Antioxidant Rich Trail Mix
Hi all. Michelle here.
We recently attended a health fair put on for the PUD employees in Shelton.
We had a blast and enjoyed handing out the most beautiful antioxidant trail mix. I love recipes like this one since it contains so many great phytonutrients, healthy fats, and minerals that so many of us miss in our day to day eating. Nutrients that, by the way, are critical to the function of many pathways and organs in the body (more on that below). Making your own trail mix is not only simple and easy to do, it also doesn't contain added ingredients you may not want entering your body. It is also more affordable in the long run! This is great on its own but would be great to add to some yogurt or oatmeal.
Here's the flyer we gave out as well.
Feel free to read more about the health benefits this recipe has to offer:
This recipe is rich in many amazing compounds that can be helpful for issues such as metabolic syndrome, weight gain, blood sugar dysregulation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, anxiety and mood disorders and more.
Selenium - Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium and copper as well as phytoestrogens. Selenium acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells from damage and neutralizing potentially harmful cells and reactions. Copper is a crucial mineral in energy production in the body and phytoestrogens are particularly helpful in cases of menopause and breast cancer. Brazil nuts are also currently being explored in instances of anxiety of over-eating (Frausto Gonzalez et al, Molecules, 2021).
Copper – Copper is an important for many pathways in the body and is a star player in ATP (energy) production. If we don’t have copper, the body cannot properly generate ATP.
Phytoestrogens (flax seeds/lignans) – Phytoestrogens are thought to lower the risk of various disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, brain function issues, various cancers, and more. They have also been shown to decrease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and osteoporosis (Rietjens, et al. 2017).
Zinc – Zinc acts as an antioxidant in the body and plays a large role in the immune system, protein and DNA synthesis, helps with wound healing, and more. Zinc is also a crucial for thyroid function. Deficiencies in zinc (as well as selenium) have been associated with hypothyroidism (Betsy, et al., 2013). The cocoa nibs in this recipe are a great source of zinc.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids – These fatty acids are crucial for combatting inflammation and help to keep our cell membranes optimal! Omega-3 fatty acids are often found in fatty fish and sea plants such as algae, but you also get a good dose from nuts and seeds such as flax seeds.
Magnesium – This electrolyte is involved in some way in virtually every system in the body, including energy production and neurotransmitter function. Up to 30% of the US population do not get enough magnesium in their diet, and this is especially true even for individuals who have excess energy intake (DiNicolantonio, et al., 2018). In regard to the PNW, this is of great concern since vitamin D cannot be metabolized into it’s proper form without magnesium! The pumpkin seeds in this recipe are a great source of magnesium.
While these compounds offer great benefits on their own, we love them in food form as they work in the body together to function optimally and contain other trace nutrients not discussed in this post!
Take these hiking, as a pre-workout, or enjoy in the evening when you are experiencing cravings. What other ingredients do you add to your trail mix??
Rietjens IMCM, Louisse J, Beekmann K. The potential health effects of dietary phytoestrogens. Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;174(11):1263-1280. doi: 10.1111/bph.13622. Epub 2016 Oct 20. PMID: 27723080; PMCID: PMC5429336.
Betsy A, Binitha M, Sarita S. Zinc deficiency associated with hypothyroidism: an overlooked cause of severe alopecia. Int J Trichology. 2013 Jan;5(1):40-2. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.114714. PMID: 23960398; PMCID: PMC3746228.
DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH, Wilson W. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart. 2018 Jan 13;5(1):e000668. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668. Erratum in: Open Heart. 2018 Apr 5;5(1):e000668corr1. PMID: 29387426; PMCID: PMC5786912. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786912/
Frausto-González O, Bautista CJ, Narváez-González F, Hernandez-Leon A, Estrada-Camarena E, Rivero-Cruz F, González-Trujano ME. Bertholletia excelsa Seeds Reduce Anxiety-Like Behavior, Lipids, and Overweight in Mice. Molecules. 2021; 26(11):3212. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113212. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/11/3212/htm