In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.
We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.
Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.
Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.
Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.
Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Like the other B vitamins, B2 plays an important role in energy production by ensuring the efficient metabolism of the food that we eat in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It plays a key role in our nutritional processes such as its help in processing amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is the substance that we are made of. Twenty amino acids are needed to build the various different proteins used in the growth, repair and maintenance of our body tissues and whilst eleven of these are made by the body itself, the others must be obtained from our diet and processed by other agents including B2.
Surprisingly, despite there being plenty of sources for B vitamins in the Western world, a deficiency is not uncommon. There are a number of causes for this, lack of variety in the diet, restricted diets for weight loss, a change of diet to vegetarianism or veganism without careful consideration and inclusion of alternatives to meat to provide B vitamins. It is also common in those who drink heavily. It is also found to be deficient in those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and cataracts.
Here is a quick look at why Vitamin B2 is essential in the diet.
The role in the uptake of iron
Research into anaemia has highlighted the role of B2 in the body’s inability to manufacture red blood cells. There are two areas that would appear to be particularly critical. One is the vitamin’s role in mobilising iron from storage to the cells and secondly that a deficiency prevents the efficient absorption of iron.
Vitamin B2 is a vitamin that is essential for metabolising carbohydrates to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) without which we would be totally lacking in energy. It also works with enzymes in the liver to eliminate toxins, which helps keep us clear of infection.
B2 is needed to change B6 and Folic Acid into an active and usable form so that our nervous system is protected. Folic acid is essential for healthy cell division and is needed before and during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. B2 is also part of the process that changes tryptophan, so important to our mental wellbeing, into niacin.
Our bodies have an extremely complex chemical operating system and it is synergistic. It is rare for one of the chemical components to work in isolation and it usually requires a reaction to occur to achieve a function. For example B2 is needed to recycle the vital antioxidant Glutathione in its oxidised state (after it has done its job to detoxify the unstable free radicals) into reduced Glutathione so it can go back and do the job again.
Other areas where B2 is essential.
Without sufficient B2 we would not have healthy skin, nails and hair and our thyroid function can be compromised, B vitamins are also essential for brain health.
Some of the symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency.
1. Weakness or fatigue
2. Frequent bouts of depression
3. Frequent throat infections
4. Dry Skin, in particular persistent skin cracking
5. Dermatitis and other skin conditions such as acne
6. Anaemia (poor uptake of iron)
7. Migraines and headaches,
8. Rheumatoid arthritis
Dairy products are one of the main sources of Vitamin B2.
If I was to use an alternative it would not be soy-milk but rice milk. The only proviso with rice milk is if you are diabetic or at risk of diabetes.
Other foods that provide you with Vitamin B2
1. Offal meats
4. oily fish such as mackerel.
6. wholegrain Rice.
7. dark Green vegetables (Spinach and Broccoli)
I am now going to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include some of the high source foods needed to provide you and your family sufficient Vitamin B2
Carol Cooks 2 with Vitamin B2.
I am already loving this new series that Sally and myself are bringing to you…It was the brainchild of Sally and I think it is a great idea…Although I know a fair bit about cooking and food I am the first to admit that although I know what is good for me I don’t always know why…If a doctor or health practitioner informed me I was short on a certain Vitamin and needed to include more of it in my diet I wouldn’t always know where to start…
The recipes I will be providing for each vitamin will help with this and will include everyday foods which will help boost any given deficiency …Some of the ingredients will be duplicated but we are hoping that it will make it easier for you to remember which ingredients contain which Vitamins it has certainly helped me while I have been looking at recipes and ingredients.
Today I am looking at ingredients which contain or convert to vitamin B2 … All these recipes are made in my own kitchen and tested by me and my family…
Offal contains B1 and B2 and I know many people do not like offal…I was bought up eating offal and offal is eaten and cooked a lot by Thais… Thais tend to use chicken livers whereas my mum used lambs or pigs liver she also used to stuff pigs hearts with sage and onion stuffing which cooked slowly with onions and served with mash, broccoli and carrots with thick gravy it was a lovely hearty meal…
Liver and Bacon was my mum’s preferred way of serving liver and mine until I moved here I now use chicken livers and add some chilli paste…Although it is quite a fiery little dish even hubby eats it as I think his love of liver overrides the fact he is sweating buckets because of the heat of the chilli…haha
This lovely spicy chicken liver dish is very easy and quick to make…..In Thai it translates to Pad Ped Kuang Nai Gai Tua Fuk Yaao try pronouncing that after a few sundowners…
Spicy Chicken Livers.
- 350 gm Chicken Livers
- 4 or 5 long green beans.
- 2 tsp Red curry paste… depending on your red curry paste you use you may need to add more…I use a locally made one which blows your head off …so only use 2 tsp and it is still hot!
