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5 Unique Fruits and Veggies to Intrigue You

With the USDA’s new MyPlate, there has been a surge of attention given to the importance of a balanced diet. As demonstrated on the plate, a balanced diet consists of a large amount of fruits and vegetables. The problem is, we get it in our heads that we don’t like certain foods. We remember brussel sprouts from our childhood, and can’t get past that memory of forcing them down so that Mom and Dad would let us have dessert. The truth is that there are a lot more options than just brussel sprouts and beets. We’ve decided to put together a list of the Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables you’ve probably never tried, and the health benefits of each one.

  1. Paw Paw (fruit) This fruit is easily digestible and aids in the digestion of other foods. It is rich in vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and soluble vegetable fiber. It is enjoyed best when eaten fresh and ripe.
  2. Persimmons (fruit) This delicate oriental fruit is native to china.  It spread to Japan very long ago and later was introduced to California during the middle of the nineteenth century.  They are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are vital for good health.
  3. Dragon Fruit (fruit) This exotic fruit contains large amounts of Vitamin C. Not only that, the vitamin C in dragon fruit is more easily digested than a vitamin c supplement. It is also said, but not proven, that Dragon Fruit aids in controlling blood sugar levels in those with Type 2 Diabetes (Note: This is not a sufficient medical plan for controlling diabetes)
  4. Purple Dragon Carrot (vegetable) This unique carrot has a sweet flavor, making it great for salads and for juicing. Carrots help reduce cholesterol, fight infections and stabilize blood sugar. High in nutritional value, but low in calories, carrots play an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  5. Sweet Baby Broccoli (vegetable) Broccoli provides a high amount of vitamin C, which aids with iron absorption in the body, and fiber, which enhances the gastrointestinal tract. They can help prevent the development of cataracts, and also ease the symptoms of the common cold. The folic acid in broccoli helps women sustain normal tissue growth and is often used as a supplement when taking birth control pills and during pregnancy. The potassium in broccoli aids those battling high blood pressure, while a large amount of calcium helps combat osteoporosis.

Are you ready to go out and try all these great new fruits and vegetables? Each of them has a unique flavor, as well as all the health benefits mentioned. So, give  ‘em all a try. And, be sure to let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

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Food Tips for Better Dental Health

June is National Dental Health Month. Even though it’s no surprise to us, good dental health is tied heavily to good nutrition and overall health.

Taking care of your teeth is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to feel like it. Getting the right nutrition for your teeth and gums is just like getting the right nutrition for your body. Things you should remember about taking care of your teeth:

  • Wheat, oats, corn and rice have a lot of Vitamin B, which strengthens gums and nerves.
  • Fruits contain a lot of Vitamin C which can help fight off gum disease. You can find Vitamin C in tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits.
  • Green vegetables have a lot of calcium in them, which improves tooth enamel. You can also find calcium in milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • The protein you can find in eggs, fish, beans and meat help the body repair itself and give you healthy gums.

It is also essential to get kids to understand that good nutrition for dental health is important, since good habits for health start at an early age. A good book to get them started on for developing these healthy habits (including taking care of their teeth), is “Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!” A wonderful book set in a Dr. Suessian world, that has the Cat in the Hat leading two children through a world of good health and habits to help them out.  You can find this book in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  (Item # 3549)