From the August 2015 Issue

Tame the Flame of Inflammation

You’re probably painfully aware of the inflammation associated with a twisted ankle or a hammered thumb. But you can't feel low-grade inflammation, which can operate in stealth mode for years until it reveals its ugly head as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or heart disease. Fight inflammation with our top nine foods.

Current Issue

3 Ways to Make Healthy Eating Within Your Reach

More people are interested in improving the quality of their diets, but often their best-made plans don’t come to fruition. Yet healthy eating might be a lot easier to achieve than you think, according to intriguing new research from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Sipping Apple Cider Vinegar; Sulfur in Dried Fruit

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used apple cider vinegar to clean wounds. Now, apple cider vinegar—made from the fermented liquid of crushed apples—is viewed as a healthy elixir touted for diabetes control and weight loss. Studies have shown that taking apple cider vinegar with a high carbohydrate meal and at bedtime can significantly lower blood sugar and insulin responses for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

Melatonin and Your Sleep

Popularized in the 1990s as a sleep aid, use of melatonin supplements is on the rise. The most recent National Health Interview Survey revealed a doubling of melatonin usage among adults from 2007 to 2012. Estimated sales of melatonin supplements tripled over the same five-year period, from $90 million in 2007 to $260 million in 2012, according to data from the Nutrition Business Journal. But how safe and effective is melatonin?

The Safety of Imported Foods

Have you ever been concerned about the safety of foods imported from other countries? If so, you are not alone. According to the 2012 International Food Information Council Food and Health Survey, about half of Americans feel that imported foods are less safe than those produced in the U.S.; of this group, 77 percent feel they lack regulation, 61 percent feel they are produced in less sanitary conditions, and 60 percent believe they could become contaminated during travel.

The Scoop on Fructose

If you were a natural foods enthusiast in the early 1980s, you might recall cookbooks that used fructose instead of table sugar as a sweetener. Fructose is a natural sugar in fruit, so it was viewed as a healthier option. Plus, fructose is sweeter than table sugar, potentially enabling you to use less in recipes and thus trim calories. However, today you’re more likely to find people avoiding high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and bookstores selling low-fructose cookbooks. Here’s help understanding this shift in perspective and what it means for your grocery list.

Fruit Round-Up

It’s not news that fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. These delicious plant foods are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, in addition to being low in fat and sodium, and modest in calories. Fruit intake has been linked with many benefits, such as reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. That’s why the USDA recommends that women eat 1½ cups of fruit every day and men eat 2 cups per day.

How to Protect Against the Top 4 Men’s Health Concerns

Your dinner plate can work for you, or against you. While chronic diseases may feel random or inevitable, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can play a role in reducing or promoting disease. Here are EN’s tips on how to fight disease with your fork.

Protein Quality Counts

There’s truth to the saying “you are what you eat.” Our bodies take what we eat, break it down, and use the parts to build everything we need to live, grow, and stay healthy. Think of a fish fillet as made out of tiny building blocks. When we eat it, our bodies take apart the blocks and use them to build other things in our bodies, like cell walls, muscle fibers, and enzymes. In proteins, these building blocks are amino acids, nine of which are essential because we must get them from food. A “high quality” protein food is technically one that has all the amino acids you need packaged in such a way that they can easily be broken apart and reused by the body.

Corn: An A-maize-ing Plant

The folklore. Maize, known in the U.S. as “corn” (Zea mays,) was domesticated in Mexico at least 7,000 years ago. While corn was a staple in early American cultures, it spread to the rest of the world via the Spanish explorers in the late 15th century. Among Native American tribes, corn was a symbol in rituals, folkloric medicine, and mythologies; the Cherokees believed it treated kidney stones, the Mohegan tribe used it to relieve poison ivy, and the Navajos relied on it for sore throats. In traditional Chinese medicine, corn was used to treat heart disease, gallstones, jaundice, and hepatitis.

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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