September/October 2008 http://www.eatingwell.com/taxonomy/term/432/all en Editors' Picks: Fall Activities http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_news/editors_picks_fall_activities <p><strong>Trick-or-Treat in reverse.</strong> This Halloween have kids dress in costumes and hand out candy to grownups. Global Exchange, a human rights ­advocacy group, is asking kids to distribute Fair Trade chocolate to raise awareness about abusive child labor, low prices for farmers and other problems in the cocoa industry. For more info or to try it in your neighborhood, visit globalexchange.org. <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_halloween_recipes">Get more healthy Halloween ideas.</a></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"> Cool activities for crisp weather. </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/lollipops_310.jpg?1251151334" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 2008 </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_news/editors_picks_fall_activities#comments EatingWell Editors September/October 2008 Food News & Origins - Food News Mon, 24 Aug 2009 21:58:32 +0000 Penelope Wall 10363 at http://www.eatingwell.com What do you recommend I feed my pet? http://www.eatingwell.com/what_do_you_recommend_i_feed_my_pet <div class="field field-type-text field-field-question"> <div class="field-label">Question:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What do you recommend I feed my pet?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-answer"> <div class="field-label">Answer:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>You have three choices. It’s great to cook for your pets or feed them a raw diet. Make sure you feed them a balanced diet. Cats are more finicky than dogs, so feed them mostly meat and a vitamin supplement. Check with a veterinarian to make sure you cover your pets’ nutrient requirements.</p> <p>As for pet food: I think wet food is better; dry foods have more calories, which can contribute to obesity problems, and carbohydrate, which can be problematic for cats. The advantage to pet food is that if you follow the directions you probably won’t overfeed your pet and the nutrient requirements are taken care of. </p> <p>Note: EatingWell recommends you check with a veterinarian before making changes to your pet’s diet.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/what_do_you_recommend_i_feed_my_pet#comments Michelle Edelbaum September/October 2008 Marion Nestle Mon, 24 Aug 2009 18:30:08 +0000 Penelope Wall 10347 at http://www.eatingwell.com How can I know if my pet’s food is safe? http://www.eatingwell.com/how_can_i_know_if_my_pet_s_food_is_safe <div class="field field-type-text field-field-question"> <div class="field-label">Question:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>How can I know if my pet’s food is safe?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-answer"> <div class="field-label">Answer:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The melamine incident was a fluke, and as long as a company is making efforts to be sure something like that doesn’t happen again and is transparent about their ingredients sources, pet food is fine. If you’re using commercial pet food, you should read labels and talk to the pet store to make sure that they’re paying attention to these issues. Some stores and brands are very clear if they’re taking responsibility. They’re changing suppliers, examining and improving the quality of ingredients, testing ingredients and building laboratories. On some companies’ websites they tell you what they did. And if they don’t tell you, you can be as suspicious as you want. </p> <p>I think pet owners should insist on a better regulatory system, national standards, labels that say where ingredients come from and nutrition information.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/how_can_i_know_if_my_pet_s_food_is_safe#comments Michelle Edelbaum September/October 2008 Marion Nestle Mon, 24 Aug 2009 18:29:25 +0000 Penelope Wall 10346 at http://www.eatingwell.com What is the scariest thing you learned while researching Pet Food Politics? http://www.eatingwell.com/what_is_the_scariest_thing_you_learned_while_researching_pet_food_politics <div class="field field-type-text field-field-question"> <div class="field-label">Question:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What is the scariest thing you learned while researching Pet Food Politics?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-answer"> <div class="field-label">Answer:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>How inextricably linked human, animal and pet-food supplies are. Farmers routinely feed salvaged pet food to pigs and other farm animals. There is no question that during the recall people ate meat from farm animals that had eaten pet food that contained melamine. It didn’t do any harm because it was so diluted by the time it got to us. But that was a big wakeup call for the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/what_is_the_scariest_thing_you_learned_while_researching_pet_food_politics#comments Michelle Edelbaum September/October 2008 Marion Nestle Mon, 24 Aug 2009 18:28:52 +0000 Penelope Wall 10345 at http://www.eatingwell.com Local Hero: Neighborhood Harvest http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/local_heroes/local_hero_neighborhood_harvest <p>In the late 1990s, Barbara Eiswerth was working on her Ph.D. in the poverty-stricken villages of Malawi, Africa, and witnessed extreme hunger firsthand. After returning home to Tucson, Arizona, she was overwhelmed by how her neighbors’ abundant fruit trees dropped fresh pecans, figs and grapefruits, only to rot on the sidewalk. “Thousands of trees are using the land, the soil, the nutrients, the precious water to grow fruit and then it goes to waste,” the vivacious, bright-eyed Eiswerth says.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jan Henrikson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Barbara Eiswerth&#039;s fruit-collecting project builds community and provides education on food and farming. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 2008 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In the late 1990s, Barbara Eiswerth was working on her Ph.D. in the poverty-stricken villages of Malawi, Africa, and witnessed extreme hunger firsthand. After returning home to Tucson, Arizona, she was overwhelmed by how her neighbors’ abundant fruit trees dropped fresh pecans, figs and grapefruits, only to rot on the sidewalk. “Thousands of trees are using the land, the soil, the nutrients, the precious water to grow fruit and then it goes to waste,” the vivacious, bright-eyed Eiswerth says.</p> <p>Remembering the impoverished villages of Malawi, Eiswerth launched a new project through the Tucson Youth Work Enhancement program in 2002, where teens from a local high school learned about food resources. They mapped 162 homes with 296 fruit-producing trees, then collected the unwanted fruit and redistributed it in local farmers’ markets and to soup kitchens.</p> <p>A year later, Eiswerth met Bantu refugees from Somalia who had just immigrated to Tucson. She began volunteering to help these families create roots in their new country. “How do you become a new American without ever making an American friend?” she asks. It was then that inspiration struck: the high school students could help the refugees learn English, the Somali Bantu would share their native harvesting expertise with the students, and cross-cultural ties would be created within the community. The fruit-collecting project flourished into the nonprofit Iskash*taa Refugee Harvesting Network. Iskash*taa (eesh’-kah-shee-tah) embodies its name, which means Working Together Cooperatively in the Somali dialect of Maay Maay.</p> <p>Eiswerth recalls a moment Somali Bantu boys unexpectedly grabbed mesquite beans off a tree and started chewing them. “We were taken aback at first,” she says. “But they knew they were sweet and nutritious.” Rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium, mesquite beans were a “famine food,” used for nourishment during times of true hunger or starvation. Today, in addition to collecting nearly 30,000 pounds of excess fruit a year in Tucson and providing it to hungry families, Iskash*taa makes mesquite flour and participates in mesquite-pancake breakfasts to honor its Somali friends. </p> <p><em>By Jan Henrikson</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/local_heroes/local_hero_neighborhood_harvest#comments Jan Henrikson September/October 2008 Food News & Origins - People & Perspectives Fri, 21 Aug 2009 15:11:17 +0000 Sarah Hoff 10206 at http://www.eatingwell.com Is Raw Milk More Nutritious than Pasteurized Milk? http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/is_raw_milk_more_nutritious_than_pasteurized_milk <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/milk_glass_nd09_310_0.jpg?1276199747" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-question"> <div class="field-label">Question:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Is Raw Milk More Nutritious than Pasteurized Milk?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-answer"> <div class="field-label">Answer:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It depends on who you ask. Raw milk—milk that is not pasteurized or homogenized—is making its way into more cereal bowls, with 29 states now allowing the sale of raw milk under varying restrictions. Raw-milk proponents will pay upwards of $10 a gallon, because they believe it is safe and healthier. A swell of testimonials about raw milk’s ability to relieve asthma, autism and allergies is further fueling the demand, though much of this praise remains anecdotal with few studies to back up these claims. Enthusiasts claim raw milk dishes out more flavor, vitamins, minerals and beneficial proteins, enzymes and bacteria than milk that has been “degraded” during pasteurization.