The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

The Pros and Cons of Being a Vegetarian Fitness Enthusiast

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Pros      

  1. Eating a plant-based diet provides a plethora of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A to fight free radicals caused by exercise (where free radicals are produced at a greater rate).
  2. You are forced to focus on your dark leafy greens like spinach and collard greens and high Vitamin C foods like peppers and oranges to absorb the non – heme iron found in plant foods.
  3. Pre training foods like bagels, yogurt and peanut butter are already a part of your daily intake.
  4. You’re at an even greater advantage to prevent heart disease by exercising and eating the healthy fats such as almonds, avocados and lean proteins like beans and fish.
  5. Your physical activity and plant based lifestyle are dually protective against diabetes. Vegan diets have been shown to lower one’s average 3 month blood glucose.

Cons:

  1. You must make extra effort to get your  8 essential amino acids needed for muscle and hormone synthesis by eating a variety of protein sources like beans, peanut butter, tofu and quinoa.
  2. You may need to take an omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement if you are not consuming deep sea fish. There are vegetarian marine algae forms of DHA available.
  3. Caution – place extra emphasis on eating complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta, barely, and millet.  Avoid grabbing easy and available processed stand – bys like chips, packaged cookies, and boxed macaroni and cheese.
  4. Don’t fall prey to quick soy proteins sources like veggie burgers, “unchicken” fingers and fake meat. These products are highly processed, high in sodium and artificial fillers. In addition, limit soy intake to whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame.  Choose one soy food /day.
  5. Bring on the Vit. B12. Vit. B12 is generally not found in plant sources. Milk, Fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast are vegetarian friendly form of this water-soluble vitamin needed for red blood cell synthesis.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!
By Alyssa Mitola, RD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc

What is Lycopene? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Although chemically related to vitamin A, lycopene does not function in our bodies like the vitamin. Rather lycopene serves as the most powerful antioxidant of the >600 carotenoids, riding our body of harmful free radicals and oxidizing species. Lycopene is a red pigment found in fruits and vegetables. You may already know that tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, but lycopene is also found in guava, papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, and apricots.

Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc

Lycopene is constantly being researched for its potential health benefits, most notably in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The strongest research comes from lycopene’s role in preventing prostate cancer. Many studies have found that people with higher intakes of lycopene have reduced rates of prostate cancer (Giovannuci et. al 1995; Zu et. al 2011). In addition, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Medicine showed people consuming higher amounts of lycopene had less incidences of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are also currently investigating lycopene’s role in sunburn, gingivitis, osteoporosis, asthma, and mental disorders.

 

The health benefits of lycopene are numerous and we should try to include sources of lycopene daily. However, this does not mean lycopene should be taken as a supplement. Rather lycopene should come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is actually more bioavailable (available to our bodies) when it is heated. Therefore foods like tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice are even richer sources of lycopene. When purchasing tomato-based products, be sure to look out for no sodium or low sodium products. Eating lycopene with a healthy, fat like olive oil, will also increase your body’s ability to absorb the lycopene. With tomatoes in season get your fill of lycopene. Serve your tomatoes with some olive oil or make some homemade salsa, a tomato salad, or a fresh pot of tomato sauce!

  

 

References:

1) Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(23):1767-1776.

2) Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, et al.: Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 14 (2): 131-6, 20.

3) Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, Feldthusen J, Clements J, Hutmacher W. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(7): 14620-14646.

4) Zu K, Rosner BA, Clinton SK, Loda M, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci E. Dietary Lycopene, Angiogenesis, and Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Study in the Prostate-Specific Antigen Era. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (2).

5) Jacques P, Lyass A, Massaro JM, D’Agastino B.  Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD. British Journal of Nutrition (2013), 110, 545-551.

6) Story E, Kopec RE, Schwartz SJ, Harris GK. An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene. National Institute of Health Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010; 1: 1-24.

 

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to GF Shopping

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to Gluten-Free Shopping
By Lindsay Marr and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc

The gluten-free world can be daunting, especially for a newly diagnosed celiac or gluten-intolerant. Navigating the aisles of the grocery store can seem even scarier. Thankfully, there are more gluten-free options in stores and the labeling laws are becoming stricter, making gluten-free shopping less of a matter of chance. We took to the grocery stores to try and help ease the confusion and offer you a list of some healthful gluten-free tips.

 

You may remember we wrote about the new gluten-free labels this past summer and touched on the different aspects of the gluten-free diet in the fall. To touch base, the FDA has decided to consider foods with no more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten as gluten-free. But, what does 20ppm mean, you ask?  20ppm is the least amount of gluten that can be found in foods via reliable scientific analysis testing. It is also the level that meets many other countries’ standards for safety.

