Eye health is an often-overlooked issue (no pun intended) until something happens to impact or change vision. Loss of vision is a substantial health challenge with significant impacts on quality of life, and the most common diseases have a long, slow development timeline, leaving many not realizing they are headed for vision issues. Nutrition has been a target for research and consumer interest in this field. Research shows some important nutrient roles in maximizing vision functions, but connecting specific nutrients to specific roles in prevention and management of vision issues has been more challenging than expected.
The good news is that we can connect recommendations for eating more produce, managing blood pressure and blood sugar, and enjoying foods that are part of a Mediterranean style of eating to reduced likelihood of chronic vision challenges such as cataracts, macular degeneration, or glaucoma. There is a significant linkage between ensuring heart and artery health is maintained, because all nutrients that have a relationship with protecting vision also need to reach those tissues via a strong cardiovascular system.
Orange flags produce that offers significant amounts of Vitamin A, essential to ensuring eyes can see light and color – carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and apricots are on the menu for this critical nutrient. Vitamin A also protects against dry eye and has a role in the quality of tears. Antioxidant Vitamin C, found in red peppers, oranges, strawberries, and more, has been correlated with prevention or delay of macular degeneration.
Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids also have roles in eye health, along with bioactive compounds lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in leafy greens, tomatoes and eggs, and are critical to the health of the macula, which is the center of vision function in the eyes. Most of these vitamins and compounds are fat-soluble, meaning they need some healthy fats in food to be absorbed well, which opens the door for delicious foods like avocado, nuts, seafood and olive oil – hopefully, they were all on your grocery list already!
Supplements also have some supportive data and are most beneficial for those with macular degeneration or at risk for it. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 found supplements with specific amounts of the vitamins highlighted have positive benefits when used in conjunction with recommendations from your health care provider. Learn more about that here Vitamins for AMD – American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org).
Bottom line – plant-forward, nutrient-rich foods are important to eye and overall health throughout your life. Enjoy them as part of your vision of a healthy future!
The month of July has so much to offer. The weather is beautiful, school is out, and everywhere we look there are barbecues and picnics. It only makes sense that National Grilling Month is celebrated for the entirety of this month! When we think of firing up the grill, hot dogs and hamburgers are most likely the first thing to come to mind. However, there are actually an array of items that can be grilled. Some may even surprise you. Let’s take a look below!
Watermelon: Grilling watermelon is actually quite simple. If you are new to the whole “grilling fruit” idea, then you are in for a treat. Picture the juicy sweetness of watermelon with a smoky flavor. It is quite the combination. The watermelon should be cut into wedges and placed on a heated grill for two to three minutes. Some people may add sugar or spices, or just eat it plain.
Pineapple: Grilled pineapple is a must-try this summer. They can be cut in rings, wedges, or cubes. Many people brush the pineapple in butter and/or brown sugar, but that is optional. Lightly oil the grate and cook pineapple for two to three minutes.
Bananas: If you are a banana-lover, then you are in for a serious treat! To grill bananas, slice them down the middle with the peel intact. Place the cut-side of the banana on the grill and wait to see grill marks (should only be about two minutes). An option here is to sprinkle on sugar or honey. Using tongs, flip the bananas over for five more minutes, or until the peel starts to pull away. This is best served with vanilla ice cream. Speaking of, Price Chopper and Market 32 have a new line of PICS Pint Ice Cream! Check them out here.
Tofu: Looking to change up the way you eat tofu? Look no further! Grilled, seasoned tofu is a delicious summertime meal. You will want to buy firm or extra firm tofu, not soft. Press the excess liquid from the tofu prior to placing it on the grill, and make sure you oil the grill so the tofu does not stick. Cut tofu, paint with your marinade of choice, and then throw on the grill for two to three minutes each side. There you have it – Quick, easy, and anything but boring!
