From the April 2014 Issue

Vegetables on the Breakfast Table

“Eat your vegetables” is oft-repeated advice at the dinner table, but how many times do you hear it at breakfast? While vegetables are not typically at the forefront of Americans’ minds when it comes to the first meal of the day, it can be an ideal opportunity to improve your health and start the morning off right.

Current Issue

A Bloody Good Orange!

The folklore. The blood orange belies its unsettling name with a reputation of sweet citrus bliss. First documented in 17th century Italy, people feared the shocking ruby flesh was poisonous and avoided eating the oranges for hundreds of years. Eventually, the sanguine beauty was coveted for eating as well as for alleged healing powers, such as flu prevention and improved fertility. Today, blood oranges tip the nutrition scales with a bountiful supply of antioxidants, and make any dish, well, bloody good.

Reading Behind the Food Eco Labels

hat’s in my food? How is it made? These are questions consumers are increasingly concerned about when it comes to purchasing food, according to the Natural Products Industry Forecast 2014, released by New Hope Natural Media and the marketing research organization Sterling-Rice Group. Labeling food products to identify production practices and the pedigree of ingredients is a practice food producers are adopting as a way to give transparency to consumers.

Enhance Natural Detox Defense with a Plant-Rich Diet

Detoxification diets—lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks—are popular among celebrities who want to shed pounds or boost energy. These diets typically involve some kind of restricted eating regimen and sometimes require special supplements or products. With such a profile, it’s no wonder many people view the diets as marketing gimmicks. Even so, it would be shortsighted to classify all detoxification regimens as the same and completely dismiss them, says Sheila Dean, DSc, RD, owner of The Palm Harbor Center for Health & Healing in Palm Harbor, Florida.

It’s Pop Pop, Popcorn Time!

Popcorn—it’s one of those foods that tastes great, and is good for you. This whole grain snack is a great alternative for low-nutrient, fatty, salty snacks, such as chips and cheese puffs. Plain popcorn is naturally low in sodium and fat, and high in fiber. But before you visit your grocery store on a popcorn binge, consider that many popcorn products have considerable amounts of salt, oil, sugar, and artificial ingredients that can reduce their nutritional quality. And, while most are free of artery-clogging trans fats, a few still contain a substantial amount. But there are many delicious popcorns in a variety of flavors that can fit within your healthy eating guidelines.

Enhance Natural Detox Defense with a Plant-Rich Diet

Detoxification diets—lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks—are popular among celebrities who want to shed pounds or boost energy. These diets typically involve some kind of restricted eating regimen and sometimes require special supplements or products. With such a profile, it’s no wonder many people view the diets as marketing gimmicks. Even so, it would be shortsighted to classify all detoxification regimens as the same and completely dismiss them, says Sheila Dean, DSc, RD, owner of The Palm Harbor Center for Health & Healing in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Make it Tea Time to Boost Cancer Protection

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, after water—and one of the oldest medicinal brews. For the past 5,000 years, tea was believed to purify the body and preserve the mind. A large body of scientific evidence, including over 3,000 published studies, shows a link between tea and improved health, with a focus on protection against various types of cancer, such as digestive, skin, lung, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. All true teas—white, green, oolong and black—come from the buds of the same plant, Camellia sinensis.

Fruitful Foraging

Gone are the days when a short walk could reveal a wild harvest of earthy mushrooms, plump raspberries or aromatic sage. Or are they? Foraging for wild food is back, and it’s trending high. Though most of us no longer forage for survival, nature’s wild pantry of nutrient-rich plants has spiked a curiosity and adventure that’s inspiring top chefs and home cooks alike.

EN Explores Olive Health; Carrageenan Safety

lthough olives seem to get most of their attention for their heart-healthy oil, olives by themselves offer important health benefits. Whether they’re Greek-style black olives, Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata, French, or Californian, olives are a plant food rich in phytonutrients that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Americans Cut Calories, Thanks to Home Cooking

Americans are slimming their calorie consumption, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture study. That’s welcome news amid a body of research that charts our nation’s ongoing fight with obesity and its health-related fallout, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The study found that working-age adults consumed on average 118 fewer calories per day between 2009 and 2010, compared with four years earlier. Twenty percent of the improvement in overall calorie cutback was attributed to eating more home-cooked meals and fewer restaurant and fast food meals.

Scientists Call for Reducing Antibiotics in Animals

High levels of antibiotic use worldwide are diminishing the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of common infections, according to a recent report written by 26 international scientists in The Lancet. While human medicine accounts for some of the upswing in antibiotic use in recent years, its use in veterinary medicine and for growth promotion in farm animals is a major contributing factor. Unless action is taken, serious medical, social and economic setbacks could occur, the report states, because there is little difference in the type of antibiotics used in humans and animals.

Kick the Diet Soda Habit

The debate surrounding the weight loss benefits of drinking diet soda—more specifically its artificial sweetener content—is a hot one. Some experts argue drinking diet soda instead of its sugar-sweetened counterpart can cut calories and support weight loss. Yet, emerging research indicates that diet soda is not conducive to weight control. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines reflects this, recommending that non-caloric sweeteners may reduce the intake of added sugar, yet still questioning their effectiveness as a weight management strategy.

Research Roundup: April 2014

Add avocado to increase fullness. Including half an avocado with a meal may help increase satisfaction and reduce the desire to eat after the meal, says research from Loma Linda University. The study, which included 26 healthy, overweight people, found that participants who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported increased hunger satisfaction of 26 percent, along with a decreased desire to eat by 40 percent over the following three-hour period, compared to those who didn’t eat avocado with lunch. Over five hours after eating the avocado, they reported a 28 percent decreased desire to eat.

Recommended Reading

The Arthritis Cure
The Medical Miracle That Can Halt, Reverse, and May Even Cure Osteoarthritis

Edited by Jason Theodosakis, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., and Sheila Buff. Jason Theodosakis is an assistant clinical professor and the director of the Preventative Medicine Residency Training Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. This revised edition of his 1997 book, The Arthritis Cure, has been updated to include new research, and still promises to provide relief for people who suffer chronic arthritis pain. Outlining a nine-point program that includes a new supplement, ASU, this book describes a program that is said to halt, reverse, and possibly even cure degenerative osteoarthritis. Dr. Theodosakis's program includes ratings of the current supplements on the market, a new exercise program, and dietary changes that may help treat arthritis.

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About EN

Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning, independent newsletter (no sponsors, no advertisers) that opens your eyes to what you put in your mouth. Are you floundering in the swamp of conflicting advice on low-carb diets, vitamin E, eating fish, genetically modified foods? EN offers authoritative, reliable, practical guidance on what works and what doesn't in balancing your diet to protect... More.