Posted on

Banana Tips for Keeping Them Fresh

Bananas are the world’s Number One favorite fruit!   They are loaded with potassium which gives you energy and they are also good to fuel your brain.  Bananas are green when picked from the tree,  they turn yellow as they ripen which is when they are very sweet. Finally, they turn brown and get mushy.  They turn brown due to the natural ethylene gas that comes out of the fruit.  This process can happen very quickly and is the reason why we end up throwing away so many overly ripe bananas.

There are some tricks of the trade to slow down this ripening process so you can enjoy them longer.  Learning to store them properly is easy!

  1.  Store bananas in a bunch, do not separate them as this will slow down the ripening process.
  2.  Invest in a banana hangar which allows better airflow around them.
  3.  Since they ripen and emit ethylene gas through their stems, wrap plastic around their stems to slow down the gas emission.
  4.  Keep unripe bananas at room temperature.  They like warm temperatures and keeping them too cold will prevent them from being as sweet!
  5.   Once they are ripe, place them in the fruit drawer in your refrigerator.  If you put ripe bananas next to other fruit that is unripe, it will also slow down the browning process.
  6.   Freeze bananas before they get too ripe by slicing them up and storing in a freezer bag for smoothies!  They can keep up to 3 months.
  7.   If you are too late and the bananas are looking too brown, you can turn them into banana bread, muffins or pancakes.

These are some great ways to store and prolong the life of your favorite fruit.  Their health benefits are many and they are the perfect to-go or office snack.  They are a great source of potassium which is good for your blood pressure and heart.  They also have a lot of Vitamin C and B6.  Manganese is good to keep your skin glowing.  They can also help digestion and keep you regular.  They also are low in fat and cholesterol and give you energy!

Ask your Company to have fresh fruit delivered to your breakroom. http://fruitfreshdelivery.com

 

 

Posted on

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” we all know it yet about 10% or 31 million Americans do not eat breakfast. There are many reasons why breakfast is important for good health and why eating breakfast helps you keep your weight down.  Let’s take a look at some great reasons to eat breakfast!

The first benefit is that breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism after a night’s sleep.  When you wake up, your blood sugar level is usually low.  You need food to get the nutrients to supply energy to your brain and muscles for the day ahead.  When you do not eat breakfast, your body feels sluggish and lacks energy.  Your brain also feels the effects and your focus and concentration suffer due to the lack of nutrition.

Another important reason to eat a healthy breakfast is that those who eat breakfast have a healthier BMI (body mass index) and actually weigh less than those who skip it.  Studies show that people who skip breakfast may eat fewer calories but they have a higher BMI than those who don’t.  When you don’t eat breakfast, your brain tells your body to conserve calories not burn them which explains the higher BMI.

Eating a healthy breakfast of lean protein, whole grains and fruit will fill you up, provide energy and will prevent you from snacking and eating unhealthy foods during the day.  People who eat breakfast consume less fat during the day.  They also have a higher fiber intake.  Students perform better in class and have higher test scores as their brains have the appropriate fuel from eating a healthy breakfast.

So what consists of a healthy breakfast?  Eggs, whole grain toast, oatmeal, and high-fiber cereal are all excellent choices.  For those in a hurry, a protein shake with unsweetened almond milk and a few blueberries and some greens is also a great option.  Protein bars can be a good choice as long as you choose a bar that is low in added sugar and sodium.

Eating breakfast is key to having a healthy and productive day!  Eating fresh fruit as part of a healthy breakfast or enjoying fruit at work is a winning combination!  Fruit is great for your overall health! It helps you look younger and helps keep you at a healthier weight!

 

 

Posted on

Social Media and Teen Mental Health

Teens are glued to social media.  The fact is that teens spend an average of nine hours a day on their phones and computers looking at Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Unfortunately, recent studies have shown a direct link between increased social media usage and increased rates of depression, anxiety, loneliness, poor body image, and suicidal thoughts amongst teens between the ages of 13-17.  The facts show that between the years 2008-2017, there has been a 47% increase in suicidal thoughts amongst teens.  This is bad news for our kids and these habits can have devastating effects on their mental and physical health.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems associated with social media and teens:

First of all, because teens spend the majority of their free time in front of their phone or computer, they are not learning healthy communication skills.  Friendship and relationships take time and energy.  Teens are not learning how to listen and how to express their feelings to friends and family members.  In order to have good self-esteem, it’s important to know how to express your feelings in a healthy way even when you disagree with someone.  Teens today are communicating via text messaging and are not learning these skills that they will need as they mature and enter the working world.  The more time teens spend on their phones and on social media, the less exercise and real social skills they develop.

