When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions.  Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs.
You don't have to hunt and skin your supper, but if your chicken has been molded into a nugget, who knows what you're really chewing. And when you choose meat that's been processed into sausage, strips or slices, you're downing sodium and preservatives instead of healthy nutrients, says Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the nutritional sciences program at the University of Washington at Seattle. Stick to unfussed-with cuts straight from the butcher.
Another way to be a good role model is to serve appropriate portions and not overeat. Talk about your feelings of fullness, especially with younger children. You might say, "This is delicious, but I'm full, so I'm going to stop eating." Similarly, parents who are always dieting or complaining about their bodies may foster these same negative feelings in their kids. Try to keep a positive approach about food.
Meal prep is a once or twice a week large batch preparation of meals to last for 4-5 days. Meal prep is a great way to save time because you only cook a few times a week as opposed to cooking every single day. It’s also a great way to eat healthier – you’ll be a lot less likely to hit the fast food drive through if you have a meal ready to go in the fridge. You’ll also save money because cooking in bulk tends to be cheaper, and it’s way less expensive than going to a restaurant for lunch.

Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.
The easiest way to make sure your inter-meal nibbling stays on track is to have healthy snacks on hand for when hunger strikes. You can keep these nonperishable goodies in your desk drawers, or these energy-boosting nibbles in your gym bag. Simply keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter will bring your snacking to the next healthy level.
These foods—notably vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains—should supply about 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber a day, depending on your calorie needs. (Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, as advised by the  Dietary Guidelines for Americans.) Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so they have less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and it provides other health benefits. Try to fill three-quarters of your plate with produce, legumes, and whole grains—leaving only one-quarter for meat, poultry, or other protein sources.
Some juicing proponents say that juicing is better for you than is eating whole fruits and vegetables because your body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber. They say that juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight.

There are pros and cons to both juicing and blending. Juicing provides a very nutrient-dense beverage in a smaller amount of liquid. For those who need a low-fiber diet, juicing may be a better option. It’s important to note that the portion size of juice should be smaller than a blended beverage. Otherwise, you can get many calories from sugar in that cup of juice. Juicing can also be more expensive, as you have to use a greater volume of produce (for example, about 2 oranges, 1 stem of kale, ½ red pepper, 1 cup berries, and 1 stalk broccoli will make about one cup of juice but about 3 cups of smoothie).
For a 2,000-calorie daily diet, aim for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day. If you consume more calories, aim for more produce; if you consume fewer calories, you can eat less. Include green, orange, red, blue/purple, and yellow vegetables and fruits. In addition to the fiber, the nutrients and phytochemicals in these foods may help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. Legumes, rich in fiber, can count as vegetables (though they have more calories than most vegetables). For more fiber, choose whole fruits over juice.
As an alternative to the USDA’s nutrition advice, faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health created first the Healthy Eating Pyramid and more recently the Healthy Eating Plate. Just as the Healthy Eating Pyramid rectifies the mistakes of the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the Healthy Eating Plate addresses flaws in the USDA’s MyPlate. Both the Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Plate are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.
The easiest way to make sure your inter-meal nibbling stays on track is to have healthy snacks on hand for when hunger strikes. You can keep these nonperishable goodies in your desk drawers, or these energy-boosting nibbles in your gym bag. Simply keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter will bring your snacking to the next healthy level.

