For many of us summer is watermelon season! The beautiful green fruits with a juicy interior, are the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Watermelons are 92% water and take about 90 days to grow. Around the world there are over 300 different varieties of watermelon that are cultivated which include seedless, mini, and yellow watermelons. From a health perspective, watermelons are great as they contain lycopene which is an antioxidant and are hydrating as they have such a high water content. In the kitchen, watermelons are super versatile as you can use the entire fruit in both sweet and savory dishes. A refreshing watermelon salad with basil and feta is the perfect appetizer while the rind can be pickled for a delicious condiment or side dish. What is your favorite way to eat watermelon in the summer? Let us know in the comments!
Many people associate a particularly healthy diet with the raw food diet. This is because the raw food diet is based on consuming foods that are not cooked in any way. Fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, nuts, lettuce and seeds that are not heated thus contain their full original nutrient content. Above all, they are rich in vitamins and secondary plant substances, as these are inactivated or broken down at 100°F and then are no longer available to the body.
It is also known that all cooking methods, whether boiling, steaming, roasting or barbecuing, partially damage the sensitive vitamins and secondary plant substances. It has been shown, for example, that half of the vitamins contained in food, in particular vitamins C, B1, B2 and B6, are lost due to heat. So what’s more obvious than to join the raw foodists?
Nevertheless, the reality is usually somewhat different than one has imagined. Often, after some time of eating mainly raw apples, carrots, cabbage turnip, etc., you reach your limits. The craving for cooked food can’t be simply switched off at the touch of a button and some people struggle with a constant feeling of hunger or satiety. In addition, digestive and intestinal disorders can occur and these are often the reason why the “raw foodist” project is quickly abandoned. This may also be due to the prevailing opinion that a raw food diet is equivalent to a vegan diet. However, this is a false conclusion: With a raw food diet, both plant and animal foods can be consumed that have not been heated to more than 100°F. This means that raw milk cheese, fermented fish, carpaccio, tartar or sushi can also be on the menu.
Preventing diseases with raw food?
The health benefits of raw foods are controversial. Supporters claim that many diseases are caused by cooked or highly processed foods.
With raw food you can get rid of problems such as obesity, diabetes, allergies, gout and gastrointestinal problems. Raw foodists are said to have a purer skin and less susceptible to colds and flu.
Raw foodists reject canned foods, pasta, and boxed cereals, and completely ban tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, and dairy products from the diet. The diet includes mainly regional fruits, vegetables, nuts, salads and wild herbs.
Nevertheless, many nutrition experts advise against a long-term diet with only raw food, because it is too unbalanced in the long run. Some people also get intestinal problems, because some fruits and vegetables are difficult to digest raw and can cause fermentation processes.
In fact, sensitive people can be affected by such deficiencies, especially if in advance always little raw food and low-fiber foods have been consumed.
Raw food diet and science
In a large-scale study conducted by the University of Giessen, Germany, from 1996 to 1998, 200 participants who practiced the raw food diet were accompanied by nutritionists and medical doctors for a year to find out how raw food nutrition affects health. The participants were all non-smokers and in good overall health.
The evaluation of the vitamin and mineral status of study participants surprised researchers: Although only vegetables, fruits, nuts and salads were consumed and the food was rich in minerals and vitamins, this could not be detected in the blood count. One possible reason for this could be that the subjects ingested too little fat. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E and beta-carotene can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. Furthermore, the subjects were deficient in vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and iodine after one year.
The supply of protein was also insufficient, as some protein-rich foods, such as the group of legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.) as well as many mushrooms, are unsuitable for raw consumption and were therefore avoided.
Raw food diet – which foods should be dispensed with?
Raw legumes contain a high proportion of lectins, which are toxic and can also cause inflammatory bowel diseases. By soaking and boiling, the lectins are largely destroyed and legumes can be eaten, but then no longer meet the requirements of the raw food diet.
Phytic acid contained in grains blocks the absorption of some minerals. Therefore, grains are best tolerated when cooked or baked, i. e. higher temperatures destroy the phytic acid. However, fermented grains, i. e. ground grains, soaked overnight in water, can also break down a large part of the phytic acid and render it ineffective. The disadvantage is: Excess water is drained off and a considerable proportion of dissolved minerals is poured away.
Furthermore, some secondary plant substances are not able to develop their full health potential in their raw state. For example, the ingredients lycopene and lutein, which are responsible for the red color of the tomato, only become available after cooking. Lycopene and lutein are highly effective antioxidants that can strengthen the body’s defenses.
The same applies to carotenoids, which, among others, can be found in carrots and bell peppers. If, for example, carrots are cooked and they are consumed in combination with fat, then about 40% of the beta-carotene is utilized – in the raw state only about 3% is absorbed by the body.
Potatoes are also among the plant foods that, when eaten raw, are not tolerated. This is mainly due to the potato starch. It can’t be digested well or at all in our intestines. Potatoes also contain solanine, which is slightly poisonous when uncooked and can cause abdominal pain, bloating and other intestinal complaints.
What is Metabolic Balance’s position on raw food diet?
