grains

The Greatness of Grains

The Greatness of Grains - Organicisbeautiful.com
The Greatness of Grains – Organicisbeautiful.com

Carbs! I love carbs. How about you, OiB readers? Surely, you have heard some media discrediting the greatness of grains throughout the years. Namely, people like to say that too many carbohydrates are bad for you and make you gain weight. Today, I would like to counter that superstition and fill you on why you need grains.

But not just any type of grain will work. You need to consume unprocessed (not refined) whole grains.

What is a Whole Grain?

All grains, according to the Whole Grain Council, begin whole. Whole grains are, basically, the entire seed of a plant, made up of three edible parts—the bran, germ, and endosperm.

The barn is a multi-layered outer shell that has antioxidants, essential B vitamins, and plenty of dietary fiber.

The germ is the potential new sprout. Here, you find more B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

Lastly, the endosperm is the energy supply of the germ. Contained in the endosperm are carbohydrates, proteins, and trace amounts of other nutrients.

What Makes Grains “White”?

When whole grains are stripped of some key parts—the bran, germ, or endosperm—they become refined or processed. White flour and white rice, for example, have had the bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm behind.

Why Are Whole Grains Healthier?

That is the main question here, is it not? Obviously, whole grains have a lot of vitamins and nutrients than refined grains do, but these are not the main reason why you need them in your diet.

Starches throw your blood sugar out of whack. Whole grain carbohydrates do not have the same effect. Whole grains are slowly absorbed and metabolized, meaning that blood sugar stays level. Also, whole grains are known to reduce the onset of heart disease.

In fact, a recent 2016 study proved that whole grains are linked to a longer lifespan. The meta-analysis was comprised of 14 studies and found that eating 3 servings of whole grains a day was “associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer”.

The Greatness of Grains - Organicisbeautiful.com
The Greatness of Grains – Organicisbeautiful.com

How Can I Eat More Whole Grains?

I have good news for you—there are more whole grain choices available now than ever before. Add the following foods to your diet to ensure you are eating enough whole grains:

  • Whole grain cereals, breads, and crackers
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa and other ancient grains like amaranth
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Corn
Rice OrganicIsBeautiful
Rice OrganicIsBeautiful

As you can see, there are a lot of whole grain options out there. Add whole grain pasta or brown rice to the dinner plate, select bread made from whole grains and seeds, and opt for a bowl of oatmeal in the morning! I promise the greatness of grains will keep you satiated throughout the day and much healthier in the long run.

Feel free to share your whole grain tips, recipes, and knowledge with other OiB readers.

7 Benefits of Quinoa, The World Healthiest Food.

Quinoa dates back three to four thousand years ago when the Incas first realized that the quinoa seed was fit for human consumption. According to WHFoods quinoa “was the gold of the Incas” because the Incas believed it increased the stamina of their warriors. The Quinoa Corporation calls quinoa the “Supergrain of the Future. ”

Quinoa | OrganicIsBeautiful
Quinoa | OrganicIsBeautiful

Who would not want to reap the benefits of this amazing superfood? Information sourced from MBG

Here are seven health benefits of quinoa:

1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

Cooked Quinoa with Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful
Cooked Quinoa with Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful

4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

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(Dark) Chocolate Lovers? This Post is For You!

How dark do you like your chocolate? 70% cacao? 80% cacao? Even darker? I personnaly alway go for dark chocolate. Why? Stronger taste, the bitterness in my head, I think: 85% Chocolate means only 15% sugar, right? Is that true or just the pure guilt-free self-proclamed theory of mine? Lets find out together in OiB today.

Cacao beans | OrganicIsBeautiful
Cacao beans | OrganicIsBeautiful

So, this post is dedicated to all the dark chocolate lovers out there and to the reasons that we should eat more of it. Can I get a whoop whoop?

Dark Chocolate, 3 components.

Emulsifiers: Emulsifiers are simply molecules that attach to both oil and water. It helps provide the right consistency. They have two ends, like a magnet.

Soy lecithin is the most widely used type in chocolate. It is derived from naturally such as soybeans but is considered article because it is usually extracted with chemicals. Other examples are the ammonium phosphatide and the very controversial, PGPR.

NOTE: The maximum dosage for emulsifier in the EU is 0.6% by weight and 2.3% in the US. ConfectioneryNews.

Sugar:

Brown Sugar | OrganicIsBeautiful
Brown Sugar | OrganicIsBeautiful

→ And of course, cacaoThere are four major types of cacao bean:

  • Criollo: Native to Mexico and Central America
  • Forastero: Mostly cultivated in Africa
  • Trinitario: Actually a crossbreed of the Criollo and Forastero. Usually found in Central and South America but in parts of Asia as well.
  • Nacional: Typically found in South America, west of the Andes. The Nacional is the most difficult to grow.

Why is Dark Chocolate Better than Milk Chocolate?

Dark chocolate is essentially chocolate without the milk solids added to it. The more milk solids in chocolate, the lower the percentage you will see on the wrapper (70%, 85%, 100%, etc.).

Chocolate | OrganicIsBeautiful
Categorie: Healthy Recipes | www.OrganicIsBeautiful.com

So when you see a package of Lindt dark chocolate and it reads 90% dark chocolate, you know that figure represents the percentage of cacao solids in the bar.

