Half of all Americans take vitamin supplements, according to a recent Gallup poll. But are vitamins in pill form really good for you?
“Most adults with a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements,” Tarini Anand, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor, says. “In fact, a variety of natural foods, rather than supplements, is the best source for getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to stay healthy.” Read More about Vitamin Supplements: Yes or No?
One of the best ways to boost your vitamin intake to stay healthy is by eating a variety of natural foods. Try this recipe loaded with natural vitamins from The Longevity Kitchen, by Rebecca Katz, M.S., a book Debbie Kurzrock, a registered dietitian at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo, recommends regularly to her patients.
CARROT APPLE SLAW WITH CRANBERRIES Read More about Natural Vitamin Recipe: Carrot Apple Slaw with Cranberries
Calcium is an essential nutrient not just for your bones, but also for your muscles and brain.
This mineral helps your nerves carry messages from your brain to the parts of your body. It helps your muscles move. And, of course, it’s a critical building block for strong teeth and bones.
Yet most Americans – children and adults – don’t get enough calcium in their diet. Many people turn to supplements, but research shows they don’t give your body the same protection as calcium from food. In fact, they can increase your risk for kidney stones and in some people may slightly increase the risk of heart attack.
What should you do? First, understand how much calcium you really need for your age and stage in life. Then, start adding foods high in calcium – low-fat milk, yogurt, hard cheeses and greens such as collards – to your daily meals.
The secret to strong bones? It’s not just about boosting calcium.
Nine million Americans have osteoporosis and 48 million more are at risk of getting the disease, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium helps strengthen bones, but many Americans, particularly women, don’t consume enough of this essential nutrient. So it’s no surprise that more than 40 million Americans took calcium supplements in 2012.
Natalya Denissov, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula family medicine doctor, says boosting calcium is important, but supplements are not the answer for most people.
“People need to make sure they get enough calcium, especially women who are pregnant or post-menopausal,” she says. “But get it from food, not a pill.” Read More about Three Tips for Building Strong Bones
More than a million Americans have sworn off gluten, claiming that a gluten-free diet has helped them shed unwanted pounds, boost their energy and feel healthier. But is this increasingly popular trend beneficial or even safe?
People who eat gluten-free diets typically avoid bread, crackers and pasta. And that’s just the start. Found in a myriad of foods such as salad dressing, soy sauce, mustard, baked beans and more, the gluten protein helps breads rise and sauces thicken. Cutting this common compound out of your diet can be surprisingly difficult.
“The avoidance of gluten is only important if you are experiencing uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms,” Mills-Peninsula gastroenterologist Vino Verghese, M.D., says. “Gluten by itself is not a harmful substance. It’s simply a protein complex found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.”
Your local farmers market provides fresh, local, seasonal produce, often at lower prices than a conventional or health food grocery store. What’s more, farmers market foods may also be better for your health.
Evelyn Khoo, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula family medicine doctor, recommends eating local food to maximize its nutritional content. “Nutrients lessen in produce over time,” she says, and conventional produce travels an estimated 1,500 miles on average to reach grocery stores. Read More about For Better Health, Hit the Farmers Market