By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Which of your five senses is most important to you? If you said “sight,” you’d be in the majority—four out of five baby boomers chose sight in a survey by the Ocular Nutrition Society.
So be proactive about protecting your sight: Eating to ensure your eyes stay healthy is as easy as following these three steps:
Choose antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E protect your eyes from free radicals, damaging compounds that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. A recent study of Swedish women found that those who consumed a diet with the most antioxidant power (one that featured antioxidants that worked best together to protect health) were 13 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Fruits and vegetables topped the list of main sources of antioxidants with 44 percent, followed by whole grains (17 percent) and coffee (15 percent).
By Team Best Life
We know how tough it can be to find the time for a healthy breakfast when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning. But a recent survey from the NPD Group, a market research company, suggests that people have found a solution: More and more Americans are opting for grab-and-go breakfasts.
That’s a smart strategy since the benefits of breakfast have been well proven—people who start their day with a healthy meal are generally slimmer and healthier than those who skip it. Not only can a morning meal help keep your appetite in check, but it can also give you a boost of energy.
Check out the grab-and-go breakfast ideas below, all of which can help you power through your day:
- Muffins. Make a batch of over the weekend, and enjoy them all week long. (Handy tip: You can freeze them and microwave them for just a few seconds to soften them up right before eating.) Pair with a skim latte and fruit for a balanced breakfast. We love these Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Don’t have time for homemade? It’s fine to go for store-bought—just look for one with 160 to 200 calories and at least 5 g fiber. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
I just dotted my opened-faced peanut butter sandwich with dried cherries (and a little bit of honey) and wondered, “How much nutrition is left in these cherries, or other dried fruit, for that matter?” Quite a lot, I discovered after consulting recent studies. While vitamins, like vitamin C, may dwindle with drying, phytonutrients—beneficial plant compounds—remain.
Here’s what I found:
I buy “sour” or “tart” cherries, and a study in the Journal of Food Science found that these dried fruits are rich in compounds that clobber two types of free radicals, harmful molecules that promote heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.
I’ll be the first to admit that a glass or bottle of fresh juice is a delicious treat. I’ve been known to order a green juice after yoga class or a beetroot juice before bootcamp. In fact I’ve even followed 1-day juice fasts with both Blueprint Cleanse and Cooler Cleanse.
But I’ve long wondered just how healthy the juicing cleanse trend was. After all, once you strain away the healthy fiber of fruits and veggies you’re left with a lot of nutrients (pro) and also a lot of sugars (con). People claim to feel lighter and “detoxed” after drinking these fresh blends, but regular juicing never sat right with me. After all, nutritionists regularly steer clients away from juice because of its high concentration of sugars and calories, recommending whole foods like salads and pieces of fruit instead. Why would a diet of just juice be good when a glass of juice is often considered bad?
When I read a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times, about how Jennifer Berman’s health habits—including juicing—were having the opposite affect, I wasn’t all that surprised.
By Team Best Life
You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.
Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.
Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise. (more…)
How many fruits and vegetables have you had today? How about the kids? If you’re like most Americans, the CDC says it’s not enough. Sure, it can feel like a challenge to get more fresh plant-based foods on to your plate, but it’s absolutely worth trying. Nothing good ever came from a beige plate of food. That’s why every plate should look like a rainbow.
We’ve got a pretty healthy, simple, and delicious way to fix this fruit and veggie problem, at least a part of it. You and the kids are going to love our Rainbow Smoothie because it’s as tasty as it is fun.
The premise is really pretty simple – select one fruit or vegetable from each color family. Combine these with yogurt in a blender, and voila, you’ve got as much as seven servings of fruits and vegetables in one cup. If your kids haven’t met Roy G. Biv, now is a great time, especially when they can relate it to food.