 

Can you trust a gluten-free label?

With the new FDA rulings, you can expect food companies to be more cautious in their labeling. In fact, we may even see a few gluten-free products come off the shelves, as some manufacturers may not want to go through the trouble of abiding by the FDA’s gluten-free rulings. If you feel uneasy before the August 2014 deadline, you can look for two seals on packages to assure the products you’re buying are gluten-free.

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This image was used with the permission of The Gluten Intolerance Group.

Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO): The GFCO is currently the leading gluten-free certification program in the world. It is an independent organization that verifies the “quality, integrity, and purity of products” and certifies gluten-free products to no more than 10 PPM.
Click here for the label.
CSA (Celiac Sprue Association): The CSA seal is given to products that have undergone a review and testing of ingredients to ensure the product is free of wheat, rye, barley and oats.

 

Which gluten-free products should I choose? 

Gluten free food companies are making efforts to make their food products more healthy by adding fiber, using brown rice flour instead of white rice flour and some are even using gluten free grains like buckwheat for this first ingredient. EALM was quite impressed to see these changes. However, some food labels noted the addition of added fibers like inulin, which is a non-digestible form of fiber that can cause gas.

 

Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc

Let’s Go Shopping!

When searching for the gluten-free foods with the most nutrition, we recommend using the following tips:

 

  1. Always double check!
    • Be sure to read the ingredients list for potential gluten, even if the product boasts a GF label or seal of approval from the organizations mentioned above. Food products and manufacturing practices change often and some companies even use the GF seals fraudulently. So, be aware and read those ingredients!
  2. Read the ingredients to educate yourself on which product is more nutrient dense!
    • When searching for healthier GF packaged goods look for nutrient-dense flours like quinoa, garbanzo bean, and brown rice. Also watch where these items are listed within the ingredient lists – ideally they are listed in ingredients one through five.
  3. Look for natural fiber!
    • As mentioned before, many high-fiber GF foods contain added carbohydrates like inulin or psyllium husk. While these carbs add fiber without affecting the texture or taste of the food, they can result in gas production (not so comfy for sensitive stomachs). Look for products that are naturally gluten-free, like corn meal or certified gluten-free oats. When in doubt, you can increase your fruit and vegetable intake for a boost of fiber, too.
  4. When in doubt…
    • Tap into some resources! There are a number of apps, subscription services, and organizations that keep consumers updated on all news relating to gluten-free. Take a look at our list below that will help you be a GF detective.

 

GF DETECTIVE Resources:

Celiac Disease Foundation

  • The CDF offers numerous resources for those affected by Celiac Disease, including a list of GF medications and supplements, tips for managing the holidays, as well as the latest research and gluten-free news.

 

Celiac Sprue Association

  • The CSA’s website offers a host of resources for those with Celiac and gluten intolerance. With lists of restaurants, recipes, and information on GF labeling, you are sure to find great information on all things gluten-free.

 

Gluten Free Watchdog

  • This handy monthly subscription is run by registered dietitian, Tricia Thompson, and for only $4.99 per month, you can have access to the latest in gluten free news and product testing results.

 

Gluten Intolerance Group

  • The GIG offers an annual membership with perks including access to food and medical information, educational programs, events, and even summer camps for children with gluten-sensitivities.

 

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (Celiac Central)

  • The NFCA offers a list of GF manufacturers, keeps readers updated on GF news, and provides free webinars for readers. This is a great site when looking for GF news and information.

Eating Healthfully When Gluten-Free

Photo Credit: nettsu via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: nettsu via Compfight cc

Eating Healthfully When Gluten-Free
By Lindsay Marr, B.S. and Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN

Are you eating enough folic acid? Is your gluten-free bread enriched? Are all gluten-free muffins created equal? Last Sunday, I learned the answer was NO. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation hosted by the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. The main presenter was Cheryl Leslie, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and mother of two children, both with celiac disease. I learned a few very important tips to ensure a gluten-free diet was free of nutrient deficiencies.

When Comparing Labels:

Cheryl explained that she maintains a gluten-free household for her children and while she is constantly on the lookout for great gluten-free finds, she always inspects the nutrition labels. One of my favorite parts of the presentation was Cheryl’s breakdown of the nutrition facts label and her explanation of the steps she takes to ensure that she is comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Let me explain:

  • Review the grams of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and calories of three gluten-free blueberry muffins.
  • Note the weight of the products, as well as the serving sizes.
    • Identify if the muffins were of equal weights, how the nutrition components would change and what the facts would be.
    • Hint: Just because something is less in sugar and fat doesn’t mean it is better. It may be only due to the fact it is smaller.
  • Compare the nutrition facts of the three muffins if they were the same weight and determine which muffin you prefer.

