Better Nutrition February 2021 Issue

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Rich, decadent, and oh-so-simple to make, Quinoa Chocolate Cakes are a bite of heaven, p. 20



SEED OILS: Can they cause low energy, brain fog, & mood swings? P. 35


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Introducing NEW!

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“These Organic, Non-GMO and Vegan gummies are a fun way to enjoy all of the benefits you love from Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, unrefined and fermented, originating from the Mother, plus whole-food vitamin B12. Enjoy! Love, Alicia


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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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February 2021 / Vol. 83 / No. 2

6 NEWSBITES 5 Steps to Adopt Healthy Habits Changing your mindset is key.

10 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT Skin in the Game The crunchy appeal of salmon skin.

12 HOT BUYS Healthy Solutions New natural products we love.

14 CHECK OUT Must-Know Facts About Nutritional Yeast It’s nutritious, flavorful—and vegan.



12 supplements that can help protect and heal your heart.

features 24 28

Superfoods from A to Z

Moringa and açai may get all the headlines, but when it comes to superfoods, there are plenty to choose from. From the commonplace to the exotic, here’s an A-to-Z list of 26 of our favorites.

12 Powerhouse Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

The heart is the most important muscle in the body, so keeping it healthy is a must. Along with diet and exercise, these supplements can help keep your ticker in top shape.


8 Bad Seed Oils You Should Replace

According to Catherine Shanahan, MD, author of The Fatburn Fix and Deep Nutrition, ditching these unhealthy fats should be the first step in any wellness regimen.

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DOCTOR Natural Rx for Covid Long-Haulers What you need to know about lingering issues.

18 NATURAL REMEDY 3 Herbs for Better Sex Give your libido a lift naturally.

20 ALL THINGS All You Need Is Chocolate There’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s day.

22 NATURAL BEAUTY Skin Care Oils The ancient secret to radiant skin.

38 HEALTHY@HOME Eat to Keep Your Spirits Up When it comes to a positive outlook, diet makes all the difference.

40 EATING 4 HEALTH 5 Reasons to Go Dairy-Free It’s never been easier to ditch milk.

42 HEALTHY DISH Easy Chicken Curry It’s perfect for weeknight dinners.

44 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST Trouble Swallowing? The facts about eosinophilic esophagitis, a swallowing condition.

48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS Cook with Color Our moringa-infused dip is to die for.

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

TOP 10 RECIPES FOR HEART HEALTH Give your heart a little TLC with our curated collection of recipes, including: Cocoa-Nut Truffle Balls Marinated Artichoke Salad with Roasted Pistachios Super Greens, Beets, & Quinoa Salad with Hemp Seeds Apple-Glazed, Cedar-Grilled Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon Check them out at


NATURAL MEDICINE HUB We’ve partnered with the Institute of Natural Medicine ( 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) Pornchai Mittongtare; Food styling: Claire Stancer; (this page)


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Take It to Heart As underlying risk factors for Covid severity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease have been on everyone’s minds this past year. While the focus around Covid is shifting to the vaccine, it’s important not to forget how life-threatening these two conditions can be—without or without Covid. In “12 Powerhouse Nutrients for a Healthy Heart,” on p. 28, BN columnist Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, discusses 12 helpful supplements for the heart. “Even if you’re already on medication [for heart disease], nutritional supplements can still improve your health,” says Bowden. “In the case of CoQ10, for example, supplementation is an absolute must if you’re on a statin drug.” Supplements definitely play a role in a heart-healthy lifestyle, but they can’t make up for an unhealthy diet. In The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Disease—and the Stain-Free Plan that Will, Bowden and cowriter Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, make the case that diet— specifically insulin resistance caused by high-carb, sugar-laden foods—is a main contributor to heart disease, along with inflammation, oxidation, and stress. It’s not cholesterol. “Insulin resistance is something that nearly always precedes type 2 diabetes, and as we will argue, is an early warning sign of heart disease,” say Bowden and Sinatra. They add: “If you catch the signs of diabetes early enough, you can prevent heart disease—for many.” To get the full scoop, I highly recommend this book. You might be thinking, an entire book about cholesterol? I promise it’s a fascinating read—and it’s not just about cholesterol. At its core, it’s about healthy aging. And who doesn’t want that?


Our Writers

Meet the passionate people behind this issue of Better Nutrition!


Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, is an award-winning educator, author, and real food chef. She’s helped thousands of people make lasting, healthy changes to unhealthy habits.


Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a boardcertified nutritionist and the bestselling author of 15 books, including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.


Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is an Ontario, Canada-based dietitian and food writer who has contributed nutrition and recipe features to dozens of publications. He is also the author of Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports + Adventure.







Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr., is a holistic nutritionist with 25 years of clinical experience. She is the author of Going Against GMOs and other books. Mark Stengler, NMD, is the founder of Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego. Stengler is an award-winning doctor and the authored several books, including Heal Your Prostate. Sherrie Strausfogel has been writing about natural beauty for more than 20 years. Based in Honolulu, she also 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. She has more than 20 years of experience in researching and writing about nourishing foods. Vera Tweed has been writing about supplements, holistic nutrition, and fitness for more than 20 years. She is the editorial director at Natural Health Connections and author of Hormone Harmony. Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing in healthy cuisine, with clients who have included Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron, and the CEO of Disney.


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

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

Contributing Editors Vera Tweed, Helen Gray Contributing Writers Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, Melissa Diane Smith, Mark Stengler, NMD, 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 310-873-6952 Vice President, GM Sharon Houghton shoughton@pocketoutdoormedia. com Publisher & Director of Rob Lutz Retail Sales 970-291-9029 Integrated Media Sales Anne Hassett Director, West Coast 415-404-2860 Integrated Media Sales Mason Wells Director, East Coast & Midwest 917-656-2899 Senior Brand Marketing Kristen Zohn Manager 917-860-8733 Marketing Designer Judith Nesnadny Accounting & Billing Tonya Hodges 800-380-9842 Retail Customer Service 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 BetterNutritionMagazine bnutritionmag betternutrition betternutritionmag

BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 83, No. 2. 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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Adopt Healthy Habits BY VERA TWEED

Set a goal that’s meaningful to you; this is your “why.” To achieve a large goal, such as getting fit, break it down into steps that are manageable, but a little bit challenging. If walking for 30 minutes every day seems unrealistic and 1 minute seems too easy, perhaps aim to walk for 5 or 10 minutes daily. Introduce a new habit into an existing routine. If you eat a bowl of cereal every morning, you could do 5 push-ups against the kitchen countertop or against a wall before you eat your cereal. And give yourself a “Nicely done” after your push-ups. Keep track of your progress and what does or doesn’t work. Do more of what’s working and amend what doesn’t work. Keep an eye on your “why,” and use it to build on your successes.


“If you find that you’re doubting your ability to adhere to your change plan, remember why this is important to you,” says Gagliardi, “and what reaching this goal can do for you and your family.”


Changing habits—whether they relate to food, exercise, sleep, or other aspects of health—can be a challenging process. But a realistic plan can help you make lasting improvements and achieve your goals. Don’t just rely on willpower, advises fitness specialist and health coach Chris Gagliardi, who mentors trainers for the American Council on Exercise. If your goal is to eat less sugar, for example, you don’t want to surround yourself with food traps—sodas and other sweet treats around the house and in your fridge. “As the day goes by, it will be harder and harder for me to say no and eventually I may cave, especially if my workday has been stressful,” he says. Food traps are easier to avoid if they’re kept well out of sight. To change habits in a realistic, sustainable way, Gagliardi recommends:


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APPETITE and SUGAR Different types of sugar affect appetite a bit differently, according to a study that compared pure glucose and table sugar (sucrose), which contains equal parts of glucose and fructose. In a group of men and women between the ages of 18 and 35, glucose suppressed hunger more than table sugar. Earlier research found that high fructose corn syrup, which can contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, stimulates hunger hormones.

Periodontal disease, which includes inflamed, receding gums and pockets that develop between the gums and teeth, is the leading cause of tooth loss. It also generates systemic inflammation that contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. But supplements of Aged Garlic Extract can slow down and even help to reverse such deterioration. In an 18-month study of 182 people with gum disease, half took 2,400 mg daily of Aged Garlic Extract and half took a placebo. Those who took the garlic supplement experienced a significant reduction of pocket depth and gum inflammation. Although supplements don’t replace standard dental care, Aged Garlic Extract can help fight harmful bacteria and inflammation, helping to heal gums and preserve teeth and overall health.

Relaxing for 10 minutes is all it takes to reduce stress, even if you simply rest your head on your desk, according to a study that compared relaxation breaks and massage. Getting a gentle massage for 10 minutes was even better. But either a break or a massage lowered heart rate and kicked in a natural stress-reduction mechanism in the nervous system, making study participants less physically and mentally stressed.

You may have heard that you can’t outrun your fork because it’s unrealistic to exercise enough to burn extra calories from even one indulgence. As an example, it generally takes about an hour of walking to burn off the calories in one chocolate glazed donut. But exercise does play a role in weight loss, according to a study at the University of Colorado in Aurora. In a group of overweight people, researchers tested fitness levels before, during, and after an 18-month weight-loss program. Those who were fittest at the start were able to do longer, more intense workouts and lost an average of 18 pounds during the program, compared to less-fit participants who lost only 9 pounds. And regardless of weight, fitness can always be improved.





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

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companies fostering personal & global well-being

Skin in the Game

Let us introduce you to Goodfish, a sustainable snack company where salmon skin is the star (and super healthy!) ingredient. BY NEIL ZEVNIK

Did you know that salmon is the secondmost consumed seafood in the U.S. (after shrimp)? And most of that comes to you as filets, very often with the skin removed. So did you ever wonder what happened to that skin? Sadly, most of it goes to waste—some finds its way into pet food, some into fertilizer, and the rest is simply discarded. Yet the skin contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other part of the fish. Surely that’s worth rescuing?

