Tag Archives: electrolytes

To-Go Mug of…Broth?

Health trends are designed to be magnetic, and I admit, even I can’t resist. No matter how much my photo (3)Nutrition professors beat it into my head that there is no magic elixir for health, vitality, and longevity, my curiosity always gets the best of me. I just HAVE to see for myself what the latest buzz is all about. This fascination with topics in the foodscape is what makes me confident, and thankful, that I have landed on my dream career path. So, what is quickly swooping in to overtake the juicing trend of 2013? Bone broth.

Bone broth is slowly simmered over a period of 12-48 hours in a large stock pot on the stove or in a crock pot. Various recipes exist, but the main components are bones (chicken, turkey, or beef short ribs, oxtails, knuckles, neck bones, and feet), some type of acid (apple cider vinegar, wine, or tomato paste), roughly chopped veggies (celery, carrots, onion), and enough water to just barely cover the ingredients. For a deeper flavor, bones are often roasted in the oven for an hour before putting them in the broth. The acid promotes bone disintegration for release of nutrients. You can find the recipe I followed here, or feel free to explore others, such as this one from the NY Times.

Let’s get this out of the way first-I will not waste your time, enticing you with health benefits that may or not be supported. Very few scientific studies have been done on bone broth and it’s associated advantages. That being said, the broth DOES have ties to long standing traditions in many cultures, who believe strongly in it’s nourishing power.

Broth is cornerstone of the Paleo diet, in large part because of the evidence of its existence during prehistoric times. The broth seems to move throughout history while maintaining a steady presence in cultures from all parts of the globe. A similar light soup was part of many traditional Chinese meals for digestion, palate cleansing, and simply as a drink. In the Caribbean, “Cow Foot Soup,” rich in collagen is consumed in the morning for fortification and alleviation of a range of ailments. A comparable Sopa de Lima exists in the Yucatan, while there is Seolleongtang in Korea. In the U.S., chicken soup has been used to remedy the common cold for generations. Today, celebrities such as Divergent star, Shailene Woodley, and athletes such as LA Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, swear by the concoction. Restaurants, such as New York’s Brodo, JoLa Cafe in Portland, and Red Apron in Washington D.C., all serve up cups of this warm, comforting, and savory liquid.

While the Weston A. Price Foundation has completed analyses illustrating Bone Broth’s ability to decrease inflammation, improve dopamine levels, and help with digestive problems such as leaky gut syndrome and IBS, bloggers cite numerous additional perks including joint health/ relief from arthritis, improved wound healing, strengthening of the immune system, rebuilding of bone, shinier hair, prevention of wrinkles, elimination of cellulite, calmer nerves, and an overall deeply nourished body. The idea is that through long-simmering and bone disintegration, amino acids and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, collagen, chondroitin, and glucosamine, are available in higher quantities than traditional broths.

At the end of the day, author of The Nourished Kichen, Jennifer McGruther, sums it up best in an article by NPR. ” The real benefit of bone broth is that people are returning to the kitchen to prepare homemade, whole foods from scratch. There are always benefits to cooking foods from home, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with bone broth.”

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Berry Healthy

Summer is berry season! What does that mean for you? Lower prices and more flavor! I have been adding strawberries to many of my meals and snacks this week for a delicious and seasonal nutrition boost.

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Mixed salad greens topped with alfalfa sprouts, sliced strawberries, raisins, and sunflower seeds

Strawberries, which are a member of the rose family, provide 3g of fiber, 150% daily value of Vitamin C, 8g of sugar, and about 50 calories per cup. Like most fruits and vegetables, they are  a good source of fiber, which is why despite their sugar content strawberries are a low glycemic food (meaning they do not cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar).

Like all berries, strawberries are associated with decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They are also believed to delay the onset of memory loss by up to 2.5 years. The deep red and blue color of berries, like strawberries and blueberries, indicates the presence of disease-fighting antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

Strawberries are a particularly good source of the trace mineral, manganese which aids in calcium absorption, promotes the activity of bone building enzymes, and regulates function of sex hormones. Folate (also helpful in bone mass formation) and potassium are present in substantial quantities as well.

The difference between conventional and organic varieties is minimal. The goal is just to include more fruits and veggies in your diet! Store strawberries in the refrigerator for 1-3 days and do not wash until ready to eat in order to maintain optimal freshness.

photo (24)Salted cucumber salad: As the summer weather gets hotter, I am finding that I always come back from my runs super thirsty! Instead of grabbing a lab-designed gatorade that is full of added sugars and wonderful artificial colors, I like this natural source of sugar and salt (sweet and salty 🙂 ) to replenish my lost electrolytes.

Slice 1/2 a cucumber, place in a bowl and cover with a few dashes of salt. Add sliced watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries. YUM! If you use 1/4 C of both strawberries and blueberries and 1 C of Watermelon, the calorie count will be about the same as 20 oz of gatorade (120 calories), and this snack will help fill you up, unlike the empty liquid calories you will get from gatorade. There is value in extra calories for athletes who are very active and need to keep their energy intake adequate, however this is not most of the everyday people who drink gatorade when they should be drinking water!