Nutritional Shortcomings of GFD:

Cheryl then went on to discuss possible deficiencies in the GFD. Did you know the majority of flour sold in our country is enriched with vitamins and nutrients? According to the FDA, for a food to be labeled as “enriched” with a specific nutrient, it must “contain at least 10% more of the Daily Value of that nutrient than a food of the same type that is not enriched”[i]. In the case of flour, to be considered an “enriched flour” the FDA requires the flour to contain “specified amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and iron”[i].

The enrichment of wheat flour provides a good portion, if not the majority, of these nutrients in the average American’s diet. Gluten-free foods, however, do not require enrichment because they are considered to be supplemental. Therefore, by eliminating gluten from our diets and, in turn, eliminating enriched flours, we could potentially be missing out on the following key nutrients: folate, iron, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

Here is a list of dietary sources containing the 5 nutrients most likely to be missing when maintaining a gluten-free diet:

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 4.47.26 PM

As a nutrition professional (future-RD), and someone with celiac disease, Cheryl reminded me how it is vital to maintain a balanced diet filled with fresh and whole foods. And as the chart above shows, we can get our nutrients from fresh and non-packaged foods.

Having to eat gluten-free can easily cause a person to feel restricted and may even cause people to reach for more of the packaged goods. It’s easy to think “I can’t eat my favorite bread anymore, so I deserve this gluten-free cookie.” While many of us love these convenient foods, it is important to compliment them with wholesome fresh foods for an optimal dietary intake.

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc

As the saying goes, everything in moderation!! Educate yourself about reading the food label, not only for ingredients that may contain gluten, but also for missing vitamins and minerals, as well as, the weight of a serving size.  And, of course, be sure to eat fresh foods too.

 

References:


i “Are Foods That Contain Added Nutrients Considered “enriched”?” FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194348.htm>.

 

 

Out with ORAC

Just last week someone asked EALM about ORAC. So here is the update:

Out with ORAC
By: Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: mischiru via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: mischiru via Compfight cc

We’ve all heard it before: antioxidants are good for you. And the best way to get plenty of antioxidants is to eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. You may remember seeing fruits in the produce section of your grocery store toting signs stating their ORAC scores and wondered what it all meant. ORAC Value, or the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the “degree of inhibition of peroxy-radical-induced oxidation by the compounds,”1 or in simpler terms, the “free radical scavenging activity against one type of free radical”2. The antioxidant capacity of foods varies due to a “variety of factors, such as cultivation, growing conditions, harvesting, food procession and preparation, sampling, and analytical procedures.”1

 

(as defined by the Stanford Cancer Institute)3
(as defined by the Stanford Cancer Institute)3

 

The Stanford Cancer Institute lists the following foods to be good sources of antioxidants vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E3:

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 1.34.07 PM

In 2007, a database was released by the USDA, consisting of 277 foods and their respective antioxidant activities.1 The goal of the database was for consumers to assess the sourcing of antioxidants in certain foods via the ORAC measurement. However, in 2010, the USDA removed the ORAC database from their Nutrient Database Laboratory, after finding that “the values indicating antioxidant capacity did not necessarily translate from test tube to human.”4 The USDA released a statement saying; “there is no evidence that the beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich foods can be attributed to the antioxidant properties of these foods. The data for antioxidant capacity of foods generated by in vitro (test-tube) methods cannot be extrapolated to in vivo (human) effects and the clinical trials to test benefits of dietary antioxidants have produced mixed results. We know now that antioxidant molecules in food have a wide range of functions, many of which are unrelated to the ability to absorb free radicals.”4

 

So the message is the USDA does not support using ORAC to choose your foods and or supplements. As with everything, we like to say eat and live moderately.

 

 

 

References:

1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac
2. “Grapes and Health.” Grapes and Health. Scattagua Growers & Shippers, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. http://www.sgs.us.com/GrapesandHealth-i-30-15.html
3. “Phytochemicals, Antioxidants, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” Stanford Medicine Cancer Institute. Stanford University, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. http://cancer.stanford.edu/information/nutritionAndCancer/reduceRisk/phyto.html
4. “Related Topics.” Nutrient Data : Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 (2010). United States Department of Agriculture, 16 May 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15866

 

 

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

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So over the past two weeks, I have been asked to comment the positive effects of eating peanut butter at breakfast and the positive effects of eating a large breakfast. I think most people know the saying of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, I know most people skip breakfast or just eat a very skimpy one.

