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Nuts – natural source of oils

You do not need to talk much about why you should eat nuts. They are a rich source of oils, vitamins, minerals and protein. Together with vegetables, fruits and seeds should be included in our daily diet. It’s hard to choose the ones that are the best, the varieties of nuts are many, and including each of them in your menu brings many benefits.

1. Walnuts
2. Almonds
3. Hazelnuts
4. Cashews
5. Brazil nuts
6. Pistachio
7. Coconuts
8. Peanuts
9. Summary

1. Walnuts

On the basis of many studies, it can be concluded that walnuts on the background of other nuts are characterized by the highest content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is not without reason that the walnut looks like a brain. One of the advantages of nuts is their beneficial effect on the functioning of this body. In addition, the high omega-3 content promotes the prevention of, among others, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases.

Consuming nuts allows you to deliver large amounts of vitamin B1, which improves the metabolism of carbohydrates, as well as vitamin B6, necessary for the synthesis of proteins and folic acid. That is why they are especially recommended for pregnant women. According to the researchers, consumption of walnuts in the amount of 30-40 g / day may improve the functioning of our body, so it is worth to include nuts in our daily menu.

Nutritionally, walnuts are a source of vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium. They soothe the nervous system and concentration, have strong antioxidant properties, alleviate menstrual discomfort, improve muscle excitability, condition of the bones, as well as libido. The nuts also contain a large amount of the amino acid L-arginine, which is used to synthesize nitric oxide in the blood vessels and is responsible for their extension.

2. Almonds

They should be in our daily diet, because of all the nuts contain the most vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against aging and the influence of cancer factors. The vitamin B2 contained in them affects carbohydrate metabolism, that is why almonds can be a good source of energy for athletes.

100 g of almonds provide approx. 21 g of vegetable protein. In addition, almonds are full of other nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Copper is essential in the synthesis of hemoglobin, it is also a component of many proteins and enzymes responsible for cellular respiration. Almonds contain a large amount of an amino acid called histidine, the increased supply of which is essential for children – almond milk will be a good alternative to cow’s milk.

3. Hazelnuts

They are a valuable source of, above all, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Immediately after almonds hazelnuts are the best source of vitamin E. High content of monounsaturated fatty acids in them has a positive effect on lowering the LDL cholesterol fraction (so-called bad cholesterol) and raising the HDL fraction, so-called good cholesterol. It is also worth mentioning that hazelnuts are rich in quercetin – a flavonoid that helps, among others, in the fight against heart disease, diabetes, viral infections or sight problems.

4. Cashews

Of all nuts, they contain the least fat, thanks to which they are less caloric, which is important especially for people using low-energy diets. Their presence in our diet will ensure the supply of such ingredients as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, calcium, iron or zinc. Cashews are widely used, including they are a very important component of people who have turned to veganism. They are a substitute for dairy products (they are a component of vegan cheese), thanks to which they will be perfect when preparing a vegan cheesecake.

5. Brazil nuts

They are rich in selenium – an element with antioxidant properties that fight free radicals. Research is being conducted to use it in the treatment of cancer treatment. The selenium content in 100 g of Brazil nuts is estimated at around 50 μg. Therefore, the consumption of one nut per day will cover the daily demand for this element! In addition, the consumption of Brazil nuts increases the body’s share of ingredients such as magnesium, copper, B vitamins, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Brazil nuts are also credited with beneficial effects on the heart and immunity. They also help control diabetes.

6. Pistachio

They contain a large amount of protein (about 20 g per 100 g of product). They are the only ones that contain carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which have a positive effect on the eyesight. They contain the most potassium of all nuts, therefore (of course unsalted) their consumption is recommended for people suffering from hypertension. They are rich in vitamins B1, B6 and vitamin K, which affects blood clotting.

Among other ingredients that can be found in pistachios, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C and E are exchanged. Pistachios are an ideal snack for people who are at risk of developing, among others for diabetes, metabolic syndrome or heart disease.

7. Coconuts

The pulp contained in them is rich in saturated fats. Animal fat is different in that it contains medium-chain fatty acids and virtually no cholesterol. The lauric acid contained in the coconut has strong antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. They are also easier to digest and provide a quick source of energy. Coconut also contains pregnenolone – a substance that is a powerful antioxidant. It is difficult to find a fresh coconut in Poland, but you can use equally valuable ingredients – milk, shavings, oil or dried petals.

8. Peanuts

Peanuts (peanut) among all nuts contain the largest amount of protein (25.8 g per 100 g of product). Therefore, it is not without reason that they are included in the legume seed family.

In their composition is also the most vitamin B3, which takes part in the metabolism of carbohydrates and positively affects the condition of the skin.

