Category Archives: Women’s Health

Eating For Happiness

In the wake of the sad death of Robin Williams (didn’t we all love him?), there has been much discussion about the causes of depression and treatments for it.

Contentedness is the much desired opposite of depression – some would call it joy or happiness; that’s our “right” as Americans, right?!

But what contributes to happiness? Could what eat our way there? Yes! This fascinating article by Shayli Lones confirms it. She starts with an intriguing question:

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

Eating For Happiness

We need food to survive, and what we eat impacts not only our health but also our well-being. Until now, little has been known about the potential influence different foods have on happiness and psychological health.

“Economists and public health researchers from the University of Warwick studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain. They found mental well-being appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruits and vegetables people consumed. Well-being peaked at seven portions a day,” says a press release from the University of Warwick.

Most western doctors recommend 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. “In Britain today, a quarter of the population eats just one portion or no portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Only a tenth of the British population currently consume the magic number of seven or more daily portions. The study does not distinguish among different kinds of fruits and vegetables and it defines a portion as approximately 80 grams,” says the University of Warwick.

In the study, the researchers explain that, “People who are healthy in one kind of behavior are likely to be healthy in others.” They found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables showed higher mental well-being in a variety of ways compared to those who did not.

“In each of three data sets, and for seven different measures of mental well-being, we find evidence for the existence of a positive association between well-being and fruit-and-vegetable consumption,” says the study. “Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health.”

Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, says, “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.” There is still much to be learned about how diet affects our metal well-being, and scientists hope for more research in the future.

Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables?

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotionreports, “Adults in the United States consume fruit about 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day.”

Here are some easy ways to start adding more fruits and vegetables to you diet.

  • Smoothies are a great source of fruit and you can also add spinach or kale with almost no effect on taste.
  • Salads are a great way to add vegetables and fruits to every meal. Try starting off lunch and dinner with a small salad loaded with seasonal produce like blueberries, zucchini, avocados or garden tomatoes.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and eat them first. Pair a grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli, carrots or asparagus.

We make no claims for Juice Plus+, but I can tell you that people like us who eat Juice Plus+ daily are a happy, contented, even joyful bunch!

Eating Right When Everything in the World Conspires to Make You Eat Wrong

How to Make Healthy Eating Choices at Home and in Restaurants

EatRightEatingOut

Eating right is probably one of the biggest challenges that we face on a daily basis. Understanding what causes you to stray, and learning how to make better choices, can help you and your family eat healthier over a lifetime.

Eating Right Obstacle #1: Continual Temptation

Thanks to the sheer pervasiveness of junk food, we’re continually tempted by things that are bad for us. In the course of a day, you might visit your local coffee shop and be enticed by the 620-calorie white chocolate mocha, go grocery shopping and drool over those brownies in the bakery case, and attend a potluck where there’s a whole table full of temptation…fried chicken, hot dogs, chips, soda, and of course, dessert. Since we are genetically programmed to seek calorie-dense foods, it takes a tremendous amount of willpower to say no to them.

Solution: Mindfulness Practice

The key to overcoming continual temptation is deciding ahead of time what you will and will not eat. This is called mindfulness practice, because you make a choice when you are mindful of what you truly desire, instead of being swayed by the moment. While I may have the best of intentions to eat right, the moment I’m at a party, my genetic wiring takes over. Before I know it, I’ve eaten two brownies and a lemon bar—not the best nutrition. But if I give myself two minutes before I leave the house to make a conscious decision as to what I will allow myself to eat, my resolve is nearly unbreakable.

Eating Right Obstacle #2: Food Addiction

Researchers have now proven what we’ve suspected all along: not only is junk food lacking in nutrition, it’s actually addictive. Several studies published over the last few years have shown that junk food can light up the same pleasure, reward, and craving centers of the brain as illegal drugs.[1],[2],[3]  High-fat and high-glycemic foods—ones that cause blood sugar levels to spike rapidly, such as starches, sugar, and simple carbs—are particularly deadly to a balanced diet.

Solution: Healthy Substitutions

  1. Substitute sugar with stevia, a natural non-caloric sweetener derived from the stevia plant. I sweeten my morning yogurt with stevia, and it totally satisfies my desire for sweetness.
  2. Allow yourself a daily treat. For Jillian Michaels, a personal trainer on The Biggest Loser, it’s a package of Paul Newman’s Organic Peanut Butter cups (180 calories). For me, it’s 4 squares of Equal Exchange Very Dark Chocolate after lunch and dinner (186 calories total).
  3. Make baked foods taste fried. Coat onion rings, potato slices, or even fish first with flour, then with egg, and finally with panko breadcrumbs. Pop into the oven at 450 degrees for 10-20 minutes, and you’ll feel like you’re cheating when you’re not.

Eating Right Obstacle #3: Dining Out

Even if we have a genuine desire to eat a balanced diet, modern life puts so many demands on us that it’s hard to find the time to prepare healthy foods. So we end up eating out—a lot. In fact, Americans now eat 50 percent of our meals outside the home and one in five breakfasts at McDonald’s.[4] Unfortunately, restaurants’ top priority is that your food taste good, not that it be healthy.

Solution: Eat Out Wisely

It would be easy for me to tell you to eat out less and stay home and cook more. And that’s certainly a worthy goal to aim for. But you already know that. So here are some tips for healthy eating when dining out.

  1. Play musical food. Order one fewer dishes than there are people in your party, and then share them all.
  2. Avoid kids’ menus. There’s very little nutrition in mac ‘n’ cheese or a PB&J sandwich. Ordering off the adult menu is a great way to broaden kids’ tastes, too.
  3. Watch the liquid calories. It’s mindbogglingly easy to drink too many calories, so ditch the soda, fruit drinks, and lemonade, and just drink plain water or milk.
  4. Go splitsies. Sometimes we overeat just because we don’t want anything to go to waste. So if you indulge, split the damage by sharing an order of fries or a dessert among the whole family.
  5. Practice portion control. We get full sooner than we think, so stop eating before you feel 100 percent full and see if you get hungry again soon. Chances are, you won’t.

Sources:

[1] Lennerz Belinda. Food addiction: how processed food makes you eat more. The Conversation. August 19, 2013. http://theconversation.com/food-addiction-how-processed-food-makes-you-eat-more-15747

[2] Klein, Sarah. Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction. CNN Health. March 30, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/28/fatty.foods.brain/

[3] Brundige, Wendy and Eric Noll. The Science of Food Cravings. ABC News. Nov. 14, 2009. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/junk-food-addictive-illegal-drugs/story?id=9083548

[4] Hyman, Mark. How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life. The Huffington Post. January 9, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/family-dinner-how_b_806114.html


We are so grateful to have Juice Plus+ and Juice Plus+ Complete to help us bridge the gap…

High Fat Food Goes Straight To Your Bloodstream

We know that greasy burgers and fries are no health food. But in this 2 minute ABC news clip, you can actually see how all that saturated fat affects the bloodstream – in real time.

The fat globules clog the blood vessels, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. But the buildup also has cognitive side effects – look for the rats swimming through a maze towards the end of the video.

Reminder: not all fats are created equally. Fat is an essential part of our diet. You just need to choose the healthy type that is commonly founds in nuts and seeds, avocados and fish.

Amongst other things, a high fat meal causes a temporary deterioration of artery function. Juice Plus+ was shown to significantly reduce these negative effects in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hope for stopping heart disease from a Tomato?

from www.BBC.com 

tomatoes

Taking a tomato pill a day could help keep heart disease at bay, say UK scientists who have carried out a small but robust study.

The trial, which tested the tomato pill versus a dummy pill in 72 adults, found it improved the functioning of blood vessels.

The pill contains lycopene, a natural antioxidant that also gives tomatoes their color.

Experts have suspected for some time that lycopene might be good for avoiding illnesses, including certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.

There is some evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in tomatoes (as well as other fruit and vegetables and olive oil), is beneficial for health.

Following a healthy diet is still advisable but scientists have been researching whether there is a way to put at least some of this good stuff into an easy-to-take pill.

What is Lycopene?

  • A natural antioxidant – substances thought to protect the body’s cells from damage.
  • Found in tomatoes, but also in apricots, watermelon and papaya as well as pink grapefruit.
  • Lycopene content varies according to the variety of tomato and how it is prepared eg. puree, ketchup, cooked or raw.
  • It is unclear whether supplements would ever be able to replace the benefits of a varied diet.

Tomato pill

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation and the National Institute of Health Research, a team at Cambridge University set out to see if a tomato pill would have the desired effect.

They recruited 36 volunteers known to have heart disease and 36 “healthy” controls, who were all given a daily tablet to take, which was either the tomato pill or a placebo. To ensure a fairer trial, neither the volunteers nor the researchers were told what the tablets actually contained until after the two-month study had ended and the results were in.

For comparison, the researchers measured something called forearm blood flow, which is predictive of future cardiovascular risk because narrowed blood vessels can lead to heart attack and stroke.

In the heart disease patients, the tomato pill improved forearm blood flow significantly, while the placebo did not.

The supplement had no effect on blood pressure, arterial stiffness or levels of fats in the blood, however.

Lead researcher Dr Joseph Cheriyan said the findings, published in PLoS One journal, were promising, but added: “A daily ‘tomato pill’ is not a substitute for other treatments, but may provide added benefits when taken alongside other medication.”

“However, we cannot answer if this may reduce heart disease – this would need much larger trials to investigate outcomes more carefully.”

Prof Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation said big studies were needed to see if this could become a viable option for patients.


Six clinical studies have demonstrated significant improvement in markers of Heart Health for those taking Juice Plus+, including significant increases in levels of lycopene (over 2000% increase in one study).

Why People Who Sleep Longer Achieve More

Our society puts a high value on achievement but not much on rest. I hear people brag about how much they work and play but never how much they sleep—usually the opposite. But what if sleep could help you achieve more?

Thanks to Michael Hyatt for his inspiration for this article.

Why People Who Sleep Longer Achieve More

There have been times when pressures and deadlines ramp up and I’ve paid the price. Sometimes I didn’t sleep well for a few weeks. Perhaps you can identify.

The Sleep Deficit

In our high-risk, high-reward economy, there’s a healthy pressure to do more with less. It makes sense with time and money. But it’s a productivity killer when it comes to sleep.

Experts say we need about eight hours a night. But the national average is about 6.8. The truth is the real average might even be lower. We usually report how much time we spend in bed, not how much time we actually sleep. It turns out we only get about 80 percent as much sleep as we think.

Why aren’t we getting enough sleep?

The Myth of Sleepless Productivity

Maybe it came too easy for us in college or we’ve watched too many movies, but it’s easy to think that one hour of lost sleep is equal to one hour of bonus productivity. I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way.

I’ve discovered by first-hand experience that sixty minutes of one does not equal sixty minute of the other.

I’m not saying that we don’t face emergencies and need to give up sleep every now and then. But our lack of sleep isn’t usually about emergencies.

We act as though sleep was a luxury or an indulgence; as a result, sacrificing sleep in the name of productivity has become routine.

But the opposite’s true. Cheating our sleep is like maxing our credit cards. There’s a benefit now—at least, it feels like it—but the bill always comes due in the form of decreased health and mental ability.

No one would choose to be sick and stupid, but depriving our bodies of sleep is the same thing. Robbing our sleep is robbing our productivity.

