Posts Tagged “nutrition”

High Nutritional Value Boosts Popularity of Passion Fruit

By |

Passion fruit is native to Peru’s Amazon region, and its high nutritional value has granted it popularity around the world.

The seeds have high oil content and are easily digestible, and its peel is rich in pectin, which is a natural gelling agent that can also be used to combat constipation.

It is low in fat, and has tranquilizing and detoxifying properties.

“Because of its important nutritional properties, passion fruit is in demand by the juice and cosmetics industry, hence it is expected to be in the top 5 of the most exported Peruvian fruits,” reports the Peru Exporter’s Association.

Read more »

Two Nonprofits Unite to Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables

By |

DURHAM, N.C.–Pairwise, a health-focused food and agriculture company, and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the nation’s leading nonprofit working to improve the food system, today announced a three-year partnership to support a joint goal of increasing access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food.

For one in six Americans, healthy, fresh food is either too expensive, too far away, or both, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Pairwise is working to change that, through both its support of PHA and its overarching mission to drive change within America’s food system by leveraging CRISPR and other technology to bring tastier, more nutritious, or more convenient produce to market. Pairwise’s first food product, Conscious™ Greens, will launch later this year in both the foodservice and retail channels.

“We are pleased to partner with PHA, whose impactful work aligns so closely with the Pairwise vision of reducing barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption,” said Tom Adams, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pairwise. “The challenge of ensuring access to healthy food is multifaceted and complex. At Pairwise, we are using technology to reduce barriers to healthy food access. But it is also imperative that we work with other organizations that are tackling key social barriers. PHA is leading the way in innovative solutions to ensuring food equity.”

Pairwise will contribute $75,000 annually to PHA’s Good Food for All program, which provides produce to families facing barriers to accessing affordable, healthy, and sustainable food. The program works with local partners to empower long-term changes in healthy eating behaviors in communities across the country.

Pairwise’s contribution will provide 630,000 servings of healthy fruits and vegetables through the PHA’s Good Food for All program and will support PHA’s commitment made at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to deliver 100 million servings of produce by 2025.

“Every day, too many families around the country struggle to access healthy food. This entrenched problem must be addressed so that good food is available to everyone, no matter their zip code. We are taking the steps to solve it by working with Pairwise to make healthy food accessible for families in-need,” said Noreen Springstead, President & CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America.

PHA and Pairwise’s shared goal of creating greater, sustained access to nutritious food will require innovative thinking and new solutions. Both organizations are focused on finding innovative solutions to persistent problems facing our current food system.

Pairwise is a leading food and tech company committed to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. The company is based in Durham, N.C., with operations in Arizona and California, all locations where Pairwise expects to deepen its relationship with local PHA partners.

“We look at this partnership as the very beginning of what we hope to be a long-term relationship with PHA,” Adams said. “Our shared vision of ensuring healthy food access to all steers our work each day at Pairwise. As we launch our first products this year and mature as a company, we look forward to continuing to grow our meaningful work with PHA.”

Partnership for a Healthier America launched in 2010 and collaborates with companies across the supply chain to increase access to and affordability of vegetables and fruits and to improve the nutritional quality of food and beverages, resulting in more and healthier options for families.

Read more »

New Study: Watermelon Consumption Associated with Higher Diet Quality

By |

National Watermelon Promotion Board recently partnered with Nutrition Impact LLC on a research project to “determine intake of watermelon and assess association with diet quality, energy and nutrient intake, and physiological parameters in children and adults,” according to a news release.

A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Analysis, the study was recently published in Nutrients and found that total diet quality was higher in watermelon consumers as compared to nonconsumers. 

The study suggests watermelon can increase nutrient intake as well as diet quality in both children and adults, which says the National Watermelon Promotion Board to plans to present additional details later this year at a nutrition research-focused conference, the release said.

The study further found that children and adult watermelon consumers had greater than 5% higher intake of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A, as well as more than 5% lower intake of added sugars and total saturated fatty acids. The study also showed that watermelon consumers had higher intake of lycopene and other carotenoids.

