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Food for Health

Lovely, when you get to know them

I’ve always had odd eating habits. Up until I was 8 or 9 years old, I would only eat white foods — except for fruit rollups and candy, of course. 
As I’ve grown older I’ve become more adventurous and have expanded my palate in many ways. For example, I tried fish when I was 14, and later sushi, and I loved both. 

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Show the love to quinoa, and get health and flavor

I haven’t always loved quinoa. In fact, the first time I tried it I didn’t like it at all. I was at my friend’s college apartment for dinner, and she suggested taking a whack at using this tricky ingredient. 
We were both excited about the prospect of trying something new, and supposedly very healthy, and jumped right into the task without looking at the directions with a careful eye. 

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For citrus, winter weather wasn’t the problem

On a recent trip to Florida I decided to do an in-depth study on the health of American citrus fruit this season.
I had assumed that the weird weather and heavy snows in the south have had a negative impact on the crop. I was wrong.
Tim Brown is a third-generation farmer, whose family has been growing citrus and other fruits and vegetables in Sarasota for the past 99 years.
The weather this year has been fine, he said. But two diseases have been reducing the amount of sellable fruit.

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Mushrooms deserve second look, for antioxidant qualities

Well, I like mushrooms just fine, and I knew they had selenium, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. I never would have imagined they were anything more than kinda good for you, though; they seem so bland.
Apparently they are the Clark Kent of the nutritional world, however. A paper published in 2012 by the National Institutes of Health calls mushrooms one of the most powerful cancer-fighting tools around, and also says they can help counteract all the negative effects of chemotherapy (nausea, anemia, bone marrow suppression and lowered resistance).

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All together now: Moderation

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

Well, of course it’s frustrating when health experts and people you trust change their opinions about what we should be eating. Why wouldn’t it be?
But on the other hand, perhaps we’re being too literal about how we respond to those recommendations. After all, just because someone tells you kale is beneficial and fights cancer, that doesn’t mean you need to eat it for breakfast every day.

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Persimmons are in stores now, and are fresh and yummy

It would be a lie if I were to tell you that persimmons are a fruit you need to eat. They’re healthy, sure, but what fruit isn’t?
Having said that, one of the nice attractions of the persimmon is that it is one of the few fruits that you can buy fresh in late autumn and winter. It’s like the pomegranate and the clementine. You can’t get them all year long, which is probably a good thing. They’re an exotic treat during the cold months when you’re sick of bananas and apples, but you wouldn’t want to eat them all the time.

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Hard cider is an easy option for the holiday season

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

You don’t need an excuse to drink hard cider these days. It’s the alcohol equivalent of the Mason jar, a drink that’s healthy, hip and actually in some way good for the environment (anything that encourages people to grow more apples is a good thing).
But, yes, hard apple cider is actually a relatively healthy drink, too, and something worth having on hand during the holidays. For one thing, hard ciders are made only with apples so they’re gluten-free (check the label to be sure that no hops have snuck into your brew).

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How to stay warm in this winter wonderland (yuck)

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

People often ask me why I hate winter so much and the answer boils down to, “It’s cold. All the time.”
Not only is it cold outside (and inside) all the time, but I am cold all the time. Some people have bodies that respond to under-70-degree temperatures by generating more body heat. Mine does not. Everyone has a theory about why this is so, but I don’t really care (sorry) what you think about this particular subject. The bottom line is: It’s cold and I’m cold and I don’t like it.

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An apple a day keeps the ... well, you know

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

It’s almost boring to talk about the health benefits of apples. There are so many and the list gets so long. It’s like enumerating the points of beauty of some fabulous icon of gloriousness (Catherine Zeta Jones, perhaps, or Jude Law).
The only way you could possibly not realize that apples are good for you (honestly) is if you just never give any thought to the health benefits of your food.
Nonetheless, this is a health column, so here goes. Apples (and especially their peels) have loads of cancer-fighting antioxidants, including the most powerful one of all, vitamin C.

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Fowl Play? The truth about poultry and salmonella

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

There was a salmonella outbreak reported last week, with tainted chicken pieces traced to a major poultry producer that had delivered meat to stores all over the country.
Whenever something like that happens, I feel an urge to stop eating anything I didn’t grow myself. At this time of year, that would mean I’d have to live pretty much on lettuce and scallions. So instead I decided to do a little research on salmonella and how to protect myself from it (and you as well, dear reader).

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