Hey! Have you guys done the Blueberry Eat Me Quiz yet?

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

To finish off the month, I thought I’d share this infographic from the US Highbush Blueberry Association. I love infographics and this one is all about blueberries. Ergo it is awesome.

Blueberry Infographic from the US Highbush Blueberry Association

Disclaimer: The US Highbush Blueberry Association donated one of the prizes for the Blueberry Eat Me Quiz. I was not compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. My opinion is the blueberries and infographics are awesome. 

Hope you’re having a great week and enjoying blueberries,

-Diana

By the way, do you have a favorite infographic?

Mushrooms

I called Husbandpants a mushroom yesterday and he didn’t like it. I don’t know why because I love mushrooms!

Mushrooms

I love pretty much all kinds of mushrooms but I usually only keep white button ones or brown button ones on hand. And in the summer, I like to grill portabellas.

But guess what?

These are all actually the same species, with the white ones being the youngest and the portabellas being the most mature. As they age, they get larger, browner, and more flavorful. The brown buttons are sometime called baby-bellas or portabellinis (because they are just pre-mature portabellas) and both the white and brown buttons are also known as crimini.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way…

What food group do mushrooms belong to?

This could be a fun question to consider.

Technically they are a fungus (neither plant nor animal) but probably closer to animals than to plants.

The function they serve is somewhat like that of a fruit because they are used for reproduction.

But the macronutrients they provide (mostly water and fiber) is most like vegetables.

So the conclusion is that nutritionally speaking, they are a vegetable and fall more specifically under the Other Vegetables category.

The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity but most adults should be eating about 2 to 3 cups per day. Why not include 1/2 cup of mushrooms?

Mushroom nutrition facts

These are the nutrition facts specifically for raw, white button mushrooms, but the other varieties we talked about are similar.

Mushroom Nutrition Facts

Like most vegetables, mushrooms are naturally low in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat, and are cholesterol-free.

Mushrooms are fantastic sources of several key nutrients and offer an outstanding variety of  health-promoting phytonutrients. Mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, and niacin; a very good source of fvitamin B1, vitamin B6, zinc, and manganese; and a good source of folate and protein.

AND! Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable with vitamin D. When exposed to sunlight, mushrooms are able to produce vitamin D.

Plain English Summary: Mushrooms are neither plant nor animal but they sure are packed with nutrition!

Great, but is fungus actually good for your health?

What are the health benefits of mushrooms?

Immune function: Researchers found that mice that eat white button mushrooms may experience an added benefit due to enhancing or boosting immune function when exposed to disease causing irritants.

Heart-health: Research on lab animals with high total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides has shown that daily intake of crimini mushrooms can lower levels of all of these blood fats.

Cancer prevention: Extracts from white and brown button and portabella mushrooms may have properties that are related to attacking breast cancer cells, leading to cancer cell death.

Arthritis: Researchers found that arthritic mice had reduced negative health effects when they consumed white button or portabella mushrooms.

What’s your favorite way to eat mushrooms? Leave a comment or tweet at me and I’ll share your idea or recipe in a post later this month!

Eat Right For a Cold

When I said to eat right, your way, every day I meant it.

Folks, I am in the early stages of a cold (Thanks Husbandpants).

Hot Tea

So how does one eat right for a cold?

What foods cure the common cold?

The reality is, you can’t cure a cold by eating right. But eating certain foods can ease the symptoms and help you feel better.

Here are some tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Water helps lubricate your mucous membranes but other fluids will do the trick too.
  • Eat chicken noodle soup. The steam helps with congestion and ingredients in the soup may actually help with inflammation.
  • Drink hot tea with ginger, honey, or lemon. Again, the steam is likely the primary advantage of these hot drinks.
  • Include spicy foods. They’ll help clear your sinuses. As a bonus, they may also put hair on your chest according to my grandfather.
  • Include foods high in vitamin C such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, or bell pepper.

What does not help with the common cold?

  • Avoid mega-doses of vitamin C. Most scientific evidence finds no benefit and in fact, many risks exist. Instead, stick to vitamin C rich foods.

What might help with the common cold?

  • Zinc. However, studies are very mixed on the effects of zinc on colds and the overall benefit of zinc in preventing colds remains unproven. In addition, taking zinc in lozenge form comes with many nasty side effects that may make you thankful for the cold symptoms.

In the end, your best treatment is plenty of rest and fluids.

The reality of life is that you are going to get colds, but you can strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight infections by eating a balanced diet, being physically active, and getting enough sleep.

Have a great day – I’m off to blow my nose,

Diana

Do you have any favorite “sick” foods?

