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Organic fruits and vegetables have not been proven to be more nutritious for you than traditionally harvested fruits and vegetables. Some have expressed concern that pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables cause adverse health effects, but little evidence supports this. In fact, see just how many fruits and vegetables you would need to consume to even come close to anything that might be harmful. Therefore, organic and traditionally farmed coconut oil are nutritionally similar. Be aware, however, that coconut oil contains a large percentage of saturated fat (it is recommended that <10% of your total calories come from saturated fat) and should be consumed in moderation. Also, oils do not count towards your daily fruit & veggie recommendation. See our nutrition database for the nutritional benefits of coconuts.
 
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage between the joints has been worn down over time, causing pain, discomfort, stiffening and immobility over time. Risk factors include, older age, obesity, being female, joint injuries (such are from sport injuries in the past) and occupations that put a lot of stress on the joints, among others. While osteoarthritis in incurable, there are many treatments, medication, and lifestyle changes that can help ease complications and pain. With your doctor’s approval, getting adequate exercise including light activities (walking, biking or swimming) can improve your endurance and strengthen the muscles around the joint to improve the overall quality of life of those suffering from this disease. Losing weight can also relieve tension and pressure on the joints. Fruits and vegetables are essential to any healthy lifestyle that promotes weight maintenance and loss. Learn what a healthy lifestyle entails in our recent About the Buzz.
 
Red leaf lettuce is often green at the base and red on the tips. Therefore, I would consider it a combination of both. If you are looking to classify it into one of the color groups, I would place it in the green color group (the majority of it is green). Try them with our New Wave Chicken Salad Wraps.
 
First of all, you need to do some research on what your target age is interested in right now and what they are capable to understanding. If you know anyone who has kids of this age group or teaches this age group, they are usually some of the best people to ask. Next, you need to make the video ‘spunky’ with different things to keep their attention. This could include bright colors, music, etc. Since it is only 3 minutes, pick one aspect of fruits and vegetables that you want to talk about. Use our website as a resource—especially the kids area. If you try and teach them a lot of information in 3 minutes, they will get overwhelmed. Also, make sure that the content in your video is appropriate to their learning level. I would not talk about calories with younger children. Instead I would focus on relating how fruits and vegetables are important to things they do everyday. For example, phrases such as, “an orange can give you the energy to run ¾ of a mile,” are easy for them to understand and relate. Also, what I have found to work the best with children is making everything I am teaching them as interactive as possible. You can still do this with a video (think of blue’s clues on Nickelodeon). I hope this helps!
 

My mom always used lots of herbs and spices in her cooking so I grew accustom to my foods having a little extra "zip" in them.  Since this is how I learned to cook, it was how I began to introduce meals to my own family.  I have found that extra touch of spice has turned out to be a blessing in helping to get my family eating (and liking!) their veggies.

I took on my ready-made-family when my kids were 8 so they had already developed definite opinions about what they liked or didn’t.  What made things more difficult was the fact that my mother-in-law didn’t really cook many vegetables, which meant the kids were able to avoid them for the most part.  Most of their meals consisted of pasta, cheese and meat so initially I was at a loss as to how I was going to revamp their eating habits.  I started with some basic stuff–cooking broccoli and adding a low fat cheese sauce or putting out baby carrots and grape tomatoes with low fat ranch dip for snacking.  As I saw them warm up to these options I began to incorporate more veggies into the mix.

I would say the best thing I did when cooking veggies was to saute a variety of them in garlic and olive oil.  The kids absolutely love it!  I started off with onion, broccoli and zucchini, but soon began incorporating quartered Brussels sprouts, asparagus and mushrooms.  The aroma and flavor of the garlic definitely put a different spin on many of the veggies the kids had previously avoided.  My husband disliked any kind of greens (spinach, kale, collards) until I sauteed them in olive oil and garlic and served them with a bit of pasta–now he loves them.

I also try to use different herbs to enhance flavors.  Fresh chopped cilantro is a great addition to home made guacamole–another fav in our house.  In the summer I use fresh basil leaves on sliced tomato and red onion as a side dish.  Just sprinkle a little black pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar to complete the dish.

I encourage you to give my ideas a try or explore some other flavors you might enjoy like cinnamon on acorn squash or a little dill with zucchini.  A recent Insider’s Viewpoint by Meredith Mensinger will provide you with more tasty ideas.  Bottom line is to venture away from the basic salt and pepper combo and don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Registered Dietitians are the best resources for nutrition education. To find a local dietitian visit the American Dietetic Associations website. The USDA has also created an interactive tool for educators, health professionals and the general public to learn about healthy eating habits.  Or try contacting your local extension offices and colleges to learn about what nutrition education programs they may offer. Our Catalog has lots on fun nutrition education materials for all ages—our High School Tear Sheets are a great resource for your students! View our weekly Healthy Menu Idea to see what a balanced daily eating pattern looks like and during the program have your students Pledge to EAT MORE fruits & veggies! Finally, our www.Fruits & Veggies—More Matters.org website has a lot of additional information that might be useful.
 
Potassium is found in many types of meat, milk products, fruits and vegetables. If you are concerned about consuming less potassium in your diet you should chose foods that are low in potassium. Our Best of: Potassium lists fruits and vegetables that contain significant amounts of potassium and should be avoided if you are trying to lower your levels. The daily recommendation for potassium is as follows:
 
Amount of Potassium Needed Daily
Mg of Potassium Daily
Age Group
4,700
Adults and adolescents
4,500
Children 9-12 years old
3,800
Children 4-8 years old
3,000
Children 1-3 years old
 
Virtually all fruits and vegetables contain some potassium. Those fruits and vegetables considered a lower source of potassium include berries, peaches, lemons, cauliflower, lettuce, and cucumbers, to name a few. View the USDA’s complete list of the potassium content in foods. Check with a health professional before deciding to decrease your potassium intake. Many Americans do not meet the daily recommendation and have the opposite needs.
 
Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of nutrients and other beneficial compounds for the body. Many of those nutrients and beneficial compounds (but not all of them) are linked to color.  So if you work to eat a variety of colors each day, you are more likely to provide your body with the best combination of nutrition that it needs. The combination of the nutrients and beneficial compounds in these color groups may prevent different diseases and disorders. Our Health Benefits Document provides a review of the evidence that supports the many benefits of fruits and vegetables, including their link to cancer, diabetes and more.
 
Some varieties of tomatoes are slightly less acidic than others, but this difference is very minimal. Yellow-fruited types tend to be slightly less acidic than the normal red varieties, but not enough to make a huge difference. Therefore, the taste difference should be very minimal as well. Try our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes.
 
Eating your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day MAY help reduce your risk of cancer. Evidence supports the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables role in reducing the risk of cancer. Our Health Benefits Document provides a review of the evidence that supports the many benefits of fruits and vegetables, including their link to cancer.
 
The Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.
Read her full bio123 >>

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