There are plenty of options out there when it comes to liquid refreshment. But while it doesn’t take anything more complicated than plain old tap water to keep you hydrated, the newest beverages aren’t content to stop there. Functional beverages are drinks with a little something extra included — designed to protect your skin, boost your brainpower, reduce inflammation or help you get a better night’s sleep. The idea behind them is simple (to help you get more out of every sip), but the formulations are complex blends of vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and more.
Looking for a way to make your baked goods healthier and add extra nutrients to other everyday dishes? Then you’ll want to start keeping some pulse flours in your kitchen pantry. If you search online or in specialty grocery stores, you’ll find a wide array of flours made from pulses — like green pea, white bean, chickpea, fava bean and black bean. And more and more, you can find one or two varieties (chickpea being the most common) even at mainstream groceries.
Chances are when you hear the phrase “vegan meat,” you think of bland veggie burgers, mealy meatless sausages and the much-maligned Tofurky. But that’s about to change. Enter a new breed of meatless “meat” that’s carefully crafted and technologically engineered to truly replicate the tastes, smells and textures of the real thing — no animals required.
According to the dictionary, the word “natural” means “having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives.” But when it comes to seeing the word “natural” on a food label, the definition gets much murkier — so much so, in fact, that the FDA (which is currently reviewing the term and how it can define and regulate it) has recently extended its public comment period on the meaning of this word until May 10, 2016.
If you don’t readily recognize the word “pulses,” or know it is the official name for the category of food that includes dry peas, chickpeas, beans and lentils, you’re not alone. In fact, most Americans have no idea what pulses are. But many of those same people likely have a can of chickpeas, a bag of dried lentils or some black beans lurking on the shelves of their kitchen cupboards. And now that the United Nations has officially declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, it’s only a matter of time before this pantry staple also becomes a household word.
Pulses, it turns out, have a lot going for them in terms of nutrition, sustainability and affordability. Here are the top five reasons to start including more of them in your diet.
Every nutrient, it seems, gets to have its day in the sun (and its time in the doghouse). First fat was the enemy, then good fats suddenly became all the rage. High-protein diets have come and gone. And while carbs have been demonized by some, the high-fiber content of complex carbohydrates is predicted to be the next big thing on the dietary horizon. Read more
There’s a debate raging around dairy, with some people advocating its consumption for a variety of health reasons, and others shunning it based on their own digestive or ethical concerns. But the newly released dietary guidelines are clear: They continue to recommend three servings per day of dairy as the best way to meet the requirements for calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin A and magnesium. “The guidelines say that dairy is crucial, because for most Americans it is the primary source of those nutrients that many come up short on,” says Isabel Maples, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.
But many Americans experience symptoms of lactose intolerance that make consuming dairy products particularly unpleasant. The gas, bloating and diarrhea are caused by an inability to digest lactose — the sugar that naturally occurs in cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. Recently, however, science has started to tease out another possible explanation for many people’s post-dairy discomfort. “Researchers looked into why people who thought they were lactose-intolerant could drink goat’s milk without issue, even though it has as much lactose as cow’s milk,” says Bonnie Johnson, M.S., R.D., nutrition director, a2 Milk Company.
Chances are you’ve heard of the Blue Zones — the mystical-sounding places where a shockingly high proportion of residents live to be 100 years old. While researchers have uncovered several secrets to their longevity, perhaps the most-remarkable factor is that these longest-living people get 90 to 100 percent of their diets from plant foods. And chief among those? Beans.
Feeding your kids is always a challenge. Feeding them healthy food that’s easy for you to make and fun for them to eat is the Holy Grail of parenting. Luckily, the top five food trends for kids this year fit all of those criteria. “These foods are fun, but not because they have tons of sugar or artificial fluorescent colors,” says Kate Geagan, M.S., RDN, author of Go Green, Get Lean.
They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.