Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not that I don't have plenty to do, but tonight I am experimenting with my morning smoothie ingredients.

We had beets for dinner tonight. I steamed them till they were really soft, cause that's how we like them. I had sliced off the green tops and the ugly bottom part and as a result a lot of the beet juice leached from the beet into the water. We enjoyed our cooked soft beets. How much nutrition we got - I'm not sure. I figure minerals are not heat sensitive so there might have been some left in the beet and since I cooked them long enough to be soft I probably destroyed the heat sensitive vitamins. Which are most vitamins.
I decided to use the water from the beets in our morning smoothie. Although not full of the heat sensitive vitamins it's probably got a lot of minerals and that will be a good add. I had the greens of the beets left over. I did not cook those. These beet greens are not as tough as some greens such as chard greens, which are really tough, but I thought I would still experiment with beet greens to see what effect I would get and would we maybe get even more nutritional value from them then if we had digested them cold from the fridge. As a side note I like chard cause it's designed to be tough and as a result it lasts better in the fridge, it doesn't break down as fast because at the cellular level the cell walls are tougher. BUT - when we eat the chard we need that food to be broken down into at its cellular form so that our bodies can absorb the vitamins and minerals as well as -who knows what else- as it goes through the digestive tract.
Taking the principle of breaking down cell walls to be absorbed into our digestive systems I wondered, what if I put my beet greens in moderately warm water and soak them over night. Will that warm water break down the cellular walls hence making the nutrition more absorbable to our body? Unless I do a chemical analysis test I won't know for sure but I know the heat is not hot enough to kill the vitamins but the warm water might soften the cell walls so that in the morning they will be like a vitamin cocktail. I think I will also be able to tell by the color of the water. If there is a lot of color in the water then the plant itself has broken down at some level and is now in the water.
I did one more thing to my poor beet greens.
I put them into two different jars. In the one jar it's mostly the warm water and about an 1/8 cup of kefir and in the other jar it's just straight kefir. I know the kefir is full of enzymes which are designed to break food apart so tomorrow morning we will see what happens.
Ideally, I should keep all that on the counter to stay at room temperature. I think I might. The kefir does not need to be refrigerated and the greens will break down better in room temperature.
I need to put them into a dark location though. Cause those sensitive vitamins are destroyed by light too. Which btw is a good reason to never buy juice in clear container.
I have probably bored you to death, if you have even gotten this far. But that's what I think about in the poor old mind of mine.

 Although I take vitamins here is why I make smoothies as well taking vitamins. 

Whole foods are your best sources of vitamins and minerals. They offer three main benefits over supplements;
1. They contain a variety of the micronutrients your body needs. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C but also beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. A vitamin C supplement lacks these other micronutrients.
2. They provide dietary fiber, which is important for digestion and can help prevent certain diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Adequate fiber intake can also help prevent constipation.
3. They contain other substances such as antioxidants which slow down the natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
If you depend on supplements rather than eating a variety of whole foods, you miss the potential benefits of these substances.


Elisa Mary said...

Thanks for learning about all this nutrition stuff. :) love you.

Kimberly said...

interesting about the kefir breaking down the cellular walls, never thought of that. You know so much more than me about enzymes. I'm with you on the whole foods vs vitamins... something else to remember, 50 years ago, scientists thought vitamins were all you really got from veggies and fruits, but more recently, they have been learning about antioxidents and other necessary things in foods. What else is in there, needed for life that we don't even know about? I'm all for eating real food

I see from a human stand point