Guest Interview

Friday Q&A with Julie Daniluk – Foods in Spotlight – Green Beans, Mushroom, Seaweed and Bok Choy

ulie Daniluk Foods in Spotlight with EczemaBlues

Julie Daniluk RHN, nutritionist, hosted Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network and had also appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including The Dr Oz Show, CTV’s Breakfast TV and Wylde on Health (CP24). She has 3 award-winning best sellers, including Meals that Heal Inflammation that features a practical nutrition guide, menu plan and 130 easy and delicious recipes.

After reading Julie’s recipes, Marcie Mom discovered that some readily available foods in Singapore are of high nutritional value but we may not have thought of giving them to our kids! Thus, I caught up with Julie to find out the nutritional benefits of these foods and knowing how nutritious they are will certainly motivate us to cook for our kids! This was originally posted on 4 Fridays, but had since been combined into one more info-packed post.

Julie Daniluk Well known nutritionist book meals that heal inflammation
Julie Daniluk – Nutritionist (picture credit –

Shiitake Mushroom

What are the nutritional benefits of Shiitake Mushroom?

Julie: Shiitake mushroom is a tasty and nutritious fungi, that has been studied and also associated with protecting our body against toxins, in particular our liver. Other benefits include:

  1. Protecting against flu – This is due to the compound known as Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) which can improve our immune response after exposure to flu virus.
  2. Protecting against adverse effects of cancer treatments – This is credited to polysaccharides which can reduce the immune-compromising effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation. Also helps improve liver function and recovery from treatment.
  3. Protecting against hypertension – The rich source of potassium in shiitake mushroom helps to regulate fluid and blood in our system.
  4. Protecting against high blood cholesterol – A compound eritadenine helps to lower blood cholesterol.
  5. Protecting against bacteria in contaminated food – This is credited to an active compound, lentinan, that has anti-bacterial properties against food-borne pathogens.
  6. Protecting against osteoporosis – This is due to its vitamin D, that reduces likelihood of osteoporosis and improves calcium absorption.
  7. Shiitake mushroom also has Vitamin B, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, copper, zinc, protein and magnesium.

How Much Shiitake Mushroom can a Child take?

Julie: A child dosage of remedies is based on weight. If they weigh 40 pounds it would be a 1/3rd to what an adult would have.

Is there significant loss in nutrients if cooked?

Julie: In general, water soluble vitamins are lost in cooking but some fat soluble nutrients like pro-vitmain A is increased by cooking! Shiitake mushrooms should be cooked as they are easier to digest.

Is Shiitake Mushrooms Anti-Inflammatory Food?

Julie: Shiitake mushrooms are certainly an anti-inflammatory food!

Marcie Mom: Thanks Julie, I have been cooking shiitake mushroom in chicken broth with celery for my toddler to scoop the chewy mushroom onto her wrap. She’s been having fun eating mushroom and kept thanking me for it! I’ve also found other mushroom recipes online:

Nori Seaweed

What are the nutritional benefits of Nori Seaweed?

Julie: Sushi is a popular food and while there’re many nutritional benefits of the nori seaweed, do note not to over-consume the white rice as it is high in sugar content. Brown rice, or non-rice options, wrapped with nori seaweed will be a healthier option! Nori Seaweed contains about one-third protein and 1/3 dietary fibre, with a good content of Vitamins A, Bs, C, E, K, calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. Benefits of these nutrients include:

  1. Reducing risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Nori contains iodine that can reduce insulin resistance and allow glucose into cells to be used for energy. This manages the blood sugar level and reduces the work load for our pancreas.
  2. Reduces risk of tissue degeneration – Nori contains Vitamin A, that has been associated with the prevention of tissue degeneration, in particular in our eyes and our lungs.
  3. Reduces time for skin healing – Nori contains Vitamin C that is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, able to improve wound healing and reduce inflammation in our body and on our skin.
  4. Reduces blood cholesterol – Nori is high in niacin, which can reduce LDL cholesterol, particularly in Type 2 Diabetes sufferers. Through its increased metabolism of triglycerides (fats), fats can be reduced on the arterial walls and blood stream.
  5. Relieves headaches and muscle cramps – Nori is high in magnesium, which can reduce muscle cramping and relaxes small arterial and skeletal muscles in the head and neck.