- 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.
- 6/8 Lime leaves very finely sliced.
- 4 tbsp Coconut Milk or more if you like a bit more sauce.
- Small amount of coconut oil.
N.B You can use oil of your choice I just always cook with Coconut oil.
Serve with brown/wild steamed rice.
- Clean and cut up chicken livers..I do bite size pieces.
- Cut up long beans into half-inch long pieces.
- Finely shred lime leaves…..I roll them and shred.
- Heat Pan over fairly high heat, add a small amount of oil, add chilli paste and 1 tbsp Fish sauce stir until paste is liquid, add finely sliced lime leaves and chicken livers , stir until just cooked.
- Add green beans and coconut milk and cook gently for 2/3 mins.
- Taste and add more fish sauce if required…I generally add about another half tbsp.
It is now ready to serve…this is quite a dry dish so can be served with a small bowl of miso soup with chopped spring onions if liked.
N.B. If you can’t get snake beans then substitute green beans.
Spinach and Brocolli are a great source of Vitamin B2…
Now I know many people don’t eat vegetables and that really surprises me as we love our vegetables we were always given them as children and I did the same to mine I never forced a vegetable as long as they ate at least one vegetable with their meal. But I also found that as they grew older they liked that veg which they hadn’t when younger a good example is Brussel sprouts.
Vegetables can be disguised if you really don’t eat them with a cheese sauce or popped between the layers of a lasagne…
How lovely does that look..A simple white sauce with added grated cheeses poured over the top of any vegetable you like I use cauliflower and broccoli mixed sometimes have added it to cabbage and it makes a lovely dish on its own with some grilled tomatoes or as a side vegetable with fish.
My salad this week again using Mackerel which we love is :- Mackerel and green mango salad.
- 2 small mackerel or mackerel fillets
- 1 green mango, julienned
- 3 shallots finely sliced
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 2 tbsp Lime Juice
- 2 -4 fresh red chillies sliced
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes ( optional)
- 1 handful of fresh mint picked and chopped
- 1 handful coriander chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted roasted nuts.
- Grill the mackerel unless you buy ready smoked mackerel and in that case break it into flakes.
- Julienne your mango, slice your shallots and chop your herbs.
- Put all your chopped ingredients and the fish into a serving bowl and add your chillies, fish sauce and Lime Juice..
- Taste and if you wish to add a little sugar to balance the flavour or suit your palate then add it now.
Serve with noodles or some steamed plain potatoes.
I personally preferred this mackerel dish to the one last week not by much but I like fruity flavours…If you can’t get green mango then I think( and) am going to try it next it would be lovely with mango which is just ripe but still firm which I think you could get almost anywhere in the world now…Or try a green apple which I think would be equally as good.
Mushrooms also contain B2 and I love mushrooms in any way shape or form and there are so many different mushrooms…
- A cup of shelled walnuts
- Half a cup of minced shallots
- ¼ lb shitake mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ lb Crimini mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ lb Portobello mushrooms chopped
- 1 tbsp of roasted garlic puree
- ¼ cup Italian parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper to season
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F, 175C
- Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven until lightly brown. Take out and set to one side.
- In a large pan melt the butter and add the shallots, cook until translucent then add the mushrooms, garlic, parsley, thyme , salt and pepper, cook, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Next blend the walnuts and oil together until they form a thick paste, add the mushroom mix and blend until it reaches your desired consistency…some like a coarser pate than others.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- Put in small ramekins or one large dish. Cover with cling film and chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.
A simple dish is mushrooms on toast.
Ingredients to serve 2 people.
- 2 slices of sour dough bread or bread of your choice. Toasted.
- 170 gm of mixed mushrooms
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp crème fraiche
- 2 slices of bacon or prosciutto
- Few sprigs of Parsley, chopped for dish and to garnish
- Knob of butter
- Fry your bacon or prosciutto and set to one side. Cut into pieces.
- Add the butter to a pan then add mushrooms cook for 2 minutes, add crushed garlic and crème fraiche cook for 3-5 mins and stir in some chopped parsley.
- Pile mushrooms on top of toast and garnish with bacon and some parsley.
- If you are feeling really peckish then top the mushrooms with a poached egg.
Mushrooms also go well in a cream or tomato sauce over pasta or in a lovely mushroom risotto. They lend themselves to so many savoury dishes and cream of mushroom soup is very nice…One of my grandsons favourites.
What is your favourite mushroom dish?
My thanks to Carol for creating and adapting recipes to include Vitamin B2 rich foods and I am sure the whole family will love them.
You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE
Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.
As I move from Facebook to share my posts, you will find me with some other blogging friends on a relatively new, and friendlier site called MeWe….you can find me on mewe.com/i/sallycronin