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Latest Articles

How to Grow Healthy Kids

Our children’s nutrition is vital to their health and development, both in school and in sports. Teach your kids about healthy choices today to establish healthy habits for tomorrow. Set a good example by involving them in meal planning, introducing them to cooking and portion control and getting active!

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What to Eat During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant you have probably heard the phrase eating for two. It’s true that a pregnant woman's calorie intake grows during pregnancy, but simply doubling your calorie intake is not the solution for you or your baby.

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BANANA SELFIE BOOMERANG

Regardless of whether banana selfies are an effective way to protest racism, banana snacks are undoubtedly an effective way to refuel the body.

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Company Overview

About Us

Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.

Food Facts - S-Z

Jump to: (A-E) (F-K) (L-R) (S-Z)

Selenium

Selenium is a trace element that helps activate the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. The average American gets nearly twice the daily requirement of selenium. Intakes marginally above the upper limit (400mcg/day) can cause “selenosis,” characterized by hair and nail brittleness and loss. Selenium is also needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and may play a role in fertility, especially in men. Preliminary research also suggests that selenium may reduce the risk of lung, liver and prostate cancers, and osteoporosis. Inadequate selenium has also been associated with impaired immune function. Top sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, whole grains, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds. The amount of selenium in vegetables is dependent on the selenium content of the soil.

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Soy

Studies have shown that adding soy to a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, 25 grams of soy protein per day are needed to show significant cholesterol-lowering effects. One-half cup (128g) of raw soybeans has 188 calories and provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, thiamin, and folate, as well as a good source of riboflavin and niacin. In addition, preliminary studies show soy isoflavones such as genistein may help prevent and treat prostate cancer and may reduce breast cancer risk. Soy is versatile as it comes in many different liquid and solid forms, including such foods as soymilk, soy yogurt, soy cheese, tofu and tempeh, which serve as popular meat substitutes in vegetarian diets.

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Spinach

Spinach may be one of the healthiest foods on earth,supporting six body systems: heart, eyes, brain, skin, bones, and immunity.
One and a half cups raw (85g) provides a top source of folate, potassium, and magnesium, as well as an excellent source of manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K. This same serving also provides a good source of iron and has just 20 calories. In addition, spinach is a top source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which may lower risk of cataract development. A Dole Nutrition Institute study found spinach juice to be significantly more nutritious than wheat grass juice. While spinach is very high in calcium, it is also high in oxalates- minerals that interfere with calcium’s bioavailability (i.e., the body's ability to use calcium). However, there's evidence that cooking fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce a food's oxalate content. In addition, Popeye's favorite may help maintain mental sharpness and reduce the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate, according to preliminary research.

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Squash (see also Zucchini)

Squash comes in winter (hard skin) and summer (soft skin) varieties.

Acorn Squash: Acorn is a food supporting heart health, provides 26% of potassium (for lower blood pressure), 36% of fiber (for lower cholesterol), 20% of vitamin B6 (to help regulate homocysteine) and 20% of magnesium (to support proper dilation of blood vessels). An excellent food for athletes, acorn squash provides 20% of daily thiamin, low levels of which may impair sports performance. Try Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apples and Cranberries.

Butternut Squash:Possibly supporting your skin and eyes, Butternut squash provides 460% of daily vitamin A as beta-carotene and 50% of daily vitamin C per serving as well as a top source of anti-aging vitamin E. This nutrient trio supports healthy skin by stimulating collagen turnover and defending epithelial cells against free-radical damage from ultraviolet radiation that can lead to wrinkles and age spots. Butternut gets sweeter and more flavorful with age.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a top squash source of beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene, high levels of which were linked to a 63% lower risk of lung cancer in one Harvard study. A recent British study found that people with the highest intake of beta-cryptoxanthin had half the risk of developing polyarthritis. Try Pumpkin Lasagna and Pumpkin Pineapple Mousse Pie. Don't skip the seeds. An ounce of dried pumpkin seeds provides a quarter of your daily iron needs, 40% of magnesium and 45% of manganese needs.
Spaghetti Squash: Resembling a bright-yellow watermelon with stringy flesh and a mild flavor, spaghetti squash lends itself well to a variety of seasonings. A cooked cup of spaghetti squash has only 40 calories, so savvy weight watchers swap or supplement pasta noodles with spaghetti squash. Deeper color indicates more beta-carotene.