Four Crucial Ways Sleep Helps Us Achieve More

There are several ways sleeping more at night can help us accomplish more during the day:

  1. Sleep keeps us sharp. How many times have you gone blank in a meeting, nodded at your desk, or forgot where you were going? Skimping on sleep—even a little—can dramatically impair our mental performance, creating fatigue, inability to focus, slow reaction times, and more. In one study test subjects going on six hours of sleep a night for two weeks functioned at the same level of impairment as someone legally drunk! But those who got eight hours demonstrated no impairment at all.
  2. Sleep improves our ability to remember, learn, and grow. I’m sure brain teasers are fine, but adequate sleep is the best learning tool there is. Our minds are particularly active when we sleep, integrating new information learned during the day, processing memories, and sorting the significant from all the meaningless stuff we pick up. Even dreaming is critical to this process. If our work depends on our creativity and insight—and whose doesn’t?—then sleep is essential.
  3. Sleep refreshes our emotional state. Nothing can make us feel depressed, moody, and irritable like missing sleep. Here’s the good news: Getting enough sleep is like hitting the reset button. In his book Eat Move Sleep, Tom Rath explains that sleep reduces stress chemicals in the brain and dials back the part of the brain that processes emotions. The result is that we can start fresh if we invest in our sleep.
  4. Sleep revitalizes our bodies. We all have a body clock. When we ignore its signals to play longer or work more, we create unnecessary stress, and that stress contributes to depression, fatigue, weight gain, high blood pressure, and a lot worse.But sleep lowers the stress chemicals in our bodies, boosts our immune system, and improves our bodies’ metabolism. Instead of waking un-rested after putting in extra hours on a project, why not wake approach it recharged the next day? You’ll do better work and feel better about it.

Bottom line: Instead of thinking of sleep as self-indulgence, we need to think of it as self-improvement.

The quality of our sleep is even more important than the quality, but that’s a topic for another day; except to say that one of the most reported benefits of Juice Plus+ is better quality of sleep.

There’s nothing wrong with doing more with less, but if we’re not smart about it, we can really hurt our productivity and even our health. It hardly matters what the short term gains are if we try making that our norm.

If we want to get ahead, we need to go to bed.

Since leaving the corporate rat race 23 years ago for the Juice Plus+ Business, I’ve averaged consistently 8-8.5 and it’s made a big difference.

Fruits and Vegetables Associated with Lower Risk of Stroke

Would you be surprised to find out that adding just one extra apple to your daily diet could cut your risk of stroke by one third? That was the amazing finding of a new study published in the journal Stroke, which sought to find out if eating fruits and vegetables is associated with stroke prevention.

What is a stroke, exactly? The best way to describe it is a “brain attack,” because a stroke is caused by the same thing as a heart attack: insufficient blood flow leading to oxygen deprivation. The main difference is that during a heart attack, cardiovascular blood flow becomes obstructed and causes damage to the heart, while during a stroke, cerebral blood flow is blocked and causes damage to the brain. There are two types of stroke: ischemic (caused by blood clots) and hemorrhagic (caused by ruptured blood vessels.) Stroke is serious: It is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and a common cause of disability.

The new study analyzed the results of 20 previous studies, published over 19 years in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and involving over 760,000 subjects, who had a total of 16,891 strokes. After controlling for other factors that contribute to stroke risk — such as smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, and level of physical activity — the researchers found that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. This finding held true for men and women, across ages, and for both types of stroke.

How significant were the reductions in risk? For every 200 grams of fruit consumed, stroke risk dropped by 32 percent.  For every 200 grams of vegetables, it dropped by 11 percent. In case you’re not in the habit of measuring your food in grams — and I know I’m not — 200 grams is about one large apple or one and a third cups of broccoli. That’s a huge reduction in stroke risk from a relatively small portion of fruits and/or vegetables! Researchers specifically mentioned citrus fruits, apples, pears, and leafy vegetables as potentially protective.

Lead researcher Dr. Yan Qu put it this way: “Improving diet and lifestyle is critical for heart and stroke risk reduction in the general population… In particular, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended because it meets micronutrient and macronutrient and fiber requirements without adding substantially to overall energy requirements.”

(I was curious as to why fruits were three times more protective than vegetables so I did a little research. It turns out that white-fleshed fruits like apples and pears, as well as berries, contain a phyto-nutrient called quercetin, which reduces blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for stroke.)

USDA guidelines recommend adults consume 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. But if you’re like most people, you don’t meet those targets. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Americans only eat fruit 1.1 times a day and vegetables 1.6 times a day. (The report doesn’t say how much they are eating per sitting, but I’m guessing it’s not a lot!)

