Superfoods for Your Health
What's so super about "superfoods"?
Superfoods are a unique group of foods that are especially rich in nutrients that are beneficial to health and well-being. Besides being chock full of healthful nutrients, in order to qualify for superfood status, foods must also be low in the unhealthy stuff - like saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.
These top 3 superfoods easily pass the test and should make regular (and delicious!) appearances in your diet.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 DHA fatty acids. Omega-3 fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease which is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice a week.
Kale, like other dark leafy greens, is bursting with the antioxidant beta carotene and is an excellent source of potassium. Both nutrients play a role in heart health - research suggests that beta carotene may decrease your risk of heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol while potassium helps to lower blood pressure.
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are loaded with fiber which is good news for your heart and blood sugar. Fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol and to keep blood sugar in check. Fiber is also great for weight management because it helps fill you up and keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Take your superfoods to the next level by preparing them with OlivExtra Plus Oil. OlivExtra Plus Oil is a mixture of canola and extra virgin olive oil with the added benefit of an infusion of omega-3 DHA. Because the omega-3 is sourced from seaweed, not fish, it?s also great for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Use OlivExtra Plus to sauté salmon, roast kale, or drizzle in a vinaigrette over a salad with garbanzo beans.
Take the opportunity to do something super for your health today and everyday!
Homemade Salad Dressings are a Better Choice!
November is American Diabetes Month and it's a good idea for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes to include salads that are low in salt and sugar to help with weight management and reduce the amount of carbohydrates in their meals. Salads that are full of nutritious leafy greens and vegetables are a great way to add antioxidants, vitamins and fiber to the diet.
Unfortunately, many people often make the mistake of adding a ton of salt and sugar as well - by dressing their salads with typical store-bought salad dressings. Also, many store-bought dressings contain unwanted preservatives.
Making your own salad dressing allows you to control the ingredients, so you can make all-natural dressings that are full of flavor, not sugar and salt. Make sure you start with a good oil, such as Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil - adding fat to your dressing not only makes it taste better, it also adds health benefits. When your meal contains fat, it is digested and absorbed by the body more slowly, leaving you feeling fuller and more satisfied. The fat will also cause the carbohydrate in your meal to be broken down into sugar more gradually and released into your bloodstream little by little. This can help to keep your blood sugar under control - especially great news for people with insulin-resistance and diabetes.
Homemade salad dressings are really simple to whip up. Start by creating an easy and delicious vinaigrette using Pompeian White Wine Vinegar. It has a fruity bouquet and crisp, clean taste that pairs perfectly with Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. And, add extra flavor with your favorite herbs and spices such as pepper, garlic, dill, basil or tarragon. Blend the ingredients together and drizzle over your favorite salad for a mouth-watering, nutritious dish!
The Flavors of Fall
Fall is officially here and with it comes a crispness in the air, beautifully colored leaves and an abundant harvest of delicious produce.
Try using some of the wonderful vegetables that are in season to create warm, comforting soups - perfect now that the weather is a bit cooler. Check out the Recipe Section on Pompeian's website - it's a great place to go for soup recipes that are bursting with flavor and nutrient-rich vegetables.
The Ginger Carrot Soup with Turmeric-Roasted Almonds is made with carrots and sweet potato - both of which are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body and is important for immune function (think cold and flu season!), healthy skin and eyesight. While this recipe calls for sautéing the ingredients in Pompeian Classic Pure Olive Oil, you may want to try using Pompeian Grapeseed Oil instead. It has a lighter flavor and, like olive oil, is rich in unsaturated fats ("good" fats) and is low in saturated fat ("bad" fats). Whether you use Pompeian Classic Pure Olive Oil or Pompeian Grapeseed Oil, the result will be a delicious, healthful soup that your whole family will love.
The Minestrone Alla Romana Soup is chock-full of vegetables including tomatoes, parsnips and Savoy cabbage. You'll get a boost of vitamin C from all three of these veggies! Vitamin C is involved in white blood cell production and, like vitamin A, also helps to support the immune system. This recipe is perfect for the rich-taste of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil - use it both for sautéing the vegetables as well as drizzling into the soup right before serving for an extra punch of flavor (and good fats!).
Fill your shopping basket (and your belly!) with delicious nutrient-rich produce that will help keep you in tip top shape this fall.
It's Garden Harvest Time!
