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Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Essential Vitamins

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Vitamins are essential nutrients that everyone requires for a healthy, functioning body. Here are a list of the top ten essential vitamins, their functions and the foods they can be found in.

1. Vitamin A

Good For

  • Maintaining eyesight
  • Improving immunity
  • Ensuring healthy bone development

Find it in

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash
  • Turnips

2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Good For

  • Converting carbs into energy
  • Promoting a healthy nervous system

Find it in

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Good For

  • Promoting healthy skin and complexion
  • Processing macronutrients

Find it in

  • Calf’s liver
  • Milk

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Good For

  • Promoting a healthy nervous system
  • Promoting a healthy digestive system
  • Plays a key role in energy production

Find it in 

  • Chicken breast
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Halibut
  • Turkey breast

5. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Good For

  • Maintaining red blood supply
  • Aiding in the absorption of other nutrients

Find it in

  • A good multivitamin, as not many foods contain significant amounts of this vitamin
  • In lower amounts find it in swiss chard, almonds, legumes, tomatoes and romaine lettuce

6. Vitamin C

Good For

  • Improving immunity
  • Protecting against cardiovascular and eye disease
  • May prevent anti-aging signs such as wrinkles

Find it in

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Red Bell peppers
  • Papaya

7. Vitamin D

Good For

  • Aiding in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
  • Ensuring healthy bone growth

Find it in

  • Sunshine
  • Fortified milk
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Whole eggs

8. Vitamin E

Good For

  • Improving immunity
  • Promoting blood flow and healing of body tissues

Find it in

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Olives
  • Spinach
  • Papaya

9. Vitamin K

Good For

  • Plays an important role in blood clotting
  • Aiding in bone development
  • Aiding in heart disease prevention

Find it in

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine lettuce

10. Folic Acid

Good For 

  • Preventing anemia
  • Aiding in new cell production
  • Especially important during pregnancy because it helps to prevent neural-tube birth defects

Find it in

  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Black beans

Source:

Clark, S. (2015, April 4). The Top 10 Vitamins That Everyone Should Include In Their Diet! – Bodybuilding.com. Retrieved August 31, 2015.

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Reasons to Support Fair Trade

You may have heard the term “Fair Trade” before, but do you know what it is? Here are the words Canadians used to describe it in a 2011 survey conducted by Fairtrade Canada…. (more mentions=bigger letters).

Photo provided by Fairtrade Canada

Photo provided by Fairtrade Canada

Turns out most Canadians have a pretty good idea of what Fair trade is. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s described by Fairtrade Canada as “a different way of doing business.” It focuses on ensuring that fairness and decency mean something in the marketplace. Farmers and producers are getting better deals and longer, more meaningful trading relationships are established. In addition it’s a way to inform consumers that the products they are purchasing meet their values, so that they can make choices that have a positive impact on the world.

Fair Trade vs Fairtrade

Can a space make all the difference? In this case, yes.

Fair Trade refers to the general concept of fairness and decency in the marketplace, whereas Fairtrade refers specifically to the Fair Trade Certification system, run by Fairtrade International and its members, including Fairtrade Canada.

Why buy Fairtrade Certified Products?

Here are 10 reasons to look for the certified Fairtrade logo.

  1. Fairtrade helps to tackle poverty by opening up markets to marginalised producers.
  2. Workers and producers are empowered because they learn how international trade works.
  3. Fairtrade growers are encouraged to protect their environment or go organic.
  4. Fairtrade farmers receive advice and exchange information about growing in the uncertain seasons and conditions such as droughts increasingly being experienced as a result of Climate Change.
  5. The Fairtrade price includes a premium which is invested in producers businesses or the community. How this sum is spent is decided democratically.
  6. By buying Fairtrade you show that you care about those who produce these goods not just prices!
  7. Buying Fairtrade sends a message to governments that people want Trade Justice.
  8. There is now a huge variety of Fairtrade products of a high standard.
  9. Buying Fairtrade challenges all companies to move away from unsustainably low commodity prices and unethical sourcing. It may also encourage companies to strive towards becoming Fairtrade themselves.
  10. It is reliable – you know that products that bear the Fairtrade mark will be of good quality and will have been produced in an environmentally friendly way by growers and producers who will have received a fair price thus helping to lift people out of poverty.

 

Sources

Fairtrade Canada. “What is Fair Trade?” n.d. fairtrade.ca. Online. 28 April 2015.