Cyberbullying is also a huge problem in this social media teen world.    It is easier to be a bully and say mean things when you are alone and hiding behind your phone and you don’t have to see or listen to the person on the other end of the text.  Saying hurtful things to others is much more difficult when it is done face to face which is why there is increased bullying on social media.

Teens are suffering from depression and anxiety from constantly comparing themselves with everyone else.  Kids can take hundreds of pics to find the perfect one that is the most flattering for their social media pages.  It’s all about looking beautiful, cool, sexy, thin, being popular and showing off everything you do and have.  For some teens who may not be as fortunate as others, seeing all the designer stuff, the vacations, and all the pics of having fun with friends can make them feel sad or like they just don’t fit in because they don’t have what they think everyone else has.  This leads to more anxiety and loneliness.  The social media world is not reality but it certainly feels like it is to today’s teens.

There are things parents can do to try and limit the damage that social media can cause.  They can limit the amount of social media time allowed each day and set up “technology-free zones” to encourage family participation and social interaction.  Of course, the best solution to help your kids develop healthy self-esteem is to encourage them to participate in some type of activity or sport that they are interested in.  Once they find something they are truly interested in and enjoy, this will build their confidence and keep them from social media related mental health issues.  Kids need to be taught how to feel good about what they do not how they look or what kind of stuff they have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

What Makes Millennials Tick?

Millennials, also known as GenY, now make up the largest living generation in the United States, surpassing the Baby Boomers.  There are more than 83 million millennials and they are now the fastest growing segment of the workplace.  There are certain traits or characteristics they share due to the world and culture they were raised in. Understanding how they think and what they want and expect is very important to employ them successfully.

 

GenY care more about life-work balance than other generations.  They care more about family and are willing to take less money for fewer hours and more flexible schedules.  It’s not just about money for them.

They are super tekkie.  This group is all about technology and use smartphones, laptops and social media.   Emails and texting are how they choose to communicate rather than the old fashioned phone calls.  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are an integral part of their lives.

Since this generation was raised by the Baby Boomers, they were coddled by their parents and given all the things that their parents didn’t have.  They were given tons of attention and praise so in the workforce they expect the same type of treatment.  They were all given participation medals growing up and all expect to be treated like VIP’s no matter their talents.

Since Millennials put themselves and their lifestyle above company loyalty, they are always looking for something better to suit them.  They have no fear of job hopping and their resumes usually reflect this pattern.  If they are not happy and they are not being valued the way they feel they should, it’s onto the next job or to start their own gig.

Another characteristic about Millennials is that when they like something, they are truly passionate and they will dedicate themselves totally.  Since they grew up being team players, they have a tendency to treat their bosses as peers or friends which can be problematic.  However, once management understands the GenY mindset, they can set some boundaries and harness their talents and passion and achieve great productive results.

GenY is all about being healthy and taking care of the environment.  Having fruit and other healthy snacks available in their breakrooms is a huge benefit, and showing Millennials you care about them and their health goes a long way to keep them happy and committed to their jobs.

 

Posted on

Hemp Paper is Healthier for Us and the Environment

Did you know that we harvest more than one billion trees every year in the United States to make paper?  In fact, each person uses an average of 735 pounds of paper per year.  This number will rise by more than 60% by 2050!  Americans use 32% of the world’s paper, and we cut the trees down faster than we grow new ones to replace them.

Not only do we destroy our beautiful forests to make paper but the paper industry is a huge polluter that releases 120 billion tons of carbon dioxide and 3 million tons of chlorine into our waterways.  These poisons are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver failure, and other horrible diseases.

Hemp was a huge industry before it was outlawed in 1930.  The reason it was blackballed was that two rich guys Dupont (chemicals) and Hearst (paper & wood products) didn’t like the fact that hemp was becoming too popular, and they feared it would destroy their wood and paper business.  Hemp was cheaper and more environmentally friendly to grown and it was used to produce clothing and rope.   New technology was also designed to use hemp to make paper.  These two millionaires were not about to let hemp replace their highly profitable chemical and paper businesses.  They started a marketing campaign and destroyed the reputation of hemp and made sure it was outlawed to save their businesses.

