Tag Archives: National Nutrition Month 2014

Kimchi, the Korean Superfood

Written by Jack Peacock
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

How could anything containing cabbage, radish, garlic, red pepper, onion and ginger not be considered a healthy choice? Those are some of Kimchi’s star ingredients and not only do they offer enormous health benefits on their own but when mixed together and fermented as they are in Kimchi they make this food into what many consider to be worthy of the title superfood.

The fermentation process uses probiotics like lactobacilli which have been found to strengthen the immune system, decrease inflammation as well as help the body keep a healthy digestive system. Kimchi also has been known to boast antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic benefits. Vitamin C, B vitamins, Beta- carotene, calcium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber are also a part of what makes this dish a powerful health promoter.

One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food has found a correlation between asthma sufferers and their kimchi intake using data from the fourth and fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It suggested that there’s an increased risk of asthma associated with low intake of the nutrients that Kimchi provides as one of the staples in the Korean diet.

kimchi in a meal

Image by Jack Peacock

Kimchi, like most fermented foods, comes with an odor that might take some getting used to. It is usually served as a side dish or incorporated into a main dish such as Kimchi fried rice. The taste is that of a refreshing salad and can be spicy. Overall, Kimchi is deliciously different and a great addition to any diet intended to promote health and longevity.





Boweden, J. (2007). The 150 healthiest foods on earth. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Hyesook Kim, Se-Young Oh, Myung-Hee Kang, Ki-Nam Kim, Yuri Kim, Namsoo Chang (2007-2011) Association Between Kimchi Intake and Asthma in Korean Adults: The Fourth and Fifth Korea National Healthand Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17, 172-178.

Kun-Young Park, Ji-Kang Jeong, Young-Eun Lee, James W. Daily III (2014) Health Benefits of Kimchi (Korean Fermented Vegetables) as a Probiotic Food. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17, 6-20.

A Tasty Way to Eat Your Veggies

Written by Jordan Zelenky
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

How many times have you been told to eat two or three servings of vegetables every day? If you’re anything like me, you probably hear that message all the time. Unfortunately, most people just don’t like the taste of those green, leafy veggies.

sliced fruit and spinach

Image by Jordan Zelenky

What’s so special about greens? Take spinach, for example, which is an excellent source of Vitamins K and A, and is very low in fat (Palmer, 2009). All of those benefits are great, but because spinach has such a bland taste, it is often excluded from my meals. I knew I had to start eating spinach because relying on broccoli and carrots to get enough veggies doesn’t provide enough variety, so I thought about adding spinach to smoothies.

blended fruits and veggies drink

Image by Jordan Zelenky

Smoothies are so versatile, which makes them an easy way to add new foods to your diet if you’re unsure about a new food’s texture. The thought of an overwhelming spinach taste in my smoothie made me nervous at first, but after my first try combining the ingredients the flavors were nothing but strawberries, bananas, and soy milk! The spinach blended into the flavors of the fruits perfectly, and I was left with my normal smoothie, just a little more green in color.

To make my smoothie, use 2 large strawberries, ½ ripe banana, a couple of ice cubes, ½ cup of soy milk, and a ¼ cup of spinach. Next, cut up the strawberries and banana, then combine all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse the blender for 30 seconds, but you can adjust that time depending on the thickness you prefer. Try to come up with your own combination of flavors and veggies! I’d love to hear new ideas to mix up my routine ingredients.


Palmer, S. (2009). Spinach Flexes Its Mighty Nutrition Muscle. Environmental Nutrition, 32(3), 8-8.

Better Flavor, Better Savor: Marinara Sauce

Written by Lindsey Wallace
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

Have you ever considered how much money is saved by preparing meals from scratch? Want better flavor and be a better saver for your family? Consider preparing your own marinara sauce.

Save yourself from high sodium and mediocre flavor when buying store bought marinara sauces. Venture to make your own from fresh produce from your local grocer or farmers market.

homemade tomato sauce

Image by Lindsey Wallace

Your marinara will be flavorful and inexpensive compared to store brands. The savings are more than monetary; just 50mg of sodium per serving compared to most store brands of 400mg sodium per serving. Foods low in sodium keeps the heart healthy. Sodium in excess can damage the heart by making the heart work harder to pump blood.

The taste of homemade marinara with fresh ingredients is much more dynamic than store brands. The various herbs, spices, and aromatics are creating the flavor instead of salt. I hope you are up to the adventure of making your own. Enjoy the flavors!
Consider canning your sauce for serving up a quick. Safely canning practices allow you to savor these flavors year round! The recipe below is intended for canning 8 pints of marinara; however the recipe can be adjusted to fit your serving size needs. What’s your favorite meal to serve up your marinara?

how to can tomato sauceIngredients:

Yield: 8 pints

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


AmyZoe (2009, January 9). Canning marinara sauce. Retrieved from

American Heart Association (2014, February 19). Sodium (salt). Retrieved from


Avoiding the Freshman Fifteen

Written by Kelsey Tripp
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

If you are in college, you may be afraid of gaining the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. I often find myself eating chips, cookies, and other tasty snacks, but I later regret those empty calories. Everyone should eat those delicious treats on occasion, but it is important to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. I’ve found that the best defense against unwanted weight is to stock my fridge or cabinet with healthy choices to eat as snacks between meals or late at night.

Some of the foods you can find in my kitchen are the following:

  • Clementines are easy to peel and they are small enough to fit in any book bag if you have a lot of back-to-back classes.
  • Apples and bananas are always my go-to fruits; they are sweet treats any time of the day.
  • Baby carrots are my best defense against late-night study sessions when I just want to munch on chips or candy.
  • Red peppers are one of my favorites and a vegetable you should try! According to the USDA’s National Nutrient Database, red peppers have two times more Vitamin C than oranges.
healthy snack

Image by Kelsey Tripp

Carrots and red pepper are delicious on their own, but you can dip them in hummus or your favorite dressing!

Start a shopping list including your favorite fruits and vegetables to pick up next time you go to a grocery store. When you’re in the produce section, don’t be afraid to explore different foods! What are some other easy, healthy snacks you would include with this list?


National nutrient database. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

Scrumptious Spinach

Written by Deanna Teter
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

Spinach is a veggie many people do not like because of the rep that comes with it; people do not think it tastes good. But, if you are not a fan of how it tastes by itself, it can taste great when you add it to many dishes. It can be added to sandwiches or wraps, omelets, in a dip, in a dish as an appetizer or even as a side dish. Not only does it taste great in recipes but spinach has many benefits and can be good for the body. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that make it a good vegetable to add to your grocery list. Spinach can help maintain bone health, protect eyesight, fight infections, and help keep skin healthy. Now that you know a little more about spinach here is a simple recipe you can try to add spinach to any meal.

Quick and Easy Sauteed Spinach

spinach recipe

Image by Deanna Teter


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1(10 ounce) bag spinach leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat then add spinach and cover.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes then stir in garlic salt and cover for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve.

If you are still not convinced on how spinach can taste great try some of these simple steps to incorporate spinach into your everyday meals:

  • Add spinach to a smoothie
  • Sprinkle spinach on any pasta dish
  • Eat a salad with spinach
  • Add spinach to your pizza
  • Toss spinach into soup

What will you do with spinach?


Basic report: 11457, spinach, raw.(n.d.) Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3214

Quick and easy sautéed spinach (n.d.). Retrieved from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Sauteed-Spinach/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Spinach Health Benefits. (2014, February 20). Retrieved from http://www.newhealthguide.org/Spinach-Health-Benefits.html

What are the health benefits of spinach? (2014, February 2). Retrieved from