TikTok is the place to go for viral trends and one of the most recent positive ones is an interesting take on salad that people are describing as “weirdly good”. Only calling for two main ingredients - arugula and sauerkraut - this combo is being hailed by dieticians as a microbiome-boosting salad base.
🔥To assemble and try it out for yourself:
▫ Combine equal parts arugula and sauerkraut in a bowl
▫ Add salt and pepper
▫ Add oil of your choice as a simple dressing
▫ Mix it up and see what you think
🗯If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to go 50/50 arugula and sauerkraut, start with mostly arugula and add some sauerkraut to test it out and see if you can add more.
To round things out even more, consider adding roasted chicken, parmesan or feta cheese, toasted almonds or walnuts, or chickpeas.
If you need more motivation to give it a go, know that arugula is packed with vitamin K for proper blood clotting and bone health and it has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also a good source of folate, potassium, and fiber. Sauerkraut is also a great source of vitamins C and K and fiber. Both arugula and sauerkraut offer up lots of good probiotics for gut health and digestion too. Look for raw sauerkraut to maximize the probiotic benefits as the pasteurized varieties have less helpful bacteria present.
You might not hear about it much, but the mineral selenium is crucial for many different functions in your body and offers many different benefits including:
🔹 Protects against heart disease by reducing inflammation.
🔸 Powerful antioxidant to help reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.
🔹 Boosts mental function and improves memory.
🔸 Crucial for thyroid hormone production to control metabolism and your body’s development.
🔹 Enhances your immune response to fight off bacteria and viruses.
🔸 Reduces asthma symptoms by lowering inflammation.
Selenium is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t produce it on its own and you have to obtain it from your diet. Here are some great sources of selenium and what percent of your daily value they provide:
• Oysters: 238% per 3oz
• Brazil Nuts: 174% per nut
• Halibut: 171% per 6oz
• Yellowfin Tuna: 167% per 3oz
• Eggs: 56% per 2 large eggs
• Chicken Breast: 55% per cup, diced
• Sardines: 38% per 4 sardines
• Sunflower Seeds: 25% per 1oz
Spring officially started March 20th this year and it looks like warmer temperatures are finally here to stay. With the increase of color going on outside from blooming and growing plants, why not add some color to your diet with fruit? Here are some ideas that can help you join in:
With an impressive nutrient profile including lots of vitamin C (immune health, iron absorption) and manganese (antioxidant, metabolism, growth and development), pineapple is an easy way to add color and vitamins to your day. It also has the unique ability to offer relief from chronic inflammation due to its bromelain content.
Just one serving of strawberries (about 8 berries) has more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that combined can help boost heart health and lower blood pressure. You can even get the whole family in on it by going to pick your own strawberries usually in May or June.
Increasing your time outside is great for your vitamin D levels but all those UV rays can be rough on your skin. Blueberries are one of the best sources of natural antioxidants and can help boost your ability to recover from the sun’s rays! They’re also legendary in pancakes and always make yogurt a little more interesting.
Another vitamin C powerhouse, kiwis have an impressive nutrient profile and can help with everything from blood pressure and heart health to digestive health.
To add even more protection from sun exposure, go for apricots. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and E which can help keep your skin (and eyes) healthy and soft all season long.
When it comes to nutrition, you hear a lot about “marcos” or macronutrients. But do you know what micronutrients are?
▶ All food contains macronutrients and micronutrients.
▶ The term micronutrient refers to the vitamins and minerals in the foods you eat.
▶ Macronutrients refer to the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the foods you eat.
▶ Think of micronutrients as a way to describe the beneficial compounds found in food and macronutrients as a way to describe how your body will get the calories from your food.
▶ Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients but are required in much smaller amounts, which is why the terms micro (small) and macro (large) are used.
▶ There are two primary types of micronutrients: vitamins and minerals.
▶ Vitamins can be defined as the organic compounds made by plants and animals. They can be broken down by heat, acid, or air and come in two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
▶ Minerals are inorganic and can be found in soil or water. They cannot be broken down and come in two categories: macrominerals (required in larger amounts such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium) and microminerals (AKA trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese).
▶ Your body can’t create or obtain micronutrients on its own, so it’s important to make sure your diet provides them. They’re used for a multitude of processes in your body such as energy production, fat metabolism, skin health, blood cell formation, healthy vision, bone structure, fluid regulation, and many others.
