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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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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 - F-K

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Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet, but both the amount and type of fat makes a significant difference to heart health. High intake of saturated fats and trans fats increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary heart disease. Saturated fats derive mainly from animal sources, such as meat, cheese and other whole milk dairy products. Trans fats are primarily produced through hydrogenation -- a process that turns liquid vegetable oils into solids, such as the shortening and margarine often used in baked goods and snack foods. Fried food and fast food, in general, tend to be high in trans fats. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that total fat intake be kept between 20 to 35% of calories, with most fats coming from sources of "heart-healthy" polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated and trans fats. A recent study from Iowa State University found mono- and polyunsaturated fats help the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K. One of the healthiest polyunsaturated fats is omega-3 fatty acids, which may promote a healthy heart and brain, and may reduce the risk of arthritis. Sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and trout. Sources that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids include olives, olive oil, canola oil, avocado and nuts.

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The two types of dietary fiber, water-soluble and insoluble, act differently in the body and both are beneficial. All fiber-containing foods contain a combination of both types of fiber. Water-soluble fiber - found in oats, beans, apples, carrots and oranges - helps lower cholesterol, while slowing both the rate at which food leaves the stomach as well as the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, keeping you full longer. Insoluble fiber acts to promote regularity. Best sources of insoluble fiber are whole grains like wheat bran and brown rice, and fruits and vegetables such as figs, raspberries, blackberries, broccoli, artichokes, and green peas. Prebiotic fiber, most commonly as polysaccharides - found in plants such as bananas, onions, leeks, garlic, chicory, and artichokes-selectively feed our intestinal defense team. Resistant starch, an indigestible fiber found in bananas, might boost your body’s ability to metabolize fat. Fiber also plays a role in preventing colorectal, prostate and breast cancers. Higher fiber intake may lessen the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, about 50% of adult men and women do not get enough fiber.

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Figs are amethyst colored outside, with flesh that looks like the cavity of a rose-quartz geode. Three fresh medium figs (150g) provide a good source of heart-healthy fiber plus some iron, calcium, and potassium, all for a mere 110 calories. Figs also contain one of the highest quantities of polyphenols, which may act as free radical inhibitors, thus supporting healthy aging. Chinese lab scientists have shown some of the fig compounds are highly toxic toward certain human cancer cell lines (brain and liver) without being toxic to healthy normal tissue. It’s possible the fig compounds signal cancer cells to self-destruct, a process called apoptosis.

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Flavonoids are a class of phytochemicals which lab research shows may have antioxidant, antiviral, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Most brightly colored fruits and vegetables supply flavonoids.

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The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in flaxseed may help lower cholesterol levels. Flaxseed has the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid -- an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. Flaxseed also contains lignans, a type of fiber which shows particular promise in lab research for battling breast cancer. Lignans may counter the effects of estrogen, which over time seems to increase breast cancer risk in some women.

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Folic acid (or folate) is a vitamin belonging to the B-complex family and is particularly important for pregnant women in protecting against birth defects, including neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Folate deficiency has also been linked to depression, osteoporosis, and increased colorectal cancer risk. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to increased risk of fractures - as well as cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. However, excessive folate supplementation may actually increase replication of colorectal precancerous cells in lab research. Top natural sources include beans, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, chicory, oranges and papaya.

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Free radicals are chemically unstable molecules that have a normal, possibly antimicrobial role, but in excessive amounts, may cause cell damage that lead to heart disease and cancer. Stress, smoking, metabolizing a rich meal and over-exposure to the sun may cause an excess of free radicals. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing their oxidative damage .

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Six cloves of garlic (18g) have 27 calories and provide a good source of vitamin B6 and manganese. Nicknamed the "stinking rose," many studies have shown that garlic provides several potential health effects attributed to its numerous organosulfur compounds, such as allyl sulfides. Studies show allyl sulfides may stimulate the body's natural enzyme systems, which may explain garlic's possible activity against prostate, stomach, esophageal and breast cancers in lab studies. Research indicates that garlic consumption may also support a healthy immune system by increasing the activity of white blood cells and T-helper cells that are integral to a robust immune response.

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Glucosinolates are a group of sulfur-rich phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Two of the most researched glucosinolate metabolites include indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane. Preliminary studies indicate that indole-3-carbinol may be effective in models of estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University speculated that sulforaphane may prompt the body's own natural enzyme systems and so may act against a variety of cancers, including breast and stomach cancers.

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Think the "grapefruit diet" belongs to weight loss folklore? Think again. Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Many subjects lost more than 10 pounds in the study. Grapefruit's low calorie count (60 calories per 1/2 grapefruit) combined with its high fiber and water content may explain these weight loss benefits. While all grapefruit are high in vitamin C, the pink and red varieties are also an excellent source of vitamin A and supply a significant quantity of lycopene - a compound that may influence the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. Eating lycopene-rich fruit resulted in 33% more protection against sunburn, according to a preliminary University of Manchester study. Grapefruits are also loaded with other phytochemicals, such as limonoids which may reduce the risk of cancer by stimulating the body's natural detoxification enzymes. Keep in mind that a phytochemical found in grapefruit, naringenin, can affect how some medications are absorbed in the intestine - and may actually raise drug levels in blood. Consult your physician if you are taking prescribed medications and frequently consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

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A serving of grapes (1 1/2 cups, 138g) has 90 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin K. Grapes also supply an abundance of polyphenols such as resveratrol and pterostilbene, which several lab studies have shown may lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Grapes' nutrients may also boost brain power. USDA research demonstrates significantly improved short-term memory, coordination and balance in animals as a benefit of grape juice consumption.

