Showing posts with label Nutrition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nutrition. Show all posts

How to Make Kale Tea Recipe and Health, Digestion Warnings

All about the amazing wonder food, kale. Includes nutrition information, salad and dinner cooking recipe information, and the recipe for kale tea.

Typical kale at the grocery store for making kale tea

This page is about kale; including nutrition and diet information (especially concerning lutein, zeaxanthin, AMD) and an extremely easy recipe for kale tea. If you are here just for the kale tea recipe, simply scroll to the green tea cup marker a little after the middle of the page. Do peruse the digestion and health notes.

What Is Kale and Availability – The Basics

Kale is a dark, green, leafy vegetable from the cabbage family; other examples being cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. However, kale can also be regarded as a lettuce for the purposes of most salad recipes.

Kale is one of the foods which is often included in what might be called the super food or wonder food category. The nutritional content and the benefits derived therefrom makes this a food one wants as part of their regular diet.

In addition to it's nutritional value, there is growing evidence kale actually inhibits and can even fight some diseases; most notable of these being macular degeneration, cataracts, and some forms of cancer.

Store Availability and Forms

Any competent grocery store will have it. You can buy kale fresh and whole in the produce section. Or, if your store is doing their job right, you can buy it already in pieces, shredded, sliced, diced, minced, etc.

For a food so rich in nutritional value and benefits, the price is amazingly low. If the price isn't low, find another store.

Kale Benefits and Nutrition Data

Percentages and amounts (in milligrams) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and 3.3 oz. kale servings. "~" is the mathematical symbol used to identify a number as an approximation.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin: ~600%. These are the two nutrients that have made kale famous. The body of evidence continues to mount that lutein and zeaxanthin actually inhibits and/or wards off macular degeneration. There is even some evidence lutein and zeaxanthin can reverse macular degeneration to some extent. Kale is the number one food source for lutein. Spinach is usually recognized as coming in second. You can buy lutein in pill form, but the FDA states they have not confirmed the quantity or quality of lutein in these products. The generally accepted daily dosage for lutein is 6 mg. The average American diet falls woefully short of this amount. A 3.3 oz. serving of kale has ~37 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Beta Carotene: ~7 mg. An antioxidant, precursor that converts to vitamin A. Antioxidants are generally believed to help prevent certain kinds of cancer.
  • Potassium: 420 mg. 12%.
  • Calcium: 15%.
  • Iron: 8%.
  • Vitamin K: 950%.
  • Vitamin A: 290%.
  • Vitamin C: 190%.
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6%.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 8%.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 4%.
  • Vitamin B6: 15%
  • Folate aka Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): 6%.
  • Phosphorus: 6%.
  • Magnesium: 8%.
  • Copper: 15%.
  • Manganese: 35%.

Kale Recipe Basics

Kale requires a little more chewing effort than the other cabbage-category items or lettuce. It also has a tendency to make a person feel full sooner than usual. One might want to adjust portions accordingly, particularly as to salads.

Salad Recipes

Kale Salad Recipes

By the simple process of adding kale to the other ingredients, pretty much any salad recipe is also a kale recipe. The only decision is how much kale to include. The more kale included, the more the kale taste and other effects are emphasized. Only you can decide how much is enough and how much is too much.

Vegetable, Stews Casseroles, Chili Recipes

Kale Hot Meal Recipes

A Surprising Note About Cooked Kale

Cooking kale almost doubles the amount of lutein metabolized. This has to do with the heating process unlocking certain components of the kale molecular structure, releasing lutein which would otherwise not be available for the digestive system. It should be mentioned that cooking/boiling/heating usually degrades the nutritional value of most food. The kale-lutein molecular structure is unusual in this respect.

Virtually all casserole, stew, hot vegetable, and chili recipes can include the addition of kale. However, with these dishes, the determining factor is how much kale do you wish to include with the existing recipe ingredients.

If your objective is one of nutrition only, then you would add only so much kale. If, however, you are creating a true kale casserole or true kale hot vegetable dish or stew, or chili concoction; then you would add enough to result in making kale the predominant taste. It is a matter of degree only you can decide.

