You can think of germs as the embryo of the seed. They are, in fact, the reproductive part, which, through germination, allows it to grow into a mature plant. Therefore, the germs will contain the same characteristics and benefits as the plants into which they will grow, which is why they are worth eating.
Germs are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, as well as healthy fats. In order to preserve these properties the most useful consumption recommendation is: as close to the natural state as possible.
For instance, they can be consumed raw in a salad, as a side dish, or in addition to a cream soup. Of course, they can be used in any meal, if you use your imagination. Just remember that they preserve their vitamins content only as long as they are not thermally-treated.
From the wealth of germs, we present you the four most commonly used in foods:
It is well known that broccoli is a plant with numerous health benefits, which deserves to be included in our daily diet. When it isn’t available we can use its germs, which are rich in proteins, vitamins A, B, C, E and K – a real vitamin blast! Some of these vitamins are also antioxidants. So, we can also benefit from their property to help us fight against the free radicals.
2. Radish germs
Whether we are talking about white or red radishes, one thing is certain: vitamins A, B1, B6 and C are present in their germs in abundance. Besides, they come packed with folic acid, iron and potassium.
Leek germs help the immune system to function properly through their high content in vitamins C, B, as well as A, the champion vitamin in preserving eye health.
4.Red cabbage germs
These germs represent an incredible source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and K, minerals, as well as proteins.
Author Iulia Hadarean
THE FAVORITE OF AMERICAN MILLIONAIRES
With its colors ranging from green to violet, having smooth or crinkled leaves and being related with the Romanian cabbage, the broccoli, the cauliflower or the brussel sprouts, kale is one the most nutritious foods on earth.
Its reputation is rightfully earned, having an extremely high nutritional density. Thus, compared with other types of cabbage or foods from the same family range, kale offers many more benefits in a much greater quantity. It’s not for nothing that Manhattan millionaires enjoy having it, according to the New York Times, at any time of day and any reception they attend.
100 g of kale provide only 50 kcal, thus having a low energy density. Kale is a “blast” of vitamins and minerals, if we consider that the same 100g that provide the macronutrients above also provide nearly 300% of the daily necessary of Vitamin A, 200% of the daily necessary of vitamin C (almost 4.5 more than spinach) and 1000% of the necessary of vitamin K (vitamin K being essential for blood clotting)!
On top of that Kale is a source of calcium (14% - with very good absorption), potassium (13%), copper (14%) and magnesium (39%). Thus we benefit from a pack of vitamins and minerals. Basically, kale has more calcium than milk and more vitamin C than an orange, and this transforms it into the super-food of the moment.
Studies have identified 45 different flavonoids (among them kaempferol and quercetin) in kale, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are present in a high amount, being represented by beta-carotene (precursor of Vitamin A), Vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols, all of them fight against oxidizing stress, cell ageing, cardiovascular conditions, arterial hypertension, being anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antidepressant substances.
In order to preserve its vitamins, it is recommended to eat raw kale (just washed for maximum 5 minutes under a jet of water), boiled or steamed (again, for maximum 5 minutes). Prolonged heat processing poses the risk of losing the Vitamin C and the antioxidants.
Furthermore kale consumption facilitates weight loss, since it has a high content of dietary fibers and a high amount of water. It offers a prolonged feeling of satiety, being useful when you want to lose a few kilos. In order to gain the most of it, you need to eat it at least 2 or 3 times a week. With the baggage of properties, vitamins and minerals it provides, kale should be eaten daily.
THE BENEFITS OF NATURAL CARBOHYDRATES
CHICKPEAS, BEANS, LENTILS
Did you know that the daily calories intake from carbohydrates represents 50-60% of the daily necessary calories? Did you know these are a main energy source for our bodies?
Chickpeas, lentils and white beans are all part of the group of so-called good carbohydrates, the ones which are beneficial for our bodies, in particular due to their slow assimilation. Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibers and very rich in antioxidant phytonutrients. Lentils (“a small nutritional giant”) is a very good source of fibers that helps reduce cholesterol. Lastly, beans are a fat-free source of proteins with a high content of magnesium.
