|Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread|
Over the long Canadian winter, especially for a hiker and polewalker it is easy to become sedentary during the cold months. With the warmer weather and the sunshine I find myself more inclined to hit the trails with my poles. Walking or some form of exercise is essential for healthy bones as well as muscles. The way we live our lives can have a major impact on the health of our bones. It's worth remembering that bones are alive and constantly changing. Old, worn out bone is replaced with new bone in a process called 'bone turnover'. A child's whole skeleton is replaced within about two years. In adults this process takes longer - about seven to 10 years. So...we need to give our bones a helping hand. We think our skeleton will provide a solid framework for life but it needs tender loving care just like our skin, hair or heart!
Susan of Food Blogga is holding a Beautiful Bones event in support of osteoporosis. Like many women she has osteoporosis. Check out her site for all the calcium rich foods needed in your every day diet. May is National Osteoporosis Month and she has decided to host a food blogging event to alert women of the potential risks of osteoporosis and encourage them to take steps to protect their bones at every age. Elderly men can also have osteoporosis so they need to be aware as well. For information about prevention and support check out the National Osteoporosis website. It also has a list of calcium rich foods.
It's important to tuck into bone friendly foods to provide the proper nourishment our skeleton needs. The body contains 1kg of calcium, 99 percent of which is stored in our bones. It is important we eat plenty of calcium. Vitamin D is also essential to help our cells absorb the calcium!!!!
It's a good idea to avoid:
Too much protein - particularly animal protein such as meat and cheese. Excessive amounts of protein may upset the acid balance within the body which then takes calcium from the bones to neutralise it. Too many grain foods like cereal and bread may have the same effect, although how significant this is is unclear. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables should keep your body's acid balance stable.
Lots of salt - high levels of sodium can increase the amount of calcium the body gets rid of through urine. Watch out for 'hidden' levels of salt in processed foods .
Drinking lots of fizzy drinks - phosphate, in the form of phosphoric acid, is used to improve the flavour in a lot of fizzy drinks and too much can cause the body to use calcium to balance levels. While there is no hard scientific evidence about its effect on bone health it may be a good idea to only drink these in moderation, particularly for children who are still growing.
Drinking too much caffeine - again, a high consumption of caffeine could affect the balance of calcium in the body. Try adding milk to your coffee to counteract this effect or try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day.
Letting your weight drop too low - being overweight is not good for general health but being underweight increases the risk of broken bones when you fall. In younger women severe weight loss may stop menstrual periods because hormone levels drop which can also increase your risk of breaking a bone.
I applaud Susan for bringing osteoporosis to our attention. It is important to get the word out for both men and women. Elderly men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, of course they are not as high risk as women, but it is important to know for themselves as well as for their wives and daughters. To promote a healthier lifestyle at any time is important!!
This is one of my new favourite sandwiches. Clean, fresh hearty flavours make this a winner for me. This time around instead of arugula I added baby romaine and pea shoots. This is a nice light sandwich. I also had this same filling and garbanzo spread in a whole wheat wrap the following day...excellente!!! It is rich in calcium as well with both the artichokes and tuna...perfect for this event!!!
**Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread**
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Garbanzo Bean Spread:
1 (398 mL)(15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pitted black olives, finely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (5 1/2-ounce) cans Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
1 (13 3/4-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
8 mini baguettes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups arugula
To make the Garbanzo Bean Spread: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
To make the Panini: Combine the black olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, tuna, onion and artichokes in a bowl. Lay out the sliced baguettes. Spread the Garbanzo Bean Spread on both halves of the baguettes. Spoon the tuna mixture over the bean spread. Top with the arugula and close the sandwich. Wrap 1 end of the sandwich in parchment paper to make it easier to eat. Place the sandwiches on a platter and serve.
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