Summer squash: One cup (113g) of raw summer squash (zucchini) is low in calories (just 18) and provides an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as a good source of vitamin B6. In addition, this summer squash is also high in the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which may support eye health.

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Strawberries

Nutrients in strawberries may support your brain and heart Eight medium strawberries (147g) provide more than 150 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin C, and are excellent source of manganese, as well as a good source of fiber, all for 45 calories. In addition, strawberries have good levels of anthocyanins and other polyphenols. UCLA lab researchers found that strawberry extract suppressed proliferation of colon, prostate, and oral cancer cells. Tufts researchers found that strawberry-supplemented diets slowed and even reversed brain decline in animal studies. Another strawberry compound -- C3G -- may help with weight management by regulating appetite and possibly increasing fat metabolism.

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sweetpotatoes

This nutrient-rich tuber is often classified as a yam, but they are actually two different vegetables. Sweet potatoes are more commonly found in supermarkets while true yams are imported only on a limited basis. A medium baked sweet potato (114g) contains over 400 percent of the daily value of vitamin A and more beta-carotene than any other fruit or vegetable. It also provides an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, as well as a good source of potassium, fiber, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6 for just 103 calories.

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Tangerine

A medium tangerine (109g) contains 50 calories and provides an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as a good source of fiber. Among citrus fruits, the tangerine is highest in pectin, a fiber that makes you feel fuller. In fact, University of Buffalo researchers found that pectin consumption reduced caloric intake among the obese. Studies show pectin may also benefit your heart by helping lower blood cholesterol levels. Tangerines also contain more than 170 phytochemicals - including many flavonoids and carotenoids, which may have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects according to lab reasearch. For example, tangerines are a top source of beta-cryptoxanthin, which is linked to lower lung and prostate cancer risk. This carotenoid may also improve joint health. In fact, a recent British study found that people in the top one-third of beta-cryptoxanthin intake were almost half as likely to develop polyarthritis (inflammation that affects at least two or more joint groups) as those in the lowest third.

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tea

Tea is virtually calorie-free, contains less caffeine than coffee and provides a top source of polyphenols. Preliminary research suggests tea may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, promote liver health, and support the immune system. Green tea in particular may boost your metabolism and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and an array of cancers - including lung, prostate and breast cancer according to human pilot studies. Also, drinking tea may affect blood pressure -- possibly reducing hypertension risk by as much as 50%. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that a brewing time of 7 minutes yielded the maximum polyphenol activity.

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Tomato

One medium tomato (148g) provides an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a good source of potassium and vitamin K, for only 35 calories. Lycopene is a tomato carotenoid that may protect against heart disease and may also lower the risk of a range of different cancers, including prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancers in preliminary studies. Eating lycopene-rich tomatoes resulted in 33% more protection against sunburn, according to a University of Manchester study. Bonus: Cooking tomatoes will help you maximize these possible effects because heat releases lycopene from the cell walls, making it more available to the body.

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Turnip

The turnip is a fleshy root vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Depending on age and variety, turnips can be round or shaped like a top, range in diameter from two inches to over a foot, and weigh up to fifty pounds. The most common type of turnip in Europe and North America is mostly white-skinned except for the portion which protrudes above the ground and is purple, red or green in sunlight. The interior flesh is entirely white and has a slightly sweet, peppery flavor and a crisp texture. One medium turnip (122g) has only 34 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition, turnips have significant quantities of glucosinolates, which stimulate detoxification.

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Vegetarianism

Most people associate vegetarianism with abstention from meat, but there are actually many variations:
- Pesco-Vegetarian: Eats plant-based foods, dairy and eggs plus fish, but not other types of meat.
- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: Eats plant-based foods, dairy and eggs, but not meat.
- Lacto-Vegetarian: Eats plant-based foods and dairy products like cheese and milk, but not eggs or meat.
- Vegan: Eats only plant-based foods, not dairy products, eggs, or meat.

Vegetarian diets are generally low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Not surprisingly, research shows vegetarian women weigh less than their carnivorous peers. Blood pressure also seems to be lower in those who chose non-meat protein sources. British researchers found that children with higher IQs were more likely to grow up to be vegetarians. However, vegetarian diets do run the risk of deficiency in the following nutrients, so make sure to get plenty of the plant sources listed.

- Protein: Soy (tofu, tempeh), whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- Iron: Spinach, broccoli, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains, fortified cereals, and brewer's yeast.
- Calcium: Arugula, broccoli, kale, soy and legumes.
- B vitamins: Mushrooms, legumes, oats, beans, and green leafy vegetables. However, vitamin B12 is only found in animal or fortified products so it is recommended that all vegetarians monitor their intake of this nutrient.
- Zinc: Beans, oats, green peas, fortified cereals, and sunflower seeds.

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Vitamins

The 14 essential vitamins can be classified into two groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K, and have many functions, including promoting healthy eyes and bones. The water-soluble vitamins include all the B vitamins, choline and vitamin C. Most of these are involved in essential enzyme systems and energy metabolism. The word “vitamin” was invented by researchers studying beriberi, a disease caused by severe deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamin). The researchers described a compound believed to act as a cure, as a “vital amine” after its chemical characteristics. Make sure you get vitamins from whole foods as taking vitamin supplement pills may pose health risks ranging from toxicity to nutrient displacement.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation found vitamin E pills actually increased LDL (bad) cholesterol in animal studies. A National Institutes of Health "state-of-the-science" panel found insufficient evidence on the benefits and safety of multivitamins/minerals to recommend their regular consumption.

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Watermelon

Watermelon (one medium wedge or 1¾ cups) provides an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as a top source of lycopene for just 80 calories. Lycopene is a colorful carotenoid that may reduce the risk of heart disease and a range of cancers, including prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic as indicated by preliminary research. Eating lycopene-rich tomatoes resulted in 33% more protection against sunburn, according to a University of Manchester study. Bonus: Lab studies show lycopene may also enhance male fertility, while another watermelon compound, the amino acid citrulline, found mostly in the rind, may function as a natural alternative to Viagra.

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Yam

Yams provide an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin B6 and copper. Several studies have shown fiber promotes heart health by reducing levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. In fact, Harvard and University of North Carolina researchers found that each 10 grams of fiber eaten per day (yams provide 3 grams), may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 30 percent. Research also shows that potassium may lower blood pressure levels, and vitamin C may prevent the oxidation of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. While orange sweet potatoes are often sold in your grocery store as a yam, true yams are lighter in color and rarely sold in the U.S., since, among other reasons, they can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds! For information about other tuber varieties click here.

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Zeaxanthin

Zeaxanthin is one of two yellow carotenoids (the other is lutein) found in the eye's retina that are believed to filter out harmful blue light and protect against age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 65. According to USDA researchers, zeaxanthin intake may also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, especially of the lung and breast. Top sources include green leafy vegetables, orange peppers, and corn.

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Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in maintaining and repairing skin. This mineral is vital for normal growth, reproduction, taste and smell, as well as supporting immune function and promoting prostate and eye health. Unfortunately, one-third of Americans over 70 years old are zinc deficient. Top sources include oysters, crab, turkey, beans, oats, green peas, and sunflower seeds. Always favor food sources over supplements. The National Cancer Institute found that men who took more than 100 mg of zinc supplements daily had double the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

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Zucchini

Zucchini is a popular summer squash that can be eaten raw or cooked. One cup (113g) of raw zucchini has just 18 calories and provides an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, and a significant quantity of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. A Harvard study of over 77,000 nurses reported that women over age 45 who got the most lutein and zeaxanthin through their diets had 22% fewer cataract surgeries.

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