Apples and Allergies

European colonists first bought apples to North America during the 17th century. There are more than 7,500 varieties grown worldwide.
While apples are delicious and full of nutrients, they can also cause allergic reactions in some people. Just minutes after consumption you will begin to notice tingling, swelling, and itching in the mouth, lips, and throat; shortness of breath; and diarrhea, stomach discomfort and cramps.
An apple allergy is often occurs when an apple’s polyphenol levels are too low. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in plants that combine with the allergy-triggering proteins in the apple, and this makes the apple much more tolerable for consumption. Polyphenols also help combat free radicals. Types of polyphenols in apples include quercetin, chlorogenic acid, catechin, and phlorizin
Old apple varieties often contain significantly more polyphenols than the newer varieties. Polyphenols give apples a sour taste and become brown quickly when you cut them are bite into them. As a result, these characteristics, along with the polyphenols were taken out of the newer varieties. Now, the newer varieties of apple are sweeter and fail to brown as quickly; however, they also trigger allergic reaction much faster.

Note: Most proteins are found in the flesh of the apple skin and change when heated. As a result, those with an apple allergy should peel and boil the apple before consumption. For instance, apple sauce is mostly considered allergen-free. Avoid certain new types of apples, including:
● Ambrosia
● Elstar
● Jonagold
● Honey Crisp
● Sunrise
● Golden Delicious

Instead, choose the older variety of apple. In addition to important vitamins, mineral, and polyphenols, the older varieties contain more fiber, including pectin and cellulose. During digestion, these fibers bind to heavy metals, cholesterol, and other waste products, and excrete them from the body. Another benefit of older apple varieties is they contain more vitamin C than the newer varieties. At the same time, imported older apples have less vitamin C than older varieties from a local orchard. Food loses its nutritional value the longer it has to travel.

The following are some older varieties you should purchase:
● Red Delicious
● Empire
● McIntosh
● Jonathan
● Granny Smith
● Braeburn

Managing Stress

With many people returning to in person work and kids going back to school, stress levels for many of us are increasing. Although it can be hard to reduce the amount of stress in our lives we can try to improve how we deal with it. Below are some of our favorite ways to help manage and reduce stress.

1. Eat a whole food based diet – low in sugar, low in processed foods
2. Exercise – this helps the body use the extra sugar in the blood, and decreases stress hormones
3. Rest and digest. Eating at your desk, or ‘on-the-go’ means your digestive system is trying to do two things at once. Eat slowly, take a break for lunch by going outside and removing screens!
4. Deep breathing – try a meditation app or just take 5 deep breaths several times a day. This helps calm our nervous system, reminding our bodies that we aren’t in immediate danger
5. Do something enjoyable! Spending time pursuing a hobby is a wonderful way for the mind and body to relax.

Which ones might you try today?

Adapted: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand

Joy

Find joy today!

We all have a different definition joy but finding something you love and doing it often is great for our overall health! Whether it is being outside, spending time with your family, or doing self care, make sure you find joy. Have you done something you love today?

Photo: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand

Dates

Dates are the sweet fruit of date trees that are native to the Middle East, Northern Africa, and South Asia. This fruit has grown in popularity around the world and is used in a variety of cuisines. In addition to being delicious, dates have many health benefits and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Dates are high in fiber, polyphenols (antioxidants), iron, potassium, and magnesium. This fruit can support a healthy digestion, reduce the risk of heart disease, and support bone health. Not only are dates good for your health but they are also extremely versatile and perfect in many dishes. They are great in smoothies, on salads, as a quick snack, or in savory Moroccan stews.

Photo: Unsplash

Vitamins

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.

Arugula

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.

Metabolic Balance Facts

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!

How to Sprout

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


Best Kitchen Knives

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

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”.