Many consumers have replaced their sweetener of choice with agave nectar, which is produced from the sap derived from the agave plant. Agave nectar has become popular because it is viewed as a healthful alternative sweetener largely due to its low glycemic index.
However, a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association may sour some on the health benefits of agave nectar.
It is probably safe to say that the terms rutin, hydroxytyrosol and limonene are not currently household words in America. However, news outlets will likely soon be reporting on emerging research that touts the health benefits of these and other plant-based “super nutrients.”
Recent public concerns about food quality, safety and the environment have sparked a major trend toward eating healthier foods and have introduced
the term sustainable farming into the American lexicon. Consumers are buying more organic foods grown locally by farmers using sustainable and socially
responsible practices in an effort to preserve the earth’s precious resources.
With all the attention paid to whole wheat and oats, barley remains the odd child of the grain family. But new research shows that regular consumption of barley can significantly lower blood levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol. No wonder the Egyptians buried their mummies
with necklaces of barley!
Now ubiquitous at salad bars around the world, the root
vegetable called jicama was originally grown in Central America and Mexico, where it is sometimes called a Mexican turnip or yam bean. Pronounced HEE-kah-ma, this veggie resembles a turnip but is a member of the bean family.
Long a symbol of the dog days of summer, water-
melon may now be a precursor to summer romance. Researchers for the USDA report that certain
compounds found in watermelon can mimic the
effects of Viagra, a drug commonly used to treat
erectile dysfunction in men.
Watermelon contains citrulline, a compound that can trigger production of an amino acid called arginine. Arginine, in turn, boosts nitric oxide levels, which relax blood vessels and produce an effect similar to Viagra.
So do be careful where you spit those watermelon seeds!
With its pointy, prickly leaves, the artichoke is a rather daunting-looking plant. But don’t let its odd looks deter you; getting to the heart of this plant may take some extra effort, but it’s worth the wait.
On the heels of the recent pistachio nut recalls, a new government report says there has been little progress in protecting our nation’s food supply over the past decade. The report was a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The data used for the report was from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), which each year compares current incidences of food infections to those of the previous 3 years.
Want to up the nutrients in your diet this summer? Make sure you store your watermelons on your kitchen counter instead of in the refrigerator. Melons stored at room temperature retain as much as 40% more lycopene than those stored in the fridge, according to the editors at Cooking Light.
The term heirloom is used to describe any tomato plant that is naturally pollinated by wind and bees and has been cultivated for more than 50 years. Growers save the seeds from these tomatoes at the end of each growing season for use the next year.
Health Benefits. Like regular tomatoes, heirlooms are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against cancers of the prostate, pancreas, breast and intestines. Tomatoes are also high in vitamins C, A and K.