Jane Schwartz Harrison is a registered dietitian and lifestyle writer for www.myOptumHealth.com. She is also the editor of their Nutrition and Healthy Weight, Healthy Kids hubs, and provides nutrition expertise through writing articles, developing menu plans and recipes, and supporting a nutrition column. Working in the nutrition field for the past 20 years, Jane has maintained a successful private practice and lectures regionally.
Feeling blue? In nutrition circles, this would be considered a good thing! Blue and purple fruits and veggies are colored by natural plant pigments called “anthocyanins.” Anthocyanins, part of the flavonoid family, are powerful antioxidants.
A recent survey found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.
Cheryl Forberg, R.D., is a James Beard Award-winning chef, the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser and a New York Times best-selling author. Her Pumpkin Polenta recipe is reprinted from Positively Ageless: A 28-Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer, Sexier You (Rodale, 2008). Follow her on at www.facebook.com/cherylforbergrd or twitter at cherylforbergrd
To maintain a healthy balance in your diet, make sure you eat something orange every day. From the burnt orange richness of carrots, yams and pumpkin to the ocher shades of apricots and nectarines, these colorful foods are packed with nutrients and compounds that our bodies need to function properly and stave off disease.
Orange foods take their hue from beta-carotene, a plant substance converted by the human body into Vitamin A, essential for normal growth and development, immune system function, and skin and vision health. Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant shown to help fight cancer and heart-disease. Most people don’t get enough beta-carotene in their diet so it’s important to add orange to the menu daily.
By Rebecca Scritchfield, RD a nutrition expert based in Washington, D.C. www.rebeccascritchfield.com.
March is National Nutrition Month and we are eating our way through the rainbow-ROYGBIV style. Today’s color is Yellow! What makes these foods the color of the sun? The bright yellow color shows you these yellow foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The bright yellow color in fruits and vegetables comes from flavonoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which helps prevent against aging, cancer and build overall health!
Make sure to color your plate with these yellow foods!
To coincide with the American Dietetic Association’s National Nutrition Month, HealthiNation commissioned a study by ORC International: CARAVAN revealing that Americans have an overly optimistic view of their own nutritional wellbeing. The findings of the national phone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults suggest that when it comes to nutrition, Americans’ perceptions do not match reality.
A majority of adults (52%) think that they are doing all they can do to achieve a balanced nutritional diet and almost two-thirds of adults (63%) believe they have a solid understanding of the basics of nutrition. Yet, 76% of adults are not getting the minimum daily serving of fruits and vegetables as recommended by the USDA. On average, adults eat fewer than three servings (defined as ½ cup portions) of fruits and vegetables a day combined. Why the discrepancy and how can we educate without information overload?
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian, and the founder/president of Zied Health Communications, LLC in New York City. She’s the author of the award-winning Nutrition At Your Fingertips (Alpha, 2009), a regular contributor to MSNBC.com and Galtime.com, and an Advisory Board member for Parents magazine and parents.com. For more information, or to sign up for The ZIED GUIDE free weekly e-newsletter, visit elisazied.com.
This recipe, from Feed Your Family Right! (Wiley, 2007), packs in lots of delicious RED foods—tomatoes (rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium and a good source of lycopene when cooked), red bell peppers (loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, and also a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and other nutrients), and jalapeno peppers (rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A and fiber). It also combines protein (from sirloin) with complex carbohydrates and fiber (from beans) to fill you up and provide long-lasting energy.
An added bonus? It’s a hearty and delicious meal the whole family will enjoy!