Archive For The “Health” Category

Fruit Compound in Fruit May Help Prevent Dementia, New Study Cites

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A recent study has added to mounting evidence suggesting that a compound found in apples and other fruits are powerhouses when it comes to preventing dementia.

The peer-reviewed study looking at the impact of flavonoid consumption was published y Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts in American Academy of Neurology.

“Our results are exciting because they show that making simple changes to your diet could help prevent cognitive decline,” he says.

According to his study, many flavonoid-rich foods, such as apples and pears, and others fruits and vegetables like strawberries, citrus, celery, peppers, bananas as well as red wine were significantly associated with lower odds of SCD, Subjective Cognitive Decline.

As reported on, the study followed 49,493 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) (1984-2006) and 27,842 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) (1986-2002).

Poisson regression, a generalized linear model form of regression analysis used to model count data and contingency tables, was used to evaluate the associations between dietary flavonoids and subsequent SCD.

For the NHS, long-term average dietary intake was calculated from seven repeated food frequency questionnaires (SFFQs) and SCD was assessed in 2012 and 2014. For the HPFS, average dietary intake was calculated from five repeated SFFQs, and SCD assessed in 2008 and 2012.

The results showed that a higher intake of total flavonoids was associated with lower odds of SCD.

Many flavonoid-rich foods, such as apples/pears, strawberries, citrus, celery, peppers and bananas, were significantly associated with lower odds of SCD. The writer concluded that “our findings support a benefit of higher flavonoid intakes for maintaining cognitive function in US men and women.”

Henk Griessel, a plant biologist by training and Quality Assurance Manager of South Africa-based Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, says that the company is always looking out for verified studies that prove the healthful benefits of eating apples and pears.

“This study adds to our understanding of why eating fruit and vegetables is so important to reduce the risk of brain-related decline associated with aging,” he said. Adding flavonoids to the group of naturally occurring fruit substances that prevent the many facets of aging underpins the importance of eating more fruit to reduce the risk of dementia. And, don’t forget that red wine is also on that list of flavonoid-rich substances.”

“We already know that DHQ, a form of the antioxidant Quercetin, a plant flavonol from the flavonoid group of polyphenols, has been demonstrated to reduce the inflation-causing free radicals by binding to them.

“Simply put, human deterioration can be likened to metal rusting. We already know that enzymes in antioxidants act as a form of human rust-proofing but what this study seems to also suggest is that those same enzymes reduce and even help repair the kind of brain damage that leads to a host of diseases associated with dementia,” Griessel ends.”

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6 Reasons Brussels Sprouts Are A Nutrition Powerhouse

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By Diana McLean, Ocean Mist Farms

They may be small in size, but Brussels Sprouts are big in nutrition, flavor and versatility!  Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients, Brussels Sprouts provide important health benefits to keep your body strong, and can be enjoyed raw, grilled, steamed, fried, and roasted.   

Here are six ways Brussels sprouts are good for your health:

1. Brain Health: Brussels sprouts deliver folate, which works with vitamin B12 – found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy – to help prevent cognitive impairment.

3. Eye Health: Brussels sprouts contain disease-fighting phytonutrients, which help protect your eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

4. Heart Health: Sprouts are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and promote a healthy heart when part of your regular diet.

5. Gut Health: Just half a cup of Brussels Sprouts contain 2 grams of fiber, which is 8% of your daily fiber needs. Fiber helps support a healthy digestive system and reduces the risk of heart disease.

6. Immune System Health: A 1-cup serving of Brussels Sprouts contains more than 130% of the daily value of vitamin K and high levels of naturally occurring vitamin C as well as B vitamins – all necessary nutrients for a strong immune system.

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Avocado Compound May Improve Leukemia Treatment, Study Reports

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A compound in avocados could lead to improvements in leukemia treatment, according to a study by the University of Guelph of Ontario.

The compound, avocatin B, targets an enzyme known as VCLAD that scientists have identified for the first time as being critical to cancer cell growth, Dr. Paul Spagnuolo, Department of Food Science said.

The study focused specifically on acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This form largely affects adults over the age of 65, and fewer than 10 percent of patients survive five years after diagnosis.

Dr. Spagnuolo explained that leukemia cells have higher amounts of VLCAD involved in their metabolism.