Goodfish cofounder Justin Guilbert knew that salmon skins, with their high omega-3 content and crunchy texture, had too much going for them to end up in the trash.

A Fish Tale



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Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Goodfish Crispy Salmon Snacks feature wild Alaskan Salmon skins, salt, and organic palm oil. They come in five flavors: Sea Salt, Sriracha Lemongrass, Chili Lime, Spicy BBQ, and Tart Cranberry.

Photo: Goodfish

Enter Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud, founders of Goodfish. They had a plan to revolutionize the snack market by “making the idea of up-cycled fish skins into a new option for the American diet.” And that they did with their line of Crispy Salmon Skin snacks (see box below for details).

They knew they wanted to create a product that would be beneficial on many levels—for the consumer, for the fishermen, for the planet. So they committed to using only wild-caught salmon from Bristol Bay in Alaska, one of the best-managed fisheries in the world, and to add only organic and non-GMO ingredients to the skins.

With Goodfish, Everyone Wins So it’s good for consumers because salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and marine collagen, both of which have numerous proven benefits such as supporting heart and brain function, and maintaining skin and bone health. And it’s good for the fishermen because it increases their revenue and economic independence, and supports sustainable and responsible fisheries. As for the planet, increasing the viability of salmon products in Alaska and specifically Bristol Bay helps to protect its fragile ecosystem from development and degradation— definitely a good thing.

make it! Double Salmon Sandwiches Serves 2 Tons of protein and omega-3s in a tasty sandwich—who could ask for more? You can roast or poach the salmon in advance and chill, or use leftovers from the night before! 1½ Tbs. plain Greek yogurt 1 heaping tsp. microplaned lemon zest 1 tsp. green peppercorn Dijon mustard 4 slices dill rye bread, lightly toasted 6 oz. cooked wild-caught salmon, flaked 1 large Persian cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal 1 bag (0.53 oz.) Goodfish Tart Cranberry Crispy Salmon Skins 1 handful wild arugula Stir together yogurt, lemon zest, and mustard. Spread on all four slices of bread. On top of two slices of bread, place cooked salmon, cucumber slices, crispy salmon skins, and arugula. Top with remaining two slices of bread, and enjoy. Per serving: 360 cal; 28g prot; 13g total fat (3.5g sat fat); 32g carb; 70mg chol; 500mg sod; 1g fiber; 5g sugar

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Photo: Goodfish

Navigating Uncharted Waters Despite the obvious benefits, the process of turning salmon skin into a viable product turned out to be more challenging than they could have imagined. “Our preconceived notions and perhaps simplistic opinion on the issues surrounding the wild salmon industry were consistently given a reality check,” says Guilbert. “There are no bad guys or good guys, just networks of interests, cultures, and legacies that must coexist and thrive to preserve the very land (and sea) that puts a roof over their heads.” Navigating those networks, and the operational challenges required by innovation, demands mental stamina and heartfelt dedication. But in the end, it’s all about Goodfish’s ultimate goals: “Better food from source to stomach for all, and leaving the world a better place than we found it.” FEBRUARY 2021

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new & notable

Healthy Solutions

Herbal lung support for every day, soothing “jelly” face masks, and more!

Seriously Good Snacking Calling all Cheetos lovers (come on, you know who you are!). Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks has created Crunchies,

a natural version of the original—and they taste amazing! Their signature heirloom corn makes the snacks— which are baked, not fried—extra crunchy. They’re also non-GMO and made with organic cheese. Choose from Cheddar, Jalapeño, and

Defend the Health of Your Lungs With heightened immune challenges and exposure to environmental pollutants, our lungs play a key role in keeping us healthy. Gaia Herbs Mighty Lungs

helps support long-term lung health with a blend of adaptogenic and respiratory-supporting herbs. These include mullein, plantain, and marshmallow root grown on the Gaia farm.

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Make Jelly Your Jam

Full of Beans

Give yourself a spa moment and a skin pick-me-up with Acure

Get ready for some extra-delicious refried beans to go with your favorite Mexican dishes.

Mega Hydrating Jelly Masks. The Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy mask

A Dozen Cousins Classic Refried Pinto Beans and Refried Black Beans

features hydrating hyaluronic acid, skin-balancing blue tansy oil, and antioxidants including blueberry, seaweed, and turmeric. The Brightening Vitamin C mask combines vitamin C with ferulic acid and banana flower.

are slow-simmered and seasoned with vegetables and spices according to authentic recipes. Made with avocado oil, the beans come in ready-to-eat pouches and can be quickly heated up in the microwave. And they’re vegan.

Elderberry for a Healthy Edge Garden of Life mykind Organics Elderberry Immune Syrup provides

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guide to cutting-edge supplements

Must-Know Facts About Nutritional Yeast

This vegan-friendly and B vitamin-packed ingredient adds a cheesy flavor to everything, from popcorn to potatoes.

What Is Nutritional Yeast? Not to be confused with brewer’s yeast or the active dried yeast used to make bread and pizza crust, nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of the microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae with no leavening powers (please, don’t try to make a loaf of sourdough with it). It’s produced by culturing the yeast on a sugar-rich medium, such as molasses,


for several days. After this growth period, the yeast is heated (i.e., pasteurized) and then dried for packaging. Since yeasts are members of the fungi family, like mushrooms, nutritional yeast is most certainly appropriate for use by vegans. Why So Cheesy? Even if it suffers from a less-thanfun name, nutritional yeast brings both savory and salty flavors to foods that are typically mild in taste. This distinctive flavor profile can largely be attributed to its abundance of naturally occurring glutamate, an amino acid that interacts with specific taste cells in the tongue to unleash an umami, Parmesan-like wave of flavor. This makes the yellow flakes a good option for those who’ve ditched dairy, or for anyone who wants to add a cheesy, umami-rich punch to a savory dish.

Why It’s Good for You True to its moniker, the hippie dust has an impressive nutrition label. For starters, with 4–5 grams of protein in a two-tablespoon serving, nutritional yeast is a pretty solid source of plantbased protein. And since it provides a full complement of essential amino acids, the flakes can be considered one of the few sources of complete protein in the plant kingdom, making it able to support the construction of bodily tissues, including muscle. Most brands contain a whole slew of B vitamins including thiamine, niacin, and B6 to support a healthy metabolism – these nutrients are typically added during processing. In terms of key stats, a serving of the yellow flakes can deliver more than a day’s requirement for the B vitamin folate. Based on data from 4,704 American young adults, a study in Diabetes Care suggests that higher intakes of folate early in life can help lower the risk of developing diabetes as one ages, perhaps by working to lower levels of inflammation. A notable benefit of nutritional yeast for vegans is that it’s also often very high in vitamin B12, an essential nutrient typically only found in meat, eggs, and dairy. Vitamin B12 is a big deal for producing red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system, and a deficiency can put people at risk for energy-sapping anemia. In one study, plant-only eaters who supplemented their daily diet with one tablespoon of nutritional yeast were


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Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

Once a niche food if there ever was one, nutritional yeast—or “nooch,” as the cool kids call it—has become all the rage lately, thanks to a swell of enthusiasm for plant-based eating. Its recent Insta-stardom has the non-vegan world curious as to what it is and if it does indeed make everything it touches taste like cheese. Here’s what you need to know about this wonder ingredient that deserves a spot in your spice rack.



able to restore their B12 levels if they had previously been deficient. To provide this benefit, however, nutritional yeast must be fortified with B12—like other plant foods, it doesn’t contain it naturally. So check the product label to be sure. Aside from protein and B vitamins, nutritional yeast offers a bit of iron, potassium, and a unique type of fiber called beta-glucan, which has cholesterollowering properties. And even though it tastes like cheese, nutritional yeast lacks the calorie and saturated fat density of dairy, so it could provide some waistline-trimming benefits when used as a replacement. While the exact calorie count varies by manufacturer, most brands average a mere 30 calories for two tablespoons. Although nutritional yeast is rich in certain nutrients, it’s deficient in others—so don’t think that sprinkling it on your popcorn is going to meet all your nutritional needs. And if you’re allergic or sensitive to yeast, this cheesy seasoning is a no-go. With that said, such inactive types of yeast do not contribute to candida yeast infections or overgrowth.

make it! Golden Tofu Scramble Tacos

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer


Serves 4 This meatless version of traditional tacos packs a generous dose of protein from the nutritional yeast, tofu, and pinto beans, plus iron from the spinach—nutrients often lacking in vegan diets. 1 block firm tofu 1 Tbs. olive oil 2 shallots, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 large red bell pepper, chopped ½ tsp. turmeric ½ tsp. ground coriander ¼ tsp. cayenne ¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper ¼ cup nutritional yeast 1 cup cooked or canned pinto beans (drained and rinsed) 3 cups baby spinach 8 small corn tortillas, warmed 1 avocado, thinly sliced 1 cup salsa of choice 1. Place tofu on paper towel-lined cutting board or other flat surface. Top with more paper towels and another cutting board or flat item. Press down to extract as much water as possible. Using large holes of a box grater or the tines of a fork, grate tofu into bowl.

