Posts Tagged “health”

Consumption of Nuts is Motivated by Health, Weight Needs

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By The NPD Group

IMG_6445The recently released Harvard study on the health benefits of eating nuts  just confirmed what health conscious consumers already know, that nuts are good for you, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  NPD’s food market research finds that nuts rank among the top 10 snack-oriented convenience foods for U.S. consumers motivated by health and weight needs.

Nuts are a popular snack for breakfast and morning snack but are eaten throughout the day by health and weight conscious consumers who want a nutritious, natural, better-for-you snack, according to NPD’s Snacking in America report, which examines long-term attitudes and behaviors about snacking as well as snack selection drivers. Consumers who are motivated to choose nuts and other better-for-you snacks based on health and weight needs tend to be seniors and empty nesters, adult females, and higher income households.  

The consumption of nuts is not limited to the health and weight conscious. Seventy-seven percent of U.S. households have nuts or seeds on-hand and 19 percent of individuals eat nuts at least once in a two week period, finds NPD.  Nuts are consumed primarily as an in-home snack but are often incorporated into morning, lunch, and dinner meals.  In addition to its choice as a healthier snack, nuts are also popular among consumers looking for a filling or a quick, convenient snack.    

“Whether to meet the needs of the health and weight conscious or as an easy grab-and-go snack, nuts are a popular choice among snackers,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst.   “Food manufacturers and retailers have a variety of options and audiences for marketing nuts.”

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New Study Focuses on Nutritional Value of Potatoes

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IMG_6010A frequently expressed concern in the ongoing public health debate is the lack of affordability of fresh vegetables, especially those that are nutrient dense. A new study, “Vegetable Cost Metrics Show That Potatoes and Beans Provide Most Nutrients Per Penny,” published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that potatoes are one of the best nutritional values in the produce aisle, providing one of the better nutritional values per penny than most other raw vegetables and delivering one of the most affordable source of potassium of the more frequently consumed vegetables, second only to beans.

Dr. Adam Drewnowski and colleagues from the University of Washington used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national food prices data to create an “affordability index,” which was then used to examine the nutrients per unit cost of 98 individual vegetables as well as five vegetable subgroups including dark green, orange/red, starchy, legumes (beans and peas) and “other” vegetables. 

The results indicated while dark green vegetables had the highest nutrient density scores, after accounting for cost, starchy vegetables (including potatoes) and beans provided better nutritional value for the money. Potatoes, in particular, provide one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and magnesium. Among the most frequently consumed vegetables, potatoes and beans were the lowest-cost sources of potassium and fiber—nutrients of concern, as identified by the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.

“The ability to identify affordable, nutrient dense vegetables is important to families focused on stretching their food dollar as well as government policy makers looking to balance nutrition and economics for food programs such as the school lunch program and WIC,” said lead researcher Adam Drewnowski, PhD. “And, when it comes to affordable nutrition, it’s hard to beat potatoes.”

The study was funded by the United States Potato Board and adds to the growing database of nutrition science that supports potatoes in a healthful diet. In addition, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana (450g), provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

For a copy of the article, contact Meredith Myers at 303-873-2333 or meredithm@uspotatoes.com. Visit potatogoodness.com for healthy potato recipes, videos and nutrition information.
For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the “catalyst for positive change,” and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit www.uspotatoes.com.

David Fairbourn is Manager, Industry Communications & Policy, at the United States Potato Board in Denver. The mission of the USPB is to increase demand for potatoes and potato products through an integrated promotion program, thereby providing US producers with expanding markets for their production. David can be contacted at 303-369-7783 or david.fairbourn@uspotatoes.com. For complete information about the programs, ROI results, resources and tools available to all members of the industry through the USPB, please visit www.uspotatoes.com. The United States Potato Board—Maximizing Return on Grower Investment.

Source: United States Potato Board

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New Broccoli Variety has More Health Promoting Compound

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by M. H. Traka, Institute of Food Research


Field trials and genetic studies have shown that a new variety of broccoli reliably yields higher levels of a health-promoting compound.

Broccoli contains a compound called glucoraphanin, which has been shown to promote health by maintaining cardiovascular health and a reduction in the risk of cancer. A long term breeding program to increase glucoraphanin levels has resulted in the commercial release of Beneforté broccoli. Beneforté was developed by crossing standard broccoli with a wild relative derived from Sicily.

Publicly funded research to develop Beneforté broccoli was led by two of the UK’s world-leading biological research institutes: the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre, on the Norwich Research Park. They both receive strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Three years of field trials at over 50 different sites in Europe and the United States have shown that Beneforté broccoli consistently produces 2-3 times the amount of glucoraphanin than other leading varieties of broccoli, without affecting yield, quality or the levels of other nutrients.

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Ambrosia: One of the Newer Variety Apples

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    • “The Ambrosia apple variety has a creamy flesh and wonderful taste …right up there with Royal Gala and Braeburn. This apple doesn’t oxidize or turn brown quickly so it’s a nice ingredient for your favourite fruit salad!” says Pete Luckett, host of the Food Network’s show The Food Hunter.
    • Although Ambrosia is a sweet apple, official taste comparisons have proved that even the most ardent fans of tart apples will be won over by its juiciness and crunchy texture.

Ambrosia is a low-acid apple, which makes it easier for kids and older people to digest.

  • Once you have purchased Ambrosia apples, you should store them in the refrigerator crisper to ensure that they retain their flavor and texture.
  • Three medium Ambrosia apples equal about 450g (1lb). One medium apple yields about 175ml (3/4 cup) of sliced apples.
  • In an article written for the Vancouver Province newspaper, Stephen Wong, a leading Vancouver food consultant and chef, rated the Ambrosia 9 out of 10 for texture, juiciness, flavour, and general attributes.
  • Ambrosia apples are now being grown by farmers in North America, Europe, Chile and New Zealand, and are available to purchase in stores around the world.
  • In order to extend their availability beyond harvest time, Ambrosia apples are “put to sleep” in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage. CA storage takes cold storage a step further by lowering the temperature and the oxygen levels, so fruit can be stored for six months or more and remain harvest fresh.
  • Ambrosias, like other apples, are loaded with health giving properties such as pectin, a cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre, and anti-oxidants, which are good for preventing heart disease.
  • The original Ambrosia apple tree was grown from a chance seedling. Commercially viable chance seedlings are extremely rare; less than a dozen of these chance seedlings have found their way to market in the past 50 years.
  • Ambrosia means “food of the gods” as depicted in ancient Greek mythology. The name was chosen by Wilfrid Mennell, who, with his wife Sally, discovered the original Ambrosia apple tree in their orchard in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia.
  • When first introduced to the public at the annual Apple Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ambrosia met with instant acclaim and has been a favourite of the Festival ever since.

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Study Touts Nutrition in Kiwifruit

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Besides being one of the better priced items in your produce deparment this year, a new study touts the benefits of eating kiwifrut..

Kiwifruit have long thought to be a nutritional powerhouse.  But a new nutritional analysis published in the peer reviewed journal Nutrition Today further verifies that fact.  The author of the paper, Dr. Keith Singletary, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at the University of Illinois, found that in addition to its antioxidant benefits, kiwi fruit can also help the digestive tract and even your skin.

“Potential benefits include a rich source of antioxidants, improvement in gastrointestinal laxation, lowering of blood lipids, and alleviation of skin disorders,” as stated in the published paper titled, “Kiwifruit:  Overview of Potential Health Benefits.”

The Nutrition Today paper stated that kiwifruit is also a rich source of vitamin C as well as folate, potassium and dietary fiber.  The paper cited ongoing, preliminary research that is investigating other possible health benefits associated with kiwi consumption. “The fruit’s content of nutrients and biologically active phytochemicals has stimulated investigations into its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that might then help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative disorders.”

The California kiwifruit growers, as a member of the International Kiwifruit Organization (IKO), partnered with other kiwifruit growers around the world in conducting the research that further affirms these known potential nutritional benefits of consuming kiwifruit. 

California represents 98% of U.S. kiwifruit production or about one-third of all the fresh kiwifruit supplies in the United States during the season.  California farmers produce up to eight million trays of the nutritious fruit from September to May with its primary production in October and November.  As domestic production from California has increased, kiwifruit has become an increasingly popular fruit for Americans.

The 2012/13 crop is well on its way into the growing season and the mild summer weather California has experienced thus far is sure to promote good size and great flavor.

The full Nutrition Today article can be viewed here.

Source: California Kiwifruit Growers

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