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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unagi For Stamina

Unagi is one of my favourite combo ingredients at the Blue Fin Sushi bar in Smithers. Its grilled eel and a favourite “replenisher” for the Japanese who hold an annual festival at the end of summer called "doyou-no ushi-no hi" or Eel Day. The tradition was started to replete the dehydrated and possibly stamina-deprived people after a long hot summer.

Nutritionally speaking, unagi contains vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, which are effective agents for rejuvenating the body.  Unsaturated fatty acids like DHA and EPA are more abundant in unagi than in other seafood. The benefits of these unsaturated fatty acids are decreased cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevention of vascular diseases, reduced risk of developing arthritis and the promotion of normal brain development, nervous system function and good eyesight.

The best way to eat eel is to barbeque it with a sweet sauce basted on.  Serve on sticks, on crackers with cream cheese or in your favourite California roll.

Bake Your Tomatoes with Oil

Tomatoes are good for us, but did you know cooking your tomato for 15 minutes greatly increases its health benefits?

Its all about the anti-oxidant, cancer fighting lycopene. The darker the tomato or tomato product, the higher the percent of lycopene you will find.

Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium, some of which you lose in a cooking process. But the benefits of the lycopene far outweigh the negative.

 Lycopene can stall the growth of cancer tumors. It can protect against skin cancers and sunburns and reduce the risk of prostate, breast, endometrium and lung cancers when heated  with dietary fats ( like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil). That means your salsas, tomato sauce, ketchup and tomato soups are healthier than you thought!. Low sodium and no sugar added products even more so.

While great for the eyes, a daily, normal intake of oil and tomatoes can protect against sunburn from the inside out. It also boosts the levels of procollagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in preserving skin structure.

So its an apple and a tomato (baked with olive oil) for me, a day to keep the wrinkles and the doctor away.