Great Health Tip of the Day: National Egg Day

June 3, 2014

It is time to celebrate the incredible egg on National Egg Day! Eggs are often underappreciated outside of Easter, but they should be celebrated all year as a nutrition powerhouse!Eggs

  • Eggs are a great source of lean protein, with 6 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat (more importantly, only 1.5 grams of saturated fat).
  • Eggs help keep your eyes healthy! They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, important antioxidant nutrients that help reduce your risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Don’t skip the yolks! Many of the important nutrients, like lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and choline, are found in egg yolks, so enjoy up to one yolk per day.
  • Try eggs in new ways! Scramble an egg in rice or pasta, make a breakfast pizza, or look for a great frittata recipe.


Great Health Tip of the Day: Hosting an Allergy Safe Party

May 21, 2014


Food allergies and intolerances are much more common than those of us without allergies and intolerances may be aware; around 4% of adults and 8% of children have food allergies and many more have lactose or gluten intolerance. The next time you plan a party, consider whether or not your guests have food allergies or intolerances. Here are some tips to follow that will help you to hold an allergy safe party.

  • If you are not sure whether your guests have an allergy, make a note on your invitation asking guests to inform you.
  • When preparing food for your party, check each ingredient rather than assuming the food is safe and be careful to ensure that no cross-contamination occurs.
  • If a guest with a food allergy asks to bring a safe dish, respond positively and ask them to bring enough to share.
  • If you are hosting a potluck, ask people ahead of time to bring foods that do not contain those ingredients that are of concern (this is particularly important when you have a guest with a severe food allergy).
  • If food is served buffet style, make sure there is a serving utensil in each dish, so that food is not inadvertently cross-contaminated. If space permits, consider putting allergen-free foods on a separate table. If not, you may want to quietly ask guests with food allergies to serve themselves first.

Do you have other tips to share on holding an allergy safe party?


Great Health Tip of the Day: Waste Less for Earth Day

April 22, 2014

Did you know that roughly 30-40% of food produced in the US is wasted? Not only does this hurt your bank account, but it also has a negative impact on the environment. You can help!

  • Plan ahead. Plan a few meals before you head for the grocery store and make a list of things you need. Stick to the list. Plan meals around items earth_faceyou already have on hand.
  • Take inventory. Check your kitchen before your next shopping trip to avoid buying things you already have.
  • Buy what you need. Only need half a cabbage? Our produce associates would be happy to cut it in half for you.
  • Monitor your produce. Is that spinach starting to look sad? Be sure to cook it up tonight or throw it in the freezer for a future soup or casserole. Soups and smoothies are great ways to consume produce that is past its prime.
  • Save leftovers. Stick them in the fridge or freezer. Be sure to eat them later! Be creative—they can make great soups or additions to omelets.
  • Eat out wisely. Take home leftovers or share an entrée with a friend. At buffets, only take what you will eat. You can always go back for more.


Great Health Tip of the Day: National Garlic Month

April 10, 2014

ripe garlic fruits with green parsley leavesGarlic is often known for its pungent odor and its use in many cuisines around the world. Did you know that garlic might also provide health benefits?

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which gives garlic its distinctive odor and provides antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits. While research is mixed on the actual health benefits, there are some conditions that garlic is possibly effective for treating, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database:

  • High blood pressure—in people with high blood pressure, garlic may help reduce blood pressure by 7-8%
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
  • Colon, rectal, and stomach cancer

The National Cancer Institute does not recommend taking garlic supplements, but recognizes garlic as a vegetable that may have anticancer properties. The World Health Organization’s recommendation for general health promotion in adults is a daily dose of 2-5g of garlic, the equivalent of just one clove.

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

One of my favorite ways to use garlic is to mince garlic and mix with extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, and crushed red pepper for a great bread dip or pasta sauce.

To get the most health benefit from garlic, crush or chop 10-15 minutes before cooking it.

What is your favorite way to use garlic?

National Cancer Institute:
MedLine Plus:

Great Health Tip of the Day: National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

April 2, 2014

Although a lot of people groan at the thought of another PB & J sandwich, I am a PB & J lover. This sandwich isn’t always thought of as a health food, but it can be a great start to a meal. Here’s how:Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich


Skip the white bread and choose 100% whole grain bread. Look for a whole grain as the first ingredient.

Great options: Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat Bread or Prairie Grains Spelt Bread

Peanut Butter

Choose a peanut butter without added oils or sugars.

Great option: Harmons Freshly Ground Peanut Butter


Look for a jam with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving and that has fruit as the first ingredient.
Great options: Stonewall Kitchen brand or Smucker’s Low Sugar line

Great Health Tip of the Day: National Spinach Day

March 26, 2014

You probably already know from Popeye that spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. But do you know why?SpinachBerrySalad

  • 1 cup of cooked spinach provides almost 1000% of your daily vitamin K needs! Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health.
  •  Spinach contains many antioxidant plant nutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Need some fresh ideas on including spinach in your diet?

  • Try a baby spinach and berry salad. Toss baby spinach with fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries and top with slivered almonds and Harmons raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
  • Support Frozen Food Month by purchasing frozen spinach! Thaw and squeeze out all the liquid and add to your favorite pasta sauce.


Great Health Tip of the Day: Frozen Meat and Meat Alternatives

March 19, 2014

Keeping frozen meat or meat alternatives in your freezer can make planning healthy meals a snap. However, not all frozen meats and meat alternatives are created equal when it comes to nutrition. Following a few simple steps can help you to choose a nutritious option:

  • Watch the salt; some meat products are injected with a sodium solution and some meat alternatives also contain a large dose of sodium.DietitiansChoice
    • If you are choosing a food that you won’t be seasoning further, look for one with no more than 350 milligrams of sodium.
    • If you are planning on adding a seasoning, marinade, or sauce that includes salt, choose a meat or meat alternative without added sodium.
  • Choose a product that does not include hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list.
  • Look for the Dietitians Choice label to make it easy to choose a healthy option.

Great Health Tip of the Day: National Artichoke Hearts Day

March 16, 2014

You may have heard by now that March is Frozen Food Month, but you may not know that today is National Artichoke Hearts Day. What more perfect time to try frozen artichokes?

  • One serving (1/3 of the small package) has 5 grams of fiber and a good dose of folate, potassium, and vitamin K.Artichoke
  • Artichokes are great in pasta sauce, in an omelet, or as a pizza or salad topping.
  • Choose frozen fruits and vegetables without added sugar or salt. Check the ingredient list to determine the best options.


Great Health Tip of the Day: Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

March 4, 2014

Though nutrition plays a role in food choices, consumer research has shown that the main reason people purchase one food over another is due to taste. In order to make any lasting dietary changes, it’s important to find nutritious foods that you enjoy eating, because the foods people like most are the ones they will eat most often. Hate broccoli? Don’t waste time (or money!) by trying to force yourself to eat it. Try other vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts. Find new ways of cooking or seasoning foods that make you look forward to eating them, and don’t be afraid to experiment. By finding nutritious foods you enjoy eating, you will make it easier to incorporate them into your daily life.

March is National Nutrition Month, an initiative by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information on how to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” contact one of Harmons’ dietitians.

Great Health Tip of the Day: National Chili Day

February 27, 2014