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Health

Breakfast: Start Your Day The Right Way

Mornings are often busy and, unless you make time for it, breakfast gets skipped more often than not. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast can do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why you should set aside some time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast.

Energy
Breakfast gets its name from breaking the fast you endure while you sleep. While you are sleeping and your body is at rest, your metabolism slows down. When you wake up in the morning, it kicks back up and you can take advantage of this by eating a healthy breakfast. By doing so, you regulate your metabolism and blood sugar levels and provide your body with the proper fuel for the day.

Healthy Diet
When you skip breakfast, you are less likely to meet the recommended daily intakes for important nutrients. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for the nearest donut or pastry. If you make nutritious breakfast choices, they can help you maintain a healthy diet.

Weight
A healthy breakfast can also help to maintain a steady BMI (body mass index). When you start your day with a well-balanced breakfast, you are less likely to be starving by lunchtime, and thus, will decrease snacking throughout the day.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that eating breakfast helps with weight control. For example, research shows that adolescents who eat breakfast tend to weigh less, while adults who have maintained weight loss tend to be breakfast eaters. It is also believed that when individuals skip breakfast, they are more inclined to overeat at later meals. But remember, skipping breakfast does not necessarily mean you will gain weight.

Mind & Mood
Food energizes the body, and without it, especially in the morning, lethargy and drowsiness may take over. By fueling your body first thing in the morning, you can increase your ability to learn and focus, as well as improve your concentration, whether for school or work. Also, the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids found in healthy breakfast foods have been shown to improve brain functioning.

Eating breakfast can also improve your overall well-being. With increased focus comes increased productivity, making it easier for you to get through your day. And we all know we are often less irritable with a stomach full of healthy and delicious food.

A healthy breakfast may include fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you are looking to lose some weight, watch your portions throughout the day to reduce your caloric intake. Remember, your breakfast can set the tone for the day and motivate you to maintain a healthy diet.

Join the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast six days a week! Breakfast is served until 10:30am and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Vegan Facts & Fiction

Did you know November is World Vegan Month? If you’ve ever thought about becoming vegan, or at least eating less meat and more plant-based foods, there are some important things you need to know before you dive in. These are some common misconceptions about the vegan diet.

X MYTH: Vegans don’t get enough protein.
In actuality, we all pretty much get enough protein. It’s not one of the nutrients we really need to worry about since we have so many sources for it. And a proper vegan diet incorporates plant proteins from sources such as nuts, beans, soy foods, and quinoa. Even athletes, who have particular protein needs, can meet their protein requirement by choosing a variety of plant protein sources.

And although most plant proteins are considered “incomplete” proteins (they don’t have all nine essential amino acids that animal proteins do), as long as you eat a variety of protein sources on a given day, you should be covered.

  • FACT: Vegans never eat meat, fish, dairy, or eggs.
    Strict vegans only eat food from plants. Vegetarians may eat dairy and eggs, vegans don’t eat any animal by-products, including honey. While the reasons may vary (animal welfare concerns, environmental reasons, health/weight loss, wellness beliefs), vegans only consume foods and products made from plants.

X MYTH: Going vegan always leads to weight loss.
Vegan diets may prompt weight loss, but it is not guaranteed. You should still pay attention to the nutritional value of the vegan foods you consume. For example, Oreos and French fries are vegan-friendly, but may not be helpful when it comes to weight loss. You should focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans for an increased fiber intake, which can help you lose weight over time.

  • FACT: You need to supplement a vegan diet.
    Vitamin B12 (critical in cell division and the maintenance of nerve cells) is only found in animal products and not plant foods, which means vegans are susceptible to a deficiency. Vegans should supplement with vitamin B12 pill or fortified cereal. But when it comes to fortified cereal, it is important to read to label to be sure vitamin B12 is covered.

Vegans at risk for falling short on other nutrients (calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids) should meet with a registered dietician who can either suggest how to meet your needs with foods or recommend a quality vegan supplement.

X MYTH: Meat alternatives are healthier than meat.
Unfortunately, many meat alternatives contain lots of sodium, which can increase blood pressure. Ideally, we should be consuming no more than 1500mg of sodium per day (as recommended by the American Heart Association). However, some frozen veggie burgers can contain up to 600mg of sodium per burger. Even more concerning, not all meat impersonators are vegan so be sure to read the fine print.

Vegan or not, we should be choosing whole foods over hyper-processed ones. Vegans should focus on animal-free whole food staples (beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits & veggies) for a nutritious and balanced diet.

Overall Benefits
Aside from the environmental and animal welfare benefits, there are also great health benefits associated with a vegan diet. Studies show that these diets can lower the risk of cancer, most likely due to an increased consumption of antioxidant- and fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes).

Food can be healing as well, and the foods included in a vegan diet are associated with improved blood pressure, reductions in heart disease, and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Not ready to jump in? You can benefit from a more flexible approach. Make it a point to consume less meat and more plant-based foods by adjusting your diet. For example, you can designate a day or two during the week in which you consume vegan friendly meals and snacks.

Have you tried to go vegan? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Did you know our vegetarian sandwiches can be made vegan? Simply let our staff know and we will gladly prepare a vegan friendly meal for you! Visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Food Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing are fun pastimes associated with Halloween. Unfortunately a lot can go wrong if the proper safety measures are not in place. To ensure your children are safe, follow these Halloween food safety tips via FDA.gov:

  • Snacking – Have your children eat a light meal or snack before they head out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they are home and you can inspect their treats before consuming them.
  • Safe Treats – Children should not accept, and especially not eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped. Inspect all candies for any signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Toss anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies – If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen is not present. Seek houses with teal pumpkins on display, as these denote that non-food treats are available. Any home-baked goods he or she may have received should not be consumed.
  • Choking Hazards – These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. If you have very young children, be sure to sort through their bags and remove these choking hazards.

Bobbing For Apples
This classic game has the potential for spreading bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • To reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables, thoroughly rinse them under cool running water. Consider using a produce brush to remove surface dirt as well.
  • New spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper and write an activity on each (ex. do 5 jumping jacks). Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let the children take turns “bobbing” and doing the activity written on the apple. Treat the kids to fresh apples after you are done.

Party At Home

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Stay safe by always serving pasteurized products at your parties.
  • Resist the urge to taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs.
  • Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time – bacteria will creep up on you if you let food sit out too long. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Share your own Halloween food safety tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli before you head out for your Halloween fun! We will have normal store hours for Halloween on Wednesday, October 31 (7:00am-4:00pm; breakfast served until 10:30am). You may also order our food for delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Healthy Tips For Dining Out

There are several reasons for dining out at a restaurant. Whether it’s a new hot spot you’ve had your eye on, for a social gathering, or simply a much-needed break from the kitchen, you deserve a nice night out. And while it is great to treat yourself, it does not mean you have to abandon your diet completely.

Despite hidden calories and large portions, there are ways to create a delicious and healthy restaurant dining experience.

Healthier Choices

  • Just say no to appetizers, which are usually loaded with unnecessary calories. If you want to start with an appetizer, a green salad with dressing on the side is a better option.
  • To prevent overeating, you should aim to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables (and no, potatoes do not count), and the other half with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Skip the sodium-laden soups. Instead, go for a salad, which offers less sodium and more potassium-rich veggies.
  • Restaurant portions are notorious for being oversized, so, if you can, order a lunch portion, box up half of your meal for later, or split an entrée with a friend.
  • As tempting as they may be, bypass the complimentary bread or chips. These fillers will just stuff you with unnecessary and empty calories and carbs.

Salads

  • Choose Darker Greens – Darker greens have more nutrients per serving than the popular romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • Pick A Good Protein – Good protein choices include egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, tuna, beans, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cut The Cheese – You really don’t need the cheese, do you? Skip the excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium that cheese provides.
  • Smart Toppings – Instead of adding crunch from oily, refined flour (crispy wontons, croutons) and salty sodium bombs (olives, bacon), add crisp veggies and fruit to add more texture and flavor. Load up on nutrient-dense toppings such as broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, roasted peppers blueberries, mango, or strawberries.
  • Dress Better – It’s always wise to get the dressing on the side so that you can control how much or how little dressing you use. You may even be able to create your our dressing using oil and vinegar.

Sandwiches

  • Whole Wheat > White Bread – Always a better choice as it provides more nutrients. And please note that “multigrain” may mean more white flour than whole wheat.
  • Avoid Wraps – Unless they are whole grain, skip the wraps (they can have up to as many calories as white bread). Or try a lettuce wrap. You can drop refined grains for whole food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, turn your sandwich into a salad.
  • Craving a sandwich? Opt for a half sandwich, half salad combo. That way, you can get your sandwich fix while taking in more vegetables, too.
  • Smart Sides – When it comes to side dishes, opt for fresh fruit or steamed veggies over chips or bread.

Coffee

  • Choose Nonfat Milk – If you don’t particularly like nonfat, take baby steps and do half nonfat, half 2% milk.
  • Pros & Cons Of Non-Dairy Milk – Soy milk provides around 8g of protein per cup, but depending on the brand, they may have added sugar. Almond milk may have less sugar, but also less protein. Skip the coconut milk as it is low in protein and high in saturated fat.
  • Skip The Whipped Cream – Save yourself from excess calories and saturated fat.
  • Skip The Syrup – Sugar-free syrups may be made with unsafe sweeteners, but if you must, ask for a single pump of regular syrup.
  • Order Brewed Coffee and make your own modifications (one packet of sugar adds about 20 calories.

How do you stay healthy when you dine out? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Packed Lunches Don’t Have To Be Boring

Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy diet, save money, or both, packing lunch is a smart option. However, after a while, you may run out of ideas or grow tired of your lunch routine. You can avoid this by making adjustments here and there. Here are some tips to keep your lunch healthy and exciting.

Salads
Salads are a healthy, easy, and delicious choice for lunch. Greens are very nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. However, salads can get boring day after day if you stick to the same basic ingredients.

An easy way to reinvent your salad is to try a different base. Some great alternatives include massaged kale, baby romaine, cabbage, or bok choy.

Another way to change things up is to look at your protein source. You can either replace it with a new protein, or simply add another to enhance the flavors and textures of your salad. Try tofu, tempeh, shelled edamame, kidney beans, brown rice, chickpeas, or lentils, all of which are excellent plant-based protein sources.

Lastly, your dressing can really make your salad ingredients shine. Instead of reaching for your preferred store-bought variety, make your own. There are plenty of recipes available online, some as simple as oil and vinegar and spices.

Sandwiches
There are plenty of ways to get creative with your sandwiches. For starters, if you use classic white bread for your sandwiches, try using whole grain or sourdough for a change. You can even try pita or other flatbreads to create a pita pocket, gyro or wrap.

Aside from that, you can try different sandwich toppings, or even use last night’s leftovers as a filling. And you can ditch mayo or mustard (or both) for a smear of avocado, hummus, or another flavorful spread. The possibilities are endless.

Snacks
Go for a variety of healthy snacks instead of a main dish. This variety can make you look forward to lunch more so than before. These can also help sustain your energy throughout the day. Try a healthy mix of sweet and savory snacks, from veggies and hummus to easy energy bites and more.

Rethink Meal Prep
Meal prep is a great way to save time and eat healthy, but with repetitive meals, lunchtime can get dull. Rather than ditching meal prep all together, try prepping some basic ingredients and creating meals that vary from day to day. Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations or think outside of the box.

Pack Realistically
Sure, you want to eat a healthy meal, but will a plain kale salad really satisfy your midday hunger? On paper it may sound like a great and healthy meal, but you may be disappointed come lunch time. Consequently, this disappointment may lead you to fall back on unhealthy habits. Instead, heed the aforementioned tips and pack a tasty, healthy lunch you know you will enjoy.

If you need a break from your own lunches, you can join us six days a week for breakfast or lunch. We are located at 105 E. Arrow Highway in Pomona, CA (on the northeast corner of E. Arrow Hwy and Garey Ave – next to Johnny’s).

Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Make Healthier Sandwiches

National Sandwich Month is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the lunchtime favorite. We all know the basic ingredients to a sandwich include bread and protein plus your toppings and condiments of choice. But sometimes, our choice ingredients, although delicious, are not always the healthiest. If you are looking to make a better-for-you sandwich, review these simple healthy sandwich do’s and don’ts.

Do’s

  • Fruits & Veggies

These are often secondary to meat and cheese, but they don’t have to be. Whether you’re adding to your meat and cheese, or making a vegetarian sandwich, you can load up on your favorites. Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant are just some of the many veggies you can add to your sandwich. It may sound taboo, but fruits can add a new flavor and texture to your sandwich. Think thinly sliced pears, apples, watermelon or honeydew to add a slightly sweet touch to an otherwise savory sandwich. However, when you go to restaurants, be wary of their veggie sandwiches. From afar they may seem like a healthy choice, but upon further inspection, they are often loaded with high calorie condiments or excessive cheese portions.

  • Lighter Spread

You might want to rethink your condiments. While your sandwich may contain healthy ingredients, you may be sabotaging it by using high-calorie spreads such as full-fat mayo. Instead, try low-fat mayo or salad dressing, mustard, hummus, or even avocado slices.

  • Lean Protein

Opt for healthier proteins like sliced chicken breast, fish, or turkey, or even canned tuna or salmon. Great plant-based options include tofu, tempeh or lentils.

  • Whole Wheat Bread

Choosing the right bread is crucial. Breads higher in fiber, like whole wheat bread, are nutritious and will help to keep you fuller longer.

  • Downsize

Simply put – make a smaller sandwich. Keep portion sizes in mind and be moderate with toppings. For example, instead of having afoot long sub, opt for half and save the rest for later.

Don’ts

    X Cold Cuts

While prepackaged sandwich meats and cold cuts can save time, they are not the best option for your health. They can be loaded with fats, sodium and preservatives. Fresh slices of cooked chicken, turkey, or seafood are all leaner options.

    X Cheese

Cheese is great and tastes delicious in sandwiches, but they can pack on the fat and calories. Be mindful of cheese portions, opt for low-fat cheeses, or, if you can, ditch it all together. Add more flavor with a smear of hummus or more fruits and vegetables.

    X White Bread

Unfortunately, white bread is filled with preservatives and processed flours and offers very little nutrition. As mentioned, whole wheat and other whole grain breads are better options. You can even try a healthy wrap made of whole grains or skip the bread all together and use lettuce.

    X Grilled Sandwiches

The secret to that delicious grilled, crusty texture is often lots of oils or butter. If you’re looking for a crusty, crunchy texture, choose toasted bread instead.

    X Prepackaged Sandwiches

Avoid these if at all possible. You can’t be sure of their freshness and they are usually made with white bread and cheap meats, cheeses and spreads. In addition, they are loaded with preservatives and sodium. You are better off making yourself a sandwich at home, where you can control the ingredients and portions.

If you don’t have time to make yourself a sandwich, come on down to the Brick and we’ll make your favorite sandwich fresh to order. You can visit us weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm for yummy sandwiches and breakfast food (served until 10:30am). Feel free to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Make Better Salads

As simple as salads seem, sometimes when you make them yourself, they just don’t taste as good as restaurant salads. It’s not you, but it might be your technique. Here are some tips and tricks to perfect your healthy salad-making skills.

  • Always Use Fresh, In-Season Ingredients
    Produce always tastes best at the peak of freshness, which is why a quick trip to the farmer’s market could yield a great batch of salad ingredients.
  • Use A Salad Spinner
    Be sure to wash your greens and get them as dry as possible before starting your salad (the dressing will stick better). The paper towel method can be tedious and time-consuming, but a salad spinner is designed to effectively and efficiently dry your leaves. If you don’t have one already, you may want to consider investing in one.
  • Get Creative With Ingredients
    Lettuce doesn’t always have to be the base of your salad. Get creative and try quinoa or farro or even shredded carrots. In addition, you can change up your toppings. For example, you can try nuts or seeds or roasted veggies. Experiment with ingredients that you like and you just might discover your new favorite salad.
  • Add More Flavor
    Try adding fresh herbs into your salad base or squeeze some fresh lime or lemon juice over the top. And if you like spice, you can try fresh cracked pepper or something bolder like your favorite hot sauce. The possibilities are endless.
  • Balance Textures
    As with most other meals, you want to balance soft and creamy ingredients (ex. avocado, goat cheese) with something crunchy (ex. nuts, croutons). The contrasting textures often work well together.
  • Consider Your Protein
    Before adding your protein, think about the flavors that will complement what you already have. Rather than sticking to safe choices (shredded rotisserie chicken, unseasoned baked chicken), marinate your meat in spices/sauces that will work with your salad.
  • Add Cheese Just Before Eating
    If you’re adding cheese to your salad, be sure to shred or shave it just before you are about to eat. Pre-shredded cheese often dries out easier and loses flavor. By shaving or shredding your cheese just before your meal, you retain the moisture and flavor for a better tasting salad.
  • Want Creamier Salad Dressing?
    Sometimes your store-bought or home-made dressings can be a little on the thin side, causing it to simply slip right off your salad ingredients. When this happens, an easy way to thicken it up is to add some fat-free Greek yogurt. This will also give your dressing a creamier consistency without adding too many calories.
  • Dress Wisely
    While on the topics of dressings, be mindful of your dressing portions. Too much or too little dressing can really mess up a salad. It’s best to err on the lighter side since you can always add more dressing as needed, but you can’t take it away.

If you don’t want to make your salad at home, come on down to the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! With our Mixed Greens salad, you choose the toppings and we do the work. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com for more information on our menu or call 909-596-5225 if you have any questions. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Build A Better Sandwich: Breakfast Edition

As the most important meal of the day, breakfast should be filled with foods that will fuel your morning rather than weigh you down. When it comes to breakfast sandwiches, there’s a thin line between healthy and indulgent. Here are some smart swaps to help you build a better breakfast sandwich. You may begin by choosing one ingredient from each category, or be creative with your combinations. But remember – everything in moderation.

Better Than Bread

  • Whole Wheat Tortilla (Great source of fiber)
    Note: Scan the ingredients list and avoid anything containing white flour, partially hydrogenated oils or added sugars. The increased fiber from whole wheat, sprouted whole grain and brown rice tortillas will leave you feeling full.
  • Portobello Mushroom (Rich in copper, B vitamins, potassium; gluten-free)
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin (Contains fiber, thiamin, manganese, and selenium)
  • Organic Corn Tortilla (Source of folate, niacin, vitamin A, fiber; gluten-free)
  • Swiss Chard (Full of vitamins K, A, C, magnesium; gluten-free)

Lean Protein
Aim for 3-4 ounces of lean protein per sandwich. Choose high-quality proteins (organic, cage-free, omega-3 eggs and poultry; uncured, pasture-raised bacon), and only bean- or lentil-based patties with whole ingredients.

  • Organic Eggs (Good source of protein, vitamins A, D & E, folate, iron, zinc, choline)
  • Uncured/Organic, Free-Range Turkey Sausage (Filled with protein, niacin, selenium)
  • Organic Tofu (Rich in calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, protein)
  • Low-Sodium Black Bean Burger (Enjoy fiber, folate, copper, manganese)
  • Uncured/Organic Pasture-Raised Bacon (Contains protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, niacin)

Fresh Ingredients
Dress up your sandwich with various veggies – the more colorful the better. More color means more phytonutrients, which help protect cells and decrease inflammation.

  • Avocado (Packed with 20+ vitamins and minerals, fiber, heart-healthy fat)
  • Fresh or  Sundried Tomatoes (Full of vitamin C & L, potassium, manganese)
  • Mushrooms (Rich in B vitamins, vitamin D)
  • Sautéed Onions (Excellent source of biotin, manganese, vitamins B6 & C)
  • Red or Green Bell Peppers (Contains vitamins C, B1, B2 & B6, folate)

Tasteful Toppings

  • Healthy does not mean bland. Try these toppings to add another layer of flavor, but be sure to read labels to avoid added sugars.
  • Organic, Grass-Fed Cheddar Cheese  (Provides phosphorus, calcium, protein, vitamin B12)
  • Basil Pesto (Filled with vitamin K, manganese, copper, heart-healthy olive oil)
  • Red Salsa  (Great source of vitamins A & C, iron)
  • Hot Sauce (Get a good amount of vitamins E, A & K, copper)
  • Cilantro (Rich in vitamins K, C & A, choline)

In a time crunch? Pack baked or scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tortilla or English muffin, wrap it with plastic wrap and a freezer bag, and then freeze it. When you’re ready, reheat it in the microwave, add your toppings, and voila! Or if you’re going grain-free, freeze individually baked eggs and reheat as needed. And do your part in cutting down food waste by making use of leftovers and incorporating them into your breakfast sandwich.

