TIP OF THE WEEK

Gardeners know herbs grow like weeds but spoil quickly in the fridge. Here are three ideas from Bon Appetit to help you use up those summer herbs.

Make a salad. Stick with tender herbs such as parsley, cilantro, chervil, tarragon, mint and dill. Just rinse them clean and pull the leaves from the stems. Add them whole to any salad.

Make a simple syrup. Just add a large handful of herbs to a basic mixture of equal parts sugar and water. Bring it to a boil, stir and remove from the heat. Once cooled, strain out the herbs and use the simple syrup to sweeten iced tea, coffee and mixed drinks.

Make a dip. Basil isn’t the only herb that makes a great pesto — try parsley, cilantro or mint. You can also make a quick dip with a handful of herbs and cream cheese.

HEALTHY EATING

Foods to help keep you young

In the 1970s, it was rumored Soviet Georgia was home to more centenarians per capita than any other country. Their secret? Yogurt. While the age-defying power of yogurt hasn’t been widely proven, there are some foods that may prevent age-related diseases.

According to AARP, these three foods may help keep you young:

Fish: Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fats, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries.

Olive oil: Olive oil contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.

Blueberries: Blueberries contain compounds that mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are often associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.

SALT

6 tips to reduce salt in your diet

Americans today consume 50 percent more than the recommended daily quantities of sodium, says the National Kidney Foundation. To reduce salt intake to the ideal 1 teaspoon per day, follow these tips:

— Avoid packaged meats and opt for fresh instead.

— Choose frozen veggies labeled “fresh frozen” that do not contain added seasoning or sauces.

— Read food labels to check for sodium content, especially when comparing brands.

— Stay away from seasonings that include references to sodium on their labels, such as garlic salt.

— Before dining out, research the sodium content of various dishes served at the restaurant.

— Alternatively, request that the dish be served without salt.

Keep in mind it takes about 6-8 weeks to get used to eating food with lower quantities of salt. But once you’ve successfully managed to reduce your salt intake, it becomes difficult to go back.

SMART EATING

So what are ‘natural flavors’ anyway?

Chemically speaking, artificial and natural flavors aren’t that different from each other, says Bon Appetit.

While both are produced in laboratories, artificial flavoring is made from inedible substances like petroleum, whereas natural flavors define anything that comes from a vegetable, fruit, spice, dairy product, meat — the list goes on.

“Nutritionally, there is no difference between them. Usually, what’s nutritional in the food is not the flavor molecule,” says Pia Sorensen, PhD.

Suffer from food allergies? If so, keep in mind the FDA doesn’t require food labels to define what’s in their “natural flavor” unless the ingredients include a common allergen. If you have an allergy to a less common allergen, contact the manufacturer to see if that ingredient is part of the product’s blend of flavors.

— Brandpoint