Folic Acid and Mothers to be…

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the world from Strawberry Blu!! On this occasion we would like to answer the question on Folic Acid for mothers to be: Foods that contain folic acid are good for the brain of the baby in the womb?

Folic acid, a water soluble B vitamin, is an essential nutrient with a special consideration before conception and during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid helps develop the infant’s neural tube, which during development of the infant in the womb is transformed into the baby’s spinal cord and brain.

The neural tube forms within the first 28 days from conception; thus consumption of folic acid during this period of pregnancy reduces the risks of neural tube defects; such as Spina Bifida.

Spina bifida is one of the birth defects called neural tube defects (NTD) where a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close correctly.

How much you need:

– 400 micrograms of folic acid/day for women of childbearing age
– 600 to 800 micrograms of folic acid/day before conception and throughout pregnancy

Sources of Folic Acid

Synthetic Form:

– Supplements
– Fortified foods such as breads, cereals or pastas

Food Sources:

– Citrus fruits and juices ex. Orange
– Dark-green leafy vegetables ex. Spinach
– Nuts ex. Peanuts
– Liver

Alert: Always consult your doctor or dietitian for appropriate levels of supplementation.

Related References

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spina-bifida/DS00417
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=4294967638
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6808

EGGPLANT… Does it contain High Concentrations of NICOTINE?

Eggplant, also known as Aubergine, is a vegetable found in several shapes, sizes and colors. It’s widely used in cooking: baked, stewed, roasted, stuffed or fried.

For example, it’s used to make (in the Lebanese Cuisine):
-Baba Ghannouj: roasted eggplant w tahina
-Shaykhil Mihshee: fried eggplant stuffed with minced meat and tomato
-Mousakaa: vegetarian style, fried eggplant with chickpeas and tomato sauce
-Makdous. stuffed eggplant pickles with walnuts and red pepper

Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, and folic acid. It’s rich in antioxidants and free-radical scavengers thus help in decreasing cholesterol. It’s also good for diabetic patients where it helps the absorption of glucose into the body and lowers blood pressure.

As for the Nicotine content; yes eggplant does contain nicotine. Yet, the amount of nicotine within the eggplant is NEGLIGIBLE (0.01 mg nicotine per 100g eggplant). That means to have an adverse health effect from the nicotine in the eggplant one needs to consume more than 10 to 12 large eggplants (more than a kilogram) every single day, which in normal cases does not happen.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine 100g of eggplant contains 0.01mg of nicotine thus, 10kg of eggplant is equivalent to 1 cigarette, therefore eggplant nicotine no negative effect.

In conclusion, always remember the dose makes the poison. Everything we eat can be transformed into a remedy or changed into a toxic substance depending on exposure, thus everything should be consumed in moderation, within the acceptable daily intake levels.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199308053290619

Artichoke Overview and Health Benefits

Overview

Artichoke is the unopened flower of a Thistle (a flowering plant characterized by leaves of sharp tips).
Artichoke is well known in the Mediterranean region.
In Lebanon, it is widely served as a cold “mezza” (Lebanese cold appetizers) with Lemon, garlic, and olive oil dressing. The Artichoke hearts can be processed into pickles, or cooked (Meat and Artichoke Stew or with white sauce or with tahina: sesame paste).

Health Benefits

– Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol)
– Contains “inulin” a carbohydrate that stabilizes blood sugar levels in diabetic patients
– Improves liver functioning
– Relief Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms
– Helps improve digestive problem such as dyspepsia and helps the digestion process
– Reduce risk of cancer (ex. Breast cancer)

How?

Artichoke is an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese. Moreover, it contains compounds that help the flow of bile from the gallbladder (bile is essential for cholesterol regulation, liver and digestive functioning).

December… Byblos and Peanut Butter…

On a cold December night… having a walk with my friend “Peanut Butter”… next to the wild boiling sea water of Byblos….

“Peanut Butter”
I was eating peanut butter…

“Blue Strawberry”
mmm… I hate peanut butter… unless it’s within a cake or a biscuit or anything…

“Peanut Butter”
Oh come on… I prepare peanut butter myself at home…

“Blue Strawberry”
At Home???? That’s interesting… so tell me…How do you actually do it at home????

Preparing Peanut Butter at Home:

Step1: Roast the peanuts
1.Spread the peanuts on a baking pan.
2.Bake the peanuts in an oven for around 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
3.Cool

Step2: In a food processor
1.Pour the peanuts in a food processor with metal blades.
2.Cover the lid and turn on the processor.
3.The peanuts are now being chopped; a powdered mixture will be formed

Step3: Keep on processing
1.Keep on processing until a buttery mixture is formed
2.To get a desirable smooth peanut butter texture a longer processing period might be needed.

Step4: Taste
1.Add salt, sugar, honey etc. depending on your desired peanut butter taste.

Step5: Storage
1.Store in the fridge for around 2 days before consumption, so the mix turns into paste.

Nutrition and Health:

Peanut butter is rich in MUFA (mono-unsaturated fats) that are the good fats and the antioxidant Resveratrol. Thus, it helps protect against heart diseases, if consumed moderately. It is also rich in Vitamin B3, Proteins, Magnesium, Folic Acid, and Dietary Fiber.

Caution:

Some People are “Allergic” to peanuts, thus traces of peanut butter (peanuts) consumption would lead to:

1. Itching, swelling, of the skin, lips, tongue, and throat.
2. Shortness in breathing (the individual can suffocate).
3. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting.
4. Heart attack.
5. Loss of consciousness.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: