September 2, 2010
Indiana’s Healthiest Foods

Dr. Emily Frank presented Indiana’s Top 10 Healthiest Foods at Dig-IN on Aug. 29. Emily is a board-certified internal medicine physician and classically trained chef, and she has been passionate about prevention and wellness for the past decade. 

If you missed her presentation, check out her list below:

 1. Eggs

Nutrition Info

  • Each egg has 80 calories and 6 grams of fat
  • They are a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein and Selenium.

Health Benefits

  • Eyes:  Lutein prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Heart:  Decreases risk of heart attack.
  • Brain: Decreases risk of Alzheimer’s Dementia and stroke.

Sources in Indiana

  • In 2001, Indiana’s 23 million hens laid 6.02 billion eggs
  • Roseacre Farms, sold $207.5 million in eggs in 2008, employs 1,600 people and is located in Seymour.

2. Watermelon

Nutrition Info

  • Excellent sources of Vitamins A, C, B6 and Potassium
  • Low in calories, no fat
  • Low in Sodium

Health Benefits

  • Contains more lycopene, a cancer fighting carotenoid, than tomatoes
  • Contains beta-carotene, which may reduce heart disease, asthma symptoms, reduce colon cancer risk and relieve arthritis.

Sources in Indiana

  • We grow 6% of all watermelons consumed in the US, most of which are grown on the Indiana/Illinois border.
  • Indiana watermelons are available throughout the Summer.
  • Jackson County Brownstown Watermelon Festival is in September.

3. Dark Chocolate

Nutrition Info

  • One ounce of dark chocolate contains about 150 calories, 10 grams of fat and 13 mg of caffeine.

Health Benefits

  • Phenols in Dark Chocolate can reduce blood pressure (systolic by 5 points, diastolic by 2 points).
  • Dark Chocolate contains antioxidants, which can reduce cancer risk.

Sources in Indiana

4. Duck

Nutrition Info

  • White Pekin Duck breast, without skin, contains 120 calories, 23 grams protein and 2 grams of fat.  This is comparable to a skinless chicken breast.

Health Benefits

  • Lean source of protein
  • Selenium (an antioxidant) in duck is associated with lowering cancer risk, possibly lowering heart attack risk and reducing arthritis.

Sources in Indiana

  • Maple Leaf Farms is the largest supplier of Pekin duck in the United States.

5. Native American Persimmon

Nutrition Info

  • Low in calories (70) and contains no fat
  • High in fiber

Health Benefits

  • Persimmons contain Catechins which have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
  • Fresh permissions contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.
  • Zeaxanthin may prevent macular degeneration
  • The fruits are also very good source of vitamin-C and B-complex vitamins.

Sources in Indiana

  • Persimmons are native to Southern Indiana.
  • Mitchell, Indiana is home to the Annual Persimmon Festival (September 18th-25th).

6. Peppermint

Nutrition Info

  • Nearly void of calories, no fat.  Contains a small amount of Vitamin A.

Health Benefits

  • Relieves many gastrointestinal disorders including bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Menthol, the most important chemical in peppermint, is used in many ways, from topical applications for arthritis and headache to cough lozenges.
  • Peppermint oil can be relaxing and it can soothe dry skin.

Sources in Indiana

  • Peppermint was grown in Indiana as early as 1800.
  • A perennial, it grows well in Northern Indiana.
  • Most peppermint is used for the oil it produces.  This oil is used in the production of products like toothpaste, chewing gum and mouthwash.

7. Tomato

Nutrition Info

  • Tomatoes contain about 25 calories per serving and no fat.
  • They are also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C.

Health Benefits

  • People who eat tomatoes have lower risk of cancer of the prostate, lung and stomach.  The secret is in the Lycopene, a chemical which makes the tomato red.
  • Processed tomatoes contain more lycopene than fresh ones.
  • Glycoalkaloids present in tomatoes may worsen arthritis.

Sources in Indiana

  • Indiana is the nation’s third largest producer of tomatoes, producing  $14 million on 7,000 acres.
  • 80 % of Indiana tomatoes go into high value products like whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes and salsa.
  • Red Gold Tomatoes are headquartered in Orestes (40 miles north of Indianapolis).  It is a privately held company and may have an annual revenue as high as $100 million.

8. Blueberry

Nutrition Info

  • Containing less than 100 calories per 1 c serving, blueberries have nearly 4 grams of fiber!
  • They are also very good sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

Health Benefits

  • Blueberries are high in antioxidants, giving them the Superfood Distinction!  Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically anthocyanins that give blueberries their blue hue, are the major contributors to the antioxidant activity of blueberries.

Sources in Indiana

  • Approximately 600 acres of blueberries are planted in Indiana.
  • Indiana ranks 12th in the nation in blueberry production.
  • Most blueberries are in Northern Indiana, along the Michigan border.
  • Southern Indiana is beginning to plant more blueberries.

9. Honey

Nutrition Info

  • 1 oz of honey has about 20 calories and no fat.

Health Benefits

  • Honey is a natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
  • It contains antioxidants which are eliminated with processing and heat.
  • Buckwheat honey may reduce cough as much as OTC dextromethorphan.
  • Honey appears to have a lower glycemic index than other nutritive sweeteners.
  • Wound healing is improved with topical application and Staph Aureus growth is inhibited.
  • Ancient Olympiads used honey to improve athletic performance.

Sources in Indiana

10. Red Wine

Nutrition Info

  • A 5 oz glass of red wine contains 125 calories and no fat or protein.
  • Safe and effective amounts for optimal health: Women 1 daily serving, Men 2 daily servings

Health Benefits

  • Plant chemicals (phytochemicals) prevent disease
  • Wine will increase your good cholesterol and thin your blood.  This lowers your cardiovascular risk.
  • Flavanoids and resveratrol are antioxidants.  Resveratrol also acts to prevent blood clots and halts tumor development.
  • Red wine contains far more resveratrol than white wine, because it is in the skin of the grape.  Wines made in cooler climates contain more resveratrol.
  • Red wine can increase migraine headaches and triglyceride levels.

Sources in Indiana

For more information about Emily, visit: http://emilyfrankmd.com/

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