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Nutrilicious Fig Bar: Όταν το σύκο έγινε σνακ

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Εναλλακτική επιλογή σνακ με τις αξίες του παραδοσιακού παστού σύκου

Πιστεύοντας στις ευεργετικές ιδιότητες της μεσογειακής διατροφής, η κλινική διαιτολόγος και διευθύνουσα σύμβουλος της εταιρείας S&K Nutrilicious, Κάτια Κυριάκου, τις πάντρεψε με τη γεύση και τις αξίες του παραδοσιακού παστού σύκου, δημιουργώντας μια εναλλακτική επιλογή για σνακ, τα Nutrilicious Fig Bars.

«Η μεσογειακή διατροφή μας προσφέρει μια απίστευτη κληρονομιά», μου λέει ξεκινώντας την κουβέντα μας. Ο ενθουσιασμός είναι έκδηλος στο πρόσωπο της κλινικής διαιτολόγου, όταν μιλά για τη μεσογειακή διατροφή και τα οφέλη της και δη για το νέο της προϊόν, που έχει ως βάση του το παστό σύκο: «Ήθελα να αρχίσω με κάτι υγιεινό και εύκολο. Όπως διαπιστώνω και από τη δουλειά μου, όλοι ζητούν κάτι απλό, ένα σνακ για παράδειγμα, που να μπορούν να το μεταφέρουν στην τσάντα ή το αυτοκίνητο. Έτσι, άρχισα να μελετώ την ιδέα παραδοσιακών εδεσμάτων, όπως η συκόπιτα και ο σουτζιούκος». Read more

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Πιστεύοντας στις ευεργετικές ιδιότητες της μεσογειακής δια τροφής, η κλινική διαιτολόγος και διευθύνουσα σύμβουλος της εταιρείας S&K Nutrilicious, Κάτια Κυριάκου, τις πάντρεψε με τη γεύση και τις αξίες του παραδοσιακού παστού σύκου, δημιουργώντας μια εναλλακτική επιλογή για σνακ, τα Nutrilicious Fig Bars. Περισσότερ εδώ.

Dried figs

Dried figs

Dried figs: Mediterranean flavor with rich nutritional value
Figs are one of the oldest edible fruit with a variety of reports on the benefits to the human body. During the Olympic Games of ancient Athens figs were given before the race as well as a reward for good performances!
With just 110 calories in a serving dry figs (40g = 1/4 cup or about 3-5 figs) provides 20% of daily needs in Fiber, anticancer agents, antioxidants and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. A perfect combination of nutrients to promote health for the whole family. 94% of the energy of dry figs comes from the carbohydrates of which 25% is fibers. Providing 5g of fiber per 40g, figs are classified as one the highest fiber content food important as a laxative, for blood sugar control and for cholesterol reduction. According to the position of the American College of Dietitians increased Plant Fiber consumption reduces the risk of developing various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancers and healthy weight levels. The recommended amount of fiber for adult women and men are 25gr and 38gr per day respectively (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, November 2015).

It is important to distinguish between the consumption of natural sugars and added sugars. To make this distinction you need to take a closer look at the Ingredients section. Only at the ingredients list addition of sugar is clearly indicated. When looking at the nutritional label for instance in a fruit, sugars are high (in natural sugars not added sugars). Natural sugars in combination with dietary fiber and antioxidant substances help to reduce inflammation and oxidation unlike added sugar. Nature knows better!

In recent years Researchers have turned their attention to dried figs not so much for their unique sweet taste, soft but crisp texture, but because of their health benefits. A recent survey of Russo et al. (2014), Journal of Food Science found that dried figs have higher amounts phenolic compounds– flavonoids (mainly anthocyanins in the skin and proanthocyanidis in spores) from wine and tea mainly because dried figs retain their skin! For the same reason dried figs have concentrated amounts of flavonoid in comparison to fresh figs. Indicatively, dry figs contain 100 ng / 100gr antioxidants while the content of black berry and blueberry ranges from 13-197ng / 100g. It is also a good source bioavailable catechin monomers. There are strong evidence in the literature for the health benefits of phenols, catechins are antioxidants such as: 1. Reduction of inflammation 2. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors due to the reduction in LDL- Cholesterol or bad cholesterol oxidation and 3. Anticancer activity.