What are the good carbohydrates?
They are called good carbohydrates due to the fact that they decompose slowly, providing a constant energy ratio for a longer period. In addition, they help remove toxins, reduce the cholesterol level and maintain an ideal body weight.
What about the so-called bad carbohydrates? Pasta, cake, chips and soft drinks can generate large releases of insulin in the body, which can increase the cholesterol level in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
In conclusion, carbohydrates play an important role in a healthy diet. A total exclusion of these from our diet is a mistake, we just need to choose the good ones.
VERSUS NUTRITIONAL DENSITY
Ideally, food provides both energy and other substances called micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Sadly, much of today’s food is so processed that energy is the only provided element. This energy is called “empty calories”, precisely because of its lack of nutrients.
Sugar, highly refined flour and alcohol are typical sources. Oils and industrial fats are a close second, if the original structure was altered by processing. And when the “mass” is a mix of sugar, refined flour and industrial fats, then the defining equation is: high caloric density combined with low nutritional density. A series of industrial sodas, sweets and snacks share this shortcoming.
In addition, some components can be not only empty of nutrients, but also harmful for the metabolism, endocrine, cardiovascular system and even for the psychological wellbeing. Science has proven these effects for sugar and trans fats, and the fight with obesity and diabetes already has an enemy in these components.
The opposite is represented by nourishing foods which are nutritionally dense and provide a diversity of quality nutrients. Often, they provide a lot of energy, as in the case of seeds, quality oils, cereals, dried fruit or some dairy products.
Other times, the foods are low in calories but rich in term of useful constituents. This is the case for many fruits, lean meat, fish, salads, soups and vegetable side dishes. These foods are nutritionally dense and low in calories, placing them as the opposite of “empty” calories.
If there were an ideal food, it would certainly be nutritionally dense!
Author: Dr. Adrian Copcea, nutritionist
hydrate properly and why?
Our body depends on water in order to survive. Each cell, tissue or organ needs water. Therefore, in addition to diet, physical activity and rest, proper hydration is one of the main features of a healthy lifestyle.
The human body contains over 70% water, a percentage higher in men than in women, phenomenon explained by the percentage of adipose tissue (containing very little water). The higher the fat percentage, the lower the water percentage.
In summer, it is important to hydrate properly. Still we have to be careful what type of water we drink, in order to ensure the proper transport and the absorption of nutritional substances, to help the digestion, to maintain kidney functioning and to control the acid-base balance of the body.
Dehydration symptoms consist of a feeling of dry mouth, prolonged fatigue, dry skin, drowsiness, intense thirst, headaches and dark colored urine.
Still water is a good choice for absolutely everybody, while mineral water is recommended only for people who don’t suffer from kidney or heart conditions.
The daily consumption of liquids depends on:
physical activity (liquid requirements increase with the physical activity level, according to the type of sport, intensity and duration)
diet (a rich diet in fruit, vegetables or soups provides an addition of beneficial liquids to the body)
weight (liquid requirements are different for each person, depending on own weight)
temperature and environment (by exposing ourselves to a higher temperature or to a dry environment our body needs more liquids to maintain a constant temperature)
These being said, all that is left now is to start hydrating ourselves correctly.
It is recommended drinking about 8 glasses of water/ day, the equivalent of approximately 2000 ml for a person weighing 70 kg. Each person needs 1 ml liquid/1 kcal consumed during the day, or, in simpler terms, 30-35 ml/kg.
The recommended liquids are still water, fruit-enriched water (for instance lemonade), plant or fruit teas, an occasional fruit fresh, as well as plenty vegetables and soups.
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician
About tasty as well as
“Desserts don’t reach the stomach, they go straight to the heart”. This is something we all say, perhaps because it is true, however we take it. Figuratively speaking, we all enjoy a tasty dessert more with the olfactory senses than in a rational, nutritional way. A sweet snack delights our taste buds, which matters more than the fact that it provides a certain number of calories. That may or may not satisfy our nutritional needs.
