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Healthy Living: Eating Red, White and Blue


patriotically decorated bowl of fruitHappy Fourth of July!

One great way to celebrate is to fuel your body with all things patriotic and healthy.

Start with red.

Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, which lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Strawberries are full of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also sodium-free, cholesterol-free and fat-free.

Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. These carotenoids have individual benefits, but they also have major synergy as a group to help ward off diseases like cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium.

Raspberries can improve memory, lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help manage obesity.

Red peppers are full of vitamin C, and they can help build immunity.

How about white foods, and we’re not talking about anything processed or out of a package?

White onions contain fiber and folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body make new, healthy cells. They are also high in vitamin C and low in calories.

White milk is full of vitamin D, which most people do not get enough of in their diets. Vitamin D helps us absorb other vital nutrients.

Cauliflower is delicious and nutritious! One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese.

Let’s move on to blue.

Blueberries are chock full of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and helps decrease the risk of heart disease.

Blueberries are a very good source of vitamin K, manganese and copper.

So, enjoy the holiday today and all the health benefits of eating red, white and blue.



Healthy Living: A Nutritional Favorite – Watermelon


A Nutritional Favorite - WatermelonLast weekend, we bought a watermelon at Brookshire’s. Now it’s still May and watermelons are at their prime in early July, but this one, as my family declared, “tasted like a Fourth of July melon.”

Indeed it did, and we’re thankful to have access to such beautiful produce grown close to home.

Not only is watermelon delicious, but it’s super healthy, too.

Watermelons are mostly water, 92 percent, in fact. So, eating watermelon keeps you well-hydrated.

You can also eat a lot without fear of consuming too many calories! One cup of watermelon contains only 42 calories.

It also contains many other nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI

Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene.

There’s no reason NOT to eat watermelon all summer long!



Healthy Living: Magnesium


MagnesiumOne of the few supplements I take each day is magnesium.

When I was filtering out my supplement needs, magnesium emerged as one of the few individual minerals that I needed to make sure I was taking enough of.

Magnesium can help hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It can also help correct kidney and liver damage. It can rectify peroxynitrite damage that can evolve into migraines, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. It can help with restless leg syndrome, PMS, insomnia, osteoporosis and fungal infections. It can contribute to an improvement in muscle weakness, cramps and impotence. Check with your physician to find out if you are magnesium-deficient and what kind of magnesium to take as a supplement.



Healthy Living: Healthy Oat Cookies


Healthy Oat CookiesMy 13-year-old son told me he wants to eat healthier.

Big picture, he IS a healthy eater, but that kid can also put away some junk food after school.

We had to come up with a solution that would still let him feel like he was having some of the treats he likes but in a healthier way. Now, after school, he reaches for fresh fruit instead of the little, square, orange crackers he used to favor. I love that he’s doing this, and it’s motivated the rest of us to reach for more fresh fruit and vegetables, too.

Every once in a while, he wants a cookie or something sweet.

These are the perfect solution. Originally they were called “Three-Ingredient Cookies,” but I throw in some extra ingredients!

Healthy Oat Cookies

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or nuts, crushed

Directions:
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Stir in oats, raisins, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds or nuts.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Scoop dough into 16 balls, and place evenly around a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Calories from Fat: 12, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 2 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Healthy Living: Pomegranates


PomegranatesPomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits on earth, and they’re still in season now.

Pomegranates are red and are about the size and shape of an apple, but really only their seeds (and the pulp and juices attached) are edible.

One cup of pomegranate arils (seeds) contain 7 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, 36 percent for vitamin K, 16 percent for folate and 12 percent for potassium. That’s a lot. Also, one cup contains only 144 calories which is not a lot at all.

Pomegranates contain two compounds other fruits do not: punicalagins and punicic acid.

Punicalagins are the powerful antioxidants found in the juice and peel of a pomegranate, providing three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea. Punicic acid, or pomegranate seed oil, is the fatty acid from the arils, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Pomegranates can help fight against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. It can also help fight prostate and breast cancers as well as lower blood pressure and fight arthritis. It improves memory, helps fight fungal and bacterial infections and can improve erectile dysfunction. It has also been shown to improve exercise performance.

Whether you eat the seeds or drink the juice, pomegranate packs a mighty punch.



Family Matters: Peanut Butter for the Win


Peanut Butter for the WinBrookshire’s Peanut Butter makes snack time more fun.

Peanut butter is a great source of protein for little ones who often don’t like – or have a hard time chewing – meat. Peanut butter to the rescue!

Tasty, delicious, nutritious and just plain fun, peanut butter can be the star of your kids’ snacks.

  • Dip apple slices into peanut butter or sandwich peanut butter between two thin slices of apple.
  • Spread peanut butter on celery and top with raisins.
  • Combine peanut butter with chia seeds, oats and mashed banana for high-powered energy bites.
  • Add peanut butter to your smoothie for extra protein.
  • Mix into plain Greek yogurt for a yummy fruit dip.
  • Drizzle over apple slices and sprinkle with toasted coconut to make apple “nachos.”
  • Use as a topping on pancakes.
  • Slice a banana in half lengthwise and spread each half with peanut butter, topping with granola.
  • Slice bananas into rounds, spread with peanut butter and make little banana “sandwiches.”
  • Flatten a slice of sandwich bread with a rolling pin. Spread with a thin layer of peanut butter and jelly. Roll into a log; slice into rounds for a PB&J roll-up.
  • Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter. Top with thin slices of banana. Roll up; slice into rounds.
  • Peel a banana and freeze it. Spread with peanut butter, and roll in sunflower seeds. Store in freezer for a banana pop.


Healthy Living: Staying Healthy


Staying HealthySo far this year, I’ve had strep throat twice and a wicked cold in between.

That’s not a great way to kick off the winter holidays.

Sometimes, you can’t help catching a virus, but there are everyday ways you can help keep yourself healthy and better your odds of not getting sick.

First of all, if you ARE sick, limit your exposure to healthy people. Don’t go to work. I repeat, do not go to work. Chances are that you can stay home until you’re not contagious. Don’t cough your way through the grocery store, the library, your kids’ school, church or any place else where large groups of people congregate.

Now that we’ve made that point, wash your hands frequently and often. Wash them in the warmest water you can stand with soap, and dry them with a paper towel or air blower. Avoid touching common areas that might breed germs, and know that it’s perfectly acceptable to decline a handshake at a business meeting when the other person has just sneezed or coughed into their hand.

Use hand sanitizer. Carry it with you.

If you’ve been sick or someone you know has been sick, use disinfectant wipes or sprays on areas they’ve touched. Keep them handy.

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated keeps your body functioning properly and helps to ward off colds and viruses.

Get plenty of sleep. Exhaustion leaves you susceptible to illness.

Eat foods dense with nutrients and vitamins like brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Avoid alcohol or sugary foods and drinks.

Now, back to the first point. Stay home if you are sick, and don’t spread germs!



Healthy Living: Winter Fruit Salad


Winter Fruit SaladFresh fruits and veggies define the summertime months, but you don’t have to, nor should you, give up your fruits just because the weather is colder.

Fruits provide some vital nutrients that help you through the winter months, most notably vitamin C, which helps you fight off colds. They also provide vitamin A, an important antioxidant; zinc, which also helps prevent colds and fights germs; and vitamin D, which we usually get from sunshine.

I’ve found fruit salad, using fruits that are suited to the winter for becoming ripe, is a great way to get vitamins and nutrients when the skies are gray and cloudy. This is almost like sunshine in a bowl.

You can even skip the “dressing” and just eat this medley of super fruits plain.

Winter Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
2 red apples, cored and diced
2 pears, cored and diced
4 clementine oranges, peeled and segmented
3 kiwifruit, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 Tbs fresh lime juice

Directions:
Combine all the fruit in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together lime juice and maple syrup. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to coat. If delaying serving, toss dressing with fruit immediately before serving.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 317, Calories from Fat: 35, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 80 g, Fiber: 13 g, Sugar: 56 g, Protein: 4 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Food Watch: Prepping for Natural Disasters


Prepping for Natural DisastersOn a venture to visit friends during what seemed to be a light rain, I came to find how unprepared you can be going into natural disasters. My drive was great until I reached the road before theirs. My phone made a resounding alarm that made me jump: “TORNADO WARNING IN THIS AREA. TAKE SHELTER NOW.” I looked toward the direction in which I’d be going, and I saw dark, swirling clouds starting to rotate around each other.

Once I arrived, everyone was on their phone trying to figure out what was going on. The wind picked up, and then it was silent. Next, quarter-sized hail showered down around the house, followed by a torrent of wind and rain. At that moment, we decided to run to the storm shelter. We went to the storm shelter twice that night – six of us along with the family dog – and the realization of how much we lacked set in.

It was a great opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of storm shelter use. However, since I work in grocery, I thought mostly of what foods could keep for extended periods of time to not only prepare for such an event, but to help keep you alive if you were trapped. Food should have a long shelf life with little to no cooking required, and it must meet the needs of all family members (including pets).

Canned meats and vegetables can keep a few years on average depending on the product. Highly acidic canned goods like fruit and juice store well for less time (12 to 18 months). Water can also last quite a long time.

Thankfully, Brookshire’s has a plethora of high-quality canned products that will help you stock up if need be. I really like their vegetable assortments, which are picked at the peak of freshness and come with a handy pop top. No can opener needed!

Also, consider how your food is stored. If you’re preparing for a natural disaster, make sure that your food and water are stored away from the outside door, away from the elements. Keep these items elevated and, if possible, in a storage area of their own.

You most likely won’t need to hide in your storm shelter for years at a time, but you never know when a natural disaster may hit. It’s best to prepare in advance, and that will be one less thing to worry about when the time comes.



Healthy Living: Easy Cure for What Ails You


Easy Cure for What Ails YouDid you know there’s an easy, natural and healthy way to ease congestion or a sore throat during this season of sickness?

You simply make a “tea” of one cup warm water, one tablespoon honey and some lemon to help chase away the chills, congestion and sore throat. You can add cinnamon, too, as cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that effectively prevent colds.

Honey has been shown to contain antioxidants, and it offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help fight against the virus, bacteria and fungus to treat the cold and its underlying symptoms.

In addition, it will help boost the immune system, which lessens the severity of the cold and helps to prevent future colds.

It will also help soothe a sore throat naturally, and it relieves irritation.

You can also take a tablespoon full of straight honey when you feel a cough coming on to help fight that ailment as well.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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