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Still skipping breakfast to lose weight? A new study published this month in Nutrition Journal makes an important point: it’s not whether or not you eat breakfast, but what you eat for breakfast that makes all the difference.

Researchers from the University of Missouri recently monitored women between the ages of 18 and 55 to determine how eating (or not eating) breakfast affected blood glucose and insulin control throughout the day. Participants ate one of three different meal options—a pancake meal with three grams of protein (high-carb, low-protein); a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 30 grams of protein (high-protein); or a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 39 grams protein (highest-protein)—or only water.

After analyzing the results, the research team found that eating a high-protein breakfast was most effective for helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and control cravings (especially for sweets) later in the day. Higher amounts of protein were directly linked to fewer post-meal spikes in blood sugar and associated with healthy weight management and a reduced risk of developing diabetes. In contrast, the high-carb and water-only groups showed frequent spikes in blood sugar a steady rise in cravings throughout the day.

Need a delicious, protein-packed breakfast idea? Try this Savory Salmon Frittata recipe!

frittataSavory Salmon Frittata
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 tsp. coconut oil
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
¼ cup (fresh or frozen) steamed corn kernels
One 4-oz. can salmon, drained
1 ripe tomato, diced
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups fresh spinach, stems trimmed
¼ cup avocado, sliced
¼ cup salsa
1 tbsp. fresh mint or basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions: Preheat broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until softened (about 3 minutes). Add corn, salmon, tomato, and bell pepper; gently stir and continue to cook about 4 minutes more. Pour eggs over mixture; cook on medium heat for another 4 minutes. Place skillet in broiler; broil 1 to 2 minutes until the eggs are light golden brown on top (watch carefully). Remove from broiler, cut frittata into wedges and serve over spinach. Top with avocado and salsa (and cheese, if desired). Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

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lady-walkingExperts at the National Institutes of Health believe depression is likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors that together may trigger a range of symptoms from sadness, fatigue and loss of appetite to headaches, digestive problems and difficulty concentrating.

For many people, the change in seasons can bring on depressive symptoms—especially in fall and winter when colder temperatures and shorter days (meaning less light) leave them feeling gloomy and drained of energy. But while we’re often tempted to stay indoors and hibernate during these months, a new study from the University of Michigan says we should do just the opposite.

Results of the study, published in the journal Ecopsychology, reveal that depression may be greatly reduced simply by taking a walk in nature. They recruited nearly 2,000 participants and found that those who engaged in weekly group nature walks showed fewer signs of depression and stress and instead enjoyed enhanced mental health and improved overall well-being—even if they had recently experience a traumatic life event such as a illness, unemployment or the death of a loved one.

Studies tell us seasonal changes affect women more often than men, and women are also 70% more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime. In addition to walking outdoors, a healthy diet also supports mental health. Because a diet high in inflammatory foods such as sugars, refined and starchy carbohydrates, processed meats and trans fats has been linked to a 41% higher risk of depression in women according to Harvard researchers, fill your plate instead with anti-inflammatory foods such as low-sugar fruits, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and plenty of protein.

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