Low-speed juicers process fruits and vegetables at a lower speed, thereby producing less heat and noise and extracting more juice than high-speed juicers. For leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, low-speed juicers are best. There are two types of low-speed juicers: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal and vertical low-speed juicers differ mainly in shape, with the vertical juicer being more compact and the horizontal juicer requiring more counter space. However, horizontal juicers have more versatility because they offer the ability to create homemade nut butters, pasta and baby food. Low-speed juicers are more expensive, but ideal if you want to make juices that include a lot of leafy greens.
No. Juicing can be a good way to introduce new fruits and vegetables, but a diet containing only these ingredients is missing some major nutrients. For example, protein and fat will only be present in very small amounts, so they will need to be obtained from other foods. Important vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, and iron may also be lacking. In addition, the amount of fiber may be reduced if the skin and pulp are removed in the juicing process. If you choose to juice, incorporate it into a healthy eating plan that includes foods from a variety of sources such as whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, and protein foods. You can read more about building a healthy eating pattern in Let's Eat for the Health of it [PDF|968 KB].
If a bottle of juice has two servings and 20 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 40 grams of sugar in one juice! One of the key recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugar. Beverages, including 100 percent fruit juice, count for almost half of all added sugars consumed by Americans.
I believe this is the only way to help lose weight and stick to your weight loss goals. Cooking your own meals and exercise, it is that easy. You have to know what goes into your body if you want to stay healthy once you start eating out, you have no idea what ingredients they are using. Weekly meal prep will keep you on your diet and help you reach your health goals.
I always used to struggle with meal prep for the work week because I had trouble planning ahead and let's just say this was long before I discovered blogging as a hobby or even as a reader! I used to rely primarily on cookbooks to whip together delicious dinners but would then struggle when it came to getting my lunches together for work and school.
There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, and it’s a great way to add nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat. Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.
We eat out way too much because often making meals at home becomes overwhelming with my wife and I’s busy work schedules. This post was very helpful in providing some nice suggtions for making preparing meals more feasible. I appreciated the ones you selected had portioning taken into consideration too. We have to work on portioning as well as healthier ingredients when it comes to what our family is eating. Very nice article…thank you!
When it comes to carbohydrates, brown is better. Whole-grain foods (like whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal) contain more nutrients and fiber than their processed white cousins. Not only are these complex carbohydrates healthier for you (higher fiber intake has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease), but they also help keep you full longer. So instead of shunning carbs in an effort to lose weight, start by swapping out the white ones for whole grains.
Next, let’s get our lentils started. Add the dry lentils to a pot, followed by water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring this to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the lentils are tender. For whole lentils, it should take about 15-20 minutes. Then, drain the lentils and set aside for later.
To see how well the principles embodied in the Healthy Eating Pyramid stacked up against the government’s advice, Harvard School of Public Health researchers created an Alternate Healthy Eating Index with a scoring system similar to the USDA’s index. They then compared the two indexes, using information about daily diets collected from more than 100,000 female nurses and male health professionals taking part in two long-term studies.

