Carrots have long been said to improve eyesight. While that’s not true, some of the nutrients they contain may help fight certain eye problems.
Entries tagged with: vitamin C
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When you bite into a chili pepper, you probably think hot, not healthy. But that heat is tied to one of the pepper's health benefits. Learn what makes the pepper a nutritional star.
Not all sweet potatoes are orange. Find out what other colors this tuber comes in and what makes it a nutritional superstar.
Makes 4 servings
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and A. Plus, they're a great way to add color to your plate.
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium white onion diced
3 oz. steak fillet
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 medium zucchini or summer squash diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 red or yellow bell peppers
4 oz. swiss cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
1. Bring four cups of water to boil and add barley. Reduce to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion. Add steak, squash, salt and thyme. Cook until vegetables are tender and steak is done to your preference. Remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Thinly slice steak. Remove tops, seed pod and veins from peppers. Mix vegetables, tomato and barley and spoon equal amounts into peppers. Top with slices of steak and cheese.
5. Place peppers and tops on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes.
312 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated, 4 monounsaturated, 1 polyunsaturated), 31mg cholesterol, 273mg sodium, 43g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 14g protein, 157mg calcium
Every few months, as part of an after-school enrichment program called Kids Cooking Green, I teach nutrition to fifth graders in my community. At the end of the class, we set up a make-your-own smoothie bar complete with frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), 100 percent fruit juices, low-fat yogurt and a few blenders. Then we let the students whip up their own unique creations. I've never tasted a smoothie from one of these enthusiastic 10- and 11-year-olds I didn't love.
My own mango smoothie is a hit every time I make it for my family. Besides the fact that it's brimming with great nutrition from frozen mango and low-fat, calcium-rich yogurt, it's a recipe most kids can easily make.
Mom's Mango Smoothie
Serving size: 1 cup; makes 4 servings
2 cups frozen mango (one 10-ounce package)
1 1/2 cups 100 percent mango juice, tropical juice or orange juice
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
Place the mango, juice, and yogurt in a blender, and blend until well combined.
Pour into individual glasses and serve with a straw.
150 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 65mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 10% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C, 10% calcium
Photos and text © No Whine with Dinner
Servings: 4 (About 4 ounces)
Here's a simple, tasty fish dish that has become a favorite in our household. Wild caught Pacific flounder is a good source of healthy omega-3 fats and is considered a good alternative by Seafood Watch.
Artichokes are loaded with potassium, which is essential for the proper function of our cells, tissues and organs. They're also a good source of vitamin C, folate and magnesium. And artichokes are a great source of fiber. One medium artichoke has 10.3 grams of fiber, more than a cup full of prunes!
1 Garlic chopped
2 Flounder filets (about 16 ounces)
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 9-oz package frozen artichokes*
1/2 Cup Feta
2 Cups cooked barley
Orange slices for garnish
1. Over medium-low heat, sauté garlic in oil.
2. Add filets, sprinkle with salt and balsamic vinegar. Cook for three minutes. Flip fillets and add olives and artichoke hearts. Cook for five more minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Add feta. Serve on barley with a slice of orange.
* Canned artichokes maybe easier for you to find, but avoid seasoned artichokes because they can be high in sodium.
Nutrition: 329 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated, 5g monounsaturated fat, 2g polyunsaturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 457mg sodium, 28g protein, 6g fiber, 2mg iron
Know how many cranberries it takes to make a can of sauce for Thanksgiving? Find out this and other fascinating facts about cranberries.
What nutrient makes blueberries blue? Find out this and other fascinating facts about this little blue nutritional powerhouse.
Do you know why apples float? Get the answer to that question and more fascinating facts about apples.
Though my grandmother was better than I will ever be at telling someone's temperature from the back of her hand on a forehead, there were some things about the common cold that she didn't get right. She was certain, for example, that you got a cold from being out in cold weather. We now know that this is not true.
The common cold is actually a syndrome caused by hundreds of viruses, though the most common type is called the rhinovirus. A cold generally begins with a mild sore throat, followed by nasal stuffiness and drainage over the next couple of days, and eventually a mild cough. Symptoms frequently last more than a week; it is uncommon to have any significant fever with a cold. The average adult gets two or more colds per year, with kids getting even more.
Unfortunately, we haven't made much progress fighting the common cold, but we do know how to minimize our chances of getting it.
How Colds Spread
Most commonly, a cold virus is passed from person to person on the hands. A patient with a cold might shake hands with a friend, and that friend then transfers the virus to his nose or eyes by scratching. Colds also pass when we sneeze large droplets on others. Less commonly, they pass via smaller droplets suspended in the air.
Good hand hygiene is crucial to escaping the common cold. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, particularly after contact with others. Alcohol hand gels are good substitutes for soap and water if a sink is not available. If you can't clean your hands after exposure, try to avoid touching your hands to your face, particularly the eyes and nose until you can wash them.
If you're sick, do others a favor and cover your coughs and sneezes and avoid contact.
Got a Cold ... Now what?
Treat your symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids, including Grandma's chicken soup. And take decongestants such as pseudoephedrine. Rest may also soothe some of the symptoms. That's one good reason to stay at home when you're sick--another is you won't infect anyone else.
It should be pointed out that vitamins have not been shown to decrease or prevent colds in normal circumstances. A few studies have shown zinc lozenges can benefit cold symptoms, but these results are controversial. The FDA has warned against the use of some of these preparations due to associated loss of sense of smell.
Avoid taking antibiotics for a simple cold. They won't help against the viruses that cause colds, and antibiotics can have important side effects and medication interactions. Remember, statistics show we can sometimes talk our doctors into giving antibiotics if we ask. These medicines can lose their effectiveness when used too frequently over time--so save them for bacterial infections.
A Cold Is Not the Flu.
Influenza is usually a much more severe illness characterized by sudden onset of fevers, headache, cough and sometimes severe muscle aches. The flu is responsible for thousands of deaths every year, which is why you should get a flu shot annually (last year's won't protect you against this year's flu bug).
Unlike the common cold, there are several medications that treat the flu effectively. If you have the sudden onset of an illness consistent with the flu, consult your doctor immediately. Antiviral medication must be given within 48 hours of symptom onset to be effective.
Servings: 8; size: about 1 cup
The stringy texture of spaghetti squash makes it an excellent replacement for noodles in this vegetarian twist on a traditional dish. Plus winter squashes are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants.
1 3- to 4-pound spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Garlic gloves, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 8 oz. can of low-salt tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half longways, scoop out seeds and place halves face down on cookie sheet. Roast for 50 minutes or until squash is tender.
3. While squash cooks, sauté onion and garlic in canola oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, and cook for five more minutes until soft. Stir in tomatoes, herbs, sauce and sugar.
4. When squash is done, remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Scoop out squash into a casserole. Top with the sauce and cheese and heat for 10 minutes in oven.
180 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 214mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 10mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 8g protein
You might associate fresh fruit with summer, but when it comes to citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines, the best time to get them is winter. This is especially true of Florida grapefruit, which are at the peak of availability in February.
Most people associate grapefruit with diets, and with good reason--it's lower in calories than other fruit. One-half of a medium grapefruit contains only 60 calories. With fewer than 100 calories per 8-ounce serving, grapefruit juice contains fewer calories than similar servings of 100 percent fruit juices.
But even if you're not counting calories, the grapefruit offers a winter boost of helpful nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid.
Grapefruit is delicious all by itself, but you can also add grapefruit to salsas (see recipe below) and use its juice instead of vinegar in salad dressings.
"I love grapefruit," says Anne Quatrano, executive chef and co-owner of several Atlanta restaurants. Grapefruit finds its way into just about every course on her menus when it's in season. "We are roasting grapefruit to caramelize and extract the flavors and use it as a component for a foie gras dish. I love the way it cuts the richness of lobster to make it even better.
You can also turn grapefruit into a healthy, sweet dessert: Cut juicy pink grapefruit in half and run under the broiler for a few minutes to caramelize the natural sugars inside.
Grapefruit even pairs nicely with an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay, says Janet Trefethen, a California winemaker. "The bright acidity and citrus character of the wine would play beautifully with the dish and I think they would complement each other. Yum, I'd like a bite please."
One health note: Certain compounds in grapefruit can interfere with the way some medications are metabolized including statin drugs and calcium channel blockers. So check with your physician or pharmacist to be sure.Serves 6
This salsa is great with whole grain tortilla chips or served over grilled fish or chicken.