Fairtrade Jersey. “10 Reasons to Buy Fairtrade.” n.d. fairtradejersey.org. Online. 28 April 2015.

 

Trivia Tuesday: 15 Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice

Also known as “liquid gold,” this juice contains all minerals known to man, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K. It is extremely rich in protein, and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein. What juice are we talking about?

a)Beetroot Juice

b)Wheatgrass Juice

c) Carrot Juice

d) Tomato Juice

The answer is b) Wheatgrass Juice!

If you’re not familiar with Wheatgrass Juice, read on. It’s one of the best sources of chlorophyll available. Wheatgrass juice can be found powdered, in a concentrated juice form or you can even grow it yourself, and despite it’s name, it contains absolutley no wheat! Its high chlorophyll and nurtient content gives this juice some super health benefits. Even if the thought of green juices make you shudder, these 15 of benefits of wheatgrass juice may change your mind.

15 Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice

1) As we mentioned above, wheatgrass juice contains all minerals known to man

2) Enzymes and other compounds found in chlorophyll help slow down the process of aging by decompsing superoxide radicals into more manegeable forms

3) Because chlorophyll is the first product of light, foods high in chlorophyll like wheatgrass juice, contain more light energy than other foods

4) Wheatgrass juice is well absorbed by the body, and has never been found to produce any toxic side effects

5) Chlorophyll has been found to stop the growth and development of unfriendly bacteria

6) Chlorophyll is an antibacterial and can be used internally and externally. Wheatgrass ointments have a soothing effect and are suitable for treating dry, itchy skin

7) Chlorophyll may be useful in clearing sinuses, congestion and head colds

8) Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins from the body and purifies the liver. It’s a more powerful detoxifying agent than other fruit and vegetable juices

9) Chlorophyll stabalizes and improves blood sugar levels

10) Along with an improved diet, wheatgrass juice can cure acne and help to remove scars after being ingested regularly for about eight months

11) Wheatgrass is great for dental health. When ingested regularly it can help prevent tooth decay. When held in the mouth for 5 minutes it can help eliminate toothaches while pulling toxins from the gums

12) Wheatgrass juice can be gargled to help a sore throat

13) Wheatgrass is easy to digest and improves overall digestion

14) Eliminate dandruff with wheatgrass by massaging 6 ounces into the scalp and cover with a shower cap for 15 minutes

15) Wheatgrass juice can reduce high blood pressure and enhances the capillaries

So, will you try wheatgrass juice?

Source:  Hall, S. (2013, May 13). 50 Reasons To Drink Wheatgrass Everyday. Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://thechalkboardmag.com/50-reasons-to-drink-wheatgrass-everyday

 

Tuesday’s Ten: World Health Day Special Edition

  5 TuesdayHappy World Health Day 2015

  Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day has been around since 1950. Each year, on April 7th, WHO celebrates by bringing awareness to various global health topics. This year, the topic is Food Safety. 

You may be wondering why Food Safety is such a big deal. What you may not have known is that more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. Hepatitis, E. Coli and Salmonella are just a few examples. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries, creates a strain on our health care system and even hurts the national economy and development of international trade.

Luckily, most foodborne illness is preventable with proper food handling techniques. Follow these 5 Key Tips to ensure your own Food Safety, provided by WHO.

1) Keep Clean

This ensures that microorganisms that you may encounter during your daily activities do not contaminate your food.

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during food prep
  • Wash your hands after using the washroom and before eating
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used during food prep
  • Protect your kitchen from insects, pests and other animals
  • Clean all surface (including your hands) that come into contact with raw meat or poultry

Hint

  • Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing hands to ensure you’ve washed them long enough

2) Seperate Raw and Cooked Food

Raw foods, especialy meat, poultry and seafood and their juices, can contain harmful microorganisms. These can be transferred to other foods during preperation or storage, resulting in cross contamination.

  • Seperate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Use seperate equipment and utensils for handling raw foods, this includes knives and cutting boards
  • Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods

Hint

  • Store meat, poultry and seafood below cooked or ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamintaion
  • Store food in containers with lids

3) Cook Thoroughly

Proper cooking can kill almost all harmful microorganisms. Cooking food to a temperature of 70 ºC will help enure it’s safe for eating. High-risk foods that require special attention include minced meats, large joints of meat and whole poultry.

  • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to a boil to make sure they’ve reached 70 ºC.
  • Make sure that the juices from meat and poultry are clear, not pink.
  • Use a thermometer if you’re not sure
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly

Hint

  • When using a microwave make sure your food is cooked through, as microwaves can leave cold spots and cook food unevenly

4) Keep Food at a Safe Temperature

Microorganisms multiply very quickly when sotred at room temperature. By storing foods in the fridge or freezer or heating them up you can slow, or even stop, the growth of harmful microorganisms.

  • Don’t leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Refrigerate cooked and perishable foods as soon as possible
  • Keep cooked food piping hot before serving
  • Know when to get rid of food, don’t keep it too long in the refrigerator
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature

Hint

  • If you use a microwave to thaw food, make sure to cook it promptly. This method of thawing can leave hot spots where bacteria can grow
  • Leftovers should not be reheated more than once
  • Thaw food in your refrigerator or other cool location

5) Use Safe Water and Raw Materials 

Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated prior to cooking. Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy food. Take a preemptive step by taking care when choosing raw materials. Remember to wash and peel certain fruits and veggies as well.

  • Always use safe water or treat it to make it safe
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods
  • Choose foods that are processed safely
  • Wash fruits and vegetable, especially if eaten raw
  • Take note of expiry dates

Hint

  • Safe water is not only important for drinking, but must be used for washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning cooking and eating utensils and washing hands

So, how many of these key tips are you already following? Hopefully the answer is most of them, but theres always room to improve, especially when it comes to your health.

Source

World Health Organization (WHO). “Five Keys to Safer Food Manual.” 2006. who.org. PDF. April 2015.

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Gluten-Free Flours and Starches

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In recent years gluten-free diets have become very popular. Our shelves are full of great gluten-free products, and if you haven’t tried them you should, but don’t be afraid to bake your own gluten-free foods at home! If you’ve ever wanted to bake something but wasn’t sure what to use as a substitute for traditional wheat flours, then this post is for you. Even if you know what you’re doing when it comes to gluten-free baking, keep reading to find out more about your favourite flours.

Think that gluten-free flours are only for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities? Think again. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this post is worth a read. These flours are not only high in fibre, protein and other nutrients but can give the taste of your baked goods a new twist.

1) Sorghum Flour: Sorghum is one of the most widely produced grains, and is a major food source in Africa and India. It’s higher in protein, lower in fat and is similar in nutrient-content when compared to corn. Sorghum is also high in insoluble fibre, allowing it to be digested slower keeping you full longer. The flavour is bland.

2) White or Brown Rice Flour: Although they can be used interchangeably, brown rice flour has a higher nutritional value than white rice flour. The brown rice flour is higher in fibre as well. Both flours have a grainy texture and a slightly nutty taste.

3) Tapioca Starch/Flour: Made from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca starch or flour (yes they’re the same thing!) is a light, fine, soft white flour. It is a good thickening agent in gluten-free baking and may add a chewy texture.

4) Potato Starch: Not to be confused with potato flour, potato starch is made by extracting just the starch from the potato. It is a fine white powder that has a light potato taste, undetectable when used in recipes. It is often used as a thickener.

5) Arrowroot Starch: The root of the arrowroot plant, a perennial herb, is ground into a powder to make this starch. Arrowroot starch is a tasteless, fine powder. It is high in fiber and easily digested. Typically it is used in thickening recipes. It is a useful substitute for cornstarch, if you have a corn allergy.

6) Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, or a grain. The flour is made by grinding the seeds that are found on the plant. This flour is a great source of fiber and other nutrients, and has a strong nutty taste.

7) Quinoa Flour: Quinoa flour is an amazing source of protein, fiber, calcium and iron. The grain is ground to make flour, which will add a nutty taste to baked goods.

8) Oat Flour: It’s important to make sure that if you’re baking with oat flour, that it’s certified gluten-free. Although oats alone do not contain gluten, cross-contamination is common. High in nutrients similar to oats, it adds a light, slightly sweet taste to your cooking.

9) Coconut Flour: This flour is made from dried, ground coconut meat. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. This flour is heavy compared to other flours and adds a light coconut flavour to your baking. It tastes great in any recipe that includes chocolate.

10) Almond Flour: Commonly called almond meal, this is simply ground almonds. You can look forward to all the benefits that you would normally get from almonds in this flour, including the high-levels of protein. It has a nutty taste and may add moisture to your baked goods.

If you’re wondering what flour to substitute in your recipes, try a blend! You can refer to these Gluten Free Flour Formulas for a bunch of recipes.

So, are you new to gluten-free flours, or are you a seasoned professional? Which flours are your favourite? Do you buy your own flour or make your own?