</p> <p>But the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA beg to differ, stating that pasteurized milk has all the same nutrients as raw milk and that raw milk comes with an added formidable risk of pathogen outbreaks. According to the CDC, these outbreaks accounted for more than 1,000 illnesses, more than 100 hospitalizations and two deaths between 1998 and 2005.</p> <p>Catherine W. Donnelly, Ph.D., a food microbiologist at the University of Vermont, believes that the dangers cancel out any potential nutritional benefits. “Of particular concern is Listeria [a bacterium that results in a foodborne illness, listeriosis], which has a 30 percent mortality rate,” Donnelly warns. “If raw milk is your choice, it’s buyer beware.” When USDA scientists collected raw milk samples from 861 farms in 21 states, nearly a quarter of them contained bacteria linked to human illness, including 5 percent that tested positive for Listeria.</p> <p>In short, it’s still too early to tell if raw milk lives up to its purported benefits, but the risks are real. We don’t recommend drinking raw milk or eating a raw-milk cheese that’s been aged less than the minimum of 60 days required for legal sale. (However, that caveat doesn’t apply to raw-milk cheeses aged 60 days or more, since the salt and acidity of the cheesemaking process make for a hostile environment to pathogens, says Donnelly.)</p> <p>Deciding whether to take the risks associated with drinking raw milk is only one of the health-related choices you need to make when it comes to choosing the best milk for your family. When making a decision about which milk to buy, here are two other issues you may want to consider:</p> <p><strong>Fat content. </strong>Nutrition experts recommend drinking low-fat (a.k.a. 1%) or nonfat milk to limit intake of the saturated fats that boost risk of heart disease. Don’t be fooled: reduced-fat, or 2%, milk is not a low-fat food. One cup has 5 grams fat, 3 of them the saturated kind. Drink whole milk, which contains 5 grams of saturated fat per cup, only once in a while, if at all. The one exception to this rule is infants. Children under age 2 need extra fat in their diets to support their developing brains. Whole milk can help provide that fat.</p> <p><strong>Lactose.</strong> Up to 50 million Americans lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk. For these people, drinking most milks can cause digestive problems. Solution: Choosing lactose-free milk. This product is basically regular cow’s milk minus lactose. It provides all of the same healthful nutrients (e.g., protein and calcium), just not the sugar that stokes the digestive issues. </p> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related-group-1"><legend>Related Content Group 1</legend><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 Articles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-label">Related Links 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/a_buyers_guide_to_milk">A Buyer&#039;s Guide to Milk</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/a_buyer_s_guide_to_milk_part_ii">A Buyer&#039;s Guide to Milk Alternatives</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/bone_health_recipes">Healthy Recipes and Menus for Bone Health</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/food_news/10_commandments_of_food_safety">10 Commandments of Food Safety</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/food_news/is_your_supper_safe">Is Your Supper Safe?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related-group-2"><legend>Related Content Group 2</legend><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"> Calcium Rich Dairy Recipes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-label">Related Links 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/calcium_rich_recipes_with_milk">Calcium-Rich Milk Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/cheese_recipes_for_strong_bones">Cheese Recipes for Strong Bones</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 class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/calcium_rich_ice_cream_and_frozen_desserts">Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Recipes That Are Calcium-Rich</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Matthew G. Kadey, R.D. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 2008 </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/is_raw_milk_more_nutritious_than_pasteurized_milk#comments Matthew G. Kadey, R.D. September/October 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Fri, 21 Aug 2009 14:07:00 +0000 Nifer 10168 at http://www.eatingwell.com Satisfying Fall Suppers for 2 http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/quick_healthy_cooking/satisfying_fall_suppers_for_2 <p>Holidays can be tricky for blended families. In our case, the Christian side of the family offers to bring the bread for a Passover Seder, and the Jewish side doesn’t understand why dinner has to be after the Christmas Eve service.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Bruce Weinstein &amp; Mark Scarbrough </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> These easy takes on traditional Jewish holiday dishes are perfect for any crisp fall evening. </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="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/sweet_savory_bf_stew.JPG?1251734090" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 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/sweet_savory_beef_stew.html">Sweet &amp; Savory Beef Stew</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/smoked_trout_salad.html">Smoked Trout Salad</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_cooking_two_recipes">Healthy Cooking for Two Recipes and Menus</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Holidays can be tricky for blended families. In our case, the Christian side of the family offers to bring the bread for a Passover Seder, and the Jewish side doesn’t understand why dinner has to be after the Christmas Eve service.</p> <p>It’s a problem best solved with a little humility and grace. That said, it sometimes falls together naturally. The first holiday we spent together with our families was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement in the Jewish calendar—a kind of once-a-year “you’re forgiven” moment. As such, it’s a solemn day, usually marked by a fast until sundown. After that, most families serve up a simple meal of smoked fish and bagels, because there are prohibitions against working on a high holy day.</p> <p>It could have been fraught with tension: meeting families, packed with about a hundred years’ worth of baggage. Not knowing the customs, not knowing you don’t bring flowers to a solemn moment of repentance. But it wasn’t. We settled in, dug into the platters of cold salads and smoked fish. We honored traditions and gently educated ignorance.</p> <p>These days, our families are spread across the country. On all sides, we live a plane-flight from each other. So we two often spend many of the holidays together: holidays that are quieter, less fraught—but no less traditional.</p> <p>Rosh Hashanah always seems the most sensible holiday because it falls exactly where it should. It’s in mid- to late September and it marks the New Year in the Jewish calendar. January 1? No way. For most of us sometime right after Labor Day, we’re back in the saddle, back at work, back at school, starting anew, once the summer heat breaks. The French call this time of year la rentrée (the re-entry), but New Year seems an even better word for it: full of hope and rebirth. The meal for Rosh Hashanah most often includes something sweet, to symbolize a wish and a prayer for a sweet and happy new year.</p> <p>For these Jewish fall holidays we have worked up delicious recipes for two that honor all the traditions. Our beef stew for Rosh Hashanah is full of butternut squash and dried cherries, an homage to the sweet new year. And for Yom Kippur, we keep it easy with trout salad that’s just a little bit of work. You can make it the day before—or anytime, really, a nice dinner for an early fall evening when you’d rather not turn on the stove.</p> <p><em>Contributing editors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s most recent book is The Ultimate Cook Book (William Morrow).</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/quick_healthy_cooking/satisfying_fall_suppers_for_2#comments Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough September/October 2008 Healthy Cooking - Quick & Healthy Cooking Wed, 19 Aug 2009 17:52:26 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9822 at http://www.eatingwell.com Mediterranean Wine Pairings http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/wine_beer_spirits_guide/mediterranean_wine_pairings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hearty, Rustic Italy </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 Mediterranean 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/red_wine_risotto.html">Red-Wine Risotto</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/hunters_chicken_stew.html">Hunter&#039;s Chicken Stew</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/italian_hazelnut_cookies.html">Italian Hazelnut Cookies</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/butternut_squash_pilaf.html">Butternut Squash Pilaf</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/roasted_eggplant_feta_dip.html">Roasted Eggplant &amp; Feta Dip</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/fish_couscous_with_onion_tfaya.html">Fish Couscous with Onion T&#039;faya</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/okra_chickpea_tagine.html">Okra &amp; Chickpea Tagine</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/kefta.html">Kefta</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_mediterranean_recipes">Healthy Mediterranean Recipes and Menus </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Hearty, Rustic Italy</strong><br /> Just as Piedmont’s cuisine is not the stereotypical marinara and mozzarella staples Americans usually think of as Italian food, neither are the wines. Although perhaps not as ubiquitous as Chianti, the rich, lusty wines of the region are not hard to find once you look for them.