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Study: Diet of Mother Has Biggest Impact on Children’s Healthy Eating Habits

The results are in! Kids who see their moms eat in a healthy way are more likely to follow her example.
Mother's Diet Affects Her Children

Today we live in a world where we are constantly challenged with the problems of obesity and diabetes. Kids are the quickest-rising demographic group for being overweight or obese. Dealing with this can prove to be a huge challenge, as it requires us to look at the roots of the problem — parental example.

Oftentimes, mothers’ eating habits must be considered first when dealing with childhood nutrition issues. In fact, this latest research confirms that the way a mother views her child’s eating habits (i.e. “a picky eater” or not) has a big impact on whether the child eats enough fruits and vegetables.

The “Picky Eater” Study

A recent study, published in the journal Public Health Nursing and conducted by professor Mildred Horodynski at Michigan State University’s College of Nursing, looked into this very question. The scientific study was done on 400 low-income women (black and non-Hispanic white) who had children one to three years of age.

Information was collected from mothers in 28 Michigan counties. It was found that the children of mothers who ate fruit and vegetables less than four or more times per week were also less likely to consume fruits and vegetables. It may not seem like a stretch for the imagination, as mothers and children often eat the same foods. But it does set a scientific precedence showing that the behavior of mothers is critical for dietary health in the young.

Similarly, it was found that the if the mothers saw their children as picky eaters, these children were also less likely to get enough health fruit and vegetables. This may be connected to a “laid-back” parenting style that does not “force” children into eating fruits and vegetables.

Culture and ethnic background was also considered. It was found that African American mothers and their children did not eat as much fruits and vegetables as non-Hispanic whites. Sadly, it was found that the vast majority of all women studied were eating much less than the current recommended U.S. dietary guidelines.

Previous and similar studies found that children who were exposed to different kinds of foods, overtime, were also more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. This means that kids need to have continual exposure to different healthy foods before they begin to like eating them. In fact, this same study found that kids need up to 15 exposures with a certain food before it can determined if a child indeed likes or dislikes something.

Lead scientist on the study, Mildred Horodynski:
“Health professionals need to consider this when developing strategies to increase a child’s consumption of healthy foods. Diets low in fruit and vegetables even at young ages pose increased risks for chronic diseases later in life.” [1]

She went on to suggest that the study confirms the need for “family-based approaches to incorporating fruits and vegetables into daily eating habits. Mothers need to have the knowledge and confidence to make these healthy decisions for their children.”

In other words, if we can get the mothers’ fruit and vegetable consumption to increase, we are very likely to see positive role modeling for children, and thus a healthier diet for our offspring.

What are your thoughts on this study? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

Research: Purple Fruits Halts the Development of Alzheimers, Parkinsons & Mulitple Sclerosis

We’re taught that iron is good for our bodies. It’s used in the production for fresh blood cells and helps our bodies regulate temperature and muscle tissue. Iron is also an important part proper neurological function and numerous other biological processes. But dietary iron can be a double-edged sword. While certain forms of the dietary mineral are essential to our health, others can cause irreversible damage to some of the same bodily systems they’re meant to enhance.

According to Dr. Douglas Kell, esteemed professor of Bioanalytical Science at the University of Manchester and Chief Executive of the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), warding off these various debilitating illnesses may be cause by renegade iron in the body. And preventing them may be as simple as eating the right fruits or drinking a little more tea.

The Unseen Connection Between Iron & Degenerative Disease

Neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, slowly destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people every year. In their own unique way, each of them erodes delicate brain and nervous system tissue leaving sufferers increasingly unable to mentally and physically function.

In research recently published in the medical journal, Archives of Toxicology, Professor Kell outlines his novel discovery into the connection between these seemingly unrelated conditions and a specific class of toxin produced by an excess of poorly-bonded iron in the body.

His findings suggest that these toxins, collectively known as hydroxyl radicals, are able to induce the “large-scale cellular death and destruction” that is frequently associated with many common forms of degenerative neurological disease.

Foods to Protect Your Brain & Nervous System

Nutrients that are abundant in darkly colored fruits and vegetables, as well as green tea, appear to naturally bind loose iron molecules through a process known as chelation, making them safe for the body to properly utilize.