Here at EALM (Eating and Living Moderately), we are all about eating especially the fats known as monounsaturated fats (think olive oil and peanut butter) and definitely not skipping meals– so this new research was music to our ears! Read on to get a quick and easy take away from the research I discussed with Jenna Lee on Happening Now.

My personal take away from the study, High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women, is as follows:

What you eat in terms of carbs, fat, protein, plus calorie content of that meal and time of day may help weight loss and waist circumference in women needing to lose weight as determined by their physician and dietitian. This may also be a great preventative concept for preventing insulin resistance and diabetes. To note, overall both groups in this study had favorable results such as lowered blood sugar, decreased insulin resistance and decreased production of the hormone that stimulates appetite, but the group that ate the higher calorie breakfast/low calorie dinner (vs. the low calorie breakfast/high calorie dinner) had the better results of both groups.

Most important is breakfast needs to be higher calories. The study’s participants had 50% of their calories at breakfast equaling 700 calories. Secondly, breakfast must contain protein but most fascinating is that breakfast can contain carbs like bread. Lesson: If you have metabolic syndrome, diabetes or possibly just need to lose weight, having a bigger breakfast of carbs, protein and fat, like toast and peanut butter with Greek yogurt, may be the way to go. Great news for my clients since they eat like this already!! And don’t fear carbohydrates. The participants in the study had 45% of their breakfast as carbs. (Check out the power of peanuts, as Laura Cipullo explains it on FOX 5 )

Just so you know, the women’s breakfast was 700 cals, lunch 500 cals and dinner quite small at 200 kcals. I am not recommending a 200 calorie dinner; however, consider eating more earlier in the day and then assessing how you feel come dinner time. You may be less hungry than normal. In addition we already know that eating more in the am and throughout the day decreases the likelihood of binging.

Eating in this order proves to be more helpful than eating in the reverse order which most Americans seem to do. The larger breakfast helps to keep your insulin, blood sugar, TG, bad cholesterol and appetite hormone ghrelin lower throughout the day thereby making you less hungry, less likely to crave and less likely to deposit fat around the belly.

Numbers To Chew On:
Large meal (700 kcals) = 30% protein 25% fat 45% carb

Middle meal (500 kcals) = 50% protein 30% fat 20% carb

Small Meal (200 kcals) = 65% protein 25% fat 10% carb

Breakfast 6 am to 9 am

Lunch 12 to 3 pm

Night meal 6 to 9 pm

Overall total average: 1400 kcal 41% protein 30% fat 30% carb

*Note: Keep in mind such a low calorie diet was for women with metabolic syndrome, not necessarily you, the reader.

I would expect the carb:protein:fat ratios at each meal time also greatly affected the results of this study. And, we can’t forget that this study is suggesting that eating early in the day, consistent with our circadian paths helps to increase rate of thermogenesis (energy we use to metabolize food). Perhaps you may want to start your day with a more nutritionally dense breakfast = 30% protein, 25% fat, and 45% carbs.

If you’re trying to follow this pattern, let us know if you feel less hungry at night.

References
1. High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women
 BY Daniela Jakubowicz,1 Maayan Barnea,2 Julio Wainstein,1 Oren Froy2 was Published online via www.obesityjournal.com 20 March 2013

Vitamins: The Basics

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From cereal boxes to juice cartons, it seems like every food and beverage products is boasting its vitamin content. But what roles do vitamins play and why are they so important? Read on as we help decode some of the most common terms used in the vitamin world.

Essential Vitamins VS Non-Essential Vitamins

“Vitamin” which stems from the Latin word, “vita”—means life. They actually do not provide energy…but are crucial to life in the sense that they are needed to turn food into energy. Every vitamin is absorbed differently in the body. They fall into two categories 1) essential vitamins and 2) non-essential vitamins. They key differences between the two are found in the name. “Essential” refers to the fact that the body cannot make this vitamin (or rather, not an adequate amount that is needed for our bodies to carryout bodily functions) and “non-essential” refers to the body being able to synthesize it.

Fat Soluble Vitamins VS Water Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are only absorbed by foods with fat and thus adequate intake of dietary fat is very important to ensure proper absorption. Once the vitamin is absorbed, it is stored in adipose tissue, otherwise known as body fat, and the liver. Since we are able to maintain stores, we are less likely to be deficient deficient in these vitamins. On the contrary, we should be more cautious of our levels of these vitamins since it is possible to build up toxic levels. Note that consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables rarely leads to the build up of toxic levels. In most cases, people should be more cautious when taking supplements, powders or consuming fortified beverages.

Water soluble vitamins are directly absorbed by cells and if we consume them in exces, they will be flushed out of our system. Because we do not build up stores of these vitamins in our fat cells, water-soluble vitamins need to be restored more often.

The “Fat Soluble Vitamins”:

·      Vitamin A

·       Vitamin D

·       Vitamin E

·       Vitamin K

 

The “Water Soluble Vitamins”:

These are collectively known as the “B vitamins”:

·       Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

·       Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

·       Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

·       Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

·       Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

·       Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

·       Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

·       Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) —-***side note next blog folate vs folic acid?

And last but not least…

·       Vitamin C

 

Biggest Takeaway? 

Be sure to take your multivitamin with food. Vitamins and food work like a lock and key. If you don’t have food for the vitamin to “latch onto,” the vitamin will not get absorbed!

Wheatgrass

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Stepping into a juice bar or health foods store and you may see signs of “add a shot of wheatgrass” to any drink on the menu. With it’s dark green color, this superfood typically conjures a variety of expressions–from skeptical, grossed out, or intrigued! Read on to learn more about wheatgrass and if it’s as nutritionally beneficially as they say?

At first glance, wheatgrass may look like the same lawn grass that grow in the parks and your backyard, but there is quite a difference between the two. Wheatgrass is grown through a sprouting process. During this process, wheatgrass  develops the live enzymes and becomes a rich source of nutrients, which when consumed, enter the bloodstream quickly. Wheatgrass provides a natural, concentrated amount of vitamins, and nutrients, including iron, calcium. It is high in antioxidants, iron and chlorophyll. However, to date, it is important to know that there are very few studies that support a wheatgrass diet to be beneficial in curing or preventing diseases.

It is grown in soil or water and typically consumed raw. Because of these conditions, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consuming wheatgrass juice is similar to eating other dark green veggies but as with many foods, depending on your health and dietary habits, wheatgrass could cause increased bowel movements, nausea or headaches.

A shot of wheatgrass is a quick way to gulp down your nutrients but it can also be added to juices or smoothies. Fresh-pressed wheatgrass oxidizes quickly, so gulp it down quickly to reap the most benefits. It is available in most health food stores and juice bars as  a supplement, planted trays, capsules, liquid extracts, frozen tablets, and even kits to grow-it-yourself.

New to Wheatgrass? Here are some tips for incorporating it into your meals:

  • Boost your smoothie/fresh-pressed juice with a shot of wheatgrass
  • Add wheatgrass powder to a protein drink
  • Mix wheatgrass powder into a soup or oatmeal

Super Foods Super Expensive

Are “Super foods” worth the money? This answer depends on which food one is referring to. The Willis Report recently asked me if consumers who are being bombarded with trendy super foods like quinoa, goji berries, acai berries, and spirulina getting the most for their money? Well these foods are indeed packed with nutrition especially vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals but they are not necessarily better than other more main stream supper foods like blueberries or salmon. See our post “Are Super Foods So Super?
”

While “super foods” like raw pumpkin super chips or oats with goigi berries are extremely nutritious, they don’t always live up to their cost. They could possibly be even less super than a local or frozen food as they may be less fresh if they are exotic, processed, or have added ingredients. Keep in mind there is no formal qualification defining super foods. Rather this term is used loosely implying this specific food has as much or a greater amount of nutrition than another food.  

When comparing prices of foods marketed as ‘super foods’ and sold in specialty health boutiques, I found that pumpkin chips were five times the costs of just purchasing pure pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Oat based cereal sold, as a super food was twice as expensive as purchasing stone ground oats with fresh blueberries and a chocolate bar from Africa that was only 44% cocoa was sixty-six percent more expensive then a USA dark chocolate bar like Sweet Riot with 70% coca.

The message here is when opting for value, go with the foods that are most wholesome and unaltered like nuts, wild salmon and organic blueberries. See here for more natural super foods:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2.

To find foods that have positive affects on your health without paying top price go with non-packaged fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. Stroll the bulk section of your health food store and buy foods sold by the pound rather than by the package.

  • “If it is in a package, it is probably processed!
  • If it is has been processed, it’s probably not super.
  • If it is has sugar as the first ingredient, and
  • If it is marketed as super it’s probably not so super.
  • Real whole foods are the super foods that are a super deal.”

Keep in mind, if you are buying juices or super chips with agave, these products have added sugar since agave is sugar. Local fresh and or frozen are usually the best foods to buy for greater nutrition, sustainable efforts and economical value.