Archive For The “Health” Category

Study Shows Idaho Potatoes are America’s Favorite Veggie

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February is the Idaho Potato Commission’s favorite month because it’s American Heart Month and Potato Lovers Month, making it a great time to celebrate Idaho potatoes.

In a national survey conducted by Kelton Global, consumers were asked to pick their favorite vegetable, and Idaho potatoes topped the chart. More than a quarter of Americans (26 percent) — or nearly 68 million — say Idaho potatoes are their favored choice over broccoli (19 percent), corn (14 percent) or leafy greens (14 percent).

“Every few years we survey folks on their vegetable preferences, and I’m pleased to report that Idaho potatoes continue to rank number one,” said Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of IPC. “What’s not to love about the superfood? They’re nutritious and can be enjoyed hundreds of different ways.”

If you’re wondering how folks prefer to eat their spuds, mashed was the hands down winner (27 percent) followed by French fries (23 percent) and baked (22 percent).

More millennials than older generations (29 percent vs. 24 percent) claim mashed potatoes are their most chosen way to eat spuds.

Close to two in five (37 percent) Northeasterners say mashed is their favorite way to consume potatoes compared to far fewer (24 percent) Americans in other regions.

However, many folks are still in the dark when it comes to the potato’s impressive nutritional profile. Less than three in 10 Americans (28 percent) are aware that spuds are chock-full of potassium, a nutrient that plays an important role in heart health. More women than men (30 percent vs. 25 percent) are in the know that potatoes contain potassium.

The survey was conducted by Kelton Global Research Co. for the Idaho Potato Commission with a sample of 1,005 Americans aged 18 and over between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11.

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Garlic Roasted Spicy Green Beans with Almonds

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Two typical New Year’s resolutions are eating healthier and being a bit more adventurous. But why wait till the New Year? Start your adventure before or during the holidays with this Garlic Roasted Spicy Green Beans with Almonds recipe!

Green beans are a classic, especially at this time of the year, but bring something new to the table by adding red pepper flakes and almonds! It takes essentially no extra time but adds a whole new dimension to the flavor and a slight crunch to the texture that will keep you coming back to this recipe. Of course, the main ingredient that will determine the flavor and taste of this dish is the green beans themselves. That’s why we want to bring your attention to Harvest Sensations. Buying produce from Harvest Sensations isn’t a mere transaction, they pride themselves in delivering the produce you deserve.

They focus entirely on sourcing and importing quality, organic ingredients in order to make the globe their local backyard. Your produce comes right from a farmer out of the U.S., Mexico, or Central and South America. And if you want assurance that you’re getting the best, Harvest Sensations is proud to be globally certified through multiple organizations including Global Food Safety Initiative and National Organic Standards.

They’re dedicated to their customers and the environment equally, committed to great service and products while also maintaining an active commitment to the environment. They have a sustainability plan based on viability, accountability, responsibility, and investment.

That’s how you know you’ll be receiving top of the line green beans! Which means a magnificent source for vitamins A, C, and K along with folic acid and fiber for you and everyone else at your table. This translates directly into your health, promoting a good mood, bone health, and even clocking carcinogenic effects.

Best of all, this recipe is easy! Check out the three steps to your adventure below:


  • 12 oz raw Harvest Sensations green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the green beans in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and then season with red pepper flakes, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper and toss.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the green beans in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes before removing beans from the oven to add minced garlic and sliced almonds. Mix all together and spread into a single layer again and roast for an additional 5 minutes until green beans are cooked through and the garlic and almonds are lightly golden.

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Pilot Study: Daily Almond Consumption on Facial Wrinkles

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By Almond Board of California

MODESTO, Calif. — Anti-aging regimens abound but emerging research, that one delicious addition to your skincare routine may be in your pantry instead of your makeup kit: almonds.

A new pilot study by researchers at the University of California, Davis1 found that a daily snack of almonds in place of other nut-free snacks improved measures of wrinkle width and severity in postmenopausal women. The study was funded by the Almond Board of California and is the first of its kind to examine almonds’ effects on skin health. A larger and longer-term follow-up study is underway.

In this 16-week randomized controlled trial, 28 healthy postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2 (characterized by increased tendency to burn with sun exposure) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. In the intervention group, women ate almonds as a snack, which accounted for 20% of their total daily calorie intake, or 340 calories per day on average (about 2 one-ounce servings). The control group ate a nut-free snack that also accounted for 20% of calories: a cereal bar, granola bar or pretzels. Aside from these snacks, study participants ate their regular diets and did not eat any nuts or nut-containing products.

Skin assessments were made at the start of the study, and again at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. At each visit, facial wrinkles were assessed using high-resolution facial imaging and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement. “These high resolution cameras allow for 3-D reconstruction of any wrinkles so that they can be mapped for their key characteristics of width and severity. The severity score is a calculation of the depth and length of a wrinkle,” explains Raja Sivamani, MD MS AP, integrative dermatologist and lead researcher on the study. Skin barrier function was also assessed, by measuring sebum production and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Skin barrier function examines the strength of the skin barrier and how well it protects skin from moisture loss (TEWL) and from harmful irritants coming from the environment.

By the end of the study at 16 weeks, photographic image analysis showed statistically significant improvements for participants in the almond snack group compared to the control group (P<0.02):

  • Wrinkle width decreased by 10%
  • Wrinkle severity decreased by 9%

There were no significant changes in skin barrier function between groups.

“Food as a means of promoting skin health – the “health from the inside out” idea – is of growing interest to those looking for options for healthy aging,” says Dr. Sivamani. “It’s also a growing area of scientific research. Almonds are a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E and deliver essential fatty acids and polyphenols. They’re a smart choice for overall good nutrition. And, as seen in this study, almonds may hold promise as a food to include as part of a healthy aging diet, especially for post-menopausal women.”

Study at a Glance:

The Study: 28 healthy, postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 (always burns, never tans) or 2 (usually burns, tans minimally) were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. Almonds were provided as 20% of total daily calorie intake for the intervention group (340 calories/day on average), about 2 one-ounce servings. The control group consumed a calorie-matched nut-free snack in place of almonds daily: cereal bar, energy bar or pretzels. All participants were advised not to consume any nuts or nut-containing products over the course of the study (except for the almond snack for the intervention group). They otherwise were advised to continue their usual daily energy intake.

After a four-week dietary wash-out period, participants were randomized to one of the two study groups detailed above. Study visits occurred at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks.

Facial wrinkles were assessed using high-resolution facial photography and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks. Skin barrier function was assessed by measurement of sebum production and transepidermal water loss (TEWL).


  • Photographic image analysis showed that the almond group had significant reductions in wrinkle width and severity, by 10 and 9%, respectively, compared to the control group at the 16-week time point (P<0.02).
  • There were no significant differences in sebum production between groups after 8 and 16 weeks.
  • There were no significant differences between groups in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from baseline after 8 and 16 weeks.
  • There were no significant changes from baseline in the skin barrier function (P=0.65) between the almond and control groups relative to baseline after 16 weeks.

Study Limitations: Aging is a long-lasting process so the findings from this 16-week study may be difficult to reproduce and generalize to extended periods of time. Skin-aging is also multi-factorial in nature and although certain groups were excluded (i.e., those with a smoking history), there is variance in aging confounders, such as frequency of UV light exposure and emotional stress, which were outside the scope of the study. This study was limited to cosmetic evaluation, as no measurements were made regarding collagen production. Study did not evaluate disease or younger subjects, so results are limited to otherwise healthy post-menopausal females. In addition, this was a pilot study with a limited number of participants. Future studies should expand to a larger recruitment pool.

Conclusion: Results of this pilot study suggest that daily consumption of almonds may play a role in reducing wrinkle severity in post-menopausal women. The outcomes warrant future studies with expanded population groups and additional evaluations for signs of skin aging.

California almonds make life better by what we grow and how we grow. The Almond Board of California promotes natural, wholesome and quality almonds through leadership in strategic market development, innovative research, and accelerated adoption of industry best practices on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond farmers and processors in California, most of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture.

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N.C. Sweet Potato Shipper is Pushing Health Benefits

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A North Carolina sweet potato grower and shipper is promoting the health benefits of North Carolina Sweet potatoes this season.

