101 foods that could save your life – Part5

 Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

Did you know…if men want women to look younger, they should smell some grapefruit?  While wearing masks that were infused with various aromas, men and women were asked to estimate the age of models who appeared in photos. When women wore the mask in fused with grapefruit, their guesstimate was closer to the real age. But when men smelled the grapefruit, they guessed the models were six years younger than they actually were!
What’s the Story?
Grapefruit is thought to be a cross between an orange and a pummelo that was brought to Barbados from Indonesia in the seventeenth century. Some of the most popular grapefruit varieties include Duncan, Foster, Marsh, Oroblanco, Paradise  Navel, Redblush, Star Ruby, Sweetie, Thompson, and Triumph. The two most common Western varieties include the Marsh and Ruby Red.
A Serving of Food Lore…
The grapefruit was first discovered in Barbados in 1750 and was later found in Jamaica in 1789. When introduced to Florida in the nineteenth century, the grapefruit tree was grown only for novelty, as the actual fruit was rarely consumed. In 1874, New York imported 78,000 grapefruits from the West Indies to meet a growing popularity and demand. In 1962, an American horticulturist proposed to change the name of grapefruit to “pomelo” in an attempt to increase sales; however, this was unsuccessful.
Where Is Grapefruit Grown?
The United States is one of the largest growers of grapefruits. Florida is the country’s main grower, with help from California, Arizona, and Texas. Other countries with commercial production include Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba.
Why Should I Eat Grapefruit?
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. The pink and red varieties are fifty times higher than white grapefruit in carotenoids that act as powerful antioxidants. It is also a good source of potassium, calcium, and, in the case of red grapefruit, vitamin A. One half of a grapefruit contains more than 150 phytonutrients, mostly flavonoids, believed to help the body fight against aging, allergies, infection, cancer, ulcers, and heart disease.
Home Remedies
Most of the home remedies utilize the grapefruit seed versus the fruit. Grapefruit seed extract is thought to be useful in treating external skin conditions, especially fungal-related conditions such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, and dandruff.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
PERIODONTAL DISEASE: A study found that bleeding associated with periodontitis was significantly reduced after drinking grapefruit juice. The researchers attribute the amazing results to the vitamin C content of grapefruit juice, known to help wound and tissue repair.
HEART HEALTH: Researchers studied the effect of eating one grapefruit a day on fifty-seven patients who had bypass surgery. Those who consumed one red grapefruit a day for thirty days showed decreases in total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
WEIGHT LOSS: One study found that obese individuals who consumed one half of a fresh grapefruit before meals for twelve weeks lost a significant amount of weight and had improvements in insulin resistance associated with metabolic syndrome. A fad diet based on eating grapefruits was developed in Hollywood, California, and first became popular in the 1930s, making a later resurgence in the 1970s. Medical and nutritional experts found it to be nutritionally incomplete and unsound. But be assured—adding grapefruit to a healthy diet is sound advice and may be a valuable tool in achieving an optimal weight!
CANCER: A study found  that a particular flavonoid found specifically in grapefruit helps to repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. A diet including grapefruit reduced inflammatory markers and increased apoptosis (programmed cell death) associated with colon cancer in a rat study.
Don’t Throw Me an Anvil!
Grapefruit juice may interfere with the rate of absorption of many prescription medications. Check with your doctor, a pharmacist, or a registered dietitian to see if grapefruit juice is right for you.
Tips on Using Grapefruit
• There are two main varieties of grapefruit, white and pink/red, that can be found year-round.
• Choose firm and heavy grapefruits for their size. Avoid those that appear to have water-soaked areas or have an overly soft spot at the stem. Watch for signs of dehydration and skin collapse at the stem.
• Store grapefruits in the refrigerator crisper for up to two to three weeks, but keep in mind that they are juicier when served warm rather than cool.
• Slice the fruit in half, separating the flesh from the membrane and scooping out each section with a spoon. A grapefruit spoon simplifies this process.
• If seeds are present, remove the seed before eating. A less labor-intensive way to consume a grapefruit is to peel and eat it like an orange.
• Serve chilled, cut in half and flesh precut from the membranes. Sweeten with honey, agave syrup, or sugar.
• Add grapefruit sections to green salads for added tang.
Roasted Grapefruit Salad
by Cynthia Sass
Servings: 1 • Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes
Make sure you use a ripe, sweet grapefruit for this recipe. Try brushing a little agave syrup on the surface if the grapefruit isn’t as sweet as you would like. This recipe contains six powerhouse foods.
1 medium grapefruit, sectioned
1 cup baby spinach leaves
¼ cup yellowgrape tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ cup red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh avocado, diced
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Gently remove seeds from grapefruit sections. Lay on cookie sheet. Broil until bubbly; remove and set aside. Toss spinach with balsamic vinegar and place in salad bowl. Top with grapefruit, tomatoes, nuts, onion, and avocado, and serve.
Calories: 110; Total fat: 4.5g; Saturated fat: .5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 25mg; Total carbs: 17g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 2g.
Grapes (Vitis)
Did you know…more grapes are grown throughout the world than any other fruit?
What’s the Story?
Grapes range in shape from oval to round, and from seeded to seedless. They may be green, red, amber, purple, or blue-black. The skin and seeds of grapes are edible too, although many people believe that chewing the seeds may be harmful—not so! But you should avoid chewing the seeds if you have a medical condition called diverticulitis (pouches in the intestine). Out of literally thousands of different kinds to choose from, only about twenty varieties make up the vast majority of what we consume today. European grapes, North American grapes, and French hybrid grapes dominate the market for everything from ready-to-eat table grapes to raisin grapes to wine grapes.
A Serving of Food Lore…
In 6000 B.C., grapes were first cultivated in Caucasia, in the region between the Black and Caspian Seas near northern Iran. Cultivation spread to Asia around 5000 B.C. and from there to Egypt and Phoenicia around two thousand years later. Grapes were used for winemaking during the Greek and Roman times and the fruit’s many uses spread throughout Europe. In the seventeenth century, grapes were planted in the United States at a Spanish mission in New Mexico, and from there they spread to the central valley of California.
Where Are Grapes Grown?
The major producers of grapes today are Italy, Spain, France, Mexico, the United States, and Chile. Over ninety-nine percent of commercially available table grapes produced in the United States come from California.
Why Should I Eat Grapes?
Grapes contain vitamin C and potassium, and a small amount of fiber. Grape seeds contain an abundance of powerful antioxidants. Studies show that the predominant antioxidant, proanthocyanidin, has twenty times greater antioxidant power than vitamin E and fifty times greater than vitamin C. Resveratrol, a key phytonutrient found mainly in the skins of grapes, has anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Grapes are also high in flavonoids. Red grapes contain the carotenoid lycopene, which may help in fighting breast and prostate cancer.
