Tag Archives: health

Avocado Facts

The avocado, also known as alligator pear, is a fruit that is thought to have originated in South Central Mexico. Recent discovery has shown avocados to have been present in Peru up to 15,000 years ago. Avocados grow on a tree in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. Mexico produces the most avocados with California being the second. Avocados are known for being one of the healthiest superfoods because they are very nutrient-dense healthy fat and are bursting with health benefits. Keep reading to find out why avocados are May’s featured superfood of the month!

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 8.22.16 AM

Benefits of Avocado:

  • high in dietary fiber
  • lowers risk of prostate cancer
  • helps lower cholesterol
  • contains twice the potassium as a banana
  • contains vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin
  • great source of healthy fat
  • stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • can improve eyesight
  • low pesticide levels because of their thick skin
  • helps with weight loss
  • good for sexual health and fertility
  • great for beauty treatments
  • can protect unborn babies
  • may help relieve symptoms of arthritis

Avocados can be transformed and used in various ways. Whether it be in guacamole, spread for toast, or a face mask, the benefits surpass just including them in your diet! Enjoy avocados and the perks that come with this healthy fruit, today!

Link to Ways to Use Avocado


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

Infused Water – What’s In It For You?

If you’ve seen people carrying water bottles around campus that have cut up fruit in them, you know what we’re talking about. While some trends just help you switch up your daily routine, the infused water trend can actually improve your health! But what benefits does putting fruit in your water really have? Don’t worry, we did the research for you!

Basically, infused water combines all of the benefits of eating fruit with the obvious positives of staying hydrated. Adding some new, natural flavors can also make you more motivated to drink water during the day. With summer right around the corner, drinking water is a healthy way to help manage overeating after all of the stress-snacking of finals week. Water also aides your body with digesting food and improves the overall health of your skin. You really can’t go wrong by upping your hydration level!

Certain fruit and herb combinations also provide their own benefits. Ever been asked if you want lemon with your water at a restaurant? What’s your answer? If your typical answer is no, you may want to reconsider. Drinking water with lemon can help your kidneys and improve the pH balance of your body. Lemons are also a great source of Vitamin C, but very few people actually want to sit down and eat a lemon. Adding them to your water is great way to get all the benefits while taming the tangy taste. Green tea and mint combinations are also rumored to cure headaches.

Drinking fruit-infused water is pretty much just like drinking a smoothie! Except with less prep time, easier clean-up and less sugar than a smoothie or sports drink. We found a some other fruit combos to inspire you to try this new trend:

  • Strawberry and Kiwi
  • Orange and Blueberry
  • Mango and Pineapple
  • Lemon and Strawberry
  • Watermelon and Mint
  • Cherry and Lime

As the weather starts to warm up, don’t forget how important it is to drink water. If you’re bored of regular water, try one of the combinations we found or make your own!

Fill out this survey to vote for your favorite infused water combo!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

Understanding Portion Sizes

Article written by Freshman SAND member, Lakin Steedly 

With busy schedules and all day/late night studying, trying to keep a healthy lifestyle can be a struggle. This stressful college life can influence poor sleeping, exercise and eating habits. One of the biggest factors in weight gain or loss (healthy or not), is eating habits. With buffet style dining at most colleges, it can be hard to know just how much to eat. Remember this little trick to make sure that you stay within the portions for the food you eat!

Protein (meat, poultry, fish, tofu) – size of your palm
Fruits and Veggies – Size of a baseball
Frozen Yogurt – size of a tennis ball
Breads – 1 Slice of bread
Cereal – Size of a baseball
Butter – Tip of your thumb
Pancake – Size of a CD

When you have rushed days, try purchasing premade food at a market so you’re not rushing and grabbing more/less than you should. If you are not rushed to eat, take time to sit down and eat your meal with no distractions. This trick makes sure that you’re taking your time to digest and eat your food. Most times in buffet style dining, when we are serving ourselves, we feel the need to finish everything on our plate. If we take the time to eat slowly and digest our food we are able to recognize our bodies feeling full and we can learn just how much our bodies need to satisfy our hunger.

