Category Archives: aginghealthy foods

Mediterranean-diet-style eating may improve health in later life

By Linda Searing, Published: November 4

Aging

Mediterranean-style eating seems to improve health in later life
THE QUESTION Do midlife eating habits affect how healthy people will be as they age?
THIS STUDY analyzed data on 10,670 women, most in their late 50s and generally healthy. Over the next 15 years, their mental and physical functioning and dietary patterns were assessed periodically. Those whose diets most resembled Mediterranean-style eating — more plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables and nuts), whole grains and fish, less red and processed meats, and moderate amounts of alcohol — had about a 40 percent greater chance of living beyond age 70 and doing so healthily than those whose diets were least like the Mediterranean. Aging healthily meant having no major chronic diseases, no physical disabilities and no cognitive impairment.
WHO MAY BE AFFECTED? People of middle age, especially women. A Mediterranean-style diet, so-named for the region where it has been the dominant eating pattern for centuries, has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, protect against heart disease and possibly lower risk for cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
CAVEATS Dietary data came from the women’s responses on periodic questionnaires. Most of the women were white; whether the findings apply to other races or to men remains unclear.
FIND THIS STUDY Nov. 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
LEARN MORE ABOUT the Mediterranean diet at www.heart.org.
Learn about healthy aging at www.mayoclinic.com.
The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, conclusive evidence about a treatment’s effectiveness is rarely found in a single study. Anyone considering changing or beginning treatment of any kind should consult with a physician.

Ten foods to prevent and stop diabetes

Ten foods to prevent and stop diabetes

by Yanjun 


(NaturalNews) Diabetes is a disorder wherein the body cannot control its level of blood glucose or sugar. While many of the foods today contain high levels of diabetes-inducing sugar, there are ten amazingly healthy foods that can actually prevent diabetes from developing. Not only do these foods control blood sugar levels, but they are also packed with other nutrients and minerals that even those who do not have diabetes will benefit greatly from.

Preventing Diabetes through Diet and Exercise

A healthy diet coupled with a healthy lifestyle of exercise to maintain a normal weight is a sure-fire way to prevent diabetes type 2 or adult-onset diabetes. This is according to research as well as diabetes educators from the Healthcare and Education for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Christine Tobin, the president of Healthcare and Education for the ADA, said that, while there are a whole list of foods that can be considered as “superfoods” in terms of diabetes-prevention, her association recognizes the top ten of these foods that can help those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These foods contain vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C and E. These foods are also rich in fiber, which helps in suppressing cravings by keeping the blood sugar and the glycemic index low for longer periods. On top of that, these foods also control blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, keeping them at healthy levels.

These are all very important to those with diabetes, but even normal people can benefit from these foods too:

  • Beans

Black, pinto, navy, kidney or other beans might be high in calories, but they are also rich in fiber and other nutrients. Rich in fiber means that they will help people feel full for longer periods.

  • Dark, Leafy Greens

Spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, kale and others are not only high in nutrients but also low in carbohydrates. Greens are also very low in calories, so people can eat as much of them as they as want!

  • Citruses

Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits are good for the heart because of their high content of vitamin C. Whole fruits are better than juices, since the fruit contains the fiber, which slows down the body’s absorption of sugar.

  • Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are better than other types of potatoes, because they have a low glycemic index. This means that sweet potatoes will not cause blood sugar levels to spike. They are also high in vitamin A.

  • Berries

Fresh, whole strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and any other variants are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Add fresh berries into salads or cereal, or make into smoothies.

  • Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be eaten either raw or cooked, and they are low in calories too. They can be served in a variety of ways, as side dishes, mixed in salads and soups or as a base sauce for casseroles or stews. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins E and C and iron.

  • Fish

Salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, herring and halibut are all rich in omega-3, a kind of fatty acid that strengthens the heart and prevents diabetes. The best way to enjoy these fishes and their benefits is to serve them broiled or in soups. Frying them in batter and breading defeats the purpose.

  • Whole Grains

Oatmeal, pearled barley and other whole grain products, like bread and pasta, all contain high amounts of fiber. They also contain essential nutrients like chromium, magnesium, omega-3 and folate.

  • Nuts

Nuts are high in omega-3 and other good fatty acids. These kinds of fats protect and help the heart rather than burden it. However, one should not eat too much, as they are high in calories. A small handful, or roughly 1.5 ounces, is enough for a healthy snack.

  • Fat-Free Yogurt and Milk

Both are rich in calcium and vitamin D and are also good choices to help keep cravings under control.

It is quite easy to lose control and to splurge on food, but a good choice would be to splurge on these ten healthy foods rather than on sweets like chocolate.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.helpguide.org

http://health.usnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

20 foods for a flat stomach

by Yanjun 

(NaturalNews) A flat stomach is a quest that has remained elusive for many people all over the world. Dieters often shy away from food to keep their slim figures. Food experts, however, have discovered several foods that actually help flatten the stomach.

These 20 foods help burn the fat away to reveal a sexy, flat tummy:

  • Green Tea

Green tea stimulates the body’s metabolism and can also suppress the absorption of fat. Drinking it daily aids in weight loss.

  • Olive Oil

Olive oil has many benefits, but the main benefit is that it lowers LDL cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol – and raises HDL cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol. It is also rich in phenol, an antioxidant that protects the walls of the arteries from cholesterol or fatty buildup.

  • Lemon

Weight-watchers should reduce their intake of sugar, and that means soda pop, alcohol and most bottled or canned fruit drinks. Try drinking lemon water instead. It is refreshing and bursting with vitamin C as well.

  • Chicken

This white meat is more meat and less fat, making it a good source of meat protein.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon can prevent diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. While it is packed with antioxidants, cinnamon can also prevent bloating.

  • Green Chai Tea

Chai tea is full of flavor from the spices but without the guilty calories. Homemade chai will also give healthier milk choices, and the addition of green tea will speed up the body’s metabolic rate.

  • Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a great refreshing and crunchy snack. They are satisfying and low in calories.

  • Bran

Cereal is high in calories. Replacing it with bran will not only cut the excess calories but will also increase the body’s supply of fiber.

  • Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is rich in protein, with three quarters of a cup serving 9 grams of it. Not only that, but yogurt is also rich in B vitamins and bone-strengthening calcium.

  • Legumes

Legumes are a generally nutritious food packed with protein, B vitamins, potassium, iron and other trace minerals. Legumes are also a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, which helps control optimum blood cholesterol levels. Legumes are ideal for dieters, since it is heavy on the stomach and controls cravings by controlling the body’s levels of blood glucose.

  • Turmeric

Turmeric is rich in curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Turmeric also has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-cancer and antibacterial properties.

  • Quinoa

This whole grain is a wonderful alternative to other grains. Rich in protein, fiber, copper, B vitamins, magnesium and manganese.

  • Pears

Pears are incredibly rich in fiber, so much that a medium-sized pear can give 20% of a person’s daily need. The juicy flesh contains soluble fiber and pectin, which lowers the “bad” cholesterol previously mentioned.

  • Dark Chocolate

Eating dark chocolate more frequently results in a lower body mass index, according to studies. As an added bonus, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, too.

  • Berries

Juicy, succulent berries are rich in fiber and vitamins. They are also home to some of the most powerful antioxidants in foods, which helps protect the heart and eyes and helps fight off cancer.

  • Leeks

Leeks are rich in manganese, which is an essential mineral that was found to prevent mood swings and menstrual cramps in women who took high amounts of it regularly. Not only that, leeks also help prevent and relieve bloating.

  • Salmon

Salmons of all kinds are rich in heart-friendly omega-3, as well as vitamin D. Bones in canned or processed salmon are also rich in calcium.

  • Miso

Miso has probiotics that aid in digestion and keep the colon and intestinal walls healthy.

  • Eggs

Research by the Rochester Center for Obesity found that those who regularly eat eggs for breakfast tend to take in less calories throughout the day – by around 400 or more. This translates to at least three pounds less in weight in a month.

  • Greens

Leafy green vegetables contain carotenoids, which prevent degenerative eye disease. Spinach alone is rich in vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Greens are also rich in magnesium, potassium and folate, which lowers blood pressure.

These foods are great, not just because they aid in weight loss and burning fat, but also because they strengthen the body in many ways.

Sources for this article include:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.self.com

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Six foods for a happy belly

by PF Louis 

(NaturalNews) What is a happy belly? Well, an unhappy belly will produce flatulence, bloating, nausea, cramps, and so called heartburn. You should be able to digest foods without any hassles, providing you don’t overeat. That’s a happy belly.

Considering that digestion begins in the mouth, it’s wise to chew your food thoroughly. In addition to reducing the food into smaller, easier to digest pieces, the saliva from chewing produces more digestive enzymes early in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

It’s also important to take your time and relax while eating. Rushed eating while stressed or hassled in any way will result in digestive stress that can create a very unhappy belly while depriving you of the food’s nutritional value.

Foods and beverages to help your belly’s happiness

As usual, organic food sources are the best choices. If you can purchase reliably clean raw milk for milk kefir, do so. Always use purified fluoride-free water.

Reverse osmosis is the best accessible system. Stations are available for filling containers in larger food markets. Make sure to re-mineralize with sea salt or some other mineral solution.

(1) Fermented foods provide probiotics that aid digestion and more. Having an intestinal flora microbial balance of 80 percent to 20 percent healthy bacteria to pathogenic bacteria is vital for even more than good digestion. It’s an important part of our immune system.

Without a well balanced intestinal flora stocked heavily with an abundance of healthy bacteria, Candida overgrowth is given a nice breeding ground. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

Fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt (unflavored and unsweetened) kimchi, miso, pickles, and tempeh or fermented soy, which is the only soy that’s consumable without digestive issues.

You can always add good honey or maple syrup to plain yogurts. Yes, you can make your own sauerkraut. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034788_sauerkraut_probiotics_recipes.html)

If you can get a good sourdough bread baked with sprouted grains without using bromide, that’s good for making your belly happy too. Sourdough is fermented. Sprouted grains reduce gluten’s harmful effects. Bromides block the enzyme that helps your thyroid produce adequate hormones for metabolism.

(2) Probiotic beverages can be as potent as some probiotic supplements, and a lot cheaper. Kombucha is a popular item that offers the same probiotic potential as fermented foods. Even more powerful are water and milk kefirs. You need starter grains specific to either purified water or milk, best to find raw milk.

Then you can make your own. (http://www.naturalnews.com/036419_probiotics_immunity_bacteria.html)

A woman who cured her really bad case of colitis with milk kefir showed this author how to make it. She didn’t even use raw milk, which is recommended. Here’s a good source for milk kefir starter grains with excellent instructions. (http://kefirlady.com/)

There are also several DIY kefir YouTube videos online.

(3) Prebiotic foods are essential for helping the healthy bacteria from probiotics flourish. They don’t contain healthy probiotic bacteria, but they provide the food energy to help probiotics maintain a GI tract stronghold.

Bananas, berries, artichokes, garlic, honey, legumes (beans) and whole grains such as brown rice are good prebiotic food sources.

(4) Apple cider vinegar is regarded as an excellent digestive aid by many alternative practitioners and nutritionists, but not so much by MDs and mainstream dieticians.

Us an apple cider vinegar that has not been pasteurized or filtered for best results. Before each meal, one or two tablespoons downed in a half glass of water can be beneficial. Water with meals should be room temperature for optimum digestion.

(5) When your stomach becomes unhappy, stay away from the Tums and try something healthier. Ginger root is one such choice. Only a few dare chew on a ginger root. It’s usually converted into a tea by peeling the root and cutting it into thin slices.

Make enough thin slices to cover the bottom of a pan, fill the pan with good non-fluoridated water from reverse osmosis. Simmer for 30 minutes after boiling. It can be refrigerated for several days. Ginger has been known to remedy queasy or cramping stomachs, and it’s good for general inflammation as well.

(6)The king of natural GI tract and stomach disorders is Aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice needs to be shopped wisely. The cheap adulterated ones with preservatives or pasteurized stuff won’t cut it. Get only pure, whole unpasteurized aloe vera juice. Yes it’s pricier, but worth it.

Stomach ulcer sufferers swear by it. There have been many, many reports of Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease sufferers curing themselves with aloe vera juice, as well as some experiencing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

With a disease as intense as Celiac, Crohn’s or IBS, it takes several days to a few weeks of daily use to get results. (http://www.naturalnews.com/021858_aloe_vera_gel.html#ixzz25fIbagIM)

Pure aloe vera juice has many, many other curative capabilities and health benefits. It has been clinically tested successfully on AIDS and cancer patients. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034738_aloe_vera_cancer_AIDS.html)

Children who eat healthy diets have a higher IQ, study finds


by Eric Hunter 

(NaturalNews) Children who are breastfed and eat healthy foods during childhood experience better physical development than children who eat poor diets. It has also been speculated that the consumption of quality foods leads to a higher IQ, but few long-term studies have been done until now. Researchers at the University of Adelaide looked at the link between eating habits and IQ.

The study of more than 7,000 children showed that kids who are breastfed and have a healthy diet during the first two years of life, have a slightly better IQ at the age of eight than children who are eating junk foods.

Children who were eating a diet based on legumes, cheese, fruits and vegetables had a two point higher IQ at the age of eight. Kids who ate mostly processed foods and food with a high-carbohydrate density, experienced two points lower IQ.

Although there was only a small difference in IQ, it can be assumed that a more controlled study would have led to significantly better improvements. The healthy children in this study were definitely eating more nutritious foods than the unhealthy group, but they were still consuming a fair amount of typical western foods. Also, the study only looked at the diet at 12 and 24 months, not the remaining six years up until age eight.

It’s well established that children who are breastfed develop a healthier gut flora and better immune system than children who are given formula and ready-prepared baby foods. The research at theUniversity of Adelaide reveals that breastfeeding also can positively affects the IQ of the child.

This study shows that children who consume mostly whole foods during the first years of life have a slightly higher IQ when they grow up. Children who are not eating western foods and base their diet exclusively on organic whole-foods will most likely have an even higher IQ.

Despite our technological advancements and economic expansion; we are getting dumber and dumber because of poor nutrition. Feeding a growing child processed junk foods directly influences the child’s development and should be considered child abuse.

Sources for this article include

Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty MN, et al. Dietary patterns at 6, 15 and 24months of age are associated with IQ at 8years of age.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;27(7):525-35. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120807095740.htm

McDade, T.W., Rutherford J. , Adair, L, et al. Early origins of inflammation: microbial exposures in infancy predict lower levels of C-reactive protein in adulthood
Published online before print December 9, 2009, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1795

About the author:
Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal. 
His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects. 
Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites.
Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!


Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal. His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects. Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites. Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!

Foods that are good–and bad–for your heart

By Robert Davis, Published: February 6

If you’re trying to eat a heart-healthy diet, figuring out what to believe can be overwhelming. The advice we get on everything from eggs to olive oil is often confusing and maddeningly contradictory.
Ironically, this growing confusion comes at a time when scientists who study nutrition know more than ever. Too often, though, we hear about only the latest study (which may be poorly designed) or research that’s cherry-picked to support an agenda. That’s like seeing one or two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and trying to determine what the entire picture is.
To know what the science really shows, it pays to look at all the evidence, assigning greater weight to studies that are more rigorous. In many cases, this can give us a reliable indication of what’s really good or bad. Based on a thorough review of research, here’s what’s believable — and what’s not — regarding some familiar claims about heart health.
Nuts are good for your heart
True. Once regarded as high-fat nutritional villains to be avoided at all costs, nuts are now touted as a health food that can ward off heart disease. And perhaps rightly so. Several large cohort studies (the type in which people are asked about their dietary habits and then followed for years or decades) have consistently found lower odds of heart disease and heart-related deaths among nut eaters, regardless of sex, age, location or occupation.
These findings are bolstered by results from clinical trials demonstrating that nuts lower LDL cholesterol levels, the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Nuts also appear to decrease inflammation in arteries, which may contribute to heart attacks.
So which nuts are best for you? If you listen to producers of walnuts, almonds or peanuts (which, technically, aren’t nuts but legumes), each will tell you that its nut is superior because of some ingredient it contains. The truth is that it’s impossible to say which is best because no one has done a head-to-head comparison.
All nuts are relatively high in unsaturated fats, which are thought to be good for the heart. And all nuts are relatively high in calories, so it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes. About a handful a day is enough to reap health benefits. It may even promote weight loss by helping you feel full. But going nuts and overindulging can lead to extra pounds.
Oats lower cholesterol
TRUE. Oats contain a type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, which is also found in barley. It’s thought to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body. Bile acids are made from cholesterol, so when the body has to deploy more of its cholesterol to help replace the eliminated bile acids, there’s less of it in the blood.
The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent group that assesses the evidence for various treatments, conducted an analysis in which it pooled results from eight randomized studies involving people with elevated cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. Subjects assigned to eat oat cereal every day lowered their total and LDL cholesterol levels seven or eight points more than those on a diet of refined grains. The studies lasted only four to eight weeks, so we don’t know about long-term effects.
To see a benefit, you need three grams of beta-glucan a day, which you can get from 1.5 cups of cooked oatmeal, three cups of instant oatmeal or three cups of Cheerios. Unfortunately, oatmeal cookies don’t count.
Fish oil protects your heart
True. Decades ago, scientists discovered that Greenland Eskimos rarely died from heart disease despite a diet high in fat from fish. Researchers theorized that the fish fat was somehow protective, an idea that subsequent research has largely supported.
Several cohort studies show that people who regularly eat fish are less likely to die of heart disease than those who don’t eat fish. Randomized trials involving heart attack survivors have found that subjects given fish oil supplements were less likely to die of heart disease than those who didn’t take the capsules. And in a randomized study of people with high cholesterol, participants who took fish oil had fewer heart attacks and deaths from heart disease.
The key ingredients appear to be the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are found in most fish but especially in oily ones such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and tuna. Studies suggest that these fats may help relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, prevent abnormal rhythms and lower blood fats known as triglycerides.
While the evidence of benefits is strong for people who have heart disease or are at high risk for it, it’s less clear whether fish oil wards off heart attacks in those at low risk. Still, it seems reasonable to follow the American Heart Association’s recommendation and eat oily fish at least twice a week. People with heart disease are advised to get twice as much, or 1,000 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA combined.
Eggs cause heart disease
False. Researchers have conducted a number of long-term cohort studies on eggs and heart disease, which have collectively followed several hundred thousand people. In general, the research has exonerated eggs: Eating up to six a week was not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart attacks and strokes).
So how can this be if egg yolks are high in cholesterol? Most of our cholesterol is made by the liver, which ramps up production when we eat saturated and trans fats. But cholesterol from food appears to have little impact on most people’s cholesterol levels. And in people it does affect — so- called hyper-responders — studies show there can be an increase in good (HDL) cholesterol along with the bad kind, which helps offset any increased risk. Further, dietary cholestrerol may also result in larger LDL particles, which are thought to pose less of a threat than smaller ones.
Eggs are relatively low in saturated fat, and they contain unsaturated fats, which may be beneficial. Plus, they’re a good source of protein and several vitamins and minerals. They can be a healthful and more filling alternative to high-calorie muffins, bagels and sugary cereals.
Olive oil is the most healthful oil
False. Olive oil is often singled out as an especially heart-healthy vegetable oil because it’s high in monounsaturated fat. But it’s also lower in polyunsaturated fat than other oils. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Which of these fats is better for us is unclear. Some research suggests that polyunsaturated fats may have an edge when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol, while monounsaturated fats may result in higher HDL cholesterol. One analysis called it a draw, concluding that replacing saturated fat with either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat has an equally beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. Another found that substituting monounsaturated for saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, while polyunsaturated fat was linked to lower odds.
While these results aren’t necessarily an indictment of olive oil, they poke holes in the notion that its high levels of monounsaturated fat make olive oil more healthful.
Another theory is that olive oil antioxidants known as polyphenols make it more healthful than its rivals. Research suggests that virgin and extra-virgin oils, which are high in polyphenols, may be more heart-healthy than refined olive oil. But the evidence is preliminary and doesn’t shed much light on how virgin olive oils stack up against non-olive oils. The upshot is that other oils, such as canola, may be just as healthful as olive oil, possibly more so.
Coffee is bad
False. Cohort studies, which followed tens of thousands of people for many years, have found that coffee drinkers have no greater risk of heart attacks or strokes than those who abstain; indeed, they appear to have a slightly lower risk. Though coffee can temporarily increase blood pressure, there’s little evidence that it causes hypertension. Coffee drinkers appear to live just as long as abstainers, maybe even slightly longer.
One possible reason for the apparent benefits is that coffee is rich in antioxidants. Though some studies have found that as many as six cups a day are associated with benefits, that’s more than health authorities recommend because of the potential side effects of caffeine, which include insomnia, jitters and stomach upset. For many people, the biggest health risk from coffee is weight gain. Though a cup of black coffee has only two calories, that number can rise dramatically if you add cream and sugar or drink blended beverages, which can have several hundred calories.
Margarine is better than butter
Half-true. Margarine, which is made from vegetable oils, is lower in saturated fat than butter. But the process of converting those oils into solids can result in trans fats, which may be even more hazardous to the heart than the saturated kind.
Cohort studies have found that people who eat the most margarine have a higher risk of heart disease than those who use it only rarely. In other studies, researchers had subjects eat various types of spreads and then measured the effects on cholesterol levels. Compared with butter, margarine lowered LDL cholesterol, but it also reduced HDL, the good kind. The big loser in this face-off was stick margarine, which fared worse than butter. Semiliquid margarine, on the other hand, proved to have a more beneficial effect on cholesterol levels than butter.
Manufacturers have introduced some margarines that are low in saturated fat and virtually free of trans fat. That makes them a better option than butter. Still, margarine isn’t exactly a health food. Nor is butter. Your best bet is to minimize your use of both margarine and butter, going instead with healthful vegetable oils whenever possible.
Chocolate is good for your heart
Half-true. Cocoa, a main ingredient in chocolate, is high in antioxidants known as flavanols, which are also found in red wine, tea and certain fruits. Though the evidence overall is mixed, some cohort studies have linked high flavanol intake with lower rates of heart-related deaths. Generally, dark chocolate is higher than milk chocolate in flavanols.
Small, short-term experiments — many of them funded by the chocolate industry — show that chocolate (especially the dark variety) can lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, reduce inflammation in arteries and make blood less likely to clot. Even though it’s relatively high in saturated fat, studies show that chocolate doesn’t raise LDL cholesterol and may even lower it. One reason may be that some of the fat is a type known as stearic acid, which doesn’t adversely affect cholesterol levels.
Several European cohort studies of elderly men, middle-aged adults and heart attack survivors have linked greater chocolate and cocoa intake to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes and premature death. But since the chocolate consumed in Europe tends to contain higher levels of cocoa than the chocolate typically eaten in the United States, it’s unclear whether the findings apply to American chocolate eaters.
Many chocolate trials have fed subjects 31 / ounces a day. To get that amount, you’d need to eat two or more standard-size candy bars, which add as many as 500 calories and lots of extra pounds. That’s hardly a formula for better health. Nor is consuming the large amounts of sugar that are typically added to chocolate. Look for products that list cocoa or chocolate liquor — and not sugar — as the first ingredient.


Reprinted from “Coffee Is Good for You” by Robert J. Davis, PhD, by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright 2012 by Robert J. Davis, PhD, MPH. Davis teaches health communications at Emory Unversity’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Wikio

Magnificent Magnesium

Magnificent Magnesium

Magnificent Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral for those looking to build a better body.
Now that’s one heck of an understatement. It’s not unlike saying that the quarterback is an important position on a football team or that Lindsay Lohan isn’t an ideal role model for young women.
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, many of which are directly related to muscle function and protein synthesis. Yet most Americans don’t get anywhere near enough magnesium, and the problem is amplified in hard training athletes and muscleheads.
To make matters worse, magnesium is slowly disappearing from the modern diet. Industrial agriculture and food processing methods literally strip magnesium and other valuable minerals right from our food supply, making it harder to consume enough nutrients from even a seemingly “healthy,” varied diet.
So what can we do about it? First, let’s take a closer look at why magnesium is so critically important.

Parathyroid Hormone, Vitamin D…And Atherosclerosis?

As stated, magnesium has many essential roles in human biochemistry. For one, magnesium deficiency is associated with hypoparathyroidism and low vitamin D production.
Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to disrupted bone metabolism. However, in several animal trials, supplementing with magnesium even inhibited the development of atherosclerosis!

Insulin Sensitivity

Magnificent Magnesium
Magnesium is known as the mineral of glucose control as it’s closely associated with insulin sensitivity, and a low intake has been linked with the development of type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, rat studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can mostly prevent diabetes.
Interestingly, high blood glucose and insulin levels seem to reduce magnesium status even more. It seemingly creates a vicious cycle where low magnesium levels lead to poor glucose control and insulin sensitivity, which again lowers magnesium status.
In healthy volunteers, those following a low-magnesium diet for only four weeks reduced their insulin sensitivity by 25%, suggesting that magnesium deficiency can lead to insulin resistance.
Magnesium supplementation in particular has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects, both diabetics and non-diabetic alike. Let’s take a look at a few of these studies.

  • A 16-week trial with type 2 diabetics found that magnesium supplementation improved fasting glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and HbA1c levels (a form of hemoglobin which is measured primarily to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time). HbA1c levels were improved by 22%, which is an incredible number. That would take a diabetic with an HbA1c level of 8% (not good) down to 6.2% (very good) in only four months.
  • A recent study showed that magnesium supplementation, even when levels are normal, could have positive benefits. Six months of magnesium supplementation in obese people who were insulin sensitive and had normal blood levels of magnesium led to further improved insulin sensitivity, as well as a 7% improvement in fasting glucose levels.
  • A study on magnesium supplementation in insulin resistant but non-diabetic volunteers who had low blood levels of magnesium showed incredible results after only 16 weeks. Participants reduced their insulin resistance by 43% and fasting insulin by 32%, suggesting that their magnesium deficiency may have been one of the main reasons why they were insulin resistant in the first place.

Magnesium supplementation also improved subjects’ blood lipids. Total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides were all decreased, while HDL increased. The triglyceride improvement (of 39%!) makes the most sense, as improved glucose control will keep the liver from cranking out more TG’s, but the rest of the improvement is remarkable, too.

What About Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease?

Recent reviews have concluded that magnesium deficiency can lead to increased LDL levels, endothelial dysfunction, increased inflammation and oxidative stress, and constriction of coronary arteries (decreasing oxygen and nutrients to the heart). Well, that doesn’t sound all that appealing.
Magnesium supplementation and repletion has been shown to decrease LDL levels (as well as improve the other blood lipids), restore endothelial dysfunction in people with coronary artery disease, and decrease inflammation.

Enough Already! Where Do I Get Me Some Magnesium?

Magnificent Magnesium
The best sources of magnesium are fish, nuts, seeds, beans, leafy greens, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables. In particular, salmon, halibut, spinach, almonds, cashews, potatoes, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and brown rice are all good whole sources of this precious mineral.
It’s important to note that magnesium content is dependent on soil quality, so buying most of these foods from organic or sustainable farms might provide you with greater levels of dietary magnesium. While this argument is still considered speculative, there is no dispute that conventionally grown foods are being raised in depleted soils. You can’t expect to grow nutrient-rich food from nutrient-stripped soil, so it might be worth the cost to go organic or sustainable.
It should also be noted that foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are also rich sources of phytic acid. Phytic acid may provide some independent health benefits, but it’s also an anti-nutrient that binds to magnesium (among other nutrients), preventing its absorption.
Historically, healthy non-industrial cultures that consumed significant amounts of grains also soaked or fermented them. This process would greatly decrease the phytic acid content while increasing nutrient bioavailability and improving digestibility. They might not have known why it worked; they just knew it did work.
For this reason, I recommend most of your grains be sprouted (like Ezekiel products) to reduce (but not eliminate) phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. It would also be a good idea to soak your beans for at least 24 hours, as well as roasting or buying roasted nuts, as these preparation methods may reduce phytic acid as well.
Finally, a very simple, convenient, not to mention effective option is simply to buy a high quality magnesium supplement like BIOTEST EliteproTM Minerals. One serving of EliteproTM contains 400mg of highly absorbable magnesium glycinate chelate, along with zinc, selenium, chromium, and vanadium, key minerals for blood sugar management, protein synthesis, and hormonal status.
Taking EliteproTM once a day along with choosing as many organic magnesium-rich whole foods as you can comfortably afford would be a near foolproof strategy.

Conclusion

Magnesium is, well, kind of a big deal. It’s vital for proper bone metabolism, vitamin D metabolism, parathyroid function, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance as well as proper blood lipid levels and prevention of atherosclerosis, not to mention cardiovascular disease. It even helps you chill out after a stressful day and sleep like a baby.
But we also know that most Americans don’t consume enough magnesium, and that the industrialization of our food production has further decreased levels of this critical mineral. While consuming a diet based on real, whole, minimally processed foods should provide you with adequate levels, a high-quality mineral supplement like BIOTEST EliteproTM Mineral Support makes things a whole lot easier.
Consuming foods rich in magnesium along with proper supplementation will ensure adequate levels and provide you with more health benefits than you could possibly remember.
Or maybe you could? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it was discovered that magnesium assisted in memory and cognitive function.

References

Ford E, Mokdad A. Dietary Magnesium Intake in a National Sample of U.S. Adults. J. Nutr. 133:2879-2882, September 2003
Zofková I, Kancheva RL. The relationship between magnesium and calciotropic hormones. Magnes Res. 1995 Mar;8(1):77-84.
B T Altura, et al. Magnesium dietary intake modulates blood lipid levels and atherogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 March; 87(5): 1840–1844.
Cohen H, et al. Atherogenesis inhibition induced by magnesium-chloride fortification of drinking water. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2002 Winter;90(1-3):251-9.
Bo Ma, et al. Dairy, Magnesium, and Calcium Intake in Relation to Insulin Sensitivity: Approaches to Modeling a Dose-dependent Association. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2006 Sept;164(5):449-458
Huerta MG, et al. Magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance in obese children. Diabetes Care. 2005 May;28(5):1175-81.
Song Y, et al. Dietary magnesium intake in relation to plasma insulin levels and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):59-65.
Lopez-Ridaura R, et al. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):134-40.
Balon TW, et al. Magnesium supplementation reduces development of diabetes in a rat model of spontaneous NIDDM. Am J Physiol. 1995 Oct;269(4 Pt 1):E745-52.
Nadler JL, et al. Magnesium deficiency produces insulin resistance and increased thromboxane synthesis. Hypertension. 1993 Jun;21(6 Pt 2):1024-9.
Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.
Mooren FC, et al. Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011 Mar;13(3):281-4.
Guerrero-Romero F, et al. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab. 2004 Jun;30(3):253-8.
Chakraborti S, et al. Protective role of magnesium in cardiovascular diseases: a review. Mol Cell Biochem. 2002 Sep;238(1-2):163-79.
Maier JA. Low magnesium and atherosclerosis: an evidence-based link. Mol Aspects Med. 2003 Feb-Jun;24(1-3):137-46.
Bohn T, et al. Phytic acid added to white-wheat bread inhibits fractional apparent magnesium absorption in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Mar;79(3):418-23.

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Eat Like Laird Hamilton



Eat Like Laird Hamilton – Best Life Magazine

A big-wave legend’s 10 rules for eating healthfully

People think I look as good as I do at 44 because I exercise a lot. That’s only half the equation. The other half is what I eat. I love Japanese food. I love Hawaiian food. I love food in general. But I don’t eat haphazardly. I eat for performance and health, and let’s not forget pleasure. Those are the elements of what I call “food intelligence.” Not that I’m obsessive. My meals don’t take three hours to prepare, I don’t measure food by the gram, and if I get into a position where I have to eat an airplane meal or a Big Mac, I’m not going to love it, but it won’t put me into toxic shock. Instead of being like a high-performance car that is sensitive to any impurities in the fuel, I’m more like a diesel truck. If a little water gets in there, it’s still going to be okay. Here’s how I power my body.

1. Push Start
I like to begin the day at the blender with a smoothie. My favorite recipe contains five supplements that help me optimize my nutrition. A single tablespoon of Catie’s Organic Greens, for instance, equals seven servings of green vegetables. I also add apple or cherry juice and frozen bananas and berries for a nice consistency. My morning smoothie gives my body a huge amount of nutrients, which are easily absorbed because liquids are easier to digest than solids. Less than an hour later, I’m ready for whatever activity is on the agenda.

2. Don’t Graze
I don’t like to eat unless I’m hungry. When I sit down to a meal, I want my body to be in a state of craving. Not eating until you’re hungry means you’re not snacking much, if at all.

3. Chew Slowly
All too often we take our food for granted. I’m always reminding myself to eat more consciously, to savor what I’m chewing. Nature has given us millions of unique flavors. Our job is to explore and appreciate them. It also makes you hyperaware of how much you’re eating.

4. Eat Real Foods
Be wary of any food that has been created by humans rather than nature. The ingredients on the labels of processed foods, such as the average cracker or potato chip, are mind-boggling. If I don’t know what it is, it’s not going into my body.

5. Be Diverse
The food universe is vast, and in it there are hundreds of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, bioflavonoids, phytochemical, all kinds of elements. Each one provides something unique to our cells. That’s why the more diverse your diet, the healthier you’re going to be. Mix it up when you grocery shop. Don’t just buy the same stuff every time.

6. Experiment
Eating colorful, interesting foods exposes me to new flavors, and that’s really what makes eating fun. There are countless things you can try, but strange fruits, vegetables, and grains, such as acai berries, seaweed, and quinoa, are becoming easier to find. A palm fruit native to the Brazilian Amazon, has 30 times the amount of antioxidants of red wine. Try mixing it with bananas and granola for breakfast. Edible seaweeds such as limu kohu and nori contain minerals and elements you won’t get anywhere else. Next time you have sushi, try a seaweed salad instead of edamame. Quinoa, unlike other grains, is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.

7. Listen to Your Body
Cravings have a bad reputation because they’re often related to sweets, but I think they’re the body’s way of indicating that it’s looking for something. Listen to your body to figure out what the craving really means. If my body wants sugar, I eat fruit, such as papaya or pineapple, instead of candy or doughnuts.

8. Don’t Be Thrifty
People say that buying quality food is too expensive, but then they’ll go out and buy giant plasma TVs. So you’re eating like crap but you’re staring at a nice screen? I don’t understand that logic. Instead, budget so that you can spend a little more money for better food. In particular, be sure to upgrade anything you eat on a regular basis. If you have coffee every morning, for instance, buy the best beans you can find. Or, even better, drink espresso. It contains less caffeine than drip coffee, delivers more antioxidants, and isn’t as acidic.

9. Skip Starches
If I eat any bread, it makes me want to go to sleep. In general, I avoid wheat and other starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, and pasta. I’m not saying I’ll never eat a waffle or a sandwich, but it’s a rare thing, and I’m not going out of my way to do it.

10. Eat Sustainable Foods
If you eat meat or seafood, look for terms such as free range, grass fed, organic, or locally caught. The closer it is to wild, the better. Sadly, one of my favorite wild foods is tuna. Buy only yellowfin or ahi, and make sure it’s caught by trolling or with poles; long-lining produces bycatch, which means that other ocean creatures are wastefully killed in the process.

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Cinnamon: The latest hope for Alzheimer’s? | Health

Can an extract from this fragrant spice ward off the devastating brain disease – and maybe even diabetes?

Cinnamon

Researchers discovered that an extract in the cinnamon can delay the effects of five aggressive strains of Alzheimer’s-inducing genes.
A new Israeli study shows that the common spice cinnamon seems to delay the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain condition.
The research builds on the work of Prof. Michael Ovadia of Tel Aviv University, who discovered about a decade ago that an extract of cinnamon — one of the aromatic ingredients in the incense used in the ancient Jewish Temple – has powerful anti-viral properties.
Curious about other applications, Tel Aviv University PhD student Anat Frydman-Marom added Ovadia’s cinnamon extract, CEppt, into her line of research on compounds that may fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Initial results surpassed her expectations and took her research in a new direction.
Now her work has the sweet smell of success: CEppt can delay the effects of five aggressive strains of Alzheimer’s-inducing genes, according to a multi-lab research paper co-authored by Frydman-Marom, Ovadia, Ehud Gazit, Daniel Segal and Dan Frenkel in the medical journal PLoS ONE.
Could help diabetes as well
Using in-vitro tests and then Drosophila fly and mice models, the team of scientists found that amyloid plaques, which can lead to Alzheimer’s, had been dissolved by CEppt.
The extract also showed pharmacological properties that could be more effective against Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease than other compounds they were studying, Frydman-Marom tells ISRAEL21c.
The notion that cinnamon works to fight disease is “for me, a matter of fact, but it’s also a spiritual story,” says Frydman-Marom, referring to the biblical connection.
In their paper, the researchers note that cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest herbal medicines, mentioned in Exodus, Proverbs and the Song of Songs, as well as Chinese texts as old as 4,000 years.
The special healing abilities of cinnamon are due to components such as cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol, and a wide range of other volatile substances like safrole, coumarin and cinnamic acid esters.
Scientists have already shown cinnamon can help control blood sugar and has both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers hope that this novel material, as a food additive, drug or vitamin, could be used in younger people to prevent the effects of Alzheimer’s later in life.
“My lab was in charge of the fly work, and in part was involved in the in-vitro work,” Segal tells ISRAEL21c. “It’s exciting because it seems we are onto finding some kind of molecule that may be able to alleviate some, if not all, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s so this could be prevented in younger ages, and in older ages too.
“Since it is an edible fraction of a common edible plant, it should be quickly translated to compounds made available for users pending doctors’ instructions. As a food additive in combination with others, we expect it to be highly effective,” Segal adds.
He believes that some health benefits could be derived from drinking cinnamon tea, but cautions against self-medicating, since the bark-derived spice also has elements that can be toxic in large doses.
But it’s certainly a pleasant material to work with, notes Frydman-Marom. “It’s very nice to work in the lab — where everything smells so bad — and then suddenly everything smells like cinnamon.”

6 Power Foods You Should Be Eating

By: Carolyn Kylstra
Some foods just aren’t taken seriously.

Consider celery, for example—forever the garnish, never the main meal. You might even downgrade it to bar fare, since the only stalks most guys eat are served alongside hot wings or immersed in Bloody Marys.

All of which is a shame, really. Besides being a perfect vehicle for peanut butter, this vegetable contains bone-beneficial silicon and cancer-fighting phenolic acids. And those aren’t even what makes celery so good for you.