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in red bell pepper, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper, and heat 1 minute more. Add tofu and nutritional yeast, and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add pinto beans and baby spinach, and cook until spinach is slightly wilted and everything is heated through. 3. Divide tofu mixture among tortillas and top with avocado and salsa. Per serving: 303 cal; 14g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat); 34g carb; 0mg chol; 650mg sod; 12g fiber; 13g sugar

Eat It Up Nutritional yeast comes in either powder or flake form, making it easy to sprinkle on just about anything. You can dust roasted or steamed veggies, cooked rice, mashed potatoes or cauliflower, pizza, and soups with the stuff to give them more appeal. If you’re wishing to make a vegan version of a meal that includes melted cheese such as mac and cheese, creamy alfredo pasta, or Caesar dressing, you probably can turn to trusty nutritional yeast to help get the job done. A common kitchen hack by food bloggers is to blend nutritional yeast with soaked cashews and seasonings to make a plant-based “cheese” sauce for nachos. It can also lend a distinctive Parmesanesque flavor to pestos and blended dips. Nutritional yeast should be stashed in a cool, dark place to preserve its flavor and nutrition. When properly stored, it can last up to two years. FEBRUARY 2021

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answers to your health questions

Natural Rx for Covid Long-Haulers

Around 10 percent of Covid patients continue to experience symptoms long after they’ve beaten the infection. Here’s what you need to know about these lingering issues. BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC


Many viral diseases have a “post-viral” syndrome, in which no discernible trace of the virus can be found, but health is not restored. An early and much documented example is post-polio syndrome. A more modern example is chronic fatigue, which is generally attributed to a significant infection with Epstein-Barr virus, often occurring in high school years, and known as mononucleosis. It’s thought that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 may have similar longterm effects in some people. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, “There’s no question that there are a considerable number of individuals who have a post-viral syndrome that really, in many respects, can incapacitate them for weeks and weeks following so-called recovery and clearing of the virus.” Current estimates are that 10 percent of those infected will have prolonged recoveries, and women are four times more likely to report long-haul Covid symptoms. This is likely because women’s immune systems and hormonal cycles are more complex because we’re engineered to bear children. Long-haulers don’t necessarily have severe disease or require hospitalization. Researchers speculate that even mild cases can trigger long-lasting changes in the immune system. The most common


symptoms reported by long-haulers include fatigue, persistent cough, shortness of breath, cognitive impairment (“brain fog”), and joint and chest pain. Loss of the senses of taste and smell also lingers for many long-haulers.

How the Damage Is Done Many coronaviruses, including the one that causes Covid-19, affect the lungs, and they can be especially dangerous for people who have preexisting lung conditions such as asthma or COPD. Covid-19 differs from many other lung diseases, however, due to the high presence of blood clots. While this has led some to opine that Covid-19 may primarily be an endothelial disease (affecting the inner lining of blood vessels), research has shown that the “spike protein” of this virus can attach to many tissues, inserting itself

into those cells and massively replicating itself. There is no doubt, of course, that the virus that causes Covid-19 attaches particularly well to certain ARB and ACE1 receptors in the lungs, but the “debris” from battling the infection is also found in many other tissues. In the case of long-haulers, the virus attacks primarily the lungs, but can damage just about every other organ or tissue during the disease phase. Our immune systems fight back, and the fallout is inflammation-prolonging debris throughout the body, sometimes referred to as a cytokine storm. Cytokines are a type of extremely powerful “Helper T” white blood cell. They’re so powerful, in fact, that it can be difficult to get the immune system back in balance after large numbers of cytokines have gone to work. As with


I got Covid last summer, and I still don’t feel well. I’m tired and “foggy-headed” quite often, sometimes for days on end. I had another Covid test, which was negative. How can I restore my health and vitality?


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many immune disorders, immune modulators can have a significant effect on the nervous system, which is likely why many long-haulers report “brain fog” and extreme fatigue—because more than the lungs have been affected.

Covid Recovery Strategies


adrenal tonics include vitamin C, licorice (medicinal grade), or an herbal combination that contains licorice (Glycyrrhiza) plus any two other of these adaptogens: eleutherococcus, astragalus, ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, or schizandra. Recovery from long-haul Covid is possible with restorative steps including rest, hydration, a whole-foods diet, and stress management. Walk in nature. And take baths. Support is also important. If your doctor dismisses your concerns, try another doctor. And connect to an online community where you feel heard.

Find a licensed naturopathic doctor for a virtual (telemedicine) or in-person consultation at


Low-risk, highly effective therapies for Covid-19 long-haulers include N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 600–1200 mg twice daily, or glutathione, the tri-peptide featuring cysteine that’s particularly effective for healing the lungs. Glutathione isn’t a stable molecule, and is best delivered in a liposomal form (attached to a fat, usually lecithin), such as Readisorb. Glutathione can also be delivered through light therapy patches from LifeWave company. A well-absorbed turmeric product, such as CuraMed,

can also be helpful in mopping up the infection debris that causes lingering Covid symptoms. As mentioned above, blood clots are also a serious symptom of Covid-19, and one of my favorite clot-preventing nutrients is omega-3 oils from fatty fish. Remember the acronym SMASH for the healthiest fish choices: salmon (wild, not farmed), mackerel, anchovy, sardine, and herring. If your symptoms include a racing heartbeat and/or lightheadedness, consider taking adrenal-supportive supplements. Some of my preferred

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NATURAL REMEDY * holistic strategies to help you feel better

3 Herbs for Better Sex

A low sex drive affects both men and women for a variety of reasons. But you can recharge your libido with these botanicals. BY MARK STENGLER, NMD

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) You’re probably familiar with the stress-busting effects of ashwagandha, but this Ayurvedic medicine is also known for its libido-enhancing benefits. A double-blind study of healthy women aged 21–50 found improvements in arousal and lubrication compared to placebo. Ashwagandha also has a history in Ayurvedic medicine to treat male sexual

Natural Progesterone Cream

Natural progesterone creams are commonly used by perimenopausal and menopausal women to help relieve a variety of symptoms. Women with deficient progesterone who use transdermal progesterone may have a restoration of sex drive. A typical dosage is 20 mg applied to the skin twice daily for two weeks before menses for perimenopausal women, and twice daily for three weeks a month for menopausal women. Progesterone is best used under the guidance of a holistic doctor. dysfunction and infertility and to act as an aphrodisiac. Ashwagandha supplementation has been shown in human studies to increase serum testosterone levels and decrease serum cortisol.

Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) Ancient Bluebonnet Nutrition Nutrition Ancient Intimate Herbals Essentials For Ashwagandha Her Sexual Response & Libido Boost


Youtheory Men Maca

This herbal product is popular in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia for the treatment of male sexual disorders, including low libido. Research on an extract of Tongkat ali has been shown to improve libido in men. The recommended dose is 200–400 mg daily of an extract.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) Maca is a traditional Peruvian aphrodisiac, and modern studies back up its use for enhancing female and male libido. In a 12-week double-blind, placebocontrolled, randomized, parallel trial, men aged 21–56 received 1,500 mg of maca, 3,000 mg of maca, or a placebo. Maca was shown to improve sexual desire at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. Maca was also demonstrated to enhance libido in early-postmenopausal women. The general recommended dosage is 1,500–3,000 mg daily.


Low libido, or reduced sexual desire, is estimated to affect about one-third of women between the ages of 40 and 64, while some research shows that it affects 75 percent of menopausal women. Low libido is also common in middle-aged and older men, where it’s associated with low testosterone levels, which affect about 40 percent of men over age 45. Low libido can be caused by several factors, including hormone imbalances, the side effects of pharmaceuticals (e.g., high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, antihistamines), relationship problems, alcohol and drug abuse, mood disorders, and insomnia. While any effective treatment for low libido should address the root cause(s), the following three libido-enhancing herbs can provide benefit for both women and men.


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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.


12/17/20 10:01 AM



seasonal guide to supplements, foods, & personal care

All You Need Is Chocolate

There’s a lot to love about chocolate—and what better time to be sweet on this “food of the gods” than February? Here are six ways to enjoy it! BY NICOLE BRECHKA

As Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz famously said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” If Schulz says we should have more chocolate in our lives, then count me in! But not just any chocolate will do—the focus here is on products featuring intense dark chocolate, cacao beans, cocoa, and for the skin, nourishing cocoa butter. The best part? These good-for-you treats come with no sugar crash!


Achieve Optimal Wellness

Early Spanish explorers used cocoa beans for increased stamina and power. Korea Ginseng Corp takes this a step further with Koreselect Wellness Capsules. They’ve combined premium Korean red ginseng with theobroma cacao extract for an all-in-one health booster. Use for immune support, focus, and healthy energy levels.

A type of fat from cocoa beans, cocoa butter has a long history of use as a skin moisturizer. It also helps fade stretch marks and scars, thanks to its high vitamin E content. Our pick is Life-flo Pure Cocoa Butter, which is pure organic theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter and vitamin E.


Keep It Dark

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Hu Kitchen Simple Dark Chocolate lets you reap

the health benefits of 70% pure dark chocolate without compromising your diet. Made with organic house-ground cacao, the bars (also available in other flavors, including Cashew Butter and Salty Dark Chocolate) are Paleo, vegan, and dairy-free. The chocolate is sweetened with coconut sugar—no cane sugar, refi ned sugar, or sugar alcohols.


Unwind Tonight

A steaming cup of cocoa is good, but what’s even better is a hot mug of

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao Mix with Reishi. Organic unprocessed cacao is

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CACAO The unrefined cacao bean; comes from the tree’s Latin name, Theobroma cacao; high in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients; can be powdered (non-processed) or broken up into pieces. COCOA Processed (to remove cocoa butter) into a powder; is sometimes combined with sugar and dairy; also rich in nutrients, including riboflavin and manganese. DARK CHOCOLATE A blend of 50–90 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and generally some type of sweetener. MILK CHOCOLATE Contains 10–50 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk, and generally a sweetener. paired with reishi mushroom to help ease away worry and stress. Organic coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and stevia add a touch of sweetness. Mix one packet with hot water or milk (of your choice)—presto, you have the perfect nightcap!

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Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food styling: Claire Stancer

In ancient Mayan culture, cacao was viewed as a sacred, medicinal food. HealthForce SuperFoods captures this ancient wisdom with Cacao Alchemy Adaptogen Tonic, featuring organic Ecuadorian Arriba Criollo heirloom cacao powder (chocolate in its purest form). Along with cacao, adaptogenic herbs (ashwagandha and astragalus) and pure extracts (schisandra, reishi, cordyceps, and chaga) are added to ease stress and combat fatigue. The powder is sweetened with nutrient-dense carob, lucuma, and mesquite pod. Add to your favorite milk or smoothie.


