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Canadian Superfoods

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk’s first book, Meals that Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process. She also hosts The Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Check out more amazing recipes and nutrition tips at www.juliedaniluk.com

Check out Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk Nutrition and on Twitter @juliedaniluk

The fresh superfoods and healthy beverages has been generously provided by The Big Carrot Natural Food Market: thebigcarrot.ca/

Superfoods have become all the rage in the health food industry but many are from far off places!  These national favourites have a smaller carbon footprint and are hard to beat for their weight loss benefits.

Maritimes: The biggest reason to enjoy blueberries is that they reduce cortisol to fight belly fat.

Blueberries also ease the pain of arthritis. Molecules in blueberries provide the building blocks for an antioxidant known as SOD, superoxide dismutase. SOD is important in disarming the most harmful of free radicals our bodies – specifically the nasty free radicals that like to break down the synovial fluid that lubricates our joints.  

Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, which is an extremely important for the synthesis of collagen. Blueberries can help our bodies resist the physical signs of aging such as wrinkles and saggy skin and the connective tissue that gives our skin its youthful elasticity. To learn more blueberry trivia check out www.nswildblueberries.com/

Quebec: Andrea Mlinarevic from Norcliff Farms (www.norcliff.com/) says it perfectly: “Fiddleheads grow so quickly that they must be picked the day after they sprout; otherwise they will blossom into beautiful ferns. Foragers hunt them for such a short season because the moment the plant matures and the fronds unfurl, they become tough and less edible. If you want to pick fiddleheads from the wild, take a foraging course with an experienced plant expert because other ferns can be poisonous.

If hunting in the forest for your food is not in your future, you can enjoy fresh or frozen fiddleheads in many stores across Canada from Norcliff Farms, or preserved fiddleheads from www.wildfoods.ca. They are a good source of vitamins A and C and fibre.

Fiddleheads are a good vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids: A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to improve memory, improve cholesterol and even aid in fat loss.

Fiddleheads are anti-inflammatory: The combination of powerful antioxidants paired with the heavy dose of omega 3 fats helps to modulate the body’s inflammation pathway. These two benefits of fiddleheads also work together to prevent our immune system from attacking cells that are our own, as in autoimmune diseases.

Fiddleheads are a great source of weight-balancing fibre: Half of a cup of fiddleheads contain 7g of dietary fibre. The fibre in fiddleheads is great for anyone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) because they have to be well cooked before eating. This makes fiddleheads soothing and easily digested with no discomfort, while healing the digestive tract.

Ontario: KiKi Maple Sweet Water (www.trollbridgecreek.ca/) is made from the sap of local maple trees. A distinct Canadian flavour with only 45 calories a glass. A wonderful local alternative to coconut water, and I’ve even made up a new cocktail ‘The Great Canadian”  Maple Water, sparkling hard cider and Blueberry Juice.

Instead of cooking maple water down to make maple syrup, Maple Sweet Water is simply “filtered by nature”. Before bottling, the sap is frozen to maintain its healthful benefits and maximize its fresh shelf life.

Maple sap trace contains Vitamin B complex, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and zinc.

Researchers from the University of Rhode Island has identified 54 compounds in Canadian maple syrup including polyphenol compounds that acts as anti-cancer- and anti-inflammatory agents.

Manitoba: Sea Buckthorn Puree

Sea Buckthorn is normally grown in Asia, but a Canadian company called Solberry (www.solberry.ca/) is now growing and harvesting this superfood on our own soil. The company has created an award-winning wholesome puree of Sea buckthorn berries, water, and a little apple juice. One tablespoon provides 25% of your daily needs of vitamin C. Its small orange berries also contain high amounts of Omega-3,6,7, and 9 oils, and is also high in vitamins A and E, which is great for heart health and beautiful skin.

Taken internally, omega 7 fatty acid signals the body to stop storing fat.* Clinical studies have shown that, not only do users melt away fat, but they also keep it off for longer periods.* This amazing compound also helps the body maintain insulin sensitivity and fight off the imbalances that can result in metabolic syndrome.* Insulin sensitivity plays a major role in helping the body convert glucose into energy, rather than storing it as fat. Research shows that omega 7 imitates a hormone in the body that helps regulate systemic metabolic activity.*

In a recent study at the University of Manitoba, researcher Yan-Jun Xu demonstrated the incredible cardiovascular benefits of Sea Buckthorn due to its high antioxidant levels, which prevented cardiac cell death and increased blood lipid markers.
Learn more at www.solberry.ca

Saskatchewan: Camelina seeds (AKA Wild Flax) produce a golden-colored oil with a delicate, earthy, almond-like flavour, containing up to 45 percent of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid). It’s versatility is also reflected in its ability to hold up to heat, with a smoke point of 475°F! Due to its Vitamin-E content (tocopherols), camelina oil's shelf life. The oil is also highly monounsaturated, with similar properties to olive oil making it cardiac protective. It is grown by 3 farmers (http://threefarmers.ca/)  right on the prairies of Saskatchewan!

Alberta: Bison

Sexy muscles are built on protein and Bison is a healthy alternative to factory-farmed beef. Buffalo Horn Ranch (http://www.buffalohornranch.ca/)

Shows that the proof is in the patty: 3 oz of ground bison deliver 50 fewer calories and nearly half the fat of a 70 percent lean beef burger because they are grass-fed varieties; This also makes bison meat richer in omega-3 fatty acids than beef from conventionally grain-fed cows.

British Columbia: Ambrosia’s are a sweet, low-acid apple with a distinct honeyed aroma. It is crunchy and chin-dribbling-juicy. Ambrosia apples are slow to brown when cut, so are ideal for salads, fruit and cheese platters. Try them sliced in airtight bags for lunches or snacks.

Slices retain their shape when cooked, so Ambrosia apples are superb for tarts or open pies. Naturally sweet, Ambrosia apples require less sugar than most other varieties when used in cooking or baking.

Many of the health benefits of apples are to be found in the skin, and because their skin is so tender, organic Ambrosia apples do not need to be peeled. Check out The BC Organic Ambrosia Apple Growers for more details: www.organicambrosiaapple.ca/ambrosia-people  

Nunavut: Dandelions

These friendly sunny flowers have potent detox powers. Add dandelion to your salads and drop water weight.
If you’re not as big a fan of dandelion ‘weeds’, I say get even and eat them!

All parts of the dandelion are edible- The leaves are traditionally used as a kidney tonic and reduces blood pressure, the roots are excellent for liver detoxification and the flowers are leaves, roots, and flowers. They’re rich in beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and protein.

Through out history, dandelions have been used as cures for countless conditions including acne, anemia, high blood pressure, diarrhea and diabetes.

Dandelion leaves have more beta-carotene than carrots and more calcium and iron than spinach. Dandelion flowers are a rich source of the nutrient lecithin. Steam them, Saute them with garlic, onions, and olive oil, Infuse them with boiling water to make a tea.

Dandelion roots are full of vitamins and minerals. They are also in rich in a substance called inulin, which may help diabetics to regulate blood sugar. Dandelion roots are often used to treat liver disorders. They’re also a safe natural diuretic, because they’re rich in potassium. You can enjoy dandelion roots by boil them for 20 minutes and draining off to make a tea. You can chop and roats them to make a coffee substitute. To learn more about the wild plants of the north check out http://northernbushcraft.com

North West Territories: Sustainable Fish i.e Sardines

Why you need omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are "good fats" that are essential for optimal health. Like vitamins and minerals, omega-3 must be provided by our diet as it is not produced by our bodies. EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3 required by the body to perform vital functions.

The active forms of omega-3 are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA is essential for general well-being, fetal development and healthy pregnancy, brain health, eye health, and cardiovascular health.
A number of dietary habits, such as the widespread use of vegetable cooking oils (omega-6), industrial milling, and the decreased consumption of fish (omega-3), have contributed to an omega-3 deficiency, or imbalance, in the diets of many North Americans. As compared to the ancestral diet of Neo-Palaeolithic humans, omega-3 consumption has dropped 20 fold from a daily intake of 3.0 grams down to a meager 0.15 grams. At the same time omega-6 consumption has increased dramatically, far exceeding the recommended daily intake.

A decreased amount of omega-3 relative to omega-6 in the diet results in an increased risk of degenerative disease. Experts generally advise that we consume more omega-3 and less omega-6.

If you are not a fan of sardines then molecularly distilled fish oil that has the fishy taste removed is the best solution. I like to use the lemon flavour in my smoothies and salad dressings.

Key points to remember
1. Omega-3 fatty acids increase fat breakdown and reduce fat storage.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids lead to higher weight loss and greater decreases in BMI.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce obesity.
4. Exercise, omega-3 fatty acids and diet restriction work in synergy to improve weight loss.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids improve heart parameters during exercise by reducing heart rate and improving oxygen delivery to the heart.
6. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce exercise-induced asthma/bronchoconstriction.
7. Omega-3 fatty acids promote recovery from exercise and exercise-induced inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA exhibit an "anti-obesity" effect. Recently, a study was conducted to compare the effect of omega-3 and a low calorie diet, or just dieting for weight reduction in 20 obese women. Higher weight loss, a larger decrease in BMI, and a significant decrease in hip circumference loss were seen in the group, which was given omega-3.

It is important to choose a sustainable fish oil company to ensure our oceans thrive. Ascenta NutraSea fish oil (www.ascentahealth.com/) only sources from sustainable oil sources. They work to minimize our ecological footprint and are proud to have been the first natural health company to join 1% for the Planet.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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Coming Up

Tue 30 Marilyn’s Big Little Experts! 
Wed 31 The latest fitness trends
SEE THE FULL SCHEDULE