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    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    Agritourism and You

    Agritourism, one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry, includes visits to working farms, ranches, wineries and agricultural industries. Agri-destinations offer a huge variety of entertainment, education, relaxation, outdoor adventures, shopping and dining experiences.

    What is Agritourism?

    In simple terms, agritourism is the crossroads of tourism and agriculture: when the public visits working farms, ranches or wineries to buy products, enjoy entertainment, participate in activities, shop in a country store, eat a meal or make overnight stays.
    Kids love the color, open space, fresh air and new experiences an agritourism trip to the farm allows.What fun activities can visitors do on a farm or ranch?

    Visiting a farm, ranch or winery offers wonderful, unique experiences. Picking your own peaches or apples in a beautiful orchard, roping a calf or stomping grapes are just a few of the fun and fabulous activities waiting for you.

    Why is Agritourism growing so fast?

    People want a new experience - an escape from the stress of traffic jams, office cubicles and carpooling!Parents want their children to know how food is grown and that milk actually comes from a cow - not a carton! Families enjoy a drive to the country and spending the day together, especially in these times.

    What is the emotional appeal of Agritourism?

    Most of us have a farm somewhere on our family tree. Maybe our parents were raised on a farm, or we have fond memories of spending summers on our grandparents' farms. Agritourism rekindles the positive emotions from these family visits.

    What are the travel trends that support the growth of Agritourism?

    According to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA):

    •     Tourists are increasingly traveling by cars
    •     Tourists are taking shorter trips & planning at the last minute
    •     Travelers are looking for new experiences as part of their trips
    •     Families want to strengthen their relationships by being together

     

    Why do farmers participate in Agritourism?

    Today, most family farms face serious economic challenges from foreign competition and large, corporate farms. Their earnings on commodities and livestock may not even cover production costs. But farmers who sell directly to the public - through fruit stands and farm country stores - and also add special activities for visitors, find they can continue farming and make a profit. Agritourism is actually saving thousands of small farms from extinction.

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    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    Blueberries: The Antioxidant Super Fruit

    Blueberries are often known as the antioxidant super fruit due to its high concentration of antioxidants. They are a rich source of phytonutrients, and they contain a significant amount of the antioxidant anthocyanadins that possess great nutritional value. The benefit of eating 2 cups of blueberries every day exceeds the benefits of all other types of berries combined.

    How to Eat Blueberries


    Although blueberries make an enticing addition to your muffins and cakes, the best way to take advantage of their nutritional benefits is by eating a cup of fresh blueberries every morning. This can be done by adding them to your cereal, yogurt or just as they are with a little crème fraiche on top.

    Prior to eating blueberries, ensure that they are washed briefly to prevent removal of the protective ashen layer of the berry. While, organic blueberries are free from production chemicals, it’s best to give them a rinse as well because of handling during transit and stocking. If berries are frozen, they will take a few more minutes to cook and will sweat more, adding liquid to your dish (take this into account with other ingredients).

    Blueberries and Anti-Aging


    The antioxidants in blueberries come to your rescue, preventing early aging and protecting you against diseases like cancer and chronic heart disease. The antioxidants prevent cell damage by neutralizing the radicals and helping keep diseases at bay. Blueberries also prevent inflammation that is a known cause of aging diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging.

    Blueberries and Brain Health


    Blueberries are natural brain food and can help in reversing short-term memory loss and other symptoms associated with aging. The antioxidants help with motor skills. Research on animals proved this when improvements in learning capacity and motor skills were observed in aging animals who were fed a blueberry and, thus antioxidant-rich diet.

    Blueberries and Eyesight


    Along with carrots, blueberries provide an excellent source of vitamin A. Blueberries are known to prevent vision loss due to aging. In fact, the British Air Force during World War 2 claimed to eat blueberries to enhance night vision and quicker adjustment to darkness.

    Blueberries and Cancer


    Along with anthocyanins, blueberries also contain other antioxidants like proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols and tannins that help prevent growth of cancer cells. Lab studies have found the benefits of blueberries include preventing colon cancer and ovarian cancer. They also claim inhibition chances to be as high as 50%. Blueberries should find special place in a woman’s diet, which makes a major difference in preventing ovarian cancer, the most common form of cancer in women.

    A bowl of blueberries can give almost five times more benefits than a bowl of apple wedges. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables is a healthy way to manage weight, control diabetes and prevent cancer. Packed with antioxidants and a low calorie count, blueberries are nutrient-rich choice for a healthier life.

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    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    Health Benefits Of Blueberries: 5 Reasons To Eat More Blueberries

    Blueberries contain antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions. These little powerhouses provide tasty ways of staying healthy.

    Low in fat — coming in at about 80 calories per cup and practically fat-free — blueberries are loaded with fiber to keep you fuller longer. Just a handful can satisfy your daily fiber requirement. Plus, blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important part in bone development and converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.

    Discover how else this little fruit can help your health in big ways, from improving brain health to fighting urinary tract infections to possibly preventing cancer.

    1. Get Your Dose of Vitamin C


    Blueberries contain tons of vitamin C; one serving gives you almost 25 percent of your daily value. Vitamin C helps collagen formation and also maintains healthy gums as well as a healthy immune system.
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    Blueberries pack 14 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. According to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, vitamin C reduces intraocular pressure, decreasing the potential for developing glaucoma, which refers to various eye conditions that damage the optic nerve — the second most common cause of blindness in the United States.

    2. Improve Heart Health


    Cardiovascular disease is a major public health concern in the United States. Currently, it is the leading cause of death in both men and women. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity are some of the common conditions that lead to increased risk of heart disease.

    A recent study, however, suggests that berries, including strawberries and blueberries, may reduce the risk of heart disease in women, due to their high content of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are part of a sub-class of flavonoids, which may help to counter the buildup of plaque and improve cardiovascular health. According to the study, women who eat three or more servings a week of blueberries or strawberries may reduce their risk of heart disease.

    3. Reduce Cancer Risk


    Remember anthocyanins? Not only do they give blueberries their blue color and help improve heart health, but they may also help attack cancer-causing free radicals and possibly even block tumor cells from forming, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which focused on the effects of blueberries on prostate cancer.

    While research is ongoing, the scientists found evidence to suggest blueberries are a potential therapeutic agent for early stage prostate cancer or a possible means of prostate cancer prevention.

    4. Fight UTIs


    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that take hold and grow inside the urinary tract, causing an infection. Symptoms don't always present themselves, but can include the strong, persistent urge to urinate, strong-smelling urine, and pelvic pain in women. In fact, UTIs are 10 times more common among women than men, and more than 50 percent of women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    You've probably heard that cranberries can help fight UTIs — with doctors often recommending either eating the fruit or drinking cranberry juice. That's because cranberries contain compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to bladder walls. Similarly, blueberries can help ward off UTIs. Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that inhibit bacteria from binding to bladder tissue. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries can help reduce symptoms.

    5. Boost Brain Health


    Scientists at the USDA research center have been studying the beneficial effects of blueberries on brain function in animal models for over a decade. Through studies with rats, researchers have found that object memory loss, which occurs normally with age, can be prevented and even reversed by feeding blueberries to older rats.

    And in a study of nine human subjects, led by Robert Krikorian and his team at the University of Cincinnati, researchers found that older adults who were given blueberry juice scored higher on memory tests than those receiving a placebo. This study supports continued research on how blueberries may serve as a preventive method for cognitive decline.

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