After reading this new research, I know I’ll be making an extra effort to eat my fruits and veggies to help prevent stroke, whether I’m adding berries to my breakfast smoothie, slicing an apple on my salad, or throwing a handful of spinach into my scrambled eggs. Do you have any special tricks for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet?

Here are two great ways we add fruits and vegetables to our daily diet: Juice Plus+ and the Tower Garden!

Is Juice Plus+ Safe for People with Diabetes?

For people with diabetes, every meal can be a math problem. Because certain categories of foods are limited, diabetics have to count how many servings of these “caution foods” they eat per day. One restricted food is fruit, due to its calorie and sugar content. In fact, most diabetic diets only allow two to three serving of fruit a day, and some limit vegetables to three servings a day. This puts diabetics in a bind: they need the established protective benefits of fruits and vegetables, but they can’t eat the amounts recommended by the USDA for optimum health (9-13 servings per day!).

Fortunately, Juice Plus+ can help bridge the gap. It delivers the whole food nutrition of fresh produce — with almost no sugar, starch (which is converted into sugar), or salt (which may raise blood pressure). That’s because those elements are removed when the fruits and vegetables are turned into powder. As a result, Juice Plus+ is a safe way for diabetics to reap the benefits of fruit and vegetable nutrition that might otherwise be missing from their diabetic diets.

Diabetes is an ever-growing affliction, affecting 25.8 million people, or 8.3 percent of Americans. Especially alarming is the growth of diabetes among kids and teens. In fact, type 2 diabetes — in which the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough — rose by 30 percent among kids between 2000 and 2009. If you want to know how bad the problem is consider this: Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult onset diabetes” because it didn’t strike children. But with skyrocketing rates of obesity, insufficient exercise, and poor dietary choices, even children now get this version of the disease.

However, what fewer people realize is that type 1 diabetes — in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin — is also on the rise, for reasons that are less clear but may be related to overuse of antibiotics. The incidence of this type of diabetes rose by 21 percent in the same time span. Counting both types, there are 187,000 diabetic kids and teens in the United States. That means we’re going to have a whole lot of diabetic adults in a few years worrying if they’re getting enough nutrition from their diets.

Dr. Peter Lodewick, a physician specializing in diabetes, President of the Alabama affiliate of the American Diabetes Association and a diabetic himself, is familiar with that concern. He used to worry that his diabetic diet was missing something until he found out about Juice Plus+. In his book, A Diabetic Doctor Looks at Diabetes, Dr. Lodewick mentions how he can’t eat too many fruits and juices without his blood sugar going up.

Knowing the protective health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, I began using a product called “Juice Plus+”. Since using this product, I have felt much more energetic, despite working very long hours, sometimes with minimal sleep. There must be nutrients in the product that I was not getting in my diet.

To be clear, Juice Plus+ is not a treatment for diabetes. However, it is a safe and welcome addition to the diabetic diet, which may be missing key nutritional elements from fruits and vegetables.

complete-varietyAnother product that’s safe for some diabetics* is Juice Plus+ Complete, which provides balanced whole food nutrition in a convenient protein-rich drink mix. Whether you’re mixing it up as a healthful “on-the-go” breakfast, a pre-exercise energy drink, a post-workout recovery drink, or a late night snack, Juice Plus+ Complete has the nutrients, protein, and fiber of whole foods to keep you going. Mix it with milk, soymilk, almond milk, rice milk — or for the lowest caloric impact — water.

*The Complete shake mix contains 11 grams of sugar per serving. Some diabetics can tolerate a small amount of sugar, others cannot even get near the sugar, so whether or not the Complete shake mix is OK for you is a personal decision.

Diets Rich in Carotenoids Slash Girls’ Risk of Benign Breast Disease by Half

Have daughters or (like us) granddaughters?

Make sure they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids, and you could go a long way toward protecting their future breast health.

According to a new study published in Pediatrics, girls whose intake of beta-carotene was highest during adolescence slashed their risk of developing benign breast disease by 50 percent later in life.

