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RealSimple.com: Should You Try These Fad Diets?

Bee Pollen

The trend explained: Not to be confused with honey, bee pollen is what bees take from flowers and bring back to the hive to feed their young. It’s rich in carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. Proponents claim that it can do everything from boosting stamina to easing allergy symptoms. It has a mild, bittersweet taste and a crunchy texture, so it can be mixed into yogurt or oatmeal or sprinkled on salads. Often called a superfood, bee pollen has been used in Chinese herbal remedies for centuries.
RealSimple
Expert opinion: Some research has shown that bee pollen could be beneficial. A 2010 study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology found that a mix of honey and bee pollen had significant anti-inflammatory properties, and a 2012 study from Turkey showed that, in rats, bee pollen decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis. However, “I wouldn’t expect miracles,” says Virgin.

The bottom line: There’s not yet enough supporting evidence to give bee pollen a ringing endorsement. If you like a little crunch in your yogurt and want to load up on antioxidants, give it a try. (Just know that it’s not a substitute for brightly colored fruits and vegetables.)



Coconut Water
The trend explained: This slightly sweet, milky beverage is getting to be as ubiquitous as flavored waters. Brands like Zico, Vita Coco, and O.N.E. contain loads of potassium and electrolytes, and devotees swear that the liquid helps them rehydrate better than straight water does.

Expert opinion: “Coconut water is water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes being marketed as the all-natural sports drink,” says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., a nutritionist in State College, Pennsylvania, and the author of "The Six Pillars of Nutrition" ($3 for Kindle edition, amazon.com). There is some evidence to support the hydration hype: Research published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science showed that coconut water was effective at rehydrating subjects after exercise. The same study also showed that coconut water was just as thirst-quenching as a commercial sports drink but inflicted less nausea and stomach upset, and that subjects could drink more of it than they could a sports drink or even plain water.

The bottom line: “Coconut water is good for replenishing electrolytes when you’re exercising on a really hot day or if you’re experiencing fluid loss due to diarrhea or other digestive issues,” says Virgin. And if you find it tastier than plain water, drink up—but remember that, unlike the plain stuff, coconut water can have about 5 calories per ounce.

(Yasu + Junko)



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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