Eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Blackcurrant is No 1 superfruit

The blackcurrant is far more nutritious than more exotic fruits such as goji berries and blueberries, favoured by celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna the blackcurrant contains greater levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than 20 other fruits 

  • In addition to blackcurrants, researchers analysed apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, oranges, passion fruit, peaches, pears, pomegranate, raspberries and strawberries. 
  • Eating blackcurrants can help prevent cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, eye strain, MRSA and diabetes, among other ailments. 
  • For some time goji berries, shipped in from the Himalayas, and American blueberries, were thought to offer the best health benefits. 
  • Inexpensive fruit: At £2 for a 60g bag, gojis do not come cheap, whereas pick-your-own farms in Britain offer blackcurrants at about £3.99 per kilo, about 24p for 60g. Blackcurrants are seasonal and harvested in July and August. The total British blackcurrant crop can range from 12,000 to 14,000 tons a year. 

Nutrients and phytochemicals 
  • The fruit has extraordinarily high vitamin C content (302% of the Daily Value per 100 g), good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients (nutrient table, right). 
  • Other phytochemicals in the fruit (polyphenols/anthocyanins) have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with potential to inhibit inflammation mechanisms suspected to be at the origin of heart diseasecancer, microbial infections or neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
  • Blackcurrant seed oil is also rich in many nutrients, especially vitamin E and several unsaturated fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid.
  • When not in fruit, the plant looks similar to the redcurrant shrub, distinguished by a strong fragrance from leaves and stems. The fruit is an edible berry 1 cm diameter, very dark purple in color, almost black, with a glossy skin and a persistent calyx at the apex, and containing several seeds dense in nutrients. 
  • An established bush can produce up to 5 kilograms of berries during summer. 
  •  Blackcurrants were once popular in the United States as well, but became rare in the 20th century after currant farming was banned in the early 1900s, when blackcurrants, as a vector of white pine blister rust, were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry.
  • The federal ban on growing currants was shifted to jurisdiction of individual states in 1966, and was lifted in New York State in 2003 through the efforts of horticulturist Greg Quinn. As a result, currant growing is making a comeback in New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Oregon. However, several statewide bans still exist including Maine and New Hampshire.
Origin / Growing regions: 
Although the blackcurrant is native to moderate climate zones, it is grown primarily in Central and Eastern Europe and several Asian countries today. Blackcurrants have been cultivated as a soft fruit in the gardens of Central Europe since the 18th century.

Description: 
Currants belong to the family of Grossulariaceae (relatives of the gooseberry). The fruits of the blackcurrant grow on summer-green bushes whose typical odour distinguishes them from those of the redcurrant.

Fruit: 
The dark-purple colour of the fruits is an expression of the high anthocyanin concentration in the skin. Due to their high acid content, blackcurrants are seldom processed into pure juice but are primarily used in more readily digestible nectars.

Currants, European black, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 264 kJ (63 kcal)
Carbohydrates  15.4 g
Fat  0.4 g
Protein  1.4 g

Vitamins
  • Thiamine (B1) (4%) 0.05 mg
  • Riboflavin (B2) (4%) 0.05 mg
  • Niacin (B3) (2%) 0.3 mg
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • (8%) 0.398 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (5%) 0.066 mg
  • Vitamin C (218%) 181 mg
  • Vitamin E (7%) 1 mg

Trace metals
  • Calcium (6%) 55 mg
  • Iron (12%) 1.54 mg
  • Magnesium (7%) 24 mg
  • Manganese (12%) 0.256 mg
  • Phosphorus (8%) 59 mg
  • Potassium (7%) 322 mg
  • Sodium (0%) 2 mg
  • Zinc (3%) 0.27 mg

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cabbage

Cabbage, one of the oldest vegetables, continues to be a dietary staple and an inexpensive food. It is easy to grow, tolerates the cold, and keeps well. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Selection
Look for solid, heavy heads of cabbage. Avoid cabbage that has discolored veins or worm damage. Do not buy precut cabbage, the leaves may have already lost their vitamin C. Look for stems that are healthy looking, closely trimmed, and are not dry or split.

Storage
Keep cabbage cold. This helps it retain its vitamin C content. Place the whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Once the head has been cut, place the remainder in plastic bags and place in the refrigerator. Try to use the remaining cabbage in the next day or two.

