Nutrition Archive


Battle of the bulges

A majority of people over 60 have diverticulosis, a condition in which tiny bulges (called diverticula) appear in weak areas of your colon’s inner wall. The bulges themselves don’t cause symptoms, but they can lead to bleeding or diverticulitis, which occurs when a diverticulum becomes inflamed or infected. People can reduce their risk by eating more fiber and staying physically active.

Green leafy vegetables offer a leg up on muscle strength

Eating high amounts of nitrate-rich green leafy vegetables may improve leg muscle strength and increase walking speed and reduce fatigue.

Keep heart disease at bay with a salad a day?

Eating one cup of leafy green vegetables a day may help lower heart disease risk. Leafy greens are rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide (a compound that helps reduce blood pressure).

Fruit of the month: Melons

Melons have a high water content and are fairly low in calories, making them a good choice for people watching their weight. Watermelon contains lycopene and citrulline, two nutrients thought to benefit heart health.

Spice up your cooking to cut down on salt

Enhancing food with different flavors from spices, herbs, aromatic roots, citrus juice and zest, and vinegars can help people eat less sodium, a main component of salt. Fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, and mint can deliver flavor, fragrance, and color to foods; so can spice blends such as garam masala, za’atar, and Chinese five-spice blend. Other flavor-boosting, salt-free strategies include choosing the freshest possible foods and using appropriate cooking techniques. Reducing dietary sodium helps lower blood pressure, which reduces cardiovascular disease risk.

Want probiotics but dislike yogurt? Try these foods

One reason people eat yogurt is because it contains probiotics — beneficial bacteria and yeasts that improve digestion, provide protection from dangerous organisms, and boost the immune system. But not everyone likes the taste or texture of yogurt, so here are some other foods that offer the same benefits.

Grill your way to better health

Grilled meat—in particular red meat—has garnered some negative attention from nutritionists in recent years, because in addition to its less-than-stellar nutritional profile, it’s been shown to generate potentially cancer-causing compounds when cooked over high heat. On the grill, the fat and protein in the meat produces harmful, potentially carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Better options are lean chicken and fish, and grilled vegetables.

How to hydrate

An estimated 40% of seniors are chronically underhydrated, and adults ages 65 and older have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration. The main problem is that the sense of thirst diminishes with age. In addition, many people are not mindful about drinking water over the course of the day. People can increase their intake by setting up drinking routines, jazzing up drinking water, and increasing their intake of water-rich foods.

Vitamin D and the big C

New research has found an association between high and low levels of vitamin D and cancer risk. However, many older adults don’t get the recommended daily amount of 600 to 800 international units, as the main sources of vitamin D are sun exposure (which many people try to avoid) and certain foods, like fatty fish, fortified milk and cereal. Getting vitamin D levels checked to find a possible deficiency can reveal if someone needs more vitamin D, which may require taking a daily supplement.

Fruit of the month: Stone fruits

Peaches, nectarines, apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries are considered stone fruits because they all contain large, hard seeds or pits. They’re all decent sources of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.

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