Brown Rice and Fruit Smoothies

Colon Cancer Awareness & Your Digestive Health

According to Prevent Cancer® Foundation, this year, more than 145,600 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 51,000 will die of the disease.

Risk Factors:

Colorectal cancer is more common as you age. However, colorectal cancer in adults younger than 50 is on the rise, but  it’s seen more in people age 50 and over. Other risk factors include having:

▫Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
▫A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
▫A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:

▫Lack of regular physical activity.
▫A diet low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
▫A diet high in red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) or processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts).
▫Overweight or obese, especially for those who carry fat around their waists.
▫Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.

Prevention:

Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer; therefore, preventable if removed in time. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, which increases the chance that treatment will be more effective. Start screening at age 45 if you’re at an average risk, but if you have certain risk factors, you may need to start screening sooner or get screened more often—talk to your health care professional.

Diet:

Research is underway to find out if changes to your diet can reduce your colorectal cancer risk. Generally, experts encourage eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, limiting red meat, and avoiding processed meat for a healthy diet.

Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your day can seem difficult, but if you focus on eating 1-2 servings at meals and include them at snacks, you will easily be on your way to meeting your intake requirement. 

Try fruit and even vegetable-packed smoothies for breakfast or snacks.  Add berries to cereal or yogurt.  Eat salads for lunch.  At dinner makes two choices of a fruit or veggie for a side dish.  Add extra veggies to casseroles or pasta. Don’t forget: can and frozen fruits and veggies count as a serving, so mix it up by using fresh, can and frozen. With a little planning, eating more delicious fruits and vegetables can be simple!

Some people may also be lacking whole grains in their diets.  There are many naturally-occurring whole grain foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, and popcorn. Many foods are now made with whole grains, such as cereal, crackers, flour, baked goods and pasta.  Look for the words whole grain (such as “whole wheat”) as the first ingredient on an ingredient list or look for the Whole Grains Council’s stamp on food packages. With the Whole Grain Stamp, finding three servings of whole grains is easy: Pick three foods with the 100% Stamp or six foods with ANY Whole Grain Stamp. 

The 100% Stamp assures you that the food contains a full serving or more of whole grain in each labeled serving and that ALL the grain is whole grain, while the 50%+ Stamp and the Basic Stamp appear on products containing at least half a serving of whole grain per labeled serving.                                                                                        

Resources: preventcancer.org and wholegrainscouncil.org

Healthy Holiday Alternatives

Healthy Holiday Alternatives

The holidays are a time to enjoy food, friends and family (even if it is over Zoom this year).  With the many yummy treats this time of the year, it is no wonder most people gain a few pounds over these holiday months. One way to save some calories is to use recipe alterations to cut down on extra fat and sugar. Remember to balance your food intake and energy output; adding in exercise, like a family walk after dinner, will help keep the extra pounds away.

Here are some healthy holiday alternatives to try this holiday season: 

  • Choose the white meat over dark meat for a leaner healthier option. 
  • Use low-fat gravy.
  • Make homemade sides instead of store bought or boxed sides.
  • Swap the sour cream in your dishes with Greek yogurt. Many holiday dishes have sour cream—mashed potatoes, casseroles and sauces. These can instantly be made healthier by subbing in an equal amount of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt will also add some protein to the dish.
  • Make sure to snack on fruits and vegetables rather than candies and desserts.
  • Eat a meal before the party so you do not over indulge during the party.
  • Enjoy your favorite holiday foods in moderation.
  • Mashed potatoes- just know that a cup of mashed potatoes, before butter and gravy, racks up more than 200 calories. Cut calories and empty carbs by making mashed cauliflower instead. They offer same texture and similar flavor, plus vitamin C.
  • Sparkling water- Cocktails are usually offered at holiday parties and meals. Try replacing a sugary mixer with sparkling water flavored with fresh grated ginger, mint or fruit.  These options can save you about 30 grams of sugar per serving. Don’t forget to drink water in between cocktails.
  • Fat. For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce or prune puree. Ripe mashed bananas and avocados are also excellent butter replacers. Bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6. Avocado puree has the creaminess and subtle flavor that works well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Use 1 cup of mashed bananas or avocado puree per cup of butter. 
  • Sugar. Reduce the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half. Instead, add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, or flavorings such as vanilla extract or almond flavoring to add sweetness.
  • Chocolate cake makes a great choice to sneak in pureed veggies like beets, pumpkin and spinach!
  • Whole wheat flour for white flour. In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. For every cup of white flour, substitute 7/8 cup of whole-wheat. If buying rolls or bread, look for 100% whole wheat. 
  • Two egg whites for one whole egg. Trading out the yolk for a second white will cut out the cholesterol while doubling the protein. If making a dish that requires more eggs, keep one to two yolks for their rich vitamins A, E, D, and K content, but consider swapping out the rest.
Diabetes Awareness Month

