Sourdough Rye Bread

We are often asked: Why does Metabolic Balance recommend sourdough rather than bread containing yeast? 

MB 10-14 ryebread

The answer lies in the long fermentation process that happens with sourdough preparation. During this fermentation, the grain is properly broken down and the phytic acid effectively pre-digested. This is important as phytic acid is known to bind to the nutrients and minerals in the grain, thereby preventing us from absorbing them. Also reducing the phytic acid makes the bread lighter, healthier and easier to digest. Rye grains need a good long time to progress to it’s quality and be ready for baking. The sourdough method makes sure this happens naturally while boosting friendly bacteria in the dough which improves the shelf life of the rye bread. It also develops a wonderful taste and the delicious smell of fresh sourdough bread!

When yeast is added to bread dough, these natural processes are enormously accelerated, unfortunately to the detriment of the quality of the bread. This method of added yeast to bread baking makes it much harder for us to digest the bread and can cause digestive problems. 

Almonds – A Power House

Almonds are so much more than just a snack or baking ingredient – of course our Metabolic Balancers have known this for a long time. The tasty nuts are rich in protein, minerals and B vitamins. They protect against cardiovascular diseases and, according to some studies, even prevent diabetes. Their cholesterol-lowering effect is also well researched and documented. Thus, we can say, eating these tasty nuts regularly is one of your go-to foods. However, it is important to soak them for a few hours beforehand – preferably overnight. This reduces inhibitors and enables your digestion to break down and absorb nutrients much easier and better. By doing so, almonds are even tastier!

MB 10-06 - almonds

Check out our Mandelade-Recipes (Almond-SunflowerSeed-Mix) on our Recipe Blog or watch this video!

An Organic Apple is a Class of it’s Own!

Did you know that an apple contains more than a million bacteria? Say … what?

MB 09-21-2019

This was recently discovered by scientists at the Graz University of Technology in Austria. The researchers found that eating apples is not only healthy for us because of the abundance of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other wonderful plant substances. We also get a great health boost to our gut flora from the different, beneficial bacteria found in an apple. Good bacteria is especially found in the core, the seeds and the pulp – less so on the peel, as one might think. In a recent study, it was also investigated whether there is a difference between apples from conventional cultivation and organic apples. The result was clear: The organic apples had much more diverse bacterial communities. In the case of organic apples, the pulp in particular showed the highest microbial diversity. The basic role of the pulp is to protect the seeds in the core and to enable their distribution for the successful propagation of the apple tree. A possible outcome of this study suggested it could be that the bacterial diversity in organic apples is similar to the effects of apple polyphenols on human health. Apple polyphenols are known not only to relieve allergic symptoms, but also to promote the growth of good bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in our digestive tract.

Anthocyanins Protect Against Heart Attack!

MB 09-14-2019

The Nurses’ Health Study was started in 1989 in Boston and followed the health of 93,600 nurses. It is one of the largest studies into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. One of the questions researchers posed was to look at heart attack risk among the group.  

Eric Rimm, a nutrition scientist from the Harvard School of Public Health, analyzed the data and was able to see a long-term trend that nurses in the study who ate at least three servings of blueberries or strawberries per week had a 32% reduced risk of a heart attack than the nurses who ate the berries less than once a month. It was concluded it was the presence of anthocyanins in the berries that was giving the nurses the great benefits for heart health. 

Anthocyanins are a natural groups of plant chemicals found in fruits such as berries, cherries, apples, but also eggplants. They give the fruits their rich, vibrant and dark color, and protect them from UV radiation and the oxygen in the air. It is now recognized that, when we eat these colorful foods containing anthocyanins, this protective effect is passed on to us!

Born to be an All-Round Star

MB 09-08-2019

Green cabbage is now available all year round. Particularly in the winter months it is a real blessing for your health with its valuable nutrients. And in summer it cuts a good figure. Whether spherical or longish – the robust vegetable that drives its stalk deep into the soil is particularly rich in folic acid and vitamin C. While many vegetables lose vitamin C during cooking, this doesn’t happen with green cabbage! This is because it also contains a lot of ascorbigen, a precursor of vitamin C. It is only converted to vitamin C during cooking. In addition, it supplies an excellent amount potassium for heart health, calcium for the bones and iron for the blood. And it’s doing all this while being low in calories and rich in fiber! 

Born to be a Cardio Star – Brussels Sprouts!

MB 09-05-2019 (2)

Brussels Sprouts: so often not the most popular in the room, but its taste is far better than its reputation. 

