Sound Bites: Caffeinated Gum, A “Freaking Healthy” Diet, Food Allergies and More

The latest nutrition and healthy eating news

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Pumpkin seeds
By Megan O. Steintrager

Caffeinated Gum Is a Thing: Coffee, tea, and energy drinks not enough to get you going? Now you can chomp on caffeinated gum, the Washington Post reports. The gum is aimed at athletes who need a quick boost during races. Unlike caffeinated sports gels and other products, the “caffeinated gum promises to deliver a faster burst of energy than other ergogenic aids because it doesn’t have to pass through the digestive system,” the article explains. We’ll stick with our more natural caffeine sources.

The Diet That’s Freaking What? We couldn’t beat Shape.com’s headline about new findings from the American Academy of Dietetics: “New Review Says Vegetarian Diets Are Really Freaking Healthy.” After evaluating recent studies, the Academy concluded that a vegetarian diet might help prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, Shape reports. While most of us are unlikely to go completely vegetarian, this report is yet another good reminder of the benefits of eating plants. Cauliflower steak, anyone?

Food Allergies Are on the Rise — or Are They? Take an informal poll of your friends (especially those who have kids in schools where nuts and bake sales are banned), and you’ll probably assume that more people have food allergies than in the past. That may be the case, but experts don’t have empirical evidence that instances of food allergies are increasing, according to NPR, which delves into the National Academy of Sciences report. Part of the problem? Many food allergies are self-diagnosed.

The Power of Pumpkin Seeds: If you eat pumpkin seeds only around Halloween, you might be missing out on some great health benefits. Pumpkin seeds — a.k.a. pepitas — are a great source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals, including heart-healthy magnesium and immunity-boosting zinc. Now FoodConsumer.org reports on a study that suggests that pumpkin seed extract might inhibit the growth of certain kinds of cancer, including prostate, breast and colorectal cancers. While the study was on the extract, not whole seeds, considering all the other health benefits of pumpkin seeds — and their deliciousness — it can’t hurt to sprinkle some on your salads, roasted vegetables, or desserts. For a pumpkin double-whammy, try our recipe for Pumpkin Hummus, topped with pumpkin seeds.

The Healthy Eating Video You Need to Watch: Already watched all of 2016’s top viral videos? Here’s another one to add to your must-watch list: “Grow Food,” a rap about urban agriculture and healthy eating by young people from a northern Minneapolis nonprofit called Appetite for Change. Sample line to steal: “Drinking water, living longer, no processed drama. Call Me John Deere, shorty — I’ll be growing like a farmer.”

 


Also published on Medium.