Soften Your Skin



Adapt to Stress, Fend Off Fatigue

Chocolate Dictionary


Let Yourself Eat Cake Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Serves 8 Based on an old French recipe, these little cakes are rich. The core is smooth and juicy with a deep chocolaty flavor. You can prepare these a few days in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake them. Recipe excerpted from Cooking With Marika: Clean Cuisine from an Estonian Farm, by Marika Blossfeldt. 2 3.5-oz. bars dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken into smaller pieces 8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, sliced into pats 4 eggs ¹/³ cup maple syrup ½ cup plus 1 Tbs. quinoa flour Fresh berries for garnish, optional 1. Melt chocolate in heat-resistant bowl placed in hot water. Add butter in pieces, and stir until mixture is smooth and even. 2. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Stir in syrup and flour. Stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture. 3. Butter 8 ramekins. Spoon in batter, filling each ramekin ¾ full. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place ramekins in oven, and bake 15 minutes. 5. To serve: using small knife, cut along edges of each cake, turn ramekin over, and let cake fall into your hand. Place cakes on serving platter or cake plate. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food styling: Claire Stancer


Per serving: 450 cal; 6g prot; 36g total fat (21g sat fat); 26g carb; 155mg chol; 230mg sod; 1g fiber; 14g sugar

Marika Blossfeldt is an award-winning cookbook author, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a Certified Health Coach. Every summer in her native Estonia, Blossfeldt leads yoga, wellness, and cooking retreats on her farm. In her newest cookbook, Cooking With Marika: Clean Cuisine from an Estonian Farm, Blossfeldt shares her favorite recipes (like Lemony Red Lentil Soup with Lacinato Kale, Caramelized Corn with Sage, and these delicious Quinoa Chocolate Cakes!). Her food philosophy is simple: “My recipes are based on natural whole foods and consist of only a few lovable, nourishing ingredients,” says Blossfeldt. “No complicated food preparation techniques are involved because fresh, seasonal, quality produce is all you need.” Learn more at


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pure ingredients for skin & body

Skin-Nourishing Oils

For thousands of years, indigenous people all over the world have used natural plant oils for skin care—and nothing lasts that long without delivering results. BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL

Conventional moisturizers, which combine waxes with water and oils, seal moisture in the skin with the wax. But that wax can also seal out some of the oil and water, not to mention the treatment benefits included in the formula. Natural plant oils need no extra ingredients to make them sink in. Plus, most plant oils are naturally infused with

beneficial compounds such as antioxidants, polyphenols, and omega fatty acids. And, while synthetic and mineral oils are comedogenic and clog pores, plant oils are not. Face oil is a multitasker. Use it as a replacement for your usual moisturizer or add a few drops to your moisturizer for a boost of healthy hydration. Face oil also works great for makeup touchups—instead of adding more makeup, simply pat some oil on to revive your makeup. You can also use face oil to remove makeup, moisturize under your eyes and cuticles, and fight frizz and flyaway hair. You can even use it as a lip balm! For best absorption, gently press oil onto your skin and smooth over your hair rather than rub it in.


No matter your skin type, the benefits of face oils are many. And because they mimic skin’s natural sebum and help maintain skin’s lipid barrier by locking in moisture, they’re especially a necessity in winter. In combination skin, oils treat dry skin while helping to balance natural oil production in the shiny regions. Oils can reduce redness in sensitive skin, help blemishes heal, and even prevent scarring. Dry and mature skin will see and feel improvement immediately as oils moisturize, soothe, and smooth lines and wrinkles. If you use retinols, alpha-hydroxy acids, or other drying or antiblemish treatments, oils are a must. And even skin that’s not dry can benefit from nourishing, balancing oils.



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Melt makeup and impurities with Suki Cleansing Oil. Linoleic acid (sourced from sunflower, safflower, and grape seed oils) moisturizes, promotes elasticity, and reduces acne and breakouts. Moringa oil reduces fine lines and wrinkles and soothes inflammation. Leave on skin for five minutes before removing with water for extra hydration. Your skin will feel clean and smooth with a vibrant citrusy lemongrass scent.

Restore and protect dry and delicate skin with Badger Damascus Rose Face Oil. This antioxidant-rich blend of organic oils includes jojoba, baobab, pomegranate, rosehip, and sea buckthorn. An uplifting floral bouquet of Damascus rose, lavender, chamomile, and calendula essential oils offers soothing hydration.

Revive parched skin with Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil, which combines

Cocokind Facial Repair Oil. Organic

18 powerful fruit and seed oils. Among them, moisturizing argan oil revitalizes skin tone, antioxidant pomegranate oil soothes extra-dry skin, omega-rich hemp seed oil provides instant hydration, and vitamin-packed sea buckthorn oil nourishes skin.

Soften and brighten your skin with avocado and coconut oils—packed with vitamin E and amino acids—nourish and moisturize dry and normal skin. Organic rosehip oil, rich in vitamin C, helps reduce redness and dark spots, while boosting skin’s elasticity.

Get your glow on with Derma E SunKiss Alba Radiant Glow Face Oil. Organic oils—including moisturizing jojoba, replenishing argan, and rejuvenating sea buckthorn—soften, smooth, and lock in hydration. Mineral-rich mica intensifies the glow. Created for your face, but you can apply it all over your body and throughout your hair to smooth and illuminate.


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Moringa, açai, and goldenberries are great, but when it comes to superfoods, you have plenty more options. From everyday staples to exotic selections you might not have tried (but should), here’s an A-to-Z list of our 26 favorites.



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in a variety of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. It’s rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, antioxidants that protect eye health and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Plus it’s high in fiber, with 6 grams in one cup of cooked acorn squash. More A superfoods: almonds, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, arugula, apricots



are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, and they’re very high in fiber—one cup has 8 grams, almost a third of the daily recommendation. Their deep purple-black color comes from anthocyanins and other antioxidants that support brain health and protect against neurodegenerative diseases. More B superfoods: broccoli, beets, bok choy, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, Brazil nuts




CAULIFLOWER is a cruciferous vegetable that’s rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, antioxidants that protect against cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Cauliflower is also low in calories and high in fiber, and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants. More C superfoods: carrots, cabbage, chia seeds, cherries, cashews, cranberries, cantaloupe


ESCAROLE , a bitter leafy

green in the chicory family, is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. Its bitter flavor comes from kaempferol, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and cancerpreventive benefits. Escarole is rich in beta-carotene and folate, and it’s an excellent source of vitamin K—crucial for bone, heart, and cognitive health. More E superfoods: edamame, endive, eggplant, elderberries


AVA BEANS, also called broad beans, have a nutty, earthy flavor and, like escarole, they’re commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. Fava beans are high in protein, folate, magnesium, and other nutrients. And they’re one of the best sources of resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and acts as a prebiotic to nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut. More F superfoods:

figs, flax, fennel, finger limes GARLIC is rich in allicin and other sulfur compounds that lower blood pressure, protect heart health, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Garlic also has potent antiviral and antibacterial properties, and its sulfur compounds may protect the liver and other organs from heavy metals. More G superfoods: goji, grapes, grapefruit, green tea, guava



EMP SEEDS are a good

source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, with a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats to protect heart health, reduce inflammation, and support healthy skin. Other compounds in hemp seeds have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and immunesupportive benefits. More H superfoods: hazelnuts, honeydew melon, horseradish, huckleberries, habanero peppers



also known as amalaki, is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its immune-enhancing and anti-aging benefits. Indian gooseberries are high in vitamin C, manganese, and copper, and they’re also an excellent source of flavonols, anthocyanins, and other potent antioxidants that are important for healthy aging. More I superfoods: Italian peppers, Italian plums, Inca berries


AIKON is a spicy, pungent radish used in Asian cuisine and Chinese medicine. Like cauliflower, it’s a cruciferous vegetable that’s rich in cancer-protective compounds, as well as folate, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Raw daikon is traditionally used to enhance digestion, especially after a fatty meal. More D superfoods: dandelion greens, dates, dragon fruit


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More J superfoods:

jalapenos, jicama, jackfruit, Japanese eggplant


KIWI fruit is an excellent

source of vitamin C, a versatile antioxidant that supports immune health, reduces inflammation, and supports the production of collagen, important for healthy joints and skin. Kiwis are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from macular degeneration and vision loss. More K superfoods: kale, kohlrabi, kumquats, kelp, kidney beans


MUSHROOMS are high in beta glucans, compounds that support the immune response and have potent antiviral activities. Shiitakes and medicinal mushrooms have the highest amounts, but even “everyday” mushrooms like creminis, portobellos, and white buttons contain decent amounts. And mushrooms are good sources of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that supports immune health and protects against heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. More M superfoods: mangoes, mulberries, mangosteen, mustard greens, Mandarin oranges


ATTO, a traditional Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and the fermentation process yields a variety of probiotics that improve gut, bone, and heart health and support immune function. More N superfoods: nectarine, nopal, Napa cabbage


ENTILS are loaded with fiber

and protein—one cup contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, more than half of the daily recommendation. They’re also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins, and they’re rich in polyphenols like procyanidin and flavanols that reduce inflammation and protect the brain. More L superfoods: lima beans, limes, lettuce, leeks, lemons, lychee



APAYA is exceptionally high

OLIVES are high in

monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, linked with heart health and decreased inflammation. They also contain a variety of antioxidants, including oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and quercetin, that protect against free radicals and reduce inflammation. More O superfoods: okra, oatmeal, onions, oranges


in vitamin C, and it’s rich in carotenoid antioxidants that protect cognitive health and reduce the risk of cancer. Papayas also contain papain, an enzyme that helps break down protein and improve digestion. More P superfoods: pumpkin, parsnips, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, peaches, plums, pistachios, prunes, pomegranate QUINOA features fiber,

protein, and a variety of amino acids. It also contains quercetin and kaempferol, flavonoid antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune-enhancing effects. More Q superfoods: quince, quandong (Australian fruit called “native peach”), quenepa (native to South America, also called “Spanish lime”)