Happy National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Hello, how are you?

I’m good, so let’s get down to business.

First order of business: Don’t forget to do this month’s Strawberry Eat Me Quiz for a chance to win fancy prizes.

Second order of business: It is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week so we have a special guest post from Adrien Paczosa, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas. Adrien owns I Live Well Nutritional Therapy and specializes in general nutritional therapy and eating disorders. She believes that whole-body wellness is a goal that everyone can achieve, especially with the right plan and the right attitude. Adrien recently became a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) and has successfully helped many clients reach a healthier level of wellness. Adrien encourages anyone to make an effort to live well.

Without further ado, please welcome Adrien:

2013 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This year the theme for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is “Everybody Knows Somebody”…who has been affected. Working in the area of behavioral nutrition with a focus on eating disorders, I know many people – patients, their families, friends, and loved ones that have been affected by an eating disorder.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, one of the many reasons that it is important to increase awareness about the warning signs for eating disorders. The prevalence of eating disorders is climbing; it is currently estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – 7 million women and 1 million men. Eating disorders know no age limits or ethnic boundaries. Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents, and in 1994 Essence, a magazine with primarily African-American readers, reported that 53.5% of respondents were at risk of an eating disorder.

There are a few warning signs for parents and loved ones to watch for. Keep in mind that no sign is a definite indication of an eating disorder, but more so an indication to take note and proceed with caution.

Behavioral signs

  • Purchasing diet books and extreme calorie counting or portion control (weighing and measuring food)
  • Evidence of visiting pro-anorexia or eating disorder web-sites
  • Sudden decision to become a vegetarian
  • Increased picky eating, especially eating only “healthy foods”
  • Always going to the bathroom immediately after eating
  • Multiple showers in a day (in order to purge in the shower), especially directly following eating
  • Unusual number of stomach flu episodes
    Caution Signs
  • Large amounts of missing food
  • Fasting and skipping meals regularly
  • Refusing to eat with family or friends
  • Discovery of diet pills or laxatives
  • Excessive exercise (more than an hour a day) 
  • Persistent and unremitting refusal to eat non-diet foods
  • Refusing to allow others to prepare foods

Physical warning signs

  • Sudden change in weight
  • Feeling cold compared to peers
  • Hair loss/thinning scalp hair
  • Development of lanugo hair (fair, downy hair on face and back)
  • Decreased blood pressure/dizziness
  • Decreased or irregular heart rate
  • Dry skin or brittle nails
  • Missing periods or irregular menstruation (females)
  • Decreased levels of testosterone (males)
  • Preoccupation with food, weight and body
  • Dehydration/electrolyte disturbances#NEDAwareness
  • Constipation
  • Broken blood vessels in eyes
  • Sore, irritated throat
  • Low energy/fatigue
  • Stomach ulcers, bloating, or heartburn
  • Abrasions of knuckles
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Swollen salivary glands in the cheeks

Speak up and reach out for support if you suspect an eating disorder in yourself or those close to you. There are many avenues to choose from, but please reach for help because recovery does matter.

Helpful links and hash tags for the 2013 Eating Disorder Awareness Week

http://nedawareness.org
#NEDAwareness
#EverybodyKnowsSomebody

Happy National Heart Month

February is National Heart Month.

Heart Month

Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, listen to this:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Luckily, there are many ways to prevent and control heart disease.

How can I prevent heart disease?

Follow these tips to stay ahead of the curve:

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables – adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, or frozen juice bars. Mix vegetables such as sauteed onions, peas, pinto beans, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for that extra flavor.
  • Eat foods low in saturated fat and trans fat – bake, broil, grill, or poach meat, poultry, or fish instead of frying. Trim away visible fat from meats before cooking and drain off the fat that appears during cooking. Limit lean meats to 5 to 6 ounces per day and eat meatless meals that feature dried peas and beans (like black beans), tofu, or vegetables. Skip high fat sauces and gravies. This helps to prevent high cholesterol.
  • Limit sodium in your diet – prepare foods from scratch instead of purchasing convenience foods and mixes. Use herbs and spices, lemon juice, and flavored vinegar to flavor food. This can help to control your blood pressure.
  • Include regular physical activity in your life – at least 150 minutes per week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – if you are overweight, work with a dietitian who can help you make a few simple changes to lower your weight.
  • Don’t smoke – if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. ‘Nuff said.
  • Limit alcohol use – men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
  • Have your cholesterol checked – high total and LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol increases your risk.
  • Monitor your blood pressure – high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and peripheral heart disease.
  • Manage your diabetes – if you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

 

%d bloggers like this: