Allegheny Real Estate Closings Company, Inc. - Food for Thought
Allegheny Real Estate Closings Company, Inc. - In Association with Gieg Law Offices
Peas

Botanically a fruit, peas are a staple at many a family dinner. Peas are high in fiber and protein as well as Vitamins A, C, B6, and K. They are low in fat and high in antioxidants both will help you look and feel younger. Research shows peas help regulate blood sugar and reduce bad cholesterol. Use peas in soups, salads or on the side to make a delicious healthy dinner that everybody will love.


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Spices


Spices can turn any blah dish into a wow dish. Here are just a few. Cumin has salty flavor without the sodium content of salt. If you choose to use raw cumin seeds toast them first to release the oils. Not just the sidekick of salt, Black peppers robust flavor adds a kick of heat to any dish. Not just for desert, keep a stick of cinnamon around to infuse flavor into stews, soups and sauces. All spice contains many spices including nutmeg, clove, pepper, and cinnamon. Its warm aromatic flavor is a great addition to comfort food.



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Tea

There are many varieties of tea in the world. Each has their own unique flavor with beneficial health qualities. White tea is pale and subtly sweet. This tea is rich in antioxidants like polyphenois. Polyphenois raise good cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and may prevent the growth of cancer cells. Another colored tea, Green tea is derived from a complicated drying process, which preserves the color and flavor of the tea. Green tea has a high concentration of Polyphenois. The fun sounding Oolong tea is partially oxidized so antioxidants flavoniods form that in turn may help stabilize blood sugar levels. This stabilization may lower the risk of diabetes. Traditional black tee has its benefits as well. The dark hue of black tea is from a high concentration of thearubigins and theaflavins, both being antioxidants. Black tea has been shown to help lower cholesterol. Made from herbs, making it technically not a tea, herbal teas can help with a number of ailments. Ginger may be taken for nausea, while chamomile will help with an upset tummy and IBS symptoms. With all the different kinds of tea out there it is hard to choose which one to try but no matter which one you chose you are sure to reap the healthy benefits. 


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Sweet Potato

A healthy and delicious accompaniment to any food is the Sweet Potato. Sweet Potatoes are high in Beta Carotene, Vitamin E, C, and B-6. They are also a great source of fiber, potassium, and iron. Baked, steamed, boiled or fried, sweet potatoes may be cooked a variety of ways. This vegetable may also be juiced or pureed. Our first President George Washington even grew sweet potatoes on his farm in Mount Vernon. 


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 Pumpkin

Not just for Jack O' Lanterns, pumpkin is a delicious nutritious food. Pumpkin is low in calories, high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. This fruit is the best-known source of beta-carotene, a must need in eye health. Do you want to give your immune system a boost? Grab some pumpkin seeds, which are high in Vitamin C.  There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin from soup, salads, desserts and more. The possibilities are endless.  
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Apples


There are 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States. However, the crab apple is the only native to North America. Apple trees take four to five years to produce fruit. Apples contain no fat, sodium, nor cholesterol. They are also a great source of fiber.   


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Salt

90% of adults and children consume too much sodium aka salt. Too much salt raises your risk of high blood pressure, which may bring on many other ailments to your body. Restaurant and packaged foods have the highest amounts of sodium. Make sure to read labels on packaged items to keep your sodium intake to no more than 1500mg a day.


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Avocado


To make sure your avocado is just right for consumption place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Now gently squeeze while avoiding using your fingertips. If you feel a the veggie yielding to the slight pressure then the avocado is good. A ripe avocado may be stored in a fridge for ten days. To speed up the ripening process, place the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple. 



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Watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious healthy dessert or snack. This tasty fruit is high in Vitamins A, B6, and C and it is 91% water making it a fantastic diuretic since it also contains heart healthy lycopene. More great news a one-inch slice contains only 86 calories! 




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Okra

Okra's sliminess comes from the mucilage around the seeds, which is a protein-based substance that is also found in Aloe Vera. The mucilage becomes gelatinous when heated. This makes okra great for stews. Grilling, frying, and roasting reduce this slippery texture. The seasonal peak for okra is May through October. Large pods can be tough so be sure to pick an okra pod less than four inches long.