You see, celery is just one of six underappreciated and undereaten foods that can instantly improve your diet. Make a place for them on your plate, and you’ll gain a new respect for the health benefits they bestow—from lowering blood pressure to fighting belly fat. And the best part? You’ll discover just how delicious health food can be.

Celery
This water-loaded vegetable has a rep for being all crunch and no nutrition. But ditch that mindset: Celery contains stealth nutrients that heal.

Why it’s healthy: “My patients who eat four sticks of celery a day have seen modest reductions in their blood pressure—about 6 points systolic and 3 points diastolic,” says Mark Houston, M. D., director of the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital, in Nashville. It’s possible that phytochemicals in celery, called phthalides, are responsible for this health boon. These compounds relax muscle tissue in artery walls and increase bloodflow, according to nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph. D., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. And beyond the benefits to your BP, celery also fills you up—with hardly any calories.

How to eat it: Try this low-carbohydrate, protein-packed recipe for a perfect snack any time of day.

In a bowl, mix a 4.5-ounce can of low-sodium tuna (rinsed and drained), 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup of finely chopped apple, 2 tablespoons of fat-free mayonnaise, and some fresh ground pepper. Then spoon the mixture into celery stalks. (Think tuna salad on a log.) Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 114 calories, 15 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber), 1 gram fat

Seaweed
While this algae is a popular health food in Japan, it rarely makes it into U. S. homes.

Why it’s healthy: There are four classes of seaweeds—green, brown, red, and blue-green—and they’re all packed with healthful nutrients. “Seaweeds are a great plant source of calcium,” says nutritionist Alan Aragon, M.S. They’re also loaded with potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood-pressure levels. “Low potassium and high sodium intake can cause high blood pressure,” Bowden says. “Most people know to limit sodium, but another way to combat the problem is to take in more potassium.”

How to eat it: In sushi, of course. You can also buy sheets of dried seaweed at Asian groceries, specialty health stores, or online at edenfoods.com. Use a coffee grinder to grind the sheets into a powder. Then use the powder as a healthy salt substitute that’s great for seasoning salads and soups.

Hemp Seeds
Despite the Cannabis classification, these seeds aren’t for smoking. But they may provide medicinal benefits.

Why they’re healthy: “Hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke,” says Cassandra Forsythe, Ph. D., a nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut. What’s more, a 1-ounce serving of the seeds provides 11 grams of protein—but not the kind of incomplete protein found in most plant sources. Hemp seeds provide all the essential amino acids, meaning the protein they contain is comparable to that found in meat, eggs, and dairy.

How to eat them: Toss 2 tablespoons of the seeds into your oatmeal or stir-fry. Or add them to your postworkout shake for an extra dose of muscle-building protein.

Scallops
Perhaps these mollusks are considered guilty by association, since they often appear in decadent restaurant meals that are overloaded with calories. (But then again, so does asparagus.)

Why they’re healthy: Scallops are more than 80 percent protein. “One 3-ounce serving provides 20 grams of protein and just 95 calories,” says Bowden. They’re also a good source of both magnesium and potassium. (Clams and oysters provide similar benefits.)

How to eat them: Sear the scallops: It’s a fast and easy way to prepare this seafood.

Purchase fresh, dry-packed scallops (not the “wet-packed” kind) and place them on a large plate or cookie sheet. While you preheat a skillet on medium high, pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season the exposed sides with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. When the skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil to it. Being careful not to overcrowd, lay the scallops in the skillet, seasoned-side down, and then season the top sides.

Sear the scallops until the bottoms are caramelized (about 2 minutes), and then flip them to sear for another 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Now they’re ready to eat. Pair the scallops with sauteed vegetables, or place them on a bed of brown rice.

Dark Meat
Sure, dark meat has more fat than white meat does, but have you ever considered what the actual difference is? Once you do, Thanksgiving won’t be the only time you “call the drumstick.”

Why it’s healthy: “The extra fat in dark turkey or chicken meat raises your levels of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that makes you feel fuller, longer,” says Aragon. The benefit: You’ll be less likely to overeat in the hours that follow your meal. What about your cholesterol? Only a third of the fat in a turkey drumstick is the saturated kind, according to the USDA food database. (The other two-thirds are heart-healthy unsaturated fats.) What’s more, 86 percent of that saturated fat either has no impact on cholesterol, or raises HDL (good) cholesterol more than LDL (bad) cholesterol—a result that actually lowers your heart-disease risk.

As for calories, an ounce of dark turkey meat contains just 8 more calories than an ounce of white meat.

How to eat it: Just enjoy, but be conscious of your total portion sizes. A good rule of thumb: Limit yourself to 8 ounces or less at any one sitting, which provides up to 423 calories. Eat that with a big serving of vegetables, and you’ll have a flavorful fat-loss meal.

Lentils
It’s no surprise that these hearty legumes are good for you. But when was the last time you ate any?

Why they’re healthy: Boiled lentils have about 16 grams of belly-filling fiber in every cup. Cooked lentils also contain 27 percent more folate per cup than cooked spinach does. And if you eat colored lentils—black, orange, red—there are compounds in the seed hulls that contain disease-fighting antioxidants, says Raymond Glahn, Ph. D., a research physiologist with Cornell University.

How to eat them: Use lentils as a bed for chicken, fish, or beef—they make a great substitute for rice or pasta.

Pour 4 cups of chicken stock into a large pot. Add 1 cup of red or brown lentils and a half cup each of onion and carrot chunks, along with 3 teaspoons of minced garlic. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the lentils until they’re tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the lentils from the heat, add a splash of red-wine vinegar, and serve.

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