5 Tasty Recipes to Cure What Ails You

Between the demands of work and family, life can get you stressed, upset and zap your energy. Luckily, there are foods you can eat to help feed your mind, body and soul. So the next time you’re feeling fatigued, stressed or your skin looks a mess, consider these recipes to cure what ails you.

Stay Energized

Instead of turning to candy which will give you a quick-fix sugar high, turn to fiber-filled whole grains like sorghum, quinoa and farro. Whole grains take longer to digest, giving you long-lasting energy. They also provide a boat load of energy-boosting B-vitamins.

Recipe: Grilled Scallops with Orange-Scented Quinoa (pictured above)

Maximize Happiness

Lean beef provides the amino acid tryptophan, which assists in the production of serotonin. This hormone has been shown to help boost mood. Lean cuts of meat include lean ground beef (at least 90% lean), top round, sirloin tip, eye round and boneless strip steak.

Recipe: Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

Relieve Stress

Spinach and other leafy green vegetables provide magnesium. Taking in sufficient magnesium can help control and limit your body’s release of the hormone cortisol, which increases during times of stress.

Recipe: Lemon Herb Chicken Pasta with Green Peas, Snap Peas and Spinach

 

Boost Skin Health

Foods high in omega-3 fats can help prevent inflammation, including puffy skin. These heart healthy oils also keep skin nice and shiny. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that elderly folks who ate more fish and veggies throughout their lives ended up with fewer wrinkles.

Recipe to try: Chopped Nicoise Salad

Feed Your Brain

Between a lengthy to-do list and packed social calendar, you’re bound to forget things once in a while. To keep your mind sharp, serve her up a dish with berries. The MIND Diet identifies healthy brain foods including berries which have been linked to better cognitive function.

Recipe: Yogurt-Berry Parfait

 

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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Are Flavored Waters Messing with Your Tooth Enamel?

You’ve sworn off soda and you’re leery of juices, worried about their effects on your health and teeth. But, you figure, flavored waters, be they sparkling or still — Hint, La Croix, Ice, Poland Spring and their tasty, refreshing ilk — often pitched as a healthy alternative, should be OK, right? Except, wait, now you’re hearing that they may not be.

Are flavored waters messing with your tooth enamel? What’s a mindful sipper to do? We asked American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a professor of restorative dentistry and associate dean for outreach and diversity at the UCLA School of Dentistry, to shed some light.

 

Do bottled flavored waters damage our teeth? What is the current thinking?

The dental safety of sparkling water is not a heavily researched area. What we do know, however, is that many commonly consumed beverages (for example, waters, juices, sodas and sports drinks) are, to varying degrees, acidic, as measured by their pH. Furthermore, we know that frequent consumption of acidic beverages can cause erosion of tooth enamel. The flavoring additives in many sparkling waters cause them to be acidic and must thus be viewed as potentially erosive.

 

Do still flavored waters have the same effect on teeth as sparkling?

It is the flavoring and not the carbonation that lowers the pH (increases the acidity) to a level that can potentially erode tooth enamel with frequent consumption. Laboratory studies have shown that (unflavored) waters, be they still or sparkling, have very low erosive potential and do not pose a risk to tooth enamel.

 

How do flavored waters compare to soda, in terms of the effect on your teeth?

Many soda drinks are acidic, and erosion potential of these beverages is many, many times higher than that of flavored waters.

 

Do you recommend steering clear of flavored waters altogether – or is it more a matter of moderation?

Flavored waters can indeed be enjoyed without risk to the health of our teeth, but mindfulness and moderation are key. While there is no defined “OK” amount of flavored water to drink, we know that it is important to minimize the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to any acidic beverage. It is safer for the teeth to chug than to sip, sip, sip for a prolonged time. The habit of holding or swishing a gulp of sparkling beverage in the mouth before swallowing should be avoided. Do not rely solely on flavored water for hydration — substitute in some plain water during the day.

 

Or maybe people should drink flavored waters through a straw?

Drinking flavored waters through a straw can’t hurt, but while it intuitively seems safer for the teeth there is no evidence confirming this.

 

So what’s the bottom line?

Plain fluoridated water is the healthiest beverage for teeth — it fights cavities! Enjoy flavored waters in moderation, but be sure to include lots of fluoridated drinking water in your daily hydration.

 

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Glamour and Marie Claire, as well as Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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A First Step to Diversify the Certification Program’s Testing Portfolio

Two years ago the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published a notice in the Federal Register (and accompanying blog post) that restated the ONC Health IT Certification Program’s (Program’s) open policy regarding the submission of testing methods for approval under the Program. We called and the National Committee for Quality […]

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3 Ways to Be Confident in Your Food Choices

According to the 12th Annual Food and Health Survey released by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), 78-percent of Americans encounter a lot of conflicting info about what to eat and what foods to avoid. More than 50-percent of those polled say that this conflicting info makes them doubt their food choices. Here are 5 ways you can be confident in the food decisions you make.

Stop Making Assumptions

The survey also found that many consumers are making incorrect assumptions about certain foods, including fresh verses frozen and canned. Consumers are almost five times as likely to believe a fresh product is healthier than canned and four times as likely to believe a fresh product is healthier than frozen.

Take fresh fruits and vegetables, for example. They’re a healthy part of a well-balanced diet, but canned and frozen are just as healthy. Some studies say that they may even be healthier because canned and frozen produce are packed at their peak of ripeness.

You can feel confident when you buy fresh produce, but also be aware that canned and frozen are just as good for you. The only thing you want to pay attention to is that no butter or cream sauce was added to frozen veggies or sugar to frozen fruit, and that the sodium is low is canned food (or rinse it off before eating).

Feel Good About Your Choices

The survey found that 56-percent of women care about food being produced in a sustainable way, verses 42-percent of men. I myself am “pro-choice,” meaning you should be proud of whatever food choices you make, whether that means local,  organic or conventional. Nobody can dictate if you should choose organic, or grass-fed, or GMO-free. Everyone has their own reasons for purchasing certain foods. What you do what to make sure is that you’re choosing healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.

Look for Credentials

Most folks rely heavily on information from their friends and family, including nutrition information. About 77-percent of survey participants said they rely on friends and family at least a little for this type of information. The survey also found that 59-percent of participants rated friends and family as their top influencers for what they choose to eat or the diet they choose to follow.

To get reputable information, seek the recommendations of a credentialed individual. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) have been specially trained in food and nutrition. You may also find someone who has a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, or a diet technician (DTR)- all who can provide science-based information and recommendations.

 

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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Trusted Content from Healthfinder.gov Can Improve Patient Portals

The ONC Patient Engagement (PE) Playbook was created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to help healthcare professionals use health information technology (health IT) to provide better care to patients. The PE Playbook focuses specifically on electronic health record (EHR) patient portals, which allow both patients and healthcare teams, […]

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 Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement

Vertical aeroponic gardening at Tower Gardens.

 

Farms aren’t just in the country anymore. Rooftop gardens supply dozens of Chicago restaurants with just-picked veggies. In the lobby of Vin de Set restaurant in St. Louis, diners are greeted by tall white towers growing kale for salads that night. At New York’s Bell Book & Candle, the menu is set by herbs like chervil, Opal basil and sage, all grown several stories above the dining room. Today, chefs and consumers are tasting veggies picked mere hours beforehand from restaurant rooftops, and from the abandoned parking lot turned urban farm next door.

 

Aeroponic Farming

Jeff Seibel’s official title is Farm Manager, but his unofficial title is “Urban Farmer” in St. Louis. He oversees a commercial greenhouse that supplies all of the Bibb lettuce, Romaine, kale, arugula, kohlrabi, fennel, mustard and other greens for five Hamilton Hospitality restaurants. From March to December, restaurant owners Paul and Wendy Hamilton do not order a single green leaf for their growing restaurants. “We’ve even switched up our menus to add more greens to our dishes, including green-topped pizzas, braised greens pastas and creative salads. It’s a good dilemma, to have so much just-picked produce,” said Wendy.

To make the most of crowded city spaces, Seibel grows produce for the Hamilton’s restaurants in white vertical Tower Gardens. Last year over 10,000 pounds of produce was grown in just a ¼ acre plot of land. The Tower system is known as aeroponic farming and according to some calculations, farmers can grow 30% more food up to three times faster than traditional farming methods, using 98% less water and 90% less space.

 

Hydroponic Gardens

In New York City, students at the Food and Finance High School (FFHS) in collaboration with NYC Cornell University Coop Extension (CUCE) tend hydroponic gardens —soil-free plots that grow plants in nutrient-rich water. Students learn that the liquid nutrient solution requirements needed for young plants is different from that needed for mature plants, and that a controlled environment is needed to produce healthy vegetables and herbs.

Once harvested, produce like kale and Chinese cabbages are prepared by students in the school’s cafeteria, and in the culinary arts and catering programs. “Graduates of our programs are skilled in every aspect of growing plants hydroponically to marketing the mature vegetables in retail settings,” explains Professor Philson Warner, Founding Director of CUCE Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics, Sustainable Agriculture Applied Research Teaching Labs.

 

Rooftop gardens

Over 10 million heads of leafy greens and herbs are grown year-round on the south side of Chicago at the Gotham Greens 75,000 square foot rooftop farm. It claims to be the world’s largest and most productive greenhouse. Not only can chefs get bok choy and Windy City Crunch lettuce blend, but consumers can find these greens at their local Jewel supermarket. Gotham Greens also partners with the Greater Chicago Food Depository food bank.

Baseball fans seated on the third base side of Fenway Park in Boston can view the Fenway Farms garden from which the kale on their Kale Caesar was harvested. Tomatoes, peppers, Brussels sprouts and other veggies grown in the rooftop garden are served at Red Sox EMC Club restaurant, for special events, and in concession stand favorites.

 

Tips for Finding Urban Farms in your City

Keep your eyes peeled for greens grown right in your own city above restaurants, at schools, in stadiums. Or search online for: urban farm, hydroponic, rooftop garden. Here are a few specific examples:

 

Colleges

University of Southern California

Lindsey Pine, a Registered Dietitian at USC Hospitality, notes: “Students may see the lettuce they will have for lunch as they walk to class.” With 88 Tower Gardens, there’s a good chance if you eat at a restaurant, catered event, or dining hall on campus, you’re eating greens that are only a few hours old.

Bowdoin University

Even in Maine’s short growing season, vegetables, fruits and herbs from the Bowdoin Organic Garden are served in the school’s cafeteria.

 

Community Programs

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

This organization in Columbia, Missouri, is like gardening training wheels. Chefs, pharmacists and wannabe home gardeners can learn skills in gardens around the city.

Little Free Garden Project

In Moorhead, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota, you and your neighbors can share the fun of gardening together.

 

Supermarkets and Farmers Markets

Gotham Greens

Originating in New York City, their greens are in hundreds of NYC restaurants and at grocery stores around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Rising Pheasant Farms

Farmers market shoppers in Detroit can pick up asparagus, sage and sunflower shoots grown on the East Side.

 

Serena Ball, MS, RD is a food writer and registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tips and tricks to help families find healthy living shortcuts. Follow her @TspCurry on Twitter and Snapchat.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

Photo courtesy of Tower Gardens

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One if by Land, Two if by API

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has updated the Certified Health IT Product List’s (CHPL) landing page. The update includes several enhancements making it easier to access data about 2014 Edition and 2015 Edition certified health IT products. Below the main search box, we have added (and will continue to […]

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