In addition, peanuts are a valuable source of fiber, fat (mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids) of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E or folic acid. It has also been shown that the consumption of peanuts has a beneficial effect in cases of weight control, prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, as well as inhibition of cancer cells development.

9. Summary

This is not all kinds of nuts, of course, but the tastiest, most valuable and easily available ones. They can be eaten raw,

in the form of peanut butter, you can also prepare milk from them. Although the tastiest are roasted, in this form you can eat them from time to time, because the heat treatment negatively affects the fats contained in them, and yet we want to draw from them the best!

Bibliography

Ciemniewska-Żytkiewicz H. et al., Nutritional value of nuts and their importance in diet, Postępy Techniki Przetwórstwa Spożywczego 2014, 1, 90-96.

Stróżyk A., Pachocka L., Nuts as an important component of athletes’ diet, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology 2016, 97 (4), 328-334.

Sikora E., Liszka P., Nutrients and non-nutrients in raw and processed peanuts (Arachis hypogea), Bromatologia and Toxicology Chemistry 2011, 44 (4), 1047-1053.

Marciniak-Łukasiak K., The role and importance of omega-3 fatty acids, FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality 2011, 6 (79), 24-35.

Mikołajczak N., Mineral components in nuts found in student mixtures = Minerals in nuts which are components of Trail Mix, Journal of Education, Health and Sport 2016, 6 (9), 832-840.

Majewska K. et al., Selected Physical Properties of Mature Walnut Fruits, Acta Agrophysica 2003, 2 (3), 597-609.

Borecka W. et al., Walnut (Juglans regia L.) – a natural source of health-promoting food ingredients, Science. Nature. Technologies 2013, 7 (2), 1-7.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ (9/10/2018).

Manolas S., SUPERFOOD, or how to treat yourself with food, Warsaw 2017, 115, 112, 110, 120, 117, 106, 125.

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Halibut

A balanced and varied diet is the foundation of health. This variety of diet consists of using food from each group of products. One of the most important groups is fish. They are a great source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and some rare vitamins. The general nutritional recommendations indicate that we should consume two portions of fish during the week. Unfortunately, in our country (despite the access to the sea), too few fish are consumed, which is a pity, because they are extremely tasty. Among many species from this group, halibut deserves particular attention. His meat is extremely tasty and delicate, it also contains a very small amount of bones. It’s called fish for demanding people – why? You will find the answer below.

Halibut – description of the species and occurrence
Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is a predatory sea fish in our country, also known as a saddle. Halibut is the largest representative of fish from the flounder family, some halibut specimens are up to 3.5 m long and weigh over 200 kg. However, halibut from other fish differs not only in its size, because its shape differs significantly from the shape of the fish that we know. The halibut’s body is asymmetrical, flat and ovally elongated, covered with tiny scales of black color, less likely to fall into a dark blue or olive shade. The bottom part of the halibut’s body is light and quite delicate compared to the back.

The specific body structure, contrary to appearances, does not hinder hunting halibut. Convex eyes provide fish with a wide field of view. An additional advantage is a large mouth with sharp teeth. These two characteristics make Halibut a dangerous underwater predator.

Halibut is deep-water fish, it means that they live at very large depths. They are best found at a depth of 200-1600 meters, although also living and hunting individuals have been documented at a depth of 2,200 meters. These fish feel good in cold water areas. They live mainly in the northern areas of the Atlantic Ocean, coastal waters of Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. You can also find them in the waters of the North Sea and the White Sea.

An interesting fact is that a small population of halibut lives in the waters of our native Baltic Sea. The most desirable species on the market is the Atlantic halibut that achieves considerable size. However, you can often find halibut black and navy blue. Another type of fish is Pacific halibut, rarely imported into our country.

Halibut – nutritional values
Fish and their products play a very important role in human nutrition. They are not only a good source of healthy fats and vitamins soluble in them. Fish are also a great source of highly digestible protein. In 100 grams of halibut, we can find 20.1 grams of protein, for comparison in salmon 19.9 grams, and trout 18.0 grams. These values ​​do not differ much from each other, however halibut as a skinny fish differs from the above mentioned low energy value, 100 g of fish is around 90 kcal (two times less than in salmon). This feature makes halibut a fish recommended in particular to people who observe energy balance in their diet. In addition to high protein content and low calorie content, halibut contains a lot of potassium (435 mg / 100 g), phosphorus (236 mg / 100 g) and selenium (45.6 μg / 100 g). Halibut is also a source of vitamins B6, B12, A, E, PP, and D.

