Add white to the colors you eat

Eating a rainbow of color during the summer months is healthy and easy to accomplish.  Grocery stores and farmers markets are teeming with luscious-looking fruits.  However, fruits with white flesh also offer healthy benefits during the warmer months and other seasons of the year.

One white fruit that most people enjoy, including babies, and that can be added to any summer fruit salad is the banana.  Nutritionally bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C and the minerals potassium and magnesium. 

Potassium is probably the most familiar health benefit of this tropical fruit.  This mineral helps to maintain blood pressure at desirable levels, and is important for muscle contraction and nerve function.

Add three grams of fiber to the list, and one has a great little food.

But there is yet more goodness in this fruit. Under ripe bananas, those with a little green on the peel are a source of resistant starch, a type of starch that is not digested in the small intestine as other starches are. 

The resistant starch travels on to the large intestine where our resident bacteria feed on the starch and produce fatty acids.  The resulting fatty acids help to control other bacteria that could make us sick.  And resistant starch may help keep blood sugars in line after eating a meal high in carbohydrates.

The best part about bananas is that they are so easy to keep and prepare.  Just put a bunch in a bowl on the counter and grab for a quick snack.  Bananas are also a sweet addition to the morning cereal, lunchtime peanut butter sandwich or fruit salad, afternoon exercise smoothie, and dinnertime dessert such as a layered pudding parfait.

Overripe bananas can be mashed and added to pancake batter and quick breads.  Or, slice and freeze on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  After an hour, take out the frozen slices and enjoy.  Frozen banana has the texture of ice cream without the additional fat and calories.

To complete the package, bananas are an inexpensive food, costing 44 cents per one cup serving, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Whatever your preference, bananas can add something special to your day.


Migraines revisited

Some posts ago, I shared that I get migraines, and that I was keeping a food journal to see if what I ate affected my head.  After two months of recording everything that I put into my mouth, I now have plenty of data to study.  So far, nothing jumps out at me.  The foods that I eat around the time a migraine starts do not differ from those I eat when I am free of pain.

Of course, this conclusion is drawn from what I gathered on the “macro” foods I eat such as meat, carbs, fruits, veggies, and fat.  The next step is to see if any herbs, spices, flavorings, additives, etc., could be a trigger for the migraines. More study is called for.

Another activity that I have begun in an effort to reduce the number of migraines is daily meditation.  For at least 20 minutes each day I practice meditating according to the methods offered in the books by Herbert Benson. The Relaxation Revolution is particularly helpful and details research done specifically on migraine sufferers.   My migraines, although not gone, are not as painful as before meditating.

I do not like the available medications.  Some make me sicker than the migraine.  Yay for ice packs that work without side effects!

So the journey continues.