Earlier this week we looked at why you need vitamin A. Now let’s look at what foods you can eat to make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of it. Note that it exists in two forms depending on if it’s from an animal or plant source:
🔶 Retinol or “preformed vitamin A” from animal sources:
🔸 Egg yolks
🔸 Cheddar cheese
🔸 King Mackerel
🔸 Beef, chicken, and cod liver
🔷 Carotenoids or “provitamin A” from plant sources:
🔹 Collard greens
🔹 Sweet potatoes
🔹 Winter squash
🔹 Red peppers
You don’t usually hear about vitamin A as much as some of the other vitamins (like vitamin D) but it’s just as important for your body. Here’s why:
• Good Eyesight
Vitamin A is vital in converting the light that enters your eyes into the electrical signals sent to your brain. One symptom of a vitamin A deficiency may be night blindness, where you have no trouble with vision during the day but struggle at night as your eyes try to pick up low light levels. Vitamin A also helps slow the decline in good vision that people experience as they age.
• Immunity Boost
There are several of your body’s natural defenses that vitamin A plays a crucial role in. One is the function of mucous barriers that help trap infectious bacteria. Another is the production of white blood cells to clear pathogens from your blood. Being deficient in vitamin A can lower your defenses and make you more likely to get sick and slow recovery as you try and get better.
• Growth and Reproduction
Vitamin A is needed to keep reproductive systems in men and women healthy and also to support normal development of embryos during pregnancy. It helps support production of sperm cells and also improves egg quality and implantation. During pregnancy it helps develop the major organs, skeleton, and nervous system of the unborn child.
• Reduce Cancer Risk
Further human studies are needed, but it seems that getting adequate vitamin A (specifically in the form of beta-carotene from plant sources) may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Since cancer occurs when abnormal cells start to grow or divide uncontrollably and vitamin A plays an important role in the development of your cells, scientists continue to study its role in cancer prevention.
🍖 Sirloin steak, sometimes called top sirloin, is a boneless cut of steak that comes from the rear section of a cow.
🍖 It’s known for its distinctive beefy flavor and is somewhat tender, making it easy to cut into any size.
🍖 Sirloin steak is especially useful in kabobs, fajitas, and stir frys, such as our Teriyaki Steak Stir-Fry on the menu.
🍖 A 3oz serving has only 150 calories but provides 26g of protein, 4.9g of fat, and 0g of carbs.
🍖 Aside from being an excellent source of protein and complete amino acids, sirloin steak is also an excellent source of niacin, B6, B12, zinc, and selenium.
🍖 Additionally, it’s a good source of riboflavin, phosphorus, and choline.
Closing out our list of the most nutrient-dense foods, let’s look at those at the end of the alphabet:
💠 Quinoa - This ancient grain is a good source of many important nutrients such as folate, magnesium, zinc, and iron. One cup also has 8g of protein and 5g of fiber.
💠 Spinach - Leafy green spinach is high in fiber, and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K1, as well as folic acid, iron, and calcium, among others. It can help improve eye health, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce blood pressure levels.
💠 Spirulina - This blue-green algae grows in both fresh and salt water and may just be the single most nutritious food on the planet. It contains good amounts of B vitamins, copper, and iron, and small amounts of most other vital nutrients. A one-tablespoon serving contains 4g of high quality protein with all of the essential amino acids.
💠 Sweet Potatoes - A single sweet potato provides you with 400% of your daily vitamin A, which can help keep your eyes and immune system healthy. They’re also rich in vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and antioxidants.
💠 Swiss Chard - In the same family as quinoa, spinach, and beets, swiss chard is an excellent source of many different vitamins and minerals that can help with everything from proper organ function, to blood health, bone building, and healing.
💠 Tomatoes - Among their vitamin C and potassium benefits, tomatoes also boast high levels of an antioxidant called lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and even cancer.
💠 Walnuts - Snacking on walnuts is a great choice. They are a little rich in calories because of their content of good fats, but they are also a good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They also contain many different vitamins and minerals.
🐉 Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya, pitahaya, or strawberry pear.
🐲 Its name comes from its appearance. Dragon fruit looks like a bright pink artichoke with red skin and green pointy scales that resemble a dragon. The pulp on the inside of the fruit is usually white or red with black seeds.
🐉 Dragon fruit grows on a type of cactus known as the Honolulu Queen.
🐲 Its unique flavor can be described as a slightly sweet cross between a kiwi and a pear.
🐉 A 3.5oz serving contains 60 calories, 1.2g of protein, 13g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 10% of your daily magnesium, and some iron and vitamin C. Because of its combo of low calories and good amounts of vitamins, it’s considered a nutrient-dense fruit.
🐲 Dragon fruit also contains several different types of antioxidants.