Improve your Diabetes Awareness

There are several types of diabetes, but the most common are Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

-Type 1 can occur in anyone at any age. It happens when the body does not produce insulin. Usually the body would break down carbohydrates that you have eaten in food and use that for energy. Then it uses insulin, which is a hormone, to get those nutrients into the cells. Type 1 is managed with insulin therapy along with a healthy diet and exercise.

– Type 2 diabetes is more common, and it is when your body cannot use the insulin correctly. Sometimes this disease can be managed with a healthy diet and exercise, but for others, medication and insulin therapy are needed. The key component of managing this disease is exercise. It does not matter how you get started but you have to get up and start moving!

-Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. The exact cause is not known on why some women develop it and others do not. One theory concludes that the hormones of the placenta prevent the mother’s insulin from working correctly and make it more difficult for her body to use it properly, which is called insulin resistance. Another theory is that the mother’s body cannot produce enough insulin it needs throughout the pregnancy. This causes glucose to be unable to leave the blood and convert to energy; a buildup called hyperglycemia. Treatments for this type of diabetes include individualized meal plans, exercise, and sometimes daily blood sugar testing and insulin injections.

No matter what kind of diabetes you or a loved one may have, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that there are treatment options available that will allow you to live a long, happy and healthy life. 

Take this quick test from the American Diabetes Association to see if you or a loved one is at risk for developing diabetes:

https://www.diabetes.org/risk-test

Toothbrush and teeth- Dental Hygiene Month

How to Improve Your Dental Health

The foods you eat not only affect your overall health, but those foods also play a part in your oral health. Sugary snacks and beverages can lead to tooth decay, which according to the American Dental Association is the most common chronic childhood disease, but it is completely preventable. Tooth decay occurs when plaque comes into contact with sugar and causes a reaction which leads to acid attacking the teeth. Some common sources of sugar in the diet are found in soft drinks, candy, and desserts.

The American Dental Association also suggests reducing the number of snacks you eat during the day, and if you do have a snack pick something that is healthy such as a fruit, vegetable, whole grain products, yogurt or cheese. The food that you eat during a meal causes less harm than foods eaten for a snack because more saliva is released while eating a meal. The saliva helps wash the foods from the mouth and reduces the effects of the acids.

They also recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit the dentist regularly. It’s important to remember that with good personal discipline for practicing good oral hygiene practices and choosing healthier food choices, you can prevent tooth decay from ever occurring.

Nutrition for strong and healthy teeth

Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus all play a vital role in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums in both children and adults. Calcium plays a role in building strong bones and teeth, however, calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone strengthening benefits. Vitamin D regulates the body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus, and can promote absorption. Vitamin D can also help to decrease inflammation of gums which is associated with periodontal (gum) disease. A healthy diet is essential for healthy teeth. Below are foods that contain calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus.

Calcium – Dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt, Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and broccoli, spinach, white beans, sardines, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

Vitamin D – Natural sunlight, vitamin D-fortified milk, eggs, some cereals, oily fish (tuna, sardines etc), mushrooms.

Phosphorus – protein-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans and dairy products and whole grains.

Fruits & Veggies Month - blueberries, lettuce, strawberries

September is Fruits & Vegetables Month!

Fruits and vegetables are important for a well-balanced and healthy diet. They contain key vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be able to function properly.

According to the CDC, only 1 out of 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables every day. That means that most people are missing out on the essential nutrients and fiber that these foods can provide. The CDC also stated that 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in United States are from chronic diseases and by consuming a diet that has higher amounts of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing these diseases. Some of those diseases include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.

Each color of a fruit or vegetable tells a lot about what that produce item contains. All fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients, but the color gives a hint of the key nutrients. Make sure to try and eat as many different colors as possible to ensure you are getting enough of all of the nutrients that your body needs. Below is a quick summary of what each color means for fruits and vegetables.

Rainbow Produce Benefits

Red – contains Vitamins A & C, manganese and antioxidants.
Aides in heart health.
Foods: tomatoes, red peppers, beets, red apples, red potatoes, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon

Orange – contains Vitamins C, A & B6, potassium, folate and antioxidants.
Aides in eye health.
Foods: carrots, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, oranges, peaches

Yellow – contains Vitamins C, A & B6, potassium, folate and antioxidants.
Aides the immune system health.
Foods: yellow peppers, squash, bananas, cantaloupe, pineapple

Green – Contains Vitamin K, B vitamins, folate, potassium and antioxidants. Aides in strong bones and teeth.
Foods: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, green peppers, dark leafy greens, peas, green beans, zucchini, avocados, kiwi, green apples, pears

Blue & Purple – Contains B vitamins and antioxidants.
Aides in memory.
Foods: eggplant, red onions, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, plums

White – Contains Vitamins C & K, folate, potassium and antioxidants.
Aides in immune system health, and healthy eye, skin, bones.
Foods: cauliflower, garlic, jicama, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, rutabagas 

Men's Healthy Month

June is Men’s Health Month

Eating a healthy diet gives your body the energy and nutrients to fight disease and keep you feeling younger. Men, like all people, should have a diet focused on:

  1. Fruits and vegetables: at least 2 cups a day
  2. Whole grains: make half of your grain choices whole grain choices such as oatmeal, brown rice or whole grain bread, cereal and pasta
  3. Fiber: at least 38 grams of fiber per day for younger men; 30 grams of fiber per day for men older than 50.  Whole grains, barley, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, help manage hunger and fullness and help fend off certain cancers, such as prostate and colon.
  4. Fats: focus on unsaturated fats such as heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and oil-based salad dressings in place of saturated fats such as full-fat dairy foods, high fat meat, fried foods, butter and high-fat sweets.
  5. Protein: lean meats, seafood,  and plant sources, like beans, peas and soy products

Energy Needs:

Since men have more muscle and typically are bigger than women, they require more calories throughout the day. Moderately active males likely need 2,200 to 2,800 calories per day. Your energy needs depend on your height, weight and activity level.  

Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for customized energy needs and meal planning.

Health Risks:

Many of the typical health risks for men are related to behaviors that are more prevalent in men, such as smoking and drinking, unhealthy or risky choices, and putting off regular doctor visits or medical care. There are also health conditions that only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone. Many of the major health risks that men face – like colon cancer or heart disease – can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. It’s important to get the screening tests you need.

According the CDC, the top 10 causes of death for men in 2017, were:

  1. Heart Disease (24.2%)
  2. Cancer (21.9%)
  3. Unintentional Injuries (7.6%)
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (5.2%)
  5. Stroke (4.3%)
  6. Diabetes (3.2%)
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease (2.6%)
  8. Suicide (2.6%)
  9. Influenza and Pneumonia (1.8%)
  10. Chronic Liver Disease (1.8%)
Women's Health Month

May is Women’s Health Month

In May, we are focusing on Women’s Health.  There are several diseases that are more common among women and because of this, women should be aware of their increased risk. Take the preventative measures and make the lifestyle changes now before it is too late. Scroll down to learn more.

Heart Disease:

            Women are often surprised to learn that they are at an increased risk for heart disease. About 27% of female deaths are because of heart disease; it actually kills more women a year than cancer. The best ways to prevent heart disease are healthy lifestyle changes such as:

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Consume a heart-healthy
  3. Be physically active.
  4. To learn more, click here!

