January 25th, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has found a connection between high blood levels of certain antioxidants found in plant foods and higher levels of optimism.
Read More:Is Kale the New Prozac? Vegetables Linked to Better Mood
August 20th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Summer bequeaths us an abundance of fresh, juicy, organic blueberries, which you can easily find at natural and organic food stores, mainstream supermarkets, farmers’ markets and roadside stands.
Here are 8 reasons to go blue:
- Blueberries represent America at her finest. Only three fruits are native to North America: blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes. The first colonists adopted the Native American practice of picking fresh blueberries in the summer and drying them for winter consumption.
- They’re at their seasonal peak. Fresh blueberries are available for almost 8 months in the United States and Canada. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August.
- They’re a nutritional powerhouse. A half-cup serving has only 40 calories and provides 2 g fiber and 10% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Blueberries are also high in antioxidants that help fight cancer and protect your skin.
- They’re easy to buy. When shopping, look for berries that are dry, firm, plump, purple-blue to blue-black, well-shaped and smooth-skinned. Be sure to avoid containers with juice stains, which often indicate blueberries are crushed and/or moldy. Eat blueberries within a week of purchase.
- They’re a low-maintenance fruit. Buy ’em and rinse ’em. They don’t need to be peeled, cored, sliced or stemmed.
- They’re easy to freeze for winter enjoyment. Buy them in season. Then, place unwashed, completely dry berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Pop the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once blueberries are frozen, transfer them to freezer containers. They’ll last 10 months to 1 year.
- They’re an ideal breakfast food. Boost your breakfast’s heart-protective benefits by adding blueberries to oatmeal, cold cereal, pancakes and smoothies.
- They’re extremely versatile. Add a new recipe to your repertoire, such as American Fruit Basket, Blueberry & Red Onion Compote, Poppy Seed Fruit Salad and Triple Berry Granola Crisp.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Read More:8 Reasons to Buy Organic Blueberries
February 10th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
As a perennial herb, rosemary is a mainstay in Mediterranean cuisines—from Spanish and French to Italian, Greek and Moroccan.
It has long been associated with health benefits like memory enhancement. In fact, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says: “There’s rosemary. That’s for remembrance.”
A growing body of research links the antioxidants and phytonutrients found in rosemary “with an array of promising health benefits,” says K. Dun Gifford, founder and president of Oldways, a Boston-based food think tank. Known as carnosic and rosmarinic acids, these antioxidants may protect us against free radicals and fight cancer.
In Remedies magazine, Contributing Editor Annie Graves explains:
“A remarkable antioxidant, rosemary may help prevent arteriosclerosis. It stimulates blood circulation and enlivens the nervous system, serving as a natural restorative.”
Rosemary, she notes, also helps relieve gas and promotes a healthy appetite.
Seasoning foods with organic rosemary can reduce the need for salt at the dinner table. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends adding it to fish, salad dressings, bread dough, mushrooms, roasted potatoes and tomato dishes.
5 Recipes to Inspire You
- Dubliner White Bean and Rosemary Dip
- Roasted Vegetable Medley
- Home-Style Minestrone
- Rosemary-Laced Lemonade Tea
- Blue Cheese Cabernet Organic Hamburgers
Read More:Organic Rosemary
January 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
People with asthma have an 80% chance of experiencing exercised-induced asthma (EIA), an acute narrowing of the airway that causes difficulty in breathing.
About 10% of elite athletes, as well as 10% of the general population, are also afflicted with EIA, even if they’re not asthmatics.
The condition is usually treated with albuterol, an inhaler-dispensed medication that opens the airway and increases air flow to the lungs.
In a recent study, Indiana University researchers have discovered that ingestion of a large dose of caffeine—9 mg per kilogram of body weight—within an hour of exercise can reduce EIA symptoms. Smaller dosages of 3 to 6 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight also reduced EIA symptoms like wheezing and coughing.
For someone weighing 150 pounds, 3 to 9 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight equals around 205 to 610 mg of caffeine. As a reference, one cup of coffee contains 80 to 135 mg caffeine.
No additional benefit was noted when caffeine was combined with an albuterol inhaler, according to study coinvestigator Timothy Mickleborough, PhD, an IU associate professor of kinesiology.
He and his colleagues have also found that a diet high in fish oil and antioxidants and low in salt has the potential to reduce EIA severity and possibly decrease the need for drug therapy.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: Exercising Safely with Exercise-Induced Asthma
Read More:Caffeine Aids People with Exercise-Induced Asthma
September 11th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
I buy organic whenever I can. For me it’s mostly fruits and vegetables. The only things I buy that are sold in a box are computer games. Yes, I’m a nerd.
Now, there are lots of reasons to buy organic: no pesticides, genetically-modified whatever and most likely no inhumane animal rearing and slaughtering.
Go ahead and add nutrition to the list-I’m sure many of you already did-because a new study says organic produce is healthier than conventional stuff.
Appearing in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development, experts claim organic plants have more “dry matter” and minerals-i.e. iron and magnesium-and more antioxidants, like phenols and salicylic acid.
But researchers suspect most people buy organic primarily for the safety issue, and they found 94 to 100% of organics do not contain and pesticide residue. Also noting organic vegetables have 50% less nitrates.
How do you make a case against organic? Its safer, tastes better, easier on the environment and more nutrition-kind of a no-brainer.
Via Food Navigator.
Image credit: srqpix
Read More:Study Claims Organic Food is Healthier
July 7th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We’ve published our share of organic eggplant recipes over the years, including these five favorites:
- Eggplant Hummus
- Baba Ghanouj
- Eggplant Parmesan Soup
- Kootu Curry
- Turkish Stuffed Eggplant
Other posts have focused on eggplant cookbooks, posters and merchandise, as well as storage, basic nutrition info and what to look for when shopping for an organic eggplant.
Now, let’s add some science to our repertoire.
“Although you won’t find much vitamin C, A or folate in eggplant, it provides a good source of fiber, as well as disease-fighting phytochemicals,” says registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research. “In fact, an eggplant’s purple hue is the result of antioxidant anthocyanins—compounds that some researchers believe may play a role in preventing cancer.
“Additional antioxidant activity is evident once you slice an eggplant,” she continues. “The browning of the vegetable’s inner pulp shortly after you cut into it results from the reaction of eggplant’s phenolic compounds with oxygen. These powerful antioxidants act as scavengers and rid our bodies of the highly reactive free radicals that can damage our cells and promote cancer development and heart disease.
“Unfortunately, higher levels of these protective phytochemicals can make foods taste bitter,” she notes, “so researchers are developing new eggplant varieties which offer the best balance of protective phenols and good taste.”
Collins recommends low-fat preparations of this popular vegetable, which Thomas Jefferson first introduced to America.
“Grill, roast or broil it, rather than eating it breaded, fried or smothered in high-fat cheese,” she advises.
Read More:Eggplants & Cancer Prevention
May 7th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
New findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claim organically grown apples, in this case Golden Delicious, are more nutritious than conventional produce.
During the study, organic apples were found to have greater antioxidant capacity:
Bernhard Watzl from the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food in Karlsruhe and his co-workers compared the polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity of Golden Delicious apples grown under organic and conventional conditions over a three year period (2004-2006).
According to their findings, in 2005 and 2006 the antioxidant capacity was 15 per cent higher in the organic fruit than the conventionally produced fruits. Organic apples grown in 2005 also had a higher polyphenol concentration, said the researchers.
And at the end of the 3-year study, scientists say organically grown apples had a 10% higher concentration of phytochemicals then conventional apples.
Via Food Navigator.
Read More:Organic Apples Have More Antioxidants!