Sunday, September 30, 2012

More information about fruits and vegetables

How much fruits and vegetables should we be eating each day?  The newest nutrition guide from the U.S Department of Agriculture involves a plate diagram.  (Forget the food pyramid.  It’s out.) The experts recommend half our plate be covered with fruits and vegetables at each meal.

Today I share information from two websites: 
Top 10 reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables
Ways to Increase Fruit and Vegetables Intake can be found at

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why add fruits and vegetables to our diet?

Why are fruits and vegetables important in our diet?  Have you heard of antioxidants?  Antioxidants protect us from those pesky free radicals that the experts believe do cellular damage.  Our bodies produce free radicals.  (Think of them as chemicals with unstable electrons which cause damage to our cells).  When we eat and drink fruits and vegetables, we get antioxidants.  The antioxidants attach to the unstable electrons (making a stable compound) and remove the free radicals from our bodies.  Some common antioxidants include (among other compounds) vitamin C and E.  The experts believe that eating fruits and vegetables help protect us from cellular damage. 

Some very important plant-based chemicals called phytochemicals are found in fruits and vegetables.  Included in the list of phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals) are lycopene (found in tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers), betacarotene (found in orange and dark green vegetables) and lutein (found in dark greens) to mention a few.  When we eat fruits and vegetables, our body gets antioxidants and can better protect itself from cellular damage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Add color to your diet

What colors should you adding to your diet?  Where can you find those colors?  
·        Blue/purple--blueberries, blackberries, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple grapes, plum, etc
·        Green—avocado, green apples and grapes, limes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, Chinese cabbage, green beans, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, peas, green pepper, spinach, zucchini
·        White, tan and brown—bananas, cauliflower, ginger, jicama, mushrooms, onions, parsnips and white potatoes, turnips
·        Orange/yellow—apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, mangoes, peaches, pineapples, yellow peppers, pumpkins, sweet corn, sweet potatoes,
·        Red—tomatoes, red apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, red peppers, rhubarb
More information about the healthy colored vegetables and fruits can be found at

Monday, September 24, 2012

September is Fruit and Veggies Month

September is Fruit and Veggis—More Matters Month
As a health emphasis which began in 2007, September has been set aside to remind us that we should be eating fruits and vegetables.  Did you know there are more than 200 different fruits and vegetables?  If you don’t like one type, surely there are other fruit and vegetable choices you can add to your diet.  A very simple way to add fruits and vegetables to your diet is add color to your plate.  Tomorrow we look at what colors and where to get them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

In the News--Whooping cough vaccine wears off too quickly

Researchers are recognizing that the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine currently being used loses its protection.  Increasing numbers of children (who have been vaccinated) are getting this disease. I recently talked about whooping cough (August 1 and 3, 2012.) That information can be found at

When the whooping cough vaccine was developed in the 1940s, it was a wonderful protection for millions of people.  The number of cases of whooping cough in America dropped to less than 5000/year.Then the vaccine was changed in the 1990s.  In an effort to decrease side effects, the vaccine was changed.  It has taken several years to recognize the increased number of children getting sick with the whooping cough was, in fact, a significant increase.  Over the past few years the number of cases of whooping cough has increased.  This year’s cases number at 25,000 cases through August 2012.

Researchers reported this opinion in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine:  “Protection against pertussis waned during the 5 years after the fifth dose of DTaP.”  As children age (the time since their last whooping cough shot, gets longer, the protection decreases.  Many of the children getting whooping cough have received the recommended vaccine shots.  New England Journal of Medicine, “Waning Protection after Fifth Dose of Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Children,”

So now what?  Talk with your family doctor/pediatrician for guidance.  Some of the recommendations involved a second booster shot vs. development of a new vaccine (not available yet.)