3 Pink or Ruby Red grapefruit
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp.brown sugar
1/2 Tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely minced
1 Small jalapeno pepper, core and ribs removed, finely diced
1/4 Cup red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1/2 Cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, 1/4-inch dice (1 small cucumber)
1 Medium ripe avocado, peeled, 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, very thinly sliced
1. Supreme grapefruit over bowl to catch juices and cut into 1/2 inch dice; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk lime juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger and pepper until sugar is dissolved.
3. Dice the onion and soak in ice water to crisp and remove acidity. While onion is soaking, cut cucumber, avocado, and mint and stir into the lime mixture.
4. Drain the red onion and add to the grapefruit, pour the lime mixture in and gently toss. Cover and chill. Serve cold.
I don't hate winter. I despise it. My vegetable garden, which supports us with fresh veggies from spring to autumn, is a tangled mess of winter rye grass and legumes. The farmers' markets are all closed. And most of the veggies at the grocery store have traveled from climates that never have snow days.
It's enough to make me want to move (farther) south.
Still, about this time every year I rediscover a reason not to hate the cold so much: winter squash.
It took me years to warm up to these funny shaped gourds. Like pumpkins, which are part of the same family, they look more like a harvest decoration tool than a food. But that's selling the squash short.
They are wonderful sources of flavor, color and nutrition in winter. For taste, winter squashes are great split in half, rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and herbs, and roasted in an oven until tender. They can be pureed and added to soups. Or they can be the highlight in a hearty, vegetarian feast.
Their sweet and nutty flavors may make you forget their amazing nutritional profile. Winter squashes are loaded with lots of antioxidants and essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and many B vitamins. Even their seeds, which make a great snack when they're roasted, are a good source of polyunsaturated fats.
Here's the lowdown on four popular squashes you can find at most grocers:
Round and dark green with long grooves, the Acorn squash's flesh is yellow and tastes nutty and sweet.
Butternut squash is shaped like a long pear with a lengthy shaft and a bulbous end. It has a dull, pale yellowish-orange skin and a vibrant orange flesh, which tastes sweet.
Delicata squashes are small and yellow with dark green and orange stripes. Unlike most winter squashes, the delicata's is thin and fragile. Check for bruising before you buy. The flesh is cream-colored with a nutty, sweet taste.
Pale yellow in color and shaped like a rugby ball, spaghetti squash is named for its flesh, which comes apart in long strands once it's been cooked.
Brighten up your winter with the combination of colors and tastes in this seasonal dish. The vibrant orange and yellow color of butternut squash and its sweet, nutty taste are a perfect complement to spinach. Plus, butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and C.
1 Butternut squash (about 4 cups)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp rosemary
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Cup red onion thinly sliced
2 Cups spinach
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup pecans
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peal and cut butternut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large bowl toss with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.
3. Transfer to a roasting pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until softened.
4. Sauté red onions in olive oil over medium heat. When soft, add spinach and balsamic vinaigrette and cook until spinach is wilted.
5. Top spinach with butternut squash and pecans.
188 calories, 17g fat (2g saturated, 10g monounsaturated, 4g polyunsaturated), 0g cholesterol, 51mg calcium, 199mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 3g fiber, 1g iron
Makes 12 servings; serving size: about 1 cup
Root vegetables are a winter favorite around our house. When the price of out-of-season veggies go up, root vegetables like rutabagas, parsnips and leeks remain inexpensive.
But the real value of root vegetables is in their nutritional content. Rutabagas are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Parsnips are a good source of folate, which helps produce and maintain new cells. Leeks are an good source of vitamin A, beta carotene and lutein, a nutrient that is good for eye health.
Plus, they make an filling replacement for meat in the center of a plate.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 pound carrots
1 pound parsnips
1 fennel bulb
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1. Spray two baking pans with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Move racks to top two positions.
2. Peel and cut rutabaga, carrots and parsnips into 1-inch pieces. Coarsely chop onions. Slice white and light green parts of leeks and slice fennel bulb (not stems). Toss root vegetables and potatoes with oil and pepper in a large bowl then split evenly between two baking pans.
3. Separate pans on different shelves and bake for 30 minutes. Add 5 garlic cloves to each pan, swap pan positions and bake another 30 minutes.