Home Remedies
The juice of green grapes that is combined with water, alum, and salt has been reported to lessen the scars of acne when applied to the face. To overcome constipation, consume about a cup and a half of grapes daily.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
HEART HEALTH: A study using mice fed freeze-dried grape powder found that LDL cholesterol was protected from being converted into the more dangerous type that can lead to heart disease. Researchers found that the flesh extract of grapes was just as protective for the heart as skin extract. Beyond the heart-health importance of resveratrol, found abundantly in grapes, significant concentrations of other antioxidants such as caffeic, caftaric, coumaric, and coutaric acids have been found in the skin and flesh of both red and white grape varieties. Drinking Concord grape juice significantly increased good cholesterol (HDL) and significantly lowered two markers of inflammation in people with stable coronary artery disease.
CANCER: A number of studies have shown a link between grapes and cancer prevention, including the ability to inhibit growth of cancer cells. Specific cancer types that have been tested include breast, colon, stomach, and leukemia. A rat study found that consumption of Concord grape juice significantly inhibited breast cancer tumor growth.
A cell study using advanced human prostate cancer cells found that treatment with grape seed extract inhibited cell growth and caused them to die. Another study showed that drinking four or more glasses of red wine per week cut the risk of prostate cancer in half.
COGNITIVE FUNCTION: Concord grape juice significantly improved laboratory animals’ short-term memory in a water maze test, as well as coordination, balance, and strength.
WEIGHT CONTROL: A study found that grape seed extract may be helpful in limiting absorption and accumulation of dietary fat in cells
observed under a microscope.
Tips on Using Grapes
• Look for grapes that are intact, plump, and free of wrinkles.
• Red grapes should be mostly red, green grapes should have a slight yellowish hue, and blue-black and purple grapes should be deep in color.
• Wrap unwashed grapes in a paper towel, place in a plastic bag, and put in the refrigerator for longer storage.
• Grapes will keep fresh for several days at room temperature.
• Wash with cold water right before use and pat dry.
• Use scissors to cut small clusters from the stem, which prevents the stem from drying out and keeps remaining grapes fresher.
• Add grapes to your fruit or mixed green, chicken, or tuna salad.
• Freeze grapes for a refreshing snack.
Grapes of Wrap
This recipe contains eight powerhouse foods. INGREDIENTS:
¾ cup red grapes, quartered
2 cans tuna or chicken, drained
½ cup celery, chopped coarse
1/3 cup red onion, chopped coarse
1 teaspoon dill, chopped fine
¼ cup canola oil mayonnaise
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil(optional)
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
6 whole wheat tortillas
by Sharon Grotto
Servings: 6 • Prep Time: 10 minutes
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread some of the salad in a whole wheat tortilla. Garnish with lettuce and tomato, hold together with a toothpick, and serve.
Calories: 190; Total fat: 4.5g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 460mg; Total carbs: 26g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 18g.
Guava (Psidium guajava L.)
Did you know…Amazon Indians used guava fruit to remedy sore throats, digestive challenges, and vertigo, and to regulate menstrual periods?
What’s the Story?
The guava belongs to the myrtle family (Myrtaceae), which includes spices such as clove, cinnamon, allspice, and eucalyptus. Guava comes in a range of shape and sizes and, for the most part, is sweet and fragrant. The inside flesh is juicy and ranges in color from white to yellow to pink to red. Depending on the variety, the center may be filled with hard yellow seeds or no seeds at all. Tree-ripened fruit is optimal but guava usually falls prey to birds before it can make it to market. Therefore, the vast majority are picked early and artificially ripened for six days in straw at room temperature.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Guava’s place of origin is most likely in southern Mexico down to Central America. Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought it from the Americas to the East Indies and Guam. From there, guava traveled throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Guava was first introduced to Hawaii during the reign of King Kamehameha I. By 1847, guava was commonly found in the Bahamas, Bermuda, and southern Florida. The first commercial guava-processing plant was established in Palm Sola, Florida, in 1912.
Where Is Guava Grown?
Guava grows in abundance in India, China, Mexico, and South America. In the United States, Hawaii, Florida, and California are the leading producers of guava.
Why Should I Eat Guava?
Pound for pound, guava is higher in vitamin C than citrus and contains appreciable amounts of vitamin A as well. Guava fruits are also a good source of pectin, a dietary fiber, and rich in potassium and phosphorus. Guava contains an amazing amount of phytochemicals including tannins, phenols, triterpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, saponins, carotenoids, and lectins. The leaves of guava are also rich in flavonoids, in particular quercetin, which has demonstrated antibacterial activity and is thought to contribute to the antidiarrheal effect of guava.
Home Remedies
Guava leaves have been used as a remedy for diarrhea for their supposed antimicrobial properties. Leaves were chewed to cure bleeding gums and bad breath too. Guava has been used as an antibacterial, antifungal, pain reliever, and antihypertensive, for controlling blood glucose, and for promoting menstruation.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
DIABETES: Diabetic mice who received guava juice for four weeks experienced a reduction in glucose of nearly twenty-five percent as compared with the diabetic control group. Guava leaf has also been used successfully in experiments for controlling blood glucose.
HEART HEALTH: Participants who consumed guava experienced a marked reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (“bad”)
cholesterol, along with improved HDL cholesterol. Their blood pressure improved as well.
ANTIBACTERIAL: Guava leaves have antibacterial properties and have been shown to have a highly lethal effect on salmonella and other harmful bacteria.
Tips on Using Guava
• Guavas come fresh, canned, in a paste, jelly, juice, and nectar. These are readily available in Latin supermarkets.
• Ripe guavas bruise easily, are highly perishable, and must be eaten within a few days.
• Guavas need to be quite ripe before they are eaten.
• Cut it into quarters, remove the seeds, and peel away the skin.
• Raw guavas can be eaten out of one’s hand or served sliced as dessert or in salads.
• A traditional dessert that is popular throughout Latin America is stewed guava shells (cascos de guayaba).
• Guava syrup is great over waffles, ice cream, and puddings, and in milkshakes.
Guava and Cheese Empanadas
Adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking
Servings: 12 (1 serving=3 empanadas) • Prep and cooking time: 15 minutes
Oprah called Steven Raichlen the “Gladiator of Grilling” and Howard Stern hailed him as the “Michael Jordan of Barbecue.” For this recipe, I
consider him the “Emperor of Empanadas”! This recipe contains two powerhouse foods.
36 (3-inch) wonton wrappers or round Chinese ravioli wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 ounces guava paste, cut into 36 small pieces
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, cut into 36 small pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange a few wonton wrappers on a work surface. Lightly brush the edge of each wrapper with egg white. (The egg white helps make a tight seal.) Place 1 piece of guava paste and 1 piece of cream cheese in the center and fold the wrapper in half to make a triangular pastry, or a half moon–shaped pastry if using round wrappers. Crimp the edges with a fork. Place the finished empanadas on the prepared baking sheet while you make the rest. Coat the tops of the empanadas with nonstick spray. Bake, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
Calories: 110; Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 21mg; Total carbs: 21g; Fiber: less than 1g; Sugar: 0g; Protein:
Hazelnuts (Corylus avellana L.)
Did you know…hazelnuts are one of the main ingredients in the famous Italian Nutella spread?
What’s the Story?
