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Teff, Food Labels, the Village Effect & More

8746397039_54e25f4521_zJust when we mastered the art of cooking quinoa, there’s a new supergrain on the table: teff. Teff is versatile, gluten-free and high in fiber and protein—you may know it as the main ingredient in injera, the bread that’s a staple in Ethiopian food. Unlike quinoa, teff also contains albumin, the primary protein in blood plasma, making it a good alternative to eggs for vegetarians and vegans. Here are 10 great things about teff.

Would you choose a glass of water over a bottle of soda if you knew that you’d have to jog for 50 minutes to burn the soda calories? A new study released today in the American Journal of Public Health found that putting that kind of information on nutrition labels did inspire consumers to make healthier choices. The approach is imperfect as not all calories are equal and not all people need the same number of calories per day, but the idea could be a good addition to the conversation about how to help people make informed choices.

Is everything we think we know about the best way to lose weight wrong? In a new study of 200 obese adults, half were encouraged to lose 12.5% of their body weight in 12 weeks, and half were given 36. Eighty percent of people in the 12-week group lost the weight as opposed to only 50% of people in the 36-week group. More interestingly, three years later, the percent of people who regained the weight was the same for both groups.

One of the defining characteristics of Blue Zones, parts of the world where people tend to live longer and healthier lives, is a sense of community. A new book, The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter, further supports the importance of a sense of community to our health and well-being. Listen to an interview with author Susan Pinker and learn how to harness the power of the village effect—no matter where you live.

Most pets don’t love bath time. These are not most pets!

Image: Brian Negin

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