What is Thiamin?
If you usually look at nutrition facts panels on foods, you may have seen a vitamin listed as “thiamin” followed by the daily percentage amount. But what is thiamin?
🚀 Simply put, thiamin is another name for vitamin B1. You may also see it spelled as “thiamine” sometimes but they’re the same thing.
🚀 Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps convert carbs, fat, and protein into glucose to provide you with usable energy.
🚀 The family of B vitamins that thiamin belongs to is helpful for keeping your liver, skin, hair, and eyes healthy.
🚀 B vitamins also play a crucial role in your brain health and can also boost your immune system, especially during stressful times.
🚀 Thiamin isn’t stored in your body so it should be part of your daily diet.
🚀 Food sources of thiamin include: pork chops, salmon, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice, flax seeds, black beans, navy beans, green peas, sunflower seeds, acorn squash, lentils, macadamia nuts, asparagus, and pistachios.
Avoid These Protein Mistakes
We all know it’s important to get enough protein. Protein is a part of every cell in your body and helps you perform everyday functions, feel well, and stay healthy overall. Here are some common mistakes you should be sure to avoid when it comes to this crucial macro.
👉 Not Getting A Good Variety of Protein Types
Different proteins have different amino acid profiles and ideally you want your diet to include them all. Mixing up your protein sources can help get you there. Start with legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and leafy greens. Then add in seafood, dairy, poultry, eggs, and some red meat to round it out. Combine these in different ways at different meals and you should be set.
👉 Skipping Protein in the Morning
Getting in some protein at breakfast can help with weight control by making you feel satisfied and controlling your appetite. Make sure you aren’t just eating carbs in the AM. There are plenty of options for breakfast protein such as eggs (however you like them), Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, bacon, or sausage.
👉 Too Much Protein at One Time
Your body can only do so much with the protein we give it at each meal and you can overdo it. The sweet spot is 20-30 grams each time you eat for maximum effectiveness. Aim for this and you’ll have your protein consumption spread out throughout the day so you can keep going strong.
👉 Snacks Lacking Protein
Take a look at your snacks and see if they could include some more protein. Carbs are good for energy but they get burned up quickly. Protein will help it all last longer. Some ideas you could reach for are Greek yogurt, nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts) or roasted seeds (sunflower or pumpkin), hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, milk, beef jerky, or peanut butter. Look to hemp hearts or ground flax seed as easy toppers for your snacks that can also boost the protein.
Just like internet-famous kid Tariq, we really like corn. Yes, it “has the juice” but there are plenty of other reasons the “big lump with knobs” should be gracing your plate. Here are just a few of the health benefits of corn:
🌽 B Vitamins - One cup of corn has over 10% of your daily value (DV) of vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6. These help your body with a huge variety of functions such as energy synthesis, moving oxygen and nutrients around, and keeping your skin, nervous system, and guts healthy.
🌽 Fiber - Adults need between 25-38 grams of fiber per day and one cup of corn will yield 3.6g of that. Fiber helps promote gut health, balance blood sugar, and keep you regular.
🌽 Heart Health - The fiber in corn can help lower cholesterol levels, leading to increased heart health. This happens because the soluble fiber in corn reduces how much cholesterol is absorbed into your bloodstream.
🌽 Healthy Vision - There are plant compounds in yellow corn that help protect your eyes from light-related damage. Some studies are even showing that these compounds may help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Five Foods That Ruin Your Sleep
Food can fuel your body to get through each day, but at night you want to wind down before bed. Here are five foods and drinks that may be ruining your sleep:
💤 Spicy Foods - One possible side effect of spicy foods that could keep you up at night is acid reflux, which only gets worse when you lie down. Another is that the capsaicin in spicy foods elevates your body temperature, which is counter-intuitive since your body naturally lowers its internal temp to fall asleep and stay comfortable.
💤 Chocolate - While it’s not as much as a cup of coffee, chocolate contains some caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine too. So keep this in mind if you’re reaching for dessert and it’s close to bedtime.
💤 Alcohol - While it can definitely make you feel sleepy and fall asleep, alcohol actually interferes with the quality of sleep you’ll get. First of all, it’s a diuretic, so you may find yourself making more trips to the bathroom throughout the night. It’s also been found to make it more difficult to reach REM sleep, which is the stage that leads to improved mood and memory.
💤 Caffeinated Drinks - Caffeine suppresses melatonin and can impact your ability to fall asleep and cause you to never reach deep sleep once you do. It takes most people 5 hours to eliminate caffeine from their system, so keep this in mind as bedtime approaches. Be mindful of any coffee, tea, or soda you have in the evening and make sure you know if it contains caffeine or not.
💤 Sugar - There are plenty of reasons to reduce sugar in your diet and the quality of your sleep is one of them. Evidence has shown that sugary snacks before bed can lead to restlessness and easily-disrupted sleep.
Are Beans Good Carbs?
With soup season kicking off, you’re bound to come across beans and may be wondering if they’re good or bad. Aren’t beans carbs? Yes. Aren’t carbs bad? Not necessarily. Let’s look at if beans are good carbs or not:
First we have to break down carbohydrates briefly. Carbs can either be simple or complex.
Simple carbs have been processed, which causes the fiber content to be removed or altered. Think white bread, pastries, sugary drinks, candy, cookies. These carbs don’t usually offer too much in the way of nutrition. Some may call these “bad” carbs.
Complex carbs are unprocessed and have all of their natural fiber content intact. Think whole grains, vegetables, potatoes, quinoa, legumes, beans, nuts. These carbs usually offer some kind of nutrition whether it’s fiber, protein, or vitamins and minerals. These would be the “good” carbs.
Beans are a complex carbohydrate so we’re going to call them a “good” carb!
They contain more nutrients and fiber than processed, simple carbs. They’ll help you feel full longer and provide you with usable energy.
Beans won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike like simple “bad” carbs might. This makes them low-glycemic and a good option for those needing to keep levels stable.
They also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber to keep you regular. “Musical fruit” and all that.
Unlike most other carbs, beans contain a good amount of protein. It varies by type but most beans contain around 8g of protein for a ½ cup serving.
• Not usually one to get the spotlight, vitamin K plays a role in vital body functions such as blood clotting, bone metabolism, brain health, and keeping blood calcium levels healthy.
• It’s grouped into two categories:
1. Vitamin K1 - the main type of dietary vitamin K that comes from plant sources
2. Vitamin K2 - secondary type that comes from fermented and animal-based sources
• Good sources of vitamin K1 include:
- Leafy Greens - kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables - Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower
• Good sources of vitamin K2 include:
- Nattō (Japanese fermented soybeans)
- Pork Sausage
- Hard Cheeses
- Egg Yolks
- Grass-Fed Dairy Products
How To Cut Onions Without Crying
Don’t be embarrassed if you shed a few tears while cutting onions - there’s actually a scientific reason for it. Once an onion is cut, it releases a chemical called syn-Propanethial S-oxide that irritates your eyes. To flush the irritant out, tears are released. If you’d rather avoid the waterworks while cutting these alliums, here are some tips:
🧅 While you don’t want to store uncut onions in the fridge, you can chill the onion for 30-45 minutes before cutting it. This will decrease the amount of irritant that gets released.
🧅 Turn over any cut sides so they’re face-down to limit the release of the chemical.
🧅 Place any cut pieces you’re done with in a bowl on the other side of the room. The distance will weaken the severity of the chemical.
🧅 A sharp knife will reduce the amount of damage to the cells of the onion by requiring less pressure, thereby releasing less of the tear-inducing chemical.
🧅 Remove the root end first and quickly dispose of it. It contains the highest concentration of the irritant.
What is Arginine?
🔆 Sometimes called “L-arginine”, arginine is what’s known as a conditionally essential amino acid. This means that your body can usually produce enough of it on its own.
🔆 Additional arginine levels may be needed for individuals in physiological stress such as recovering from an injury or burns or if they have reduced kidney and small intestine function.
🔆 Functions in the body that arginine can help with include: healing, helping the kidneys remove waste, healthy hormone and immune systems, relaxing blood vessels, and helping build proteins.
🔆 There are many natural, whole food sources of arginine:
🔸 Nuts - Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts
🔸 Seeds - Pumpkin, watermelon, sesame, sunflower
🔸 Dairy - Milk, yogurt, cheese
🔸 Meat - Turkey, beef, chicken, pork chops
🔸 Fish - Tuna, tilapia
🔸 Whole Grains - Oats, corn, buckwheat, brown rice
🔸 Soy - Tofu, edamame, tempeh
Iron is necessary for moving oxygen throughout your body and helping you avoid feeling fatigued. Without getting enough of it in your diet, everyday activities can be challenging. The good news is it can be found in both plant and animal food sources. Here are some of our favorite plant-based sources of iron:
🌱 Dried Apricots
🌱 Morel Mushrooms
Our new Burger Plate with Mashed Potatoes and Peas features grass-fed, all beef burgers. While both traditional grain-fed beef and grass-fed beef have lots of health benefits to offer, grass-fed does change things up a little.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids - While the levels of omega-6 fatty acids are about the same between grain-fed and grass-fed, the amount of omega-3s are up to five times higher in grass-fed.
• Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) - Pulling ahead again, grass-fed beef contains twice as much CLA as grain-fed. CLA has some interesting health benefits such as helping reduce body fat deposits and improving immune functions.
• Monounsaturated Fat - Grass-fed beef contains less monounsaturated fat than grain-fed beef. Monounsaturated is one of the healthy fats, so depending on what you’re trying to get in your diet, this could either be a pro or con.
• Vitamin A - While both types of beef contain vitamin A, grass-fed contains carotenoids such as beta carotene that help boost the effectiveness of vitamin A.
• Vitamin E - Both types of beef contain vitamin E, but the amount is higher in grass-fed. This vitamin can help protect your body’s cells from oxidation.
• Antioxidants - Because grass-fed cows are eating grass instead of grain, they tend to be richer in antioxidants.
• Both Types Are Nutritious - Both grain- and grass-fed beef have lots to offer. They’re both packed with B vitamins, iron, zinc, and selenium. Not only that, but each type contains quality protein and things like creatine and carnosine to help with brain and muscle function. Both are nutritious, they’re just a little different.