Friday, October 14, 2011

Sprouted Seeds Add Lots of Crunch and Flavor

According to, sprouts are a fantastic anti-inflammatory food. They are a living, enzyme-rich food, low in calories, fat and cholesterol.  They'll give you plenty of Protein, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium. They are packed full of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. There are all kinds of sprouts available in markets OR you can make your own!


Have you ever tried to sprout your own seeds? My son is far better at this than I could ever be. He buys specialty seeds over the internet and grows multiple flats to share with friends. I've tried my hand at sprouting alfalfa seeds in a glass jar. My success rate has been moderate with tiny seeds. I enjoy sprouting raw sunflower seeds in their shells probably because they are fool proof. I get a shallow tray (cardboard or plastic) and spread 2" of potting soil in the bottom of the tray. Push the sunflower seeds into the soil to a depth of 1/2". Cover with a little more soil. Sprinkle lightly with water daily (don't let seeds sit in water).  Pinch off the tops of the sprouts when they reach a couple of inches high. I love to eat them raw, toss in salads or add to stir-fried dishes. 

You can try your hand at sprouting garbanzos, mung beans, soy beans, radish or onion seeds or just about any other type of raw bean or seed you can think of or find.  For sprouting techniques check out the web for great information. I came across this site to help me learn more about sprouting:  

I recommend putting together a gift bag or two of seeds and directions as an excellent present for family members. I have found sprouting lids (to go onto mason jars) at a local nursery. Of course you can always purchase sprouting gift packs, but why not save a little money and have fun at the same time. What could be better than a healthy gift for your loved ones this holiday season?

Thanks for stopping by today! Wishing you all the best each and every day.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lowering Triglycerides and Heart Inflammation

When you eat, your body converts calories you don’t need right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates, you most likely have high triglycerides.

C-reactive protein is an indicator of inflammation in the body and high levels of this protein result in heart attack, disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death. C-reactive protein is actually a better indicator of heart health than triglyceride levels according to an article in "The New England Journal of Medicine reported in November of 2002. The American Heart Association agrees." 

Cholesterol lowering medications are big business. Advertising is rampant. These "statins" are effective in treating high cholesterol and may also be prescribed for treatment of high C-reactive protein levels. However these drugs are expensive and dangerous. Muscle reactions have left patients severely disfigured. 

Natural methods of reducing triglycerides and C-reactive protein have been researched by scientists and are being shown to provide effective or better results than drug therapies, without the risks. Some of these natural methods are listed below, as information only. (Please be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before changing your treatment plan.)

1. Decrease or eliminate sweets. 
High carbohydrates bind to fat cells resulting in high triglyceride levels.

2. Decrease or eliminate alcohol.
All types and amounts of alcohol: beer, wine or liquor elevate triglyceride levels.

3. Reduce highly refined carbohydrate foods.
Choose moderate amounts of whole grain foods: brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley and whole grain breads and whole wheat pasta.

4. Choose foods high in Omega 3 fats.
Eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week.

5. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Ask your healthcare professional to assist you in determining the best option available to you for losing excess weight or maintaining a healthy weight.

6. Avoid high fat foods in your diet.
Choose to eat a moderate amount of olive oil. Avoid high fat meats, hot dogs, lunchmeat, sauces and gravies.

7. Eat legumes and high fiber foods.
Consume more beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. 

8. Exercise daily.
Exercise will burn off excess triglycerides. Aim for 30-60 minutes per day.

9. Supplements.
Niacin: Ask your doctor about adding this supplement to your daily regiment. Niacin has been shown to decrease C-reactive protein and triglycerides.

Omega 3 Fish Oils: Again ask your doctor about adding this supplement to your daily regiment. Omega 3 fats raise the good cholesterol in your body.

You can be proactive and well informed about natural options available to you when you talk with your healthcare provider. I hope this posting has given you some ideas of ways to change your eating habits to incorporate healthier food choices on a daily basis. This may affect you personally or your loved ones. When preparing foods for a group gathering, offer whole grain dishes and fresh fruit and vegetable options to your friends and family. Lead by example.

Thanks for visiting today. Wishing you all the best as you discover new things to share with others. See you soon!