Some hidden Health Benefits.

According to Epicurious.com, the health benefits of chocolate are almost entirely due to the polyphenols found in cocoa. As a rule of thumb, whenever you read something good about chocolate, what they’re really talking about is cocoa – Not sure of the difference between cocoa and cacao, click here for my plain English explanation.

Therefore, as the cocoa content of chocolate increases, so do its positive effects on health. A standard milk chocolate will contain about 30% cocoa, while premium dark chocolates usually have more than 70%.

Dark chocolate contains less sugar, more cholesterol-neutral fat, and more cocoa polyphenols in a more bioavailable form than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is also said to be more filling, which means it takes less calories to satisfy your chocolate cravings.

What To Look for When Shopping for Dark Chocolate

According to the Paleo Guide, you should always choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate despite what talking M&M’s say.

  • Antioxidants are higher in dark chocolate.
  • Milk chocolate and the ingredients in it (sugar, trans fats, milk solids, artificial sweeteners to name a few) can lead to hardening of arteries, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and weakening of the immune system.
  • Milk can interfere with the absorption of vital nutrients, especially those flavonoids.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, always opt for 70% or darker and, in this guy’s humble opinion, for 85% and higher. The more naturally occurring cacao that is available, the greater the benefit.

NOTE: I have said before and will keep reminding you: Read labels. Look for dark chocolate that has as little sugar as possible (under ten grams). Keep skimming and look for vegetable fat as an ingredient. If it is on there, keep shopping around.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did researching and compelling those information. We learn something new everyday and the purpose of OiB is to list different way of consumption that are healthier and organic.

Feel free to share your feedbacks in the comments box.

Amanda

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Lovers

Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful

Why I Love Avocado & You Should Too!

If you aren’t totally nuts about the avocado yet, I recommend you to step outside your cooking routine and give this versatile, nutritious, creamy and uniquely delicious fruit a chance. At the end of my post, I promise, you will run to get your avocado stock at the veggie market down your road!

Health Benefits of Avocado.

Avocados are well-known for their excellent healthy monounsaturated fats that protect your heart, but they’re also high in many other nutrients aside from fat.

  1. Never fear the fat in avocados either. They help lower bad cholesterol in the body and prevent the absorption of harmful fats.
  2. Plus, calories and fat from healthy plant-based foods are much higher quality foods than processed foods and animal products higher in calories and fats.
  3. Avocados have been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and have been found helpful for maintaining a healthy body weight and blood sugar levels. The delicious fruit even has specific phytonutrients that have been linked to preventing cancer and lowering stress.

Remember, quality over quantity – your body knows the difference!

Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful
Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful

How to use Avocado in Your Kitchen

There are so many ways you can use this fruit. Avocados make a great snack raw with a little salt or nut cheese, are the main ingredient in guacamole, and the perfect addition to make salads decadent and filling. But they’re also quite useful in cooking.

Avocado | OrganicIsBeautiful
Categorie: Skincare Natural Remedies | www.OrganicIsBeautiful.com

BAKED

Seared or grilled avocados are a treat! They’re also wonderful on pizzas, even instead of the cheese, and mashed or sliced into casseroles. Get started with a Caesar Salad Pizza or a Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizza.

PAN FRIED

Wonderful in stir fries, especially with kale and tempeh, avocado minimizes the need for oil in cooking. You can even grill or bake them before tossing them on a bed of greens for a warm, not-so-raw salad, soothing for the winter months.

SOUPS

Raw, blended soups are super creamy with avocado, but lighter than they would be with cashews. We love gazpacho-style cold soups with green tomatoes or cucumbers, but there are a lot more unique options, as well. Try this Raw Carrot Avocado Soup or Raw Peas and Mint Avocado Soup.

SMOOTHIES

Green loaded Smoothie | OrganicIsBeautiful
Green loaded Smoothie | OrganicIsBeautiful

Green and fruit smoothies are wonderful with avocados, but most of all we enjoy the fluffiness of a smoothie with avos, which is why they’re so perfect for chocolate mousse. Simply, with cocoa powder, with or without bananas, a dash of sweetener, perhaps some cinnamon, and cayenne or espresso powder for zest, chocolate mousse is the perfect dessert for a health-conscious, time-pressed chocolate lover.

DRESSINGS

As an alternative to just chopping up avocados for salads, they can also be turned into a dressing for the whole salad. They even do a wonderful job of dressing up pasta and whole grains. Mix into a tahini dressing, or with lemon or cucumber. Try it on a Raw Zucchini Pasta and Creamy Avocado Cucumber Sauce and a Mesquite Avocado-Kale Salad.

Kale | OrganicIsBeautiful
Kale | OrganicIsBeautiful

DIPS

In addition to guacamole, avocado can be turned into a lot of different creamy dips, like Creamy Avocado Basil Dip and even Garlic Herb Avocado Cream Cheese.

Pictures and recipe from OneGreenPlanet.org.

Note: I usually use onegreenplanet.org for easy to made recipe at home, feel free to customise the listing below to your taste and share your tasty result with us, on OiB 😉

Wishing you all a happy cooking!

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