Help Avoid Cardiovascular Death—Produce is Medicine

Study: Low Produce Consumption Results in Millions of Cardiovascular Deaths

News Release

Over the last two months, the findings of three major peer-reviewed studies have led the lead authors to the exact same conclusion:  We must increase our efforts to promote produce consumption for the benefit of public health.

The most recent study published in Science Daily found that one in seven cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough fruit, while one in 12 of these deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables. Put another way, low fruit and veggie consumption resulted in an estimated three million deaths from heart disease.produce

“Fruits and vegetables are a modifiable component of diet that can impact preventable deaths globally,” according to lead author Dr. Victoria Miller, Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “Our findings indicate the need for population-based efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the world.”

Another study recently published found that “prescriptions” for healthy foods could save more than $100 billion in healthcare costs.  The healthy foods included fruits and veggies plus seafood, whole grains and plant oils. And the third found that improving eating and drinking habits could prevent one in five deaths around the world.  “Eating too few fruits and vegetables and too much sodium accounted for half of all deaths and two-thirds of the years of disability attributable to diet,” according to this study.

While these findings about the nutritional benefits of produce are significant and dramatic, the three studies simply support decades of research which found that a plant-rich diet leads to better health and a longer life.

This is why the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) strongly advocates for consumer choice by working to remove misguided safety fears as a barrier to consumption.  Click here to continue reading or to “Like” or share this blog post.

Sakata Seed Helps American Heart Association Raises $44,000

Sakata Seed America Supports the AHA through its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program

New Release Edited by Patrick Cavanaugh

During the month of October, as part of its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program, Sakata Seed America, a world leader in breeding and producing vegetable and flower seed, participated in two walks, including a special Sakata-coordinated campus walk, to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the American Heart Association.

On the morning of October 20th, Sakata Seed America staff, friends and family joined the annual American Heart Association Central Coast Heart & Stroke Walk. The 5K walk commenced at the Depot Lot and continued along the scenic coastal pathway located in Monterey. More than 275 Central Coast residents and visitors gathered for the annual Heart Walk to raise life-saving funds and awareness for heart disease and stroke.

The event which included 19 teams, including Team Sakata, raised more than $44,000. Team Sakata raised $3,772 for the walk, earning the titles of Top Team, Top Company, and Top Walker (Jamie Kitz). Funds raised from the Heart Walk will benefit research, advocacy, outreach, and education.

In addition, on the morning of October 3rd the Sakata staff stepped out at their own regional offices for a companywide Heart Walk staged at seven of their campuses throughout the United States, including major locations in Yuma, AZ; Morgan Hill, CA; Salinas, CA; Woodland, CA; Ft. Myers, FL; Mt. Vernon, WA; and Burlington, WA.

A first for Sakata and the American Heart Association, Sakata’s coordinated campus walk was the “heartchild” of Jamie Kitz, Program Manager for Sakata Gives, the company’s Corporate Giving Program. Kitz said, “Partnering with strong community-minded organizations as the American Heart Association speaks to the essence of the Sakata Gives. We love engaging in our communities through activities that contribute to the betterment of both life and culture.”

To encourage and thank walkers, 400 colorful tulips were generously donated by Sun Valley Floral Farm. Participants were thrilled to walk away with gorgeous blooms that made for even happier hearts! Sakata was pleased to build awareness and camaraderie at their own facilities and blaze a new trail in fundraising for the American Heart Association.

From humble beginnings, the AHA has grown into the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. A shared focus on cardiovascular health unites their more than 33 million volunteers and supporters as well as their more than 3,400 employees. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer, and stroke ranks as the country’s No. 5 killer. For nearly 100 years, the AHA has been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives.

Kelly LaPorta, Regional Director for the American Heart Association states, “It is evident that the mission of the American Heart Association is a mission that is near and dear to the hearts of the Sakata Family. Heart Walk is our premiere event for raising funds to save lives from heart disease and stroke and Sakata has fielded a team for the past six years. Happily, Sakata wanted to do more. They wanted to be sure they could participate at the highest level and raise the most funds and awareness—hence we decided to co-host our first coordinated campus walk for Sakata and it was a huge success!”

Overall, roughly 110 Sakata employees participated in the two walks and raised over $4,900 for the cause.

