Magnesium Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk

magAn astounding 70% or more of Americans are deficient in the essential mineral magnesium.  Low levels can have deadly effects. 

Epidemiologic studies have suggested that low magnesium may be associated with higher rates of colorectal cancer among other diseases.  Now a meta-analysis confirms that higher magnesium intakes are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and Continue reading

Plant-Based Diets Can Remedy Chronic Diseases

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 63 percent of the deaths that occurred in 2008 were attributed to non-communicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes and obesity — for which poor diets are contributing factors. Yet people that live in societies that eat healthy, plant-based diets rarely fall victim to these ailments. Continue reading

More Evidence Showing the Benefits of Fiber

When thinking about the preventable health epidemics of our generation, obesity and diabetes surely top the list. For most people, both obesity and type 2 diabetes can be managed and even eliminated by following a healthier lifestyle. And if this sounds complicated, it’s not. Adopting healthier eating habits and getting some exercise are not hard to do. The best approach is Continue reading

Why Obese Adults Should Eat Differently

The way one’s body looks isn’t the only issue at play for overweight adults. Far more important are the chronic diseases that overweight and obese people face. For that reason, an important piece of health news has identified the best way to eat: the disease-prevention diet filled with healing foods.

The study found that a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, and other high- fiber foods, significantly reduces inflammation associated with chronic disease. This is known as a “low-glycemic-load” diet, which does not cause blood glucose levels to spike. It also increases a hormone that helps regulate how you break down fat and sugar.

The controlled study involved 80 healthy adults, Continue reading

Why Eating Colorful Is Important This Flu Season

Forget treating the flu or shortening its duration; the best approach is flu prevention itself. For this, dietary measures are in order. A recent study uncovered a pattern of nutritious eating, and a bounty of health secrets for avoiding the flu in the coming months.

Most people report catching a cold or flu every year. And more than 30% say they’ll make lifestyle changes to avoid catching one next year. Still, 40% of Americans don’t plan to take what is arguably the easiest and tastiest step to help potentially prevent such viral illness: eat more fruits and vegetables.

A national report, “America’s Phytonutrient Report: Immune Health by Color,” found that adults  Continue reading

Seed Hunters Make Mad Dash to Save the Food Crops of Humanity

In the face of today`s burgeoning loss of seed diversity, the need for a doubling in food production in the next fifty years and the threatened spread of deadly food fungus has instigated seed hunters to scour world markets in a desperate search for the last varieties of wheat, rice, barley, lentils and chickpeas.

Food diversity extinction is rampant. In the USA, 90 percent of historic fruit and vegetable varieties have vanished. In the Philippines thousands of varieties of rice are now shrunk to a few hundred. China has lost perhaps 90 percent of wheat varieties. This former diversity was the result of more than 10,000 years of domestication.

Without seed diversity,  Continue reading

Eggs Are Good for You

A good proportion of most GPs’ consultations will involve some sort of conversation and advice about cholesterol.

It’s certainly one of the tests that patients ask for most. And yet many doctors and health professionals are still giving out incorrect advice when it comes to diet and cholesterol-lowering measures, and the public’s knowledge on the subject is poor at best.

This is concerning considering that research done many years ago quite definitively demonstrated that dietary cholesterol, from foods such as eggs and shellfish, has only a small and clinically insignificant effect on blood cholesterol. For most people, it’s the amount of saturated fat they eat that has a far greater impact on their cholesterol levels than eating foods that contain cholesterol, such as eggs and shellfish. Yet the advice so often still given is to cut down on cholesterol-containing foods, and as a result many people still believe that there are restrictions on the number of eggs  Continue reading

Five Winter Wonder Foods

Now that we’ve officially entered the dregs of winter, the supermarket’s produce section has started to look a little dull and dismal and you may feel like your diet is lacking a bit on the nutrition front as a result. Here are five superstar foods you can add to your cart this week to give your meals an instant upgrade.

KALE

Kale is a nutrient-dense dark leafy green that offers a trifecta of ingredients for enhancing eye health: beta-carotene (a form of pre-vitamin A), lutein, and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are a potent antioxidant pair that work together to protect the eyes from diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Kale is also rich in fiber (for a healthy heart and regular digestion) and vitamins C and K (for healthy blood vessels).

Kale makes a terrific side dish when sautéed in a drop of olive oil with garlic and chili flakes. It’s also a great addition to hearty soups and stews.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

This winter staple is brimming with beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant the helps repair and renew your skin to give it a youthful, radiant glow. Once converted to vitamin A, beta carotene also helps your immune system function at its best. Beta carotene, along with other carotenoids found in butternut squash, may also help fight arthritis aches and pains.

Butternut and other winter squashes, such as acorn, are also good sources of potassium and magnesium; two nutrients that help manage blood pressure and keep bones healthy and strong.

You can serve butternut squash mashed (like potatoes), or cut it into cubes and roast it to bring out the veggie’s nutty, sweet flavor.

FROZEN BERRIES

During the winter months, when fresh berries are out of season, frozen berries are your best bet. They’re riper, sweeter, and less expensive than fresh this time of year. To really get a good buy, pick up jumbo bags of frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries at club stores or discount retailers.

Berries deliver a generous dose of vitamin C, which helps keep skin looking firm and vibrant. That’s because vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, a protein responsible for giving skin its structure and elasticity. In addition, berries are one of the top sources of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that give berries their deep purple-blue hue. Exciting preliminary research shows that anthocyanins may actually help preserve memory by protecting the brain from cellular damage that occurs as we age.

Add frozen berries directly to smoothies for a hit of natural sweetness and vibrant color. Or, thaw them in the fridge overnight and use them to top yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal.

LENTILS

Lentils are incredibly rich in fiber and protein, which means they’re digested sloooowly to provide a steady, sustained stream of energy. They’re also a good source of several B vitamins that are essential for energy production, as well as iron, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.

Unlike dried beans and other legumes, lentils don’t require pre-soaking, and they cook up quickly in about 20 minutes. To make a simple, fast lentil side dish, start by sautéing diced onions, carrots, and celery and a few cloves of minced garlic until soft. Then add 1 cup brown or green lentils, 2 cups water or broth, and a couple of bay leaves. Simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are just tender. Or, whip up a big batch of lentil-vegetable soup, and you’ll have a hearty lunch to warm you up for days to come.

GREEK YOGURT

A relative newcomer to the dairy case, Greek yogurt provides twice as much protein as traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt is strained to give it a thick, creamy texture, and this process also concentrates the protein. Incorporating protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt is critical to any weight loss plan, since protein helps you stay fuller longer so you can keep hunger pains at bay while dieting. Adequate protein also helps you build and maintain strong muscles.

Yogurt is one of the best natural sources of calcium, which helps keep bones dense and strong. A 6-ounce container typically proves 25% of the Daily Value for calcium.

Enjoy Greek yogurt plain, or jazz it up with nuts, seeds, chopped fruit, wheat germ, or a sprinkling of granola.