Category Archives: Vegetarian

Dandelion Greens: An Urban Delicacy

By: Jason Garvin, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Move over kale, there’s a new powerhouse green in town! Kale has long been the go-to leafy green for healthy eaters, but research shows that the dandelion plant (taraxacum officinale) may pack equal amounts of nutrients.1 The sustainability and weed-like disposition of the dandelion is what makes it an intriguing option as a food source. The dandelion plant grows easily in many climates and can readily be found in urban settings.2 This is no ordinary weed though, nutrient density testing shows high levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, carotenoids, and xanthophylls.1,3 Some other greens still pack more nutrient density than the dandelion, but those plants may not grow with the same ease and likely cannot be harvested from the confines of your front yard!

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Living Healthy on a Vegetarian Diet

By Caroline Pak, DTR, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

Individuals choose to adopt a vegetarian diet due to environmental interests, animal rights, or health concerns. Whatever the reason, vegetarians should be aware of how to customize their meals to meet their nutrient needs.

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The Sweet Facts About Sweet Potatoes

By: Talia Bondelli, DTR

Raw Sweet Potato on a Wooden Table
Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

What does it mean to eat the rainbow? Eating the rainbow signifies eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.1 All of the colors of fruits and vegetables have different health benefits that may reduce your risk of diseases.Sweet potatoes have a deep orange color, which is the pigment called beta-carotene.3 They are very nutritious and they are also fat free, which means they also have no saturated fat or trans-fat.4 Furthermore, they are low in calories and sodium, with about 100 calories and 70 milligrams of sodium for one medium sweet potato.4 Sweet potatoes can definitely sweeten up your life, and in a healthy way!

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Soy Bueno

By Shely Salemnia, DTR, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Soy has been getting a lot of flack on the internet. This is because soy contains isoflavone, which is a type of phytochemical. It is also a type of phytoestrogen which resembles human estrogen. Estrogen is a female hormone that has been linked to breast and uterine cancers. Because of this, many people have associated phytoestrogens with increasing estrogen levels and thus increasing risk of breast cancer. Thus, many people have avoided soy with fear of developing breast cancer or re-occurrence of breast cancer. However, research has shed more light on the subject. Continue reading

Oodles of Zoodles

By Stephanie Ng, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Have you tried Zoodles, or also known as zucchini noodles?

Zoodles are made from spiralizing raw zucchini into spaghetti-like strands. Lower in calories, zoodles can be a gluten-free alternative to your traditional spaghetti1. A fresh and lighter version to traditional spaghetti2, zucchini noodles can be different and fun to make. Compared to spaghetti, zucchini noodles contains more vitamin A, C, B, potassium, and fiberand it is lower in calories than traditional spaghetti4. Best of all, increasing your vegetable intake may help lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes5, 6.This is also a great choice to increase your vegetable intake, get the most nutrients and vitamins, and maintain a healthy weight. Not ready to try it yet? Try mixing whole-grain spaghetti with zucchini noodles. Continue reading

Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit!

By: Tiffany Eng, M.S., CSUN Dietetic Intern

“Beans, beans the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot!”

The “tooting” maybe why most people try to avoid beans. Consuming beans may produce gas due to the fermentation of specific sugar molecules, called oligosaccharides, in the large intestine.1 While beans may not be the most attractive, this budget-wise food is low in energy density and rich in nutrients. Continue reading

Hot Spice

By Francisco T Rodriguez, DTR, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Imagine yourself in a Mexican restaurant waiting for the server to approach you for your meal selection.  The first thing they bring is a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa.  As you dip your chip into the mixture of diced onions, pureed fresh tomatoes, roasted chili peppers, crisp cilantro, and revitalizing freshly squeezed lime, you realize that you have just consumed what feels like piece of heaven.  But before tears of pleasure begin to fall from your eyes, a tingle begins to form at the tip of your tongue, then your lips, and then your throat.  Continue reading

Tips for Mindful Eating

By: Itzel Dzul H., B.S, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Do you usually eat while watching television or using the computer? Do you eat when you’re bored or stressed? Do you wait until you’re starving or do you continue eating until you’ve fallen into a food coma? Most of the time we miss to analyze what, when, where, how, and why we choose to eat. According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, practicing mindful eating can maximize health and prevent diseases, with research showing positive outcomes in, weight loss, eating disorders, diabetes management, and overall healthy eating. 1 Continue reading

Keeping the New Year’s Resolution All Year Round

Written by Trisha Patel, CSUN Dietetic Intern

The holidays have officially ended and with that comes a bounty of New Year’s resolutions. Every year millions of Americans set forth with a long list of New Year’s resolutions that they hope to keep. The most popular on the list revolve around getting healthy and fit throughout the new year. The popularity of nutrition, health and overall wellness resolutions increase every year, with more and more products and plans plastered across the internet in the hopes of helping Americans maintain their goals. With all the assistance provided, countless Americans decide to “give up” on their goals by the time March rolls around. Continue reading

Meatless Mondays

Written by Elizabeth Kaoh, M.A., CSUN Dietetic Intern

There are a plethora of health and cost benefits in switching up a few of your meals throughout the week to vegetarian dishes. Common misconceptions of vegetarian meals are that it limits you to the monotonous salad for lunch, or that going plant-based means you won’t get adequate protein. Vegetarian dishes can be hearty, delicious, and creative! Plant protein also packs a solid nutritious punch, packing in a number of essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and protein. Continue reading