Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Healthy Eating Habits of Generation Z

genzGeneration Z can be characterized as technology savvy, socially engaged youngsters with short attention spans.  However, an overlooked yet promising characteristic to add to the list is Gen Y’s healthy eating habits. Recent research confirms Generation Z (people aged new born to 23-years-old) may be the healthiest generation thus far! In fact, a recent NPD Group survey revealed that this young generation of fresh loving foodies might as well be dubbed “Generation Salad.” Gravitating towards natural ingredients, fruits and vegetables and home-prepped meals, Gen Z is not only adopting Millennials’ healthy lifestyles, but taking them to the next level. When making a meal decision, these are the three main elements that Generation Salad considers for their healthy palate.

1.  Market Fresh

Generation Z demands natural ingredients! Hence the nick names “Fresh Foodies” and “Generation Salad.” These young consumers crave natural foods like healthy greens and try to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into every meal. NPD suggests the rising generation prefers to cook meals using fresh ingredients, but without the hassle. The market researcher predicts, “Salad consumption in particular will increase with Gen Z, followed by quick-assembly meals and more involved breakfast foods.” Gluten-free foods are also popular among this age group.

2.  Farm to Table

Not only is Generation Salad highly interested in eating healthy foods, they are just as interested in growing healthy foods. The Animal Agriculture Alliance recently analyzed “kids these days” at its “Cracking the Millennial Code” 2014 conference and found, “We are three or four generations removed from the farm, [therefore] they want to know more about their food, now that the average person grows up with almost no understanding of how it’s grown.” This generation actively seeks food knowledge to determine exactly where their food comes from and what process it went through to get to their tables.

While currently nearly 80 percent of edible gardeners are Millennials, that number is only increasing with Generation Z. Dedicated to growing a healthier generation and the future of food, Tim Blank, CEO of Future Growing and Developer of Tower Garden by Juice Plus+, encourages urban gardening and farm-to-table lifestyles to youth. “With the Tower Garden, people produce healthy and nutritious food with a fraction of the effort and natural resources and in a fraction of the time required by conventional gardening,” Tim says of his proprietary growing system. Gen Z is on-board!

3.  Home-Prepped

Finally, as a result of Generations Z’s healthy growing and eating habits, they are cooking their own food at home more often. This way, they have complete control over the nutrients and calories they consume for any given meal. Generally, cooking meals at home is less expensive as well! Goldman Sachs’ third Millennial Impact study details the health habits of today’s 14 to 34-year-old group. Because this generation tends to get married and have kids at later ages, “this generation has time and money to spend on lifestyle that prior generations would have needed to put toward child care or home repairs.” Also, this study demonstrates the youngest generation’s cost conscious tendencies. Having technology at their fingertips, it’s easy for Generation Z to find deals and use coupons on produce, fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.

As healthy eating habits continue to evolve for the better generation by generation, as does the overall health of our communities. Healthy eating seems to come naturally to our youngest generation! Want to cook a meal that’s a win for Generation Z? If you can whip up a home-cooked meal from a recipe full of fresh ingredients, including fresh produce, using food straight from farm to table – that’s a winner for Generation Salad. Bon appetite, Gen Z!


Many of the current Gen Z population have improved health and healthy eating habits because of the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study.

Time For 10 a Day

Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is not enough to ward off killer diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, warn researchers.

More should be done to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables in England, say scientists at the University of Liverpool, including a major rethink of the UK government’s five-a-day policy.

Lifestyle analysis of 65,000 adults in England aged at least 35 confirmed the positive effects of fruit and vegetables in reducing deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer, but suggested the benefits are much greater with at least seven portions a day – rather than the government’s recommended 5-a-day.

“This research clearly shows that there is no point in stopping at five a day. Seven or even 10 would save a lot more lives. It provides useful messages for public health practitioners and policy makers,” said Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University – who led the research.

The results, published in the  Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, also suggest vegetables are much more effective than fruit at staving off disease with mortality decreasing exponentially with each additional serving.

Two to three daily portions were linked to a 19% lower risk of death, compared with a 10% risk for the same amount of fruit, and for each individual portion of salad or vegetables the risk falls by 12-15%.

Rethink needed on quality and quantity

In addition, seven or more daily portions of fruit and vegetables was found to lower overall mortality rates by 42%, and cancer, heart disease and stroke by 25% and 31% respectively.

