November/December 2008 http://www.eatingwell.com/taxonomy/term/431/node/node/food_news_origins en The Guest of Honor http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/good_reads/the_guest_of_honor <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A meal to remember in the Eastern Nepali village of Bala. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Arun River slices through Eastern Nepal, forming one of the world’s deepest gorges. One spring—having learned some Nepali, and eager to hike in the Himalaya—I flew from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and then set off on foot, following the Arun toward the Tibetan border. After a few hours on the slippery trail, I realized I needed help. Stopping in a wayside town, I hired a teenage Sherpa named Norbu. He shouldered my pack with ease and we set off toward the mountain snows.</p> <p>We trekked for days, sharing language lessons and tales. One morning over breakfast, Norbu expressed a wish to visit a nearby village called Bala. His grandparents were the heads of the hamlet, and he hadn’t seen them for years. It would delight them, he said, if we stopped in for a night.</p> <p>I agreed, with one caveat. Eastern Nepal has scant resources. The harsh winter had just ended, and food would be scarce. We had brought noodles and dried meat, and could cook for ourselves.</p> <p>“But they’ll insist,” Norbu replied. “You’ll be an honored guest, the first American to visit the village.”</p> <p>“Well...OK. But see that they don’t overdo it.”</p> <p>We arrived in the late afternoon. Bala was an oasis of tidy packed-earth homes, nestled between terraced hills. Corn and chile peppers hung from rafters. As predicted, Norbu was greeted like a returning moonwalker. I was an exotic alien; kids ran over to stare at my nose, tug my beard and feel the texture of my expedition parka.</p> <p>Despite my protests, Norbu’s grandparents—a wizened couple—insisted on cooking dinner. Norbu suggested, diplomatically, that I stay out of their way. Supplied with a flask of local millet raaksi, I climbed a nearby hill and watched the sun fall behind the foothills. The more I drank, the better I felt; soon I was feeling very good indeed. As the last light faded, I heard a cowbell ring: dinner was ready.</p> <p>The single, mud-walled room of Norbu’s grandparents’ home was illuminated with butter lamps. Villagers filled the low wooden benches along the walls. In the center of the swept-dirt floor was a single chair cushioned with a hand-loomed carpet: my place of honor.</p> <p>I sat, and the room fell silent. Norbu’s grandmother, wearing a festive woolen apron, turned from the open-pit hearth and approached me carrying a large copper tray, a traditional Nepali wedding gift. Upon the tray was a mountain of rice, served with fragrant daal (lentil stew). She’d prepared a side dish of tarkaari—boiled greens and potatoes—as well as a small bowl of spicy achaar. I detected hints of cumin and timur, the tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper. Atop this already bountiful offering was a fried egg, a rare treat in these subsistence villages. But my heart broke when I saw the crowning touch: a drumstick and thigh. The family had killed and roasted one of their precious chickens in our honor.</p> <p>With great dignity, Norbu’s grandmother set the heavy dish on my lap. All eyes were upon me. I looked around, giddy from the raaksi and the altitude. A hundred thoughts raced through my head: self-consciousness, astonishment and memories of the elaborate meals I ate back home in San Francisco. Norbu, grinned at me. I grinned back, distracted. And then, without thinking, I crossed my legs. The tray of food toppled to the dirt floor.</p> <p>For an infinite moment, time stood still. The room was a tableau of shocked faces. And then I was on my feet, incredulous, overcome with shame. “Tik chaina!” I cried, staring at the steaming mess. “This is terrible! I’m sorry!”</p> <p>Norbu’s grandfather stood up and walked toward me. He put a hand on my shoulder, and turned toward his stunned guests. “Tik cha,” he stated calmly. “It’s fine. It’s good. In fact.… it’s wonderful. Isn’t it?” He scanned the room. “Isn’t it?” Tentatively, heads nodded. People began to breathe again.</p> <p>Suddenly, I got it. With my oafish faux pas, I’d shattered the mystique. I was no longer a fabulously wealthy Westerner to be revered, or viewed with awe. Truth was, I was merely a pale-faced klutz. We were equals now—no matter what my parka cost.</p> <p>I found Norbu. “What should I do?”</p> <p>“Go to your tent,” he said. “And wait. They’re going to do it all over again.”</p> <p>And they did. This time, though, we all ate together.</p> <p><em>Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler, is the author of Shopping for Buddhas and four other books. </em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/good_reads/the_guest_of_honor#comments November/December 2008 Food News & Origins - People & Perspectives Fri, 21 Aug 2009 17:56:57 +0000 Sarah Hoff 10268 at http://www.eatingwell.com Reviving Native Foods http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/local_heroes/reviving_native_foods <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Native Americans rediscover native foods for better health. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For southern Arizona’s Tohono O’odham tribe, the desire to return to the past is more than nostalgia: it’s a matter of life and death. “Fifty years ago, when we ate native foods rather than white bread and McDonald’s, we weren’t obese and didn’t have diabetes, but now they’re rampant,” says Terrol Dew Johnson, a member of the tribe, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 12 years ago. Because many Native Americans are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes, the current American diet, rich in processed food, has created a health crisis among the Tohono O’odham nation.</p> <p>In 1996, Johnson co-founded Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) in an effort to reacquaint members of the impoverished tribe with disappearing native foods—such as squash and tepary beans. In the heart of the Sonoran Desert, 60 miles west of Tucson, he successfully re-established two working farms to grow and sell traditional native foods in the community and also teach O’odham members how to harvest and prepare them.</p> <p>But habits are hard to break and Johnson worries: “We’re on a time schedule. The elders are dying. We’re working hard to get as much information from them about their traditional culture as we can.” For details on all of TOCA’s programs, go to tocaonline.org. </p> <p><em>By Edie Jarolim</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/local_heroes/reviving_native_foods#comments November/December 2008 Food News & Origins - People & Perspectives Fri, 21 Aug 2009 15:17:33 +0000 Sarah Hoff 10211 at http://www.eatingwell.com Persimmons http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/seasonal_local/persimmons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This sweet fall fruit boasts about half the vitamin C and a quarter of the fiber you need each day. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With an intoxicating flavor of honeyed pumpkin and ripe apricot, persimmons are a fresh replacement for the usual fall suspects, apples and pears. Just one boasts about half the vitamin C and a quarter of the fiber you need each day. Once a favorite of native Americans, persimmons still grow wild along the East Coast but most of what you will find in the markets are Japanese varieties—Hachiya and Fuyu—that are now grown in California and the South, and are at their peak in November. You may also see the lesser-known Maru, or Cinnamon, persimmon, named for its spicy color. Hachiyas are most commonly used in baking. Shaped like acorns and very soft, almost mushy, when ready to eat, they will leave you with a bitter taste and dry mouth if you eat one before it’s ripe. Fuyus are less punishing if eaten too soon; they’re slightly firm when ripe and look like squat, flat tomatoes. Be sure you know the difference. Eat them plain or, for a simple delicious recipe, combine diced Fuyu with minced onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of salt for a fresh salsa to serve on fish tacos or with chips.</p> <p><em>By Jenna B. Damareck</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/seasonal_local/persimmons#comments November/December 2008 Food News & Origins - Seasonal & Local Thu, 20 Aug 2009 19:06:05 +0000 Sarah Hoff 10130 at http://www.eatingwell.com Is your doctor a better cook than you? http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/is_your_doctor_a_better_cook_than_you <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sylvia Geiger, M.S., R.D. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A new perspective on healthy eating is changing the way some doctors practice medicine. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/54302426healthy_cooking2_225.jpg?1250793172" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For John Principe, M.D., entering the kitchen of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) conjured up memories of his first time in the operating room during medical school. “It was like having a nurse standing over your shoulder…Wash your hands! Use the knife this way,” says Principe, an internist. “I was so unnerved and felt completely out of my element.” Principe is one of more than 1,000 medical professionals who, to date, have attended a Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference at the CIA campus in California (healthykitchens.org). During the four-day events held twice a year, participants first listen to nutrition lectures—to learn more about links between diet and diseases—and then hone their culinary skills in hands-on cooking sessions.