The proportion of raw food in the diet should be increased overall, taking into account the positive effects on the body and the fact that, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the average fiber content in most diets is too low. Especially vegetables, lettuce, nuts, mushrooms, herbs and fruits contain many vitamins, minerals and fiber, which stimulate digestion and provide a healthy environment for the intestinal flora. In addition, the secondary plant substances contained, such as flavonoids and antioxidants, prevent cancer and heart attack. Nevertheless, a pure raw food diet is not recommended.
Therefore, nutrition according to Metabolic Balance is designed with a high proportion of fresh food, which is optimally tolerated, tasty and healthy for our metabolism.
Metabolic Balance focuses on natural foods, i. e. foods should be cooked, heated or processed as much as necessary, but still as little as possible, so that the body is adequately supplied with all the vital substances and at the same time is spared from the natural toxins and pollutants of plant and animal foods.
At the same time, it is important to make sure that fruit and vegetables are not too heavily contaminated by nitrates and pesticides and therefore rely on organically grown products.
In the summer it is really easy to get dehydrated! So the theme in the summer should also be to try and drink more than you think!
The good thing is that you don’t need to get all of your liquids from water. For example, water-rich foods including vegetables such as cucumber (96% water), celery (92% water), tomatoes (95% water), Chinese cabbage (94% water) or garden radishes (94% water) contain particularly high amounts of water. We also recommend water-rich fruits such as watermelon (96% water), strawberries (90% water) or papaya (90% water).
Tip: Choose only one type of fruit per meal and focus more on vegetables. This way, your blood sugar will rise less when you eat and cravings will not appear at all.
Tomatoes are often incorrectly referred to as a vegetable when in fact they are part of the berry family! Originating from Central and South America, this fruit started spreading around the globe in the 16th century. In addition to being delicious, tomatoes offer a variety of health benefits. They are rich in the antioxidant lycopene which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. A study from Cornell University even found that cooking tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene content that the body can absorb. The fruit is also rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, as well as potassium and folate. In the kitchen, tomatoes are extremely versatile as they can be eaten raw, roasted, used in salads, sandwiches, sauces and many other dishes. The current summer months are the best time to enjoy this delicious fruit!
Welcome to the strawberry season!
From a botanical point of view, this is not actually a berry, but an aggregate fruit. The red part is actually a pseudo-fruit, while the actual fruits of the strawberry are the small green or yellow spots on the surface. Strawberries should not be rinsed with a strong water jet, but rather be soaked in cold water for a short while Drain the washed strawberries well or pat dry carefully. Always remove stems and leaves after washing, otherwise the aroma will be watered down. Strawberries are full of vitamins: They contain many B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, copper and even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons.
At Metabolic Balance we recommend eating an apple every day. With more than thirty minerals, trace elements, vitamins as well as numerous fibers and secondary plant substances, the apple is an absolute power fruit. Apples not only supply the body with important substances but they also bind released toxins and have lower uric acid. So there is some truth to the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”! But please use apple varieties like Boskoop or Cox Orange. The new overbred varieties are not half as good for the body as the old ones and can also cause more allergies.
While you are eating according to your Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, you should not mix protein sources and fruit. In the case of vegetables, however, the motto is: Mix it! MIX your permitted vegetables and use them as varied as possible. Not only do the portion sizes vary constantly, you also supply your metabolism with a variety of different nutrients.
Nature is filled with so many vibrant and colorful fruits and vegetables. Always try to use healthy, varied foods, because if you have a colorful plate, you will automatically eat a valuable mixture of nutrients. In this way, the body is supplied with all the important vitamins, secondary plant substances, minerals, micro- and macronutrients and you get valuable energy. With aromatic spices you round off the basic idea of healthy eating and add even more flavor to the plate!
At Metabolic Balance, personalized nutrition plans for each client contain a variety of foods that will allow them to eat the rainbow, enjoy delicious meals, all while losing weight and optimizing their health!
Mangoes are a delicious fruit that have many nutritional benefits. They contain a lot of vitamin A and C, potassium, iron, and some copper. Their vibrant yellow/orange color also tells us that mangoes are rich in carotene.
When buying and eating mangoes, make sure that you only eat ripe mangoes, because unripe mangoes aren’t nearly as delicious but can also have a slightly laxative effect. Ripe mangoes, on the other hand, soothe the intestines and are easily digestible. The mango pulp stimulates the entire metabolism and strengthens connective tissue. This fruit is an absolute superfood and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes!
Bitter melon is a tropical fruit-vegetable that is widely used in Asian cuisine. It has a unique exterior and has a crunchy texture similar to a cucumber or bell pepper but with a bitter taste. It is readily used in soups, stir-fries, and teas. Not only is it a unique ingredient but it also has some amazing health benefits. Check out the list below to learn more!
- Drinking bitter melon juice can help alleviate liver problems as it stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids.
- Bitter melon juice has both anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties.
- Bitter melon is a great source of dietary fiber and can help relieve indigestion and constipation.
- It is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are important for skin health and immunity, respectively.
Credit: Naturally Dimpi