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Nutrition News

Ask the Nutritionist: Vitamin D Deficiency, Afternoon Snacks and the Latest Allergen

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Whether you avoid the sun for fear of skin cancer or find vitamin- D-rich foods unappealing (think: herring, sardines, catfish and cod liver oil), you might need to up your dose of D. Nearly 40 percent of American adults are D-deficient and may experience slow wound healing, chronic fatigue, frequent illness, depression, muscle pain, hair thinning and bone loss. 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D is 600 to 800 IU, but many experts suggest a higher intake for optimal health. (Consult your physician about what’s right for you.) Not down with sardines? Go the supplement route with an oil- based D3 capsule: D3 has been shown in studies to be the most efficient and bioavailable form; the fat helps with absorption. 

5 Foods for Afternoon Energy 

Avoid the 3 p.m. slump (and any resulting hanger) with these wholesome powerhouse snacks. 

1. APPLES 

The combination of fiber, natural sugar and antioxidants in apples helps keep your blood sugar stable to sustain your stamina. 

2. EDAMAME 

The protein and carbs in green soybeans help carry you through until dinner. Edamame also contains folic acid to improve brain function and mental acuity. 

3. BANANAS 

With slow-digesting carbs for fuel and potassium to regulate heartbeat and promote muscular contractions, bananas are the perfect grab-and-go snack. 

4. PEPITAS (PUMPKIN SEEDS) 

These seeds contain plenty of manganese to support your metabolism and magnesium to convert food into energy. 

5. AIR-POPPED POPCORN 

Popcorn is a solid whole- grain source of polyphenols for improved circulation and B vitamins, which are used in the body to break down carbohydrates. 

7-Day Challenge

To help prevent chronic disease, enhance sleep and improve digestion, stick to a regular eating schedule. Inconsistent mealtimes can overwork your stomach, which can contribute to increased body fat, a larger waist circumference, elevated blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. Your metabolism thrives on regularity, so to stay on an even keel, eat your meals and snacks at roughly the same time each day. 

For one week, throw spontaneity aside and adhere to a schedule. Plan your meals and prep your food in advance so you’re able to sit down to a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day. Space your main meals out as evenly as possible, and insert a healthy snack in between when necessary to sustain your energy and blood sugar levels. 

All About Einkorn

Ancient and heirloom grains are all the rage, but einkorn is still an understudy waiting in the wings. One of the oldest known whole grains around, einkorn is a nascent variety of wheat that contains more protein and higher levels of antioxidants than other strains. Because it lacks the chromosome associated with wheat intolerance, einkorn is lower in gluten and easier to digest, making it a desirable choice for those with wheat sensitivities. Einkorn comes in whole-grain form and can be cooked similarly to wheat berries or farro. It is also available as a nutty-tasting flour that can be traded 1:1 in recipes that call for white flour such as pancakes, waffles, baked goods and dessert breads. 

Einkorn is one of the oldest known grains, and it contains more protein and antioxidants than other wheat varieties. 

The Newest Allergy 

1.5 million – This is the estimated number of U.S. adults and children who have a sesame allergy. Sesame was recently listed as the ninth major allergen in the U.S., and a new law requires that sesame be declared on food labels beginning January 1, 2023. Sesame is the main ingredient in tahini and is prevalent in hummus, granola, sushi and bread products (as a topping). Signs of a sesame allergy include tingling or itchiness in your mouth, hives or rashes, swelling in your face and throat, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath.