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Kerri Ann Jennings's Blog

March 2, 2012 - 2:09pm

Last time I visited the dentist, we were having one of those awkward, mouth-full-of-toothpaste conversations. She was asking me about my work (I’m the associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine and a registered dietitian, and I write a lot about food and health), when it occurred to me that I wanted to write about foods for healthier teeth (and by extension, a brighter smile).

Must-Read: Beauty Foods That Fight Wrinkles, Swelling & More

Here’s what I found out:

Crunchy and Chewy Foods
Crunchy and chewy foods—such as carrots, celery and nuts—cause saliva to flow; saliva neutralizes the acids formed by cavity-causing bacteria. (Sticky and sweet foods,...

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February 29, 2012 - 11:45am

Think that sprig of parsley on the side of your plate is just sitting there looking pretty or that mushrooms aren’t particularly nutritious? Find out why these and 4 other “worthless” foods are better for you than you think.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms don’t have the bursting-with-nutrients reputation of more brightly colored vegetables like sweet potatoes or Swiss chard, but mushrooms are good for you. Although low in calories (just 20 calories per cup, or about 5 mushrooms), they deliver a meaty flavor, which makes mushrooms a satisfying replacement for all or some of the meat at dinner. They’re also one of the few foods that deliver vitamin D—4 medium mushrooms provide 5 IUs of the vitamin; it’s not a lot (the daily recommendation is 400 IUs), but it is notable. Lastly, there’s...

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February 21, 2012 - 2:17pm

For the longest time, the only oil I bought was extra-virgin olive oil. After all, it’s high in heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels. Then a friend, who was also a chef, told me that there are actually times when olive oil is not the best choice. So I looked into the best uses for olive oil, and when to choose another oil.

When to use olive oil: When you’re making salad dressing or sautéing vegetables over medium heat, olive oil is an excellent choice. Since it has a distinct flavor, use it in dishes where you want to taste it—drizzled over steamed vegetables, soup or bread, for example. Olive oil has more monounsaturated fat than other oils, making it a great choice for...

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February 10, 2012 - 12:29pm

If you think cognitive decline isn’t something that starts to happen until after age 60, think again. A new study from the British Medical Journal showed that cognitive decline—a decrease in memory and reasoning capacity—can start to affect our brains as early as 45! Give yourself a mental boost now with these four foods.

Must-Read: 7 Anti-Aging Superfoods
What to Eat for a Healthy Heart and a Healthy Mind

Leafy Greens
A 2006 study in Neurology showed that people who ate two or more daily servings of vegetables, especially leafy greens, had the mental focus of people...

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February 7, 2012 - 12:24pm

When it comes to dessert, chocolate is my weakness. The silky rich, bittersweet stuff is sure to satisfy my sweet tooth. As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine, I also know that chocolate actually has several health benefits. Still, it’s not kale—so before I totally get swept away by chocolate’s healthy halo, I try to remember that there are some drawbacks to my favorite treat too.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

It’s (almost) a diet food. Preliminary findings from Hershey suggest that natural cocoa, which has more flavanols than Dutch-processed cocoa, may limit the number of calories you actually take in during digestion by quashing the action of certain digestive enzymes, thus preventing some fats and starches in other foods from...

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