(BPT) - Feeding your family nutritious food and drinks can be tricky, especially when there are so many mixed messages about food out there. Diane Welland, nutritionist and registered dietitian, shares three reasons why 100 percent juice is a great way to help your family get those important fruits and vegetables into their diet.
1. Eighty percent of Americans are not getting the recommended servings of fruit in their diet.
Like the whole fruit it comes from, fruit juice is filled with nutritious vitamins and minerals bodies need. Did you know juice is a top contributor to Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium in the diet? Drinking a glass of juice is an easy way to help get those important nutrients your body is craving.
2. Drinking juice has a protective effect on your teeth.
That's right - juice is not the culprit behind cavities in young children, and the thought that drinking juice may cause cavities is wrong. Scientific studies have not only found no association between 100 percent juice intake and dental cavities, one study even found fewer cavities when children drank 100 percent juice more than twice a day.
3. You can enjoy fruit and juice in a healthy diet.
Fruit juice and whole fruit are often pitted against one another, but there's no need to pick one or the other. Both can be an important part of a healthy diet. Recent research confirms most Americans eat a combination of fruit and fruit juice. In fact, according to another study published in International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition, children who drink juice also eat significantly more fruit than those who don't.
Fruit juice is included as a form of fruit in the USDA's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as it can and should be an important part of the diet for you and your family. Juice can be included as a beverage with a meal or incorporated into mouth-watering recipes or enjoyed on its own. View the recipe for Farro Salad below or visit www.juicecentral.org to see how juice can fit into your lifestyle.
Farro Salad with Veggies in Basil-Grapefruit Dressing
Serving size: 1 cup
Servings per recipe: 6
1 cup/6 ounces farro
2 cups/8 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
4 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon grated garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup/1/2 ounce basil, sliced or very roughly chopped
2 cups/8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups/2 ounces arugula, roughly chopped
Place farro in a large pot with plenty of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until al dente, about 40 minutes. One minute (depending on the size of the asparagus) before the farro is done, add the asparagus to the pot. Drain.
While the farro is cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the grapefruit juice, garlic, mustard and olive oil. Stir in the basil. When the farro is done and while it's still hot, toss half the dressing with the farro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors of the dressing to absorb. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and arugula along with the remaining dressing. Taste once more and serve.
Makes 6 (1-cup) servings. Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 4 gm sugar, 243 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol.
(BPT) - You have replaced refined grains with whole grains, increased nuts, fruits and vegetables, are drinking more water and even began taking a probiotic supplement to support your digestive health. Yet, despite these healthy habits, you're still not feeling your best and you don't understand why.
If you often experience digestive discomfort, it may be helpful to learn about FODMAPs, which stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Researchers at Monash University in Australia coined the FODMAP acronym in 2005 to classify specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine resulting in symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea.
FODMAPs can be found in ordinarily healthy foods, such as wheat bread, beans, yogurt, milk, apples, onions, garlic, cashews, mushrooms, honey and many more. FODMAPs can also be found in less obvious places such as probiotic supplements, which people often take to support digestive health.
Who should be concerned about FODMAPs? FODMAPs can trigger digestive discomfort in people with digestive sensitivities, including those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders estimates that 10-15 percent of Americans are affected by IBS, and for many, the cause of their digestive discomfort many go undiagnosed.
What is a low FODMAP Diet? The plan begins with a two to six week trial elimination phase where foods high in FODMAPs are removed from the diet, to reduce effects of FODMAPs on the gut (e.g., stretching caused by water and gas) that can lead to pain, bloating, and cramping, and help establish the least symptoms possible. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) trained in the low FODMAP diet provides guidance on the reintroduction of FODMAPs, in a step-wise process, to distinguish individual FODMAP triggers and tolerances. From there, the RDN prepares a customized, well-balanced eating plan to restrict your FODMAP triggers while minimizing food eliminations and maximizing nutritional value.
According to RDN and FODMAP expert Kate Scarlata, "Once I work with a patient with IBS to identify and eliminate their FODMAP triggers, they report feeling like a whole new person. Planning ahead, like keeping low FODMAP grocery lists on hand and identifying favorite low FODMAP recipes and snacks, is the key to living comfortably to keep your symptoms at bay."
Clinical evidence supports a low FODMAP diet approach as first-line therapy for people with IBS. In a 2014 study of people with IBS published in the journal Gastroenterology, 70 percent of participants had a reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea, while following a low FODMAP diet compared to those who followed a regular diet.
NestlÃ© Health Science has developed a unique, comprehensive online resource - www.LowFODMAPcentral.com - for people who would like to learn more about FODMAPs and a low FODMAP diet. It is important to work with your doctor and a FODMAP knowledgeable RDN to determine if a low FODMAP diet is right for you.
(BPT) - We are bombarded with messages about the importance of making healthy choices every single day. While the latest exercise and nutrition trends can be complex and often contradictory, we all know the basics: eat right, stay active. Still, it can be difficult to make healthy choices in the moment.
The stakes of our choices are high. Poor eating habits, overconsumption of unhealthy calories and lack of physical activity can directly contribute to chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. And yet, knowing the basics for staying healthy and the possible consequences of unhealthy habits, why do we choose cupcakes over carrots or skip the gym in favor of "just one more" Netflix episode on the couch?
It turns out there is science behind this phenomenon. Behavioral economics and evidence tell us that when making decisions, people are biased toward the present rather than the future. Immediate rewards and benefits often override the potential long-term consequences of our behaviors, such as weight gain or future health problems. The satisfaction of the candy bar today can outweigh the possible effects of an unhealthy diet down the road.
While we can turn to trainers, nutrition experts and medical professionals for valuable advice and resources on how to be healthy, new motivation is coming from an unlikely source: a financial services company. John Hancock has teamed up with Vitality, the leader in global wellness programs, to offer life insurance that rewards policyholders for their healthy habits. Think of the program as a safe driver discount for a life insurance policy - the more healthy activities policyholders complete, the more savings and rewards they earn.
Plus, to offset those naturally human unhealthy impulses, John Hancock adds an extra nudge to help consumers make healthy choices today. By taking small steps with long-term health benefits - such as heading to the gym or getting an annual check-up - policyholders can earn immediate rewards in the form of Starbucks or REI gift cards, hotel and travel discounts, plus up to 15 percent off annual premiums. They'll even get a free Fitbit to help track their progress. And in its second year, the program has added a HealthyFood component. This new feature means policyholders can earn up to $600/year in savings on grocery bills by purchasing healthy foods.
This added benefit is especially helpful given that healthy foods often cost more than less healthy choices. One 2013 BMJ Open study found that on average, healthier diets cost about $1.50 more per day, per person, than less nutritious diets, a number that can add up and lead well-intentioned people to settle for unhealthy purchases at the grocery store.
In addition to rewards and savings, the program helps cut through the cluttered health and nutrition landscape. Individuals can find more than 15,000 qualifying foods at more than 16,000 participating grocery store locations. And with access to nutritional information and guidance from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, as well as smartphone apps, online resources and even a user-friendly shopping list tool, it's easy for policyholders to make healthy choices.
Why would a life insurance company want to promote healthy eating? "There is strong evidence that a nutritious diet is one of the most critical components to living a long and healthy life. By providing a life insurance solution that rewards people for making healthy food choices every day - and make it affordable to do - we believe we can help improve and protect the quality of their lives," says Mike Doughty, president and general manager of John Hancock Insurance.
To learn more about John Hancock life insurance with Vitality, visit www.jhrewardslife.com.
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