Jennifer Copley

Best Eat Your Oats

Eat Your Oats

  Oats are among the health-promoting superfoods. Study findings reported by the Whole Grains Council and the George Mateljan Foundation suggest that oats reduce the risk of many different illnesses, as well as helping to maintain a healthy weight. Weight control: A study of 204 overweight adults found that eating whole-grain oat-based cereal twice a day helped subjects to reduce their waistlines. A control group eating the same number of calories did not achieve the same waist-circumference reduction. Other research has found that whole grains create a greater feeling of satiety than white bread (which reduces the likelihood of food… read more

Soy What?

Soy And Human Health

Some studies indicate that soy is a superfood while others have linked it to health problems. Why has research yielded such conflicting results? Many of the studies supporting soy’s health benefits have taken place in Asian countries where people eat more fermented soy products (miso, tempeh, etc.). Those in Europe and North America tend to consume unfermented and highly processed soy products, many of which contain trans fats and artificial additives, and to eat soy protein in larger quantities, so health outcomes are bound to differ. Soy is considered a health food for a number of reasons. One cup of… read more

Acai Berries and Weight Loss

Acai Berries and Weight Loss

Do Acai berries really help with weight loss, or are the claims nothing but hype? These purple-blue Brazilian berries can be purchased in juice, powder, or capsule form (they cannot be shipped whole because they perish too quickly), and they’re often sold as weight loss supplements. According to Hayashi (n.d.), Acai berries do not suppress appetite, speed the metabolism, or flatten the stomach. However, like many other berries, they are rich in antioxidants, so they may provide a number of health benefits ranging from cancer protection to overall slowing of the aging process. However, research has shown that juices made… read more

Compost Red Wrigglers

Worm Composting

Worm composting (vermicomposting) creates exceptionally good compost in a relatively short time. Vermicomposting at home is far more sustainable than purchasing compost, which requires environmentally harmful plastic packaging and transportation. Vermicomposting typically uses red wigglers, a small, tough, adaptable worm with a big appetite and a rapid reproductive cycle. A pound of red wigglers can chomp through approximately half a pound of food per day, and as the population grows, this rate should increase. The primary advantage of vermicomposting is that the material produed is superior to regular compost (I’ve found that worm compost boosts the yields of fruit and… read more

Food For The Future

Food For The Future

In 2011, the Environmental Working Group released a report comparing the environmental impacts of various protein sources. The study found that lamb, beef, cheese, pork, and farmed salmon are the worst for the environment in terms of greenhouse gases produced. With the exception of farmed salmon, they also require the most inputs (feed, fuel, water, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc.) and generate the most manure. Turkey, chicken, canned tuna, and eggs also scored highly for greenhouse gas emissions. Where do all these greenhouse gas emissions come from? A lot of this pollution is caused by feed production and the nitrogen dioxide… read more

Fennel Facts and Flavor

fennel

Fennel is an attractive plant with a pale bulb and light feathery leaves. It is a member of the Umbellifereae family, which includes carrots, coriander, parsley, and dill. All three parts of the fennel plant – bulbs, leaves, and seeds – are edible. It provides fresh produce from fall through spring, a time when many other food plants have stopped producing. Fennel’s flavor contains hints of anise or licorice, and the texture of its bulb is similar to that of celery, though fennel is slightly sweet. Fennel is low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and manganese,… read more

Nutritious Molasses

Nutritious molasses

Molasses is a nutritionally concentrated by-product of the sugar refining process. The nutrients that white sugar loses during processing are retained in molasses. Molasses is a source of calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron. In fact, it actually provides more iron than red meat with fewer calories and no fat. There are several different types of molasses. Light molasses (also known as Barbados), which is less viscous and higher in sugar, is produced the first time the sugar cane is boiled during processing. Dark molasses, a thicker molasses created during the second sugar cane boiling cycle, is darker in color and… read more

Sweetness With A Sting

Sweetness With A Sting

Many people substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar in the hope of losing weight, but studies suggest that these products have the opposite effect. A Purdue University study found that animals given artificially sweetened foods gained more weight (primarily fat rather than lean muscle) than animals eating naturally sweetened foods. Another survey conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center found that diet soda consumption was linked with increased risk of obesity. Both the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study and a study of nearly 80,000 women conducted by the American Cancer Society linked weight gain to artificial sweetener use. The San… read more

An Apple a Day

apple

Apples are a member of the rose plant family, a diverse group that also includes almonds, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, and raspberries. Throughout the world, there are 75,000 varieties of apples grown. The results of numerous studies suggest that the old adage – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – has merit. According to the George Mateljan Foundation, apples provide a number of health benefits. As a good source of fiber and antioxidants, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. They also contain phytonutrients that assist in the regulation of blood sugar. In addition, studies… read more

Green Anxiety Therapy

Green Anxiety Therapy

Green spaces are places with natural features, such as trees, plants, flowers, and grass. Research suggests that they are critical not only to the sustainability of our environment and by extension, our physical health, but also to our mental health. Recent research has shown that the prevalence rates of anxiety disorders and depression are significantly lower in areas where 90% of the space is green than in 10% green areas. It’s not known for sure how green space exerts its anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects, though opportunities to engage in recreation, exercise out in the fresh air, socialize, and relax in… read more