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A three-fourths cup serving of green beans (83g) provides a good source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K for only 26 calories. Green beans also supply a significant quantity of the phytochemicals quercetin, beta-carotene and lutein. A green bean is actually an immature legume and not a vegetable. Add some variety to your vegetable platter and enjoy raw or blanched green beans as a crunchy snack.

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Go for guava! Just one pink-fleshed guava fruit (55g) and provides about 80 percent more vitamin C than an orange for only 37 calories. Both the pink and white-fleshed guava scored in the USDA’s top 10 list of polyphenols in fruit and vegetables tested, the pinks had a higher score, probably thanks to its high lycopene content. Pink-fleshed guava, gram-for-gram, also has more lycopene than watermelon and even tomato, making it possibly healthy for your prostate. Eating lycopene-rich guava may offer protection against sunburn. A study from the Heart Research Laboratory in India demonstrated that people who ate 5 to 9 guavas a day for three months reduced their cholesterol levels by 10%, triglycerides by 8% and blood pressure by 9.0/8.0 mm Hg, while boosting their good cholesterol (HDL) by 8%.

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A 3/4-cup serving of diced honeydew melon (50 calories and 134g) provides 45% of your daily vitamin C. This same serving also supplies a decent amount of potassium (9% of the Daily Value). A ripe honeydew (choose one that gives off a sweet aroma) is the sweetest of all the melons.

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Iron supports the formation of hemoglobin, a blood protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Fifteen percent of pre-menopausal women fall short on iron while pregnant women and toddlers are also at high risk of a deficiency, which may manifest in a lack of energy, difficulty in maintaining body temperature, and impaired immune response. Among pregnant women, iron deficiency may result in premature deliveries and low birth weights. A study from the University of Rochester demonstrated significantly higher prevalence of iron deficiency in obese children, demonstrating the link between nutrition deficiencies and obesity. Although many different foods contain iron, animal derived sources are more easily absorbed than plant sources. Because of the low-absorption rate of plant-derived iron, vegetarians have higher iron Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). Vitamin C-rich foods enhance iron absorption when eaten with iron-rich plants. Tannins, found in coffee and tea, interfere with iron absorption. Some of the best animal sources for dietary iron include: cooked clams, lean beef, and dark meat turkey. The best plant-derived sources include: cooked spinach, green peas, dried figs and apricots, and beans (kidney, garbanzo and soy).

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At 90% water, 1/2 cup sliced jicama (65g) contains only 23 calories, is high in vitamin C, and is a good source of fiber. It can be eaten raw or cooked and adds crunch to salads.

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Vitamin K is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and E are the others). The "K" is derived from the German word "koagulation", which means "blood clotting." Vitamin K plays a major biological role because it enables the liver to manufacture prothrombin and other proteins that bind calcium and are necessary for blood clotting and bone crystal formation. Vitamin K has been linked to bone health and a reduced risk of bone fractures. The Framingham Heart Study found male and female seniors with a dietary intake of 250 micrograms of vitamin K per day had a 65% lower risk of hip fractures than those with an intake of 50mcg/day (adequate intake is 120mcg for men, 90mcg for women. Other research suggests vitamin K may play a role in inhibiting the growth of tumors. Some of the best sources of vitamin K include kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and chicory. The bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract also make some vitamin K.

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At only 36 calories per cup (cooked, 130g), kale provides over 1300% of your vitamin K needs and over 94 mg of calcium (9.4% of the Daily Value), making it a healthy food for your bones. This same serving provides 350% of your vitamin A needs, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of fiber and copper. Like other cruciferous vegetables, kale supplies an abundance of glucosinolates, such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Lab studies show I3C may lower levels of harmful estrogens that may promote cancer growth in hormone-sensitive cells, such as breast cells. Kale is also a top source of eye healthy carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

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Kiwi fruit originally came from China and were introduced to New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century. Containing over twice the Daily Value of vitamin C, two medium kiwis (148g) serve as an excellent source vitamin K, and provide a good source of fiber and potassium. This combination of vitamin C and fiber (to regulate cholesterol) plus potassium (to manage blood pressure) make this fruit particularly heart healthy. Norwegian researchers found eating two to three kiwis a day can significantly lower blood clot risk. Kiwis also contain the enzyme actinidin, making pureed kiwi an excellent ingredient in fruity marinades. Cut them up into fruit salads, or toss one in a blender with ice, banana, mango, nonfat yogurt and pomegranate juice for a delicious smoothie.

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Gold and good fortune may be in your future if you eat a kumquat -- or so believed the ancient Chinese for whom the kumquat tree was a sacred symbol of the Chinese lunar New Year. The kumquat fruit is similar to a tiny, thumb-sized orange in flavor and appearance. However, kumquats are not classified botanically as citrus fruits. Unlike other citrus fruits, you can pop a whole kumquat into your mouth to eat, skin and all. Just two of these small delights (38g) provide an excellent source of vitamin C plus a good source of fiber for only 27 calories.

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