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Curious about our food system and want to learn more? Have you seen food documentary films in the media and wondered what ones should get your time and attention? Well we want to help you and share with you some of our favorites.

Here are some films that will inform you, create awareness, inspire you, educate you and possible even scare you a little.

1. King Corn- Corn being the key ingredient in most processed foods gets 90 minutes of center stage in this film. As the nations “most powerful crop” corn is far from what it used to be. It has been scientifically modified to fit disease and grow “bigger and better” than before. It is used in one state as high fructose corn syrup and in another for feed lot corn.

2. Big River- A follow up movie to King Corn that looks at water contamination as a result of our industrial agriclture chemical use. In King Corn, the makers of the movie grow an acre of corn. In this film, they get a first hand look at what the pesticides and fertilizers do to harm our water supply.

3. Vanishing of the Bees- This is a documentary that focues on the dissapearing of the bees. It takes a closer look at the economic, political and ecological causes of the worldwide vanishing of the bees. The film examines the relationship between man and bee and digs into what ahs caused the Vanishing of the Bees.

4. Food, Inc.- If you are looking for some answers to all those questions you have about our food industry this is the documentary for you. This film seeks to uncover some of the hidden facts about the way in which or fod is produced and how our nations food supply is controlled by a handful of corporations.

5. Forks Over Knives- This film focuses on the benefits of eating a more plant based diet. It focuses on how eating whole plant foods can assist in reversing disease, limit environmental destruction and promote animal welfare.

6. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead- An austrailian man travels across the US while trying to complete a 60 day green juice fast. At the same time he interviewed Americans about healthy, eating and their weight. If you are looking for fast pace and entertaining, this is the film for you.

7. Our Daily Bread- This film allows you to come up with your own conclusions or rather, it is a silent film. It shows what goes on behind the scenes of food production.

8. Fresh- This film not only points out the problems our food systems faces but lets us know as viewers what we can do about them. It is a more positive and solution based approach to informing the viewer.

9. Sweet Misery: A LEAP based film and documentary on the effects of aspartame and how dangerous it really can be to our health.

10. Lbs.- This film focuses on America’s issue in todays society with compulsive overeating. The main charecters struggle with food addiction

You can find these films on Amazon, Netflix and maybe even at your local library! For more information or questions, just contact us and we’d be happy to help you out!

References: Today’s Dietitian and Weight Matters

Previously I posted a blog about resources that we love for the new year for a new you. Below we’ve added even more of our favorites! Check them out!

Drug and Medication Information:

Consumer Lab:

Rx List:

Meal Supplementation:

Instead of Ensure, Muscle Milk, Boost or slim fast we recommend:


Functional Formularies, Whole Foods Meal Replacement , 937-271-0381


Be Wise Ranch Organic Farm
Phone: (760) 746-6006

Chino Family Farms

6123 Calzada Del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

(858) 756-3184 

JR Organics

31030 Rodriguez Road, Escondido


Suzie’s Farm

2570 Sunset Avenue, 92154


Seabreeze Organic Farm

3909 Arroyo Sorrento Road, San Diego, CA 92130


Paradise Valley Ranch


Farmers Markets:

Vista Market

County Court Complex

Saturdays 8 am-1 pm


Tuesdays 2:30-6

Grocery Stores/Markets:

Jimbo’s (4S Ranch, Carlsbad, Caramel Valley, Escondido, Horton Plaza)

Major Markets (Escondido)

Roots (Temecula)

Frazier Farms (Vista)

Barons (Temecula)


