Posts Tagged ‘omega 3’

Heart Healthy Practices

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef at MediLodge of Monroe

So who’s tired of shoveling snow?? And the winter has just begun … at least as far as the calendar is concerned. I, however, am not convinced. As far as I am concerned, we are neck deep in winter. And while shoveling snow can be some good exercise, I for one am nearly over it. We are now about to be smack dab into February, a month notably attributed to Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day, a day associated with hearts, seems to be very appropriate for February, given the fact that February is also National Heart Healthy Month! Ah our heart … this great engine of our cardiovascular system unfortunately goes unnoticed until something terrible happens. This is why recognizing heart healthy practices are so important. Along with a bit of exercise, the easiest way to take care of our heart is by being diligent in choosing the right things to eat.

Heart-healthy is not only about oatmeal and omega-3 fats, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and teas are just as important, in that they offer all sorts of complex heart-protective phytonutrients. Fresh produce provides the cornerstone for a heart-healthy diet because they help wipe out free radicals in the bloodstream, protecting blood vessels. Salmon tops the list of heart healthy foods, but many foods are really quite good and are not exotic at all. Almonds & walnuts, kidney beans, red wine, brown rice, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries are all very effective at nutritionally providing things the heart loves.

The main idea would be to eat “whole-foods”… foods that are not processed at all, or at least minimally processed. Eating these kinds of food every day will greatly help you to have a healthier heart. And with a greater number of different items, you allow yourself to not become bored, which is the death blow to any “healthy” change in lifestyle.

Maple Glazed Salmon Salad

Walnut Oil Vinaigrette:
• 1/2 cup walnut oil
• 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic clove, mincedSalmon
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp real maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 lb salmon filet
• Salt and pepper
• 6 cups baby spinach
• 1 cup Blueberries
• 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1. For Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
2. For the salad, preheat oven to 4250F and brush a baking dish with olive oil.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup and maple extract.
4. Cut filet into 4 even portions and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with glaze.
5. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
6. Divide baby spinach between 4 large plates.
7. Sprinkle each with chopped blueberries and walnuts.
8. Top each with a salmon portion.
9. Enjoy with a glass of red wine…my favorite – Valpolicella, a fruity but not sweet red.

Recipe provided by


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MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe


All About Avocados!

avocadoFrom the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Dietary Department

Avocados are native to the tropics and sub tropics. The first U.S. avocado trees were found in Florida but eighty percent of today’s crops come from California. There are quite a few avocado varieties, differing in size and shape. The skin can range from thick to thin, green to purplish black and smooth to corrugated. Their flesh is generally a pale yellow green with a buttery texture and mild flavor. The two most widely marketed avocado varieties are the Hass which has an almost black, pebbly texture and green Fuerte which has a smooth, thin skin. Like many fruits, avocados ripen the best off of the tree. When ripe, they yield gentle palm pressure.

1. Protein

Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

2. Beneficial Fats

Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

3. Carotenoids

Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocadoes are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocados, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients.


The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocadoes’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Heart Health

The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

6. Choosing and Eating

To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.

(List above from

Classic Guacamole:

• 4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados peeled and pittedguac

• 2 lemons, juiced

• 2tsp. minced garlic

• 1 tomato, diced

• 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

• 1/4 cup diced red onion

• 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

• 5 Jalapeno chiles or Serrano chiles, minced. Leave 3 of the chiles seeded.

• Salt and chili powder to taste


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MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

The Power Of 10: Taking Advantage Of Highly Nutritional Food

With the help of these foods, you can boost the nutritional value of any meal.barley

1. Barley: This grain is hearty, top source of beta-glucan, and contains the same cholesterol lowering fiber found in oats.

2. Baby spinach: Two cups of this leafy green is more than 3 times your recommended dose of vitamin K.

3. Black Beans: The dark hue from plant chemicals that gives black beans their color may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.Bok Choy

4. Bok Choy: In 1 cup cooked, gives more than 50% of your day’s recommended dose of vitamin C.

5. Canned Salmon: Rich in omega 3 and low in mercury is also now available in pouches, making it easy to pack in your two weekly servings of fish!

6. Chia seeds: Getting your omega-3’s has never been easier, containing 5,000mg of alpha-linolenic acid.Chia Seeds

7. Citrus: Contains cancer fighting flavonoids that lower your odds of lung, stomach, colon and breast cancers.

8. Kefir: Providing 40% of your day’s energizing riboflavin and vitamin B12, this dairy drink also contains probiotics to support gut health.

9. Low-sodium vegetable juice: During busy times during the week, this super juice is packed with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, lycopene and fiber.

10. Tomato sauce: The easiest source of lycopene for America, and antioxidant that helps protect your skin from sun damage and may also fight cancer.

Most of these foods are found at your local grocery store.  Remember, there are always simple easy ways to improve the nutritional value of daily foods you consume.

Your challenge: Incorporate two of these foods into your weekly meal routine.Citrus

Na Zdraví (to your health)

Kim Drochak, Dietary Clinician

MediLodge of Milford


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