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are a nut that grows on a bushy tree. A hazelnut is shaped like an acorn and has a fuzzy outer husk that will open as the nut matures, exposing a smooth, hard shell. Hazelnuts have a rich flavor and are often used in baking products and also used to make hazelnut butter, meal and flour, paste, and oil. They can also be purchased in their shell, chopped, ground, or roasted.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Hazelnut is one of the oldest agricultural food crops and is thought to have originated in Asia. Chinese manuscripts from 5,000 years ago refer to the hazelnut as a sacred food from heaven. The Romans and Greeks used hazelnuts for medicinal purposes.
Where Are Hazelnuts Grown?
The main producers of hazelnuts are Turkey, Italy, Spain, and France. In the United States they are mainly grown in Oregon and Washington.
Why Should I Eat Hazelnuts?
Not only are hazelnuts a high-quality source of protein and fiber, they also contain a variety of antioxidants such as vitamin E and a host of phytonutrients that benefit the immune system. Hazelnuts are a rich source of the amino acid arginine that relaxes blood vessels. Hazelnuts have the highest concentration of folate among all of the tree nuts. Folate reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects, and may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. Hazelnuts also contain the blood pressure–lowering minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Hazelnuts are also a rich source of squalene, a plant chemical—also found in olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, shark oil, and yeast—that has anticancer and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Home Remedies
Hazelnut oil has been used externally as a way to rid the skin of cellulite. The ancient Greek physician Dioscorides boasted of hazelnut’s ability to quiet chronic coughs, fight the common cold, and even grow hair in bald areas of the head.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
HEART HEALTH: A small human study showed that men with elevated cholesterol who were fed a diet containing hazelnuts for eight weeks had decreased plaque-promoting lipids and increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol compared to the control group.
Tips on Using Hazelnuts
• If they’re in the shell, choose nuts that are heavy and full. Unshelled nuts can be stored in a cool, dry place for about a month.
• Shelled nuts should have tight skins and nuts that are plump. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, where they will keep fresh for about four months.
• The skin can be removed by toasting the nuts and then rubbing them. Hazelnuts can be roasted using a conventional oven and a cookie sheet.
• You can grind them by placing them in a food processor.
• Try hazelnut butter as an alternative to peanut butter.
• Add hazelnuts to your favorite salad, cookies, stir-fry, or breakfast cereal.
• Add an exciting texture to your yogurt with diced hazelnuts.
Cranberry Pear Salad with Curried Hazelnuts
Courtesy of the Hazelnut Council
Servings: 8 • Prep and cooking time: 45 to 60 minutes
This recipe contains an amazing thirteen powerhouse foods!
8 ounces yogurt, plain, fat-free
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon tarragon, dried
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1¾ cups (8 ounces) hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted
¼ cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons honey
¾ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
1½ teaspoons butter
2 cups (4 ounces) spinach leaves, washed
1½ cups (4 ounces) spring greens, washed and torn
11/3 cups (6 ounces) cranberries, sweetened and dried
1 Anjou pear, cored and cubed
1 yellowbell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
Process dressing ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place hazelnuts in large bowl. Pour melted butter in 9 × 9 × 2-inch pan; set aside. Stir corn syrup, honey, curry powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in small saucepan until boiling. Boil 2 minutes; do not stir. Stir in 1½ teaspoons butter until melted. Immediately pour over nuts. Stir until coated. Spread into prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Pour onto buttered baking sheet; cool. Break into small pieces. Makes 2½ cups.
Place salad ingredients in large bowl. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle on 1 cup curried hazelnuts.
Calories: 210; Total fat: 8.5g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 155mg; Total carbs: 34g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 26g; Protein: 4g.
Honey (Mellis)
Did you know…that bees travel an average of 55,000 miles and need to tap over two million flowers just to bring you one pound of honey?
What’s the Story?
Bees have been producing honey for at least 100 million years. Honey is produced as food stores for the long winter months ahead. European honey bees, genus Apis Mellifera, produce more than enough honey for their hive so that humans can harvest the excess. The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). In fact, there are more than three hundred unique kinds of honey in the United States alone, originating from clover, eucalyptus, orange blossom, and buckwheat. Lighter-colored honeys are milder in flavor, while darker honeys are usually stronger in flavor.
A Serving of Food Lore…
The benefits of honey can be traced as far back as the ancient writings of Sumerians, Babylonians, and the sacred Indian Vedas writings. Honey was used to bless buildings and homes—it was poured over thresholds and over bolts that were to be used in sacred buildings. Cleopatra of Egypt regularly took honey-and-milk baths to maintain her youthful appearance. Honey was so highly valued in ancient times that it was common to use it as a form of tribute or payment. In ancient Greece, honey was offered to the gods and to spirits of the dead. One of the first alcoholic beverages known was made with honey and was called mead, considered the “drink of the gods.” European settlers introduced European honey bees to the United States around 1638.
Where Is Honey Produced?
The main producers of honey are Australia, Canada, Argentina, and the United States.
Why Should I Include Honey?
Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose, and water. It also contains trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Honey contains flavonoids and phenolic acids, and the darker the honey, the higher the level of antioxidants. Honey acts as a prebiotic and aids in the growth of friendly bifidobacteria, thus improving gut health.
Home Remedies
Greek and Roman athletes used honey to increase strength and stamina. Honey has been used as an effective antimicrobial agent, for treating minor burns and scrapes, and for aiding the treatment of sore throats and other bacterial infections.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
CHOLESTEROL: A human study found that people with hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood) who ate honey had a decrease in their triglycerides as opposed to those fed a sugar solution, which increased triglycerides.
COLITIS: A rat study found that honey conferred the greatest protection against colitis compared with other sugars. It was noted that enzymes that protect cells from being damaged were at their highest level in the honey-fed group.
CANCER: An article in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture reported on a group of Croatian researchers who found significantly decreased tumor growth and spreading of cancer (metastasis) in mice when honey was ingested orally or given by injection. Honey was found to be an effective agent for inhibiting the growth of bladder cancer cell lines.
WOUND-HEALING: Honey has long been revered for its antibacterial and wound-healing properties. A special preparation of honey called Medihoney, known for its high antibacterial properties, was used in treating wound care in Children’s Hospital in Bonn, Germany, for three years. Researchers observed significant reductions in even the most resistant wound infections as a result of using the honey preparation. Cancer treatment can often lead to side effects such as sores in the inside of the mouth; one study found that honey applied to the sores reduced
Don’t Throw Baby an Anvil!
Honey should not be fed to infants less than one year of age because they lack the ability to kill botulism spores that lie within.
Tips on Using Honey
• Honey comes in basically five different forms: comb honey, cut comb (liquid honey that has chunks of comb in it), liquid honey, crystallized honey, and whipped or “creamed” honey (the honey is the consistency of butter).
• To keep antioxidant content high, don’t keep honey any longer than six months.
• Honey is best stored at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
• If your honey crystallizes, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.
• When substituting honey for granulated sugar, replace sugar with half the amount of honey. If the recipe calls for one tablespoon of sugar, use just one half tablespoon of liquid honey.