Now almost 100 years later, hemp is re-emerging as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to trees for making paper.  The once demonized plant is now a superstar once again.  Hemp paper does not need poisonous chemicals in processing.  It can be bleached with hydrogen peroxide which does not pollute the waterways.  Hemp paper can last hundreds of years and it does not rot or turn yellow.  Hemp can also be recycled up to eight times.  Another cool thing is that one acre of hemp equals four acres of trees so it takes up much less room!

Hemp which was once illegal is now legal in all 50 states!  It can again be used to make paper and so many other products:

Biofuel

Plastics

Textiles

Food

Clothing

Insulation

Cosmetics

Hemp still has a way to go to replace our forests from being clear cut because the wood and chemical industries will continue to fight to keep their profits.  However, with the current interest in the environment, hemp is much safer and provides a better solution to make our air and waterways healthier!  Hemp has a great future!

Posted on

Type 2 Diabetes and the Benefits of Healthy Fruits

Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar.  It is true that people who have type 2 diabetes normally have higher sugar levels in their blood than those who do not, but eating sugar does not cause the disease.  In fact, in a report published in the British Medical Journal, people who had higher fruit intake had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Fruit does contain sugar.  So the amount of fruit and the type of fruit and how it is prepared does affect blood sugar levels and diabetics need to understand the differences.  For example, eating fresh fruit or frozen fruit is much healthier than eating fruit that comes in a jar or can. Processed fruits, dried fruit, and fruit juices have more concentrated sugar and those with type 2 diabetes should be careful consuming these kinds of fruit products or avoid them altogether.

Those who have type 2 diabetes need to understand about the glycemic index.  This index rates foods from 1 to 100 and it’s better for diabetics to consume foods that are low on the glycemic level to help control their blood sugar levels.  There are many fruits that are low on the index and these are the best choices for diabetics.

The following fruits are low on the GI list and are rated at 55 of less:

apples

bananas

berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

peaches

pears

avocados

oranges

plums

grapes

grapefruit

kiwi

nectarines

Eating fruit that is low on the glycemic scale is super healthy for diabetics.  Fruit is also high in soluble fiber and helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood.  Fruits that have pulp and have skin are especially good.  Fruit helps keep you feeling full due to the high water content.

In conclusion, eating fruit is great for people who have type 2 diabetes!  Eating fruits that are low on the glycemic index can help with healthy weight management and help satisfy a sweet tooth!  Fruits are naturally high in vitamins and minerals and low in sodium and fat.

Having fruit delivered to the workplace is a great idea to keep all employees healthier and happier!  Bananas contain potassium which is good for the brain and helps memory and focus!  Oranges are loaded with vitamin C and A which are powerful antioxidants.  Fruit delivery is a smart choice for everyone!

 

Posted on

Effect of Climate Change on Fruits and Vegetables

Climate change can have serious consequences on fruit and vegetables.  As temperatures rise and extreme weather conditions such as damaging rainfalls become more frequent, there are more “false springs.”  In the past 5 years, we have had 2 record highs and 2 false springs with damaging late freezes.  We have also had record high temperatures in February 2017.

 

fruit climate
Global cooling effects fruit

When temperatures get hotter, fruit and vegetable yields can be reduced due to lower photosynthesis and reduced pollination.  Heat also causes more internal defects and increased tissue damage to the fruit and vegetables.

Growers are challenged to find ways to adapt to the increasing temperatures.  Managing mulch to reduce soil temperatures is one method to reduce the stress on many crops.  The use of reflective materials or radiation blocks is also a way to reduce sunburn on fruits and vegetables. The use of wax reflective materials is also a way to help fruits such as apples keep their color.

The use of shade netting is also an effective technique to keep plants cooler during the hottest periods of the day.  It has proven to be very effective for both tomatoes and peppers.

Another strategy is to use water-based cooling which can reduce the effect of heat on crops.  Low water volume sprinklers have been proven to be successful during the hottest times of the day for plant cooling.