ADICCHIO, also known as red endive, is a member of the chicory family that’s common in Mediterranean cuisine. Its reddish-purple hue comes from anthocyanins, antioxidants that protect the eyes and reduce the risk of


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known as sunchokes, are high in potassium and iron, and loaded with fiber. They’re also an excellent source of inulin, an indigestible fiber that acts as a prebiotic to nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut and support digestive health.




heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. Radicchio is also high in vitamin K, to support heart and bone health. More R superfoods: rutabaga, radishes, red bell peppers, raspberries, rhubarb SWISS CHARD is packed

with nutrients, especially vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and beta-carotene, to protect against cancer and support heart health. It’s also high in antioxidants, including kaempferol, quercetin, and vitexin, a type of flavonoid that lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and inhibits blood clotting. More S superfoods: sesame seeds, spinach, seaweed, strawberries, sweet potatoes




are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against sun damage, supports heart health, and reduces the risk of certain cancers, especially prostate, breast, and lung cancer It’s also an excellent source of potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. More T superfoods: turnips, turnip greens, tangerines, tamarind, turmeric UGLI FRUIT, a lumpy,

bumpy cross between an orange and a grapefruit, is a type of tangelo that hails from Jamaica. It’s rich in vitamin C and flavonoid antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals. Ugli fruit is also high in potassium, an electrolyte mineral that’s important for proper muscle contractions, nerve signals, and heart function. More U superfoods: ugni (a small berry native to South America)





IDALIA ONIONS are grown in a specific region of Georgia that has lower levels of sulfur in the soil, which yields onions with a mild, sweet flavor rather than the characteristic pungent bite. They’re higher in folate than other onions, and they’re a rich source of chromium, a trace mineral that helps regulate blood sugar. Vidalias also contain quercetin for immune support and anti-inflammatory benefits. More V superfoods: velvet tamarind, voavanga fruit (aka Spanish-tamarind), Valencia oranges


WALNUTS are loaded

with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and they’re significantly higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats than any other nut. Walnuts also have a higher concentration of antioxidants, including vitamin E and polyphenols, to protect cells against free radical damage. More W superfoods: watermelon, wheatgrass, wolfberries (goji berries), watercress


ocolatl is the original Mayan

term for chocolate (because no superfood list is complete without chocolate). “Xocolatl” roughly translates to “bitter water” and typically refers to a beverage made from crushed cacao beans, chili peppers, and water. Whatever the origin of the name, chocolate is rich in magnesium and antioxidants that protect the heart and improve brain function. More X superfoods: xoconostle (a type of prickly pear cactus), ximenia fruit (a tropical plum), xigua (the Chinese word for watermelon)

YUCA, also known as cassava, is a root vegetable native to South America and Africa. The powdered root is used to make tapioca flour. Yuca is rich in potassium, choline, and antioxidants, and it’s an excellent source of resistant starch to nourish beneficial bacteria in the intestines and improve gut health. More Y superfoods: yuzu, yams, yacon, yardlong beans



UCCHINI is low in calories

and contains both soluble and insoluble fiber to support digestion and gut health. The skin is rich in carotenoids, especially lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, that support vision, protect the heart, and reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer. More Z superfoods:

Zinfandel grapes


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for a



Every year, I write at least one column listing my top supplements for heart health. I try to do this without looking back at what I’ve written before. But when I finally do reread what I wrote the previous year, I’m always amused to find that the list doesn’t change that much. So here’s this year’s list of superstar heart supplements. A good supplement plan isn’t the only thing you’ll need—far from it—but it’s a great addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle. These supplements are an excellent place to start.


COENZYME Q10. The heart needs a lot

of energy. It never takes a vacation and beats approximately 86,400 times a day, day after day, year after year. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) literally “recharges” the energy production factories—known as mitochondria—in the cells. It’s needed to generate the “bitcoin” of cellular energy, ATP. The cells use ATP to power everything you do. ATP is needed to pump your blood, burn fat, snore, digest food, dance the rhumba, blink your eyes—every single operation

in your body requires ATP, and CoQ10 helps make it. Ubiquinol, the active form of CoQ10, has been shown to be better absorbed and utilized by the body.


PANTETHINE. Pantethine, the active form of pantothenic acid, is the most important component of CoQ10, and some research supports its use for lowering high cholesterol levels. Look for products featuring Pantesin, a proprietary form of pantethine that has been clinically studied and shown to help promote healthy cholesterol levels.


OMEGA-3S. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plant foods such as flaxseeds and animal foods such as coldwater fish. Flaxseed oil has some marvelous properties—there’s a lot of good research on flax oil and cancer, for example. But for heart health, fish oil has the heavier research pedigree. Fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. It has been shown to improve FEBRUARY 2021

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ultimate “antistress” nutrient. It basically calms things down, functioning as a kind of “relaxer.” It relaxes (dilates) the arteries, which lowers blood pressure and makes it a lot easier for the heart to pump blood. It improves sleep, which in turn lowers stress. It helps lower blood sugar, a major concern of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, both of which wildly increase the risk of heart disease. According to surveys, almost no one gets enough magnesium. One easy (and fun) way to get your magnesium is to take a relaxing magnesium bath (powders and flakes are now available and can be easily added to a warm bath).


NIACIN is accepted even by mainstream doctors because it lowers cholesterol. But its real value is that it lowers Lp(a), an independent risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks. It also raises HDL cholesterol, specifically HDL-2 cholesterol, which is the most beneficial of the HDL subclasses. The only problem with niacin is the dreaded niacin flush, which is why a lot of people don’t take it. Sustained-release niacin was introduced to remedy this problem, but there’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. For this reason, avoid sustained-release versions.


D-RIBOSE. D-ribose is another of the components of ATP, that cellular energy molecule we talked about earlier. Without D-ribose, you’ve got no ATP. Without ATP, you’ve got no


The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease—and the Statin-Free Plan That Will (Revised & Expanded) BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS AND STEPHEN SINATRA, MD, FACC

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer. However, traditional heart disease protocols— with their emphasis on lowering cholesterol—have it all wrong, say authors Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, and Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC. Here’s what you’ll learn in their newly updated book:


Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. Cholesterol is involved in heart disease, but not in the way most people think it is. Cholesterol levels—as currently measured—do not even predict heart disease (let alone cause it).


The cholesterol test your doctor currently gives you— the one for “good” and “bad” cholesterol”—is obsolete. There are at least 13 identified subtypes of cholesterol—not two—making it all the more mystifying that doctors continue to stick to measuring two. Lowering cholesterol does not save lives—and this has been shown in study after study.


Problematic blood measurements, such as high blood sugar, are actually markers of dysfunction that show up fairly late in the game. By the time these traditional red flags show up on your annual blood test, you could already be well on the road to prediabetes. And remember, prediabetes is diabetes—it’s just not official yet. And diabetes is pre-heart disease. You cannot ignore the early warning signs of diabetes, and unfortunately, most doctors only look for the signs that show up after the damage has already started. Fully one-third of those with full-blown diabetes don’t know they have it, and the vast majority of those with early signs of diabetes are utterly clueless about their condition and the disaster that may await them farther down the path. Keep in mind that more than 80 percent of diabetics die of cardiovascular disease. Do the math.

energy to do anything, including basic metabolic functions. When the heart is stressed, it can’t make enough D-ribose to replace lost energy quickly. D-ribose stores are “tissue-specific”— the heart can’t “borrow” D-ribose from the liver. It has to have its own stash. My coauthor on The Great Cholesterol Myth, cardiologist Steven Sinatra, MD, recommends 5 grams a day as a starting point for cardiovascular disease prevention, athletes, and people who engage in strenuous activity.


L-CARNITINE. L-carnitine is like a

shuttle bus that transports fatty acids into the mitochondria— little energy plants within the cells— where those fatty acids can be burned for energy. Because the heart gets 60 percent of its energy from fat, it’s very important that the body has enough L-carnitine to shuttle the fatty acids into the heart’s muscle cells. A number of studies have shown that L-carnitine can improve exercise endurance in heart patients, and in some research,


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MAGNESIUM. Magnesium is the

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insulin sensitivity. And it helps decrease the risk of sudden cardiac death. But for me, the most important action of omega-3s is that they are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation either causes, promotes, or amplifies just about every degenerative disease known—including heart disease. And low levels of omega-3s have been associated with everything from heart disease to ADHD. That’s why I recommend omega-3 supplements for everyone, including children.

make it! Favorite Sweet, Spicy, & Crunchy Meatloaf Serves 4

This dish is one of Bowden’s favorite heartwarming meals. The vegetables provide plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, the raisins add a particularly sweet flavor, and the nuts give this meal a crunchy texture. Recipe excerpted from The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, and Deirdre Rawlings, ND, PhD. 2 Tbs. butter or ghee 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 small zucchini, chopped 1 medium carrot, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped ¼ cup chopped shiitake mushrooms 1 small chile pepper, chopped finely (optional) 1 tsp. ground turmeric 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. salt, Celtic or sea, divided ½ tsp. Black pepper, divided 1 lb. lean ground beef, grass-fed and organically raised 1–2 eggs, beaten 1 Tbs. tamari ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts ½ cup raisins 4 Tbs. unsweetened tomato paste 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Melt butter or ghee in large frying pan, add onion and garlic, and sauté on medium-high heat until onion softens, about 4 minutes.

