Whole Foods Wednesday – Winter Squash

There’s a reason your mama was always trying to get you to eat squash – it’s SO good for you! Winter squash has long been recognized as an important food source of carotenoids, but also has antioxidant support, anti inflammatory benefits, and potential blood sugar regulation benefits.

Winter squash is labeled low on the Glycemic index! Many of the carbs in winter starch come from polysaccharides found in the cell walls. Research has shown other nutrients found in winter squash are beneficial for blood sugar control. These nutrients include the B-vitamin like compound d-chiro-inositol, a nutrient we expect to hear more about with regards to blood sugar regulation.

It’s hearty, versatile, and there are tons of varieties – go get your squash on!

Do you have any favorite recipes featuring winter squash?

 

Tasty Tuesday – Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges

Fire up the grill! This one is simple but yummy.

First, wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then cut them into wedges (think steak fries sized), toss with a little oil (something high smoke point is preferable as you’ll be grilling them) and sprinkle with this spices of your choice – there are several recipes for “rubs” out there that would work nicely!

Preheat grill to medium and then place the wedges directly on the grill grates. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes per side.

Whole Foods Wednesday – Garbanzo Beans

You may know these as garbanzo beans, and you may know them as chickpeas, but either way, you cannot have Hummus without them!

These little buddies boast fabulous fiber content, and are a clean source of protein! They have a delicious nut-like taste and a buttery, yet starchy, pasty texture.

Both the outer layer and main inner portion of garbanzo beans contain a wealth of phytonutrients. The outer seed coat can be concentrated in flavonoids, including quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin. The interior of the beans is typically rich in ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and vanillic acid. All of these phytonutrients function as antioxidants, and many also function as anti-inflammatory nutrients. Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese, and a very good source of folate and copper as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, protein, iron and zinc.

Tiny but mighty — are you a fan?

garbanzo-beans

 

Whole Foods Wednesday – Peas

Who likes peas? Did your mom used to have to bribe you to eat them? Does she still?!

No but seriously, these tiny green dudes pack quite a punch here…

Peas

I think they taste delicious but I have always been fond of vegetables, and I recognize that not everyone feels the same way. But peas are one of those wonderful little powerhouses, packed with all sorts of goodness. Worth finding a way you enjoy eating them, in my opinion!

What’s your stance on the little balls of green? Yay or nay?

Whole Foods Wednesday – Ginger

Who’s a fan of Ginger?

Ginger

Ginger has a long history of being used as a healing agent. It is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce the pain, anti-viral, helps boost your immune system, reduces muscle soreness, soothes your stomach, and so much more!

It is one of nature’s best medicines, and a great way to calm indigestion or reduce stomach pain, reduce inflammation, reduce Cholesterol, and help improve cognitive function.

Because ginger is a natural antioxidant, it can help reduce inflammation that can break down the immune system in the body and leave it open to attack or trigger diseases people are genetically predisposed to.

It contains a lot of essential minerals and healthy vitamins, and is very nutrient dense!

Also, and this is all still relatively new research, so take it with a grain of salt, but preliminary studies show that Ginger  may have powerful anti-diabetic properties.

In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12% (11)

It also dramatically improved Hb1Ac leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks. (Source: Authority Nutrition)

My husband and I like to cook with Ginger – it adds a lot of flavor! I didn’t actually know it was such a powerful component, but all of this makes me super happy, because who doesn’t love to hear that something they regularly use contains so many healing/helpful properties!? I know as a kid, when I was sick, I prefered Ginger Ale, but I never knew all of these benefits!

Do you cook with Ginger?

 

Whole Foods Wednesday – Cranberries

Tis the season of the Cranberry! Gorgeous color, tart taste, super versatile… how do you feel about cranberries?

Living in the New England area, cranberries are a huge part of our lives – most of us went to cranberry bogs on field trips, and you can’t take a trip to the Cape without being surrounded by these little beauties!

cranberry

Many recent studies have shown that whole cranberries consumed in dietary form do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver.  It’s best to enjoy cranberries raw because this provides you with the best flavor and the greatest benefits from their vast array of nutrients, and may also offer the benefit of digestion-aiding enzymes.

There are at least 5 key categories of health-supportive phytonutrients in cranberries, and they include Phenolic acids, Proanthocyanidins, Anthocyanins, Flavonoids, and Triterpenoids. Many of these phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries are also a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, and pantothenic acid.

Who’s a fan of cranberries here? Got any great recipes to share?