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It is important for individuals with chronic diverticulitis to consume diets that are high in fiber and have adequate fluid intake. However, some forms of colitis (Ulcertative Colitis and Chron’s disease) require you to minimize your fiber intake. I recommend speaking with your health care provider who can refer you to dietitian to assess your specific recommendations. 
 
It sounds like you could have either one of two problems, curly top virus or early blight. Curly top virus is transmitted by the beet leafhopper. Infected plants turn yellow and stop growing. Upper leaflets roll and develop a purplish color, especially along the veins. Leaves and stems become stiff; fruit ripens prematurely. Early blight produces brown to black, target-like spots on older leaves. If severe, the fungus also attacks stems and fruit. Affected leaves may turn yellow, then drop, leaving the fruit exposed. Visit The University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources page to learn about treatment of these problems and make sure to sign up for our Gardening How-To Guide for more answer to common gardening issues, monthly updates, and more!
 

Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, I’m beginning to see the first signs of local produce stands in my area.  I’m always thrilled with this for two reasons:  A) the produce sold locally is especially fresh and tasty and B) local produce is very budget-friendly , which means I end up trimming my grocery bill.

In most areas of the country where cold weather keeps fresh fruit and vegetables from being grown during the winter months, May is when you’ll find the local farmer’s market, produce stand or orchard offering "fresh from the field" produce again.  At first you may see asparagus, spinach and butter lettuce, but before long strawberries, snow peas and green beans begin to appear.  And this is just the start of the season!  Come summer you’ll be able to select from a wide variety tree fruit (peaches and plums), zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, corn …the list goes on and on.  The point is to take advantage of what your local area has to offer–you’ll find it easier to eat healthy and you’ll see that grocery bill decline.

I find it very easy to plan my meals around fresh, local produce during this season.  My family may have three different fruit or veggie dishes as our main meal.  Here are a few recipes that take advantage of in-season fruits and/or veggies:

So, keep an eye out for those produce stands.  In fact, you can search our Community database to see what fruit and veggie events may be  happening near you.  Or, if you know about something, add it yourself!

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While some fruits and vegetables should be stored in their original package, others should not. Visit our Fruit & Veggie Nutrition Database for specific storage and selection questions for these vegetables. You may also be interested in our Fruit & Veggies Produce Wheel for quick access to all of your selection, storage, and nutrition questions.
 
Not one specific fruit or vegetable does each of these effects, but all fruits and vegetable can promote these! Fruits and veggies are full of fiber and water which promotes healthy digestion as well as many other vitamins, minerals, and compounds which are important in the digestion process. Fruits and vegetables also provide your body with many beneficial compounds to promote a healthy mind and body—including even possibly improving your mood! Leading a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced eating pattern (including lots of fruits and veggies) and exercise has also been shown to increase energy and help you sleep better. Therefore, all fruits and vegetables can have these beneficial effects, plus many more! Check out our weekly healthy menu ideas!
 
The Glycemic Index is a tool that is used to help maintain blood glucose levels. All fruits and vegetables help to control blood sugar levels. It is specifically the fiber in fruits and vegetables that helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels. While fruit does contain sugar, it is natural sugar that is easily digested by the body. While we do not specifically have this information on our website, remember that all fruits and vegetables help to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Read more about ways to control blood sugar levels.
 
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, including kale, the more the merrier! Kale is beneficial to you because it is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and a good source of calcium and potassium. While eating a lot of kale is beneficial to you, it is also important to remember to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables. Each color group has unique beneficial compounds (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.). Therefore, it is important to eat a variety of colors to provide your body with the best combination of these beneficial compounds. Since you love kale so much, try our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Kale!
 
Visit our Fruits & Vegetable Nutrition Database for selection, storage, and nutritional information on specific fruit and vegetables and try our Fruit Salad with Jicama
 

This week we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces in 1862.  For most of us, it serves as an opportunity to celebrate Mexican heritage and history while enjoying the delicious foods Mexico has to offer.  In recent years more and more Mexican restaurants have popped up across the country and it is fairly common to see them packed on May 5th with patrons enjoying such things as fajitas and margaritas.    In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I’d like to share a recipe I use quite often and in a variety of ways–homemade guacamole.

 Aside from the most familiar serving suggestion–as a dip for tortilla chips, I also use this as a spread for sandwiches and as a topping for grilled chicken.  I’ll give you the version I make most often, but you can tweak this recipe to your liking (some may choose to omit the jalapeno pepper or use more/less cilantro).  You might want to check out some other tips for enjoying avocados on our website since they are tasty, filling and versatile!

4 avocados
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 plum tomatoes, seed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I typically use more than this since I love the flavor!)
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

  •  Peel all four avocados and remove the pit.  Mash two into a mixing bowl using a metal or wooden spoon.  Take the remaining two and dice into bite-sized pieces.  Add them to the mashed avocado.
  • Add chopped jalapeno pepper, minced garlic, chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes and chopped cilantro to the avocados.
  • Mix well and add cracked black papper and/or a little salt to taste.

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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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