Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. Every cell in your body contains it and requires it to function. It’s responsible for over 600 different functions in your body including:
• Converting amino acids into protein
• Creating and repairing DNA
• Converting food into energy
• Contraction and relaxation of muscles
• Regulating your nervous system
Unfortunately it’s estimated that about 50% of the US population doesn’t get their recommended daily amount of magnesium. Here are ten of the of the most magnesium-rich foods that can help get you there:
1) Swiss Chard ½ cup=75mg
2) Almonds 1oz=76mg
3) Cashews 1oz=77mg
4) Spinach ½ cup=79mg
5) Amaranth (ancient grain high in fiber and a complete protein) ½ cup=80mg
6) Mackerel fish 3oz=83mg
7) Sesame Seeds 1oz=100mg
8) Salmon 3oz=104mg
9) Brazil Nuts 1oz=106mg
10) Pumpkin Seeds 1oz=156mg
A day at the pool usually brings with it some pretty intense hunger. Keep everyone satisfied with these snack ideas that are perfect to have ready by the pool.
1. Watermelon - A Summer classic that’s as delicious as it is hydrating.
2. Mixed Nuts - Healthy fats and protein that will last.
3. String Cheese - Calcium, protein, and very satisfying.
4. Trail Mix - Consider making your own to control sugar content and tailor macros to your needs. See our June 5th post on “DIY Trail Mix” for tips.
5. Guacamole and Chips - This classic combo feels like Summer and works great by the pool.
6. Popsicles - Frozen Greek Yogurt bars are a great choice to help cool off but also give your body some nourishment.
Both cantaloupe and honeydew are members of the muskmelon family and both are great additions to any summertime spread. Let’s see how the two compare:
🍈 Appearance: Cantaloupe has a darker, netted rind with orange flesh while honeydew has a lighter, smooth rind and green flesh
🍈 Nutrition: Both are nearly identical in calories, macros, and water content, but cantaloupe has more than twice as much vitamin C and over 60% more vitamin A. Either one is a great, healthy choice with plenty of vitamins and beneficial plant compounds.
🍈 Taste and Texture: Again, both are very similar but honeydew tends to be slightly sweeter and more firm than cantaloupe.
You may have spotted pesto on our menu recently. Here’s a little info about it and why we like it:
• Pesto is a bright green Italian sauce that’s typically made of pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
• Ingredients are typically blended to create a thick pureé.
• The word “pesto” is actually the past tense form of the Italian verb “pestare” which means to crush, which makes sense.
• There are variations to pesto that vary by Italian region and can include lemon juice, pistachios, ricotta, or fennel.
• Pesto contains some antioxidants and the combo of pine nuts and garlic may help keep arteries healthy. It even contains some omega-3s and antioxidants.
Whether you’re out running errands all day or hiking a trail, trail mix can keep hunger at bay and keep you on track. Unfortunately most of the trail mix you’ll find in stores is overloaded with sugar, but luckily it’s easy to make your own and tailor it to your needs and taste preferences. Here are some basic building blocks for DIY trail mix:
• Nuts/Seeds - These provide healthy fats, protein, crunch, omegas, and vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind they’re calorically dense and watch the sodium:
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas).
• Dried Fruit - These can provide potassium, fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more. Go for options without added sugar:
Raisins, dried cherries, goji berries, dried mango, apple chips, dates, dried cranberries.
• Misc./Indulgence - This can be the part that makes your trail mix real interesting and feel a little like a splurge. A little bit of sweet can go a long way, so add some in but make sure it’s not the majority of your mix:
Popcorn, pretzels, chocolate chips, yogurt raisins, dark chocolate chunks, cereal, mini marshmallows.
• Some Example Mixes:
Rocky Road - Pecans, dark chocolate chunks, mini marshmallows, dates.
Tropical - Macadamia nuts, banana chips, dried mango or pineapple, coconut.
White Chocolate Cherry - Cashews, pepitas, dried cherries, white chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter Lovers - Peanuts, pretzel sticks, raisins, peanut butter chips.
One of the items out this week is our Salmon Patty with Mustard Aioli, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans. Have you heard of aioli before but weren’t quite sure what it was? We’ve got you covered:
• The word “aioli” is a compound of the French words for “garlic” and “oil”.
• Traditionally, aioli is made by crushing garlic and then emulsifying it with olive oil and salt until it’s fluffy.
• Some refer to aioli as a cousin to mayonnaise since some variations include eggs along with the garlic and olive oil - which is the basic recipe for mayo.
• These days, it’s common to see a flavored mayo mixture referred to as aioli. The definition is pretty loose and that’s ok because it’s usually delicious.
• So basically, mayo + some other flavoring = aioli.
• French-style aioli typically has mustard added. Spanish-style aioli does not.
