Summer is around the corner, and while many look forward to the joys this season brings — vacations, more time spent outside, time off from school and work — just as many dread it thanks to media marketing around getting “the perfect bikini body” and photo-shopped models painting an unrealistic ideal. Along with the “beach body” marketing comes an onslaught of ridiculous fad diets and expensive schemes that ultimately lead to long-term weight gain…not to mention lower self-esteem, anxiety and preoccupation with food. This summer, try eating for your body, instead of that bikini and implement these practices to cultivate body respect and kindness. Read more
You’re at work, feeling a little hungry, low energy or just in the mood to take a break, so you stroll down to the vending machine in search of a snack. You feed some cash into the machine and choose something that catches your eye. A few minutes later, you’re sitting at your desk with an empty bag, greasy fingers and an unmistakable sense of regret. Why didn’t you choose something healthier?
Making snack decisions in a snap doesn’t always bring out the healthiest eater in us. To quantify this truism, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago created a device that can be installed in vending machines that delays the dispensing of unhealthy snacks (candy and chips, for instance) for 25 seconds and but allows healthier snacks (nuts, popcorn) to be dispensed straightaway. A sign on the vending machine lets people know unhealthy snacks will take extra time to receive.
Here’s a toast-worthy trend that just might stick: Nutrition experts are increasingly looking beyond trusty old peanut butter and going nuts for other sorts of protein-rich nut and seed spreads – sunflower butter, sesame butter and more. (SB&J? Why not?)
“When it comes to nut and seed butters, variety is the spice of life!” says San Diego-based nutrition coach, registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist EA Stewart, MBA, RD at The Spicy RD. Healthy Eats asked Stewart to share her thoughts about the incredible spreadable trend:
How do seed and other nut butters compare nutritionally to trusty old peanut butter?
While all nuts and seeds contain heart-healthy fats and fiber, each nut and seed is unique in its nutrition profile, so it’s a good idea to include a variety of them in our diets. For instance, macadamia nuts are very high in monounsaturated fats, while flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are the highest in omega-3 fats. Almonds and hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, while pumpkin and other seeds are rich in magnesium, a nutrient many of us fall short on. Bottom line: Enjoy a wide variety of nut, seed and legume (peanuts) butters in your diet to get the greatest nutrient bang for your buck. The only potential downside is to keep portion control in mind, as nut and seed butters are a concentrated source of calories, and it’s easy to go overboard. Read more
The practice of yoga is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around for over 5,000 years, but only recently has it gained popularity in the United States. A 2016 Yoga in America market research study, conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, found that the number of yoga practitioners in the U.S. had increased to 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012. The awareness of the practice has grown as well; today, 95% of Americans are aware of yoga, up from 75% in 2012. Why the explosion of an ancient practice in the past four years? There’s a rising interest in health and wellness and consumers are looking for alternative therapies. And let’s face it — stress levels are at an all-time high and yoga has been shown to calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. But what if there were other reasons to hop on your yoga mat beyond improving flexibility and reducing stress? What if yoga could help heal your relationship with food? Preliminary research shows that this mind-body practice may support mindful eating and disordered eating treatment. Read more
The nutrition experts at FoodNetwork.com have the inside scoop on the healthiest and most delicious recipes. The chefs at Food Network are renowned for their culinary creations, but what many folks don’t realize is that many of their recipes are nutrition powerhouses. Here are five recipes from Food Network stars that get rave reviews for both taste and nutrition.
Ina’s Guacamole Salad (pictured above)
This may be the most flavorful, colorful and nutrient-filled salad in the Hamptons. This dish features antioxidant rich veggies, plus healthy fats from avocado, protein from beans and 9 grams of hunger-fighting fiber per serving. Serve it as a side dish with grilled meat or fish, or with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Read more
With its spiky tips and armadillo-like scales, the artichoke has been known to repel many a timid eater. If you can get past their formidable appearance, though, artichokes are a delight — mild in flavor, and even fun to eat. What’s not to like about a vegetable that can be eaten with your hands, and is a vehicle for melted butter?
Grown primarily in California, artichokes are actually unopened flowers from the thistle family. Though there are over 50 varieties, the most common is the Green Globe, an Italian type with a bright green hue. The choke — or thistle — is inedible, as are the tough outer leaves and prickly tips. The heart, which is really the base of the artichoke, is considered the tastiest part. Though they are harvested year-round, artichokes are at their peak in spring, from March through May. Read more
One of the best things about the arrival of spring is the re-emergence of farmers markets. Who doesn’t love a good weekend stroll through rows of locally grown produce? But although the produce is fresh and beautiful, it can also be quite expensive. Instead of dropping $10 on two apples and a carton of berries, use these dietitian-approved money saving tips to spare your wallet during your next trip to the farmers market.
1. Get to know your farmer.
Farmers are people too! Because they spend all day standing around in what can be rough climates, they like to break up the day and have a conversation about the produce. “Farmers are passionate about their work and they’ll appreciate when you are too,” says Christy Brissette, MSc, RD of 80 Twenty Nutrition. She adds that striking up a conversation with a local farmer will not only provide insight into the origins of your food, but you may also find some extra veggies added to your bag. Plus, you’ll have made a knowledgeable friend, who can help you navigate the ins and outs of the market. Read more
With the constant flurry of health-related buzzwords floating around the Internet, “probiotics” is one that seems here to stay. Chances are you’ve read about the benefits of taking a probiotic supplement — maybe your doctor has even recommended one to you. And plenty of nutritionists are singing the praises of probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha on a near-daily basis. It may seem daunting, but you don’t have to dive headfirst into a brand new diet to reap the benefits of probiotics. We chatted with wellness expert, holistic health coach and author of Go with Your Gut, Robyn Youkilis, to get some simple steps to achieving better gut health without overhauling your lifestyle. Read more
While Thai food has become mainstream in the U.S., we often overlook the fresh, colorful and healthful cuisine of another Southeast Asia country, Vietnam. Sure, many Americans have at least heard of or tried pho (a Vietnamese rice noodle soup) so it’s not uncharted food territory. But we’re still not fully aware of the cuisine’s staple ingredients, cooking methods, dishes and nutrition benefits. Having recently taste-tested my way through Vietnam, I discovered a refreshing food culture that’s abundant in fresh herbs and vegetables, clean flavors and light, nourishing dishes.
A Unique Food Culture
“What I like about Vietnamese food is its very clean flavors. Other cuisines in the [Southeast Asia] region may use similar ingredients, but are doing different things with them,” says Marc Lowerson, Owner of Hanoi Street Food Tours in Vietnam. Lowerson explains that it’s rare to find in a dish in Vietnam that tastes rich, too spicy or overly sweet. “The Vietnamese are not pounding their own curry pastes or using coconut milk in savory dishes like the Thais do. There is little use of dry spices: the level of hot spice in the food is rarely in the cooking process, and is most often managed by the individual with condiments on the table.” Read more
If you needed another reason to dip your chip (or better yet, a crisp veggie) into a bowl of yummy guacamole, a new comprehensive research review has offered a good one.
The review, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, evaluated the results of 129 studies to determine the effects of the avocados on various aspects of Metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Read more