Category Archives: Nutrition

What Type of Protein is Best for You?

Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, especially if you get a lot of exercise. High-protein diets can help keep you feeling full for longer and also help with restoring your muscles and tissues. However, there are many different types of protein and so it can be confusing for even the most dedicated of health addicts. Even more confusing, different types of protein are good for you in different ways.

protein

In no particular order, here is our list of the top five types of protein, and why each one has different benefits and advantages.

  1. Seafood and Lean Meats

Animal protein is easy to access and full of other benefits such as heme iron and various nutrients and amino acids. However, it can also be high in fat and cholesterol. For that reason, our choice of animal proteins are seafood and lean meats: fish has benefits such as heart healthy omega-3 oils, whereas lean chicken can provide the cheapest amount of protein per gram for animal protein.

  1. Dairy products

If you are not keen on consuming animal protein, then there are plenty of other fresh alternatives. Dairy in its multiple forms like milk, yogurt and cheese is full of protein, and is tasty as well. Dairy foods tend to have a high amount of nutrients such as calcium, but they can also be high in fat. For that reason, try go for low fat alternatives such as skim milk. If you are keen about being green, go for dairy products that are derived from grass-fed animals and that are rBGH-free.

  1. Soy protein

Soy protein can be consumed from actual soy or in powdered form, but either way it is a great form of protein with multiple benefits. Soy’s key selling point is that it is naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. Soy also helps to lower LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol thought to be responsible for conditions such as heart disease.

  1. Whey protein supplement

Whey protein is a very common protein supplement that is often used by athletes. It is popular because of its low price tag and high level of nutrients. One of the many great things about whey is that, even more so than other proteins, it is very filling and even helps to lower your levels of ghrelin, the hormone that controls your hunger levels. This makes it excellent for those trying to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.

  1. Casein protein supplement

Casein is another popular protein supplement, which is mainly valued because it can take anywhere from 5-8 hours to fully break down in the body. This makes it a great source of protein to consume before bed. The slow and steady release of protein into the body makes this source of protein one of the best in terms of timing and availability. If you’re looking for casein in its natural form, drink a glass of milk before bed.

If you’re looking for a diet plan that factors in supplements, then check out Tosi Health products. Their supplements aim to ensure you get the full spectrum of nutrients you may be missing out on in your diet.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes For A Healthy Life

healthy smoothie recipes

There is a health epidemic going on right now. The majority of the US population is overweight. Being overweight and unhealthy is linked to killers such as diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer.

If someone could hand you a magic drink that you could have everyday to help you lose weight, feel better, provide more energy, clear your skin, help you sleep better, and lengthen you life… wouldn’t you take it? Especially if it tasted good? Well, that magic drink is a healthy smoothie.

My name is Drew and I am a health coach and healthy food crusader. My mission in life is to get people to start making healthier food choices and hopefully save some lives along the way. In my experience the average person is not too excited about eating fruits and vegetables. I could sit here and tell you to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day but would you really do it? The average person has barely one serving a day and that still is questionable because that iceberg lettuce on your Caesar salad for lunch does not count. The worst part is that instead of fruits and vegetables people are consuming pounds and pounds of sugar and refined flour products that just add to the health problems. So that is where smoothies come in.

What is a healthy smoothie?

I know you’re idea of a smoothie is probably the one you get at Jamba Juice that has all sort of extra sugar in it (ask them what the liquid is they use to make the smoothie) or something with a handful of fruit and 3 scoops of ice cream in it. Well this is not what I am talking about. A healthy smoothie is all the healthy things that you are supposed to eat but don’t, all blended up into a great tasting shake. They taste amazing and will make you feel amazing. The fact that they taste great is one of the major reasons to give them a try. And all it requires is a blender and few ingredients.

Why can’t I just eat my fruits and vegetables?

The recommended serving of fruits and vegetables per day is not realistic for most people. It’s actually hard to find a lot of places that sell vegetables on your lunch break. And in the morning, you are probably more concerned with sleeping in and getting out the door than eating anything healthy. So that is where smoothies come in. They are quick and easy to make and give you all the health you need in a glass. Instead of having to eat 2 bags of spinach for breakfast you can have a delicious healthy smoothie instead.

