October 9th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
New findings published in a recent issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggest that women who regularly eat a healthy diet leading up to becoming pregnant are significantly less likely to have babies with serious brain and spine birth defects, cleft lips and cleft palates.
Read More:Healthy Diet Significantly Reduces Risk of Birth Defects, New Study Finds
January 27th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Women exposed to pesticides and plasticizers are more likely to have fertility problems and lower birth-weight babies, says a new study.
Plasticizers (or phthalates) are chemical additives used to increase plasticity and softness of materials like plastic, clay, cement, and concrete. Bisphenol A – notoriously known as BPA – is found in some plasticizers.
Read More:Working With Pesticides Harms Fertility in Women
October 1st, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
When researchers at the University of Las Vegas tested mercury levels in canned tuna, they were in for a rude awakening.
Of the 300 samples tested, representing three top national brands (unnamed):
- 55% exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for mercury levels ( 0.5 parts per million, or ppm).
- 5% of the samples exceeded 1.0 ppm.
Read More:Canned Tuna Fails Mercury Test
May 25th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
In light of yesterday’s report on salmonella-contaminated alfalfa sprouts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind consumers that certain populations should avoid eating organic or nonorganic raw sprouts of any kind:
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
Alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts are included on the list, among other varieties.
People who fall into the affected groups should check salads and sandwiches purchased at restaurants and delicatessens to ensure raw sprouts are not added to prepared foods.
Bacteria can enter sprout seeds through cracks in the shells before they’re grown—and the pathogens are nearly impossible to wash out. Sprouts grown in the home are also risky if eaten raw.
If pathogenic bacteria are present in or on the seed, they can grow to high levels during sprouting, even under clean conditions.
Many salmonella outbreaks have been linked to contaminated seeds. As with most foodborne illnesses, children, the elderly, pregnant women and immunocompromised patients are more susceptible to infection and poor outcomes.
Cooking sprouts can reduce the risk of illness.
Read More:Four Groups Should Never Eat Raw Sprouts
April 13th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Organic cardamom is one of my favorite baking spices, and I cannot enjoy a steamy Masala Chai or refreshing Iced Chai without a dash of this Indian delicacy.
It’s also a sumptuous addition to entrees and side dishes (Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Pecan Streusel Topping, Spiced Lemon Rice), as well as desserts (Cardamom Flan).
On the medicinal front, Cardamom Tea can help soothe an upset stomach and alleviate nausea, including morning sickness.
Crushed cardamom seeds “help restore balance to the digestive tract,” traditional Chinese medicine specialist Jennifer Crain of Austin-based The Goji Seed recently told Natural Solutions magazine.
She recommends buying whole seeds and grinding them at home to ensure freshness. Her prescription for queasiness: Steep 1 teaspoon of crushed seeds in hot water (no longer than 5 minutes), and drink up to 3 cups a day.
In clinical studies, cardamom has also been shown to lower blood pressure, promote a healthy immune system, play a role in cancer prevention and serve as an antimicrobial that prevents foodborne illness.
Read More:Cardamom Tames Tummy Troubles