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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 42

Thoughts: Getting to know what I am eating. My newest friends lately are advocado, goji berries, walnuts and macadamia nuts!!! So I wanted to find out exactly what nutritional value these foods have since I have been spending so much time with them! Here's what I found:

Macadamia Nuts:
*Someone once told me that macadamia nuts are fatty and that my blood type cannot break down the fats so I will get fat if I eat them. But I love them! So what I learnt today was that consuming less fat has been a health message but the type of fat is much more important than total fats. Diets containing moderate fat levels promote satiety and have been shown to be sustainable and enjoyable in the long term. Low fat diets have often been shown to be unsatisfying and difficult to maintain. So macadamias are an aok!!! wooo woooo
*Macadamias are considered the world’s finest nut and are the only native Australian plant to become an international food.
*They are full of important nutrients including monounsaturated fats, proteins, dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals.
Natural oils: 74%
Moisture: 1.2%
Protein: 9.2%
Dietary fibre: 6.4%
Carbohydrates: 7.9%
Mineral matter: 1.3% including Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium, Zinc, Copper and Iron
Vitamins: Vit. B1, B2, B5, B6, Vit. E, plus niacin and folate
Phytochemicals: Antioxidants including polyphenols, amino acids, selenium and flavanols plus plant sterols
Energy value: 3080 kilojoules per 100g [747 calories]
*Macadamias contain no cholesterol as they are a natural plant food.
*Macadamias are not genetically modified and only contain natural genes.
*Macadamias do not contain any trans fatty acids. It is most probable that the health benefits of macadamias are increased by a synergistic effect between its constituents and enhanced by complex biochemical interrelationships working together in our bodies.
*Macadamias can be described as a functional food as the physiologically active constituents present provide health benefits greater than the base nutrients.
*Good for oxidative stress, clotting tendency and inflammation. Persons with elevated cholesterol levels showed an improvement in cholesterol and blood fats.
*The oil in macadamias is largely monounsaturated which is often described as the “good oil”.
*Macadamias contain a higher percentage of monounsaturated oils than any other natural product.
*Macadamias contain significant levels of protein which are an essential component of our diet and in our bodies form muscle and connective tissues, hair and nails, are part of our blood and act positively on many aspects of our health.

Goji Berries:
* Contains 19 amino acids the building blocks of protein including all eight that are essential for life.
* Contains 21 trace minerals, including germanium, an anti-cancer trace mineral rarely found in foods.
* Contains more protein than whole wheat (13 percent).
* Contains a complete spectrum of antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene (a better source than even carrots!) and zeaxanthin (protects the eyes). Goji berries are the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods.
* Contains Vitamin C at higher levels than even those found in oranges.
* Contains B-complex vitamins, necessary for converting food into energy.
* Contains Vitamin E (very rarely found in fruits, only in grains and seeds).
* Contains Beta-Sitosterol, an anti-inflammatory agent. Beta-Sitosterol also lowers cholesterol and has been used to treat sexual impotence and prostate enlargement.
* Contains essential fatty acids, which are required for the body’s production of hormones and for the smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system.
* Contains Cyperone, a sesquiterpene that benefits the heart and blood pressure, alleviates menstrual discomfort, and has been used in the treatment of cervical cancer.
* Contains Solavetivone, a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound.
* Contains Physalin, a natural compound that is active against all major types of leukemia. It has been shown to increase splenic natural killer cell activity in normal and tumor-bearing mice, with broad-spectrum anti-cancer effect. It has also been used as a treatment for hepatitis B.
* Contains Betaine, which is used by the liver to produce choline, a compound that calms nervousness, enhances memory, promotes muscle growth, and protects against fatty liver disease. Betaine also provides methyl groups in the body’s energy reactions and can help reduce levels of homocysteine, a prime risk factor in heart disease. It also protects DNA.

*They are shaped and look like a brain, so they reckon these nuts are good for your brain! Wooo I love my brain!
*Walnuts are low in saturated fat and high in both polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat.
*They are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, particularly when bought in their shells and eaten while fresh.
*Walnuts are a good source of protein, vitamin B1, B6, folate and
vitamin E. Green and unripe walnuts are rich in vitamin C.
*Research has found that eating regular amounts of walnuts or almonds reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.

*Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable.
*Avocadoes are the wonder food.
*They are a natural source of lecithin (gives brain power and aids in the digestion and absorption of fat).
*Avocados act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
*Avocados provide more than 25 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They are also a good source of protein often recommended during breastfeeding.
*Avocadoes provide beneficial phytochemicals such as glutathione (antioxidant), beta-sitosterol, and lutein. Phytonutrients are thought to help prevent many chronic diseases.
*The avocado is virtually the only fruit that has monounsaturated fat. Individuals who have a craving for oils, but who do not do well with most fatty foods do well with avocado. It is also rich in copper which aids red blood cell formation.
*There are more than 500 avocado varieties.
*Avocados are native to Central and South America, where they have been cultivated for over 10,000 years.
*Another name for the avocado is the "alligator pear," so-called because of its alligator skin texture and pear shape.
*The Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means "testicle tree". Hahaaa
*Spanish explorers could not pronounce ahuacatl, so they called the avocado aguacate. This is the origin of the word guacamole.
*Mexico is the world's top producer of avocados, with California coming in second.
*One tree can produce between 150 and 500 avocados per year.
*The average avocado contains 300 calories and 30 grams of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
*Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit.
*Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. (Yayaaaa! I don't like bananas so this is good to know!)
*One avocado contains 81 mcg of lutein, an important nutrient for healthy eyes.
*Once an avocado is picked, it takes between 7 and 10 days to ripen. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, while putting it in a paper bag with a ripe apple will speed up the process.

Challenges: Well I'm going to India tomorrow and wondering how I will go on the Earth Diet over there! I'm taking a bag of goji berries as back up in case I get stuck! It will be interesting to see just how earthy India is!

Triumphs: Getting to know and developing new relationships with my new friends advocado, waluts, goji berries, and macadamia nuts!

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: Goji berries, walnuts, macadamia nuts and a chocolate ball.

Lunch: Walnuts, goji berries, 2 nectarines and some macadamia nuts.

Dinner: A big fat juicy salad mmm mmmm! With advocado, snow peas, green lettuce, mung beans and fresh lemon and olive oil dressing.

Dessert: no dessert

Snacks: Chocolate balls. Think I am turning into a chocolate ball! You are what you eat?!

Cost: I shopped at the organic shop today and bought a lettuce for $3.50 (I think they are $2.20 in the supermarket), snowpeas for $27.95 a kilo, walnuts for $26.99 a kilo, mung bean sprouts for $2.99 and brazil nuts for $21.99 a kilo. So I spent a few more dollars on organic produce than I would have at the supermarket....but worth it!!!No price when it comes to your health right?!? And fresh fruits and veggies from the supermarket have been depleted in nutrional value because of the chemicals sprayed on them. I also stocked up on $22 worth of goji berries to take to India with me...incase...hehe!

Exercise: Dancing to some funky funky music!

324 days to go!!!

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