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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo - Page 27 of 34
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

Simple Brie & Pear Salad

Sometimes simplicity is the best thing!  This is a 7 ingredient salad that is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Remember when making your own vinaigrette, use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar.  Choose dark green veggies for a magnesium boost (Click here for health benefits). Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 4 cups fresh greens, your choice 1 medium pear, sliced 4 ounces of Brie cheese, cubed 2 Tbsp of olive oil to coat salad 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, unsalted 1 Tbsp raisins or crasins salt to taste Instructions: 1.    Clean lettuce leaves thoroughly in cold water 2.    Combine ingredients into a salad bowl 3.    Add oil and vinegar dressing to salad mix 4.    Toss salad and enjoy!...

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Increase Magnesium in your Diet!

In my last post I explored the ‘Forgotten Mineral Magnesium’ and the numerous health benefits.  Now that you understand the importance of magnesium for your health, let’s explore some of the best dietary sources! Note:  Percent Daily Value = (% DV) is the percentage of the recommended amount of a vitamin or mineral in your diet. How to increase magnesium in your diet! Click To Tweet 1.    Nuts and Seeds! Filled with heart healthy fats, nuts and seeds are a healthy addition to your diet and a super source of magnesium: Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) = 187mg (58%) Brazil nuts (1/4 cup) = 133mg (38% DV) Almonds, roasted (1/4 cup) = 110mg (31% DV)      2.    Eat your Greens!   Looking for a reason to add fresh spinach salads, sautéed...

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Magnesium, A Forgotten Mineral

What if I told you that there is a mighty mineral that protects against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke?  I am referring to a particular mineral that most Canadians are not getting enough of in their diets.  This magnificent mineral is magnesium! What are the benefits of magnesium? Click To Tweet Today’s blog post is focused on the health benefits associated with magnesium.  Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is involved in over 300 biological or enzymatic processes.  Functions of magnesium include: healthy muscle and nerve functioning, regulating blood sugar and regulating blood pressure.  Similar to vitamin D, magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium for building strong bones and teeth.   Research studies are discovering that magnesium plays a very critical role in heart health.  A recent study published...

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Garlic, It’s Good for You!

Garlic breath got you down?  What if you learned that fresh garlic has powerful antioxidants making it a healthy addition to your diet?  Garlic for medicinal or cooking purposes dates back over 7,000 years to central Asia.  Today, garlic is commonly used in kitchens to add flavour and aroma to our homemade dishes! Fresh garlic does more than give you bad breath! Click To Tweet Research is supporting the role of raw, fresh garlic for generating hydrogen sulfide, the same compound responsible for that distinctive rotten eggs smell!  When garlic is consumed, this chemical (known as Allicin) causes the blood vessels to relax, allowing more blood to flow to the heart.  Additionally, the sulfide compounds in garlic also appear beneficial for suppressing the formation...

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Omega 3 Eggs, Worth the $$$?

Do you find yourself strolling down the grocery aisle, leisurely perusing the ‘Omega 3 Eggs’ food label wondering if this type of ‘functional food’ is worth the extra money?  It seems to be widespread knowledge that omega 3 fatty acids are good for us; however, are they truly beneficial in the form of eggs, or is this a mere marketing strategy? What are omega 3's and their impact on health? Click To Tweet What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids? Omega 3 is a type of ‘essential fatty acid’ since our bodies require them for healthy functioning but we need to consume them in our diet in order to reap the health benefits.  There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA and ALA.  All three...

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Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance. What’s the Difference?

In honour of Food Allergy Awareness month, I will address a very common question.  You may have asked yourself, what is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?  These terms have important differences and must not be used interchangeably. What's the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance? Click To Tweet   What is a Food Allergy? Food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system responds negatively to a specific food (known as the ‘allergen’).  The offending food is not necessarily harmful, as other people may be able to eat the food without reacting.  However, for those with food allergies, their immune system attacks the unwanted ‘allergen’ causing an immediate and possibly severe reaction. Prevalence:  It is estimated by Health Canada that 5-6% of young...

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The Low FODMAP diet?

The Low FODMAP diet is an emerging, scientifically proven and very promising diet for those suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Common symptoms of IBS include: abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and changes in bowel habits.  The frustration is that there is usually no clear food-symptom link. Suffer from IBS? Try the low FODMAP diet! Click To Tweet The Low FODMAP diet originated in Australia, and research shows that 3 out of 4 people find tremendous success on this lifelong diet.  The FODMAP diet is complex and should be implemented using a knowledgable Dietitian who is familiar with FODMAPs.  Your dietitian can assist you in adapting your diet to be low in FODMAPs and nutritionally balanced.   What is a FODMAP? FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and...

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Black Bean Quinoa

In honour of Celiac Awareness month, I have one of my favourite quinoa recipes!  This is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or to prepare in advance for work or school lunches.  Quinoa is a whole grain that contains all 8 essential amino acids, which makes it a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans.  Interestingly, soybeans are the only other plant protein that contains all 8 essential amino acids.  For information on quinoa, see my previous post ‘the year of quinoa is 2013’. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 6-8 Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed) 1 ½ cup frozen corn kernels, rinsed 1 medium red pepper, chopped ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped Vinaigrette Ingredients: ¼ cup rice wine...

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Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

May 1st marked the start of Celiac Awareness Month!  Celiac disease is a form of food allergy where the body’s immune system reacts negatively to gluten (protein in wheat, rye, barley) causing severe damage to the small intestine.  There are many nutritional implications since the ingestion of gluten decreases the absorption of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are all vital for health!  A strict gluten free diet is REQUIRED for management of celiac disease and label reading is necessary every time!   What is the prevalence of Celiac Disease? Click To Tweet How prevalent is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease affects an estimated 1 in 133.  Rates of celiac disease have nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries. The risk for developing celiac disease is increased 20 times for those who have a 1st...

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