March 24, 2018

Health roundup - Food edition

A gluten free diet may nearly eliminate nerve pain for 20 million people, study finds

UK researchers found  people who consumed a strict gluten-free diet were 89 percent less likely to experience the painful symptoms of neuropathy.  The condition is caused by damage to part of the sensory nervous system.  It causes weakness, numbness and pain, typically in the hands or feet.

Beetroots could help in the fight against Alzheimer's  new research suggests.

Betanin, which is a compound that gives the vegetable its distinctive red color, may slow the accumulation of protein plaque tangles, which are associated with the condition, in the brain.

 Beetroot

Study author Dr Li-June Ming, from the University of South Florida, said: 'Our data suggest that betanin, a compound in beet extract, shows some promise as an inhibitor of certain chemical reactions in the brain that are involved in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.  'This is just a first step, but we hope that our findings will encourage other scientists to look for structures similar to betanin that could be used to synthesize drugs that could make life a bit easier for those who suffer from this disease.'

Study author Darrell Cole Cerrato said: 'We can't say that betanin stops the misfolding completely, but we can say that it reduces oxidation.'Less oxidation could prevent misfolding to a certain degree, perhaps even to the point that it slows the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptides, which is believed to be the ultimate cause of Alzheimer's.'

How To Feed Yourself When You're Really Depressed

Fiber is more powerful than we thought:

Scientists find whole grains could be pivotal to controlling blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.  Nutritionists have spent decades extolling the virtues of leafy greens and grains. New research by Rutgers University has found fiber plays a far more active role than ever recorded. They showed it nurtures the gut bacteria that control blood sugars and fats.

From Faces in Things @FacesPics

 2 Faces Pepper

Snacking on nuts and seeds could almost HALF your risk of premature death by transforming heart health.  Researchers in Finland tracked the health and diet of 2,500 men for 22 years

Turns Out Coffee Acts on Your Brain Like Cannabis, But in Reverse

[T]he compounds in our daily cup of joe change more metabolites in our blood than previously known.  The resulting profile revealed 115 metabolites were impacted by the consumption of coffee. A total of 82 of those chemicals were already known, and could be mapped to 33 metabolic pathways, a number of which were completely new relationships. The exact consequences of these changes weren't explored, but what is apparent is that we really should be paying attention

Vitamin K is essential for health, but studies show people are often deficient in it

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is good for blood clotting and contributes to a healthy heart, bones and immune system.
There are two different forms: Vitamin K1, found predominantly in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and vitamin K2 found in meat, eggs, dairy and fermented foods such as natto (fermented soya beans) sauerkraut and some fermented cheeses and yoghurts. The main role of vitamin K1 is to ensure adequate blood clotting.....Vitamin K2 ensures calcium is directed into the correct areas within the body. Vitamin K2 activates proteins that help move calcium into the bones which is essential for bone strength, density and circulatory health through the regulation of calcium. It keeps calcium moving through the body and assists in the depositing of calcium into bone mass rather than into the arteries which can cause hardening.

Adding cheap lentils to meals could combat high blood pressure, trial reveals

High blood pressure? Potassium could help.
Since new guidelines have lowered the definition of hypertension to a blood pressure of 130/80 instead of 140/90, more of us will have to worry about high blood pressure.  But potassium could help.

Why potassium? Sodium seems to get all the attention, but sodium and potassium work closely together and potassium is just as important. In a process known as the sodium potassium pump, the body moves sodium out of the cell and potassium into the cell. This “pump,” the moving back and forth of these two electrolytes, is an essential part of how our cells function. It plays a critical role in nerve conduction, fluid, acid and base balance, and energy production.

Adequate intake for potassium is 4700 mg per day, but less than 2 percent of Americans achieve that, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. On the other hand, it’s estimated that 90.7 percent are eating more than 2300 mg of sodium per day, which is the Institute of Medicine’s tolerable upper limit level.

Foods rich in potassium

  • Avocado
  • Winter squash such as acorn squash or butternut squash
  • Greens such as spinach and Swiss chard
  • Potatoes with the skin such as yams and Idaho potatoes
  • Fish such as salmon and sardines
  • Dried fruits such as apricots and prunes
  • Beverages such as coconut water and carrot juice
  • Legumes such as white beans, lima beans and black beans
  • Fruits such as banana and grapefruit
  • Vegetables such as beets and broccoli
Posted by Jill Fallon at March 24, 2018 10:51 AM | Permalink