</p> <p>The brainchild of David Eisenberg, M.D., director of Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School, and Mark Erickson, vice president of continuing education at the CIA, the conference aims to address the problem that many doctors receive little training in nutrition or in selecting and cooking healthy foods. The course emphasizes that doctors are more likely to advise their patients on healthy lifestyles if they practice what they preach. “Our goal is to inspire physicians to change their own behaviors and to serve as role models and champions in the healthy-eating, healthy-lifestyle campaign,” says Eisenberg.</p> <p>The conference seems to be working. “It changed the way I practice medicine,” says Principe, who has lost 15 pounds since attending last April. With a renewed sense of well-being, he now writes fewer prescriptions and spends more time discussing lifestyle and dietary changes with patients.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/is_your_doctor_a_better_cook_than_you#comments Sylvia Geiger, M.S., R.D. November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Thu, 20 Aug 2009 18:33:49 +0000 Nifer 9954 at http://www.eatingwell.com Will Dining in the Dark Help You Eat Less? http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/will_dining_in_the_dark_help_you_ea <p>A fine meal provides a total sensory experience. Now imagine taking your sense of sight out of the equation. You’d have “dark dining,” a concept that caught hold in Europe in the late 1990s and now is starting to become a trend stateside. Here’s how it works: Diners are served in complete darkness. Servers lead them to a table and in some restaurants recite the menu so people can order, while in other restaurants diners choose their meal in advance.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Leslie Gilbert Elman </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This new restaurant trend gives diners a thought-provoking way to savor food. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5427dark_dining225.jpg?1250780014" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Recipes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_diet_recipes">Healthy Diet Recipes, Menus and Tips</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/quick_healthy_low_calorie_recipes_menus">Quick and Healthy Low-Calorie Recipes and Menus</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_low_calorie_chicken_recipes">Healthy Low-Calorie Chicken Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_low_calorie_dessert_recipes">Healthy Low-Calorie Dessert Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_meal_plans/weight_loss_diet_meal_plan">Weight-Loss Diet Meal Plan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A fine meal provides a total sensory experience. Now imagine taking your sense of sight out of the equation. You’d have “dark dining,” a concept that caught hold in Europe in the late 1990s and now is starting to become a trend stateside. Here’s how it works: Diners are served in complete darkness. Servers lead them to a table and in some restaurants recite the menu so people can order, while in other restaurants diners choose their meal in advance. “Your eyes dictate what you’re supposed to taste, [but in dark dining] you have to rely on the taste, texture and shape of the food,” explains Benjamin Uphues, founder of three dark-dining restaurants, called Opaque, in California. (At Uphues’s restaurants, the waitstaff is blind or visually impaired.)</p> <p>Yet at about $100 per person, it’s not an inexpensive night out, which left us wondering, for that price, could dark dining offer more benefits than meet the eye? We asked Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., obesity expert and author of The EatingWell Diet, to weigh in. “We’re visually cued to finish what’s on our plates; but there is evidence that beyond the first five mouthfuls of a dish you’re eating just to finish it,” explains Harvey-Berino. “So there is some reason to speculate that you might be more inclined to stop eating if you can’t see the food.”</p> <p>Bottom line: It may not curb your appetite, but dining in the dark truly is a thought-provoking way to savor food. </p> <p>By Leslie Gilbert Elman</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/will_dining_in_the_dark_help_you_ea#comments Leslie Gilbert Elman November/December 2008 Weight Loss/Diet Diet, Nutrition & Health - Weight Loss & Diet Plans Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:55:02 +0000 Nifer 9874 at http://www.eatingwell.com How to Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/how_to_avoid_gaining_weight_during_the_holidays <p>Worried about gaining weight over the holiday season? You should be. Research shows that people tend to gain weight—and don’t lose it when the partying ends. If you want to have your fruitcake and eat it, too, try simply controlling portions. A salad plate or kid-size plate is perfect for your main meal. Use a small bowl for soup and a white-wine glass instead of a big red-wine glass.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Our secret to having your fruitcake and eating it too. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5426holiday_party225.jpg?1250779473" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More Healthy Ways to Survive Holidays &amp; Parties: </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/3_antidotes_to_overeating">3 Antidotes to Overeating</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/beat_winter_weight_gain">Beat Winter Weight Gain</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/the_eatingwell_diet/think_small_portion_control_savvy">Think Small - Portion-Control Savvy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/diabetes/healthy_holiday_eating_for_diabetes">Healthy Holiday Eating for Diabetes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/exercise_escape_plan">Exercise Escape Plan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/blogs/diet_blog/7_ways_to_stay_in_your_skinny_jeans_during_the_holidays">7 ways to stay in your “skinny jeans” during the holidays</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Recipes to Try </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/fiber_rich_recipes_to_help_you_lose_weight">Fiber-Rich Recipes to Help You Lose Weight</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/breakfasts_that_fight_fat">Breakfasts That Fight Fat</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/holiday_collection_1">Healthy Holidays Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Worried about gaining weight over the holiday season? “You should be. Research shows that people tend to gain weight—and don’t lose it when the partying ends. If you want to have your fruitcake and eat it, too, try simply controlling portions. A salad plate or kid-size plate is perfect for your main meal. Use a small bowl for soup and a white-wine glass instead of a big red-wine glass.”</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/how_to_avoid_gaining_weight_during_the_holidays#comments Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D. November/December 2008 Weight Loss/Diet Diet, Nutrition & Health - Weight Loss & Diet Plans Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:45:31 +0000 Nifer 9871 at http://www.eatingwell.com Holiday Wines to Pour and Present http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/wine_beer_spirits_guide/holiday_wines_to_pour_and_present <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 bottles for stress-free wine shopping this holiday season. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Hard to imagine the holiday season without a glass of wine in hand, right? A great bottle of wine can bring together all the flavors on your table. But which wine do you choose? What you serve at holiday parties needs to impress at a price that doesn’t oppress, plus be food-friendly, given the diversity of flavors on cocktail-party buffets and holiday dinner tables. And if you give a bottle as a gift, it needs to send the “you’re special” message without breaking the bank.</p> <p>To help simplify your life, I’ve created a list of favorites that encompasses the best, most readily available wines that I’ve tasted over the years with prices ranging from $10 to $45. While it is fun to taste wines from tiny, boutique producers, they’re rarely available or affordable. And the fact is, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good bottle of wine, so why would you? Given that, these selections might even become your “go-to” wines year-round.</p> <p><strong>Best Budget-Friendly Holiday Wines Under $15</strong></p> <p><strong>Castle Rock Pinot Noir, Mendocino 2006 ($10)</strong><br /> Silky and seductive, this cherry-fragrant beauty is drinkable on its own but also amazingly versatile. This red is delicious with anything from seafood (the Christmas Eve tradition in our house) to a holiday roast. I don’t know how they do it for this price, but I’m glad they do!<br /> Suggested Recipe Pairing: <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/roasted_pheasant_with_wheat_berry_salad.html">Roasted Pheasant with Wheat Berry Salad</a></p> <p><strong>Esser Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2006 ($10)</strong><br /> Deep blackberry flavor along with complex cedar and vanilla notes at an affordable price. A great bet when you’re serving a crowd.