You may have seen Certified Nutritionist and best selling author Joy Bauer, on one or many of her regular appearances on NBC’s Today Show as their nutrition expert, sharing countless nutrition tips, recipes and advice. And if you are a fan, you will be in for a treat if you are lucky enough to catch her own PBS special Joy Bauer’s Food Remedies. Joy says that “food has healing power and is considered nature’s medicine”. She devotes this hour showing us how she has helped hundreds of people turn around heart conditions, manage diabetes and blood sugar, improve memory, just by making some simple tweaks to our diet and incorporating certain healthy foods into our everyday meals and recipes. Her motto is “life is hard, food should be easy”. Joy Bauer hopes this program will give you the information and the motivation to get started because it’s that doable! Joy explains that certain foods actually have healing properties and incorporating these foods into our everyday diet can help us manage diabetes and blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and heart health, lower blood pressure, improve memory and reduce Alzheimer risks. So how do we get started?
Joy’s advice is to “Hop in the car and head straight to the grocery store. Stock up on the health boosting foods…. and dive in with her “Health Homework” assignments. The sooner you let these”good for you ingredients” work their magic, the better.”
Here are some of Joy’s Food Remedies, Tips, Advice, Recipe Suggestions and “Health Homework” Assignments she covered during this PBS program.
Heart Health Food Remedies
- Chia Seeds have been eaten the Mayan Aztecs for thousands of years. These tiny little seeds are packed with soluble fiber which attaches to the cholesterol in our body and helps remove it from our system. Also they are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fats which help reduce arterial plaque buildup and inflammation in our body. Having a neutral flavor you can sprinkle them on oatmeal, breakfast cereal, smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese, dips, salad dressings. Add them to your healthy recipes of baked goods and pancakes.
- Pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving! It’s potassium is known to lower blood pressure because it acts as an “anti-sodium” by offsetting the salt content in your system. (It’s also packed with beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant!) Keep cans of 100% unsweetened pure pumpkin (it’s a purée) in your pantry for convenience to incorporate in your meals year round. Mix a dollop in vanilla yogurt with a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg for a low calorie “Pumpkin Pudding”. Add dollops into turkey taco meat mixtures, pasta sauces, chili recipes, etc.
- Joy’s “Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal”
- prepare 1/2 cup of dry oats with 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chopped nuts
- Mix it all together in a bowl and enjoy!
- 280 cal, 8 g of protein, 10 g of fiber
- Avocado is actually a fruit loaded with unsaturated heart healthy fat which helps improve your cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and protects against heart disease.
To incorporate this super food, simply slice the avocado and top it with lime juice and fresh ground black pepper. You could also add thin slices to sandwiches and burgers to adds flavor and moisture. Mash and use instead of mayonnaise on tuna or chicken salad.
- HEART HEALTH HOMEWORK – 1. Pick up a container of Chia seeds and add a tablespoon per day to anything you want. You can find them in the natural food section of your grocery store or any health food store. 2. Next time you go grocery shopping pick up a can of pumpkin and avocado and experiment with some of the above ideas.
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Management Food Remedies
- Beans or lentils provide a winning combination of soluble fiber and protein which work in tandem to stabilize your blood sugar levels and to keep it in check. A 2012 study published by The Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating 1 cup of beans or lentils per day improved blood sugar and lowered blood pressure in people with type II diabetes. This benefit comes from all types of beans and legumes in any form such as canned or dry or frozen. Consider also black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
- Nuts are naturally low in carbohydrates and provide an ideal mix of protein, fiber and healthy fats, all of which help to keep blood sugar smooth and steady which makes them a perfect snack for anyone trying to manage type II diabetes.
- Quinoa is considered a whole grain but it is actually a protein rich seed. It contains twice the amount of protein compared to rice. That’s great for those with type II diabetes or sugar issues because the protein helps blunt those sugar spikes. Also it’s rich in magnesium which helps improve blood sugar control. A 2014 study found that people who consumed the most magnesium were about half as likely to develop diabetes compared to those who weren’t getting enough magnesium. It is easy to incorporate in your diet because it has a subtle flavor and cooks similar to rice. To incorporate in your diet, try substituting quinoa instead of rice like “Quinoa and Beans” instead of Rice and Beans, “Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Pepper” or “Turkey Bean Chili served in over quinoa instead of rice.
