It’s been a while since I have added a foodie post and it’s something I enjoy doing so hopefully this year I might get partway through to the end of the alphabet! I love finding out what my favourite or sometimes not so favourite foods have to share nutritionally wise – we are often told that so many vegetables and fruits are “bad” however, this is not always the case, yes fruits have sugar in them – these are fruit sugars and not the same as processed sugars – we are better reaching for an apple or pear than a chocolate bar or fizzy drink. IF you are in doubt there are many apps that can help with finding out if it is a low or high carb/ calorie content etc. and also FODMAPs are an issue too that can also be worked out from elimination of high fodmap foods. However, if we can focus on the goodness within these we can still enjoy some fruits such as mango for instance – moderately and still gain the health benefits. Incidentally whilst doing the research for Fruits today, I found this article

Mango consumption has shown impressive results in people with chronic constipation.

In research published in The Official Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, a group of people who ate mango every day had more improvement in their constipation symptoms than those who ate an equivalent amount of fiber.

The mango group also adhered to their treatment plan more easily and showed increases in healthy fatty acids and other measures of digestive wellness, like gastric secretions that aid in digestion of food.

These positive effects may be due to mango’s high water and fiber content, in addition to its healthy antioxidants.”

Anyway, as usual I digress, so here we are January 2022 and for this month, we have the Letter M – there are so many amazing Fruits and Vegetables to eat and of course listing them all would take for ever and a day! Not so many for M though – of course there are leafy greens such as Mustard Greens which pack a punch with Nutrients, Mung Beans (!) and so on but having recently started to really enjoy mushrooms once again – I thought I would share the benefits of these surprisingly nutritional warriors!

We are lucky as fruit and veg is still quite seasonal here, and eating them in season is when you will gain the most benefits. So if you see something you have been waiting for – go for it, enjoy it!

I have added a few “how to enjoy” ideas this month after each one – I hope they are useful to you!


Open photo

A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source

Mushrooms come in lots of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

For many years they’ve been used for their unique ability to add flavor in lots of different cultures’ cuisines. Although they’re actually fungi, mushrooms are lumped in the vegetable category for cooking purposes. Mushrooms allow you to add extra taste without sodium or fat.

Poisonous mushrooms can be hard to identify in the wild, so you should always buy from a reliable grocery store or market. The most common types found in grocery stores are:

  • shiitake
  • portobello
  • crimini
  • button or white mushroom
  • oyster
  • enoki
  • beech
  • maitake

They each have a unique look and taste. When choosing your mushrooms, make sure they feel firm, aren’t moist to the touch, and are mold-free. They can be stored in a paper bag inside the fridge for about five days. Brush the dirt off and rinse them lightly when you’re ready to use them.

Nutritional benefits of eating mushrooms 

You can’t go wrong with mushrooms. They’re fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free.

Is Mushroom a protein or carb?
Mushrooms are a low-carb, practically no-fat food with some protein. One serving is about a cup raw (a fist-sized amount) or 1/2 cup cooked. Though they’re small and light in calories—one serving only has about 15—they’re mighty in other way

Which mushroom has the most protein?
White mushroomsWhite mushrooms are the most protein-dense mushrooms on a per calorie basis, while oyster mushrooms have the most protein on a per weight basis.

They’re also packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Nutritional benefits vary depending on the type of mushroom. But overall, they are a good source of the following nutrients.

Antioxidants help protect the body from damaging free radicals that can cause conditions like heart disease and cancer. They also protect you against damage from aging and boost your immune system. Mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant called selenium. In fact, they are the best source of the mineral in the produce aisle.
Beta glucan
Beta glucan is a form of soluble dietary fiber that’s been strongly linked to improving cholesterol and boosting heart health. It can also help your body regulate blood sugar, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms are believed to have the most effective beta glucans.
B vitamins
Mushrooms are rich in the B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health. Riboflavin is good for red blood cells. Niacin is good for the digestive system and for maintaining healthy skin. Pantothenic acid is good for the nervous system and helps the body make the hormones it needs.
Copper helps your body make red blood cells, which are used to deliver oxygen all over the body. The mineral is also important to other processes in the body, like maintaining healthy bones and nerves. Even after being cooked, a 1-cup serving of mushrooms can provide about one-third of the daily recommended amount of copper.
Potassium is extremely important when it comes to heart, muscle, and nerve function. There’s about as much potassium in 2/3 cup of cooked Portobello mushroom as there is in a medium-sized banana.

Simple ways to enjoy Mushroom

There are so many simple ideas for Mushrooms – they go with practically everthing!
However I do tend to cook the mushrooms first to get them nice and “cooked” so they don’t go slimey in the food (that is so what put me off them a couple of years ago!) then add into an omlette, on toast with a little melted cheese on top, in a risotto (rice or barley go well!) Marinade in balsamic base and use as a side….

