Nutrition and health professionals are always pushing for greater vegetable consumption. Eating a variety of vegetables is truly the basis for a healthy diet, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. In schools, we are always trying to encourage our students to try and taste new vegetables—and ultimately eat more of them!
There is no better time than summer to enjoy a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables. This summer, step out of the comfort zone of your seasonal favorites and try a couple of new veggies while they are at the peak of flavor, freshness and nutritional value! Some research has shown that consuming local vegetables in season (as opposed to when they are picked earlier to withstand transport) can be significant as far as maximizing nutritional benefits.
Researchers recently discovered that popcorn may be a new superfood.
According to findings reported by ScienceDaily, popcorn contains a large concentration of polyphenols—even more so than fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants are thought to reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. The hulls of popcorn (the seed coverings that tend to get stuck in our teeth) have the highest concentration of these polyphenols, as well as high amounts of fiber. While popcorn could never replace fruits and vegetables, especially in regard to other important nutrients, this certainly supports promoting popcorn as a healthy snack.
At a National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego on March 25, Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who led the research, stated, “Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It’s the only snack that is 100% unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cerea...
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, the holiday of hearts, flowers and of course, chocolate.
Inevitably (at least for me, as a nutritionist), this holiday brings back to the forefront the debate over chocolate, and the research regarding its potential health benefits.Chocolate is no stranger to health and nutrition controversy. A common and longtime myth, for example, is that chocolate causes acne.
Why the obsession with chocolate?
As it both sweet and creamy, chocolate is therefore a highly tasty and sought after food. Furthermore, the melting point of chocolate is slightly below human body temperature, which creates the sensation of chocolate melting in the mouth, making it even more palatable. Some scientific studies indicate that there is an even deeper biological response to chocolate—that the consumption of chocolate triggers pleasure centers in the brain and can also affect mood.
This is one of my favorite times of year because berries are in season! Blueberries in particular are a favorite of mine and a favorite of many. Tasty and versatile, blueberries are also a superfood that pack a nutritional punch. Blueberries are high in vitamin C, fiber, manganese and vitamin E. They also contain antioxidants known as flavonoids.
Flavonoids are actually plant pigments (colors) and are responsible for the rich hues of many fruits and vegetables. The roles they play in our bodies are complex, but researchers agree that they are highly beneficial to our cells, preventing all kinds of diseases, and generally promoting health.
In blueberries, flavonoids are concentrated in the skin; so the smaller the berry, the higher in these antioxidants.
Did you know that blueberries are one of the few foods native to North America? The phrase, “as American as apple pie” should actually be “as Ame...
You may have noticed that herbs and spices have recently received a lot of attention when it comes to talking about diet and nutrition. More and more, we are encouraged to eat and prepare foods that are seasoned with herbs and spices.
That’s because herbs and spices provide a number of important benefits. But first, how do we classify herbs and spices? What are they exactly?
Herbs and spices are actually parts of plants. The main differences between them are the type of plant an herb or spice comes from and the part of the plant that is used. Most herbs come from the green parts of a plant such as the stem and leaves, while most spices come from the bark, root, seeds or flowers of a plant. Cinnamon, for example, is a spice made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Ginger spice is made from roots while nutmeg is made from seeds. Also, spices tend to come from plants grown in warmer or tropical climates while herbal plants can be grown in many cl...
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
National Nutrition Month® (NNM) was actually initiated in March of 1973 as a week-long event. In 1980, it began to run throughout the entire month of March due to a growing public interest in nutrition.
This March, the theme is Eat Right with Color and the American Dietetic Association suggested that nutrition professionals as well as bloggers write about what “Eat Right with Color” means to them.
So here goes…
To me, Eat Right with Color means consuming a variety of foods that consist of different colors to get the nutrients we need. (I mean, check out the NNM logo of all the different foods and colors, right?!) But that sounds incredibly boring and oversimplified, doe...