Category Archives: Nutrition
Sardines are truly a health food in a can. They’re high in protein, which boosts metabolism and leaves you feeling satiated for much longer than the equivalent amount of carbohydrates. They’re loaded with energizing omega-3 fats, which also help keep you full while being good for your heart, brain and mood at the same time. And because they’re low on the food chain, they’re almost never polluted with chemicals like mercury. Best of all, a full can is under 200 calories!
What would you say to a juice that lowers cholesterol, reduces arterial plaque, might help protect against heart disease and cancer and may even help slow aging? Well, say hello to pomegranate juice. It has the highest antioxidant capacity of any juice on the planet, even beating out red wine and green tea in tests at the University of California. And because it’s low in sugar, it won’t set you up for overeating after you drink it, like high-sugar drinks. Calorie cost? Only 80 calories for four ounces.
Nope, it’s not just for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin is an energizing, low-calorie fruit (no that’s not a misprint) that’s brimming with immune-boosting vitamin A. It’s got way more potassium than a banana, and, for good measure, it’s loaded with fiber. That means your blood sugar won’t soar, but your energy will be constant and sustained. Canned pumpkin is available at every grocery store. You can heat it and season it just like you do pumpkin pie — with nutmeg, cinnamon and a little butter. Just leave out the sugar. It also makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes and has only 49 calories per cup
Blueberries are a true superfood. They’re loaded with fiber and antioxidants and studies show they boost memory making them a true “brain food,” too. Low in sugar but sweet and delicious, they’ll sustain your energy while adding nothing to your waistline. Add them to shakes or salads or eat them alone. Tip: Frozen blueberries are an undiscovered low-calorie treat that mix incredibly well with a little milk or yogurt. You’ll never even know you’re cutting calories. One cup: 84 calories.
Even if you hate broccoli, you’ll love baby broccoli. It’s has a completely different taste, and is actually pretty good raw. Best of all, it’s satisfying, unbelievably nutritious, and ridiculously low in calories — less than 37 calories per cup. It makes a great raw vegetable snack, and because it’s so low in calories, you can even treat yourself to a couple of tablespoons of dip and not break the calorie bank.
There’s no better protein source than wild salmon, and you get the additional benefits of heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. The protein stabilizes your blood sugar, the fat keeps you from being hungry, and those magical omegas will improve your mood — you won’t even notice you’re cutting calories! You can have a nice 3 oz salmon steak for about 150 calories. Add a handful of brown rice and a heap of vegetables and you’ll be good to go for hours!
The Incas called it the “mother of all grains” and actually used it as a major source of fuel for their armies. Though it’s technically a seed, it cooks, acts and tastes like a grain, and has the highest protein content of any cereal on the planet. It’s also high in iron, and has 5 grams of fiber per cup. Calorie cost? Just over 100 calories per half cup. It’ll fill you up for hours! Tip: Combine with blueberries for a terrific breakfast.
Oatmeal is a food that actually helps you cut calories! Studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber breakfast food like oatmeal are satisfied longer, naturally eat fewer calories later in the day, and have more energy for things like mental performance. High in fiber and moderately high in protein, oatmeal fills you up and energizes all for a very moderate caloric cost of 150 calories per half cup of uncooked dry oats, which cooks up into a nice portion. Tip: Avoid the par-boiled packets — they’re loaded with sugar and have less fiber.
Switching to tea is an easy way to cut calories without losing energy. Black tea is made from the same plant — Camella sinensis — as it’s more famous cousin, green tea, but it’s also a very healthy beverage. All teas are energizing, and none have calories. Black tea makes an absolutely fabulous substitute for some of the high calorie, milk and sugar laden coffee concoctions we’ve been accustomed to drinking on a daily basis, yet the flavor is strong and satisfying — and it has less caffeine than coffee.
Three to four ounces of beef is surprisingly low in calories — a quarter pound is under 200 calories. And more surprises: Half the fat in beef is heart healthy monounsaturated fat, the same kind that’s found in olive oil. Beef stabilizes blood sugar and gives you lasting energy, plus it’s loaded with iron and amino acids. But there’s a world of difference between fast food and grass-fed beef. While more expensive, the grass-fed is high in omega-3’s and virtually free of hormones, antibiotics and hormones. Spend the extra money and get the good stuff.
WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Whey protein powder is one of the best-kept secrets of dieters and athletes! It’s one of the highest rated proteins on the planet, containing a full range of amino acids. Studies show that it keeps folks feeling fuller longer. Plus, whey protein boosts immunity and slightly lowers blood pressure. Calorie cost? About 100 calories per serving.
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is a board certified nutritionist, a nationally known expert on weight loss, health and nutrition, and the best-selling author of 8 books including “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.” Visit him at www.jonnybowden.com
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Pretty amazing results in the studies listed in this article. Restricting calories has increased longevity in every species tested. We now have a sector of the human population voluntarily undertaking the experiment on themselves. Simply eating smaller portions makes a huge difference in our caloric intake, but the CRON diet is “Caloric Restriction” WITH “Optimal Nutrition”. This makes better sense than simply cutting your calories down by 1/3 or more. Super promising solution to the ageing problem until we are able to develop nano- and bio-tech to move us into healthy triple digits and beyond.
Eight weeks after antibiotic treatment of infants, the diversity of gastrointestinal flora remained diminished, although the number of individual bacteria was back to normal, according to a paper in the November 2012 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Additionally, the potentially disease-causing Proteobacteria were now the d
Mithridates VI, king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from about 120 BC to 63 BC, was a forward-thinking and perceptive individual who understood that a little bit of stress can be a good thing. Terrified of succumbing to the same fate as his father, who was assassinated by poisoning at his own banquet, Mithridates began ingesting sublethal doses of poisons to develop immunity to them, a real-life example of The Princess Bride’s Westley.
