South Orange Chiropractic Center

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Articles tagged with: food

Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Every Meal

Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Every Meal
Published Thursday, 01 March 2018

“No dessert until you’ve finished your broccoli.”

“You’re not allowed to leave the table until that spinach is gone.”

"No, the dog cannot have your brussel sprouts!" 

Sound familiar? Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a struggle, but they aren’t the only ones who have a hard time consuming the recommended daily serving. According to American dietary guidelines, 3-5 servings of vegetables per day are recommended for a healthy diet. Typically, a serving equals 1 cup of a vegetable - for instance, 1 medium size potato or even a ¾ cup of vegetable juice. Unfortunately, most people (even adults!) have a hard time following those guidelines.


Luckily, we’ve thought of some easy and sneaky ways to add more vegetables to each of your daily meals!

More Vegetables for Breakfast

One of the easiest ways to add vegetables to your breakfast is to make a frittata. Scramble up some eggs and throw in any vegetable you like. Red onions, peas, artichokes, broccoli, tomatoes - the sky's the limit for the vegetables you can use to make a frittata more filling and flavorful!

Another great way to add in veggies to your breakfast is to puree vegetables to mix in with your pancakes. Puree a butternut squash and combine it with your favorite pancake or waffle mix for a delicious and nutritious start to your day.

Pre-Prep Veggies for Snacking

When it comes to snack foods, preparation is key. When you have the option either to munch on a bag of chips or to cut up carrots or peppers to dip in hummus, the more convenient choice will most often win. Setting aside time each week to prep healthy veggies for snacking can make it easier to choose the healthier option during those times.

Purchase a big bag of baby carrots or peapods, and portion them into snack-size bags. Cut peppers and cucumbers for dipping, or have mixed greens on hand for an easy salad. These simple and quick ways can help you and your family ensure that you’re getting your daily servings of veggies in — and reducing the amount of junk food that you consume!

Bulk Up Lunch and Dinner Vegetable Servings

Pureeing vegetables might sound like adding baby food to your dishes, but it is a great way to get your servings of vegetables while also adding flavor to your foods. This is also an excellent way to get your kids or your picky spouse to eat a wider variety of vegetables.

Spinach can be pureed and mixed in with a red sauce, and cauliflower can be pureed and added to meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs never looked so healthy!

Speaking of spaghetti, why not try your hand at veggie noodles? Zucchini, squash, and even sweet potatoes all make a great vegetable noodle. You can skip the carbs and add plentiful servings of veggies to your meals, and even the kids will enjoy it.

Sneaky Vegetable Adding - Ninja Level

We’ve talked about adding vegetables into all three daily meals - but what about adding vegetables into desserts? Chocolate is such a strong and delicious flavor that it can hide almost any pureed vegetable, making it a great way to sneak some healthy additions into desserts like brownies, chocolate cake, or cookies.

Avocados are a healthy fruit that can be added in by stealth to a sweet treat. Avocado chocolate pudding is a great example, and if you don’t spill the beans, no one will ever guess they are getting a part of their daily fruit requirement in their pudding!

Getting your five servings of veggies each day is just the start of ensuring that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. For more nutritional advice, consult with the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Heart?

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Heart?
Published Thursday, 15 February 2018

Must. Have. Caffeine.

We all have our morning routines. Most of us shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. Chances are some caffeinated beverage helps to jump-start your morning, like coffee, tea, or an energy drink. Caffeinated drinks can do wonders for college students heading out to an early morning class after pulling an all nighter or an exhausted mother of three in the middle of a particularly nasty flu season. In doses under 400 milligrams, caffeine is considered safe for consumption by the FDA, and a regular 8-ounce coffee from your corner shop only has 95 milligrams on average. According to an April 2017 study, however, what caffeinated drink you choose can greatly impact your heart’s health.

Much research has already been done about the cardiovascular safety profile of caffeine, but scientists at the David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base were interested in how energy drinks may affect the heart. The team compared blood pressure and EKG results of healthy individuals after they drank an energy drink or a regular caffeinated beverage. The caffeinated beverage had the same amount of caffeine as the energy drink, but none of the other ingredients, such as sugar, various B vitamins, and taurine, which are found in many of the common energy drinks available now.  

Your Heart on Energy Drinks

The results were interesting. The participants who drank the energy drink had elevated blood pressure for up to six hours after consuming the beverage. The participants who drank the caffeinated beverage had only a slight rise in blood pressure. The EKG results were even more revealing. Twenty-four hours after they had the beverage, the results of those who had drunk the energy drink were the same as those associated with life-threatening irregularities in the heart.

Energy drinks are often marketed under the guise they will keep you awake for longer than a cup of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage on the market. There is no research available that says an energy drink with the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee will do more for your energy levels or focus. However, a 2015 Mayo Clinic Study showed that just one 16-ounce energy drink increases blood pressure and stress hormones enough to induce a cardiovascular event.

Natural, Heart-Healthy Energy Boost

If you are a healthy man or woman, consuming a moderate amount of caffeine is fine. However, for an energy boost without caffeine, and with the added benefits of maximizing physical performance, preventing or treating headaches, and increasing weight loss - have a glass of water! Your energy levels are decreased significantly if your body is dehydrated.

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but making small lifestyle choices can significantly reduce your risk. For more information on heart healthy habits, consult with the doctors of South Orange Chiropractic Center.

5 Simple Steps to Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet

5 Simple Steps to Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet
Published Thursday, 21 December 2017

Cut Back on Sugar with a Kaizen Plan!

Whether your goal is losing weight or simply making healthier choices, if you’re interested in reducing the sugar in your diet, the Kaizen approach can help you. In Japanese, Kaizen simply means "change for better" or "improvement."  Using the same small steps used in countless professions as a way to achieve a goal or desired outcome in their field, you can change your diet for the better and reduce your sugar intake!


Step One: Identify Your Goal

What is your goal? Here are just a few reasons people reduce their sugar intake:

  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes control
  • Overall health
  • Lower risk of heart disease

There are many reasons to reduce your sugar intake, and all of them are great goals to have for the health and vitality of your body. Keeping your goal in mind will help you to get back up when you stumble and stay on course when you’re tempted to falter.

Step Two: Track Your Goal

If you want to reduce your sugar intake, wouldn’t it make sense to know what your sugar intake is normally? After you have identified your goal, continue to eat what you usually would, but write it all down! Keep a food journal to meticulously track everything you eat for a period of time. This is an important step, as it not only gives you a baseline for your sugar intake, but it also makes you hyper-aware of what goes into your body. According to experts, tracking your food will immediately help you start to make better choices.

Step Three: Compare Current Habits to Goal

Once you have an overall picture of your diet through your food journal, look at the goal you’ve written out for yourself. Compare it to the foods listed in your food journal. How much work do you need to do to make it to your goal? A little or a lot? Do you have more work to do at breakfast or lunch? Are your dinners already healthy?

You should also know how much sugar is recommended for you a day. The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, and men should consume less than 37.5 grams of sugar each day.

Step Four: Evaluate Your Goal

What can you change specifically about your diet that will further you on your road to less sugar intake? Can you change out a food for another one that is similar but contains less sugar? If you don’t want to give up your nightly dessert, find a way to make a healthy one that will take care of your sweet tooth, but not increase your sugar intake. For example, did you know that by blending a frozen banana and cocoa powder, you get a creamy ice cream dessert?

Step Five: Start Small

Take your first small step. For example, make your breakfast healthier. Or, if your breakfast already consists of healthy food, start with lunch. Regardless, just start with one meal. Reduce the sugar intake in one meal and make that into a habit. Once that habit is formed, move on to another meal. Or move on to dessert. Wherever you start, the important thing is that you start! The entire philosophy of the Kaizen Plan is to take small steps incrementally that build to big changes over time.

Reducing your sugar intake is an incredibly healthy step to take. If you feed your body the right kind of fuel, you will feel and live better. Come see us at South Orange Chiropractic Center to see what other healthy goals we can help you achieve!

Daily Yogurt Consumption Improves Bone Health

Daily Yogurt Consumption
Published Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Many people do not realize that bone is living tissue. Over a lifetime, the body removes old bone tissue to make way for new bone tissue.  When the creation of new bone slows and can’t keep up with the removal of the old bone, bones become weak and brittle, causing them to break more easily. About 54 million Americans deal with this condition, osteoporosis, and studies suggest that 50% of women and 25% of men age 50 and up will break a bone due to osteoporosis. This condition can cause significant physical and emotional troubles for those who suffer from it. Luckily, by making one addition to your daily meals, you may be able to considerably improve your bone health and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.

  • Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin conducted a study of over 4,000 Irish adults, age 60 and up, which determined a positive association between daily yogurt consumption and increased bone health.
  • Researchers measured the bone mineral density (BMD) as well as the physical function of the participants in order to determine their results. Traditional risk factors of osteoporosis including age, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption were taken into account when finalizing their conclusions.
  • Women who ate yogurt every day had a 39% lower risk of developing osteoporosis when compared with those who did not eat yogurt. The study authors observed a 52% lower risk in men.
  • Researchers also noted a 31% lower risk in women of osteopenia, a condition which is often a precursor to osteoporosis and involves the old bone being reabsorbed into the body faster than new bone can be created.
  • Vitamin D supplements were also associated with markedly reduced risks in the participants, though other dairy products did not seem to produce similar effects.

Eamon J. Laird, the lead author and a research fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology, Trinity, said, “Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising. The suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health, but it needs verification through future research as it is observational.”

Besides promoting bone health, yogurt has numerous other health benefits. A 2016 UCLA study found that a Lactobacillus strain of bacteria, which you can find in yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Some yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, however, so it’s important to look for servings that contain 20 grams or fewer, according to Fitness Magazine.

Read more about the study in Osteoporosis International. 

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay
Published Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Need another reason to eat some fruit every day? A new study from British and Chinese researchers shows a definite correlation between eating fresh fruit and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Many diabetics tend to avoid consuming fruit, opting for vegetables instead because of some fruits’ high sugar content. However, the results of this study share a different story.

  • Published on April 11th of this year, the study followed a half million Chinese adults between the ages of 30 and 79 for seven years.
  • About 19% of the participants reported consuming fresh fruit daily.  Participants who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were three times as likely to report never or rarely eating fruit.
  • At the end of the study, researchers found that those participants without diabetes at the start had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes when compared with those who ate no fruit. Across the study, more frequent consumption of fruit was associated with a lower risk.
  • For participants who were already diabetic when the study started, those who consumed fruit at least three times a week had a 17% lower risk of fatality and a 13%-28% lower risk of developing of complications associated with diabetes such as heart and kidney disease.
  • This study was purely observational, so there is no clear reason why this correlation exists and results may have been affected by other factors such as the participants’ dietary and behavioral habits. Further research is needed.

The lead author of this study and a research fellow at the University of Oxford, Dr. Huaidong Du said, “The sugar in fruit is not the same as the sugar in manufactured foods and may be metabolized differently. And there are other nutrients in fruit that may benefit in other ways.”  So despite some fruits’ high sugar content, this study shows that a daily dose of sweet, fresh fruit could actually prove beneficial for those already diagnosed with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association website recommends fruit as a healthy dessert option for those with diabetes, and offers a handy guide for choosing fruits with low carbohydrate/sugar content. With its high fiber content and nutrients, fresh fruit is always a good choice!

You can read more about the study in PLoS Medicine

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017

(The list, not the movie.)

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017
Published Tuesday, 11 April 2017

In early March, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Using data from US Department of Agriculture tests, the EWG ranks conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables based on how many pesticides remain on the produce after it is prepared for consumption. Often the synthetic chemicals found in pesticides can stay on produce even after it is washed or peeled, and even low levels of pesticide exposure can be detrimental to young children’s development.

  • Strawberries remained in the number one spot in the Dirty Dozen this year due to the high out-of-season demand for them. Ninety-nine percent of the USDA samples in 2014 and 2015 had detectable residue of at least one pesticide.
  • Spinach moved from eighth to second place this year. Seventy-five percent of the samples were found to have residues of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide which is banned in the EU.
  • Pears and potatoes joined the list this year in the sixth and twelfth spots, respectively.
  • Sweet corn moved to the top spot on the Clean Fifteen list, knocking avocados down to number two. The Clean Fifteen list tracks produce whose samples were found to have the least amount of pesticide residues, if any.
  • The EWG’s lists rank fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticides found on them, not the toxicity of the pesticides themselves. Therefore, while produce high on the Dirty Dozen list may have a lot of pesticide residue, that residue could possibly be less harmful than residue found on a fruit or vegetable from the Clean Fifteen list.

However, according to the EWG website, “Since researchers are constantly developing new insights into how pesticides act on living organisms, no one can say that concentrations of pesticides assumed to be safe today are, in fact, harmless.”

While the EWG’s lists do help to limit your family’s intake of pesticides, this doesn’t mean that you should never buy strawberries again. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to maintain a balanced diet and to avoid consuming too much of one harmful chemical. Buy organic when it’s accessible and affordable for you. A shopper’s guide is available to help you buy foods with fewer types of pesticides when buying organic isn’t an option.

See the full Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists here.  


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