Category Archives: Nutrition

Soy and Cancer Risk

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There are a lot of soy foods in the grocery store – not just tofu and soymilk, but edamame (green soybeans), soy nuts, soy nut butter, soy “meats”, and high protein bars. If you’re boosting plant foods on your plate, soy foods can give you plenty of protein, fiber and other nutrients.

But Americans are still confused about whether soy is risky when it comes to breast cancer. Now there is plenty of solid research, both globally and from the US, that for breast cancer patients and survivors, eating moderate amounts of soy doesn’t increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

If you’re wary of eating tofu and other soy foods because you’ve heard it may up your risk of breast cancer, or a recurrence, you are not alone. Here, our dietitian talks about the research in this short video.

Full article…

More articles on soy…

The 3 Foods to Avoid for a Healthier Gut

Why does it matter?

Over the past decade, research has brought to light how your ‘gut microbiome’ plays a role in almost every aspect of health, including digestion, immunity, fat storage, and heart health.

Studies suggest a healthy gut may even help clear up skin conditions, such as eczema and acne, and may make you less susceptible to stress, anxiety, and depression—a finding that’s earned the microbiome the nickname “the second brain.”

Like most things in life, it’s all about balance: You want the “good” bacteria (like lactobacillus) to outweigh the “bad” bacteria. If this balance is thrown off, it can lead to a compromised immune system, inflammation, more fat storage, and other adverse effects.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply letting the good bacteria flourish. There’s a lot out of your control that affects your microbiome—such as where you live, where you were raised, and some aspects of your personal lifestyle. But there is one major way to influence your gut health that’s 100-percent in your control: what you eat.

Certainly, there are foods you should be eating (think: yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut) to boost gut health. But there’s another important piece of the puzzle: cutting back on particular foods is also crucial to ensure a happy homeostasis for those microscopic critters. Here are the top three:

1. Conventional Meats and Poultry

At some point, we’ve all taken a course of antibiotics, which are designed to do pretty much what it sounds like: kill bacteria. But antibiotics don’t discriminate—they go after good and bad bacteria alike. While you shouldn’t perhaps refuse the meds your doc prescribes, research shows consuming antibiotics when unnecessary can do serious damage to your gut flora.

If you’re eating meat from livestock that’s been treated with antibiotics, you may be getting extra antibiotics without realizing it. While the use of some antimicrobial drugs in livestock to treat diseases is approved by the FDA, concerns arise when they’re used to help animals gain weight or when drugs intended for human consumption are given to animals, which has been linked to antibiotic resistance in humans.

The best way to avoid antibiotic-raised meat? Eat less meat and buy organic.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

If you thought fake sugar was a miracle sent from heaven to make all things sweeter sans calories, think again. Research suggests that sucralose—the main ingredient in Splenda—can significantly alter the balance of bacteria in the microbiome. In one small study, after consuming artificial sweeteners for just one week, many of the participants began to develop glucose intolerance—the first step on a path to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and a host of other health issues.

And there are plenty of ways to sweeten things up without resorting to the fake stuff. Bad bacteria feed off sugars, a diet high in real sugars has also been linked to an off-balance microbiome, so you’ll still want to cut back on any kind of sweet stuff, Alpert says.

3. Genetically Modified Soy

While fermented soy is good for you, it may be wise to cut back on soy products that have been genetically modified (GM)—and if you’re eating them in the U.S., they most likely have been, as 94 percent of soybeans in America are GM. GMO food is a point of contention in the national health conversation, but that’s another story altogether. The point here is that the herbicide used on GMO crops in the U.S. (a.k.a. Roundup) has been shown to kill off many species of beneficial gut bacteria in animals. While research in this area is still ongoing, there aren’t many good reasons to choose to eat GM soy – or any other GM food. It also contains phytic acid, which messes with digestion and has been linked to gastric issues, such as gas and bloating.

You can get your bacteria back on track by cutting back on the above items, adding in beneficial foods for your gut, and taking a probiotic supplement.

Read the full article… 

More articles on gut health and the microbiome.

Fruits and Vegetables Help You C Better

If your mother ever told you eating carrots would help your eyesight, she was right. But did you know that other fruits and vegetables can help too? Just in time for Healthy Vision Month, a recently published, long-term study of over 2,000 female twins showed that dietary vitamin C — in other words, vitamin C that you get from food — helps slow the progression of cataracts. So there you have it: vitamin C from fruits and vegetables may help you see even better.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye that impairs vision. You can have cataracts in one or both eyes, and they’re quite common when you’re older. By the age of 80, half of Americans either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. With that statistic, there’s even more reason for dietary vitamin C.

