Should You Take Vitamins And Supplements?

should you take supplementsGo to any health food store, supermarket or pharmacy and you’ll find a huge selection of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements.  Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, can be quite expensive, and may or may not offer any health benefits at all.  Are dietary supplements safe?  What are the best supplements?  What popular nutritional supplements such as fish oil are worth considering? Should you take vitamins and supplements at all?  There is no easy answer to the question.  That answer depends on many factors including one’s overall health, age, genetics and the environment.

Factors To Consider With Vitamins And Supplements

I would rather get all the nutrition my body needs through the food I eat than to take supplements.  However, I still take certain vitamins and minerals daily.  The main thing anyone can do to improve health is to stop eating the SAD (standard American diet).  The “western” diet in general is high in bad seed and nut oils, sugars and excess salt.  Most of these high levels of health destroying oils and sugars gets into our bodies by eating processed foods.  These “foods” may be convenient in the moment, but regular consumption of these foods can contribute to obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.  Ideally, one would get all vitamins and minerals through vegetables-I strive to eat a diet where the majority of the food I consume are fruits and vegetables.  Because I eat a  lot of vegetables,  I don’t take a multivitamin.  Someone else my need to take one because their dietary intake is low in vitamins and minerals.  Overall health, based one’s eating habits is the first factor to consider if you want to feel the best you can.  Do you eat like crap?  If you do, you might want to supplement with a multivitamin.  I have high blood pressure that runs in my family.  Because of this, I take additional potassium and CoQ10 because it may help to lower my blood pressure.  One might want to investigate what supplements can help if you are predisposed to a certain disease.  Certain nutrients, can be lacking in most of our diets because the soil our food is grown in is mineral deficient after years of depletion.  As we age, our bodies tend to make less of certain chemicals needed for health.   Here are a few of the supplements I take.  Anyone interested in optimum health, no matter how healthy they eat, might want to consider these as well.

Basic Dietary Supplements For Everyone

Vitamin C

As I stated in my post on vitamin C,  vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, is needed for tissue repair and growth, and assists in wound healing and bone and teeth maintenance.  Large doses of vitamin C (up to 2 grams a day)  can reduce mortality factors such as heart disease and stroke.  It is  water soluble.  If you have too much in your system, your body excretes it.  Because of it’s safety and inexpensiveness, I consider it a good bet towards overall health insurance.

Magnesium

As stated on the National Institutes Of Health fact page on magnesium: “Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.”  Most people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet because of soil mineral depletion.  Even if you eat foods that contain magnesium, the magnesium levels in those foods are lower than they were in the past.  Because of this fact, my genetic predisposition towards high blood pressure, and it’s major role  so many body processes, I choose to take it daily.

Vitamin D

Most of us are aware of Vitamin D and its relationship with bone health by helping the body absorb calcium.  It has also been linked to treatment and prevention of cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease and diabetes. Dairy and seafood are the most obvious sources of dietary vitamin D.  Most if not all dairy in the supermarket has been pasteurized for storage.  Unfortunately, that process destroys vitamins and minerals in the milk and they are added back in after the fact.  Some people feel that these added nutrients are poorly absorbed.  A larger issue is the quality of these dairy products.  Factory farmed dairy has far lower levels of these nutrients including vitamin D, than grass-fed pastured animals.  So, much like the case is with magnesium, dietary intake is less than optimum.  I do not supplement with vitamin D as long as I drink raw whole milk from pastured cows and eat butter made from the milk of grass fed cows.

Omega 3/Fish Oil

I’m not sure of where I stand on Omega-3 supplementation honestly.  It is anti-inflammatory, can help with pain management and depression.  However after reading Chris Kresser’s article on fish oil, I am very concerned that most Omega-3 oils on the market may be rancid.  Eating rancid oil is about as healthy as smoking cigarettes to me and currently I am trying to eat more seafood-up to a pound a week of wild salmon, tuna and shellfish to get my omega-3’s.  Limiting omega-6 fats in the diet will help as well since most people are technically not omega-3 deficient, but the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in most diets is skewed.  Most people consume too much omega-6 through processed foods.  The human brain is approximately 8% omega-3 fats  a fact that should motivate everyone to get enough omega-3 fats in their diet.  If I was not eating seafood, I would take moderate amounts of omega 3 supplements just to cover my bases.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is not widely known to many but very necessary to overall health.  It helps the body utilize calcium by directing it towards the bones instead of the arterial walls.  It may play an important role in preventing certain cancers such as prostate cancer.  Large dose therapy is used to help remineralize teeth.  If you are eating grass fed butter, lacto-fermented foods and pastured eggs, you are probably getting enough in your diet.  If you aren’t eating those things you might want to research the benefits of vitamin K2.

