You’re Cleaning Mushrooms Wrong was written by Mark Bittman for Medium/Heated, 17 September 2019. Huh? YUP!
Whether you cook mushrooms constantly, infrequently, or somewhere in between, there’s a decent chance you’re cleaning them wrong. There’s this myth that you should never ever wash mushrooms because they’ll absorb too much water. Instead, what we’ve been taught to do is daintily wipe the dirt off with a damp cloth or paper towel.
This is maddeningly slow and a huge waste of time. To clean mushrooms, you should rinse them under running water. Yes, mushrooms are porous, and if you leave them sitting in a bowl of water they will soak it up like a sponge. But a quick blast of running water to wipe the dirt off will not make them any worse for wear, and will save you a lot of time and frustration in the kitchen.
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Why Dietitians Won’t Shut Up About Nuts was discussed by Cassie Shortsleeve for Medium/Elemental, 24 October 2019.
In 1990, Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, executive director of the Center for Nutrition at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, was studying the potential effects of walnuts on heart health. At the time, thinking that nuts could have any health benefits was a long shot. Almost relegated to the realm of “forbidden foods,” nuts were known for being high in fat and calories. They were far from a health food.
Yet Sabaté’s results, which he published in a landmark study in a 1993 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, fundamentally changed how health experts thought about nuts. The study highlighted both their nutritional powers and cholesterol-lowering abilities, which worked to improve cardiovascular health. Since then, hundreds of studies that have expanded and confirmed a wide variety of health benefits of nuts — perhaps part of the reason you’re snacking them today.
“Nuts are what I like to call nutrient-dense, meaning they pack in a whole lot of nutrition,” says Jenny Friedman, RD, a Philadelphia-based dietitian.
One aspect of this nutrition density comes down to the “healthy” fats all nuts contain. “Nuts really helped the whole conversation about different types of fat,” explains Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, a dietitian and doctor of public health who studied at Loma Linda University. Nuts are full of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, “heart-healthy,” “good” fats, she says. Adding them into your diet to replace other kinds of fats — such as the saturated kinds found in fatty cuts of beef or store-bought treats — can have anti-inflammatory and other benefits that promote heart health, Bazilian says.
On top of unsaturated and omega-3 fats (walnuts are an excellent source), which promote heart health in part by reducing irregular heartbeats and lowering cholesterol, nuts also contain:
- Fiber, which is associated with lower cholesterol, gut health, and weight maintenance.
- L-arginine, an amino acid associated with improved blood flow and the relaxation of constricted blood vessels (think: reduced risk of blood clots).
- Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can improve blood flow and prevent clotting.
- Plant-based protein, which helps promote satiety and fullness.
- Other unique nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including niacin, thiamin, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Read more: Why Dietitians Won’t Shut Up About Nuts
What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat, According To Doctors was reported by JR Thorpe for Bustle.com, 25 October 2019.
An increasing number of people are reducing the amount of meat they eat, or eliminating meat from their diets entirely. A study published in Nature in 2018 indicated that huge reductions in meat-eating worldwide were necessary to help avert climate catastrophe, and millennials in particular are changing their diets: data from The Economist found that 25% of all Americans between 25 and 34 say they’re either vegan or vegetarian in 2019. If you’re changing your diet to cut out meat entirely, though, you may be concerned about what happens to your body when you stop eating meat. The effects, according to experts, depend on the person — but overall, there can be benefits.
“Studies have shown that people who focus on increasing their intake of plant-based foods show lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even some forms of cancer,” Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State and Fellow of the American Heart Association, tells Bustle. A study of over 12,000 middle-aged Americans published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2019 found that cutting out meat entirely was linked to a much lower risk for cardiovascular disease and heart disease-related deaths.
Going completely meat-free can also affect your gut microbiome, experts tell Bustle. “If you cut all meat out of your diet, you would likely see a positive shift in the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut,” Stephanie Papadakis, a certified holistic nutrition consultant at Gut Of Integrity, tells Bustle. “Many conventionally raised animals are given hormones and antibiotics, which can shift our own beneficial bacteria in the same way taking antibiotics can.”
Meat-free diets can change your body in other ways that could be protective against these illnesses. Studies have found that people who changed their lifestyle choices, including going meat-free, saw lengthening in their telomeres, or the small caps at the end of DNA that stop them degrading and shortening over time. Telomere shortening has been linked to breast and prostate cancers, so going meat-free might be changing your body on the genetic level — and helping to protect against cancer in the process.
The study on meat-free diets and the gut microbiome in Nature in 2019 also identified another way in which the body changes when you cut out meat: levels of systemic inflammation in the body often go down. “The reason for lower systemic inflammation in plant-based dieters could be due to the abundance of anti-inflammatory molecule intake and/or avoidance of pro-inflammatory animal-derived molecules,” the study notes.