Capewell continued: “A ‘2 plus 5’ campaign in Australia – 2 fruit plus 5 vegetables – has been well received by the public and all the indications are that seven a day is achievable here as well. The government and Public Health England (PHE) are already talking about subsidising fruit and vegetables, especially for children, but we would like to see the government introduce a duty on sugary drinks, and use the billion pounds annual revenue to subsidise cheaper vegetables and fruit.”

Researchers also urged a rethink on what constitutes a healthy fruit portion since their findings revealed a positive correlation between consumption of frozen and tinned fruit and an increased risk of death.

Co-author, Dr Chris Kypridemos commented: “Current NHS guidance suggests that dried, tinned or canned fruit, smoothies and up to 150ml of fruit juice, all legitimately count towards the ‘5 a day’, while also silently delivering large amounts of refined sugar. However this might need to be revised as many of these contain more sugar than a 500ml bottle of cola.”

Only 25% of the adult population in England have adopted a healthy 5-a-day diet and there needs to be a major policy rethink to entice the remaining 75%, concluded the report. The 5-a-day target may be pragmatic but it also risks complacency among the quarter of the population who do follow the advice.

Source: J Epidemiol Community Health
Published online, Open Access, doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-203981
“Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data”
Authors: Oyinlola Oyebode, Vanessa Gordon-Dseagu, Alice Walker,  Jennifer S Mindell

Read the full article here.

A proven way to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables (and “improve your energy and mood”) is by adding Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ can help bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day.  Juice Plus+ is the most thoroughly researched nutritional product in the world with many clinically proven benefits.

California Farmer Finds Solution To The State’s Water Crisis

This is a guest post by Tim Blank, Founder and CEO, Future Growing LLC

Today, I would like to share with you the story of how Niels Thorlaksson, an amazing Tower Garden farmer in Santa Barbara, transformed his life from a job that he was not passionate about to living his dream of growing food for the masses with the most energy-efficient and sustainable farming method on the planet. With the severe drought in California, more farmers are looking for similar sustainable, earth friendly growing solutions—and Tower Garden vertical food farming technology,which uses 90 percent less water on 90 percent land, provides that chemical-free solution for feeding Americans, today and into the future.

Here is Niels’ story, in his own words: “My Dad, Erik, has always been an avid gardener, which started my interest in growing my own fruits and vegetables when I was just a little kid. We would plant a garden at home with tomatoes, squash, and zucchini, to name just a few. It was fun eating fresh produce that we had grown, and we enjoyed sharing our harvest with friends too. Growing up, we spent our Saturday mornings visiting the local farmers’ market. I loved trying all the cool local foods, and seeing new offerings with each season. These values of growing my own food and supporting local farmers stuck with me and are still very important to me.

For the past three years, I had been working for a large company in downtown Los Angeles. I realized that my job wasn’t who I was or what I stood for. I knew that I wanted to be involved with something that was making a bigger impact on our world, and do something I really loved. But I had no idea what it was going to be.

This realization coincided with my introduction to the Tower Garden. I was fascinated by the technology and loved the ability to save significant water, space and time while growing. My family and I decided to purchase one Tower Garden, and we set it up next to our tomato and squash garden in the back yard.

However, I soon learned that Tower Gardens were being used for much more than for home growers. I found out that they are being used for commercial food production to support the sustainable and local food movements. I wanted to see how it worked with my own eyes, so I went on tours of several Tower Garden farms.

Seeing how the Tower Gardens can directly impact people’s lives in such a positive way was the final piece of the puzzle. I helped set up several small farms in southern California, and saw that other people shared my values. This is when I decided I wanted to get involved and start a project of my own.

Land is extremely expensive in my area, so I currently have 100 Tower Gardens in my own back yard. Watering grass has given way to watering food, which is grown and used locally. My part-time hobby expanded my vision and passion for local growing, in what has become a successful, full-time business.

Click photo to enlarge. I am blessed to be working with some of the top restaurants in Santa Barbara region, and my five-star produce undoubtedly keeps me in that position. I work directly with the chefs to deliver exactly what they want to see on their menus. I can grow special varieties they can’t find in farmers’ markets. When I get my orders, I can deliver them the same day, since most of the restaurants are a few minutes away from my farm in downtown Santa Barbara. In fact, I am the closest farm to downtown!

I hope our Tower Garden farm will inspire people to change the way they think about the food they eat, where it comes from, and how it is produced. With many of the problems we are facing in the future, I believe the Tower Garden is essential to improving the way we access our food.”

Everyone at Future Growing agrees with Niels that the vertical aeroponic Tower Garden growing system is necessary to support the populations of today and the future. With its recirculating water system, the Tower Garden technology saves an incredible amount of time, water, and energy and—most importantly—produces the best-tasting, sustainable produce around. I commend Niels, along with all the other Future Growing farmers, for following their passion and building a business that not only improves their lives, but also the lives of everyone around them and the planet.


Secrets From the Longest-Living Place on Earth

Longest Living place on Earth, Nagano JapanFrom AARP Bulletin, May 2014

Takami Kuroiwa looks forward to weekends — not so he can relax with a little golf or TV, but to put in 12-hour days on the family farm. His regular job as a tourism manager provides a comfortable living, but raising his own fruit and vegetables is part of a lifelong routine.

At 66, Kuroiwa has already come out of retirement once and expects to work well into his later years.

“It’s part of the lifestyle here. You work in an office and then you retire to the farm. It’s just the next stage in life,” Kuroiwa says. As it turns out, it’s a very long life.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, extended work years and aggressive government intervention have helped the Nagano region produce the longest life expectancy in Japan, which in turn is the longest in the world. That marks a remarkable turnaround for an area that, as recently as the early 1980s, had the highest rate of strokes in Japan.

Women in Nagano prefecture, an area slightly smaller than Connecticut, can expect to live an average of 87.2 years, while men can look forward to living 80.9 years, according to the latest data from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. (In comparison, life expectancy in Connecticut averages 78.6 years for men and 82.9 for women. Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the U.S., at 78 for men and 84.7 for women.)

The lifestyle in Nagano, home of the 1998 Winter Olympics, has also produced some of the lowest per capita medical costs in Japan. That saves consumers and taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Officials now are hoping to export the Nagano experience to the rest of the country, and perhaps even farther.

“Nagano is unique in many ways, but there are lessons you can apply anywhere. Improve your diet, stay active, continue to work as you get older. The key is not just to live longer, but to stay healthy longer,” says Takuji Shirasawa, M.D., who teaches at the Department of Aging Control Medicine at Juntendo University in Tokyo.

Keys to a long life

Japan is one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world. A quarter of the population is age 65 or older. In Tokyo alone, some 3.1 million residents will be 65 or older by 2025, according to the health ministry.

Keeping those people healthy and productive is key to controlling costs for Japan’s national health care system and helping offset a declining birth rate.

At first glance, Nagano would seem an unlikely setting for a long and healthy life.

Tucked high in the Japanese Alps, the area experiences long and harsh winters. Arable land is limited. Surrounded by mountains, Nagano is one of the few regions of Japan without immediate access to the fresh fish and seafood that makes up much of the national diet.

Even as Japan’s economy boomed and longevity rates climbed through the postwar era, life expectancy in Nagano lagged. Men in particular suffered from high rates of heart attack and cerebral aneurysm.

Noriko Sonohara, head of the nonprofit Nagano Dietary Association, says much of the blame fell on a beloved, if unlikely, staple of the Nagano diet: pickled vegetables.

Housewives in Nagano for generations preserved all manner of homegrown produce to make up for the lack of fresh vegetables during long snowy winters, Sonohara explains. And while every village had a secret recipe for the dish, called tsukemono, all included one ingredient: copious amounts of salt. One survey found that Nagano residents on average were consuming 15.1 grams of salt per day — that’s nearly three times the daily maximum in U.S. dietary guidelines. “In wintertime, people would sit around and talk and eat tsukemono all day,” Sonohara says. “The turning point was 1981, when Nagano became number one in strokes. We decided, ‘OK, we have to do something about this.'”

A focus on diet

The first step in boosting Nagano’s life span was a campaign to reduce salt consumption and promote a healthier diet and lifestyle. Miso soup, served three times a day in many homes, became a prime target of health officials. Cases of hypertension and related illnesses began to decline shortly after, Sonohara says. The region of 2.1 million people now has some 4,500 volunteers who host seminars and clinics at supermarkets, shopping malls and community centers. They also conduct regular home visits to measure the salt content in daily meals and make dietary recommendations. “Our goal and our motives had nothing to do with becoming number one in life expectancy,” said Sonohara. “[But] individual efforts and local initiatives gradually changed the lifestyle, and that in turn lengthened the life expectancy for the region as a whole.”

