Wholegrain brown rice: 5 good reasons to eat it!

Riso

Rice: the most important cereal worldwide, the most notable one in terms of human resources and nutrition, the one that can give you more than a fifth of consumed calories, spanning from China to South America, the one food that is not only present in, but the main character of, the most famous typical international dishes. Basically, a miracle food.

As opposed to white “refined” rice, brown rice doesn’t go through any kind of treatment, therefore maintaining its bran properties (which are fundamental for the body’s wellbeing). The process of refinement in fact eliminates all nutritional value from white rice grains. That’s why we support brown rice, which is much more beneficial with respect to white rice: it is rich of vitamins, minerals, fibers and proteins.

5 REASONS TO CHOOSE BROWN RICE

1.     It’s gluten free, it helps digestion and it reduces constipation

Brown rice is a naturally gluten-free food. It is one of the most common elements in a gluten-free dietary regime, as it provides with all the fibers and benefits of Vitamin B that are typical of whole-grain cereals (seldom found in any other element of gluten-free diets). As it is rich with fibers, it is also good for your digestive system and helps the body keep a regular intestinal activity, by reducing constipation and contributing to your general wellbeing if consumed regularly.

2.     It keeps your cholesterol levels low

Wholegrain rice helps you maintain your level of cholesterol low thanks to its natural oils contents. And, again, the presence of fibers is essential as they facilitate the expulsion of cholesterol in the digestive apparatus.

3.     It produces energy and protects from free radicals

200 grams of rice provide you with 88% of your daily manganese need. Manganese is a mineral which is useful to produce energy starting from proteins and carbs. Its functions are multiple, out of which contributing to the wellbeing of the brain and nervous system and spice it up a little whilst keeping the production of sexual hormones. It also protects from free radicals’ damages, therefore may save you from cardiovascular diseases or simply prevent ageing.

4.     It helps reach and maintain your ideal weight

Brown rice is a “smart carb” that can help maintain or even reach your ideal goal of weight. As it is a high-fiber food it helps the body keep a healthy and clean intestine, therefore it naturally facilitates weight loss. It has a glycemic index that is lower compared to white rice, therefore making it more suitable in weight loss or low-glycemic diets. The main advantage is that it fills you up therefore eliminating that sensation and temptation to eat something outside of your main meals.

5.     It’s good for your heart

Brown wholegrain rice is rich with lignans, which are natural phytonutrients that can protect you against several illnesses, amongst which heart diseases. Brown rich is also rich with magnesium, one of the most essential mineral in heart health, because it regulates blood pressure and balances the amount of sodium in the body.

Want to try it out on Rose & Mary's menu? Both the asparagus and the porcini risotto are made of wholegrain brown rice. Something different for a once here

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What to eat to have stronger hair&nails

Mirtilli

If we listen to the hairdresser we should have argan oil, flax seeds oil, whatever type of oil, ready to be worn on your hair (looking mostly like an 80s rockstar who hasn’t washed their hair in 15 days) all the time. Do they work? Does keratin-based nail polish help you have stronger, longer, whiter nails?

Well, it’s a mystery. Yet, there is some tip we can follow to try and support beauty products whilst we eat.

Our nutritionist loves list:

-       EAT ALMONDS

Almonds are essentially super good tasting. Also, on the side, they are rich with vitamin E and vegetable proteins, which are a natural anti-oxydants that support the production of collagen and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. The word collagen probably does make you think of a stronger skin or body. And if that weren’t enough, they are also rich with calcium, which we ALL know, because we’ve been bombarded as kids, that is good for bones, hair, skin, teeth, nails. Another property? They are what we call alkaline, meaning they would help detoxing by maintaining healthy PH level, avoiding acidity or inflammation. Last, vitamin B: a necessity for hair and nails.

-       TRY VEGETABLES WITH LEAVES

We have often talked about the benefits of vegetables. In this case we can easily list vitamin A, C, E, F, iron, and a looooot of water is contained, not to mention calcium, magnesium, potassium. All the good things in spinach, broccoli, kale to take care of your nails and hair. Want a specific tip? Spirulina (a blue-green algae) contains biotin, iron, proteins and vitamin B12 – totally what you need for your beauty routine.

-       TAKE CARE OF YOUR HAIR WITH SALMON

We did talk about oil right? So the good fat of salmon, a superfood rich with proteins, omega3, fat acids and vitamin D, helps your hair grow brilliant and stronger because of its natural oils that keep the hair hydrated all the time. Same thing with sardines, or nuts or flax seeds.

