Nutrition is in high demand these days and it is constantly evolving, according to the most recently conducted studies. Those who seek to have a healthier lifestyle and to eat properly can take full advantage of these researches.
Let’s find out together which the latest trends in nutrition are and what we can learn from them:
2016 – the international year of vegetables
Vegetables? A term seldom heard recently, but one that carries a high nutritional significance. People have forgotten all about beans, whether we’re talking about peas, lentil, chickpeas or white beans (also known as “poor man’s meal).
These beans offer a significant amount of plant based proteins, which should not be overlooked in our daily diet. Besides being used as such, you will discover flours made from these beans, which can be used as an ingredient in a multitude of meals.
Fruit and vegetable based meals
Let’s encourage local agriculture and farmers, let’s choose as many plant based meals, i.e. fruits and vegetables. The western diet has drastically reduced the consumption of vegetables and fruit, both by adults and by children. An intervention is required in order to change that: eat as many salads as possible!
Maintaining the intestinal micro biome
Recent studies have discovered that the health of the intestinal micro biome is very important in digestion, colon health, immunity, as well as weight loss. What is a micro biome? All beings living in our body and on its surface form an ecosystem called a “micro biome”, which can reach up to 1.5 kg in weight and are good bacteria.
Whole grain cereals in high demand
The importance of whole grain cereals and why we should choose them is well known these days. Thus, whole grain flour is considered a better option than refined flour as it’s beneficial by providing a higher intake of fibers, a slower digestion and a constant sugar level. Whole grain cereals also provide prolonged satiety, being useful in weight loss.
2016 is the year when we truly realize that sugar is present in a wide variety of foods. We have come to consider sugar as a real “food in our diet” and this has led to a series of health problems. They include obesity, cardiovascular conditions, arterial hypertension, diabetes, as well as many others. We have come to compare any taste with the sweet taste we are used with. Unfortunately, we were wrong, we should see sugar as a spice, not a food. We should consume it in small amounts, at regular intervals (not daily).
Fats? It is possible
Fat has returned in our diet gloriously, the latest studies forecasting a bright future for it, with no connection with cardiovascular conditions and weight gain. It is recommended to consume natural foods, for instance dairy products with natural fat content. Partially or fully skimmed dairy products come packed with preservatives and even sugar. Portion recommendations remain the same, at moderate consumption rate.
The Northern diet is the new Mediterranean diet
Let’s eat like the Northerners. That means plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, fish and seafood, natural dairy products and healthy fats. Just like the Mediterranean diet, so much discussed over the time, the foods rich in omega fatty acids and the antioxidants are on top of the healthy list. This type of diet promises weight loss, improvement of arterial hypertension, of cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. Only good things about the North!
New entry: chia seeds
They are in high demand due to their high content in calcium, proteins, fibers, antioxidants, iron and potassium. Where else could you find so many nutrients in one item?
Nutrients from smoothies
These drinks are in full swing this year, vegetable smoothies in particular being in high demand. They are an alternative way of consuming vegetables and there is an almost infinite number of combinations you can try. You just can’t fail with them, any mix will provide a blast of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention it is superior to fresh juice, because it preserves the entire pulp and the fibers it comes packed with.
Mindfulness or attention dedicated to food
We try to encourage a balanced diet and to encourage people to take an interest in it. Let’s stop following so many diets, frustrating ourselves, counting the calories, measuring our food and ourselves every moment of the day and let’s look at food as a natural, pleasant and necessary thing. Let’s be healthy, both as bodies and souls!
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician
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.
Over 2000 people
refreshed their summer with Salad Box!
Over 2000 people refreshed their summer with the fresh drinks and lemonades brought by Salad Box at the “Press Refresh” competition.
The competition launched at the beginning of the summer had only winners. Being able to give our customers the “Refresh” they needed, makes us at Salad Box the happiest winner of all.
We truly hope that our 1200 prizes, consisting of cooling bags, volleyballs and swimming rings, made our customers’ summer greater, funnier and way cooler.
For some the refresh will last more than one summer! Laura Emilia Oprea (Cluj) is the lucky winner of the special prize, a trip with the greatest destination of all: “anywhere in the world”. She decided to give her Christmas holiday a much needed “Refresh”, going on a special trip.
We also hope that Aida Grigore (Cluj) is feeling as fresh as when she entered our competition. She is the lucky winner of the second prize – a juice extractor and a digital scale.
At the same time, Gheorghe Ciuca (Cluj), winner of the third prize, will “Refresh” his kitchen appliances with a new blender and toaster. Joyfully, since his toaster had just broken.
Lastly, we wish Larisa Manuela Ambrosie (Iasi) good luck with her cooking and have a healthy appetite! Certainly the food processor and electric grill – the first prize of the Press Refresh competition – will bring her joy and relish for a long time from now on.
Thank you for participating and for joining us!
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
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.
Versatile, crunchy, with a variety of textures, colors and flavors, salads are the handiest option when it comes to vitaminization. If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, get used to eat at least a salad a day, whether you do this at home, at work or in town.
Let’s find out which are the vitamins our body needs at this time of the year:
It is important for the health of the teguments (skin and mucous membranes), also offering good eyesight.
We find it in eggs, green vegetables (spinach), green beans, orange fruits (oranges, apricots, peaches) and vegetables (carrots, peppers).
A salad rich in vitamin A is Green Box.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Also known as the “goodwill vitamin” or the “intellectual performance vitamin”, vitamin B is indispensible to the body due to its beneficial effects on the nervous system.
We find it in beer yeast, meat, whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, walnuts, legumes (beans, chickpea) and from muesli yogurt.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
It is important for the health of the hair, nails and eyes.
Important sources of this vitamin are represented by eggs, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and radishes.
You can also find it in mushroom cream soups.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
It helps control the cholesterol and sugar level in the blood.
We find it in beetroots, salmon, tuna, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
The Tuna salad can help you acquire this vitamin. Vitamin B6 has a great influence on the growth process and can help with the treatment of cardiovascular conditions.
Good sources are bananas, salmon, spinach, avocado, egg yolk or whole grain cereals.
Or you could try the Alaska salad.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
It contributes to the proper functioning of the cells, the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.
We find it in animal products, such as chicken, fish, beef, eggs, dairy products (cheese) or, most simply, in the Most Wanted salad.
We need it especially in the winter/ summer transition periods because it helps us maintain our immunity and health.
In addition, vitamin C facilitates iron absorption in the digestive tube and we can find it in citric fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit), broccoli, berries, melon, parsley etc.
Do you want a “blast” of vitamin C? Try the fruit salad.
It is essential for the bone system health, it is generated by the action of the sunrays, but we can also take it from egg yolk, fish, liver or mushrooms.
You can also try our Boston salad.
This vitamin is an excellent antioxidant that fights against the free radicals.
The main sources from vitamin E are: walnuts, seeds, vegetable oil, green leaves, cereals and the broccoli cream soup.
It plays an important role in blood clotting.
We can take it from spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, eggs, meat or spinach cream soup.
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!
a powerful source of nutritious substances
You have definitely seen in various hypermarkets or even kitchens the small, bright green colored little grains. There are the so-called germinated seeds or germs, for short. Curiosity is known to increase our appetite, so let’s find more about these germs.
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.