Growers are now altering the planting dates.  Planting earlier in the spring or later in the summer allows growers to avoid the hottest times of the season and improve crop production.

The strategy that is most promising is to breed new, stronger, more heat resistant fruits and vegetables.   This is a long term strategy and will require years of testing and experimentation.

Climate change can have a negative effect on both the quality and quantity of the fruit and vegetable crops.  Lower production also leads to higher costs to the consumer.  This is why it is so important to prepare now with longterm strategies to ensure our farmers can continue to have healthy and plentiful harvests in the future no matter what the temperature is.

Fruits and vegetables are essential to everyone’s diet.  Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is an effective tool to protect against some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.  Fruit at work is an awesome way to keep employees healthier, more motivated and it helps them maintain a healthier weight.  Eat fruit and vegetables every day!

Posted on

What is the Keto Diet?

There are so many diets out there all claiming they will make you healthier and skinnier.  There is the Paleo Diet, South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet which are low carb and high protein diets.  Now there is the Keto Diet which is completely different.  Unlike the other diets I just mentioned which are all about eating lots of lean protein, the ketogenic diet is all about eating fat.  In fact, in the keto diet, fat makes up as much as 90% of the calories eaten each day.

 

The keto diet has been used by physicians to reduce the number of epileptic seizures in children.  Now it is being touted as a wonder diet that helps people shed pounds fast.  Unfortunately, this diet may help you lose weight in the short term but there have been no long term studies on how this diet will affect your health.

The keto diet forces your body to use fat as fuel instead of sugar which is glucose that comes from carbs such as veggies, grains, fruits, and legumes.  The keto diet is all about the ketone bodies which is a type of fuel the liver makes from stored fat.  It might sound like a great idea to lose weight but it might not be so good for your body.

When following a ketone diet, you must eat lots of fat at each meal.  The breakdown in a 2,000 calorie diet would be about 165 g of fat, 40 g of carbs and 75 g of protein.  While some healthy unsaturated fats are ok to eat like nuts or avocados, saturated fats such as lard and butter are encouraged in high amounts.

Protein is part of the keto diet but there is no differentiation between a healthy lean protein such as fish and highly saturated proteins like pork and bacon.

When it comes to fruits and veggies, you can eat a small number of berries and only leafy greens such as kale, brussels, and broccoli.

There are potentially serious risks associated with this diet.

  1.   The number one risk is eating high amounts of saturated fat.  There is a definite link between saturated fat and heart disease.  In fact, it is recommended to not get more than 7% of your calories from saturated fat.  Due to the saturated fat intake, the keto diet is causing higher levels of bad cholesterol which causes heart disease!
  2.  Liver problems can result due to liver’s inability to properly metabolize the huge amounts of fat.
  3.  Kidney problems can result due to high amounts of protein to be metabolized.
  4.  There can also be nutrient deficiencies due to the limited diet of fruits, veggies and legumes.
  5.  Your mood and brain can be affected as the brain needs sugar from healthy carbs to work properly.  Confusion and being moody can result from this keto diet.

Before you jump into the Keto Diet, make sure you check with your physician.  Remember, when you stop following any of these diets, you will gain the weight back.  It is always a lifestyle change that works in the long run.  Healthy, whole foods, lean proteins combined with exercise is the answer.  Try ordering fruit at work to keep everyone healthier and in a good mood!  Brains need fruit!

Posted on

Why You Should STOP Drinking Soda Now

 

There’s a lot of reasons why drinking diet soda is a bad idea.  Just because it has no calories and caffeine, it does not help you lose weight.  In fact, diet soda is linked to weight gain!  This is just one reason you should not drink diet soda.  Let’s take a look at other, very unhealthy reasons you should quit right now.

soda is bad
Soda kills your body!

New studies show that drinking diet soda can cause depression.  In fact, diet soda drinkers were 30% more likely to be depressed than those who do not drink soda.

Diet soda drinkers have significantly lower bone density than those who do not drink soda.  Low bone mineral density can lead to osteoporosis as you age.

The artificial sweeteners in diet soda interfere with healthy gut bacteria.  Healthy gut bacteria is essential for your energy levels, mental health and your immune system.

Diet soda drinkers are at a 30% increased risk for metabolic syndrome.  This is a metabolism disorder that can cause diabetes, weight changes, heart problems and death.

