Galaxy Greens

If Elon Musk sees his dream of sending people to Mars come to fruition, then he can rest easy knowing it will be possible for passengers to eat nutritious salads. A NASA-sponsored study in Frontiers in Plant Science found that lettuce grown on the international space station, in what they call “veggie plant growth chambers,” retained most of its nutritional value, including its antioxidant levels. Also, the lettuce leaves didn’t contain any potentially harmful bacteria. So it might be wise for Mars-bound missions to bring along a green thumb and…

Question of the Month: Is the Party Over for Drinking Alcohol?

A trio of recent research papers continue to spill the truth about how alcohol consumption affects our health, while tossing shade at the idea of the French paradox—a catchy phrase researchers came up with in the early 1990s to explain how sipping generous amounts of Bordeaux could allow a population to indulge in buttery croissants but still have fabulous coronary health. For starters, an investigation in the January issue of Clinical Nutrition linked drinking an average of more than 30 milliliters of alcohol daily (a little over 1 ounce!) with rising blood…

Take the Bitter With the Sweet

Dumping packets of sugar in your morning coffee isn’t just bad news for your waistline; it may also have a surprising impact on heart health. In a study of more than 5,900 individuals involved in the Framingham Heart Study, guzzling back more than 12 ounces per day of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and fruit-flavored drinks was associated with a 53% higher risk of having high triglyceride levels and a 98% higher likelihood of having low HDL cholesterol, compared with drinking lesser amounts. Both of these blood lipid measures…

Recipe for Health: Tofu Steaks With Nut Sauce

With the trend toward more plant-based eating, people are rediscovering the curdled soy milk product known as tofu. That can be good news for the ticker. Eating one or more servings of tofu per week was associated with an 18% lower risk of coronary heart disease—including heart attacks—among 210,700 U.S. men and women, researchers reported in Circulation. The researchers surmise that soy isoflavones in tofu could be a big reason. People who choose soy could also be getting less of their protein from potentially less beneficial sources like red meat.…

The Reign of (Whole) Grain

When it comes to carbohydrates, we appear to have more proof that quality matters more than quantity. To assess the impact that the carbohydrate quality index (CQI) has on heart health, Spanish researchers collected dietary intake data from 5,373 adults, ages 55–75, involved in a lifestyle weight-loss program. All subjects were overweight or had obesity. The researchers tracked 6- and 12-month changes in CQI, such as increases in dietary fiber intake and improvements in the ratio of whole-grain to total-grain consumption. The scientists also measured markers that play a role…

Nailing Nutrition Goals in the Midst of the New Normal

It’s no surprise that weeks of chaos and confusion have led many to set aside purposeful plates, waistline goals, and performance ambitions in favor of comfort food and grazing to get through the day.  You’re likely seeing disarray and a lack of structure impact your client’s as well as your own wellbeing.  These wellness woes are understandable; stress coupled with countless trips past the pantry and fridge eventually draw one in, making mindful eating habits a thing of the past.  It’s time to take a step back and implement some…

Tools to Keep the Fire Burning

There’s no shortage of research or opinions debating the value of nutrition compared to exercise, but all experts agree that a combination of these factors are indispensable when it comes to reaching full health potential.  But sometimes neither choosing to eat healthier nor staying active can be an easy task.  Here are some tips to get clients, family, and self, eating better and moving more. Each day, meal, and opportunity to move hands us the chance to better ourselves.  Every bite builds us, impacting each cell in the body, energy…

Power Up Your Snacks with Walnuts

Ah… snacking! We want ready-to-eat options that satisfy cravings, are quick and convenient, and provide good nutrition. Oftentimes, choices that claim to boost energy are overloaded with added sugars or are high in sodium. Here’s an easy solution: healthier snacking can be as simple as adding a handful of walnuts. Just one ounce delivers 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of essential plant-based omega-3 (ALA). Start out by trying one of these simple, homemade snacks: Cajun Spiced Walnuts – This easy recipe packs a punch…

Prebiotics for Better Sleep

Prebiotics are best-known for supporting gut health, but they can also improve sleep and enhance stress resilience, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder say prebiotics—dietary fibers that nourish the gut’s microbiome—create a symbiotic relationship with the body that affects the brain. For the study, researchers fed adolescent rats either standard chow or chow infused with prebiotics, then tracked the rats’ behavior. Those on the prebiotic diet spent more time in restorative non–rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep and, after stress, spent more time in…

Recipe for Health: Salmon Oat Loaf

If you train older individuals, it’s a good idea to urge them to stay on top of their vitamin D needs. Research discussed in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging showed that muscle function, including strength, was impaired in adults 60 and older who were deficient in vitamin D compared with those whose levels were adequate. Maintaining muscle function throughout life is critical for healthy aging: promoting independence and mobility, reducing frailty and lowering the risk of fractures from falls. More research is needed to determine what impact vitamin D…