“The cell relies on that pathway to survive,” he said, “This is the first time VLCAD has been identified as a target in any cancer.”

After screening various nutraceutical compounds in search of one that would inhibit the enzyme, the research team found that avocatin B provided the best results.

The compound had previously been researched for its potential in diabetes prevention and weight management. Now, Spagnulo sees a potential usage in leukemia patients.

“VLCAD can be a good marker to identify patients suitable for this type of therapy. It can also be a marker to measure the activity of the drug,” he said. “That sets the stage for the eventual use of this molecule in human clinical trials.”

This could answer a call for less toxic drug options in the treatment of AML. Currently, around half of patients with AML over 65 will enter palliative care while others will go through chemotherapy. 

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Numerous Health Benefits Found in Summer-Favorite Watermelon

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No summer barbecue is complete without fresh watermelon. As the nation moves towards the summer grilling season, you may want to consider how watermelon’s fruit chemistry can affect your overall health. Researchers in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently identified over 1,500 small molecules of diverse chemical characters in the fruit, known as phytochemicals. They concluded that eating watermelon is an excellent way to increase your intake of antioxidants, non-protein amino acids and lycopene. This means that every time you eat watermelon, you’ll be improving the health of your cells, organs and nervous system.

The research specifically finds that the antioxidants in watermelon can help your body fight free radicals and slow down cell damage. The fruit’s non-protein amino acids will also help to repair your body tissue, break down food from other meals, and even regulate your blood pressure.

“Watermelon could be part of the refreshing and healthy fruit options on your summer picnic table,” said USDA-ARS scientist Larry Parnell. “The fruit has gone through many years of evolution, domestication, and selection for desirable qualities—mainly those associated with flesh color, texture and nutrient and sugar content. But our research continues to find that the fruit contains a wide range of nutrients that improve your overall health.”

Most Americans purchase the sweet dessert watermelon species, Citrullus lanatus, at their local grocery store or farmer’s market.  This species is among the most important vegetable crops grown and consumed throughout the world, with over 100 million tons in annual global production.  The fruit also has more lycopene than a raw tomato, which is linked to healthy eyes, overall heart health and protection against certain cancers. Other nutrients, like carotenoids, flavonoids, carbohydrates and alkaloids, are also found in the flesh, seed, and rind.

“I worked with Dr. Parnell and the team to develop a pioneering concept of using big data and computational biology to identify and catalog all of the phytochemicals that exist in edible fruit,” said ARS researcher Amnon Levi. “The research to identify the metabolic pathways and genome sequence of genes involved in the production of beneficial phytochemicals could be highly useful for plant scientists and breeders aiming to improve nutrient content in fruits and vegetables.”

The watermelon’s phytochemicals are human-cell-protecting compounds found in fruit, vegetables, grains and beans. All of these nutrients can contribute to your overall health in numerous ways.

Watermelon was introduced to Europe via Moorish Spain in the 10th century. Since then, watermelon has been cultivated successfully in warmer Mediterranean regions before being brought to the Americas by European colonists during the 16th century. Today, watermelon is grown in 44 U.S. states, while major production is centered in California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.

Fruits and vegetables are a part of a healthy, balanced diet, with the recommendation being 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.

The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $17 of economic impact.

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Nature Fresh Farms Introduces New Program for Imperfect Produce

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Leamington, ON – A recent loss conscious program focuses on selling Nature Fresh Farms imperfect produce to reduce food waste.

The Waste Me Nots program was recently created to leverage Nature Fresh Farms Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers that do not meet the criteria of their Quality Control team. As most greenhouses hope to grow flawless quality produce, some product grows to be naturally bent or smaller in size. Although unique in shape and size, these vegetables still have the same nutritional value and flavor as their perfect counterparts. Nature Fresh Farms wants to put these pieces of produce in the spotlight, creating more of an opportunity to fight waste and give shoppers further access to nutritious foods.

‘We believe it’s important to ensure that nutritious and delicious produce does not go to waste,” shared Ray Wowryk, Director of Business Development. “By creating this program, we are helping our retailers with a ready-made waste reduction alternative.”

Since volume of this type of product is not predictable, the program cannot be guaranteed to supply specific quantities and will depend on the product grown. However, Nature Fresh Farm feels that the unpredictability is outweighed by the fact that their quality and freshness is worth rescuing and sharing with consumers, making the most of all their product grown.

“Sustainability is at the center of everything we do at Nature Fresh Farms. Not only does this encompass our packaging and growing processes but also that the food we grow gets utilized completely,” explained the Director of Sales, Matt Quiring. “The Waste Me Nots program helps us to reduce waste while allowing us to better service the price focused shoppers looking for quality tasting products at a discounted price and let our retail partners bring in some incremental sales to the category.”

Nature Fresh Farms wants to bring more cost-effective options to its consumers and bring the focus back to the taste and freshness of the produce, not solely the look of it. They hope to break the cycle of imperfect food waste by offering discounted misshapen vegetables that there would normally not be a market for and expand the consumers knowledge of the type of produce they purchase.

About Nature Fresh Farms

Nature Fresh Farms has become one of the largest independent, vertically integrated greenhouse vegetable farms in North America. It is a year-round grower with farms in Leamington, ON, Delta, OH, and Mexico.

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Organic Fresh Produce Sales Up 9% in Q1 2021; Top $2 Billion for the Quarter

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Monterey, CA— Total organic fresh produce sales for the first quarter of 2021 saw a continuation of last year’s growth, increasing by 9.3 percent from the same period in 2020 and topping $2.2 billion for the quarter, according to the Q1 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released exclusively by Organic Produce Network and Category Partners. 

Organic fresh produce sales and volume in the first quarter of 2021 maintained a trend established in March of last year, with elevated sales across the entire supermarket, as consumers continued at-home eating in light of restaurant closures. However, moving into the second quarter of 2021, it is apparent that the pandemic closures are beginning to ease, and the question has now become if—and how fast—consumers will return to their pre-COVID food purchasing behaviors.

The 9.3-percent year-over-year sales growth of organic fresh produce for the first quarter of 2021 outpaced conventional produce sales, which grew by only 2.9 percent. Organic fresh produce volume grew by 5.7 percent, while conventional volume saw a decline of 0.6 percent. 

The top 10 organic produce categories continued to perform very well, with 8 of the top 10 categories generating increases in both dollars and volume. Of these top 10 categories, only organic carrots and apples failed to generate year-over-year dollar and volume gains during the first quarter.

The top 10 organic categories drove 72 percent of total organic volume and 70 percent of total organic sales. In conventional produce, these same categories drive only 64 percent of total sales and 67 percent of volume.

“Once again, sales of organic fresh produce continue to be a major growth opportunity for retailers across the country. At the same time, as the country enters a post-COVID environment, with restaurants reopening and other foodservice options available, it appears the double-digit growth rate will be slowing,” said Matt Seeley, CEO of Organic Produce Network.

Packaged salads remain the single largest driver of organic dollars, accounting for 17 percent of all organic sales. During the first quarter of 2021, packaged salad dollars saw a year-over-year increase of 9.5 percent. Organic berries have become a key winter category, driving over 15 percent of total organic produce dollars during the first quarter. The first quarter of 2021 was a strong quarter for berries, generating a year-over-year sales increase of 8.8 percent.

“Within the top 10 categories, fresh herbs (+28.2 percent), lettuce (+34.7 percent), and tomatoes (+14.7 percent) generated the largest percentage gains in dollars,” said Steve Lutz, senior vice president for insights and innovation at Category Partners. “In terms of Q1 volume, bananas, carrots, and apples rank as the top drivers of organic volume at retail, generating a remarkable 37 percent of total organic volume. Bananas alone drive 17 percent of all organic volume.”

Year-over-year organic sales and volume increases during the first quarter of 2021 were strong in every region of the US. The West and Northeast are historically the strongest regions for organic produce sales and the two regions generated the highest increases in dollar growth.

The Q1 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report utilized Nielsen retail scan data covering total food sales and outlets in the US over the months of January, February, and March. The full Q1 2021 Organic Produce Performance Reportis available on the Organic Produce Network website at

OPN is a marketing organization serving as the go-to resource for the organic fresh produce industry. The company’s mission is to inform and educate through a strong digital presence with an emphasis on original content and complimented by engaging live events which bring together various components of the organic food community. The OPN audience includes organic producers, handlers, distributors, processors, wholesalers, foodservice operators, and retailers.

