Nutrition

Optimizing Bone Density

Bone health is a complex and multifactorial process. Bone mass accumulates most during the first couple decades of life. The more bone gained during this period, the less risk of osteoporosis you face later in life. Unfortunately, this critical window closes before most young people even hear the word osteoporosis. If you did know to focus on bone-building during your teenage years, what would you actually do? The same things you should do at any age to optimize bone density. more→

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What affects Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease (also called celiac sprue, non tropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is genetic. All individuals who develop celiac are born with a genetic predisposition for the disease, but the age of onset can vary from infancy to old age. Some people are diagnosed at birth or during childhood, bit in many people, the disease lies dormant until it is triggered later in life.

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Vegan Diets: Helping Your Body Heal Itself

In his book, Get Healthy, Go Vegan,* physician Neal Barnard made an astonishing observation regarding how diet impacts our health. According to Barnard, meals laden with meat and dairy have caused a surge in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other life-threatening ailments. more→

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Drink Water Until It Becomes Your Beverage of Choice

It has been suggested that the obesity epidemic may in part be a dehydration crisis: we’re thirsty, but we think we’re hungry, so instead of drinking water, we eat more food. There certainly could be something to this theory, because most Americans not only don’t drink enough water but dehydrate themselves with caffeine and alcohol and by flying in planes, baking in saunas, and playing weekend warrior without replenishing lost fluids.

why it's important to drink water

Drinking ample water can be a great friend to long-term weight loss because it assuages false hunger; it fulfills the brain’s need for water, which can mistake for a desire for sugar; and it makes us look and feel better, so taking care of ourselves proceeds more naturally.

The suggestion to drink plenty of water, though, isn’t just an idle “should” made up by some ogre who doesn’t want you to enjoy life. Every chemical reaction that takes nutrients and makes them into energy requires a water molecule. Some people are able to lose weight simply by drinking more water, because that alone ramps up those chemical reactions so the entire system works more efficiently.

Some real-life ways to drink more water include:

Keep pitchers of water with slices lemon in your fridge and on your desk. You’ll see it, so you’ll drink it, and the lemon makes it taste like something.

Ease yourself off colors and sweetened sodas with flavored sparkling water. Sometimes just having that little bit of fizz makes the transition easier for a confirmed soda drinker.

Carry a half-liter bottle of water with you wherever you go. If you have a bottle of water with you, you’re less likely to pick up a can of soda. Buy them by the six pack if that’s what it takes; otherwise, refill the bottle from your own pure water source at home.

Start choosing water instead of other beverages until it becomes a habit. Fancy restaurants will bring you a chilled bottle of San Pellegrino as if it were fine champage, and street vendors, quickie marts, and most movie theaters now sell water, too. (If you’re offended by the idea of paying for water, remember that you’d be paying for the Pepsi or iced latté anyway, and water is something you really need.)

When someone asks if you’d like a drink, request water. And when someone asks if you’d like water, say yes.

In winter, sip warm water, with lemon or on its own. Herbal teas like licorice, hibiscus, and chamomile can count as water, too. Look for lovely blends at your supermarket or natural foods store, and order them at restaurants when the server asks if you want coffee after dinner.

As one who formerly avoided plain, ordinary water (maybe I thought it would give me — heaven forbid — a plain, ordinary life), I can tell you that once you start drinking it, you’ll start liking it. It’s like recovering the ability to enjoy strawberries when you thought they needed shortcake, or apples when they’re not in pie. Pure and simple has its own appeal.

Excerpted from Fit from Within* by Victoria Moran. Victoria Moran is a life coach and the author of several bestselling books, including The Love-Powered Diet,Creating a Charmed Life,* and others. Visit her at VictoriaMoran.com. 

  • For more tips on plant-based nutrition, make sure to browse VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.
  • For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, please explore VegKitchen’s Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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5 Bad Eating Habits to Stop Today

why it's important to drink water

If you’re looking to drop a few pounds or just change your eating habits to live a healthier life, then there are probably things you do each day that slowly sabotage those goals. But don’t worry, most of these bad eating habits are relatively simple to fix. It’s just a matter of becoming aware of them and knowing how to change. Here are the some of those bad habits and how to fix them so that you can reach your goals of living a happier, healthier life! more→

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Planning Healthy Vegan Diets

Black Beans, Lentils, And Quinoa

It doesn’t matter what type of diet you choose, a little nutrition-know-how is always needed. Omnivores have to strive for food choices that reduce their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and that maximize compounds that might fall short like fiber, folate, antioxidants, and potassium. Vegans need to give a little bit of extra attention to vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin A. And omnivore or vegan, everyone needs to identify good sources of vitamin D, and maybe omega-3 fats. more→

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Vitamin B12 in the Vegan Diet

This excellent article on B-12 in the vegan diet is by Reed Mangels, Ph.D, R.D., and is reprinted by permission of the Vegetarian Resource Group.

The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low. Non-animal sources include Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula or T-6635+ nutritional yeast (a little less than 1 Tablespoon supplies the adult RDA), and vitamin B12 fortified soymilk. It is especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children to have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. more→

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Fermented Foods Strengthen the Immune System

sauerkraut in a bowl

Contributed by Rebecca Wood. Why do some foods like chocolate, wine and cheese taste so delicious? Fermenting magically transforms their original ingredients into something more desirable. Besides upping flavor, some lactic-acid ferments, such as homemade sauerkraut, actually strengthen your immune system. more→

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