</p> <p><strong>Segura Viudas Aria Estate Cava Brut, Spain NV ($10)</strong><br /> The gorgeous bottle belies the bargain price. So does the lovely layered, yeasty, baked pear flavor of this sparkling wine. When you try it with food—it can handle any array of cocktail-party fare or your most traditional Thanksgiving spread— you’ll see that sparkling wine is not just for toasts!<br /> Suggested Recipe Pairing: <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/lemon_garlic_roast_turkey_white_wine_gravy.html">Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey &amp; White-Wine Gravy</a></p> <p><strong>Saint M Riesling, Germany 2006 ($12)</strong><br /> This lip-smacking white is lively and crisp. It has loads of peach flavor, and it pairs well with absolutely every food.</p> <p><strong>Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay, Australia 2007 ($13)</strong><br /> Here you’ll find luscious pineapple and peach flavors characteristic of the Chardonnay grape, but not so heavy with oakiness or alcohol that it overpowers food. A great solo sipper too.<br /> Suggested Recipe Pairing: <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/savory_carrot_tarragon_tart.html">Savory Carrot &amp; Tarragon Tart</a></p> <p><strong>Best Holiday Wines Under $50</strong></p> <p><strong>Sanford Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 2006 ($33)</strong><br /> This silky red has dried cranberry, sassafrass and cardamom on the nose and delicious strawberry-rhubarb flavors. A love letter to food, this wine actually enhances anything it’s paired with.</p> <p><strong>Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay, Napa 2006 ($35)</strong><br /> Always a winner, this bio­dynamic wine still manages to get better and better with each vintage. In my blind tastings, its crisp, minerally, richly fruited and lightly oaked style bests Chardonnays that cost twice as much. A bottle to impress wine lovers!</p> <p><strong>Badia a Coltibuono Sangioveto, Tuscany 2000 ($40)</strong><br /> This world-class Super Tuscan is made from Sangiovese, the same grape used to make Chianti, but is much more complex and layered. Delicious after decanting (try it with prime rib or roasted game), but definitely cellar-worthy for at least 10 years too.</p> <p><strong>Robert Mondavi Reserve To Kalon Vineyard Fumé Blanc, Napa 2006 ($40)</strong><br /> The 40-year-old vines yield an incredibly sophisticated white. Pineapple, coconut, honey and tarragon notes make it a delicious meal partner. It will age well for at least 5 years.</p> <p><strong>Two Hands Lily’s Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz, Australia 2006 ($45)</strong><br /> This red is big, beautiful and lusty with spicy fig and chocolate flavors. Pair it with fine cheeses or dark chocolate.</p> <p><em>-Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson has just published Andrea Robinson’s 2009 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone (JGR Productions, 2008).</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/wine_beer_spirits_guide/holiday_wines_to_pour_and_present#comments November/December 2008 Healthy Cooking - Wine, Beer & Spirits Guide Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:48:11 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9771 at http://www.eatingwell.com Immune-Boosting Superfoods http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/immunity/immune_boosting_superfoods <p>Never one to miss a celebration, I always look forward to holiday gatherings. But crowded parties are a prime place to pick up a bug. Couple that with late nights, frequent travel, and I know I’m a target for a cold or the flu. That’s why I try to boost my immune system to help keep me from missing out on the fun of this season.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can the right diet bolster my body’s defenses? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/immune_boosting_foods_310.jpg?1254156475" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More on Healthy Immunity </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/immunity/3_everyday_tips_for_immune_support">3 Everyday Tips for Immune Support</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/healthy_immunity_center">Healthy Immunity Center</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_immunity_recipes">Healthy Immunity Recipes </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/blogs/health_blog/are_you_wasting_your_money_on_vitamin_drinks_try_these_3_immunity_b">Are you wasting your money on vitamin drinks? Try these 3 immunity boosters instead</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/immunity/kitchen_cures">Kitchen Cures</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_breakfasts_with_yogurt">Healthy Breakfasts with Yogurt</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/calcium_rich_recipes_with_yogurt">Calcium-Rich Recipes with Yogurt</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Never one to miss a celebration, I always look forward to holiday gatherings. But crowded parties are a prime place to pick up a bug. Couple that with late nights, frequent travel, and I know I’m a target for a cold or the flu. That’s why I try to boost my immune system to help keep me from missing out on the fun of this season. </p> <p>To fight off colds, our son Ben, who’s 24, used to swear by Airborne, a supplement containing 17 vitamins, minerals and herbs that once billed itself as a way to prevent or cure colds. I was always skeptical that this supplement could work. I struggled not to say a motherly “I told you so” when, after settling a $23.3 million class-action lawsuit for false advertising, Airborne’s manufacturer was ordered to pay out an additional $30 million to consumers. Afterward, Ben admitted that Airborne had lost some of its appeal, but I still noticed it around his house. (The claim on the supplement now reads, “helps support your immune system.”)</p> <p>For Ben’s sake and mine, I decided to take a look at the science and see what may really work to boost our immune systems—and what isn’t worth the money. </p> <h3>Vitamin-Mineral Potions and Pills</h3> <p>As with many label claims, Airborne’s current one begins with a kernel of truth: vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and selenium—nutrients in the supplement—are among the vitamins and minerals that our immune systems need to function efficiently. According to a 2002 report in the British Journal of Nutrition, deficiencies of any of these nutrients (or of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, copper or iron) can depress immunity. But the key word is deficiency; most of us—save for smokers, pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly—meet our needs for these nutrients with the foods we eat. If you fall into any of those higher-risk categories, talk with your doctor before taking a supplement.</p> <p>And more isn’t better. Excess amounts of many nutrients are potentially harmful, and it’s all too easy for even a bright, well-educated person like Ben to go overboard. Just one tablet of Airborne contains 1,667 percent of the daily recommended value (DRV) for vitamin C. After doing the math, I was stunned to discover that when he popped five Airborne tablets in a day—two more than the label recommends—he was getting two and a half times the established safe upper limit for vitamin C (excesses can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and kidney stones). He also came dangerously close to the upper limit for vitamin A, raising his risk of toxicity. </p> <p>Glacéau’s Vitaminwater “Defense,” a drink with a label that claims it is “specially formulated with nutrients required for optimal functioning of the immune system,” doesn’t deliver the mega-high doses of nutrients that Airborne does. (A 20-ounce bottle of the water contains 150 percent of the DRV of vitamin C and 25 percent for four B vitamins and zinc.) But at 125 calories per bottle, I’d rather skip it. </p> <p>A daily multivitamin/mineral supplement might come in handy this time of year, but I wouldn’t risk your health or waste your money on anything beyond that. So what does work?</p> <h3>A Cup (or More) of Green Tea</h3> <p>My colleague Mingruo Guo, Ph.D., a professor of food science at the University of Vermont and an authority on the immune-boosting potential of foods, always has a pot of green tea brewing. He drinks five to six cups a day, convinced that it has immune-enhancing effects along with other health benefits. Guo, who grew up drinking tea in China, credits tea’s polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants. One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses. Although just how they work isn’t fully known, research suggests that catechins, a particular type of polyphenols in green tea, may stimulate production and activity of some immune cells and inhibit the production of disease-promoting inflammatory compounds. One laboratory study found that catechins can kill influenza viruses.</p> <p>Guo notes that many Americans are turned off by the bitterness of green tea—one downside of the polyphenols. But proper brewing techniques can help. To maximize benefits and minimize bitterness, the Tea Council recommends using just-below-boiling water and steeping green tea no more than a minute or two. A little lemon and honey can also help blunt the bitterness. But don’t add milk, because the proteins will bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective. </p> <h3>Probiotics</h3> <p>Probiotics, so-called “good bacteria” found in yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods, are touted as helping prevent the GI upsets many of us succumb to during the holidays. According to a recent review in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, regular consumption of probiotics may help your immune system work better, reduce the incidence of intestinal infections and improve digestion.