- Joy’s “Quinoa Chickpea Tabbouleh”
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas – drained
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- juice of one half lemon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Combine all ingredients and enjoy!
- 370 cal, 15 g protein, 12 g fiber
- HEALTH HOMEWORK – 1. Stock your pantry with beans and lentils and incorporate 1 cup into your daily menu at least three days per week. 2. Swap out one of your snacks for a handful of nuts of any type such as pistachio, walnuts, almonds, just a few. 3. Pick up a box of quinoa and try some of Joy’s suggestions above. (You can find quinoa in your grocer’s natural food aisle or in your local health food store. For economy, check the bulk section at the health food stores for better prices per pound on beans, grains, nuts and seeds. )
Brain Health Food Remedies
- Leafy Greens came out on top in a 25 year Harvard study of more than 13,000 women where the participants that ate high amounts of vegetables experienced less age-related decline in memory. But the leafy greens such as spinach, collards, kale, Swiss chard had the biggest effect. Practice incorporating leafy greens into your everyday meals. Joy considers baby spinach as “fast food” because most of the time you don’t have to chop it or cook it. She mixes in with her eggs, uses it as a base for salad, sometimes mixing 50/50 with another lettuce like romaine, she will “melt” or wilt a bag of baby spinach into a large pot of pasta sauce right before serving on pasta. Swap out potato chips for a trendy popular snack made from kale which Joy calls “brain chips” and you can eat as much as you want!
- “Kale Chips”
- large bag/bunch of fresh kale
- rip kale leaves into 2 inch pieces
- single layer on a baking sheet
- liberally mist with an oil spray (canola, olive, grape seed)
- sprinkle on any preferred seasonings
- bake in oven at 400° for about 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp (but not brown)
- makes about four servings at 35 cal each
- Berries are rich in flavonoids. These compounds may enhance memory and slow cognitive decline by shielding the brain against inflammation and oxidation, processes that can damage your brain cells. A 2012 Harvard University study found that eating at least 1/2 cup blueberries or 1 cup strawberries per week can delay brain aging by up to 2 1/2 years. (The more, the longer?)
- HEALTH HOMEWORK – 1. Pick up a batch of fresh or frozen berries and eat a full cup at least three times this week. 2. Add dark leafy greens (like spinach, collards, kale) to at least five meals this week.
Weight Loss Food Remedies
- Volumize with vegetables by loading up on non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables contain lots of fiber and water which instantly fills you up and keeps you feeling full four hours. These would include spinach and other greens, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, which are just a few. To incorporate more vegetables into your daily diet routine add extra vegetables into canned soup meals, pile your sandwich with layers of spinach and red onions and peppers and roasted vegetables, put extra veggies in your pasta sauces, snack on bell peppers sticks and cherry tomatoes. Season any way you want. Be imaginative. The sky’s the limit!
- Completely omitting starch at the dinner evening meal takes the pressure off of trying to control a normally calorie dense food. We tend to overeat bread, potatoes, rice and pasta and by completely omitting these problem foods we can concentrate on eating more vegetables and will see calories drop significantly. You can still enjoy those healthy whole grain starchy carbs at breakfast and lunch and even snack. But keep your dinner starch free.Dinner should start with lots of lean protein like skinless poultry, turkey burgers, pork tenderloin, fish and shellfish, tofu and season it up any way you like. Pile on heaps (at least 2 cups) of those non starchy vegetables. They can be steamed, baked, stir fried, any way you like. Try meals like pork tenderloin with a roasted vegetable medley or a shrimp and vegetable stir fry. You might even want to try Joy’s recipe below.
- Joy’s “Healthy Chicken Parmesan”
- 6 ounces chicken breast
- top with marinara sauce
- top with 1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
- place under a broiler 1 to 2 minutes
- Serve with steamed or roasted broccoli
- 280 cal, 44 g protein
- Drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water before breakfast, before lunch, and before dinner helps you fill up and you end eating less food during the meal. In one study dieters drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water before meals consumed fewer calories during their meals and lost 44% more weight over the course of 12 weeks compared to people who did not drink the water!
