Mother’s Diet Impacts Development of Baby’s Brain

Children of mothers whose diet during pregnancy was deficient in the essential nutrient choline have lower performance on cognitive tests. Cognition is rooted in the brain’s cortex, but a direct link between maternal dietary choline levels and cortical development in offspring had not been demonstrated. Experimental evidence of this link, and identification of a physiological mechanism, would greatly enhance our understanding of the importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy. Just-published research from Dr. Zeisel’s laboratory (Wang et al., 2016) shows that a maternal low-choline diet causes severe alterations of cortical growth and development in offspring and provides mechanistic insight into how this happens. [read more]

Free Public Lecture

The NRI’s popular public event series, Appetite for Life, returns on January 12 with a free presentation by Nicholas Gillitt, Ph.D, and Chef Mark Allison on “Why and How You Should Eat Fruits and Vegetables.” The program is at 7:00 PM in the new Kannapolis City Hall at 400 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, and will be simultaneously webcast.
Click here for instructions on how to attend virtually.  Or click here to register. 
In February we will once again take Appetite for Life to uptown Charlotte. Renewing our collaboration with Johnson & Wales University, we are pleased to present a nutrition talk + demo. A chef from Johnson & Wales and a registered dietitian from the NRI will come together to demonstrate delicious, healthy cooking while sharing tips for consuming a balanced, nutritious diet. Attendees will be able to sample the fare. Seating is limited to 150, so register now for this highly anticipated event.

Research We’re Reading: Effects of Inadequate Hydration on Kidney Disease

From the desk of: Saroja Voruganti, Ph.D. 
While drinking at least eight glasses of water a day may not be necessary under normal conditions, maintaining adequate hydration, especially during physical exertion in warm weather, is essential for optimal health.  

A recent article published in the  American Journal of Kidney Disease suggests that exercise and dehydration contribute to development of chronic kidney disease, particularly the type that is related to heat stress. Heat stress-related kidney disease is increasingly observed in farmers, fishermen, miners, and transportation and construction workers. This type of kidney disease is also called  Mesoamerican nephropathy since it was first observed in sugarcane workers in Latin America. Even though they drank a lot of water, these workers suffered high rates of chronic kidney disease. [read more]

Potato, Spinach and Thyme Soup

Designed by: Chef Mark Allison, Director of Culinary Nutrition at Dole Food Company.
2 large potatoes, diced
5 oz fresh baby spinach, washed
1 zucchini, diced
1 red bell peper, diced
[get the recipe here] 
Nutrition Facts:
Potato contains vitamins and minerals, as well as an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and natural phenols.
Dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair and bone health and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.
Red bell peppers contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake.
[read more]