For more information on the Heart & Stroke Walk visit www.centralcoastheartwalk.org

Why Almonds Belong in Your Diet

Almond Nutrition

Source: Alissa Fleck, Demand Media

Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Nutrition

Eating about 23 almonds a day is an easy way to incorporate many crucial nutrients into your diet. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, minerals and potassium. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar. One 23-almond serving packs 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats, 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol or salt. Of all tree nuts, almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content by weight. There are 160 calories in 23 almonds. While many of these calories come from fat, it is primarily the healthy unsaturated fats and not the unhealthy saturated kind.

Almond Hull-split
Almond Hull-split

Heart Health

According to the FDA, eating 1.5 ounces a day of most nuts, like almonds, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Many of the nutrients in almonds help contribute to increased heart health. For one, almonds are rich in magnesium, which is critical in preventing heart attacks and hypertension. Several clinical studies have also shown almonds can be effective in reducing bad cholesterol and preserving healthy cholesterol, which plays a major role in heart health.

Weight Maintenance

Nuts, like almonds, are also beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. The fiber, protein and fat content of almonds means it only takes a handful to keep you feeling full and satisfied so you won’t have the urge to overeat. According to “Fitness” magazine, the magnesium in almonds helps regulate blood sugar, which is key in reducing food cravings. Almonds may even be able to block the body’s absorption of calories, making them the ultimate weight-loss-friendly snack. Because almonds are naturally high in calories, it’s important to limit your serving size to the recommended 1 ounce, or 23 nuts.

Other Health Benefits

Almonds may also promote gastrointestinal health and even combat diabetes. The high fiber content of almonds gives them prebiotic properties, which contributes to health in the gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances, which serve as food for the good bacteria in the intestinal tract and help maintain a healthy balance. According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, a Mediterranean diet incorporating nuts, such as almonds, helps fight diabetes even without significant changes to weight, physical activity or caloric intake.

The Benefits of Eating Almonds

Source: Alissa Fleck; SF Gate

Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Nutrition

Eating about 23 almonds a day is an easy way to incorporate many crucial nutrients into your diet. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar. One 23-almond serving packs 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats, 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol or salt. Of all tree nuts, almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content by weight. There are 160 calories in 23 almonds. While many of these calories come from fat, it is primarily the healthy unsaturated fats and not the unhealthy saturated kind.

Heart Health

According to the FDA, eating 1.5 ounces a day of most nuts, like almonds, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Many of the nutrients in almonds help contribute to increased heart health. For one, almonds are rich in magnesium, which is critical in preventing heart attacks and hypertension. Several clinical studies have also shown almonds can be effective in reducing bad cholesterol and preserving healthy cholesterol, which plays a major role in heart health.

Weight Maintenance

Nuts, like almonds, are also beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. The fiber, protein and fat content of almonds means it only takes a handful to keep you feeling full and satisfied so you won’t have the urge to overeat. According to “Fitness” magazine, the magnesium in almonds helps regulate blood sugar, which is key in reducing food cravings. Almonds may even be able to block the body’s absorption of calories, making them the ultimate weight-loss-friendly snack. Because almonds are naturally high in calories, it’s important to limit your serving size to the recommended 1 ounce, or 23 nuts.

Other Health Benefits

Almonds may also promote gastrointestinal health and even combat diabetes. The high fiber content of almonds gives them prebiotic properties, which contributes to health in the gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances, which serve as food for the good bacteria in the intestinal tract and help maintain a healthy balance. According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, a Mediterranean diet incorporating nuts, such as almonds, helps fight diabetes even without significant changes to weight, physical activity or caloric intake.

Raw vs. Roasted

Almonds are available in a variety of preparations and it can be tough to know which is healthiest. Raw, unsalted almonds are a safe bet, but some people prefer the roasted taste. Both raw and roasted almonds pack a high dose of nutrients and minerals. Raw almonds have more naturally occurring beneficial fats, as some are lost in the roasting process. Dry roasted almonds have the same amount of calories as raw almonds, while almonds roasted in oil contain slightly more calories.

The Fresno County Department of Agriculture reported that almonds have become the county’s newest billion dollar crop; producing a total gross value of over $1.1 billion.