Whether you’re in a college dining hall or your at home making yourself a bowl of cereal, try to remember the little tips that can help you keep a balance of what portion sizes are!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

Strawberry Benefits

Strawberries are April’s superfood of the month! This following article will talk about the health benefits and facts about this powerful little fruit.

Berries are generally known for containing a high nutrition content.  When it comes to fighting off an array of diseases and health problems, few berries can compete with the antioxidant-rich strawberry.  Strawberries are one of the most popular berries in the world and are grown primarily in the U.S., New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Italy, and Canada. There are over six hundred varieties of strawberry, and all of them have the unique appearance of seeds on the outside.  Indulge your taste buds with the sweet taste of strawberries and reap the health benefits. These small, delicious red berries are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, folates, and are low in calories.

Berry Nice Benefits

  • helps strengthen immune system
  • fights free radicals in the body
  • anti-cancer properties
  • boosts bone health
  • lowers blood pressure
  • high in dietary fiber
  • contain ample amount of vitamin B2, B5, B6, K, copper, omega fatty acids, essential fibers and magnesium
  • three or more servings of strawberries decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases.
  • Studies have proven that the acids present in strawberries may whiten teeth

How to Pick the Perfect Strawberry

  • Seek out a bright-red color when looking for strawberries
  • Avoid any dull colors or strawberries that have yellow or green patches, strawberries don’t ripen any further once they have been picked  
  • Your sense of smell will come in handy, when strawberries are ready to eat they give off a flavorful “strawberry” scent 
  • Smaller strawberries are known to have an optimal flavor
  • Ripe strawberries are firm, avoid mushy or soft strawberries
  • If you’re selecting pre-packed strawberries, make sure they aren’t packed too tightly to avoid buying damaged fruit

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

March Superfood: Kale

Kale, the dark green leafy cabbage is March’s featured superfood! Kale is a superfood because it is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet, carrying powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.  Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is related to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Curly kale, or Scots kale, is the most popular type of kale although there are a variety of kale to choose from.  Leaves can be purple or green in color with a curly or smooth shape.

Ways to Prep Kale

Although it may sound silly, there is serious science behind massaging your kale before you eat it.  Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens contain intense disease-fighting phytochemicals, or messengers that deliver antioxidants, hidden in the fibrous stems.   Massaging, chopping or blending kale will break the nutrient-dense cell walls and will release antioxidants that heat can’t perform alone.  Massaging your kale will also soften the fibers of the leaves.

Kale-Friendly Ideas:

  • Blend kale into a smoothie
  • Incorporate kale with your salad greens
  • Bake kale until crisp to make kale chips
  • Wilt kale into your favorite curry
  • Stir kale into your favorite soup

What are the Health Benefits?

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) has 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.   

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDA

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

Sustainability and Food Waste

What is sustainability and food waste?

Sustainability is the study of how systems produce everything it needs for organisms (you and me) and the environment to remain in balance. Sustainability includes three pillars, which includes economic development, social development and environmental protection. The goals of sustainability include ending poverty and hunger, improved standards for education and healthcare, economic growth, and health of the land, air and sea. Food waste is the act of discarding or using food in a non-food that was safe and nutritious for consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States estimates that each year one-third of all food produce is wasted.

How is Miami University Dining contributing to sustainability and reducing food waste?

  1. Miami University Dining utilizes recycling to help protect the environment.
  2. All trays were removed from buffet dining locations. Since our buffet locations are “all-you-can-eat” you have the ability to go back to buffet lines as many times as you like to get more food. By removing trays from all buffet locations, this encourages students and guests to fill up one plate at a time, instead of filling a whole tray.
  3. Dining staff utilizes batch cooking daily during service. This is where staff prep recipes and items prior to service, but do not cook them until they are needed. Once the food is cooked it is policy that it be thrown out after service has ended, regardless of how much is left. If it is not cooked then it can be frozen and saved for later use. By utilizing batch cooking, this allows staff to cook as needed and reduces the amount of produced food items that are thrown out, therefore reducing food waste.

How can you contribute to sustainability and reducing food waste in the dining halls?

