Probiotics are live microorganisms that may aid in improving gastric discomfort, reducing diarrhea caused by antibiotics, help with the digestion of lactose (the sugar in milk products), and lower the risk of infections. Probiotics can be found in some supplements. When choosing a supplement, look for the strain and number of live bacteria to help ensure an effective dose.
Some foods have probiotics too, like fermented foods, which can contain live bacteria and aid in digestive health. It’s important to note that not all fermented foods have probiotics due to processing that can kill or remove the live microorganisms. Some foods with probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut (sold refrigerated), kefir (fermented dairy), and kombucha (fermented tea). The food label should state the type of live bacteria.
Talk to your doctor about the strain and amount of probiotic recommended for the health benefit you are seeking and if probiotics are appropriate for you.
In a large bowl, stir together chopped vegetables, oil, ground black pepper.
Cut kielbasa into round pieces 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Stir kielbasa into vegetables.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread vegetables & kielbasa evenly over baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes. Stir.
Bake for up to 25 minutes more, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Cooking time depends on size of vegetable pieces.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories, 12g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 710mg sodium, 22g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 15g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that forms in rocks, soil, and water. We cannot see, taste, or smell radon, but it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the entire state of Iowa is considered high risk for radon gas in homes, and they have found the average indoor radon concentration in Iowa is more than six times the national average.
Testing your home is the only way to know if the radon level is high. To order low-cost kits and find answers to your radon questions, call the Iowa Radon Hotline at 1-800-383-5992 or go to www.lung.org/radon.
Online workout videos give you the flexibility to choose what you do and when you do it. A variety of physical activity options can help you get out of a rut and be active in the comfort of your own home.
For free, easy-to-use videos, go to Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video-category/physical-activity/. Workout options include cardio, stretching, and strength training. Low impact and chair workouts are also included.
Being physically active improves your mood, helps manage weight, reduces risk of disease, improves brain health, and strengthens bones and muscles. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
Look at your calendar. Think about school, work, and other events you have scheduled and include those in your plans.
What do you already have at home? Check your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for food you already have on hand and write those on your meal plan worksheet.
Use grocery store ads. Check grocery store ads and write in sale items that pair with foods you already have on hand to make a meal.
Include all food groups. Review your meal plan to make sure you have a good variety of each food group throughout your meals and snacks. Explore MyPlate, www.myplate.gov, to learn more about what to include.
It’s okay to be flexible with this plan and make adjustments on the fly. Stock simple foods, like fruits and veggies you prepped over the weekend, to grab on those busier days. Include leftovers in your meal plan by making a double batch of a recipe and serve it again the next day or freeze to use later. Using freezer meals are great for busy days when you don’t have time to cook.
Is your garden limited on space? Consider growing your vegetables in containers! Container gardening occurs when plants are grown in containers such as pots rather than in the ground. This method reduces potential problems with infertile garden sites and “free-living” bacteria such as nematodes.
Containers. Almost any type of container can be used as long as it has drainage holes in the bottom. Common containers include plastic, clay, ceramic, or wood. Check out this resource, store.extension.iastate.edu/product/4179, for more information on size of containers recommended for various vegetables and the amount of potting mix.
Growing mixes. Select quality mixes that are free of plant disease organisms and weed seeds, are less likely to compact, drain well, are lightweight, and hold moisture and nutrients. Soiless potting mixes can be purchased from garden centers and retail outlets and can be prepared with fertilizer included.
Summer care of container gardens.
Location. Vegetables grow best in full sunlight. Plants that bear fruit require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Leafy vegetables tolerate more shade.
Watering. Plants grown in containers require more frequent watering because they dry out from the sun and wind. Never allow the soil to completely dry out between waterings. Overwatering will also kill plants. Avoid wetting leaves when watering to prevent the development of plant diseases.
Fertilization. A soluble fertilizer (15-30-15 or 20-20-20) applied once every week is recommended. If using a commercial potting mix, it may not be necessary to begin fertilization until midsummer.
Gardening is a fun and satisfying summer activity. It can increase your family’s food security and have physical and mental health benefits. However, gardens can be a dangerous place. Here are some essential gardening safety and health tips to keep in mind:
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Use safety gloves to protect your hands from cuts and irritations. Wear long sleeves, safety goggles, long pants, a straw hat, and boots. Apply sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher and use insect repellent if needed.
Consider temperatures. Weather conditions can change excessively from morning to afternoon. Check the weather first and then plan your gardening day. Remember to stay hydrated!
Use chemicals carefully. Read the chemical label before use. This ensures it will be used correctly and for its intended purpose. Store away from children and animals.
Focus on posture. Gardening includes a lot of bending and kneeling. Take time to ensure you maintain the right posture. Ask for assistance when lifting anything heavy.