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Yogurt

There are many kinds and varieties of yogurts. Traditional yogurt is unstrained meaning it contains whey. It is a thinner yogurt and traditional contains more calcium than the other varieties. Greek yogurt has become the new hot item in yogurt consumption. With its thick texture and higher protein content, it is a new must to keep you full longer. Greek yogurt is strained which removes some of the lactose, calcium, milk sugars, and minerals. Two little unknown varieties of yogurt are Icelandic and Australian. Icelandic is the thickest yogurt with the highest protein. It also contains the lowest amount of milk sugar. However, this yogurt is the tartest of all the other yogurts on the market. Made with whole milk, Australian yogurt is creamy and unstrained. In case you are lactose intolerant there are non-dairy alternatives made with coconut, soy, and almonds. Calcium is added to the non-dairy yogurts so you are sure to get your daily intake. With all yogurts look for the Live & Active Cultures seal that lets you know you are receiving the highest amount of probiotics. With all the varieties and flavors yogurt out there, you are sure to find one you love.  


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Carrots

Late spring and early summer is the best time to find organic carrots in local farmers markets. Slender carrots are sweeter while the overlarge variety will be less sweet. The perfect carrot should be bright, firm, and free of cracks. No need to peel a fresh carrot, give it a little scrub, rinse and it is ready to eat. Within two weeks of upping your intake of fruits and vegetables you will feel a significant energy boost. 
 


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Fats


Eating the right kind of type of fat can play an important role in a healthy diet by strengthening your heart and fighting inflammation. Unsaturated fat will help lower your cholesterol and helps the risk of heart disease. There are two kinds of unsaturated fats, mono saturated and polyunsaturated. They both can be found in plant-based foods, avocados, nuts seeds, and oils. Your cell function and hormone function depends on Omega 3 which is a polyunsaturated fat. There are three types EPA and DHA, found in fish, are both are crucial to brain health. AlA, is the third Omega 3, and can be found in nuts and seeds. On the flip side, saturated fat will raise LDL, the bad cholesterol. A healthy diet may contain 10 percent saturated fat according to experts. The absolute worst fat is Trans fat. This fat, made during the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil, raises cholesterol, inflammation, and obesity. Trans fat will be banned by the FDA in 2018, until then check packaging to see if the product you are about to consume contains this nasty fat.
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Lemons

Lemons can be used to enhance a number of dishes. Squeeze some on steak to lighten the heavy savory flavor that the fatty meat has. When spritzed on tacos it will give a hint of sour making you want more. Lemon on a Caesar Salad will bring the saltiness to a completely new delightful level. All the dressing that you will need on a Spring Green Salad is some juice from the lemon. Finally, Homemade Chicken Soup with lemon will give a brighter flavor.


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Asparagus

There is more to asparagus then the green variety. Purple asparagus is sweeter and more tender then its green twin. It is more delicious eaten raw but it may also be cooked, which will turn the purple to a dark green color. White asparagus is a slightly more expensive variety however; its delicate flavor is worth the price. To store keep the asparagus in bunches. Trim the stem ends and remove the band holding the asparagus together. Now stand the bunch in a tall jar or cup adding enough water to keep the bunch moist. Always remember freshness is the key to tenderness and flavor.

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Radishes

There is plenty more to do with radishes than to simply toss them into a salad. Radishes can also be cooked which will mellow their spiciness. Fuchsia fleshed watermelon, Easter egg, and white icicle are just some of the varieties you can find. There are many shapes, colors, and sizes of radishes to help compliment any dish. Also, for the green thumbs out there, radishes are easy and fast to grow. So next time you are looking for something a little different to add to your recipe consider a radish. 



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Walnuts




Whether eaten alone or mixed in your favorite dish, walnuts have great nutritional value containing the good for you polyunsaturated fat. Walnuts are great matchmakers when it comes to marrying flavors. Their buttery flavor pairs well with bitter vegetables and tart fruits. They also balance sweet and rich dishes, fatty meats and creamy pasta, thanks to the mild tannins in their skins. Since they have a high fat content walnuts will spoil quickly at room temperature. Walnuts can be place in the fridge for a month or a freezer for up to a year to maintain freshness. 






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