Thursday, September 13, 2012

Go a Little Nutty...It's National Peanut Day!

Today is National Peanut Day. Time to celebrate! Why? Because peanuts taste good, offer great nutritional benefits, and can be used in a variety of ways (see recipe below).
Protein. Peanuts offer an excellent source of protein, which your body uses to build and repair muscle, cartilage, skin and more. Those with blood sugar issues find the consuming protein-rich foods can help them better regulate their blood sugar.
Beneficial Fats. Most of the fats in peanuts are monounsaturated, beneficial fats that have been shown to improve the cholesterol profile by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Resveratrol. Peanuts naturally contain Resveratrol, the antioxidant that may be responsible for some of the beneficial effects of moderate red wine drinking on the cardiovascular system.
You can find peanuts in a variety of forms – from raw to roasted, seasoned or unsalted. And there is the ever popular peanut butter, used in sandwiches, cookies, and even Thai sauces. Be sure when buying peanut butter to look for only non-hydrogenated peanut butter, preferably organic.

Do you have peanut allergies? Celebrate your own way with any number of seeds and seed butters that work in place of peanuts. Try Sunbutter sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as a nutrient rich snack.

Peanut Butter Pancakes
By Carlene Gulizo

1 1/2 c. whole grain pastry flour                
1/4 c. + 3 T. turbinado sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk or milk alternative
1/4 c. natural peanut butter
2 T. canola oil
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine milk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla and eggs.  Add to dry ingredients and stir gently until smooth.
Ladle onto hot griddle and cook until golden brown on each side.
Serve topped with sliced bananas and real organic maple syrup.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vitamin D in Kids

I was recently told by my doctor to take 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 because blood work revealed I was deficient. We know vitamin D helps our bones, and may even stave off cancer, but new research confirms what previous research has shown, that vitamin D may play a role in fighting infections, such as cold and flu. The difference was this new study was done in children, and it is the first to show that supplementing with vitamin D may reduce their risk of colds. The study looked at 3rd and 4th grade schoolchildren in Mongolia – a place studied due to its cold climate that often restricts children from playing outside.  Those children given 300 IU vitamin D in milk each day for 3 months had 50% fewer colds compared with those without supplements. While it may not seem the same since we are talking about Mongolia, the similarity is that with the increase in video games and indoor activities, US children are often playing inside instead of outside, thereby restricting their exposure to sunlight that creates vitamin D in the skin. Studies in this country have shown that approximately 20% of US children under 12 years of age have a vitamin D deficiency. This rate rises to 50% in African American children. With the start of the new school year, a vitamin D supplement may be a wise investment for your children. Just one more thing in the arsenal to help keep them (and you) well.