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SPRING is in the AIR 5




Gotu Kola How to enjoy exercise, even if you don't like it

on the menu: SEEDS Nutrient-packed

p. 18

recipes featuring chia, hemp, pumpkin, & other good seeds


(everyone is different )

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March 2021 / Vol. 83 / No. 3

6 NEWSBITES Hidden Food Traps Here’s how to avoid them.

10 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT Made in America American Tuna is a family business on the cutting edge of sustainability.

12 IN THE SPOTLIGHT We Still Love Lucy A new cookbook celebrates the beloved ’50s sitcom.

14 HOT BUYS Go Shopping New products you’ll want to try now.

16 CHECK OUT Follow Your Nose The keys to good nasal hygiene.


What’s for dessert? Try these matchainfused mini cheesecakes.

features Naturopathic Doctors 26 How Treat Toxin Exposure

Over-the-counter detox regimens can be great for regular cleansing, but if you suspect that your health issues may stem from toxic exposure, it pays to consult an expert.

Tips for a Stronger Immune 30 3System

As we’ve learned over the past year, keeping your immune system in top shape is a crucial component for overall health.


Seeds of Change

From sunflower to flax to chia to hemp, these potent little pods hold a wide array of health benefits. And if that’s not enough, they make a delicious addition to any diet, too.

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DOCTOR Get Moving! Exercising is easier than you think.

20 HERBAL WELLNESS Top 5 Uses for Gotu Kola Heal your skin, heart, mind, and more.

22 NATURAL REMEDY How to Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss Sidestep this common issue naturally.

24 NATURAL BEAUTY Get Your Beauty Sleep Secrets for overnight skin repair.

38 HEALTHY@HOME 5 Ways to Protect Against Toxins Find out where most toxins lurk.

40 EATING 4 HEALTH Cleaned Up Keto Make this low-carb diet healthy.

42 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST Guide to Grain-Free Baking Mixes Create yummy no-grain treats.

46 HEALTHY DISH Vegan Caesar Salad Hold the anchovies, turn up the flavor.

48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS Meet Your Matcha Matcha cheesecake? Yes, please!

Click On This! RESOURCES & REFERENCES For links to studies cited in our articles and other helpful sites and books, visit betternutrition.com.

FOOD AS MEDICINE: FOOD, MOOD, & MENTAL CLARITY Download a free eBook from the Institute for Natural Medicine featuring recipes and health information on how certain foods affect your mood. Check it out at betternutrition.com.


NATURAL MEDICINE HUB We’ve partnered with the Institute of Natural Medicine (naturemed.org) to bring you a range of health and wellness articles written by today’s leading naturopathic doctors. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER Receive timely articles, recipes, eBooks, and exclusive giveaways in your inbox weekly with our newsletter Healthy Buzz.

Photo: (Cover) adobestock.com; (this page) Pornchai Mittongtare; Food styling: Claire Stancer


• MARCH 2021 1/26/21 2:29 PM

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Spring Into Health As winter starts to fade in the rear-view mirror, spring is finally on the horizon. This season of renewal and new beginnings brings warmer weather, brighter days, lots of fresh vegetables, flowers in bloom, and much more. For your health and well-being, spring is the perfect time to focus on cleansing. We have a few suggestions. In “How Naturopathic Doctors Treat Toxin Exposure,” on p. 26, Michelle Simon, PhD, ND, covers detox from a new perspective. A onesize-fits-all approach doesn’t work for most people, she says. There are multiple factors involved in how your body processes toxins. Everyone is biochemically unique, and everyone has been exposed to different toxins throughout their life. A licensed naturopathic doctor can help identify and treat your toxin exposures using natural strategies. In “5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Indoor Toxins” on p. 38, author Vera Tweed shares some great tips for reducing toxins in your home. And with more of us working from home these days, ridding your space of health-robbing chemicals is more important than ever. In the spirit of spring, nutritionist Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, shares his favorite seed-based recipes in “Seeds of Change” on p. 32. These tiny flavor bombs not only help boost your health (they’re packed with key nutrients for optimal detoxification), but they also help jazz up meals. Happy spring!

Our Writers Meet the passionate people behind this issue of Better Nutrition!


Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, is an awardwinning educator, author, and real food chef. jeannettebessinger.com


Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a board-certified nutritionist and bestselling author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. jonnybowden.com


Michael Hartman, PhD, is the vice president of research and development at Plexus Worldwide. plexusworldwide.com


Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is an Ontario, Canada-based dietitian, food writer, and author of Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports + Adventure. matthewkadey.com.


Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, has a private practice in Juneau, Alaska. She is the author of Managing Menopause Naturally and other books. dremilykane.com

Editor in Chief Creative Director Executive Editor Associate Editor Digital Editor Copy Editor

Nicole Brechka Rachel Joyosa Jerry Shaver Elizabeth Fisher Maureen Farrar James Naples

Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel


Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH, teaches herbalism courses online. internationalintegrative.com


Chris Mann is a California-based wellness writer, entertainment author, and podcaster. ChrisMann.tv


Joseph Maroon, MD, is a world-renowned neurosurgeon, author, and speaker. josephmaroon.com


Michelle Simon, PhD, ND, is the president and CEO of the Institute of Natural Medicine. naturemed.org


Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr., is a holistic nutritionist and author of Going Against GMOs. melissadianesmith.com


Sherrie Strausfogel writes about spas, wellness, and travel. She is the author of Hawaii’s Spa Experience.


Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, and nutrition coach in Boulder, Colo. lisaturnercooks.com


Vera Tweed is editorial director at Natural Health Connections and author of Hormone Harmony. veratweed.com





Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing in healthy cuisine. neilzevnik.com

Contributing Editors Vera Tweed, Helen Gray Contributing Writers Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC Michael Hartman, PhD Matthew Kadey, MS, RD Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH, Chris Mann Joseph Maroon, MD Michelle Simon, PhD, ND Melissa Diane Smith Kim Stewart, Lisa Turner Neil Zevnik Director of Production & Barb VanSickle Manufacturing Salesforce Coordinator Cossette Roberts Prepress Manager Joy Kelley Editorial Offices 512 Main Street, Suite 1 El Segundo, CA 90245 818-521-2397 Vice President, GM Sharon Houghton shoughton@pocketoutdoormedia. com Publisher & Director of Rob Lutz Retail Sales rlutz@pocketoutdoormedia.com 970-291-9029 Integrated Media Sales Anne Hassett Director, West Coast anne@hassettmedia.net 415-404-2860 Integrated Media Sales Mason Wells Director, East Coast & Midwest mwells@pocketoutdoormedia.com 917-656-2899 Senior Brand Marketing Manager Kristen Zohn kzohn@pocketoutdoormedia.com Marketing Designer Judith Nesnadny jnesnadny@pocketoutdoormedia. com Accounting & Billing Tonya Hodges 800-380-9842 Retail Customer Service bnsales@pocketoutdoormedia.com 800-443-4974, ext. 701

Chief Executive Officer Robin Thurston Chief Operating Officer & President Danielle Quatrochi Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development Tommy OHare VP of Finance Greg Abrahamson Manager of Operations & HR Ilana Coenen

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BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 83, No. 3. Published monthly by Pocket Outdoor Media. 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301; ©2021 Pocket Outdoor Media. All rights reserved. Mechanical requirements and circulation listed in Standard Rate and Data Service. The opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to BETTER NUTRITION are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in BETTER NUTRITION may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. BETTER NUTRITION does not endorse any form of medical treatment. The information presented here is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. We urge you to see a physician or other medical professional before undertaking any form of medical treatment.

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NEWS*BITES Hidden Food Traps and How to Avoid Them BY VERA TWEED

Junk Food Can Be Plant-Based Although plant-based diets enhance health, foods that contain only plant ingredients aren’t always healthy. Sugar and refined grains are plant-based


Why Unhealthy Food Is So Popular We’re constantly bombarded with media messages that tell us to consume unhealthy foods and drinks.

* We see nearly 7,000 ads for food and restaurants per year—about 19 per day. Three-quarters of these promote fast food.

* In 250 top American movies released between 1994 and 2018, 73 percent of the food and 90 percent of the drinks depicted were unhealthy.

ingredients in many junk foods, for example—and they aren’t nutritious. In Greece, a 10-year study of 2,000 people found that plant-based diets focused on refined grains, sugary and high-starch foods, and juices rather than whole fruits did not improve heart health. What does work is a diet of whole plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and unrefined plant oils. Unhealthy Foods Reduce Healthy Diet Benefits After you eat a meal that you know is nutritious, it may be tempting to think that it’s okay to indulge in something that’s unhealthy, whether it’s a sugary dessert or a junk-food snack later in the day. But it doesn’t really work that way.

In Chicago, researchers tracked the diets of 5,001 older people for nearly 20 years. They concluded that following a Mediterranean diet, with the least amount of added refined and processed foods, slowed mental decline by about 6 years. The same type of diet reduces heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. “A diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruit, fish, and whole grains may positively affect a person’s health,” says study coauthor Puja Agarwal, PhD. “But when it is combined with fried food, sweets, refined grains, red meat, and processed meat, the benefits of eating the Mediterranean part of the diet seem to be diminished.” Exploring different ways of preparing dishes with whole, unrefined ingredients can make it easier to consistently eat and enjoy a healthy diet.

Photo: adobestock.com

Despite your best intentions, food marketing can trick you into making choices that aren’t as healthy as you think. But it is possible to avoid these food traps. For example, when shown pretty, flawless bell peppers and ugly ones, people mistakenly thought the pretty ones were healthier, and were willing to pay 56 percent more for them. Reactions to thousands of food images, comparing foods with identical ingredients presented in more and less attractive ways, consistently showed the same type of reaction among both women and men. “Consumers expect food to be more nutritious, less fatty, and to contain fewer calories when it looks pretty,” says study author Linda Hagen, PhD. It’s something to think about the next time you see a fast-food ad. And if you want to make healthy food more appealing, an attractive presentation can help.

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Coffee Aroma Reduces Stress The caffeine in coffee may have a stimulating effect, but the aroma of coffee can actually be calming, according to a new study from Thailand. In the first study of its kind, researchers tested the effect of inhaling coffee aroma among people at the dentist, a situation that is typically stressful. They used an essential oil of roasted coffee beans diluted with distilled water and diffused with an aromatherapy diffuser. The effect of the coffee aroma was then compared with a placebo. In addition to reporting that they felt less stressed, patients were tested for objective evidence. Their levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, were 25 percent lower, and a salivary marker of stress was 40 percent lower. Their pulse rates—another marker of stress—were also significantly lower.

FISH THAT FIGHT DIABETES Some—but not all—fish can reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study of more than 163,000 British adults. A study tracking diet and health for 10 years found that people who ate oily fish once or twice a week, or took fish oil supplements, had significantly lower odds of developing diabetes.

Oily fish are those that are high in healthy omega-3 fats, including:

* * * * * *

herring mackerel salmon sardines trout tuna

Eating other types of fish, generally not high in omega-3s, did not reduce diabetes risk.