Literally, a dessert could get “straight to the heart” through the amount of sugar it contains. It is well-knows that a diet rich in sugar can increase the risk of obesity, of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, such as arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia etc.
Thus, if we care about our health and we wish to enjoy a healthy, long life, it is ideal to opt for a balanced and healthy diet. Although present in most foods, the human body does not need this white, processed, sugar.
The human body takes its necessary sugars (glucose, fructose) from other types of foods: whole grain cereals (whole grain bread, rice, whole grain pasta, potatoes, oats, barley, rye), vegetables (beans, peas, lentil, pick pea) and fruits.
In fact, it is recommended to limit sugar consumption to 30 g/ day for women and 40 g/ day for men.
However, if we wish to stay clear of sugar, yet continue to indulge in the deliciously sweet treats, we could opt for less processed sweets, with higher satiability and, of course, with higher nutritional value.
Ice cream, waffles, candy, jelly beans, cakes can be replaced with fruits (a perfect idea for a dessert) or with fruit yogurt. No, we are not talking about the readymade ones, which contain a significant amount of sugar, but of those we can make ourselves or that are found as such.
An excellent choice for a healthy dessert is simple: greek yogurt with added fresh fruits or fruit jam.
Which are the advantages?
If we choose greek yogurt, this has a greater amount of proteins and thus provides a prolonged feeling of satiety. In addition, it contains a much smaller amount of sugar, just like naturally present in fresh fruit or fruit jam (since it is season now).
Another choice for a healthy dessert right now is pudding. We don’t need powders to obtain it, we can use a whole range of foods that have liquid absorption properties and that achieve a pudding-like consistency.
Did you know that chia seeds are ideal for this?
Being rich in dietary fibers, chia seeds have the property of absorbing the liquid in which they are placed and to form a gel that gives a prolonged feeling of satiety. Chia pudding is an ideal choice for dessert and it can be prepared both with animal based or plant based milk, in various combinations: with fresh fruit, fruit jam, peanut butter etc.
With so many choices available, it is easy to enjoy a healthy dessert! Don’t forget, we need to nourish our souls as well as our bodies!
Health benefits of
Known as wild fruits by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and highly valued in the Middle Ages, strawberries (Fragraria ananassa) have been grown in European gardens only since the 18th century. They are in fact a hybrid between wild strawberries from North America and Chile.
Although found on the shelves of the supermarkets as early as May, strawberries become truly juicy and tasty in June. This is the period when we can fully enjoy the multitude of benefits that these fruits provide. After all, they are considered to be some of the most nutritious fruits.
After blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, strawberries are, in fact, the fourth richest fruit in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight against cell aging by protecting them against the free radicals and thus reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular conditions, of strokes. They can also help increase the lipid profile by increasing the good cholesterol (HDL), reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the triglyceride level.
In addition to their antioxidant properties, strawberries have a significant amount of dietary fibers (2 g/100 g). They help the digestive system and improve the bowel movement, offer prolonged satiety, delay sugar absorption and reduce the cholesterol level.
These fruits are also abounding in vitamins and minerals. The have high levels of vitamin C (100 g of strawberries provide 58.8 mg of vitamin C, representing 98% of the daily requirements for an adult), vitamin K, folates and manganese. All of these, for only 32 kcal/100 g!
Although strawberries are a nutritious food, they should not be eaten in excess. Consumed in large amounts, fruits can cause gastric discomfort and flatulence. They should be eaten fresh, as a snack between meals, in order to make the most of the vitamins and minerals they contain.
Author Iulia Hadarean, Nutritionist-dietician
How to get
a healthy energy boost in summer
Spring has brought with it not just the sun, but also a wealth of vegetables and fruits full of vitamins and color. This is the right time for a full vitaminization, especially since, passing through winter, we have deprived our bodies of many of these vitamins. The best choice right now are salads and soups that are rich in vegetables.