Juice or whole fruit?

Does eating a piece of fruit or squeezing it into a juice to drink offer the same health benefits?

Various freshly squeezed fruits juices

No. Even if you take an orange and squeeze fresh orange juice, drinking the juice of the orange doesn’t offer the same health benefits of eating the orange.

Fruit juice lacks fiber, an important nutrient found in whole fruit, writes Dan Remley, an educator in family and consumer sciences for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“Fiber helps the digestive system, lowers cholesterol, promotes a healthy colon, and lowers blood sugar spikes, just to name a few benefits,” Remley writes in The Juice on Juice, a blog post at the Live Healthy Live Well website.

The site, which can be found at livehealthyosu.com, is a free information resource that offers science-based consumer information and insights. It’s written by OSU Extension educators and specialists in family and consumer scienceswho promote health and wellness.

In the blog post, Remley adds, “Eating an orange or an apple will give you the fiber and also the juice.” This is because the dietary fiber, which is found in the pulp and the skin of the fruit, is typically left out of the juice. Dietary fiber within the pulp of the fruit binds to the natural sugars as it travels through your gastrointestinal tract. This process makes it harder for your body to absorb those sugars, resulting in the sugar accumulating in your blood at a slower, lower rate than it would if you were to drink the juice instead.

Another benefit of eating the pulp and skin of some fruits as opposed to drinking fruit juice is that the pulp and skin are loaded with many vitamins and nutrients. For example, the skin of apples, blueberries, grapes, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which are beneficial antioxidants that can protect you from disease and help boost your immune system.

When you choose to drink juice, the best option is to choose 100% juice because vitamins and minerals are higher in 100% juice, Remley writes, noting that, “Some juice products are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are helpful to bones and teeth.”

“Juices such as grape juice have other antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are anti-inflammatory and can also promote healthy cardiovascular systems and prevent some cancers.”

In addition to drinking water, or milk, Remley offers the following alternatives to juice:

  • Fruit- or herb-infused water
  • A splash of juice in a spritzer
  • Lemon-infused water, with some honey or sweetener
  • Tea

Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line writer Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.

Editor: This column was reviewed by Dan Remley, field specialist in food, nutrition, and wellness for OSU Extension.

Fall a great time for apples, peaches, blueberries, in addition to pumpkins

I know that autumn means pumpkins will be available in abundance, but what other produce is in season in the fall?

Autumn harvest concept. Seasonal fruits and vegetables on a wooden table, top view

You are correct: This is the time of year when you will start to see pumpkins, squash, and gourds—which are all part of the Cucurbitaceae family—for sale in grocery aisles, farmers markets, and farms.

But fall is also a good time to buy grapes, apples, watermelons, potatoes, berries, zucchini, yellow squash, and peaches, among many other seasonal fruits and vegetables. In fact, those are some of the commodities that many grocery stores are now starting to promote heavily at discounted prices in their grocery aisles, according to the Sept. 4 edition of the National Retail Report, a weekly roundup of advertised retail pricing information compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As mentioned in a previous Chow Line, although improved technology and agricultural innovations mean that consumers can access fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, fruits and vegetables naturally grow in cycles and ripen during a certain season. When ripe, produce is fresher and typically has its best taste. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are also typically cheaper to purchase because they are easier to produce than fruits and vegetables that are grown out of season.

So how do you know which fruits and vegetables are in season?

One way to find seasonal foods near you is to use an app and website developed by Grace Communications Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for sustainable foods. The app compiles data from the USDA and the Natural Resources Defense Council on over 140 varieties of produce to show users which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts are in season, on a state-by-state basis.

Called the Seasonal Food Guide, the app and website allow users to check which produce is in season in half-month increments in each state. Other sources to check include the USDA Seasonal Produce GuideOhio Farm Bureau and Ohio Proud, among others.

While this is not an all-inclusive list, generally speaking, the following produce, among others, is in season in Ohio in the fall:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash

Adding any of these fruits and vegetables to your diet is a good idea. Not only are fruits and veggies naturally low in calories, eating them might help reduce the risks of multiple diseases including high blood pressure, some cancers, and heart disease, experts say.

Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line writer Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.

Editor: This column was originally reviewed by Jenny Lobb, educator, family and consumer sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Chow Line: Tick that causes meat allergies found in Ohio

Is there a tick that causes people to develop an allergy to red meat, and can it be found it Ohio?

Nymphal and adult forms of the lone star tick. Clockwise, from bottom left: unfed nymph, engorged nymph, adult male, unfed adult female, and engorged adult female. For size reference, the center dot is approximately 0.8 mm diameter. Photo by Jeffery Alfred, used with permission from Iowa State University Extension.

Nymphal and adult forms of the lone star tick. Clockwise, from bottom left: unfed nymph, engorged nymph, adult male, unfed adult female, and engorged adult female. For size reference, the center dot is approximately 0.8 mm diameter. Photo by Jeffery Alfred, used with permission from Iowa State University Extension.

Yes, to both of your questions.

The tick you are referring to is called the lone star tick, which, in certain cases, in some people, can cause an allergy to red meat after being bitten by the tick.

This species of tick entered Ohio over the last decade or so. It has since spread throughout the state, although it is more common in southern Ohio, said Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

While the lone star tick prefers a wooded habitat, in many cases, it can also be found along the perimeter of pasture and hay fields that extend into the grass, he said.

“It’s known to be an aggressive biter of humans, and while this tick isn’t known to vector or transmit Lyme disease, it can vector other diseases such as ehrlichiosis, southern tick associated-rash illness, tularemia, as well as some viral diseases,” McDermott said. “It has also been associated with causing an allergic syndrome in some people after being bitten.”

According to a study by researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, some people who have been bitten by a lone star tick have gone on to develop an allergy to eating red meat, and in some cases, dairy. The study found that, in rare cases, some people have developed life-threatening allergic reactions to red meat after being bitten by a lone star tick.

The study attributes the allergic reaction to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal), which is a type of sugar that some animals make in their bodies. As a result, it’s found in red meats, including beef, pork, and lamb, the exception being primates.

According to published reports, humans don’t have alpha-gal, but they can have an immune response to it.

“If a person is bitten by the lone star tick and has an allergic reaction to the alpha-gal carbohydrate in the tick saliva, they can show food allergy symptoms including hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling, after eating mammalian muscle such as pork, beef, lamb, and venison,” McDermott said. “In severe cases, the individual may suffer anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.”

While the association between lone star tick bites and the allergy are clear, more research is needed to understand why these alpha-gal allergies develop in some people and not in others, according to the study.

“In Ohio, ticks are most active from April through September, although they can be active any time of the year,” McDermott said.

“The three most common ticks that can affect humans, companion animals, and livestock found in the Buckeye State include the blacklegged tick (also known as the deer tick), the American dog tick, and the lone star tick,” he said.

To prevent tick bites when in areas where they may be active, McDermott recommend that you should do the following:

  • Wear light-colored clothes including a long-sleeved shirt tucked into your pants and long pants tucked into your socks or boots.
  • Apply a tick repellent according to label instructions.
  • Wear footwear and clothing that have been treated correctly with permethrin. These can be purchased through many outfitters and clothing companies.
  • Do frequent tick checks of your body while outside, and do a thorough inspection at shower time.
  • Protect your pets with an anti-tick product recommended by a veterinarian.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and avoid allowing them into weedy areas.
  • Do not crush or puncture a tick, if you find one attached. Instead, use pointy tweezers or a tick removal tool to carefully remove the tick by grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible and pulling it straight up with steady, even pressure. Then, disinfect the bite site, and wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Save the tick for identification.

“Lastly, if you think you may have been exposed to a tick bite or if you show symptoms of alpha-gal allergy, contact your physician right away to get a diagnosis,” McDermott said.

More information on lone star and other ticks can be found at Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, an Ohioline fact sheet. Ohioline is OSU Extension’s free online information resource and can be found at ohioline.osu.edu.

Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line writer Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.

 

Editor: This column was reviewed by Tim McDermott, an Ohio State University Extension educator.