The benefit of this practice, which in modern times is known as “hormesis,” is believed to stem from the fact that in low, subtoxic amounts, poisons, toxins, and other types of stress will upregulate antioxidants and detoxification enzymes in the liver, heart, and other major organs, thereby augmenting the natural ability of the body to detoxify and protect itself against future exposure to those same toxins. Could that be what’s happening with n-3 PUFAs in the heart? Could the highly reactive oxidized products generated from PUFA oxidation cause adaptations in the heart—such as biochemical/biophysical alterations in membranes and the upregulation of cardio-protective genes—that subsequently protect the vital organ against disease and stress?
A new study has outlined for the first time a biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.
The recommended daily intake is 11 mgs for adults, though aging adults don’t often absorb zinc well. Taking anything over 40 mgs each day can lead to problems.
The study, published last week in Circulation Research, concludes that the blood-pressure-lowering effects of red wine are attributable not to its alcohol content, but to the beneficial chemicals called polyphenols that it contains, even in its nonalcoholic form.
In fact, they suggested alcohol may limit the beneficial effect of the polyphenols.
Cold pressed oil doesn’t use heat to help extract the oil from its source. Because of this, more nutrients remain in cold pressed oils.
How Many Calories in a Food? You Might Be Surprised
One in three Americans are obese. Processed foods, microbes, one’s immune system, and cooking methods all play a role in how many calories are derived from our food.
One study found tha
Silly creatures, we humans. A new study raises concern about chronic exposure of workers in industry to a food flavoring ingredient used to produce the distinctive buttery flavor and aroma of microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products. It found evidence that the ingredient, diacetyl (DA), intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The study appears in ACS’ journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
Increase in RDA for vitamin C could help reduce heart disease, stroke, cancer | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University
“We believe solid research shows the RDA should be increased,” Frei said. “And the benefit-to-risk ratio is very high. A 200 milligram intake of vitamin C on a daily basis poses absolutely no risk, but there is strong evidence it would provide multiple, substantial health benefits.”
A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
Something that we already knew, but now confirmed:”Long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup [think soda pop] also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.”
Curry spice, omega-3 fatty acid preserve walking ability following spinal-cord injury – UCLA Health and Medicine News
UCLA researchers have discovered that a diet enriched with a popular omega-3 fatty acid and an ingredient in curry spice helps to preserve walking ability in rats that have experienced damage to their spinal cords.
The findings, published June 26 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, suggest that these dietary supplements help repair nerve cells and maintain neurological function after degenerative damage to the neck.
“Normal aging often narrows the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord and injuring tissue,” said principal investigator Dr. Langston Holly, associate professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “While surgery can relieve the pressure and prevent further injury, it can’t repair damage to the cells and nerve fibers. We wanted to explore whether dietary supplementation could help the spinal cord heal itself.”
The UCLA team studied two groups of rats with a condition that simulated cervical myelopathy — a progressive disorder that often occurs in people with spine-weakening conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Cervical myelopathy can lead to disabling neurological symptoms, such as difficulty walking, neck and arm pain, hand numbness, and weakness of the limbs. It’s the most common cause of spine-related walking problems in people over 55.
The first group of animals was fed rat chow that replicated a Western diet high in saturated fats and sugar. The second group consumed a standard diet supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and curcumin, a compound in the Indian curry spice turmeric. A third set of rats received a standard rat diet and served as a control group.
Why these supplements? DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid shown to repair damage to cell membranes. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant that previous studies have linked to tissue repair. Both reduce inflammation.
“The brain and spinal cord work together, and years of research demonstrate that supplements like DHA and curcumin can positively influence the brain,” said study co-author Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA. “We suspected that what works in the brain may also work in the spinal cord. When we were unable to find good data to support our hypothesis, we decided to study it ourselves.”
The researchers recorded a baseline of the rats walking and re-examined the animals’ gait on a weekly basis. As early as three weeks, the rats eating the Western diet demonstrated measurable walking problems that worsened as the study progressed. Rats fed a diet enriched with DHA and curcumin walked significantly better than the first group even six weeks after the study’s start.
Next, the scientists examined the rats’ spinal cords to evaluate how diet affected their injury on a molecular level. They measured levels of three markers respectively linked to cell-membrane damage, neural repair and cellular communication.
The rats that ate the Western diet showed higher levels of the marker linked to cell-membrane damage. In contrast, the DHA and curcumin appeared to offset the injury’s effect in the second group, which displayed marker levels that were equivalent to the control group.
Levels of the markers linked to neural repair and cellular communication were significantly lower in the rats raised on the Western diet. Again, levels in the animals fed the supplemented diet appeared similar to those of the control group.
“DHA and curcumin appear to invoke several molecular mechanisms that preserved neurological function in the rats,” said Gomez-Pinilla. “This is an exciting first step toward understanding the role that diet plays in protecting the body from degenerative disease.”
“Our findings suggest that diet can help minimize disease-related changes and repair damage to the spinal cord,” Holly said. “We next want to look at other mechanisms involved in the cascade of events leading up to chronic spinal-cord injury. Our goal is to identify which stages will respond best to medical intervention and identify effective steps for slowing the disease process.”
Other co-authors included Dr. Donald Blaskiewicz, Aiguo Wu, Cameron Feng and Zhe Ying, all of UCLA. Their research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (RO1 NS056413) and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.