epidemiol 1984;119:775-787.

2. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ. Nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: a review of epidemiologic evidence. Curr Atheroscler Rep 1999 Nov;1(3):204-209.

3. Ellsworth JL, Kushi LH, Folsom AR, et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001;11(6):372-377. Kris-Etherton PM, Zhao G, Binkoski AE, et al. The effects of nuts on coronary heart disease risk. Nutr Rev. 2001;59(4):103-111.

4. Simopoulos AP. Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70 (3):56S-69S.

Image credit: thegrocer*

Fresh Garlic Better Than Garlic Powder, Duh!

I’m Italian, so I’m required to like garlic, but that garlic powder I grew up on can’t hold a candle to fresh garlic. A new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that raw, crushed garlic has more heart-protective effects than the dried stuff.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good blood flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said.

Garlic is one of the foods Dr. Fuhrman recommends diabetics eat plenty of, along side green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Sometimes I bake garlic cloves in the oven and spread it on wholegrain bread.

Via EurekAlert!

Image credit: Ian-S

Eating to Live on the Outside: The Beet

Happy Saturday! It’s time for our weekly “trip” to a far away restaurant and this week Eating to Live on the Outside heads up to Toronto, Canada to eat at The Beet Organic Café & Market. How does it stack up? It looks pretty good to me. Here’s a list of five things that might make the cut.

Farmer’s Harvest

  • Locally grown veggies, Toronto sprout blend, tamari roasted seeds on mixed greens with dressing; looks pretty good, but I’d order the dressing on the side.

Spinach & Walnut

  • Spinach, walnut, sliced pear tossed in vegan creamy garlic dressing and with marinated roasted seeds; same deal, dressing on the side.

Curry on Quinoa

  • Chickpea, potato, quinoa and spinach; pretty simple and greens are a plus.

Organic Housemade Tofu Burger

  • Tofu and walnut patty on whole wheat bun topped with caramelized onions, grated carrots, sunflower sprouts, tomato, house mayo and served with potato wedges and house ketchup; I’ll skip the mayo and if the potato wedges aren’t fried, they’re cool.

Avocado & Grilled Tofu

  • Marinated and grilled teriyaki tofu steaks, avocado, arugula, tomato and vegan house mayo; looks okay, the arugula is awesome.

Okay, if I really had to pick something. I’m going for the Avocado & Grilled Tofu. I love arugula. It’s just too hard to resist, but what about you? What would you order? Check out The Beet’s menu and let me know.

Image credit: The Beet

Eating to Live on the Outside: Lifefood Gourmet

Hooray for Saturday! And this Saturday, Eating to Live on the Outside is “off” to Miami, Florida for a quick meal at Lifefood Gourment, a veg-restaurant saluting food and science.

It didn’t take long to shift through the Lifefood’s menu. Here’s a rough draft of stuff I might order:

Alfredo Elixir Soup

  • Alfredo sauce, macadamia motza cheese and hand picked veggies; I’m not sure what “motza” is and hopefully it’s not salty.

Tomato Magic Soup

  • Tomato blended with spices; I love tomato, just as long as it isn’t salty.

Insalata Caprese

  • Tomato, baby spinach, basil, macadamia motza cheese, olive oil and dried oregano; sounds awesome, but I’m getting the dressing on the side.

Lifefood Gourmet House Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, baby arugula, onion, bell pepper, tomato and tahini dressing; same thing with the salad dressing.

Lifefood Gourmet Caesar

  • Kelp, Irish moss, Romaine lettuce and pumpkin seed croutons; I’m cool with this.

Minerals of the Sea Salad

  • Greens, hijiki, arama, kelp, onion, celery and tahini dressing; sea vegetables can be salty, so I’m not absolutely sold on this one.

Life Gourmet Burger

  • Sprouted quinoa and flax dehydrated buns, walnut, pumpkin seed, Brazil nut, onion, celery, flax oil patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard; the oil is a bit of a drag, but I can deal with it.

I got a break this week. Lifefood’s menu is short and sweet. Now, I like a few things, but if I had to pick. I'm going with the House Salad. It’s got plenty of greens and other awesome vegetables.

How about you, what you order? Flip through Lifefood’s menu and let know what you think.

Image credit: Lifefood Gourmet

Q & A: How Much Raw Food Should You Eat?