Preparation
Do not wash cabbage until you are ready to use it. Avoid slicing or shredding cabbage in advance. This will cause it to lose some of its vitamin C content. If you must prepare it an hour or more in advance before cooking, place it in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and refrigerate.



Varieties
There are at least a hundred different types of cabbage grown throughout the world, but the most common types in the United States are the Green, Red, and Savoy varieties. Chinese varieties are also available. The two most common types of Chinese cabbage are Bok Choy and Napa cabbage. Chinese cabbage cooks in less time than standard U.S. types, but can be prepared in the same ways. Cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, microwaved, stuffed, or stir-fried.

Cooked Cabbage
Serving size 1/2 cup (75g)
Amounts Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 15
Calories from Fat 50
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 5mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 3g1%
  Dietary Fiber -g-%
  Sugars -g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A2%
Vitamin C25%
Calcium2%
Iron0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Raw Cabbage
Serving size 1/2 cup (35g)
Amounts Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 10
Calories from Fat 00
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 5mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g1%
  Dietary Fiber 1g4%
  Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C30%
Calcium2%
Iron2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Recipes

Chutney—Pineapple SlawServes 4.
Ingredients
2 Tbsp chutney
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup coarsely fresh pineapple or one 8 oz pineapple tidbits
1/4 cup raisins
In a large bowl, combine chutney, orange peel, and orange juice. Mix well. Add shredded cabbage and carrot, pineapple, and raisins; toss to mix. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving time.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 94.5, Fat 0.5g, Calories from Fat 4%, Carbohydrate 23.6g, Protein 1.7g, Fiber 3.3g, Sodium 37.4mg.



  1. Nutrition Facts
    Cabbage
    Amount Per 1 leaf, medium (23 g)
    Calories 6


  2. % Daily Value*
    Total fat 0 g0%
    Saturated fat 0 g0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 4 mg0%
    Potassium 39 mg1%
    Total Carbohydrate 1.3 g0%
    Dietary fiber 0.6 g2%
    Sugar 0.7 g
    Protein 0.3 g0%
    Vitamin A0%Vitamin C14%
    Calcium0%Iron0%
    Vitamin B-60%Vitamin B-120%
    Magnesium0%
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  3. Sources include: USDA
      Here are some health benefits of cabbage:

      1.  Lowers risk of lung colon stomach and prostate cancer.

      2.  Cures arthritis.

      3.  Prevents and cures degenerative inflammatory disease.

      4.  Prevents and cures asthma.

      5.  Prevents and cures bronchitis.

      6.  Helps respiratory tracks.

      7.  Lowers cholesterol.

      8.  Acts as liver detox.

      9.  Helps with gastric ulcers.

      10.  It provides powerful antioxidants.

      11.  Rich in iron.

      12.  Helps lose weight.

      13.  Boosts immune system.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Walnuts

While all nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, walnuts (14 halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein) have high amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA).

Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal. The authors of this study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, recommended eating around eight walnuts a day to achieve similar benefits.

Walnuts
Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia
Nutritional value per serving
Serving size100 grams
Energy2,738 kJ (654 kcal)
Carbohydrates13.71
- Starch0.06
- Sugars2.61
  - Lactose0
- Dietary fiber6.7
Fat65.21
- saturated6.126
- monounsaturated8.933
- polyunsaturated47.174
Protein15.23
Water4.07
Alcohol0
Caffeine0
Vitamin A equiv.1 μg (0%)
Vitamin A20 IU
- beta-carotene12 μg (0%)
lutein and zeaxanthin9 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.341 mg (30%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.15 mg (13%)
Niacin (vit. B3)1.125 mg (8%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.570 mg (11%)
Vitamin B60.537 mg (41%)
Folate (vit. B9)98 μg (25%)
Vitamin B120 μg (0%)
Vitamin C1.3 mg (2%)
Vitamin D0 μg (0%)
Vitamin D0 IU (0%)
Vitamin E0.7 mg (5%)
Vitamin K2.7 μg (3%)
Calcium98 mg (10%)
Iron2.91 mg (22%)
Magnesium158 mg (45%)
Manganese3.414 mg (163%)
Phosphorus346 mg (49%)
Potassium441 mg (9%)
Sodium2 mg (0%)
Zinc3.09 mg (33%)
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database