In between meals, go ahead and have a snack. "When you go too long in between meals without eating, it is difficult to go into your next meal in control and avoid overeating,” Julia Levine Axelbaum, R.D., L.D., Bariatric Dietitian at NewStart Clinic, tells SELF. Of course, you'll want to be thoughtful about the kind of snacks you opt for. She explains that those that are high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates will give you the energy you need to get through the day and keep you satiated from one meal to the next. On the other hand, those that are high in refined carbs and sugar will give you a sudden blood sugar spike that will eventually cause you to crash and feel even more tired.
We eat out way too much because often making meals at home becomes overwhelming with my wife and I’s busy work schedules. This post was very helpful in providing some nice suggtions for making preparing meals more feasible. I appreciated the ones you selected had portioning taken into consideration too. We have to work on portioning as well as healthier ingredients when it comes to what our family is eating. Very nice article…thank you!
Supplements can't substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies other potentially beneficial compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the synergy that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body. Still, for many people a basic multivitamin/mineral pill can provide some of the nutrients they may fall short on. Certain people may also need supplements of folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D (see next slide).
This may sound obvious, but many people think that healthy eating and enjoyment are mutually exclusive. Pretend you never heard the word “diet.”‘ Instead, work toward a lifestyle built on healthy choices that are going to work for the long-term. In order to achieve that goal, find nutritious foods that you enjoy eating. Food should be something you relish and that nourishes you. It’s not just fuel.
As an alternative to the USDA’s nutrition advice, faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health created first the Healthy Eating Pyramid and more recently the Healthy Eating Plate. Just as the Healthy Eating Pyramid rectifies the mistakes of the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the Healthy Eating Plate addresses flaws in the USDA’s MyPlate. Both the Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Plate are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.
This advice definitely applies to any other type of food much as it does rice – if you don’t refrigerate or store meats, pastas, etc. it can grow bacteria which can lead to food borne illness. Taking the proper precautions when cooking and storing leftovers once food has cooled will help prevent this, as the article mentions. This to me is common sense but I can understand that everyone brings different levels of experience when it comes to cooking!
Rough skins, such as pineapple and avocado, and any pits and seeds should be removed. But apple skin and citrus peel are edible (except the orange) and full of nutrients. Also the pith, that soft white material just under the rind, also has nutrients. As for pulp, add mayonnaise to it for a delicious mock tuna salad. Or add pulp to pancakes, cookies, and even hummus. Some seeds and greens will upset your stomach, so make sure you are knowledgeable about that before starting your smoothie adventure.
Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as they’ll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well.
For the shakshuka, pre-heat oven to 450 F. Pre-heat an oven safe 8-9 inch pan over medium-high heat along with 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the red peppers, onions, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook another 2 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender, and pulse until it looks like a can of chopped tomatoes, making sure not to turn it into a smooth puree(or use canned chopped tomatoes). Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until the consistency has thickened up and it’s not so watery and loose. Add the agave nectar, turn the heat off, and stir well. Use a spoon to make two dimples the eggs can sit in, and carefully cracks the eggs into the pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley, and enjoy. Shakshuka will keep in the fridge for 3 days and can be warmed in a 400 F oven for 7 minutes or in the microwave.
The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.
Juice separates the juice from the pulp whereas a smoothie includes everything. The pulp is full of nutrients so it stands to reason that smoothies contain more nutrients. This oft-argued point is not necessarily true, because the high powered machine that makes a smoothie adds heat and oxygen which actually destroys some nutrients. So the difference in nutritional richness between a smoothie and a juice is not worth arguing. They are both worlds better than anything bottled or canned!
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, health and food coach, professional photographer, and mommy of three. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration. Read More…
Greens, oranges, reds, purples, yellows...you get the picture. Eating the rainbow will supply your body with a range of disease-fighting phytonutrients, and will naturally fill you up to help you cut back on unhealthy foods, says Dr. Lipman. Plus, most adults struggle with getting the recommended five servings a day (though some say seven servings). A worldwide study in 2014 found 58 to 88% of adults don't hit that mark. Aiming for a diverse intake of produce from all colors of the rainbow will help you boost your intake. In another study, adults who were offered a variety of vegetables ate more of them without increasing the calories at the meal, found a 2012 study.
There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, and it’s a great way to add nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat. Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.

The Dietary Guidelines state that that intake of at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain more fiber when eaten whole, which may reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Fiber can also play a role in providing a feeling of fullness, and promoting healthy laxation. Most Americans don’t consume enough dietary fiber, and should increase their consumption of whole fruits and vegetables to help meet the recommendation for fiber. Since juicing fruits and vegetables can sometimes remove some of the fiber, it is not clear what the relationship is between juicing and health. If you choose to juice, try adding the leftover pulp from your juice to soups or muffins to help add the fiber into your diet.
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.
To see how well the principles embodied in the Healthy Eating Pyramid stacked up against the government’s advice, Harvard School of Public Health researchers created an Alternate Healthy Eating Index with a scoring system similar to the USDA’s index. They then compared the two indexes, using information about daily diets collected from more than 100,000 female nurses and male health professionals taking part in two long-term studies.
What counts as a family meal? Whenever you and your family eat together — whether it's takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a teen who's at sports practice. It also can mean setting aside time on the weekends when it may be more convenient to gather as a group, such as for Sunday brunch.
Insoluble fiber is the left-over pulp after juicing. Only a small amount of this makes it to your juice. If you were to mix insoluble fiber in a glass of water, it would sink to the bottom, absorb the water and puff up. If you imagine that moving through your body, you can picture what it does for you. It's beneficial to help get things 'moving' and prevents constipation.
×