Onions

The onion is one of the most commonly used vegetables around the world and also great for your health. They are very nutrient dense, packed full of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium. Onions help fight inflammation as they contain antioxidants and are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. In the kitchen onions are a great ingredient as they add tons of flavor to dishes and can be used raw or cooked. Although onions are found in many households it can really help to know what onions are best for what purpose. For example red onions which are a little sweeter and have less strong of a flavor compared to white onions are great raw in a salad. To learn what onions are best for what types of dishes check out this infographic below.

Leeks

You might be surprised to know that leeks are actually a member of the lily family! Leeks are a typical winter vegetable that have a light green color and are a milder and sweeter version of an onion. They contain vitamins B1 and C, and are abundant in iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Leeks are good for digestion, help stimulate the liver and gall bladder, and have been shown to lower blood sugar. Along with being very healthy, leeks are also an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. You can slice it thinly and eat it raw or cook it and use it in a frittata, creamy soup, or pasta dish.

Tryptophan

L-tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids and is used by the body to produce serotonin. This hormone is vital in helping control your mood and sleep! Tryptophan is an amino acid that can’t by produced by the body so it has to come into our bodies through our diets. A deficiency in tryptophan can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Incorporating foods rich in tryptophan can help prevent such a deficiency. The foods below are all rich in tryptophan and worth incorporating into your diet! So check your Metabolic Balance meal plan right now and incorporate the foods that are good for you into your meals. 

★ Salmon
★ Oats
★ Almonds
★ Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
★ Avocados

Eat the Rainbow

 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

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!

Chickpea-Carrot Bowl with Coriander

Our Metabolic Balance Chef Jan P. Cleusters has created this delicious recipe using carrots and chickpeas, give it a try!

Ingredients:
500 g carrots
2 shallots
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tomato paste
1/2 cup (100 mL) vegetable broth
1 cup (200 mL) coconut milk
1 small can of chickpeas
6 sprigs of coriander
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Peel the carrots and cut into cubes. Peel the shallots and dice finely. Heat coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook the carrots and shallots over medium heat for a few minutes until they start turning golden brown. Add the curry powder and tomato paste. Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil slowly. Cook the covered carrots on low for about 4 minutes. Then add the chickpeas to the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the curry in bowls and sprinkle with coriander. Enjoy!

Crunchy Carrots

Carrots are a staple in many kitchens and today we have a few tips that all involve carrots!

Although baby carrots are a convenient option, try picking up large, regular carrots the next time you are at the store. Not only do these taste even more delicious than baby carrots but they also keep much better in the fridge. After shopping, carrots should be taken out of their packaging immediately and preferably stored in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. We also advise always removing the green leaves before storing, but don’t throw them away! Carrot leaves are far too good not to use – we suggest adding them to a green smoothie like this one. Simply blend the green stems from three carrots with 1.5 cups of water, 150g baby spinach, a peeled orange, a few chunks of mango and banana, and a tablespoon of cold pressed flax oil! This smoothie is not only delicious but also provides a great boost of energy.

By the way, did you also know that the alpha and beta carotenes in carrots are a precursor of vitamin A? This is what makes carrots so good for your skin. In addition, they contain B vitamins and vitamin E plus an excellent level of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and iron as well as the fiber pectin.  

A final couple of tips: Always add a little oil to your carrot dishes, otherwise the fat-soluble vitamins they contain will not be able to be fully absorbed by your body.

 

Turbot with Savoy Cabbage

After introducing savoy cabbage yesterday we wanted to share a delicious recipe using it today. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:
1 serving of turbot
1 serving of savoy cabbage
1 apple
Vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Cut the turbot fillet into medium sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and then cook in a pan for two to four minutes, depending on the thickness, just before serving. Clean the savoy cabbage, remove the hard stalk, wash, drain and slice into thin strips. Heat a pan over medium heat and cook the cabbage for 3 minutes. Wash, quarter, pit, and dice the apple and add to the savoy cabbage. Add the vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Serve the turbot on a bed of the cabbage and apple mixture. Enjoy!

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage or also known as curly cabbage is one of the prettiest and unique varieties of cabbage. It has green, slightly curly leaves and is less tightly packed than some of its relatives in the cabbage family. For a long time it wasn’t a very popular ingredient but has recently risen in prominence. As a vegetable it is extremely versatile and can be used in many dishes from soups and salads to wraps and lasagna. Savoy cabbage is also very healthy, packed full of vitamins C, B6, E, folic acid, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron. During your next trip to the grocery store pick up a savoy cabbage and try it out in some new dishes!

The Impressive Pineapple

The pineapple originally comes from South America and Hawaii but is now commonly grown in many warm and tropical regions. This fruit not only tastes delicious but also contains high amounts of bromelain, an enzyme which breaks down proteins. This enzyme can have phenomenal effects on the body: it inhibits blood coagulation, improves blood circulation, has an anti-inflammatory effect, lowers blood pressure and helps to break down deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Note though that this enzyme is broken down when heated, so cooked pineapple will no longer contain active bromelain. In addition to bromelain, pineapples contain almost all essential vitamins as well as important minerals and trace elements. No matter how you enjoy pineapple, in sweet or savory dishes, this superfood is worth incorporating into your diet.