What's New in Nutrition?
Going all in is the American way, even to the point of overdoing things that are not good for us. We’ve witnessed healthy lifestyles take unhealthy turns in cases of obsessive working out, steroid use and yo-yo dieting. The latest example is a new form of eating disorders called orthorexia.
Orthorexia differs from other forms of disorders in that the obsessive focus is not on how much or how little one consumes, but the perceived virtue of the food itself. As Heather Hansman from Fast Company reports, “Nutritionists and psychologists say that they’re seeing it more often, especially in the face of restrictive food trends, like gluten-free, and growing information about where food comes from, how it’s grown and processed.” Although a gluten-free diet is required for those with celiac disease and gluten allergies, the obsessive exclusion of certain foods based on diet trends will lead us to hear about “orthorexia” more often.
Foods You Should Eat Every Day
Green and leafy and a nutritional powerhouse, Popeye knew what he was talking about! This noted muscle builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.
Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food's health benefits are undisputed: Fermentation generates hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as beneficial bacteria in your body.
There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they're packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene. And, processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it's easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids - fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis - but none are as easy to prepare, or as low caloric, as carrots.
Packed with more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname "brain berry"). Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, also boost cardiovascular health.
All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brainpower like black beans. They are full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function.
Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken.
The king of all health foods, oats garnered the FDA's first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber. And, because oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they deliver steady, muscle-friendly energy.
Nutrition for Strong Mental Health
Researchers have found that in addition to healthy eating, nutrient-based prescriptions also have the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders. For example, studies show that a variety of nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.
The factors of mental health are complex but compelling evidence is emerging that shows nutrition as a key component in strong mental health. “Recent studies suggest that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology,” said lead author Jerome Sarris, Ph.D., from the University of Melbourne, a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). “In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.