From the June 2013 Issue
Fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows theyre good for you, but were not eating nearly enough. Only 6 percent of us meet our daily recommended target for vegetables, and 8 percent achieve our goal for fruits. Thats a pretty dismal track record for foods that have such powerful health potential. Scores of studies have linked fruit and vegetable consumption with myriad health benefits, including reduced risk of: certain types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, age-related eye disease, bone loss, lung disease, high blood pressure, diverticulitis, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
If you take in less energy than your body requires, you lose weight; when you take in more than you need, you gain weight. When your energy is in perfect balance, you maintain your weight. It seems so easy, but two out of three adults are overweight or obese and struggle to master this equation. Most Americans become overweight through a slow, gradual weight gain of one to two pounds per year, demonstrating that a slight imbalance of energy is all it takes to result in weight gain over time, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This can result in health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This year, more than 1.6 million men and women will be diagnosed with cancer, but the simple act of eating the right foods can help prevent, or even support your treatment of this devastating disease, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can help reduce your risk with a few simple lifestyle strategies...
Showing the number of calories on restaurant food items can positively influence what people choose to eat, according to a recent study from Oklahoma State University, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. In the study, restaurant patrons ate from one of three menus over a two-week period: a standard menu without calorie information, a menu showing food items calorie counts, or a third menu with traffic lights representing calorie counts (green = foods under 400 calories, yellow = 401-800 calories, and red = 800+ calories).
Nightshades, plants in the Solanaceae family, include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet and hot peppers. While nightshade foods are rich in healthy antioxidants, they contain an alkaloid called solanine, a natural insect defense mechanism thats concentrated mostly in leaves and stems. Given that humans are bigger than bugs, it would take a lot of tomato and eggplant leaves (we usually eat the vegetable part, which has lower levels) to cause solanine toxicity. Yet, if you eat enough of the leaves youll have an upset tummy.
Back in the 70s, liquid diets were hot liquid meal replacements and diet shakes had just entered our lexicon. And today, liquids are hotter than ever, with the popularity of juicing, and new beverages, such as coffee and tea, sports and energy drinks, enriched waters, and smoothies. Some liquid supplements and juices may be an effective way to increase your daily nutrient intake, but studies indicate that consuming an increased volume of liquid calories may be counterproductive for health.
Its impossible to underestimate the importance of the hard-working vitamin, B12, which plays a major role in metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, maintenance of the central nervous system, and creation of DNA. In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is serious business, which can result in megaloblastic anemia (a blood disorder with larger than normal red blood cells) and symptoms that may include numbness and tingling in the arms, difficulty walking, memory loss, and disorientation.
Greek families have been making it for generations. But a few years ago, food companies decided to get into the Greek yogurt business, a move that has proven popular with consumers. What makes it so special? Traditionally, Greek yogurt is made by straining out the whey (watery liquid) in yogurt, resulting in a thicker, creamier yogurt that is more nutrient-dense. For example, six ounces of traditional yogurt contains approximately five grams of protein, while the same amount of Greek yogurt contains roughly 14 grams.
Since the beginning of time, humans have followed the lead of birds by gathering edible seeds for sustenance. Anthropologists believe that our ancient ancestors probably collected and ate just about any seed that wasnt poisonous, storing them away for use all year long. To this day, seeds are a popular food source in cultures around the world, from sesame seeds, which are ground into a paste used in Mediterranean dishes, to chia seeds, which are used as running food by athletes in South America.
Known as heart-seed berries by Native Americans, strawberries have captured imaginations and palates for thousands of years. Mythology tells how the tears of the goddess Venus, which were shed over the death of Adonis, fell to earth and became strawberry plants. The wild strawberry, which is native to the Americas, Europe and Asia, is now cultivated worldwide, where it is celebrated at festivals and enjoyed with shortcake, in frozen delights and straight from the vine as a fresh welcome to spring and a cool repast on hot summer days.
Higher walnut consumption is linked with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women, according to data in the Nurses Health Study and Nurses Health Study II. Researchers followed more than 137,000 women, ages 35 77 years, for 10 years. In the tenth year of follow-up, women who had consumed walnuts regularlyone to three servings per month, one serving per week, and more than two servings per weekshowed a dose-related decrease in their association with diabetes, compared with those who rarely or never ate them.
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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