by Karen Roth, MSNC
The word “healthy” is generally not uttered in the same sentence as “pizza.” However, there are ways to make a “healthier” version of one of America’s favorite foods without sacrificing flavor or taking a lot of time in the kitchen. So here we go… your healthier pizza recipe!
Dandelion greens are often overlooked as a pizza topping, but they are full of nutrients. Dandelion greens are also an excellent source of vitamins, A, C, and K. They also provide a generous amount of the minerals, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
The dressing made with Olive Your Heart® omega-3 olive oil adds 2,960 mg of omega-3s. Three cups of endive used on this pizza provides 24 g of fiber and 27 mg of both iron and potassium.
To avoid added sugar, use canned tomatoes instead of prepared pizza sauces found in the grocery store. It’s also good to use ground turkey instead ground pork or pepperoni for reduced fat.
by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
We typically don’t think about our eye health until we begin having problems with it. What we should be doing is supporting our eyes along the way with the right nutrients they need to keep them working and focusing properly. Various nutrients such as: carotenoids (like lutein and zeaxanthin), beta carotene, vitamin C with citrus bioflavonoids, bilberry, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), and minerals (like zinc and copper) work as antioxidants that can help boost overall eye health.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in fruits, vegetables, and other foods, that are stored in high amounts in and around the macula. Zeaxanthin is the predominant carotenoid found in the center of the macula, and lutein is found in higher concentrations in the surrounding retina. Studies suggest high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye tissue are associated with healthy vision, which is why a diet rich in these antioxidants is often recommended. Recent studies show health benefits in taking approximately 10 mg/day of lutein and about 2 mg/day of zeaxanthin.
Beta carotene is an important antioxidant that also acts as a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, as it plays a role in helping the eyes adapt to light changes. Food sources of vitamin A include: cod liver oil, eggs, fortified milk, and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Supplemental lower doses of vitamin A are typically found in multivitamins and eye formulas. The DRI (Daily recommended Intake) of retinol or retinyl forms of vitamin A varies from 900 RAE (retinol activity equivalents) to 1,300 RAE. With certain eye issues, even higher amounts are recommended.
Vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids are additional antioxidants that work to scavenge free radicals and aid in capillary and blood vessel health. Recommendations vary from 500 mg/day of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to a few grams per day. Higher levels depend on bowel tolerance.
Bilberries are related to blueberries and contain polyphenols and anthocyanidins, two strong antioxidants that supports eye health. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is most well-known for its antioxidant effects. NAC increases glutathione, our body's most potent and self-made detoxification compound. Copper is an antioxidant that encourages the development of flexible connective tissue for proper eye structure.
If you're looking to support your eye health, these are some of the most important key nutrients. Many of these are found in a multivitamin/mineral; however, the amounts many not be enough, so an additional supplement may be a good option.
by Jolie Root, LPN, LNC
With Earth Day right around the corner, you may be thinking a bit more about the environment. Are the products you're using environmentally friendly? Are the products sourced in a way that's sustainable? With fish oils we have to wonder if the oil we are taking is polluted. Are we going to run out of fish?
The fish oil market has boomed the last few years as more and more consumers become aware of the many benefits of boosting our omega-3 levels. But are we over-fishing in the process? Are we harming the planet? The good news is you can relax. Most of the fish that are used in fish oil supplements are small fish, and small fish reproduce quickly, making them highly sustainable.
Sardines, mackerel, and anchovies are in plentiful supply, and the catch is closely monitored to be sure we are not over-fishing. Artic cod is in plentiful supply as well, so Cod Liver Oil that comes from Norway is a conscientious choice.
The Environmental Defense Fund states that for consumers with ecological concerns fish oils are a responsible choice. You can look for the logos of groups that police ecological fishing, such as Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea on fish oil labels. Fish oil labels should also tell you what fish are used for that product.
As brands become more tuned into the environment, they commit to using low-impact fisheries in nations that closely monitor the waters and environment to ensure sustainability. Sustainability means that the fish populations are easily and quickly replenished to ensure the fish will be available for future generations. Brands like Carlson make sure that every part of the fish not used for oil is used for human and animal food so that nothing is wasted.
