National Nutrition Month 2016, Mediterranean diet, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes

March is National Nutrition Month 2016, which discusses topics such as the Mediterranean diet, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes as both of these two conditions are heavily impacted through diet and nutrition. In order to educate you, we here at Bel Marra Health have compiled our top news stories regarding nutrition such as the benefits of drinking watermelon juice and other stories such as nutrition for heart health. We hope you enjoy these stories and take away from them some useful advice.

10 health benefits of drinking watermelon juice
Watermelon juice

A lot of people assume that watermelon juice is simply water with a little flavor, but this sweet-tasting fruit has much more to offer in terms of health benefits.


Who can resist a juicy slice of watermelon to beat the heat on a hot summer day? For many people, it is a guilt-free way to enjoy a dessert since watermelon is low in calories.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics show that Americans consume at least 4 billion pounds of watermelon every year. Studies, including those the USDA has been associated with, have shown that consuming fruits and vegetables are a good way to reduce the risk of various lifestyle-related health problems.
Studies that have been conducted across the globe suggest plant foods like watermelon have the potential to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, as well as increase our energy and improve our complexion. Continue reading…

Mediterranean diet may prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and reduce brain cell loss
Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet may prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is a style of eating similar to that of people living in and around the Mediterranean. Unlike the typical Western diet, the Mediterranean diet focuses on high consumption of fruits and vegetables, the use of olive oil, minimal consumption of saturated fat and red meat, and reduced intake of sugar, fat, and salt.

There have been numerous studies to support the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, from protecting brain health to boosting heart health, and the list continues to grow. A fairly recent study, for example, illustrated how the Mediterranean diet may reduce brain cell loss in older age. Continue reading…

Nutritional benefits of infusing water with vegetables
Infusing water with vegetables

Few will deny that adding fruit and vegetables to water can improve the flavor. If you drink a lot of water, after a while it can get boring, so an infusion of some fresh strawberries or cucumbers can be a refreshing change. Many nutritionists say that infusing water with fruit or vegetables does have some slight benefits. They emphasize that not all fruits and vegetables are alike. Some are better than others when it comes to adding value to your drink.

Asparagus has a minimal impact when added to water. To get any real nutritional value the experts estimate you would have to add half a cup of asparagus to your water, as opposed to the three pieces that Whole Foods used. Eating asparagus, on the other hand, is a great idea since it is a source of vitamins K, C, E, and dietary fiber.

The general opinion among nutritionists in North America is that strawberries and citrus fruits are the best options when it comes to infusing because when squeezed, they release vitamins into the water. The other important point to keep in mind is that it is better to consume water that is flavored with fresh fruit and vegetables, than water flavored through other means. The water with the real fruit and vegetables will have more nutrients in it. As for paying five or six dollars for water that is infused with something like three stalks of asparagus – well, most nutritionists call that senseless. Continue reading…

Stop calorie counting, start promoting nutrition for heart health
Stop calorie counting

A popular method for dieting is to count calories. Recommended daily calories for a sedentary senior male is around 2,000 and 1,600 for females. Of course, this would increase if a person is active. Counting calories seems like a universal way to lose or maintain weight, but it’s important to keep in mind every person is different – inside and out – so what may work for one person may not necessarily be effective for another.

Research is now suggesting that we move away from this popular diet trend and instead opt to promote nutritional value of food. This way of eating has shown to be more effective in reducing illness and cutting down on obesity.


The findings were published online in Open Heart, where researchers explored published evidence to uncover the best and most efficient way to live a healthy life. What they concluded is that not smoking and making easy dietary changes are enough to boost health.

One example they drew upon is boosting intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in olive oil, nuts, and fish. Omega-3 has been linked to a reduction in death from causes like cardiovascular disease.

For far too long, we’ve been focusing on calories and not nutrition, so we ended up making the wrong choices. For example, a can of soda may only have 150 calories, while a handful of nuts contains 500 calories, so in theory fewer calories should be better, right? Wrong: the soda contains sugar and artificial coloring, while the nuts promote heart health and contain essential nutrients that can be used by the body. Continue reading…


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