As 2022 draws to a close, Well takes a look at our food and nutrition coverage over the past year and reflects on what we’ve learned about food (and drink). Here are some of our favorite nuggets of wholesome wisdom.
1. Chia seeds deserve a place in your diet.
The powerhouse seeds found their way into puddings, pretzels, jams, and TikTok trends in 2022 as chia — once again — surged in popularity. Experts say that chia seeds have gained popularity: they are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. You can add a tablespoon of seeds to a smoothie or dip them in plant milk to make a snack.
2. You don’t need to throw away all the berries.
A single mold-coated strawberry may look gross, but unless the other berries in the box show visible signs of spores, you can store them in the refrigerator. Just be sure to check them for lint before eating them. .
3. You can feel better with that morning coffee.
Researchers found that people who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee a day, even with a teaspoon of sugar, were up to 30% less likely to die during the study period than those who didn’t drink coffee – another reason to find your first (or second or third) cup.
5. Natural wine may not be best for you.
There’s little research to back up claims that natural wine improves gut health, and a hangover is a hangover whether you drink natural wine or a conventional product.
6. Food can help keep you hydrated.
You don’t need to rely solely on water to replenish fluids; your favorite fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of hydration. Opt for melons, strawberries, oranges, grapes, cucumber or celery.
7. Limit the amount of processed meats you eat.
The occasional hot dog won’t destroy your health, but processed meats have been linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plant-based alternatives are a safer bet, but they’re not all created equal: find an option that’s as minimally processed as possible.
8. Make whole grains a staple.
Most Americans don’t get enough of them, but you can go against the grain by incorporating these high-fiber foods, like oats or corn, into your diet. A slice of whole-wheat bread, half a cup of cooked oatmeal, and three cups of popcorn, in combination, would satisfy the recommended daily requirement for whole grains.
9. Swap your afternoon tea for matcha.
This bright green tea powder is ubiquitous, and while there’s no definitive research to show it’s a health food, matcha may have some benefits, including providing abundant antioxidants and many of caffeine.
10. Avoid sticky snacks.
Dried fruits, candy, chewing gum – these foods can lodge in your teeth and the spaces between them, allowing sugar to linger in your mouth and fuel bacterial growth. However, there are steps you can take to prevent tooth decay, including chewing sugar-free gum and downing a sugary drink instead of sipping it throughout the day.