4. Sprinkle sea salt over veggies and serve.
156 calories, 5g total fat (1g sat, 3g mono, 1g poly) 0mg cholesterol, 26g carbohydrate, 88mg calcium, 246mg sodium, 3g protein, 6g fiber, 2mg iron
Related links:Cranberry chutney on corn griddle cakes
The sweet-tart goodness of cranberries combine perfectly with the savory flavor in these corn griddle cakes. Throw in a gravy boatload of nutrients like vitamin C and fiber and you have a healthy side for any seasonal feast.
Makes about three cups; serving size: 2 tbsp
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tbsp canola oil
1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mint leaves finely chopped
Over medium heat, sauté shallot, chili and garlic in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cranberries burst.
Corn Griddle Cakes
Makes about 10 cakes; serving size 1 cake
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
4 tbsp. canola oil, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup skim milk
1. Combine corn, green onions, eggs and 2 tbsp. oil. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
2. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Drop spoonfuls of mixture into skillet. Cook until edges set. Flip and cook until cakes are browned and cooked through.
161 calories, 8g total fat, 1g sat fat, 4g mono fat, 3g poly fat, 37mg cholesterol, 21g carbohydrate, 49mg calcium, 278mg sodium, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 1mg iron
Related links:Sweet Potato Wontons
You probably know that eating a healthier diet can help you lose weight and keep cholesterol in check. But did you know choosing the right foods can also help your skin? Just as calcium is critical in bone health, other nutrients play a crucial role in the health of your skin, hair and nailsand those nutrients may even help you look younger.
Skin cells need certain nutrients to repair and regenerate. This is also true for healthy hair and nails. And that's where the foods you put on your plate come in. Here are nine nutrition secrets that can help you look and feel younger.
Antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A are substances that protect against the breaking down of cells in the body, including the skin. The best protection is an array of antioxidants, from brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Add dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, blueberries, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, plums, prunes, purple grapes, beets and tomatoes to your weekly menu.
Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, the spongy stuff that keeps skin plump and wrinkle-free. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and kiwi fruit.
Beta Carotene is critical for skin health, too. In the body, it converts to vitamin A and is involved in the growth and repair of skin cells and may protect against sun damage. Note: Vitamin A supplements in high doses can be toxic so go for carrots, pumpkin, mangos, sweet potatoes and other orange colored foods.
Vitamin E helps protect healthy cells and guards against sun damage, too. Wheat germ, fortified cereals, nuts and seeds have vitamin E. There's even some research that suggests Vitamin E can join forces with Vitamin C for an extra boost of anti-aging skin protection. So how about a glass of orange juice with a handful of almonds for an afternoon snack to nourish your skin?
Healthy fats such as omega-3 fats found in salmon, flaxseed and walnuts and the mono-unsaturated oils found in olive oil, canola oil, avocados and nut butters are heart healthy and help keep skin moisturized from the inside out.
Beauty on the half-shell? Oysters are a great source of the mineral zinc which is involved in wound healing and the formation of new collagen. Rather have sushi? The mineral selenium found in tuna and crab may help delay aging by reducing sun damage and protecting skin's elasticity. Selenium is also found in grass-fed beef and buffalo.
Finally, think about what you drink: Overdoing it at the bareven the coffee barcan show on your face. Avoid excess alcohol and caffeine which can dry and dehydrate your skin, robbing the cells of needed water, and causing fine lines to be more visible. And be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. This helps keep your skin hydrated and looking its best.
Two great snacks at the same time? Registered Dietitian Liz Weiss combines pizza and buffalo chicken for this unique, tasty treat.
Want to make this at home? Download this recipe now. (PDF)
Registered dietitian Liz Weiss puts a low fat, Tex-Mex twist on this traditional Mexican quesadilla recipe.
Want to make this at home? Download the recipe now. (PDF).
People swear that taking vitamin C will keep colds away. But does the vitamin C found in oranges and supplements really fight colds? Our healthy skeptic reveals the truth.
Looking for the best multivitamin brands? Pharmacist Doug White offers a few tips to guide you through the multiple choices on the vitamin aisle.
Learn the best ways to preserve the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables you cook.
Dietitian Carolyn O’Neil comes to the rescue of some firefighters whose high-fat diet is proving more dangerous than their occupation.
Can vitamins boost your energy level? What do the ‘USP’ initials on supplement bottles stand for? Test your vitamin knowledge with our Everwell Challenge.
Our heart-healthy shrimp and citrus rice salad recipe features cholesterol-lowering good fats. Plus the mango is a good source of vitamins C and A, and the almonds contain healthy monounsaturated fats.