Regular consumption of diet soda is linked to increased blood pressure.

Your kidney function declines when you drink a few diet sodas a day.  Kidneys are responsible for cleaning your blood and they remove all the toxins from your body.  Keeping your kidneys healthy is key to good health and energy!

Drinking diet soda is addictive!  The caffeine and aspartame in diet soda cause your brain to release dopamine and glutamate which cause you to crave more soda.

A study from UMiami has shown that drinking diet soda on a regular basis significantly increases your risk of a heart attack.  Interestingly enough, drinking regular sugary soda does not increase your risk.

For people who like to workout and have toned muscles, drinking diet soda is not helping your skin or your muscles.  There is phosphoric acid in dark-colored diet sodas and if you drink too much of it, you can disrupt the absorption of the nutrients in your body.  The result is wrinkled skin and weaker muscles as they will not get enough nutrients.

Forget about a pearly white smile and healthy teeth!  Those who drink diet soda on a regular basis had the same amount of erosion and bad teeth as a meth or crack addict.

Boston University discovered that those who drink diet soda are up to three times more likely to get dementia or Alzheimer’s than those who don’t.  Drinking diet soda also increases your risk of stroke.

The artificial sweetener aspartame breaks down into aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine.  The methanol then changes into formaldehyde and then formic acid.  These chemicals are toxic to your body.

As you can see, drinking diet soda is bad for your brain, gut, heart, muscles, mood and your looks!  Diet soda has no place in the diet of a person who cares about being healthy.   There are many healthy drinks to choose from such as sparkling water with a splash of juice, iced tea, fresh lemonade, maple water and fruit infused water.

 

 

Posted on

Flaxseed Oil, Omega-3s and their Many Health Benefits

Flaxseed oil is a healthy fat due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.  These polyunsaturated fatty acids play an important role in many different body functions including immune, pulmonary, cardiovascular and endocrine systems.

flaxseed oil is good
Flaxseed oil benefits Mind and Body

Flaxseed oil has a certain type of omega-3 fatty acid called ALA which is alpha-linolenic acid.  This is a plant-based source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that must come from food or a supplement as the body cannot make this kind of fat.  When ALA is taken, the body then changes it to EPA and DHA which are other healthy fats which are found in fish oil.  Since flaxseed oil is plant-based, it is great for vegetarians and vegans.  The ALA in flaxseed oil has many health benefits from improving brain health to fighting cancer.  Let’s take a closer look at omega-3s and what they can do for you.

  1.  The omega-3’s in flaxseed oil can reduce the risk of depression by 17%.  Flaxseed oil can also improve cognitive performance in young people and improve memory in adults who suffer from minor memory problems.
  2.  Consuming omega-3s (from food or supplement) can lower your risk of breast and colorectal cancer.
  3.  Omega-3s can improve your blood pressure.
  4.  Omega-3s can reduce inflammation and fight against autoimmune diseases.
  5.  Omega-3s can improve your eye health.
  6.  Decrease menstrual cramps.

Now let’s look closer at Flaxseed oil and what it can do to improve your health!

  1.  Flaxseed powder can fight chronic inflammation.  It has shown to reduce inflammatory markers, specifically the C-reactive protein which tests for chronic inflammation in the body.
  2.  Flaxseed oil has antitumor and cancer reducing effects.
  3.  Flaxseed oil can lower cholesterol levels.
  4.  Flaxseed oil is an effective treatment for constipation.
  5.  Helps balance blood sugar levels.  It can reduce fasting blood glucose by more than 19% in type 2 diabetes patients when taken every day for a month.
  6.  Improves skin hydration and decreases scaling and skin roughness.

In order to enjoy the health benefits from flaxseed oil, 1-2 tablespoons a day or 1,000 mg capsule twice a day is recommended.  If you want to get your omega-3s from natural flaxseeds, ensure that they are ripe as unripe seeds can be toxic.  There are a couple contraindications for flaxseed oil to keep in mind.  If you are taking a blood thinner or take blood pressure medication, you need to consult your physician as it has properties that could interfere with these medications.  Also, flaxseed oil can cause GI problems so make sure you drink lots of water as they are very high in fiber.

Don’t forget to order fruit for your office to keep everyone healthy and feeling happy!  www.fruitfreshdelivery.com