Healthy Table Articles
The Inside Scoop On Antioxidants By Dianne Killebrew, MEd, RD, LDN
n antioxidant is a nutrient that occurs naturally in many fruits and
vegetables. To function properly, our bodies need a daily supply of
antioxidants. These disease fighting nutrients are like having an
insurance policy for your body; providing protection for tissues and
when needed, repairing damage that has been done. Some examples
include: vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene.
ursting with vitamins and minerals, winter squash and pumpkins are
good for more than just Halloween jack-o'-lanterns and Thanksgiving
s a life-long Southerner and native Tennessean, buttermilk runs in my
veins. Truthfully, I can speak for myself and possibly many others
when I say that a full day’s menu could feature this beloved beverage
in just about every way, shape, and form. Buttermilk pancakes,
buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and buttermilk pie, all
of which beckons to be washed down with none other than a tall glass
of…you guessed it…buttermilk. While some may turn their noses to the
tanginess, it is this very component that makes buttermilk so
functional. The acid aids in both tenderization and leavening,
resulting in the moistest fried chicken and fluffiest biscuits this
side of the Mason-Dixon. In addition, the intense flavor that
buttermilk exhibits serves as a beautiful contrast to sweeter flavors,
such as mixed berries and honey.
arm fresh popcorn, like all six types of corn, is a whole grain and
originates from a wild grass. The scientific name is zea mays everta,
and it is the only type of corn to actually pop! Most of our nation's
popcorn is grown in the corn belt states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio, but it can be
grown all over the United States.
like to find any reason to celebrate. Whether it’s a birthday, an
anniversary, a half-birthday, a half-anniversary, or a national day of
you name it - I’m celebrating it. When the United Nations declared
last year (2016) as the International Year of Pulses I put on my party hat!
hile salt may be an original ingredient and common kitchen staple, it
is anything but basic. This mighty crystal has the ability to add a
superb burst of flavor to any dish or balance sweetness in a delicious
dessert recipe. Salt is also used for creating firm texture, enhancing
vibrant colors and aiding in food preservation.
o you know of a vitamin that helps your body create new cells? This
is a job so important, especially during pregnancy when our bodies are
making lots of new cells, that low levels of this vitamin can cause
birth defects. Since 1996, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has
required all enriched grain products in the USA to be fortified with
this vitamin. This has helped to reduce the incidence of neural tube
defects (NTDs), a type of severe birth defects.
e all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the
day, but what does this mean to you? Does this mean that grabbing a
honey bun will suffice for breakfast? Building a well-rounded
breakfast is like putting together a puzzle, and the foods you choose
are the puzzle pieces. Individual foods are clustered into food
groups: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. The
combination and kinds of food you choose to eat for breakfast have an
impact on weight control, how quickly you feel hungry, and energy
I’m a millennial who moonlights on weekends as a promoter of goat
cheese! My mission is to entice shoppers to sample this creamy, tangy,
twangy delicacy form of cheese. Goat cheese is incredibly
s pointed out in a recent article written by Stephen Ornes (“What the
Cow Eats”), local grass-fed beef has many economic and environmental
benefits for everyone from local farmers and consumers to local
ecosystems and communities. It is important also note that grass-fed
beef is actually different from grain-fed beef on a nutritional
level. These differences have been examined by many evidence-based
research studies and the findings are consistent. Here’s what you need
ew Years' Eve is not the only time for an "out with the old and in
with the new" concept. Summer is here! Warm weather means more family
picnics, cookouts, and ball games. It's time to throw out the old high
calorie dishes, introduce new ways to spice up the old favorites with
fewer calories, and get in shape with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Grab Your Basket... By Taylor Satterly
hen you think of an egg, the first animal that comes to mind might be
a chicken. The chicken egg is eaten scrambled, fried, poached, boiled
and raw! In the kitchen, the egg is used to bind ingredients, leaven
souffles, thicken custards, emulsify dressings, clarify soups and as a
garnish. This isn’t surprising considering the egg’s natural
versatility and the fact that it is a nutrition powerhouse full of
protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
eat tends to be a center staple at mealtimes, and with the growing
availability of different sources and varieties of meat, a carnivorous
mentality can be hard to break. There are current misconceptions about
vegetarian dishes because people view meatless meals as having
insufficient protein. But it is possible to have hearty,
protein-filled meals that are meatless. Recent studies have
demonstrated that lessening meat consumption in favor of more
vegetarian fare can have many benefits. You can improve your health,
the environment, and even your wallet by swapping meat for plant-based
foods at least once a week.
Collard Greens By Kelsey Cain
ollard greens, a staple of Southern cuisine, are often part of the
classic “meat and three.” “What’s a meat and three?” you ask. You can
find this combo at most traditional southern restaurants: a meat with
three vegetables on the side. Collard greens are often a requested
side item! More...
rowing up in rural Alabama, I enjoyed the Southern harvest each
season produced. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It
brings relief from the stifling summer heat, but more importantly, it
yields fresh muscadine grapes from Meemaw and Pawpaw’s backyard. The
dark purple fruit grows along a woven vine next to their tattered red
ating foods that are full of fiber plays an important role in your
health. So what is fiber? Fiber is a part of plant foods, such as
fruits, vegetables, and grain products. Your body cannot digest fiber -
it can only be broken down by the friendly bacteria living in your
gut. Eating foods high in fiber will greatly benefit your health, and
your body will thank you for it!