  1. When you are dining at a buffet location try to only fill your plate with the amount you will eat. Start with small portions and if you are hungry after eating your first plate you have the ability to go back for seconds, and so on, until you are full and satisfied.
  2. When you are dining at an ala carte location save your leftovers for a later meal, instead of throwing them out.
  3. Be intentional with the items you purchase at markets or grocery stores so that you can help reduce food waste. When shopping at markets or grocery stores look at expiration dates on the items you purchase. Think about if you will be able to eat the products before the expiration date. If not, then reconsider why you want that item and what an alternative could be to reduce food waste.

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

A Healthy Diet Starts Now!

Article Written by Erin Jung, Sophomore and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

College students are notorious for their not-so balanced diets. We tend to reach for fast food, take out, packaged snacks, and microwavable meals. While these items are wonderful for convenience and are found at a reasonable price point, our health can often suffer from our less-than-stellar lifestyle choices.

There are several reasons as to why we should start caring more about which foods we’re fueling up on at this time in our lives. Some choices will have an immediate impact, while others can change the course of our health for years to come. Eating healthy can provide sustained energy over each day, and it can also improve our mood. Farther down the line, the right diet can help prevent a number of different diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, Miami’s dining halls consistently have healthful options available at all times of the day. It can be tempting to fill up on calorie dense-nutrient poor foods, but with a little bit of self-discipline, every student has the potential to put the right foods on our plates for a delicious and balanced meal.

So what are some of these healthy habits that we should be implementing now? Here are some things that all college students should at the very least consider practicing at this stage of life.

Eat a filling breakfast

It’s very cliché, but breakfast indeed is the most important meal of the day. Our brains and bodies require energy in order to take on the day ahead, and the most promising way to supply this energy is by eating a hearty breakfast. Yes, it may be easier just to grab a granola bar on the way to class, but this alone will not keep most students full and focused for very long. An inexpensive yet filling choice is oatmeal, as it’s extremely versatile, and you can add toppings of your choice to make it even tastier.

Say “no” to fast, fried food

While everything is okay in moderation, fried foods do not offer us any substantial nutritional benefits. In fact, lots of people complain about feeling sick or sluggish after eating these kinds of foods. Every once in a while it’s okay, but as we get older, we really need to focus on fueling our bodies with whole, unprocessed foods.

Sticking to water

You’ve all heard it a million times, but there’s a reason why people push the importance of drinking water – our bodies love this stuff! Soda and juice are high in sugar and quite frankly a waste of calories. Get yourself a high-quality, reusable, insulated water bottle to keep your water cold all day. It’s definitely worth the investment—you’ll save so much money by choosing not to buy plastic water bottles each day before class! If you like a sweeter taste to your water, try adding fruits to your water for a healthy alternative. You can find infused waters in Commons locations all across campus.

IMG_5632-min

The key is to start small, implementing one or two of these tips at a time. With consistency and persistence, every college student can start eating better now to set the stage for the future of our health.


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

National Nutrition Month: Improve Your Immune System

Article Written by Sarah Hagedorn, Junior and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

Improving your immune system can start with foods and vitamins you consume in your diet. This article will give you 5 steps in working toward the improvement of your immune system!

Step 1

Start every meal by loading your plate half full of fruits and vegetables.

Step 2

Choose whole grains. Pass up refined grains. What does this mean? Whole grain is 100% untreated grain. This includes foods such as 100% wheat bread, oats, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-wheat tortillas.

These whole grains have more nutrients and vitamins. Plus they can help prevent weight gain because whole grains are digested slower than refined grains (white bread, white rice, bagels). This means less of the bread you love to eat will be stored as fat. Look for 100% whole grains on the label.

Step 3

Choose lots of Vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin C include lemons, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, oranges and many more.

Step 4

Eat healthy fats. All fat is bad right? No! Bad fats include trans and saturated fats. Healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; they are found in olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocados.  Bad fats would be fats found in hamburgers, fries, and other greasy food examples.

Step 5

Drink and eat your calcium. Choose yogurt, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soymilk, or low fat cheese every day.  Calcium is essential for our bodies to consume while we are young. Right now, our diet and physical activity determines how healthy our bones will be in later life.  Think about your bones and pour yourself a glass of milk!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

What’s Wrong with My Typical College Diet?

Article Written by Abby Larson, Junior and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

      The average college lifestyle is not conducive to healthful habits. Erratic schedules, inconsistent sleep, limited budgets, and constant temptations are characteristic of college life added to the already present challenges of a healthy diet.  In this blog I’ll detail some college staples and easy changes to flip the “freshman fifteen” to “freshman fit”.

Pizza

Organization events, Uptown, delivery services… pizza is everywhere for college students.  It’s easy, fast, and delicious.  Pizza varieties tend to be carb- and fat-laden, and deficient in important nutrients. Rather than the greasy, processed variety, try making pizza using whole wheat tortilla or naan bread with tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese, spinach, chicken, and basil. Substitute any other toppings for a pizza that’s just as satisfying without the guilt.

Ramen

Ramen is notoriously simple to make. The flavor pack for the chicken variety contains an alarming 1,820 mg of sodium, and the FDA recommends consuming at most 2,300 mg per day. With a lot of sodium and little other nutritional benefits, ditch the flavor pack for seasonings such as garlic, pepper, or fresh herbs along with vegetables and a protein, like chicken, beef, shrimp, or an egg.  

Ramen frequently takes the form of a midnight meal. The timing of meals is as important as the meal itself. Indulging late at night usually doesn’t involve nutrient-dense foods, and on top of this, these calories are more likely to be stored as fat in your body.

Dining Halls

In dining halls, it’s easy to fill your plate up (maybe two or three times) with all the mac and cheese, fries, and chicken strips that fit.  Doing so can result in overeating certain nutrients like trans-fat or carbohydrates and missing out on others like fiber or vitamins.  Instead, make the most of the meal plan swipe by going in with a plan and filling up on the healthy options. A balanced plate of vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy leads to a more satisfying, and nutritious, experience.

In college, and in life, unhealthy and healthy options are available. By thinking about what you chose to eat and making healthful food choices will help you begin to make lifestyle changes. Preparing food by oneself takes a little more preparation and work but improves the taste and nutritional quality. Ultimately, healthy choices involves lifestyle changes that promote balance and variety. Making small changes can lead to significant improvements.


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

 

March National Nutrition Month

Happy March! And Happy National Nutrition Month!

Did you know the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics puts on a campaign to promote nutrition education and information annually in March? The campaign began in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, but due to popularity it became National Nutrition month in 1980. National Nutrition month promotes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its members, Registered Dietitians, to the public and media as the most credible sources of nutrition information.

Each year National Nutrition Month focuses on a theme to share the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. National Nutrition Month’s 2018 theme is: Go Further with Food! The foods you choose to eat make a difference, whether it is choosing healthy snacks or reducing your portion sizes, in your overall health.

Go Further with Food Tips!

  • Eat Breakfast: start your morning with lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables to jump start your day.
  • Make half your plate fruit and vegetables: they add color, flavor and texture to your plate, plus the added benefits of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal.
  • Watch portion sizes: reducing your portion sizes and eating slowly will increase your satiety cues and allow you to not overeat. Follow the MyPlate guidelines when making your plate
  • Resolve to Reduce Waste
    • Plan meals and snacks based on the foods you have on hand.
    • Get creative with leftovers. Transform them into soups, salads or sandwiches.
    • Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid throwing out excess food.
    • Donate extra foods, that are still safe to eat, to a local food pantry or shelter.

What is Miami Dining doing for National Nutrition Month?

  1. When you are in the dining halls look out for nutrition facts posted near serving lines.
  2. Check out our Nutrition Walls in Garden Commons and Western Dining Commons for nutrition information and pamphlets.
  3. We will be focusing on our March Superfood: Kale! Find Kale at our dining locations and learn more about the benefits of this superfood and how to use it in many different ways!
  4. Follow us on social media! We will be posting nutrition tips, nutrition trivia questions, recipes, dining hall hacks, blog posts from our Registered Dietitians and Dietetic students, and more!
  5. Tag us in your #HealthySelfie Take a picture of your food or your food and you! Tag @MiamiUDining and use the #HealthySelfieMiami to be entered into our National Nutrition Month Raffle!

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining