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health benefits

Healthy Benefits Of Peanut Butter & Jelly

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic American favorite, and with good reason – they’re delicious! While these sandwiches may evoke sweet childhood memories or provide an occasional sweet treat, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches also provide some surprising health benefits. Read more to find out how healthy this yummy sandwich can be.

Protein contributes to healthy muscles, skin, hair, and teeth and plays a role in hormonal function. It also helps to keep blood healthy. A serving of peanut butter (2 tbsp) contains about 8g of protein, and using whole wheat bread can increase your protein intake.

Fiber promotes regularity in digestion and helps control cholesterol levels. It also helps to keep you full longer. Luckily, jelly made from all fruit contains more fiber than other varieties, and peanut butter contains 2g per serving.

Healthy Fats
Did you know peanuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats? Unsaturated fats found in nuts can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. They also help your brain, skin, and even provide an energy boost. Peanut butter can provide some of these benefits, and, in moderation, jelly can be a healthy part of a low-fat and heart-healthy diet.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant found in peanuts and can help protect your body from free-radical damage that contributes to the development of cancer and heart disease. In addition, resveratrol is another antioxidant found in peanuts and peanut butter that has potential to protect you from cancer and heart problems. It also has anti-aging, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, and offers protection for healthy brain function.

Jelly is made with fruit, thus, you increase your vitamin C intake when you consume it. Vitamin C is important for immunity, would healing and the health of your teeth and gums. While jelly contains trace amounts of some B vitamins, peanut butter is good source of several B vitamins, which are necessary for your body to use the energy it gets from the foods you eat. Niacin is one of the B vitamins found in peanut butter, and one serving offers 24% of your daily needs. And adequate intake of niacin could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Another B vitamin found in peanut butter is folate, which helps prevent birth defects in gestating infants.

As a whole, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich contains a few minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Potassium helps to regulate a healthy blood pressure while magnesium and calcium play role in healthy bones. Zinc is important for vision and wound healing, and iron is a necessary nutrient for healthy blood oxygenation.

Did you know August is National Sandwich Month? Share your favorite sandwiches with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Stop by and celebrate National Sandwich Month with your favorite signature sandwiches from the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm & Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. We also offer delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

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

The Importance Of Potassium

Potassium is an important electrolyte and interacts with sodium to perform various functions including balancing fluids and mineral levels within our bodies. It is found within all our cells and its levels are controlled by our kidneys. It is necessary for numerous cellular functions including regulating heartbeat rhythms and nerve impulses, muscle contractions, preventing muscle aches, supporting digestive health and boosting energy levels.

The recommended daily intake of potassium is as follows:

  • Infants 0-12 months: 400-700mg/day
  • Children 1-8 years: 3,000-3,800mg/day
  • Teens 9-18 years: 4,500-4,700mg/day
  • Adults 19 and older: 4,700mg/day
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding: 5,100mg/day

Some people, such as athletes, require even more potassium because of their higher muscle mass. Their bodies rely on effective blood flow to carry nutrients to vital organs, bones and broken-down muscle tissue.

Low levels of potassium can be dangerous and life-threatening. It is estimated that all groups in the U.S. are getting less than the daily recommended amount. The USDA reports that the median intake of potassium by adults in the U.S. is approximately 2800-3300mg for men and 2200-2400mg for women.

People most likely to have low potassium levels include:

  • Those who take diuretics in order to treat high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Anyone who frequently takes laxatives
  • Anyone who has recently had an illness that caused vomiting and diarrhea
  • Those with certain kidney or adrenal gland disorders
  • Alcoholics
  • People with uncontrolled diabetes
  • Athletes who exercise for more than 1-2 hours a day
  • Anyone on a very low-calorie diet

Symptoms of moderately low levels of potassium include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Greater risk for heart disease, especially suffering from a stroke
  • Increased salt/sodium sensitivity
  • Higher risk of kidney stones
  • Fatigue and trouble getting good sleep
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Higher risk for diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Reduced bone formation due to higher levels of calcium being excreted in urine
  • Muscle weakness and spasms
  • Joint Pain

Very low levels of potassium can result in severe potassium deficiency (hypokalemia). Symptoms are serious, and even deadly, and include cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness and glucose intolerance. This condition is usually caused by other factors such as complications due to kidney function, diuretic use, or being very sick and losing fluids.

Low potassium intake causes problems, one of the biggest being that your body is not able to neutralize acids as well. Non-carbonic acids are generated during digestion and metabolism of both plant and animal proteins (meats, dairy, and grains). Potassium balances these acids in order to keep the body at a proper pH, and low potassium can mean the body becomes too acidic.

Fruits and vegetables have built-in acid-neutralizers, but meats, most grains, and other animal foods do not. Because we often have a tendency to eat diets rich in animal proteins and grains and low in fruits and vegetables, more people build up a high amount of acid in the blood. This can result in poor digestion, impaired cognitive abilities, frequently fatigue, lower immunity, poorer heart health and many other potential risks.

Although this maybe alarming, fret not! You can increase your potassium intake naturally from whole, potassium-rich foods.

Potassium-Rich Foods

  • White Beans: 1 cup, cooked = 1,004mg
  • Lima Beans: 1 cup, cooked = 955mg
  • Avocado: 1 whole = 690mg
  • Broccoli: 1 cup, cooked = 458mg
  • Sweet Potato: 1 medium = 438mg
  • Bananas: 1 medium = 422mg
  • Salmon: 3 ounces = 416mg
  • Peas: 1 cup, cooked = 384mg
  • Sardines: 1 can/3.75 grams = 365mg
  • Grapefruit: 1 whole = 354mg
  • Raw Milk: 1 cup = 260mg
  • Grass-Fed Beef: 3 ounces = 237mg

Health Benefits of Potassium

  • Lowers Blood Pressure & Supports Heart Health

Potassium helps to control the electrical activity of the heart that regulates blood pressure, circulation, and heart beat rhythms, and, in combination with other minerals (calcium, magnesium), prevents fluids from building up in cells. A buildup of fluids in cells is what causes elevated blood pressure and can result in heart palpitations, narrowed arteries, scarring and poor circulation. In addition, low potassium can contribute to an irregular heartbeat, chest pains and cardiac arrest when the situation becomes worsened over time.

  • Supports a Healthy Metabolism

Because it is partially responsible for breaking down carbohydrates, in the form of glucose, from the food we eat and turning them into usable energy, potassium is necessary to maintain and even boost metabolism. Potassium also helps the body use amino acids in order to form proteins that build muscle and can help to balance minerals that are important for the growth and maintenance of muscles and bones.

  • Prevents Muscle Spasms and Pain

Potassium helps muscles to relax by balancing fluid levels. Low potassium can result in muscle spasms, cramps, and general pains. It can also cause a breakdown of muscle mass, fatigue, trouble exercising and can even contribute to weight gain.

  • Helps Maintain Bone Health

Potassium forms conjugate anions (ex. citrate) that are converted to bicarbonate. Low potassium levels are associated with reduced bicarbonate precursors that are needed to neutralize acids that are present in commonly eaten foods, especially animal proteins.
Sulfuric acids enter the body in the form of amino acids found in meat, poultry, and other high-protein foods. Because low levels of potassium mean low levels of bicarbonate precursors, bones are not properly buffered from the effects of sulfur-acids and can become demineralized, weak, and porous, increasing the risk for osteoporosis and fractures.

  • Supports The Nervous System

Potassium is involved in thousands of cellular functions and is crucial for nerve impulses and electrical signaling that brain functions rely on. Deficiency can cause fatigue, poor concentration, trouble learning and remembering, mood changes. One of the biggest signs of low potassium is “brain fog” or the inability to focus and keep a clear-headed, upbeat mood.

  • Needed For Proper Digestion

Potassium helps to balance water, fluid, and sodium levels within the digestive tract. Thus, low potassium can contribute to bloating, constipation, or abdominal pain due to fluid buildup which can cause imbalances in minerals. In addition, potassium is partially responsible for balancing the amount of acid in the stomach, healing the gut and keeping the body at the optimal pH level – allowing healthy bacteria to thrive and kill off harmful bacteria.

  • Prevents Kidney Disorders

Thanks to the inverse relationship with calcium, low potassium levels are associated with an increased risk of kidney stones. People prone to kidney stones usually have diets higher in sodium and lower in potassium. When potassium levels are low, more calcium is excreted from the body through urine, which must pass through the kidneys. In many instances, kidney stones are actually calcium deposits. Reducing calcium in the urine is one way to combat painful kidney problems.

Which potassium-rich foods are your favorite? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Whether you’re looking for breakfast or lunch, we’ve got plenty of choices to please your taste buds. Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for your yummy sandwich fix! Join us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

March Is National Nutrition Month

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages individuals young and old to make small, healthier food choices in order to “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

Making healthier choices at home can lead to numerous health benefits. Choose a variety of healthy foods from all food groups to incorporate into your diet and try to limit your intake of junk foods. By taking this proactive step, you can stop preventable, life-style diseases before they start.

Start putting your best fork forward by including more of these foods in your diet:

  • Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange veggies
  • Whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages
  • Protein-rich foods (seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas)
  • Oils (canola, corn, olive, peanut, sunflower, soy)

The key is to start with small steps, slowly adding healthier ingredients while considering your own personal preferences, for a smoother transition. Include your favorite flavors and foods, and remember, everything in moderation.

If you would like help finding a personalized plan that works best for you, you should consult with a registered dietician nutritionist. RDNs can advise you on proper nutrition to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

For a yummy and healthy meal, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. Check out our breakfast menu or come in for one of our signature sandwiches. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Eat More Vegetables This Winter

Seasonal vegetables can provide a much needed change in your kitchen while providing great nutrition. Did you resolve to improve your health this year? Try adding these power foods to your meals this winter.

Whether you love or hate broccoli, its health benefits cannot be denied. Packed with vitamins and minerals, broccoli helps to reduce the probability of serious health issues and refreshes and revitalizes skin, hair, and metabolic rate. Because it is a great source of iron, it can be very beneficial to pregnant women.

Eating it raw or steamed can maximize your nutrient intake. You can also add it to an omelet, or create a wholesome salad with other nutrient rich ingredients.

Of course you’ve heard that carrots are good for your vision, but they are also great sources of fiber and vitamins A, C, E, and K. They can strengthen your immune system and even help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Boil, steam or roast these bad boys for delicious soups or stews. Or enjoy them peeled and raw, with herbed dips or hummus. You can even enjoy them in sweet treats like cakes or muffins.

Versatile and valuable, garlic has antioxidizing properties that help boost your immune and cardiovascular systems. Acne, the common cold, hair loss, blood pressure issues, fatigue, and athlete’s foot can be warded off with regular and consistent consumption of garlic.

Roasted or raw, garlic can be used in nearly any dish as a medicinal herb or culinary spice.

Peas are rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. Their lutein and vitamin A content help vision and vitamin K aids in calcium absorption. Peas also help to reduce depression and slow signs of aging, while improving heart health and your immune system.

Peas are tasty when sautéed with herbs and spices. You can enjoy snow peas or snap peas raw, stir-fried, or in curry form. But be aware that cooking them will cause them to become sweeter.

Turnips are low calorie, a great source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, and are available all winter long. Often overlooked, turnips are yummy and provide excellent health benefits.

Both the root and the tops greens can be useful when cooking stews or mixed with other vegetables. Young turnips can be used in uncooked salads for a slightly sweet taste.

Looking for fun and creative ways to use these winter veggies? Visit our Pinterest page for our favorite recipes, food ideas, and more. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and LinkedIn.

You can visit us in store weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30am-4:30pm. Stop by for a yummy sandwich, fresh salad, or a sweet treat!