- Fruits and vegetables can help fight inflammation.
Chronic inflammation (persistent inflammation of cells) has been linked to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimers, and though the foods we eat can contribute to the cause they may also be one of the best medicines.
Does your diet contribute to inflammation?
The foods you are eating may be the root of some major health problems and even contribute to your achy joints. How many of these foods end up on your plate each day?
- Saturated fats which are found in animal products like meats and dairy.
- Trans-fats which can be found in processed foods, baked goods and some oils.
- Sugar: Yes table sugar is important to avoid, but added sugar is the real culprit. Start reading the ingredient lists on the foods you purchase. You will be surprised how many times sugar pops up.
- Refined carbohydrates which are made with processed, white flour and contain little to no fiber
Moderation is key! Don’t feel like you can never eat dairy, meat or sugar again. The point is to be mindful of how much you are consuming and aim to reduce the amounts of saturated fats and added sugars in our diets day to day. Here are some healthy upgrades to get you started:
- Reduce saturated fats by choosing low-fat dairy products and lean meats
- Minimize processed foods and sweets
- Eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains
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- They seem healthy, but are they really?
Store shelves are lined with juice blends promising various health benefits. But are they really as healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Here’s the lowdown on 3 popular store-bought juice blends.
Naked’s Green Machine
Naked makes a variety of juice blends including one of their more popular varieties called the Green Machine. They promote their product saying “Greens are one of the most underconsumed foods in the average person’s diet. Drink ‘em up!” One 15.2 fluid ounce contain has 140 calories, 50 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and 11 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium.
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Grapes are in season right now. Get them fresh off the vine and try some of our favorite ways to prepare them.
When, Where, & What?
Grapes (Vitis spp, Vitaceae) are edible berries grown in clusters on small shrubs or vines. They grow best in temperate zones such as Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and Chile. New world settlers found that grapes brought over from Europe didn’t survive the winter cold and were prone to fungal diseases. They developed the hybrid varieties found in America today. Today California is the largest producer of “table grapes” – the kind for snacking.
There are thousands of varieties of grapes. Some are grown for wine production while others are grown to be eaten as-is. Concord grapes are used to produce grape juice, jams and jellies. They’re blue in color, with a thick, chewy skin and contain seeds. They’re sold as table grapes along with other varieties like Interlaken, Lakemont, Einset Seedless and Venus. Muscat grapes are turned into raisins while Riesling grapes are used to produce wine. Dana found fun varieties when she scouted her local farmers market including Mars and Juniper grapes.
Grapes are typically round or oval, smooth skinned and juicy. Some varieties contain seeds while others are seedless. Some are “slip skin” where the skin can easily be removed while other varieties have skin that is tough to remove. Grapes are divided into categories by color: white or black (or red). White grapes range in color from pale yellow-green to light green, while black varieties range in color from light red to deep purple. In the U.S., peak season for grapes is August through October.
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- Plums in many colors.
Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.
What, Where, When
The plum (Prunus domestica, Rosaceae) belongs to the rose family with cherries, peaches, and apricots. There are hundreds of plum varieties grown throughout the world. Common varieties include French, Italian, Imperial, Greengage, Long John, Castelton, and Fellenburg.
Plums grow on trees in clusters, have smooth skin and a pit in the center. Plums can be oval or round in shape. The skin can be deep purple, red, green, blue, or multicolored. The flesh can be orange, red, purple, yellow, or white. Plums also vary in taste—some are sweet while others are tart. They’re available from July through October.
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- Smoothies are better than milkshakes, right? Well, not always -- read on to learn about this and 4 more food naming tricks.
Food labels are carefully worded to entice shoppers to choose certain items. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found dieters often fall for simple labeling tricks that make them believe certain foods are healthier than they are. Find out the top 5 traps people fell into and how to avoid them.
How to beat top food label tricks »
- Strawberry and Fava Bean Salad - Image Courtesy the California Strawberry Commission
Strawberries are delicious, juicy and in season now! These nutrient-packed red gems are one of our favorites — here’s why.
See why we love strawberries »
- The right between-meal snacks can help keep hunger at bay.
Snacks are an important part of a well-balanced diet and should contain healthy nutrients like calcium, protein, whole grains, vitamins or minerals. Aim for one to two snacks per day that are around 150 calories each. Skip those expensive, nutrient-light snack packs and try these 10 filling 150 calorie snacks instead.
See all 10 snack ideas »
- English Muffin Breakfast Pizza - Photo Courtesy Food Network Magazine
Is skipping breakfast part of your daily routine? Starting your day running on empty just makes your life tougher and is more stressful for your body. You may feel tired, without knowing why. As we begin Breakfast Week here on Healthy Eats, here are a few ways to help get you in the habit of eating a morning meal every day.
Take small steps towards a better breakfast »
In this week’s nutrition news: Too many vitamins can harm kids, the unsanitary conditions found on egg farms and have you looked inside your pantry lately?
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Feeding your kids can get confusing. Between pushy food marketing and bewildering labels, it’s no wonder that most folks are misled as to which kids snacks are really healthy. Here’s the real deal on what you’ve been buying.
6 snacks to avoid, and healthy alternatives »