“Researching the nutritional benefits of watermelon is essential for the watermelon industry and consumers alike,” said Megan McKenna, NWPB senior director of marketing and foodservice. “By understanding the nutritional value of watermelon, we can ensure we are supporting the industry by effectively communicating those benefits while also helping consumers make informed decisions about their health and nutrition.”

The new study is one of several that has launched in recent years refining the NWPB Nutrition Research Program. Last year’s project concluded that “Scientific Literature Confirms Watermelon’s Health Potential.”

The NWPB says more research specific to watermelon’s health benefits is needed to support watermelon consumption and help to educate consumers. With that in mind, part of the board’s strategic plan is continued focus on watermelon’s nutrient research and health trends.

NWPB said it is looking to fund watermelon rind nutrient profiling in order to be included in the USDA FoodData Central database.

The NWPB was established in 1989 as an agricultural promotion group to promote watermelon in the U.S. and in various markets abroad. Funded through a self-mandated industry assessment paid by more than 800 watermelon producers, handlers and importers, NWPB’s mission is to increase consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research and education programs.

Read more »

“Nutritional…Potatoes are America’s Favorite Vegetable”

By |

DENVER — It’s the New Year, which means many of us are trying to eat better, save money and find more time in our day. Cara Harbstreet, registered dietitian and intuitive eating expert, recommends a kitchen hero that’s a solution for it all: the potato!

Potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable, but they’re more than just delicious,” said Harbstreet. “They’re an affordable, nutritional powerhouse with a long shelf life and faster cook times than you think!”

Providing almost a third of the recommended daily vitamin C, potatoes also have the most potassium out of the 20 most popular fruits and vegetables. They also have 3 grams of plant-based protein, which is more than any commonly eaten vegetables other than dried beans, plus 2gm of fiber to help you feel fuller longer.

Potatoes are affordable and have a long shelf life, allowing families to stretch their dollars. “I know I hate it when I buy vegetables at the store, and they go bad before I have a chance to cook them,” said Harbstreet. “With potatoes, you’ve got fresh produce that lasts for weeks! They’re a great combo of nutrition, value and deliciousness.”

When it comes to carbohydrates, quality matters, and potatoes are a great choice! Carbs are our brain’s primary fuel and a key source of muscle energy. Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, providing vitamins and minerals. In fact, most of the carbs we eat should be complex carbs like potatoes.

So how can families enjoy this incredible vegetable without being in the kitchen all day? Harbstreet has some hacks to share that will make cooking potatoes a breeze.

“My first tip is to cut potatoes into smaller pieces to roast for faster cooking – or even to heat in the air fryer,” said Harbstreet. “Roasted potatoes are so simple to make and can then be used throughout the week to make dishes like bowls and burritos more filling and nutritious. You can use all kinds of fun seasonings to mix it up, from classics like garlic powder to Za’atar if you’re looking for adventure. Plus, cooked and cooled potatoes have more gut-friendly resistant starch.”

A great example is the Sheet Pan Roasted Turkey and Herbed Potatoes dish. One pan gets you a complete meal, and by throwing in some extra potatoes, you can get a jump start on your cooking for the next few days! And you can do this with multiple combinations of proteins, potatoes and other vegetables you like.

“My next hack is to put your pressure cooker or slow cooker to work,” said Harbstreet. “You can start cooking potatoes in these appliances and then refrigerate them for lightning-fast prep or choose your own adventure meals. Once started in the pressure cooker or slow cooker, it’ll take minutes to finish them in the oven, microwave or air fryer.”

Families can do this with baked, mashed or roasted potatoes, or go for a full meal like Green Chili, Corn and Potato Chowder. The soup can be whipped together in minutes on the stove top after getting the potatoes started in the slow cooker.

“Finally, the freezer is your friend. Cook up a big batch of freezer-friendly potato soup – like this Tuscan Kale and Potato Soup aka Zupa Toscana that you can freeze to reheat and enjoy when you’re ready,” said Harbstreet. “I always recommend freezing soups into smaller portions so you can take out exactly what you need. One tip on this recipe – wait to add the cream until it’s reheated for that just-cooked taste.”

For more information or recipe inspiration, please visit PotatoGoodness.com/WithCara.

About Potatoes USA

Potatoes USA is the national marketing and promotion board representing U.S. growers and importers. Potatoes USA, the largest vegetable commodity board, was established in 1971 by potato farmers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for Potatoes,” visit PotatoesUSA.com.

Read more »

Americans Overestimate Nutrition Knowledge, Study Shows

By |

In the midst of the holiday season with numerous gatherings and celebrations centered around food, new data suggests Americans believe they understand nutrition but in reality they really don’t.

MyFitnessPal, the leading global nutrition and food tracking app for achieving health and wellness goals, shares results from its recent Nutrition IQ survey[1], uncovering that while the majority of Americans (81%) claim to know nutrition basics, 91% of the general population says they don’t have any idea of how much protein, fiber, carbs, sugar and salt they consume daily.

Overall, results found that Americans’ nutritional knowledge is fairly elementary. While most people do know the basics of serving sizes, when it comes to actually identifying foods by nutritional value, they are far off. On average, Americans overestimate calories (by 57 calories) and protein (by 5 grams), while underestimating carbs (by 4 grams) and fats (by 4 grams).

In fact, the majority (77%) of respondents mistakenly believed that two fish tacos have less calories than a cheeseburger while they actually contain 110 calories more.

“With the constant barrage of information flooding TV screens and social media feeds along with conflicting recommendations from experts, it’s no wonder that many Americans are confused when it comes to their nutritional needs,” explains Tricia Han, CEO of MyFitnessPal.

“Remembering the basics while juggling a busy daily life is precisely what makes MyFitnessPal the perfect personal nutrition coach. With its robust food database, users have the power to learn about what they’re consuming and how it’s effecting their overall wellbeing and health, all in the palm of their hand.”

Brushing up on the basics

While 78% of respondents were able to accurately identify bowel movements as a primary benefit of fiber, they were unable to name additional benefits including cholesterol management, bone support or sugar management. This doesn’t just stop at a basic understanding of nutrition; Americans also had trouble identifying nutritional benefits of specific foods:

-Despite 71% of respondents being able to identify avocados as a healthy fat, a majority (93%) of Americans underestimate how many grams of fat are in an avocado, with 66% underestimating by at least half.
-Americans were more likely to overestimate how many calories are in a cheeseburger (77%) compared to the 29% who overestimated the calories in a Caesar salad.
-Most Americans also overestimate the amount of protein in common foods. For example, although a banana contains only one gram of protein, the average American believes it contains 10 grams of protein.
-Unsurprisingly, Americans struggled to accurately identify carbs and fats in foods, often underestimating by about four grams. The majority of Americans underestimate how much fat is in both Caesar salads and

avocado by half, while also underestimating the total carbs in bananas and black bean burgers by half.

The lack of nutrition knowledge does not come as a total surprise based on other key findings. For instance, the survey showed that a majority of Americans don’t look up nutritional values before going to a restaurant or when cooking at home.

Additionally, when preparing meals at home Americans admitted that maintaining focus on their budget and serving size/meal planning outweigh nutritional value when deciding what to cook.

About MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal is the No. 1 global nutrition and food tracking app for achieving health goals. Since 2005, MyFitnessPal has empowered over 200 million users in over 120 countries to log food intake, record exercise activity and weight, track wellness habits, and achieve their health and fitness goals. As one of the world’s most trusted and leading resources on nutrition, MyFitnessPal’s mission is to ignite powerful nutrition and wellness change in members by empowering them to succeed on their own terms through personalized data-led insights, guidance, and unwavering support. With one of the largest food databases in the world comprising over 14 million foods, access to over 500 recipes, over 150 workout routines, 200 exercise demos and over 35 connected fitness partners, MyFitnessPal provides users with tools for positive healthy change. The MyFitnessPal app is available on the App Store and Google Play store. To learn more, visit www.myfitnesspal.com or follow MyFitnessPal on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.

1 Research was fielded by MyFitnessPal from July 2022 to August 2022. MyFitnessPal surveyed 1,450 nationally representative participants between the ages of 18-64 across the United States.

Read more »

Dole Produce Poll: Americans See Produce as Essential…But

By |

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Despite overwhelming public acceptance of fruits and vegetables as essential to the health of their families, kids and the future of the planet, close to half of all Americans largely ignore the benefits of eating produce.

These are among the highlights of a March 2022 survey conducted by Dole Food Company, Inc., to examine public opinions about the preparation, consumption, motivations and nutrition and environmental benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Released today on National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day, an annual holiday created in 2015 to raise awareness and encourage more Americans to adopt a produce-rich diet, the survey results offer a glimpse into the public’s often-contradictory views on healthier eating.

According to the Dole Fresh Produce Survey, which polled 1,038 adults, almost three-fourths of respondents (73%) agree that fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice for their family, while 68% think they taste great, 63% say they are necessary for kids’ lunches and 60% believe they add flavor to any meal. Just over half of respondents (51%) also associate eating more fruits and vegetables with positively impacting the environment.

Almost the same percentage of survey-takers (45%) consider health and nutrition to be the most important factor determining their eating habits, and more than a third (37%) say they consume produce as part of a larger strategy of adopting a plant-based diet or lifestyle.

Finally, on the subject of fruit and vegetable recipes and preparation, close to half believe they can prepare produce in little or no time (48%) and insist they have a meal or recipe in mind when buying from the produce department (46%).

Despite these mostly positive associations with fruits and vegetables, the survey found that almost half (48%) of participants think the general public is still ignorant about the health and environmental impacts of fresh produce, which ultimately limits consumption.

“This survey is more proof of the disconnect between Americans’ desire to eat healthier, including a produce-rich diet, and their ability to make that lifestyle a reality, given all of life’s demands,” said William Goldfield, Dole director of corporate communications. “At Dole, we realize that healthy living can be a challenge – which is why we’re committed to continually providing the highest quality fresh produce, fantastic plant-forward recipes, serving suggestions, education and wellness advice that can transform the desire for increased nutritional health into a daily routine for anyone, regardless of where they are on their personal health journey.”

Goldfield said that past Dole research has helped shape healthy-living campaigns such as this year’s “Healthier by Dole” monthly recipe series that provides healthier, easier and tastier menu alternatives for big and small holidays and eating occasions and new Dole products, including the industry-leading DOLE® Chopped Salad Kit, DOLE® Fresh Takes Ready-to-Eat and DOLE® Sheet Pan lines.

Read more »

6 Reasons Brussels Sprouts Are A Nutrition Powerhouse

By |

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.

Read more »

New Study Highlights The Health Benefits Of Eating Pistachios

By |

DSCN2875+1By The American Pistachio Growers

FRESNO, Calif. — Eating pistachio nuts does not contribute to weight gain or an increased body mass index – a measure of body fat based on height and weight – when included in a balanced diet, according to a scientific review of several clinical studies. This is among the many findings described in a review article published in the British Journal of Nutrition titled, “Nutrition attributes and health effects of pistachio nuts.” The article analyzes the results of more than 100 research studies and clinical trials regarding nut consumption and health, highlighting the potential health benefits of pistachios, which are a source of plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals and also a good source of fiber.

Pistachios and Weight Management

Reviewers analyzed randomized controlled trials that looked at pistachios’ effect on body weight and found that diets that include pistachios have not been linked to weight gain. In fact, one study found a decrease in body mass index, and another noted a significant decrease in waist circumference for those who ate pistachios.

An important component of weight management is satiety, the feeling of fullness after eating, and evidence shows that all nuts help promote satiety, suppress hunger and inhibit eating.

Heart Disease

Researchers also looked at five studies that examined the effects of pistachios on heart disease. Many of the studies found that diets that include pistachios tend to be linked to significantly lowered cholesterol and blood pressure levels, even for those who are at high risk of diabetes.

