My fabulous friends over at Voskos Greek Yogurt sent along this great article highlighting 10 Superfoods to combat celiac disease as well as for any individuals seeking a gluten-free diet. Congratulations to them for making the top 10 list with their delightful greek yogurt. Take a look at these 10 superfoods from Nutritionist, Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN and come back tomorrow to see my trials at a delicious recipe for Gluten-Free Roasted Red Pepper Dip! (Recipe to be posted). Thanks Voskos!
A lifelong digestive disorder that affects at least one in every 133 Americans, Celiac disease is now four times more common today compared to 50 years ago.
People diagnosed with celiac disease cannot take in gluten, a protein found in all forms of wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Living gluten-free does not mean eating just rice, potatoes, or corn as a substitute for wheat. The following superfoods kick up the choices and tastes up a notch but most importantly, offer iron, calcium, magnesium zinc, and a plethora of vital vitamins usually amiss in gluten-free diets.
1. Greek Yogurt – nature’s most perfect superfood. Plain original yogurt such as Voskos Greek Yogurt yields the most calcium per serving of any other dairy product. Eight ounces provides 300mg or 30% of your needs for one day! Rather have non-fat? Voskos Plain Non-Fat offers 200mg or 20% DV plus a whopping 24 grams of protein.
2. Dried Blueberries – packed with cancer preventing antioxidants; limit to 1⁄4 cup and you’ll get 6 grams of fiber (aids with digestion and appetite control). Add dried blueberries to Voskos Greek Yogurt, cereal, or make your own trail mix with nuts, and a few chocolate chips.
3. Oatmeal – rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, oats are an excellent source of iron (good for red blood cell production), thiamine (helps our bodies convert carbohydrates into energy, and is essential for the heart, muscles and nervous system), and manganese (needed for bone development). Just a 1/3 cup provides over half your child’s iron needs for the day. Make sure to only purchase pure, uncontaminated oats.
4. Red Bell Peppers – rich in Vitamin C (required for growth and repair of tissues in your body), they are good straight out of the jar. Replace your usual appetizer with cut up vegetables and use Voskos Greek Yogurt instead of ranch dip! (Recipe and photos to follow tomorrow!)
5. Canned Pumpkin – this squash is abundant in Vitamin A (to maintain vision and skin health) and fiber; add 1 cup to your favorite pancake or smoothie with Voskos Greek Yogurt for a yummy treat!
6. Cannellini Beans – beans, the magical fruit. This superfood is packed with iron and zinc (important for the body’s immune system and wound healing). Just 1/4 cup is all you need for a serving. For non-meat eaters (adults & children-alike), an alternative source of protein is important. These beans can be pureed and added to soups, stews, sauces, macaroni & cheese, to make a rich product full of protein, and fiber.
7. Flax Seeds – these seeds have become popular for their excellent fiber and Omega 3 Fatty Acid content (important for brain growth and development). Sprinkled on Voskos Greek Yogurt, oatmeal or mixed into pancake batter, just 1 tablespoon provides 3 grams of fiber. Since the Omega 3 content is preserved in the seed, coarsely grinding the seeds brings out the Omega 3 benefits. Better yet, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Add this mixture to recipes that call for 1 egg and you get a fiber-filled, fatty acid-rich egg replacer!
8. Soybeans – Soy is one of those greatly debated foods due to the phytoestrogen or “fake estrogen” properties. Good news, soy is safe. Research demonstrates soyfoods are safe and do not affect hormone levels in men or women. 1/4 cup of soybeans provides about 1/3 of our iron needs for the day.
9. Quinoa – An amino acid (protein) rich seed high in manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorous. Quinoa has a fluffy, creamy, slightly nutty texture. It is a fantastic side dish with meat, poultry, or fish. Limit to 1/3 cup serving for a fantastic alternative to rice, potatoes, or corn.
10. Cod Liver Oil – Brace yourself. This may be off the “deep end”, but this arctic-derived oil gives the most bang for your buck. One teaspoon will provide over 100% RDA for Vitamin D. Mix this oil into Voskos Greek Yogurt, oatmeal, soups or sauces. Choose a purified oil to ensure no harmful contaminants, many flavors available.
According to Nutritionist, Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN, “A gluten-free diet is not as easy as it sounds as gluten is found in many medications and processed foods. However, there are many other alternative starches such as quinoa and buckwheat that are higher in protein, vitamins and fiber. It is best to be prepared – stock your pantry with some of these items so when you are in a crunch, you will still be getting great nutrition.”
ABOUT Celiac Disease: Even when a small amount of gluten is consumed, a toxic reaction is created in the immune system, damaging the small intestine which hinders nutrient absorption and ultimately causes malnutrition, and sometimes even severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Currently, the only known cure for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet.
ABOUT Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN: Founder of FEED (www.feedkids.com), a privately owned pediatric nutrition counseling business since 2008. With over seven years experience in clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center, Lara has been invited to speak at national nutrition and medical conferences including the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in addition to providing expert contributions on TV news channels. She has been quoted in publications on her perspective on infant feeding practices and celiac disease.
As an advisory board and executive committee member of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Lara always has been active in the celiac disease community. She frequently educates patients, family members, and nutrition professionals on the gluten-free diet.
ABOUT Voskos Greek Yogurt: Voskos Greek Yogurt is all-natural, hormone-free, and gluten-free. Voskos’ proprietary ProStrainTM straining method offers 2x more protein, more probiotics, less lactose, & a thicker, creamier consistency. Voskos is the first Greek yogurt brand to be produced in the USA and still the first and only to offer a full line of products: organic and all-natural along with plain and blended flavors (never “fruit on the bottom”). Available nationwide. For store locations & more information, visit www.voskos.com; become a fan on www.facebook.com/Voskos.greek.yogurt; and follow us www.twitter.com/govoskos.