• When baking with honey, remember to:
Reduce liquids by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for every cup of honey.
Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning.
• Coat the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil before adding the honey. The honey will slide right out.
• Tired of peanut butter and grape jelly? Have a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Or substitute another nut butter, like almond or cashew.
• Replace sugar in tea and coffee with clover honey. Or better yet, use orange blossom or buckwheat for a real taste treat.
• Use honey, soy sauce, pressed garlic, and olive oil as a glaze for barbecued anything!
Firefighter’s Honey Muesli
by Dave Grotto
Servings: 1 • Prep time: 5 minutes
This recipe was created as part of a cholesterol-lowering program for Chicago firefighters. It’s quick, simple, and tasty—perfect fuel for putting out whatever kind of “fire” you’re fighting! This recipe contains four powerhouse foods.
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup skim milk or low-fat vanilla soy milk
1 ounce mixture of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios
1/8 cup dried cherries and cranberries
Mix all ingredients and eat immediately, or cover, refrigerate overnight, and eat the next day.
Calories: 330; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 90mg; Total carbs: 56g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 11g.
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) or Wasabi (Wasabia japonica)
Did you know…that most “wasabi” outside of Japan is really horseradish with green food coloring added to it? Real wasabi is one of the rarest, most difficult and expensive vegetables to grow in the world and is in limited supply. But the good news is, though entirely different plants, horseradish is much easier to find and shares many of wasabi’s healthy characteristics.
What’s the Story?
HORSERADISH: The English name “horseradish” was first thought to be a bungled twist on the German word meerrettich, interpreted as mare (female horse) radish (meaning root). However, several English plant names use the word “horse” to indicate that it is big or strong. Horseradish is a member of the cabbage family.
WASABI: There are several species of wasabi but the most commonly found is Wasabia japonica. Like horseradish, all are members of the cabbage family. Wasabi, also known as “Japanese horseradish,” is not a root but rather a knotty stem or “rhizome.” It is used predominantly as a spice and has a strong flavor, so much so that it is nicknamed “namida,” which means “tears” in Japanese. Though it has “heat,” it’s more akin to a hot mustard than a chili pepper, irritating the sinus cavity rather than the tongue. Wasabi is a condiment traditionally served with raw fish (sushi and sashimi) and noodle (soba) dishes in Japan.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Horseradish was thought to have originated in the Mediterranian in 1500B.C. and was one of the “five bitter herbs” Jews were told to eat at
Passover. Popularity spread throughout Europe from 1300 to 1600 A.D. “Horseradish ale” was the rage in England and Germany from 1600 to
1700. European chefs found that horseradish went well with meat or seafood. German settlers brought horseradish with them to America in the
1700s. Today, the horseradish industry produces nearly six million gallons of prepared (containing vinegar and possibly other ingredients)
horseradish annually.
WASABI: According to Japanese legend, wasabi was discovered hundreds of years ago in a remote mountain village by a farmer who decided to grow it. He reportedly showed it to Tokugawa Ieyasu, a Japanese warlord of the era. Ieyasu, who later became Shogun, liked it so much he declared it a treasure only to be grown in the Shizouka area. The use of wasabi dates back to the origins of sushi.
Where Are Horseradish and Wasabi Grown?
HORSERADISH: Collinsville, Illinois, and the surrounding area grows nearly sixty percent of the world’s supply though it can be found growing throughout the world.
WASABI: Wasabi is an indigenous herb of Japan that grows along stream beds in mountain river valleys. Few geographical areas are suited for growing wasabi.
Why Should I Eat Horseradish and Wasabi?
HORSERADISH: Contains vitamin C and the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is rich in glucosinolates, which are known cancer- and bacteria-fighters.
WASABI: Wasabi is high in fiber and vitamin C. It is a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It contains the phytochemicals isothiocyanates, which have antibacterial and anticancer properties.
Home Remedies
HORSERADISH: Used by early Greeks as a lower-back rub and aphrodisiac. Also used as a cough expectorant, and as treatment for food poisoning, scurvy, tuberculosis, and colic. In the southern United States, horseradish rubbed on the forehead was a popular method of getting rid of headaches.
WASABI: Wasabi’s antibacterial properties were first documented in a tenth-century Japanese medical encyclopedia. It was believed to be an antidote to food poisoning, making it a natural accompaniment to raw fish.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
HEART HEALTH: A rat study found that the isothiocyanates in Wasabi inhibit platelet aggregation and deaggregation. It was found that in the case of a heart attack, where aspirin is commonly prescribed, the isothiocyanates in wasabi had an immediate effect as opposed to thirty minutes for aspirin.
MELANOMA: Eighty-two  percent of lung tumors resulting  from metastatic  melanoma  were reduced in mice who were administered  a component of wasabi.
BREAST CANCER: A human cell line study showed that a relatively small concentration of wasabi inhibited up to 50 percent of breast cancer cells.
CANCER: Both wasabi and horseradish inhibited the growth of colon, lung, and stomach cancer cells in a human cell study.
ORAL HEALTH: Wasabi has even been known to prevent tooth decay.
BACTERIA KILLER: Horseradish and wasabi root have components including isothiocyanates that are effective in killing H. pylori and other bacteria.
Tips on Using Horseradish and Wasabi
• The vast majority of horseradish sold today is prepared horseradish that comes in jars, which will keep for a year unopened and for four months opened.
• Wasabi will last up to two years if frozen.
• Refrigerated opened shelf life is approximately 30 days.
• Keep refrigerated when not being used.
• Wrap in damp paper towels.
• Rinse in cold water once a week.
• Refrigerated shelf life is approximately 30 days.
• Wasabi is prepared by grating the fresh rhizome against a rough surface. Some Japanese sushi chefs will only use a sharkskin grater. Grate in a circular motion.
• After grating, chop fresh wasabi with the backside of a knife. This will release more of the flavor.
• Compress the fresh wasabi into a ball and let stand for five to ten minutes at room temperature so that the sweetness and heat have time to
• Spread a little on the fish and then dip the fish side of the sushi into soy sauce so that the sauce does not touch the wasabi.
• Mix wasabi paste with soy sauce, called “wasabi-joyu,” and use this as a dipping sauce for the raw fish, or mix the wasabi directly into a bowl of noodles.
• Add a dash of horseradish to tomato juice.
• Perk up tuna and potato salad and coleslaw with a dab of horseradish.
Wasabi Asian Noodles
by Chef J. Hugh McEvoy
Servings: 8 (3 ounces each) • Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes
This recipe contains four powerhouse foods.
½ teaspoon fresh wasabi, or horseradish paste
1 cup enriched semolina flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup enriched all-purpose unbleached white flour
4 tablespoons egg yolks
½ cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher sal?
Assemble and prepare pasta machine for use. Mix together all ingredients in a stand mixer or food processor until dough begins to form a ball. Remove dough from mixer and knead gently on a floured marble or wooden surface. Use as little flour as possible to prevent dough from sticking. Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator 1 hour. Roll out pasta dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into linguini or other flat noodle using a pasta machine. Cook noodles as soon as possible. Garnish (sprinkle) with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds before serving. Serve as a bed for any favorite stir-fry entrée or as a separate side dish with any Asian meal.
