How “all-natural” claim can be misleading and misused and how consumers can make the right diet choices.
The all-natural, clean-eating food trend is here to stay, as consumers become increasingly conscious about the foods they consume. More and more people now look beyond the label claims and pay a great deal of attention to the nutritional values as well as the environmental impact of the food products.
And they are doing it for a good reason. While many products claim that they are natural and organic, they actually contain high level of added sugar, saturated fat, and calorie count. It is imperative for the food industry to be transparent and socially responsible in helping consumers make informed decisions. Many studies have shown that calorie control and minimizing intake of added sugar and saturated fat is the key in weight control and preventing chronic illness such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Consumers should focus on those levels when deciding their food choices.
It is also important for people to pay more attention to the source of protein in their diet. Some in the media and food industry have been promoting diets that are based on high intakes of animal protein, such as Paleo and Whole 30 diets that advocate more meat consumption. However, there is now a large body of scientific evidence that has demonstrated clear benefits of plant-based proteins to our overall health and longevity. It is not surprising that more and more consumers are shifting towards plant based diet worldwide. In doing so, people not only would benefit from all the healthy nutrients in fruits and vegetables, but also could help to reduce the environmental impact of food consumption by making full use of the whole plant foods.
Do you know many parts of fruits and vegetable we often discard, such as strawberry leaves, watermelon seeds, apple cores, orange peels, banana skins, and grape stems, are actually quite nutritious? By coming up with ways to utilize these not-so-delicious parts of plants, we, as parents, can show our children creative ways to eat healthy while shouldering our environmental responsibility. The following is a recipe developed by the Karuna team working with Gina Marie, a very talented and creative vegan diet expert.
Aronia Strawberry Top Banana Smoothie
Run out of kale? Just throw the whole strawberry in the smoothie and you’ve got some extra vitamins. The leaves contain tannins, which is an organic substance that binds to other foods and help with digestion, according to Livestrong. Simply adding them to your favorite smoothie recipe could relieve some lurking digestive issues.
1 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries with tops: Strawberry leaves are primarily used to relieve gastrointestinal distress and joint pain; they also contain essential minerals and vitamins that may offer a wide range of benefits
1 really ripe Brown banana: Ripe banana not only tastes sweeter, they are much easy to digest and provide immediate energy boost
1/2 cup of Karuna’s Aronia Berry Bean Sprout drink: In addition to bean sprouts’ power detox benefit, each bottle provides antioxidant level higher than 3 cups of fresh blueberries as measured by ORAC test
1 teaspoon of orange zest from an orange peel: According to Just-Health, orange peel has about four times more fiber in it than the actual orange fruit that we eat―not to mention more tangeretin and nobiletin, which both have cancer fighting properties.
1/2 teaspoon of coconut nectar syrup
- Rinse your strawberries and then add them whole, including the tops of the strawberries, to a blender.
- Next add your really ripe banana, orange zest, syrup, and Karuna Bean Sprout & Aronia Berry juice to blender.
- Blend until smooth and serve immediately.