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Prepackaged Fresh Produce Sales Soar Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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CLEVELAND — A new Freedonia Group analysis projects US sales of fresh produce packaging to grow 3.7% per year to nearly $7 billion in 2024, as demand continues to rise among both consumers and foodservice establishments for produce sold in some form of packaging – including pouches, bags, and rigid plastic containers.

Among the key drivers of growth will be increasing sales of ready-to-eat (RTE) salads, as well as pre-cut produce such as apple slices, melon spears, and carrot sticks – which are typically sold in clamshells, cups, and other plastic containers. Sales of these and other prepackaged fresh produce have soared during the pandemic due to:

  • surging grocery sales – including more packaging-intensive online grocery orders – as consumers began eating out far less and cooking in way more
  • increased concerns about the safety of loose bulk-bin items that have been handled by others in stores
  • rising demand for convenience foods, including RTE produce, which require minimal or no prep before consumption, unlike their unpackaged counterparts, which often need to be washed, peeled, and/or chopped

Sales of plastic containers increased 5% in 2020, the biggest gain of the main produce packaging types – boosted by their intensive use with RTE produce. The sharp increase recorded in organic produce sales further bolstered plastic container demand, as these premium brands tend to employ value-added rigid packaging for product differentiation purposes, whereas non-organic brands tend to employ bags or pillow pouches due to their lower cost.

Through 2024, sales of plastic containers are expected to outpace those for all other major packaging categories, as clamshells and other plastic containers continue to supplant commodity bags and pillow pouches due to their good protective and display properties.

About the Freedonia Group – The Freedonia Group, a division of, is the premier international industrial research company, providing our clients with product analyses, market forecasts, industry trends, and market share information. From one-person consulting firms to global conglomerates, our analysts provide companies with unbiased, reliable industry market research and analysis to help them make important business decisions. With over 100 studies published annually, we support over 90% of the industrial Fortune 500 companies. 

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Ingrilli Citrus, Launches Organic Ginger Squeeze Blend

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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — Ingrilli Citrus, Inc., a family-owned business based out of Capo d’Orlando, Sicily, announced the launch of its Ingrilli™ Organic Ginger Squeeze Blend in the United States. Made with fresh organic Peruvian ginger and organic Sicilian lemon juice, the new ginger blend is the company’s first product with a non-citrus main ingredient. With the launch, Ingrilli expands its product line, offering a broader suite of orchard-to-table products directly from Sicily to the world market.

Of the launch, Ingrilli’s™ Business Development Manager Giuseppe Ingrilli said, “Ginger is a flavorful root with many health benefits, and a natural companion to lemon and lime that our customers were eager to see on the shelves. That’s why we were excited to partner directly with farmers in Peru and create a new product that has all the flavor, quality, and uncompromising standards that our customers have come to know and love – with a spicy ginger kick.”

The Ingrilli™ Organic Ginger Squeeze blend is certified USDA organic, non-GMO Project verified, OU kosher, vegan, never from concentrate, gluten & BPA-free, and completely free of artificial flavors, colors or chemical preservatives. It joins the rest of the Ingrilli product line, which includes The Ingrilli™ Organic Lemon Squeeze, the Ingrilli™ Organic Lime SqueezeIngrilli™ 100% Lemon Juice and Ingrilli™ 100% Lime Juice. All Ingrilli™ juices can be used for cooking, baking, salads and drink mixers.

Ingrilli™ Organic Ginger Squeeze Blend is available now in stores and online in the United States.

About Ingrilli Citrus, Inc.

Ingrilli Citrus, Inc. is a family-owned business with five generations of farming and producing citrus juices directly from their family orchard in Capo d’Orlando, Sicily. All Ingrilli™ juices and condiments are batch-produced directly in their facilities in Sicily. The company follows the strictest food safety standards, and they do not outsource any of their production. This allows them to squeeze the freshest lemons, maintain the highest quality, and produce the best-tasting juices on the market today. Learn more at

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Side Delights Shares Trend Data on Changing Consumer Eating, Shopping Habits

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San Francisco, CA– Side Delights revealed recently released trend data on the growing focus on the health benefits of foods and the impact it has on consumer behavior. Since the inception of the pandemic, healthy-eating and immunity has continued to gain importance with consumers, and it shows in their shopping habits. The International Food Information Council issued a report, “COVID-19 Pandemic Transforms the Way We Shop, Eat and Think About Food,” based on the recent IFIC’s 2020 Food & Health Survey.