Calories: 275; Total fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 103mg; Sodium: 59mg; Total carbs: 40g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 8g.
Kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala)
Did you know…that the primary use for kale in the United States is for garnishing restaurant salad bars?
What’s the Story?
Kale is a member of the “headless” cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Its specialty group includes a variety of other greens such as collards. There are many varieties to choose from: Curly or Scots kale; Plain Leaved; Rape kale; Leaf and Spear; Cavolo Nero, also known as dinosaur; Tuscan and Lacinato kale (“black cabbage”). “Salad Savoy” or ornamental kale is popular for landscaping use but it can make a tasty side dish too.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Kale is thought to have originated in Asia Minor (the Asian part of Turkey) and was brought to Europe over 2,500 years ago. Kale made its way to the United States with English settlers in the seventeenth century. Dinosaur kale was discovered in Italy in the late nineteenth century. Ornamental kale, called so because it was originally a garden plant, was first produced commercially in the 1980s in California. Today, kale is a traditional favorite in the southern United States and is growing in popularity in other regions.
Where Is Kale Grown?
Kale production is mainly found in the southeastern United States.
Why Should I Eat Kale?
Kale’s nutrient density makes it one of the healthiest foods that you could add to your diet. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Kale is also a good source of calcium, iron, and folate. It contains a variety of phytochemicals including eyesight-promoting, cancer- fighting lutein.
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CANCERS OF THE LUNG, ESOPHAGUS, MOUTH AND PHARYNX: Fruits   and vegetables that are high in carotenoids, including leafy greens like kale, lower the risk of lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and mouth and pharynx cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
BLADDER CANCER: In a study of 130 bladder cancer patients and an equal number of control subjects, those who had consumed kale regularly had a lower risk for bladder cancer.
Tips on Using Kale
• Smaller leaves are milder-flavored. Choose deeply colored leaves for tenderness and optimum flavor.
• Avoid dry, wilted, and limp leaves. Tiny holes in the leaves may be an indication of insect damage.
• Keep unwashed kale in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper. Place a damp paper towel in the bag to keep moist. Cook it within a few days of purchase.
• Wash well to make sure all dirt is removed.
• Remove the center vein in the leaves and stems, as these tend to be tough to chew.
• Serve kale immediately after preparing to prevent it from becoming soggy.
• If using kale in a raw salad, do not chop or tear until you are ready to use. This preserves the vitamin C content.
• Kale can be steamed, simmered, blanched, braised, sautéed, and baked. Cooking kale takes about 8 to 15 minutes depending on the method.
• Serve kale with vitamin C–rich food such as citrus fruits, vinegar, peppers, and dried fruit to increase the absorption of iron.
• Use sautéed kale in casseroles, salads, pasta, and potato dishes.
• Simply sautéing kale with fresh garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar makes a wonderful dish. Try sprinkling a little grated cheese on top.
Comforting Kale and Lentil Soup
by Rosalie Gaziano
Servings: 16 (1 cup) • Prep and cooking time: 75 minutes
This soup is easy to prepare and it’s even better the next day. This recipe contains six powerhouse foods.
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 24-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup dried lentils
1/3 pound whole grain macaroni of your choice
1 pound fresh kale, chopped fine
3 quarts water
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil macaroni, rinse, and set to the side. Rinse lentils and add to a separate small saucepan with enough water to cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop onion, and mince garlic cloves. Add olive oil to soup pot and heat. Add garlic and onions to pot and sauté until translucent, being careful not to burn. Remove center vein from kale leaves and chop coarse. Add kale to onion and garlic mixture and sauté for 10 minutes. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and let simmer 10 minutes. Add water to kale mixture, bring to a boil, and let simmer 30 minutes. Add cooked lentils and macaroni to soup and let simmer together another five minutes. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese grated on top. Serve with crusty Italian or French bread.
Calories: 130; Total fat: 4.5g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 247mg; Total carbs: 16g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 6g.
Kiwi (Actinidia)
The Chinese gooseberry was renamed “kiwifruit” because it resem bled the New Zealand kiwi bird, which also happens to be fuzzy, round, and brown.
What’s the Story?
The Chinese gooseberry, or kiwifruit, is native to Southeast Asia. Of the more than fifty species of kiwi, the most common commercially grown variety is Actinidia deliciosa (cultivar “Hayward”). Kiwi has grown in popularity but still accounts for but a little over one percent of world fruit consumption. The biggest kiwifruit-consuming markets are in Europe, North and South America, Japan, and Asia.
A Serving of Food Lore…
The kiwi originated in the Yangtze River Valley of northern China and the Zhejiang province on the coast of eastern China. It has been considered a delicacy since its beginnings. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the gooseberry made its way throughout the world. Missionaries exported the first plants into New Zealand and the United States in the early 1900s. Norman Sondag, an American importer, was instrumental in renaming the Chinese gooseberry when he observed that the fruit closely resembled the New Zealand kiwi bird. In 1974, “kiwifruit” was accepted internationally as the official name of the exotic fruit.
Where Is Kiwi Grown?
Italy and China are the world’s leading producers of kiwifruit. It is also grown commercially in New Zealand, California, South Africa, and Chile, and, in much smaller quantities, throughout other countries in Europe and the United States.
Why Should I Eat Kiwi?
The kiwi is the most nutrient-dense of the twenty-seven most commonly eaten fruits. It has more vitamin C than any other fruit. Kiwis are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin E. It also contains lutein, which is a phytochemical that may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. There is also limited production of a red-fleshed variety of kiwi that is rich in anthocyanin, a plant chemical often found in other red-, purple-, and blue-hued foods such as cherries, plums, currants, and blueberries. Anthocyanin offers potent antioxidant properties that are thought to provide protection against heart disease and cancer.
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HEART DISEASE: A study out of the University of Oslo found that kiwifruit, added to a normal diet, helps a component of red blood cells called platelets become “less sticky.” Kiwi also lowered triglycerides (fat in the blood).
FIGHTING CANCER: A leading nutrition scientist at the Rowett Research Institute has shown that eating kiwifruit daily can protect DNA against damage that may lead to cancer. More significantly, kiwifruit seems to help repair the damage caused to DNA. A variety of naturally occurring substances have also been discovered in kiwifruit that are effective in killing oral tumor cells.
MACULAR DEGENERATION: Kiwi is an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals found in the human eye. Recent studies indicate that diets rich in lutein are protective against cataracts and other forms of macular degeneration.
Tips on Using Kiwi
• Select firm, unblemished fruit.
• To test for ripeness, press the outside of the fruit. If it gives in to pressure, the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. If the kiwi is not ripe when it is first bought, place in a brown paper bag at room temperature and check daily for ripeness.
• Kiwi can be stored for days at room temperature. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.
• Did you know that kiwi can be eaten with or without the skin? The skin is an excellent source of nutrients and fiber.
