Friday, May 9, 2008

Slimy slow release

Hi Melissa,
I'm visiting your blog from Fanatic Cook. I like what you write about! Nice blog! Re what you said on Bix's blod, just wondering what sorts of foods are included in the "mucilaginous carb" category (hope it's not okra--ick!). Thanks!

I mentioned this with respect to native diets and Why Some Like It Hot, Nabhan's excellent book. In that book he mentions that many native foods, when ingested, do not spike blood all. From a botanical standpoint, many of these are desert plants that have evolved in a way to defend themselves against moisture loss. Most of them are considered mucilaginous, an appetizing (or not) word meaning "Having the nature or properties of mucilage; of a soft, moist, and viscous quality or appearance, slimy."

Slimy? While that might not sound delicious, it keeps these foods slow in your digestive system. This is a boon if you have blood sugar issues, but also for a host of other health problems like IBS. These foods also keep you satiated for longer than average.

Some of the foods he mentions include Southwestern prickly pear and other cacti, Australian bush potato, and mesquite. More common foods that are considered mucilaginous include, yes, okra, but also purslane, seaweed, flax, oats, and cucumbers.

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