I Can Cook Bruschetta! By Anastasiia Smyrnova
t is very rare that I get excited about cooking, but when it comes to
bruschetta - the heavenly and nutritious meal on toast - sign me up!
The word bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta,” not “bruschetta”)
originated in central Italy and simply means a “slice of toasted
bread.” Centuries ago, bruschetta was baked in community ovens on the
outskirts of Italian villages and small towns. After baking, the warm
and crisp bread was rubbed with garlic and dipped into oil. Today’s
version of bruschetta doesn't require a set recipe; it can be modified
and transformed in many different ways - as appetizers, snacks, or
even entrées. Although bruschetta was created as poor villagers’
food, nowadays the popularity of this traditional antipasto comes from
amazing taste, simplicity of preparation, and versatility.
pringtime at the local farmers' markets-the colorful variety of
fruits and vegetables creates a feast for the eyes and a love affair
with your heart. Over the past 30 years or so, researchers have
developed a solid base of science to back up what generations of
mothers preached-eat your fruits and vegetables. Early on, fruits and
vegetables were acclaimed as cancer-fighting foods. There is
compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables not only
lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke, but also plays an
important role in maintaining a healthy weight. More...
Two Takes On MyPlate By Rachel Wall and Noelia Rivera-Gonzalez
ave you heard of the great new way to estimate your nutritional needs?
No, it's not a crazy diet plan or magic pill. All it involves is using a
simple dinner plate. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
recently released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which includes
using your plate to estimate serving sizes.
Apples to Apples By Jamie Fisher
p at the crack of dawn with my apple-picking basket in hand, I
vividly remember running out to meet my grandfather under the old
apple tree in his backyard. After filling my basket to the rim, I
would proudly deliver my morning pickings to my grandmother who was
always waiting by the door with her applesauce press in hand?"
Hold the Salt By Kristin Pardue, Dietetic Intern, Vanderbilt University
ave you heard the phrase, "hold the salt," but never really
understood why salt is so bad for you? I wondered the same thing when
I was growing up. My name is Kristen and I'm a twenty something
health professional who is newly married and starting a career as a
dietitian. Keeping my heart healthy means being physically active
everyday and making smart food choices. I try to consume low sodium
foods and cut the salt when preparing foods by adding more fresh herbs
'm Kristina - a twenty-something health professional - who likes to eat
healthy on a budget. I love shopping at my local farmers' market and
eating fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Eating fresh in the
winter months gets expensive. It makes sense to follow my
grandmothers' good examples and can my favorite local fruits and
veggies this fall for the cold winter months ahead.
An Ode to Roasting By Sarah Kraynak and Courtney Smith
all. The crispness of the air, the anticipation of the leaves
turning, the aroma of root vegetables in the oven. Signifying change
and a turn of pace, fall is the perfect season to try something
new. Fall has more to offer than just apples and pumpkins. Root
vegetables are the jewels of fall. Tossed gently with olive oil and
simply seasoned, these vegetables are best enjoyed in their most
natural state. No need to add more than a touch of salt, as roasting
intensifies flavor like no other preparation method. For this, the act
of roasting holds a special place in our hearts.
Spaghetti Squash By Nancy Childers
ne of my favorite childhood memories are family dinners. Both of my
parents worked, so dinnertime was truly a team effort. My younger
brother and I would pitch in to help my mom cook and set the table,
and when my dad got home from work, we would all sit down together and
enjoy good food, rich conversation, and plenty of laughter. One of our
favorite go-to recipes was spaghetti; because it was so easy and very
kid-friendly. I was much more motivated to help in the kitchen when I
knew spaghetti was on the way! More...
n Tennessee, from June to October, local farms produce tomatoes at
their best. It is the aroma of fresh, ripe tomatoes that transports me
back to my childhood. I grew up in Scotland and spent summers helping
my grandfather in the garden. He was an expert at growing tomatoes,
and my grandmother would encourage me to eat them by sprinkling sugar
on top. But why sugar? Did she think a tomato was a fruit, dessert
worthy?—or is it a vegetable?
Growing up, my family was always on the go. Whether it was school,
sports or volunteer activities it was difficult to prepare dinner. We
valued sitting down as a family around the dinner table and this was
possible with the use of the slow cooker. Believe it or not, the terms
slow cooker and short on time actually go together! A great attribute
about using a slow cooker is the flexibility it offers. You can toss
the ingredients into the slow cooker that morning, cook it all
afternoon, and serve it the same evening.
t's true - there's nothing more satisfying during the summer months than a
frozen, healthy treat. Yes, we said healthy. Summer indulgences don't
have to ruin a beach body! They taste great also. If it doesn't satisfy
your sweet tooth, then what's the point of eating it?
erries are the summer
staple that signal those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of
summer." Fortunately for lovers of these colorful gems,
berries aren't just about flavor. They are bursting with healthy
here is a wide gap between Perugia, Italy, and Nashville, Tennessee,
made up of oceans, miles and time zones, but the gap narrows when the
conversation turns toward food, specifically pizza! Pizza is a dish
for all seasons, and the secret to pizza “made right” is locally grown
Managing Food and Mood By Kristen Pardue - The Dietetic Internship Program at Vanderbilt
ow do you respond to a bad mood or a stressful situation? If you
responded "grab something to eat," then we have something in common!
