Tag: Nutrition

What Dietitians Say About Turmeric’s Effects on Medication

Turmeric, the golden spice hailing from India, has become a superstar in the health world. From its anti-inflammatory properties to its potential benefits for brain health, turmeric seems like a miracle ingredient. But before you start liberally sprinkling it on everything you eat, be aware that turmeric can interact with certain medications.

Here’s what you need to know, according to registered dietitians:

1. Stomach Soother Showdown:

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties, similar to some over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen. Taking both together can increase your risk of stomach upset, ulcers, and bleeding.

Rhea Kapoor, RD: “If you have any concerns about stomach issues, talk to your doctor before adding turmeric supplements to your routine, especially if you already take medications for heartburn or ulcers.”

2. Blood Thinner Battle:

If you take blood-thinning medications like warfarin or Coumadin, be cautious with turmeric. Turmeric may also have blood-thinning properties, and combining it with these medications could increase your risk of bleeding.

David Park, RD: “It’s important to maintain consistent levels of blood thinners in your system. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate amount of turmeric you can consume, if any, while on blood-thinning medications.”

3. Iron Absorption Impasse:

While turmeric boasts a long list of health benefits, it can also interfere with iron absorption. This can be a concern for people with iron deficiency anemia.

Lisa Garcia, RD: “If you’re iron-deficient, space out your turmeric intake from your iron supplements or iron-rich meals by a few hours to optimize iron absorption.”

The Golden Takeaway:

Turmeric can be a wonderful addition to your diet, but it’s crucial to be mindful of potential interactions with medications. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before significantly increasing your turmeric intake, especially if you take any medications regularly. They can help you determine a safe and healthy approach to incorporating this vibrant spice into your life.

How Your Body Reacts to Daily Decaf Coffee Intake

Decaf coffee is popular for people who want less caffeine. It has almost no caffeine compared to regular coffee but still tastes similar. People often wonder if it’s unhealthy.

Decaf coffee isn’t just enjoyable; it also has antioxidants that could be good for your heart, blood sugar, and gut. Keep reading to find out more about its health benefits and possible downsides.

How Is Decaf Coffee Made?

Decaf coffee is made differently from regular coffee. There are three main ways to remove the caffeine:

  1. Chemical solvents are used to strip away the caffeine from soaked coffee beans. Most of the chemicals are washed off, and the FDA checks to make sure it’s safe.
  2. The Swiss Water Process doesn’t use chemicals. Instead, the beans are soaked in hot water to remove the caffeine; then the water is filtered for reuse.
  3. The supercritical carbon dioxide method involves soaking the beans in water and then exposing them to heated carbon dioxide. The gas grabs the caffeine and then evaporates.

The FDA makes sure all these methods are safe to use.

Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee

Healthier Gut Microbiome

Just like regular coffee, decaf coffee has antioxidants that might help your gut. Lauren Manaker, a registered dietitian, says decaf coffee could help good gut bacteria grow because of its high phenolic compound content. These compounds can be good for your colon and might help fight inflammation.

While both types of coffee might make you need to go to the bathroom, decaf coffee might not increase stomach acid as much as regular coffee. This could be better for people with acid reflux.

Improved Liver Function

Drinking more regular coffee seems to be linked with healthier liver enzyme levels. Some studies suggest this might not be because of caffeine, but rather because of antioxidants like phenolic compounds.

One big study found that both regular and decaf coffee might help keep liver enzymes healthy. This makes researchers think it’s not just about caffeine.

In an animal study, decaf coffee showed potential to protect against a liver condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disease happens when the liver collects too much fat.

Although this study was on animals, researchers believe decaf coffee might help because of its effects on the gut. A healthy gut barrier is important for preventing NAFLD, and decaf coffee might support that.

Better Fasting Blood Sugar

Fasting blood sugar is a test to check your blood sugar level after not eating for a while. Drinking decaf coffee, which has antioxidants called chlorogenic acids, could lower fasting blood sugar by about 4% to 5%.

Studies show that these antioxidants are more in regular decaf coffee, not mixed blends.

Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

There’s a lot of research on how regular coffee affects heart health, but not as much on decaf coffee. However, some studies suggest that decaf coffee might lower the risk of heart disease.

One study found that drinking decaf coffee, as well as regular coffee, might be linked to a lower chance of getting heart disease. Surprisingly, people who drank 1 to 3 cups of decaf coffee per day had the lowest risk of heart disease.

Reduced Risk of Premature Death

Another good thing about decaf coffee is it might lower the risk of dying early. Research has found that people who drink decaf coffee tend to live longer. In one study that lasted about 12 years, fewer people who drank 2 to 3 cups of decaf coffee per day died compared to those who drank more or less decaf coffee. But remember, this study only watched what happened without changing anything, so we can’t say for sure if drinking decaf coffee makes you live longer. We need more studies to look into this more.

