guess what major food source Americans still fall way short on in their diets?
If you said fish, winner, winner, seafood dinner. The average American eats
only a third of the recommended eight ounces of seafood per week, according to
the USDA. And that means we’re missing out on all the nutritious stuff
seafood has on offer: lean protein, vitamin D, selenium, and brain-boosting,
I don’t think people eat enough fish simply because they don’t know how to cook
it,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet.
there could be another culprit: concerns about mercury. This
naturally-occurring mineral can be toxic in high levels, and it tends to hang
around in your body, so pros recommend limiting consumption of fish that
contain a lot of it. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are warned to watch their
intake because high levels of mercury can damage the developing brain
and nervous system of a fetus or baby, but small children and any woman of
childbearing age should be concerned as well.
Polyphenols might be one
of those intriguing buzzwords you frequently read on health food labels.
You add them to cart because they sound like something you should be
incorporating into your diet but you’re not quite sure why. But...what exactly
do they do for you?
Karen Ansel, R.D.N., author
of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer,
says polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidant chemicals found naturally in
many plants, are instrumental in protecting our cells from free radical damage,
which are often attributed to chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and
dementia. They’re linked to longevity, too: A 2013 study published in the Journal
of Nutrition found a link between high polyphenol consumption and a 30
percent decrease in mortality in elderly adults.
Want to live long and prosper?
Simply eat a plant-heavy diet, which ups your polyphenol ante significantly.
You know you should be getting your five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables
a day, but Ansel suggests distributing your plant consumption evenly across
every meal, rather than having a green juice for breakfast and calling it a
day. “Keep in mind that some polyphenols don’t survive all that long in the
body. Eating polyphenol-rich foods at every meal and snack provides the biggest
bang by delivering a steady stream to your body all throughout the day,” she
But because polyphenols aren’t
as essential to survival as, say, minerals, there’s no prescribed daily
recommended intake. Lifestyle factors, however, can act as a guide. If you
smoke or live in a heavily polluted area, Ansel says you need them even more
“to help your body quash and protect against the additional free radicals that
are attacking your cells.”
First ginger, then matcha, now turmeric. The yellow spice often found in Indian food (and ginger’s cousin, FYI) has officially reached celebrity status, making its way into lattes in just about every trendy café and on Instagram (see: #turmericlatte or #goldenlatte). And the fad is only growing. Case in point: News broke recently that a woman supposedly died after receiving an intravenous turmeric injection, according toForbes. Yes, an injection.
Why the sudden infatuation with an ancient root? For years, holistic health practitioners have heralded turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin.Studieshave shown that the compound inhibits a number of molecules that play a role in inflammation in the body, and other studies have shown that inflammation has been linked to metabolic diseases, like obesity.
You know that eating the wrong foods can leave your
digestion and gut health in a pretty sorry state. (We’re looking at you, sugar
and refined carbs.) But those aren’t the only things that can do a number on
your GI tract.
medications and supplements could also have an impact—and leave you nauseous,
crampy, or constipated as a result. Here’s a look at 5 common culprits, plus
what you can do to safeguard your stomach if you have to take them.
Chronic inflammation has been associated with an increased
risk of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis,
and cancer. Sure, some inflammation is good—the acute kind is a form of
self-protection, your body's immune response to a cut or pathogens entering the
Chronic inflammation, however, means that your body is constantly
producing immune cells, which can damage the body. This harmful inflammation is
a result of never-ending stress, being overweight, or a diet high in things
like sugar, trans fats, and various toxins. But while the wrong diet
promotes excessive inflammation, a diet rich in clean foods can help reduce it
and its harmful effects on your body. The following foods in particular are
Salmon, black cod, sardines,
and anchovies are full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is
a particularly good choice—its rosy pink color comes from carotenoids, which
also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Avoid an overflowing medicine
cabinet by tapping into the healing powers hiding inside your kitchen cabinet.
More and more modern-day research identifies what ancient healers have known
for centuries—spices hold amazing healing properties. With many overflowing
with natural compounds that deter type 2 diabetes, one of the nation’s
fastest-growing medical problems, spices could serve as an economical way to
save lives. The best part? They’re delicious! Enjoy!
Aromatic and medicinal, this spice has been shown to ease
anxiety and help people sleep. It’s also an important spice for people living
with type 2 diabetes. A 2011 study published in the Research Journal of Pharmaceutical,
Biological and Chemical Sciences found coriander acted as a
natural blood-sugar and cholesterol regulator.
Use It: Ground coriander seeds pair
well with eggs, salad dressings, chili sauces, and guacamole.
While there is no real evidence to
show that food combining diets improve digestion or enhance weight loss, there
are some foods that are best enjoyed together to get the best from their
Mix up your berries
Berries are bursting with
cancer-fighting antioxidants - but if you really want to benefit, try mixing up
the berries in your bowl. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found
that eating a variety of berries at the same time significantly increases their
Enjoy strawberries and a handful of blueberries for
example, or buy frozen mixed berries to use in smoothies. Just don't use
yoghurt - milk proteins bind to antioxidants and so can prevent them from being
processed as efficiently.
Have you ever felt like your healthy food was
Sure, grilled chicken breast and vegetables are
great for you, but it can also leave a lot lacking in the taste department. If
you're finding that your food is sitting on the side of bland a little more
than you'd like, then you need to find the best spices. But the best in spices
is as relative as the best in gas mileage — everyone says their spices are the
best. That's why we got the help of culinary nutritionist Keisha Luke.
There has been major buzz lately over everyone's
favourite obsession: coconut oil. The fitness community raves about its
fat-burning benefits, while beauty gurus preach about its hair- and skin-nourishing properties.
But its health benefits? Those are
being put into question with a new statement by the American Heart Association (AHA).
The claims are raising some eyebrows and have people second-guessing, is coconut
oil healthy? We break it down.
What The AHA Is Saying
According to the AHA, a diet high in saturated fat
contributes to a higher risk of heart disease (think, high blood pressure,
stroke, heart attack, etc). Nothing new coming from the AHA, however. Their
statement breaks down older studies conducted on saturated fats and their link
to high-cholesterol levels (their indicator of heart health).