- Losing Liquid Calories will make a huge difference on the scale! It is incredibly easy to guzzle down thousand and thousand of calories of soda, flavored drinks, energy drinks, flavored teas, lemonade, fancy coffee drinks and even fruit juice. Fruit juice contains nutrients but it is very high in sugar and calories. The problem with these “calorific” beverages is that they do not fill you up like solid food does, so you still end up eating the same amount at mealtime! If you were to give up a 20 ounce bottle of soda every day, at the end of the year you will have saved 91,000 calories, 108 cups of pure sugar, 5184 sugar packets and at the end of the year you will have lost 26 pounds!
- HEALTH HOMEWORK – 1. Eat at least 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables at lunch and 2 cups at dinner. Use Joy’s suggestions above to get those extra veggies into your meals. 2. Starting today give up “liquid fat traps” or sugary drinks, and replace them with non-calorie options like pure water, naturally flavored seltzer / sparkling water, unsweetened coffee and tea. If you must sweeten your coffee or tea, use no more than one or 2 teaspoons of sugar or other sweetener per day. And if you must have fruit juice, stick to one glass per day and cut it with 50% water or seltzer.
Arthritis, Body Soreness, Aches and Pains Food Remedies
- Ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds that works similarly to over-the-counter pain medications. A study in the Journal of Pain found that eating daily doses of ginger after workouts help to relieve muscle soreness by 25%. Both fresh grated and dry ground ginger contain powerful doses of those anti-inflammatory compounds. Fresh grated ginger root can be added to stir fry or sautéed veggies. Make ginger tea by slicing very thinly ginger root and steep in 1 to 2 cups of simmering water for a few minutes. Dry ground ginger is so convenient you can pick it up in the spice aisle of your grocery store. Since you can sprinkle it on practically anything, you will be more likely to use more of it. Sprinkle it on oatmeal, yogurt, in marinara sauces, muffin and pancake batters. Just remember for recipes, 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger = 1 tablespoon fresh ginger.
- Turmeric is the main ingredient in yellow curry powder. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps arthritis sufferers by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals that can contribute to pain and swelling in the joints. Curry powder adds a burst of complex delicious flavors to dishes. Joy has combined ginger, turmeric and curry all together in one chicken and vegetable dish amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Here is a simpler recipe Joy shares.
- Joy’s “Curried Chicken Salad”
- 5 ounces club chicken breast – shredded, cubed or canned
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen green peas (optional)
- 1/2 cup sliced purple grapes (optional)
- Combine ingredients and enjoy!
- 220 cal, 47 g protein
- HEALTH HOMEWORK – 1. If you are struggling with arthritis or general aches and pains, try adding ginger (powder or fresh ) to one meal a day. You can use the suggestions above by putting them in a dish or making a tea.
2. Try at least one new recipe that uses curry powder and make it this week for dinner. (Once you find you are using lots of specific spices, consider purchasing spices in bulk online for a fraction of grocery store prices!)
Beauty – “The Pretty Potion or Handsome Helper” Food Remedies. Joy says this remedy “will help your skin be gorgeous and radiant and make your hair strong, thick and healthy!” In the blender put…
- one cup baby spinach – for its beta-carotene which Joy calls “nature’s exfoliant”. It promotes cell turnover helping our skin get rid of old cells and replacing them with healthy new ones so that our complexion has a refresh youthful look. Actually all green and orange produce are going to be rich in beta carotene so eat plenty of these to retain a youthful look. Also spinach has iron that carries oxygen into our scalp and nourishes our hair follicles promoting healthy hair.
- 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries – contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant which helps defend our skin against the damaging free radicals. Vitamin C also helps our body produce collagen which is a protein that keeps our skin firm and elastic.
- one tablespoon Chia seeds – this dose of healthy omega-3 fats will help to fortify our skin cell membranes and suppresses inflammation in our skin.
- 1/2 banana – for sweetness and taste
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 – 5 ice cubes
- Blend and Drink Up!
- 170 cal, 4 g of protein, 9 g of fiber
Joy Bauer reminds us that food is “nature’s medicine” and when we eat the right foods in the right combinations they can have a dramatic impact on our health. We have only scratched the surface because there are so many amazing ways that food can impact our health and our longevity!
For a DVD of Joy Bauer’s Food Remedies, Joy Bauer recipes and health books and other information, Joy offers her “Joy of Health Collection” exclusive to public broadcasting stations donors. Contact WEDU at 800-515-9810 or WEDU.org or your local Public Broadcasting Station on how you may obtain these exclusive gifts.
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