Carson fish oils are purified without chemicals and tested to be sure the oils are pure, fresh, and free of harmful levels of contaminants. Look for the IFOS logo, and check the IFOS website for the actual testing information. IFOS is the International Fish Oil Standards program, the gold standard for fish oil testing.
One more thing, Carlson received the "#1 Rated Omega-3 Products" award from ConsumerLab.com in America for 2019. I feel better about my health and the health of the planet using Carlson omega-3 products.
by Jolie Root, LPN, LNC
Melatonin can seem like a miracle supplement for those of us who fly back and forth across multiple time zones for work. Time zone hops can mess with our ability to sleep, and melatonin is one of my favorite tools for resetting. If you feel your resetting needs even more than a Melatonin boost, try adding magnesium and pharma GABA in the evening, about an hour before bed.
Melatonin offers many health benefits. It's a strong antioxidant that directly binds to free radicals, like reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Adding melatonin also helps our body produce antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. Melatonin has the ability to make harmful molecules less harmful, so our tissues and organs can age more gracefully.
Melatonin also protects our mighty mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells. Mitochondria produce energy, have their own DNA, and fuel every cell, making them crucial for survival. Within our cells, the nucleus and mitochondria are the areas we find the most melatonin. It's there to neutralize free radicals and to cleanse the cell and mitochondria of toxins.
Melatonin also supports the healthy aging of our brain by supporting neuroplasticity, or the development of new networks of brain cells. It does this by supporting better levels of brain-derived growth factor, or BDNF.
My Melatonin Gummies are one supplement I will never be without!
by Karen Roth, MSNC
The term “superfoods” is very popular these days. Often times you see it on protein powders and supplements. They are labeled as such because of the many health-promoting qualities they provide. Superfoods often contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Your mind may think of Goji or acai berries, but superfoods are not so mysterious. Many are easily found in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Let’s take a look at the many choices you have to easily incorporate some of these healthy foods into your daily diet.
Let your eyes help you in choosing the healthiest foods, because many dark and brightly colored fruits and vegetables are considered superfoods. The brighter the color, the more health promoting properties they provide.
Berries. No surprise here! Just look at the deep color of a blueberry or blackberry. Among most fruits, berries are the lowest in sugar, and highest in fiber. They are also high in potassium and vitamin C. You don’t have to limit your intake to blueberries or blackberries. Raspberries and strawberries are just a healthy. You can eat these super berries alone, or add them to yogurt, salads, smoothies, or hot cereal. I recommend purchasing organic berries. According to the Environmental Working Group, berries, and particularly strawberries, are the most heavily spray with pesticides.
Fatty Fish. Low in saturated fat, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies provide not only a good source of protein, but also an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s no wonder most fish oil supplements are primarily made from anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. If eating fish is not your thing, I highly recommend supplementing with fish oil so you reap the health benefits from omega-3s.
Dark Leafy Greens. “Hold the Kale Chips!” I can hear what readers are thinking. Kale and spinach are truly superfoods in the family of greens. They are both great sources of potassium; iron; folate; and vitamins A, C, and K. Potassium plays a key role in regulating fluid in the body. Whenever I hear someone complain about “retaining water,” I think of potassium deficiency. Vitamins A and C support immune health while vitamin K plays a crucial role in bone health. You can get a week’s worth of vitamin K by eating just one spinach salad. And, if you don’t like cooked kale, chop it in small pieces and make a super salad. Simply mix the kale with chunks of mango, blueberries, and sliced almonds. Next, stir in extra virgin olive oil and a vinegar of your choice.
Pinole. Here’s one may have never heard of before. Pinole is a super grain made from rare purple maize. Aztecs used it in their diets over 500 years ago for energy and endurance. It has four times the antioxidants of blueberries and is high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Pinole has three times the protein and two times the fiber of oatmeal. It’s also gluten-free. You can use it as a hot cereal, put it in smoothies, or even bake with it.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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