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What Are “Micronutrients”?

As opposed to macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates), micronutrients are necessary in the diet only in very small amounts. They are what we commonly refer to as vitamins and minerals. But despite the fact that we need very little of them, if we are lacking in even one of these micronutrients, it can wreak havoc with all of our body’s…

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Are Vegetarians Really Any Healthier Than People Who Eat Meat?

There are many different reasons why people may choose to become vegetarian, ranging from personal issues to ethical or environmental concerns. Some people stop eating meat for health reasons, and others just don’t like the way it tastes. For meat-eaters who are primarily interested in becoming vegetarian to improve their overall health, what does the science say? Are vegetarians really…

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The Benefits of Phosphorus

Our need for phosphorus is almost as great as our need for calcium. In fact, phosphorus is the second-most abundant mineral in the human body after calcium, so it’s no wonder that it has a major part to play in achieving good health. It works with calcium to ensure strong bones and teeth, helps the kidneys to filter waste products,…

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The Benefits of Iron

If you’ve been feeling sluggish or short of energy lately, it may be that you haven’t been getting enough iron in your diet. Iron is a mineral necessary for the production of energy and the transport of oxygen throughout the body. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80% of the world’s population has an iron deficiency, with as many…

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Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is the second-most common mineral in the human body (after iron) and is found in every one of our cells. It plays a vital role in many of the body’s functions, so ensuring that you get enough zinc in your diet is important. It is essential for helping the body to heal and for the maintenance of a healthy…

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The Benefits of Potassium

As the third most common mineral in the body, potassium is responsible for supporting a wide range of bodily activities. Without sufficient potassium, the heart, brain, kidneys and muscles would not function properly. However, the Western diet’s preponderance of processed foods has created a population with a growing risk of potassium deficiency. Potassium is an electrolyte that is crucial to…

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Superfoods: Science or Marketing?

There is no medical definition for a “superfood”. Food manufacturers are eager to use the word to promote sales of their products that contain traces of supposed superfoods such as blueberries, pomegranates and chocolate. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a superfood as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” However, there are no set criteria…

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Is Tea Healthier Than Coffee?

Seemingly every other day another study comes out that has found some additional health benefit to tea drinking. The list of diseases and conditions tea is believed to assist or prevent seemingly grows longer by the minute. On the other hand, coffee has been vilified for a number of years, in particular the caffeine it contains. But recently, new studies…

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The Benefits of Calcium

Just about everyone has heard about the importance of calcium in maintaining strong bones and teeth. In fact, 99 percent of the calcium in our body is stored in our bones. However, the remaining one percent that is located in our blood and cells is just as important. It is necessary to maintain many of the body’s vital functions, and…

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Dieting in the U.S.—A Statistical Snapshot of What Works and What Doesn’t

If there is one thing that Americans are obsessed with, it’s dieting. Just turn on any television and you are bombarded with ads for weight loss drinks, programs and foods that are guaranteed to have you looking slim and trim in a matter of weeks. But given the enormous amount of money spent on the quest for a smaller waistline…

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Why Some Foods Just Make Us Feel Better

There is a reason why you reach for the chocolate when you are feeling depressed. Scientists have been studying the connection between food and mood for a number of years, and they have found that the foods we eat have a definite influence on the state of our mood. After all, foods are essentially chemicals when broken down by the…

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Is Organic Food Really More Nutritious?

There is no question that organic food costs more than conventionally grown food, and organic has long been out of reach for many consumers due to higher prices at the market. But if you have the money to fork out, is the extra that you are spending worth it? The bottom line is that it depends to some extent on…

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