Health Conditions

Anti-Inflammation Diet

These are some of the delicious Mediterranean dishes I enjoyed in my trip to Greece this summer. Delicious and part of a low inflammation eating pattern - what's not to love!!

 

A low inflammation diet is consistent with a healthy eating pattern and weight control. This type of diet is also recommended for reducing heart disease and diabetes risk, and follows the same principles as the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. 

Nutrients You Need

Ideal recipe for the hazy lazy days of summer!

Quick, Satisfying And Vitamin Rich Dish

Do you find that getting dinner on the table is almost always a race to beat the clock and making it nutritious can be an even bigger task. This is especially true during summer when many activities are clamoring for your attention. Keeping meals healthy even with the readily available fresh vegetables of the season can be challenging.

Solution

 A sensible solution to this daily challenge is to have a few go to recipes that are ready in minutes.  Here I have a quick and easy complete meal recipe Fennel-Basil Shrimp Sauté, (recipe follows) which takes advantage of quick cooking vegetables and shrimp. In addition to the ease of this dish it is nutrient packed to boot.

Nutrient rich vegetables – fennel, tomatoes and spinach – are jam packed with potassium and other essential elements.  Potassium is critical in lowering blood pressure and vegetables’ low caloric content is key for weight loss. Plus fennel   contains vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, calcium and phosphate. Fennel’s flavor is reminiscent of aniseed or licorice.  Tomatoes offer vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin A. Spinach is another power house of nutrients and also rich in iron. Both fennel and tomatoes are diuretics. The pasta provides some complex carbohydrate for staying power,  if desired wholegrain pasta can be used fro more fiber.

 Beat the dinner clock this summer and stay healthy at the same time. Simple home cooked dishes such as this Fennel Basil Shrimp Sauté dish is a sure way to keep you on time and on your diet track. 

 

 

Fennel-Basil Shrimp Sautee

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 shallot, sliced

½ cup fennel, diced

1-pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

¼ cup chicken stock

1 pint grape tomatoes

¼ - pound baby spinach, washed

6 basil leaves

 8 oz. bowtie pasta cook according to package directions

In a skillet, heat oil and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.  Add shallot and fennel and tomatoes. Cook three minutes. Add shrimp and chicken stock. Cook until shrimp is done. Add spinach cook for one minute. Add Basil and cook one more minute. Remove from heat and toss with pasta. Serve.

Eat To Lower Cholesterol

 Pineapple and Strawberries with Spiced Honey

Pineapple and Strawberries with Spiced Honey

Food choices that lower blood cholesterol levels

High blood cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United Sates. Despite its harmful effect, cholesterol is a vital component in our bodies. It is used to make hormones, digest fats and make Vitamin D. In fact, the body makes it’s own cholesterol.  The driving forces of blood cholesterol production in the body are your genetics and saturated fats. Any food that comes from animals contains saturated fat. Given that we cannot change our genetics, controlling the amount of saturated fat we eat is key to managing cholesterol levels.

 Experts recommend limiting saturated fats consumed be based on our calorie pattern. For example a pattern of 1800 - 2000 calories per day would have a limit of 20 – 22 grams of saturated fats. When goal is to lower the LDL known as the “bad cholesterol” the limit is even lower. Modifying ingredients, recipes and eating pattern is our best bet to keep saturated fats and bad cholesterol in line.  

Almost 20 % of saturated fats in the American diet comes from snacks and sweets. Ingredients and foods that come from animals or animal products are natural sources of saturated fats. Foods such as meat and meat products, milk and milk products such as cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, ice cream are rich sources of saturated fat and cholesterol. One ounce of regular cheese contains 6 - 9 grams of saturated fat, half a cup of ice cream contains about 6 grams and one tablespoon of butter contains about 7 grams. And they add up quickly.   Limiting animal products and replacing it with plant foods and liquid oils is the most effective defense at our disposal. Opting for more plant based dishes from appetizers to dessert is a healthy way to cut back on saturated fat. Here is a delicious fruit based dessert that makes a perfect ending to any meal.

 

Recipe

Pineapple and strawberries with spiced honey

1 pineapple, peeled and cubed

1 lb. strawberries, washed and cut in half

2 tablespoons of honey

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

4 peppercorns

½ cup blueberries

Combine pineapple cubes and strawberries in a shallow bowl.   

Bring 6 oz. of water to boil with the honey, cinnamon stick, cloves, and black peppercorn.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool and filter through a sieve. If desired refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the cooled syrup to the mixed fruit, if desired add blueberries for color.

IMG_2406.jpg