What sort of Blender do I need?

You will need a blender that is capable of at least crushing ice. This will ensure that it can also blend up greens and fruits. For more information on blenders and blender recommendations for smoothie making see this article Best blender for smoothies.

I have a blender, now what?

The first thing to do is cover the basics of smoothie making. It isn’t too complicated but there are certain steps you should be aware of. Read all about the basics of smoothie making here.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Now it’s time to try out some smoothie recipes and see just how good they actually tasted. Pick any smoothie that sounds good and give it a shot.

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Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition.

A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. Find out what you need to know about a plant-based diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

Types of vegetarian diets

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude:

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

Vegetarian diet pyramid

A healthy diet takes planning, and a food pyramid can be a helpful tool. The vegetarian pyramid outlines food groups and food choices that, if eaten in the right quantities, form the foundation of a healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid

Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid

Getting adequate nutrition

The key to a healthy vegetarian diet — like any diet — is to enjoy a variety of foods. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs. The more restrictive your diet is, the more challenging it can be to get all the nutrients you need. A vegan diet, for example, eliminates natural food sources of vitamin B-12, as well as milk products, which are good sources of calcium.

With a little planning, however, you can be sure that your diet includes everything your body needs. Pay special attention to the following nutrients:

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Milk and dairy foods are highest in calcium. However, dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale and broccoli, are good plant sources when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.
  • Iodine is a component in thyroid hormones, which help regulate metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegans may not get enough iodine and be at risk of deficiency and possibly even a goiter. In addition, foods such as soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes may promote a goiter. However, just 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
  • Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements, or both.
  • Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don’t need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. This vitamin is found almost exclusively in animal products, so it can be difficult to get enough B-12 on a vegan diet. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. For this reason, it’s important for vegans to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals and fortified soy products.
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D is added to cow’s milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).
  • Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins. Like iron, zinc is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

If you need help creating a vegetarian diet that’s right for you, talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian.

Getting started

If you’re not following a vegetarian diet but you’re thinking of trying it, here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Ramp up. Each week increase the number of meatless meals you already enjoy, such as spaghetti with tomato sauce or vegetable stir-fry.
  • Learn to substitute. Take favorite recipes and try them without meat. For example, make vegetarian chili by leaving out the ground beef and adding an extra can of black beans. Or make fajitas using extra-firm tofu rather than chicken. You may be surprised to find that many dishes require only simple substitutions.
  • Branch out. Scan the Internet for vegetarian menus. Buy or borrow vegetarian cookbooks. Check out ethnic restaurants to sample new vegetarian cuisines. The more variety you bring to your vegetarian diet, the more likely you’ll be to meet all your nutritional needs.

(original source)

Nutrition gains, calories shrink in NYC.

Worried that children were losing the war on obesity, New York City began to slim down its school lunch offerings several years ago, replacing fries with baked potato strips and introducing nonfat chocolate milk, whole grain pasta and salad bars, among other tweaks.

In the process, the city also cut calories. So much so, city officials now acknowledge, that it often served children fewer calories than required by the federal government.

The Bloomberg administration has often found itself stymied by the powers of Albany or Washington in its policy goals, including enacting congestion pricing, erecting a stadium on Manhattan’s West Side, taxing soda or barring the use of food stamps for sugar-sweetened beverages.

But in the case of the 860,000 school lunches served daily, it ignored a set of U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements written in 1994, without seeking permission. City health and education officials said their aim was not to lower calories, but to increase the nutritional value of the foods reaching students’ mouths.

But as it slowly began re-engineering those foods, there was a “secondary response,” said Cathy Nonas, a senior adviser in the city’s health department.

“It dropped the calories and at sometimes below what the USDA had as a minimum,” she said.

In replacing pork bacon strips with the turkey variety, for instance, officials cut 64 calories from one serving. And they saw no need to bulk the trays back up.

“Our mentality is to feed food to children, not nutrients to astronauts,” said Eric S. Goldstein, the chief executive for school support services for the New York City Education Department.

