Healthy Bytes

Healthy Bytes by Ezio Garritano

I would like to present to you quick and easy-to-follow guidelines that I have personally put to use and that have made a difference in my life, improving immune strength and increasing energy levels amongst other benefits, and which I believe will make a difference as well in your overall health and well-being! 

It is my firm belief that a healthy lifestyle should begin with the foods we eat on a daily basis. With that said, it is important that we choose the best quality of foods and incorporate as many superfoods into our daily meals as possible. What I’m talking about are organic, nutrient-dense foods, which on a bite-per-bite basis, will provide you with the most nutrition available.

Let’s look at 4 of my favorites which all happen to be in the cruciferous family, and whose nutritional benefits have been highly praised. They are arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli and red/purple cabbage. I prefer each of these lightly sautéed rather than raw, though arugula lends itself quite well to salad, as do dandelion greens. But as in many cases, cooking with minimal heat as in sautéing can help release a number of nutrients otherwise not available if consumed raw. Each of these vegetables can be substituted using the same exact cooking method.

I use olive oil almost exclusively, though there are other very beneficial oils with higher smoke points. I enjoy the aroma of olive oil, especially when combined with garlic. So, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and sauté the garlic over light heat, and if you enjoy a little spicy kick, add red pepper flakes to the olive oil-garlic mix.

Once the garlic is ready, keep the heat at the same level as you add any one of the 4 vegetables. I cut the broccoli and the cabbage into more manageable bite-sized pieces, as well as the dandelion greens which usually tend to be long in length. Cooking will only take a few minutes, so keep vigil over the pan, stirring frequently as the greens begin to turn a bright, vibrant color, particularly the broccoli. I place a lid only over the broccoli for just a few minutes so as to cook it more quickly and thoroughly. Add salt to taste during the cooking process, and in just those few minutes, you have a very tasty and healthy side-dish which can be added to any main course. With the broccoli leftovers, you can combine them with pasta by simply adding it to cooked pasta. I like keeping the pasta simple in this case, again sautéing garlic in olive oil, adding red pepper flakes, and then pouring this over the cooked pasta with the broccoli.Quick, easy and very healthy! You can substitute any other vegetables which you might have a preference for. Each of these are high in vitamins, minerals and those important phytochemicals which protect us with their antioxidant activity.

Herb of the Day (and every other day)!

Ashwagandha-an adaptogenic herb used extensively in the Ayurvedic tradition of medicine. There is much information available on its use and benefits, and feel it is very worthwhile looking into and considering making it a part of your daily health regimen. Below I provide two good sources as links which will give you much information on this wonderful herb.

Until next time, healthy eating and healthy living!



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