Greens Hx….for our heart? Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND Greens Hx is probably one of the most popular products at Invite! Everyone knows how amazing Greens Hx is for our liver, immune system, detox and even energy! What most people may not know is that …
Coronary Artery Disease Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND Coronary artery disease is considered to be the most common type of heart disease in the United States. Other names for coronary artery disease include coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease. (1) While most people have …
PROTEIN (POWDER): THE IMPORTANT NUTRIENT WE ALL KNOW
By: Allie Might, FMC, INHC, ATT
Protein is that nutrient that everyone knows and everyone loves. But how well do we know all the proteins available? Let’s navigate through one of our favorite foods and discuss all the options we can try, as well as how it relates to weight loss.
What is protein? Simply put, it is a large molecule that is made up of amino acids. It is necessary for the structure, functions and regulating the different organs and tissues throughout the body. According to The Cleveland Clinic, protein is also essential for such things like muscle recovery, regulating hormones, oxygenating red blood cells and aiding in healthy heart function.
When we think of protein, we commonly think of carnivore sources like beef, poultry, pork and fish/seafood. However, there are so many more ways to incorporate protein into our diet. There’s also vegetarian sources like eggs (omelets, yum!) and dairy such as milk, yogurt and cheeses. I like to recommend plain Greek yogurt as it’s usually higher in protein as well as cuts the sugar, and good quality cheeses. Look for cheeses such as fresh Mozzarella, Brie, Gouda, Goat, Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Manchego just to name a few (and my favorites that I recommend). These can go found at the cheese counter, and avoid the over processed cheeses in the deli section that are pre-sliced/pre-packaged or individually wrapped. Cottage cheese is also a nice sources of protein and is also a comfort food for many people.
POWDER PROTEIN LUNCH
1 can Albacore Tuna in water, drained
½ cup plain Cottage Cheese
3 kale leaves, destemmed
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 scoop Whey Protein Isolate Powder
Lemon to taste
Black pepper to taste
Mix cottage cheese and Whey Protein Isolate Powder together. Place destemmed kale leaves on a plate and top with drained Albacore Tuna and cottage cheese, side by side. Add fresh lemon to the tuna and fresh black pepper to cottage cheese, to taste. Add steamed broccoli as a side.
Next, there are many sources that are more vegan friendly that many people aren’t aware of but are easily incorporated. These include such things as tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, nuts, seeds and nut butters. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus add protein to the plate, along with oats and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
VEGAN PROTEIN POWER PLATE
2 cups shredded brussel sprouts
1 can low sodium beans (I like cannelloni or black-eyed peas), drained
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 1/3 cup water
2 scoops Plant Protein powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Black pepper to taste
Sea Salt to taste
Combine water, Plant Protein powder and lemon juice in a pot and mix. Bring to a boil, then add quinoa and stir. Cover and educe to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff and let stand for 5 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to a pan and heat on medium-high. Add in shredded brussel sprouts, minced garlic, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt and sauté until slightly soft. Add drained beans and mix together, cooking until hot. Plate 1 cup cooked quinoa and top with half the cooked sprouts and beans. Eat and Enjoy! This makes enough for two meals.
Last but not least are protein powders, like Whey Protein Isolate or Plant Protein. These come in so many source varieties and flavors; personally I like unflavored or vanilla as they are the most versatile. They can be sourced from such things as whey (dairy), soy, hemp, rice, peas, chia and flaxseed. While these are all good sources, they choice is typically a personal preference. A protein powder can easily add protein to ones diet through creative recipes as seen above, or most commonly added to a shake or smoothie. Many people like to start their day with a healthy shake/smoothie that is packed with a protein powder, fruits/veggies and a healthy fat (i.e.: nut butter, avocado).
Now that you see all the different healthy protein sources to incorporate into a healthy diet, I challenge you to try new a new protein source each week. Also, try making delicious shakes/smoothies in the morning as a quick easy breakfast. I have always found that a healthy breakfast helps to start my day off on the right path, whether I’m looking to shed a few pounds or maintain my weight. But, no matter what, protein is essential to our health, body and weight management.
Purples Hx and the Heart!
Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND
I wanted to take the time to talk about one of the most under rated products at Invite health. What product is this you ask? Why its Purples Hx! Purples Hx is an amazing combination of antioxidants and amino acids that are very good for our heart. Inside of Purples Hx there is the fruit blend, vegetable blend, Acai powder, Goji berry, Mangosteen and even a heart health blend! Let’s go through these categories one at a time.
Let’s start with the fruit blend. Purples Hx is full of fruits that contain anthocyanin. These are antioxidants that we typically see in purple fruits and vegetables. (1) Anthocyanins have been found to have a number of benefits. In this blog I’m going to focus on the cardiovascular benefits. Studies have found them to help lower the risk of blood clots. Other studies have found that they can help to open up the blood vessels thus helping with concerns such as blood pressure and circulation. Additionally studies have found that they can help improve cholesterol. Lastly overall in general studies have found that anthocyanins help with our heart health. (2) Bilberry one of the fruits in Purples Hx has been studied and found to help heart health. (3) Blueberry, another fruit in Purples Hx has also been found to help heart health. (4) Overall there are 10 different fruits that are in Purples Hx that are very good for our heart. While I won’t go into details regarding all of the individual fruits I will say that they are powerhouses when it comes to containing anthocyanins.
Let’s move on to the vegetable blend. If you look at the label you will see one of my favorites, beet root powder! No formula for our heart health or for circulation in general could ever be complete without beets. Beets have been found to be amazing in their ability to support heart health. (5)For more information on this amazing supplement please check out my product spotlight on Beets Hx. Interestingly not all thing that are purple contain anthocyanins. While beets are purple this is due to Betalain not anthocyanins. (6) Now I’m sure you noticed the carrots next to the beets. I bet your first thought was but carrots are orange! Well yes they are! However carrots also come in yellow, red, white and purple! (7) Now as I stated previously about the purple fruits the anthocyanins that are in purple vegetables are very good for our heart. (2) I would also like to add on to that that carrots of all colors have been found to be good for our heart health. (7)
The next item in Purples Hx is the Acai powder. Everyone has most likely heard about acai. But why is it so popular these days? Studies have found acai to be helpful for cholesterol, high blood pressure and to even help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Acai also has minerals such as magnesium which is important for heart health. (8)
Goji berry is another berry in the Purples Hx. Now I know goji berries are great for you. But I’m going to tell you guys a secret. I don’t actually think they taste all that great. I mean honestly at first glance they look like raisins which as we all know are amazing. But do they taste like yummy raisins?? Nope! And that is why I am so happy to see them included in the Purples Hx. You get all the benefits without having to eat them. If you like goji berries feel free to enjoy them. Just know you can get all the benefits without having to eat them. Studies have fond goji berries to be good for our heart health. For example they have been found to help with lowering cholesterol and in lowering our risk of cardiovascular disease in the elderly. (9)
Mangosteen has been found in studies to help lower C-reactive protein levels by 47%! (10) High C- reactive protein is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis which itself is a risk factor for many different heart disorders. (11)
Lastly, we have the heart blend which consists of L Carnitine, Betaine and Taurine. Studies have found that the use of L carnitine after a heart attack can reduce the risk of heart failure and arrhythmias. Additionally, L Carnitine appears to lower the risk of cardiac death. (12) Betaine has been found to help lower homocysteine, which is a very strong predictor of heart disease. (13) Taurine is an amazing nutrient for our heart. I could write a whole blog just on taurine alone! However, as this blog is already rather lengthy, I will simply say that taurine has been found to help with lowering our blood pressure. (14).
Overall Purples Hx is an amazing supplement for our heart health! Our next topic will be Angina or what is colloquially known as “chest pain”
- Purple foods: List of foods, health benefits, and more (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits – PMC (nih.gov)
- Effects of Bilberry Supplementation on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease Risk – PMC (nih.gov)
- Effects of Blueberry Consumption on Cardiovascular Health in Healthy Adults: A Cross-Over Randomised Controlled Trial – PMC (nih.gov)
- Beetroot, A Remarkable Vegetable: Its Nitrate and Phytochemical Contents Can be Adjusted in Novel Formulations to Benefit Health and Support Cardiovascular Disease Therapies – PMC (nih.gov)
- Anthocyanin Foods, Benefits and Supplements – Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Reasons Why Carrots Are Healthy For You (clevelandclinic.org)
- Açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) in Health and Disease: A Critical Review – PMC (nih.gov)
- Health Benefits and Applications of Goji Berries in Functional Food Products Development: A Review – PMC (nih.gov)
- Daily consumption of a mangosteen-based drink improves in vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory biomarkers in healthy adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial – PMC (nih.gov)
- Assessing Cardiovascular Risk with C-Reactive Protein | Johns Hopkins Medicine
- randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of L-carnitine in suspected acute myocardial infarction | Postgraduate Medical Journal | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- Dietary Choline and Betaine Intakes and Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Review of Epidemiological Evidence – PMC (nih.gov)
- Taurine Supplementation Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Vascular Function in Prehypertension: Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study – PubMed (nih.gov)