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Tag: vitamins

When I woke up yesterday and saw the headline, “Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds study,” I was very curious. What exactly did this study look at and how did they come up with their conclusion? Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was interested. Our twitter page blew up with comments and articles on what the study missed. Mark Bittman showed a wee bit of frustration in his tweet:

Ridiculous Study Claims Organic Same as Conventional, irritates anyone capable of thought: http://buff.ly/NaNeKI

The Standford Study, as it is being referred, is a “meta-analysis” of a few hundred previously published research papers on the topic. The researchers reviewed the studies and and summarized the results in the journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.

The Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

While this sounds compelling, there was a whole lot left out. For example, two glasses of milk might be identical when it comes to the amount of vitamin D or calcium, but vastly difference when you start comparing added hormone or antibiotic levels. Also, nutrition is not the only reason why people choose organic. In the last day, I’ve read numerous articles about the Standford Study. To further understand what the study actually did and did not include, I urge you to read these three compelling articles.

5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
by Tom Philpott of Mother Jones

As an investigative journalist, Tom takes a deep dive on the study and points out the multitude of risks that pesticides both
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© Nikola Hristovski | Dreamstime.com

 

Chewing. The act of breaking down food in your mouth with your teeth. It’s something we take for granted because if we didn’t chew, we’d be preforming the Heimlich Maneuver on a daily basis. Chewing seems so simple. You just bite down a few times, swallow and repeat. But how often do you really chew your food and, quite frankly, why does it matter?

Here are 5 reasons you should absolutely care about proper chewing:
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Book: Joy Bauer’s Food Cures
Authors: Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN with Carol Svec
Price: $21.99
Type: Nutritional Reference Guide

 

Nutritionist Joy Bauer is well known as the nutrition expert for the Today Show. She recently came out with a reference guide, Joy Bauer’s Food Cures, a book devoted to “getting you healthier, look younger and add years to your life.” We were contacted by Bauer’s team to review the book and they generously sent us a second copy to give away to one of our readers (click here for details on the giveaway).

Overview:

The book is divided into six sections: (1) Introduction to Joy Bauer and her health practice, (2) Losing Weight, (3) Looking Great which includes chapters on skin, hair and teeth, (4) Living Long & Strong – cardiovascular disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, vision, and memory, (5) Feeling Good – mood, migraine headaches, PMS, insomnia, irritable bowl syndrome, celiac disease, and cancer prevention, (6) Resources – reading labels, references. You can almost look at this guide as many little books in one, as each chapter stands on its own with basics, tips, food & shopping lists, FAQs, and recipes.
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I keep seeing articles claiming that many organics are a waste of money. Even health guru Dr. Mercola (whom I tend to agree with on most issues) wrote an article on it. The advice is to buy conventional (non-organic) for the EWG’s Clean 15 list or for fruits & veggies with thick skins/those you peel to save money. What this advice says is that the rate of pesticides found on produce should be the ONLY determining factor when deciding between organic and non-organic. While pesticide levels are extremely important, it is concerning that people may automatically choose conventional for the “cleaner” foods. The writers, many of whom are nutritionists, are failing to point out the OTHER reasons why organic makes sense.

Contemplating between organic and conventional?  Here are 6 OTHER reasons why organics make sense:

ONE:  More Vitamins & Minerals – There is evidence suggesting that conventionally grown produce may be less healthy than it once was due to the “dilution effect.” Why? Produce is grown with fertilizer for desirable traits (firmness, color, increased size, etc.) instead of optimal vitamin & mineral content. Essentially, produce is larger with more “dry matter,” but doesn’t proportionately contain as many nutrients. You have to eat more to get the same amount of nutrients.
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Gerri French recently joined Be Food Smart as a Special Advisor. She comes to us with over 30 years of experience as Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (see Gerri’s full bio here). I sat down with Gerri last week to ask her a few questions. Here are some highlights from our chat.

Are there any popular/major diets that you like? For example, Paleo, South Beach, Zone, blood type, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, etc.  Are there any you would recommend?

No one diet works for everyone. As a dietitian I listen to my patients to learn their needs and concerns while assessing their lifestyle, laboratory data and medical history; a very personalized approach.  A general diet book does not take the individual person into consideration.  There are many healthy people out there eating a variety of diets. Mediterranean and Asian people who follow diets taught by their ancestors tend to be healthiest and the research supports it. I am happy to see people returning to enjoying earthy seasonal local foods, heirloom grains and beans and also fermented foods.
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Image: slave2thetea via Flickr

Remember the old Popeye cartoons? Popeye always ate his spinach when he needed super strength. The benefits of spinach are no cartoon story. This leafy star is often referred to as a “superfood” and has more demonstrated health benefits than almost any other food. It is amazingly high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants making it a food you should be consuming regularly.

Spinach contains lutein, beta-carotene, glutathione, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, polyphenols, betaine, calcium and vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, & K to name a few.  Aside from all the individual nutrients, it is the combination and the way the nutrients work together that makes spinach so powerful. In studies, high spinach consumption has been shown to lower almost every type of cancer. Spinach is highly beneficial for eye health and prevention of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.  This heart-friendly vegetable is packed with carotenoids which help protect the artery walls.

Markets generally carry spinach year-round making it a perfect daily staple. There are three different varieties of spinach: Savoy (curly leaves), Semi-Savoy (slightly curly leaves), and Flat or Smooth Leaf (smooth leaves). One can purchase spinach fresh,
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