The city officials said new federal guidelines, which take effect this school year, prove they were right all along. The new rules reduce the minimum calorie counts by more than 200 calories in some grades and, for the first time, set calorie maximums as well.

Joel Berg, the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, called the city’s move “reckless.”

“It is based on politics and personal whims, not nutrition science,” Berg said. “It is based on the city’s absurd belief that hunger no longer exists among children, despite federal data that proves that 1 in 4 New York City children live in food-insecure homes.”

(original post)

Take care of your diet and feel great!

America is in the midst of a health craze. Wherever you go, you just can’t escape it. Wherever you turn your confronted with information about healthy foods, exercise and healthier life choices. Undoubtedly, one of the most effective ways to benefit your health is to opt for healthy foods. Wait a minute, I hear you cry, healthy foods are boring and tasteless. Think again! Healthy foods can be foods you eat every day already, sometimes just preparing them differently can make the difference.

Eating habits and healthy foods can be very enjoyable to eat, as well as being particularly good for you. With healthy foods, it’s good to remember that the nearer the food is to its natural state, the healthier it will be for you. You can start by cutting out the number of pre-prepared foods in your diet. Pre-prepared foods are packed with salt, sugars and synthetic ingredients. Although they may be convenient, you can also prepare healthy foods in no time at all when you know how.

Healthy foods can be very easy to prepare, requiring very little time and effort. It does not necessarily take longer or cost more to live on healthy foods. Here’s an example of a really easy meal that is quick and cheap and includes healthy foods and ingredients. Grill lean hamburger patties until they are fairly well cooked. Put the patties on a whole grain natural seeded buns. Serve with tossed salad drenched in olive oil. For desert, include a serving of fresh fruit or a fresh fruit salad. This is so easy to prepare, it can be on your table in under twenty minutes and involves wholly healthy foods. Grilling lean meats, chicken or fish is certainly not time consuming. Tossing a salad can be done during the cooking time. A good tip is also to fill out the meal with some fresh vegetables which again are very good for you and taste great. You can spice up your mealtimes by trying different healthy foods each time, and experimenting with a range of ingredients you’ve never tried before. Even your local supermarket is packed full of these healthy ingredients for you to select, and many even hand out tips and recipes telling you how to prepare thir produce. This can be a great, healthy way to expose your children to healthy foods which not only taste great, but are good fuel for their growing bodies. You can also try to incorporate herbs into your meal which add flavour and are again very healthy foodstuffs.

Healthy foods can easily be used daily in easy, nutritious meals. You can even use healthy foods in more experimental recipes if you have time to spare. Healthy foods can also be prepared before meal times and frozen for a rainy day. When preparing your own frozen foods, you can have peace of mind in the knowledge that they contain no additives or preservatives, and they are purely healthy foods for you and your families. Another good idea is involving your kids in the preparation of the healthy foods they eat each day. Eating healthy foods can be cheap and timely, so there are benefits all round.

So give it a go. By eating more healthy foods in your diet, you will truly feel the difference. You’ll feel and look better physically, as well as having stronger bones, teeth and muscles, not to mention clearer skin. For such little effort, you can really see the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

Seasoning with Herbs and Spices Instead of Salt

There is a rich world of creative and flavorful alternatives to salt. Get started with this guide to spices, herbs and flavorings and the food items with which they are a particularly good flavor match. Then get creative and experiment!

Allspice: Lean ground meats, stews, tomatoes, peaches, applesauce, cranberry sauce, gravies, lean meat

Almond extract: Puddings, fruits

Basil: Fish, lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails

Bay leaves: Lean meats, stews, poultry, soups, tomatoes

Caraway seeds: Lean meats, stews, soups, salads, breads, cabbage, asparagus, noodles

Chives: Salads, sauces, soups, lean meat dishes, vegetables

Cider vinegar: Salads, vegetables, sauces

Cinnamon: Fruits (especially apples), breads, pie crusts

Curry powder: Lean meats (especially lamb), veal, chicken, fish, tomatoes, tomato soup, mayonnaise

Dill: Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, salads, macaroni, lean beef, lamb, chicken, fish

Garlic (not garlic salt): Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes

Ginger: Chicken, fruits

Lemon juice: Lean meats, fish, poultry, salads, vegetables

Mace: Hot breads, apples, fruit salads, carrots, cauliflower, squash, potatoes, veal, lamb

Mustard (dry): Lean ground meats, lean meats, chicken, fish, salads, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mayonnaise, sauces

Nutmeg: Fruits, pie crust, lemonade, potatoes, chicken, fish, lean meat loaf, toast, veal, pudding

Onion powder (not onion salt): Lean meats, stews, vegetables, salads, soups

Paprika: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables

Parsley: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables

Peppermint extract: Puddings, fruits

Pimiento: Salads, vegetables, casserole dishes

Rosemary: Chicken, veal, lean meat loaf, lean beef, lean pork, sauces, stuffings, potatoes, peas, lima beans

Sage: Lean meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions, lean pork

Savory: Salads, lean pork, lean ground meats, soups, green beans, squash, tomatoes, lima beans, peas

Thyme: Lean meats (especially veal and lean pork), sauces, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads

Turmeric: Lean meats, fish, sauces, rice

Top 10 Healthy Cooking Tips

  1. A smoothie can cover a multitude of needs. Throw a banana along with frozen berries, kiwi or whatever fruit is to your liking, some orange or other juice, some fat-free or low-fat yogurt and protein powder. You can get 4–5 servings of fruit in one glass of a yummy shake. Try getting your loved one to sip on a smoothie. It’s easy, cool, refreshing and healthy.
  2. Preserve the nutrients and colors in veggies. Cook them quickly by steaming or stir-frying.
  3. Use herbs, vinegar, tomatoes, onions and/or fat-free or low-fat sauces or salad dressings for better health, especially if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  4. Use your time and your freezer wisely. When you cook once, make it last longer by preparing enough for several other meals. Freeze it and have a ready-made healthy treat for the next time you are simply too tired to bother.
  5. Prepared seasonings can have high salt content and increase your risk for high blood pressure. Replace salt with herbs and spices or some of the salt-free seasoning mixes. Use lemon juice, citrus zest or hot chilies to add flavor.
  6. Canned, processed and preserved vegetables often have very high sodium content. Look for “low-sodium” veggies or try the frozen varieties. Compare the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts label of similar products (for example, different brands of tomato sauce) and choose the products with less sodium.
  7. Prepare muffins and quick breads with less saturated fat and fewer calories. Use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter, lard, shortening or oil or substitute one cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats.
  8. Choose whole grain for part of your ingredients instead of highly refined products. Use whole-wheat flour, oatmeal and whole cornmeal. Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for up to half of all-purpose flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, try 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour.
  9. In baking, use plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream.
  10. Another way to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes is to use fat-free milk or 1% milk instead of whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. For extra richness, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.

Less is More When Restraining Calories Boosts Immunity

Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that volunteers who followed a low-calorie diet or a very low-calorie diet not only lost weight, but also significantly enhanced their immune response. The study may be the first to demonstrate the interaction between calorie restriction and immune markers among humans.

The lead researcher, Simin Nikbin Meydani, is director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., and also of the HNRCA’s Nutritional Immunology Laboratory.

The study is part of the “Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy” trial conducted at the HNRCA. As people age, their immune response generally declines. Calorie restriction has been shown to boost these immune responses in animal models.

In the study, 46 overweight (but not obese) men and women aged 20 to 40 years were required to consume either a 30-percent or 10-percent calorie-restricted diet for six months.

Prior to being randomly assigned to one of the two groups, each volunteer participated in an initial 6-week period during which measures of all baseline study outcomes were obtained. All food was provided to participants.

For the study, the researchers looked at specific biologic markers. A skin test used called DTH (delayed-type hypersensitivity) is a measure of immune response at the whole body level.

The researchers also examined effects of calorie restriction on function of T-cells—a major type of white blood cell—and other factors on the volunteer’s immune system.

DTH and T-cell response indicate the strength of cell-mediated immunity. One positive was that DTH and T-cell proliferative response were significantly increased in both calorie-restrained groups.

These results show for the first time that short-term calorie restriction for six months in humans improves the function of T-cells.

Details of this 2009 study can be found in the publication Journal of Gerontology, Biological Sciences. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s principal intramural scientific research agency.

By Rosalie Marion Bliss

The Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C

Who knew vitamin C could fend off heart disease, cancer, memory loss, and wrinkles? Here’s how to make it work for you.

Remember when vitamin C was hailed as the best, and maybe only, cold remedy? Then it became the Rodney Dangerfield of vitamins: It didn’t get any respect. The nutrient’s glory days of curing scurvy-riddled sailors via juicy citrus fruit seemed to be the only thing keeping its reputation afloat, particularly after a massive research review found C to be virtually useless for fighting colds. But don’t believe it. The truth is that scientists have taken a fresh look at C— and have found lots of new ways it can help you stay healthy and look and feel younger. Here’s the latest on what C can really do for you.

Prevent Wrinkles

You can’t pick up a beauty product these days without the label touting its antioxidants. There’s a good reason: Antioxidants—like vitamin C—help turn back the clock. An October 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate foods rich in vitamin C had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those whose diets contained only small amounts of the vitamin. C helps form collagen, which smooths fine lines and wrinkles, according to Patricia Farris, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Tulane University in New Orleans.

The key seems to be C’s ability to fight free radicals, a by-product of cell metabolism in your body. Free radicals are thought to attack proteins, fats, and DNA—and break down collagen. C also seems to guard against ultraviolet rays from the sun, which can lead to freckles and a mottled complexion. “Vitamin C does some repair and firming on the skin,” Farris says.

What to do now: Use a topical vitamin C treatment daily after you wash your face and before you slather on moisturizer or sunscreen so it penetrates the skin. Farris recommends LaRoche-PosayActiveC facial moisturizer or SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic topical antioxidant treatment.

Protect your heart

Experts continue to argue about whether antioxidants like vitamin C can prevent heart disease. But some of the evidence is highly persuasive. When Finnish researchers looked at studies involving nearly 300,000 people over 10 years, they found that taking more than 700 milligrams of C supplements daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25 percent. And a recent study from Harvard Uni- versity researchers hints that women who take a combo of 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily and 600 IU of vitamin E (another antioxidant) can cut their risk of stroke by 30 percent. It’s possible that people who take vitamin supplements simply have healthier lifestyles than those who don’t, which could explain this finding. It’s also possible, experts say, that C enhances the functioning of endothelial cells (which line the inside of all blood vessels), slowing artery clogging and lowering blood pressure.

What to do now: Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are full of vitamin C as well as other healthy nutrients, and consider taking C and E supplements. Experts say there are essentially no risks, but first check with your doctor.

Keep cancer at bay

A diet full of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables isn’t just good for your heart, it may also lower your risks of bladder, esophagus, stomach, and lung cancers. Even though more research is needed to find out which compounds in fruits and veggies do the trick, researchers say the association is strong. Someday, C may also be used to treat cancer. High levels of C given intravenously seem to be toxic to cancer cells (studies on vitamin C taken orally showed no effect on cancerous cells). Intravenous C appears to trigger the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which kills some cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed, says lead study author Mark Levine, MD, chief of the molecular and clinical nutrition section and senior staff physician at the National Institutes of Health. Levine says doctors at the University of Kansas Medical School and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia are trying this therapy on cancer patients.

What to do now: “Strive for five or more fruits and vegetables daily, in a rainbow of colors,” Levine says. “It’s where the most benefit is.

Can C fight off a cold?

There’s proof that it works.

The recent review of research that pooh-poohed vitamin C for colds isn’t the last word. Some researchers argue that the dosage used in many of the studies reviewed by the Cochrane Collaboration was too low (500 milligrams), and that because you lose a lot of C when you urinate, you need repeated dosing to knock out a cold.

“Taking C early on can help reduce the severity of colds, but it’s not clear why,” says Mary L. Hardy, MD, medical director of the Simms/ Mann—University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Integrative Oncology. She recommends taking 500 mg twice a day at the first sign of a cold and continuing for five to seven days. In fact, studies show that among people who are under physical stress (marathon runners, skiers, and those living in very cold climates) 1,000 mg of C daily cuts the incidence of colds in half.