Tag Archives: fresh fruits and vegetables

Good health in simple steps – NIA

Living a healthy life is simple but not easy. This infographic from the National Institute on Aging makes it very clear.

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Lack of fresh food choices linked to signs of early heart disease – AHA

It seems that while our reliance on fast foods and processed foods might be saving us some time, in the long run it is costing us dearly.

A lack of access to nearby stores selling fresh food may increase residents’ risk of developing the signs of early heart disease, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Circulation.

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“The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,” said Jeffrey Wing, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “The thought is that greater access to healthier foods may have promoted healthier diets and, in turn, less coronary plaque formation.”

Study results point to a need for greater awareness of the potential health threat posed by living in neighborhoods with scarce healthy grocery options. Continue reading

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5 No Nonsense Ways to Add Fruits and Vegetables to Dinner – Harvard

“Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you.” I can almost hear my mother telling me that again. And it turns out mom was right as usual.

Fortunately for us, Harvard HEALTHbeat has some useful suggestions on how to up our fruit and veggie consumption.

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“Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for good health. That’s one reason why a plant-based diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. And when you pile on the produce, there’s less room for the unhealthy foods.

“Dinner is typically the largest (and latest) meal of the day, and it’s a good opportunity to make sure that you meet your daily quota for fruits and vegetables.

Here are five easy ways to work more produce into dinner.

1. Roast vegetables. Roasting is a great way to let the deep, rich flavors of vegetables shine through. Bake cut vegetables at 375° F for 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re lightly browned. You can roast any vegetable — from mushrooms, onions, eggplant, and zucchini to tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots — so don’t limit yourself. Enjoy roasted veggies as a side dish or toss them into pasta dishes and other recipes.

2. Poach veggies in low-sodium chicken broth and white wine. To poach, boil enough liquid to cover the vegetables. When it boils, add the vegetables. Turn down the heat to just below boiling and cook the vegetables for about five to seven minutes, until they’re brightly colored and tender-crisp. Add garlic, basil, or tarragon for a flavor bonus. To retain nutrients, keep a watchful eye on the pot, or set a timer so you don’t overcook.

3. Smuggle fresh cut vegetables into main dishes. Try adding mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, onions, or carrots into pasta sauce, casseroles, soup, stews, scrambled eggs, and chili.

4. Have a salad with dinner most days. Stock your salad with dark green leafy lettuce and toss in petite peas, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers. As an added benefit, starting meals with a salad can help you consume fewer calories at the meal, as long as the salad is no more than 100 calories. A healthful salad consists of about 3 cups of dark green lettuce, 1⁄2 cup carrots, a tomato, 1⁄4 cucumber, and 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.

5. Choose fruit — fresh or frozen, stewed or baked — for dessert. It all counts toward your daily produce quota. Dried fruits are healthy but high in calories, so eat them sparingly.

“For more on developing a week-by-week action plan to improve your diet, and setting goals for success, check out the 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating,
a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.”

We aren’t little kids any more, but we need the nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies as much as ever. Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you.

Tony

 

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Wow. Really good information on further benefits from eating fruits and vegetables.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life, new research from the University of Otago suggests.

Department of Psychology researcher Dr Tamlin Conner, and Dr Caroline Horwath and Bonnie White from Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition, investigated the relationship between day-to-day emotions and food consumption.

The study is published in the British Journal of Health Psychology today.

A total of 281 young adults (with a mean age of 20 years) completed an internet-based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days. Prior to this, participants completed a questionnaire giving details of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight and height. Those with a history of an eating disorder were excluded.

On each of the 21 days participants logged into their diary each evening and rated how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives. They were also asked five questions about what…

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Some Sneaky Salt Statistics

Most of the salt in your diet comes from foods that might not even taste salty, like bread, meat and dairy products, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Salt is hidden in foods that you don’t expect to be salty. And the salt content of similar items can vary widely. Read nutrition and menu labels to compare sodium levels. (Sodium, which is listed on the Nutrition Facts panel, is the component of salt that raises blood pressure.)

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You can read more about high blood pressure here: Some Steps for Keeping Blood Pressure in the Safety Zone, What is High Blood Pressure?.

Eating too much salt raises your blood pressure. Sadly, the salt shaker on your table is not the culprit, almost 80 percent of the salt is already in the food you buy, especially in processed and restaurant foods.

The CDC suggests small changes that can make a big difference in your salt consumption.

* Know your recommended limit for daily sodium intake. Most Americans should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
*Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and products labeled as “low sodium” or “no salt added.”
* Read the Nutrition Facts panel on the foods you buy, and choose products that are low in sodium.
*At restaurants ask for foods with low salt.
* Talk to your school, worksite, local grocer, and favorite restaurants about providing more lower- sodium options.

You can also read What Foods Hide High Sodium for more on hidden salt.

Tony

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What are Some Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure?

Some 68 million people in the U.S. suffer from high blood pressure, that’s one in three adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the United States. High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

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The good news is that you can take steps to prevent high blood pressure, or treat it if it is already high.

The CDC recommends the following lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure:
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