Raw food diets are very popular. They’re cool. A lot of people have success on them, but the truth is you don’t have to go 100% raw for superior health—some cooked food isn’t going to kill you! Now, in this quick discussion from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center, he talks about the optimal level of raw food and cooked food a diet should have:

Question: What is the percentage of raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds one should consume in his or her diet? In other words, how much of our diet should be raw food? I think I eat about 75% raw now. Is that too much raw? Can you have optimal health on 50% raw food if that raw food is comprised of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds?

Dr. Fuhrman: No, I think 75% raw as an ideal approximation is right. Consider that nuts and seeds avocados could supply about 30% to 40% of calories, raw fruits about 20%and raw vegetables about 20%. But of course, that does not mean a diet with more cooked greens and vegetable and bean soups would not be very healthy or as healthy.

Image credit: NatalieMaynor

Eating to Live on the Outside: The Coup

It’s the weekend, so why are you reading a blog and not playing outside! Well, hurry up and read, then get outside. Today Eating to Live on the Outside is off to The Coup in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Let’s hope I don’t get picked up by a Mountie.

Alright, after scanning the menu, I see the usual mix, some good stuff and some iffy stuff. Here’s a quick list of food I might order:

Organic Edamame Soybeans

  • Soybeans with Himalayan rock salt; I love edamame beans, but I’ll nix the salt.

The Green House Effect Salad

  • Chickpeas, sheep feta, toasted seeds, pea shoots, shredded carrot, beets, kalamata olives, organic greens and dressing; pass on the feta, I’m okay with the olives and the dressing is going on the side.

Peanut Satay Salad

  • Steamed broccoli, sautéed tofu, organic greens, rice vermicelli and peanut satay sauce; I’m okay with the vermicelli pasta and the sautéing, but again, sauce on the side.

Lotus Root Salad

  • Asian greens, lotus root, cherry tomatoes, ponzu sauce, toasted pine nuts and crusted tofu; no problems here, sounds pretty good.

El Taco

  • Naturally sweetened beans, avocado, shredded veggies, quinoa, salsa, grilled sprouted tortilla and sheep yogurt or soy yogurt; I’m alright on the tortilla, but I’ll skip both yogurts.

Kinoko Hot Pot

  • Seasonal veggies, lotus root, edamame, soba noodles and spicy nori mushroom sesame broth; not too bad.

Pseudo Sushi

  • Veggies and fruit rolled up in brown rice; I love sushi!

Field Trip

  • Organic greens, sesame date yam dip, curry cream cheese spread, edamame, curry cashew pesto, smoked tahini balsamic eggplant dip and foccacia and lavash; I’m dropping the cream cheese.

Organic Greens

  • Greens, pea shots, shredded carrot, beets, seeds and dressing; nice and simple!

Greek Goddess

  • Tomatos, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, red onion, capers, lentils sautéed in lemon tahini sauce, topped with kalamata olives and feta on brown basmati rice; no feta for me.

Wild Rose Stack

  • Fresh greens, pan seared portabella mushroom, smoked balsamic tahini, eggplant, quinoa, sautéed greens and shallots and tomatoes topped with sprouts and hemp oil; even with the oil it still looks tasty.

Kinoko Hot Pot

  • Veggies, lotus root, edamame, soba noodles in a spicy nori mushroom sesame broth; another good one.

Dragon Bowl

  • Steamed and fresh seasonal veggies, stir-fried tofu on organic brown basmati or quinoa topped with seeds and cilantro; I’d go with the quinoa.

Now, if I REALLY had to pick something. I’d go for either The Green House Effect Salad or the Dragon Bowl. Although, the sushi is hard to pass up, I love sushi, fish or veggie, especially octopus!

The Coup works. A lot of tasty looking healthy food, not bad for my first “trip” to Canada, but what do you think? Come on, help a brother out. Look at the menu and let me what you’d order. Can you do that, aye? Peace.

Image credit: The Coup

Staying Heart Healthy During the Recession

It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The recession, depression or whatever we’re in. People are worried. Things are bad! And during an economic slump people’s health is at risk, particularly their diets. History shows candy consumption goes up and newer reports reveal people eat more fast food and less fruits and veggies when money is tight.

Resist the temptation! Eat your fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. And, listen to these tips by a professor from the University of California for staying heart healthy during the recession, such as exercising more, eating lots of fresh simple foods at home, avoiding secondhand smoke, and find ways or activities to reduce stress; via HealthDay News.

And ignore companies like Krispy Kreme who hock free coffee and doughnuts to mark the Great Depression. Oh, you’re broke? Now get fat too!

Image credit: Felice de Sena Micheli