My name is Kristen and I'm a twenty something health professional who
is newly married and starting a career as a dietitian. Staying
healthy means taking care of myself every day: being active and making
smart food choices. I look for ways to respond to stress that won't
make me feel guilty the next day! Enjoy these tips for managing food
hen you hear the words “man cave,” do images of men gnawing on junk
food, chugging beer and giving each other high fives come to mind? I,
and any other man reading this post, won’t deny that one or all of
those things may occur during a game, but oftentimes our species is a
little more refined outside those few hours. One of those times might
even be at breakfast.
t’s a phone call I anticipate all summer, one that usually occurs
sometime in August when the Louisiana heat is inescapable. Being from
the Bayou State, the only reprieve from the extreme summer heat comes
in the form of a thermostat set to 68 degrees. Comfortable in the air
conditioning, I answer and Meme eagerly says, “They’re ripe—come on
down.” I am willing to sacrifice one pleasure for another: indoor
cooling for the promise of fresh, succulent figs!
ranberry bogs and New Jersey just go together. I grew up in South
Jersey with a cranberry bog in my back yard! These bogs of “red
berries” provided a year-round food source and/or entertainment for my
family. During the spring and summer we’d explore the bogs, and then
we’d harvest the cranberries in the fall. Finally, the freezing temps
of winter turned our “food bogs” into a giant, frozen ice hockey
Got Garlic? By Emily McGovern
Garlic has more purposes than warding off vampires: It was one of the
earliest known foods that humans used to treat and manage diseases; it
was found in Egyptian pyramids and mentioned in ancient texts; and WWI
and WWII soldiers ate garlic to prevent gangrene and rubbed garlic on
wounds as an antiseptic to prevent bacterial infections.. More...
s warm weather approaches, many Tennesseans eagerly await the time
when the farmers' markets will be brimming with what is perhaps
America's favorite berry, the strawberry. Sadly, the growing season
for strawberries in Middle Tennessee is short, lasting only from May
to June. The strawberry's short availability period coincides with the
season for fresh, local greens, from April through June. Combining
these two nutrition stars may seem a little strange at first, but it
is well worth the venture.
he weather is getting warmer and fresh produce is being pulled from
trees, bushes, plants and from the ground. Around this time many of us
join CSAs. If you’re anything like me, this can be an exciting yet
scary time. You’re making a choice to get healthier, to support the
community, or maybe to give yourself a culinary challenge. For those
who might not know, CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.”
It is basically an agreement with a farmer where you purchase a
“share” in a farm, and in return, as a “shareholder,” you receive a
basket or box of whatever produce is harvested from the farm for an
agreed-upon number of weeks. The money you pay for your share goes to
help with the expenses of the farm, including labor and the purchase
of seeds and supplies.
e all have moments where we crave certain foods that we ate growing
up. As the daughter of a Korean mother and a Polish father, I got to
experience elements of these two very different food cultures right
inside our home. When my mom cooked for the family, she would make
Korean soups, marinated meats, and pickled vegetables that we would
eat with rice. When my dad cooked, he would serve kielbasa with
sauerkraut and rustic bread. Although at first glance these cuisines
seem to have very little in common, there was one unique ingredient
that tied them together, and that was fermented cabbage.
Gain Health Benefits by Growing Your Own Nutrition Powerhouse! More...
Ciao, Y’all By Nikki DeAngelis
s an Illinois native who grew up in an Italian American family, you
shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that my first exposure to grits was
in Nashville. Almost every restaurant in Music City has their take on
what I initially considered “polenta with shrimp.” My friends at the
table proceeded to ask me what polenta was. I was shocked to hear that
they had never enjoyed this classic Italian dish, but I think they
were more surprised that I’ve never had grits. More...
ver wonder what small changes you could make to raise a healthier
family? After becoming a parent, I found it more important than ever
to find new and interesting ways to keep my family healthy. One easy
step toward health was to grow my own fresh herbs. Nearly every
kitchen window holds the power to grow an abundance of sweet, savory,
and aromatic herbs to complement any meal and help your family kick
the salt shaker to the curb.
In Defense of the Egg By Lindsay Smith and Sarah Lewis
ver the years, eggs and cholesterol have become intertwined. For this
reason, many people think that eggs and health can't mix. Actually, eggs
are so much more than just a shell full of cholesterol and should be
incorporated into a healthy diet.
Super Easy: Super Foods By Regine Leger and Augusta Hasse
f you are confused by the unending stream of news about the latest
fad nutrition product or cure-all exotic supplement, you are not
alone. Americans spent nearly $27 billion on supplements in 2009,
according to Consumer Reports Magazine.
Gain Health Benefits by Growing Your Own Nutrition Powerhouse! More...
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