Scared of Vitamins by Deborah Chase

Vitamin pills This has not been a  good  time for the vitamin industry. A recent story  in the New York Times  reported  that vitamin supplements were not what they seemed.  Some were  contaminated by rodent poop while others had 200X recommended levels of selenium.  And then there were those Ayurvedic  supplements which contained  potentially harmful levels  of lead, mercury and arsenic.

Now in December no less than three studies showed that multivitamin supplements  had no health benefits.  Research out of Harvard  Medical School gave 6000 men over 65 a daily multivitamin pill and measured their brain function.  At the end of 12 years, the multi vitamin made  no difference  in cognitive ability. The much  larger US Preventive Service Task Force followed 300,000 men and women who took multi vitamins.  The result?  No change in heart and … Continue Reading…

The Beauty of Peanuts

The first thing I learned about peanuts is that  they are a type of bean ( legume) rather than a traditional nut eg walnuts.  Peanuts  have 25% more protein than any nut and  are a rich source of niacin, folacin,  manganese and phospherous.  One half cup of dry roasted peanuts clock in at 24 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and 0 grams of cholesterol.  I was thrilled  to learn  that  peanuts were high in linoleic acid– the oil that  is closely linked  to  fewer lines and wrinkles. That’s the good news.  The bad news?   Those 24 grams of protein are accompanied by 600 calories, 22 grams of carbs and a whopping 50 grams of  fat.

There are three basic forms of peanuts- boiled, dry-roasted and oil roasted.  Boiled peanuts … Continue Reading…

The Beauty of Bananas

 You see them everywhere.  On supermarket shelves,   near  a deli check-out and in cafeterias  everywhere, bananas are so common we tend to take them for granted.     Bannanas  just  don’t get the love they deserve.   One medium  banana  has  about 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and  what  surprised me, zero grams of fat.  One nana  does clock in at 23 grams of carbs,  about twice  in an average fruit.  Bananas  are lower in water than  other fruits which  concentrates  the carb content.

But what elevates  bananas to nutruitional  superstars  is the potassium payload– almost 400 mg  per serrving.   Potassium is essential for regulating heart rate and blodd pressure.  Age, exercise and  and some medications  can deplete  potassium leading to irregular heart beats , increased blood pressure,  and even stroke. Keep in mind that any … Continue Reading…

The Beauty of Butternut Squash

The yellow and rust colors of fall  have  made me hungry  for the sweet, fleshy meat of  winter squash.  Butternut, crook neck, turban and acorn  are shaped differently  but offer very similar  nutritional payloads.  The deep orange color is packed, I mean packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene.   One half cup of  cooked squash   can have 100-200% of  the RDA for  this essential  vitamin as well as 25% of the RDA of vitamin C.  Fat free and salt free, one half cup has 120 calories and 12 grams of carbs.   By comparison, the same amount of a white potato has about 60 calories  and the same amount of carbs.

Given the slightly stringy/gritty texture of winter squash I expected squash to  be a good source of fiber.  I was wrong.  In fact … Continue Reading…

Green Beans– An Anti-Aging Veggie with Style and Substance

There is something elegant about green beans.  Sweet and dainty they seem to the perfect companion to a crisp roast chicken or juicy pink  steak.  Green beans are used in a wide range of cuisines including french, chinese, italian, english  and indian–   and I  like all of them.  Restaurants and banquets  love  green beans because they can  be cooked in advance without going limp and grey.

I was psyched to learn that  for such a tastie veggie, green  beans had a very respectable anti-aging  profile.  One cup  clocks in at  just 31 calories .  While they are not high in fiber, the folacin and  skin friendly vitamin C levels are impressive.  Add about 20%  the RDA for vitamin A  and a daily serving of green beans  adds genuine anti-aging nutrition … Continue Reading…

No-Nonsense on the Radio

True story.  I was at  a blogger meetup at the HBA, a huge beauty expo, when I was introduced to a very pretty young woman with  a popular  blog called Aging Backwards.  I was a bit put off. What  would this young woman know about aging?  When she told me her age I was shocked– and impressed.  I decided that  if she could look like that at her age she certainly   knew her stuff. Her blog is now part of the Fashion Flash group and Jackie  also  co-hosts the  The Ageless Sisters, a well-known radio show with Cynthia Rowland —  and this week I was   delighted to be a guest.  The Ageless Sisters  asked such  great  questions that I   uploaded  the full interview to share it with you.  From Invisalign to the new BB creams to the No-Nonsense  beauty … Continue Reading…

Walnuts- The Anti-Aging Nuts

I have to admit that when I think of walnuts, I think of chocolate chip cookies, apple crumb pie and fudgy brownies studded with nuts.  But all by themselves, walnuts turn out to be a great beauty food.  They are high in linoleic acid and fiber– two factors linked to fewer wrinkles.  In addition they are high in antioxidants and low in saturated fats.  Studies have shown that walnuts lower both cholesterol and C-reactive protein which are two markers for heart disease. All good, but keep in mind that like its other nut cousins, walnuts are pretty high in calories clocking in at almost 400 calories/half cup.

Instead of thinking of walnuts as a baked goods best friend, I now sprinkle walnuts  over a green salad, a bowl of … Continue Reading…