Trader Joes



2 Good 2 B Bakery

204 N El Camino Real, Ste H, Encinitas, CA 92024


Gluten Not Included

2250 S Escondido Blvd Ste 110, Escondido, CA

(760) 432-6100

True Food Restaurant

Fashion Valley Mall

7007 Friars Rd Ste 394, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 810-2929

Lean & Green Café

7825 Fay Ave Ste 180, La Jolla 92037


Healthy Creations

376 N El Camino Real, Encinitas 92024


Lotus Café

The Lumberyard, 765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas 92024


Sambuzon Acai Café

2031 San Elijo Ave, Encinitas, 92007


Casa De Luz

2920 University Ave, San Diego


Ki’s Café

2591 S Coast Highway 101, Cardiff By Sea, 92007


Peace Pies

133 Daphne St. Encinitas, 92024, 760-479-0996

4230 Voltaire St, San Diego, 92107, 619-223-2880

It’s a Grind

2744 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad 92008


Native Foods

127 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, 92024


Local Habit

3827 5th Ave, San Diego, 92103


Other Sources for Organics/Sustainable Products:

Edible San Diego:

Environmental Working Group:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch:

Westin A Price Foundation:

CSPI (center for science in the public Interest):

Label GMO’s:

Organic Consumers Association:

Responsible Technologies (non GMO shopping guide):

Vegetarian Resource Group:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Dr. Mercola:

Organic Raw Milk Products: Organic Pastures, Claravale Dairy. (Supply raw milk prodcuts) Found in Frazier Farms Vista, Sprouts in Carlsbad & Oceanside, Jimbos at 4S Ranch, Henry’s in Escondido.



In the media, grocery stores, magazines and even T.V. shows gluten free has become all the rage. Singers, actresses and even doctors are on board. But why? Because it is healthier? Think again. It is important to know that there is a difference between being gluten free and healthy.

First, we’ll break down the concept that eating gluten free is automatically healthier and explain why this is not the case. Then we’ll explain where this perception came from and lastly we will tell you how to live a gluten free lifestyle in a healthy way, if in fact it’s right for you.

So, one does not classify the other, in other words, eating gluten free does not mean that you are eating a healthier diet. There are ways to be healthier while eating a gluten free diet but this involves eating clean, fresh ingredients, avoiding processed sugars and carbohydrates and watching portion sizes not just eating anything labeled GF off the grocery store shelf.

The perception of eating gluten free to be healthy came up this past year as one of the newest, widely used fad diets. But why? Because some people tried it, said they lost weight and felt good, and then it was recommended to you? I suggest that at this very moment, you decide what made you think about or try a gluten free diet and then read carefully: Only 1% of the population has actually been estimated to have celiac disease and on the other hand only 6% have been estimated to have non celiac gluten intolerance. So how do we spend over 6 billion dollars on gluten free products a year? Eating gluten free is “healthier right?” So with that being said, listen to this: 46% of that 6 billion dollars is being spent on confectionary products and another 20% is being spent on processed snacks. The kicker is that the biggest motivation behind buying gluten free products was said to be that it was healthier. . .how is buying confectionary and processed foods healthier?

The perception of a gluten free diet being a healthier option comes mostly from the same place all the other diets come from: the media. I realize as busy individuals and families we don’t always have the time to research and look into something that sounds too good to be true. And that’s why I am here to help you now. It is important to know the in’s and out’s of a gluten free diet and how it can work for you if it’s right.

Gluten free means eliminating anything containing or made from wheat, barley or rye. For anyone with diagnosed celiac disease, you know this is not always an easy feat. Buying anything processed becomes an issue, eating out is nearly impossible and forget family or social dinners when you aren’t the one cooking! Nearly all processed foods contain one of or a combination of these ingredients. Now, you are probably thinking well if it is processed and labeled gluten free, why can’t I eat it? I’m not saying you can’t eat it, I just want you to think about a few things before you stock your pantry with gluten free items.

Gluten is a protein found in most baked goods and bread products. This protein creates elasticity in yeast dough’s and breads and allows the dough to stretch when gases are released from the yeast, giving it that chewy, moist, airy texture. Without this gluten, the dough does not rise and most products result in a dry, crumbly and dense product. To counteract this gluten free issue another ingredient is added: this being fat. If you read the label on your favorite gluten free product and compare it to that of a non gluten free product you will probably find that calorie wise it is similar and the fat content of the gluten free product is at least slightly higher. So tell me again, why is the gluten free product healthier? I’d like a valid explanation of this.