In a study published in March in the journal Ophthalmology, researchers in the United Kingdom had 2,054 female twins, averaging 60 years of age, fill out food questionnaires to determine their intake of various nutrients. Next, they took digital images of the participants’ eyes. The eye-opening result? Women who ate diets rich in vitamin C (two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day) were about 20 percent less likely to have cataracts than those who skimped on fruits and vegetables.

Researchers followed up with 324 of the women nearly a decade later and found that over time, the association between vitamin C consumption and protection from cataracts became even stronger. Those who were consuming the most vitamin C — at least twice the recommended daily allowance of 75 milligrams per day — now had a 33 percent lower risk of cataract progression than those who didn’t get as much of the nutrient.

This is great news for people who have a family history of cataracts, because the study concluded that genetics accounts for only 35 percent of cataract progression.

Environmental factors, including diet, account for the remainder. That means there are concrete steps you can take to protect your eyesight, and a good place to start is by eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruit), berries (blackberries, blueberries and raspberries), papaya, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.

This is just the latest good news about fruits and vegetables’ effect on eyesight, though. Here are two more ways eating produce can benefit your vision:

bugsA 2005 study showed that eating 4.5 ounces of carrots a day improves night vision. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A, is critical for healthy vision. Sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, apricots, kale, and spinach also contain beta-carotene.

Fruits and vegetables high in two other phyto-nutrients known as lutein and zeaxanthin may help preserve the macula of the eye, which is responsible for clear central vision. Kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, and corn are good sources of these eye-loving superstars.

One easy way to increase your intake of many important nutrients from fruits and vegetables, including beta carotin, vitamin C and lutein/zeaxanthin is Juice Plus+. Several Juice Plus+ studies have shown significant increases in these phyto-nutrients. We’ve been eating Juice Plus+ for more than 23 years and our health, including our eye health is excellent.

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.


This is the famous advice from Michael Pollen, author of “In Defense of Food” and other great books.  The heart of his advice (that impacts everything) is “EAT PLANTS”.

Sure enough, studies show that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers— most notably colon cancer. A 2013 study of over 70,000 Seventh-Day Adventists, who are encouraged to eat a whole food, vegetarian diet, found that those who followed the church’s advice to eschew meat were less likely to die of any cause than the meat-eaters.

But what if you really like meat? The good news is you don’t need to make a stark either/or choice. According to an article by The Washington Post, the flexitarian diet, which includes meat, just not much of it, also offers significant health benefits. Most notably, centering plant foods with judicious servings of meat, dairy, and eggs can lead to better cardiovascular health. A large-scale study by the American Heart Society found that a flexitarian diet consisting of 70 percent plant-based foods reduced the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke by an impressive 20 percent.

This is largely because fruits and vegetables are so good for you. According to Sharon Palmer, editor of Environmental Nutrition, “When you base your meals on plant foods, you’re packing your diet with the fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that most Americans don’t get enough of.”

If you’ve decided you want to eat a more plant-based diet, there are lots of ways to go about it:

1. The simplest way may be to just eat more fruits and vegetables, even if you don’t really cut back on meat. The key step is to include fruits and veggies at every meal and snack. And that includes breakfast! For example, if I’m going to eat yogurt for breakfast, I top it with a cup of fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. If I’m making scrambled eggs, I throw in some frozen spinach.

2. Another step you can take is to de-center meat. For example, make vegetables the stars of your stir-fry, even if you do include some beef or shrimp in it. The key to making this work is using the right spices. My secret is gourmet flavored cooking salts, a mixture of salt and spice, which are an easy way to add loads of flavor. I love these flavored finishing salts, especially the chipotle, black garlic, and coconut-lime flavors!

3. Think about the kinds of meat you’re eating. The basic tenet here is that your meats should be whole just like the rest of your food. So keep the chicken breasts, New York steak, pork chops, and lamb kabobs if you love them. But cut out the processed stuff — hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and lunch meat.

4. Eat more fatty fish like salmon, which is high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. An interesting finding of the study of Seventh Day Adventists cited above was that the pesco-vegetarians, those who ate a vegetarian diet plus fish, had an even lower rate of mortality from all causes than the vegans.

