Salt and pepper can be found almost anywhere a meal will be had, but there’s another variety of pepper that’s been increasing in popularity lately - white pepper. You may come across recipes that call for white pepper and wonder what makes it different. Let’s take a look:
- Both black pepper and white pepper come from the same berries of the pepper plant. The difference is in how they’re prepared.
- Black pepper is picked right before ripening and then dried, causing the outer skins of the berry to turn black. It has a more complex flavor and is typically considered spicier than white pepper.
- White pepper is picked when ripe and then soaked to remove the outer skin. Its flavor is more subtle, sometimes described as being “earthy” or “floral” and most people agree that it’s not as hot as black pepper. This reduction in heat is mostly due to the removal of the pepperine compound that’s found in the skin that gives pepper its robust, spicy flavor.
- Recipes that call for white pepper usually do so to avoid discoloring the dish and for a more mild flavor that doesn’t overpower other ingredients. Certain dishes such as hot and sour soup and many Asian recipes traditionally call for white pepper.
Honey and sugar are both carbohydrates and mostly made of fructose and glucose. They both need to be consumed in moderation to avoid weight gain. There are some differences though between the makeup of each and the way your body processes them. Honey actually offers some benefits that refined sugar can’t:
🍯Lower Glycemic Index: Honey usually has a Glycemic Index (GI) of 45, while refined sugar is closer to 65. This means it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as high or as fast as sugar.
🍯Sweeter Than Sugar: Honey is higher in fructose than glucose and, of the two, fructose is sweeter. That means you can use less honey and achieve the same amount of sweetness.
🍯Vitamins & Minerals: While they’re only trace amounts, honey offers vitamin C, B3, B5, folate, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, iron, and manganese. Sugar has none of those.
🍯Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics: Bees add enzymes to honey, making it easier to digest since the sugars are partially broken down. These enzymes also help support helpful gut bacteria.
🍯Antimicrobial & Anti-Inflammatory: Honey can help fight a few different strains of bacteria and also reduce swelling. That’s why it’s recommended for sore throats. Refined sugar tends to be more inflammatory and can cause problems to persist.
We all know it’s important to incorporate a variety of vitamins and minerals in our lives, but does it matter where you get them from? Are vitamins and minerals that come from supplements like daily multivitamin pills the same as those that come from food?
- Research has shown that your body can do more with vitamins and minerals that come from food than it can from supplements.
- There are benefits associated with nutrients from foods that aren’t seen with supplements.
- Some of these benefits include a decreased risk of certain cancers, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and a longer life.
- Food contains things that pills can’t, such as fiber and powerful phytochemicals.
- More isn’t always better! Excess amounts of vitamins can accumulate in your body and lead to problems.
- Too much calcium sourced from supplements, for example, can lead to muscle pain, kidney stones, and cardiovascular issues. Excess calcium from food hasn’t been shown to be a problem because of the difference in how your body processes it.
- If you’re deficient in something like Vitamin D or B12, supplementation is a good way to catch up quickly.
- Supplements are still useful, just be aware that they aren’t quite as beneficial as nutrition from food.
When your body is fighting cancer, nutrition can be a powerful ally. Fresh foods that are low in sugar can be extremely helpful in reducing inflammation and boosting your immune system. Here are some examples of foods that can help fight cancer and how they support your body:
• Broccoli: boosts detoxifying enzymes
• Berries: phytochemicals support the immune system
• Leafy greens: beta-carotene and lutein to limit cancer cell growth
• Tomatoes: lycopene is an antioxidant that protects cells
• Walnuts: phytosterols slow cancer growth by blocking estrogen pathways
• Avocado: oleic acid helps fight breast cancer
• Garlic: phytochemicals reduce carcinogen formation in the stomach
• Turmeric: slows the spread of cancer and starves tumors
For recipes and even more information on this, we’ll be speaking at Gilda’s Clubhouse Evansville (5740 Vogel Road) this morning at 11:30 as we cover “Customizing for Chemo”. The event is FREE and you’ll learn how nutrition can help your body during the healing process.
It’s never too soon to get kids started with a healthy lifestyle, as challenging as it may be. Good habits and nutrition fuel their minds and bodies and set up lifestyle choices that lead to future success. Here are some tips that can help raise healthy eaters as we start the new year:
• Try and keep meals balanced nutritionally and at a consistent time.
• Include a variety of healthy options in meals and snacks to show your child that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring.
• Ensure meal environments are calm and pleasant so positive emotions are attached to eating.
• Remove distractions such as electronic devices at meals so kids’ attention can be on eating and interacting with others.
• Make food safety, including washing hands, part of the routine before eating.
• Tap into a variety of foods by exploring different cultures and cuisines. This helps keep interest levels high and can be educational.
A new year means new goals and resolutions. There’s an acronym - SMART - that can help you set goals that are built for success. Let’s break down what SMART stands for and get your new year started off right!
• Specific: Be clear and specific. Try and answer the five W’s about your resolution (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and use action words. Don’t just say “lose weight/eat less”. Instead say “lose 10 lbs/eat 200 less calories per day” and you’ll be more focused because you have something specific to strive for.
• Measurable: This will help you track your progress along the way and stay motivated. Being able to measure your achievements helps you feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal. Think of things like “how many calories/reps/pounds” that you’ll be able to log and track progress for when making resolutions.
• Achievable: You want your resolutions to stretch you, but not be impossible. Reach for the stars, but keep one foot grounded in reality. Improving a little is better than nothing at all.
• Relevant: Make sure the goal makes sense. Does it seem worthwhile and is now the right time? Evaluate why the goal is actually important to you and how it will fit into your current situation. Picture what it will look like by the end of the year if you stay on track.
• Time-Bound: Goals need deadlines to keep you on track. Set up milestones along the path of your resolution. If you want to lose 20lbs in a year, can you lose 10lbs in 6 months? Breaking things down into timeline chunks will further ensure success and keep things moving.