Tag Archives: cinnamon

Cinnamon and metabolism

It was recently found that cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde, the essential oil that gives cinnamon its color and flavor, may have a link to boosting metabolism, thus weight loss.

In a study conducted by Metabolism, from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, it was found by Jun Wu, a researcher, that cinnamaldehyde improves metabolic health by acting on fat cells and inducing them to burn energy through thermogenesis. Fat cells store energy as lipids, and when it is cold or you need extra energy, this would cause the stored energy to turn to heat.

Further study needs to be done to see what will be the next steps and how much cinnamon is safe and effective for weight loss.

Food For Immunity

Immunity is important for everyone. The better we take care of ourselves, the better quality of life we will have. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us about foods that will make us healthy.

Jody Victor®: Hey, Steve, you are 100% right. Health is something we must work on daily. Here’s some foods that boost your immunity.

1. ALMONDS are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that regulate your blood pressure.

2. AVOCADOS contain Carotenoids such as beta-Carotene, alpha-Carotene, and Lutein. Carotenoids have anti-inflammatory properties.

3. CHILLIES stimulate metabolism; help release endorphins; act as a natural blood thinner; and are rich in beta-Carotene, which turns into Vitamin A in your blood and fights infections.

4. CINNAMON is rich in anti-oxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth. It also helps stabilize blood sugar and fights bad cholesterol.

5. COCOA helps decrease blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. Cocoa has a high concentration of flavanols, which are plant-based anti-oxidants that protect your skin.

6. COFFEE, in moderation, can lower your risk of developing dementia, prostrate cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.

7. FIGS are loaded with potassium, manganese, and anti-oxidants. Figs also support proper pH levels in your body, which makes it more difficult for pathogens to invade. Figs are high in fiber, which reduces the risk of diabetes.

8. GARLIC is known for fighting colds. Garlic increases the potency of two important cells of your immune system: T-lymphocytes and macrophages.

9. GINGER contains a compound that is effective against colon cancer and helps ward off colds and the flu.

10. MUSHROOMS reduce the risk of cancer and build up your immune response by boosting the production of white blood cells.

11. OYSTERS are very high in zinc. Zinc plays a role in enzymatic functions more than any other mineral. Zinc is indispensible to your immune system.

12. POMEGRANATE is known to be a cancer-fighting powerhouse.

13. PUMPKINS are high in beta-Carotene, a nutrient that your body breaks down to make Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for immunity.

14. STRAWBERRIES contain Vitamin C and ellagic acid. Both prevent your skin from environmental damage and help hold moisture in your skin.

15. SWEET POTATOES contain glutathione, an anti-oxidant that enhances nutrient metabolism and your immune system. Glutathione has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cancer, heart attack and diabetes.

16. TEA (green, black, or white) contains anti-oxidants that are skin boosting. All teas contain flavonoids. The anti-oxidant EGCG in green tea reduces the risk of most types of cancer. It also inhibits the growth of bad bacteria in your intestine. Experts believe that 4 cups of green tea a day helps keep your immune system in peak condition.

17. TOMATOES are great in protecting your body against degenerative diseases.

18. TURMERIC, a centuries-old spice, is well-known for its strong cold and flu-fighting properties.

19. YOGURT is composed of calcium, zinc, Vitamin B1, B2, B12, and protein, which protect your bones and fight cancer.

All the Best!

Steve Victor

Healthy Easter Desserts

Soon it will be Easter, time for ham dinners at Mom’s house and chocolate bunnies. But not everything has to be high calorie. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us some of his favorite low-cal treats for holidays.

Jody Victor®:If you’re still trying to lose those Holiday pounds from last Christmas, here are a few healthy Easter desserts that are low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar and low-guilt.

LOW-FAT CARROT CAKE

1 cup cake flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour one 9×13 cake pan or two 9-inch round pans. Separate eggs and beat egg whites until frothy. Continue whipping and gradually add the white sugar. Beat until stiff. In large bowl combine cake flour, wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix until well blended. Add the oil and buttermilk. Mix well. Fold in the egg whites and then the carrots. Pour batter into prepared pan/pans. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Cool and frost with light cream cheese frosting.

 

LOW-FAT VERY-LOW-SUGAR ANGEL FOOD CAKE/STRAWBERRY SAUCE

1 bakery-bought Angel food cake

1 container (16 oz) frozen sliced strawberries, unsweetened, thawed

2 to 3 cups fresh sliced strawberries

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

In saucepan combine the sugar substitute and cornstarch. Add thawed frozen strawberries and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in strawberry slices and lemon juice. Serve strawberry sauce over sliced angel food cake. Sauce can be served warm or cooled.

 

LOW-CARB LOW-FAT NO-SUGAR CHEESECAKE

   CRUST:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons melted margarine

2 tablespoons Splenda

Mix crumbs and Splenda in a small bowl. Add melted margarine and stir to mix thoroughly. Pour into spring-form pan and press crust over the bottom of the pan.

   FILLING:

3 (8 oz) packages of low-fat or fat-free cream cheese

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/3 cup Splenda (or equivalent sugar substitute)

Allow cream cheese to set to room temperature. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs in a medium bowl and blend until smooth. Add Splenda, vanilla, and lemon juice and blend thoroughly. Pour filling into prepared pan and smooth with back of spoon. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pan on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Place in center of oven. Reduce heat to 200 degrees and bake for 1 to 1/2 hours or until the cheesecake leaves the side of the pan and is firm in the center. You can check with a meat thermometer. Center should read 155 degrees. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Remove from spring form pan. Top with fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, halved cherries, sliced peaches, whole raspberries, whole blueberries).

All the Best!

Steve Victor

 

Steve Victor: Low-Cal Christmas Cookies

‘Tis the season to be baking and enjoying homemade Christmas cookies. It’s also the season of lowered activity. The two together can add a few pounds to your physique. I asked Jody Victor®  to give us some advice.

Jody Victor®: Here are some low calorie cookie recipes that will help reduce the guilt factor for your Christmas cookie enjoyment:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (48 calories/Traditional 78 calories)

1 cup sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

4 teaspoon sugar substitute

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (3 oz)

Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream butter and add sugar substitute, vanilla and eggs in a separate bowl. Blend well. Add flour (dry) mixture a little at a time to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by level teaspoons on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

OATMEAL COOKIES (44 calories/Traditional 67 calories)

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup hot water

4 cups whole wheat flour

4 cups Quaker quick oats (dry)

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup molasses

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups water (approximate)

Soak raisins in hot water. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in raisins. Additional water may be needed if batter is too stiff or dry. Drop by level tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Dip a teaspoon in water and flatten cookies out. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (45 calories/Traditional 95 calories)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup Splenda

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Roll into small balls or drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Press each cookie flat with a floured fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

MACAROONS (25 calories/Traditional 97 calories)

1 16-ounce package of one step angel food cake mix

1/2 cup low calorie strawberry or orange soda pop

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 7-ounce package cookie coconut (about 2 cups)

In large mixing bowl, blend cake mix, soda pop and almond extract on low speed, scraping bowl constantly for 1/2 minute. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl constantly for 1 minute. Fold in coconut. Drop by teaspoons about 2 inches apart on a vegetable-sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

For Fruit Macaroons, substitute water for soda pop, vanilla for almond extract and add 1 cup dried and chopped apricots, figs, cranberries or prunes.

All the Best!

Steve Victor