Part of what makes food taste better and how you feel when you are eating can be effected by what you know about the food. Thinking something is healthy makes it more enjoyable. I don’t have a problem going on a trip and eating something normal like a hamburger and french fries from a nice restaurant. It tastes great and there’s no guilt, but foods made with white flour and fried in canola oil would not be something I could enjoy everyday.
Maybe it’s like a placebo thing but knowing exactly what is in everything you’re eating and that it has nutrition in it can make a difference in how you feel physically and emotionally. Whatever this is, it’s happening to more and more people and food is becoming a journey to better health and hopefully the prevention of diseases.
We have gone down the wrong road in terms of taking care of our bodies in this country. Metabolic Syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that indicate how a body’s metabolism is functioning showing that it’s probably headed towards coronary heart disease, diabetes and other health issues. The list of factors include a wide waistline (obesity), high blood pressure, as well as high serum triglyceride levels and low HDL (the good one) cholesterol levels. Some studies have shown the prevalence of this condition in the US to be 34% of the adult population, and studies are also showing that this condition is directly related to what a person is eating on a regular basis. The main culprit has been too many junk food carbohydrates made with white flour and sugar. But we can’t eliminate carbohydrates from our diets because they provide fiber and essential nutrients that our bodies need.
Our diets need to include the right amount of the right kinds of carbohydrates – nutrient dense carbohydrates with fiber that will involve a slower metabolical processing of glucose resulting in a more stabilized blood sugar level – from fruits and vegetables and the proper amount of healthy grains. GI or the glycemic index of these foods show how strongly they effect the body’s blood sugar level and whether they will cause the dangerous glucose spikes or be metabolized more slowly.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins C and A and is a very good source of potassium and provide a wide range of antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress and a wide range of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help prevent excessive inflammation lowering the dangerous risk factors to the major diseases. Studies have shown that 12 ounces of fruit a day to be very beneficial towards avoiding the dangerous risk factors. Resveratrol can be found in grape skins, cherries, peanuts, wine, blueberries and cranberries. It is a pterostilbenes phytonutrient that is being studied for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects particularly on the cardiovascular system.
Curried Chicken Salad With Grapes and Canteloupe
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Herbamare or salt
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- 1 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 3/4 cups grapes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Slice each chicken breast lengthwise into 5 julienne pieces, sprinkle with seasoned salt and gently poach in butter over medium to low heat until just cooked (don’t overcook or the chicken will be tough), place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. When chicken is chilled, cut into small pieces. Mix mayonnaise and curry powder together in a small bowl. Add celery, onions, parsley and grapes to the chicken and fold in the mayonnaise mixture.
*You can slice or cube the cantaloupe, serve the chicken salad over a large wedge of cantaloupe or cut a small cantaloupe in half, remove the seeds and fill with the chicken salad.