5. Some people take semi-vegetarian literally, with the institution of Meatless Mondays. (Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. Go meatless one day a week.) Another semi-veggie system is called VB6, or Vegan Before 6 p.m., in which you eat no meat, fish, dairy or eggs for breakfast or lunch, but include them at dinner.

6. Get fruits and vegetables in a whole-food based nutraceutical.

jp hand23 years ago I discovered a simple solution to my problem: I hated to see anything green on my plate, and certainly would NOT eat it! I was a committed “meat and potatoes” guy – and had no plan or desire to change. In fact, if someone had said “if you don’t start eating spinach (or broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts …) you will die” I would have said, “ok, so be it – I’m coming home Lord!”

Then along came Juice Plus+. It was a ‘trojan horse’ that smuggled all those greens into my body. Instead of going into shock, my body said “it’s party time!” My body had never seen any of those greens (or many of the fruits that are in the capsules), but it knew what they were and that they were good – better: they were excellent, much-needed, life-saving!

The improvements in my health over time were amazing and today I am healthier that I have ever been. But the most amazing change was from what medical experts call “metabolic reprogramming”. Like the programming of our computer or smartphone, our bodies have ‘programming’, and the nutrients from the fruits and veggies in those capsules changed my cravings. After a while I started looking differently at them and – once I had recovered from the shock – I started eating them and came to love them!

Now, because of the powerful nutrition in Juice Plus+ and all the plant food I eat as well, I am in the best of health, living life to the plus … looking forward to my 70th birthday in July ; we will be in Spain at that time, on a 2 month vacation in Europe.

As Dr. Corson says (below), “Juice Plus+ is the best, strongest, most proven catalyst to better health” she has ever seen.

Color Your Plate

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The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating lots of fruits and vegetables of all colors to ensure you get the nutrients you need.

Spring, a time marked by its vibrant colors, is the perfect time to begin incorporating this recommendation into your diet. In the spirit of the season, be sure to “color your plate,” and include a variety of colorful fruits and veggies in each meal.

Adding color to your plate not only makes eating fruits and vegetables fun, it also allows you to try new spring recipes. Read on to learn how to add some of the season’s most brightly hued produce into your diet.


Strawberries hit their peak ripeness in the spring time. Filled with great nutrients like vitamin C and folate, strawberries are also fat and cholesterol free, making them a great alternative to sugary snacks when you’re craving something sweet. When picking strawberries, choose bright, shiny, and firm berries with fresh caps to ensure you’re reaping all of the fruit’s health benefits. While strawberries are delicious plain, an innovative way to add them to your spring menu is through a refreshing Strawberry Gazpacho. Checkout the recipe here!

Apricots, a fruit native to China, are also at their best in the spring. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, apricots only have 17 calories, making them a great snack. When shopping for this fruit, choose apricots that are firm and consistently the same color. This apricot leather is a fun snack and a great way to sneak an extra serving of fruit into your child’s diet.

Honeydew melons are tastiest in the spring, when they’re at their ripest. Not only is honeydew cholesterol free, but a wedge of honeydew provides nearly half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. When buying honeydew, look for one that is nearly spherical with a waxy surface and don’t forget to be creative with its preparation! Try making this yummy honeydew melon smoothie with Juice Plus+ French Vanilla to start your day!


While white asparagus does not exactly bring “color” to your plate, it is a good source of vitamins A and C. Known as the vampire vegetable, it is grown underground and protected from sunlight, giving it is unique, creamy color. When selecting asparagus choose stalks that are odorless, dry and tight to ensure you have a fresh batch. Try cooking white asparagus tonight with this delicious recipe.

Peas are the most nutritious leguminous vegetable. The veggie can be eaten raw or cooked and is a nutritious source of vitamins A and K, folate and dietary fibers. When picking peas, select firm, bright green, medium sized pods that feel heavy in your hands. While there are many different ways to prepare peas, we love this light Sugar Snap Pea recipe.

Red leaf lettuce is an easy way to add color into your salads. The leafy vegetable is low in sodium and rich in manganese and vitamins A and K. Even better? The FDA has labeled it as a calorie and fat-free food. When selecting red leaf lettuce choose a head that is closely bunched with fresh leaves. Incorporate this veggie into your diet with this Red-Leaf Lettuce recipe with Shallot vinaigrette.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating an appropriate mix of produce to make sure you get the nutrients your body needs. Be sure your family is meeting these guidelines by eating whole fruits and vegetables that represent all the colors of the rainbow. What family-friendly fruit and veggie recipes do you make each spring?