Healthy Recipes

  • Brain-boosting foods help you stay sharp
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  • How to make boiled salmon for dinner

At a recent cooking demonstration in a market near Nagano’s main train station, volunteer Sumiko Hirano was preparing a dish of sesame pork with shiitake mushrooms and sliced pumpkin. The total salt per serving was 0.9 grams. But on this day, Hirano was exhorting a half-dozen shoppers, who had stopped to watch the demonstration, to reduce the use of cooking oil. For this recipe: just one teaspoon.

A licensed nutritionist, Hirano and several other volunteers also took time to dispense health advice to passersby. “At first it was difficult to convince people to change, but gradually it’s becoming easier,” says Hirano. “The government is encouraging people to maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle and organizing a lot of activities that they never had before, so that helps.”

The efforts paid off with surprising speed. By 1990, life expectancy for men had risen three years in a decade in Nagano prefecture, and 3.5 years for women. Nagano life spans continued to climb until they topped all of Japan by 2010. Rates of deaths due to cancer, heart and liver disease, and pneumonia now rank well below the national average.

The private sector gets involved

As the effects of an improved diet began to be felt, the region’s business community found ways to support a healthy lifestyle. In Matsumoto, the region’s second largest city, a bank started offering higher interest rates and incentives like weekends at Tokyo’s Disneyland for those who get medical checkups for three consecutive years. A convenience store chain has agreed to distribute health care information and host some 40 health fairs at various locations this year.

City health workers will take blood pressure readings, answer questions and distribute information on public health care services. “A lot of people never visit city hall, but they do go to convenience stores, so this is a good way to reach them,” says Matsumoto’s mayor, Akira Sugenoya, a surgeon.

Those preventive care efforts contributed to lower health care costs in Nagano, which came to about $2,488 per person in 2009. The per capita average in Japan was $3,120, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That compares with $8,233 in the United States. Japan’s national health insurance program, which covers virtually all residents, including those in intensive nursing care, is funded in part by local contributions. “Preventive medicine is much less costly than having to put people in the hospital,” Sugenoya says.

Staying active for life

Another not-so-secret key to Nagano’s remarkable longevity is a vigorous lifestyle, encouraged by local leaders.

In Matsumoto, officials have developed a network of more than 100 walking routes to encourage people to exercise. Community groups and neighborhood associations organize communal walks — not difficult in group-oriented Japan. Even in winter, clusters of residents can be found regularly walking along Matsumoto’s streets, parks and canals and around its historic medieval castle downtown. Sugenoya says the walking trails are a cost-effective way to promote health and control medical costs. “The first thing we wanted was just to get people walking. Everyone can do that. You walk, you talk, you get exercise and that helps build up a sense of community,” he says.

Japanese officials encourage people to postpone retirement or begin second careers, in part to maintain a healthy lifestyle longer.

Nagano is ahead of the curve there as well. Nearly 1 in 4 people over 65 are still in the workforce — the highest rate in Japan. “We don’t really know if people in Nagano continue to work because they are healthy, or if they are healthy because they continue to work,” says Hiroko Akiyama, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Gerontology. “But we believe working does affect health.”

Kuroiwa says he doesn’t think about all that. He retired as village accountant a few years ago, but came back to manage a new tourism center last year. As before, his spare time goes into running his family’s small farm, where he grows apples and rice along with an array of vegetables. His parents worked regularly into their late 80s, and Kuroiwa figures he and his wife will do the same. “No one here is particularly aware that we live longer than other people. We don’t have any secret. We just go about our normal everyday lives and it just turns out that way.”

I am almost 68, have no plans to retire (why would I, when I love what I do?!), take no medication of any kind and am a fit, healthy, happy, primetime “senior”! I attribute much of that to Juice Plus+, of course – the products and the business!

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.

