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Health & Nutrition

Eating a vegetarian diet creates an excellent foundation for a healthy life. Here, you'll learn how to get best nutrition and good health from the food you eat.

If a beta-carotene contest were held, sweet potatoes and carrots would tie for first place. But beyond that, which of these veggies wins an overall nutrition showdown? First, a bit about why beta-carotene is so great. All green leafy veggies, squashes, apricots, and even green peppers contain high levels of this provitamin. (FYI: It is called a provitamin because it converts to active vitamin A once it enters our bodies.) The more carotenoids we eat from plant foods, the stronger the shield we build around our cells to fight toxic free radicals.


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Pineapple-Lime Smoothie

Credit your mom for being right—again. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that among the numerous benefits, breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer than morning-meal abstainers. And if you'd like to lose weight, an extra dose of protein may help. A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the effects of a high-protein breakfast on appetite control and evening snacking.

Q: What do you think about juice cleanses? Are they worth it? A: That depends on why and how you're doing a juice cleanse. If you need the discipline of a juice cleanse to reset your eating habits, one- to three-day cleanses are the perfect dose. A cleanse is the process of clearing the accumulated toxins in your body that can come from the additives and chemicals used in processed foods.


How It Heals

Q: Should I avoid no-stir peanut butter? Is natural-style nut butter that separates more healthful for me?

Q: I'm the only vegetarian in my family. Can you suggest how to cook one meal that makes us all happy?

A: Great question. If you're able to cook one meal that works for the whole family, you're doing everyone a huge favor. They will all eat as healthfully as you. This is especially important for children: growing up with a taste for plant-based foods gives kids an advantage they will carry with them for life.