Of course, Juice Plus+ is the perfect foundation for a person Color My Plate campaign!


Why gut bacteria is good for you

Blame it on our naivety, ignorance or hypochondria, we tend to associate the word ‘bacteria’ with illness and poor health.

Combined in equal parts with our ancestral disdain (because our microbiota is mainly a replica of that harboured by our parents) for salads and greens (the richest source of fibre on which these bacteria thrive), our gut bacteria have now been pushed to the brink of near extinction.

So where does this diminishing biodiversity leave you? For starters, let’s just say, more incapacitated than you thought!

Role of gut bacteria

The bacterial consortium residing in our gut is an important determinant of our optimal wellness. From assimilation of essential nutrients in food, synthesising of Vitamin K, digestion of cellulose in green vegetables, to promotion of angiogenesis and regulation of enteric nerve function, these bacteria perform myriad jobs in our body.

Furthermore, these commensal bacteria strengthen our immunity by enhancing barrier integrity, thus preventing pathogens and harmful bacteria from invading our systems.

Other benefits rendered by gut microflora include absorption of minerals, transformation of bile acid and destruction of toxins, genotoxins and mutagens. Some bacteria even prevent formation of kidney stones.

To put the acuity of their roles in perspective, consider the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ which posits that disruption of microbiome in the body leads to onset of autoimmune diseases due to compromised immunity of the individual.

Other studies have found association between depleted microbiome and diseases such as Type II Diabetes, and conditions like allergies and food sensitivities.

Gut microbiome and lack thereof has been implicated in obesity because these organisms contribute in appetite regulation and energy harvest from food.

An unhealthy or imbalanced bacterial flora has also been alleged in conditions such as intestinal inflammation, cardio-metabolic diseases, and colorectal, prostate and gastric cancers which occur due to production of genotoxins by bacteria and microbial metabolism of carcinogens’ in food.

This upheaval is triggered by a number of factors such as environmental exposures, genetic makeup, age, use of antibiotics and most importantly, diet.

Dietary fibre is given way less credit than it is due. It does so much more than just regulating bowel movements. For instance, research links high fibre diet with lesser incidence of breast cancer in females as increased consumption of fruits and vegetables during adolescence cuts back cancer risk by 24%.

Scientific data accrued over several decades shows plausible ties between fibre rich diet, thriving of gut microbiota and low cancer incidence. Additionally, variety in type of fibre consumed benefits the human body even more as it tends to diversify the bacterial population because different bacteria specialise in metabolism of different type of fibre.

A rich gut microbiome translates into increased cellular nutrition and less chances of acute and chronic inflammation.

Direct impact of low fibre diet on gut microbiome was recently studied by a team of microbiologists at Stanford University. Experiments conducted by microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg and his team using a mice model found that low fibre diet did indeed render the gut microbes virtually extinct.

Using mice loaded with identical gut flora, the investigators fed them high fibre diet and then randomly switched half of them to low fibre chow for a period of seven weeks. As expected, the microbiota of low fibre group badly suffered, with colonial count of as many as 60 different microbes waning dramatically.

Not only this, but the effect cascaded through generations as the researchers found that the off springs of test subjects had narrower microbiomes, and even more bacterial species blinked out if these mice consumed low fibre diet like their ancestors.

The change was also found to be irreversible in fourth generation of mice even when fed high fibre diet subsequently. Other studies show that the gut microbiome of industrialised populations is much less diverse than those residing in rural areas and consuming a high fibre diet of vegetables and fruits.

So the next time around, don’t pass the salad for chicken nuggets. You will be doing yourself an enormous favour as it will take more than a tub of yogurt to reverse the impact of your oil and salt rich diet on your friendly gut residents.

Full article … 

How Can We Keep Our Brain Healthy?


Answer: Eat. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise.

About 20 percent of the calories we consume are utilized by the brain. Besides the constant need for energy, our complex neural systems require a vast amount of nutrients to keep them churning full speed ahead. This is especially true as we age and are more susceptible to cognitive decline.

Asides from vitamin B12 and iron, there is a plethora of antioxidants and other micronutrients that help the brain function at peak levels. These nutrients are sorely missing from processed foods. If you want to keep your brain healthy and happy, make sure to eat real foods.

Here are some tips to help your brain be at its best.

  • Get moving: physical exercise is not only important for your body’s health; it also helps your brain stay sharp.
  • Get enough sleep. This not only ensures you are thinking clearly, it lessens the chance of you eating junk food.
  • Drink enough water.Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, and depression.
  • Get your vitamin D, essential for proper brain functioning, either from the sun, mushrooms, fish oil, or supplements.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugars and refined carbs. Although the brain is partially responsible for the addiction we have to sugars, in this age of plenty, most people overdose and damage their brain’s health.
  • Avoid inflammatory fats and focus on good fats from avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Each color represents a different set of antioxidants. Berries, especially, are very high in antioxidants.
  • Eat an abundance of berries: the polyphenol compounds in the fruits activate the brain’s natural “housekeeping” mechanism, clearing out stored toxins.
  • Add spices to your life. Fresh or dried, many spices and herbs have very high antioxidant values.

More articles on brain health….

These recommendations are all inline with our #OneSimpleChange program:


How Fruits and Vegetables Can Treat Asthma

This is a great article by:  22 years ago I discovered my lifelong asthma was virtually gone. It’s been a non-issue ever since. 

Treating Asthma with Fruits and Vegetables

In my video Preventing Asthma With Fruits and Vegetables, I highlighted an international study of asthma and allergies involving more than a million kids. The study found a consistent inverse relationship between prevalence rates of asthma, allergies, and eczema and the intake of plants, starch, grains, and vegetables. Researchers speculated “over a decade ago that if these findings could be generalized, and if the average daily consumption of these foods increased, an important decrease in symptom prevalence could be achieved.” No need to speculate any more, though, because plants were finally put to the test.

Researchers have proposed that “by eating fewer fruits and vegetables, the susceptibility to potentially harmful inhaled substances of the population as a whole may be increased because of the reduction in antioxidant defenses of the lungs.” The thin lining of fluid that forms the interface between our respiratory tract and the external environment is our first line of defense against oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is important in asthma, contributing to airway contraction, excessive mucous production, and hypersensitivity. Antioxidants protect against oxidative stress, so our lung lining contains a range of antioxidants our body makes itself, as well as those obtained from our diet, particularly from fruits and vegetables.

We can even quantify the level of oxidative stress in people by measuring the level of oxidation products in their exhaled breath, which drops as we start eating more fruits and vegetables, and drops further as we combine more plants with fewer animal foods.

Do those with asthma really have lower levels of antioxidants than people without asthma? Compared to healthy controls, subjects with asthma had lower whole blood levels of total carotenoids and lower levels of each of the individual phytonutrients they measured: cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene compared to healthy controls.

Therefore, they posit, “the accumulating evidence does suggest that diet has an influence in modulating the response of the lung to inhaled allergens and irritants. However, it is possible that the reduced carotenoid levels in asthma are a result of increased utilization in the presence of excess free radicals.” So it’s like a chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon.

We know antioxidant-rich diets have been associated with reduced asthma prevalence. However, direct evidence that altering intake of antioxidant-rich foods actually affects asthma was lacking, until now.

There are two ways to test the effects of fruits and vegetables on asthma. Add fruits and vegetables to people’s diets and see if their asthma improves, or take asthmatics and remove fruits and vegetables from their diets and see if they get worse.

The first such study of its kind, highlighted in my video, Treating Asthma With Fruits and Vegetables, placed subjects with asthma on a low antioxidant diet. After just a matter of days, there was a significant worsening of lung function and asthma control. The researchers conclude that, “This finding is highly significant for subjects with asthma, as it indicates that omitting antioxidant-rich foods from the diet, for even a short time frame, will have a detrimental effect on asthma symptoms.”

Ironically, the low antioxidant diet consumed by subjects, where they were restricted to one serving of fruit and up to two servings of vegetables per day, is typical of Western diets. In other words, the low antioxidant diet they used to worsen people’s asthma, crippling their lung function, was just like the standard American diet.

As about “half the population usually consumes a diet with an intake of fruit and vegetables equivalent to that in the study diet or less, it appears likely that this dietary pattern, which must be considered suboptimal for lung health, may have a significant impact on asthma management, indicating the potential for typical Western dietary patterns to contribute to a worsening of lung function and asthma control.”

Within just days, cutting down fruit and vegetable intake can impair lung function, but does adding fruits and vegetables help with asthma? That was the second phase of the study.

Asthmatics on the standard American diet had about a 40% chance of relapsing into an asthma exacerbation within three months. However, put them on seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day instead of three, and we cut their exacerbation rate in half, down to 20%. Imagine if there were a drug that could work as powerfully as a few fruits and vegetables.