In whatever case, this is where the sliced/diced/minced/max-shredded form is used. Stems and full leaves are not recommended.

Kale Chips Recipe

Kale chips are beginning to become well known. They could very well be the healthiest snack food in existence. They are easy to make. However, I am going to defer to the kale recipe the USDA cane up with as to the proper instructions. You won't be able to eat just one.

The Easy Kale Tea Recipe
and a Digestion Note and Health Warning

Kale Tea Recipe

Do you want the nutrition, but don't want to deal with the recipes and cooking? Many people just drink kale tea.

Kale tea is not difficult to make, though do note the following health and digestion warnings, etc.
  1. Put 2, 3 or 4 medium-to-large pieces of kale in a microwaveable cup, depends on cup size. If you are a first-timer, probably best to start with just two pieces.
  2. Fill to seven-eighths full of water; push the pieces under water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  5. Remove the medium-to-large pieces.
  6. You have your kale tea. And it's perfectly fine to drink any remaining, little pieces which happen to be floating around; after all, it's kale.
Once you are a pro, you will probably do the following...
  1. Stuff the bottom half of a microwaveable cup full of kale.
  2. Fill to seven-eighths full of water; push the pieces under the water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  5. Doesn't bother to remove any of the kale.
  6. Drinks all the liquid.
  7. Empties cup of the remaining kale into trash or refills cup a little over half full of water, microwaves for another 3:33 minutes:seconds, drinks second cup of weaker tea.
Boiling water. And of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with...
  1. Boiling the water on the stove.
  2. Pouring the water into your prepared cup.
  3. Letting it sit awhile and stir.
  4. Etc.
Keeping in mind the high concentrations of nutrients, don't go overboard. Drink no more than one cup the first time or so. See how your digestion handles it.Do it when you plan on being home for the next few hours.

This is also a good time to mention that too much vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and certain other vitamins and minerals on a regular basis, can actually be deleterious to one's health. On the other hand, even just one ounce of kale is a lot of kale; so you don't have that much to worry about. One full ounce of kale is about a third of the above specified nutritional percentages. Just keep in mind what other foods and liquids you are regularly consuming.

What with kale tea being so packed with vitamins and minerals, it can be used to occasionally replace a meal in weight loss programs. Kale tea is also an effective appetite suppressant. For that matter, it would be perfect for use in the infamous Military Diet.

Green Potatoes Are they Safe to Eat - Maybe

Beware Bad Green Potatoes - Can Be Poisonous or Safe - Urban Legend Not


Safe or poisonous? It all depends. Here is how to tell the difference, plus a government resource with even more information.

Can green potatoes make you sick? Yes, they can. And the more green you see, the more poisonous they are.

The green is just chlorophyll, but it is an indicator that another chemical is present; which is indeed a toxin. And it is a nerve toxin at that. It is present throughout the entire plant. The toxin is known as solanine and is dangerous even in small amounts.

I've been seeing a lot of false information out there on the subject, so I thought I would point people towards a legitimate source.The National Institute of Health federal website, MedlinePlus, will tell you everything you need to know.

The whole poisonous green potato thing is not exactly a national epidemic. In fact, deaths are quite rare.The key sentence in the Medline website is:

Never eat potatoes that are spoiled or green below the skin.

Note the key parameter about "below the skin".

My personal philosophy on the subject...
  • If the store potatoes have even the slightest tinge of green, I'm not buying.
  • But if I cut one in half at home that has developed a slight green tinge on the outside after I bought it and there is absolutely no hint of green on the inside, then I'm fine with it.

May all your potato adventures be of the healthy kind. Do drop by the aforementioned Medline website, they have additional information.

Worthy non-green potatoes

Sardines as Food – Canned sardines are another super food, wonder food, and nutrition bonanza.

Well, well. Turns out sardines are another super, wonder food. They really are.

All about sardines as food.