The florets are walnut-sized and light to dark green. Like green cabbage, Brussels sprouts taste best harvested after the first frost when their sugar content reduces their strong taste and makes their cell structure softer. Brussels sprouts are usually eaten cooked as a side dish, but they can also be added to casseroles and soups, baked in the oven or cut very thinly and lightly sautéed or even eaten raw. Brussels sprouts have a valuable 4.7% of plant protein with amino acids that the body can utilize well. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C in winter and also contains many nutrients, namely vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, iron, potassium and plenty of fiber. Brussels sprouts are used in traditional folk medicine to reduce both conditions of muscle weakness and tension, they can assist weight loss, improve constipation and acidosis and prevent atherosclerosis.  They also have an impressive amount of a well recognized anti-cancer plant chemical, glucosinolate (237 mg per 100 g of vegetables). Thus, Brussels sprouts are a star in cancer prevention too! This is a real star among vegetables!

Born to be a Wonder Weapon: Yam

MB 09-01-2019

Have you tried yam root, which originates from North America and Mexico?  Not yet? Then you have to make up for it, because this special root is a real fountain of youth! The special power contained within the yam root has a name: Diosgenin. This substance has a structure very similar to progesterone and is the starting point for the production of our endogenous DHEA for the adrenal or stress glands. Endogenous, by the way, means what we make ourselves rather than what we get from our food. DHEA plays an important part of slowing down the aging process and helps our cells to stay young longer. DHEA also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. It stabilizes cholesterol levels and helps improve poor memory.

That’s why yam should be on our plates more often. It’s very easy to prepare and is very versatile. The roots can be cooked like potatoes, fried, mashed and served in soups and stews. Thus, remember to put yam on your next shopping list and enjoy all these wonderful benefits!

The Gender of Fennel

Visiting my mom I went to the farmer’s market for her to buy some fresh produce, including Fennel, which she likes to eat raw. On my way out she calls after me and says: “Watch out and get a female fennel!” – – –fennel-1614693_1920 (Pixaby by Peter-facebook)

After a long thinking pause … “Say whaaat???”. Needless to say: “Mama knows best!”

Back on my LapTop I researched the topic and found a really interesting article by Marissa from Sicily, Italy.
Find the article about male and female fennel on her blog All Things Sicilian
[ Picture by Peter-facebook on Pixaby ].

Having said that – and the discussion is still out if it is the female or the male fennel that tastes better – look for the round fennel, with thicker stalks. That fennel has less “threads” (filaments) and is overall more tasteful and delicious. Marissa also implies, that at the end of the season you rather find the flatter fennel.

Feeling Stressed? Food Could Be Aggravating The Situation

Feeling a bit stressed? Maybe what you ate today is aggravating the situation.  Avoid the following when you know your day is going to be difficult or life starts feeling stressful:

  • Tea, coffee, cocoa, energy drinks
  • Fast foods
  • Milk
  • Meat, Fish and Poultry
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Soda, soft drinks and chocolate drinks

When you are following the metabolic balance plan, you will not be drinking soda or eating fast foods but coffee, nuts, butter and cheese may be on your plans.  Why avoid these foods?

Coffee –  the caffeine in coffee increases your stress hormones (catecholamines).  The stress response releases corisol which increases insulin.  Insulin increases inflammation in the body.  Here is an interesting research study that shows that daily doses of caffeine builds up a persons tolerance but does not eliminate the stress response.

Fast Foods –  Fast foods are highly processed, high in fat, sugar, or salt.  Stress may mess up our brain’s reward system or cortisol may cause us to crave more fat and sugar.  By putting fast food on your no eat list, you will help make sure Fast Food is not messing up your built in reward system. You will also avoid gaining extra weight which is a stressor for many adults.

Milk It seems that the issue with milk may be a specific sugar, D-galactose. Even a low dose of D-galactose has shortened the life span of test animals through oxidative stress damage, chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, decreased immune response, and gene transcriptional changes.

Meat Fish and Poultry –  The study found that omnivores mood was changed much more by their food intake than vegetarians.  The study suggests a dietary ration of long chain fatty acids may have an effect on mood. If you are feeling stressed or want to feel a bit more emotionally balanced reduce the amount of meat in your diet.

SugarAlthough current research has explained why we crave sugar when stressed wait fifteen minutes before grabbing something to eat. According to this article, Keep your environment as positive as possible so you will not be tempted to eat sugar. Cravings will peak in 15 to 20 minutes so if you can distract yourself you may be able to avoid consuming sugar and allow your body to react naturally to stress.

Alcohol – 

When you feel stressed, eat nuts with one of your meals.  Here are two studies which talk about how two specific types of nuts help your health:

Pistachios may lower vascular response to stress in type 2 diabetes.

Walnut rich diet may reduce stress and bad cholesterol (If you buy them whole, you can also have the fun of cracking open the nuts with a German nutcracker like this:

Want to know more about stress and nutrition? Penn State is currently researching stress and nutrition if you want to participate as a volunteer. They are currently Current examining the effects of walnuts, canola oil, fatty acids, and culinary spices on cardiovascular responses to stress and vascular endothelial function.

Photo: Walnut by Erich Ferdinand