AWhat doesn’t Vitamin A do? This powerhouse is in charge of general growth and development. It’s crucial for eye health, teeth, skin and helps to boost the immune system and cuts the risk of heart disease. You know you are getting a dose of A when you are eating foods with an orange hue, caused by the carotene pigment. Carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe are all packed with Vitamin A. The recommended daily dosage is 2,300 IU. Be advised that it can be toxic in large doses so stick with the recommended amount. B VITAMINS The eight B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B12 and Folic acid. These are responsible for energy production, maintaining metabolism, muscle tone, iron absorption, immune function and memory. These nutrients can be found in whole foods including potatoes, bananas, lentils, peppers, beans, whole grains, yeast and molasses. Recommended daily allowance is as follows. . .
- B1: 2-10 mg/day
- B2: 5-10mg/day
- B3: 15-30mg/day
- B5: 1-15mgs
- B6: 6-12mg/day
- B7 : 100-300 mcgs
- B12: 12-100 mcg
- Folic acid: 200-400 mcg/day
CKnown for boosting the immune system, Vitamin C is also hard at work giving skin elasticity, strengthening blood vessels, assisting in iron absorption, helping wounds heal faster and preventing heart disease. Oranges, guava, bell peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussel sprouts and cantaloupe are all great sources for C. A single orange covers your recommended daily dosage, 75 mg.
DHere’s one of the essential vitamins you may want to strongly consider supplementing. While milk, eggs, orange juice, fish and mushrooms provide Vitamin D, the amounts are not enough. The recommended daily dosage is 1,000 to 2,000 IU. The best source of Vitamin D is spending time in the sun. However, with rising skin cancer rates we have to balance how much time we spend in the sun without sunscreen with our need for Vitamin D. It’s necessary for strong, healthy bones and optimum muscle function. It’s believed that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent! E Many cells of our body use vitamin E to carry out important functions. It gives a boost to the immune system, widen blood vessels, prevents clots and offers protection against free radicals. Almonds are absolutely packed with Vitamin E and other nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are also good sources. For adults, the recommended daily allowance is 15 mg or 22.4 IU. K Blood coagulation, the process by which blood clots is dependent upon K. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the best natural sources. The recommended daily doses differ for men and women at 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women. Research is finding that vitamin K has been shown to help improve insulin resistance in older men.
Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We'll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we focus on the wonders of dill!
These days, dill is known primarily as a pickling herb and though it is common in many gardens, it’s not widely used for medicinal properties. However, since ancient times and still today it’s been used by herbalists as a digestive aid to ease gas, infant colic, to induce sleep and treat kidney problems.
In the ancient Egyptian Ebers papyrus from around 1500 BCE, lists dill as an ingredient for a painkiller mixture. The Greeks are said to have used fronds of dill to cover their eyes to induce sleep and even it’s name is derived from a Norse word “dylla” which means “to lull” or soothe. Modern German studies have shown the herb to be an effective treatment against intestinal bacteria.
The seeds of the plant contain an oil which has antibacterial properties which help destroy the intestinal bacteria that lead to ulcers and other intestinal issues. The herb contains stimulating essential oils that activate digestive juices and is helpful in relieving constipation. It’s also very effective at combating halitosis and in India, the seeds are often chewed to treat bad breath.
It has also been commonly used throughout history by nursing mothers to increase milk production and deter colic in newborns. The essential oils of the herb can also help with the stimulation of hormones helping to keep menstrual cycles regular. The plant is also a good source of calcium, helping to reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.
In addition to all of the above, dill is also a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium and iron.
