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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events -- in cartoon form
Blog: Ordinary foods can offer extraordinary nutrition
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About this blog
By Dave Granlund
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at ...
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Dave Granlund's Editorial Cartoons
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at age 16, he was published on the editorial pages of local weekly newspapers. His eight-year enlistment in the USAF included assignments with SAC HQ and with Headquarters Command, where his duties included work as head illustrator for the Presidential Inaugural Subcommittee and providing briefing charts for the White House and support for Air Force One. As part of NATO in Operation Looking Glass with the Airborne Command Post, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Dave's newspaper honors include awards from UPI, New England Press Association, International Association of Business Communicators, The Associated Press and Massachusetts Press Association. His work has been nominated numerous times for the Pulitzer Prize. His pastimes and interests include history, wood carving, antique tractors and Swedish language studies.
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Do you know what's in your fridge? Believe it or not, there are many ordinary foods in there that have extraordinary nutritional value. Whether it's a vegetable or seed, these foods can add flavor and health benefits to any meal or snack. TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, examines ten 'super foods' that you already have at home.

Beans

Beans (also known as legumes), including kidney, black, white and red beans, chick peas, and lentils, are a powerful source of protein and complex carbohydrates, as well as fiber and important vitamins and minerals. Eating beans has been proven to help reduce cholesterol levels, body weight, the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and some instances of cancer. Add a variety of beans to your meal, whether they are fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.

Celery

Celery is a simple, yet important vegetable, offering vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can reduce cholesterol and protect against cancer. Add celery to soups, stews, meats, side dishes, and other meals.

Garlic

With a distinct flavor and fragrance, garlic contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that protect against heart disease, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and provide anti-clotting features. It also offers vitamins C and B6, manganese, and selenium.

Onion

Whether they're sliced, diced, chopped, or pureed, onions have a pungent flavor and a lot of nutrition, containing fiber, minerals, and vitamins C and B6. There has also been research to learn more about onions' polyphenol and sulfur compounds, which may reduce the risk of cancer and boost immune function and heart health.

Peas

Green and yellow vegetables, including green peas, are often associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. Garden, snow, snap, dried, and other varieties of peas are also loaded with vitamins A, C, K, and B, minerals, fiber, and protein. They are a great source for eye-healthy compounds beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Include peas in a soup or stew, toss them into a salad, or eat them as a snack.

Black Pepper

This common spice is a great way to boost a meal's flavor without adding calories. Also, capsaicin, the substance that gives pepper its heat, is known for its anti-cancer properties and inflammation reduction, which is the root of chronic disease. Use ground, cracked, or whole versions of pepper.

Bell Pepper

Bell peppers come in a variety of vibrant colors – green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. Peppers offer powerful anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Enjoy cooked or raw peppers and their many health benefits.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which serves as an anti-oxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties. They also offer B vitamins, heart-healthy polyunsaturated oil, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and phytosterols, a compound known to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Add sunflower seeds to a fresh salad, mix them into chicken salad, sprinkle them over meat, or grind them up for a spread.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are a rich source of copper, which can provide arthritis relief. They also contain calcium and magnesium, which may lower blood pressure, protect against osteoporosis, and more. Mix them with steamed vegetables, sautéed fish or chicken, or add sesame seeds to homemade bread.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are not only a versatile ingredient, but they are also a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and nutrients, including lycopene, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and iron. Keep some in your pantry for pasta and rice dishes, soups, stews, casseroles, ethnic meals, and other concoctions.

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