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Posts Tagged ‘lowering cholesterol’

So what’s the secret potion behind these magical beans? Protein of course! Protein is a hot topic in today’s society and you see promotions of different protein powders and nutrition bars everywhere. Personally, I know of many people who have fallen into this trap of trying different protein powders to add to their “protein shake” in the morning to get that quick fix of protein. However, they are spending so much money on these quick-fix protein sources and need to find another way to incorporate protein into their diet. Beyond these protein powders and bars, most people go for the typical meat, fish and poultry when it comes to a reliable protein source, but don’t forget to give plant-based protein credit!

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Beans are packed with a bunch of different nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Beyond protein they are a great source of fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. In regards to fiber, beans are packed with soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and slows down digestion and emptying of your stomach. This delay in emptying of your stomach makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which could be a great tactic for controlling your weight. About 5-10 grams of soluble fiber can decrease your LDL cholesterol by 5%, with beans containing about 0.6 to 2.4 grams of soluble fiber per half a cup.   This makes eating beans a great way to help with decreasing cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Now let’s talk about beans and its protein content. One serving of beans is ½ cup of cooked beans, which provides roughly 7-8 grams of protein! Protein causes satiety, or fullness, so with the combination of soluble fiber and protein beans can be a great way to keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Like stated before, this can help keep your diet and weight on track.

Most Americans consume canned beans, but dried beans are also a great way to incorporate more beans in your diet. Dried beans are underutilized in America and on any given day less than 8% of Americans report consuming beans .The problem many people face with dried beans is how to cook them. Canned beans are easy and convenient yet dried beans can come off as intimidating and time consuming. The truth is that they aren’t that hard to figure out once you know how! Soaking your beans is what takes the most time but you actually don’t have to do much to soak them…it’s just a waiting game. There are many different methods that can be used when cooking dried beans such as traditional, hot and microwave soaked methods. One method that is most convenient is the quick soak method:

  1. Rinse: to ensure proper cleanliness of your beans it is important to wash them off before consuming them.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
  3. Bring to a boil and let boil 2-3 minutes.
  4. Dried beans, discard soak water and rinse with cold water.

How easy is that?! Once you figure out which method works best for you, you can incorporate beans in your diet. Dried beans make a mass amount of product and can last you for a long time. If I over-committed on my bean abilities and made too much I freeze the remaining beans and just quickly heat them up! A 1-lb. bag of dried beans usually costs around $1.49 and can make around 13 servings of beans! What a great, and cheap, way to incorporate more protein into your diet!

Check out the US DryBean Council website for many recipes to try using beans!

Written by: Courtney N. Klebe Dietetic Intern, Bowling Green State Univeristy and Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, LD, MA, Extenstion Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

  1. Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100: 437S-42S.
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cinnamonMany of us today are trying to find health tips for lowering cholesterol, lowering blood sugars, reducing arthritis pain and yes boosting our memory.  Many households in North America or Europe have cinnamon in their their cupboards.

 Cinnamon is the brown bark from  the cinnamon tree, which when dried, rolls into a tubular form known as a quill. Cinnamon is available in either its whole quill form (cinnamon sticks) or as ground powder.

Are all Cinnamon’s the same? What is the Best?

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices and most popular spices, and has been used for a millennia both for its flavoring and medicinal qualities. The two major types of cinnamon used are Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is known as “true cinnamon”. Ceylon Cinnamon is NOT the kind of cinnamon that is normally sold in the spice section at your local supermarket.  Cassia is the one seen most often.   Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, the parent compound of warfarin, a medication used to keep blood from clotting. Due to concerns about the possible effects of coumarin, in 2006, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment warned against consuming large amounts of cassia cinnamon.

Let’s Get to Using the Cinnamon!

Studies have shown that just ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon added to cereal, oatmeal, toast, tomato sauces or on an apple can have many health benefits. These are just a few of the many ways you can add cinnamon to your meals. You might have your own special recipes!

  • Lowers Cholesterol: Studies have shown cinnamon may significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol.
  • Reduces blood sugar levels thus improving those with Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Heart Disease: Reducing blood pressure.
  • Fights Cancer: A study released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. Besides, the combination of calcium and fiber, Cinnamon can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, thus prevents colon cancer.
  • Tooth decay and mouth freshener:  Treat toothache and fight bad breath.
  • Brain Tonic: Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss. Also, studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory; performance of certain tasks and increases one’s alertness and concentration.
  • Reduces Arthritis Pain: Cinnamon spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. A study conducted at Copenhagen University, where patients were given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  • Itching: Paste of honey and cinnamon is often used to treat insect bites.

Share with us how you enjoy cinnamon! Enjoy the benefits of cinnamon today!

Resources:

http://nccam.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/Herbs_At_A_Glance_Cinnamon_06-13-2012_0.pdf?nav=gsa

http://www.naturalfoodbenefits.com/display.asp?CAT=6&ID=113

http://naturalfamilytoday.com/nutrition/what-is-the-best-cinnamon-ceylon-vs-cassia-cinnamon/#ixzz2sfWvjw5w

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215Alam Khan, MS, PHD, Mahpara Safdar, MS, Mohammad Muzaffar Ali Khan, MS, PHD, Khan Nawaz Khattak, MS and Richard A. Anderson, PHD. “Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes”. Diabetes Care. December 2003 vol. 26 no. 12 3215-3218. Accessed October 14th 2013.

Source: George RC, Lew J, Graves DJ. Interaction of Cinnamaldehyde and Epicatechin with Tau: Implications of Beneficial Effects in Modulating Alzheimer’s disease Pathogenesis. The Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. 2013.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website: “About Herbs: Cinnamon.” Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on October 13, 2012

Author: Marie Economos, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County, Western Reserve, economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Liz Smith, M.S. R.D. L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

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