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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

 

 

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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The Booming Business of Cannabis Infused Food and Drinks

Cannabis infused food and drinks are two of the top dining trends in 2019!  Let’s be clear, we are talking about CBD which does not cause you to get “high”, we are not talking about cannabis-infused foods that contain psychoactive ingredients (THC) from the cannabis plant.  CBD offers lots of health benefits and it is being infused into everything you eat and drink from doughnuts to coffee and health drinks.

Infused Edibles
Award Winning INFUSED EDIBLES

In fact, the National Restaurant Association took a poll of 650 professional chefs regarding food and drink trends for 2019.  The results showed that 77% of them said CBD drinks are the Number 1 trend for 2019 and CBD foods is Number 2!

CBD which comes from the hemp plant is legal throughout the United States.  Taking CBD can help with insomnia, pain, seizures, and anxiety.  Another benefit of taking CBD is that it can make you feel relaxed.  CBD also comes from the marijuana plant and is still illegal at the federal level, no matter whether marijuana is legal in certain states or not.  CBD is short for cannabinoidol which is one of the many compounds in both hemp and marijuana plants.

It is predicted that by the year 2021, the CBD industry could reach $3 billion and could eventually grow to more than $200 billion a year in the United States.  A farm bill that legalized U.S. grown hemp could skyrocket the CBD industry in the coming years.

Some of the huge companies that are banking on the CBD drink business includes Coke and Molson Coors.   They are looking to create non-alcoholic CBD infused health drinks which can be sold to anyone interested in a healthy lifestyle.

CBD is big business and it is taking the food and beverage industry by storm.  You can find CBD infused beverages such as coffee, tea, and wines in health food stores and online.  You can also buy CBD infused foods such as candy, nuts, and baked goods online.  The list of Restaurants across the country now offering CBD infused menu items is growing every day.  Next big trend will be THC infused drinks and foods!  Stay tuned!

p.s. Invest in the next HOT POT STOCK:  GCGX (otc markets)

 

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Fruit and Veggies SLASH Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Fruit and Veggies SLASH Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that a diet high in fruit and veggies can lower stress levels by 25%??  There is growing evidence suggesting a link between diet and a person’s mental health.  The more fruit and veggies consumed, the lower the rates of psychological stress. Australian researchers have determined that people who eat 5-7 portions of fruit and veggies per day receive the biggest benefit.  It is women’s stress and anxiety levels that plummet the most (23% ) from eating 5-7 portions of fruit and veggies each day.

stress and Anxiety reduction
How fruit and veggies can help stress

It is well known that eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies contributes to good health, whereas eating processed foods contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.  It is interesting that new research shows both fruit and veggies must be eaten for stress and anxiety levels to be slashed, not just one or the other.

When people are under stress, they tend to want to eat comfort food that is normally not healthy.  Comfort food or snacking on junk food leads to weight gain. Snacking on fruit and veggies produces the opposite effect.

Research shows that eating up to 14 oz. of fruit and veggies a day was associated with 24% reduced risk of heart disease, 33% reduced risk of stroke, 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 13% reduced risk of total cancer.  As an example, a 2.8 oz portion of fruit is equal to a small banana, apple pear or orange.

Bottom line, having fruit and veggies available at work to snack on will help keep your stress levels down, make you feel better and be more productive!

So while everyone else clears cobwebs, makes new year resolutions and scours floors, why not take a look at your diet and spring-clean an even more important home your body?

 

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Sleep and the Inflammation Connection

There is new research coming from the Mass General Hospital in Boston showing adequate sleep protects your health by reducing inflammation in the body.

Sleep Better
Get More Sleep

Researches have found a correlation between disrupted sleep and increased plaque buildup on the arteries of mice.  The mice also had higher levels of inflammatory cells in their blood vessels.  The mice with less sleep had lower levels of hypocretin (hormone that regulates sleep and produces white blood cells) and higher levels of inflammatory white blood cells. This increased their risk of fat and cholesterol plaque buildup on their arteries leading to cardiovascular disease.

When a person does not get adequate sleep, their inflammatory cell production is also disrupted.  This leads to more inflammation and heart disease.

It is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to help keep the levels of inflammation low and to protect against heart disease.  Unfortunately a large percentage of Americans (35%) are not getting enough sleep, putting themselves at risk for serious health problems.

Exactly how inflammation plays a role in heart attack and stroke remains a topic of ongoing research, added Deepak Bhatt, M.D. It appears that the inciting event in many heart attacks and some forms of stroke is buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in blood vessels.

Here are a few tips to help improve your sleep quality:

  1. Keep your room dark
  2. Lower the temperature
  3. Don’t watch TV or use electronics in the bedroom
  4. Don’t drink caffeine 10 hours before bed
  5. Don’t exercise 1 hour before bedtime

“The body perceives this plaque as abnormal and foreign — it does not belong in a healthy blood vessel,” he said. “In response, the body tries to wall off the plaque from the flowing blood.

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Cinnamon Apple Indian Pudding with Raisins

Cinnamon Apple Indian Pudding with Raisins

pudding indian
Indian Pudding for a great snack or dessert.

This is a healthy, low sugar dessert that is easy to make and is diabetic friendly!  

What You Need:

1 egg

2 medium apples

2 cups fat free milk

2 tbsp packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

cooking spray

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup raisins

What To Do:

1.  Oven preheated to 350 degrees.  Spray 6-6 ounce custard cups with cooking spray.  Place in shallow baking pan and put aside.

2.  Heat 1.5 cups of milk in a medium sized pan.  Heat until boiling. In a bowl, mix cornmeal with 1/2 cup of milk and slowly whisk into hot milk.  Cook and stir til mixture boils again.  Reduce to low heat.  Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes until thick.

3.  Remove from heat.  Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.  In small bowl, mix with egg.  Slowly stir the hot mixture into egg.  Stir in raisins and apples.  Fill custard cups with the batter.

4.  Bake approximately 30 minutes or until done.  Add sliced almonds or shredded coconut on top for some extra deliciousness!