Monthly Archives: July 2017

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in Your Diet

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in your Diet

Zinc is a trace mineral and is needed for many important functions in the body. Zinc is not stored in the cells of the body, so it is needed in small amounts consistently. Benefits of zinc are: shorter duration of the common cold, good hair, skin and nails, prevention of age related macular degeneration, help in regulating blood glucose, keeps your immune system strong, and may stabilize cognition according to a six month study in Florida on Alzheimer’s patients.

I reversed a zinc deficiency by adding whole foods containing zinc daily into my diet using food as medicine. When I retested three months later, my zinc levels were normal, and my hair was growing thicker again. Once I started eating the zinc containing foods, I found I craved them and couldn’t get enough for a while. This was most likely my body’s way of saying “Yes! Thank you for listening!”

Those at a greater risk of zinc deficiency are those with gastrointestinal disorders (my case), a vegetarian diet, large iron supplementation, diabetes, chronic diarrhea, and liver or kidney disorders. However it is becoming more common to have mild zinc deficiency world wide due to soil depletion.

According to studies, low level zinc deficiencies are on the rise in the world. Signs you may be deficient in zinc are:

Poor Memory

Brain Fog

Hair Loss

Vision Degeneration

Slow Wound Healing

Weakened Immune System (frequent colds for example)

White Spots on Fingernails

I don’t recommend supplementing with zinc unless you get tested for deficiency and work with a practitioner. However, eating a diet including foods containing great levels of zinc in a whole food form can be very beneficial to preventing or correcting a mild zinc deficiency. Whole foods that are a zinc rich are:

Oysters

Pumpkin Seeds (I use these) (One of the Best Plant Sources of Zinc)

Lamb

Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter also a good source of calcium)

Dark Chocolate (Ya!) Keep it at least 70% Dark or else you are getting too much sugar! I eat Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate that is 85% Cacao and it is melty on the tongue and yummy!

Almonds

Cashews

Chickpeas

Lobster

Beef

Pork

Chicken (Dark Meat)

Yogurt

Cheese (such as cheddar and Swiss)

Here are some delicious recipes you can make at home that are good sources of zinc!

  1. Almond Tahini Grain Free Cookies
  2. Chesapeake Crab Cakes
  3. Chocolate Mocha No Moo Smoothie
  4. Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Bites
  5. Lamb and Pine Nut Meatballs with Swiss Chard
  6. Mango Cashew Chicken Salad
  7. Oven Chuck Roast with Vegetables
  8. Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin, Lime and Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Pizza Kale Chips
  10. Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  11. Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

References:

Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: It’s Impact on Human Health and Disease

The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis

Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia

A 3-Month Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair

Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals NIH

Disclaimer: This medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins.   The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on the information on my website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Rich in Zinc and Nutrients

Pumpkin Seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium and plant based omega-3s. But, did you know they make a pretty amazing tasting pesto? Well they do! They almost taste cheesy, and they make a very creamy pesto dip!

This recipe is currently my new favorite dip/spread! It’s quick and easy to make!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients:

1 Cup Fresh Basil, lightly packed

3/4 of Olive Oil

1/2 Cup of Raw Pumpkin Seeds (the kind that are shelled, I use these)

1 Clove of Fresh Garlic (or you can use garlic infused olive oil)

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Directions: Blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator.

Perfect for serving with an appetizer tray. It also makes a delicious sauce to drizzle on chicken and seafood as well as salad!

Enjoy!

Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

 

 

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler on a Spoon

The peaches are fresh, juicy, ripe, and begging to be baked into something with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is nothing like peach season for eating peaches! They are at their most excellent and not to be missed! Peaches are sweet juicy pleasures, but they also are packed with health benefits and a broad range of nutrients!

The fiber in peaches helps keep you regular, they are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc (which also has anti-aging properties) to aid your immune system, rich in vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy skin, and contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

The batter for the cobbler features coconut flour, pastured eggs and natural maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Grease a 8″ x 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 4 peaches)

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (I used local)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the peaches and filling ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside to let them start releasing some of their juices.

Ingredients for Cobbler Topping:

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour (I use this brand) scooped and leveled, it makes a big difference with coconut flour how it is measured!

1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil

3 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Applesauce (no sugar added)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (gluten free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top before baking

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Add your coconut milk and beat. Slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while beating. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend. Sift together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix with the electric mixer for one minute. It will thicken.

After mixing up the cobbler topping, pour your peach filling into the prepared 8″ x 8″ square pan. Dollop the cobbler batter on top as desired and sprinkle with some additional cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon, no need to be perfect with this, just a pinch or so though.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. The peaches should be bubbling and the cobbler topping golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly before serving warm. You can also reheat any leftover cobbler quickly in the microwave if you want to eat it warm.

Sliced Peaches in Pan for Grain Free Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Filling

Batter on Peaches for Baking a Grain Free Cobbler

Ready to Bake above.

Serves Six

Enjoy!

Sandra

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Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Mango Cashew Chicken Dinner Salad

This salad is inspired by one of my favorite salads from Red Mesa Grill in Northern Michigan. I order it every year from their gluten free menu and it is so good, I decided to recreate it at home adding my own spin on it.

Mango Cashew Chicken Summer Salad

The salad has a delicious combination of sweet juicy mango, crunchy cashews, tart cranberries, onion and roasted chicken. The mango dressing is bursting with vitamin C. It is a perfect Summer main dish salad!

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Begin with making a marinade for the chicken breasts:

Marinade:

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

2 Cloves of Smashed Garlic

2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Whisk the marinade together well. Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a gallon zip bag, and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag, and place it flat in the refrigerator for 3 hours, flipping once halfway through to ensure the chicken is evenly seasoned. You can refrigerate the chicken for up to 24 hours in the marinade.

Now prepare your salad dressing.

Mango Salad Dressing

Mango Salad Dressing:

Ingredients;

1 1/4 Cup of Ripe Mango, diced

1/4 Cup of Good Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Cilantro

2 Tablespoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use this kind)

1 Green Onion, sliced

1 Teaspoon of fine Sea Salt (I like this brand)

Blend the mango and olive oil in a blender until completely smooth and creamy. Add the lime juice, salt and cider vinegar and blend to incorporate. Now, add the fresh scallion and cilantro, and pulse the blender just until you can see tiny bits of scallion and cilantro. You want to be able to see it and not completely incorporate it into the dressing.

Refrigerate the dressing. This will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.

Now to make the salad! 🙂

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad Prep

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad Ingredients:

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 – 5 oz. Container of Organic Baby Romaine, washed and spun dry

1/2 Head of Organic Iceberg Lettuce, washed, spun dry and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 Ripe Mango, Diced in to 1 inch pieces

1/2 Cup of Salted or Raw Cashews

1/4 Cup of Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries (I use this brand)

1/4 Cup of Green Onion, Sliced

1/4 Cup of Red Onion, Finely Diced

Additional Sea Salt for Sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° degrees. In a cast iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium-high. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, and sprinkle them with additional sea salt, and add them to the pan. Brown the breasts two minutes per side, until golden brown, but not cooked through. Place the chicken on a baking sheet, and place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes or just until the chicken reaches 165° at the center. Remove the chicken from the oven, and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Mound the salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with a generous amount of Mango Salad Dressing. Sprinkle the mango, cashews, cranberries, green onion and red onion on top. Slice your cooked chicken breasts on a diagonal (they can still be warm) and arrange the breasts on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with some additional sea salt to taste.

Serve!

4 Large Dinner Sized Servings (1 Chicken Breast per person)

 

 

 

 

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