The summer season is the time to enjoy the abundant variety of delicious, garden-fresh produce that is available locally. Whether you have your own garden or enjoy shopping your local farmers market, you know that nothing beats the flavor of fruits and vegetables picked at their peak freshness and ripeness. Using local produce in your recipes will help you turn a good dish into an exceptional dish. Also, because locally grown produce doesn't have to travel far (sometimes only the distance from your backyard to your table!) and is minimally processed, it actually has greater nutrient retention than produce you'd typically find in the supermarket.
To enhance and let the natural flavor of your garden fresh produce shine through, try using your fruits and veggies in simple, uncomplicated, delicious recipes. Go lighter on vinaigrettes, marinades and sauces by using Pompeian's new White Wine Vinegar. It has a crisp yet delicate taste that blends well with Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and won't overpower your dish.
Try flavorful kale or arugula sprinkled with parmesan cheese and drizzled with lemon, garlic, Pompeian White Wine Vinegar and Pompeian Olive Oil for a delicious nutrient-rich salad. Lighten up a typical potato salad by replacing the mayonnaise with Pompeian White Wine Vinegar and a Pompeian Olive Oil. Try marinating mushrooms and tomatoes in a mixture of Pompeian White Wine Vinegar, Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh basil, garlic and some pepper before grilling or roasting.
Discover the versatility of Pompeian White Wine Vinegar by pairing it with all of the wonderful produce found in your garden or local farmers market.
Can improving your diet be as easy as looking at your plate?
Now it can with the new My Plate Guide to better food choices!
First Lady Michele Obama and the USDA revealed the federal government's new food group symbol last month with the goal of helping people make healthier food choices. MyPlate encourages filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables and pairing it with lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
Although oils are not a food group, because they provide essential nutrients they have been included in USDA recommendations of what to eat. The USDA and MyPlate recommend that most of the fats you eat be monounsaturated (MUFA) or polyunsaturated (PUFA). Oils, such as olive oil
, are the major source of MUFAs and PUFAs in the diet. These types of fats do not raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the blood and are the main source of vitamin E in the typical American diet.
The messages that MyPlate promotes are consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
1. Balance Calories
• Enjoy your food, but eat less
• Avoid oversized portions
2. Foods to Increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
• Make at least half your grains whole grains
3. Foods to Reduce
• Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose
foods with lower numbers
• As an alternative to salt try vinegar
, spices, herbs, garlic and lemon juice to
4. Drink water instead of sugary drinks
Celebrate the Season with Healthy Grilling Tips
Warm weather inspires us to spend as much time as we can outdoors - so why head back inside to cook?
Celebrate and enjoy the season by grilling! Grilling imparts foods with a unique, smoky flavor, and is a super-quick cooking method. Not only are meats and poultry delicious when grilled, but seafood, vegetables and even fruit take on wonderfully rich, complex flavors.
Cooking vegetables on the grill is an amazing way to create delicious vitamin and antioxidant-rich veggies without a lot of fuss. Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash are just a few that work really well on the grill. Cut them up, toss with a great olive oil, such as Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and cook directly on the grill or in a "packet" created out of aluminum foil. Before serving, drizzle with Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar for an extra special, savory flavor.
If you haven't tried grilled fruit, you're missing out on something really exceptional. The grill caramelizes the natural sugar in fruit, bringing out a sweetness that makes it the perfect, healthy summer dessert (and one that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!). Try grilled peaches, plums or pears - cut them in half, brush with Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil and place directly on the grill for 2-3 minutes until tender and golden brown.
You may have heard that cooking animal protein, including fish, on the grill produces potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines). While this is true, there is also an easy way to remedy the problem - marinate it! According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), marinating before grilling can reduce HCA formation by up to 96 percent. Create your own marinades by mixing Pompeian Olive Oils and Vinegars with your favorite fresh herbs and spices or try one of these outstanding recipes Balsamic Honey Mustard Marinade
and Sweet Lime and Blueberry Pomegranate Vinegar Marinade
National Mediterranean Diet Month
The traditional Mediterranean diet is a deliciously flavorful way of eating that focuses on taking the time to enjoy wonderful, fresh, healthy foods with family and friends. Following the Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and may also play a role in reducing other types of chronic diseases.
But what is it about the Mediterranean diet that makes it such a healthful way of eating?
Well, for starters, eating a diet rich in plant-based foods, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts provides an abundance of micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These foods are also high in fiber which can help reduce cholesterol levels and slow digestion, which promotes good blood sugar control and makes your meals more satisfying.