I can understand your disappointment in reading this but I can tell you from experience, eating gluten free doesn’t have to be full of processed foods to be easy, fast or healthy. The best way for you to be nutritionally balanced while being gluten free is to eat fresh, raw ingredients and grains that you have prepared yourself. There are options such as gluten free oatmeal or quinoa that you can cook up for breakfast with your favorite fruit, some organic plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey or how about a quinoa salad packed with vegetables and your favorite vinaigrette for lunch. Dinner can be as simple as grilled fish, green veggies and a baked sweet potato. All this delicious whole food at a small, satisfying price.

Eating gluten free doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Just remember that getting tested for gluten sensitivities is the best way to determine if it is necessary for you to avoid it. Also remember that eating gluten free off the shelf is not healthier than eating good whole and organic foods.

For more information about being tested for gluten sensitivity and living a gluten free life, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’d love to hear from you!

Our Favorite Resources for the New Year

For those of you who don’t know how to get started on the right track and would like some easy resources, we have got them here for you. We have included a list of our favorite places for healthy recipes, local personal chefs in the area that will help you meet your specific nutritional needs, options for already made meals that come right to your door and some apps for your phone to help you make nutritional food choices and stay on the right track with your healthy nutrition and exercise plan.
Recipe Resources:
Cooking Light:
Vegetarian Times:
All recipe:
Mark Bittman:
Personal Chefs:Annel & Drew’s Kitchen, Chefs/,, 858-210-5094, 858-775-1316 Nutritious & Delicious, Beckette Williams, MS,,, 858-748-3466

Prepared Meals:

Artisan Bistro, Healthy Eating Made Easy, Mention this code 326951, 888-824-5116

Sandy’s Healthy Gourmet Pantry, 760-749-0352

NutriFit, 1-800-341-4190

Organic Bistro Brands

Vegetarian Resource- Amy’s Organic Brands

Food and Recipe Applications:

Food on the Table: Matches your food preferences to weekly sales from major supermarkets nationwide.

Food Facts: By searching this database this food allergen app delivers nutrition information and allergen alerts.

Seafood Watch: This is a digital guide to sustainable fish and seafood.

Find Me Gluten: Let’s you know about local gluten free businesses in a single directory.

How to Cook Everything Essentials: Includes a variety of recipes, kitchen basics and cooking techniques.

Diet and Exercise Tracking Applications:

My Fitness Pal: Tracks food intake, nutrients and exercise as well as your progress. Provides a support community and alerts.

Daily Burn: Tracks foods eaten, set goals based on age, weight and fitness levels and allows you to build customized workout routines.

Meal Logger: Works right alongside with your RD. Allows them to review and coach you based on your own food journal and tracks your progress.

Lose It!: Allows you to set a weight loss goal and time line and then calculates how many calories you should consume and how much you actually take in.

Slim Down Shopping List: Allows you to search picks from Women’s Health Magazine and see the nutrition information.

Map My Run: logs running and walking with GPS. Let’s you know your time, distance and pace as well as calorie burn.

Intervals: interval timer for interval related workouts


Do you have difficulty losing weight no matter how hard you try? Does it seem that no matter how little you eat or how hard you work out, the scale doesn’t go down? Or are you the opposite and can’t gain weight no matter what you do?  These are real problems that real people, like you and I, actually deal with.

There are a number of reasons that may cause these issues/symptoms. It could have something to do with food sensitivities and allergies that are causing inflammation and water retention in the body. Sometimes these allergies or food sensitivities can prevent us from properly absorbing nutrients that we need on a daily basis. This inflammation and bloating add to the overall weight of our body and can cause the numbers on the scale to rise.

Whether you are trying to lose or gain, each problem has it’s own frustrations and there is not a fix-all solution. Each of us is wired and built in a different way. Therefore, our systems each react differently to foods and food products that may otherwise be “miracle foods” to someone else. Most recommendations for weight loss are generic and not based on individual needs.