Have your own healthy breakfast sandwich tips? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Join us for breakfast six days a week! Our breakfast items are available Monday through Saturday until 10:30am. Explore our breakfast menu here.

National Fresh Fruits & Veggies Month – The Benefits Of Fruit

Since it’s National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, and we discussed the benefits of vegetables last week, it’s only fitting that we move on to fruits. Aside from being delicious and refreshing, fruits offer excellent health benefits. While it is recommended to get 2-3.5 cups of veggies, the daily goal for fruit is 1.5-2 cups. And during summer, this can be relatively easy as a variety of sweet produce is in season.

Here are some great reasons why you should incorporate fruits into your daily diet.

  • Won’t Make You Fat

Fruits contain natural sugars, and while most diet plans often recommend avoiding them, they are not as damaging as high-fructose corn syrup and other added sugars in some foods. This is because the natural sugars in whole fruit are processed differently thanks to the fiber, phytochemicals and micronutrients you are also taking in.

Fiber slows the rate that the natural sugars are released into the bloodstream and also helps to fill you up and aid in weight loss. For low-calorie fruits, opt for blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

The phytochemicals in fruits may also aid in weight loss. A 2016 study found that participants who are the most flavonoids (healthy compounds found in fruits and vegetables) were better able to maintain their weight as they got older. It appeared that anthocyanins (the phytochemicals that give difference berries their color) have the most powerful effect.

Lastly, people with diabetes should incorporate fruits into their diet, but be mindful of portion sizes and count them in their carbohydrate intake.

  • Full Of Nutrients

Fruits are high in fiber and potassium, and most are good sources of vitamins A and C, folate, and a wide variety of phytochemicals.

The Department of Agriculture states that when the recommended amount of fruit is consumed, it contributes 16% of the recommended fiber intake and 17% of the recommended potassium intake, both of which American diets are often low in.

As mentioned, fiber helps weight management, but it can also improve cholesterol levels, and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.

Potassium relaxes blood vessel walls, thus, is important for lowering blood pressure and also helps to offset the negative effects of a high sodium diet.

Remember, the type of fruit you eat and how you consume it makes a difference. You want to eat as many fruits as possible in their whole form (i.e. skin on). The protective skin and the area just beneath it is where the antioxidants are, which are used by the fruit to protect itself from pests. However, if you must, frozen and canned fruits are fine options. Just be sure there are no added sugars and canned fruit is packed in its own juice, not syrup.

  • Good For Your Heart

Fruit intake has been linked to lowering the risk for obesity and high blood pressure, both of which are the main risk factors for heart disease. As an example, trials have shown that by replacing two servings of starchy vegetables or refined carbohydrates with two servings of fruit a day, you can get a 20-25% reduction in risk of heart disease.

And, as discussed, the potassium in fruit helps explain the strong association between increased fruit intake and a lower risk of high blood pressure.

However, it’s not just one nutrient that makes the difference. A 14 year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who consumed the most anthocyanins over time had and 8-12% reduction in the risk for hypertension. These compounds have been shown to improve vascular function by reducing inflammation in the vessels and improving blood flow.

  • Brainpower Boost With Berries

Anthocyanins may also be why fruit (namely, berries) has gained a reputation for keeping your memory sharp. Anthocyanins may play a role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation (both of which can negatively affect brain function and memory). For example, according to a Harvard study from 2012, participants who ate one or more servings of blueberries or two or more servings of strawberries per week delayed cognitive aging by 2.5 years compared to those who ate the fewest berries.

  • Lowers Cancer Risk

The link between high fruit intake and lower body weight can also attribute to the lowered cancer risk. The phytochemicals and nutrients (carotenoids, vitamin C, folate) found in fruit may also affect cancer risk.

According to the latest report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, there is probable evidence that a higher intake of fruit may be protective against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, lung, and stomach. Further evidence also suggests that more fruit may help reduce the risk of pancreatic, liver, and colorectal cancer.

  • Explore More

According to the USDA, apples and bananas are Americans’ favorites. And while these are great fruits, it’s time to branch out and see what other delicious fruits are out there and what kind of benefits they can provide.

Papaya – Rich in vitamin C & Folate and makes a great addition to a tropical fruit salad.

Passion Fruit – Although the rind is tough, it holds sweet-tart pulp and seeds inside that is high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin A.