A key feature of the Mediterranean diet is replacing saturated fat ("bad fats" from foods like butter) with unsaturated fats ("good fats"), from foods such as olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado - doing so has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. Try using olive oil as a dip for whole-grain breads, drizzled on a salad or grilled vegetables or tossed into whole-wheat pasta. Extra light tasting olive oil is a great substitute for butter when baking - you're end product will be moist and light, yet will have less saturated fat (1Tbsp of olive oil has 1/3 less saturated fat than 1 Tbsp of butter!). Keep Pompeian Olive Oil in the pantry for great dishes and baked goods!
The Mediterranean diet is not a "diet" that uses deprivation or forbidden foods to produce results. Rather, it is a lifestyle that encourages eating and appreciating good food in addition to being physically active on a regular basis.
Can't wait to incorporate the Mediterranean way of living into your family's everyday lives?
Start with these simple steps from Oldways...
Mediterranean Diet: Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat, has been a key component in the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. This traditional style of eating is full of incredibly delicious flavors and, in addition to olive oil, emphasizes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, wine with meals and small amounts of meat and full-fat milk products. The Mediterranean diet is rich in monounsaturated fat as opposed to saturated fat and has been associated with a low risk of cardiovascular disease.
The principles of the Mediterranean diet fall in line with present day guidelines from both the American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. These highly-respected resources recommend replacing foods high in saturated fat and trans fat with foods rich in unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) in order to help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fat, has only 2g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat and 0g of cholesterol per serving. On the contrary, one serving of butter contains 7g of saturated fat - over three times the amount found in olive oil. Choosing olive oil is an undeniably smart way to help lower the amount of saturated fat you consume.
Pompeian has a diverse array of olive oils with varying flavor intensities and cooking uses that will allow you to incorporate olive oil into your everyday diet. From salads to sauces to marinades and baked goods - Pompeian helps you to emulate a Mediterranean-style diet and allows you to take full advantage of olive oil's superb nutrition profile.
Two Exclusive Olive Oil Blends:
Pompeian OlivExtra® Original and OlivExtra® Plus Oil
OlivExtra and OlivExtra Plus are two exclusive oil blends created by Pompeian to deliver superb consumer value while providing exceptional taste and nutrition. Both oils are made of a precise combination of extra virgin olive oil and canola oil. Because canola oil has a milder flavor than olive oil, OlivExtra and OlivExtra Plus have just the right amount of flavor without being too intense. OlivExtra Plus also has the additional benefit of an infusion of omega-3 DHA.
Consuming fat in your everyday diet is vital to good health. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids (linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid) which your body cannot produce on its own, yet requires to stay healthy and function properly. Fat is necessary for helping you absorb and transport vitamins A, D, E, and K, also known as fat-soluble vitamins, throughout your body. In addition, fat plays a key role in brain development in babies and children.
But not all fats are created equal! In order to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recommend consuming foods rich in unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) instead of foods high in saturated fat. Canola oil, like olive oil, is predominantly made up of unsaturated fats, also known as "good" fats. The OlivExtra and OlivExtra Plus blends that result from mixing these two oils together are rich in unsaturated fats and have only 1g of saturated fat per serving. Like Pompeian's other oils, these products are also cholesterol free and have 0g of trans fat per serving. To learn more about the omega-3 fatty acids found in OlivExtra Plus, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org
Nutritional Secret: Pompeian Vinegars
Pompeian offers a wide variety of outstanding red wine and balsamic vinegars that pair perfectly with Pompeian olive oils and make for superb ingredients in salad dressings, marinades, soups, and sauces. But vinegar isn't just a standout ingredient in your recipes, it's also a nutrition "best kept secret." Vinegar is sodium free yet is a fantastic substitute for salt because of its natural acidity and tanginess. It's also fat free and low in calories (less than 5 per serving!).
Eating less salt is an important goal shared by many Americans and for good reason. On average, the more salt a person eats, the higher their blood pressure will be. While high blood pressure is linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease, keeping blood pressure in good control decreases your risk.
To help lower blood pressure, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recommends that Americans reduce their sodium intake to less than 2,300mg (less than 1500mg for certain at risk populations, see DG for more information). Lowering sodium intake is one of the major objectives of the new Dietary Guidelines which are based on the most recent scientific evidence available. In practical terms, the American Heart Association recommends preparing your food with little or no salt in order to reduce your sodium intake. By using vinegar instead of salt, you can avoid sacrificing flavor for good health.
Not only better-for-you, vinegar does more for your dishes than salt. One of the primary functions of salt is as a flavor enhancer, which is why vinegar is a perfect substitute. Vinegar provides a "salty" flavor without the salt, but also imparts complexity, acidity and tangy flavor, which salt alone cannot do.