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Articles from 2000 In July


Delicious Living

August 1, 2000

Mineral chart

Nutrient

Suggested Intake/Adults

Function

Description

Boron

Typical dose: 2-3 mg; toxic at 1 gram

For healthy bones.

A trace mineral.

Calcium

DRI: 1,000-1,300 mg
TUIL: 2,500 mg

Necessary for bones, teeth, muscles, regular heartbeat and normal nerve function.

Women at risk of or suffering from osteoporosis may need an additional calcium supplement for higher dosage levels.

Chromium

TUIL: 200-400 mcg

Helps insulin, the blood sugar hormone, function more efficiently.

Dosages of 600­1,000 mcg can be used for diabetes and weight control.

Copper

TUIL: 2 mg

Helps in iron absorption, synthesis of hemoglobin and energy production.

If taking more than 15 mg of zinc daily, take 1­2 mg of copper for every 30 mg of zinc. Copper IUDs and water from copper pipes can cause toxicity.

Flouride

DRI: 3.1 mg

Essential for healthy teeth and bones.

Low fluoride intake associated with higher number of cavities, especially in children. High fluoride intake associated with possible tooth and bone weakness.

Iodine

RDA: 150 mg

Crucial to the thyroid hormone.

An iodine deficiency can cause goiter.

Iron

RDA: 15 mg

Essential for the formation of red blood cells.

Men and postmenopausal women rarely need iron supplementation. Excess iron can be toxic, especially in children.

Magnesium

DRI: 310-320 mg
RDA: 320 mg
TUIL: 350 mg

Used for muscle function. Supports healthy teeth and cardiovascular system.

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to heart disease, hypertension, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal problems and depression.

Manganese

TUIL: 2 mg

Used in bone and collagen formation, synthesis of fatty acids and protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.

A trace mineral, it can enhance antioxidant activity. Deficiency can reduce glucose tolerance.

Molybdenum

TUIL: 10-25 mcg

Used in enzyme function and iron metabolism.

Deficiency is rare.

Phosphorous

DRI: 700 mg
RDA: 800 mg

Essential for healthy bones, teeth and enzyme function.

Deficiency can affect normal heart function.

Potassium

TUIL: 200 mg

Necessary for fluid balance. Supports nerve function, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and muscle contraction.

Potassium can reduce high blood pressure. Potassium levels can decrease with age and dehydration. Deficiency can damage bones, heart and nerves.

Selenium

RDA: 55 mcg

An antioxidant that works with glutathione peroxidase to protect cells from damage.

Selenium helps prevent cancer and boost immunity. Very high doses can be toxic.

Vanadium

No RDA set
TUIL: 50-100 mcg

May be used in hormone, cholesterol and blood sugar metabolism.

Vanadium may help to manage diabetes, but high doses should only be taken under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

Zinc

RDA: 12 mg

Vital for healthy immune and reproductive system. Used in enzyme functions.

Zinc supports proper use of insulin, the function of taste, and function of the skin's oil glands.

Interview With Herbalist David Winston

Question:
What's your favorite herb?

Answer:
"Fresh avena (the fresh milky oat extract) is perfect for people who have nervous exhaustion. It's nerve food. Then there's hawthorn, which is heart food. Hawthorn is cardiotonic for any type of cardiovascular or circulatory problem. Both herbs are perfect for America - where so many people are walking around with nervous exhaustion and broken hearts. Both are also plentiful and sustainable."

Question:
What herb's going to be popular?

Answer:
"Hawthorn, because it prevents and treats atherosclerosis, increases cardiac blood flow, prevents angina and treats things like intermittent claudication (limping). Hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle itself - so it's good for both recovery and prevention. It's an exceptional herb for good cardiovascular health."

David Winston, herbalist AHG, Herbalist and Alchemist, Washington, N.J.



Sources For Herbal Information

Tyler's Honest Herbal, fourth edition (The Hawthorn Herbal Press) by Steven Foster and Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D.

The Green Pharmacy (Rodale Press) by James A. Duke, Ph.D.

Physician's Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics Company)

The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines (American Botanical Council) edited by Mark Blumenthal, et al.

The Foundations of Health: Healing with Herbs & Foods (Botanica Press) by Christopher Hobbs



Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Gilded Chicken Breasts

Gilded Chicken Breasts
July, 2000

chicken.jpgServes 8 / This chicken dish is an easy but elegant entrée to serve when unexpected guests arrive. Thyme may be substituted for dried rosemary. Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

3/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup packed, chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of all fat
8 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Toast the pine nuts in a 300º oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Combine nuts and next four ingredients in a food processor and chop coarsely, or by hand. Place in a large flat pan.
2. Brush the top side of each chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Spread nut topping onto mustard coating, distributing the topping evenly among the eight chicken breasts.
3. Arrange the breasts, coated-side up, on an olive oil-greased baking sheet. Cover with remaining topping. If desired, sprinkle each chicken piece with a bit more olive oil. Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Calories 275,Fat 15,Perfat 48,Cholesterol 79,Carbo 3,Protein 34,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Pasta & Chickpea Soup

Pasta & Chickpea Soup
July, 2000

soup.jpgServes 6 / This soup not only uses freshly grated cheese but the rind, as well. The rinds, similar to a vegetarian soupbone, are perfectly safe to eat and add flavor without the extra expense of using freshly grated cheese; they are available at many natural foods stores. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1 small red onion
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
1 large clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can diced organic tomatoes, undrained
1 15-ounce can drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 4-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1 cup small pasta tubes (such as ditalini)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and rosemary. Set a 3-quart pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and the chopped vegetables and cook 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
2. Pour in tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, tomato paste, bay leaf and cheese rind. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Simmer soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the softened cheese rinds and set aside. Add pasta and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Peel the hard outer layer off the rind and cut the cheese into 1/4-inch cubes and return to the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


Calories 305,Fat 9,Perfat 26,Cholesterol 10,Carbo 42,Protein 16,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

ARCHIVE: Penne With Raw Tomato Sauce

Penne With Raw Tomato Sauce
July, 2000

Serves 6 / This is a great summer dish, when tomatoes and basil are at their ripest. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1 pound fresh Italian plum tomatoes
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
16 leaves fresh basil, torn
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 pound penne pasta
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring 2 gallons of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and place them in a large pasta serving bowl. With a vegetable peeler, shave thick slices of cheese into the bowl; grate the cheese that is too small to shave.
2. Wash and stem arugula leaves. Dry and tear into small pieces. Add to the bowl with remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Toss well.
3. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and immediately toss pasta with the sauce until well coated. Serve in individual pasta bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Calories 412,Fat 12,Perfat 26,Cholesterol 10,Carbo 61,Protein 16,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A
Delicious Living

Tally Ho!

Tally Ho!
by Debra Bokur

Alisal Guest Ranch and ResortAlthough an active competitor in equestrian competitions for most of my life, it's been four years since I've spent any real time in the saddle. In search of the perfect horseback riding experience, I journeyed to the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in Solvang, Calif., about 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara. Spread amidst majestic sycamores, the Alisal — part of which is still a working ranch — offers the ideal setting for a horse-related sojourn, regardless of your skill level. Seasoned wranglers assess whether you're a beginning, intermediate or advanced rider, match you with an appropriate mount, and head you into the rolling hills surrounding the Santa Ynez valley.

In case you've ever scoffed at the idea of riding as a legitimate form of exercise, check out the facts: Besides relentlessly working your glutes, hams and calves, horseback riding improves your balance, coordination, reminds you of the importance of sitting up straight, and offers a point of view that's hard to get while standing on just two legs. Posting to the trot (the controlled up-and-down movement of the rider in response to the horse moving at a trot) helps develop rhythm and gives legs a spectacular workout from top to bottom.