Plantain – It may look like a banana, but is often eaten cooked. Sauté or bake them without added fat or sugar for a fiber-rich treat.

Persimmon – The flesh of this fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C.

Kumquat – You can eat the entire fruit, skin and all, meaning you’ll get even more of the nutritional benefits (rich in vitamin C).

What do you love about fruits? Which fruits are your favorites? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Join us for breakfast or lunch, weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. We’re located on the northeast corner of Garey Avenue and East Arrow Highway in Pomona (next to Johnny’s).

National Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Month – The Benefits Of Vegetables

Did you know June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month? With the official start of summer just around the corner, we will soon have even more delicious fruits and vegetables to enjoy. As you know, fresh fruits and vegetables boast healthful benefits, but here are a few reasons why you might want to increase your vegetable intake:

  • Do you eat enough vegetables? – Nine out of ten Americans don’t consume an adequate amount of vegetables. At least 2.5 cups a day is good, however, you may want to aim higher and try to cover half your plate with vegetables (and/or fruits). Apply this to all meals and don’t forget that veggies make great snacks, too!
  • Veggies help slash calories – A majority of vegetables are mostly water and average a measly 10-50 calories per serving. Just try to avoid dousing them in dressing, sauce, butter, or oils. A great way to get more veggies is to swap white rice with cauliflower rice or trade pasta for zucchini spirals.
  • Can veggies protect your heart and brain? – Research shows that veggies are efficient in protecting your blood vessels. A recent meta-analysis of up to 20 studies on up to a million people showed that individuals who consumed about 3 cups of vegetables daily had roughly a 30% lower risk of heart disease and stroke in comparison to those who did not.
  • Veggies may lower the risk of breast cancer – Studies lead us to believe that vegetables may help prevent some cancers but not others. For example, a pooled analysis of 20 studies of nearly a million women found that vegetables were not linked to the most common breast tumors (estrogen-positive). In addition, it was noted that the women who ate the most vegetables (at least 14oz/day) had a 15% lower risk of estrogen-negative breast cancer than those who ate only 5 ounces. Because estrogen-negative tumors have lower survival rates, prevention is very important.
  • Veggies may protect your eyes – Many vegetables, namely leafy greens, are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the only carotenoids in the lens and retina. They absorb damaging light and protect against oxidation. More research is necessary, however, a study of about 100,000 individuals conducted over 25 years showed that those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40% lower risk of advanced macular degeneration than those who consumed the least. A similar study reported an 18% lower risk of cataracts in women who ate the most lutein.
  • Veggies add additional potassium – In case you don’t get enough potassium (4700mg/day), vegetables can help you meet the requirement. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and may also make blood vessels less stiff. This may explain why individuals who eat more vegetables have a lower risk of stroke.
  • Leafy greens may help lower your risk of diabetes – More studies are necessary, but magnesium may help with the control of blood sugar. This could be why some studies have shown that people who eat more leafy greens have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Veggies may help to preserve your bones – It may be a bit too early to tell how or if veggies help to keep bones strong, but pooled data on approximately 142,000 Europeans and U.S. residents aged 60 or older who ate no more than one serving of vegetables a day had a 12% higher risk of hip fracture than those who averaged about 2-3 servings.
  • Veggies are delicious – Plain and simple. You can prepare them in various ways, it’s just a matter of finding your preference and increasing your intake.
  • All veggies are good veggies – While some veggies are richer in nutrients than others, they all boast their own individual nutritional benefits. Here are the top veggie sources of these eight different nutrients:
  • Folate: frisee, asparagus, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens
  • Fiber: artichoke, peas, avocado, lima beans, jicama
  • Vitamin C: red bell pepper, broccoli, green bell pepper, green chili pepper, Brussels sprouts
  • Beta-carotene: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, mustard greens, spinach
  • Lutein: spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, radicchio
  • Magnesium: spinach, Swiss chard, lima beans, artichoke, peas
  • Vitamin K: mustard greens, spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens
  • Potassium: sweet potato, lima beans, Swiss chard, spinach, Portobello mushrooms

What are your favorite vegetables and/or veggie recipes? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Get your veggie fix with our Veggie Sandwich, Lentilicious (Vegetarian) Sandwich, or a Mixed Greens salad! Join us weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. For more information, visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com.