</p> <p>How do these seemingly magical bacteria work? Guo explains: The colon has as many as 100 billion microbes per gram of its content (almost half the weight of the colon for those who eat a typical Western diet)—some good, some bad. Good health depends on a balance. “GI distress happens when we have too many ‘bad’ microbes that produce toxins,” he says. Taking probiotics regularly can help “by lowering the pH of the colon, which is better for good microbes and inhibits the growth of bad microbes and may boost our immune capability.” </p> <p>To stay healthy, Guo has a cup of probiotic soy yogurt every day (he doesn’t consume dairy because he is lactose intolerant). Fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir (a yogurt-like beverage) are also good bets. Look for those labeled with a “Live &amp; Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association, which signifies that the yogurt contains a set minimum amount of two particular types of beneficial bacteria. (While it’s not a guarantee of probiotic power—the bacterial counts don’t differentiate between added probiotic organisms and the bacteria that’s used to ferment the yogurt—the seal is a helpful start.) With the new “probiotic” cereals and granola bars, it’s not always clear how much good bacteria the manufacturers actually add to the products or whether the strains included are effective. If you really want to know about the science backing a product’s “probiotic power,” contact the manufacturer.</p> <h3>The Bottom Line</h3> <p>If you’re not eating as well as you usually do this holiday season, consider taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement—one with no more than 100 percent of the DRV—as extra insurance. It can’t hurt to include a daily serving of a probiotic-rich food and drink a cup of green tea whenever you can. I know I’ll be having yogurt with my morning cereal and fruit. And Ben—I know you’re reading this—I don’t want to nag, but maybe now you’ll give up the Airborne and try green tea instead?</p> <p>Rachel K. Johnson, EatingWell’s senior nutrition advisor, is a professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/immunity/immune_boosting_superfoods#comments Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D. November/December 2008 Healthy Immune System Recipes & Menus - Tea Diet, Nutrition & Health - Immunity Tue, 18 Aug 2009 22:14:56 +0000 Penelope Wall 9745 at http://www.eatingwell.com Rediscovering Root Vegetables http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/holiday_entertaining/rediscovering_root_vegetables <p>With absolute certainty I know that a parsnip did not touch my lips until I was in my late twenties. We were out to dinner and my husband, Dan, ordered a silky <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/roasted_parsnip_soup.html">parsnip-pear soup</a>. I didn’t know what a parsnip tasted like, let alone what it looked like, but its sweet, earthy, anise-like flavor was etched in my mind that night. It was one of my first experiences with root vegetables. Sure, I had my fair share of carrots as a kid. And pickled turnips are standard fare at most of our Lebanese family gatherings.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Carolyn Malcoun </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When the chill of winter hits, humble root vegetables sustain and inspire us. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/root_vegetables_0.jpg?1252686277" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Recipes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/cider_glazed_roots_with_cinnamon_walnuts.html">Cider-Glazed Roots with Cinnamon Walnuts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/roasted_parsnip_soup.html">Roasted Parsnip Soup</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/root_vegetable_stew_with_herbed_dumplings.html">Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/red_wine_braised_roots.html">Red Wine Braised Roots</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/root_vegetable_gratin.html">Root Vegetable Gratin</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/shredded_root_vegetable_pancakes.html">Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Articles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/root_vegetable_buyers_guide">Root Vegetable Buyer&#039;s Guide</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/quick_healthy_cooking/quick_sides_desserts_more/carrots_with_charisma">Carrots with Charisma</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With absolute certainty I know that a parsnip did not touch my lips until I was in my late twenties. We were out to dinner and my husband, Dan, ordered a silky <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/roasted_parsnip_soup.html">parsnip-pear soup</a>. I didn’t know what a parsnip tasted like, let alone what it looked like, but its sweet, earthy, anise-like flavor was etched in my mind that night. It was one of my first experiences with root vegetables. Sure, I had my fair share of carrots as a kid. And pickled turnips are standard fare at most of our Lebanese family gatherings. But beets, celeriac, rutabaga and parsnips were not vegetables I ate growing up.</p> <p>I wasn’t the only one unfamiliar with knobby roots, I realized as our staff tasted the recipes I developed in our Test Kitchen. Michelle Edelbaum, one of our associate editors, and Penelope Wall, a Web producer, became quite partial to what they referred to as “the orangy one” (the flesh of rutabaga is slightly golden). When I showed them a rutabaga in its raw form, they couldn’t believe such a rich, buttery flavor came from a huge, wax-coated vegetable. Others would rummage through my root pile and ask me to identify the different ones.</p> <p>How is it that so many of us are unfamiliar with this family of vegetables? “I think root vegetables are underappreciated because cooking them seems to have skipped a generation or two,” says Andrea Chesman, all-around vegetable expert and cookbook author, most recently of Serving Up the Harvest (Storey Publishing, 2007).</p> <p>Today we buy most of our food at large grocery stores stocked with every kind of produce you could desire, regardless of the season. But most of us only have to look back a generation or two to find relatives who ate seasonally from the large gardens they tended themselves and “put up” their bounty in root cellars. My great-grandparents had an acre garden on their farm in Bad Axe, Michigan. They purposely planted root crops later in the season so the vegetables wouldn’t be ready to harvest until late fall, providing them with a major source of food for the winter. Great grandpa John would wait as long as he could to pull up the root vegetables and other storage crops, letting them become gradually used to the cool conditions they’d be stored in. (Roots keep best when stored in humid environments at near-freezing temperatures.) And those stored roots kept the family well-nourished through the winter: they are nutritious carbohydrate choices because they’re rich in fiber and protective antioxidants, such as vitamin C (rutabagas and turnips) and vitamin A (carrots). And they’re all good sources of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that’s needed to form healthy new cells.</p> <p>These root vegetables may look intimidating if you haven’t grown up with them, but they can be found pretty easily in large supermarkets and farmers’ markets. I like to stop at a local farmstand to pick up freshly dug roots, like hand-staining beets and knobby celeriac. If you’re ready to discover root vegetables, try braising or roasting them. “Slower cooking methods release their sweet, nutty flavors,” Chesman says. Roasted roots shine in untold variations. Season them with your favorite herbs and spices or a touch of apple cider and brown sugar and a sprinkling of buttery-cinnamon walnuts. Or braise them in a <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/root_vegetable_stew_with_herbed_dumplings.html">warming winter stew</a> with flavorful sausage, topped with pillowy herb-flecked dumplings.</p> <p>While I may never grow most of my own food, I like to think of how my great-grandparents assessed their bountiful harvest at the end of the season and filled the root cellar with parsnips, carrots and turnips. I think they’d be proud that I’m forgoing canned corn and frozen green beans and opting instead for nourishing winter roots.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/holiday_entertaining/rediscovering_root_vegetables#comments Carolyn Malcoun November/December 2008 Recipes & Menus - Eat More Vegetables Challenge Healthy Cooking - Holiday & Entertaining Tue, 18 Aug 2009 18:05:40 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9703 at http://www.eatingwell.com Can Exercise Override Bad Genes? http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/can_exercise_override_bad_genes <p>As if gene-diet interactions aren’t complicated enough, researchers have uncovered a third crucial player in the mix: physical activity. New studies suggest that exercise can override the harmful effects of some "bad genes" and boost the beneficial effects of others.