</p> <p><strong>1. Red-Wine Risotto</strong><br /> <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/red_wine_risotto.html">Red-Wine Risotto</a> is the perfect, simple dish to let Marchesi di Gresy Camp Gros Barbaresco Martinenga 2001 ($70) shine. The black cherry, licorice and soft cinnamon notes of the wine will synch up nicely with the risotto, while its cheesy richness will tame the tannins and unlock the fruit. Many pros say to cook with the wine you are pairing, but there is no need to go to that expense with this dish, as long as you cook with a quality wine.</p> <p><strong>2. Hunter’s Chicken Stew</strong><br /> The mushroom and rosemary flavors of <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/hunters_chicken_stew.html">Hunter’s Chicken Stew</a> are pulled out by the juicy acidity of Marchesi di Barolo Barbera d’Alba Ruvei 2006 ($16)—a wine that’s soft in the mouth and deliciously earthy and plummy. The perfect match for <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/italian_hazelnut_cookies.html">Italian Hazelnut Cookies</a> is Paolo Saracco’s Moscato d’Asti 2007 ($17)—lightly sparkling, light in alcohol and apricot-scented—a pleasure-trip in a glass. One taste of this combo and you will need a regular “fix.”</p> <p><strong>Island-Fresh Greece</strong><br /> If you’re not familiar with Greek wines, look for specific grape varietals on the wine labels. Whites to watch out for include the indigenous grape Moscofilero, spicy and bold, or the minerally, dry wines made with Assyrtiko. For a fruity red, look for Agiorgitiko; for more robust flavor, try the richly flavored Xinomavro. Opa!</p> <p><strong>3. Roasted Eggplant &amp; Feta Dip</strong><br /> The earthy richness of <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/roasted_eggplant_feta_dip.html">Roasted Eggplant &amp; Feta Dip</a> screams for a red wine. Try Boutari’s Naoussa Grande Reserve 2001 ($20), spicy and earthy on its own, but when paired with the dip, its deep plummy fruit is unlocked. </p> <p><strong>4. Butternut Squash Pilaf</strong><br /> One sip of Antonopoulos Moscofilero 2006 ($17) and you’ll swear you are tasting the fennel and cinnamon flavors from <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/butternut_squash_pilaf.html">Butternut Squash Pilaf</a> in the wine.</p> <p><strong>A Taste of Morroco</strong><br /> My foolproof wine tip for all Moroccan fare is: rosé, rosé, rosé! Those from southern France are completely dry with crisp acidity, red fruit flavors and spice (think red-wine complexity with white-wine weight and refreshment) and are a natural match for Moroccan dishes, particularly because the food of both regions have cross-pollinated for centuries. These recipes are no exception, combining Provençal staples like preserved lemons and tomatoes with North African seasonings, such as ras el hanout and harissa. (Do watch for Moroccan wines, though—particularly reds from the Carignan grape—which are slowly trickling into the market.)</p> <p><strong>5. Fish Couscous with Onion T’faya</strong><br /> The sweet notes in <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/butternut_squash_pilaf.html">Fish Couscous with Onion T’faya</a> are balanced by the lively acidity of Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2007 ($37)—which is also a delightful match for the spicy <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/okra_chickpea_tagine.html">Okra &amp; Chickpea Tagine</a>. </p> <p><strong>6. Kefta</strong><br /> The gamy and olive flavors of <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/kefta.html">Kefta</a> pair nicely with the juicy cherry fruit and hint of savoriness in Cha­poutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Rosé 2006 ($15)—a wine largely made up of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/wine_beer_spirits_guide/mediterranean_wine_pairings#comments September/October 2008 Healthy Cooking - Wine, Beer & Spirits Guide Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:06:20 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9778 at http://www.eatingwell.com Apples for Your Heart http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/heart_health/apples_for_your_heart <p>Can eating an apple help protect you from metabolic syndrome—a cluster of symptoms related to an increased risk of heart disease? It’s possible, say researchers who analyzed data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In the survey, people who reported consuming any form of apples within the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome—like high blood pressure or a waist measurement of over 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)—compared to those who didn’t.</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"> A new study shows apples may protect against metabolic syndrome. </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/apple_granny_silo_310.jpg?1252529640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 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/recipe_slideshows/heart_healthy_apple_recipes">Heart-Healthy Apple Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/heart_healthy_chicken_recipes">Heart-Healthy Chicken Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/heart_healthy_desserts">Heart-Healthy Desserts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/heart_healthy_comfort_food_recipes">Heart-Healthy Comfort Food Recipes</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 Heart Health </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_healthy_diet_center/top_15_heart_healthy_foods">Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_health/10_steps_to_heart_health">10 Steps to Heart Health</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_healthy_diet_center">Heart-Healthy Diet Center</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/videos/v/59227644/heart-health-2-quick-mediterranean-snacks.htm">Heart Health: 2 Quick Mediterranean Snacks Video</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Can eating an apple help protect you from metabolic syndrome—a cluster of symptoms related to an increased risk of heart disease? It’s possible, say researchers who analyzed data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In the survey, people who reported consuming any form of apples within the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome—like high blood pressure or a waist measurement of over 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)—compared to those who didn’t. The apple eaters also had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation whose presence in the blood suggests an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.</p> <p>While a one-day snapshot doesn’t represent a long-term dietary pattern, the study shows that eating apples “is associated with broad metabolic advantages,” notes lead investigator Victor Fulgoni, Ph.D. This study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating apples benefit the heart. Last year, the Iowa Women’s Health Study reported that, among the 34,000-plus women it’s been tracking for nearly 20 years, apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Some years earlier, Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over 28 years from 9,208 men and women found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with nonapple eaters.</p> <p>What explains the hearty benefits? Researchers suggest that the strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples—quercetin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol and other polysyllabic wonders—play a key role by preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering a series of events that result in the buildup of plaque in arteries, as well as inhibiting inflammation. “But antioxidants are just one piece of the whole puzzle,” notes Cornell University food scientist and apple expert Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant. </p> <p>Liu, whose own pioneering work has identified cancer-fighting elements in extracts of whole apples, believes that we’re only beginning to understand how the various components of apples “work together additively and synergistically to provide health benefits.” David Jacobs, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota researcher involved in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, concurs. “There are probably thousands of compounds in apples that we haven’t yet identified and maybe won’t identify for a long time,” he muses, “but we really don’t need to know all that, because we can eat whole apples.” </p> <p>Bottom line: Enjoy apples in all their forms—applesauce and juice (look for brands labeled “made with whole apples,” recommends Liu) and especially apples in their simplest, whole form. Be sure to leave the peel on—and not just because that’s where much of the healthy phytochemicals are concentrated, but for apples’ full flavor complexity.