Detox, Aloha Style

“You have an amazing built-in detox organ—the liver,” says Lillian Cumic, vegan chef, cooking instructor, and author of the new book Hawai’i: A Vegan Paradise. “Your overall health can be determined by your body’s ability to detoxify itself. Be aware of signs that you may need to detox: bad skin, headaches, lack of energy, weight and digestive issues, and allergies.” Cumic has been creating plant-based recipes for more than two decades. We asked her to pick her favorite foods for cleansing and detoxifying. Here are her “top 5” list of foods to emphasize in your diet:





Fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics (or have probiotics added to them) such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, miso, and even tempeh help feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, naturally releasing toxins and waste products.

Beets are known to help your liver rid the body of toxins. Betaine is a group of phytonutrients found in beets that helps defend the body’s bile ducts by thinning the bile in your liver and assisting in the digestive process.

Packed with polyphenols, green tea supports your body’s natural ability to detox. You need a healthy liver to detoxify your body, and green tea is high in antioxidants that can help fight free radicals.

Known as a high-fat liver protector, avocado contains glutathione, a nutrient that can help block various carcinogens while helping the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals.

Turmeric helps boost enzymes that can flush out dietary toxins from the body and help in the detoxification of the liver.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Lillian Cumic has made Hawaii her home for the past few years. There, she teaches cooking classes and hosts “Lillian’s Vegan World” on ThinkTech Hawaii (thinktechhawaii.com). Hawai’i: A Vegan Paradise is Cumic’s first cookbook. Visit her at lillianvegan.com.


Photo: adobestock.com


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companies fostering personal & global well-being

Made in America

Meet American Tuna. This family owned company uses the most sustainable fishing method around—and they utilize only American ports, trucking, and canners. BY NEIL ZEVNIK


Sorry, Charlie. American Tuna Pole Caught Wild Albacore is better—for consumers, fishermen, canners, local economies, and the planet—than conventional canned tuna.

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Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

American Tuna founder Joel Cardoza comes from a long line of Portuguese fishermen— with another generation on the way.

Photo: Jessenia Cardoza

Did you know that 90 percent of the 7.1 billion pounds of seafood that Americans consume every year is imported? I didn’t, and it’s a disturbing statistic on so many levels—environmental, economic, and personal. Let’s turn our attention to one huge segment of that market, canned tuna. First, a primer on methods of harvesting: long-line, purse seine, and pole-and-line. Long-line is exactly that—long lines (up to 60 miles long!) with multiple branches, hooks, and bait. These can attract and snag vast numbers of non-targeted marine life, including sea turtles, seabirds, sharks, and marine mammals. Obviously a bad idea. Even more undesirable is the purse seine method. It involves a large wall of netting deployed around an entire area or school of fish that is then drawn in from the bottom. It is a destructive, nonselective fishing method that captures everything that it surrounds, including protected species. Definitely the worst. Then there’s pole-and-line fishing, the good guy coming to the rescue. In this method, fishermen use barbless hooks and poles to catch tuna one at a time near the sea’s surface. One guy, one pole, one fish at a time, with no bycatch or harm to other species, and far less impact on the targeted stocks. Joel Cardoza of American Tuna puts that in perspective: “Purse seining often results in harvests of 200 tons in one day, while American pole-andline vessels will catch 200–300 tons in four months of fishing—an entire season.”

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Photo: Jessenia Cardoza

The Only American Pole-andLine Tuna Once upon a time, the U.S. West Coast was the tuna capital of the world. Now most of our tuna comes from unregulated foreign sources. American Tuna and the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) are determined to restore some of that glory, and in the process preserve the environment and improve Americans’ tuna diet. Joel Cardoza has tuna in his blood, going back through several generations of Portuguese fisherman. It wasn’t his intention to follow in his forebears’ footsteps though. He had just graduated from college with a degree in graphic design and marketing when his mom married a pole-and-line fisherman, helped found the AAFA, and asked him to design a logo for the family business. And pretty soon, he was hooked. “It was a unique opportunity to build something from the ground up. AAFA was the first commercial tuna fishery in the world to achieve MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification, and American Tuna is the only brand that exclusively sources American pole-andline tuna,” he says. For Cardoza, there were too many positives to enumerate, with benefits to environmental sustainability, local economies, and consumers eager for high-quality/low-impact foods. “Poleand-line commercial fishing is the most sustainable method of harvesting tuna in history. It also provides substantial socioeconomic benefits to the communities that harvest the tuna— we utilize American ports, American trucking, and American canners in the Pacific Northwest.” And you can trace your can of American Tuna back to the specific ship and captain that caught it. As Cardoza explains, “Most canned tuna in the world is untraceable ‘mystery fish’ that has been caught any number of ways— none of them good for the ocean. American Tuna maintains the chain of custody throughout harvesting and production down to the final product.”

Southwestern Style Salad Niçoise Serves 2 Put an all-American spin on this classic French dish. 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 2 tsp. green peppercorn Dijon mustard 1 Tbs. minced shallot 1 Tbs. O Olive Oil Jalapeño-Garlic olive oil 2 Tbs. Primal Kitchen avocado oil 2 cans American Tuna Wild Albacore Tuna with Jalapeño 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce 2 cups shredded California endive lettuce

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved 6 pickled okra, cut into half-inch pieces ½ cup fresh raw corn kernels 1 large Persian cucumber cut into diagonal slices 12 jalapeño-stuffed green olives (or pimiento-stuffed olives for less heat) 1 small avocado, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise Salt and pepper to taste

1. Make dressing: In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, mustard, and shallots, then whisk in olive and avocado oils. 2. Make salad: Place tuna, including juices, into medium bowl, break up slightly with fork, and stir to moisten evenly. 3. Lightly toss romaine and endive with 2 Tbs. dressing. Divide between two large, shallow salad bowls. Divide remaining ingredients between bowls with tuna in the middle of each. Drizzle 1 Tbs. dressing over each salad (you’ll have a little left over). Add salt and pepper to taste. Per serving: 720 cal; 53g prot; 47g total fat (7g sat fat); 28g carb; 260mg chol; 980mg sod; 13g fiber; 5g sugar

But the proof is in the pudding, or rather the can. American Tuna’s hand-filleted Premium Albacore is hand-packed in the can raw, then sealed and pressure-cooked with no added

oil, water, soy, or other fish. The result is nutrient-dense, environmentally responsible deliciousness that will transform the way you think about tuna and its place in your diet. MARCH 2021

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stay-healthy secrets from leading experts

We Still Love Lucy

Put the fun back in your diet with The “I Love Lucy” Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa. BY CHRIS MANN

A barefoot Lucy makes winemaking a barrel of laughs. Lucy and Ethel stuff themselves with runaway confections in a chocolate factory. Lucy gets hilariously tipsy making a commercial for the alcohol-based Vitameatavegamin. We’ve memorized these quintessential I Love Lucy episodes by heart. And now we can experience the cuisine behind these scenes thanks to pop culture and food writer Jenn Fujikawa’s new tribute to the hit sitcom, The “I Love Lucy” Cookbook: Classic Recipes Inspired by the Iconic TV Show. “I Love Lucy was a huge part of my childhood. I’d watch the reruns over and over. It didn’t matter how many times I’d see them, they always made me happy,” says Fujikawa. “The foodcentric episodes were my favorites, and not the ones you’d think. Everyone loves the grape-stomping and chocolate conveyor belt episodes, but when I was asked to write this book—because I know the show so well—it was the obscure episodes that immediately came to mind. Lucy and Ethel eating watercress sandwiches on a road trip, the breakfasts Lucy and Ricky had in the morning— those were all equally as important to me to be featured in the book.”


“I Love Lucy was a huge part of my childhood,” says author Jenn Fujikawa. “The foodcentric episodes were my favorites. All of those episodes make me smile and also make me hungry.” You can earn more about Fujikawa at justjennrecipes.com.

Fujikawa’s cookbook conjures up fun culinary concoctions along with memories of hysterical sitcomic scenes that have fed audiences’ need for laughter for nearly 70 years. “Ricky and Fred attempting arroz con pollo, only to end up with a kitchen explosion. Lucy adding too much yeast and creating a giant bread monstrosity. Those episodes make me smile and also make me hungry,” she says.

Lucy‘s slapstick-driven food moments find home sweet home with Ricky Ricardo’s equally expressive Latin roots in this hardback tribute’s colorful pages. “Desi Arnaz’s Cuban heritage is a huge part of the show and Ricky’s persona,” says Fujikawa. “So giving real estate to those two things was incredibly important to me.” Reliving the show’s classic scenes via the foods they featured or inspired can encourage cheerful kitchen creativity that’s sure to help beat the blues during today’s more complex, socially isolating times. “I Love Lucy is an iconic show,” Fujikawa says. “You can’t turn on the TV and not feel happy when you see an episode. My goal was to connect that feeling to cooking so that everyone can experience the joyfulness of I Love Lucy in their homes, and I hope readers can feel the love for the show that I put into the recipes.”

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Everyone Wants to Know … BN: How much creative license did you take with these as-seen-onTV dishes? JF: I didn’t have to do much—of the 180 I Love Lucy episodes, you’d be surprised how many are food-related. While there are some inspired dishes, they are all based on actual episodes or themes from the show. That’s why I loved the show so much—so many of the storylines were based on cooking or eating!

BN: What prompted Lucy to cook the Cuban dish Carne de Puerco con Chile Verde? Which ingredients did you add to your recipe to round out her meal? JF: In the episode “Lucy’s Motherin-Law,” Ricky’s mother arrives from Cuba for a visit and Lucy was determined to make a good impression. What better way to win someone over than with comfort food? Creating a good base for the verde is key, so tomatillos, fresh cilantro—and the recipe can be

adjusted so you can make it as mild or as spicy as you like.

BN: What goes into your watercress sandwiches to take these teatime favorites to the next level? JF: In the episode “Off to Florida,” Lucy and Ethel take a road trip with a possible murderess. Honestly, it’s much more charming than it sounds. But they forget to pack their

them by adding a light crab salad mixture. Putting the crab salad on thin, buttered bread along with the fresh watercress gives the sandwiches a boost and makes them more apropos of a tea party than a possibly murderous road trip.

Win a copy of The “I Love Lucy” Cookbook! We’re giving away 10 copies. Email your name and address to betternutritionfreebie@gmail.com. Please put “Lucy” in the subject line.

lunch, so she offers them some watercress sandwiches. What made that episode stand out to me was Lucy saying they tasted like “buttered grass.” I found that so hilarious. Watercress gets a bad wrap. It’s a superfood that’s packed with nutrients. These sandwiches definitely do not taste like buttered grass because I elevated

BN: Which I Love Lucy dishes and drinks would you recommend for a ’50s-themed night? JF: I recommend starting off with a shrimp cocktail appetizer, then roast beef as a main course. Both of these are very much the essence of a 1950s dinner. Round it out with an iceberg lettuce salad topped with Aunt Martha’s Old

Fashioned Salad Dressing, ending with a sweet Icebox Cake. Even if you’re stuffed you can’t have a ’50s-themed meal without a cocktail. The Babalú is a take on a classic Old Cuban.

