Local Summer Flavors

by Caitlin Rose

Summer is a great time to transition to healthier eating by taking advantage of in-season fruits and vegetables. In Hawaii, we’re blessed with an easy growing environment that produces luscious fruits and colorful vegetables in abundance. Take the time to seek out local produce this summer – besides being fresher and juicier than imported food, local in-season produce is more affordable because higher yields drive prices down. As a bonus, you’ll also be helping support local farmers and our economy as a whole!

Your Brain on Berries

by Tracy Ternes

There’s something delightfully sweet about a fresh-picked strawberry, still warm from the sun, or a summer picnic with blueberry cobbler and ice-cold raspberry lemonade… However you use them, the summer season is the time to shine for berries of all varieties! If it isn’t enough that these juicy jewels of summer taste great alone and in all kinds of dishes, berries are also nutritional powerhouses, full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The latest research focuses on the role of berries in slowing cognitive decline in older adults.

Nutritional Benefits of Eating Organic

by Tracy Ternes

The positive environmental benefits of organic farming are well-documented. Organic farming preserves biodiversity and soil fertility, prevents soil erosion and reduces contamination of the water supply from toxic runoff. Anecdotal evidence and common sense tell us that organic food tastes better and is less likely to be contaminated with pesticides. However, when it comes to the assertion that organic food is actually more nutritious than non-organic food, most scientists agree there is a need for more research.

"Green” Eating

by Tracy Ternes

Maybe you’ve already bought a fuel-efficient car, updated your home with energy-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets, dual-paned windows, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Maybe you recycle, walk to work and use both sides of the paper when you print. There are so many things we can do to live a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, from big investments like installing solar panels to smaller endeavors like picking up trash along the beach, or giving up meat once a week. The very food we choose to eat has a major impact on the health of the earth.

Nutrition labels: What to know to eat right

by Tracy Ternes

Reading and understanding nutrition labels is a key part of becoming a health-savvy shopper. The nutrition facts panel, found on most packaged foods can tell you things like how much fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin C a food contains, it can help you compare fat and calorie counts between products, and it can help you identify which foods are low in sodium, carbohydrates, or trans-fat. It’s also where you will find specific ingredients and any common allergens. Read on to see how a quick glance at the nutrition facts can help you to shop more wisely.

    Eat More Vegetables? Yes, You Can!

    by Tracy Ternes

    We all know that vegetables are good for us and most of us would admit that we should be eating more of them. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and are low in sugar, sodium and saturated fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2.5-4 cups of vegetables a day for adults, depending on your age and activity level.1

    Kale to Care for Your Heart

    by Tracy Ternes

    It’s no secret that leafy green vegetables are at the head of the class when it comes to nutrition. No matter what your health goals, you will benefit by including more of them in your diet. The more common varieties, such as spinach, broccoli and bok choy, although highly nutritious, take a back seat when compared to what some refer to as “The King of Greens”: Kale.

    Simple Steps to a Healthy New Year

    by Tracy Ternes

    As the New Year inspires many of us to move toward a healthier lifestyle, small but powerful changes are key to creating consistency and achieving success in our goals. Below are a few simple suggestions, any or all of which can be included in your plan for a healthier life in 2012. -Add more fresh fruits and vegetables, including raw varieties, to your meals. Try adding green beans or broccoli the next time you make pasta. Add apple and banana slices to your morning oatmeal, or include a few leafy greens in a morning smoothie.

    The Okinawan Sweet Potato: A Purple Powerhouse of Nutrition

    by Tracy Ternes

    Did you know that Okinawan sweet potatoes were recently highlighted by Dr. Oz as being one of the top Superfoods of 2010?1 This vibrantly purple sweet potato, a locally grown staple of Hawaiian cuisine, is rich in flavor and packed with nutritional benefits. With Okinawan sweet potatoes in abundance this time of year, they make the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

    Foods to Help Balance Blood Sugar

    by Tracy Ternes

    A plant-based diet rich in whole grains, healthy fats, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds is the ideal way to help balance blood sugar levels and may help reduce your risk of diabetes. Specific foods within these categories are especially beneficial in keeping your blood sugar in check. Read on for some ideas about how to incorporate these healthful foods into your diet.