hypertension

What’s on the Menu – The Best Smelling Health Food There Is

Most foods produce a distinct smell while cooking, but there is only a select few that elicit the “that smells awesome’ response from me while being prepared. The items that bring my olfactory senses to their figurative knees include:

  • Bacon: I know vegans that even enjoy the smell of cured pork bellies.
  • Coffee: Shannon didn’t drink caffeinated coffee while pregnant, but she loved smelling the beans.
  • Bread: We have a Cuban bakery in our neighborhood that makes me want to go on a carb binge every time I drive by.
  • Shallots: Doesn’t matter what meal is being prepared. If shallots are being used, I’m salivating and THAT’S one of the reasons why they are today’s menu spotlight.

Shallots belong to the Allium genus of vegetables, which also includes onions, leeks, garlic, etc. I’ve already declared my love for garlic in a previous menu spotlight (click here to check it out), and I often cook garlic & shallots together to double up on the mouth-watering aroma. As much as I would like Yankee Candle to carry a shallot scented candle, its perfume isn’t the main reason I love it so much.

Screenshot 2017-10-05 at 2.37.13 PM

By weight, shallots contain more vitamins and minerals than its larger cousin the onion. Approximately one cup of shallots contains a significant amount of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, copper and iron. They also contain more antioxidants, by weight, than any other Allium vegetable (source). Research suggests that one particular antioxidant possessed by shallots can mitigate the damaging effects of several chronic health conditions.

When you chop or crush a shallot, you cause an enzymatic reaction that produces the sulfur containing antioxidant known as allicin. In specific scientific studies (source), this antioxidant has been shown to:

  • Reduce cholesterol.
  • Combat viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Protect against certain forms of cancer.
  • Regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Who would have thought that the onion mini-me would possess so many health benefits. Honestly, shallots taste & smell so good that I’d still use them even if they didn’t have all the health benefits.

Shallot pic

One recipe I frequently add shallots to is my breakfast bowl (pictured above). Besides shallots, the breakfast bowl includes dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.), mushrooms, mini sweet peppers, several eggs and diced tomatoes. I make sure to chop my shallots first because more allicin is produced the longer a chopped/crushed shallot goes uncooked. Next, I saute the mushrooms and peppers till soft (3-5 minutes), chop up a few tomatoes in the meantime, then throw in the greens & shallots for about a minute till the greens wilt.

Using the same pan I cooked the veggies, I fry up several over easy eggs in coconut oil. After the eggs are done, I slid them onto the cooked veggies, add the tomatoes & crushed red pepper and VOILA! Breakfast, lunch or dinner of champions.

If you’re a frequent shallot user, I’d love to hear about which dishes you add them to. Send your favorite recipe that features shallots to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).  I don’t think it will be better than my breakfast bowl, but there’s no shame in being runner-up.

 

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What’s on the Menu – Almost everyone uses PEDs

Hi, my name is Nicholas Burch, and I’m a coffee addict.

It’s true. I really can’t live without the stuff. When I wake up every morning I look forward to the fact that I’ll soon be drinking coffee. I enjoy the ritualistic aspects it includes. I actually have fond memories of times with relatives no longer living that are based around having coffee with them. I’m sure my body looks forward to the energetic boost (more on that later) it can provide, but I truly look forward to the act of making & drinking coffee.

Thankfully, my coffee loving vice is healthy. In fact, with the scientific research I’ve gathered, I’m willing to say that coffee is the healthiest beverage on the planet. Shannon and I actually debated this very statement in a past episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast (click here to listen). Below is several potential positive and negative impacts of coffee consumption. Take a gander and decide whether you’d put coffee in the friend or foe category.

Menu pic 6-30

Coffee & protein – how I start everyday

Pros

  • Contains the powerful antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which can reduce free radicals that damage cells (source)
  • Two or more cups of coffee could prevent alcohol induced cirrhosis by up to 66% (source)
  • Studies have shown that drinking coffee can result in a significant reduction in prostate cancer (source)
  • Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can improve performance in endurance events (source) FUN FACT: caffeine was considered a performance enhancing drug by the Olympic drug testing agency until 2004
  • Studies have linked coffee consumption to the reduction in the development of both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (source

Cons

  • Regular coffee consumption can have a negative affect on dental hygiene (e.g. stained teeth, bad breath)
  • Coffee consumption close to bedtime can disrupt regular sleep patterns (source)
  • Excess coffee intake has been linked to hand tremors in a small percentage of individuals (source)
  • Coffee consumption does cause an acute increase in blood pressure (source)
  • Sudden elimination or reduction in caffienated coffee consumption can induce withdrawal-like symptoms (source)

Besides water & tea, coffee provides the widest array of health benefits of any beverage. As you can see, caffienated coffee can cause problems for individuals that suffer from essential tremors or hypertension, but even the consumption of decaf coffee has favorable aspects. It is important to note that the pros & cons listed above are based on BLACK COFFEE. Once you start adding sugar, dairy or dairy substitutes to the coffee, you can seriously affect its merit.

I could go on and on about coffee, but I would rather get your feedback. Love it or hate it, please let me know what you think of. We would really love it if you sent us a pic of your favorite cup of joe on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

In addition to your coffee feedback, you can also contact us at elementaltampa@gmail.com to take advantage of the complimentary fitness consultations we’re currently offering. Whether you need advice on nutrition or just want workout tips, I’d be happy to set up an appointment with you to discuss how you can improve your fitness.