Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Diet

  • Nutrition Rx: Portable Food for the Whole Family

    by Neal Barnard, MD | August 24, 2015

    vegetable-wrapsAs we fit in last-minute travel excursions and summer day trips, it’s easy to stray from the healthful choices we’ve made all summer. The good news is that eating healthfully – in the air, on the road, or at the beach – is now easier than ever.

    Here are five tips for packing portable food that provides stable energy and an abundance of nutrients.

    1. Colorful Vegetable Wraps

    All you’ll need to make your favorite wraps is a handful of ingredients: whole wheat tortillas, low-fat hummus, and your favorite vegetables. Try grated carrots, fresh spinach leaves, and radishes or bean sprouts for an extra crunch. Wrap up and take on a family or poolside picnic, include with fresh fruit for a healthful lunch, or keep on hand for a grab-and-go meal. Read more

  • 3 Reasons to Try Chia Seeds

    by Paula Gallagher | August 3, 2015

    chiaOnce known for a catchy tune and a popular commercial product, chia is making a comeback... but as a superfood. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family called Salvia hispanica and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds were considered a staple food of the Aztec cultures, who would say that one small serving was all a man needed to run for a day. Chia is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Here are three other reasons to try this nutty-flavored seed.

    1. Balance sugar levels: Studies have shown chia to be of benefit in controlling type 2 diabetes. As a high source of fiber, it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin release by slowing digestion and therefore preventing the sugar "spikes" that are common after meals. Read more

  • Smart Juicing Tips

    by Paula Gallagher | July 20, 2015

    juicingJuicing is very popular right now. One of the reasons is that juicing is a simple and effective way to get your daily allotment of fruits and veggies, especially if you have trouble with this. Combine the fruits and vegetables with a greens powder, and you have an antioxidant-rich drink.

    One of the fun aspects of juicing is that you can experiment with all sorts of food. The combinations are endless, as are the nutritional benefits. Here are some juicing tips to help you get the most nutritional value.

    1. The right juicer:  Juicers can be a major investment. It helps to do some thorough research before deciding on your purchase. Good construction, juice quality, and the amount of juice you actually get are important considerations. Quality juicers extract as much as 25% more juice from fruits and vegetables than lower-end models. There are also some great blenders that can do double duty as juicers (but blenders do a different type of work because they use the whole fruit or vegetable, so the fiber and pulp remains in your "juice"). Read more

  • Foods That Fight Pain: A Dietary Approach to Conquering Migraines, Backaches, and Joint Pain

    by Neal Barnard, MD | July 6, 2015

    vegatable-marketIt’s normal to experience aches and pains every once in a while, but if the condition happens frequently, it can impair your quality of life. The good news is the root cause may live in your pantry, which means it is easy to fix: eliminate this trigger food from your diet, and stick with foods that fight pain.

    Certain foods act as triggers for arthritis and migraines. At the same time, high-fat foods can increase inflammation and alter estrogen levels, affecting menstrual cramps, migraines, and even increasing the risk of certain forms of cancer.

    High-fat foods also damage the arteries, creating blockages that reduce blood flow to the brain, heart, and spine. This explains why back pain is the most common form of pain and the leading cause of disability among American adults younger than age 45.

    To determine if you have a dietary trigger for chronic pain, or just need an arterial makeover, consider a three-step intervention. Chances are you’ll be pain-free within months, with a clean bill of health. Read more

  • Strawberry Season is Here!

    by Paula Gallagher | July 1, 2015

    strawberryI love strawberry season around here. My kids enjoy the whole process – the wagon ride, the picking, the eating, and then the countless things we make from the baskets and baskets we bring home. Strawberries are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up, a tasty after-dinner dessert, or an ideal way to add a slice of color to salads. As with most berries, picking or buying organic is best.

    One cup of sliced strawberries is less than 50 calories and contains almost 150% of our recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

    High in folate, potassium and manganese, and stuffed with antioxidants such as flavonoids, strawberries are a superfood in their own right. As a matter of fact, strawberries – just like any antioxidant-rich food – are great at counteracting the cell damage that free radicals trigger in our bodies. Antioxidants protect these cells, and may reduce the risk of serious diseases, such as certain cancers and heart disease. Read more

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