-       FIND KERATIN IN LEAN PROTEINS

Hair&Nails are primarily made of a very hard and strong protein called keratin. Yes, that’s not only a word made up for a Brazilian treatment, it’s actually what gives your nails and hair the strength they need. To produce keratin, your body needs amino-acids found in proteins: lean meats, fish, eggs or nuts, beans, lentils and quinoa for those of you who follow a vegetarian diet.

-       BERRIES FOR YOUR HAIR, REALLY?

It’s true, blueberries are rich with anti-oxydants which protect the body from free radicals and therefore stress hormons and inflammations, which by consequence affect hair and nails’ cells. Blueberries also contain a lot of vitamin C, which can support the circulation of blood on your scalp and is essentially fundamental to maintain strength in your hair and avoid breaking.

Want to try these beauty tips in food? Asparagus, orange and almonds mixed green salad or all our salmon dishes, not to mention the ever present veggies. Find some inspiration here.

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The Gold of the Incas: QUINOA

Quinoa Verdure

Five precious magical property of the ancient South-American smart carb.

Ever been to Peru or, more in general to South America? Quinoa is everywhere and it’s not only a “chic” food for those who live in the richest areas of town. It is actually an everyday nutritious basis.

Quinoa is an ancient herbaceous plant, whose seeds are utilized as if they were cereal. They can in fact be used as a whole piece or they can be further grinded to be transformed into flour. It is a food with extraordinary properties that grows in South American and it is so precious that it is often referred to as the Gold of the Incas, because the ancient population strongly believed quinoa to be a boost to their warriors’ resistance and to their population’s health.

It is a so called “smart carb” or a “good carb”, one of those that cannot be missed in a healthy and balanced diet.

For several years quinoa was in fact forgotten or neglected, notwithstanding its ancient origin. It has been a recent return due to the “foodie revolution” that it has re-discovered with full merits its role on our table.

As mentioned, quinoa is mostly produced in Bolivia or Peru. The most common one is white, but you can also find a red and a black version. It’s a versatile food, easy to cook and an exceptional pseudo-cereal, which is perfect for a vegetarian or vegan diet as well. Let’ go into details:

1.     Quinoa is a healthy alternative to animal proteins

Yes, this is surprising. Quinoa is one of the very few “grains” containing all of the nine essential amino acids. Most cereals, for example, are poor in lysine, whereas quinoa has plenty. Lysine helps the body produce collagen, a substance that is useful for your bones’ health, for your muscles’ strength and for your skin’s resistance whilst having an essential role in the production of energy. In comparison to other cereals, quinoa is exceptional: 100 grams of raw quinoa contain 14 grams of proteins – the same amount of wholegrain rice would contain 7.5 grams and the same amount of barley would contain 9 grams. Who would have thought!

2.     Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free food

It is a pseudo-cereal and therefore it is gluten-free by definition. Also, for those of you who have a tendency to be allergic, generally it is very rare to develop an allergy to the quinoa plant. It is a seed, and thanks to its versatility it can be a valid alternative to pasta, whole-wheat flour to produce pizza, focaccia, tarts, cakes or creams.

Avoiding gluten can in fact bring plenty of beneficial effects to your health. Gluten contains a protein called gliadin, which our body is unable to process and destroy fully. Instead of seeing it as a protein, our body “interprets” gliadin as a bacteria and therefore starts some sort of immune defence reaction that we feel likely as stomach or intestinal inflammations. In the long run, gluten can potentially cause a series of diseases, let’s go for quinoa!

3.     Quinoa helps you lose weight and keep you fit

Quinoa has a high content of fibers and proteins that make you feel filled up and therefore controls hunger. It also has a low glycemic index therefore maintaining constant the level of sugar in blood, whilst inhibiting the desire to snack outside of your main meals.

4.     Quinoa fights inflammations and free radicals

Quinoa is well known to be a great source of natural anti-oxidants, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which operate a very important anti-inflammatory action. It also has a high content of manganese, a mineral that acts just like an anti-oxidant protecting your body from the damages caused by mitochondrions during the production of energy. Contrasting free radicals is essential because it helps prevent ageing and maintaining healthy tissues.

5.     Quinoa reduces constipation and contributes to a regular intestinal activity

With respect to other grains, quinoa contains double the amount of fibers. Fibers help prevent constipation, accelerating the pace of your intestinal transit. It also facilitates the explusion of toxins from intestine therefore protecting the mucosa from cancer risk. Quinoa is therefore certainly a food that cannot be missed in a diet. It is perfect for your psycho-physical well-being (don’t know about you, but we’re generally very grumpy when constipated!)

Want to try quinoa this week? It is the right one, we're playing our cards with Quinoa alla Norma, a revisited version of a typical sicilian aubergine-based pasta dish. Check it out amongst our specials here

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