Nutrition Facts

Decaf coffee is quite similar to regular coffee in terms of nutrition, except it has much less caffeine. Despite being called “decaf,” most decaf coffees still have a bit of caffeine in them, usually around 8 to 10 milligrams per cup, though some have as little as 2 milligrams. The exact amount depends on the size and brand.

Decaf coffee doesn’t have any calories, but it does contain some important nutrients, similar to regular coffee. For instance, an 8-ounce cup provides about 128 milligrams of potassium and nearly 12 milligrams of magnesium, which is roughly 3% of the recommended daily intake for each. Also, decaf coffee is rich in antioxidants like phenolic compounds.

Potential Risks

One of the main risks of drinking decaf coffee, similar to regular coffee, is that it can make your teeth turn yellowish. Adding milk might help reduce this effect a bit. However, this staining is more likely if you drink a lot of decaf coffee.

Also, compounds in both regular and decaf coffee might affect how well your body absorbs certain minerals, but the evidence isn’t clear yet. We need more recent and stronger research to fully understand how decaf coffee affects mineral absorption.

For people sensitive to caffeine or those with certain heart issues, drinking decaf coffee regularly might increase the chance of having heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats. If you have any concerns about this, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

There are different opinions on whether decaf coffee affects digestive conditions like acid reflux and ulcers compared to regular coffee. Some think decaf might worsen these conditions, while others blame the caffeine in regular coffee.

Remember, even though it’s called decaf, there’s still a bit of caffeine in it, though not much. If you’re really sensitive to caffeine, you might still need to watch how much decaf coffee you drink. A general rule is to stick to no more than two or three cups a day.

When to Choose Decaf over Regular Coffee

When choosing between regular and decaf coffee, the main thing to consider is the caffeine content. If caffeine makes you feel jittery or anxious or worsens any health conditions you have, like anxiety, heart issues, or digestive problems, then decaf might be a better choice. Some conditions that might mean you’re sensitive to caffeine include severe anxiety, certain heart problems, GERD, kidney issues, seizures, or being pregnant.

However, if you’re not sensitive to caffeine and don’t have major health issues, regular coffee might be a good option. Many people drink coffee for the energy boost it provides, and caffeine can also help with migraines, athletic performance, depression, and brain function.

7 Natural Oils for Smooth and Radiant Skin Besides Coconut

For centuries, people have used natural oils like coconut oil, shea butter oil, and olive oil for taking care of their skin and hair. These oils have been praised by many for their moisturizing, protective, and antibacterial properties. Despite the rise of modern cosmetics and wellness products, these simple oils have often been ignored. However, in recent years, they have become more popular again as people look for products that are free of additives, affordable, and still work well.

But which oils are best, and how should you use them? What sets them apart from each other? Keep reading to learn more about how natural oils can help you achieve glowing, healthy skin.

Is It Safe to Use Coconut Oil and Other Oils on Your Skin and Hair?

Using natural oils for skin and hair care has been a practice for many centuries. Ancient civilizations like Egypt used them, and even Greek athletes used olive oil on their skin to appear more radiant during competitions. Dr. Rajani Katta, a dermatologist, mentions that throughout history, there’s been little evidence of allergic reactions to natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and sunflower seed oil.

“I think one reason natural oils have become popular again is because people are looking for moisturizers that don’t cause allergies, don’t contain many chemicals that trigger allergies, and are affordable,” she explains.

Dr. Katta suggests being cautious about using natural oils, especially on your face, depending on your skin type. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, it might be better to use them only on your body. It’s a good idea to talk to your dermatologist before trying new oils on your face, as different skin types react differently to skincare products.

Another thing to think about is sun exposure. Dr. Katta advises being careful if you’re planning to be in the sun after applying oils, especially on your face, as oils can intensify the effects of sunlight on your skin.

To avoid sun damage, you can apply oils differently depending on the time of day. In the morning, apply a thin layer that should absorb into your skin in about 15 minutes. At night, when you’re not exposed to the sun, you can apply oil more generously. If your skin isn’t absorbing the oil, you’ve probably used too much.

How to Apply Natural Oils to Your Face and Body

When applying natural oils, it’s important to consider whether you’re using them on your face or body. Dr. Katta suggests avoiding oils on your face if you have acne, as they can clog pores and make acne worse. However, they can be great for moisturizing your body.

Figuring out how much oil to use may take some trial and error. If your skin feels too greasy after applying oil, you’ve probably used too much.

Cooking Oils vs. Unrefined Oils: Is There a Difference?

There’s a difference between cooking oils and unrefined oils for skincare. While you might have olive oil or coconut oil in your kitchen, not all cooking oils are suitable for your skin. For example, refined coconut oil is better for cooking at high temperatures, but unrefined coconut oil may have more beneficial properties for your skin. Dr. Katta recommends using extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic, unrefined oils for skincare purposes.

Where to Start With Natural Oils for Skin Care

Before putting any oils on your skin, it’s important to ask your doctor for advice. But here are some common natural oils to consider:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is absorbed well by the skin and offers many health benefits because of vitamins E and K. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. However, it might cause breakouts, especially for those with oily and acne-prone skin. In a study, coconut oil was found to be better than olive oil at moisturizing the skin. Look for cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil for your face or skin care.

Olive Oil

Olive oil usually doesn’t cause allergic reactions, according to Katta. For the best results, choose extra-virgin olive oil. It contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, and some studies show it can be a good moisturizer. Its thick texture makes it great for applying all over your body. You might even try using olive oil as a cleanser or soap because it won’t dry out your skin. However, if you have acne-prone skin, olive oil might not be the best choice. Non-comedogenic oils like sunflower, safflower, and jojoba oil are better options because they don’t clog pores.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is easy to find, rich in vitamin E, and gets absorbed quickly by the skin, making it a great option as a natural moisturizer. A study showed that sunflower oil was better at protecting the skin and didn’t cause or worsen atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema) in infants compared to olive oil.

Shea Butter

Shea butter comes from the nuts of the African shea tree. It’s usually solid but melts when it touches your skin because of body heat. People often use it as a moisturizer and for their hair. Dr. Katta says she hasn’t seen her patients have allergic reactions to it. You can mix unrefined, organic shea butter with olive oil or coconut oil to make it easier to apply.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil comes from a plant that grows in Mexico and the American Southwest. Native American tribes have used it for medicine. Dr. Katta says she hasn’t seen many allergic reactions to jojoba oil. It’s not as popular as some other natural oils, so she doesn’t have much experience with it. Studies suggest jojoba oil might help with inflammation and healing wounds, among other things.

Almond Oil

Almond oil is made from squeezing raw almonds and it’s packed with good stuff like vitamin E, zinc, proteins, and potassium. It’s lighter than olive oil and shea butter, which makes it popular for using on the face. However, Dr. Katta warns that sweet almond oil might cause allergic reactions, so it’s better to skip it if you have sensitive skin.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil has vitamin E and fatty acids and it’s lighter than many other natural oils. It also has antioxidants, fights germs, and reduces inflammation. Dr. Katta hasn’t seen it used as much for skin care, but she thinks it could be promising. She hasn’t seen anyone have allergic reactions to it either.

Rose Hip Seed Oil

Rose hip seed oil comes from wild rose bushes and it’s getting more popular in facial skincare products for moisturizing and anti-aging. Studies suggest it has fatty acids and antioxidants that protect skin from inflammation and damage caused by oxidation. It’s also been helpful for skin problems like eczema.

Easy Ways to Add Fiber to Your Daily Diet

With all the hype about finding a quick fix for weight loss and better health, you’d expect ads everywhere for split peas. They’re packed with fiber, which studies show can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, and improve digestion. But most people don’t get enough fiber in their diet, even though experts recommend 25 to 35 grams a day.

If you’re worried that adding more fiber to your diet will be difficult, don’t worry. Eat This Much lets you set a fiber goal in your Nutrition Profile, and we have a huge Food Bank with the fiber content of lots of foods and recipes. So now you have no excuses! Check out these easy ways to get more fiber in your diet.

Ditch the white stuff

White bread and white rice are smooth and don’t have much fiber because they’ve been processed. Compare the amount of fiber in a cup of white rice to brown rice, and you’ll see a big difference. Brown rice has six times more fiber! The same goes for white and whole wheat bread, but the difference isn’t as much. When you’re buying bread, choose types with more fiber, like this one, or try using high fiber tortillas instead.

Plan fruit and veggies as your snacks

You don’t have to eat salad all the time to get more fiber. Adding simple snacks like raw carrot sticks to your meals can make a big difference. One cup of baby carrots gives you over 7 grams of fiber. Other high fiber snacks you might not have considered include raw jicama (6.4 grams per cup) and a raw pear (one medium contains 5.5 grams).

Eat more beans

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are full of fiber and can be part of your meals or snacks. Lentils are great because one cup has over 20 grams of fiber. Chickpeas are versatile – you can snack on them, make dips, or use them in main dishes. Plus, they have 24.4 grams of fiber per cup. Split peas are not exactly legumes, but they still offer over 16 grams of fiber per cooked cup, and they’re perfect for soup. If you want more vegetarian options, beans are a high-protein choice compared to lean meats.

Blend flax and chia seeds into your shakes

Your regular protein shake is great after a workout or when you’re hungry in the afternoon, but it lacks fiber. Adding flaxseed or chia seeds can fix that. Each tablespoon of flaxseed has 2.8 grams of fiber, while chia seeds have 4.1 grams. Just add them to your blender or shaker before mixing, and you’ll get more fiber instantly. If you want to boost your shake even more, add a tablespoon of psyllium husk, which has 13.5 grams of fiber. But remember to drink plenty of water with it to avoid any digestive issues.

Stop drinking “smoothies.” 

These smoothies and juices, often seen as healthier alternatives to soda, can be a mistake. Even the green ones might not improve your diet much. Most store-bought ones are packed with sugar. They claim to be full of fruits and veggies, but they don’t taste like them. Plus, they often remove the fiber, which is important for nutrition. Instead of these drinks, eat your fruits and veggies. If you really want a smoothie, make it at home with a mix of fresh fruits and veggies. Be mindful of calories and sugars, as they can add up fast. If you wouldn’t eat a whole pineapple in a day, don’t drink it either.

You can easily add more fiber to your diet by replacing some foods or trying new ones. First, figure out how much fiber you eat now so you know how much more to add. You might not hit your fiber goal every day at first, but adding one more serving of fruits or veggies each day will help a lot.

How Meal Timing Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness and Health Goals

We understand that the food we eat plays a vital role in our health and fitness outcomes. To achieve good results, we need to consume high-quality food. However, what some people may not realize is that when you eat is almost as important as what you eat!

Before We Begin

Before focusing on when you eat, make sure you’re eating the right foods in the right amounts. This means not skipping meals and avoiding excessive eating on weekends. Find a meal plan that balances your nutrients and is sustainable. After you’ve got this in place, then you can consider when to time your nutrients.

Meal Timing For Maximum Performance

Meal timing ideas come from the world of sports. Studies have looked at when to eat for the best exercise performance. The basic idea is to have carbs before and after your workout. This gives you energy for your training and helps your muscles recover. But remember, just timing your meals won’t make you lose fat. You also need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day to lose weight. So, if you’re exercising to lose weight, follow the advice below and eat a bit less each day, like 250-500 calories fewer than what you need.

What to Eat Before a Workout

The goal of eating before a workout is to give your body the energy it needs for your training session. About 90 minutes before you start, have a meal with both protein and carbs. This will fill up your muscles’ energy stores and protect your muscle mass during the workout. Avoid fatty foods before exercising because they’re slow to digest and can make you feel tired. Instead, have a quick carb snack like a banana 20 minutes before you begin. Some people use pre-workout drinks to boost energy and focus during their workout, but they’re not as important as timing your regular meals. So, to sum it up:

  • 90 minutes before the workout, eat a meal with half protein and half carbs (like chicken and sweet potato).
  • 20 minutes before the workout, have a fast-acting carb (like a banana).

Intra-Workout Nutrition

While you’re working out, your body uses the food you ate 90 minutes before. It doesn’t need extra calories during your exercise, but it does need water to stay hydrated. This keeps your muscle cells full and replaces the water lost through sweating.

When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, which are important for your muscles to function. You should drink water with added electrolytes to replace these lost electrolytes as you work out.

Post-Workout Nutrition

After your workout, your body has used up its main energy source called glycogen. To replenish this energy, you should eat carbohydrates. Carbs you consume after a tough workout go straight into your muscle cells to replace the lost glycogen.

If you crave something sweet, having a small portion of a sugary snack within an hour after your workout is okay. This could be a small blueberry muffin or a few pieces of chocolate.

Eating a sweet treat right after exercising might help you stick to your diet, but make sure to keep the portion small!

You also need protein after your workout to repair the muscles that got worked during your session. Aim for 20-30 grams of protein in the hour after your workout. You can get this from real food or a protein powder.

Night Time Nutrition

The idea of eating before bedtime is debated. Research supports both sides. If you have acid reflux, avoid eating three hours before bed. Having a full meal before bedtime can stimulate digestion and make it hard to fall asleep.

While eating a big meal before bed might lead to weight gain, there’s no evidence that a healthy, small snack will make you gain weight. In fact, it can help you sleep better. Instead of sugary desserts, choose a snack with protein and fiber. A small bowl with diced cheese, apple slices, and walnuts is a good option.

Is Your Fiber Intake Too High? Don’t Let These Symptoms Get the Best of You!

Dietary fiber is found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It can help lower your risk of heart disease, keep your blood sugar levels stable, and improve your gut health.

Most people don’t eat enough fiber. In fact, an estimated 95% of American adults and children don’t consume the recommended amounts.

However, eating too much fiber can also have some negative effects. Fiber comes in two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps food move through your digestive system. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and makes it easier to pass.

Both types of fiber are good for your health, but too much fiber can lead to side effects such as:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

If you increase your fiber intake too much or too soon, you may experience these side effects.

Bloating and Gas

When you eat a lot of fiber, especially if you’re not used to it, your stomach may feel bloated and gassy. This is because your gut bacteria need time to adjust to the extra fiber.

Usually, these side effects go away after a few days or weeks. But if they’re severe or don’t improve, talk to your doctor.

Here are some tips for reducing gas and bloating caused by eating too much fiber:

  • Start by adding small amounts of fiber to your diet gradually.
  • Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid eating large amounts of fiber at one meal.
  • Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.

Mineral Deficiencies

Excessive fiber consumption can hinder the absorption of key minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Fiber acts as a binding agent, preventing your body from absorbing these minerals from the foods you consume. While many high-fiber foods are naturally rich in these minerals, some individuals might face a risk of mineral deficiencies. In such cases, increasing your intake of mineral-rich foods, such as meat, can help compensate for this issue.


While it might seem like eating fiber should help with constipation, it doesn’t work for everyone. Surprisingly, in some cases, fiber can even worsen constipation. Different studies have had mixed results: some suggest adding fiber to your diet can help with constipation, while others say reducing it is better.

Moreover, some studies have found that people with chronic constipation consume similar amounts of fiber as those without the condition. Therefore, if your constipation is caused by something other than a lack of fiber, such as certain medications, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or dehydration, increasing your fiber intake may not help and could potentially make your situation worse.

Intestinal Blockage

Although uncommon, excessive fiber intake can lead to a situation where undigested fibers or stool gets stuck in a narrow section of your intestines. This can be painful and require immediate medical attention. When undigested fiber from fruits or vegetables forms a hard, solid mass, it can block the passage through the intestines. This is more common in older adults who may not chew their food thoroughly. Intestinal blockages are a serious issue and may necessitate surgery.

How Much Fiber Should You Eat in a Day?

There isn’t a specific upper limit for fiber intake, so it’s not about a harmful amount. Daily fiber recommendations vary based on factors like your age, gender, and personal needs. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest about 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories, translating to roughly 28 grams daily for most adults across meals and snacks. But, individual preferences can differ, so it’s advisable to discover the right fiber intake for you through experimentation.


The suggested daily fiber intake for the typical adult woman is around 25 grams. However, your specific needs can vary based on factors like your age and size. If you’re over 50, the recommended minimum amount is about 21 grams per day.


The typical adult man should aim for around 38 grams of daily fiber intake. However, your specific requirements can vary depending on factors like your size, age, and personal needs. If you’re over 50, having at least 30 grams of fiber daily is suggested.


Children and teenagers can have different needs because they come in various sizes and ages. Generally, older kids and teens should aim for a daily fiber intake of between 21 and 38 grams.

Getting this amount can be a challenge for some because they may eat smaller portions. To help them eat more fiber, focus on fiber-rich foods, such as nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Why Kale Is a Nutritional Powerhouse

Kale is a green leafy vegetable that has been around in Europe since the Middle Ages. It’s become really popular in the U.S. in the last five years because it’s known for being very healthy, packed with lots of good stuff for your body.

Kale belongs to the same family as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other healthy green veggies. You can find kale easily at stores or farmer’s markets. It’s usually sold fresh in bunches or already cleaned and trimmed in the frozen section.

There are different kinds of kale, like the curly one with wide leaves or the dinosaur type with narrower, wrinkled leaves. Some types, like redbor and Russian kale, can have red or purple leaves, but they’re not as common.

Health Benefits

Many healthy foods, such as nuts, avocados, and seeds, are high in calories and fat. Kale, on the other hand, is a nutrient-rich superfood that is fat-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, and incredibly low in calories and sodium. This makes it a great choice for people who are looking for low-calorie or weight-friendly foods.

Kale is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients can help support a variety of health benefits, including:

Weight loss: Kale is a low-calorie food that is high in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied after eating. It is also a good source of protein, which can help you build and maintain muscle mass.

Heart health: Kale is a good source of potassium and fiber, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which can protect against heart disease.

Bone health: Kale is a good source of calcium and vitamin K, which are essential for strong bones.

Cancer prevention: Kale contains antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of cancer.

Immune function: Kale is a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help boost the immune system.

Strong Bones

Kale is a good non-dairy source of calcium and vitamin K, two essential nutrients for strong bones. Calcium is needed to maintain the density and strength of bones, while vitamin K helps the body absorb calcium and produce proteins that are important for bone formation.

Just one cup of fresh kale provides over 67% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K for adults. Kale is also a good source of calcium, providing about 10% of the recommended daily value for adults.

Eating kale regularly can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a common bone disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis is more common in women, especially after menopause, but men can also develop the disease.


Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients. In addition to the calcium and vitamin K mentioned above, kale is also a good source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

One cup of fresh, chopped kale contains:

  • Calories: 34
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the RDI
  • Copper: 11% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDI

Vitamin B6 is important for many bodily functions, including energy metabolism, red blood cell production, and immune function. Copper is essential for collagen production, iron absorption, and energy metabolism. Manganese is important for bone health, blood sugar regulation, and wound healing.

Things to watch out for

Kale contains vitamin K, which is good for most people. However, vitamin K can interfere with the effects of blood thinners. If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before adding kale to your diet.

You may still be able to eat kale if you take blood thinners. By eating the same amount of leafy green vegetables each day, your doctor can adjust your medication so that you can safely enjoy the other health benefits of kale.

How to use kale

  • Choose dark green kale with small or medium leaves. It should not be wilted.
  • Kale will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about five days.
  • Wash the kale well before using it.
  • If you are going to sauté or roast the kale, dry the leaves thoroughly first.
  • The middle rib of the kale is edible, but most people find it bitter and remove it before cooking.

How to cook kale:

  • Kale can be sautéed, roasted, baked, or steamed.
  • You can also eat kale raw in a salad.

Here are some ideas for adding more kale to your diet:

  • Make kale chips at home by baking kale leaves in the oven. This is a crunchy and healthy snack.
  • Kale salads stay crisp longer than lettuce or spinach salads, so they are a good choice for picnics or potlucks.
  • Add a handful of kale leaves to homemade pesto, hummus, or smoothies.
  • Tear raw kale leaves into small pieces and add them to stir-fry dishes, soups, or casseroles.

Reduce Bloating Naturally with These 10 Tips

Why do I feel bloated?

Bloating is a heavy feeling in your stomach. It is usually caused by too much gas or when your intestines are not working properly. Bloating can cause pain, discomfort, and the feeling of being full.

Women are more likely to experience bloating than men, especially around the time of menstruation. Bloating can also get worse throughout the day as you eat more food. Passing gas or stool can help relieve bloating.

What causes bloating?

Bloating is caused by trapped air in the digestive system. This air can be swallowed accidentally or produced by gut bacteria during digestion.

Here are some things that can cause bloating:

  • Eating too quickly
  • Eating too much
  • Chewing gum
  • Smoking
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Eating hard-to-digest foods, such as fatty, fried, or spicy foods
  • Hormonal changes
  • Food intolerances

Here are some ways to naturally reduce bloating:

1. Chew slowly

Regardless of your hunger, take your time to eat mindfully. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing, one bite at a time. Rushing through your meals not only affects nutrient absorption but also leads to swallowing extra air, which can result in that uncomfortable, bloated sensation.

2. Reduce intake of certain vegetables

Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy can lead to increased gas. These undigested vegetables travel to the colon, where bacteria ferment them in the intestines, causing bloating and gas. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate cauliflower and other veggies from your diet. Cooking them can help break them down, as cooked greens are generally better tolerated than raw ones.

3. Eat smaller, more frequent meals

Individuals prone to bloating might find larger meal portions uncomfortable. To address this, consuming smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can alleviate stomach bloating. This eating routine assists in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, curbing your appetite, and promoting an efficient metabolism. A more efficient metabolism enables your body to effectively utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to provide the proper energy for your body.

4. Prefer probiotics

Probiotics are like helpful bacteria that can make your gut healthier when you eat enough of them. When they reach your colon, these good bacteria grow and keep a good balance with the bad ones. This can lessen problems like gas and bloating. You can find probiotics naturally in foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, miso, and pickles.

5. Check for food intolerances:

Eating foods that you are intolerant to can cause extreme gas and bloating. Common food intolerances include:

Lactose Intolerance: People with lactose intolerance have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar in milk, due to low levels of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down milk sugar.

Gluten Intolerance: Those with gluten intolerance struggle to digest a protein called gluten, primarily found in wheat, barley, and rye.

6. Steer clear of sugar alcohols

Some sugar-free mints, chewing gums, and desserts use sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol to make them sweet without too many calories. However, sugar alcohol can cause problems for certain people because their bodies can’t break them down. Instead, these sugar alcohols travel to the colon and feed the gut bacteria, which might lead to extra gas and bloating.

7. Peppermint tea or oil

Peppermint is a great solution for a bloated stomach. It relaxes the muscles in your stomach and intestines, which helps with digestion. You can have peppermint tea or use peppermint oil for relief. To make peppermint tea, just boil 8-10 peppermint leaves in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes and savor its delicious and soothing flavor.

8. Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric are a traditional way to relieve indigestion and bloating. They have properties that reduce inflammation, prevent nausea, and help with gas. Drinking ginger and turmeric tea or taking their tablets before a meal stimulates the rhythmic movements of the intestines, making digestion smoother and reducing bloating.

9. Papaya

Papaya has an enzyme called papain that acts as a gentle laxative. It helps your body get rid of extra waste and eases digestive problems like constipation, which can lead to bloating. Papaya also has fiber that aids in digestion, reducing gas, bloating, and tummy discomfort.

10. Abdominal Massage

Some experts suggest massaging your belly to get rid of instant belly bloating. To do this, start from the lower right side of your belly and gently move your fingers in a clockwise direction while lying down with your knees bent. This massage can help relieve constipation, which often causes bloating. You can also try yoga poses to improve digestion. Certain poses that involve bending forward and twisting can help your intestines move, reduce gas, and ease bloating.

Power Up Your Day with These 7 Fruits

We’ve all experienced fatigue at various times during the day. While low energy is a common sensation, various factors can contribute to feeling tired or experiencing an energy slump, such as our dietary choices, meal timing, portion sizes, sleep quality, and other aspects.

Certain foods have the potential to provide the body with sustained and lasting energy. Continue reading to find our selection of the seven best fruits that can help boost your energy levels.


Apples are a delightful, wholesome, and adaptable fruit. They are rich in fiber, which aids in the gradual digestion of their natural sugars, providing long-lasting energy. A medium-sized apple (approximately 6.5 ounces) provides 95 calories and 4 grams of fiber. If you’re seeking a fulfilling snack, try enjoying apple slices with all-natural peanut butter.


Oranges are bursting with vitamin C. As per the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C plays a role in fortifying your immune system and lessening oxidative stress, which can help stave off weariness. While vitamin C deficiency is uncommon, individuals who fall short may experience scurvy, intensifying feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

For those dealing with an iron deficiency, this water-soluble vitamin promotes the absorption of iron, aiding in the alleviation of related symptoms, including fatigue. Munching on an orange between meals can provide a swift energy boost, with a medium-sized orange (approximately 5 ounces) supplying 73 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 78% of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.


Bananas are a familiar source of energy. According to a 2020 review in Food Reviews International, consuming two bananas can fuel you for 90 minutes. These fruits are also rich in potassium, a vital nutrient for maintaining overall body function. A medium-sized banana offers 105 calories and 3 grams of fiber, supplying sustained energy.


Avocados, known for their fiber content, can help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes. Moreover, they’re a great source of healthy fats that not only boost your energy but also keep you feeling full. According to the USDA, one cup of sliced avocado contains 234 calories, 10 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of unsaturated fat. For a refreshing and tasty afternoon energy boost, consider trying our Avocado Caprese Salad.


Peaches are a delightful and invigorating choice for an energy boost. According to the USDA, one peach (approximately 5 ounces) contains 69 calories and 2 grams of fiber. They are also rich in vital nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, promoting your well-being. For those hectic mornings, our Pistachio & Peach Toast is a delicious breakfast option.


Plums are well-known for their natural laxative properties, but they can also rev up your energy levels. As per the USDA, consuming two plums gives you 69 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Looking for a tasty treat that can also provide an energy lift? Try a slice of our simple Plum Tart with a side of coffee.

Goji Berries

Goji berries, also called wolfberries, have a sweet and tangy flavor. These petite powerhouses are loaded with antioxidants, which can help stave off fatigue. According to the USDA, 5 tablespoons of dried goji berries supply 98 calories, 4 grams of protein, and nearly 4 grams of fiber, making them an ideal choice for sustained energy. For a convenient snack, add them to your next batch of trail mix to take to work.

It’s important to note that goji berries may interact with certain medications, like warfarin, as outlined in a 2022 review in Antioxidants. To be safe, it’s advisable to consult your primary healthcare provider before incorporating them into your diet.

How Much Protein Should You Eat Each Day?

Protein is like the building blocks for your body. It’s in your hair, nails, and muscles and even helps make important things like hormones and antibodies. That’s why it’s vital to have enough protein every day.

Now, how much protein you require isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. It depends on different things like your age, health, how active you are, and if you’re expecting a baby. But let’s break it down. We’ll tell you how to figure out your protein needs, when you might be overeating, and who might need extra protein.

What’s Your Daily Protein Requirement?

Protein is essential for your body. Here are some simple ways to determine how much you need daily.

1. Percentage of Daily Calories: Current guidelines recommend that adults 19 years and older get 10% to 35% of their daily calories from protein. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this is about 200 to 700 calories from protein.

