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The Incredible ONIONS!

19 May

I cook almost every day at home, and when cooking I use onions as the main ingredient in my recipes. Besides the great flavor this vegetable add to my meals, it also provides wonderful nutrients. I want to share with you the information I found about the nutritional value of onions. I know that after reading this information you will cook more with onions:

One of the most significant sources of antioxidants in the human diet is onions, reports Cornell University Associate Professor Rui Hai Lui. These antioxidants provide this vegetable with its sweet flavors and distinct aroma. Consuming onions supplies your body with soluble fiber and flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals. These flavonoids assist in thinning your blood, decreasing inflammation and fighting cancer.  fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

The Western Yellow type contains 11 times more antioxidants than the Western White type and provides the strongest protection against the production of liver cancer cells. The Western Whites contain the least amount of antioxidants among onion varieties and offer the least protection against cancer cells. Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and pungent yellow onions assist in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which may protect against the development of colon and liver cancer.

Inflammation in your body can cause and exacerbate symptoms of asthma, arthritis and heart disease. According to a 2010 study published in “Molecular Aspects of Medicine,” regular consumption of organosulfur compounds from onions and garlic can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Onions may assist in thinning your blood, as they contain thiosulfinates – the agents that provide an onion with its pungent odor and cause teary eyes when you come in contact with this vegetable. Additionally, this sulfur compound prevents platelets in your blood from aggregating and operates as a natural blood thinner. When platelets cluster in your blood, your risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack significantly increases. Eat your onions raw for maximum thiosulfinate content, as cooking onions significantly decreases the quantity of this compound. If you take a prescription blood thinner, consult with your physician about consuming onions in conjunction with your medication, as you do not want your blood to become too thin.

Onions also contain a special form of soluble fiber known as fructan. When you consume fructan, this soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in your colon and converts to fatty acids. These fatty acids act as a natural laxative, stimulating bowel movements. The fructan in onions, inulin fructan, promotes the growth of good bacteria in your intestines, which may combat any infections in your colon.

So, what do you think? I think onions are amazing!

Ines

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Food and state of mind

4 Dec

Research indicates that, in some ways, diet may influence mood. Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain structure (chemically and physiologically), which can lead to altered behavior. Try to incorporate as many as the following suggestions as possible for you and your family, because regardless of their effects on mood, most of these changes offer other health benefits as well.

Know what to avoid. Before you can eat mood-boosting foods, it’s important to know which foods to leave off (or limit) on your shopping list. The biggest bad-mood culprits are refined carbohydrates, like sugar. The simple sugars that are in junk foods like candy and soda-as well as in everyday foods like fruit juice, syrup, and jams-can cause your blood sugar to go up and down like a roller coaster. Refined white starches such as white rice, white bread, and crackers can have the same effect. Blood sugar spikes and drops can leave you with a short-lived burst of energy followed by a tired, cranky feeling. For best mood results, you should also avoid alcohol, since it’s a depressant and can disturb your sleep.

Don’t skip meals. It may be tempting to rush out the door without breakfast, but researchers report that starting the day without fuel-or bypassing any meal-is a mistake. If you keep yourself from getting too hungry, you may be able to avoid a bad mood.

Eat often enough. According to research, you should eat every four to five hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Eating at regular intervals helps to ensure that your body has a continuous source of fuel, and this may assist in keeping your mood stable.images[4]

Best foods to eat to stay healthy and happy:

  • Protein. Adding protein to your meals can help slow the absorption of carbohydrates in your blood, which may improve your mood for several hours after eating. Eggs, poultry, seafood, tofu, and low-fat yogurt are all smart protein choices. 
  • Vitamins. There are a few specific vitamins that research has suggested can be helpful for mood. Research reported that vitamin D may help relieve mood disorders. Studies have also suggested that the vitamins folate and B12 may help ease depression. To get your daily dose of vitamin D, try low-fat milk, egg yolks, and soymilk. Many doctors also recommend adding a multivitamin that contains vitamin D. Broccoli, lentils, oatmeal, and oranges are high in folate, while cottage cheese, lean beef, and salmon can provide vitamin B12.
  • Fiber. Foods that contain soluble fiber-such as brown rice, barley, pears, and peas-can slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, decreasing mood swings. 

There is a clear relationship between food and your state of mind. When you combine strategies for eating regularly with foods that may have a positive effect on your well-being, you can plan meals that may help you to feel better. Plus, you can also avoid foods that may make you feel worse. Now that’s something to be happy about!