29 September 2015

Food Health

In May 2015 we traveled to the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) conference in Long Beach, CA where we met new CEO, Dr. Jim Baker.  

We learned that one thing we can do to improve our overall health and give us a better chance of fighting food allergies, was to eat a more fiber rich diet. Leading medical researchers spoke at the conference on food allergies. When they were asked about taking probiotics, the researchers claimed there was no probiotic on the market that showed significant value, therefore go with fiber rich diets instead. 
So our research began. Of course instead of taking fiber pills, we are much more interested in food that will fuel our system with appropriate amounts of fiber. As a side note we found that those looking to maintain weight or lose weight have a greater likelihood to do so with high-fiber diets. 
Researchers found overall, eating an extra portion of fruit a day led to a weight loss of 0.24 kg, while eating an extra daily portion of vegetables brought a weight loss of 0.11 kg.
Eggplant is  low in calories, but high in dietary fibers, vitamin C and B-6.  

A one-cup serving of eggplant meets 10% of daily fiber needs, 5% potassium, 3% vitamin C, 5% vitamin B-6, 1% iron and 2% magnesium.

Vitamin B6  is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock. 

The average adult 19-50 years old needs about 1.3 mg per day of vitamin B6. 

People who have food allergies, celiac, kidney problems or alcohol dependency have difficulty getting enough vitamin B6 in their diets and may require more B6 rich foods. Click to see children's B6 requirements. 

People almost never get too much vitamin B6 from food. But taking high levels of vitamin B6 from supplements for a year or longer can cause severe nerve damage, leading people to lose control of their bodily movements. Hence we try to avoid supplements. 

What if you don't like Eggplant? 

The first question is- do you know how to prepare and cook eggplant?  Often times we don't like something because it's not been prepared in a way that allows the flavors of the item to be highlighted.

Recently at a private dinner party for some members of  (Nappy Roots), Chef Lara made an eggplant and mushroom cream sauce to go over a pasta dish served with chicken and shrimp. Very few people at the table that evening believed they like eggplant, but everyone's dish was clean that night, no complaints. 

It's very simple to create the sauce. While the skin of an eggplant is rich in antioxidants- it also turns the sauce a little more purple, therefore it's up to each chef to remove the skin or leave it on.

3 cups eggplant cut into small chunks
1/2 cup white mushrooms cut into small pieces
3 cups of rice milk plain
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped basil
3 tablespoons of garlic
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Place ingredients into a blender and liquify for about 2 minutes.
Place contents into a sauce pan and simmer on low heat stirring occasionally until heated
Pour over spaghetti squash or other noodle of choice.
Garnish with fresh parsley or basil.

Ask us about more great eggplant recipes. The trick is the olive oil, salt and roasting technique often. Grilled eggplant remains nutritionally in tack and flavorful.

Other foods high in Vitamin B6 are potatoes, chicken, fish and non citrus fruits. 

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