potassium

Nutrient Spotlight on Potassium

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What is it important for?
•    Blood Pressure regulation
•    Muscle contraction and function
•    Cardiovascular health
•    Nerve and heart function
•    The maintenance of our cell walls
•    Regulation of fluid balance within the body
•    Supporting bone health
•    The production of some hormones (FSH, ADH and aldosterone)
•    Making proteins to be used in the body
•    Helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones

Did you know…...? 
Approximately 37% of the western population is at risk of potassium deficiency

So how can we include it in our daily diet?
•    All vegetables contain potassium in varying amounts.
•    Dark green leafy vegetables including Swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, broccoli  
•    Colourful fruit/ veg; beetroots, carrots, tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe melon, papaya
•    Beans and pulses; lima beans, pinto beans,  soy beans, kidney beans, lentils
•    Seeds and nuts;  sunflower, almonds ,pecans
•    Wholegrains; millet, brown rice

An easy potassium rich recipe idea...............

Quick lentil and veg curry

•    Melt some coconut oil in a pan and sauté a chopped onion finely chopped ginger and garlic
•    Throw in a few teaspoons of fennel seeds, turmeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin and garam masala and stir. 
•    Sauté this for a few minutes before adding a tin of coconut milk and some vegetable stock and bring almost to the boil
•    Add some chopped squash and carrots and simmer for about 15 minutes
•    Then add a large chopped tomato and 2 cups of (rinsed) red lentils and continue to cook for around 10 minutes
•    Turn off the heat and add a few big handfuls of leafy green veg such as spinach or chard and stir through.
•    Serve with brown basmati rice and enjoy! 

My weekly ‘Nutrient Spotlight’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Ravishing Radish!

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This peppery tasting vegetable packs a nutritional punch when it comes to the many nutrients it contains. It is a great source of minerals namely potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. 

Notably, the radish is rich in vitamin C, which is a nutrient that needs to be replaced daily. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and can be dramatically reduced in the body, with stress and environmental factors such as cigarette smoke. This important vitamin aids the rebuilding of body tissues and blood vessels and is vital for immune support. 

Radishes act as a natural diuretic and by increasing the production of urine, will actively promote kidney and urinary health. Radishes contain sulphur-based compounds, which help to regulate the production of bilirubin and increase the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder, and into the small intestine. The radish is consequently a natural detoxifier with superb digestive supporting properties.

Radishes make a brilliant crunchy crudité, and can be grated, pickled or sliced into a tasty cabbage and radish slaw. However radishes are particularly delicious blended into a zingy dip or combined with thinly sliced beef, watercress, spring onions and ginger to create a mouth watering Japanese style roll up. 

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Punchy Parsnips!

Parsnips belong to the same family as parsley, celery and carrots and have a distinct sweet flavour that adds depth to many dishes. Surprisingly, parsnips are also packed with a number of health promoting nutrients.

Parsnips are high in soluble fibre which provides many health benefits. High fibre in the diet is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, reduced blood cholesterol and helps prevent against heart disease. The high levels of soluble fibre also allow you to feel full up, by preventing the release of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’. The fibre in parsnips will also contribute to a healthy and efficient digestive system.

Additionally, parsnips contain folate which is essential for nervous system health and can reduce the risk of depression. It is also vital for preventing neural tube birth defects in infants. 

Parsnips contain good levels of the mineral potassium, which can help to reduce the risk of strokes and high blood pressure. It is essential for the skeletal system and our smooth muscle function.

Furthermore, nutrients including vitamin C and E provide great antioxidant support helping to ‘mop up’ unwanted circulating free radicals. Additionally, vitamin C provides benefits for the skin, bone, teeth, blood vessels and immune system. Be sure to eat parsnips while fresh to benefit from the higher vitamin C content. 

Enjoy parsnips pureed, mashed or roasted and include in soups, stews or a warm hearty salad.

 

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Savour the Flavour of Kohlrabi!

This nutrient packed vegetable will add crunch to any dish! As part of the brassica family, kohlrabi has a sweeter more mellow flavour that its veggie relatives, cabbage and turnip.

Kohlrabi’s nutrient content includes vitamins minerals and phytonutrients. The calcium magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium contribute towards kohlrabi’s bone supporting properties. 

Furthermore, the glucosoinolates (found in all brassica vegetables) are thought to have anti- cancer benefits. These nutrients will be especially potent when eating fresh, raw kohlrabi, due to increased enzyme activity. However, when adding to a cooked dish, chop the kohlrabi and allow it to sit for around 10 minutes first, to optimise these health benefits.
 
This is a versatile vegetable; to prepare, just peel off the outer tough layer of the bulb with a veggie peeler. kohlrabi is delicious grated into a cold ‘rabi-slaw ‘, sliced into a crudités or chopped into salads. It may also be blended into a vegetable soup, roasted with sweet potato, carrots, peppers and squash, stir-fried or steamed.

Alternatively, mix grated kohlrabi with beaten eggs and ground almonds and pop in a pan with some coconut oil to create tasty ‘rabi fritters’.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Beautiful Beetroot

Beetroot belongs to the chenopod family and along with other family members (including chard, spinach and quinoa) it does not fail in terms of its super nutritious benefits. Beetroot is a valuable source of folate, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin C.

In addition, beetroot has unique pigments which function as both anti oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Researchers are beginning to look into whether these nutrients can reduce tumour growth in cancer and though in early stages, there have been encouraging results.

Preliminary studies also indicate that the unique mix of nutrients can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. The B complex vitamin choline in beetroot has also been shown to reduce inflammation with regards to cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the special pigments in beetroot are thought to help stimulate detoxification activity, consequently aiding the removal of toxins from the body.

Beetroot contains a special type of dietary fibre (as with carrots) that is particularly beneficial to our digestive tract and will offer further cardio vascular support.

Don’t forget to make use of the beetroot’s green leaves which are also highly nutritious. Beet greens are especially high in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which are fantastic for eye health.

Beetroots need to be cooked delicately to retain these amazing nutrients. They can be lightly steamed and tossed in a salad with olive oil, lemon juice and goats cheese. Alternatively, this magnificent vegetable can be roasted, juiced, grated raw in to salads and blended in to soup.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Splendid Celery

Celery is often thought of as a crunchy low calorie option due to its high water content. However, this veggie is bursting with numerous vitamins and minerals including molybdenum folate, potassium, manganese, B vitamins and vitamin K. It is also rich in a range of antioxidants and this combination of nutrients can provide us with many surprising health benefits.

The special and varied phytonutrients in celery provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection. New research suggests that some of these phytonutrients actually help to reduce certain inflammatory molecules in the blood, helping to reduce unwanted inflammation in the body.

The anti-inflammatory protection can be particularly helpful in the digestive tract. The pectin based, non-starchy substances contained within celery, protect the digestive tract against inflammation and new research suggests that these substances may decrease the risk of stomach ulcers.

There are specific nutrients in celery that can provide cardiovascular benefits. These nutrients are believed to help our blood vessel walls relax. Consequently the blood vessels may be more flexible and able to enlarge, helping to maintain low blood pressure.

Tip: Make use of the celery leaves as they contain the most calcium, potassium and vitamin C. However use the leaves within 2 days in order to avoid them wilting.

Celery can be thinly sliced and steamed to make celery spaghetti and it is great as crunchy crudités dipped in nut butter, tahini or hummus.  Conversely, this fantastic veggie is just as delightful in chicken or minestrone soup, chopped in to salads, stir fried, roasted, braised or juiced!

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Fabulous Fennel

Fennel plants at the market   

Fennel contains a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and has countless health benefits. Furthermore, it has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for congestion, digestive problems and to promote breast milk flow, menstruation and urine flow. 

Clinical studies have indicated that the phytonutrient anethole has anti-cancer properties and can reduce inflammation. The research found that anethole inhibits the promotion of a harmful molecule which can alter genes and cause inflammation. 

Fennel promotes bone health due to it’s combination of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Fennel’s potassium, calcium and magnesium composition can help to lower blood pressure and the fibre content will help to reduce cholesterol levels. Heart disease is associated with elevated levels of the molecule homocysteine in the body, however, fennel’s folate content can help to prevent it’s build up.
 
Fennel consists of a crunchy white bulb, pale green stalks and feathery green leaves from which flowers grow and where the seeds are found.
 
All parts of the fennel can be used in your cooking. The stalks are a delicious addition to a soup base or stock .They can be sautéed with fennel leaves and onions. Additionally, the leaves can add a subtle liquorice aroma to many a dish. The seeds can spice up any meal, be brewed as herbal drink or just chewed to promote good digestion. The bulb can be chopped into salads, steamed, sautéed or roasted as a delicious starter or side.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Awesome Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes are the fleshy, bumpy, root vegetables not to be confused with the edible flowering globe artichoke. Known also as the sunchoke, sunroot and earthapple this tuber vegetable is rich in nutrients and has wonderful health promoting properties.


The Jerusalem artichoke is an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibre providing protection against gut problems including colon cancer. In addition, this vegetable contains a unique type of carbohydrate in the form of inulin. This substance passes undigested in the gut, all the way down to our large intestine, where it becomes a great source of food for our probiotic bacteria. Allowing these beneficial bacteria to flourish in the gut is vital for both our immune system and digestive health.


The Jerusalem artichoke contains many minerals however it is particularly rich in iron, which is essential for the delivery of oxygen to every cell within your body. Furthermore, the high potassium content in Jerusalem artichokes can help to maintain normal blood pressure and will also help our muscles to work effectively.


The artichoke is particularly versatile; it can be eaten raw in salads, mashed, roasted, sautéed, steamed or stir fried. It is also delicious in soups and stews.

Top tip; Place the cut pieces of Jerusalem artichokes in a bowl of cold water and lemon juice to prevent them from browning when exposed to the air.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Superb Swede!

Swede is bursting with nutrients and consequently boasts many health properties. Not to be confused with the turnip, swede has yellow or white flesh and is much larger than the turnip.


Swede, like other cruciferous vegetables, is rich in glucosinolates. Studies indicate that these phytonutrients have anti- cancer properties. Swedes are also packed with antioxidants including vitamin C, carotenoids, zinc and manganese. 


The fibre content in swedes helps promote a healthy digestive tract, whilst the magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus content help to support bone health.


Swedes can be eaten raw, grated like a cabbage. Alternatively roast your swede with onions, carrots and sweet potato, add it to soups and stews or mash it into a healthy vegetable ensemble.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk