Who can think of much else than the environment and the flooding in Texas? Dreadful, really!Read More
Who can think of much else than the environment and the flooding in Texas? Dreadful, really!Read More
A lot is news this week in health-and the Team is here even if you are traveling, on holiday or at the beach!Read More
Today the team is writing up some new health research snippets found in various medical journals and other places. We are putting these scientific mentions together for you to have “hot off the presses” as the research was just published primarily for professionals.Read More
One of our team members was at a holiday celebration this week where there was a lot of banter about seeds. This was especially funny in the face of eating so many carbs and so much sugar and processed holiday food.
We thought we would look into seeds for you as even we, are not yet up on the latest about this nutrient as a health benefit!
Let’s start with grape seeds. [i] We don’t usually eat the seeds in grapes-hence the draw of seedless ones—but apparently grape seeds are quite rich in antioxidants and something called oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes which can help destroy the free radicals which can set you up for aging and disease.
The National Institute of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) indicates that that grape seed extract can help with heart and blood vessels (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, poor circulation etc.. And for nerve and eye damage and vision issues like macular degeneration, cancer prevention and wound healing. It might as well, contribute to bone strength, oral health and Alzheimer’s prevention. It is recommended to get this in supplement form so as not to get all the fructose from eating the grape itself.
Pumpkin seeds also provide health benefits.[ii] They contain magnesium, copper, manganese, protein and zinc as well as plant compounds called phytosterols and antioxidants. They are high in fiber and heart healthy-and shown to benefit blood pressure and prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. When combined with flax seed it can provide extra heart and liver benefits. Pumpkin seeds are also a provider of tryptophan for sleep and some people eat them before bed with a bit of fruit (carbs) for maximum sleep benefits. Pumpkin seeds also help in prostate health because of the zinc and can improve insulin regulation. They can help with menopausal symptoms such as flashes, etc.. 80% of people are deficient in this nutrient. The zinc in them can help with immunity, fatigue, depression, acne, and even poor learning in school, etc.. It is also a plant based omega three fat- ALA. Animal fat is critical too such as krill or fish oil the sources tell us so be armed before skipping your fish oils. We like pumpkin seeds raw and organic.
Sunflower seeds[iii] have phytosterols which are quite beneficial for your heart health and immune system, and may help lower cancer risk as well.
[iv] Hemp seeds contain about 57 calories per tablespoon, it is filled with fiber, helps you eat less, has lots of zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. It is good for immune health bone health and delivering oxygen through the body. Hemp is also rich in a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and can help with blood pressure. Hemp can help with cognition.
[v] Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, healthy fats. They don’t get rancid and they don’t have to be ground like flax seeds do. And they don’t usually need refrigeration. They provide a host of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, etc.. They are good for bone health. If you have trouble swallowing or have esophageal issues, consult your doctor or medical practitioner first as they can produce intense swallowing issues requiring immediate treatment. They also help with weight loss and blood glucose and reduction in blood pressure.
Amaranth seeds[vi] was a new one for us. We thought it was a grain, but technically is not. It is the seed of the plant. Plants can produce up to 60,000 seeds. Amaranth is a complete protein because it contains lysine and it yields 26 grams of protein per cup. Amaranth contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron as well as vitamin C. Amaranth is good for your heart as well. Lots of people apparently eat this for breakfast. Our team just bought some now!
You can choose health.
Choose to learn and explore super foods which may be unfamiliar to you.
And you can Choose to win!
[vi] http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/26/benefits-of-amaranth_n_5036060.htmlRead More
Yes, breast cancer is increasing both nationwide and worldwide.
The Teams’ friend, Jessica made a choice to not have regular mammograms.
Her rationale is this:
Is Jessica correct to do without mammograms?
Maybe, except Jessica is between 60-69 years of age.
Research has shown that getting a mammogram during the age range of 60-90, makes a difference.
Jessica has no cancer gene nor any first degree relative with breast cancer.
So except for her previous years of mammogram screenings, she is low risk.
We are thinking that Jessica might opt for a (no radiation) sonogram/ultrasound! But we are not her doctor!
Is Jessica really doing all she can to prevent breast cancer?
She is doing self- exams (which are not so much recommended these days) and having regular pap smears and colon screening—which are linked to lower rates of breast cancer.
[i] Other lifestyle suggestions of cancer preventative steps:
Common sense and research says that you should avoid smoking and second-hand passive smoke[iii].That you should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week
And you should eat a plant based diet.
It is estimated that healthy lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of 25-30% of breast cancers or more!
High risk women with a family history of breast cancer and women who are susceptible at certain life stages such as childhood, adolescence and early adulthood can also lessen their susceptibility with screening programs and eliminating endocrine disruptors-environmental contaminants[v]. The nature of endocrine disruption[vi] is a larger portion of the risk than is heredity (5-27%) according to another study. These disruptors include stress!Chemicals, food residues, occupational hazards, pharmaceuticals,cosmetics, water source, alcohol and smoking. It is concluded that understanding the action of these compounds is critical to preventing their effects on the breast.
And eating organic foods can be beneficial for breast cancer prevention as well. This same study suggests that "statin-lowering drugs may increase the risk of cancer by decreasing anti-tumor defenses..and the statins are toxic to mitochondria, decrease the omega three:six ratio, increase body mass and insulin resistance and diabetes risk and are associated with increases in breast cancer. More evidence to suggest that your doctor must guide the avoidance of certain things and the use of other things for prevention of this disease.
Always check with your doctor to find out the best healthy lifestyle for your own situation regarding breast cancer prevention!
We can choose a healthful lifestyle to prevent breast cancer.
We can choose to win!
[i] The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet and Its Role in Cancer Treatment June 16, 2013
[iv] Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2015;e66-73. Doi: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2015.35.e66 Can diet and lifestyle prevent breast cancer: what is the evidence? Harvie M, Mowell A, Evans, DG.
[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23417729Read More
Obesity gone global, it is all we read about these days.
Age-related death increased significantly in just one year (2014-2015) involving the obesity epidemic causes including: heart disease 1%, diabetes 1%, stroke 4%, chronic liver disease 3% and 19% for increase of death by Alzheimer’s disease.
One in 5 deaths are due to obesity now and by 2025[iii], 20 percent globally will be obese including 40% British and 45% Americans.
Obesity signals economic catastrophe that warrants a strategy to address.
And if we are still obese, it is ourselves to blame.
Unacceptable choices around us are processed, refined carbohydrates, high-glycemic /high caloric foods everywhere, GMO foods, high sugar foods and foods still with trans-fats.
Natural foods need to be more affordable and accessible.
We are not eating good quality proteins nor healthy fats like these beneficial walnuts which we have written about!
Fats are integral to a healthy diet!
What about fats and reducing cholesterol? A long time ago it was recommended that diets be low in fat.
A study from four decades ago looked at 9,000 diets[iv]. Half were on a diet of saturated fats and the other half, on unsaturated fats (corn oil). The latter group reduced their cholesterol but low saturated fats did not reduce mortality. This has been a myth!
In fact the study found that those who learned how to drop cholesterol, had the higher the risk of death.
And this runs contrary to what has been recommended-a diet in low saturated fats was supposed to decrease heart risk.
One reason might be omega-6 fatty acids which are found in high levels of corn, soybean cottonseed and sunflower oils—that the omega 6 promotes inflammation which outweighs the benefits of reducing cholesterol.
The conclusion about this and a more recent study gives way to the fact that saturated fats may not be so bad-- yet not that they are beneficial. And the linoleic acid found in omega 6 may be present in liver disease and chronic pain manifestation.
These days we eat 6% linoleic acid not 2% like a century ago. This is found in processed foods but smaller amounts are found in olive oil, butter and egg yolks.
We also located a recent article from the Times[v] answering the issue of low fat and brain function/memory problems.
Fats are an integral part of a healthy diet --there are ‘good fats, bad fats and fats on which more research is needed to be certain”. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats protect against memory loss, trans fats are harmful and saturated fats--we just don't know for sure.