• You can use it as a dip for fries, dressing for salad, drizzle on broccoli, or a burger topping.
When it’s hot out, it doesn’t get much better than biting into a juicy piece of watermelon. This colorful fruit has earned its place at your next pool party or BBQ - it’s refreshing, delicious, and even packs some nutrition benefits you may not have known about:
It’s not just a clever name, watermelon is composed of 92% water, which is just what you need to beat the Summer heat. This will help keep you going safely during outdoor activities and can even help with digestion thanks to the combo of water and fiber content in the fruit.
🍉 Low Calories
One cup of watermelon has only 46 calories, making it one of the lowest calorie fruits around.
🍉 Variety of Nutrients
They aren’t all water though - a one cup serving of watermelon contains 21% of your daily vitamin C, 18% vitamin A, and around 4% of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B5, and B6.
This antioxidant is what gives watermelon (and tomatoes) it’s vibrant color but can also help protect your body’s cells and lower inflammation.
🍉 Relieve Sore Muscles
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline that’s been shown to potentially reduce muscle soreness from strenuous activities and speed heart rate recovery.
🍉 Skin and Hair Health
Vitamins A and C are both plentiful in watermelon and are crucial for healthy skin and hair. They support collagen production and repair cells.
Butter is basically the fat from milk in solid form and the diet of the cows that produce the milk (and then butter) can affect its taste and nutrition. Most cows in the US eat corn and grain for their food, but grass-fed meat and dairy is catching on and for good reason. Butter is pretty complex and can actually contain quite a few things that can benefit your health - even more so if it’s from grass-fed cows. Here’s why grass-fed butter has an edge over regular butter:
🧈 Healthy Unsaturated Fats
Eating a variety of fats is good for you and grass-fed butter is higher in unsaturated fats than regular butter. Incorporating more of these in your diet may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
You usually don’t associate vitamins with butter, but you can with the grass-fed varieties. Vitamins A, D, K, and E can be found in higher amounts in grass-fed butter.
🧈 Beta Carotene
Grass contains lots of phytonutrients and beta-carotene is one of them. It’s an antioxidant and the same one that’s found in carrots and tomatoes. The levels of beta-carotene are much higher in grass-fed butter since grass is the sole diet of the cows that make it. Beta carotene can help protect your cells from damage and can also be converted into vitamin A.
🧈 Lots More CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
CLA is a type of fat that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, increase bone mass, and fight inflammation and there’s 500% higher amounts of it in grass-fed butter.
On average, grass-fed butter contains 26% more omega-3 fatty acids than regular butter. These fats can help cell development, hormone regulation, healthy blood function, and reduce inflammation in your body.
🧈 Richer Flavor
Grass-fed butter typically has a richer flavor and deeper yellow color than regular butter due to its more complex nutritional profile. Give it a try sometime, but remember both varieties are high in calories and fat so enjoy in moderation!
Pecans help add a rich, buttery flavor and natural sweetness to our Bourbon Pecan Chicken, but they also help give it a nutritional boost. Here’s some nutritional info on pecans you may not have known:
One ounce of pecans has 2.5g of protein and no cholesterol.
• Heart Health
Among the 19+ vitamins and minerals they have, the combo of calcium, magnesium, and potassium found in pecans can help lower your blood pressure. They’re also very high in copper, which can help improve red blood cell production and support immune health.
• Healthy Fat
Most of the fat found in pecans is monounsaturated fat, which can help lower levels of the bad LDL cholesterol.
One ounce provides 10% of your daily recommended fiber intake.
• No Sodium
Pecans are naturally sodium free, making them a good choice for those on a sodium or salt-restricted diet.
Plain yogurt is such a versatile thing to have around, but if you’ve got some in the fridge with an expiration date looming and aren’t sure how to use it up, we’ve got you covered:
1. Quick, Sweet Topping
Add a spoon or two of whatever jam you have to some yogurt for a sweet breakfast topping. It goes great on waffles.
2. Make Popsicles
Blend yogurt with some fresh fruit and freeze in popsicle molds for a creamy and refreshing treat.
3. Whip Up a Dressing
It’s easy to make your own dressing using yogurt as the base. By adding things like olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and dill, you can have a quick and healthy dressing that can be used on almost anything.
Maybe this is what you bought it for in the first place, but you can get a delicious breakfast just by starting with yogurt and adding things like fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana), granola or chia seeds for crunch, and a drizzle of honey for some sweetness.
5. Replace Your Mayo
If a recipe you’re using calls for mayonnaise, try swapping it for yogurt to lighten up the calories and fat.
6. Swirl Into Soups
A quick way to add body and a deluxe texture to soups is to mix in a dollop or two of plain Greek yogurt right before serving. This works really well for carrot, cauliflower, and pumpkin soups.