An Ancient Superfood You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

There’s an incredible Superfood that’s been around for thousand of years. You may not know about “horse gram” yet, but you will want to!

No Horsing Around

Horse gram is actually a nickname. And it will soon make sense why. It’s the most protein-rich legume in existence. Racehorses for centuries have been fed this lentil because it’s low in fat, abundant in complex carbs, and offers maximum physical performance from its nutrient-dense composition.

Sounds too good to be true? Indian cuisine will tell you this is the real thing—and for people too! Horse gram in Tamil is called Kollu, and in Hindi, it’s labeled as Kulthi. You can find this Superfood under those monikers at health-conscious markets as well as Indian specialty food stores.

A List of A-mazing

Aside from the health benefits for animals and humans, horse gram is a practical, beneficial, plant-based food, which can be easily grown, maintained, harvested, and profit the earth. In this climate of uncertain weather and crop conditions, Kollu requires very little water to sustain itself. This lentil is virtually drought-resistant.

Where to continue? There are so many positive health components to this organic food; it’s tough to decide which ones are the most outstanding. As far as nutritional content, horse gram ranks high in protein, iron, and calcium. It’s low in sodium and lipid content. It digests very slowly. This is amazing for those who want long-lasting energy, not a lot of sugar and not a lot of fat. Sounds like a gift from the heavens.

Fancy terms like polyphenols and flavanoids are good words. Horse gram is wealthy with these—they are antioxidants—and may help thwart cancer.

A Bean for a Human Be-ing

Horse gram, because of its phenol content, can attack fat. Isn’t that great news? Additionally, it can lower blood sugar after a meal. This is incredible information for those identified as diabetic or obese. (Horse gram slows down carb digestion—thus reducing insulin resistance.)

CanaGel Melts

If you can get beyond the name and the taste, horse gram will work you wonders.

In fact, there are countless, incredibly delicious recipes using Kollu. You just need to find a palatable way to ingest this Superfood, just as you had to when you first discovered Quinoa and Kale. Remember those days?

Medicinal Properties

Horse gram has been used for countless centuries to combat the common cold. That sounds nice—and tame. But check this out: Eastern medical texts use horse gram for relief (and cure) of asthma and bronchitis. It’s a natural expectorant.

Get this too: Horse gram can help disintegrate kidney stones. It also helps with other urinary conditions. How about heart disease? Yes! Check that one off. That’s a biggie. Jaundice? No problem. Horse gram can cure that. How about high cholesterol? Done! “Silly” other ailments like conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, bad gas, and PMS have also been squelched by ingesting horse gram.

If this isn’t a Superfood, then what really is?

There are many yummy recipes you can find online that incorporate horse gram. Even if the name turns you off, don’t neigh at its health benefits. Yes, I went there. Next, I’m off to the market to get some horse gram to make a delectable, curry soup. How will you incorporate your horse gram tonight?

 

What Foods Do Nutritionists Think are Healthy?

Ask the Nutritionists

Hundreds of nutritionists as well as 2,000 other Americans were polled about which foods they think are healthy. The results showed some shared beliefs but also some huge differences in perception of healthy foods.

Who Knows What?

The New York Times recently conducted its own study on the perception of healthy foods. The purpose was to get a consensus of which foods nutritionists and “regular folk” regard as healthy. For the study, the NY Times enlisted a consult group, who in turn polled 2,000 Americans. The participants were asked to rate 52 common foods in order from unhealthy to healthy. Additionally, over 600 nutritionists from the American Society for Nutrition were asked to do the same.

The results showed how nutritionists’ belief in the healthiness of certain foods varied from what the average American believes. Even some of the nutritionists, however, were split on particular foods. The consensus on butter, for example, was varied for everyone polled. The same mixed feelings occurred on the topic of whole milk and red meat.

The mixed reviews on these three specific foods point out that their nutritional value must be inconclusive. A prominent nutritionist Dariush Mozaffarian explains, “…we only know about 40 or 50 percent of what we need to know about nutrition.”

What Everyone Thinks is Good

The Americans surveyed agreed with the nutritionists on the healthfulness of several common foods. Oranges, apples, and avocados ranked among the highest in goodness. Spinach, kale, olive oil, and almonds were top choices too. Turkey and chicken made the highs ranks as well.

What Everyone Thinks is Bad

Regular soda, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream were deemed the unhealthiest by everyone polled. Bacon, white bread, diet soda, and beer were just a couple of percentage points higher on the list, but still extremely low in good nutrition. On a scale from zero to 100 percent, hamburgers ranked at only 30% healthy for all those surveyed.

Here’s Where We Can Learn

Assuming these 600-plus nutritionists understand good food value, here’s information from which we can learn. The study points out that granola bars are deemed healthy by fewer than 30% of the experts. About 70% of the public, however, believed the bars to be healthy. Here’s the difference. The nutritionists know how much added sugars are in the popular food. We may not know because labels can misrepresent.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently agreed to review its labeling standards. Some foods we think are healthy simply are not. And, unfortunately, we have been misguided for years.

The nutritionists expressed that sushi, wine, shrimp, hummus, tofu, and quinoa are all excellent. The public didn’t seem aware of the high levels of nutritional value in these foods. Perhaps it’s because they are not “common”—yet. The other take away from this study is that most everyone agreed that “no special rules or restrictions” comprised the best diet. Balance and moderation are key.

For other articles on diet and nutrition, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

3 Recipes for the Perfect, Vegan, No-Sugar Snack

So, you’ve made the choice to be kind to your body and eat healthy foods. That doesn’t have to be synonymous with undesirable or unpalatable meals or snacks. There are thousands of delicious recipes (many found here on GetThrive.) Alas, here are three no-sugar, vegan recipes that compliment each other perfectly for an incredibly satisfying and nutrition-dense snack.

HERB-IVORE  FLAT BREAD

Ingredients

1½ cups of Almond flour

¾ cup Tapioca flour

1/3 cup ground Flax or Chia seeds

7 drops of liquid Stevia

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Organic Eggs

¼ cup unsweetened Almond Milk

 

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine the two flours, ground seeds, baking soda, and ½ the salt.

In a small bowl, blend the eggs and milk with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds.

Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix or stir to combine until it forms a sticky wet dough.

Pour batter onto a 12 x 16 cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Smooth batter out with spatula over the entire surface area, so it is thin and even. Sprinkle herbs of choice and the other ½ of the sea salt evenly over dough. On the center rack of oven, bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake or it will be too dry.

Serve warm or cool and cut into desired size. Store in parchment and then seal in an airtight bag in the fridge for best freshness.

 

STATE OF THE ART-ICHOKE DIP

Ingredients

1 garlic bulb

1 small white onion

1 ½ cups of artichoke hearts

5 cups of Tuscan kale

¼ cup of sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup of raw cashews (that have been soaked in hot water for ½ hour)

1 lemon

1 cup water

organic olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic, drizzle olive oil over top, wrap in foil and roast for 40 minutes.

Thinly slice the onion. Remove stems and chop the kale. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Mince the sundried tomatoes. Halve the lemon.

Caramelize onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring regularly, until golden brown and caramelized (8-10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.

To make cashew cream, drain and rinse cashews. Put cashews in a blender with 1 cup filtered water, the juice from half of the lemon, and 2-4 cloves from your roasted garlic bulb. Blend on low, slowly moving to high, until it forms a creamy texture, free of grains. Set cashew cream aside.

In the same pan used to cook the onions, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes.) Add artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

Stir in cashew cream and transfer your creation into a bowl—now ready for dipping!

 

CASHEW-AND-ME MILK

Ingredients

1 cup of raw cashews

3 ½ cups of filtered water

3 Medjool pitted dates

1 pinch of sea salt

 

Place cashews and dates in a bowl and cover with one inch of water. Let them soak for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.

Drain and rinse cashews. Place cashews, water, dates, vanilla, and the pinch of salt in a blender. Blend for 60 seconds or until completely smooth. Test thickness of cashew milk. If you prefer thinner consistency, add up to one cup of additional water and continue to blend until smooth. In an airtight container in refrigeration, the milk can last up to a week.

Yes, there is preparation necessary to create the three above gastronomic treats. However, an hour or less of actual “cooking time” can provide you with a week’s worth of delectable, healthy, nutrition-rich snacks. All three in one sitting may be too rich for some, but feel free to mix-and-match as your pallet and belly feel fit and satisfied.

For other healthy and nutritious recipes and tips, peruse the health and food sections on www.GetThrive.com

Sources:

http://www.pinchofkate.com

 

Best in Pregnancy and Adolescence!

Adolescents who eat more fruit have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Pregnant women who consume more fruit have babies with higher IQs. These are the results of two, new, separate studies.

Avoiding Breast Cancer

One recently published study touted the benefits of eating fruit. A lower risk of developing breast cancer was one discovery. Tens of thousands of questionnaires were given to women between the ages of 27 and 44 in regards to their diets. The first questionnaire was given in 1991 and then another in 1998. The latest tally of these showed that over 1400 women did not develop breast cancer. Those women consumed a large amount of fruit during their adolescence (ages 13-18).

“Higher early adulthood intake of fruits (and vegetables rich in ‘a’ carotene) was associated with a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.” Apples, bananas, and grapes consumed in higher amounts were most beneficial to adolescents. Oranges and kale proved to further reduce risk when consumed during early adulthood.

IQ Booster for Baby

A recent Canadian study shows that babies in the womb benefit from their mom’s fruit consumption. The University of Alberta tested approximately 700 children in Edmonton. Pregnant moms who ate more fruit during pregnancy had babies who scored higher on the test. The infants’ developmental levels and IQs were higher than the babies of pregnant moms who ate little-to-no fruit. The children of expectant moms who ate six or seven servings of fruit daily actually ranked over five points higher.

The lead researcher, Mandhane, collaborated with another scientist who studies genetic similarities between humans and fruit flies. Although they’re extremely different species, flies have 85 percent of the genes used in human brain function. Fruit flies, in particular, have been used as models to study human learning and memory. So, it was pretty fascinating to find that flies whose mothers were given fruit juice also had better memories.

Not Too Sweet

Both studies clearly show the health advantages from consuming fruit, especially during adolescence and when pregnant. Experts, however, warn of overconsumption. Excessive amounts of fruit can be too much sugar, even if it’s naturally obtained. Pregnant women may put themselves at risk for developing gestational diabetes or having an overweight baby. Six servings a day are plenty to reap fruits’ benefits. For more studies on healthy foods, check out www.GetThrive.com.