Author: Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.

If drinking red wine gives you a headache, you’ve probably had someone tell you that sulfites are the likely culprit. Perhaps you’ve been advised to stick to white wine, organic wines, or wines made in Europe on the grounds that these will be lower in sulfites. Let’s clear up some of the most common myths and misunderstandings about sulfites, wine, and headaches. What are sulfites? First, a little background: Sulphur dioxide (or SO2) is a chemical compound made up of sulfur and oxygen. It occurs naturally in foods but it can also be produced in a laboratory. Sulfite has also…

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Q. When it’s “that time of the month” I feel like my stomach is a bottomless pit. I can eat and eat. I also crave sweets. Is this normal? A. In a word: Yes. It’s very common to experience an increase in appetite or cravings for certain foods just before or during your period. The idea that getting one’s period causes an uncontrollable desire for sweets is so heavily reinforced in our society that it could easily become a self-fulfulling prophecy. But how much of this is biological or physiological and how much of it is in our heads? After…

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Do you need minerals in your water? A lot of people are concerned that fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than they used to be because the soil has become depleted of minerals. I don’t think we need to worry about declining mineral levels in produce, but mineral water still sounds like a good idea—sort of like a vitamin supplement you can drink. Are there health benefits of drinking mineral water? Are there any risks? I don’t think we need to worry about declining mineral levels in produce, but mineral water still sounds like a good idea—sort of like a…

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Recently, a listener posted a question about powdered milk on my Facebook page. She was wondering whether it’s okay to use dried or powdered milk in place of fresh milk. Powdered milk is, of course, less expensive than fresh milk. It’s relatively non-perishable, lightweight, and portable. Many include powdered milk in their emergency food stores. In terms of nutrients like calcium, protein, and potassium, dried milk is comparable to fresh milk. Like fresh milk, dried milk is usually fortified with Vitamin A and D. You can add dried milk to powder to breads and other baked goods, soups, sauces, smoothies,…

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Nutrition Diva listener John recently asked me to weigh in on a new FDA approved weight loss drug called Gelesis100.  The drug is not yet available to the public, but it will probably be coming onto the market very soon as a prescription-only drug under the brand name Plenity. I bet it’ll be hard to miss it when it does become available; there will probably be a huge advertising and marketing push. But is this new drug going to be the one that turns the tide against obesity? Previous pharmaceutical approaches to weight loss have all had major drawbacks. Stimulants…

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I recently got a note from Diane, who was upset with me for supporting the consumption of dairy products. “No human should be consuming milk after they’ve been weaned from their mother’s breast,” she wrote. “It is completely unnatural. Cow’s milk is intended only for baby cows—and it’s cruel to take the milk away from the calves for whom it is clearly intended. Need calcium? Milk, which may contribute to osteoporosis and numerous other health issues, is the last place you should be getting it.” Before I respond to Diane’s remarks, I just want to repeat something I’ve said many…

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A listener writes: “I have recurrent problems with candida or yeast. I have seen articles stating that I should eat less sugar and avoid foods that contain yeast, such as bread. How accurate is this advice?” I’m so glad you asked! There is a confusing mix of true and false information about candida diet and nutrition. Let’s sort fact from fiction. Candida albicans is a type of yeast that is commonly found both on and in the human body, where it generally causes no problems. Certain conditions, however, can lead to an overgrowth of this benign organism.The resulting infection is…

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A recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association found that we are more anxious than ever, about health, finances, relationships, politics…you name it. On a scale of 1 to 100, this year’s national anxiety score is 51, which is a 5-point increase from 2017. There’s surely plenty to worry about these days. But anxious people tend not to be great problem-solvers. So, let’s at least make sure we’re not stressing out about things that we don’t actually need to worry about. As my contribution to the general well-being, here are ten nutrition concerns that you can probably cross off your…

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When we think about taking nutrients into our bodies, we usually think about swallowing them, in the form of pills, powders, or that radical format known as food. For that matter, when we talk about nutrient absorption, we’re usually talking about the absorption of nutrients from the digestive system into the bloodstream. But a handful of companies are trying to change the way we think about nutritional supplementation. Instead of swallowing a handful of pills and worrying about whether or not they are being absorbed, why not bypass the digestive tract altogether and apply them directly to your skin? Nicotine,…

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Turmeric is all the rage for its purported health benefits. Most of us know turmeric as a brilliant orange powder used in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking. It’s one of the primary ingredients in curry powder. And lately, “golden milk”—a sort of spicy turmeric tea—is trending in everyone’s Instagram feed. From a culinary perspective, turmeric adds a warm spiciness and a vivid hue to food. On the health front, turmeric’s big claim to fame is its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also being studied as a natural hedge against Alzheimer’s disease. From a culinary perspective, turmeric adds a warm spiciness and a…

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