2019 FCS February Newsletter


Southwest Region Monthly Nutrition Newsletter

Health Awareness
February is

Oatmeal Day 11th
Almond Day 16th
Pistachio Day 26th
Strawberry Day 27th
American Heart Month
Berry Fresh Month
Cherry Month
Grapefruit Month
Sweet Potato Month

Chew on This: February is Heart Health Month!
In February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day but also Heart Month which reminds us that heart disease is the Number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S. Reminding us each year to learn ways to prevent or decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the term for all diseases that affect the heart such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, peripheral artery disease, clogged or blocked arteries, or heart attack. Lifestyle plays a big role in preventing heart disease and you should take the following steps to decrease your risk for heart disease:

  • Ask your doctor your blood pressure, cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C numbers and how to lower them if they are elevated.
  • If you take medication for any of the above conditions-DO NOT SKIP DOSES.
  • Aim for 150 minutes per week of physical activity.
  • Control your weight and try to lose weight if the doctor has suggested so.
  • Try to have a nutrient rich diet that includes: a variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, nuts and legumes, and lean sources of meat, fish and poultry.
  • Decrease your intake of sugars, excess sodium, saturated and trans fats.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

Get Moving: Go Play, Your Way!
As we age, staying active is key to a better quality of life. Staying active improves mood and balance, prevents falls, and helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. As with every excise regimen, speak with your doctor before starting. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, older adults are encouraged to aim for 2.5 hours a week of aerobic activities. If you aren’t physically active, start with 5 or 10 minutes a day and build up over time. Engaging in balanced activities three times a week may also aid in fall prevention. An example of a balancing activity is holding on to a chair while standing on one foot. Another goal is to preform strengthening activities two days a week. Again, start with small weights or can goods, and work your way up slowly. Remember to breathe and hydrate yourself throughout every exercise. For more tips and information, visit www.go4life.nia.nih.gov.

Get Growing: Gardening
Winter can be a great time to garden when you choose the right crops and your garden is prepared. Some of these crops include vegetables such as broccoli, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, lettuce, onions, radish, spinach and turnips. Other crops include a variety of fruits such as clementine, tangerines, grapefruit, mandarins, and oranges. Vegetables and fruit are important sources of many nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. With winter being the peak of flu season, eating these nutrient rich fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial in reducing your chance of getting the flu by boosting your immune system. Preparing your garden for the cold temperatures is important so your crops do not freeze. There are several different things you can use to prevent freezing including: raised beds with lids, frost cloths, polytunnels, greenhouses, or a combination of these things. Something to keep in mind is that depending on where you live, it may make some of the crops listed above a little more difficult to grow. Check with your local Horticulturist for recommendations on what’s best to plant during this winter season. Happy Gardening!

What to plant now / Days until Harvest
Broccoli / 55-80
Onions / 60-90
Peppers / 60-90
Tomatoes / 60-80

Healthy Communities Showcase
To learn more about Healthy Communities in your parish, please contact your local extension office.

Stirring it Up: Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped or
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil or
1 tablespoon fresh basil (optional)
Salt (optional)
Pepper (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times as soup is cooking. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, and pepper, if desired. For smooth soup, allow to cool slightly, move contents to a blender and blend to desired consistency. Return to saucepan and heat to simmer. Makes four servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90, Total Fat 4 g (6% DV), 0 g Saturated Fat (0% DV), 0 mg Cholesterol (0% DV), 400 mg Sodium (17% DV), 13 g Total Carbohydrate (4% DV), 2 g Dietary Fiber (8% DV), 8 g Sugars, 3 g Protein, Vitamin A 25%, Vitamin C 100 %, Calcium 4%, Iron 10%.

Source: https://food.unl.edu/tomato-soup

SW Region Nutrition Agents: Robin Landry, FCS Regional Coordinator; Mandy Armentor, MS, RD, LDN; Shatonia McCarty, MS, RD, LDN; Becky Gautreaux, MA, RD, LDN; Tiffany Williams, MS, RD, LDN; Amanda Gibson, RDN; Angell Jordan, Kylee Brown, Jessica Randazzo

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Ag-riculture. The Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

ATTENTION! It is the policy of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability.

3/12/2019 1:49:09 PM
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