• Besides peeling and slicing, “slooping” is another technique that is used. Simply cut the kiwi in half, scoop out fruit with a spoon, and dig in.
• Top waffles, French toast, or a bagel with sliced kiwi.
• Eat with cereal or cut up into oatmeal.
• Makes a great addition to salads and pastas!
• Use as a tenderizer. Since it is an acidic fruit, it makes an excellent marinade.
• Substitute kiwi for tomatoes on a sandwich.
Fun Fruit Kabobs
Adapted from Lean Moms, Fit Family by Michael Sena and Kirsten Straughan
Servings: 4 • Prep time: 15 minutes
This recipe is so simple to make, even for little kids. You might want to assist them in cutting up the fruit but they love being part of the assembly line, skewering the fruit. This recipe has seven powerhouse foods in it.
2 kiwis, sliced into fourths
1 apple or pear, cut into chunks
1 banana, cut into chunks
1/3 cup red seedless grapes
½ cup sliced strawberries
2/3 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup nonfat yogurt
¼ cup dried coconut, shredded
4 skewers
Slide pieces of fruit onto each skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want. Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end. Spread coconut onto a large plate and yogurt onto another large plate. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut. Try raisins, chopped nuts, low-fat granola, or a favorite breakfast cereal in place of coconut.
Calories: 150; Total fat: 3g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 50mg; Total carbs: 33g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 25g; Protein: 4g.
Lemons (Citrus limon)
Did you know…the earliest written evidence of lemonade comes from Egypt?
What’s the Story?
The lemon is actually a hybrid citrus tree developed as a cross between a lime and a citron, an ancient fruit that is best known for its candied peel. The lemon is an oval-shaped fruit used primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind zest are also used in cooking or mixing. There are several varieties, but the most popular are the Eureka, Lisbon, and Meyer.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Lemons are thought to have originated in either China or India some 2,500 years ago. Though their migration is uncertain, many believe that Arab traders introduced the lemon throughout the Mediterranean. Spain served as the lemon’s gateway from Palestine in the eleventh century. From the Iberian Peninsula the fruit traveled throughout Europe. Lemons were introduced to North Africa at around this same time. Christopher Columbus brought lemons to the Americas on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. Lemons were highly prized by miners from the era of the California gold rush for their protection against scurvy. People were willing to pay up to one dollar per lemon, a high price today and a very high price back in 1849.
Where Are Lemons Grown?
The major producers of lemons today are the United States, Italy, Spain, India, Argentina, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. In the United States, Southern
California, Arizona, and Florida are the main growers of lemons.
Why Should I Eat Lemons?
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium. Limonene, a compound shown to have anticancer properties in laboratory animals, is present in lemons. All citrus fruits are high in flavonoids, the most common antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables and thought to block substances that cause cancer and heart disease.
Home Remedies
Lemon juice in hot water has been widely advocated as a daily natural treatment for constipation. People drink lemon juice and honey (½ squeezed lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey), or lemon juice with salt or ginger, as a cold remedy. Any of the lemon-plus preparations are good substitutes for caffeinated hot beverages. Lemon has been revered as a key ingredient in various household cleaners for its fresh scent and stain-removal properties. Lemon also does a great job in removing odor from hands. Many claim that applying a little lemon juice mixed with water several times a day to blemishes will help them disappear.
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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Vitamin C–rich foods provide protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints. A research study involving more than 20,000 subjects found that subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C–rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.
CANCER: In laboratory tests, citrus limonoids have been shown to fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon, and human neuroblastoma tumors, which occur most often in children. Next to cranberries, lemons exerted the highest antiproliferation activities on in vitro human liver cancer cells. Because of limonoids’ ability to stay in the bloodstream for an extended period of time, researchers believe that they may be better suited for supressing cancer cell growth than other nutrients. (In comparison, phenols in green tea typically stay in one’s system for only four to six hours.)
Tips on Using Lemons
• Choose lemons that are bright yellow with smooth and glossy skin.
• Lemons will last for a week or two at room temperature. For extended storage, keep lemons Ziplocked in the fridge crisper for up to six weeks.
• To yield the most juice, a lemon should be room temperature or warmer.
• Roll the lemon under your palm on a hard surface to soften it before juicing. A large lemon will yield about 3 to 4 tablespoons of juice.
• Just need a bit of juice? Make a toothpick hole in the skin through which to extract juice, and then leave the toothpick in the hole to “seal” it and maintain freshness.
• Add lemon juice, pulp, and rind into salads, soups, and anywhere that you want a fresh citrus taste.
• Lemon juice can be used to change milk into buttermilk.
• Lemon juice “cooks” fish without heat in traditional ceviche dishes.
Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Wasabi Sauce
by Chef Dave Hamlin
Servings: 2 • Prep time: 30 minutes
You can also substitute steamed asparagus for the artichokes. This recipe has seven powerhouse foods in it.
2 artichokes
1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup lite mayonnaise
¼ cup lite sour cream
1 teaspoon wasabi or horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped Fresh cracked black pepper to taste Salt to taste
Cut stem off at base of artichoke and cut off bottom; peel skin off stem. Rub cut surfaces with fresh lemon to prevent browning. Peel outer leaves from artichoke. Cut top one-third off of artichokes. Rub all cut surfaces with fresh lemons. Squeeze the remaining juice and pulp of lemon down the center of the artichoke. Place artichokes in simmering water with the leftover whole lemon. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fresh garlic over the artichokes, and push down into leaves. Sprinkle the black pepper on top. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is fork- tender. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
Mix to sauce consistency and refrigerate until needed. Serve with steamed artichokes.
Calories: 100; Total fat: 3g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 710mg; Total carbs: 17g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 3g.
Limes (C. aurantifolia and C. latifolia)
Did you know…limes are not green lemons?
What’s the Story?
Limes can be sour or sweet but usually possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and are more acidic and tart in taste. The two most common varieties of sour limes available are the Tahitian or Persian lime and the key lime.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Limes are thought to have originated in the southeastern region of Asia. Middle Eastern traders introduced lime trees from Asia into Egypt and Northern Africa around the tenth century. The Arabian Moors brought them to Spain in the thirteenth century, from whence limes spread throughout southern Europe. Limes were on board when Columbus traveled on his second voyage to the Americas in 1493. In the United States, limes were established in Florida by the sixteenth century when Spanish explorers brought the West Indies lime to the Florida Keys, where that species was renamed “key lime.”
Where Are Limes Grown?
Today, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States are among the leading commercial producers of limes. In the United States, limes are grown in
Florida, the Southwest, and California.
Why Should I Eat Limes?
Limes contain powerful phytochemicals known as flavonol glycosides. These include limonin glucoside and kaempferol, strong antioxidants that help to prevent oxidative  damage  of cells, lipids, and DNA. Kaempferol may help prevent arteriosclerosis  and additionally may act as a chemopreventive agent to fight cancer.
Home Remedies
SCURVY: For hundreds of years, British sailors have eaten limes and their juice to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages. The British were nicknamed “limeys” because of this—now considered a derogatory term.
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IMMUNITY: Research shows that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of death from numerous causes including heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
CANCER: Flavonol glycosides may prevent the division of cancer cells for many types of cancers. Lime’s powerful antioxidant limonin was shown to stop cancer cell proliferation in one study.
ANTIBIOTIC EFFECTS:  In West African villages where cholera epidemics occurred, using lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of the disease.
Tips on Using Limes
• Choose firm and heavy limes for the most juice.
• Select limes that are glossy and light to deep green in color.
• Small brown areas on the skin should not affect flavor, but large blemishes or soft spots indicate a damaged lime. Hard, shriveled skin is a sign of dryness.
• Limes may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator (in a plastic bag) for up to 3 weeks. Limes store better in the refrigerator but those left at room temperature will yield more juice.
• Depending on the type and size of the lime, it will take between six and nine to make one cup of fresh lime juice. To juice by hand, roll the lime on a firm surface before squeezing out the juice.
• Limes or lime juice are a great salt substitute and add a tangy flavor.
Black Bean Soup with Lime and Cumin
Courtesy of www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov
Servings: 6 • Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes
This soup recipe is simple to make, especially when using canned black beans. This recipe contains ten powerhouse foods.
4 cups black beans, cooked and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup white onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock, low-sodium
¼ cup chipotle chiles (or greenchiles), chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 slices lime
1 tablespoon sour cream, low-fat
Chopped cilantro garnish
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin and brown it, taking care not to burn it. Add chopped onions, carrots, garlic, and bell pepper, and cook slowly until browned. Puree the beans with 3 cups stock in a blender or food processor. Add in vegetable mixture along with the chiles, add lime juice, and process until creamy. Return mixture to pot and reheat until thickened. Salt to taste, and top with sour cream. Garnish with a slice of lime and chopped cilantro.
Calories: 221; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: .5g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 360mg; Total carbs: 39g; Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g.
Mango (Mangifera indica L.)
Did you know…the mango is considered sacred in India and sym bolizes love, friendship, and fertility?
What’s the Story?
Mango is a fruit that varies in shape ranging anywhere from oval to round to kidney-shaped. It is one of a family of seventy-two flowering plants that includes its cousins the cashew and the pistachio. There are six major varieties of mangoes available in the United States, of which the top four are Tommy Atkins, Haden, Keitt, and Kent.
A Serving of Food Lore…
The mango is native to southern and southeastern Asia, particularly eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands. References to mango can be found in Hindu writings dating as far back as 4000 B.C. Buddhist monks considered the mango a sacred fruit because they believed (and do to this day) that Buddha often meditated under a mango tree. The Persians are said to have carried it to East Africa in around the tenth century A.D. In
1862 the first seeds were brought into Miami from the West Indies. Nearly twenty years later the mango was introduced to Santa Barbara, California.
Where Are Mangoes Grown?
India accounts for seventy-five percent of all mangoes grown today. Few of them reach North America or Europe because of import restrictions as a result of concern about bringing in “pests” along with the fruit. (This may soon change under new United States regulations that will permit irradiated fruit in.) Mexico and China compete for second place in production, followed by Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines, and Haiti. In the United States, Florida has been the main producer, but California is now beginning production in the Coachella Valley.
Why Should I Eat Mangoes?
Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and carotenes, including beta-carotene. The vitamin content varies depending on the maturity and variety of the fruit. Green mangoes contain more vitamin C (as it ripens, the amount of beta-carotene increases). The mango is also a good source of vitamin K and has a variety of antioxidant components.
Home Remedies
There are many health claims attributed to mangoes, ranging from improved digestion and immunity, to heart health, to lowered blood pressure, to curing asthma. Many believe that mangoes are both an aphrodisiac and an effective means of birth control.
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HEART HEALTH: Fruits and vegetables high in potassium and antioxidants such as vitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, and flavonoids may help prevent or control hypertension and reduce the subsequent risk of stroke and heart disease. In addition, foods high in soluble fiber and pectin appear to lower the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood.
DIGESTION: Mangoes are a good source of fiber and contain enzymes that aid in digestion.
CANCER: Deep yellow-orange vegetables and fruits are rich in beta-carotene, which may protect cell membranes and DNA from oxidative damage. A cell line study examined the anticancer activity of mango and found that it interrupted phases of growth throughout the life cycle of the tumor cell.
Don’t Throw Me an Anvil!
Mangoes, when combined with blood-thinning medication, may make your blood too thin! Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or a registered dietitian about including mangoes in your diet.
Tips on Using Mango
CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE MANGO’S GOT COOKIN’? When it’s ripe, you will be able to smell the sweetness of the mango from the stem end of the fruit.
• Red and yellow are typically the color of ripeness but color is not always the determining factor. The skin should give a little when pressed.
• Avoid mangoes that are gray, pitted, or have black spots on the skin; those are sure signs of rotting.
• Mangoes can be eaten fresh, frozen, or dried. They also come in nectars and jams or jellies.
• Mangoes should be stored at room temperature but when ripe they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Frozen mango may be stored in an airtight container for up to six months.
• Avoid eating the skin—it may make you ill!
• To peel off the skin and cut the fruit off the pit, you must first slice off both sides or “cheeks” of the mango, being careful to avoid the large fibrous pit in the middle of the fruit. Take one side, hold it skin-side down in the palm of your hand and cut four or five vertical slices into the fruit. Be very careful not to cut through the mango skin. With both hands, grasp each end of the cut mango and turn it inside out. Carefully cut the fruit away from the skin and keep in large juicy slices or cut into cubes.
• Want a lot? Waste not! In Mexico, a common practice is to make a “lollipop” out of the mango by piercing the pit with a fork and eating the remaining flesh like a lollipop.
• Mangoes make excellent desserts and a tasteful addition to any fruit salad.
• Use for making a marinade for fish and meats.
• Try grilling mangoes for a tropical barbecue twist.
Mango Slaw
Courtesy of Chef Allen Susser, author of The Great Mango Book
Servings: 8 (½ cup) • Prep time: 15 minutes (but chill for at least 1 hour)
This recipe contains ten powerhouse foods.
2 large mature green mangoes, peeled, cut from the pit, and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar or agave syrup
1 teaspoon seeded and minced serrano chile
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
In a large bowl, combine the mangoes, carrot, and onion. Add the mint, basil, and cilantro and toss together. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, sugar, chile, and fish sauce. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the lime mixture into the slaw and toss together, coating all the ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours before serving.
Calories: 63; Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 355mg; Total carbs: 16g; Fiber: 1.5g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 0g.
Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.)
Did you know…more birds than people in the United States eat millet?
What’s the Story?
Millet is a small yellow grain with a mild, sweet flavor and actually describes a group of grasses that are thought to be some of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. The five most popular millet varieties are proso, foxtail, barnyard, browntop, and pearl. Most people are familiar with millet because of its prominence in birdseed.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Millet is native to Africa and Asia and there is evidence of its being grown since the fifth century B.C. Millet slowly spread westward toward Europe, leading to proso’s introduction into the United States in the eighteenth century. It was first grown along the Eastern Seaboard and was later introduced farther west into the Dakotas.