Additional Supplements

N-acetyl Cysteine

N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is derived from the amino acid cysteine.  It is the precursor to glutathione-the body’s master antioxidant.  Glutathione supports the liver and detoxification and protects DNA.  NAC can support the body in cases of influenzaAcetaminophen poisoning, and COPD.  As a former smoker, I take it daily as insurance and up my intake when I am coming down with a cold or flu.

Coenzyme Q10

Another antioxidant produced by the body, CoQ10 is responsible for providing energy to cells in the body and production declines with age.  If you know anyone taking a statin to lower cholesterol they need to supplement with CoQ10 as statins deplete the body’s levels.

Betaine HCL

As the body ages, stomach acid production declines.  Betaine is used to help existing stomach acid digest food properly to extract all those vitamins and minerals from those organic veggies you’ve been eating.  Taking it before a meal not cause you problems with excess night time stomach acid.

NAD

This is a precursor to nicotinamide mononucleotide which was discovered in 2013 to help reverse mitochondria degradation.  Supplementation may help the aging of all cells in the body…..pretty huge if it’s true…check it out here.  My next supplement experiment.

Optimum health is built on the building blocks of optimum nutrition.  Consider trying some of these supplements if there are holes in your diet that might benefit from supplementation.

5 Mind Blowing Books That Will Change Your Life

books that will change your life
books that will change your life

So many of us are looking for the next new thing to improve and make our lives easier.  We all want to know how to lose weight fast, how to make money easily, how to detox, how to be healthy without too much effort.  As each of us gets older we generally come to the same conclusion: all this stuff takes work, and you only get when you give.  To get anything out of life, you need to work at it.  How you work is another story.  The more information one has, the better choices one can make.  With the right choices we can maximize our hard work to achieve greater health and well being.  A good book at the right time can change how you look at the world.  Lots of us have favorite fictional books that have improved our lives.  The books will talk about today shatter long held beliefs on health, diet and finance.  They have made my life more informed and a little…easier.

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet 

Nina Teicholz

An incredibly eye opening book on the vilification of fat in the 20th century and how small poorly designed studies by Ancel Keys helped cement dietary policy.  Nina Teicholz also documents the rise of low cost factory vegetable fats in the western diet and provides an excellent primer on cholesterol, saturated vs unsaturated fats and trans fats and the current research and findings to support the need for fats in the human diet.  The Big Fat Surprise will convince you that certain fat is in essence healthy food.

Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week

John R. Little and Doug McGuff

Body By Science is all about high intensity, low frequency weight resistance training as opposed to long session aerobic/cardio to build and maintain health.  The book is split into the research and data that backs up the “body by science” program as well as the program itself.  With as little as five exercises (“the big five”) and twelve minutes a day, one can build muscle while avoiding the stress and inflammation caused by repetitive exercise.

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles

Terry Wahls M.D. and Eve Adamson 

Part memoir, part cookbook, part explanation of a Paleo diet approach, The Wahls Protocol details the amazing story of Terry Wahls who through diet alone went from being in a wheelchair with MS to running a marathon.  Dr Terry Wahls outlines her concept of eating a low carb diet for optimum nutrition to build and restore optimum health.  I heard an interview with Dr Wahls and after hearing her speak, I was convinced to try to improve and optimize my own health as much as possible.  In the interview, she stated that all disease-autism, depression, asthma whatever-looks the same at the cellular level.  All life is based on chemical reactions and all disease appears as an imbalance in that chemical reaction.  Optimize that chemical reaction by giving the cells what they need to function through proper nutrition and most 20th century illness such as diabetes and autoimmunity should lessen.  Her story is truly inspirational.  Here’s a video of her speaking, it’s very much worth your time:

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins

Love him or hate him but Tony Robbins has a motivating style that gets the reader excited.  In Money Master The Game, he talks about the importance of investing for the future and several ways to invest for your tomorrows.  I’m not a real big fan of Robbins but I must say this book motivated me to start doing something about investing for the future.  My big takeaways were how to look for hidden fees in business transactions and that you are never too old to start anything.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Michael Lewis
The Big Short is the book that is the basis for the Adam McKay written and directed movie about the financial meltdown of 2008.  The story borders on the absurd to the point where one could assume the plot is satire.  It’s not.  This happened and can happen again.  The Big Short is both entertaining and educational about the banking system, and investment in general.

 

All of these books would be a great addition to one’s library and I believe hold the potential to drastically change one’s life.  If you are interested in ordering any of these titles, you can click on the book images in this post and it will direct you to Amazon.com

Bacon Flavored Seaweed Snacks

I’d like to talk about seaweed and give you a bacon flavored seaweed snacks recipe that I love.  I’m very fond of those roasted seaweed snacks you find all over nowadays.  Annie Chun’s and Trader Joe’s are a few of the companies that come to mind who make these addictive treats. Nori, the seaweed that is wrapped around your sushi roll, is basically flavored and lightly oiled and then roasted.  Salty and crunchy, these are a great satisfying snack that has no carbohydrates, and has a pretty good nutrient profile.  Seaweed nutrition is impressive.  All types of seaweed whether it’s kelp or nori or kombu are high in fiber, low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin b12 and iodine.  Unfortunately, the added ingredients and the types of oils used when manufacturing them make most seaweed snacks less than ideal.  Google image searching “seaweed snack ingredients” will reveal some of these undesirable ingredients: maltodextrin and brown sugar are a few things I’d like to avoid.  I am trying to avoid added sugar wherever I can.  The choice of oils concerns me as well: sunflower, safflower and olive oils are omega 6 heavy and are not real stable oils.  The western diet already has too much inflammation causing omega 6 oils-one reason I try to limit added vegetable oils wherever I can. Vegetable oils tend to go rancid when heated as well.   “These roasted seaweed snacks have so much going for them besides these “junky” additives” I thought to myself.  “If only I could get them made with lard”.  “Yeah right” I told myself.  “Just go all the way and make them with bacon somehow.”

 

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What an interesting idea!  Well, I had some bacon fat in the fridge, and found a few recipes online and tried it out…

Most recipes are pretty straight forward-oil sheets of nori, season and either pan roast or roast in a low oven.  I followed the procedure detailed at maangchi.com.  For seasoning, I used a small amount of sesame oil.  I found this acceptable considering the majority of oil used in the recipe would be bacon fat. Man, I love the taste of sesame oil.

For 20 nori sheets I used a mixture of 2 tbs of bacon fat and just shy of a teaspoon of sesame oil mixed together.  Working on top of paper towels, I used a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of oil on the shiny side of the nori which was facing up:

 

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I sprinkled a small amount of sea salt and placed another sheet, smooth side up on top of the first sheet.  I continued this process until all the sheets were used up.

seaweedsnacks

At this point, I rolled all the sheets of seaweed into a roll and wrapped it in paper towel.  I let this set and rest to allow the nori to soak up the oil mixture as I heated up a cast iron skillet over medium heat.   I placed a sheet rough side down into the hot skillet and pressed it down with a spatula.

20160102_142144  The nori will shrink and curl as it gets hot, hence the spatula to flatten it out.  After about 20-25 seconds, I placed another sheet, rough side up on top of the sheet in the pan.  I then flipped the two sheets so the new piece was rough side down on the pan and roasted it for another 20 or so seconds while I repeated this process with the remaining sheets-each time making sure the rough side would be the side that touches the pan.

At this point your’re done.  Let them cool and cut into squares.  I went a little heavy on the oil when I prepped the sheets.  Because of this, they were a little greasy and I ended up blotting the sheets on paper towels-much like as you would bacon.  Place in an airtight container and store in the freezer for maximum crispness.

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These taste pretty amazing.  They have a strong blast of seaweed and bacon with a nice peppery finish.  You know they must be pretty good because I’m describing the taste as if I were talking about a fine wine.  And I don’t have to think about excess sugars or rancid oils as I pig out on them!

Other recipes call for roasting in the oven.  In the future I will try this method as well.  I believe the real trick however you make these is to keep the oil on the light side.  Next time I’ll be wiping the oil mix on with a paper towel and see how that goes.   The tip to store in the freezer from maangchi.com is spot on-these were still crispy a week later.

DIY roasted seaweed was pretty easy overall with pretty awesome results.  I was looking for an easy to make, great tasting snack that is pretty much guilt free.  I’ll be experimenting with the choice of oil and seasonings as well.  Coconut oil, clarified butter, onion powder, garlic powder, powdered mushrooms….who knows what else?  If you want to make a suggestion of your own, why not contact us on our Facebook page and let us know!

Jicama-The Prebiotic Superfood

Most people are aware of “superfoods”-vegetables or fruits that are so healthy consuming them might actually combat disease.  Spinach, blueberries and the current golden child, kale are some examples that we try to force into our diet.  I’ve recently included a new vegetable in my diet that can be considered a superfood.  Jicama.  You might have heard of it, even seen it in the grocery store but have you tried it?  It’s crisp and has the texture and crunch of a raw potato but a mild flavor reminiscent of apples.  Where most superfoods are touted as having extreme amounts of a certain vitamin or phytonutrient as in the case of anthocyanins, jicama has multiple benefits from vitamins to antioxidants and most importantly, it’s a kind of prebiotic.

What Is Jicama?

jicama facts

Jicama, known as Mexican yam bean, Mexican turnip, or just yam bean is the large tuberous root of the legume  Pachyrhizus erosus.  Only the roots are eaten as every other part of the plant includes rotenone, a toxin used in pesticides and insecticides.  After the dark fibrous outer skin is peeled away, the resulting crisp flesh is eaten raw or cooked.

Jicama is a low calorie food with only 38 calories in a 100 gram serving.  That 100 gram serving is also low on the glycemic index making it an ideal food choice for diabetics.  In terms of jicama nutrition, one serving of jicama also includes a whopping 33% of the suggested daily intake of vitamin c, and decent amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, and iron.

One of the most impressive benefits of jicama is its fiber content.  That 100 gram serving contains 19% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.  Benefits of fiber in the diet are pretty well known from helping to keep you “regular” to assisting in weight loss from the feeling of fullness after digestion.  Fiber can also help to control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar.  Fiber may also aid in lowering cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and inflammation.(1)  Most amazing is the presence of oligofructose inulin-a type of insoluble fiber that is known as a prebiotic.

What Is A Prebiotic?

Prebiotic is a general term to refer to chemicals that induce the growth or activity of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and fungi) that contribute to the well-being of their host”.(2)  In the case of insoluble fiber, it is fiber that does not get digested in the small intestine and makes its way to the large intestine where it is broken down by the bacteria that reside there.  There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the bacteria in our body influence digestion, how fast we gain weight, and our moods.  There are about 10 trillion bacterial cells in the body outnumbering human cells 10 to 1.  Poor diet and the overuse of antibiotics (get rid of that antibacterial soap!) can contribute to this web of bacteria being out of balance, i.e. the ratio of the different species of bacteria is out of proportion.  In fact, research is showing that this “microbiome” being out of balance can cause and contribute to allergies, autoimmune diseases, obesity and diabetes.(3)  So what is inulin and how does it affect the microbiome?  Specifically, inulin feeds the Bifidobacteria species in your gut.  When that inulin is broken down by the bacteria they produce short chain fatty acids.  Acetic acid and propionic acid can be used as fuel for energy by the liver.  Butyric acid has major anti-inflammatory effects, is thought to fight cancer and helps maintain the gut/blood barrier to avoid leaky gut syndrome.(4)(5)  Sounds like inulin fiber is a good addition to the diet just to feed these guys.  Eating prebiotics also assist in the absorption of vitamins and minerals and aid immune function. By helping to keep healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut, inulin supports overall health.  Prebiotic foods include garlic and onions, chicory root, and our new favorite superfood jicama.

Jicama Recipes

Jicama is eaten raw or cooked.  It can be substituted for water chestnuts in cooked dishes since it retains its crunch after cooking.  I like eating it raw and chopped, some people like to add a squeeze of lemon or lime and a dash of chili powder.  You can find a lot of recipes for jicama coleslaw on the internet, it seems like one of the more popular uses for the vegetable.  It goes real well in salads with it’s refreshing texture and crunch.  Choose firm jicama, never waxed.  It should keep in the fridge for at least a month.

While not exactly a recipe, here’s my favorite jicama salad:

Jicama Mango Avocado Salad

  • Greens (I like arugula and cilantro)
  • One Avocado
  • One Mango
  • One Medium Jicama
  • Onion
  • Fixings for a vinaigrette….vinegar, oil, herbs, citrus juice etc…

I like a lot of contrasting flavors,  and this salad starts out with a bed of peppery arugula and cilantro.  I like to take some spanish onion, slice it thin on a mandoline and let it soak in some balsamic vinegar for at least ten minutes.  This will tame the heat of the onion while adding more flavor.  Cut the jicama in half and with a sharp small knife remove the dark brown fibrous skin as if you were peeling string cheese apart.  Julienne the jicama into matchsticks.  Peel and dice the avocado and mango.  Plate your salad with these ingredients, maybe add some toasted almond slivers on top.  For a dressing, I like to do some variant of a lime vinaigrette.  Start with 2 parts oil (olive, avocado) to 1 part lime juice.  Add a little salt, pepper and maybe some minced garlic.  Adjust to taste.  Sometimes I’ll add some chopped cilantro or a little honey.  Perhaps the zest of that lime I just juiced.  Whatever strikes your fancy. Mix and enjoy!

jicamasalad

While researching this post, I stumbled upon the phrase “jicama diabetes”.  No, there is no jicama diabetes.  Jicama is good for you if you have diabetes.  It’s also fun to say 5 times fast.  Go on…say it…jicama diabetes…

 

 

Egg Nutrition And The Health Benefits Of Eggs

food-316412_1280Eggs are an extremely dense source of nutrition you should consider.  They are quick,convenient, and can be prepared many ways.  With the recent suggestion of the  Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,  the myth that eggs are bad for you can start to fade into the past.

Egg Nutrition And The Health Benefits Of Eggs

Let’s start out with eggs nutrition and then we’ll get to the calories in an egg.  The protein in eggs is outstanding at 6.3 grams for one large egg.  This egg protein is also quickly absorbed by the body (1.5 to 3 hours) and contains over 17 amino acids.  Eggs score pretty high in vitamins D, A, Riboflavin and B12 .  They are high in minerals as well with one egg providing 28% of the DRI of selenium and 18% of your daily iodine needs.  There are approximately 78 calories in one egg.

Eggs are very high in choline.  One large egg contains up to 35% of the Daily Recommended Intake suggestions.  Choline is considered an essential nutrient.  It was once thought the body manufactured all the choline it needed, but current research is proving we need additional choline supplementation to our standard western diet.  Choline is a methyl donor, meaning it helps support methylation-one of the most basic processes of life. Building DNA, nerve signaling, and liver detoxification are just some of the body’s activities that use methylation.  Choline helps keep cell membranes fluid.  Choline is also the precursor of acetylcholine which is responsible for basically powering your nervous system.  It keeps your heart beating, and is necessary for telling the muscles in my fingers to contract so I can type this post.  A study posted in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition basically stated that  higher choline intake is “related to better cognitive performance”.  Choline intake has the ability boost your memory and learning as you age.

Eggs are fairly high in cholesterol, a fact that led many to believe that limiting your egg intake would help lower cholesterol levels in the body.  Eggs were fairly stigmatized until recently when in early 2015 the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a government panel that meets every five years, dropped the recommendation that Americans limit intake of dietary cholesterol such as eggs or shrimp.  They changed the recommendation based on research that states that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol for most.  In an article on the New York Time’s blog: 

““For many years, the cholesterol recommendation has been carried forward, but the data just doesn’t support it,” said Alice H. Lichtenstein, the vice chairwoman of the advisory panel and a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University.

Dr. Krauss said that some people experience a rise in blood cholesterol after eating yolks and other cholesterol-rich foods. But these “hyper-responders” are such a minority — roughly a few percent of the population — that they do not justify broad restrictions on cholesterol intake.”

Add to this the fact that the human brain is 60% fat with around 25% being cholesterol.  Cholesterol is also used to insulate nerves much like the insulation on copper wires prevents wires from shorting out.

In addition to the committee’s recommendations are other studies that are reporting that there is insufficient evidence for dietary fat guidelines put in place in the UK and the United States.  Eggs contain omega-3 fatty acids, inflammation busting fat that is low in the western diet.

