From the May 2016 Issue

Unwrap a Tomatillo

At first glance, the tomatillo (“little tomato” in Spanish) does indeed resemble a small green tomato. But at first bite, this little gem packs a sizable zing—tart with a touch of sweet—that’s all its own. This native to Mexico was a staple in the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans who cultivated it for millennia. Tomatillos play an integral role in traditional Mexican dishes, such as salsa verde (green sauce), that have become American favorites. These days, they’re a star ingredient on restaurant menus and are readily available in markets to add a punch of flavor and nutrition to home-cooked meals as well.


Current Issue

Healthy Fats, Caffeine, and the Nordic Diet for Senior Women

Researchers gathered long-term diet information from people in 186 countries and estimated that 10 percent of heart disease deaths (700,000) worldwide were due to consuming insufficient amounts of omega-6 fats. Premature atrial and ventricular contractions (essentially, extra heart beats) are common, and in rare cases may cause stroke or heart disease deaths. A healthy, traditional Nordic diet, rich in berries, root and cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat dairy, is linked with better physical performance in later life.

Easy Ways to Meet Your Fruit and Vegetable Goal

Not enough people are reaping the health benefits of produce consumption. Only 13 percent of people in the U.S. are eating enough fruit—1.5 to 2 cups daily—according to a 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The news is worse for vegetables: Just nine percent of the nation is consuming enough vegetables to meet the two-to-three-cup daily recommendation.

Unwrap a Tomatillo

At first glance, the tomatillo (“little tomato” in Spanish) does indeed resemble a small green tomato. But at first bite, this little gem packs a sizable zing—tart with a touch of sweet—that’s all its own. This native to Mexico was a staple in the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans who cultivated it for millennia. Tomatillos play an integral role in traditional Mexican dishes, such as salsa verde (green sauce), that have become American favorites. These days, they’re a star ingredient on restaurant menus and are readily available in markets to add a punch of flavor and nutrition to home-cooked meals as well.

Breast Cancer Prevention Update

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women in the U.S. But changes in eating habits and physical activity could prevent about one in three cases, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

Pass the Bread Please

Sliced bread may seem like a mere vehicle for your sandwich fillings, but it can be much more. Bread can be a terrific source of fiber, whole grains, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. Plus, it can provide delicious flavor, thanks to the tremendous variety of breads now available in supermarkets. You can find breads with a variety of grains, such as wheat, oats, and rye; added ingredients such as sprouted seeds and nuts; and beneficial nutritional qualities, such as high fiber. So, with so many varieties of breads, as well as labels claiming health benefits, how can you pick the best loaf?

Sugar: Not Sweet for Your Heart

People who consume more added sugars have a higher risk of death from heart disease. Researchers used to think it was the calories in sugary foods that were the problem: sugar made us fat, and obesity raised our risk of heart disease. But a 2014 research review found that people who consumed more added sugars had more risk factors for cardiovascular disease no matter what size they were.

Snout-to-Tail Eating

Snout-to-tail eating, where the entire animal is used, is an outgrowth of many current food trends, though it’s been around since the dawn of time. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Culinary Forecast, this interest may be seen in a number of trends, including today's focus on local meats, new cuts of meat, artisan butchery, house-made sausages, and food waste reduction.

Update: Coenzyme Q10 and Your Health

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone or shortened to CoQ10, is a coenzyme—a molecule that helps enzymes do their jobs—that exists naturally in humans. Found predominantly in the mitochondria, CoQ10 plays a role in energy production and is found in the largest concentrations in the highest energy-using organs, like the heart and lungs.

Sea Salt Pros and Cons; Water Apple Benefits

Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being healthier. Just a century and a half ago there were thousands of apple varieties in the U.S., but large-scale farming chose only a few for commercial consumption. Different varieties have varying genetic make-ups and characteristics, prompting increased research and interest in apples you may not be familiar with.

We’re Snacking More, So Snack Better

We’ve become a snacking nation. We’re consuming an average of 2.3 snacks per day. In fact, the idea of snacking has lost its stigma. What was once discouraged as a “spoiler of appetites” has now come to be considered a healthful habit.

Healthy Diets Don’t Have to Be Costly

Despite the popular belief that eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is expensive, a new study conducted by The Miriam Hospital and The Rhode Island Community Food Bank proves otherwise.

Eat a Rainbow of Produce!

If you limit your produce intake to just a few popular types—apples, bananas, and iceberg lettuce, for example—you miss out on thousands of phytochemicals that are available in a range of colorful produce. Phytochemicals (plant chemicals) are what give fruits and vegetables their color, scent, and flavor. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, which is behind their myriad health benefits.

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.

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