Category Archives: Food for Thought

Nutritional rating of 41 fruits and vegetables

watercress

From businessinsider.com July 29, 2016

As long as you go easy on the French fries, you pretty much can’t go wrong making fruits and vegetables a focus of your diet.

But which produce is the most worth your while?

Jennifer Di Noia, a researcher at William Paterson University who specializes in public health,ranked a long list of fruits and veggies based on their nutrient density to see which ones should be classified as “powerhouse” foods: those most strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.

As long as you go easy on the French fries, you pretty much can’t go wrong making fruits and vegetables a focus of your diet.

But which produce is the most worth your while?

Jennifer Di Noia, a researcher at William Paterson University who specializes in public health,ranked a long list of fruits and veggies based on their nutrient density to see which ones should be classified as “powerhouse” foods: those most strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.

She generated scores using 17 nutrients that are key to our health: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Each powerhouse food had to provide at least 10% of the daily value of a particular nutrient to be considered a good source, and the more the better — up to 100%. Those fruits and vegetables with fewer calories and more “bioavailable” nutrients (i.e., how much the body can actually make use of a nutrient once it’s been ingested) ranked higher.

While we all have different dietary needs, the items at the top of this list would be pretty solid additions to almost anyone’s dinner plate. One big takeaway? Eat your greens — they’re pretty much all nutrients and water.

Here are Di Noia’s 41 powerhouse foods, with the most nutritious ranked as No. 1.

41 White grapefruit
40 Sweet potato
39 Leek
38 Blackberry
37 Turnip
36 Rutabaga
35 Pink grapefruit
34 Lime
33 Orange
32 Winter squash
31 Radish
30 Strawberry
29 Iceberg lettuce
28 Lemon
27 Tomato
26 Carrot
25 Cabbage
24 Cauliflower
23 Kohlrabi
22 Scallion
21 Brussels sprout
20 Pumpkin
19 Broccoli
18 Arugula
17 Red pepper
16 Dandelion green
15 Kale
14 Chive
13 Endive
12 Mustard green
11 Turnip green
10 Collard green
9 Romaine lettuce
8 Parlsey
7 Leafy lettuce
6 Chicory
5 Spinach
4 Beet green
3 Chard
2 Chinese cabbage
1 Watercress

 

Fruits and Vegetables to enjoy this summer

From businessinsider.com

Watercress has a peppery flavor and makes a great addition to any summer salad. Watercress tops the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables because it was found to be the most nutrient-dense food.

Watercress has only 11 calories per 100 grams and is an excellent source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), containing a denser concentration of vitamin C than an orange. It is also an excellent source of calcium, iron, folate, and vitamins A, B6, and K. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a daily portion of watercress could significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells that is considered an important trigger in the development of cancer.

watercress

Fava beans are a healthy summer delicacy. These legumes, also known as broad beans, are a great source of lean protein and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B6, and K. They are also rich in fiber and have no cholesterol or saturated fat. Fava beans can be served raw or cooked, though the pods must first be blanched.

fava-beans

Watermelon is almost 92% water, making it a great source of hydration in hot weather. It has only 88 calories in a two-cup serving and one gram of fiber, which slows digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. It is a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage.

Watermelon

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is also included on the CDC list of powerhouse fruits and vegetables for being packed with nutrients and vitamins.  Studies have shown that chard can be especially beneficial to diabetics because it has unique benefits for blood-sugar regulation. The vegetable contains syringic acid, which inhibits the activity of alpha-glucosidase (an enzyme that usually breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars). Swiss chard also has a good amount of fiber (3 1/2 grams per cooked cup), protein, antioxidants, calcium and Vitamin K. As an added bonus, a cooked cup has only 35 calories. Swiss chard can be eaten raw in salads or cooked and sauteed.

Chard

Passion fruit is a great summer treat, with a long list of health benefits attributed to it. Native to South America, passion fruit is a source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. One serving of this fruit will also give you two times as much potassium as a banana.

Passion Fruit

Radishes are very good for you. This root crop is low in calories and has a high water content (about 90%). Radishes are also a great source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and folate. They are natural diuretics and are very filling. They are also good for the liver as natural detoxifiers and can even be used to treat bee stings and insect bites because of their antipruritic properties. Radishes are also included on the CDC’s list of powerhouse fruits and vegetables.

Seabreeze Radishes

Arugula is a leafy green that is in season from late spring through September also found on the CDC’s list of powerhouse fruits and vegetables. It is part of the cabbage family and has a mild peppery, spicy taste. It has just 4 calories a cup while being an excellent source of folate, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. In fact, it contains 14% of your daily vitamin K requirements. This popular green also contains lutein, an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyes, skin, and heart.

Arugula

Peaches are a pretty tasty and healthy summer snack: They are low in calories (with a typical peach containing only 68) and a great source of fiber. The fruit also contains 10 different vitamins, including vitamin C, an antioxidant and tissue-builder, as well as vitamin A, important to healthy vision. Peaches are also a good source of vitamins E and K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Peach season is at its peak in July and August. Try grilling them to make an extra-special treat.

Peaches (1)

Zucchini and other summer squash can be served raw, grilled, rolled, or diced. It has only 20 calories a cup and no fat or cholesterol while providing 35% of your daily-recommended vitamin C. It is also a great source of fiber and potassium. Try making “zoodles” this summer with a spiral slicer that transforms zucchini into a healthy substitute for pasta.

Summer-Squash-at-the-farmers-market1

Raspberries are a great source of fiber: one cup has 8 grams of fiber, some of which is soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. They are also a source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium and vitamin C. A cup of raspberries has only 64 calories, and the fruit can even possibly help fight inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

Raspberries

Is Your Diet Making You Sick?

From Mercola.com August 3, 2016

…One of the reasons why so many diseases are skyrocketing in prevalence is because we don’t eat enough real food. Most Americans eat a predominantly processed food diet, which virtually guarantees you’ll suffer health problems at some point.

Two of the primary culprits are sugar and trans fat. This includes all kinds of sugar but in particular refined sugar and processed fructose (HFCS) followed closely by refined grains, as these ingredients cause your insulin level to spike.

Insulin allows your cells to use sugar, but when you eat too much sugar your cells eventually become resistant to the insulin. You’re insulin resistant if your fasting insulin level is over 3 or 4, and insulin resistance can in turn lead to diabetes and a long list of related health problems and diseases.

When you’re insulin resistant, your body will also store rather than burn fat. As a result, it becomes exceedingly difficult for your body to use stored body fat for energy; hence, weight gain is typically associated with insulin resistance.

The good news is you can turn insulin resistance around fairly quickly and easily by eating real food and swapping out net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) for healthy fats.

By driving down the sugar content of your diet and increasing the healthy fats, your body can begin to shift from burning sugar as its primary fuel to burning fat instead, and this has several health benefits.

Not only will it help you shed body fat, it also helps optimize your mitochondrial function and drives down inflammation, allowing your body to heal and regenerate.

…Making a commitment to live healthier is an ongoing process. It’s virtually impossible to make all the needed changes in one fell swoop. The trick is to have a broad understanding of what “living healthy” entails, and then implement the necessary changes one-by-one.

Dr. Mercola recommends basing your daily foods on this pyramid:

Mercola-Food-Pyramid-v2

A subscription to receive regular deliveries from Seabreeze Organic Farm is a great start to your healthier lifestyle.  

Our deliveries are packed full of the real food our bodies need for health.

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Why consume local food?

From thegrownetwork

Why Does Local Food Matter?

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider putting more local produce in your diet right away:

  1. Supports Local Farms: Buying local keeps local farms healthy and creates local jobs at farms and in nearby food processing and distribution systems.
  2. Boosts Local Economy: Food dollars spent at local farms and food producers stay in the local economy, creating more jobs at other local businesses.
  3. Less Travel: Local food travels much less distance to market than typical fresh or processed grocery store foods, therefore using less fuel and generating less greenhouse gases.
  4. Less Waste: Because of the shorter distribution chains for local foods, less food is wasted in distribution, warehousing, and merchandising.
  5. More Freshness: Local food is fresher, healthier and tastes better, because it spends less time in transit from farm to plate, and therefore loses fewer nutrients and incurs less spoilage.
  6. New and Better Flavors in Each Season: When you commit to buy more local food, you’ll discover interesting new foods, tasty new ways to prepare food, and a new appreciation of the pleasure of each season’s foods.
  7. Good for the Gene Pool and the Soil: Local food encourages diversification of local agriculture which preserves genetic diversity and reduces the reliance on monoculture – single crops grown over a wide area to the detriment of soils.
  8. Attracts Tourists: Local foods promote agri-tourism — farmers markets and opportunities to visit farms and local food producers help draw tourists to a region.
  9. Preserves Open Space: Buying local food helps local farms survive and thrive, keeping land from being redeveloped into suburban sprawl.
  10. Builds More Connected Communities: Local foods create more vibrant communities by connecting people with the farmers and food producers who bring them healthy local foods. As customers of CSAs and farmers markets have discovered, they are great places to meet and connect with friends as well as farmers!

plantyourowngarden

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