Fresh Eggs vs Store Bought

Check in most grocery stores and you’ll find some high omega-3 eggs for sale.  Basically the hens that lay these eggs are fed feed high in flaxseed which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.  Factory farming of egg laying chickens is not necessarily the ideal environment to produce a quality egg.  In fact, because of the poor conditions of egg “factories”, most workers have to wear masks to avoid breathing dust contaminated with bacteria and feces.  Store bought eggs tend to have more bacteria on the eggshell than a fresh one.  Its not a stretch of the imagination to question the freshness of flaxseed (which is apt to go rancid because of its high oil content).  This isn’t going to produce the highest quality egg.  It’s unnecessary as well.  All eggs have omega-3 fatty acids.  In fact, [Tweet “…eggs from home raised or pastured chickens contain two to ten times more omega-3 than store bought”]  They also contain 2/3 more vitamin A, twice as much vitamin E and three to six times the vitamin D of store bought.  Pastured eggs are the way to go if you are looking for optimal nutrition.  Local farms, farmer’s markets and even health food stores are great places to purchase pastured eggs.  You might even consider raising your own.  Raising chickens for eggs in an urban setting has been rising steadily for years.  They are fairly easy to keep and the thrill of a morning fresh egg is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Cooking Eggs

There are so many ways to cook eggs from simple frying and scrambling to fancy frittatas.  One of my first ways to perfect eggs was how to hard boil eggs:

Place eggs in a pan with cold water an inch above the eggs.  Heat on high until the water boils.  Remove from heat, cover and let sit ten minutes.  Transfer the eggs to cold water or pour cold water in the pan to stop the cooking process.

Another favorite way to prepare eggs is baked eggs.  Here’s my take on the popular baked egg in an avocado.  You get all the health benefits of eggs plus fiber and additional omega-3s from the avocado.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Halve an avocado, remove the pit.  Remove a small amount of flesh to accommodate an egg.  I like to mush the bottom of the avocado slightly so it has a flat spot to rest on in the pan.

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Crack an egg into a small bowl and pour into the hole in your avocado.  I like to place some onion and pepper I sliced thin with a mandoline in the hole before the egg.

I usually top with a little cheese since everything goes great with cheese.

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Place in an oven safe pan, dish, whatever and bake for 10 to 15 minutes-basically when the white sets to your liking, its ready.

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Eggs are pretty incredible when you consider the health benefits they pack into their high nutrients and the many delicious ways to prepare them.  From helping to reduce inflammation to boosting your memory, eggs are food for health.

Oysters-Nutrition for health

oyster

If you like oysters, you should consider eating them as often as possible.  The oyster is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  In fact, you could call it nature’s multivitamin.

Oyster Nutrition Facts

One 6 ounce serving of oysters contains 338 calories.  They are a nutritional powerhouse in terms of what you get for those calories.  Each serving contains 14 grams of protein or a little over a quarter of an individual’s daily RDA based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  One serving also contains 10% of  one’s recommended daily allowance for vitamin C and vitamin B-6.  They also contain a whopping 443% of one’s RDA of vitamin B-12.  B-12 helps regulate the nervous system as well as the digestive system.  Also, one serving of oysters contain 10% of the RDA of vitamin A.  Vitamin A plays a role in immune health as well as bone growth and reproductive health.  Unless you’re eating liver or other organ meats on a regular basis, your body has to make vitamin A.  Vitamin A is converted in the body from beta carotene that one gets from vegetables like carrots.  Oysters  are a great source of vitamin A , bypassing the extra energy the body needs to manufacture it.

Oysters Are Good Sources Of Minerals As Well 

Oysters are also high in the minerals iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc.  This is extremely important since most people don’t get enough minerals through their diet.  Soil depletion has lowered the vitamin and mineral content of our fruits and vegetables dramatically.  The Scientific American article I linked to ends with the following: “.. another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.”

Most people are deficient in selenium and magnesium.  Selenium is responsible for proper function of the thyroid and may protect against cancer and free radical damage.  Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body.  It helps to support nerve, muscle and  immune function.  It helps regulate heartbeat, bone strength and regulate blood glucose levels (think diabetes).

That  6 ounce serving of oysters contains 65% of your RDA of iron, 24% of your RDA for magnesium, 374% of selenium and 440% of your RDA for zinc!  Because of these high levels of selenium and zinc, it is important to not go overboard on your oyster consumption.  The possibility of zinc overdose is increased if one is eating  large amounts daily.  Also, on the subject of risk, most individuals who are allergic to shellfish are probably allergic to oysters as well.  Please keep that in mind.

How To Eat Oysters

The best way to eat oysters for their nutritional value, is raw.  Oysters may contain the Vibiro bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal issues, especially in individuals with a weak immune system. Depuration is a way of killing off this bacteria while keeping the oyster alive.  Always eat the freshest live oysters and check if they have been through the depuration process.  Oysters are amazing every way you can think of preparing them.  Fried, grilled, baked or raw, the oyster is a nutritious, delicious treat.