Where Is Millet Grown?
Foxtail millet is grown extensively in Africa, Asia, India, and the Near East. Proso millet is grown in the former Soviet Union, mainland China, India, and Western Europe. In the United States, both millets are grown, principally in the Dakotas, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Why Should I Include Millet?
Millet is a good source of fiber and protein, the vitamins thiamine and niacin, and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. It is also a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
Home Remedies
Finger millet, otherwise known as African millet, is an age-old remedy for obesity. It is thought to be effective because it takes longer to digest.
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HEART HEALTH: Scientists fed millet to rats for twenty-one days. By the end of the study, good cholesterol had increased without an increase in bad cholesterol.
DIABETES: Diabetic rats on a high-millet diet had decreased levels of insulin sensitivity and better glucose management compared to their control group.
Tips on Using Millet
• Millet comes in both packages and bulk. Beware of “webbing” in bulk bins, a sure sign of bug infestation!
• Store in a cool, dry place. Millet can also be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
• One cup of millet requires three cups of liquid; it should cook for 40 minutes. One cup dry will yield three cups cooked.
• Millet can be dry roasted to increase the nutty flavor of the grain.
• Millet is great when dry roasted, cooked, and then marinated.
• Use in place of rice.
Creamy Millet Pudding with Cinnamon  Sugar
This recipe contains four powerhouse foods. INGREDIENTS:
2 cups 1% milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large eggs
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked whole grain millet
½ teaspoon granulated sugar(optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon(optional)
Adapted from Gluten-Free 101 by Carol Fenster
Servings: 6 • Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes
In a medium-size heavy saucepan, stir together 1¾ cups of the milk, eggs, honey, and salt, and whisk until egg is thoroughly blended. To the remaining ¼ cup of milk, stir in cornstarch until smooth. Add to saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and cooked millet. Divide mixture into six dessert bowls or wineglasses. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, if desired, on pudding. You can eat this immediately as a creamy, warm dessert or chill it for at least an hour for a cool treat.
How to Cook Whole Grain Millet
Rinse 1 cup whole grain millet. Combine with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in heavy medium-size pot. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. This makes 3 cups of cooked millet—1 cup for this pudding and 2 cups left over to eat as a side dish with meals or as a hot breakfast cereal.
Calories: 150; Total fat: 2.5g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 165mg; Total carbs: 25g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 15g; Protein: 6g.
Mint (Mentha)
Did you know…that the “Mint Julep,” a popular drink from the southern United States, is mainly bourbon  and sugar with only a few mint leaves added?
What’s the Story?
There are at least 25 to 30 known mint species. Spearmint, peppermint, orange or bergamot mint, pineapple mint, and pennyroyal are the most widely grown and used species. Besides its varied culinary uses, the herb mint is used in gums, candies, toothpaste, pest repellents, medicines, and cosmetics.
A Serving of Food Lore…
Mint is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean Basin, where it was valued as a foundation in perfumes, food flavorings, and medicinal products. The Romans brought mint throughout Europe. In the 1790s, mint was being grown in Massachusetts, and by 1812 peppermint was cultivated commercially for oil in Ashfield, Massachusetts.
Where Is Mint Grown?
Mint is mainly grown in China, India, the Mediterranean, the Philippines, and Egypt. In the United States, peppermint is primarily grown for essential oil production. Mint is also commercially produced in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
Why Should I Eat Mint?
Mint contains  phenolic  compounds  that have strong antioxidant activity. Its many vitamins  and minerals  include vitamin A, calcium, folate, potassium, and phosphorus.
Home Remedies
Peppermint has been used to aid digestion for thousands of years. It is also a folk remedy for many intestinal ailments, including gas, indigestion, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, and food poisoning. It has also been used for respiratory infections and menstrual problems. There are many sprays and inhalants on the market that contain mint and are promoted to relieve sore throats, toothaches, colds, coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis, nasal congestion, and inflammation of the mouth and throat.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
HEART HEALTH: In a study where herbs and spices were examined for their potential to inhibit LDL cholesterol’s conversion into the more harmful form, mint was one of the most effective.
CANCER: Mint’s phenolic phytochemicals may help prevent cancer. Fresh mint was found to have very strong scavenging activity. Mint is high in salicylic acid and it is thought to play a role in the prevention of colorectal cancer and atherosclerosis.
LUNG CANCER: Mint  given  to mice with lung cancer reduced tumors significantly. The effects were attributed to the antioxidative and radical scavenging properties of mint.
BACTERIA: Research indicates that some essential oils may reduce food-borne pathogens. In one study, the natural essential oils found in mint prevented E. coli bacteria from growing. Mint might provide an alternative to conventional antimicrobial additives in foods.
PINWORM: Mint was found to have significant killing effect on pinworms.
DIGESTIVE HEALTH: A clinical trial in England found that patients who had received peppermint oil before surgery had less nausea after their
surgeries than those who did not receive it. Other studies have shown that peppermint oil relieved spasms during colonoscopies and has a
soothing effect in patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
RESPIRATORY RELIEF:  Researchers discovered a nerve ending that responded to cold and to menthol. This may explain the cooling sensation from menthol, as well as its common use as an inhalant to reduce congestion in the nose.
Tips on Using Mint
• Leaves should be tender and not wilted. Older leaves tend to be bitter and “woody” tasting.
• Keep fresh mint leaves refrigerated in a plastic bag for no more than two to three days.
• Use young leaves pinched from stem tips for the best flavor.
• In fruit salads, mint is a great addition to apples, pears, or strawberries and in salad dressings.
• Add to flavor tea and marinades.
• Mint is a great addition to soups, salads, sauces, meats, fish, poultry, stews, chocolate dishes, and lemon desserts.
• Peppermint is usually used for teas and sweets. Spearmint is the mint that is commonly used for meat sauces and jellies.
• Fresh mint is ubiquitous in Middle Eastern dishes, including tabbouleh.
Spicy Japanese Mint Noodles
by Chef J. Hugh McEvoy
Servings: 13 (½ cup) • Prep and cooking time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (includes 1 hour chill time)
This recipe contains five powerhouse foods.
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
16 ounces Japanese buckwheat soba noodles—dry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons organic sesame oil
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
¼ cup brown rice vinegar
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
1 cup fresh green onion bulbs and tops, chopped
¼ cup fresh sweet red bell peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Whisk together molasses, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, oils, and pepper flakes. Ensure all molasses has dissolved. Cook Japanese noodles in boiling water until al dente—just tender. Rinse cooked noodles under very cold water (to chill). Drain and blend noodles evenly with sauce. Chill for 1 hour. Just before serving, fold in mint, seeds, sweet peppers, and green onions. Garnish with whole mint leaves and chopped green onion. Serve with Japanese plum wine or saki.
Calories: 180; Total fat: 4g; Saturated fat: .5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 460mg; Total carbs: 32g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 6g.

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