11 Genius Ways To Eat Your Greens!

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August 14, 2019 — 12:22 PM

Functional doctors agree—greens are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Whether you’re munching on cilantro, spinach, or kale, you’re benefiting from better digestion, inflammation-fighting powers, and tons of antioxidants. We all know we should eat a heaping amount of green goodness daily—but how do you fit all of that fiber in? We reached out to the healthiest people we know to steal their genius tips for munching greens all day long.

1. Make marinated kale.

Some people refer to this technique as massaged kale, but the idea is less giving those greens a deep-tissue rub down and more ensuring that each and every leaf gets covered with a mixture of acid, oil, and salt. This helps draw out some of the kale’s natural moisture, softening and tenderizing it in the process. It works similarly to a ceviche, taking the texture of the greens from woody and raw to wilted and semi-cooked. This also makes it easier for your body to break them down. My favorite is this basic kale salad.

—Phoebe Lapine, mbg Collective member and founder of Feed Me Phoebe

2. Use leftover grease.

A favorite in my household is to make some meat in the pan, like bacon or ground beef, and then throw some leafy greens in the grease and use the grease to cook up the greens. Culturally, we shy away from meat grease because we’ve been taught it’s unhealthy. Everything in moderation, of course, but I would argue that most of us actually improve our health by incorporating reasonable amounts of fat from healthy animals. I get bacon from pastured pigs, free of nitrates and sugar. The grease from that is actually an excellent cooking fat with a high smoke point, and it adds flavor and nutrition to the greens. The fat also helps us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) in the leafy greens. 

Ellen Vora, M.D., mbg Collective member and founder of EllenVora.com

3. Sauté them in ghee.

Sautéed in ghee or even bacon fat! I’m not kidding. Many of the vitamins in leafy greens are fat-soluble, so adding a little fat will not only increase the flavor but also allow your body to absorb the vitamins. I never eat kale raw, as it can go through your system like sandpaper. If you suffer from any sort of bloating or gas, please consider eating fewer raw kale salads, a common mistake I see many of my nutrition clients make. 

—Diana Rodgers, R.D., founder of Sustainable Dish

4.  Make a smoothie

I always add organic and fresh leafy greens to my smoothies and smoothie bowls, especially during the summer. Spinach is a go-to, and you can freeze them to make them last longer. Using leafy greens in your smoothies makes a great foundation and can be easily balanced with fruits, nut milk, and, my favorite, coconut butter for yummy healthy fats. 

Sophie Jaffe, mbg Collective member and founder of PhilosophieSuperfoods

I love adding leafy greens to ketotarian smoothies as you can add a lot without noticing a huge change—if any—in flavor. Mix in some coconut milk, berries, MCT oil, and adaptogens, and you have a delicious, creamy plant-based keto smoothie.

Will Cole, D.C., mbg Collective member and author of Ketotarian

 

5.  Stir ’em into an omelet.

My favorite way to eat leafy greens currently is in an omelet. I typically use baby spinach or kale, and it is a great way to get in some greens with breakfast or brunch! 

Alanna Waldron, R.D., founder of Eats Real Food

6.  Serve meals on a bed of greens.

Eating my meals on a bed of greens is my favorite way to incorporate them into my diet. It not only makes the plate look pretty, but it also ensures I’m getting nutritious vegetables with every bite! My favorite is the Organic Girl Protein Greens variety.

—Allison (Aaron) Gross, M.S., RDN, CDN, founder of Nutrition Curator

7.   Chiffonade them.

Most people don’t like leafy greens because they’re either bitter or tough to eat. I usually chiffonade my leafy green leaves so they’re easy to eat with a fork and toss them in a dressing with fat or something sweet. The fat (like a ghee or pairing with an avocado) helps dial back the bitter, as does a drizzle of honey.

Carlene Thomas, RDN, founder of OhCarlene

8.       Make a salad

My favorite way to enjoy baby greens is in salad form—baby kale is my current favorite. I also love adding leafy greens to soups, stews, and chili to bulk up the dish and add nutrients. They’re also an easy and delicious way to add nutrients and color to scrambled eggs or an omelet. When fresh isn’t available, I love to add frozen spinach to a smoothie.