No doubt you’re aware of the threat of breast cancer to women’s health. But what is benign breast disease? This umbrella term covers several non-cancerous conditions of the breast that typically affect teenage girls and young women. The word “benign” may be a misnomer though, as overall, young women with benign breast disease have between one and a half to two times the odds of developing breast cancer.

Not many lifestyle factors have been found to protect against benign breast disease, but carotenoids now rank among the few. These protective phyto-nutrients are plentiful in orange, red, and  dark-green fruits and vegetables—such as papaya, carrots, tomatoes, kale, and spinach.

The large, long-term observational study, which was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed almost 6,600 girls (average age of 12) for 14 years. Researchers divided them into four groups based on their carotenoid intake and controlled for factors that could influence the results, such as alcohol intake, smoking, exercise, family history of breast disease, and body mass index. They then tracked how many carotenoids the girls consumed from 1996 to 1998 (based on food diaries) and their incidence of benign breast disease in 2005, 2007, and 2010 (7-12 years later) to see if there was a correlation.

There was: the incidence of benign breast disease among girls who ate the most foods rich in beta-carotene was almost half that of those who ate the least.[2] The study also found smaller protective effects for other carotenoids—such as alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin—but they were not statistically significant. The best news is that the girls in the highest intake group didn’t have to eat an unreasonable amount of carotenoid-rich foods to get the protective benefit: just two to three servings per week.

The fact that the study followed adolescents is important, because the span of time between a girl’s first period and the rest of her adolescence is thought to be a particularly sensitive one for breast tissue, which is especially vulnerable to environmental toxins.

Scientists don’t know how carotenoids protect breast tissue, but they speculate it may be their antioxidant properties. Carotenoids neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals (or oxidants) that can harm cells. It could be that by reducing oxidative stress, they prevent free radical damage to breast tissue.

The lead researcher of the study, Caroline Boeke, concludes, “Eating carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables like carrots and sweet potato, pumpkin, kale and spinach may be protective against breast disease and certainly has many other health benefits… Encouraging consumption of these foods is a great thing.”

It’s just one more piece of evidence that childhood nutrition matters and another reason to encourage kids and teens to eat their fruits and vegetables—of all colors.

ROBERT AVERY, M.D.

Dr. Robert Avery is a medical oncologist at Cancer Care Center of Montgomery, Alabama, specializing in hematology and oncology. In this video, Dr. Avery talks about the importance of healthy eating for improved gene health. Dr. Avery explains, “The key here is that if you eat well, then the nutrition helps keep your genes healthy, helps keep the good genes working and the bad genes turned off.” He recommends Juice Plus+ products because of “the positive changes that occur in our cells when we feed them well.” Dr. Avery states, “We’re all threatened by toxins and bad genes, but given the proper fuel, our bodies can work hard to protect us.” Dr. Avery is currently an associate clinical professor of Medicine for the University of Alabama Birmingham residency training program in Montgomery. In addition, he actively lectures to the residents and staff at Baptist South Medical Center, serves as a regular speaker for the Juice Plus+ Prevention Plus+ Education Series, and is a board-certified fellow of American College of Physicians.

Recognizing Special Mothers on Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day tomorrow, we not only want to recognize and thank all mothers, but share a heartfelt story of one of our own Juice Plus+ doctors, Dr. Tina Jones. Doctor Jones lost her mother to heart disease at a young age and since then has committed herself to helping others live a healthier lifestyle, including her own family.Dr. Jones always had a desire to be a doctor, and her passion grew even stronger when her mother had a heart attack at the age of 39. Like most medical students at that time, Dr. Jones did not learn much about nutrition, but she came to believe that her mother’s health problems were rooted in her diet. “My mother was a wonderful cook but she was a Southern cook,” Dr. Jones says. “Her family was from Orangeburg, South Carolina, and she cooked and ate Southern food her whole life. It’s what I grew up eating, too.”

Soon, Dr. Jones realized if she wanted to be there for her own children, it was time to make some lifestyle changes. She began studying and learning the importance of a healthy diet and the importance of adding fruits and vegetables to our diets on a consistent, daily basis. Of course, her inspiration to become healthy wasn’t only rooted in the loss of her mother, but for her own children as well. As a young mother, Dr. Jones began fixing her children fruits and vegetables at a young age, helping them acquire a taste for fruits and vegetables very early in life. She even added Juice Plus+ to her family’s diet as well.

Jones reminds us, “If you want to be well, you have to eat well − and most people just don’t eat well. They don’t eat fruits and vegetables consistently and they don’t eat a wide variety.” For Tina Jones, living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about feeling well, but having the ability to watch her children grow up, go to their graduations and weddings, and watch them fulfill their dreams.

Dr. Jones is just one of many inspirational mothers doing their part to help their families live a long, healthy life. This mother’s day, we want to celebrate all the moms out there promoting healthy living among your families – whether its preparing a healthy snack, getting the family outside for physical activity or making sure your family takes their Juice Plus+!

The Link Between Nutrition and Mental Health

Good nutrition not only affects our physical wellbeing, but our mental health as well.

Have you ever felt inspired or overly optimistic after consuming a healthy meal? Or have you felt sluggish and tired after indulging in junk food? Several new studies confirm these are not coincidental experiences.

Maintaining a whole food based diet to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs from fruits, vegetables and whole grains is crucial to your health in more ways than one. Below we explore how nutrition impacts mental health in three ways.

1.       Brain Power

The brain needs nutrients to function every day, hence the phrase “brain food.” Healthcare professional and Juice Plus+ supporter, Dr. Marla Friedman, PH.D. proposes a strong connection between nutrition and mental health.

She suggests depression, anxiety, mood disorder, insomnia, addictions and other factors can be tied to nutritional health and ultimately improve with a proper diet. Dr. Friedman explains how nutrition affects all parts of us, even the brain because “good nutrition affects memory, focus, concentration, and your mood. Our brain health/emotional health affects every decision we make… when our brains are nourished, we function at a high level. We need whole food nutrition.”

2.       Mood Booster

At some point in time, we have all been guilty of emotional eating or “eating our feelings,” but is there a reason why we eat certain food based on our mood? A recent study by Meryl Gardener, a marketing professor at the University of Delaware, connects the dots between having negative emotions and eating unhealthy foods (as well as having positive moods and eating healthy foods). Her studies look at food choice and mood, while also considering the consumer’s perception of time in the equation, revealing that eating healthy can positively affect your mood. Dr. Leigh Gibson, a psychology professor at the University of Roehamp, also found connections between mental health and nutritional health in his studies. Dr. Gibson’s research revealed that people who are future-focused and think essentially positive make healthier choices. For example, if someone has a positive goal of eating healthier, then that upbeat emotion will influence eating behavior. Dr. Gibson explains, “Achieving goals is part and parcel of emotional experience.” If you get yourself excited about doing something that improves your health, then your actions will reflect your mindset, and you will ultimately achieve your goal.

3.       Overall Mental Wellness

Overall, research exploring the link between diet and mental health is a new frontier of study. However, researchers are now extending studies to learn more about how nutrition affects one’s psychological wellbeing beyond solely mood. For instance, Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia, conducted a study that found “lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads.” Although there have been few studies correlating healthy eating to alleviating mental illnesses, there have been several case studies suggesting the connection, which has fueled further development of the field of study.

It is important to keep new research developments in the back of your mind when dictating your diet. Having a whole food based diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best thing you can do to ensure good health, both physically and mentally. There are plenty of ways to maintain good health, but we recommend considering Juice Plus+ as an easy option. As Dr. Friedman has said, “Improving people’s nutrition with Juice Plus+ helps empower them to make their lives better. It helps them see that through nutrition, their bodies can heal and improve in ways that they did not know were possible.”

What are your good mood foods? Do you find yourself feeling more uplifted after eating fruits and vegetables? We do every day because of Juice Plus+!

Of course, the two ways we prefer to get our fruits and veggies in abundance are the smart and easy way: Juice Plus+; and the simple and fun way: Tower Garden.