An unsaturated fat-omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, is known to support brain function.
There must be a balance of omega-3:-6. It is recommended to eat fruits and vegetables, have whole grains in moderation, fatty fish twice per week like wild salmon, lake trout, sardines and mackerel and olive oil two teaspoons daily.
We will be writing more about this, including the latest on the microbiome and obesity!
Check with your doctor!
We can choose!
Choose to win!Read More
The Mediterranean Diet is still highly regarded incorporating the magic use of olive oil.
An analysis quoted (2014, Wikipedia) showed that an elevated use of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality-cardiovascular events, stroke and type 2 diabetes. That olive oil use cut cancer death by 6% and that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, slower cognitive decline as well as less incidence of Parkinson ’s disease.
One of the keenly cited benefits is the use of olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid. Olive oil protects via polyphenols against the oxidation of blood lipids.
[ii]Regular consumption of olive oil is associated with increased longevity and preventing cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity as well as certain cancers including digestive and breast cancer. Though this article calls for more definitive research, this and another article says that olive oil is seen as being an:
Virgin olive oil is the one rich in phenolic compounds[iv] and is said that daily ingestion of this is beneficial and a key food for protection from cardiovascular issue. It may be that extra virgin olive oil can be problematic because it is extremely perishable and can easily go rancid[v]. Perhaps semi-refined oil is better to use instead. When oil is exposed to light or air it oxidizes and the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates this oxidation. Spoiled oil will do more harm than good (Mercola) .
So keep your olive oil in a cool dark place and close the cap immediately--plus perhaps buy small amounts at a time or transfer to smaller containers to mitigate oxidation.
IMPORTANT TO BE AWARE THAT:
Heating vegetable oil and cooking with olive oil is said to change the oil into an oxidant rather than an anti-oxidant-- because at high temperatures, it burns.
It is recommended to use coconut oil to cook with and olive oil when cold![vi]
To tell if you have olive oil gone bad it:
Mercola indicates that corn, soy, safflower and canola oil are highly damaged by heat and can clog arteries. He further warns as well about processed foods like potato chips, pre-made cookies and microwave dinners. They use trans-fats which raise LDL and is linked to heart disease.
Recently[vii] a review of 23 publications was done to see if heating vegetable oil increased the risk of chronic disease. The survey concluded that high use of fried foods is related to weight gain. Our Team is inclined to go with the oxidation theory however--and chooses not to heat olive oil. We recommend that you check with a a qualified nutritionist.
We are using coconut oil for cooking.
We can choose! Choose to Win!
[i] Mediterranean diet Wikipedia
[ii] Br J Nutr 2015 Apr; 113 Suppl 2:S 94-101. Doi: 10.1017/S0007114003936. The role of olive oil in disease prevention: a focus on the recent epidemiological evidence from cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. Buckland G, et al.
[iii] Br J Nutr April 2015; Suppl 2:S94-101. Doi:10.1017/S000711451`4003936. The role of olive oil in disease prevention:a focus on the recent epidemiological evidence from cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. Buckland G, et al.
[iv] Br J Nut 2015 April;113 Suppl 2:S19-28. Doi: 10.1017/S007114515000136. Virgin olive oil: a key food for cardiovascular risk protection Covas MI, et al.
[v] New Warning about Olive Oil Mercola.com Oct 20, 2010
[vi] Coconut oil vs Vegetable oils: What Oil Should You Be Cooking with and Which Should You Avoid? Mercola.com
[vii] Br J Nutr 2015 Apr; 113 Suppl 2:S36-48. Doi: 10.1017/S0007114514002931 Does cooking with vegetable oils increase the risk of chronic diseases?: a systematic review. Sayon-Orea C, et al.Read More
Cranberries have been used for decades to prevent infection of the urinary tract. (UTI’s/ cystitis). We wondered, since so many antibiotics are prescribed, do cranberries really work for urinary tract health?
Back in 2012[i] a review publication, looked at 24 studies (1998-2008) with a total of 4,473 participants concluding that cranberry juice seemed not to be as effective in preventing recurring UTI’s as had been thought. It went on to add that other forms of cranberries, such as those in the form of powders needed to be evaluated. True study was difficult to be reliable due to great variation in product and commitment to use.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are responsible for that:
Might it be possible to prevent UTI’s, and the antibiotics people need?
Wouldn’t that be great if you could just drink juice instead?
UTI’s are very common[ii], can cause discomfort or pain and can aggravate other conditions of the area. There are clinical benefits known about cranberry in the prevention of recurrent UTI’s in women, however not during pregnancy. That cranberry treatment may have “anti-infective, anticancer and antioxidant effects”. That it may prevent bacteria such as E.coli from adhering to the bladder and not infect the mucosa. Further, cranberry “may induce positive cardiovascular and metabolic changes and may improve neuropsychological activity”.
A review article in 2014[iii] indicates a specific mechanism unique to cranberries-an “anti-adhesive property of proanthrocyanidins, their structure-activity relationships” and the movement of drugs within the body. That looking at and evaluating clinical studies shows the efficacy/safety ratio in preventing UTI’s strongly supports the effects of cranberry (aka Vaccinium macrocarpon) in preventing such recurring infections in young and middle-aged women. For other populations, the clinical application is controversial.
The Times[iv] quotes Dr. Amy Howell at Rutgers, (on berry research), “that if bacteria cannot stick to a cell, that the bacteria cannot multiply and produce toxins.” There may be other actions in the body that cranberries can support such as reduction of tooth decay[v] .
Polyphenols in cranberries also have been shown to[vi]:
Cranberry juice comes unsweetened. Or cranberry extract in tablets.
It can increase the absorption of vitamin B12 in patients who also are taking proton pump inhibitors which can adversely affect drug interactions with antidepressants and opioids. Apparently, cranberry can also increase the formation of kidney stones so be aware.
Be sure check all this with your doctor!
We Can Choose!
The pendulum swings. We never used to eat grains as a society and we did not have the disease epidemic that we have now, some say. Others say, that is because people back then did not live as long. But it is clear that many if not most of our modern illnesses are man-made.
There is conflicting information out there about grains.
Some of us were brought up on whole grains which were touted for providing “wholesome goodness” and being the 'breakfast of champions". Who could argue with that notion?
Perhaps we never really understood what this meant but we all understood that they were good for us. And the old food pyramids recommended that we eat 6-11 servings a day of bread, cereal, rice and pasta every day.
What are Whole Grains:
Whole grains consist of the bran, the germ and the endosperm where a refined grain is just the endosperm consisting mainly of carbs in the form of starch and proteins[i]. Some whole grains appear to be very healthful and have fiber and B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and selenium. Some higher recommended grains are oats and whole wheat versus rice and corn which are said to be not so nutritious.
What are Refined Grains:
Refined grains are not healthful because the fiber and nutrients are gone and all that is left are empty calories. When we eat refined grains it tends to spike our blood sugar. Such processing occurs with breads, pasta, breakfast cereals and junk foods like pastries and cookies. Another processed food, high fructose corn syryp, is a refined grain made from corn and is known to be quite unhealthful.[ii].
Eating grains has been shown associated with though not demonstrating a causative effect on:
Eating grains containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye and barley, may cause digestive and other sensitivities in about 30 million people in the U.S..
After grain diets-- the Mediterranean diet came more to the foreground and included whole grains. Adhering to such diet is associated with less cognitive decline, dementia or Alzheimer Disease[iii] and lowers the risk of heart disease and premature death.
A diet that does not include grains, the lower carb diet or the Paleo type diet have become more popular now. They have led to:
Another name for Paleo is low ketogenic diet which has outperformed the healthy carb- whole grain diet pattern on matters as: diabetes, cardiovascular health and weight loss.
The Paleo type diet requires eating whole, unprocessed foods including vegetables (except corn and potatoes) and free range organic meats while avoiding sugars and grains.
Paleo and low glycemic diet plans strengthen the evidence for a diets' healthful effect on the brain.
News about the brain and health abound now with recent best selling books and videos. How ingesting grain leads to making the gut more permeable[v] has also been studied using bread alone. The food particles reach unexpected sites which prompt the immune system to attack. The release of opioid-like compounds can cause mental derangement if such particles leech to the brain.[vi] This "leaky gut" phenomena is often associated with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis or celiac disease as well. Grains are said to be the cause of "leaky gut" and can prompt pain in the stomach and fatigue, rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, even autism. It is recommended that fermented foods be ingested to counterbalance leaky gut and that people also take probiotics.
Some say humans do not need grains to live on. Grains are a new and societally designed way of eating-not something we have done for the past thousands of years.
Grains generally offer a poor source of vitamins and minerals. Whole grains contain high fiber bran which contains anti-nutrients that can damage health. The whole grain that appears in our food is the seed of a plant that is reproductive for that seed and not meant to be eaten by animals, because it leads to intestinal permeability.
Best to check with your doctor on a diet that is right for you!
We Can Choose!
[i] WebMD The Whole Truth About Whole Grains
[ii] Grains: Are They Good For You or Bad? Authority Nutrition By Kris Gunnars, BSc
[iii] Adv Nutr. 2015 Mar 13;6(2): 154-68. Doi: 10.3945/an.114.007617. Print 2015 Mar. Dietary patterns, cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review. Van de Rest O, Berendsen AA, et al.
[v] Mercola.com Eating Grains can “Tear holes” in Your Gut
[vi] Front Human Neurosci. 2016 Mar 29: 130. Doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00130. eCollection 2016 Bread and Other Edible Agents of Mental Disease.
About ten percent of the population of the U.S. uses omega 3 fish oil[i] now and it has been
Is there really scientific evidence-clinical studies, showing proven benefits of fish oil?
There are several good studies in process now to ascertain if fish oil really does benefit health.
Fish oil may have the ability to lower blood pressure and to have a blood thinning effect.[iii] It might actually be better to eat fish twice a week than take fish oil as there can be a larger cardiovascular benefit with eating fish itself.
According to a The New York Times article in 2015[iv] , even though fish oil is the third most used supplement after vitamins and minerals, most of the trials show no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Despite over 24 rigorous studies published in top journals (2005-2012), most of which looked at preventing cardiovascular events in high risk populations, only two showed that fish oil had some benefit. Fish oil has been seen to reduce mortality among those with coronary heart disease, a new study suggests!
Worldwide the sale of fish oil has doubled recently-despite little proof..
Theoretically, fish oil should do the body good-omega-3 fatty acids, blood thinning to reduce inflammation and to lower triglycerides. Apparently in the 1970’s, fish oil was branded to be beneficial by research done in Greenland—that it remarkably lowered cardiovascular disease. However the research was flawed. Then when in the 1990’s an Italian study showing heart attack survivors who took fish oil, had a drop in mortality, the American Heart Association endorsed fish oil as a way to have heart patients use omega-3's.
Since then, various research initiatives including a trial examining 12,000 people (published NEJM, 2013) found fish oil did not reduce the death rate from heart attacks and strokes in people with evidence of atherosclerosis. It is thought perhaps that older studies done when there were no statins showed a bigger difference in heart health than those done more recently in the presence of these drugs.
Some say that fish oil studies should take into account healthier people who don’t have high risk of heart disease and that more should be done to study prevention with regard to cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s.
Results of the Vital study will be released next year looking at fish oil and vitamin D and heart disease, diabetes and other diseases in people with low risk for them.
Here is what the very recent literature reports:
More research thankfully is in the pipeline.
We may not have to run out now and buy fish oil. It is recommended to eat at least two servings of smaller non mercury containing fish per week.
Check with your doctor. Be informed. We can choose!Read More
We are committed to providing the most current information for you with regard to everything that says health and well-being! Read, share, take action as you see fit for yourself and your friends and your family! Robin Quivers