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Jaret </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> And more reasons to get moving. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More Exercise Tips </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips">Diet &amp; Exercise Tips</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/exercise_basics">Exercise Basics</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/how_to_exercise_without_even_knowing_it">6 Ways to Exercise Without Even Knowing It</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/exercise_because_it_feels_good">Exercise Because It Feels Good</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/exercise_escape_plan">Exercise Escape Plan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/blogs/diet_blog/6_ways_to_sneak_in_your_exercise">6 ways to sneak in your exercise</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/blogs/diet_blog/can_you_trick_yourself_into_liking_exercise">Can you trick yourself into liking exercise?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As if gene-diet interactions aren’t complicated enough, researchers have uncovered a third crucial player in the mix: physical activity. New studies suggest that exercise can override the harmful effects of some "bad genes" and boost the beneficial effects of others.</p> <p>In one example, scientists at the University of Kuopio, in Finland, found that people with particular variants of three different genes (dubbed GLUT2, ABCC8 and PPARG) stand a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But when ­people with these variants exercise regularly, they lessen the danger. Although the studies ­didn’t look at why, scientists have shown that ­exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar levels.</p> <p>Exercise can also amplify the effects of "good genes." For example, people with one variant of a gene called LIPC, which controls cholesterol metabolism, typically have elevated levels of good HDL cholesterol. When those with this lucky gene variation exercise, as researchers at the Steno Diabetes Center in Gentofte, Denmark, reported recently, they get an even bigger boost in HDL levels.</p> <p>Sedentary lifestyles, on the other hand, may make bad genetic interactions even worse. Growing evidence shows that certain variations of a gene called FTO are associated with being overweight or obese, for example. Research ­reported in the journal Diabetes earlier this year suggests that when people with these "fat" forms of the gene skimp on physical activity they are even more likely to accumulate fat. Fortunately, exercise can overpower the effects of this fat-accumulating gene variant, according to a study of 704 adults published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in September.</p> <p>Findings like these aren’t surprising. A wealth of epidemiological studies already show that physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The good news: even if you inherit an unlucky roll of the genetic dice, there’s plenty you can do to improve the odds.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/can_exercise_override_bad_genes#comments Peter Jaret November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Tue, 18 Aug 2009 14:48:01 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9672 at http://www.eatingwell.com How to Eat for Your DNA http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/how_to_eat_for_your_dna <p>After living together for more than three decades, my partner Steven and I couldn’t be more alike. We eat the same meals. We trudge off to the gym on the same schedule. Each of us could fit, with a bit of tugging, into the jeans we wore in college. Steven has put up with the brief appearance in our kitchen of all passing health-food fads. (Remember broccoli sprouts?) I like to think the best choices have stuck around—rolled oats, low-fat yogurt, nuts, plates piled high with a colorful mix of vegetables, a piece of dark chocolate for dessert. Our cholesterol levels should be perfect.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Jaret </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Genetic testing. Personalized vitamins. DNA diets. Should the fast-evolving field of nutrigenomics change the way you eat? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After living together for more than three decades, my partner Steven and I couldn’t be more alike. We eat the same meals. We trudge off to the gym on the same schedule. Each of us could fit, with a bit of tugging, into the jeans we wore in college. Steven has put up with the brief appearance in our kitchen of all passing health-food fads. (Remember broccoli sprouts?) I like to think the best choices have stuck around—rolled oats, low-fat yogurt, nuts, plates piled high with a colorful mix of vegetables, a piece of dark chocolate for dessert. Our cholesterol levels should be perfect. And, at a recent doctor’s visit, mine were—so good that even the doctor was impressed.</p> <p>Steven’s lurked deep in the danger zone.</p> <p>“Genes," the doctor breezily explained, when Steven objected to the injustice of it all. Then he wrote Steven a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering drug.</p> <p>Maybe we aren’t so alike after all. Did Steven’s “bad" genes curse him with high cholesterol, despite following the healthiest of diets? And did “good" genes mean I could feast on junk food, if I chose to, and still stay healthy? What about the effects of specific foods? Should we be following different diets, less of this for him, more of that for me?</p> <p>My questions led me to the emerging science of nutritional genomics (a.k.a. nutrigenomics)—the study of interactions between genes and diet. The latest studies suggest that the interplay between DNA and diet may have a powerful influence on what we like to eat (bitter vegetables or sweets), why some people get fat and others stay thin, why some develop diabetes and others don’t, why certain people get a buzz from coffee and others aren’t affected—and yes, why two people following the same diet can end up with cholesterol levels at opposite extremes. There are already more than 30 companies that offer some type of genetic screening and personalized nutrition advice. Should Steven and I take one of these tests, which typically involve swabbing a cheek for DNA and filling out some questionnaires, to find out? Before shelling out anywhere from $300 to $2,500 per test, I decided to do some more digging.</p> <p><strong>Like Sweets? Blame Your Grandparents</strong></p> <p>In 2002, the Human Genome Project completed an awesome undertaking: the first comprehensive map of the tens of thousands of genes, those tiny bits of DNA, that make us human. Yet as towering as that achievement was, what researchers have discovered in the years since may be even more important. Although all of us have very similar genes, hundreds of thousands of tiny differences exist. These genetic variations—what scientists refer to as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs—make each of us unique in all sorts of ways, including how our bodies respond to different types of foods. For example, one gene discovered in May of this year appears to stimulate the desire to eat sweet foods. People with a particular form of this gene consistently consume more sugar and sweet foods and beverages than those with a slightly different one.</p> <p>Could the discovery of this “sweet tooth gene" help explain why some people are more likely to become overweight? “It’s easy just to say that people get fat because they eat too much," David M. Mutch, Ph.D., told me when I rang him up in his office at INSERM, the French Institute for Health and Medical Research, in Paris. “But it’s much more complicated than that."</p> <p>When I reached Mutch he was making plans to return to Canada, where he grew up, to start a nutritional genomics research group at the University of Guelph, in Ontario—one of dozens of such groups being established around the world.</p> <p>“The numbers are pretty staggering: worldwide, 1 billion people are overweight and 300 million of them are obese," he said. “The problem is spreading and so far we haven’t been able to do much to stop it. The hope is that nutritional genomics may help explain why some populations are especially susceptible to obesity, and perhaps offer better ways to prevent or treat it."</p> <p>For more than two decades, researchers have speculated that so-called “thrifty genes" may make some people more likely to put on pounds than others. According to the prevailing theory, certain populations evolved during times of frequent famines to have genes that are especially thrifty, storing every extra calorie of energy in the form of body fat. Those thrifty genes are life-saving when food is scarce. When food is abundant, they may increase some people’s risk of becoming fat. The Pima Indians of Mexico, for instance, are lean and have very little risk of diabetes when they continue to eat their traditional diet, which is abundant in beans, seeds and whole grains. But when Pima Indians moved to the southwestern United States, where fast-food restaurants flourish, they quickly began to suffer exceptionally high rates of obesity and diabetes.</p> <p>Indeed, new research suggests that the level to which a poor diet leads to weight gain depends partly on specific genes. Last year, data from the Framingham Heart Study, which has followed thousands of people spanning two generations in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, revealed a variant gene that makes people who carry it especially susceptible to weight gain when they eat a high-fat diet.