Nutrition News: Coffee-Benefit Boosters, Fatty-Food Sleep Effects, Health Perks of Curcumin

by in Food News, April 29, 2016

Getting the most out of your cuppa joe

Coffee — it not only wakes us up and elevates our mood, but, research suggests, may also protect us against dementia and boost our memory and metabolism. However, Fox News warns, we may be unintentionally undercutting some of coffee’s benefits. The site lists eight caffeine-consumption mistakes to avoid, including buying coffee preground and storing it in its original bag, which increase the level of free radicals, using up the health-promoting antioxidants, as well as drinking it too early, drinking too much, overdoing it with the sugar and drinking the wrong roast. Also, if you’re the sort of person who lets your coffee sit there forever, which increases its acidity, you may be upping your risk of heartburn and indigestion. Plus, if you drink your cuppa joe within 20 minutes of brewing — when, let’s face it, it tastes best anyway — you maximize the antioxidant benefits as well.

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6 In-Season Sides That Kids Will Love

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, April 28, 2016

Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a healthy diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly chicken nuggets, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn arugula, carrots, spinach and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Arugula
Getting kids to eat their greens can be the biggest hurdle of the day, but this Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Basil and Pistachios makes crisp, peppery arugula appetizing for younger palates. Combine the seasonal green with fluffy quinoa, sweet dried apricots and dollops of tangy goat cheese and you’ll hear zero protests when the dish hits the table.

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Order This, Not That: Shake Shack

by in Dining Out, April 28, 2016

This popular burger joint sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in order to support the Madison Square Park Conservatory’s first art installation. Customers couldn’t get enough of the cart’s famous Shack Sauce, and the lines were endless. Today, Shake Shack can be found in 15 states within the U.S. and in numerous countries throughout the world. Find out what you should order and what you should skip the next time you’re craving a Shack Burger.

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Lentil-Crusted Chicken Parmesan

by in Healthy Recipes, April 27, 2016

The boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the most convenient, affordable and healthy kitchen staples out there. Simple yet versatile, chicken can be prepared in many ways and is chameleon-like when it comes to flavor, easily taking on the attributes of seasonings and sauces. I usually roast a batch of seasoned chicken breasts on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Then I can add chicken to my salads and sandwiches, or make a stir-fry for dinner in a pinch.

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5-Ingredient Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Carrots

by in Healthy Recipes, April 26, 2016

I love preparing batches of salads during the warmer months so I can enjoy them in light lunches throughout the week. Since quinoa is a complete source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about adding extra protein, unless you really want to. Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, providing both good carbs and protein.

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Healthy Tropical Banana Pudding

by in Healthy Recipes, April 25, 2016

When I was growing up in the South, almost every event and family gathering would include a large bowl of banana pudding: homemade custard, sliced bananas, Nilla wafers and a mountain of freshly whipped cream. The sweet, gooey dessert was one of my favorites, and I often asked for a side of extra wafers to dip into the layered pudding. With those delicious memories, I set out to create a lightened-up, tropical spin on my beloved banana pudding.

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5 Hacks for Canned Coconut Milk

by in Healthy Tips, April 24, 2016

With its creamy goodness, canned coconut milk is more useful around the kitchen than you might think. In addition to being delicious, this vegan option is nonperishable and costs less per ounce than heavy cream. Each serving (1/3 cup) contains 120 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat, so, like many decadent foods, it’s to be enjoyed in moderation.

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5 Tips to Spring-Clean Your Kitchen

by in Healthy Tips, April 23, 2016

Spring is in the air, but you’d better make sure your kitchen is ready. With the warm weather comes not only delicious produce, but also the possibility of insects and bacteria that can make you sick. Here are five things you can do to make sure your kitchen is in tiptop shape this spring.

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Nutrition News: Fast Food and Hormones, Nordic Diet, Family Meals

by in Food News, April 22, 2016

Fries with that hormone disrupter?

Yet another reason to skip fast food if you want to eat healthy: A new study indicates that fast food may expose those who consume it to chemicals called phthalates, which can disrupt hormones and even lower sperm count in men. Researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health found that people who had consumed more than 35 percent of their calories from fast food in the previous 24 hours had significantly higher levels of two phthalate byproducts, DEHP and DiNP. The authors suggest that the phthalates may have gotten into food — possibly from sources like plastic gloves or conveyor belts — during preparation or packaging, and that the heat from cooking may exacerbate the issue.

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Bottled Matcha, Now in a Store Near You

by in Grocery Shopping, April 22, 2016

Matcha is a ground-up version of green tea leaves that’s a caffeinated alternative to coffee. It has 70 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Coffee has 96 milligrams for the same portion, but matcha drinkers say that their energy is more consistent, with less of a dive after the caffeine effect wears off. By consuming the leaves directly (instead of steeping them in water as you would green tea), you get more nutrients and antioxidants in one punch. At about 10 calories per teaspoon, matcha is a calorie-friendly way to get green tea flavor, and it dissolves easily in milk or water. Instead of trying to find a specialty shop that blends matcha up for you, you can now purchase the green stuff in bottled form at your local grocery store.

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