Cancer:

            The two most common cancers among women are lung and breast cancers.  Cancer is the second leading cause of death with 22% of all female deaths. Major lifestyle changes can help prevent cancers, such as diet changes and incorporating more exercise. Some healthy diet tips include:

  1. Keep a healthy weight
  2. Limit high calorie, low nutrient foods
  3. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes
  4. Focus on plant proteins
  5. Limit alcohol

Stroke:

            The leading cause of long-term disability for women is stroke. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet can also lower your blood pressure. It is important to learn the signs and call 911 immediately if someone is experiencing:

  • Numbness or weakness in face, arm or leg
  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden difficulty seeing
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Abrupt, severe headache

Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle and weak, and can break easily. It is most commonly found in the wrist, hip and spine. All women should be tested and take precautionary measures, but the group that is at the highest risks are white and Asian women that are past menopause. There are several ways to prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis such as medications, a healthy diet and performing weight bearing exercise. The food that you eat can affect your bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for your bone health and overall health. 

Calcium containing foods include: Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens, broccoli, dairy products, canned sardines and salmon (with bones).

Vitamin D containing foods: Fatty fish varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.

Look for fortified foods; calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.

Heart Healthy Foods

Add Veggies for a Healthy Heart Boost

Sponsored by Libby’s®

According to the World Heart Federation, every year 17.9 million lives are taken due to Cardio Vascular Disease and at least 80% of these deaths could be avoided. So how can this astonishing number of deaths each year be prevented? Well, looking after your heart consists mainly of eating well, exercising, and reducing your use of alcohol and tobacco.

Eating well and exercising are at the top of the list of things to keep your heart healthy. It is vital that we eat the right foods; foods that keep us full and energized so that our hearts remain strong and fit.

A balanced diet is key to a healthy heart, and a healthy heart is the key to a healthy body. At Libby’s® Canned Fruit and Vegetables we have an array of recipes that can contribute to a balanced overall diet. Libby’s® products are the perfect staple ingredient to buy.  They will save you money, time, and can help you slot vegetables into all your meals, therefore contributing to a well-adjusted lifestyle.

We have selected some of our favorite vegetable-packed meals to get you on your way to a healthy heart.

https://getbacktothetable.com/index.php/recipes/baked-acorn-squash-curried-vegetables

https://getbacktothetable.com/index.php/recipes/quick-and-healthy-fried-quinoa-mixed-vegetables

https://getbacktothetable.com/recipes/loaded-beet-hummus

For more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out Libby’s® Recipe Box and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Hand washing, masks and hand sanitizer

Staying Well During COVID-19

According to the CDC, the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new type of virus that has never been seen before now. There is no vaccine and it can spread very easily from person to person, meaning that one of the best ways to prevent getting infected, is to limit exposure to other people.

According to the CDC, there are several ways to protect yourself and others during this pandemic:

  • Wash hands correctly and often. To learn proper hand-washing techniques, watch this video: https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo.
  • Use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect often. To learn how to properly disinfect your home, click here.

Symptoms for COVID-19 appear after 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends staying home and speaking to your healthcare provider if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath. If you have emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention right away. These emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and blueish lips or face. It is important to remember that this is not an inclusive list of symptoms and you should contact or seek medical attention if there are other severe or symptoms.

Traditional Medicinals Tea info for wellness

11 Plants for Wellness

Those mints offered at the end of your meal have a story to tell. They’re modern day descendants of the peppermint plant, also known as Mentha x piperita. In the past, it was widely known that peppermint aided digestion.

When did people start using manufactured products more than home remedies? It wasn’t that long ago. Most of our great-grandparents relied almost entirely on plant allies for wellness.

Some people, thankfully, never forgot the power of the plants. In 1974, Traditional Medicinals was founded with a goal to pass along centuries-old herbal wisdom and a vision for the rebirth of herbalism in North America. Forty-five years later, the company is still passionate about connecting people with plants through high-quality herbal products formulated by herbalists.

Here are 11 plants Traditional Medicinals love, all of which are easy to use at home to support health and wellness:

Click here to learn more.

Sponsored by Traditional Medicinals.