If manipulating antioxidant intake by increasing fruit and vegetable intake can so powerfully reduce asthma exacerbation rates, why not just take antioxidant pills instead? I cover that in my video Treating Asthma With Plants vs. Supplements?

And if a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables can make that kind of difference, what about a whole diet composed of plants? Check out Treating Asthma and Eczema With Plant-Based Diets.

Eating for bone health

This is a guest post by by Ann Caldwell, nutritionist and registered dietitian at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Nutrition and bone, muscle and joint health are closely related. A healthy diet can help prevent and manage osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal disorders by assisting in the production and maintenance of bone. If you are not getting the right nutrients you are putting yourself at greater risk for bone, muscle and joint disease.

Osteoporosis is called the silent disease because many people do not know they have it until they suffer a fracture. Ninety percent of adult bone mass is in place by the end of adolescence. Studies show if you are over 50, one out of every two women and up to one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

The following nutrients, and the foods that contain them, hold particular promise in promoting optimal bone health:

Calcium is a mineral essential for both building bones and keeping them healthy. Unfortunately the majority of Americans are not getting enough. Ideal food sources include milk, and enriched milk alternatives, such as soy or almond milk, cheese and yogurt. Other sources include bok choy, kale, turnip greens, almonds, white beans, tofu and fortified orange juice. The recommended daily allowance for adults over 50 is 1200 mg per day.

Vitamin D also is important for bone health, as it promotes calcium absorption. There are a few sources of vitamin D in food, such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolk, fortified milk, milk products, orange juice and cereals. Vitamin D can also be obtained through sunlight, but with the use of sunscreen this is not adequate. The best advice is to always get as much vitamin D from the diet, but supplementation is often required. The current RDA is 400 IU’s, but if you are deficient the dose can be much higher.

Other nutrients have been linked with bone health, including vitamins C and K and magnesium. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may protect bones as these are rich in antioxidants—including watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, bell peppers and guava.

Eating habits with a moderate intake of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains leads to a healthier lifestyle.

High levels of protein, caffeine, sodas and sodium have been linked to calcium loss. Many Americans consume too much protein, which can increase the urinary excretion of calcium. Yet at older ages protein intake is often too low and this can lead to bone loss and fractures. It is important to have a balance. We should aim to have not too much but enough, which can be said for all nutrients.

Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity are key to prevent bone disease. Physical activity should combine weight-bearing activity, simply to carry the weight of your skeleton, such as walking. Strength training is helps improve the muscles that support your skeleton and exercise improves your balance to help prevent falls.

Taking charge of nutritional health and exercise will help promote healthy bones as you age.

Over the first 10 years of using Juice Plus+ products, Jenny had her bone density measured several times and was told she had the bones of a young woman, 20+ years younger. Now, after more than 22 years on Juice Plus+, she is even younger!

The results we have seen in Jenny and in many others (including some dramatic reversals of osteoporosis) come from the combination of powerful, plant-based macronutrients (carbs, protein and fiber) in our Juice Plus+ Complete powdered drink mix, and the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes) in both the Complete and the Juice Plus+ capsules (fruits, veggies and berries).

Of course, a major contributor has also been the improved diets and lifestyles that result from, and are part of, the Juice Plus+ Experience.

Weight Loss and Gut Bacteria

In my last post we discussed the exciting new field of research: the microbiome, aka our gut health. The microbiome and the friendly bacteria living there are the subject of a new book in the UK, which suggests that there’s more to weight gain than simply eating too many calories.

The Diet Myth

According to British scientist (and author) Tim Spector, of King’s College London, the reason for the global obesity epidemic is the lack of variety in the Western Diet.

In 20 years of studying 11,000 identical twins, Spector found that caloric intake was not  a significant indicator of weight gain. In some cases, a person who had dieted for 20 years weighed very similarly to her twin who didn’t restrict calories at all.

Spector, a genetics expert, contends that variety in food ingredients translates to a variety in gut bacteria populations, which in turn regulate our metabolism and health. The food many of us are eating today is derived from far fewer ingredients than in the past. This is  mostly due to highly processed junk and fast foods. Hello corn and soy ingredients!

This dearth of variety has led to a rise in certain types of fat loving gut bacteria that are associated with inflammation. A change can occur in as little as a few weeks of eating junk food. On the bright side, changing your diet to consume a wide variety of whole foods can restore the beneficial gut bacteria fairly fast.