16 oz (1 lb) Baby Portabello Mushrooms (crimini or button work too)
For the marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • small handful of parsley
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Place 10 medium skewers into a baking dish and cover with water. It’s important to soak the skewers for at least 15 minutes (more is better) or they will burn too quickly on the grill.
  2. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until marinade is nearly smooth.
  3. Rinse your mushrooms and pat dry. Cut each mushroom in half, so each piece has half of the mushroom stem.
  4. Place the mushroom halves into a large gallon-size ziploc bag, or a medium bowl and pour in the marinade. Shake the bag until all of the mushrooms are evenly coated in marinade. Refrigerate and marinate for 30-45 minutes.Preheat your grill about 300˚F
  5. Skewer the mushrooms snugly onto the bamboo/wooden skewers that have been soaking (no need to dry the skewers). Skewering the mushrooms was a little annoying at first until I got the hang of things. I’ve found that it’s easiest to skewer them by twisting them onto the stick. If you just push the stick through, it may cause the mushroom to crack.
  6. Place the skewered mushrooms on the hot grill for about 3 minutes per side, making sure the mushrooms do not burn to the grill. The mushrooms are done when they are soft; as mushrooms should be Remove from the grill. Cover with foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.

And if you are seeking further inspo you can’t go wrong by this recipe Baby portobello mushroom & chickpea marsala over creamy polenta, it literally just popped up on my FB feed – fate right 😉…/

There are quite a few fruits that I could share today, including my favourite, Melons but so many to choose from! Instead, I thought I would focus on a nut and it’s still a fruit….

Macadamia Nuts

Rich in nutrients

Macadamia nuts are calorie-rich nuts that are high in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. One ounce (28 grams) offers:

  • Calories: 204
  • Fat: 23 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Manganese: 58% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine: 22% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 9% of the DV
  • Iron: 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV

Macadamia nuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that may boost heart health by lowering your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

These nuts are low in carbs and sugar and have a moderate fibre content. This combination makes them unlikely to spike your blood sugar levels, which may be especially beneficial for people with diabetes.

Loaded with antioxidants

Like most nuts, macadamia nuts are a great source of antioxidants.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage and increase your risk of conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

Additionally, macadamia nuts boast some of the highest flavonoid levels of all tree nuts. This antioxidant fights inflammation and helps lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, this nut is rich in tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E with antioxidant properties that may help lower cholesterol levels.

In general, raw macadamia nuts are the healthiest form. Dry-roasted ones provide a good alternative if you don’t have the time to roast them yourself, but try to stay away from oil-roasted versions, which contain unnecessary added fats.

You can snack on whole macadamia nuts, grind and sprinkle them onto soups and warm dishes, or swap them for croutons in salads.

Macadamia butter is another way to enjoy this nut. Like peanut butter, it can be spread on bread, crackers, and fruit slices, or added to oatmeal or yogurt.

Finally, these nuts can be soaked and ground into a paste to make dairy-free cheese or milk. This paste can also provide a base for various desserts.

Macadamia nuts can be stored at room temperature for one to five months, ideally in an airtight container. Storing them in your refrigerator will keep them fresh even longer — up to one year

SIDE BAR – have you been left with lots of nuts from Christmas – you know the lovely baskets full of them we can buy here – well if that is the case why not whizz them up and make some lovely Nut Butter with them? Best unsalted if possible but if you have salted ones – rinse first before you cook them 🙂

It’s so quick and easy to make your own…
Roast your peanuts in the oven until slightly golden brown. Then, put it all in the food processor: begin with the pulsing action, then blitz until you get a smooth texture. If the nuts have not released enough oil in the baking process, you can add walnut oil to the mix (or another light oil). Pour it into a jar and you’re all done! This will cost you around 2 euros to make.

So that leaves us with another selection and if you do end up making any of the above recipes – please let us know if you enjoyed them or not!
I always try and keep recipes that I am sharing about nutritional benefits and sometimes just because it’s nice to try something different!

Fruits and vegetables aren’t created equal — and it’s true that some people have sensitivities to certain produce that can set off a cascade of problems ranging from gas and bloating to inflammation and joint stiffness.

The nightshade vegetables are one example, for a subset of people, eating nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant increases inflammation in the body.”

Halle Saperstein, RD,

But for most of us, fruits and vegetables are a key part of a healthy diet. While experts suggest aiming for two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily, eating even more vegetables is probably better. The one exception: juice. Fruit and vegetable juices often contain natural and added sugar and they’re stripped of fibre.

A rainbow of colours on your plate will ensure you are getting the right nutrients in your diet, if you can’t eat something due to health issues, there are always alternatives, and whether you feel you can’t eat it because it’s not a nice taste, or you have visions of it slopped up on your plate at school meals, then choose other ways of cooking or serving!

From Letter A to M and everything else in between, articles about Pro and Pre biotics, fatigue fighting foods and more please do hop on over to my website to maybe help start 2022 on the healthier side of life 🙂

Disclaimer As always these articles are sourced from various websites and coursework I have. If you have any health issues then please make sure you do your research before adding to your diet. These articles are for wellbeing and not to replace any medication you maybe on.
some information from this article has been quoted from Halle Saperstein, RD, is a clinical dietitian at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital 

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