Nash Produce of Nashville, N.C. reports sweet potatoes are becoming very popular because it is packed with fiber in addition to many essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the sweet potato is a well-rounded product that doesn’t require a lot of extra effort. 

The company notes Consumers are increasingly interested in incorporating the tasty tuber in their snacks and meals, whether with restaurants or at their local supermarket.

Nash Produce plans to highlight the value of health and versatility of the sweet potato this year as studies are showing health benefits to consuming sweet potatoes due to their naturally high levels in beta-carotene, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

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Canadian Research on Blueberry Health Benefits is reviewed

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The health benefits of blueberries is backed by a substantial amount of evidence. A recent paper outlines what is known so far.

The paper, called Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanisns was published in Advances in Nutrition.

“This review of research findings will help consumers, healthcare providers and the food and health industry understand the current state of knowledge on blueberries and health,” Wilhelmina Kalt, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Kentville Research and Development Centre, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada, the paper’s lead editor, said in a news release. “The paper also discusses gaps where more research is needed to better understand how blueberries affect health.” 

The authors review the scientific literature on blueberries’ potential health benefits, according to the news release, and also looks at the research on anthocyanins (163.3 mg/100 g of blueberries) – the polyphenol (plant compound), that give blueberries their vibrant blue color.

“It can be safely stated that daily moderate intake (50 mg anthocyanins, one-third cup of blueberries) can mitigate the risk of diseases and conditions of major socioeconomic importance in the Western world,” the paper said in its conclusion.

The review paper was funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, but the council had no role in the design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or writing of the paper, according to the release.

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Organic Fresh Produce Demand is Expected to Increase in Canada, Report Says

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A new report from the USDA says organic fresh fruits and vegetables will find growing demand in the Canadian market.

In the 2019 retail sector review of Canada, published by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the agency observes the Canadian retail market is characterized by a “dichotomy” of demand. A substantial sector of the market is looking for low-priced foods, while the other segment hungers for premium and specialty food items.

“The demand for organic, healthy, and natural products market in Canada is growing,” the report said. “There are excellent prospects for products with organic or natural ingredients, consumer-ready processed foods and beverages, and organic fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Breaking into the Canadian market may require success with independent retailers before business is won with a large chain, according to the report.

“U.S. companies selling natural, organic, or specialty foods will create demand and sales among the independents before tackling the larger accounts,” the report said. “Proven sales in Canada is important to help persuade category buyers of the majors to list an unknown product in their stores.”

Large players dominate 

The USDA said the population of Canada is about 37 million, and 90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

Canada’s retail market is mature and largely consolidated; five major stores (Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Costco, and Walmart) represent 62 percent of the market, according to the report. Nearly 7,000 independents and convenience stores that represent the remaining 38 percent of the market.

Taking $20.8 billion in U.S. agricultural exports in 2018, Canada was the number one export destination for U.S. farmers.

Canada’s food and alcoholic beverage retail sales in 2018 reached $96 billion, representing an increase of 3% from 2017.

Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia represent 74 percent of Canada’s retail market and are the provinces in which most of the convenience, drug, grocery and mass merchandise stores are located, according to the report.

Canada supermarkets rely on imported foods to fill their shelves, and the report said many U.S. produce brands are available throughout the year.

The report said Canada’s key market trends are:

  • Price-conscious consumers create strong demand for private label and promoted priced products;
  • Increasing demand for healthy, nutritious and ‘clean’ products is boosting demand for organic and fresh products;
  • Some retailers have expanded their private label lines to include a line focused on the higher-end of the market and another focusing on value, according to the report; and 
  • Expanding ethnic diversity is supporting the expansion of ethnic stores

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Thanksgiving Forecast: Have a Blessed Holiday

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Improved Learning for Kids Can Result from Healthy Eating

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The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention affirms that children who eat healthy foods at school learn better lifelong eating habits and are more prepared to learn. Since most children spend close to six hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school, parents want to make sure they’re packing the right stuff to keep them in optimal learning mode.

A healthy lunch + healthy snacks = healthy learning.  So whether the little one is heading off to school for the first time or one is going off to college, they will need a nutritious lunch, as well as some healthy snacks to fuel their day and stimulate neural activity.