Horseback riding gets you outside, teaches you the importance of teamwork (yes, that means working with and not against the large, hooved being beneath your saddle) and can be enjoyed in the company of others or as a solitary adventure. Plus, a 140-pound woman, riding at a moderate pace for an hour, burns approximately 269 calories.

The cost of private lessons varies greatly from one area of the country to the next, but you can count on spending between $50 and $100 for an hour's worth of instruction. Mandatory equipment includes a pair of comfortable boots (the cowboys at the Alisal are probably still hooting about my breeches and black hunt-style boots), breeches or comfortable jeans and chaps, and a protective helmet.

So if you're ready to tap into the desperado hidden deep within, prepared to get a little dusty and a lot sore, and aren't intimidated by that famous Saturday afternoon cry of Hi ho, Silver ... then away you go!

For more information about the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, call 800-425-4725, or visit www.alisal.com.

Photography by: Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort




Delicious Living

Natto: The next soy superfood

Natto, a traditional Japanese food often used in sushi, may be the next soy option for Americans. This fermented soyfood, practically unknown in the United States, is created when the bacteria Bacillus natto is added to lightly cooked soybeans. The result: Natto has five times the amount of genistein (the isoflavone thought responsible for soy's anticancer benefits) than either tofu or soy milk.

Food and Chemical Toxicology, 1996, vol. 34
 


 

Delicious Living

The FDA Rules: The Function in Foods

The FDA Rules: The Function in Foods
by Thea Deley

cereal If your morning glass of orange juice contained calcium, or your lunchtime salad dressing boasted vitamin E, or perhaps your midafternoon snack bar supplied ginseng, you ingested nutraceuticals today. Surprised?

Welcome to the next fad in nutrition: functional foods. This new food category helps you, the busy consumer, get your RDA of vitamins and minerals in a convenient way and can also help you ward off potential health problems. Paul Lachance, Ph.D., executive director of the Nutraceuticals Institute at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., defines nutraceuticals as "naturally derived, bioactive compounds that have disease-preventing, health-promoting or medicinal properties."

You can take nutraceuticals three ways: as a whole food, a dietary supplement or a functional food. Let's say you wanted to add to your diet allicin, the compound in garlic scientists believe promotes cardiovascular health. You might eat a clove of raw garlic (whole food), take a capsule containing powdered garlic (dietary supplement), or sip a soup fortified with allicin (functional food).

"A functional food has some health benefit that goes beyond the basic nutrition of that food," says Mary Mulry, Ph.D., technical consultant for the natural products industry and president of Boulder, Colo.-based Foodwise Inc. "This is food designed for a specific purpose or formulated for particular groups." Registered dietitian Molly Lori, M.P.H., works for Clif Bar Inc., in Berkeley, Calif., creating lines of functional foods products geared for specific types of people. "We look at a population group and see trends as to which vitamins and minerals they're not getting enough of," she explains, "and then we address those concerns in one neat little package."

Lachance estimates that 80 percent of Americans don't eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. "We wonder why we're not healthy in this country," he says. "We don't eat healthy in the first place." Corie Abbs, advertising/ marketing coordinator for Hero Nutritional Products in San Clemente, Calif., points out, "Kids hate vegetables. Getting kids to eat their vegetables ? even adults, for that matter ? is difficult." In the past, vitamin and herb supplements rounded out our diets. But as Abbs says, "It's hard to get kids to eat vitamins, too, especially if they smell or taste like medicine." Lori agrees and believes that's why functional foods were invented in the first place. "With our active, on-the-go lifestyles," she says, "individuals are demanding foods that give them a health benefit in addition to convenience."

