A Chicken Strip Lover’s Take on Health

Meet Kayla

Hello, my name is Kayla and I’m a chicken strip-aholic. Breaded bites of poultry, fried and dipped in ranch dressing is my usual order at any restaurant. Being a writer for Swanson Health Products, I’ve been exposed to the importance of health and wellness.  So while delicious, my unhealthy love of chicken strips/nuggets/fingers is something I’m working to overcome. Since there aren’t any Chicken Strips Anonymous groups in my area, I’m going it alone. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up my favorite dish completely, but I’m hoping being surrounded by health on a daily basis will inspire me to incorporate nutrition into my life. A self-described newshound, I’m on the health beat, ready to report on interesting health stories and give you my take on the health news that affects you.

Healthy Eats with SHP Presents Healthy Holiday Recipes

Sunday, December 2, 2012 by Kayla M

Make the holiday season a healthier one with help from the Healthy Eats with SHP cooking team! This season, we’re sending you four recipes to help you come up with delicious dishes for your holiday entertaining, each made with healthy ingredients. Each Sunday through December 16th, you’ll get a new recipe delivered to your email inbox. And every recipe comes with some extra help as our resident chef (and Human Resources manager), Pam, shows you how to make each recipe step-by-step in a series of videos.

If you’re signed up to receive our recipe emails, you will have already gotten the first in our series of healthy holiday recipes: Spiced Pecans. This delectable snack might be the most popular recipe we’ve ever made in our kitchen. We were almost too busy eating them to make the recipe video! Much to the dismay of other coworkers, these nuts didn’t even make it out of the kitchen to the department because the video crew ate them all up! Spiced Pecans features Swanson Organic Pecans coated in a topping made of Swanson Organic Ginger, Now Foods Turbinado Sugar, YS Organic Farms Clover Honey and pumpkin spice. Not only do they taste great, but they leave your kitchen with the warm, fragrant scent of the holiday season. In case you missed the recipe email, watch as we show you how to make Spiced Pecans here!

Pay attention to your email inbox over the next three weeks as we continue to send out healthy holiday recipes. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

  • Holiday Cranberry Cookies – It’s cookie season and this recipe features the classic flavor of cranberries. These cookies also feature Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour and Rolled Oats along with Swanson Organic Walnuts and cloves. Just make sure to save some for Santa!
  • Pomegranate & Tart Cherry Pork – A great main dish for your holiday table, this recipe features tender, juicy pork tenderloins covered in a pan sauce made with Jarrow Pomegranate Juice and Swanson Organic Tart Cherries.
  • Sweet & Tart Slaw – This side dish tastes as good as it looks. It combines red cabbage with Eden Foods Cranberries, Swanson Organic Pecans, green apples and a vinaigrette dressing made of rice vinegar, Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and more.

Be the first to get the recipes by signing up for our recipe emails here.

If you’re already signed up to get our healthy recipe emails, watch your  inbox for these recipes and have a happy holiday season!


What Are the Health Benefits of Pumpkins?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Kayla M

It’s the time of year when pumpkins are found in abundance. Popular during the fall as decorative jack-o-lanterns and main ingredients in pies, pumpkins could also be considered one of many top natural food products. The flesh and seeds of pumpkins are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Pumpkin is one of nature’s riches sources of alpha-carotene, a carotenoid that converts to retinol, a form of vitamin A. This vitamin promotes healthy vision and immune health. Alpha-carotene is considered an anti-aging nutrient for good skin health because it jump-starts the skin cell renewal process and increases the production of collagen for youthful, smooth skin. Another carotenoid in pumpkin, beta-carotene, also promotes skin health.

Vitamins C and E are also found in pumpkin. Vitamin C is well-known for strengthening the immune system, but it also promotes cardiovascular health. Along with carotenoids found in pumpkin, Vitamin E also promotes healthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage.

Pumpkins are also a good natural source of fiber. Just a half-cup of pumpkin gives you 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps promote good digestion and gastrointestinal health. It also supports weight loss, cardiovascular health and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range.

In addition, this fall favorite contains other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Potassium, magnesium and vitamin B5 are all found in pumpkin flesh.

Don’t throw out the seeds the next time you’re working with pumpkin. Eating organic pumpkin seeds deliver several essential nutrients to your body. They are a natural source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and essential fatty acids. If you don’t feel like slicing up pumpkin to get to the seeds, try these.

It’s easy and delicious to include pumpkins in baked goods. And while you can only find fresh pumpkins in the fall, you can just puree and freeze them to use throughout the year. Canned pumpkin is also a good alternative because it’s just as nutritious as fresh.

But pumpkin isn't limited to just baked goods – pumpkin seeds are a great snack, salad topping or addition to vegetable dishes. Our Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil is another alternative that can be used in cooking and salad dressings. So when you’re carving your jack-o-lantern this Halloween, don’t toss the insides and seeds away – save them for a yummy and nutritious treat.

Say Bye-Bye to Bugs, Naturally

Monday, July 23, 2012 by Kayla M

I love summer. It’s the only thing that makes living through the North Dakota winter bearable.  But along with the flip-flops, picnics and outdoor games comes mosquitoes. For a creature that is smaller than dime, they can sure have a big impact on your day. The 4th of July was sunny 91° day but my family spent it bundled up in jeans, sweatshirts and socks just to avoid getting eaten alive while we watched the fireworks. It left me wondering how can I protect myself from getting eaten alive without having to bundle up like it’s winter.

Natural mosquito sprayWalking down the outdoor aisle at department stores there are endless options of insect repellant. Many commercial products contain DEET, a controversial chemical that may have adverse effects on children and the environment. The good news is there are effective natural insect repellant options you can turn to.

The first step in the fight against the bite, is to prevent mosquitoes from calling your yard home. Get rid of any standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one tablespoon of water in just a week. Make sure you check gutters and dump out unused flowerpots so there’s nowhere for them to breed. If you have a bird bath, change out the water at least twice a week. Keeping your lawn short as well as tree branches trimmed off the group can also help.

You can also make your own bug spray at home for just pennies. Take a four-ounce spray bottle and fill it halfway with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled. Then fill the rest with witch hazel. Add in 10 drops each of eucalyptus, geranium, catnip, citronella and thyme essential oils. Shake well and spray.

Not a fan of making your own spray at home? At Swanson Health Products, you can find a selection of natural inspect repellants, including sprays and balms. And if a mosquito somehow makes it past the repellent and bites you, find natural relief with Burt’s Bees Bug Bite Relief, ITCH-X Anti-Itch or Cortizone creams.

Swanson Ultra Prostate Supplement Approved by ConsumerLab.com

Friday, May 11, 2012 by Kayla M

Prostate formulaIn a recent review of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol, Swanson Ultra Saw Palmetto Combo (SWU013 and SWU180) was given an “Approved” rating by ConsumerLab.com. In independent testing, ConsumerLab.com evaluated saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol products to determine whether they possessed the amounts of the key plant compounds shown on their labels. Products were also tested for potential contamination and for their ability to properly break apart.

  • Saw palmetto is a type of palm tree grown in the United States. Its health value lies primarily in the oily compounds found in its berries. Most dietary supplements are composed of an extract from its berries or a berry powder. It promotes prostate health and maintains urinary flow and bladder health.
  • Beta-sitosterol is a type of phytosterol that comes from plants, including rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, pygeum bark and more. Studies have shown that it supports prostate health and urine flow rates. Beta-sitosterol may also maintain health cholesterol levels already within a normal range and strengthen the immune system.

Swanson Ultra Saw Palmetto Combos delivers 160 mg certified organic saw palmetto extract (standardized to 85%-95% fatty acids). It also features pygeum extract (13% sterols), pumpkin seed oil and lycopene for an advanced prostate health formula.

To learn more about ConsumerLab.com’s test results and evaluations, visit their website at www.consumerlab.com.