Start with a nutritious lunch. Crispy Fruit Freeze-dried snacks are the perfect complement to any healthy lunch.  Parents who will be packing their kids’ lunches should check out the sixth annual Power Your Lunchbox campaign from Produce for Kids.  This campaign has been growing exponentially since its inception with more parents making the promise to pack a healthier lunch for their kids

“We are proud to be one of the founding sponsors of this wonderful campaign that promotes packing healthier school lunches, which aligns perfectly with our mission of using food as a force for good,” said Angela Liu, Crispy Green founder and chief executive officer.

Packing along real fruit that snacks like a chip to school or any other extra-curricular activity will make it easy for the kids to stay away from other, less healthy snacks.

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Eating Produce Improves Life Expectancy, Quality, Research Says

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Family selecting fruits and vegetables while grocery shopping in supermarket

Eating more produce reduces chronic disease risk and improves quality of life, is among the results of a wide – ranging review of research on fruits and vegetables and how consuming them affects health outcomes. The research was commissioned by The Produce for Better Health Foundation.

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published the paper recently. Taylor Wallace, a professor in the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University, was the lead author. Wallace is also the acting chief food and nutrition scientist for PBH. Wallace led a group of 13 nutrition scientists on the review project.

“Our findings confirm that eating at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day has benefits far beyond providing basic nutritional requirements,” Wallace said in a news release. “Increasing fruit and vegetable intake not only helps to ward off chronic disease but also extends both life expectancy and quality.”

The scientists reviewed nearly 100 studies in an effort to summarize the benefits of produce as supported by research. The review will also inform future research priorities and public health messaging strategies.

The group of authors found eating at least 5 servings of produce daily can meaningfully reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also found there are “hundreds of fiber structures in fruits and vegetables that support the good bacteria in the gut, which scientists are increasingly recognizing as integral to overall health.”

Research also showed produce supports eye and bone health and may help prevent a range of diseases, including certain cancers.

Another conclusion was all forms of fruits and vegetables offer “generally consistent nutritional benefits” that can improve health quality.

“The time is now for industry stakeholders across the produce supply chain, as well as health professionals, food influencers, chefs, scientists, thought leaders and other advocates, to work together and inspire Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of PBH, said in the release. “We’re committed to providing Americans with smart strategies to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day for happy, healthy and active lives.”

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Mediterranean-Style Eating is Touted for Treating Anxiety, Depression with Potatoes

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San Francisco, CA  – Side Delights® shared trending findings on how potatoes and other vegetables may actually help make people happy.  The link to diet and depression has become an increasingly hot topic following the American Psychiatric Association’s recent 2019 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, where medical experts presented research showing that the Mediterranean-style diet, associated with a reduced risk of cancer and longevity, may also help protect against depression. 1 At the meeting, Dr. Konstantinos Argyropoulos claimed that people who adhere to a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop symptoms of depression later on in life. The Mediterranean diet, which U.S. News and World Report calls the diet a “well-balanced eating plan”, suggests that for optimum health, consumers should adopt new dietary guidelines: no grains, no dairy, less sugar, more healthy fats, medium amounts of protein, and most importantly, lots of vegetables.

A recent article in Healthline about treating depression and anxiety with a vegetable-based diet, cited two studies supporting the claims. In the first study, after clinically depressed participants ate a modified Mediterranean diet for three months, their symptoms were significantly better. In the other study, Spanish researchers found people who closely followed the Mediterranean lifestyle were 50 percent less likely to develop depression than those who didn’t.2  In another Healthline article dedicated to the health benefits of potatoes, points out that they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; can help with weight-loss by curbing hunger pains and cravings, and are naturally gluten-free. 3 

“Potatoes have been known as America’s favorite vegetable for decades, and as research continues to build on the health advantages of vegetable-heavy eating plans, consumers are embracing filling, flavorful ways to incorporate vegetables into more meals, “said Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Potatoes have a high-satiety factor and are extremely versatile – making them the perfect addition to a vegetable-based diet plan that can not only improve overall health but can help relieve depression.”

For more information on Side Delights® products, programs and recipes, visit

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), Green Thumb Farms, Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers, Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) and Mack Farms (Lake Wales, FL).

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