Five for Friday #4

benefits of a plant-based diet featured recipe five for friday wfpb Jun 10, 2022
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Here is your weekly dose of Five for Friday, a list of what I’m reading, cooking, thinking, and exploring.

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Nutrition Fact of the week: BPA  

What Is BPA? Should We Be Concerned About It?

 

I know BPA is not really a nutrient. However, it is more often in our foods and beverages than we want to.

 

You’ve probably heard that most plastics are labeled “BPA-free.” But you might be wondering exactly what that means and why it’s important.

 

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is the chemical used in plastics and added to many commercial products, including food containers, baby bottles, plastic water bottles, and hygiene products.

 

Many people worry about BPA exposure for a reason. Of course, one main reason is that BPA can leach out of the plastic containers and leach into the food or beverages you consume.

 

That’s particularly true of foods or beverages that may be stored for long periods in containers with BPA, like canned tomatoes or bottled water.

 

That also includes plastic containers that are heated in a microwave. The heat can cause more BPA to leach out. 

 

According to Healthline, BPA exposure is so widespread that research suggests most people over the age of 6 have measurable amounts of BPA in their urine.

 


One study found that about 85% of Korean children under 2 years old had detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

 

Researchers have found that BPA exposure is linked to several health issues, partly because BPA mimics the function of the hormone “estrogen”.

 

That means BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels, and reproduction.

 

In addition, BPA may also interact with other hormone receptors, such as those for your thyroid, thus altering their function.

 

Your body is sensitive to changes in hormone levels, which is the reason why BPA’s ability to mimic estrogen or affect other hormones is thought to influence health.



BPA may affect several aspects of male and female fertility.

 
It is linked to obesity, heart disease, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes

 

BPA may also cause stress to our body by damaging the mitochondria (the energy factories in each of our cells). 

 

Stress can lead to chronic inflammation, an immune response that can alter the way our body regulates our weight, appetite, and hormone levels.


The inflammatory effects of BPA may contribute to unwanted weight gain, along with the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.



Low levels of BPA exposure have also been linked to the development of certain cancers, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.

 

 

Additionally, there’s some evidence from test-tube studies that BPA may make chemotherapy drugs less effective. 

 

However, remember that more research is needed to support a better understanding of the effects of BPA exposure on humans.

 


How to minimize your exposure

Although eradicating it completely may be impossible, there are some effective ways to reduce your exposure:

 

Limit packaged foods that are not labeled “BPA-free.” 

 

Eat whole food plant-based foods. Limit canned foods or foods packaged in plastic containers labeled with recycling numbers 3 or 7.

 

However, BPA-free packaging may not be an adequate solution, either, as the BPA has been replaced with BPF, which could leak into your food and beverages too.



Drink from glass bottles. Buy liquids that come in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles or cans, and use glass baby bottles instead of plastic ones.

 

Be selective with toys. Make sure that any plastic toys you buy for children are made from BPA-free material — especially toys that little ones are likely to chew or suck on.

 

Don’t microwave plastic. 

 

Store your food in glass containers rather than plastic since heating BPA-containing plastics may cause more BPA leaching

 

It’s worth noting that many BPA-free products have replaced BPA with bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF), compounds that are similar in structure and function to BPA — but that hasn’t yet been as heavily studied for their safety.

 

A better alternative may be to limit or avoid plastics altogether, especially for foods and beverages.

  

 

 

That means replacing plastic drinking bottles with glass or stainless steel, avoiding bottled water in plastic bottles, and purchasing food that’s not packaged in plastic or cans lined with BPA-containing plastics.

 

Replacing all of your plastic containers or household supplies may seem daunting, but there are options available.

Remember, plastic containers harm the environment and are unsustainable.

 

So instead of drinking water from plastic bottles, get yourself a stainless steel bottle that you can reuse over and over. :)

Source: Healthline 

My Favorite Fruit or Vegetable of the week - Summer Squashes

Zucchini and other summer squash are available from the summer through the fall. 

While summer squash grown in warmer regions of the world is available year-round in supermarkets, it is best enjoyed in season for the best flavor, texture, and, as I always say, the nutrients.

 

Squashes like zucchini and yellow squash are some of the most versatile vegetables in the kitchen.

 

 

They can be eaten raw as vegetable noodles or crudités, diced for omelets, and many more applications.

 

Green and yellow varieties of squash provide numerous health benefits. 

 

They consist of about 95 percent water, which makes them ideal for light meals but also very perishable.

 

Yellow squash is also rich in manganese. This mineral helps to boost bone strength and helps the body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates.

 

Storing Summer Squash

 

Store fresh squash in the refrigerator crisper in plastic storage bags or rigid containers to retain moisture.

 

 

Stored in this manner, squash will maintain quality for 5-7 days. Avoid storing fresh squash in areas that might freeze.

 

 

Because of their high water content, they are highly perishable.

 

Cooking with Summer Squash

 

Summer squashes are very versatile when it comes to cooking methods.

 

Summer squashes are ideal for grilling, sauteing, steaming, sauteing, and roasting. They are also part of the famous Ratatouille recipe.

 

Savor the color and texture of summer squash by lightly braising or sauteing it to create smothered squash with your favorite herbs.



As usual, I have featured a recipe on my blog.

 

Summer Squash Is Rich in Nutrients


They are high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. 

 

Yellow squash is also rich in manganese. This mineral helps to boost bone strength and helps the body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates.

Source: Foodprint   Healthline

 

 

 

 

Book I am currently reading: 

Your Body in Balance by Dr. Neal D. Barnard

 

This is the second time I am reading Dr. Barnard’s book. He has a way of writing that makes you understand the material immediately and with sense.

 

Your Body in Balance provides step-by-step guidance for understanding what's at the root of your suffering - and what you can do to feel better fast. Few people realize that a simple food prescription can help you tackle all these and more by gently restoring your hormone balance, with benefits rivaling medications. Neal Barnard, MD, a leading authority on nutrition and health, offers insight into how dietary changes can alleviate years of stress, pain, and illness.

 

Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, you will also be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn to make measurable changes in any area of your life. 

 

 

Featured Doctor or Practitioner of the week: 

Raditia Lavry, creator of Mindful Being, LLC

 

Enjoy an evening of Mindfulness with Raditia Lavry, creator of Mindful Being, LLC, followed by Q&A. 

You can view the recording bu following this link:

https://youtu.be/_5oMvDZeP0s?t=74

 

Don't forget to like and follow my channel. Thank you :)

 

Quote of the week 

“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

 

As always, be safe, and think plant-based! :)

Chef Frank

 

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