Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The big E

I spent Easter weekend at a hotel event with all the possible dietary pitfalls that ensue. It wasn’t in the end, too bad. A good breakfast buffet will usually supply natural yogurt and fruit, and there was a buffet dinner which always included mounds of vegetables. I took emergency supplies of canned salmon, canned asparagus and almonds just in case! On my return I was convinced I had eaten too much over the weekend, and stepped on the scales in some trepidation this morning to find I had lost a few ounces. Not sure how I managed that.

Here is my champion Vitamin E list – values as before are the % of my RDA supplied per 120 calories which is 10% of my daily intake. V8 vegetable juice, 99, swiss chard 80, spinach 71, sunflower seeds 45, red peppers 41, almonds and broccoli 37, pumpkin 33, butternut squash 26 tomatoes 24. Almost in the super range are kiwi and hazelnuts 19, avocado 18. Scoring well, green peppers and lettuce 15, celery and apricots 14, aubergine (eggplant) 10.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Whoo hoo!

Today was my last ever day in the office job (whoo hoo!) and from now on I can (whoo hoo!) get up each morning and (whoo hoo!) do whatever I want - which may (whoo hoo!) be work, but it will be work I want to (whoo hoo!) do, so it is not surprising that (whoo hoo!, whoo hoo! whoo hoo!) - sorry will get back to you when (whoo hoo!) I feel a bit more (whoo hoo! etc etc ) yippeee!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Pots of Potassium

I often find at the end of the day that even after eating a big salad and an amount of steamed veg that would terrify the causal onlooker, I am finding it hard to make my RDA of potassium. I have a low salt condiment that helps a bit, but have to go carefully with it, as potassium chloride has a rather sickly taste to me. To make sure I get my RDA I find I have to focus on specific foods. So here are my champion potassium foods. Again, this is the percentage of my RDA per 120 calories (10% daily intake) worth. It is not an exhaustive list, only what I have tested so far, and if anyone can suggest other foods I have neglected, do let me know. Spinach 62, courgettes (zucchini) 56, pak-choi 49, V8 vegetable juice 45, celery 41, Chinese leaves 38, mushrooms 37, tomatoes 34, lettuce 33, cauliflower 31, asparagus 26, cucumber 25, aubergine (eggplant) 24, kale 23, Brussels sprouts 23, green peppers 22, broccoli 22, melons 20. Soya milk and cabbage are both 17, and in the 10 to 13 range are bean sprouts, kiwi fruit, skim milk, apricots strawberries and pomegranate juice. Nice to see a few fruits make the list. I’m sure you will have spotted that some of the foods on this list are also on the zinc list. I shall publish my Vitamin E list soon, and again there will be an overlap. Ultimately I will nominate my super-champion foods, the ones that double or treble up on those hard-to-get nutrients, and make those targets so much easier to achieve when on mini-me calories but the same RDAs as everyone else!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Buckets of zinc

In my ongoing analysis of foods (by 120 cals worth, i.e. one tenth of my daily intake) my search has been to find good sources of those vitamins and minerals in which I can end up deficient if I take my eye off the ball. One of those is zinc. Now I know all about oysters. A few oysters contain enough zinc to make a bucket, the only problem being I find them repellent. I might experiment with a few canned ones, but I don’t want to get my nutrition from something I dislike if there are yummy alternatives. So far my results on zinc are as follows – and the figures I give here are the percentages of my RDA of zinc as provided by 120 calories worth of a food. So 10% plus is good and I rate 20% plus as very good.

Courgettes (zucchini) 59, asparagus 41, mushrooms 35, spinach 35, low fat feta cheese, 26, Chinese leaves, 22, mung bean sprouts 21, cucumber 20. (Fat free mozzarella is 29 but I can’t get it in the UK) Now I probably wouldn’t be able to eat 120 calories worth of cucumber (mind you, I ate 113 calories worth of cabbage today, and jolly nice it was, too) – these figures are a measure of how hard the food is working for me. Broccoli, lettuce, pumpkin, skim milk, cauliflower, chicken, Brussels sprouts, tofu, low fat mozzarella are all in the range 15-18, and in the 10-14 range we have oats, tomatoes, chickpeas, kale, quinoa, sunflower seeds, celery, red and green peppers, aubergines (eggplant), sardines in tomato sauce, tuna and cabbage. All these foods also supply good to excellent values of other essentials. I’m sure there are others I may have missed but this is a good start, and the best thing is, these are all foods I like a lot!