Nori Seaweed Reduces Time for Skin Healing

(ii) A study published in the 2009 issue of the “Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health” indicates that seaweed presented a relatively low quantity of mercury in the Korean diet, where seaweed is eaten frequently — 0.02 mg per person per day compared with the 1.8 mg per person per day from seafood, considered to be the greatest mercury risk. The small risk might be mitigated by the health benefits of seaweed, however. Evidence available in the February 2004 “Veterinary and Human Toxicology” journal correlates the consumption of seaweed with antioxidant protections that can ward off neurological damage caused by mercury.

Read more:

How much Nori Seaweed can a Child Eat?

Julie: I think ½ sheet of nori per day would be healthy for school age children as long as it is from a clean source. Eden foods tests their seaweed for contaminants.

Here is an excellent study on Thyroid Research Journal

MarcieMom: Thanks Julie, I’ve started giving my toddler Nori seaweed, within her shiitake mushroom wrap but sometimes, she stuff the seaweed strips in her mouth and laughs about it! (and half of it fell off!). Will continue looking into ways to incorporate Nori in her diet! Some recipes I’ve found –

Homemade Seaweed Snacks – by Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Bok Choy

What are the nutritional benefits of Bok Choy?

Julie: Brassica chinensis, better known as Bok Choy, is a member of the Chinese cabbage and its chinese name ‘白菜’ meant ‘white vegetables’. Bok Choy is a good source of sulforaphane, calcium, beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, Vitamins A, B-complex, C, K and fibre. Benefits of some of these nutrients are:

  1. Prevents cancer – due to a compound, sulforaphane, that can prevent cancer cells from multiplying
  2. Reduces risk of osteoprorosis and hypertension – credited to its high calcium content, sufficiently high to be an alternative to diary and it’s more easily absorbed into the body
  3. Aids eyesight development – pregnant women and infants especially, can benefit from its high Vitamin A content
  4.  Reduces blood cholesterol – through its soluble and insoluble fibre that can bind bile to fats, thus preventing fats from entering into our blood stream
  5. Protects against hypertension – its high potassium content can help to reduce blood pressure level
  6. Protects against & reduces inflammation – through its rich source of anti-oxidants content, namely of Vitamin C and manganese

How much Bok Choy can a child take?

Julie: Bokchoy is self-limiting, which means a child will not eat more then they need. Have you ever met a kid say- I want another head of cabbage please!

2 TB is the standard serving a child will eat. The only contra-indication for Bok Choy is if someone has thyroid issues, they should not eat it raw!

MarcieMom: Thanks Julie, I’ll be sure to ask my parents to cook for themselves too! As obviously, they can benefit from Bok Choy as aged parents are at risk of osteoprorosis and high blood pressure. Will also be cooking for my toddler, just wondering how to make it cute! Some recipes that I’ve found online, mostly a quick stir fry will do!

Baby Bok Choy with Cashews – by Simply Recipes

Green Beans

What are the nutritional benefits of Green Beans?

Julie: Green beans are also known as french beans, string beans, snap beans and squeaky beans. It is a rich source of Vitamins A, B complex, C, K, protein, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and fibre. Green bean can also benefit us in the following ways:

  1. Reduces inflammation on the skin due to sun burn – Green beans have high carotenoids; in particular, beta-carotene and lutein can stop erythema, which is skin redness and inflammation after a sunburn.
  2. Reduces benzopyrene toxicity due to charred food – Green beans have high chlorphyll, which can stop the multiplicaiton of tumor cells due to benzopyrene.
  3. Reduces inflammation – Having the highest antioxidant in the bean family, Green beans contain quercetin and kaemferol that have been researched to stop death of dopamine-creating cells, thus aiding the treatment of Parkinsons disease.
  4. Improves connective tissue – Through the mineral silicon, Green beans can improve the health of our connective tissue, including cartilage, bones, ligaments and skin.
  5. Reduces likelihood of bone fractures – Being high in Vitamin K, Green beans strengthen our bone matrix, preventing bone fractures and osteopenia. Vitamin K also moderates blood clotting.

How much Green Beans can a Child take?

Julie: A child serving would be 2 tbsp.

Will Nutrients be lost when Cooked?

Julie: Vitamin B and C is lost in boiling so steaming green beans is a perferred cooking method.

MarcieMom: Wow, I’ve to bear in mind the ‘power’ of green beans, in particular, to encourage my mom to take more of it. It’s strange though, at one time Marcie loves green beans (when we eat out) but once I got my mom to cook for her, she hates it! Time for me to look into recipes to entice her back to Green beans!

Fresh Green Beans, One Way – by The Pioneer Woman

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme – by Simply Recipes

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