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Incorporating Chia Seed

Chia seeds are a very tiny powerhouse of nutrition and, for that reason, I encourage our patients to figure out ways to incorporate them into the diet.  However, I confess, it can be difficult to find satisfying ways to do it because of the nature of chia seed. Very tiny, these seeds have little taste. They are not suited for snacking on like with pumpkin seeds.  Eaten whole and raw, they tend to get stuck in your teeth too. But it is hard to ignore the 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, healthy fat, and calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content found in just 2 tablespoons of them. 

So here are several ways to add them to your diet without any hassle:

  • Add them to your protein shake. This is one of the most popular options and an easy way to get them into the diet, especially well hidden if you use a blender. Add 1-2 tablespoons of whole seed to the blender for the best results.  It will help to thicken the shake too.
  • Thickener for stews or gravy. This is a great gluten free way to avoid the use of wheat flour and increase fiber at the same time.  When moistened, chia seeds dissolve into a thick mucilage (the fiber), much like an egg white.  Simply soak the seeds in a little water, or a portion of the gravy for 5-10 minutes, then stir the mixture into the pot.
  • As a binder for meatballs and burgers. Instead of eggs or breadcrumbs, use chia seeds to bind your meat together. Use 2 tablespoons of seeds per pound of meat. They can be added dry or first softened in a little water for 5-10 minutes and then added.
  • Or try this easy breakfast recipe from our website: https://woodlandswellnessmd.com/chia-pudding-blackberries-coconut-pistachios.html/

Live Well, Eat Well, Increase your Fiber.  

By |2020-12-30T16:40:18-06:00October 13th, 2020|General, Recipes|

The Health Benefits of Pumpkins

 By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Wait!  Before you say you don’t like pumpkin, consider trying it again. Here’s why:                                                                                          

The fruit of these large, vining plants, so associated with harvest, belong to the Cucurbitaceae, or cucumber family. The two main types are “pepo,” dubbed “small” pumpkins and are often carved into Jack-o-lanterns, and “maxima,” the giant variety grown to enter the “biggest pumpkin” contest at the county fair.

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkins are wonderful when it comes to vitamins and minerals, including large amounts of fiber and 100% of the daily vitamin A requirement. Pumpkins also provide plentiful amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Smaller but significant amounts of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus also are present.

What does that mean for us? The bright orange hints at the presence of a particularly beneficial phytonutrient: carotene. This converts to vitamin A in the body for a tremendous punch of antioxidants with the capacity to help prevent heart disease, cancer, and many of the degenerating signs of aging. Vitamin A is also a must for good vision and helping to prevent lung and mouth cancers. Flavonoids such as cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin destroy harmful free radicals, and the latter, especially, helps protect the retina of the eye from macular degeneration.

Pumpkin seeds are not only a tasty, easy-to-transport snack, you could also say they’re a concentrated source of minerals and vitamins. Two cups contain 30 grams of protein, 110% of the daily recommended allowance for iron, and 559 calories. The fiber helps maintain regular elimination to keep the colon clear. Two cups may sound like a lot and we are not suggesting you eat it all in one sitting, but rather over the course of a week, 8 – ¼ cup servings adds a great deal of nutrition to snacking, salads, sweet potato and butternut squash, just to name a few uses.  A special bonus in pumpkin seeds is the amino acid tryptophan, which, once in the brain, converts into serotonin – a neurotransmitter which relaxes the body, calms the nerves, and improves sleep.

Suggestions: Stir canned organic pumpkin into a Paleo porridge such as Pure Traditions Instant Hot Cereal (www.paleomountain.com). Blend pumpkin puree with cooked acorn squash, carrot, sweet potato or butternut squash and blend with chicken bone broth and spices for a creamy, winter soup. Pureed pumpkin blended with unsweetened applesauce makes a great baby food or seniors food where chewing is an issue.  Also a great comfort food for everyone to replace puddings. Perform an internet search for a keto pumpkin pie and you will find plenty of low sugar, healthy pumpkin pie options for the holidays.





By |2017-10-30T10:08:30-06:00October 30th, 2017|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|