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carnitine actually improved survival rates in heart patients. VITAMIN K Vitamin K actually comes in two main “flavors,” K1 and K2. Most people know of vitamin K because it’s involved in clotting, something that’s necessary if you’re not going to bleed to death from a paper cut! But clotting is a property of vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 has a whole different resume. It’s important for the heart, because it helps get calcium into the bones where

3. Add zucchini, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and chile, and cook until soft and brown, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, half of salt, and half of pepper. Turn off heat, and allow veggies to cool to around room temperature.(You can refrigerate them to speed up the process if necessary.) 4. In large bowl, mix together beef, eggs, tamari, walnuts, raisins, tomato paste,

it belongs, and helps it stay out of the arteries, where it doesn’t. For its ability to help prevent calcification in the arteries (what my parents used to call “hardening of the arteries”), it’s a very important supplement for heart health. Vitamin K2 is found in some foods like natto, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats, but many people don’t eat enough of those foods to get much K2 from food. The trend in supplements is combining vitamin K with vitamin D for comprehensive cardiovascular and bone health.

and remaining salt and pepper. Add cooked vegetables and herbs, and blend well. Transfer mixture to a greased loaf pan or casserole dish, and bake 30 minutes. 5. Serve hot or cold topped with chili or tomato sauce Per serving: 520 cal; 31g prot; 33g total fat (11g sat fat); 28g carb; 180mg chol; 1030mg sod; 5g fiber; 16g sugar


NATTOKINASE. Nattokinase is

extracted from the traditional fermented soy food natto, believed by many researchers to contribute to the low incidence of coronary heart disease in Japan. It provides a unique, powerful, and safe way to eliminate clots, or reduce the tendency to form clots, and thus decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Here’s how it works: Your body naturally produces fibrin, a fibrous protein formed from fibrinogen. Fibrin is both good and bad. Its clot-forming action is FEBRUARY 2021

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immediately activated when bleeding occurs, so that’s a good thing. But excess fibrin activity can produce consistently thick blood, and that’s a big problem. If blood clots in an already narrowed blood vessel, you’re basically screwed. So if you can dissolve the clotted material, you can open arteries and improve blood flow. If you reduce the clot even just a tiny bit, you get a significant blood flow boost. Nattokinase is a natural blood thinner. It can literally turn your blood from the consistency of ketchup to the consistency of red wine! Do not take if you are already on prescription blood thinners.


VITAMIN C. Vitamin C is

one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world, and because heart disease is initiated by oxidative damage (damage caused by free radicals), any help you can get in the antioxidant department is a good thing. And the evidence is not just theoretical: A large 2011 study published in the American Heart Journal found that the lower the level of vitamin C in the blood, the higher the risk for heart failure. Take 1,000–2,000 mg per day.

Bluebonnet Nutrition Vitamin D3 & K2 These capsules contain 125 mcg (5,000 IU) of vitamin D3 and 100 mcg of vitamin K2 per serving to support bone, immune, and cardiovascular health. There’s no soy, gluten or GMOs.


Worth knowing: Vitamin C is extremely safe, and side effects are rare because the body can’t store the vitamin. (In some cases, doses exceeding 2,000 mg a day can lead to a little harmless stomach upset and diarrhea.) The bigger danger is the fact that vitamin C increases the amount of iron absorbed from foods. People with hemochromatosis, an inherited condition in which too much iron builds up in the bloodstream, should not take more than 100 mg of supplemental vitamin C.


CURCUMIN. This extract

from the Indian spice turmeric has multiple benefits, not the least of which is that it’s highly antiinflammatory. Scientific research has demonstrated its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, and cardiovascular-protective effects. Curcumin also reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol. In animal studies, it was shown to protect the lining of the artery walls from damage caused by homocysteine.


GARLIC. Garlic is a global remedy. More than 1,200 (and counting)

pharmacological studies have been done on garlic, and the findings are pretty impressive. In addition to lowering lipids and preventing blood coagulation, it has antihypertensive, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Garlic has been shown to lower triglyceride levels. It can also reduce plaque, making it a powerful agent for cardiovascular health. In one study, subjects receiving 900 mg of garlic powder for four years in a randomized, double-blinded, placebocontrolled study had a regression in their plaque volume of 2.6 percent; meanwhile, a matched group of subjects given a placebo (an inert substance) saw their plaque increase over the same time period by 15.6 percent! One of the active ingredients in garlic— allicin—also has significant antiplatelet activity. That means it helps prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together. To understand how important that is, consider that many heart attacks and strokes are caused by spontaneous clots in the blood vessels. The anticoagulant effect of garlic is an important health benefit. For supplements, talk to you doctor if you are taking a blood thinner.

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did you know ... Although seed oils are rich in PUFAs, whole seeds also contain other fats, fiber, and important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whole (or ground) seeds are nutritious foods.




YOU SHOULD REPLACE Do you ever feel mentally exhausted during the day, even if you’ve had enough sleep? Do you get cranky or unable to function before lunch or mid-afternoon? Or maybe you’re having a hard time learning how to use a new electronic device and just chalking it up to “getting old.” These are just a few of the symptoms of eating unhealthy seed oils (also known as vegetable oils), according to Catherine Shanahan, MD, best known as Dr. Cate and author of The Fatburn Fix and Deep Nutrition ( Other side effects of such fats can include weight gain, anxiety, mood problems, migraines, and other types of headaches.

Seed oils are the most common fats found in packaged foods and on restaurant menus, and they make up the largest share of fat in the typical American diet. But this certainly doesn’t make them healthy. “Vegetable oils are the defining feature of junk food,” says Dr. Cate. While many people eliminate gluten, sugar, or other problematic ingredients from their diets to improve their health, they’re missing a basic step. “Cutting out vegetable oils is the most powerful dietary change you can make,” says Dr. Cate. “If you don’t first cut out all eight vegetable oils, it’s like taking an aspirin for a headache before deciding to stop hitting yourself on the head with a hammer.” FEBRUARY 2021

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Benefits of Eliminating Seed Oils

These are the most widely used unhealthy fats, says Dr. Cate: Canola oil Corn oil Cottonseed oil Grapeseed oil Rice bran oil Safflower oil Soy oil Sunflower oil Although they’re usually refined, even unrefined and cold-pressed versions of these oils pose the same health risks, because the oils are naturally rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). The molecular structure of PUFAs makes them very unstable in the human body, where they generate a tremendous amount of free radicals—chaotic reactions that damage cells. Free radicals are a normal byproduct of metabolism that our bodies are equipped to handle, but only up to a point. Seed oils produce an onslaught that far exceeds our innate capacity. “Free radicals are bad for us in the same way that radiation is bad for us,” says Dr. Cate. When you eat a lot of PUFA-rich seed oils, she adds, “it’s like you have dirty bombs inside your cells.” PUFAs are inflammatory and damage the lining of blood vessels, affecting overall circulation and blood flow to the brain, and increasing the risk for heart disease and diabetes. According to a review published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the health hazards of eating too many of these oils include a suppressed immune system; lower “good” HDL cholesterol; a more dangerous, oxidized form of “bad” LDL cholesterol; and increased risk for prostate, pancreatic, colon, and breast cancers.



The good news is that it’s relatively easy to upgrade your oils with healthier options full of good-for-you fats. These are Dr. Cate’s top choices of multipurpose oils that can be eaten cold and used for all types of cooking:

Almond oil Avocado oil Butter Cocoa butter Coconut oil

Ghee Macadamia nut oil Olive oil Peanut oil Tallow and lard In addition to the above oils, hemp culinary oil can be eaten cold or used for low-heat cooking. Flax and walnut oils are healthy fats that shouldn’t be exposed to heat, so they’re best used for dressings and dips.

Shopping Tips Organic versions of harmful seed oils are becoming more popular in packaged foods. Organic standards help to reduce toxins from chemicals used in agriculture and refining, but they don’t change the molecular structure of PUFAs—so organic versions of unhealthy seed oils will produce the same harmful reactions in the human body as regular versions. The key to better health is simply to avoid these oils altogether, says Dr. Cate. When shopping for Dr. Cate’s healthier upgrades, keep in mind that refining turns good oils bad—healthy fats degrade when they’re refined and can go rancid during shipping or storage. So look for fresh, unrefined, cold-pressed products to make sure you’re getting the health benefits you want.


8 Harmful Seed Oils

“It’s like a fog has lifted.” That’s what many people tell Dr. Cate after they stop eating seed oils. Other benefits include unlocking the ability to burn body fat, fewer headaches, a better mood, less anxiety, and overall enhanced mental performance. Less craving for sugar is another perk, which is why Dr. Cate calls these oils “the gateway drug to sugar addiction.” When you eat them, the resulting combination of locked-up body fat and depleted mental energy makes you reach for junk food—especially the sugary or starchy kind.


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tips for better work-life balance

Eat to Keep Your Spirits Up

When it comes to staying motivated and keeping a positive outlook, diet can make all the difference. BY VERA TWEED

The Diet-Depression Link Numerous studies have found a correlation between depression and ultra-processed food—food that has been substantially altered from its natural state. In Spain, more than 15,000 adults were tracked for over 10 years, and researchers found that those who ate the most ultra-processed foods were almost twice as likely to develop depression. And a 5-year French study of more than 26,000 people found that for every 10-percent increase in ultra-processed foods consumed, there was a corresponding 21-percent higher likelihood of depression. Highly processed foods are inflammatory, trigger oxidation, and disrupt the gut microbiome, all of which contribute to depression. In contrast, diets that are anti-inflammatory protect against clinical depression and more common depressive symptoms such as poor mood.