Beefing It Up
How do manufacturers like Clif Bar and Hero create functional foods products? There are a number of ways:

  • Increase the concentration of a natural component (for example, increasing the isoflavones naturally occurring in soybeans for soy milk)
  • Add a component that's not normally present (for example, enhancing orange juice with calcium)
  • Replace a bad component with a beneficial one (for example, substituting trans-fatty acids in margarine with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids; or
  • Improve the availability or stability of a beneficial food component (for example, adding inulin to a snack bar to improve mineral absorption). ("Concepts in Functional Foods: A European Perspective," by Marcel B. Roberfroid, Nutrition Today, July 1999, vol. 34.)

"People look to these products as alternatives to taking supplements," Mulry says. "As a particular replacement for dietary supplementation, functional foods have some appeal because the form is familiar." Mulry seems to be right ? people swallowed $12.8 billion in functional foods and beverages in 1998. If we throw in dietary supplements, the combined nutraceuticals market grew at a compounded annual rate of 10.4 percent between 1994 and 1998. It won't stop here, either. Forecasts for the industry in 2003 peak at $27.5 billion ? another 8.3 percent annual growth rate ("Datamonitor Survey of U.S. Nutraceutical Market: Executive Summary," Datamonitor Report on U.S. Nutraceutical Market, 1999).

"I think functional foods represent the next boom in applied nutrition," says Chris Noonan, business development manager for Hero Nutritional Products. "There are so many areas to go [into] with functional foods; it's really in its infancy. The delivery form, like candy or drinks or bars, is magical." A few of the familiar yet magical forms functional foods take include iced teas that boost immunity, chips that improve mood, margarines that lower cholesterol and snack bars that ease PMS symptoms.

While functional foods are just beginning to take shape, they're not a new phenomenon, nor are they limited to natural foods. "The name might be new," says Mindy Green, director of education for the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo., "but fortified foods have been around for awhile." The FDA requires fortification of some foods, and has for years, such as fortifying milk with vitamins A and D, or breads and cereals with niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid. More than 10 years ago, the National Cancer Institute created its "Designer Foods" program, which takes proven anticancer ingredients and researches ways to boost them in foods ("Foods that Fight Off Cancer: What Science Knows Today," PDR Family Guide to Nutrition & Health, 1999).

The Key Ingredient?
Research continues, but scientists don't always know which particular compound is responsible for a specific purported health benefit. "It's hard to narrow it down to one compound," Lachance explains. "Take vitamin C ? it's a stab in the dark. There's 4,000 flavonoids in food, so you've got to be a pretty damn good guesser as to which flavonoid is the one responsible for the health benefit." Not only that, but it's not always clear if the health benefit is the result of a particular food or a combination of foods. That's why Green, Lori and Lachance all agree that eating a well-balanced diet remains the key to good health, even with the advent of enhanced foods.

If you do decide to supplement your diet with functional foods and beverages, particularly if you're using them for health benefits, make sure you know the amount of a nutraceutical you're actually taking in. Read the label ? how much of a phytochemical or botanical does the product contain? Does it tell you, or does it just list ingredients?

Even if a product's label tells you how much of a botanical it contains, say 25 mg of Panax ginseng root, it may not tell you what percent of the phytochemical ginsenoside it contains. (Scientists believe ginsenoside gives ginseng its tonic properties.) "If there's enough of the active constituent in it," Green says, "functional food can be somewhat therapeutic or beneficial nutritionally." But she cautions that people should not stop taking a dietary supplement because they think they're getting enough of a nutraceutical from functional foods.

Nutraceuticals, unlike pharmaceuticals, take awhile to impart health benefits. "The problem with the American public is they think if they eat [a functional food] once in a while, it's going to take care of everything," Lachance says. "You've got to persist. It takes about 30 days before you get any response."

Ultimately, the responsibility for eating functional foods wisely lands on our own plates. "For the most part, functional foods are beneficial," Green says, "as long as you don't overdo it and don't rely on it as your medicine."

Thea Deley is a freelance writer specializing in alternative health. She lives in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
 

Photography by: Jeff Padrick