Why People Lose Weight When They Go Gluten Free

From our wonderful friends at Fooducate:
Gluten free joke“Gluten free”: A favorite claim in the food packaging world.Gluten free bread, gluten free cookies, gluten free pasta, gluten free water, gluten free gluten. The whole world’s gone gaga for gluten free. It seems every man and his dog are preaching the benefits of gluten free diets. What does the science say? Fad, fiction, fact or downright foolish?

But first, what is celiac disease? It is an autoimmune disease where the body reacts negatively to gluten…

Why people lose weight when they go gluten free:

  1. A gluten free diet is daunting and restrictive
  2. Many high calorie ‘junk’ foods can no longer be eaten
  3. Many staple foods like bread, cereal and pasta can no longer be eaten either
  4. Fresh, low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables (naturally gluten free) are cheap and easy options.

Ta-da! Cutting out the hamburgers, pies, Corn Flakes, cakes and cookies, coupled with eating more fruit and vegetables… Sounds like a solid recipe for weight loss. It’s gluttony rather than gluten that is to blame for weight problems.

Next up: Packaging! On an excursion to my local supermarket, I perused the aisles and found some great visual aids… Please read the full article.

Here’s the take home gossip from this gloriously glutinous gab-fest:

  • Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease requiring a lifelong gluten free diet to prevent chronic intestinal damage
  • Without diagnosed celiac disease, there is nothing wrong with gluten in your diet. It comes down to portion size and selecting whole grain options
  • “Gluten free” foods are not automatically healthy

It’s important to know that ALL Juice Plus+ products are gluten-free, so those will celiac or other forms of gluten intolerance are safe to enjoy the Juice Plus+ Experience.

How To Avoid Becoming A Supplement Junkie

Have you been in a health food store recently? Standing in line you can see people with shopping carts filled to the brim with no less than 30 boxes of different herbs, vitamins, and supplements of all kinds. B-complexes, glucosamine, licorice, vitamin E, vitamin C, ginko, garlic, and St. John’s Wort, just to name a few. While this is certainly an extreme example, it’s not as rare as you might think.

We have the power to determine how healthy our cells are by the choices we make with our bodies. Our bodies are equipped with an incredible ability to go towards health when they are supplied with the right building materials. If your cells are like houses, the quality of the cell is dependent on the building materials which are found in our food.

For some, taking vitamins has become just another way to manage symptoms, rather than treating the root cause of a problem. Here’s how to avoid it:

1. Eat real food.

If it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, avoid it. If it has a label stay away. Colorful plant foods — dark greens, blues, reds, oranges and yellows — are all indicators of powerful plant compounds called phytonutrients that turn on anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying genes.

2. Go local and organic when possible.

Since you’re now eating real food (see #1), you’re going to be having a lot more fruits and vegetables. Organic foods are free of chemical pesticides. While some pesticide may not create symptomatic effects in most people, they can build up and get stored in fat cells of the body.

3. Create the perfect plate.

Fifty percent should be low-starch veggies like broccoli, asparagus, salad fixings, 25% lean protein (chicken, fish, beans, nuts or seeds), and 25% gluten-free whole grain like brown rice or quinoa, or starchy veggies like sweet potato.

4. Cut back on sugar.

Eating sugar and high carbohydrate processed foods spike insulin, which throws a monkey wrench in hormone production in the body. Insulin production is an important process for storing nutrients and processing glucose in the bloodstream, but our bodies simply can’t handle the insulin requirements we throw at them.

5. Get moving.

Weight loss aside, exercise is important for brain and nerve function. Movement of the body feeds the brain. If you have your nervous system working properly, then the tissues of your body will just work better.

6. Start strong.

As part of your morning ritual, add a green smoothie (this can be any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit). This is designed to deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from veggies like chard, kale and spinach.

7. Ditch the wheat.

Wheat has taken over our food supply. Our modern wheat has literally become a poison which makes you fat, inflamed and addicted. Two slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar. Give it up for a month and watch your health transform.

8. Fill in the gaps.

Look, we’re all super busy. Sometimes it gets hard to meet all of your nutritional and movement needs in our day to day lives. Work gets in the way, kids get in the way, sleep gets in the way. I get it. That’s where supplements should fill in the gaps. I recommend omega-3s, vitamin D, and probiotics as supplements most people can use. *

Read the full article…

* Excellent advice; of course, we also recommend Juice Plus+! Here are more articles on Supplements (and why many are simply not a good idea).

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.


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.