Dry figs are a great source of minerals such as calcium (53mg / 40g), potassium, magnesium and iron (1.2mg / 40gr). Nutrients very important for a balanced diet for the whole family and for athletes. Potassium is important for the balance of electrolytes and body fluids, proper nerve & muscle function, and blood pressure. Magnesium is also essential for muscle function.

Calcium content of dry figs is 3.2 times higher than other fruits. Additionally, the calcium to phosphorus ratio amounts to 3.7 times higher than other fruits. The combination of the 3 Calcium, potassium and phosphorus increase the absorption of calcium from bones by increasing bioavailability.

 

Katia Kyriacou
Clinical Dietician

Nuts and Seeds

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Chia Seeds a member of the mint family, have recently gained attention as an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber (10gr of fiber in every 2 tablespoons).  They also contain protein, minerals including iron calcium magnesium and zinc.

As part of a healthy diet can help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

Make it count, make it the Mediterranean way!

Build a strong base: Fruits and vegetables whole grains, legumes olive oil, nuts and seeds are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet.

Sesame seeds are excellent source of cooper and a very good source of manganese and calcium. Also they are a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.

Flax seeds – The low carb whole grain

Flax seeds may be tiny but they are mighty! Rich source of Soluble and insoluble fiber important for lowering cholesterol and proper intestinal function. Provide antioxidants (proven as: intinflamatory, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease due to decrease of LDL- cholesterol oxidation and anticarcinogens), Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and manganese.

NUTS

Plant based protein that contains fiber and a combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nuts also have been recognized for their cholesterol lowering properties and are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a health claim for food labels that states:

Eating 1.5once per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease

Almonds excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium also provide calcium and folate

Walnuts are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Rich in antioxidants and excellent source of alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) the plant based form of omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Katia Kyriacou
Clinical Dietician

Carbohydrates and Sports

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Until now, we knew that the carbohydrate consumption helps more endurance athletes or athletes to their sports longer than an hour. But recent studies show that carbohydrates when consumed after training or competition may at the same time contribute to a better balance of protein by preventing muscle protein catabolism.
It is a fact that carbohydrates are a major source of energy during exercise. However, the exact details on how it works is not so simple. Carbohydrates are considered as the main source of energy in our diet, also called quick energy foods, because our bodies break the carbohydrates easier than protein or fat.
The effect of carbohydrate on exercise depends on many factors such as the nature, duration and intensity of exercise. Almost all studies have shown that the consumption of carbohydrates can increase performance in endurance sports and replenish muscle and liver glucose lost during training, competition or a game.
Nowadays, studies are turning their attention towards ways to prevent the catabolism of protein, especially for endurance sports. So far, carbohydrates have been shown to help. A recent study used 16 people to whom either gave 100 gram carbohydrate or a placebo (fake supplement) supplement one hour before exercise. The results revealed that muscle protein was maintained ONLY in the carbohydrate supplement group. Another study examined the effect of carbohydrate consumption during marathon training. Seven athletes consumed either a high carbohydrate diet or a normal diet in carbohydrates (for 11 days) and ran 16 kilometers. The results showed that athletes on the high-carb diet best on both endurance and mood reactions.
Athletes, especially endurance athletes, should realize how important carbohydrates are for better performance. They should always consume a diet rich in carbohydrates before and after exercise and even during.
An easy solution for a snack either before but even more after the workout are the bars of dry figs. The dry figs are rich in natural sugars, anti-cancer substances, antioxidants, calcium, potassium and magnesium. With the addition of almonds or walnuts or both with chia seeds and linseed add a significant amount of protein with omega-3 and fiber. These bars are a nice combination of nutrients and are an ideal snack for all sports and all ages especially for direct replenishment after training or competition!

 

Nikoleta Michailidou, M.S., R.D, CSSD
Clinical and Sports Dietitian / Nutritionist
For more information: nikoletam@cytanet.com.cy