ROYGBIV represents the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Now, that last arc of the rainbow gets a little tricky, but plenty of options exist. You can reference this chart. Stick it to the refrigerator and let the kids familiarize themselves with each food item, or they could even use it as a Rainbow Smoothie menu. (more…)
Imagine a park where you don’t have to say to your kids, “don’t put that in your mouth!”. In fact, imagine one where you encourage them to do the opposite. Well, it’s happening! Seattle will soon be home to the nation’s first-ever edible park.
A seven-acre plot of land in Seattle’s Beacon Hill area will soon be the Beacon Food Forest. The area will be planted with several types of edible plants. Walnut and chestnut trees, berry bushes, fruit trees, even exotics like pineapple and lingonberries will grow in this new park. The best part? It’s open for public picking and plucking. All are invited and encouraged to eat up the nation’s’ first food forest.
We want you to start this year off right not only for yourself, but especially for your kids! That’s why we’re teaming up with Copy Kids to make sure a copy of their inspired DVD ends up in your home, plus a little extra incentive to keep the healthiest food possible in your home.
We’re giving away a Copy Kids DVD with a $50 Whole Foods Gift Card!
How to Win:
1. LIKE the Copy Kids Facebook page
2. LIKE the DietsInReview Facebook page
It’s that simple! Like both pages on Facebook and we’ll draw one winner to take home this prize pack that will set you and your kids in the right direction this year. (more…)
I walked in to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to grab a few things and ended up grabbing a few things not on my list. Who doesn’t? I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the front fruit display had traded peaches for Honeycrisp apples. After months and months without eating any apples, I was beside myself with excitement as I loaded up four softball-sized apples at $2.99 per pound.
Yep. I paid a three dollar per-pound price for a piece of fruit. And so have millions of other people. I am part of the reason the Honeycrisp craze has grown in to a full blown obsession rivaling only those who camp out for the first pumpkin spiced coffee of the season. I don’t eat any other kind of apple, and until a few years ago it had been several years since I’d even touched one. Honeycrisps are unlike any apple you’ve ever tried.
The Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program in 1960. It was a cross of the Macoun and Honeygold, a hybrid of the two apples that took more than 30 years to move to market. Between 1960 and 1991, the apple that is now known as the Honeycrisp was identified, tested, and introduced to market in 1991. That was 20 years ago. So where has this divine piece of fruit been hiding? I asked David Bedford, a research scientist and lead apple breeder at the University of Minnesota. This is Mr. Honeycrisp.
Once the Honeycrisp was released in 1991, Bedford explained it was a very grassroots effort to get the apple out there. They had to sell the seeds to the nurseries, who then sold saplings to the orchardists, who then had to plant and grow the trees. These aren’t like tomato vines, they take time, years in fact. Once the Honeycrisp trees were planted they had three to five years before they were fruit bearing.
An apple with no marketing budget and just some excitable word of mouth has grown to be the fifth most grown apple in the U.S, according to Bedford. “It’s a hometown kid without much promotion.” The apple really took off and joined the mainstream, Bedford explained, after Washington state growers got a hold of it. “Sixty percent of apples in the country are grown in Washington,” he said. “When they get behind something, you see it go mainstream.” (more…)
By Kiera S. Campbell, author of “Yummy Healthy Tummy”
finished survived your back-to-school shopping for your kids. Now that they’re completely school-bound, why not plan on nutritious and easy-to-make snacks when they get home from school?
The temptation to serve packaged snacks can be overpowering when your youngsters beg for sugary treats with their pleading eyes, but do not succumb. Here are five healthy after-school snacks that your kids will love.
Frozen Bananas. No kid can resist the sight of a Popsicle-skewered frozen banana (pre-rolled in yogurt and rice cereal or any crunchy cereal). Have these awesome treats ready for your tot to satisfy his sweet tooth. The idea of sweet treats at the end of his kiddie-sized version of a “grueling school day” may look appealing to him. Serve frozen bananas instead of the traditional processed chocolate chip cookies.
Also Try: One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream (more…)