dandelion_greens

Why You Should Pick Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are a member of one of the largest planet families, one that also includes daisies, sunflowers, and thistles. The health benefits of this plant have been documented as far back as the 10th and 11th centuries. Even today there are folk medicine claims about dandelion in terms of its ability to aid indigestion, purify the blood, and even help prevent gallstones. But dandelion greens are actually a really helpful food to add to your diet for a number of reasons. First, they are low in calories. One cup of chopped dandelion greens has only 25 calories. Additionally, they’re loaded with antioxidants including vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene).

Animal studies have demonstrated significant improvement in various parameters of blood lipids, and even atherosclerosis, as a consequence of receiving dandelion greens in their diet. Dandelion greens are also rich in minerals. Perhaps, most importantly, they are a very rich source of prebiotic fiber. It is, for me, this last characteristic, being high in prebiotic fiber, that makes dandelion greens such a compelling food. Continue reading

4 Reasons Why Kale is a True Superfood

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

When it comes to healthy vegetables, kale may be among the best. Packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, nutrients and excellent digestive support, its role in optimal wellness is tough to dispute. For anyone still undecided, here are the top 4 reasons to make kale a part of your life.

  1. Kale is jam-packed with vitamins. Eating one cup of chopped kale gets you over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A, 134% of your daily value for vitamin C, and almost 700% of your daily value for vitamin K! In addition, kale contains important minerals like manganese, potassium and copper.  Continue reading
Just say no to orange juice

The #1 Reason to Avoid Orange Juice

When discussing sources of “hidden sugars” with my patients I find that they are often very surprised at my position on orange juice. Essentially, I have taken it off the table. Frequently, the response I get is, “But what about the vitamin C?”

The reality of the situation is that yes, a glass of orange juice does indeed contain some vitamin C, but that fact hardly outweighs the fact that O.J. is just loaded with sugar. A single 12 ounce glass of O.J. contains an incredible 9 teaspoons of sugar, about the same as a 12 ounce can of Coke! This equates to 36 grams of carbs, about half of what you should consume in a day.

Let’s do a little math. If a person were to drink just one glass of orange juice each day, that would mean that he or she would be consuming an extra 3,285 teaspoons (close to 70 cups) of sugar in a year or about 53,000 extra calories. Continue reading

The 5 Keys to Buying Frozen Food

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

When it comes to mealtime, most of us prefer a meal made from fresh produce to its frozen equivalent. But in today’s whirlwind of obligations and timetables, that’s not always a viable option. Luckily, frozen food has come a long way in taste and practicality, contributing to the 224.74 billion dollar annual global market for the products. Supermarkets highlight rows and rows of attractive ready-to-heat appetizers, side dishes, entrees and desserts, and for many of us, this can be an excellent way to stock up on healthful foods. However, the frozen food department may also be a dangerous place for the health-conscious. Here are the 5 things you need to know to navigate frozen foods successfully:

  1. Buy real foods: The easiest way to successfully buy healthy frozen food is to ensure that you know what you’re buying. For example, if you’re buying strawberries, read the label to make sure the only ingredient is strawberry. The healthiest options in the frozen food section, like the fresh food section, will always be whole, unadulterated foods. Continue reading

FDA’s Nutrition Facts Are Changing

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

After 20 years, the FDA has plans for a major overhaul of the Nutrition Facts label. This is a big deal, as the sticker is required on the majority of American packaged foods. In reality, the Nutrition Facts label represents one of the best sources of information on our groceries. The FDA claims its changes reflect a “greater understanding of nutrition science,” and will lead to a label that will “[address] current public health concerns.” These are important changes, and here’s what’s actually happening.   Continue reading