A team of researchers from Stanford found that people eat more vegetables when they have unusual appealing names.
The researchers conducted an experiment in the university cafeteria with seductive names to vegetables and discovered that vegetable sales rose by 25 per cent. They used such names as “sizzlin’ beans”, “dynamite beets” and “twisted citrus-glazed carrots”, which tempted students to choose these dishes.
Brad Turnwald and his colleagues say that these findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, make sense when you consider the psychology behind food options: “Labels really can influence our sensory experience, affecting how tasty and filling we think food will be.”
The antioxidant properties of carotenoids, vegetable compounds found in some vegetables, are well known, and now an emerging research suggests that these compounds may influence cognition positively.
Carotenoids can be found in such vegetables as carrots, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, kale, spinach, and peas.
For their study, the researchers included 43 adults aged between 65 and 86 years. They asked to learn and remember pairs of unrelated words while undergoing through functional MRI. The assessed the level of lutein and zeaxanthin (kinds of carotenoids) in the retina.
Scientists found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were associated with a lower signal in several areas of the brain. This indicated lower brain activity in individuals with higher levels of carotenoids, which meant they had not had to work as hard to complete the task.
More information about the research here.
If you choose to be a vegetarian, the first thing you should care about is to have the right diet plan that includes all necessary nutrients. The main concern here is iron. According to the regulations of the US National Institute of Health, the recommended dietary allowances of iron for adults is 8-27 mg per day, with pregnant and breastfeeding women tending to the higher end.
There are plenty non-meat options that contain the same amount of iron (or in some cases even more) than meat.
Here are top 14 of these vegetarian foods:
- Swiss chard.
- Bok choy.
- Baked potato.
- Sesame seed.
- Dark chocolate.
- Kidney beans.
More information here.
Vegetables and fruits are mandatory daily food, as they contain vitamins, minerals and fiber, which improves digestion. Those who eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are not at risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, blurred vision, also they reduced the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
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Figuring out the benefits of fruits and vegetables and their rate of consumption, the medical organizations of various countries give slightly different recommendations. In general, it all depends on sex, age, and physical activities a person performs.
The World Health Organization advises to eat every day at least 400 grams of vegetables, fruits and berries. The entire volume should be divided into five portions of 80 g, amounting to a daily menu of products of different types and colors – so it is possible to provide different nutrients in the diet. For example, it may be tomatoes, pumpkin, banana, cucumber and eggplant.
This is about one medium tomato, cucumber, an apple, a banana, a peach, thee apricots, one orange, half a grapefruit, two plums, seven strawberries, and fourteen cherries, three tablespoons of peas or chopped carrots.
There is a simple rule: one serving of vegetables, fruits and berries – it’s about as much as you can put in palm. Also, you can use cups instead to measure your portions.
Speaking about the norms of consumption, it was meant fresh, fried, boiled vegetables and fruits. Dried fruits are also considered. One serving portion of dried fruits is only 30 grams – about one tablespoon with a hill of dried apricots or raisins.
Potatoes is not included in these 400 grams.There are other rules set for it. Together with rice, pasta and other cereals, potatoes should take one-third of the daily menu. It is better to cook and eat it with skin, because it is a source of fiber.
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As for the juice, it has a lot of sugar, so it is better to limit the use of it – no more than 150 milliliters per day.
400 g of fruits and vegetables a day is a necessary minimum. In Canada, for example, women are advised to eat 7-8 servings, and men – 8-10, with one serving is 125 grams.
Those who are ready to eat more fruits and vegetables, are advised to be prepared for the problem of excess weight and the difficulties with digestion. Experts in any case, do not recommend overeating – even if it’s not about fast food, and a very healthy food. Of course, if a person moves a lot, he/she can have more than the average. But it’s better to not overdo with those that contain starch – such as potatoes, peas and corn.
It is well-known fact that vegetables are really good for health, especially when you cook vegetables in ways that maximize their benefits.
A number of studies show that process of cooking make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients from veggies.
Scientists distinguish four healthiest ways to cook vegetables:
- Steaming. Steaming is considered to be one of the best ways to cook vegetables as it’s best to keep cooking time, temperature and the amount of liquid to a minimum.
- Microwaving. Cooking veggies in microwave oven use a little amount of water and can heat the vegetables from inside, preserving nutrients.
- Sauteing. Sauteing in a small amount of healthy cooking oil is a great way to cook veggies. Experts say that addition of olive oil appears to increase the absorption of phytonutrients like phenols and carotenes.
- Griddling, baking and roasting. Vegetables griddled with a bit of olive oil can develop intense flavour and be healthy. Baking or roasting depend on a particular vegetable.
Which way is the best? The correct answer: it depends on the vegetable.
More information here.