It is important to evaluate yourself on an individual basis and this includes establishing what food you may be intolerant to. Once the source of the issue is established, a nutrition therapy plan can be developed from there. By simply eliminating the foods that are causing inflammation rather than going  on a basic diet, most clients see a reduction in weight without even trying.

If you find that you are struggling with not only weight loss or gain but unexplained aches and pains, illness and disease and your body is not responding to the typically solution, consider trying something new. Don’t give up on the idea that you can feel better, lose weight and have more energy. Consider the possibilities of food allergies and sensitivities and a whole new world may open up for you.

Whether it’s a long plane ride and layovers in the airport or a road trip with the kids, we often get stuck in the fast food trap or at the expensive food stand.  Don’t know what to pack to avoid these problems? Well, here are some energizing, healthy snack ideas to help you make it through your traveling nutrition rut and a few immune boosting options to help along the way.


Emergency Snack Stash

Here are some things you can grab as your running out the door.  They are of low-perishability allowing you to keep them on hand.

  • ·         Nuts
  • ·         Dried Fruit
  • ·         Peanut butter
  • ·         Instant oatmeal
  • ·         100% whole grain crackers or rice cakes
  • ·         Granola bars (see helpful hints on how to choose the best bar for you below)
  • ·         Apples

Some other options to keep on hand for at home snacking include:

  • ·         Bananas
  • ·         Grapes
  • ·         Carrots
  • ·         Celery
  • ·         Cottage cheese
  • ·         Cheese sticks
  • ·         Yogurt


Healthy Snack Ideas

If you’re at home or are able to pack a lunch here are some ideas for healthy snack to help mix it up each day. Snacking helps to keep up your metabolism throughout the day, helping you to burn calories and keep energy levels up. The best snacks are 200 calories or less, filling and satisfying.


  • Greek yogurt
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Yogurt, berries an honey
  • Veggies and guacamole
  • Tuna on whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain toast with nut butter
  • Apple sauce
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Fruit smoothie or green smoothie
  • Fruit and cheese kebabs
  • Banana and peanut butter
  • Beef Jerky


More Ideas Specifically for Traveling

  • Bring tea bags (green or black). Most places will give you hot water for free
  • Pack an empty water bottle with you so that you can fill it up once through security. This prevents having to buy expensive bottled water and now that you can purchase water bottles that filter your water for you, it’s clean and free!
  • Pack some Ziploc baggies with your own snacks: pretzels, whole wheat crackers, rice cakes, nuts, trail mix, dried cereal, I even buy individual peanut butter packets with celery and apples or make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich
  • Remember to take control of your food choices. If you must eat out try to order with your mind rather than just your stomach. Consider things like eggs, oatmeal, whole grain cereal or plain yogurt for breakfast. For lunch and dinner options look for lean meats, brown rice, whole-wheat pastas, and if choosing a salad avoid one packed with cheese and heavy dressings and opt for one that is loaded with vegetables and fruit.


Immune Boosting Foods to Help Fight Against Travel Illness

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Raw carrots
  • Spinach
  • Chicken or beef tenderloin
  • Yellow fin tuna
  • Chicken Breast
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and high sugar content beverages as these can reduce your immune system


How to Choose an Energy/Granola Bar?

  • Look for bars with all natural, organic ingredients. Avoid additives or preservatives. Chances are if you can’t pronounce it and don’t know what it is, maybe you shouldn’t eat it
  • Chose a bar with the lowest amount of sugar possible. Look for bars made with honey, agave nectar or non-refined sugar source
  • Look for whole grain oats or flour and avoid refined grains
  • Seek out a bar that offers at least 3 grams of protein and fiber each

What is Fiber? Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fiber is fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts and

Insoluble Fiber is considered a bulking fiber. These may be metabolically inert and provide bulking in the large intestine. They absorb water as they move through the digestive system, easing defecation. They may promote regularity.

What is Resistant Starch? Resistant starch is considered the third type of fiber. It is starch and starch degradation products that had escaped digestion in the small intestine. It delivers some benefits of both insoluble and soluble fibers. This starch helps feed the healthy bacterial flora.

Why is fiber important? Fiber is found only in plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.


·  Helps keep us “regular” and prevents constipation

·  Might help protect against certain diseases, such as: Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer

·  Seems to play a role in weight loss, probably because high-fiber foods make you feel fuller and they displace higher-calorie foods in the diet


High-fiber foods can help in the treatment of:

·  Constipation

·  Hemorrhoids

·  Diverticulitis

·  Irritable bowel syndrome


How much fiber do you need each day? 
For children 3−18 years old, add “5” to their age in years. So, for children 7 years old, they need at least 7+5=12 grams (g) of fiber/day.

For adults, needs vary by age and gender:

·  Men, 50 years old and younger=38 g/day

·  Men, 51 years old and older=30 g/day

·  Women, 50 years old and younger= 25 g/day

·  Women, 50 years old and older=21 g/day


What else should I know about fiber? 
Increase the amount of fiber in the diet slowly, so you do not develop a crampy, bloated stomach. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids as you increase your fiber intake. Many different forms of fiber exist, so you should eat a variety of high-fiber foods and whole-grain breads and cereals to get all of the benefits.

How can I increase the amount of fiber in my diet?
Here are some high-fiber ideas:

·  Enjoy oatmeal

·  Choose whole-grain breads, pastas, and rice instead of white varieties of the same foods

Select high-fiber breakfast cereals—read the Nutrition Facts food labels to find cereals that have at least 5g    dietary fiber/serving

·  Serve high-fiber vegetables, such as:



·  Use more dried beans, such as:

  Black beans
   Black-eyed peas
   Pinto beans
   White beans

·  Eat more lentils

·  Follow the table below to chose the most fiber full foods


Fiber Content of Selected Foods

Grains Amount Total Fiber (g)
Bran, wheat, dry ¼ cup 6
Spaghetti noodles, whole wheat 1 cup 6
Bulgar, cooked ½ cup 4
Wheat germ, ready-to-eat ¼ cup 4
Pearl barley, cooked ½ cup 3
Cracked wheat, cooked ½ cup 3
Multigrain or granola bread 1 slice 2
Rice, brown, cooked ½ cup 2
Spaghetti noodles 1 cup 2
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 2
Bread, white 1 slice 1
Legumes and Nuts Amount Total Fiber (g)
Navy beans ½ cup 10
Lentils, cooked ½ cup 8
Lima beans ½ cup 7
Beans, baked ½ cup 7
Kidney beans ½ cup 6
Pigeon peas, cooked ½ cup 6
Green peas, cooked ½ cup 4
Peanuts, dry roasted ¼ cup 3
Walnuts, pieces ¼ cup 2
Filberts, raw 10 nuts 1
Fruits Amount Total Fiber (g)
Pears, fresh 1 large 7
Plums, fresh 5 small 5
Apples, fresh 1 medium 4
Blueberries, fresh 1 cup 4
Strawberries, fresh 1 cup 3
Bananas, fresh 1 medium 3
Naval oranges 1 medium 3
Apricots, fresh 3 fruits 2
Cherries, fresh 10 fruits 2
Deglet noor dates 3 fruits 2
Peaches, fresh 1 medium 2
Plums, dried 3 fruits 2
Raisins, seedless ¼ cup 2
Apricots, dried 5 halves 1
Cantaloupe ¼ medium 1
Grapefruit ½ medium 1
Grapes, seedless, fresh 20 fruits 1
Pineapples, fresh ½ cup 1
Vegetables Amount Total Fiber (g)
Parsnips, cooked ½ cup 3
Potato, baked with skin 1 medium 3
Broccoli, cooked ½ cup 3
Winter squash, cooked ½ cup 3
Carrots, cooked ½ cup 2
Brussels sprouts, cooked ½ cup 2
Spinach, cooked ½ cup 2
String beans, cooked ½ cup 2
Savoy cabbage, cooked ½ cup 2
Corn, cooked ½ cup 2
Sweet potato, cooked ½ medium 2
Turnips, cooked ½ cup 2
Cauliflower, cooked ½ cup 1
Kale, cooked ½ cup 1
Summer squash, cooked ½ cup 1
Tomato, raw 1 medium 1
Zucchini, cooked ½ cup 1

— Source: USDA

For a food-based fiber cocktail, try the following recipe:

1/3 cup unprocessed bran or 2 TBLS whole psyllium husk

1/3 cup applesauce

1/3 cup mashed stewed prunes

Blend all ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Take 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture before bedtime and then be sure to drink 8 oz of water.