Blueberries and purple-colored fruit, such as plums and grapes, are excellent sources of these iron-binding agents. Other brightly colored fruits are also believed to contain varying amounts of these nutrients, although often in smaller concentrations than specifically blue and purple fruits.

If these foods truly do hold the natural secret to warding off even a handful of the degenerative diseases that plague growing elderly populations, their use could dramatically boost productivity and overall quality during the final years of live.

Professor Douglas Kell:
“The importance of iron may have been missed because there is no gene for iron as such. What I have highlighted in this work is therefore a crucial area for further investigation, as many simple predictions follow from my analysis.. If true they might change greatly the means by which we seek to prevent and even cure such diseases.” [1]

Besides purple fruits, green tea is another excellent source of the beneficial chelators, as well as many other health benefits.

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The Super(Food) Bowl Teaches Your Kids About Superfoods

Superfood Bowl Animation

The Superbowl is this weekend. So, as you gather with family and friends to watch the Packers beat the Steelers, you might be tempted to eat an abundance of delicious, but unhealthy foods. After all, that’s what the Superbowl is about – Family, Food, Fun & Commercials.

But in the video below, you will learn the importance of adding Superfoods to your diet. In fact, according to the description from, this video has been used for the last couple of years to help teach kids the importance of eating healthy foods, and trying to cut-down on junk foods.

The Description of this Video from
This Super Food Bowl animation was created (and narrated) by the Health Ranger in 2008. Featuring superfoods squaring off against junk foods on a football field, the animation has been very popular among parents and educators.

15 of the Best Superfoods:

  • Broccoli
  • Goji Berries
  • Green Tea
  • Cabbage
  • Quinoa
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Raw Nuts & Seeds
  • Hot Peppers
  • Salmon

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Fake Blueberries Found in Popular Cereals, Muffins & Bagels

According to an investigation from Mike Adams, the blueberries you commonly find in your favorite cereals, muffins and breads may not be actual blueberries.

It turns out, that many of the “blueberries” are nothing more than hydrogenated oils, liquid sugars and artificial colors. There are absolutely zero nutritional benefits in these fake blueberries, yet you would never know, because the boxes still say they’re healthy. The video below will expose a deceptive and dishonest practice that big-name food companies use to trick you into thinking you’re eating healthy.

The Alleged Offenders

  • Blueberry Bagels sold at Target
  • Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal by General Mills
  • Kellogg’s Blueberry Pop Tarts & Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats
  • Betty Crocker’s Fiber One Blueberry Muffin Mix

Remember to Read the Ingredients List

If any of your favorite blueberry products were mentioned in the video above, go to your pantry right now and read the ingredients list. You may be shocked at what you’ll find. I hate to recommend wasting food, especially in tough economical times, but just know it may be healthier for you, if you didn’t eat any more of these fake blueberry products.

It’s not always easy to avoid fake blueberry products, but you can take actions to prevent them from making their way into your pantry. When you’re browsing the shelves at your local supermarket, be sure to read the ingredients list and find out what is actually in your food. If you see Red #40 or Blue #2, then you know they added artificial colors to give their “blueberries” more blue.

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15 Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

For centuries, herbs have been an integral part of human life. They are commonly used for culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Even though many herbs have been linked to a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth, there are some herbs which should be avoided during pregnancy, because these herbs can be detrimental to the mother as well as the growing fetus.

A common misconception is that herbs, being natural, do not cause any harm to pregnant women. However, even herbs used mainly for culinary purposes may cause unwanted side effects. Hence, it’s very necessary to have a basic knowledge of the safe and unsafe herbs during pregnancy. Herbs, which have been classified as safe, are further divided as per the stages of pregnancy. While, some are safe only during the first trimester, others are administered only after the first three months.

The following list of herbs have been categorized as unsafe and should not be taken during the entire nine months of pregnancy. Here is the list of unsafe herbs:

1. Aloe Vera

Oral intake of aloe vera juice should be avoided, as it may cause uterine contractions and diarrhea. Usually, aloe vera juice has many nutritional benefits, but during pregnancy, it is wise to avoid consumption of this plant. In fact, it may be best to avoid this herb while breastfeeding as well.

2. Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is another herb that should not be taken during early pregnancy. It’s a strong uterine stimulant that produce contractions, and has also been associated with prolonged bleeding and postpartum hemorrhage.

3. Goldenseal

When used in excess, goldenseal may cause contractions, which could lead to early labor and possibly miscarriage. It can also be harmful for the fetus if used early in pregnancy. It should not be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

4. Comfrey

Comfrey is another herb that may cause liver complications in pregnant women and their growing baby. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid ingesting this herb, as it may be toxic for the baby. External use for sprains is believed to be safe, but should only be done after consulting your doctor.

5. Angelica atropurpurea

Angelica is an herb that can stimulate bleeding and menstruation, as a result this herb can cause strong contractions and lead to miscarriage if taken during the early stages of pregnancy. As a result, this herb will promote the growth of fibroids and increase the risk of post-partum hemorrhage.

6. Autumn Crocus

Pregnancy Herbs

Another potentially dangerous herb for pregnant women, is autumn crocus. It’s widely believed that autumn crocus could lead to birth defects and Down’s Syndrome, however, research is limited and somewhat contradictory. It is recommended to avoid this herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

7. Licorice

In this instance, we’re not talking about licorice candy, we’re actually referring to licorice root. Consuming licorice root may cause high blood pressure in pregnant women. Avoid taking a licorice root supplement, until you have dicussed it with your doctor, as it may be harmful to your growing baby.

8. Mugwort

Mugwort is another common herb that should be avoided during pregnancy. It’s commonly used for treating stomach ache, nausea, colic and as a uterine stimulant, but when taken during pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects.

9. Nutmeg

Nutmeg when used in small quantities is considered safe for pregnant women, however, if taken in large doses, nutmeg may lead to miscarriage for pregnant women. If you stick to only using it for culinary purposes and avoid taking a nutmeg supplement, chances are you’ll be fine. However, it may be wise to discuss the potential dangers of nutmeg with your doctor.

10. Penny Royal Leaf

Penny royal leaf is another herb that should be avoided during pregnancy. Ingesting the essential oil of Penny royal leaf may cause uterine contractions, birth defects and possibly miscarriage. Both internal and external use of this herb should be avoided while pregnant, as well as while breastfeeding.

11. Barberry

This is another herb you should avoid during pregnancy, because it is believed that it causes bleeding in pregnant women. While more research is needed, it’s best to avoid this herb as we don’t know how it will affect your growing baby.

12. Uva Ursi

Uva ursi is another herb that is commonly used to help treat urinary tract infections, kidney infections and constipation. You should avoid this herb because it may could spur early labor, as well as negatively affect the blood sugar levels of pregnant and breastfeeding women. It’s also believed that Uva ursi may hinder the blood flow to your uterus.

13. Saw Palmetto

You should avoid the use of saw palmetto when you’re pregnant, because it decreases the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. If you’re having a little boy, DHT is very important for the development of his genitals. But, if you’re pregnant with a little girl, that doesn’t mean this herb is safe to take, because it has anti-estrogenic effects that will affect pregnant women.

14. Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s purse is another herb you should avoid during pregnancy, as it may constrict blood vessels, resulting in elevated blood pressure. It’s also believed to act like an uterine stimulant, which may spur early labor.

15. Laxative herbs

For optimal health, you should generally avoid laxative herbs like senna, bentonite clay, rhubarb and psyllium husks. But if you’re pregnant, you should especially avoid these types of herbs as they may cause uterine contractions, as well as affect the absorption of much needed nutrients from your food.

Other Herbs to Avoid

Besides from the most dangerous herbs mentioned above, you should also avoid the consumption of borage oil, basil oil, cotton root, elder, false unicorn root, feverfew, henbane, motherwort, peruvian bark, rue, wormwood and yarrow.

Remember, just because some of these popular herbs are considered “all natural,” that doesn’t mean they are safe for you to take. Herbal supplements can be a great addition to your diet, but if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor BEFORE taking any herbal supplements.

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