The Nutrition Puzzle

I’ve stumbled recently on some research studies and I’m more puzzled than ever. Human Nutrition seems like a billion pieces puzzle and I wonder if ever we humans will be able to put all the pieces in order. 

This doesn’t mean that I’ll abandon my own fight with obesity. On the contrary, it’s my deep belief that even a small particle of dust can contribute. And for sure it will help me and some of my friends to cope better with weight problems,  metabolic problems whatever else.

One of these studies, Carbohydrate-last meal pattern lowers postprandial glucose and insulin excursions in type 2 diabetes draws a puzzling conclusion: ” The carbohydrate-last meal pattern may be an effective behavioral strategy to improve postprandial glycemia.”
Yes, I know, the research was very limited and the participants were diabetics but some of the nutrition advice for diabetics seem to work for people with obesity too.
Of course I won’t be able to duplicate this research but what I want to know is if my postprandial glycemia is affected by the order  in which I eat my foods at breakfast, or the speed with which I eat. I’ll try to experiment a bit the next weeks, nothing to lose, only to gain.

Another mind puzzling article is this one, A microscopic solution – The best gut bugs to lose weight.  
I cite from this study: Scientists have identified a microscopic universe of tiny microbes in our gut that seems to have a great deal to do with our weight….
Scientists can predict with 90-per-cent accuracy if a person is overweight just by looking at their gut microbes. Often the ratio of certain phyla of bacteria, say Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, is high, but not always…But the real challenge is determining exactly what microbes are causing the trouble and how to fix it.

Very little I can do about this, but what I’m going to do is going back to traditions.
I’m sure I’ll feel better after eating some traditional probiotics but I doubt it will help me get rid of excess pounds. But who knows in the long term? It’s worth trying.

Photo Emilia Dragne

First, yogurt and kefir.
Unfortunately, the yogurt and kefir available in supermarkets are “dead”.
I doubt that an item that will be as good as fresh two weeks from now has any microbe in it. It’s just plain white sour stuff, even if it’s quite tasty.
I can easily make my own yogurt or kefir, I need the “seeds” and these I can find on Internet. Some organic milk would be nice to have. I can hardly wait for my Summer apricots and yogurt treat.

Then there is sauerkraut. You can find simple recipes for home made sauerkraut on Internet but I guess everyone has a favorite Bulgarian or Russian or some other traditional shop nearby.
I myself have an incredible easy and  tasty recipe for a home-made pickled cabbage and veggies salad.
Mix in a large bowl a large shredded cabbage with salt. Calculate 1 tbsp of salt per Kg of cabbage.
Massage the salt into the mixture for 5 mins, wait 5 mins, then repeat. You should end up with a much-reduced volume of cabbage sitting in its own brine.
Add 2 grated carrots, optionally a grated celeriac, 3-4 sweet red and green peppers cut julienne, celery sticks cut in large pieces, 2-3 grated apples and mix well.
Stuff very well this mixture in large mason jars. Add a root of horseradish on top of every jar, cut in slices. In a couple of days, it should ferment and be ready for a nice salad with olive oil and grounded black pepper.
Make sure you put what’s left in a cool place or even in the fridge, otherwise  it will spoil.

And, yeah, here there are my favorite salt pickles. I can’t eat but a small pickle now and then, they do have a lot of salt but they’re so good in winter, so full of vitamins.
It’s easy to make them but you need a cool cellar or other similar cool place. Just arrange, in a large jar,  a multitude of  veggies and fruits, like green tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, celery, leaves, apples, small green peppers, cauliflower, a few slices of red beetroot, a handful of grapes, small green apples, very small squashes. Put on top celery leaves and horseradish slices. Add a hot brine, made with 1 tbsp of salt per 4 cups of water (1 l of water). Cover well and let ferment over a month in a cool place.

This is not a recipe for a warm climate, you need a cool autumn followed by a very cold winter.

Photo Emilia Dragne

An interesting recipe of probiotics is that of salt pickled cucumbers.
You can try this even in summer or in a warmer climate.
This should be eaten freshly fermented, so don’t make a large quantity.
Put in a jar cucumbers and pour over a hot liquid made of water and 1 tbsp of salt per 4 cups of water. Add a root of horseradish on top, cut in slices and some dill or celery leaves. Close the jar and forget 3-4 days about it. When the cucumbers change the color and “prickle” a bit, they’re ready for a nice salad with olive oil.
Try this recipe also with apple and carrot slices.

And then, there is borsh, not the Ukrainean or  Russion traditional soup, but the nice golden liquid obtained in Romania by fermenting wheat bran with a tiny quantity of  yeast in warm water.  It’s an incredible healthy refreshing drink and adds an excellent taste to soups. I only have this not so simple recipe  and my challenge is to simplify it.

Keep in touch, follow my projects as we will all learn more on the nutrition puzzle.


via Daily Prompt: Puzzled

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