Vitamins are vital substances which the body cannot produce on its own and which must therefore be constantly supplied through healthy and varied nutrition. Different vitamins have specific functions in the body. For example, they influence the conversion of food into energy, the building of body cells, supporting the immune system, the formation of hormones, the detoxification of the body and the support of enzymes. The vitamins E, D, K and A are fat-soluble vitamins. All other vitamins are water-soluble. Common sources of these vitamins include oranges, green leafy vegetables, carrots, apples, and salmon.
Whether in pesto, as a salad or on a pizza – arugula is not only very popular, but also very healthy. This leafy vegetable with a spicy and bitter flavor is rich in vitamin C and thus supports the immune system. In addition, arugula contains folic acid, other B vitamins, plenty of beta-carotene as well as potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. The bitterness of this vegetable induces the rapid onset of salivary and digestive juices. The feeling of satiety is thus accelerated and we feel full faster, preventing cravings.
An essential tool in a Metabolic Balance kitchen is a kitchen scale to weigh out your ingredients when you first start the program. One ingredient that is helpful to weigh are eggs! Often recipes call for a “large” or “medium” egg but what does that truly mean? Well we have you covered with this infographic below that gives a weight for each of the different egg sizes!
Sprouts are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and require almost no space or equipment. In addition to being cheap and tasty, sprouts are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Many types of sprouts are high in antioxidants, vitamins C, A, B, and contain minerals such as copper, zinc, and manganese. Sprouts can be used in many dishes such as soups, smoothies, and even yogurt!
To get started you will need a large mason jar, a mix of sprouting seeds (easily found on Amazon), a rubber band, and a piece of cheese cloth. Then follow the steps below!
1. Take 3 tablespoons of seeds and add them to the mason jar. Cover the seeds with 2-3 cups of water and allow to soak for 6-12 hours.
2. With the cheesecloth covering the opening of the jar (secured with a rubber band), pour out the water. The cheesecloth should prevent any seeds from escaping the jar.
3. Rinse the seeds thoroughly 2-3 times with water and then drain the water thoroughly. Roll the jar to distribute the seeds.
4. Place the jar at an angle (cheesecloth side facing down to allow excess water to drain) in a bowl, with the seeds distributed throughout the jar. Place in a dark place.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 every 12 hours until little sprouts start to form.
6. Once most of the seeds have sprouted, place the jar in sunlight until the sprouts gain some color.
7. Then store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
Credit: Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Having the correct tools in the kitchen can not only make cooking more enjoyable but also safer. Although there are many different types of knives, choosing the right knife for the job is important. For example, a boning knife is perfect when working with fish and meat while a paring knife is useful when coring fruits or vegetables. Check out this great infographic below to learn what knives are best for what job!
Credit: Crate and Barrel
Red cabbage is available all year round but was long known as a winter vegetable. It is usually eaten as a classic side dish to game, roast duck and goose – but it is also often used in more modern creations. Its red color is due to a pigment called anthocyanin which is also present in red berries and red wine and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering effect of this flavonoid has also been scientifically proven. Red cabbage is very rich in vitamins and fiber and is therefore an important source of nutrients. It contains the vitamins C, B6, and E and is deservedly called a “domestic superfood”.
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.
★ Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
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.
Celery develops from a round root (also called celeriac) that can have a diameter of up to 8 inches and is often an overlooked ingredient. Celery root can be used as a soup or stew vegetable or as a roasted root vegetable. It can also be boiled and blended into a silky puree as a side dish. In addition to being delicious, it contains vitamins A and K, sodium and potassium, as well as calcium, soluble fiber and vitamin C. Celery root stimulates saliva and bile flow, has a strong diuretic and alkaline effect, i.e. it helps to neutralize excess acid. This is another great vegetable to incorporate into a weekly meal plan!
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.