To store fresh dill, it’s a good idea to keep it wrapped in a damp towel or stems in a glass of water in the refrigerator. It is a fragile herb and therefore will only keep for a couple of days. You can also freeze it, whole or chopped in an airtight baggie or container. Dill seeds, if stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dry place, will stay fresh for about six months.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” - Virginia Woolf
It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! This week we encourage you to incorporate quinoa into your meal plan. . .Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) originated in the areas around Lake Titicaca in South America. Around 3,000 to 5,000 BC Pre-Columbian peoples domesticated the plant and used the grains as a staple food of their diet. The Incas called quinoa the “mother grain” and considered it a sacred food. Technically, the plant is not a cereal grass like wheat, oats or barley but is a broadleaf plant and a member of the same family as spinach and beets. Sometimes it is referred to as a “pseudocereal” which is used to describe foods that are not grasses but can be ground into a flour or boiled and consumed much like rice. The entire plant is edible and what ends up looking like a grain on our plates is actually the seed. Quinoa plants are actually really beautiful and put on purple or reddish flowers before going to seed. Those little seeds are packed with nutritional benefits! It is one of the most protein-rich plant sources and unlike cereal grasses it’s gluten free. It is considered a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids, including a high amount of lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It’s a great source of fiber, containing nearly twice as much as those traditional grains and it’s also packed with magnesium, manganese and riboflavin. Quinoa is a great source of energy, keeps you fuller longer and yet is low in calories. This is a food that really earns it’s “superfood” title! Quinoa comes in many varieties and can be red, cream, pink, orange purple and even black in color. It cooks up quickly and has a somewhat nutty flavor. Because the outer coating of the seeds contains saponins which can give a bitter taste, it’s a good idea to rinse the seeds in a fine meshed strainer and rub them together under cold water prior to cooking. It should be stored in an airtight container and will last longer if kept in the refrigerator, with a shelf life of about 3 to 6 months. You can use quinoa in a variety of ways, and can be a fantastic substitute for rice, pastas and couscous if you are watching your carbohydrates. We’ve included some links below to yummy recipes to help you add more of this super delicious superfood into your meal planning. Cinnamon Maple Breakfast Quinoa Quinoa Enchilada Casserole Garlic Butter Shrimp, Quinoa and Asparagus Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Power Salad
- Store bought fruit juices which are typically laden with sugars and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup
- Ice cream and sherbert
- Chocolate syrups and powders
- Milk that comes from cows treated with hormones and antibiotics
- Commercial peanut butter (avoid ones with additional sweeteners and hydrogenated oils
- Fresh and frozen fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Yogurt (organic, Greek, homemade)
- Fresh fruit and veggie juices either extracted from a juicer or squeezed
- Almond and coconut milk or organic cow’s milk
- Fermented beverages like kefir and kombucha
- Local honey, pure maple syrup
- Raw nuts and nut butters
- Hemp seeds and/or protein, chia and flax seeds
- Cacao, aloe vera, spirulina
- Herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, mint, etc.
- Aids in the removal of heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the system
- Boosts immunity
- Stimulates the activity of antioxidants in the body
- Aids in shiny hair and healthy skin
- Prevents enlarged thyroid gland
- Controls metabolic rate
- Helps to maintain energy levels
- Seaweed, whole or 1 sheet can contain 11% to 1,989% of recommended daily intake! Nowhere is it as highly concentrated as in seaweeds. Kelp and bladderwrack have especially high levels. In Japan, consumption of iodine is 25% higher than compared to American intake due to a diet rich in seaweed. Studies are even being done that correlate breast cancer rates between the two countries to iodine intake.
- Cod, 3 oz = 66%
- Cranberries, 1oz = 60%
- Plain yogurt, 1 cup = 50%
- Shrimp, 3oz = 23%
- Egg, 1 large = 16%
- Dried Prunes, 5 pieces = 9%
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” - Virginia Woolf
It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! Bone health booster, collard greens is our focus this week!Collard greens are a cruciferous vegetable belonging to the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale. This family of veggies is known for their cholesterol-lowering abilities and collard greens are the king of the family when it comes to it’s impressive means of binding to bile acids (which are made of cholesterol) in the digestive tract, making it easier for them to be excreted from the body. They are much more effective at this when cooked than when ingested raw. Collard greens are also a rich source of vitamin K, beneficial for bone health as it helps improve calcium absorption. Which is great because collard greens are also loaded with calcium! Two cups contain over 450 mg of calcium, which is almost 90% of daily recommended intake. They are also high in folate which is one of the B vitamins necessary for red and white blood cell formation in bone marrow. It also assists in converting carbohydrates into energy and producing DNA, so it’s doubly important to increase folate intake during pregnancy, infancy and adolescence, all periods of rapid growth. In addition, collard greens are loaded with choline which assists in good restful sleep, muscle movement and memory. Collard greens also contain thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and potassium. When purchasing collard greens, you want to look for firm, unwilted, vivid green leaves. Smaller leaves mean tenderness and milder flavor. Be sure to store them in the refrigerator to prevent wilting and bitterness and to minimize loss of nutrients. Collard greens are also relatively easy to grow. Planted in spring and fall, gardeners typically prefer fall plantings as the frost brings out sweetness in the leaves. They need fertile, well drained soil and at least 4 to 5 hours of full sun to bring out their flavor. Black Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Greens and Sausage Sweet Potato and Collard Green Frittata Chicken and Collards Pilau