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Gretel H. Schueller's Blog

August 7, 2014 - 11:54am

A growing body of research has shown that the teeming populations of gut bacteria within us have evolved complex connections that can affect our body’s basic functions — from metabolism to sleep to mood.

Changes in the makeup of the gut bacteria in the human digestive system have been associated with a growing number of diseases.

It’s important to remember, though, that the science is still young and evolving.

Here we highlight the most intriguing of the cutting-edge studies.



Healthy Heart

Some of the many beneficial compounds that certain gut bacteria produce for us are carotenoids—antioxidants that are believed to protect against stroke and angina.

In a 2012 study in Nature Communications, researchers in Sweden compared the gut microbiome of stroke...

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July 30, 2014 - 11:47am

The GMO labeling debate is hot!

This spring, Vermont became the first state to pass a no-strings mandatory GMO labeling law. (Connecticut and Maine have passed labeling laws, but they don’t go into effect until other requirements are met.)

Groups in at least 36 other states have efforts under way to pass state labeling bills.

GMO in Your Life: In 2013, 27 countries grew GMOs and even more imported them. In the U.S., genetically modified field corn (for oil, syrup, meal and starch), soybeans, canola, cottonseed (for oil) and sugar beets (for sugar) are used in processed foods.

In the produce section, you can find genetically modified Hawaiian papaya and small amounts of sweet corn, zucchini and yellow squash.

It’s estimated that about 75% of processed food in ­America contains genetically modified...

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July 23, 2014 - 1:34pm

Our country’s most efficient pollinator, the domesticated honeybee, is in decline. We talked with Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Ph.D.—an entomologist at the University of Maryland and one of the first to see honeybees were in trouble 10 years ago—about why we should be concerned.

Why are honeybees in decline?
We continue to see high levels of mortality; whole hives are disappearing. Each year, we continue to lose an average of 30% of our colonies. We think it’s caused by the equivalent of bee flu. When bees are sick they leave the hive to prevent other bees from getting sick. The big question is, why are bees succumbing to flu and to a combination of other viruses and pathogens? The three biggest factors are increasing pesticides, varroa mites and poor nutrition; all weaken the bees’ immune systems. As land is developed, bees are...

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July 15, 2014 - 3:41pm

Put the emphasis on vegetables at mealtime. Pick one day (or just a meal) a week to eat meatless and have veggies be the shinning star on your plate. If you’re worried that you’ll miss the meat, include chewy, satisfying foods like seared firm tofu, grilled mushrooms and nuts, which feel more filling because they take more time and effort to eat than, say, a spoonful of broth. They also better mimic the way you chew meat—which makes them a more satisfying substitute.

Don’t Miss: 5 Secrets for Cooking Vegetarian Food That Satisfies Like a Meaty Meal

Recipe of the Day: Moo Shu Vegetables
...

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July 15, 2014 - 3:30pm

Even the biggest veggie-phobe will munch down when you offer a delicious dip with crunchy spears of fresh vegetables. Carrots, celery and peppers take on a whole new taste when dunked with a little dip—OK, for some of you perhaps drowned in dip. It’s all good, if the veggies get eaten. And when you pick one of EatingWell’s healthy dip recipes, you really can’t go wrong. (Plus, with our Creamy Spinach Dip Recipe, even the dip has veggies!)

A 2011 Temple University Study found that adding a small amount of dip to a serving of vegetables helped children eat more of them. The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that offering 2.5 ounces of ranch dressing as a dip increased broccoli consumption by 80 percent. Go dip!

So go ahead and...

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