Pizza: If you have never grilled pizza before, then stop what you are doing and read this! Place the plain, formed dough on a cookie sheet and gently slide it onto the heated grill. The key here is to grill the dough on both sides, and then remove from the grill. Once you notice it starts to brown on one side, use tongs to flip. Once both sides are browned, let the crust cool on a rack for a few minutes to two hours. When you are ready, add your toppings and place back on the grill for two to three minutes.
Be sure to browse all-things grilling below for more traditional barbecue food!
January rings in the New Year and inspires us to evaluate targets and goals that will bring positive results to our lives. There is one change that would bring more wellbeing benefit to more people than almost any other – eating more fruits and vegetables! Only one in ten Americans eats enough to meet daily guidelines for health. We also see shoppers are seeking more organic items for many reasons, particularly because they know that since 2002, organic items meet strict USDA certification standards.
The USDA certification offers production insights and confidence to shoppers. As quoted in Food Insight’s “What is Organic” article, USDA notes that “organic products must be produced using agricultural production practices that foster resource cycling, promote ecological balance, maintain and improve soil and water quality, minimize the use of synthetic materials, and conserve biodiversity.” This is right in line with shopper aspirations to eat more mindfully, consider production impact and sustainability along with taste and health value.
You can always find high quality produce, proteins, and grocery items in our stores, including a huge selection of organic items. To help you enjoy more, now through January 28th, earn 3X AdvantEdge Rewards points on organic purchases that can help families bring more benefits to your table.
Organic product tags on our website can help you select organic items for pickup or delivery and explore products across our site that fuel your wellness routine. Check out our weekly flyer each week this month and look for our special organic shelf tags to find out which simple, seasonal organic items are ready for you to enjoy!
Happy New Year!
home.grown. The Perfect Pumpkins - We Have 'em Here!
Happy pumpkin season! Now is the perfect time to have a friendly pumpkin carving competition with friends and family or decorating the house with mini pumpkins and gourds. At Price Chopper and Market 32, we are proud to source all our pumpkins from local farms in our region each season. We get our pumpkins from many of the same farms who supply us with favorites like sweet corn and tomatoes in the summertime. Additionally, we also source our hard squashes, gourds, and ornamentals from local farms here in the Northeast during the fall. Find out below which farmers we are highlighting this pumpkin picking season!
Reeves Farms, Baldwinsville NY
Reeves Farms has been a partner for over 30 years, growing everything from organic zucchini to pie pumpkins. By using sustainable farming methods, Reeves Farms is proud to offer fresh berries and vegetables as well. Be sure to grab some fresh produce before heading to the pumpkin patch!
AJ Farms, Melrose NY
The Wertman Family Farm began in Colonie, NY four generations ago. As the business started to prosper, the family decided to move to Melrose, NY where much more farmland is present. Not only do they have fresh produce and stunning flowers, but they are also experts in growing pumpkins and hard squashes.
Hoover’s Produce, Port Trevorton PA
Hoover’s Produce are Pennsylvania pumpkin professionals, and we are proud to have been a partner for over 25 years! They have an array of pumpkins for carving and decoration that are perfect for this pumpkin season.
Plainville Farm, Hadley MA
A third-generation farm in Hadley, Massachusetts, Plainville Farm specializes in pumpkins, asparagus, hard squash, and their famous butternut squash! We are proud to be partners for the past seven years!
Interested in learning more about these four partners? Visit their websites below!
Next time you buy a pumpkin from your local Price Chopper and Market 32, you know that it was grown locally. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a pumpkin carving kit while you are here!
Price Chopper and Market 32 are Produce Proud, and kicking off July with beautiful options, and AdvantEdge points for produce purchases. https://www.pricechopper.com/rewards/ Make half of your plate fruits and veggies at snacks and meals, and you will reap the benefits of eating well. Check out some of these easy and exciting ways to fire up your produce intake and power up delicious, nutritious meals!