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/heart_health/apples_for_your_heart#comments Joyce Hendley September/October 2008 Heart Healthy Diet Diet, Nutrition & Health - Heart Health Tue, 18 Aug 2009 20:13:29 +0000 Penelope Wall 9723 at http://www.eatingwell.com Saving Summer http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/holiday_entertaining/saving_summer <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hilary Meyer </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Preserve the bounty of summer with homemade salsa and hot sauce. </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 Salsa and Hot Sauce Recipes and Articles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/salsa_rojo.html">Salsa Rojo</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/homemade_hot_sauce.html">Homemade Hot Sauce</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/avocado_corn_salsa.html">Avocado-Corn Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/mango_salsa.html">Mango Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/watermelon_salsa.html">Watermelon Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/mango_radish_salsa.html">Mango-Radish Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/tomato_green_olive_salsa.html">Tomato &amp; Green Olive Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/black_bean_tomato_salsa.html">Black Bean &amp; Tomato Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/tomato_salsa_verde.html">Tomato Salsa Verde</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/banana_salsa.html">Banana Salsa</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/clam_salsa.html">Clam Salsa</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"> For more ways to preserve summer&#039;s flavors: </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/kitchen_tips_techniques/freezing_fresh_berries">Freezing Fresh Berries</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/kitchen_tips_techniques/freezing_peaches">Freezing Peaches</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/kitchen_tips_techniques/drying_fresh_herbs">Drying Fresh Herbs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/kitchen_tips_techniques/freezing_fresh_herbs">Freezing Fresh Herbs</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The sun is setting earlier these days; fall is just around the corner. As my husband and I close down our tiny garden plot for the season, we harvest the last of our bountiful tomatoes, peppers and onions and start chopping. Every year, we turn our late-summer harvest into salsa and tangy hot sauce. It always amazes me how those three ingredients can be tossed together and, with a few tweaks, yield very different but equally delicious results. And the best part is, we can enjoy the taste of summer long after the season has ended. We always grow too much, so we make several batches and use the lazy way of preserving; we store our extra salsa and hot sauce in the freezer until we’re ready to use it. When we defrost some in January, we’re pulled right back to those late-summer days in front of the cutting board.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/holiday_entertaining/saving_summer#comments Hilary Meyer September/October 2008 Healthy Cooking - Holiday & Entertaining Tue, 18 Aug 2009 18:16:46 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9705 at http://www.eatingwell.com Saffron to Boost Your Mood http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/saffron_to_boost_your_mood <p>Most Americans know saffron as the costly spice that lends a golden hue to paella and bouillabaisse. But according to research from Iran’s Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, the reddish-gold strands—dried stigmas of Crocus sativus—may have a role in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression.</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 reddish-gold spice may have a role in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression. </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/saffron_310.jpg?1263939830" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 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/quick_shrimp_mussel_paella.html">Quick Paella with Shrimp &amp; Mussels</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/a_gilding_of_shrimp_saffron_rice.html">A Gilding of Shrimp &amp; Saffron Rice</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/scallops_in_saffron_tarragon_broth.html">Scallops in Saffron-Tarragon Broth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/mussels_with_saffron_leeks.html">Mussels with Saffron &amp; Leeks</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/fresh_tomato_sauce_with_saffron.html">Fresh Tomato Sauce with Saffron</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/seafood_couscous_paella.html">Seafood Couscous Paella</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"> Also of Interest </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/mind_body_spirit_recipes">Healthy Recipes for Mind, Body &amp; Spirit</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit_center">Mind, Body &amp; Spirit Center</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/can_food_really_get_you_in_the_mood">Can Food Really Get You in the Mood?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/6_remedies_for_sleep_problems">6 Remedies for Sleep Problems—Do They Work?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Most Americans know saffron as the costly spice that lends a golden hue to paella and bouillabaisse. But according to research from Iran’s Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, the reddish-gold strands—dried stigmas of Crocus sativus—may have a role in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression.</p> <p>Recently, Shahin Akhondzadeh, Ph.D., and his colleagues gave 50 women with PMS two (15 mg) saffron capsules or placebo capsules daily over two menstrual cycles, keeping track of their symptoms in diaries. By the end of the study, over three-quarters of the women who had taken the equivalent of a micropinch of saffron reported that their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and depression) declined by at least half, compared with only 8 percent of women in the placebo group.</p> <p>In fact, saffron has long been used in traditional Persian medicine as a mood lifter, usually steeped into a medicinal tea or used to prepare rice, says Akhondzadeh. In previous studies, he found saffron had antidepressant effects comparable to the antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and imipramine (Tofranil); he posits that the spice works by “the same mechanism as Prozac,” helping to make the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin more available to the brain.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/saffron_to_boost_your_mood#comments Joyce Hendley September/October 2008 Diet, Nutrition & Health - Mind, Body & Spirit Diet, Nutrition & Health - Nutrition News & Information Diet, Nutrition & Health - Mood & Depression Mon, 17 Aug 2009 17:47:14 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9596 at http://www.eatingwell.com Green Cafeterias http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/green_cafeterias <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"> Some eco-conscious colleges are going trayless to reduce waste and save energy. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Leftover food is the single largest contributor of waste (by weight) in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Americans throw away 96 billion pounds of food waste each year, from home and commercial establishments. What’s more, when food decomposes without oxygen it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.</p> <p>One way to reduce food waste is to ditch those hard-plastic cafeteria trays, an approach colleges and universities across the country are taking. In a student-run survey at the University of Vermont, college students reduced their daily food waste by 44% when cafeteria trays weren’t available. Other schools are doing the same: on Earth Day 2008, 300 college campuses served by the food-service company Sodexo went trayless and the company estimated that for every 1,000 trayless meals served, 200 gallons of water are saved by not washing the trays. “My students found that the benefits were trifold: the first is reduced energy, water and detergent consumption, the second is you’re wasting less food and the third, which we didn’t study, but are assuming, is that people are eating less,” explains Sylvia Geiger, EatingWell dietitian and adjunct professor at the University of Vermont.</p> <p>If eco-consciousness isn’t at the forefront of your mind, consider dining trayless as an uncomplicated diet: with less room to carry food (you only have two hands!), chances are there’s less food to eat.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/green_cafeterias#comments Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. September/October 2008 Food News & Origins - Green & Sustainable Thu, 13 Aug 2009 14:21:27 +0000 Sarah Hoff 9477 at http://www.eatingwell.com Visiting Morocco http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_travel/visiting_morocco <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kitty Morse </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Information on three Moroccan cities. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Marrakesh: Learn how to cook à la marocaine in Marrakesh at La Maison Arabe, a boutique hotel and cooking school. Luxury accommodations in a restored riad in the medina. Classes take place in a private estate outside the city walls. The two-hour hands-on class is followed by a tasting under a Berber tent. Very competent and friendly staff (lamaisonarabe.com).</p> <p>Azemmour: To experience Morocco at its most authentic, take a detour via the historic town of Azemmour, located 50 miles south of Casablanca, on the banks of the Oum Errebia (Mother of Spring) river. Stay at the charming L’Oum Errebia Maison d’Hotes (Bed and Breakfast, 25 Impasse Chtouka, Ancienne Medina, Azemmour; $106 per night, double occupancy, breakfast included; azemmour-hotel.com; fax: (011) 212-23-34-77-05).</p> <p>Casablanca: You will find hotels to suit all budgets, including chains like the Hotel Royal<br /> Mansour Meridien, Sheraton, Best Western, Crowne Plaza and Hyatt Regency. For more listings see tripadvisor.com.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_travel/visiting_morocco#comments Kitty Morse September/October 2008 Food News & Origins - Food & Travel Wed, 12 Aug 2009 23:21:22 +0000 Paula Joslin 9466 at http://www.eatingwell.com Mediterranean Diet: The World's Healthiest Diet? http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/mediterranean_diet_the_worlds_healthiest_diet <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The World&#039;s Healthiest Diet? </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago I was invited to lecture in Italy. My husband, Mark, always ready for an adventure, tagged along. After my work was done, we visited the Cinque Terre, five tiny villages perched high upon rugged hills overlooking the Mediterranean. We hiked the scenic trail into the coastal town of Riomaggiore. Weary from our walk we settled into a small café for a 2 ½-hour lunch: a small plate of pasta with pesto, fresh fish drizzled with olive oil and a platter of grilled artichokes and peppers, along with a carafe of the house red.</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"> Research shows that eating like a Mediterranean is good for your waist as well as your heart. </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/shrimp_saganaki_310.jpg?1249939495" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 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 Mediterranean 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/recipe_slideshows/recipes_from_the_mediterranean_diet">Recipes from the Mediterranean Diet </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/quick_mediterranean_recipes">Quick Mediterranean Recipes</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 Healthy Recipes &amp; 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_basics_and_techniques/healthy_foods_of_the_mediterranean_diet">9 Healthy Foods from the Mediterranean Diet</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_health/10_steps_to_heart_health">10 Steps to Heart Health</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_meal_plans/heart_healthy_meal_plan">Heart-Healthy Meal Plan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/heart_healthy_diet_center">Heart-Healthy Diet Center</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 few years ago I was invited to lecture in Italy. My husband, Mark, always ready for an adventure, tagged along. After my work was done, we visited the Cinque Terre, five tiny villages perched high upon rugged hills overlooking the Mediterranean. We hiked the scenic trail into the coastal town of Riomaggiore. Weary from our walk we settled into a small café for a 2½-hour lunch: a small plate of pasta with pesto, fresh fish drizzled with olive oil and a platter of grilled artichokes and peppers, along with a carafe of the house red. With plenty of exercise, delicious food in reasonable portions and a relaxed pace, I experienced the Mediterranean lifestyle in its home base—and felt wonderful.</p> <p>This year marks the 15th anniversary since the Mediterranean Diet was officially recognized by Oldways, a nonprofit food-issues think tank in Boston, as one of the world’s healthiest. Based on the age-old dietary traditions of Crete, Greece and southern Italy, this “diet,” or eating pattern, is abundant in fruits, vegetables and olive oil, sparing with meat and anointed daily with red wine.</p> <p>Now new studies are supporting this way of eating. In July, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed that following a Mediterranean-style, reduced-calorie diet was just as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet. The study tracked 322 Israelis over a two-year period and found the Mediterranean eating pattern helped people lose more weight than a conventional low-fat diet and helped people with diabetes better control their blood glucose levels.</p> <p>Another recent study by Spanish researchers reports that people who adhered most closely to Mediterranean Diet principles reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 83 percent, compared with those who didn’t. We also know the diet reduces inflammation, a risk factor for heart­attack and stroke, and may even ward off depression and lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>But while studies continue to support this eating pattern, the traditional lifestyle on the shores of the Mediterranean is regrettably losing ground. Inactivity is increasing and obesity is on the rise. Longer work hours leave less time to shop and cook, while a shift toward more sedentary lifestyles means more sitting in front of the computer screen than working in the fields. Recognizing this, here are four tenets of the Mediterranean Diet for people with 21st-century lives.</p> <p>1. Stock your pantry and cook at home. Do your best to cook more and use whole, unprocessed ingredients so you can control portion sizes, salt and calories. “We can’t ask people to make everything from scratch,” says Oldways dietitian Nicki Heverling, M.S., R.D. Instead, she suggests stocking your pantry and freezer with Mediterranean-inspired staples like canned tomatoes, olives, whole-wheat pasta and frozen vegetables.</p> <p>2. Get most of your protein from beans and fish. Swap out some of your meat and get your protein from beans, nuts and other plants. By displacing meat, you’ll lower your saturated-fat intake while adding healthful nutrients, like fiber and antioxidant-rich flavonols. Heverling recommends starting with a few small changes: aim to make a plant-based dinner, like meatless chili once or twice a week. Or make the focus of the meal whole grains and vegetables and think of meat as a flavoring; for example, use a little diced pancetta in a tomato sauce for pasta. </p> <p>3. Make olive oil your staple fat. Give heart-healthy olive oil as well as other plant-based oils like canola and walnut oil star billing over saturated-fat-laden, LDL-cholesterol-raising butter, lard or shortening—even in baking. Or do as the Greeks do and sauté your vegetable dishes in olive oil (ladera, or “oily” style) to highlight their flavor. Learn to appreciate extra-virgin olive oils with plenty of flavor, advises Antonia Trichopoulou, M.D., from the University of Athens School of Medicine: “Look for a yellow or green olive oil with a rich smell and taste.” Pale, odorless oils are fine for baking and frying and are still high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, she adds, “but they are lacking in the more than 200 microcomponents that have beneficial effects on health.” Microcomponents like oleocanthal, for ­example, which is a potent anti-inflammatory found in extra-virgin olive oils.</p> <p>4. Enjoy a glass of wine with meals. Enjoy wine in moderation during meals, never drinking alone outside of the meal and never in excess. Drinking wine increases HDL (good) cholesterol, may help regulate blood sugar and can even help you digest your food and absorb its nutrients. Wines, especially reds, also deliver a dose of heart-healthy resveratrol. Take Trichopoulou’s advice and use wine “to enjoy life, not to forget life!”</p> <p>Can the Mediterranean Diet endure today? I think ancient food traditions will never truly go away; they’ve already survived for millennia. But just the thought of traditional ways under siege is enough to scare some countries into safeguarding their food heritage: Italy, Spain, Greece and Morocco recently launched an international campaign to win United Nations recognition by adding the Mediterranean Diet to its World Heritage List, and give it protected status just like historic sites.</p> <p>In the meantime, I’m working on putting Dr. Trichopoulou’s advice into practice in my everyday life. Olive oil for dipping has become a staple on our dinner table and we regularly enjoy meatless meals along with our nightly glass of red wine. Mark and I are happily returning to Italy this fall with a plan to enjoy the old ways as much as we can. Salute!</p> <p>Rachel K. Johnson, EatingWell’s senior nutrition advisor, is Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/mediterranean_diet_the_worlds_healthiest_diet#comments Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D. September/October 2008 Recipes & Menus - Walnuts Fri, 07 Aug 2009 15:17:19 +0000 Mallory 8970 at http://www.eatingwell.com How to Feed Your Mind http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/healthy_aging/how_to_feed_your_mind <p>One lazy Friday night last winter, my husband and I watched TV on the couch while our infant son slept upstairs. During a commercial, an image flashed on the screen—a New York City train station. I smiled, because the place was so familiar. I had been there many times, traveling there for conferences or for fun. I could picture the outer façade, the stars on the ceiling, the brass clock. Ah, that station. That old place where the trains parked. That— </p> <p>“What the heck is the name of that train station?” I asked my husband. </p> <p>He gave me a funny look. “Grand Central?”</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rachael Moeller Gorman </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More and more, studies are showing that what you eat can help your mind and memory, from infancy to old age. </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/how_to_feed_your_mind310.jpg?1248905942" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 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 Links: </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_mind_and_memory">Recipes for a Healthy Mind and Memory</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nutrition_health/healthy_aging/eat_for_a_sharper_mind_5_brain_boosting_foods">Eat for a Sharper Mind: 5 Brain-Boosting Foods</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/is_dieting_a_brain_drain">Is Dieting a Brain Drain?</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"> Try These Recipes for a Healthy Mind: </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/cauliflower_red_lentil_curry.html">Cauliflower &amp; Red Lentil Curry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/black_bean_salmon_stir_fry.html">Black Bean-Salmon Stir-Fry</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/chicken_salad_wraps.html">Chicken Salad Wraps</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/broiled_salmon_with_miso_glaze.html">Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/grilled_rosemary_salmon_skewers.html">Grilled Rosemary-Salmon Skewers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/broccoli_cheese_chowder.html">Broccoli-Cheese Chowder</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/oven_poached_salmon_fillets.html">Oven-Poached Salmon Fillets</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/strawberry_bruschetta.html">Strawberry Bruschetta</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_mind_and_memory">Recipes for a Healthy Mind and Memory</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One lazy Friday night last winter, my husband and I watched TV on the couch while our infant son slept upstairs. During a commercial, an image flashed on the screen—a New York City train station. I smiled, because the place was so familiar. I had been there many times, traveling there for conferences or for fun. I could picture the outer façade, the stars on the ceiling, the brass clock. Ah, that station. That old place where the trains parked. That— </p> <p>“What the heck is the name of that train station?” I asked my husband. </p> <p>He gave me a funny look. “Grand Central?” </p> <p>“Yes!” What was wrong with me? Even though I’m just 32 years old, this kind of thing had been happening more and more often and it was getting annoying. The forgetting of words—especially names and places that I obviously knew but couldn’t conjure up—began a few years ago. I’d had a brief return to my old sharper self during my pregnancy, but soon after my son was born, my brain slowly sank back downhill. Why wasn’t it working like it used to? Would it ever come back? Was there something I could do to drag it back to peak performance? What was it about pregnancy that had made it better?</p> <p>I’m not the only one trying to figure out how to get smarter. Looking for ways to boost our brain power is big business. In addition to ever-popular alertness boosters like coffee and Red Bull, pills like Focus Factor and Brain Advantage are hot items, with customers shelling out $70 per month or more to stay on top of their mental games. Ginkgo biloba, an herbal supplement billed as a memory enhancer, generates nearly $1 billion in annual sales in the U.S. alone. Some folks go even further: as the prestigious journal Nature recently reported, 20 percent of scientists responding to a survey admitted to taking so-called cognition-enhancing drugs like the stimulants Ritalin (to aid focus) and Provigil (to stay alert without caffeine’s jitteriness), without apology. “It is my duty to use my resources to the greatest benefit of humanity,” said one respondent. One-third said they’d even feel pressure to give their own children these drugs if other kids in their circles were also using them. </p> <p>Though I wasn’t ready to pump myself with drugs in order to remember a name more quickly, I did want to regain control of my mind, and, if I could, head off cognitive decline. The brief lift of brain fog during my pregnancy—a time of heroically conscientious eating—gave me hope. Could improving my diet help? I began scouring the science to find out. I also wondered whether the American diet I’ve been spoon-fed (and am currently spoon-feeding my son) was to blame for my mental malaise. I wanted to figure out whether a smart menu at each stage of life could fend off dullness and make me—and my family—sharper. </p> <p>[header = The Baby Brain]<br /> <strong>The Baby Brain </strong></p> <p>My intellectual journey began in the far reaches of northern Quebec, in a smattering of small villages on the frigid coast of Hudson Bay. No roads connect the villages to each other or to southern Canada, so when Joseph Jacobson, Ph.D., of Michigan’s Wayne State University and his intrepid crew of researchers first arrived 12 years ago, they flew in on small propeller planes from Montreal. Jacobson studies the Inuit, and he does so for just about the same reason cardiovascular disease researchers have been interested in other northern communities for years: their diet. “The Inuit eat a lot of fish,” says Jacobson from his Detroit office. “Arctic char, a type of salmon, is very big in their diet. And it’s all very rich in DHA.”</p> <p>DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the omega-3 family that’s found in fish and their roe (particularly fattier types like salmon and sardines) is the magic nutrient du jour. I have seen literally hundreds of studies investigating its power to prevent cardiovascular disease. Now the focus has turned to the brain: dozens of studies report that mother animals deprived of DHA have offspring with memory, sensory and visual problems, and that supplementing them with DHA improves their performance on learning, memory and problem-solving tasks. This makes intuitive sense: DHA forms the backbone of much of the brain cells’ membranes.</p> <p>Jacobson wanted to see whether higher DHA levels, both in the womb and after birth, could have the same positive effect on human infants. So working with midwives in the three largest Hudson Bay villages, his team collected umbilical cord blood from 109 newborns. They analyzed the DHA concentration in their cord blood (a good measure of how much DHA the mother consumed during her last few months of pregnancy), and then tested how well the infants performed on tests throughout their first year. He found that at 6 months and 11 months, infants whose cord blood had the highest concentrations of DHA performed better on a number of different tests—such as recognizing faces—than those with lower levels. “The mother’s intake during the third trimester, when the brain’s neurons and synapses are developing at a very rapid rate, is most important. When we focused on that period, we found the most evidence of beneficial effects,” he says.</p> <p>My mother certainly didn’t eat salmon while pregnant with me, so that could be my problem, but it’s doubtful: my memory problems only emerged recently. Luckily for my son, my OB/GYN is on top of the literature: when she found out that I couldn’t stomach salmon or other fatty fish, she recommended taking a DHA supplement during my third trimester. (Pregnant mothers are advised to get 300 milligrams per day—the equivalent of about three to four 3-ounce servings of salmon a week.) </p> <p>Apparently, much of the rest of the country isn’t too fond of fatty fish either. “Most populations, and this is particularly true in the U.S. and southern Canada, are not getting nearly the amount of DHA that humans got prehistorically,” says Jacobson, who like many in his field believes that before the agricultural revolution, fish played a much more prominent role in our diets. “In our original environment, we were getting a lot of DHA,” he comments, “then we switched over to a more grain-based diet.”</p> <p>Compounding the problem, adds Jacobson, is that our diets are rich in another type of fatty acid: arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in animal fats and formed in the body when we consume linoleic acid from vegetable oils in foods. There’s nothing inherently bad about AA—it’s important for normal growth. But Jacobson and others believe that our prehistoric ancestors evolved to eat a more balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Today, few people eat enough fish to achieve this balance; the ratio is currently about 10:1 in the U.S. Since AA competes with DHA for space in the membrane and affects other functions in the brain, some experts suggest an abundance of AA is less optimal for cognitive development in babies (and may be associated with early cognitive decline in older adults—more on that later).</p> <p>Unless they stick to the “eat fish at least twice a week” dietary guideline, it’s hard for most Americans to meet DHA recommendations without supplements. This is why many infant formulas are now fortified with DHA (breast milk can be a great source of DHA, if the mom eats fish or takes supplements herself). Jacobson hints that supplementing formula, however, could be a case of too little too late—in his Inuit study he saw no beneficial effect of breast milk that contained high levels of DHA on the cognitive performance in infancy, although there could still be some beneficial effects on cognitive function in childhood. In the majority of studies that have demonstrated beneficial effects from DHA-enhanced infant formula, he notes, “most of the effects have been limited to preterm babies”—e.g., those who missed getting their full in utero complement of the nutrient. Does this mean that the typically DHA-poor American diet places infants at risk? Jacobson is quick to assure me there is no reason to assume that it does. “You don’t want to oversell the problem, but our data suggest that greater quantities of prenatal DHA intake could be beneficial.”</p> <p>[header = Milk vs. Formula?]<br /> <strong>Milk vs. Formula?</strong></p> <p>DHA is not the only critical substance for developing babies’ brains. Researchers have known for some time that iron is also key, but recently they have been discovering just how long the effects of a deficiency can last. Babies are born with a solid store of iron, but by 5 or 6 months they’ve used much of it up and can’t get enough from breast milk to sustain their ever-growing bodies: they need to take it in from the outside world in food or supplements. Studies show that being deficient at points within the 5- to 12-month age block irrevocably slows academic, social and emotional development. Even if children are fortified with iron soon after the deficiency is detected, they never catch up, and can still show signs of cognitive delay even 10 years later. </p> <p>Iron is not only needed to transport oxygen to the brain in the bloodstream, but it also helps myelinate, or insulate, nerve fibers so signals travel faster—and helps create the neurotransmitters that relay signals between neurons. Until the early 1970s when manufacturers began adding iron to formula, more than 30 percent of infants were iron-deficient; since fortification, that number has plummeted. (At last count, about 7 percent of toddlers were iron-deficient.) But with the rise in breastfeeding, exclusively breast-fed infants are now at risk, especially as they’re transitioning to solid foods. Breast milk is still the best food (bar none) for infants, but physician groups recommend using rice cereal fortified with iron or supplementing with a vitamin drop during and after that critical transition to solid foods around 5 or 6 months. </p> <p>With irreversible brain delay churning through my gray matter (and after consulting the pediatrician), I drove to the drugstore and bought a multivitamin with iron for my son, who at 7 months was still breastfeeding but beginning to discover the delights of runny rice cereal and mushy peas.</p> <p>[header = Fuel for School]<br /> <strong>Fuel for School</strong></p> <p>As children reach school age, DHA and iron continue to be key to brain development, but for kids sitting in class for seven hours a day, it’s even more important to keep their energy-hungry brains satiated. Reams of studies show that fueling the brain with breakfast is important for thinking, acting and learning; that’s the impetus behind the federal School Breakfast Program, which aims to ensure that every child begins the school day with something in his or her stomach. </p> <p>Children who are undernourished perform poorly on cognitive tasks. Eating breakfast improves performance on attention and memory games, especially in the undernourished, but it also helps children who get enough food. This may be a simple case of refueling after an overnight fast: the brain needs glucose (its exclusive fuel source) and eating just about any food, from a candy bar to five-grain muesli, provides it. But new research is saying there’s more to it than that, and not just any breakfast will do.<br /> Margaret Anne Defeyter, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in psychology at Britain’s Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, studies children and the foods they eat. She has a lot to say about how kids prepare their brains each morning. “I was stunned, absolutely stunned to see what children had for breakfast,” she exclaims. “Children tell me they grab a chocolate biscuit [British for cookie] out of the biscuit barrel on their way to school, or stop at the corner shop and buy a can of cola.” </p> <p>Defeyter wanted to know if a switch to slower-burning carbohydrates might give kids an advantage on tests of attention and memory. To find out, she gave 64 children either low-glycemic-index All-Bran cereal or high-glycemic-index Coco Pops, and then switched them the next day. Guess which one kept kids’ brains a-chugging most of the morning? </p> <p>“With the high-GI cereal you get this sudden sugar rush, where you perform very well, but it’s quickly followed by a low,” she says. “Whereas with the low-GI cereal, you get a more sustained level of performance. That’s important for children. You want their concentration and attention maintained throughout the school morning for learning.” Other studies swapping in low-GI oatmeal for a higher-GI cereal have shown a similar effect: the lower the GI of the breakfast, the better kids did on cognitive tasks requiring attention and memory. The few studies looking at the effects of breakfast on adult brains showed similar results: low-glycemic-index meals that released glucose slowly into the bloodstream seemed to be associated with better memory. </p> <p>I thought back to my own childhood, sometimes starting the day with a bowl of Cookie Crisp or, occasionally, Froot Loops. Perhaps it slogged down my timed second-grade multiplication quizzes. But that still didn’t explain why my brain was on the fritz now. Was something else missing? </p> <p>[header = Iron-Deficient Maidens]<br /> <strong>Iron-Deficient Maidens</strong></p> <p>Back in early 2007, I came across a study that I still think about all the time. Here’s the gist: 113 young women, aged 18 through 35, came into the lab at Pennsylvania State University. They took eight different tests on a computer that assessed attention, memory and learning, and their blood was drawn to compare their level of iron to their results on the computer tests. The findings were dramatic: women who were even mildly iron deficient—not yet anemic—scored much lower on many of the tasks and took longer to complete the tasks, than the women whose iron levels were normal. About 10 percent of young women are anemic (because of their monthly loss of iron-rich blood), as are 25 percent of pregnant women. In fact, I’d been told early in my pregnancy that I was slightly anemic, but it never occurred to me that it was much of a problem.</p> <p>“What that study was able to do for the first time is show that even if you are mildly iron-­deficient—you don’t have to be anemic—you have changes in cognitive function,” says John Beard, Ph.D., the iron expert who conducted the study. “It’s a scary thing that people don’t like to hear,” he admits, since a good number of us fall into that slightly iron-deficient gray area.</p> <p>What really gave me hope was the other half of the study, where Beard put half the women on a slow-release iron supplement containing 60 mg of elemental iron for four months. Unlike the results seen in studies with iron-deficient infants, the women receiving the supplements regained normal cognitive functioning. How? Beard says that since the adult brain is already formed, iron’s primary role is to help feed the brain and build neurotransmitters; some of the brain regions most sensitive to iron deficiency are the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, centers of higher intellectual functioning and memory. </p> <p>In Beard’s study, those women whose blood iron levels improved significantly experienced a five- to seven-fold improvement in cognitive performance. So it is a good bet that part of my problem was lack of iron; my temporary brain boost while I was pregnant could have resulted from the iron-rich prenatal vitamins I took every day. I vowed to do a better job of eating fortified cereals, edamame, clams, white beans, spinach, lentils—and of course meat, which contains the most easily absorbed form of iron. And I started taking a supplement on the side. Better safe than stupid.<br /> Of course, if you’re not iron-deficient, taking more iron isn’t going to do anything to make your brain sharper—and too much iron creates problems of its own, including hemochromatosis (high blood iron), which can lead to liver damage, heart failure or diabetes. Since our bodies are unable to get rid of excess iron (except by bleeding), it makes sense to have your blood iron levels checked before you head to the drugstore for a “brain-boosting” iron pill—especially if you’re a woman past menopause or a man. </p> <p>[header = Heading Off Decline]<br /> <strong>Heading Off Decline</strong></p> <p>I’m doing my best to build a first-class brain for my son and I work hard to keep all of our minds lubed. But nothing, even the most tenderly nurtured neurons, lasts forever. With my current fuzz, I fear eventually losing myself (or my husband) to dementia, and I wanted to know how to sandbag my family against it. So I called David Smith, professor emeritus of pharmacology and head of Oxford University’s 20-year-old Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA), which studies nongenetic risk factors (a.k.a. environmental factors) that cause Alzheimer’s disease. His words made me happy: “It’s my personal belief that we will be able to prevent a large proportion of Alzheimer’s disease in the world.” </p> <p>Smith sees parallels between Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease—an illness whose prevalence has decreased around 60 percent over the past 40 years, largely because of preventive measures taken at a societal, level such as reducing smoking, increasing exercise, eating well and taking drugs to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. “If we can find what the risk factors are for Alzheimer’s disease, we can have a similar success.”</p> <p>Unfortunately, no one yet knows what all these risk factors are, but observational studies are beginning to yield clues: it seems the same things that are good for the heart may also be good for the brain. The connection makes intuitive sense: Alzheimer’s disease likely results in part from the accumulation of so-called senile plaques—abnormal brain proteins called A-beta that many scientists think trigger inflammation and oxidation, damaging neurons. If a person has atherosclerosis, their vessels are gunky and inefficient, resulting in fewer nutrients and less oxygen supplying the brain and fewer waste products leaving it, thus exacerbating Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>Smith was particularly interested in fish because observational studies have shown a strong link between high fish intake and a reduced risk of full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. He wanted to know if eating fish regularly could also help people improve their brain power. So he called up colleague Helga Refsum, a professor of nutrition at the University of Oslo who leads the Hordaland Health Study—one part of a huge national project that gathers extremely detailed information about people’s lives and charts cardiovascular disease all over Norway. The county of Hordaland is on the sea, and people there eat lots of fish. Smith found that, of 2,031 healthy Hordalanders aged 70 to 74, those who ate more than a two-ounce serving per week of any type of fish (not just the fatty, DHA-packed variety) scored much higher on cognitive tests than those who ate less. </p> <p>I asked Smith how it could be that all types of seafood are linked to improved cognitive function, since every study I’ve ever seen points to omega-3s like DHA as the key brain-boosting component. “Of course, the fatty acids are a strong candidate,” he says, “But it may be something else. Fish is very rich in niacin; there have been reports that niacin intake is related to better cognition in the elderly. Fish is also a good source of vitamin B12.” Because the aging body is less able to absorb B vitamins, particularly B12, he explains, the elderly often have low levels, which has been associated with poorer cognitive function. “So there are several candidates in fish and we want to tease them out.”</p> <p>[header = A Golden Opportunity]<br /> <strong>A Golden Opportunity</strong></p> <p>Point taken: eat fish for your brain and your heart. But what happens if you’re a vegetarian, have a seafood allergy or can’t afford to eat fish regularly? Or, like me, just don’t like fish? I’ve never quite gotten over my pregnancy-induced aversion to the stuff. </p> <p>Perhaps I could cover the taste with curry powder and benefit from a seasoning that’s been coming into focus as a potential anti-Alzheimer’s agent, at least in animals: turmeric. Greg Cole at UCLA and his colleagues have reported that curcumin, a phytochemical in turmeric (which gives curry powder its yellow color) not only helps prevent the buildup of toxic A-beta protein in the brain, but it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for respiratory conditions (asthma, allergy), liver disorders, anorexia and cough, among other things, and throughout Asia it’s used to treat arthritis pain and other inflammatory conditions. Cole is in the middle of a clinical trial on curcumin, but an interesting observational study came out in 2006 from Singapore that found that healthy people aged 60 to 93 who ate curry “occasionally” (once a month) or “often or very often” scored better on cognitive tests than people who rarely ate it. It’s also quite interesting to note that Indian citizens in their seventies (whose diets are rich in curry) are four times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than American septuagenarians. </p> <p>[header = Ancient Wisdom]<br /> <strong>Ancient Wisdom</strong></p> <p>To really uncover the secret of a clear mind late in life, though, I turned to the people who walk the walk. Some of the longest-lived people in the U.S. are from Cache County in the far northeast corner of Utah, where a majority of folks are Mormon and their beliefs shape a lifestyle that’s relatively free of vices like caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Many are open to taking nutritional supplements and have the support of a close-knit community—all factors that may pave the way to a long and healthy life. Scientists have been carefully following 90 percent of the elderly population here—around 5,000 people—for 13 years, to see which part of their lifestyle plays the largest role in their longevity. The researchers have documented foods the residents have eaten, the activities they’ve done, the jobs they’ve had. They drew blood and tested cognition, and revisited the subjects about every three years to see why they live such long, healthy lives.</p> <p>I asked Peter Zandi, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a researcher on the study, what he’s found out about nutritional influences on mind decline, and he put it in a single word: antioxidants. “People who took high-dose supplements of both vitamin E [from 400 to 1,000 IU daily] and vitamin C [500 to 1,000 mg or more] had on the order of 60 to 65 percent reduction of the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” Zandi says. “That’s huge. This led us to the notion that it’s really the synergistic effects of both that may afford protection.” (Currently, the Institute of Medicine’s daily recommendation for vitamin E is 22 IU [15 mg] and 75 to 90 mg for vitamin C.) Zandi thinks this vitamin partnership might work because vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that can slip inside cells and mop up the damaging free radicals, while vitamin C waits patiently outside and replenishes vitamin E when it comes back out so it can continue working. </p> <p>Anytime the body turns glucose into energy, free radicals are produced and oxidation (or damage) to tissue can occur. “The brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body, [thus] the brain is more susceptible to oxidative damage than any other organ in the body,” explains Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Ph.D., who recently analyzed 160 studies on food’s effect on the brain. A professor of neurosurgery and physiological science at UCLA, Gomez-Pinilla published his meta-analysis this past July in Nature Reviews Neuroscience.</p> <p>But hold off on buying that mega-antioxidant formula just yet: though some other studies have supported this work, not all are positive, and most experts advise avoiding antioxidant supplements until all the answers are in. Large doses of antioxidants can sometimes have a paradoxical, pro-oxidizing effect and cause cellular damage. However, the research is a strong argument for including more vitamin E-rich foods like walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and dark greens in your diet, along with plenty of citrus fruits, tomatoes, cantaloupe and other foods abundant in vitamin C. </p> <p>Of course, one time-proven, antioxidant-rich way of eating doesn’t involve supplements at all: Mediterranean diets, famously protective against heart disease, may have promise in preventing Alzheimer’s disease as well. Recent studies suggest that people who most closely adhere to the dietary patterns long practiced in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea—plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, little meat, occasional fish and liberal olive oil—have significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Researchers believe that the antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients this way of eating offers may work synergistically to reduce the risk. </p> <p>[header = Minding our Minds]<br /> <strong>Minding our Minds</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, the typical American diet is far from the brain-boosting ideal. Most Americans don’t eat fish multiple times a week, get nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily or regularly season their food with curry. Babies don’t always get their iron, kids eat candy for breakfast and processed foods fill our grocery-store shopping carts. “Our diet today is really very, very different from primitive man’s diet,” says David Smith. So different that it’s bad for our brain? “I think it might be,” he replies. </p> <p>In addition to not eating enough of the good things, we tend to eat too much of the bad stuff: a number of recent studies show that eating too much cholesterol, trans fat and saturated fat increases risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. One just-out report found that when rats were fed a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol for eight weeks, their performance on a battery of memory tests declined significantly. Another study suggests that eating 80 milligrams more cholesterol per day than you normally do (the amount in a four-ounce piece of steak) seems to make your brain work, temporarily, as if it were three years older. Even worse, disease and lifestyle issues that continue to plague us, such as high blood pressure, lack of physical activity and diabetes are all pushing us toward cognitive decline.</p> <p>With the food environment we live in, it’s hard not to eat poorly unless you pay a premium. Rather than subsidizing antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, the federal government puts most of its support behind omega-6-rich soybeans as well as corn (thus keeping corn-syrup-laced junk food and sweet cereals cheap). Salmon is typically twice the price of beef. For the school breakfasts that power many kids’ mornings, the federal government’s requirements are broad enough that cheap, sugary cereals or Danish pastries pass muster. (The 2005 Dietary Guidelines declare, “make half your grains whole,” but schools still don’t have to comply. Promisingly, they’re working on the problem, and within two years schools should be more in line with the new guidelines, says Nancy Johner, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.) </p> <p>Back home in the kitchen, I remember the pink marshmallow Sno Balls and Lucky Charms of my childhood. But my new dietary path already surrounds me on the counter: the baby’s small childproof bottle of multivitamin drops with iron; a cylinder of whole oats for my husband and me; my iron tablets; plenty of vitamin C-rich oranges and vitamin E-packed nuts; salmon (for my husband, and me, if I start liking it again) and lean free-range beef wrapped up in the fridge along with plenty of vegetables and fruits. I have my son’s little mind to think about now, and I’m excited to start. With any luck, I can also head off dementia for my husband and me. Will it work? I’ll tell you in 30 years (if I remember).</p> <p>Contributing editor Rachael Moeller Gorman won the Bert Greene Food Journalism award for her last EatingWell feature, “Miracle Up North” (June/July 2006).</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/healthy_aging/how_to_feed_your_mind#comments Rachael Moeller Gorman September/October 2008 Healthy Aging Diet, Nutrition & Health - Healthy Aging Wed, 29 Jul 2009 20:01:15 +0000 Penelope Wall 8754 at http://www.eatingwell.com