New York has everything, right? That’s pretty much true, including progressive thinkers who want to see a healthier population and a cleaner planet. One of the many ways New Yorkers are trying to accomplish these goals is through bike sharing, specifically through a company called Citi Bikes. The business is simple and really a no-brainer in a busy city that requires commuting. A new report suggests that conservatives are making it really tough to do the healthy thing in NYC, though.
Citi Bikes is super simple, with a minimal three step process:
1. Unlock a bike from any station by paying for the rental.
2. Ride the bike wherever you want.
3. Return the bike to any station when you’re done.
Riders don’t have to invest in a bike, they don’t have to search for a place to lock up a bike, and they don’t have to store a bike in a notoriously small New York apartment. They also get exercise and do not leave a carbon footprint behind. When I see these units set up in other cities, my first response is, “wish we had these.”
While this simple plan could literally reverse so many of our country’s health problems, some groups have found a way to deter such a great program. Mayor Bloomberg has already caught flak for trying to reduce soda sizes in his city, and apparently the complaints don’t stop when Americans feel they might be pressured into riding a bike instead of sitting in an expensive, fume-emitting cab. (more…)
Spinach is seen both as a life force and a cause for sheer rebellion, depending on whom you ask. The enthusiast might be the token health nut in your friend circle and the pessimist is likely your 7-year-old daughter and most grown men. However, whichever side of the spinach argument you fall on, there’s no denying it’s insanely healthy for you.
Health benefits: Spinach is one of the best foods you can add to your diet as it’s loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients like iron, vitamin C, niacin, calcium and vitamin B. It’s also an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants, and contains folate, fiber, lutein and potassium, which are all essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Helpful tip: Did you know that microgreens can pack up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts? For this reason, stick to baby spinach when possible. And if you really want to be an over-achiever, organic is best since the whole green in consumed. (more…)
Many people in the United States are being exposed to a chemical called phthalates, which is found in every day things like perfumes, scented lotions, industrial paints, solvents, packaging, scented candles and almost anything else containing fragrance.
In Environmental Health Perspective’s recent study on diabetes and phthalates, they attempted to see if there was something connecting the two. The study was only done on women since the phthalates levels seem to be higher in them than men. The National Health and Nutrition Examination surveyed about 2,350 women. Each woman gave urine samples for chemical testing (questions on diabetes status and phthalates levels were not gathered at the same time which makes the study cross-sectional).
What the examination revealed was that per 1,000 women, there were 40 extra diabetes cases in the women who contained higher phthalates levels compared to those with lower levels. That means the risk of diabetes is twice as high in women who contain higher phthalates levels. Something to consider is that people who have diabetes might have higher phthalates levels because of the particular medications and medical devices that are used to actually treat the disease. Phthalates chemicals are found in many of these products as well. This study did not rule out this detail. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America
What is Carrageenan?
Carrageenan is a polysaccharide derived from red seaweed and it has molecular qualities similar to plastic. Seaweed sounds innocent enough; it’s natural right? Absolutely, as a matter of fact, many types of seaweed are commonly used as a medicinal food to support many conditions like thyroid disorder and even cancer. However, not all seaweed is created equal and the process in which carrageenan is extracted from the red seaweed has become the cornerstone of a debate about allowed ingredients in organic products. (more…)
Habit, convenience, and proximity are major factors in shaping where we purchase food and which foods we purchase. The decision to eat a healthier diet can be much easier than deciding which foods to purchase and from where to purchase them. While healthier options are becoming more widely available, where you live may determine what is or is not available. In Indianapolis, the 12th largest city in the United States, we have at least one farmers market year round, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market. Proximity plays a major role in where I shop most frequently, but perhaps that is not the most important factor.
Farmers markets may give you the best opportunity for the freshest produce and to speak with farmers about the conditions in which animals and produce are raised, but they are often not available throughout the week and selection of goods can vary. Whether we like it or not, we all visit a grocery at least occasionally, and the majority of Americans buy the majority of their food at a box store. Your farmers market may not offer fresh-made pasta or gluten-free baked goods like mine does, but your Whole Foods is probably a lot like my Whole Foods. (more…)