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Sound Bites: Panera’s Latest News, Plus, Why Beans, Greens and Broccoli Rock

April 13, 2017

By Megan O. Steintrager

Didn’t have time to keep up with all of the health news? We got you covered. Read on to be the smartest, healthiest person you can be. 


While you’re filling your grocery cart with broccoli, toss in some bags or cans of beans and other legumes. Frequently eating legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils may reduce risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, according to research recently published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. Researchers looked at data from more than 3,000 participants in the PREDIMED trial (which studied the Mediterranean Diet) and found that “individuals in the highest quartile of total legume and lentil consumption had a lower risk of diabetes than those in the lowest quartile.” Lentils were found to be particularly protective, which is great news since they’re also easy and fast to cook (and delicious!). Try this spin on Ful Medammes, made with lentils rather than the traditional but harder to find fava beans.


Are you drinking your dessert? If you’re a Panera Bread customer, you’ll soon be able to answer that question, thanks to new labeling on the chain’s beverage fountains, which will now list added sugar in sodas and other self-serve beverages. The company claims to be the first major chain to list this information. “We’re going to help you understand that you can have a soft drink, but please know that when you drink it, you may be drinking well in excess of the federal government’s daily recommended allowance of sugar,” Ron Shaich, the founder and chief executive of Panera, told The New York Times.

He added that you’d get less sugar from one of the restaurant’s chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, or bear claws than from a 20-ounce Pepsi. We don’t know about you, but we’d take the bear claw. Or better yet, you could make some healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies or Applesauce Bran Muffins at home. And as for the Panera menu, consider skipping the sodas altogether and try one of the new low and no-sugar-added drinks, such as Plum-Ginger Hibiscus Tea, the company is rolling out along with the new labeling.


Bone broth

You know all that bone broth people have been sipping? Well, due to the beverage’s popularity, bones for making it could get harder to come by—or at least more expensive, NPR warns in Broth Loving Hipsters are Pushing Up the Price of Bones. Beef and chicken bones are still the most popular for broth, the article notes, so it might be time to start experimenting with other animals. NPR cites one source that sells broths made with lamb, bison, pork, turkey and even alpaca bones. We’re fans of Bru Broth, among others.


You might have heard that the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin—which give color to foods like leafy greens, broccoli, corn, and oranges—may help your vision. And it seems that lutein and zeaxanthin may help boost brain function in older adults, according to research from the University of Georgia published earlier this year in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The American Optometric Association has a list of foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin, with kale topping the list, so do your eyes and noggin’ a favor and make this Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti recipe or One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta with Parmesan and Kale recipe for dinner tonight.


Fresh green broccoli in wood bowl over rustic wooden background - healthy or vegetarian food concept Top view.

Add liver cancer to the list of diseases that eating plenty of broccoli might help protect against. Eating three to five servings of broccoli per week was already associated with a reduced risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancer. A new study from the University of Illinois found that consuming broccoli might also reduce risk of liver cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a news release from the university. The findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition. Get a dose of this cancer fighter today with our Crunchy Broccoli Salad recipe.


Catch up on other health news here

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