Sardine Health Benefits

  • They’ve got all the B-complex vitamins we all need.
  • They’re loaded with vitamin D.
  • They’ve got a decent amount of vitamin E and some vitamin K.
  • As for minerals, it’s a veritable bonanza. Lots of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium.

Sardines are also surprisingly inexpensive for their value. A big, red, flat can of them costs around $2 (your prices may vary). Usually, they will already be in a tomato sauce. Just microwave and enjoy. As a side note, be sure to cover before microwaving; otherwise, you will have a nice microwave cleaning project to look forward to.

And the usual seafood mercury poisoning fears are not a concern here. The larger and more long-lived the fish, the higher the mercury concentration levels. Sardines are short-lived and small. Mercury contamination is not a problem.

And when you are looking at your sardines, do not feel guilty about eating them. They are incredibly stupid and won’t even notice. Besides, they’re already dead.

Benefits of Kelp Seaweed Tablets - Iodine and Trace Minerals

An Energy Boost?

Kelp Ocean Forest
This page is premised on you are healthy, practicing good nutrition, physically active, and are already doing everything else to naturally feel good. If still suffering from lack of energy, then kelp supplements may be the answer.

Why so? Kelp is loaded with the mineral iodine. The iodine will go directly to your thyroid and kick-start it. A fully active thyroid makes one become fully energetic.

Kelp and certain other seaweed also have minute traces of every other mineral known to man. So if you happen to be lacking in any of those, kelp tablets will take care of that, too.

Suggested use is one kelp supplement per day; frankly, I think that is excessive. Too much of anything is not a good idea. Personally, I only take one once in awhile when I seem to have no energy.

So next time you have no energy for no discernible reason, chew a kelp tablet with food. Do take early in the morning. If taken later in the day, you might not be able to fall asleep come bedtime.

Kelp Tablets

Kelp and other seaweed supplements may or may not be available at your local or national chain drugstore; some have it, some don't. Worst case scenario, you will have to work up the energy to go to your local health food store; they will definitely have it. Be forewarned. The supplements industry is completely unregulated. Buy only reputable brands from reputable stores.

A warning note. Some people are allergic to shellfish (high iodine) the same way some people are allergic to peanuts for example. So maybe just nibble a very small piece of one tablet the first time around? Only you can decide.

Low Potassium and Muscle Spasms or Cramps in Elderly - Potassium Foods and NSAIDs


Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, are painful indeed. Do you suffer from occasional or even not so occasional muscle spasms, foot cramps, leg cramps, etc.? The cure might be as simple as eating a meal rich in the mineral potassium.

There could be a couple dozen medical reasons for muscle spasms. If you go to the doctor or a medical clinic, they will be more than happy to help you. They will arrange for you to be given all sorts of medical tests. They will call in a few specialists along the way. There will be lots and lots of appointments for you to keep. Yes, they will do all this for you.Why? Because they really care. The several thousand dollars they will bill you is entirely incidental and will never even have entered their thoughts during the entire process. [Excuse the sarcasm; the ethical standards of the American medical profession leave a lot to be desired: US Hospitals for Example.]

Did you know low potassium in your diet is the most common cause of frequent muscle spasms and cramps? Maybe, just maybe, you would like to eliminate that possibility first before embarking on the above adventure.

Everyone knows bananas have potassium. But it turns out hey are actually number 10 on the high-potassium nutrition food list. What’s number one? I was pleased to discover lima beans graced that spot. And there are more ways to cook and prepare them than you can shake a banana at. And they are all delicious.

Foods Rich in Potassium

  • Lima Beans (as mentioned)
  • Spinach
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
All of them are more potassium-enriched than bananas.

So give yourself a diet rich in potassium (don’t go overboard) for a few days and see how it goes. The muscle spasms and cramps just might go away and your problem is solved. It worked for me, foot and leg muscle spasms in my case.

And do be careful about too much potassium. Too much potassium is even worse than too little potassium. Your heart muscle, for one, will not take kindly to it. I've found when I start to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms, a single potassium-rich meal solves the problem.

Here is a page from the National Institute of Health which has more information about potassium and includes an expanded food list. It also has some very necessary warnings about too much potassium.

A Note About and Beware NSAIDs

If you happen to know your muscle spasms, cramps, or other muscle pains were caused by too much muscle strain or other physical activity; ibuprofen actually works. You can buy Advil or you can buy the store generic brand with the exact same dosage for half the price. It should be mentioned ibuprofen is part of a class of drugs known as NSAIDs. In addition to general warnings about NSAIDs, NSAIDs don't get along well with a lot of other medicines and prescription medications. If you are taking other medicines or prescription medications, be sure to read what those medications have to say about being mixed with NSAIDs. I also found out recently doctors won't do elective surgery if the patient has recently been taking ibuprofen; turns out ibuprofen thins the blood and surgeons don't like that when it comes to surgery.

Also, the FDA is now saying NSAIDs increases one's chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Moderate doses for a few days are fine, but high doses or usage for more than a few weeks is not a good idea. My doctor also informed me recently that the kidneys are not very thrilled about NSAIDs either.

Vitamin D Foods List and About Supplements

Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Growing Health Concern


Fortified milk is a good source of vitamin D.

If you are out in the sun all day everyday, then you need not be concerned. Your body will manufacture all the vitamin D it needs from the ultraviolet light you absorb. However, as you get older, one loses this ability.

Also, if yours is an indoor life; you may not be getting enough of this vitamin.

 List of Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Unfortunately, there are not that many foods that have it.
  • Fortified milk seems to be America's primary source for vitamin D.
  • Other dairy products also have a smattering of it.
  • Fish foods have vitamin D. Swordfish and and especially sockeye salmon are the big two. Tuna comes in third. And if you want to give yourself a mega-dose, a tablespoon of cod liver oil will give you over 300% of the body’s daily requirement.
  • Liver has it.
  • Fortified orange juice has a decent amount.
  • Multivitamins generally have 100% to 200% of the recommended daily dosage. Needless to say, check the label.

Sockeye salmon is a good vitamin D source.

For more than you could ever possibly want to know about vitamin D, here is the relevant federal  National Institutes of Health page about vitamin D.

As a side note,  I am an older person. My doc says I should take vitamin D3 supplements (4,000 IU's (international units), daily). Apparently, us older folks don't manufacture vitamin D from sunshine as well as we used to. Vitamin D supplements are available at any drugstore. Do buy only from reputable stores and reputable brands. Unfortunately the supplements industry is completely unregulated; there are media reports the FDA just doesn't have the resources.

Mercury Contamination Info for Fish and Other Seafood - Safe and Unsafe

Fish - Seafood - Mercury Contamination Lists

Fish and Mercury Contamination – A General Rule of Thumb

The larger the particular seafood species and the longer that species normally lives, the higher that species' mercury content and levels.

This is the result of two factors:
  • Larger fish consume more food, and therefor consume more mercury.
  • Longer-living species consume more food than shorter-lived species, thus again consuming more mercury. 

Basic Ranking List of Fish and Seafood Species And Their Mercury Content Levels

List of Fish and Seafood Having the Highest Mercury Concentrations

The following list of fish species having the worst mercury content contamination. The mercury levels are so high, the EPA flatly states that pregnant women (and women trying to become pregnant) and young children should not eat them at all.
  • King Mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark 

List of Seafood and Fish That Are Lower in Mercury Content

Considered safe to eat by pregnant women and young children in moderation, two 6-ounce portions spread out over the course of a week.
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Pacific oysters
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Pollock
  • Trout
  • Catfish
  • Anchovies
  • Atlantic and Pacific mackerel
  • Fish sticks, other fast-food fish, etc.
  • Canned, light tuna. Note. Albacore tuna has more mercury than light tuna. The EPA recommendation for albacore tuna is only one 6-ounce can a week. 

Basic List of Nutrition Information for Fish and Other Seafood

Generally rich in:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein 
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Red sockeye salmon is especially rich in vitamin D. Most people do not get enough of this vitamin.
  • Shellfish is loaded with iodine. It turns out that some people can have major allergic reactions to this particular mineral.