Check out the seasonal section of our stores for grill pans, metal and wooden skewers you can use to short cut grilling vegetables and fruit! If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Choose your favorite cut fruit, like fresh mango or pineapple, oil the grill pan or the grill itself with some olive oil, then get going with some fun serving ideas. Thin vegetables like green beans, asparagus or scallions cook up in 4 minutes or less. Thicker cuts of vegetables may take a few more minutes to reach that warm but still crunchy-tender texture that goes so well with everything. Fruits should be watched carefully so the natural sugars don’t burn – marinate in a balsamic vinaigrette or add in something spicy for a wonderful topping, side or salsa!
Sassy Salsa – Grill sliced mango or fresh pineapple spears, (available already cut in the Produce fresh cut case), until warm and slightly softened. Dust with cayenne, top with sliced scallions and serve with grilled chicken or seafood.
Brussels Kabobs – Carefully rinse and trim the ends off of bagged, fresh Brussels sprouts, keeping the ends intact. If feeding a crowd, rinse a net bag of Market 32 Baby Red or Yellow Potatoes, too. Microwave the sprouts and potatoes for 4-5 minutes, until slightly soft. Allow vegetables to cool slightly, then thread with sweet onion quarters onto kabobs and cook on an oiled grill on medium heat until slightly charred and tender, 8-10 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Toss with lemon vinaigrette and serve with your favorite protein, like grilled flank steak.
Caesar Asparagus – Wash and trim fresh asparagus. Oil grill and cook on medium until tender, approximately 4-6 minutes, turning frequently. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some shredded Parmesan cheese. Enjoy hot or cold!
Grilling greats know this food safety tip – wash all fresh produce, even if it will be peeled or cut up, before prepping.
- Power up breakfast with some dried fruit in oatmeal, like dried cherries and apricots.
- Make that morning snack a small apple and a light cheese stick – produce plus protein is perfect!
- Add some extra frozen or canned veggies to your lunchtime soup, or mix bagged, chopped salads with romaine lettuce for a quick power salad. Dress with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil to keep the taste high and calories low.
- Hummus and cut veggies make a flavorful, plant-protein and fiber-rich afternoon snack.
- Double up on dinner vegetables – double servings of the same item, or mix and match fresh/ready-to-eat vegetables with your favorite cooked ones – with produce, more is always better!
- FIBER: one Artichoke (120 grams) is an “excellent source” (providing 10.3 grams) of dietary fiber, meaning — according to the Food and Drug Administration —Artichokes provide 20 percent or more of the Daily Value of fiber.
- VITAMIN C-ANTIOXIDANTS: A study from researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture found that Artichokes ranked seventh in total antioxidant capacity per serving out of more than 1000 common foods, such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, etc.
- The size of an artichoke is dictated by where it grows on the artichoke plant. Jumbo, Large size artichokes grow at the top of the plant. Small, baby sized artichokes grow at the bottom of the plant.
- Any size artichoke: Don’t forget to rinse! Before cooking artichokes, rinse and brush off under cold water. This will remove the natural thin film an Artichoke produces while growing that can give the choke a bitter taste.
- Baby Size Artichoke: To prepare for cooking: Snap off the outer layer of petals until you reach the pale, yellow green layer of petals. Then trim off stem and remove the dark green top tip of petals that will also cause a bitter taste if not removed.
- Long stem Artichokes: The stem is an extension of the heart. To prep: Peel the long stem of the Artichoke with a vegetable peeler until you reach the pale green flesh inside.
- Cut the stems off the artichokes
- Cut off approximately the top 1/2 inch of the artichoke
- Trim the tips off of all petals with kitchen scissors
- Bang the cut side on the edge of a table to open up the artichoke petals
- Boil water, adding a few lemon slices & the pealed stems of the artichokes
- Place face down on steamer basket and steam until underside of leaves are tender
- Peel off petals and dip in butter (or your sauce of choice) & enjoy!