web analytics

Tag Archive | "immune system"

Support Your Immune System with Grapes


Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette

(Family Features)

Boosting immune function through a healthy diet has become an important new focus for many people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. When looking to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to mix up your at-home menu, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make good-for-you dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.

Try recipes like Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette, Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt, and Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients and add variety and fresh appeal in the kitchen. 

Visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com for more nutritious family recipes.

Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette

Servings: 4 

Couscous:

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, leaves only
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup green California grapes
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 preserved lemon, rind only
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup red California grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.

To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat. 

Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.

To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.

Nutritional information per serving: 590 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 32 g fat (49% calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4 

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1 cup California grapes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 garlic clove, grated 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions

In large bowl, mix chickpeas and grapes.

In small skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook until seeds stop popping then add cumin and fennel seeds; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes; pour over chickpeas and grapes. Mix well.

In separate bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and remaining salt. Spread on serving platter and top with chickpea mixture, cilantro and scallions. 

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (25% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup halved California grapes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios

Heat oven to 450 F. 

Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes. 

Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture. 

Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (60% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.

Posted in Featured, RecipesComments Off on Support Your Immune System with Grapes

Five tips for good gut health during the holidays


Both the stress and the fun of the holiday season can take a toll on gut health. Take extra steps this season and beyond to feel your best. Photo (c) Revelant - Fotolia.com

Both the stress and the fun of the holiday season can take a toll on gut health. Take extra steps this season and beyond to feel your best. Photo (c) Revelant – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year and you may have noticed you’re more prone to colds and upset stomach when you’re stressed. Stress tends to slow the digestive process. What’s more, 70 percent of the immune system lies in the digestive system, according to findings reported in “Clinical & Experimental Immunology.”

Unfortunately, one of the most stressful seasons coincides with one of the most indulgent. To help, Vincent Pedre, MD, author of the new book, “Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain,” is offering useful tips to lessen digestive upset and keep your gut healthy over the holidays.

• Pack healthful snacks. When traveling, people tend to grab unhealthy foods for convenience. Pack nutritious foods like carrots, apples, almonds and frozen yogurt to keep the body strong. Foods like yogurt, which contain probiotics, not only address digestive issues, but are said to help stave off colds. One study found that those who took a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a type of healthy probiotic bacteria, recovered earlier and reported less severe symptoms.

• Eat mindfully. Eating in a hurry is a major no-no for good gut health, and makes you more likely to overeat, since it takes the brain about 20 minutes to recognize when you’re full. Plus, eating quickly can cause gas, acid indigestion and bloating.

“When we stop and really enjoy what we’re eating we’re less likely to overdo it, and we’ll avoid issues like emotional eating,” says Dr. Pedre.

• Relieve stress. Take some “me time.” Maintaining an exercise routine and practicing deep breathing relaxation techniques can do wonders for mental and digestive health, and help alleviate stress’ negative effects on the digestive system, such as gas, acid reflux and stomach cramps.

• Maintain a sleep routine. Get an adequate night’s rest of at least eight hours nightly. Your body and gut like predictability. Plus, staying up late could make you more likely to visit the fridge and eat that piece of chocolate cake that’ll lead to an upset stomach.

• Help your body naturally. Overeating or drinking is easy to do this time of year, but it can cause stomach distress. Check out local natural product retailers, which offer homoeopathic medicines like Nux vomica to relieve nausea, heartburn, acid indigestion or fullness associated with overindulgence of food or drink. While these uses have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for efficacy, Nux vomica is one of the most popular homeopathic medicines. It’s also easy to take. The pellets are quickly absorbed under the tongue without water, as opposed to being absorbed through the stomach, which may not be functioning at its peak. As a homeopathic medicine, it has no known side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, gas or drowsiness.

To learn about relieving a variety of acute stomach issues, explore the Boiron Medicine Finder app. This free resource, available on Android and iOS devices, allows users to find the right homeopathic medicine for many everyday conditions.

Posted in FeaturedComments Off on Five tips for good gut health during the holidays


advert
Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

Archives

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!