Healthy Alternatives

  • The Super Soaker

    Soaking brown rice overnight before cooking releases a compound called ASG (acylated steryl glucoside) that may help diabetics ward off disease-related nerve and vascular damage. New research in the Journal of Lipid Research shows that ASG helps normalize blood sugar by increasing levels of good enzymes that diabetes destroys.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Maple-Ginger Pumpkin Pie

    Crust
    1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1/4 cup hazelnut meal or ground nuts
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    6 tablespoons butter, softened
    6 tablespoons cold orange juice or water
    Optional: 1 tablespoon date sugar

    Filling
    1 15-ounce can pumpkin
    1/4 cup molasses
    1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon finely grated, peeled gingerroot

    1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, nut meal, spices, and butter to form crumbs. Pour mixture into a bowl, and gradually add orange juice or water to form dough. Press into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. If desired, sprinkle with date sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine filling ingredients through evaporated milk, blending well. Stir in flour and gingerroot pieces.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool or chill before serving.

    Nutrition info per serving (10): 174 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 57 mg sodium

  • Fight Cavities With ... Candy?

    It’s true! A Swedish study reports that eating gummy bears containing xylitol, a natural sugar found in the white birch tree, helps prevent cavity-causing plaque buildup. “Xylitol also reduces levels of bacteria in the mouth that break down tooth enamel and can lead to cavities,” says Harold Katz, DDS, in Los Angeles.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Fight Food Poisoning

    From fine dining to take-out Thai, Americans eat out much more than they used to—an average of four times every week. Food poisoning is also on the rise—it’s second only to the common cold in how frequently it strikes. Some 76 million Americans suffer from it each year.

    Bounce back faster with these gentle cures.
    By Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH
  • Healthy Pantru: Strawberries

    A bowl of this juicy, sweet fruit tastes too much like dessert to be such a nutrient-rich food, and yet new research shows strawberries may help prevent cardiovascular disease. “They are rich in anthocyanins, plant compounds that have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect,” says Shari Lieberman, author of The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery, 2007).

    By Lisa Turner
  • Healthy Pantry: Avocados

    As if we needed another reason to love guacamole: A recent study found that compounds extracted from Hass avocados halted the growth of oral cancer cells by killing some and preventing precancerous cells from developing.

    By Lisa Turner
  • Easy Sugar Swap: Molasses

    Cutting back on the white stuff doesn’t mean having to skip sweets altogether. Molasses tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium—essentially all the good stuff that’s stripped out of sugar cane during the refining process.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Bar Exam

    Energy bars are perfect for your on-the-go nutrition needs. But choosing just the right one can be an overwhelming proposition, especially when most gimmicky “energy bars” come stuffed with refined sugars and other processed ingredients.

    Energy snacks that pass the "good-for-you" test.
    By Nicole Duncan
  • Ulcer Cure

    Stress, fatty foods, and smoking certainly aren’t good for your health, but scientists are now finding they may not always be to blame when it comes to ulcers. Instead, research shows the culprit is bacterial infection.

    Is it true that honey can cure ulcers?
    By Nora Simmons
  • A Better Butter: Which spreadable nut best meets your needs?

    Peanut butter may pack plenty of protein, fiber, and stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction, but to reap the diverse health benefits of nature’s nuts and seeds, you’ll have to look beyond the standard jar of Skippy. “We need more variety than just peanut butter,” says Susan Levin, staff dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

    By Kate Trainor