Jessica Cording, R.D., mbg Collective member and founder of Jessica Cording Nutrition

9.     Stir-fry them up.

I love incorporating green leafy veggies into stir-fries (I love a mix of edamame, leek, and Swiss chard), a pesto (think spinach or kale pesto), or soups (wilting spinach into turkey chili). 

 

Liz MoodyContributing Food Editor

Liz Moody is a contributing food editor at mindbodygreen. She’s contributed to Glamour, Women’s Health, Food & Wine, goop, and many other publications and is the woman behind the…


Sugary Western Diets Fuel Newly Evolving Superbug

And it’s becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants.

clostridium difficile bacteria

A diarrhea-causing bacterium is evolving into a new species, one that thrives on your sugar-rich Western diet, according to a new study.

The Clostridium difficile bacteria produce spores that spread through contact with feces, and so can commonly be found in bathrooms or on surfaces that people touch without properly washing their hands. What’s more, this bacterium is becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants used in hospitals, said study lead author Nitin Kumar, a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. 

Patients taking antibiotics face the greatest risk of developing diarrhea from C. difficile, because antibiotics clear away healthy gut bacteria that typically fight off the infection, Kumar told Live Science.

In the new study, Kumar and his team collected 906 different strains of C. difficile from the environment, from humans and from animals such as dogs, pigs and horses. The researchers analyzed and compared the DNA for these various strains and found that C. difficile was evolving into two separate species. 

In order to be considered the same species, two groups of organisms have to share 95% of their genomes, and the two emerging species of C. difficile share 94% to 95%, Kumar said. That indicates that “they are on the verge of speciation.”

It’s not uncommon for bacteria to evolve, but “this time, we actually see what factors are responsible for the evolution,” Kumar said.

One of the emerging species, C. difficile clade A, is the one that is thriving in hospitals. The team found that it made up 70% of the samples collected from hospital patients. DNA analysis suggested that this emerging species started evolving 76,000 years ago and eventually gathered mutations in its genes that better allowed it to metabolize sugars and form disinfectant-resistant spores.

The researchers then introduced the C. difficile clade A bacteria to mice that were eating various diets. Results showed that the bacteria were more likely to thrive and colonize the gut when the mice ate diets rich in simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose. 

Essentially, our diet and other lifestyle factors, like the type of disinfectant commonly used in hospitals, are helping this bacteria to evolve more effectively, Kumar said. These results suggest that it might be useful to consider a “low-sugar diet for those patients who are infected with C. difficileclade A or [for hospitals to] look for new disinfectants as well.”

The findings were published Aug. 12 in the journal Nature Genetics.

Related: 5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health

Originally published on Live Science.


Gut Throws Cells Overboard When Chemical Insults Build Up

When we eat things that are toxic:  medications, processed foods, food dyes, dairy, grains, alcohol, …we develop Leaky Gut, the beginning of health problems and inflammation.

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A team of Duke researchers has discovered that cells lining the gut of zebrafish—and probably humans too—have a remarkable defense mechanism when faced with certain kinds of toxins: they hit the eject button.

“The gut has the challenging job of handling all the chemicals that we consume or produce, and some of those chemicals can be damaging. So the gut has evolved many interesting ways to defend against damage,” said Ted Espenschied, a Duke graduate student who led the effort as part of his dissertation research.

The Duke team was testing more than 20 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) in an attempt to make the zebrafish a new model for studying chemical injury in the gut. The fish are cheap to maintain, easy to breed, and most importantly, translucent for the early part of their lives, Rawls said. It’s also easy to administer chemical exposures and measure their environmental conditions via the tank water.

The researchers found something unexpected.”It’s often the case that drugs have multiple off-target effects,” said John Rawls, an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and director of the Duke Microbiome Center.

But only one of the drugs they tested seemed to create any measurable differences in the fish, an old NSAID called Glafenine. It had been an over-the-counter oral painkiller used in Europe and the Middle East for three decades, but was taken off the market after being linked to kidney and liver damage.

Glafenine was making the fish shed up to a quarter of the cells lining their intestines overnight by a process called delamination. What hadn’t been recognized before is that delamination, which seems catastrophic, is actually a highly effective defense strategy.

The lining of the gut is a single layer of finger-like epithelial cells packed closely together. When a gut epithelial cell is distressed, it somehow becomes marked for destruction. During delamination, neighboring epithelial cells push against the doomed cell to loosen its anchor to the basement membrane they all stand on. The neighbors squeeze in on it and crowd it out until it pops up and is carried away to die in the gut.

A cross-section of zebrafish gut showing the junctions between epithelial cells in green and a protein expressed on absorptive cells in pink. Credit: John Rawls Lab, Duke University

“We weren’t expecting delamination to be protective,” Espenschied said.

Espenschied pivoted on the unexpected finding. “Only one NSAID had this remarkable effect of causing delamination of the gut epithelium and we were wracking our brains trying to figure it out,” Espenschied said.

“So we chased it,” Rawls added.

After many experiments and a detailed analysis of Glafenine’s chemical properties, Espenscheid determined that it wasn’t the drug’s NSAID qualities that harmed the gut, but rather its ability, apparently unique among NSAIDs, to inhibit a cellular structure known as the multidrug-resistant, or MDR, efflux pump.

These pumps exist to help purge unwelcome chemicals from the interior of the cell. Cancer researchers have been very interested in finding ways to block MDR efflux pumps because tumors ramp them up dramatically to push chemotherapies out of cancer cells, foiling cancer therapy.

Much less is known about what the pumps do in normal cells. “We do know that if you block these pumps, cells are unable to clear toxic chemicals and problems ensue,” Rawls said. When Glafenine blocks the MDR efflux pumps in zebrafish, the gut responds with delamination, by means the researchers haven’t yet identified.

“We don’t know yet which cells leave and why,” Espenschied said. “What separates that cell from its neighbors is a really fascinating question that we don’t know the answer to yet.”

“Delamination is a common solution to a lot of different insults,” Rawls said. “But it’s been challenging to understand if that is contributing to damage and disease, or a beneficial adaptation to the insult. Our work shows that it’s actually beneficial.”


Cholesterol Medication Can Lead to Diabetes

diabetes

 

The patients who were prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins had at least double the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, suggests a study.

The study published in the ‘Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews’ analyzed health records and other data from patients to provide a real-world picture of how efforts to reduce heart disease may be contributing to another major medical concern, said Victoria Zigmont, who led the study.

Researchers found that statin users had more than double the risk of diabetes diagnosis compared to those who didn’t take the drugs. Those who took the cholesterol-lowering drugs for more than two years had more than three times the risk of diabetes.

“The fact that increased duration of statin use was associated with an increased risk of diabetes — something we call a dose-dependent relationship — makes us think that this is likely a causal relationship,” Zigmont said.

“That said, statins are very effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes. I would never recommend that people stop taking the statin they’ve been prescribed based on this study, but it should open up further discussions about diabetes prevention and patient and provider awareness of the issue.”

Researchers also found that statin users were 6.5 per cent more likely to have a troublingly high HbA1c value, a routine blood test for diabetes that estimates average blood sugar over several months.

The study included 4,683 men and women who did not have diabetes, were candidates for statins based on heart disease risk and had not yet taken the drugs at the start of the study.

About 16 per cent of the group — 755 patients — were eventually prescribed statins during the study period, which ran from 2011 until 2014. Participants’ average age was 46.

Randall Harris, a study co-author and professor of medicine, said that the results suggested that individuals taking statins should be followed closely to detect changes in glucose metabolism and should receive special guidance on diet and exercise for prevention.

Zigmont was careful to take a wide variety of confounding factors into account in an effort to better determine if the statins were likely to have caused diabetes, she said. That included gender, age, ethnicity, education level, cholesterol and triglyceride readings, body mass index, waist circumference and the number of visits to the doctor.


Some Vitamin Supplements Can Increase Risk of a Stroke, Study Finds

No one should EVER supplement with Calcium, it causes us to leach calcium from the bones as it is toxic to organs. But combining it with Vitamin D can cause problems.

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Vitamin supplements taken by millions of people can increase the risk of heart disease, a large study suggests .

New research has found links between certain types of daily pills combining calcium and vitamin D and an increased risk of stroke.

US scientists believe the combination may be responsible for atherosclerosis, a disease whereby plaque builds up in the arteries.

Such pills are commonly marketed as necessary to preserve bone strength and aimed at middle-aged and elderly people, whose risk of stroke is already higher.

Overall, it is estimated that around 45 per cent of UK adults take some form of vitamin supplements every day, supporting an industry worth roughly £430 million a year.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the new data forms part of a wider set of results suggesting that few nutritional supplements protect against cardiovascular disease or death .

Based on a review of 277 randomised controlled trials comprising nearly one million people, the study also questioned the effectiveness of a Mediterranean-style diet for improving resilience against heart disease.

Dr Safi Khan, who led the research at West Virginia University, said: “A combination of calcium and vitamin D was associated with a higher risk of stroke.”

He added: “Other supplements did not seem to have significant effect on mortality or cardiovascular outcomes.”

The research looked at the effect of 16 different nutritional supplements and eight dietary interventions on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes in the adult participants.

It concluded that cutting down on salt and eating omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish, offered some protection against heart disease, meanwhile folic acid offered some protection against stroke.

Supplements combining calcium and vitamin D appeared to increase the risk of having a stroke by 17 per cent.

However, scientists have urged caution in interpreting the results as establishing cause and effect is the field of nutrition is notoriously difficult.

“We found out only a few of the 16 nutritional supplements and one of the eight dietary interventions evaluated had some protective effect in cardiovascular risk reduction,” said Dr Khan.

Supplements that did not appear to have any significant effect on mortality or cardiovascular outcomes included selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D alone, calcium alone, folic acid, and iron.

NHS advice states that most people do not need to take vitamin supplements because they should receive all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a balanced diet.


Pineapple Vanilla Salmon

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Pineapple Vanilla Salmon

4 salmon filets, about 6 ounces each, skin on
Salt & pepper to taste
olive oil
One whole pineapple
Grilled pineapple slices (recipe below)
Pineapple glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season salmon with salt & pepper, place skin side down on lightly oiled foil lined dish. Brush with pineapple glaze and bake for 10 to 15 minutes (or until desired doneness) brushing them with pineapple glaze every 4 minutes while baking.

Pineapple Glaze

Pineapple skin cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces (yup, the bumpy stuff you cut off to get to the fruit)
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean cut in half with seeds scraped out

Put pineapple skin, sugar and vanilla bean and seed scrapings into a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer until you have a syrupy consistency. Strain out pineapple skin and vanilla. Set aside to cool. This versatile sauce may be frozen and could be used to flavor chicken, other kinds of fish or even vegetables before grilling.


Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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Serving Size  : 40  

1 1/8         cups  all-purpose flour
1/4           teaspoon  baking powder
1/8          teaspoon  salt
2              large  eggs
1/2           cup  sugar
3              tablespoons  brewed espresso
1              teaspoon  vanilla extract
4             tablespoons  unsalted butter
4             ounces  extra-bittersweet chocolate — chopped
1 5/8      ounces  unsweetened chocolate — chopped
5/8          cup  mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly whip the eggs to break them up. Add the sugar, espresso, and vanilla and beat on high speed for 10 minutes, until thick.

Meanwhile, place the butter in the top of a double boiler,and scatter the extra-bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate on top. Heat until the butter and chocolate melt. Remove from heat and stir the chocolate and butter until smooth.

Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until partially combined (there should still be some streaks). Add the flour mixture to the batter and carefully fold it in. Fold in the chocolate chips.Chill the batter in the freezer for a half hour.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonful’s onto the baking sheets and bake until puffed and cracked, 8 to 9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the baking sheets.