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    Archive for the ‘cauliflower’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Choline

    1B7796CD98BAE223AFF6643CFAF1A7What is choline?  Why is it good for us and which foods contain it?

    — @Monica_San Diego, @noelty5
    Via Twitter

    I received these tweets soon after I tweeted that 90 percent of adults in the United States do not get sufficient amounts of choline in their diets.

    Choline is an essential nutrient (‘essential’ meaning we must get it from food) that is often referred to as a “vitamin-like organic substance” that has a lot in common with the B vitamins (it is not, however, an out-and-out B vitamin).

    Choline has a number of important functions, including:

    • Proper functioning of neurotransmitters
    • Overall liver and gallbladder health
    • Fetal neural and spinal development
    • Cell permeability (allowing cells to absorb fats adequately and excrete necessary metabolites)
    • Phospholipid synthesis (necessary for cellular structure)
    • Cardiovascular health (choline helps lower homocysteine levels; high homocysteine levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease)

    As far as food sources go, these are your best bets:

    • Beef
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Egg yolk
    • Lentils
    • Salmon
    • Shrimp
    • Soy beans
    • Peanuts
    • Wheat germ
    • Salmon

    Men should aim for 550 milligrams a day. Women, meanwhile, need to shoot for 425.

    Multiple research studies have concluded that consistent, long-term deficiencies increase one’s risk of developing fatty liver, liver cancer, and heart disease.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Soy & Thyroid Issues

    iStock_Soy_Bean_On_PodI’ve read the soy is a goitrogen.

    Could it exacerbate hypothyroidism?

    — Corey Clark
    (location withheld)

    Certain compounds in soy can exacerbate — but not cause — thyroid issues by limiting the uptake of iodine and thereby causing goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland).

    Keep in mind, though, that these same compounds are also found in vegetables that belong to the Brassica family of plants (i.e.: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, mustard greens, kale) as well as strawberries, pears, and peanuts.

    These foods are only a concern for people who already have underactive thyroids.

    Two tips to keep in mind:

    1. Cooking the above-mentioned vegetables lessens their inhibiting effect on thyroid function.
    2. It appears that fermentation reduces goitrogenic compounds, so tempeh (fermented soybeans) can be safely consumed in small amounts by those with underactive thyroids.
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    You Ask, I Answer: White Vegetables

    Last night there was a nutritionist on the news talking about how the more color a vegetable has, the healthier it is for you.

    For example, she recommended buying peppers that are dark red instead of light red.

    Does all this mean that white vegetables (like cauliflowers and onions) have the least amount of nutrients?

    — Damian Handster
    (location withheld)

    Not at all.

    Many people erroneously think that white is not a color — it most certainly is!

    Therefore, white vegetables offer many health benefits.

    Onions and garlic, for instance, contain organosulfur compounds that appear promising for blood pressure and reduced blood clotting.

    Cauliflower is in the same family of vegetables as broccoli, meaning it is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folatee.

    Like broccoli, cauliflower also contains glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that have been shown to help decrease the risk of certain cancers.

    Turnips, another white vegetable, also provide their share of nutrition.

    And don’t forget mushrooms — the white button variety offers a wider variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants than cremini or portabella.

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