</p> <p>But it’s far more complicated than identifying just one gene to understand and solve the obesity epidemic. “So far, we’ve identified more than 300 genes that influence body weight and body fat," Mutch explained. Some affect appetite and satiety. Others appear to influence how efficiently people burn fat for energy.</p> <p><strong>My Metabolism, Your Metabolism</strong></p> <p>Researchers are still a long way from understanding the whole picture. But nutrigenomics is starting to explain several baffling mysteries. Consider coffee. A number of studies offer evidence that drinking java lowers heart-disease risk, most likely as a result of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in coffee beans. But a few studies show heavy coffee drinkers having a higher than average risk of heart disease—leaving scientists scratching their heads. Nutrigenomics suggests an explanation. In people with the genetic variant that causes sluggish metabolism of caffeine, the stimulant sticks around in the bloodstream longer than usual, where it may disrupt normal heart rhythms and boost blood pressure, overwhelming any benefit. Quick metabolizers, on the other hand, clear the caffeine fast from their bloodstreams but still enjoy the benefits.</p> <p>Type 2 diabetes offers another example. Several studies suggest eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates—foods linked with big jumps in blood sugar—can lead to type 2 diabetes. But when researchers look at large groups of subjects, no clear link emerges. The reason may be that only some people are genetically sensitive to the effects of these foods on blood sugar.</p> <p>When researchers do large studies and pool the data, treating all the subjects as if they’re genetically alike, such differences typically get lost in the averages. What’s more, most prevailing diet recommendations are based on such studies. So the advice may work for most people but not all. “Dietary recommendations are based on averages across large populations," says Jose Ordovas, Ph.D., who directs the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston and has published more research on diet and gene interactions than almost anyone in the field. “What nutritional genomics teaches is there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone."</p> <p>The ideal heart disease–prevention diet may differ significantly among different people, says Ordovas, who studied the biochemistry of cholesterol before he got “hooked" on genetic-related research after attending an American Heart Association seminar on the topic in 1983. Preliminary research suggests that some people reduce their risk for heart disease most significantly by following a low-fat diet; others fare better on a higher-fat diet (assuming they choose healthy fats). Similarly, studies show that some people shed pounds on low-fat, high-carb regimens; others seem to do best on low-carb, higher-fat regimens. Genetic screening may eventually be able to pinpoint who’s who, allowing doctors to offer individualized advice.</p> <p>And what about the mystery under my own roof? Can nutrigenomics explain why some people’s cholesterol levels respond to a healthy diet and others’ don’t? Here, too, there are plenty of clues. Scientists have detected one gene variation that seems to enhance the health benefits of polyunsaturated fats, for example, giving people who possess it a bigger boost in good cholesterol when they eat a diet rich in plant oils. Another appears to make bad-cholesterol levels more likely to soar when people eat a high-fat diet. “Variants in a gene called APOE, which controls cholesterol metabolism, seem to be especially important," Ordovas told me. People with one genetic pattern see a big drop in cholesterol levels when they switch to a healthier diet. Those with a slightly different pattern get almost no benefit at all.</p> <p><strong>To Test or Not To Test?</strong></p> <p>Findings like those Ordovas described could someday allow doctors to know in advance who can control their cholesterol levels through a healthier diet and who, like Steven, will also need medication to keep their numbers in check. But almost all the researchers I spoke with said it was too early to offer specific nutrition advice based on nutrigenomics.</p> <p>Prowl the Internet, though, and you’ll find plenty of companies already doing just that. “Identify your inherited genetic variations and understand how they influence your Health &amp; Well-being," proclaims Sciona, a Denver-based company, on its splashy website. “Learn whether variations in your own genome have been associated with a genetic risk for a number of common complex diseases," promises another, called deCODEme.com, based in Iceland.</p> <p>Most of these direct-to-consumer companies use mail-order test kits that allow customers to collect a sample of their own DNA with a cheek swab and ask them to complete questionnaires that ask about diet, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors. The DNA is then analyzed for genetic variants that have been linked to health problems, food preferences, athletic performance and other traits. To find out more, I called Rosalynn Gill, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and founder of Sciona. The company, she told me, had recently published a study that suggests that genetic screening and personalized nutrition advice may already help people shed pounds more successfully.</p> <p>Researchers at the National Technical University of Athens, in Greece, conducted the experiment with 93 overweight or obese volunteers who had tried and failed to lose weight. Everyone in the study was given the same general weight-loss advice—to follow a Mediterranean-style diet based on fish and poultry, legumes, fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. (They were also asked to follow a recommended exercise routine.) In addition, 50 of the study’s participants received Sciona’s genetic test and additional personalized nutrition advice based on the results. For example, those with a gene variation that makes it harder for the body to metabolize folate, a B vitamin associated with lower risk for heart disease and some cancers, were encouraged to take a supplement.</p> <p>The aim of the study was to determine whether the company’s genetic test would help ensure that dieters get adequate nutrients while they are cutting back on calories, not whether genetic testing would boost weight loss, Gill explained. And, in fact, none of the personalized advice from the genetic screens related to weight loss. But when researchers ran the numbers, something unexpected popped up. The volunteers who received genetic screening lost more weight. After almost a year, they had lowered their BMI by 5.6 percent, on average, compared to a 2.2 percent gain among the control subjects. “We think genetic screening may have encouraged people to stick a little more closely to a healthy diet," Gill said. “If you think the recommendations are absolutely about you, you’re much more likely to take them to heart." That may be. But anyone forking over $299 or more for a DNA test is likely to want more than just a motivational boost. </p> <p>A test offered by Interleukin Genetics, another direct-to-consumer genetic-screening company, analyzes genes linked to inflammation, which is believed to be a risk factor for heart disease and other health problems. "If you carry those variants, you may be able to reduce your risk through diet or a nutritional supplement that reduces inflammation," Kenneth Kornman, Ph.D., the company"s founder, told me. To test that idea, Interleukin Genetics recently collaborated with a company called Nutrilite to create such a supplement. (The pills included rose hips, powdered blueberry and blackberry, grapevine extract and other substances linked with reducing inflammation.) Seventy-nine volunteers who were screened using the company"s genetic test took the pills—or placebo tablets—daily for 12 weeks. After taking the supplement, some of those who tested positive for the gene variant linked to increased risk of inflammation saw a drop in inflammatory markers. For those who tested negative for this gene variant, however, taking the supplement had no effect on inflammation levels. The DNA test, in other words, successfully identified people who would get the biggest benefit from taking a supplement.</p> <p>"If you"re investing in dietary supplements to prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease," Kornman told me, "a test like this can help you make the best choice."</p> <p>So has the era of nutrigenomics already arrived? I put that question to Jim Kaput, Ph.D., who directs the Food and Drug Administration"s Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine. The FDA created the new division in 2006 to advance research in nutritional genomics. Its existence is as good a measure as any of how much excitement the new field has generated. But when I asked Kaput if nutrigenomics screening was ready for prime time, his answer surprised me: "My personal opinion? Not yet."</p> <p>One of his concerns is that most companies currently test only a few dozen gene variants. Research already shows that hundreds, even thousands, may impact how diet affects your risk of heart disease or diabetes—and the genes that companies screen for today may not even prove to be all that important once the whole picture becomes clearer. "To study nutritional genomics, you need to have good data about what people actually eat, and you have to have a good understanding of how genes work," Kaput said. "We have a lot of work to do on both counts." Part of the task of the new division, he told me, is to improve the quality of data by encouraging better studies. "In five years, I think we"ll begin to have the kind of solid data we really need to make sense of the connections. It"ll take longer than that to offer useful advice based on what we learn."</p> <p><strong>The Ethics of It All</strong></p> <p>Sara Katsanis, a research analyst for the Genetics &amp; Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University, worries that the risks of the at-home genetic-testing kits go beyond wasting money on something unsubstantiated by hard science. "Along with genetic tests, most direct-to-consumer companies also dispense information and advice," she explained. Some firms will tell you how much certain genetic variations increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration or other conditions. They'll also give you recommendations on how to lower your risk. "But at the moment there is almost no federal oversight of the claims these companies make," Katsanis said. There's no way to know, in other words, how reliable these tests are. And because the companies sell their services directly to consumers, doctors aren't usually involved in interpreting the results.</p> <p>Not long ago, in fact, California banned direct-to-consumer genetic screening and the State of New York sent out warning letters, arguing that tests that provide medical information must be ordered, or at least supervised, by a health-care professional. More recently, California licensed two companies that use in-house doctors to review orders for the test. Health officials there say additional companies are likely to win approval as the state reviews their applications.</p> <p>Even with appropriate medical supervision, there's the issue of privacy. A genetic-screening test contains a vast amount of information about you, including variants that may put you at risk of serious illnesses. Because direct-to-consumer companies aren't medical entities, they are not required to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), although some states may have regulations that help protect consumer privacy. "Many of these companies do everything they can to protect your privacy," Katsanis said. "But that's no guarantee." Indeed, most companies explicitly say on their websites that they can't guarantee privacy. The danger is that if the results get into the wrong hands, people with genetic-disease risks could suffer discrimination in the workplace or when applying for health insurance. Several sites offer the option of e-mailing your genetic results to friends and family, I discovered. How secure is that?</p> <p>Steven and I toyed with the idea of getting tested. It would be interesting to compare our genomes, to see if any gene variations popped up to explain the mystery of our divergent cholesterol numbers. As some of the websites promised, it would even be fun. "Get to know your friends and family through genetics," declared a company called 23andMe.com, one of the leading direct-to-consumer firms. "Add some excitement to your family reunion."</p> <p>But the more we thought about it, the less enthusiastic we became. The issue of privacy spooked us. The price—$1,000 per test, on average—didn't seem worth it after what I'd learned. We don't need a genome scan to tell us that Steven's cholesterol numbers won't drop any lower no matter how many more bowls of oatmeal he eats. And when we glanced over the personalized recommendations many of the companies offer, much of the advice looked a lot like standard nutrition guidance.</p> <p>Eventually, as researchers get a better handle on which genetic variants are most important and precisely how they affect health, nutrigenomics will be able to offer much more specific advice. For now, though, we agreed to forgo genetic testing and go on eating the way we always have. That clearly won't be enough to rein in Steven's cholesterol. But odds are it offers us a slew of other benefits, from lower blood pressure to less risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Eating well also keeps our weights in a healthy range, which subsequently makes it easier to stay active—two important factors in warding off disease.</p> <p>And who knows? Nutrigenomics research may yet turn up some food that's especially potent for someone with Steven's particular genotype.</p> <p>I wonder if anyone's looked at broccoli sprouts.</p> <p><em>Peter Jaret's story "The Search for the Anti-Aging Diet" (November/December 2007) won a James Beard Foundation journalism award. His most recent book is Nurse: A World of Care (Emory University Press, 2008).</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/how_to_eat_for_your_dna#comments Peter Jaret November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Mon, 17 Aug 2009 19:55:40 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9619 at http://www.eatingwell.com DNA Diets and Custom Fit Foods http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/dna_diets_and_custom_fit_foods <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Jaret </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Studies in nutritional genomics are showing how your DNA may affect the way your body processes certain foods. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Most nutrition experts say that nutritional genomics hasn’t yet evolved to the point at which we should be pursuing personalized diets. But studies are turning up genetic links to a wide variety of common foods and, for those with a family history of conditions including heart disease or certain types of cancer, it can’t hurt to learn more about what foods may work well with your DNA and which may not. Among the highlights:</p> <p><strong>Coffee</strong></p> <p>Genetic variants determine whether people metabolize caffeine fast or slowly. Genes may even influence how much of a buzz we get from caffeine. Individual differences could explain why some people are unusually sensitive to the stimulant.<br /> Broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables</p> <p>A healthy choice no matter what your genetic profile, cruciferous vegetables may offer especially powerful protection against heart disease and cancer in people with a genetic variant that slows the breakdown of the disease-fighting compounds in these foods, allowing them to linger longer in the body.</p> <p><strong>Green tea</strong></p> <p>Long associated with lower risk of cancer, green tea has been shown to be especially beneficial in preventing breast cancer in women with a particular gene form that slows the breakdown of catechins, the potent substances in tea that are believed to help boost immunity and fight cancer.</p> <p><strong>Spinach, asparagus and other folate-rich foods</strong></p> <p>A common variant of the gene known as MTHFR makes it harder for the body to use folate, a nutrient in spinach, asparagus, oranges and other foods that’s associated with lower risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Individuals with this variant may need twice the daily recommended intake of folate to stay healthy.</p> <p><strong>Alcohol</strong></p> <p>Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to protect against heart disease and diabetes, but new genetic studies show that certain gene variations may amplify or lessen the benefits by influencing how alcohol is metabolized.</p> <p><strong>Fish</strong></p> <p>A study by researchers at the University of Florence, in Italy, found that consuming fish and fish oils may be an especially effective way to lower cholesterol among people with a particular gene variant called LPA.</p> <p><strong>Corn oil, safflower oil and other polyunsaturated fats</strong></p> <p>A variant form of a gene dubbed PPARA, which plays a role in cholesterol metabolism, has been shown to alter the body’s response to dietary fats. People with this variant benefit from a bigger- than-normal drop in triglycerides when they consume the polyunsaturated fats found in many vegetable oils, such as corn and safflower oil.</p> <p><strong>Curcumin</strong></p> <p>A component of turmeric, a spice common in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, curcumin has been associated with lower LDL-cholesterol levels. Now new findings suggest that it can activate key genes involved in cholesterol metabolism.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/dna_diets_and_custom_fit_foods#comments Peter Jaret November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Mon, 17 Aug 2009 19:48:54 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9618 at http://www.eatingwell.com Whole-Grain Benefits of Popcorn http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/whole_grain_benefits_of_popcorn <p>Popcorn eaters get 250% more whole grains in their diet than people who don’t eat popcorn, suggests data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (published recently in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association). Three cups of popped popcorn (what you get by popping 1 heaping tablespoon) equals one of your three recommended servings of whole grains, and costs you a mere 105 calories—provided you don’t add butter.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> EatingWell Editors </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Why you should eat more of this healthy snack. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/popcorn_jf10_310.jpg?1273591563" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Healthy Popcorn Snacks </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/cheesy_popcorn.html">Cheesy Popcorn</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/caramel_popcorn.html">Caramel Popcorn</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/videos/healthy_snack_tips_cheesy_popcorn_video">Healthy Snack Tips: Cheesy Popcorn Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/see_it_make_it_energy_snacks">See It, Make It: Quick Snacks</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_health/the_antioxidant_power_of_popcorn">The Antioxidant Power of Popcorn</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Popcorn eaters get 250% more whole grains in their diet than people who don’t eat popcorn, suggests data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (published recently in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association). Three cups of popped popcorn (what you get by popping 1 heaping tablespoon) equals one of your three recommended servings of whole grains, and costs you a mere 105 calories—provided you don’t add butter.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/whole_grain_benefits_of_popcorn#comments EatingWell Editors November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Mon, 17 Aug 2009 17:59:18 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9603 at http://www.eatingwell.com Pomegranate: The Wellness Fruit http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/pomegranate_the_wellness_fruit <p>There are many good reasons to pick up a pomegranate: they’re festive, seasonal, pack tons of antioxidants and, a new study suggests, may help to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.</p> <p>In a recent study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, researchers gave mice either a daily dose of pomegranate extract or water, in addition to their regular food. Ten days later, the mice were chemically induced to develop rheumatoid arthritis.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Joyce Hendley </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This antioxidant-rich superfood may help protect against arthritis, diabetes and a long list of other diseases. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/pomegranate310.jpg?1257781461" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Healthy Recipes to Try </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/barley_wild_rice_pilaf_with_pomegranate_seeds.html">Barley &amp; Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/endive_watercress_salad_with_pomegranate_dressing.html">Endive &amp; Watercress Salad with Pomegranate Dressing</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/chicken_tagine_with_pomegranates.html">Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/pomegranate_duck.html">Pomegranate Duck</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/pomegranate_champagne_punch.html">Pomegranate Champagne Punch</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More on Antioxidants </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_antioxidant_recipes">Healthy Antioxidant Rich Recipes and Tips</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/top_fresh_and_dried_herbs_and_spices_for_antioxidants">Top Fresh and Dried Herbs and Spices for Antioxidants</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/healthy_aging/can_vitamin_c_save_your_skin">Can Vitamin C Save Your Skin?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/seasonal_local/eatingwell_in_season/eating_well_by_color">Eating Well by Color</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_total_body_benefits_of_berries">The Total-Body Benefits of Berries</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are many good reasons to pick up a pomegranate: they’re festive, seasonal, pack tons of antioxidants and, a new study suggests, may help to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.</p> <p>In a recent study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, researchers gave mice either a daily dose of pomegranate extract or water, in addition to their regular food. Ten days later, the mice were chemically induced to develop rheumatoid arthritis.</p> <p>After six weeks, all the water-treated mice developed arthritis, but only two-thirds of the pomegranate-treated mice did. When the pomegranate drinkers did develop arthritis, it tended to set in later and with much less severity. What’s more, the pomegranate-treated mice had significantly lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their joint fluids, suggesting that the antioxidant polyphenols in pomegranate juice might short-circuit the inflammatory process that causes pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis.</p> <p>Most studies link pomegranate’s benefits to its powerful punch of polyphenols—including anthocyanins (found in blue, purple and deep-red foods) and tannins (also found in wine and tea). In a study published earlier this year, researchers found that compared with other antioxidant-rich beverages including blueberry juice, cranberry juice and red wine, “pomegranate [juice] naturally has the highest antioxidant capacity,” reports David Heber, M,D. Ph.D., study collaborator and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.</p> <p>Arthritis is just the latest in a long list of conditions for which pomegranate juice shows therapeutic potential. Research suggests the fruit has benefits for the heart: studies have shown it may help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure. Other work found that when men with prostate cancer drank a cup of pomegranate juice daily, the increase in their levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of disease progress, slowed. Still more preliminary studies hint that pomegranate juice may help manage diabetes and erectile dysfunction.</p> <p>Critics point out that much of this research, including the recent study out of Case Western, has been funded by PomWonderful—the leading pomegranate juice brand—which has poured some $25 million into clinical research involving the fruit. But others point out that the results—much of them published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals—speak for themselves.</p> <p>Bottom Line: It’s still too early to recommend drinking pomegranate juice to alleviate arthritis symptoms, but a cup a day of 100 percent juice delivers plenty of antioxidants that may provide other health benefits. Check with your doctor first, however, as pomegranate juice may interact with some medications, including statins. Don’t forget fresh pomegranates—in season now. Although you don’t get as many tannins eating the seeds as drinking the juice, you will get a bit of fiber and abundant punicic acid, a polyunsaturated heart-healthy oil.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/pomegranate_the_wellness_fruit#comments Joyce Hendley November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Arthritis Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Mon, 17 Aug 2009 17:43:09 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9591 at http://www.eatingwell.com Vitamin D Fortified Mushrooms http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/vitamin_d_fortified_mushrooms <p>There are two ways to get vitamin D. You can sit in the sun (sans sunscreen for a few minutes) and soak up the UVB rays, which our skin cells use to make the vitamin. Or you can get it from food. Unfortunately, few foods are rich in D: fatty fish, such as mackerel, sardines and salmon; egg yolks; and D-fortified foods including milk and cereals. We can now add one more food—mushrooms—to the list of vitamin-D-rich foods.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Here’s a new way to get your dose of the sun vitamin—without the sun. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/vitamind_mushrooms_310.jpg?1251491917" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> November/December 2008 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are two ways to get vitamin D. You can sit in the sun (sans sunscreen for a few minutes) and soak up the UVB rays, which our skin cells use to make the vitamin. Or you can get it from food. Unfortunately, few foods are rich in D: fatty fish, such as mackerel, sardines and salmon; egg yolks; and D-fortified foods including milk and cereals. We can now add one more food—mushrooms—to the list of vitamin-D-rich foods.</p> <p>“Mushrooms contain a compound called ergosterol that gets converted to vitamin D when exposed to UVB light,” explains Tara McHugh, Ph.D., research leader at the Western Regional Research Center of the Agricultural Research Service. This conversion is similar to the one that creates vitamin D in our skin. Mushrooms grow in the dark, so theoretically you could force them to make vitamin D by exposing them to sunlight, but it would take a long time. Instead a new technique exposes mushrooms to high-intensity artificial UV rays for a few minutes (think tanning bed).</p> <p>McHugh helped to develop the process for Monterey Mushrooms, which launched its Sun Bella brand this fall. Dole Food Company, Inc. employs a similar method to create its vitamin-D-rich portobello mushrooms, which have been on the market since June. A single 3-ounce serving of Sun Bella or Dole mushrooms has 100 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin D.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/vitamin_d_fortified_mushrooms#comments Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. November/December 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Mon, 17 Aug 2009 15:22:48 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9550 at http://www.eatingwell.com