Commercially Available Fiber Supplements:

Metamucil  Citrucel    Hydrocil    Fiberall    Konsyl

References and recommended readings

Mayo Clinic. Dietary fiber: essential for a healthy diet. 
Available at: .

Medscape Today. : The Health Benefits of Fiber: Dietary Fiber Recommendations. 
Available at: .

To follow our healthy aging series, we thought you should know some truths about cholesterol and statins. Both of these things can have an impact on the way we each age.

So what is the great Cholesterol Myth? The storyline behind this video was created by Dr. Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. The following is a summary of the myths covered in his video. They are very informational and quite shocking.

MYTH: High cholesterol is the cause of heart disease.
FACT: Cholesterol is a fairly insignificant player in heart disease.

MYTH: High cholesterol is a good predictor of heart attacks.
FACT: High cholesterol is a lousy predictor of heart attacks. Half the people admitted to hospitals with heart disease have normal cholesterol, and plenty of people with elevated cholesterol have perfectly healthy hearts.

MYTH: Lowering cholesterol with statin drugs will prolong your life.
FACT: There is no data showing statins have any impact on longevity.

MYTH: Statin drugs are perfectly safe.
FACT: Statin drugs have significant side effects, including loss of memory and libido, muscle pain and fatigue, and approximately 65% of doctors don’t report those side effects, according to a 2007 study.

MYTH: Statin drugs are appropriate for men, women, children and the elderly.
FACT: The only group in which statins have been shown to have even a modest effect is in middle-aged men who’ve already had a heart attack. If you’re not in that group, you’ve got no business on a statin drug.

MYTH: Saturated fat is dangerous.
FACT: Saturated fat is mostly neutral and may even have some health benefits. A recent peer-reviewed study has shown no association between saturated fat and heart disease.

MYTH: The higher your cholesterol, the shorter your lifespan.
FACT: In the Framingham Study, the people who actually lived the longest had the highest cholesterol.

MYTH: A high-carbohydrate diet protects you from heart disease.
FACT: Diets that substitute carbohydrates for saturated fat may actually increase the risk for heart disease.

Bottom line: We need to stop focusing on lowering cholesterol and start focusing on preventing heart disease.

Hopefully this helps open up some of the doors you may have thought were closed when you heard your cholesterol was “too high.” Maybe we should start thinking a little more about the drugs being prescribed to us before we start taking them.

This summary was taken from:

You can watch the video from the following links:

Part 1

Part 2


5. Protective Nutrients

In this two part series, we are focusing on the types of nutrients that we consider protective.  Last time, we covered the first three, omega 3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. In this post, we will cover functional nutrients, fiber and clean, filtered water

What are Functional Nutrients? Functional nutrients are nutrients that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Of course, all nutrients are functional because they provide varying levels of metabolic protection and energy to sustain growth or support vital processes. However, functional nutrients are generally considered to offer additional benefits that may reduce the risk of disease or promote optimal health.

How they function?

-Zinc: an essential nutrient and has physiologic functions that are directly related to normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system

-B Vitamins: associated with a decreased risk of vascular disease in patients with cardiovascular diseases

-Vitamin D: helps improve muscle strength and immune function, reduces inflammation, promotes the absorption of calcium and helps maintain adequate blood levels of the calcium and phosphate needed for bone density maintenance and repair

-Magnesium:  increases high density lipoprotein (HDL), improves blood sugar control and decreases risk of stroke

-Calcium: helps protects bone health and has been found to be a protective factor related to obesity