2. Calculate by Weight: Another method is to calculate based on your body weight. You need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. For example, a 150-pound female needs around 54 grams of protein, while a 180-pound male should aim for about 65 grams.

3. Examples of Protein: To give you an idea, here are some foods containing roughly 10 grams of protein:

  • 2 small eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1 cup of uncooked oats
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

4. Measuring Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: If you often rely on these as protein sources, remember that 1 ounce of meat, chicken, or fish provides around 7 grams of protein. A typical 3- to 4-ounce cooked portion (about the size of a deck of cards) can give you up to 30 grams of protein.

New research indicates that a higher protein intake might be even better. For instance, aiming for 1.3 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight daily (about 88 to 122 grams for women and 105 to 145 grams for men) could be optimal, especially in preventing age-related muscle loss and maintaining overall health.

Do You Need More Protein?

Does this mean you should have a 12-ounce steak for dinner? Not necessarily.

Protein deficiency is uncommon in the U.S., and if your diet is diverse, there’s no need to go to great lengths to increase your intake. However the way you distribute your protein intake throughout the day may be just as important as the quantity you consume.

A study in the Journal of Nutrition from 2020 discovered that young, healthy men who spread their protein intake evenly across three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) gained more muscle than those who ate very little protein for breakfast and consumed most of their protein during lunch and dinner. Both groups also did strength training exercises.

How Much Is Too Much Protein?

Eating too much protein can lead to missing out on important nutrients from carbohydrates, like fiber and healthy fats. Experts recommend getting about one-third of your daily calories from protein and not going beyond roughly 2 grams per kilogram of your body weight. For instance, this would be around 140 grams of protein for someone weighing 154 pounds or up to 160 grams per day for someone weighing 176 pounds.

In the past, there were concerns that high protein intake might increase the risk of kidney stones or weaken bones (since digesting protein releases acids that could use up calcium from your bones). However, recent research indicates that these concerns are unfounded. A study from 2019 in Nutrition Today suggests that eating protein within the higher recommended range might even be good for bone health, especially when you’re also getting enough calcium. Your protein intake is unlikely to cause harm unless you have kidney disease.

Factors That Impact Your Protein Needs

Because protein requirements vary from person to person, some individuals may require more protein and may find it challenging to meet their needs.

Vegetarians or Vegans

Getting enough protein isn’t a concern for those on a plant-based diet as long as you consume sufficient calories. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated in a 2016 position statement that the distinction between “complete” and “incomplete” proteins is misleading. Protein obtained from various plant sources provides all essential amino acids when consumed throughout the day and in line with calorie needs.

While vegetarians and vegans should be mindful of their protein sources, incorporating a diverse range of foods like legumes, soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame), pistachios, eggs, Greek yogurt, quinoa, seeds, nuts, and nut butter ensures a well-rounded protein intake.

Physically Active

Protein is essential for all fitness levels, not just bodybuilders or elite athletes. While the IOM’s recommendations apply to sedentary individuals, more active people can aim for up to 2 g/kg of body weight daily, especially when distributed throughout the day. To maximize results, experts recommend consuming 15-25 g of protein within an hour post-workout, in addition to the general protein intake of 10%-35% of daily calories.

Excessive protein doesn’t lead to better outcomes; research indicates that benefits level off beyond recommended intakes. Opting for leucine-rich foods, like animal products (milk, meat, poultry, eggs, seafood), is effective for muscle maintenance, repair, and growth. Whey protein supplements offer another option, containing leucine for those struggling to meet protein needs through food.

Older Adults

As we get older, our bodies become less effective at turning the protein we eat into new muscle. This can result in gradual muscle loss, leading to reduced strength, frailty, and limited mobility. However, you can combat these effects by staying active and ensuring an adequate protein intake.

Protein isn’t only vital for maintaining muscle mass; it also supports wound healing, boosts the immune system, and preserves skin health—essential aspects as we age.

A 2018 review in Advances in Nutrition suggests that older individuals should aim for ≥1.2 g of protein per kg daily, focusing on foods rich in leucine, a key player in promoting muscle growth. The authors argue that the IOM’s protein recommendation may not meet the protein requirements for older individuals looking to maintain skeletal muscle mass. While getting enough protein is crucial, it’s equally important to distribute your intake—around 25-30 g of protein at each meal—to maximize muscle cell growth.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

“Pregnant women need extra protein, at least 10 grams more per day during the second and third trimesters,” says pregnancy nutrition specialist Rachel Brandeis M.S., RDN. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that pregnant women should consume a minimum of 1.1 grams of protein for every kilogram of their body weight each day, which is about 25 additional grams daily.

For breastfeeding mothers, it’s important to consume more calories and protein to produce an adequate milk supply and support your post-pregnancy recovery.