According to the survey, 85% of Americans made at least some change in the food they eat or how they prepare it due to the coronavirus pandemic. 40% of respondents who said they were seeking food or diets for their health benefits were explicitly focused on their immune function and that plant-based items have continued to be a trend into 2021. The connection between healthy eating and reducing disease risk is outlined in the USDA’s newly released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. The guidelines recommend nutrient-rich plant-based foods like potatoes for all stages of life – starting as young as six months old.  

In addition to what is in their food and its health benefits, consumers are paying more attention to where it is grown. As stated in the Forbes article Food Trends Forecast 2021: Being Healthy In A Post Covid-19 World, “Shoppers have changed how they are choosing their foods with a new yearning for reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in their foods, where their foods come from and which foods they should avoid.” Side Delights potatoes are literally “Grown Where It Matters” to be fresh, high-quality potatoes – grown in the best potato growing areas, stored in high-tech storage facilities, and packed and delivered close to customers/final mile experts so that the healthfulness of the fresh product stays intact for consumption by shoppers. Once the product is in the store, Side Delights offers award-winning, eye-catching packaging and a complete category assortment to address all types of shoppers (value, convenience-oriented, gourmet, and organic).

“In a time where immunity, health benefits, and food sourcing are critical aspects of food quality, Side Delights potatoes are a nutrient-rich choice for any meal at any age, grown in this country’s best-growing regions,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Retailers benefit when they leverage this information and feature potatoes in stores and online to remind shoppers to add potatoes to their shopping lists and carts.”

About Fresh Solutions Network, LLC:  Fresh Solutions Network (FSN) is the exclusive supplier of Side Delights® potatoes and onions.  FSN is a group of family-owned potato and onion growers and shippers who help fresh potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales. FSN delivers category insights, collaborative innovation, and customized assortment. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners include: Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms, Inc.  (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative, Inc. (Pasco, WA), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) and Mack Farms (Lake Wales, FL).

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Del Monte Fresh Announces Ties with Apeel to Bring Longer Lasting Avocados

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By Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc.

Coral Gables, FL – Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc., marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, has announced through a partnership with Apeel, a company fighting the global food waste crisis with its sustainable approach to keeping produce fresh longer, it will now be able to offer its customers longer lasting avocados.

When paired with Fresh Del Monte’s high-quality avocados, Apeel’s innovation will allow them to stay fresher two times longer, helping to reduce food waste. With an infrastructure already in place to help support growth in the category, Fresh Del Monte’s new and existing customers will now be able to partner with the brand on their Apeel application.

Derived from plants, Apeel’s edible coating doubles the shelf life of fresh produce by slowing the rate of water loss and oxidation – the main factors that lead to spoilage. Made of materials found in the peels, seeds, and pulp of fruits and vegetables, Apeel’s coating helps maintain just-harvested quality, flavor and freshness longer than produce without Apeel.

As the only plant-based, end-to-end solution allowing a 2X longer shelf life for avocados, Apeel will help bring a new wave of benefits to Fresh Del Monte’s growers, packers, distributors and retailers and will offer shoppers and their families premium quality avocados that retain their flavor and ripeness for longer.

“As one of the top three suppliers of avocados in the U.S., we are excited to offer our customers the option to work with Apeel,” said Kirk Marquardt, Vice President, Avocado Sales. “At Fresh Del Monte, sustainability is a top priority and we know that Apeel’s sustainable approach to reducing food waste will help to build a more resilient food system for the future. We are confident that our strong avocado program will continue to grow from this exciting partnership.”

With over 100 years of brand recognition and one of the newest and largest state of the art packing facilities in Mexico, Fresh Del Monte remains committed to offering its customers the freshest and most convenient produce options. The innovation of Apeel will help to provide new and more sustainable options for them for years to come.

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