Halibut is a fish valued for its characteristic taste, its meat is white, fragile and extremely juicy. It is said to be one of the tastiest fish you can get on the market today. After all, fresh fish (not frozen before buying) is a real rarity, even in specialist fish stores. Fresh fish can be obtained on request. Here, however, there is another problem – the price. A kilogram of fresh halibut fillet currently costs about PLN 120. However, the case looks different when it comes to frozen fillets, prices start at PLN 40. Although the price is relatively high, it is worth to introduce halibut once in a while (below you will find some interesting recipes). An additional advantage of halibut fillets is a small number of bones.

 Halibut – health properties and contraindications
Like most marine fish, halibut is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, 100 g of meat contains 0.29 g of FFA belonging to the omega-3 family. The presence of these compounds in the diet has a special health significance. The omega-3 fatty acids actively participate in the formation of the nervous system and its proper functioning from the time of fetal life. It has been proven that women who consume the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids give birth to children with a higher intelligence quotient than those who have deficits of this ingredient.

Omega-3 fatty acids also play an important role in the proper functioning of the eyes, as they are components of the retina of the eye. Long-term omega-3 deficiency in the diet may contribute to the development of eye dysfunctions (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and others). The main omega-3 dietary source in the diet is marine fish.

Cross-sectional studies of the intake of these fish have proven that the smallest quantities are consumed by people over 60 years of age. It so happens that in this group also the most common eye defect called macular degeneration. This disease is one of the most common causes of blindness in adulthood. Therefore, it can be safely stated that an adequate supply of marine fish, including halibut, can contribute to reducing the incidence of sight defects in adulthood.

Fatty acids from the omega-3 family contained in halibut are also used as a remedy for degenerative diseases of the joints. Research has proven that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces pain episodes in osteoarthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in meat and oil from halibut have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.

The anti-inflammatory activity of fatty acids from the omega-3 family works well for cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 reduces the risk of blood clots, maintains good blood vessels, reduces triglycerides and total cholesterol in the blood serum. In short, they have anti-material effects.

Although halibut is a very valuable and tasty fish, it is not recommended in the diet of pregnant women. It is caused by the possibility of accumulating significant amounts of heavy metals in the body of the sea fish. The most common here is mercury, which is easily stored in halibut tissues. Under the Regulation of the European Union Commission No. 1881/2006 of December 19, 2006, it is acceptable to consume the meat of fish in which the concentration of mercury is less than 0.050 mg/kg. As previously mentioned, it is a fish that reaches a large size and mature age, which promotes the storage of dangerous heavy metals. Pregnant women are therefore advised to exclude halibut from the diet for other equally tasty fish.

Super Omega-3 Gems

Spring piccata with halibut
The recipe is perfect for a light spring dinner, although it does equally well as a main course for a romantic dinner for two. It’s light, tasty and very easy to prepare – try it yourself, and you’ll find out.

Ingredients for 2 servings
– 300 g fillet of halibut,
– 3 spoons of lime juice,
– 200 ml of fish broth,
– 4 teaspoons of butter (82% fat content),
– 4 tablespoons of green pickled olives,
– 3 cloves of garlic,
– 1 bunch of chopped chives,
– 1 bunch of chopped dill,
– lemon salt and pepper spices.

A method of preparing
Prepare the fish with steam or bake for a short time in paperwork. Pour the finely chopped leek and pressed garlic through the press on a hot and greased frying pan. Add the fish broth, lime juice, butter, stew until the part of the broth evaporates – it is recommended to reduce it halfway before adding the previously baked fish. After adding the halibut fillets, add the finely chopped greens, salt, and pepper. The dish can be served with bread or brown rice depending on preferences.

Halibut on spinach with spicy lemon sauce
It is a dish that will not take more than 20 minutes to prepare, it is delicious light and thanks to its chili note very expressive.

Ingredients 2 servings
– 400 g fillet of halibut,
– 150 g of fresh spinach,
– 1 lemon,
– ½ garlic head,
– 6 teaspoons of butter (82% fat content),
– 1 or 2 small chili peppers (depending on preferences),
– 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil,
– salt and pepper spices.

A method of preparing
We cut the chili pepper in half and get rid of the seeds, peel the garlic and cut into thin slices. Fry both vegetables in a well-heated pan on rapeseed oil – on low heat so that they do not burn (this can spoil our entire efforts). Put the washed spinach in the pan, add a pinch of salt and mix thoroughly. In the meantime, we prepare fish, seasoning it only with salt and pepper. Fry the fish delicately in butter, then reduce the heat and cook for a while undercover. After preparing the fish, we lecture it on previously prepared spinach. We sprinkle everything gently with lemon juice and decorate the dish with a grilled slice of lemon. The dish is ready to serve.

Halibut is a demanding fish – delicious, very valuable and healthy, and at the same time hard to reach and relatively expensive. However, it is worth to prepare it once in a while in your kitchen. Its taste will surely appeal to you. We encourage you to try our recipes. Remember that eating fish is a very important element of a healthy and varied diet.