Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

vegetables



Veggie Variety a Must for Good Health (AKA: Why We’re Glad Dr. Oz’s Kale-Only Diet is a Prank)

Dr. Oz recently asked his fans to play a prank. The hoax: Tell a loved one they’d be joining you on a one-year kale-only diet. Kale, kale, and more kale. 

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Funny, but some people sort of do become singularly focused on certain veggies, eating a lot of kale, or broccoli, or spinach, and not much of anything else. We were curious: What type of variety should we be aiming for when it comes to produce?


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Eat Your Way to Better Eye Sight

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.

eye health

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).


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Do Baked Beans Count as a Veggie? Sorta, Says R.D.

It seems like Jay Bush and Duke the Dog are always on TV hocking cans of Bush’s Best Beans. We love beans as much as the next person—especially with some barbecue!—but a recent commercial gave us pause. At the end of it one mother, who’s watching her kids eat baked beans, says something along the lines of, “Isn’t it great to see them eating vegetables?”

baked beans

Now, there’s no denying that beans are plants–after all, the navy beans used for most varieties come from a plant that looks a lot like a green bean. But, when you add bacon, salt, and sugar to beans, do they still really qualify as a vegetable?

Here’s what Mary Hartley, RD, our in-house nutrition expert had to say:

“As a plant food, beans are technically in the vegetable group. Like all vegetables, they are loaded with fiber, potassium and folate. Dried beans can also fill in for meat because they have more protein, iron, and zinc than other vegetables. 
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Gardening Provides a Bounty of Benefits to Prisons and Public Schools

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade. 
Rudyard Kipling 

The act of planting a garden – working the soil, tending to the plants and reaping the bounty is a time-honored tradition that has slowly morphed from necessity to hobby. Over the last 100 years, America’s industrialization and urban expansion have eliminated the need for gardens in most households. Unfortunately, some apartment dwellers are packed so close together that growing basil in a pot on the windowsill is the closest they’ll get to a harvest.

Today we’re highlighting two programs that teach gardening skills in the United States. Though the “participants” are very different, they all receive benefits that go far beyond the eventual food a garden yields.

 

Prison gardens

Prison Garden

Last week, the National Public Radio (npr) website ran a story about several minimum security prisons that have developed their own vegetable gardens thanks in part to the Insight Garden Program. Inmates who qualify for the program are allowed to work outside where they tend to a small area of raised beds that grow everything from tomatoes to lettuce. Beth Waitkus, Director of the Insight Garden Program said she created this endeavour after the tragedies of 9/11 to, “restore her faith in humanity.”


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The Dark Side of Juicing: Why Too Much Juice Can Get in the Way of Your Health

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?

juices

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.


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