BN: Can we “spoon our way to health” via your spin on Vitameatavegamin—a Bloody Mary with veggie-rich garnishes (and even bacon on a skewer!)? JF: If you leave out the alcohol it’s actually quite a hearty vegetable juice! Vitamins, meat, vegetables. Okay, it doesn’t taste like candy, but it will put pep in your step!

BN: Nobody stomped grapes like Lucy! How did the famous episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie” influence your red wine- and rum-based Bitter Grapes Sangria? JF: Well, if you’re going to stomp all those grapes you might as well put that energy to good use! The Bitter Grapes Sangria was inspired by the memorable scene

and the idea of a beautiful fruit-filled Italian countryside. The episode is a fan favorite, and I wanted readers to be able to create their own drink to enjoy while they watched.

BN: Which episode inspired your Dozen Egg Frittata—and what energizing ingredients will help us get our “Lucy and Desi” on? JF: In “Lucy Does the Tango,” Lucy tries to smuggle eggs out of the henhouse before Ricky finds out, and she does so by transporting them in her shirt. At that moment Ricky decides they absolutely have to practice their Tango—and you just know disaster is about to happen. The result is a soggy shirt with a ton of cracked eggs. I love a good frittata. Eggs are a good source of protein, and you can really make it your own by adding vegetables to your liking. A dozen eggs can feed a whole family, and a frittata is an easy meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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guide to cutting-edge supplements

Follow Your Nose

When it comes to avoiding viruses and other contagions, keeping your nose clean may be just as important as washing your hands. BY LISA TURNER


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Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: adobestock.com

Over the past year, we’ve all learned the drill for protecting ourselves and others from viral infections: wear a mask, take supplements to support immunity, practice social distancing, and wash your hands as often as possible. But another layer of safe, effective protection could be right under your nose. New research suggests that nasal hygiene plays a significant role in preventing infection, and nasal sprays with specific active ingredients may reduce the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and other viral invaders. Rather than mitigating symptoms or lessening severity, nasal sprays work prophylactically, helping to prevent infection altogether. The nasal mucosa—the thin tissue lining the cavity of the nose—is the first barrier against inhaled substances, including foreign particles, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. In the case of SARSCoV-2, research suggests that the nose is not only the entry site, but also the main target of the virus. The virus tends to become firmly established first in the nasal cavity, before progressing into the airway and lungs. And the nose has a higher viral load of SARSCoV-2 than anywhere else in the body after infection.

Research Highlights Because the nose is the dominant site from which lung infections begin, good nasal hygiene is important. Emerging research suggests that sprays with ingredients that block adhesion of the virus and decrease viral load in the nose may be effective in both preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and diminishing the severity of the disease in people who have been infected. A number of trials are currently in progress. Some highlights:


Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: adobestock.com


Povidone-iodine—an antimicrobial agent with a long history of safe and effective use—may protect against Covid-19. Earlier research showed that povidone-iodine (PVP-I) mouth washes and gargles significantly reduce viral load in the oral cavity, and other studies show that PVP-I may rapidly inactivate coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS. In one preliminary study, Halodine Nasal Antiseptic—a nasal spray containing povidone-iodine—appears to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 15 seconds, even at concentrations as low as 0.5 percent. Nitric oxide has long been used to treat a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. Used as a nasal spray, nitric oxide may help protect against SARS-CoV-2 by destroying the virus and impeding viral replication within the cells in the nose. In preliminary tests, SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS)—a solution of nitric oxide—inactivated more than 99.9 percent of SARs-CoV-2. In separate animal studies, infected rodents showed a 95 percent drop in viral load within a day after infection, while half the rodents showed no detectable virus at all. Other research suggests that nitric oxide may also lessen the severity of symptoms in Covid-19 patients, and Phase II clinical trials of SaNOtize NONS are currently underway in Canada.

When it comes to avoiding viral infections, wash your nose, not just your hands. Focus on Xylitol Research suggests that xylitol may play a significant role in both preventing and treating Covid-19. A naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants, xylitol has well-recognized antibacterial activities, and earlier studies show that it helps inhibit bacteria from sticking to tissue, allowing the body to wash pathogens away. Now, studies suggest that xylitol may also have an anti-adherence effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, blocking receptor sites and inhibiting the virus from attaching to the cell walls of its host. In earlier research, xylitol showed antiviral activity against avian influenza virus (AIV), Newcastle disease virus (NDV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), and other viruses. Preliminary studies conducted at two different laboratories found a combination of xylitol and grapefruit seed extract (GSE) was effective against viral pathogens, including coronavirus. Research suggests that Xlear Nasal Spray, a combination of xylitol and GSE, can help block viral adhesion in the nose and help

deactivate SARS-CoV-2. In one analysis, Xlear Nasal Spray destroyed 99.99 percent of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and a 5-percent solution of xylitol reduced viral adhesion to an undetectable level. The combination of xylitol and GSE may not only prevent, but also treat, Covid-19. In one case study, Covid-19 patients who used Xlear Nasal Spray showed reduced symptoms and rapid improvement, and received a negative test 50 percent faster than average. Practice Nasal Hygiene The takeaway is pretty clear: when it comes to avoiding viral infections, wash your nose, not just your hands. While nasal sprays continue to be investigated for their role in preventing and treating Covid-19, cleansing your nose with a product that blocks viral adhesion and helps destroy the virus adds an important layer of protection. And while other nasal sprays aren’t currently available, Xlear Nasal Spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract is a safe, effective option for defensive nasal hygiene. MARCH 2021

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answers to your health questions

Get Moving!

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to reap the health benefits of exercise. BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC

Ideal Cardio A cardio session should raise your heart rate (pulse) at least three times normal, to around 200 minus your age. Men can sustain a higher heart rate than women, so I’ve used a lower number than you may have seen before. Short intense bursts of exercise (known as “HIITs” for high-intensity interval training) are more efficient and more effective than pushing to sustain an elevated heart rate for long periods of time.

Well, saunas produce sweat, which is one of the many benefits of exercise. But they don’t tone your heart and other muscles, which is imperative for good health and graceful aging. To put it plainly, we need to move our bodies to achieve optimum health. But there’s a wide variety of options as to how we do it. So maybe we just need to rethink what we mean by “exercise.”

The Best Way to Start If you don’t like “exercise,” start with walking. As famous cardiologist and vegetarian Dr. Dean Ornish likes to say, “Walk your dog every day, even if you don’t have one.” If walking doesn’t work for you, try seated yoga or mini-barbell workouts. It feels good to have toned muscles—and it looks good too! Regardless of how we move, the important thing is to move our bodies for


at least 30 minutes every day. Try to fit in 20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of stretching. I love “Yoga with Adriene,” which is a free YouTube program with hundreds of simple yoga sequences that are accessible to anyone—even beginners. The best times to stretch are first thing in the morning, before breakfast, and just after work, before dinner.

Ramping Up Your Regimen Once you have a basic routine locked in, you’ll be ready to build on your exercise program to increase your fitness. Ideally, you’ll want to work yourself up to two or three sessions of cardio (20–50 minutes each) every week; two weekly sessions of weight training (unless your job requires a lot of lifting); and at least one session of prolonged stretching.


There’s no need to lift heavy weights: one third of your body weight is plenty to build lean muscle and burn fat. You can use handheld weights at home, or get back to the gym. To start, spend 15–25 minutes on your upper body one day a week (push-ups, pull-ups, planks, dips) and 15–25 minutes another day on lower body (e.g., squats with or without weight, lunges, 90:90 against a wall). Just know that weightlifting requires some training to protect your spine. If you don’t have access to weights, look into TRX, a fantastic way to use your own body weight with straps that can be hooked up in your home. For cardio, find something that sounds fun—jogging, cycling, spinning, tennis, pickleball, rollerblading, dancing, hiking, rock climbing, aerobics, or just a brisk walk outside.

Find a licensed naturopathic doctor for a virtual (telemedicine) or in-person consultation at naturemed.org/find-an-nd.

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I don’t like to exercise but I know I would be healthier if I did. Is there an alternative?

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EAT, DRINK & STILL SHRINK Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau By Amber Rios Being a health and nutrition correspondent means that companies frequently send me their products, and ask for my stamp of approval. Most of the time I dive into research, give the product a try, and send the company honest feedback about what they’ll need to change before I’ll recommend it. Plus my hectic job and my determination to stay fit means I’m always hunting for a quick and nutritious way to fill up on nutrients my body needs. So I can confidently say, “I’ve tried it all”. Last Tuesday work was especially hectic, but I’d booked with my $200 an hour personal trainer, Tony, a triathlon winning, organic-tothe-bone fitness guy with a ten mile long track record of whipping the “who’s who” into shape in record time, so I had to go. He noticed that my set count was down and playfully asked, “Feeling a little tired today?”, as he handed me a bottle from his gym bag. After one sip I figured that there was no way this could be healthy because the creamy chocolate flavor was just too delicious. Still, he’d never risk his reputation. With more than a healthy dose of scepticism I decided to investigate this shake he’d called INVIGOR8. Turns out, it’s a full meal replacement shake, which stunned me because virtually every other shake I’d researched had tasted chalky, clumpy and packed with hidden “no-no’s” like cheap protein, tons of artificial ingredients, not to mention harmful synthetic dyes,

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additives, sugars, preservatives, and hormones. And even though INVIGOR8’s full meal replacement shake cost more than many of the shakes I’ve tried, it was about half the price of my favorite salad, and the nutrition profile looked second to none. Wanting to know more, I reached out to a few of the people who were talking about it on trustworthy fitness forums. By the next morning three people got back to me saying, “As a trainer I love Invigor8. It’s definitely helped me to have more all-day energy, plus build the kind of lean sculpted muscle that burns more fat.” “Yes, I’ll recommend it, it tastes great, and I really like how it keeps me feeling full for hours.” “I’m a marathon runner and a friend recommended it to me. Drinking it has become a part of my regular training routine, because my time has improved, my energy is up, and I’m thinking more clearly than ever before.” I decided to take my investigation one step further by researching the development of INVIGOR8. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the company went to great lengths to keep INVIGOR8 free of harmful ingredients. The makers of INVIGOR8 were determined to make the first natural, non-GMO nutritional shake & green superfood. The result is a meal replacement shake that contains 100% grass-fed whey that has a superior nutrient profile to the grain-fed whey found in most shakes, metabolism boosting raw coconut oil,

hormone free colostrum to promote a healthy immune system, Omega 3, 6, 9-rich chia and flaxseeds, superfood greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, alfalfa, and chlorella, and clinically tested cognitive enhancers for improved mood and brain function. The company even went a step further by including a balance of pre and probiotics for optimal digestive health, uptake, and regularity and digestive enzymes so your body absorbs the high-caliber nutrition you get from INVIGOR8. As a whole-foods nutritionist with a thriving practice I understand the importance of filling my body with the best Mother Nature has to offer. I have always been reluctant to try new products because I was never sure of the impact they would have on my energy, and weight. INVIGOR8 is different, not only because it’s delicious, but because it helps me to maintain the energy I need to run my busy practice, while helping me to stay fit and toned. Considering all of the shakes I’ve tried, I can honestly say that the results I’ve experienced from INVIGOR8 are nothing short of amazing. A company spokesperson confirmed an exclusive offer for Better Nutrition readers: if you order this month, you’ll receive $10 off your first order by using promo code “BN10” at checkout. You can order INVIGOR8 today at www.DrinkInvigor8.com or by calling 1-800-958-3392.

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healing botanicals for your body and mind

Top 5 Uses for Gotu Kola

This time-tested botanical boasts a full range of benefits, from combating mood disorders and preventing age-related mental decline to healing wounds and clearing up skin conditions. BY KARTA PURKH SINGH KHALSA, DN-C, RH

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a frontline medicine in most herbal traditions. In Ayurveda, it’s called “brahmi,”which means “godlike,” a reference to its prodigious benefits. It strengthens memory, concentration, and intelligence; promotes longevity; and improves the voice, physical strength, and complexion. A 2020 scientific review pointed out its use in neurological, endocrine, skin, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune, and gynecological diseases, and mentioned anti- inflammatory, antioxidative stress effects.

MycoBotanicals Brain


Kola capsules

Wound Healing Gotu kola actually heals and regrows new skin, gently closing and repairing even long-standing lesions in the most dramatically scarred skin. It has been documented to aid wound healing in studies, where it appeared to stimulate type-1 collagen production. Animal studies have consistently shown that topical application to a sutured wound significantly increases the breaking strength of the wound. European and Indian researchers, in several studies, confirmed that gotu kola compounds promote rapid healing in wounds. Internal wounds (intestinal ulcers) also respond to gotu kola. Try: Nature’s Answer Gotu Kola liquid

Skin Success Gotu kola heals all kinds of connective tissue, from skin and fascia to muscles

Photo: adobestock.com

Mind Matters Gotu kola strengthens did you know ... memory, concentration, Nerve Healing Gotu kola is exceptionally and intelligence, and Gotu kola is used high in B-complex vitamins, stabilizes mood. A 2017 in the repair especially in B1, B2, scientific assessment of nerve tissues and B6, all of which are found that it also from crushing essential nutrients for increases alertness and trauma, such as the nervous system. reduces anger. Recently, spinal injury and a Korean study concluded neuromuscular that components in gotu kola show disorders. The herb has shown potential potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease, in enhancing neuroregeneration, a very promising direction. Follow-up including the regeneration of crushed animal research from India used gotu sciatic nerves and protection from kola tea to improve cognitive behavior in neuronal injury in hypoxia conditions. two different laboratory models of A recent discovery from OregonHealth Alzheimer’s disease. A thorough 2020 and Science University study in the journal Brain Science described validated gotu kola’s gotu kola as having extensive use for treating promise in this area, and diabetic neuropathy, another study reported and in 2020, scientists that gotu kola constituents reported that gotu kola reversed cognitive deficits helped regenerate a in an Alzheimer’s model. peripheral nerve. Try: Host Defense Try: Organic India Gotu

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“ground substance”—the basic glue that holds the cells of our skin together. An exciting study of gotu kola for extreme inflammatory skin disease was done over 25 years ago. Gotu kola was effective in 85 percent of patients. Russian scientists repeated the experiment and duplicated the results. One paper looked at various gotu kola extracts and determined that alcohol and water preparations were beneficial. Try: Gaia Herbs Hair, Skin & Nail Support

Get with the Flow This flimsy little salad herb also has a long history of use in cardiovascular conditions, including venous insufficiency,

varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and arterial plaque. In a doubleblind study, 94 patients with venous insufficiency of the lower extremities took a triterpenoid extract of gotu kola at a daily dose of 60 mg or 120 mg for three months. Individuals who took either dose had significant improvements in limb heaviness and edema compared to the placebo group. Try: Life Seasons Circulari-T How to Take It The capsule or tea dose can be up to 15 grams per day. Many people use a modest dose of 1 gram in capsules for daily rejuvenation. Also try a cup of gotu kola tea with honey before meditation.

Photo: adobestock.com

and bones. Known for centuries in Asia for its treatment of leprosy, gotu kola helps heal a host of skin conditions. This herb stimulates the growth of hair and nails, increases blood supply to connective tissue, enhances the formation of structural constituents in connective tissue, promotes the tensile integrity of the skin, and increases protein growth (keratinization) in the skin. In controlled trials of gotu kola and turmeric against placebo among 360 eczema patients, the herb improved every eczema symptom, including red patches, scaling, itching, and thick, leathery skin. The active substances in gotu kola are thought to be triterpenes, steroid-like compounds that improve the function and integrity of the collagen matrix and support the

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NATURAL REMEDY * holistic strategies to help you feel better

How to Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss

Here’s what you can do to prevent age-related muscle loss, a shockingly common issue linked to low energy, higher fall risk, and more.


if you don’t do something about losing muscle mass, it could ultimately lead to losing your physical independence and quality of life.

Age-related Muscle Loss and Quality of Life Muscle loss is a part of the aging process that many doctors don’t discuss during your annual physical. Everyone’s body gradually becomes less efficient

at replenishing muscle tissue. If you’re weakened by diminished muscle mass, you may find it harder to get out of a chair, walk the dog, or carry in groceries. You may feel more fatigued. Muscle loss also increases your risk of falls and fractures. I’m in the fourth quarter of life myself and working diligently to maintain my own muscle mass—and I’m a veteran of 72 triathlons and eight Ironman triathlons.

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Photo: adobestock.com

Many people fear losing their cognitive ability as they age. Others focus on preserving bone and joint health. They’ll take steps to support their brain, bones, and joints, even though only a small percentage of people will ever experience problems in those areas. But most people ignore a looming issue that’s as serious, or more serious, and that affects everyone over age 50: age-related muscle loss. Alarmingly,

Photo: adobestock.com


Thankfully, muscle mass is super easy to measure, so you can forecast where you’re headed.  

How’s Your Grip?

Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: adobestock.com

Few people realize their grip strength doesn’t just measure the strength of their hands. It’s also an excellent indicator of their muscle health and is correlated with their longevity. For example, some studies have found that strong grip strength correlates with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. You can buy an inexpensive grip strength dynamometer for about $20 that will give you a baseline. This simple device is growing in importance as a diagnostic tool. There are plenty of septuagenarians and even octogenarians who, like myself, are doing the right things to support their overall wellness. Here are the top 5 steps to follow: 1. Be more mindful of your diet: A poor diet can contribute to the deterioration of your body, including your brain. When you eat a fast-food burger

infused with antibiotics and hormones, washed down with a bottle of phosphoric acid and 12 teaspoons of sugar in your soda, it will create inflammation in your body. That is a common cause of many chronic diseases. 2. Take HMB and vitamin D: Most

people think that if they just consume enough protein, their muscles will be fine. But as we age, we can’t process protein as well as we once did. Adding HMB plus vitamin D3 to your daily protein intake will improve your muscle health. HMB is naturally produced by the body to help break down leucine, an amino acid involved in protein assimilation. Small amounts are found in certain foods too, including avocado, grapefruit, cauliflower, and catfish Nothing else helps to stop muscle loss and increase muscle mass as well as HMB (in supplement form), which is incredibly unique because it stimulates the body to make protein and also decreases protein

breakdown. Look for supplements that contain both HMB and Vitamin D3 because results of a year-long study involving healthy adults over age 60 found this specific combination significantly improved muscle function in older adults, even without exercise. The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, also found that HMB plus D3 helped people feel more energetic. So, you might be more inclined to exercise.   3. Sit less, move more: Many people stop exercising because they get older; what they don’t realize is that they get older because they stop exercising. If you don’t use it, you do lose it to some extent. While exercise is important for everyone, it is especially crucial for older adults to improve cognitive function while increasing muscle mass and strength.   4. Avoid environmental toxins: Smoking and drinking are two of the most common—and avoidable— environmental toxins. There’s also indoor air pollution, which may be a bigger factor because of the pandemic. It’s a good excuse to take a daily walk outdoors. 5. Find your balance: In my book,

Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life, I describe the importance of avoiding burnout and how to develop resilience. The four key areas to rebalancing your life are good health, a sense of spirituality, meaningful work, and strong relationships. It’s a simple fact: everything that you do in your life involves your muscles in some way. And allowing them to gradually diminish over time jeopardizes your ability to live life on your own terms. So taking better care of your muscle health now may help you age better overall.  MARCH 2021

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pure ingredients for skin & body

Get Your Beauty Sleep

While you sleep, your skin is working the night shift, repairing and regenerating itself. It’s important to give your skin a helping hand with topical treatments during those crucial nighttime hours when it is most permeable and best able to absorb them. It’s common knowledge that the sleep hormone melatonin enhances your rest, but did you know that it also increases your skin’s ability to repair itself from UV and pollution damage incurred during the day? And what’s more, the human growth hormone, HGH, which is responsible for accelerating skin’s repair and cell regeneration, also kicks in at night. To boost overnight cell rejuvenation, your evening skincare routine should


include a night cream and an occasional mask. Night creams are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin over the course of several hours and are richer in texture than day creams. Overnight masks are designed to help ingredients penetrate deeply as you sleep, and to work as a barrier and sealant so the active ingredients don’t evaporate. Use an overnight mask once or twice a week in place of a moisturizer. Apply at least 20 minutes before bed to give your

skin time for the mask to be absorbed— so you don’t end up with more on your pillow than on your face. Look for a few key ingredients in the night creams and masks you choose. Retinol and retinal, derivatives of vitamin A, boost collagen production and encourage skin-cell renewal. Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates skin and helps accelerate repair. And the aromatherapeutic benefits of essential oils can aid in a better night’s sleep.

Photo: adobestock.com


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❶ ❶ End your day with Dr. Mercola Organic Moisturizing Overnight Face Cream. Shea butter, cupuaçu seed

butter, and seabuckthorn fruit oil in this rich cream intensely moisturize. Açai oil, bursting with antioxidants and vitamins C and E, supports collagen production and skin elasticity. Calendula calms skin and helps even skin tone. Lavender oil soothes dry and irritated skin and your senses, promoting relaxation.

❷ Repair your skin while your sleep with Derma E Anti-Aging Regenerative Night Cream. Powerhouse antioxidants, astaxanthin and pycnogenol, minimize fine lines and wrinkles while softening skin. Vitamins A and E, panthenol, and jojoba oil moisturize and replenish skin overnight.

Photo: adobestock.com

❸ Renew your skin overnight with

❷ ❸

❹ ❺

Mychelle Dermaceuticals Remarkable Retinal Night Cream. Retinal (vitamin A)

❹ Wake up to smoother, firmer, and

improves skin tone and texture. Peptides firm skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Shea butter hydrates. And monk’s pepper, which comes from the chaste tree, is an astringent and antimicrobial that has the ability to balance your skin’s oil production, making it a potent acne fighter. Note that retinal increases sun sensitivity, so use sunscreen daily.

Overnight Facial Mask with Pomegranate & Moroccan Rose. Pomegranate enzymes

brighter skin with John Masters Organics

and fruit acids improve texture and skin tone. Hyaluronic acid and konjac root extract intensely moisturize throughout the night, helping to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Moroccan rose oil, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, evens skin tone—plus its scent helps soothe you to sleep.

❺ Diminish dark spots and sun damage as you doze with Reviva Kojic Acid Brightening Créme. Kojic acid brightens skin and helps reduce discoloration. The natural oil base of this cream promotes quick absorption of the kojic acid for a fresh face by morning. Be sure to use sunscreen during the day, as kojic acid exfoliates as it lightens.

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Did you make a commitment to follow a cleanse as a part of your 2021 resolutions? If so, congratulations—you’re on your way toward better health. But before you start, remember that although the body is designed to detox every day of the year, there are times when your environmental toxic bucket reaches a tipping point, which can contribute to a range of health issues.

If you suspect that you’re experiencing a toxic overload, it’s important to know what you may have been exposed to throughout your life. Naturopathic medicine is uniquely designed to help identify these accumulated toxins and get rid of them. It’s your genetic and biochemical individuality, health history, and specific toxin exposures that determine the best course of treatment for you. Licensed naturopathic doctors understand this.

Determining How Your Body Responds to Toxins Naturopathic doctors are trained to determine how someone’s environment and toxins present in their body may be influencing their health. They evaluate toxic load along with other important diagnostics, such as genetic variations, nutrient deficiencies, stressors, dietary choices, microbiome status, vitality, and any associated conditions that may influence how the body responds to toxins. This latter point is important because toxins from pesticides, herbicides, plastics, food, water, air, and household items may be causing undue

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inflammation in cells and tissues that lead to chronic health issues. Research clearly shows that inflammation from toxins may lead to obesity, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune conditions, reproductive disorders, and cancer.

Identifying Your Personal Triggers

diet, and lifestyle changes, such as the following:


To address unique genetic variations that may have altered your body’s detoxification pathways, a naturopathic doctor will prescribe specific nutrients, minerals, and/or botanicals to influence the antioxidants that fuel your detoxification pathways.


To support your liver, the primary organ for detoxification, your body may need bioflavonoids, botanicals, and fat-soluble vitamins to increase cellular glutathione levels, the body’s master antioxidant.


Along with liver support, your kidneys, microbiome, intestines, and bowels

10 Detox Tips to Consider Once test results are available, a naturopath may prescribe vitamin,

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Naturopathic doctors begin by assessing your health history and asking questions that help identify your toxic overload. Your answers may not spell out obvious signs to you, but to a licensed ND, they help guide the direction of treatment. For instance, an ND may ask you when your symptoms started and whether that coincides with a possible exposure. Maybe you remodeled your home, or experienced mold exposure from a flood or leaky pipe, or perhaps

you haven’t been careful about toxins in your diet and personal care products. If you and the doctor are able to quickly identify the possible trigger, avoidance is the first step to better health. Perhaps you’re experiencing vague health issues such as allergies, skin rashes, brain fog, and/or headaches. Naturopathic doctors spend a considerable amount of time with patients to record all symptoms. From here, a wide variety of tests help determine environmental exposure and provide information about your microbiome, hormones, organic acid compounds, micronutrients, genetics, and oxidative stress markers.

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Your food choices may be a source of toxic exposure. Have you gone organic? Do you eat antibiotic-free poultry and fish and grass-fed, hormone-free meat? Do you store leftovers in glass? may need extra support as toxins are eliminated from your body.



Photo: adobestock.com



Dietary changes may be necessary to help your body detoxify, including eating more cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. You may need to increase your intake of antioxidants with green tea and citrus, and supplement with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Skin is an important detoxification organ. A naturopathic doctor will offer guidance on how to rid the body of toxins with sauna treatments and hydrotherapy. Your gastrointestinal system is a key route of elimination, so supporting healthy bowel function with targeted prebiotics and probiotics may be useful. Your food may be a source of toxic exposure. Have you gone organic?

Do you eat antibiotic-free poultry and fish and grass-fed, hormone-free meat? Do you store leftovers in glass? Or in plastics that contain chemicals (even BPA-free plastics are suspected sources of toxins)?


To address water and air quality at home and at work, you might choose high-quality water and air filters. Hydration is an important part of detoxification, but if your water is full of chemicals, it may be doing as much harm as good.


Personal-care products are another consideration for a toxin-free life. Choose phthalate- and paraben-free shampoos and personal-care products to reduce unwanted hormonal disruption.


Household cleaning products are another constant and common source of environmental-toxin exposure. Switching to commercial

green cleaning products—or making your own—can help reduce your toxic burden. Naturopathic doctors are uniquely trained in advanced therapeutics that promote detoxification. Rather than look for a one-size-fits-all approach to ridding your body of unknown toxins, remember that you are a unique being with a body that’s designed to heal itself. When your toxin exposure becomes too great, trained naturopathic doctors can identify the causes and determine how to help your body get rid of them. In some cases, it’s important to take this process slowly, as detoxification can cause a worsening of symptoms if done too quickly. By taking the advice of a licensed naturopathic doctor, you can learn to support your body, maintain optimal health, and prevent chronic disease. For more on toxin exposure or to find a naturopathic doctor in your area, go to naturemed.org.

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Tips for a Cold and flu season may be behind us, but maintaining immune health is a year-round job. BY MICHAEL HARTMAN, PHD


Focus on Micronutrients. One key lifestyle change to strengthen your immune system is adhering to a healthy diet with an emphasis on micronutrients. Filling nutrient gaps is vital. A large body of research shows that nutrient gaps can impair immune function and weaken the immune response. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins and magnesium) are critical for every stage of the immune response. Inadequate micronutrient intake is associated with compromised sleep quality and decreased production of antimicrobial peptides and white blood cells—all of which are associated with a weakened immune system.


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What’s the most important thing when it comes to your immune function? It’s maintaining healthy gut flora—making probiotics a must. “Probiotics help keep your gut running like a well-oiled machine, reducing inflammation and preventing infection during cold and flu season,” says Emily Kiberd, DC, a top wellness expert at Urban Wellness Clinic in New York. “Almost 70 percent of your immune system is found in the gut flora,” she says. “Gut bacteria are everything! They help your body digest food and play an integral role in regulating your metabolism, weight, and immune system. A resilient immune system goes hand in hand with a healthy, well-functioning gut. In fact, the number of bacteria in our gut outnumber the number of cells in our body 10 to 1.” And don’t forget prebiotics, fiber-like food that feeds the “good” bacteria in your gut. They work synergistically with probiotic supplements. —Jenn Rice

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It Takes Guts (to Keep Your Immune System Strong)

Signs of a Sluggish Immune System

3Eat These 3 Foods.

When it comes to supporting a healthy innate immune system, three specific foods are particularly healing:

According to Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the following six symptoms can signal weak immune function:

1. High levels of stress 2. Frequent colds 3. Digestive problems such as

diarrhea, gas, or constipation 4. Slow-healing wounds 5. Frequent infections 6. Constant fatigue

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Photo: adobestock.com

Put Out the Fire.

Chronic inflammation is linked to many major diseases and can have a severe impact on your immune system. One of the best ways to combat chronic inflammation is through proper nutrition. Eating a balanced diet that limits consumption of ultra-processed foods, including refined carbohydrates, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, and trans fats, specifically partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, is a great way to combat chronic inflammation. An emphasis should be made to consume anti-inflammatory foods, particularly fatty fish, berries, and nuts.


Mushrooms: contain a diversity of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, proteoglycans, terpenoids, phenolic compounds, and lectins. These compounds can benefit the immune system through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Black Rice: Black (or purple) rice are cultivars of the standard rice species Oryza sativa. The deep purple color in these cultivars comes from the grain’s high concentration of anthocyanins, which is also the principal anthocyanin of other known immunebenefiting fruits like elderberry.


Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C

is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which is key to fighting off pathogens and supporting a healthy immune system. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, including oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.


Kibow Biomunity Multifiber Prebiotic and Multistrain Probiotic

Emerald Labs Elderberry Plus + PureWay-C + Zinc

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C

Host Defense Stamets 7 Daily Immune Support

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Ancient Nutrition Ancient Multi Immune

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Seeds are proof that Mother Nature works in marvelous ways. A diminutive seed contains all the makings of an entire plant. Despite their small size, they’re fruitful nutritional giants. So what makes seeds so darn healthy? Don’t let their scaled-down size fool you: sunflower, chia, and their ilk provide a powerful blend of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help stave off heart disease, cancer, and more. In fact, because seeds are so nutrient-dense, you don’t need to eat a huge amount to reap the benefits—just 2–3 tablespoons a day should give you a big nutritional boost without breaking the calorie bank. And if you’re hunting for something that also tastes great and is ultra-versatile in the kitchen, look no further than seeds. Here are the top picks, where there is certainly not a bad seed in the bunch.

Fend off diabetes with

CHIA SEEDS As a fiber heavyweight, chia delivers 5 grams in a mere tablespoon serving, much of which is soluble fiber. When soluble fiber interacts with gastric liquids it forms a gel. In this gel form, soluble fiber works to slow down digestion to help keep you feeling full as well as tempering rises in blood sugar. This is a key factor in helping fend off type 2 diabetes, a condition that impacts about 34 million Americans. A number of research papers show that soluble fiber also helps reduce levels of LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, making a daily chia habit ticker-friendly.

Soluble fiber pulls off this trick by increasing the excretion of cholesterolcontaining bile from the body.

Build muscle with HEMP


Also called “hemp hearts,” which are the seeds that have had their hard outer shell removed, these habit-forming, sweet-nutty delights are a fantastic source of plantbased protein—roughly 10 grams in a 3-tablespoon serving. Since the protein contained within hemp seeds has been determined to be “complete,” as it contains a full arsenal of essential amino acids, hemp seeds are a useful food

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Nuts may get all the glory, but seeds have plenty of healthy and culinary benefits too. Here are the ones to sprinkle into your diet more often as proof that great things come in small packages.

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Photo: adobestock.com

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source for helping improve lean body mass. This, in turn, can enhance exercise performance and also keep your fat-burning metabolism revving along. Hemp seeds’ other nutritional virtues include a bounty of heart-benefiting omega-3 fatty acids and many must-have minerals including iron, phosphorus, and immune-boosting zinc. And, no, they don’t contain any THC, so you’ll get only a nutrition high from chomping on them.

Look on the bright side with

PUMPKIN SEEDS If you’re suffering from the Covid blues, be sure to crunch your way through more pumpkin seeds. Sometimes referred to as pepitas in recipes, these squash-sourced seeds are a leading source of magnesium. Higher intakes of this mineral might be beneficial to mental health by helping ease systems of depression, according to an investigation in the journal PLOS ONE. A meta-analysis published in Hypertension found evidence that bumping up magnesium intake can also have a positive impact on reducing blood pressure numbers. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, which increases blood flow, thereby decreasing pressure. Sadly, nutrition surveys suggest that

magnesium is chronically underconsumed, as it’s typically lacking in processed foods.

Tame inflammation with


Fatty in a good way, flax is chock-full of the essential

omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)— essential because we must get it from dietary sources since the body is unable to produce its own. Owing to the glut of cheap vegetable oils used in packaged foods and fast-food fryers, many people tend to eat far too many omega-6 fats and far too few omega-3s. It’s thought that this skewed balance of fatty acids encourages inflammation in the body, which can

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Whirl hemp seeds into smoothies. Top a bowl of chili with pumpkin seeds. Blend sesame seeds into dips. Stir chia seeds into yogurt. Whisk tahini into creamy dressings. Use ground flax as a binder in veggie burgers and meatballs. Add sunflower seeds to baked goods for a little crunch. Incorporate hemp seeds into homemade energy balls and bars.

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Photo: (top right) Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Undeniably nutritious and delicious, ultra-versatile seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet:

Photo: (top right) Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Sowing Your Seeds

Cultured Beet Chia Pudding Serves 2 ¹⁄³ cup milk or plain non-dairy milk 1 cup plain 2% Greek or skyr yogurt 2 small cooked and peeled beets 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries ¼ cup fresh mint 1 tsp. lemon zest or orange zest 2 tsp. honey 6 Tbs. chia seeds Optional toppings: Cacao nibs, coconut flakes, granola, grated dark chocolate, berries, chopped nuts 1. Place milk, yogurt, beets, strawberries, mint, citrus zest, honey, and salt to taste in blender, and blend until smooth. Divide mixture between two wide-mouth jars, and stir 3 Tbs. chia seeds into each jar. Seal shut and chill at least 2 hours to thicken. When ready to serve, add any desired toppings. Per serving: 347 cal; 23g prot; 12g total fat (2g sat fat); 37g carbs; 10mg chol; 213mg sod; 18g fiber; 20g sugar

Looking for a plant-based baking alternative to eggs? Try flaxseeds or chia seeds. Simply mix one tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons cold water. In 10 minutes, you’ll have a gelatinous mixture that can be used in muffin and pancake recipes as an egg replacement.

Photo: (top right) Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Photo: (top right) Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Sesame Crusted Salmon expedite the process of cardiovascular disease and other maladies. So adding a daily dose of flax to your diet, which has an omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio of 4-to-1, can help you get back into balance. These nutritional overachievers are also one of the richest food sources of lignans—anti-disease polyphenols found in some plant walls—and, like chia, hunger-smashing soluble fiber. Flaxseeds are best consumed ground because the hard shell of the whole seed resists digestion, making it difficult to tap into the nutrition payload contained within the seed.

Serves 4 2 Tbs. white or yellow miso 2 Tbs. soy sauce or tamari 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 1 Tbs. minced ginger 2 tsp. sesame oil

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 4 5–6 oz salmon fillets ½ cup sesame seeds, preferably a mix and white and black

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together miso, soy sauce or tamari, lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, and red chili flakes. 2. Place fish on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, skin-side down, and brush with miso mixture. Top with sesame seeds, pressing down gently to adhere. Bake until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Per serving: 384 cal; 34g prot; 23g total fat (4g sat fat); 7g carbs; 77mg chol; 581mg sod; 3g fiber; 0g sugar

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Take on cancer with

SUNFLOWER SEEDS When you look at the nutrient profile of the seeds from this sun-worshiping plant, what stands out is their lofty vitamin E levels—about 35 percent of the daily need in a 1-ounce serving. That’s good news if you want a better chance of keeping the big C at bay— research data suggests that consuming more food-sourced vitamin E may help lessen the risk for certain cancers, including colon, breast, and prostate. Naturally occurring forms of vitamin E, such as gamma- and delta-tocopherols, are found in sunflower seeds and other foods. They can act as potent antioxidants that help put the brakes on the cell damage that contributes to cancer progression. Sunflower seeds also contain a mineral stew that includes praiseworthy levels of phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium.

Roasted Broccoli with Hemp Parm Serves 4 1 large broccoli head, sliced into bite-sized florets 2 Tbs. grapeseed or sunflower oil ½ tsp. salt, divided ¼ cup hemp seeds

2 Tbs. nutritional yeast ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. onion powder

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Toss broccoli florets with oil until everything is lightly coated, and spread out on rimmed baking sheet. Season with ¼ tsp. salt. Bake 20 minutes, turning florets halfway during cooking, until darkened in a few spots. 2. In small bowl, stir together hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and remaining ¼ tsp. salt. Serve broccoli topped with hemp seasoning. Per serving: 169 cal; 9g prot; 12g total fat (1g sat fat); 10g carbs; 0mg chol; 333mg sod; 6g fiber; 3g sugar

Build bones of steel with Open sesame and you’ll get a surprising dose of calcium. Bone is a mineralized connective tissue in which calcium represents the major component, conferring strength and structure. So, proper dietary calcium intake is important for adequate bone development. Sesame seeds prove that you can get plenty of this key mineral from non-dairy sources. What’s more, boosting intake of calcium via dietary measures may lessen the risk of premenopausal women developing breast cancer, according to a meta-analysis in the British Journal of Nutrition. These salubrious seeds also deliver copper, an essential mineral for proper energy production and neurotransmitter synthesis. Seek out fetching black sesame seeds and you’ll get an extra dose of age-avenging antioxidants that are concentrated in their dark hulls.

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Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Golden Flaxseed

Eden Foods Pocket Snacks Pumpkin Seeds

Ezekiel 4:9 Sesame Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers, Everything

NOW Real Food Organic Triple Omega Seed Mix

Photo: (bottom right) Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer


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Dr. Christian Gonzales Host of the #1 health podcast, Heal Thy Self

Toxins seem to be everywhere you turn - and with growing evidence for negative health impacts, it can be overwhelming. Join Dr. G as he demystifies the toxins in our lives and shares his wisdom and recommendations. He'll cover: What does "toxin" even mean? Toxic things in your home, body, mind and community Practical ways to reduce exposure for a more vital life Watch for free below, and join the millions of people taking control of their lives and health through naturopathic medicine.


betternutrition.com/low-toxin-living This series is presented in partnership between and the not-for-profit Institute for Natural Medicine. Learn more about naturopathic medicine today at naturemed.org

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tips for better work-life balance

5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Indoor Toxins One benefit of working from home is that you have much more control over the chemicals in your environment.


they disrupt hormones and contribute to a whole host of maladies. According to the Endocrine Society, a nonprofit organization of physicians and scientists, our environment contains about 1,000 chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, altering the way our hormones function. Harmful effects can include weight gain, a reduced ability

to handle stress, harmful behavioral changes, higher odds of diabetes, thyroid malfunction, a weakened immune system, and higher risk of cancer. While this can seem overwhelming, effective action boils down to recognizing and avoiding the top sources of indoor toxins. It’s a realistic approach that can make a big difference to your health.

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Photo: adobestock.com

Have you ever been taken aback by the lingering scent of a perfume when you entered an empty elevator? Or grimaced at the smell of industrial emissions from a factory? Along with being unpleasant, these odors share another unwelcome characteristic: they’re toxic. Many food and other everyday products in your home also contain toxins, and

Photo: adobestock.com


❶ Beware of “Fragrance” It may sound benign, but “fragrance” contains phthalates, chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors. It’s found in so many products—from skin creams and lotions to household cleaning products, air fresheners, and scented candles—that simply avoiding this one ingredient can make a big difference in the quantity of toxins you ingest through your skin and lungs. To the FDA, ingredients in fragrance are trade secrets that don’t need to be disclosed. And it can be tricky to recognize because even “unscented” products can contain fragrance to mask unpleasant odors without imparting a recognizable scent. So check ingredient lists carefully. And if you like scents, opt for products that use natural essential oils from plants. ❷ Eat Organic Food Eating mostly organic food, even for a few days, can dramatically reduce levels of pesticides in your body. One study by the University of California at San Francisco compared blood levels of 13 pesticides after eating conventional foods and organic foods, each for 5–6 days. After the organic diet, levels of some pesticides dropped by 90–95 percent. Studies of more than 60,000 people in France found that during a 3-year period, those eating a mostly organic diet were about 30 percent less likely to gain weight compared to those eating mostly conventional foods. And during a 5-year period, those eating mostly

organic food were about 25 percent less likely to develop cancer. In Iowa, researchers measured blood levels of glyphosate, a toxic herbicide widely used in conventional agriculture and in Roundup weed killer. Just six days of an organic diet reduced blood levels of glyphosate by more than 70 percent. In addition, avoid storing food—and especially microwaving it—in plastic containers, as these can contain hazardous chemicals that leach into your food. Instead, use glass or ceramic containers.

❸ Prepare Fresh Food at Home Packaging for fast food and microwave popcorn contains PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), and the chemicals leach into food. PFAS are linked to cancer, impaired immunity, weight gain, altered thyroid function, and reproductive issues. Large U.S. government surveys have found that people who eat more homemade meals have lower blood levels of PFAS. Cruciferous vegetables, green vegetables, and fiber are especially important for keeping your internal detoxification systems humming. PFAS are also found in water, furnishings, stain- and water-resistant coatings, some paints, some nonstick cookware, and in many industrial processes. You can’t stop all your exposure to PFAS, but because diet is a major source, you can significantly reduce your exposure by skipping fast food and microwave popcorn. ❹ Adopt Toxin-Reducing Habits A study of more than 700 people by the nonprofit Silent Spring Institute found significantly lower levels of four common toxins among people who habitually avoided products that contain:

Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: adobestock.com

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Parabens, a preservative in

skincare products. Triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient is some toothpastes and soaps. Bisphenols, such as bisphenol-A (BPA) in the linings of cans and many plastic containers.

There’s an App for That

To help identify levels of toxins in food and consumer products, download the Healthy Living App from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. It rates more than 122,000 foods, personal care products, and healthy cleaning products. ewg.org/apps


Fragrance, in many skincare and

household products.

❺ Take Detoxifying Supplements In addition to eating the right foods, studies have found that these supplements can help with detoxification of toxins in our food, water, and environment: Chlorophyll: The natural substance that

gives plants their green color, chlorophyll is often recommended by naturopaths for healthy detoxification. A study of 180 people in China—in a community where food was known to contain aflatoxins (produced by certain molds)—found that taking 100 mg of a chlorophyll supplement 3 times daily for 4 months reduced levels of aflatoxins by 55 percent. Indole-3 carbinole (I3C): Found in cruciferous

vegetables, I3C has been found in studies to enhances internal detoxification of estrogenic substances that disrupt hormones. An effective dose was 500 mg daily. Glutathione: The human body’s master internal antioxidant, glutathione plays an essential role in multiple detoxification processes. Exposure to toxins depletes levels of glutathione, contributing to the development of neurological problems. A common dose is 500 mg daily. MARCH 2021

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foods & meals that heal

Cleaned Up Keto

What it is, what it does, and how to make it as healthy as possible. BY LISA TURNER

As trendy as it is, the Keto diet is nothing new. It’s been used in clinical settings for years to treat some medical conditions, and low-carb diets in general have been around since the early 1970s and the Atkins Diet. But does Keto really work? And, more important: is it healthy? It definitely can be, with a few simple fixes.


but it can be harmful for people with kidney disease, pancreatitis, and other conditions, as well as for diabetics taking insulin. If you fall into any of these categories, check with your doctor first.

What the Research Shows While the Keto diet is geared for weight loss, some research suggests that it may also prevent seizures and protect against cardiovascular disease, metabolic

syndrome, and some neurological disorders. Here’s what the science shows: Weight loss. Dozens of studies show that people who follow a Keto or very-low-carb diet lose weight faster than those on a more traditional diet. Keto diets also appear to be more effective than low-fat diets for weight loss, and can result in substantially more fat loss. One meta-analysis comparing long-term

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Photo: adobestock.com

The Keto diet—short for “ketogenic”— is an ultra-low-carb regimen designed to shift the body into what’s called a state of ketosis. Most of the body’s cells use blood sugar (derived from dietary carbs) as their main source of energy. If carbs are restricted and sugar’s not available, the body starts breaking down stored fat into chemicals called ketones—that’s ketosis. It usually takes two to four days of eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs a day for the body to shift. The intended result: more balanced blood sugar and rapid weight loss. Other research also suggests that the Keto diet may influence appetite-control, and ketones themselves are thought to suppress appetite. Individual interpretations of the diet vary, but most restrict carbs to less than 50 grams a day, and some to 20 grams. Unlike the Atkins Diet, which gradually increases carbs, the Keto diet keeps carbs low to encourage the body to remain in a state of ketosis. Protein intake ranges from 20–30 percent of calories per day, while fat accounts for 60–75 percent. Properly designed, the Keto diet is considered safe in the short run, though side effects are typical. The most common: nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, and constipation—a collection of symptoms known as “keto flu.” Few long-term studies have examined the diet’s safety,

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

What It Is

make it! *

Keto Taco Casserole Serves 8 2 Tbs. olive or coconut oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 lbs. ground turkey 1 tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. black pepper 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained 5 large eggs 2 tsp. ground cumin 2 tsp. paprika 1½ cups shredded Colby or cheddar cheese Chopped cilantro leaves, thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, sour cream, and sliced avocado, optional, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in large skillet, and sauté onions and garlic until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook 5–6 minutes, breaking meat up and stirring frequently, until turkey is lightly browned. Add jalapeño, green bell pepper, and tomatoes, and stir to mix well. Remove from heat. 2. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, cumin, and paprika. Fold in turkey and vegetable mixture, and mix well. Spread evenly into 8x8-inch glass casserole, and sprinkle top with cheese.


3. Bake 20–25 minutes, until casserole is set and cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, jalapeño peppers, sour cream, and avocado, if using. Per serving: 360 cal; 32g prot; 23g total fat (8g sat fat); 8g carb; 220mg chol; 640mg sod; 2g fiber; 4g sugar

Blood sugar and diabetes. It’s clear that a high intake of sugar is linked with increased risk of diabetes, and by some estimates, a sugar-rich diet increases diabetes risk by as much as 26 percent. By mostly eliminating sugar, the Keto diet can improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, and verylow-carb diets appear to be significantly more effective than low-fat diets for diabetes prevention and control. Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

(more than one year) effects found that low-carb diets in general led to significantly greater weight loss than low-fat regimens, while also preserving basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. By contrast, BMR dropped by more than 400 calories a day in people following a low-fat diet.

Cardiovascular disease. Several studies suggest that following a Keto diet reduces triglycerides and harmful LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. In

other studies, a very-low-carb diet was more effective at reducing cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors than a low-fat diet.


How to Make It Healthier The main criticisms of the Keto diet: it’s restrictive, unbalanced, and hard to follow, and it generally shouldn’t be a life-long eating plan. It also limits fiberand antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes—shown to protect against cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. The Keto diet itself also doesn’t distinguish between low-quality fats from processed foods and monounsaturated plant-based fats (or clean saturated fats like coconut oil). To turn your Keto diet into the healthiest possible version, start with these basics:

* *

Stick to whole, unprocessed foods, and save packaged Keto products for an occasional treat. For protein, minimize processed meats such as bacon and sausage, and focus on grass-fed or pastured

* *


poultry, lean beef, and eggs. Include fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna for omega-3 fats. Skip processed cheeses and varieties with additives or colors. Keep an eye on the sodium content and choose low-carb, organic versions made from grass-fed cows’ milk. Include full-fat yogurt for probiotics, but avoid those with artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners—add your own natural sugar alternative. For cooking, emphasize monounsaturated fats and plant-based saturated fats. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are the best choices. Supplement fats with avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, and nut butters within your daily carb count. Fruits are limited, but allowed, on the Keto diet. Focus on fiber- and antioxidant-rich choices such as blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, with small amounts of other lower-carb selections such as clementines, plums, and cantaloupe. Make vegetables count by eating the most nutrient-dense, low-carb varieties. Spinach, lettuce, kale, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, avocado, tomatoes, and olives are excellent options. Some root vegetables, including carrots, rutabagas, and beets can be added in moderation. Avoid artificial sweeteners and excessive sugar alcohols. Stick to monk fruit, erythritol, and stevia. Consider the “Keto 2.0” plan—a modified version of the typical Keto diet that focuses on plant-based fats, with less meat and more fish for protein. Take a high-quality daily vitamin to fill in nutrients often missing on a Keto diet. A digestive enzyme can help with nausea and bloating during the transition, and electrolyte supplements can make up for lower levels of potassium and magnesium.

[Editor’s note: see betternutrition.com for more information on Keto diets, as well as Keto recipes.]

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answers to your food questions

Paleo or Keto? A Guide to Grain-Free Baking Mixes

Use this primer to learn the differences between popular quick-fix products to create yummy no-grain treats and baked goods.


At first glance, Paleo and Keto baking mixes seem similar, and it’s easy to get confused. The main ingredient in both is usually blanched almond flour, a low-carb, low-glycemic flour that has a great flavor. Beyond that, there are some important differences. For example, Paleo mixes don’t contain milk products, and keto mixes often do. Also, Paleo mixes typically are

sweetened with coconut sugar, while keto mixes are sweetened with lowcarb sweeteners. The type of mix that’s best for you to use is an individual matter based on the type of diet you follow and your specific food sensitivities. Although not a comprehensive list, the following is a rundown of different types of mixes and common brands of each type.

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Photo: adobestock.com


I eat a grain-free diet and occasionally like to indulge in pancakes, muffins, or cookies. I recently noticed there are grain-free baking mixes to help quickly prepare healthier versions of those foods but I really don’t know the differences between a Paleo, Keto, or low-carb baking mix. Can you explain how they differ?

Photo: adobestock.com


Paleo Baking Mixes Paleo mixes are designed for people who follow the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer diet, meaning these mixes have “cleaner” ingredients. They’re free of not only grains, but also dairy, legumes, and refined sugar. In addition to almond flour, ingredients usually include a grain-free starch such as arrowroot or cassava flour, and often coconut flour and coconut sugar. Some popular Paleo baking mixes: Simple Mills—This company offers a range of easy-to-use baking mixes that are widely

distributed throughout the country. Made with simple, real, nutrition-packed ingredients, its products include a Pancake & Waffle Mix, three flavors of Muffin & Bread Mix, a Brownie Mix, and Cupcake & Cake Mix in Vanilla and Chocolate. All are sweetened with coconut sugar. Simple Mills also produces an Artisan Bread Mix and a Pizza Dough Mix that have no sweetener added. Just add eggs, oil, and water or dairy or non-dairy milk. For artisan bread, add eggs, water, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. All products are Certified Gluten Free and produced with non-GMO ingredients. Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix—This handy mix made with just seven ingredients—including almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, and baking soda—takes the guesswork out of making fluffy, golden, grain-free pancakes and waffles. Simply add eggs, water, and coconut oil to whip up the batter. The mix is tested and confirmed gluten-free in Bob’s Red Mill’s dedicated facility. Pamela’s Grain-Free Pancake Mix—Pamela’s Products, known for its packaged

gourmet gluten-free cookies, produces a Grain-Free Pancake Mix that adds pecan flour and walnut flour to the standard almond flour/arrowroot/coconut flour blend. The mix is Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten Free. It’s also notable because it contains no added sweetener. Just add an egg, unsweetened almond milk, and oil to make no-sugar-added pancakes that have a delicious, hearty flavor. Or for extra protein and pancakes with a cakier texture, follow the alternative recipe on the package and use less almond milk and an extra egg. You also can add your own sweetener and additional ingredients to the mix to prepare grainfree muffins.

Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: adobestock.com

Birch Benders Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mixes—Birch

Benders makes a wide variety of pancake mixes. It has three Paleo products: a Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix; Banana Pancake & Waffle Mix; and Pumpkin Spice Paleo Mix. Unlike most other Paleo mixes, these mixes have cassava starch as the main ingredient and less almond flour. Each mix also includes eggs and leavening, so you only need to add water, mix, and cook. The products are Certified Gluten Free and Certified Paleo.

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Keto Baking Mixes Keto mixes generally are higher in fats and lower in carbohydrates than Paleo mixes, although formulations vary. In addition to almond flour, they can have heartier, higher-fat ingredients such as almond butter; dairy products, such as butter, buttermilk, or whey/milk protein concentrate; protein from legumes; extra fiber; and, typically, a low-carb sweetener such as stevia, monk fruit extract, or erythritol. A few common Keto mixes: Birch Benders Keto Pancake & Waffle Mixes—Birch Benders

Keto Pancake & Waffle Mix is a combination of almond flour, eggs, root vegetable-based tigernut flour, organic coconut flour, cassava starch, buttermilk, and leavening and spices. The company also sells a Chocolate Chip Keto mix that has no-added-sugar dark chocolate chips. You need to add only water to make the batter. Both mixes are Certified Gluten Free. Lakanto Keto Pancake & Baking Mix—

Lakanto is an all-natural, zero-glycemic sweetener made from monk fruit and non-GMO erythritol. The company that produces Lakanto offers Keto and other types of baking mixes sweetened with this sweetener. Beware that not all of Lakanto’s mixes are Keto, and also be mindful that some of its Keto mixes contain grain products, such as oat fiber or degermed corn grits. However, its Keto Pancake & Baking Mix is Keto-friendly and grain-free. Just add coconut oil, eggs, and water to the mix to prepare pancake batter. Other Keto Mixes—You may find other Keto baking mixes available for purchase in

your area. Be aware that some are not completely grain-free. For example, Keto and Co sells ultra-low-carb mixes for ketogenic pancakes, brownies, vanilla cake, shortbread cookies, and more that contain small amounts of non-GMO corn fiber. Also be aware that some Keto mixes, such as a few by Foodstirs, contain relatively new sugar substitutes such as allulose. This low-calorie sweetener has little to no effect on blood sugar, but may cause uncomfortable abdominal side effects in some people. As you try different products, pay attention to how you feel after eating them to determine if they work well for you.

Coconut Flour Though not a premade mix, coconut flour is a naturally low-carb, low-glycemic, high-fiber, grain-free flour that is easy to use because it does not need to be combined with other flours. Add eggs and sweetener of your choice. Then, depending on the other ingredients you use, you can make either Paleo- or Keto-friendly pancakes, muffins, cookies, pie crusts, crumble toppings, and cakes. Numerous companies produce and sell coconut flour. Among them are Nutiva, Let’s Do Organic, Bob’s Red Mill, and Pamela’s Products.


What You Should Know about Low-Carb Baking Mixes If you follow a gluten-free and low-carb diet, you might think that a low-carb baking mix would be a good choice, but that’s often not the case. The main ingredient in many low-carb baking mixes is vital wheat gluten—basically, concentrated gluten. Eating this would be harmful if you have celiac disease or are gluten-sensitive. Another key ingredient can be soy flour, a common food allergen. So read ingredients carefully and beware.

No-Bake Mix Creation Nation makes innovative no-bake, no-added-sugar bar and bite mixes with organic superfood ingredients. Depending on the ingredients you add, you can prepare Paleo, Keto, vegan, or gluten-free treats with unparalleled freshness and homemade taste in minutes. For example, if you use Creation’s Cocoa for Coconuts Energy Bite Mix— a combination of organic shredded coconut, Brazil nut powder, cocoa powder, flaxseed meal, vanilla flavor, sea salt, and monk fruit – you can make a Paleo treat by adding mashed banana and mashed avocado to the mix. Or you can make it keto—and change it to a mocha flavor—by adding coffee and crunchy almond butter to the mix. Then roll into balls and serve. All Creation Nation products are Certified Gluten Free. Two of its products contain gluten-free oats, but the rest of its mixes are grain free.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS NOW Organic Coconut Milk Powder NOW introduces Organic Coconut Milk Powder, which comes directly from fresh, organic coconuts and is spray-dried and then mixed with organic plant-based ingredients so it easily dissolves in hot water or coffee. It’s ideal for baking since it has a much longer shelf life than liquid coconut milk and does not require refrigeration.

Garden of Flavor Energy Elixirs Garden of Flavor juices feature the highest-quality organic fruits and vegetables to nourish from within. These Energy Elixirs provide the benefits of organic, cold-pressed juice with the sustained energy of guayusa and 1 billion living probiotics. Made with the finest superfood ingredients such as Hawaiian turmeric root, Aronia berry, and wheatgrass.

Kibow Biomunity Biomunity combines five immune-system-nourishing probiotic strains and five functional fibers with zinc, CoQ10, vitamins C and D, and more. Results have been measured in improved energy and regularity, healthier gut microbiome, and fewer days feeling sick. That’s breakthrough immune support!

Life Extension Endocannabinoid System Booster Life Extension’s Endocannabinoid System Booster helps maintain whole-body balance, comfort, and more. Supports whole-body comfort and neurological health; promotes harmony between your biological systems; soothes mood; and promotes restful sleep patterns. Does not contain CBD, hemp, or THC ingredients.

Xlear Nasal Spray This popular nasal spray features the power of xylitol, a natural ingredient that protects against bacterial colonies in the nose and sinuses. It not only cleanses, but also hydrates dry, irritated tissues.

Health Thru Nutrition Capsanthin HTN proudly introduces the world’s first capsanthin ocular health supplement. It’s clinically proven to reduce eye fatigue, improve macular pigment ocular density (MPOD), and support healthy IOP (intra ocular pressure). Fight against blue-light exposure (who doesn’t have too much screen time these days?) with this one-of-akind nutrient—only from HTN.

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recipe makeovers full of modern flavor

Vegan Caesar Salad

This healthy twist on the classic Caesar salad is so good, you won’t believe it’s vegan. BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC

he happened to have on hand. And while the original recipe didn’t include anchovies, the Parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce made it less than vegan friendly. Which brings us back around to Chef Jeannette’s truly vegan version of this now-classic salad. It may not make you forget the original—but it will make you fall in love with a new way to eat it!—Dr. Jonny


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Photo: adobestock.com

spirit of the original, which was created (and named after) an Italian immigrant restaurateur by the name of Caesar Cardini. Necessity really was the mother of invention in Cardini’s case. His restaurant (aptly named “Caesar’s”) ran short of salad fixings during a Fourth of July rush back in the ’20s, so he threw together a pot luck house mix—starting with Romaine, garlic, and spices, then adding in whatever

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food Styling: Claire Stancer

If you’re having vegans over for dinner and thinking about foods you shouldn’t serve, a Caesar salad probably wouldn’t be on the list. But this salad is frequently served with shrimp and anchovies, both of which wouldn’t be welcome on the vegan dinner plate. Our version eliminates both of those—as well as the nonvegan Parmesan cheese and dairy-based Caesar dressing—and actually produces a salad closer to the


make it!

Macadamia Nuts

Grilled, Plant-Based Caesar Serves 4 ¹⁄³ cup unsalted macadamia nuts (raw or roasted) ¼ cup pine nuts (raw) ¼ cup water Juice of 2 lemons + zest of 1 lemon 2 soft Medjool dates, pitted 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp. nutritional yeast Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste 2–3 drops liquid stevia, optional 4 Romaine lettuce hearts 1. Preheat grill to high. Combine all dressing ingredients from macadamia nuts through stevia drops, if using, in high-speed blender, and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Set aside to allow flavors to meld. 2. Slice each Romaine heart neatly in half, lengthwise. When grill is hot, oil it lightly with neutral, heat-stable cooking oil. Place prepared Romaine hearts, cut-sides-down, on grill, and cook until cut sides have begun to lightly brown, about 2 minutes. 3. Transfer grilled hearts to platter or individual plates, cut-side-up, and drizzle generously with dressing to serve. Any extra dressing will keep in refrigerator, covered, for several days. Per serving: 290 cal; 10g prot; 16g total fat (2g sat fat); 35g carb; 0mg chol; 55mg sod; 16g fiber; 17g sugar

The macadamia nut was the favorite nut of iconic diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins. How do I know that? Because the one time I met him in his office, he was giving an interview to a magazine called Health Revelations, and he told them he considered the macadamia a meal in itself. He also said he simply would not board an airplane without them. Now Atkins was known for sometimes being hyperbolic, and I certainly wouldn’t consider macadamia nuts a complete meal. But I would agree they’re one of the all-time great snacks. Macs are a wonderful source of monounsaturated fat, the type of fat found in olive oil, one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The main monounsaturated fatty acid in olive oil is called oleic acid, and it’s great for you. It’s heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory. Oleic acid is also the predominant monounsaturated fat in macadamia nuts. But unlike olive oil, macs also have a nice amount of palmitoleic acid, another monounsaturated fat that has significant health benefits, including improving insulin resistance. Also known as omega-7, palmitoleic acid was found to lower both inflammation and triglycerides in a study performed at the Cleveland Clinic. A good rule of thumb—any food that helps lower inflammation is good for you! In addition to healthy fats, macs are good sources of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium (for strong bones and teeth); heart-healthy potassium; and a couple of grams of fiber per ounce. They also contain a small amount of selenium, a trace mineral with significant antioxidant and immune-supporting properties. Plus, they contain phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, which has been shown to help promote prostate health, possibly by its anti-inflammatory activity. Remember, though, don’t go through a whole family-sized bag at a time! Macadamia nuts are very high in calories—about 204 per ounce—so if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t just start mindlessly munching on them. Instead, use macadamias as ingredients in recipes, include a few in a mixed nuts sampler, or eat a few here and there during the week. They’re one of the most expensive nuts out there, so limiting them to reasonable amounts shouldn’t be too hard!

Clean Food Coach:

Photo: adobestock.com

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food Styling: Claire Stancer

Notes from the

When working with fresh produce in raw recipes, always be prepared to adjust flavors to taste. Dates vary in freshness and size, for example. So the “2 soft Medjool dates” won’t always produce the same result. You can adjust the sweetness of this dressing to your liking by adding dates or boosting with a tiny bit of good liquid stevia for less sugar. The best dates for this recipe are soft, fresh Medjools, but any pitted date will work. If your dates aren’t soft, soak in warm water for 10 minutes before blending. Using the soak water for the water in the recipe will increase the sweetness even further.

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easy ways to boost your nutrition

Meet Your Matcha

What’s for dessert? Try these matcha-laced mini cheesecakes (no-bake!) made with dates, coconut oil, cashews, maple syrup, and other clean ingredients. Mini No-Bake Matcha Tea Cheesecakes Serves 6 Do you ever feel guilty after eating something sweet? Well, this mini cheesecake recipe is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without overindulging. Not only does it include a comprehensive green superfood powder, its filling is primarily cashews— who knew? Recipe courtesy of Monique Sourinho (@bee.the.love) for VibrantHealth.com.

CRUST 1 cup Medjool dates 1½ cups granola (we used gr8nola Matcha Tea) A pinch of salt FILLING 1½ cups raw cashews (presoaked in hot water for 1 hour) ¾ cups coconut yogurt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 Tbs. melted coconut oil ½ cup maple syrup ¼ Tbs. sea salt 1 scoop Green Vibrance Vibrant Health Green Vibrance Matcha Tea

1. Make crust: Mix all three crust ingredients in blender until a loose, dough-like consistency forms. Once mixture is well-blended, place small amounts in bottom of mini-springform pans or glass dishes, and press down until crust forms. 2. Make filling: Add filling ingredients to blender, and mix until smooth. Pour into crust. Allow cakes to set overnight in refrigerator. Per serving: 480 cal; 8g prot; 20g total fat (7g sat fat); 72g carb; 0mg chol; 410mg sod; 6g fiber; 49g sugar

Matcha Tea

What Is Matcha?

Matcha is a finely ground powder of dried green tea leaves. The leaves are grown differently than those in regular green tea—matcha features leaves from shade-grown trees, which boosts its chlorophyll content and offers other unique benefits. All in all, matcha is:

* High in catechins (particularly

EGCG), plant compounds with natural antioxidant properties.

* Naturally rich in minerals, including * Contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

* A good source of natural caffeine— an 8-oz. cup has anywhere from 40 to 70 mg of caffeine. In case you’re wondering, an 8-oz. cup of coffee has 95 mg of caffeine, and a cup of green tea contains 27 mg.


Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron.

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“I just noticed that I was sharper, I was starting to remember things better!” ‡ “Even if you’re not noticing an issue with memory loss, I would still recommend taking it. I just feel like it makes you sharper and keeps you on your toes. I wish I had taken Prevagen 5 or 10 years ago.” ‡


Susan, 52 Sales Management. Marathon Runner. Paid Testimonialist


Prevagen has been clinically shown to help with mild memory loss associated with aging.

**Based on voting by Better Nutrition editors.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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Profile for Better Nutrition Magazine

Better Nutrition Magazine March 2021 Issue  

spring is in the air Protect yourself against age-related muscle loss on the menu: Seeds Nutrient-packed recipes featuring chia, hemp, pumpk...

Better Nutrition Magazine March 2021 Issue  

spring is in the air Protect yourself against age-related muscle loss on the menu: Seeds Nutrient-packed recipes featuring chia, hemp, pumpk...

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