Nutrition

Researchers found that a one-ounce serving of pistachios (about 49 nuts) provides 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein and 11 percent of the RDA of fiber for adults. With three grams of fiber per serving, pistachios rank among the top two nuts in fiber content. The authors note that fiber intake is linked to decreased weight gain and helps lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

Pistachios vs Other Nuts

  • Vitamin Content: Pistachios contain Vitamin K and the B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), and folic acid (B9).
  • Mineral Content: Pistachios contain a number of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, and manganese, which are thought to play a role in blood pressure control, bone health management, and the prevention of several chronic diseases.
  • Antioxidant Support: Numerous studies suggest that pistachios contain phytochemicals that may act as antioxidants in the body.
  • Role in Eye Health: Pistachios contain approximately 13 times more lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids) than the next highest nut. High amounts of these carotenoids are found in the retina of the eye and are known to benefit eye health, which may help prevent vision loss associated with aging.

Read more »

Cut Prices, Sell More Produce (No Kidding!)

By |

DSCN5886The importance of lower prices as a way to promote the purchase and consumption of fruit and vegetables has been highlighted by Researchers from Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN).

The study was released after the first Australian evidence that cutting prices can be an effective way to get people to buy more fresh produce.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the C-PAN “Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life” (SHELf) trial found that a 20 per cent price reduction in fruit and vegetables resulted in increased purchasing per household of 21 per cent for fruit and 12 per cent for vegetables over the price reduction period.

Crucially, the study also found that the price reduction worked equally well across both low and high income groups – good news for low income groups who are at particular risk of poor diets and associated ill health.

The study, the first of its kind ever done in Australia, was led by Professor Kylie Ball from C-PAN and focused on female primary household shoppers.

“Women remain primarily responsible for food selection and preparation and as household food ‘gatekeepers’, represent important targets for nutrition interventions.

“We also know that individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have lower intakes of fruits and vegetables and higher intakes of energy-dense, nutrient poor foods than their more advantaged counterparts.

“High costs are often given as a reason that people don’t eat more fruit and vegetables, but until now we didn’t know much about how effective price reductions might be.

“A staggering 95 per cent of the Australian adult population do not eat enough fruit and vegetables for good health, so strategies to help people to eat more fruit and vegetables are urgently needed,” she said.

The C-PAN study is the first rigorously designed trial in Australia and one of only a few in the world to test how price reductions in real world settings where people select and purchase food influence purchases of different foods and beverages

 

Read more »

Avocado Study Reveals Why Consumers Buy the Fruit

By |

DSCN4628600 consumers preferred nutrition and sensory over other themes when participating in a Hass Avocado Board marketing study, Engaging and Influencing Shoppers at Shelf.

20 messages were among other themes in the study, which was intended for use on retail display shelves, signs and point-of-sale materials, and were a call to action and usage or occasion.

“Our goal was to ascertain message themes that resonate most with consumers, and in particular, understand which messaging within each theme motivates purchases of hass avocados,” Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based board, said in a news release.

Under the sensory theme, “Naturally Delicious” was the most popular tagline and most likely to motivate purchase. The consumers, all primary shoppers, were drawn by the promise of taste and the sense of “real” food that “may be good for you,” the study cited.

Among the nutrition messages, “Naturally Good Fats” was the top choice, deemed simple, important and believable. Also popular were “Cholesterol Free” and “Good Fat in Avocados Can Replace Saturated Fat.”

It found ratings varied by consumption level, with “super heavy” and heavy users — who buy 120-plus or 37-plus avocados per year, respectively — responding more positively overall to shelf messaging. The study also included medium buyers, who purchase 12 to 36 avocados annually.

Each tagline was tested with identical graphics.

As a second objective, the study measured reactions to everyday category signs. Messages tested were “Fresh Avocados,” “Hass Avocados,” and “Ripe Avocados.” Of those, the former was the most likely to drive purchases.

“The information in this study is intended to help retailers enhance their messaging to appeal to their core market,” Escobedo said in the release. “In-store presentation and messaging are important factors influencing the shopper’s decision to purchase hass avocados.”

 

Read more »