What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? Researchers define ultra-processed food as any food that has been substantially altered from its natural state. Technically, any alteration, including cooking, juicing, or extracting oil from olives, is processing. But these are relatively minor changes that researchers call “minimally processed.” The negative impact that ultra-processed foods have on health and mood stems from the degree of alteration—how different the final product is from the food as it occurred in nature. Some good foods may have a bit more processing, such as added sugar, salt, or spices. Fresh artisanal bread may be made with flour, water, and a starter. Milk and plain yogurt are typically pasteurized, and fish is canned. While these foods are definitely processed, each still retains its basic structure, and the ingredient list is short and easy to understand. Ultra-processed food, on the other hand, undergoes multiple industrial procedures and is combined with ingredients—often with hard-to-pronounce

names—that would not be found on a farm or in your kitchen. Additives may include different types of sugars (including high fructose corn syrup), unhealthy fats, extracts such as gluten or hydrolyzed protein, preservatives, coloring, emulsifiers, stabilizers, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavoring, and other chemicals. These are used to alter taste, texture, bulk, and shelf life. The list of ingredients is typically long, and the food is often unrecognizable from its original form. Ultra-processed foods usually come in attractive packages and are aggressively marketed for their convenience—they’re ready to eat or easy to prepare. Examples include fast food burgers; hot dogs; many breads, cakes, and cookies; sodas; candy; flavored yogurt; instant noodles; chicken nuggets; sugary cereals; many frozen meals; chips; and some energy bars. What to Eat The same studies that found the link between depression and poor diet also found that eating plenty of fresh


Working from home and steering clear of social gatherings can crush your mood and your motivation to eat healthy foods and exercise. A survey of more than 1,000 adults by supplement manufacturer Optimum Nutrition found that since the pandemic began, 62 percent of Americans have become concerned about their overall health, 51 percent are exercising less, and 42 percent are eating less healthy food— a situation that can have profoundly negative effects on mood. Given the suffering and loss of life during this pandemic, as well as the financial hardships experienced by many people, it may be hard to believe that what you eat today, tomorrow, and the next day can make a difference in the way you feel and how you cope—but it definitely can.


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Your Food & Mood Reading List The following books provide in-depth guidance on treating depression naturally:

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi, PhD

The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions—Today by Julia Ross, MA

unprocessed one. When participants switched to an unprocessed diet for just two weeks, their levels of inflammation dropped by 60 percent, all other health

Natural Cures For Depression: A Holistic Approach To Forever Beat Depression With Proven Natural Remedies and Healing Superfoods by Emily Walters

markers significantly improved, and they spontaneously lost about 2 pounds—even though they could eat as much as they wanted.


vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods, with small amounts of healthy animal protein, can have a positive effect on mood. The Mediterranean diet is a good example of this type of anti-inflammatory, mood-boosting regimen. And eating well doesn’t have to mean skipping out on convenience. Fresh vegetables are available in ready-to-cook precut pieces. Steel-cut oatmeal is sold without additives. Natural supermarkets offer cage-free rotisserie chicken, artisanal bread, and other prepared foods made with the same types of ingredients you might use when cooking at home. Just check out the ingredient labels. Transitioning to healthier foods can have quick results. One tightly controlled study of 20 people at an NIH inpatient clinic compared the effects of an ultra-processed diet with an

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foods & meals that heal

5 Reasons to Go Dairy-Free

Most of us grew up with the idea that milk and other dairy products were key to strong bones, sturdy muscles, and robust health. But as we learn about the health risks associated with dairy, more people are ditching it. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know about a dairy-free diet.

Dairy May Increase Your Risk of Cancer Although studies are mixed, some research links high dairy consumption



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There are many reasons why people consider giving up cow’s milk and related products, but lactose intolerance is usually at the top of the list. Defined as an inability to fully digest lactose (the sugar in milk), this condition causes a constellation of unpleasant gastrointestinal issues including bloating, gas, cramps, and diarrhea. And it’s surprisingly common: an estimated 30 million to 50 million American adults experience adverse reactions to dairy. Lactose intolerance appears to have a genetic component, so some populations have an even greater risk: 60–80 percent of African Americans, 50–80 percent of Hispanics, 95 percent of Asians, and 80–100 percent of Native Americans are likely to have adverse reactions to milk and other forms of dairy. Lactose intolerance aside, there are other compelling reasons to decrease your intake of dairy—or avoid it altogether. Some studies suggest that people who consume high amounts of dairy have a greater risk of health problems compared with those who consume small or moderate amounts. For example, excess mucus production, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammatory skin conditions are thought by some to be exacerbated by dairy. Researchers suspect that a variety of factors, including lactose, hormones, and even calcium, could be responsible. While the science is far from definitive, some research findings are cause for concern.

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer


with an increased risk of certain cancers. In one study, women who consumed ¼–¹⁄³ cup of cow’s milk per day had a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer. Consuming 1 cup per day increased the risk by 50 percent, while 2–3 cups per day were associated with an 80 percent increased risk. Other research has linked regular consumption of dairy products with increased prostate cancer risk. In one study, men who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as those who drank no milk.

It May Not Be a Magic Bullet for Strong Bones While milk’s main claim to fame is its high calcium content—and, thus, its theoretical ability to protect against osteoporosis—some research suggests that dairy products offer little benefit for bones and don’t reduce the risk of fractures. In one study of more than 96,000 people, men who consumed the most milk as teenagers had a higher rate of bone fractures as adults. Other studies have shown no link between calcium intake and risk of fracture in women or men. And in one study, women who drank two and a half or more glasses of milk per day had a higher risk of fractures than those who drank less than one glass a day.


Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

You Can Get Calcium from Non-Dairy Foods If you’re ditching dairy, some things to consider. First, while milk, cheese, and other dairy products are a convenient and abundant source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, they’re not the only way to get these and other important nutrients. Collard greens, kale, broccoli, and sesame seeds are good sources of calcium, and they’re high in magnesium, vitamin K, and other nutrients that are critical for bone health (as well as protective antioxidants). And, let’s face it, there are plenty of other easy ways to include ample protein in your diet, both animal and plant-based.

make it! Make-It-Yourself Hazelnut Chocolate Milk Makes about 1 quart (4 servings) This creamy, dairy-free chocolate milk is a fun take on the classic chocolate-andhazelnut Nutella blend. Save the hazelnut meal after squeezing out the milk and add to baked goods for extra protein, fiber, and flavor. For a more naturally sweetened version, skip the agave or honey, and sweeten with dates—add four large pitted Medjool dates to the soaked hazelnuts and purée, then strain. If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can use a clean cloth napkin or thin cotton or linen dishcloth. 1 cup raw hazelnuts 5 Tbs. agave syrup or honey ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1½ tsp. vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt 1. Rinse hazelnuts and transfer to large glass bowl. Add cold water to cover by at least 1 inch and let soak 8 hours at room temperature, or cover and soak overnight in the refrigerator. 2. Drain and rinse hazelnuts. Transfer to high-speed blender, add 4 cups filtered water, and process on high speed 3–5 minutes, until mostly smooth. 3. Pour into nut milk bag, and allow milk to drain into large bowl. Squeeze bag firmly to remove as much liquid as possible from hazelnuts. Discard hazelnut meal, or save for another use. 4. Rinse blender to remove any remaining hazelnut bits, and return hazelnut milk to blender. Add agave or honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse until well blended, about 60 seconds. 5. Transfer to quart-sized glass jar with tight-fitting lid and chill before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Per serving: 310 cal; 6g prot; 21g total fat (2g sat fat); 29g carb; 0mg chol; 40mg sod; 5g fiber; 19g sugar

Vitamin D Is Added to Other Foods Too As for vitamin D, it doesn’t naturally occur in dairy products anyway. In the United States, most processed milk is fortified with added vitamin D. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D (though fatty fish is an excellent source), but other fortified foods, such as orange juice and plant-based milks, can help you get your D, as can vitamin D supplements.

It’s Easy to Make Your Own Dairy-Free Milk & Cheese If you’re on a dairy-free diet, choose the cleanest alternatives. Look for

those made with organic nuts, seeds, or grains, with no added sugar or preservatives. For a squeaky-clean option, make your own. Almond, hazelnut, oat, or quinoa milks are easy to make. Sweeten them with dates or maple syrup instead of sugar, and add natural flavorings such as cardamom, cinnamon, or pure vanilla extract. Or experiment with fermented pumpkin seed, cashew, or hemp cheese. Search for “6 Tips for Making Vegan Cheese” at You can also find plenty of delicious ideas in Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner or Super Easy Vegan Cheese Cookbook by Janice Buckingham. FEBRUARY 2021

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recipe makeovers full of modern flavor

Easy Chicken Curry

This cleaned-up version of an Indian favorite is perfect for weeknight dinners when you’re crunched for time.



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One of the most disturbing revelations of Dr. David Kessler’s excellent book, The End of Overeating, was how much added sugar, salt, fat, and other unsavory ingredients can be found in restaurant food—even in stuff you’d never expect, like the breaded coatings for fried chicken. This is done purposefully to make you crave the food put in front of you—after all, restaurants are in business to sell more (not less) food! All of that is a really good argument for eating and cooking at home. The great food writer and consumer advocate Michael Pollan recently commented that eating at home is the next big food revolution because when you cook at home, it’s a foregone conclusion that you will use the best ingredients you can get and you won’t be adding a host of chemicals to flavor and preserve them. This simplified version of a classic chicken curry is the perfect example. It cuts out all the garbage— especially if you make your own mayonnaise (see “Featured Ingredient,” right) without sacrificing the flavor. And you can up the nutritional value even more by choosing free-range chicken. Just look for labels that say “no hormones,” or “antibiotic free”—there’s nothing “comforting” about drugs in your comfort food!

Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food Styling: Claire Stancer


make it! Coconut Curried Chicken Serves 4 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted 2 Tbs. mayonnaise 2 Tbs. lemon juice 2 tsp. high quality curry powder (we like Penzeys Sweet Curry powder) 1 tsp. ground ginger ¾ tsp. sea salt Fresh ground pepper or cayenne pepper, to taste 2 lbs. chicken legs or thighs, skin-on, bone-in

Notes from the

Clean Food Coach: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In small bowl, combine coconut oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper, and whisk to form a smooth sauce. 2. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and arrange in roasting pan. Generously brush tops and sides of each piece with sauce. Roast until golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Per serving: 510 cal; 41g prot; 36g total fat (15g sat fat); 2g carb; 210mg chol; 720mg sod; 1g fiber; 0g sugar

This is a terrific dish for batchcooking. Consider doubling up the recipe and making it on Sunday for grab-and-go chicken all week. Chop up cold leftovers with a little mayo and lemon juice for a delicious chicken salad, or reheat whole pieces in a toaster oven for a quick warm and tasty meal. The toaster oven, unlike the microwave, will keep the skin crisp.



Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Food Styling: Claire Stancer

Homemade Mayonnaise Would you be surprised if I told you that homemade mayonnaise is so good for you, it’s almost a “health food”? Well, give me a minute, and maybe I can convince you that it’s true. Mayo is one of the most demonized foods in the world, considered a symbol of all that is “wrong” in the American diet, but only for one reason—it’s relatively high in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. But what if cholesterol and dietary fat—even saturated fat—weren’t the cause of heart disease after all? That’s the premise of the revised edition of The Great Cholesterol Myth that cardiologist Steven Sinatra, MD, and I just published. In it, we cite extensive research blowing the lid off the long-held myth that saturated fat or dietary cholesterol cause (or even predict) heart disease. And we’re talking about published, peer-reviewed studies in major journals. [Editor’s note: See more about this topic on p. 28.] That means that there’s really no reason not to eat eggs complete with the yolks—they’re actually one of nature’s most perfect foods. And there’s also no reason to avoid light olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, almond oil, or other healthy oils. And eggs and oil form the base of mayonnaise. The third ingredient in homemade mayo is vinegar, which has been shown in studies to help support healthy blood sugar levels. The rest of the ingredients are healthy spices like mustard—loaded with antioxidants—and lemon juice, another source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

As my grandmother used to say, “What’s not to like?” Of course, the trick here to making mayo a health food is to prepare it yourself. I make zero health claims for store-bought mayo, which often uses “fat-free” ingredients, the cheapest and most inflammatory oils, and many more chemicals and preservatives than you need. But if you make it yourself—with whole eggs and high-quality cold-pressed oils—you’ll be golden. And best of all, there are plenty of recipes available online, and whipping up a quick batch takes less than 10 minutes, so it couldn’t be easier! FEBRUARY 2021

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answers to your food questions

Trouble Swallowing?

If you experience difficulty swallowing, you might have a recently recognized condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, which may be caused by food allergies. BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH

In the early 1990s, doctors began describing a new condition affecting the esophagus, the muscular tube connecting the throat with the stomach. This issue seems to afflict patients who are predisposed to allergies, including food allergies, asthma, and eczema. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing


and/or feeling like food is moving too slowly through the esophagus. Known as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), this condition has become increasingly prevalent since the early 2000s. Those who suffer from EoE have a large number of eosinophils—a type of white blood cell—and inflammation of the esophagus. The condition can cause difficulty in swallowing and heartburn, and in severe cases it can lead to food becoming stuck in the esophagus. In children, it can lead to problems with feeding, poor growth, or weight loss. If it’s not properly diagnosed and treated, EoE may lead to permanent scarring or narrowing of the esophagus. Patients with

this condition also have an increased risk of multiple autoimmune diseases. The good news is that simple dietary changes can often help. There’s a strong food allergy connection to EoE, and elimination diets that remove common allergens from the diet are a key treatment for the condition. Why Is EoE on the Rise? EoE can affect both males and females of any age, but is most common in men in their 30s and 40s. It’s estimated to affect up to one in 2,000 adults in the U.S., and evidence suggests that those numbers have been growing. A review published in 2019 of nearly 30 studies in



I make the meals for myself and my 58-year-old husband, who has just been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. Can you tell me more about this condition, and if there is anything I can do, nutritionally speaking, to help my husband alleviate it?


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Europe and North America found that there has been a progressive increase in the number of new EoE cases since the early 2000s. The exact reasons for this rise in cases are unknown. Some hypothesize that changes in food production, such as genetic modification of crops, chemical additives, and pollutants, may be at the root of the problem. Others believe that the increasing use of acid-suppressing medications might be changing microbes in the esophagus, leading to more food allergies and inflammation. The 6 Most Common Food Allergens There is no accurate test to identify the food allergies connected with EoE, so medical experts recommend an elimination diet to help identify problem foods and improve the condition. The six foods most commonly associated with the allergic response that leads to EoE are wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, and seafood/shellfish. Some doctors also recommend removing gluten-containing grains (e.g., wheat, rye, barley, einkorn, spelt, and kamut) from the diet. That’s because there is a gluten connection to the disease. People with EoE are nine times more

likely than the general population to have celiac disease. EoE is also sometimes associated with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A medical case reported in 2017 found that gluten triggered EoE in a 52-year-old male patient who did not have celiac disease. In that patient’s case, gluten produced inflammation of the esophagus, but it didn’t produce the inflammation of the stomach or small intestine that occurs with celiac disease. The EoE Elimination Diet A successful elimination diet involves three steps: Step 1: Plan—Decide on the best time to

start the diet, and work with a nutritionist or doctor who specializes in elimination diets for EoE if you need help. Think about how some of your eating habits may have to change. For example, if you’re accustomed to eating eggs or cereal for breakfast, understand that you have to eat something different. If you’re in the habit of eating wheat-based sandwiches, you will need to switch to large salads or stir-fries. Once you’ve made your plan, prepare by buying the foods you will need to keep on hand, which often includes

Elimination Diet Variations 6-FOOD ELIMINATION DIET The most commonly prescribed elimination diet for EoE, which is increasing in prevalence, is the 6-food elimination diet, or 6FED, as described above. But there are a few useful variations that may also be worth trying out, including: 5-FOOD ELIMINATION DIET + AVOIDING GLUTEN (INSTEAD OF JUST WHEAT) Research shows that there is a gluten connection to some cases of EoE, so some doctors go a step further by asking patients to avoid all grains, or at least gluten grains (e.g., wheat, rye, barley, einkorn, spelt, kamut, and oats not certified as gluten-free), in addition to the other five foods during the elimination diet. This is especially true if a person with EoE eats a lot of grains or suspects grains may be the problem. SIMPLIFIED ELIMINATION DIET If you don’t think that you can forgo all of these foods at once, consider starting with a simplified elimination diet: Completely avoid the two most common food allergens: dairy and wheat—or preferably dairy and all gluten grains—to begin the process of determining which groups of foods are causing your EoE symptoms.


purchasing substitutes for the allergenic foods you’re avoiding. Then prep as much as you can in advance to make cooking easier. Step 2: Eliminate—Completely remove

all six problem foods listed above from your diet. It’s best to eat a whole-foods diet so that you clearly know you’re avoiding allergens that may be hidden in packaged/processed foods. And be careful when dining out because it’s difficult to know all the ingredients used in restaurant meals. Step 3: Challenge—If your symptoms haven’t improved after four weeks, follow up with your health provider. If your symptoms have improved, that’s good news: You know that at least one of the foods you removed from your diet was producing an allergenic response. Now it’s time to identify which specific foods are problematic for you by adding back the foods you stopped eating, one at a time. When you reintroduce a food, make sure to write down your symptoms. It’s common for EoE food reactions to occur hours or even a few days after you eat the offending food, so keep good notes. Symptoms of a reaction may range from mild acid reflux to severe cramps, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or feeling like food is “stuck” in the esophagus. Introduce one new food (e.g., dairy, wheat or gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, or shellfish) per week. Start with one serving, and continue to eat at least one serving of the food per day. If it doesn’t cause adverse symptoms after a week, consider that food safe, but wait to add it back into your diet until you’ve finished testing the other five foods. By completing four weeks of an elimination diet and six weeks of testing each of the common allergenic foods, you should not only gain relief from the discomfort in your esophagus, you should also learn which foods trigger an allergic response and inflammation, so you can develop your very own personalized therapeutic diet moving forward.


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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS Bluebonnet Nutrition Vitamin D3 & K2 Vegetable Capsules Bluebonnet Nutrition’s newest addition, Vitamin D3 & K2 Vegetable Capsules, is specially formulated with 125 mcg (5,000 IU) of Vitamin D3 and 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 per serving to support strong healthy bones and immune function, and to encourage cardiovascular health.

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easy ways to boost your nutrition

Cook With Color

In India, moringa has long been used medicinally. This nutrient-dense green food, best known for its energy-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, adds a mild spinach flavor to recipes like this delicious dip. Miso Moringa Edamame Dip Makes 1¼ cups (10 2-Tbs. servings) Looking to shake up your lunch routines? Relish this light, savory edamame dip alongside your favorite crudités, or layer with crunchy veggies in a pita or wrap. Whether served up as appetizer, salad side, or sandwich star, this versatile spread will please your whole body as much as your palate. Recipe courtesy of Organic India ( 2 cups frozen shelled edamame 1 cup packed spinach leaves 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 scallions, white and light green parts only ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 Tbs. Organic India Moringa 2 Tbs. sesame or extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup miso paste (red, white, or yellow) Dash cayenne powder (optional) Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Organic India Moringa Green Superfood

2. Transfer edamame to food processor or high-powered blender. Add remaining ingredients, and process until fairly smooth, pausing to scrape down sides as needed. Per serving: 70 cal; 4g prot; 4g total fat (0g sat fat); 5g carb; 0mg chol; 190mg sod; 1g fiber; 2g sugar


Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare; Styling: Claire Stancer

1. Place shelled edamame in medium saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally, 5–6 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse.


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Don’t blow it. Stock up to give your immune system a boost when it needs it the most. Maintaining a healthy immune system has never been more important. Give yourself extra support to help stay on top of immune challenges. Taking TheraZinc, Elderberry and SuperLysine+ can help strengthen the immune system when it needs it the most.*

* 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.

Find these products at a store near you.

Š 2021 Quantum Health

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