-Iron: required for oxygen transport, DNA synthesis

-Fiber: aids in digestion, helps prevent constipation, and can be used for the treatment of diverticulosis, diabetes, and heart disease

-Water: adequate hydration helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids, helps kidneys remove toxins and improves bowel function

Sources of Functional Nutrients:

-Zinc: oysters, beef, lamb, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, chocolate, chicken and beans

-B Vitamins: salmon, tuna, halibut, cod, lamb, beef, poultry, shellfish, eggs, dairy products avocado, pomegranate, dates, watermelon, leafy greens, bok choy, and fortified cereal

-Vitamin D: sunshine, fish, fish oil, fortified dairy products, egg yolk, liver and mushrooms

-Magnesium: whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, yeast, avocado, broccoli, leafy greens and apples

-Calcium: low-fat dairy products, broccoli, figs, tofu, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy greens

-Iron: beef, eggs, fish, liver, yeast, fortified cereal, whole grains, nuts, beans, beets, dates

Sources of Fiber: whole grains, bran, seeds, many fruits and vegetables

Sources of clean, filtered water: Look up the National Drinking Water Database to evaluate the safety of your tap water:

Easy Ways to Functional Nutrients in your diet: Consume a varied diet consisting of many fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to assure adequate intake of these protective, functional nutrients

Tip: The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

Liquid in soups, coffee and tea can be counted towards your daily water intake


Look up Farmer’s Markets near you:

Center for Science in the Public Interest Nutrition Action Newsletter:

4. Protective Nutrients

There are many nutrients in our foods that can act as protective agents to fight off sickness and disease. We need these on a daily basis to help us survive and stay healthy. The main types of nutrients include: protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. We will be focusing on the types of nutrients that we consider protective. These include Omega 3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, functional nutrients, fiber and clean, filtered water. We will cover the first three here and the last three in the next portion of the blog.

What are Omega 3’s? They are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are vital components of the brain, nervous system and all cell membranes. Omega 3 fats include DHA, EPA and ALA.

How they function?

-Act as building blocks for brain and nerve cells

-Prevents artery blockage and hardening

– Decreases blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol

-Improves immune function

-Supports Eye Health

Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

-Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring

-Flax Seed Oil or Cod Liver Oil

-Nuts and Seeds

Easy Ways to incorporate Omega 3’s in your diet: Eat fish 2-3 times per week, snack on nuts and natural nut butters, or incorporate flax seed oil into a homemade dressing!

What are Phytonutrients? These are bioactive compounds that help to slow down the aging processes and reduce the risk of age progression. Some common phytonutrients we often here about include:

-Beta-carotene (commonly found in red and orange fruits and vegetables)

-Lycopene (most commonly found in tomatoes, eating 2-3 servings a week is sufficient)

-Flavonoids (fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds)

How they Function?

-Enhance immunity

-Cause cancer cells to die

-Repair DNA

-Detox Carcinogens

Best way to get your phytonutrients: Eat your fruits and veggies! Eat a variety of whole grains, nuts, beans, spices and herbs.

What are Antioxidants? Dietary substances that prevent or slow oxidation and inflammation (remember the causes of aging from the first blog? They do this by scavenging the free radicals in the body and preventing them from causing damage.


-Improve immune response

-Lower the risk of infection and cancer

-Slow down oxidation and cell death

Best Sources: Vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs, nuts and seeds and whole grains.

As you can see these micronutrients aren’t actually that micro when it comes to our health. They play a huge role in the aging process and fighting against sickness and disease. Just by simply modifying your diet, you can reap the benefits that they have to offer. Varying you diet is essential in obtaining both the micronutrients as well as macronutrients. By alternating foods often, our bodies remain happy and healthy!

Please follow up next week to hear about the other three protective nutrients.

Tip: Each food group is loaded with different kinds of vitamins and minerals. The easiest way to get them all in is to eat a diet diverse in fruits, vegetables, meats and grains and even herbs and spices!

Some Resources for Your Convenience:

Omega 3’s and blood pressure:

Phytonutrients for Bone Health & Aging:

Antioxidants & Free Radicals: