March 22, 2012
“Some of these foods KT would not agree with like shellfish – but overall, this list is pretty good.” –KTRN
The following is a “healthy food hot list” consisting of the 29 food that will give you the biggest nutritional bang for you caloric buck, as well as decrease your risk for deadly illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Along with each description is a suggestion as to how to incorporate these power-foods into your diet.
The Power: Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients.
The Power: Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger.
The Power: Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries.
The Power: Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene – both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium – almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie.
June 13th, 2011
By: Janice Lloyd
Apples are at the top of the list of produce most contaminated with pesticides in a report published today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public health advocacy group.
Its seventh annual report analyzed government data on 53 fruits and vegetables, identifying which have the most and least pesticides after washing and peeling. For produce found to be highest in pesticides, the group recommends buying organic.
Apples moved up three spots from last year, replacing celery at the top of the most-contaminated list; 92% of apples contained two or more pesticides.
“We think what’s happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life,” says EWG analyst Sonya Lunder. “Pesticides might be in small amounts, but we don’t know what the subtle, long-term effects of many of these pesticides are yet.”
The worst offenders also include strawberries (No. 3) and imported grapes (No. 7). Onions top the “clean” list, found to be lowest in pesticides.
By choosing five servings of fruit and vegetables a day from the clean list, most people can lower the volume of pesticides they consume daily by 92%, the report says.
“Consumers don’t want pesticides on their foods,” says EWG president Ken Cook. “We eat plenty of apples in our house, but we buy organic when we can.”
Rankings reflect the amounts of chemicals present on food when it is eaten. Most samples were washed and peeled before testing. Washing with a “produce wash” is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they’re taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin, the report says.
For shoppers who cannot afford organic food, which often is more expensive, Cook says the lists offer alternatives. Can’t find organic apples? Buy pineapples, the top fruit on the clean list, or avocados or mangoes.
Fewer than 10% of pineapple, mango and avocado samples showed pesticides. For vegetables, asparagus, corn and onions had no detectable residue on 90% or more of samples.
Pesticides are known to be toxic to the nervous system, cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause brain damage in children. Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods containing pesticides.
A study by Harvard School of Public Health found children exposed to pesticides had a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Lunder says pesticides were measured in six different ways to calculate overall scores:
•Percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides.
•Percentage of samples with two or more pesticides.
•Average number of pesticides found on a single sample.
•Average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found.
•Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.
•Total number of pesticides found on the commodity.
Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables from the “dirty dozen” list would mean you’d get an average of 14 different pesticides. By choosing five from the clean list, you’d consumer fewer than two pesticides.
“With the increased emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables, we need to be vigilant about the food we’re producing and serving,” Lunder says.
December 27th, 2010
By: Jonathan Benson
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlights the importance of getting plenty of the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients during pregnancy. The study showed that Indian women who supplemented with prenatal iron, folic acid and vitamin A produced children who were smarter and had better motor skills than children from mothers who did not supplement.
“Micronutrient inadequacy is a critical concern among pregnant women and young children throughout the world,” explained Parul Christian, Dr.P.H., from Johns Hopkins University, and his colleagues in their study paper. “Gestation and the early postnatal period are considered sensitive periods for brain development, and nutritional deprivation during this period may lead to functional impairments.”
Researchers evaluated 676 children between 7-9 years of age who had been born to various women given either folic acid and iron; folic acid, iron and zinc; folic acid, iron, zinc and 11 other micronutrients; or placebo. The team found that iron and folic acid in particular improved intellectual capacity, executive function, motor function and fine motor control.
Iron deficiency in particular is associated with negative alterations in cognitive development, which can lead to decreased intellectual capacity and under-developed motor skills. Additionally, women who do not get enough folic acid during pregnancy have a much higher risk of bearing a child with birth defects.
Foods naturally rich in iron include string beans, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, chard and other leafy greens. These same greens also contain high levels of natural folate, as do beans, peas, asparagus, avocados, strawberries and oranges. And zinc-rich foods include oysters, certain meats, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and green peas.
June 22, 2009
UK Daily Mail
Arthritis is the term used for nearly 200 painful conditions of the joints and bones. It affects about 7million people in the UK and all types have similar symptoms of swelling, inflammation of joints, stiffness and restriction of movement.
The good news is that many cases of arthritis can be relieved, postponed or even prevented by good joint care.
Research shows a definite link between the food you eat and the severity of your symptoms. Like your heart, your joints thrive best on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to eat at least five (and preferably eight or more) servings a day.
Fruit and vegetables provide an array of antioxidants that reduce the rate at which cartilage breaks down, helping to slow the process of osteoarthritis. Antioxidants can also reduce inflammation and help combat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout.
Apples and avocados are anti-inflammatory superfoods. Don’t peel your apples – the skin contains five times more antioxidants than the flesh. Oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids that oil the joints and damp down inflammation.
Research shows that omega-3 can reduce the long-term need for painkillers in those with joint problems. You should aim to eat oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herrings and mackerel two to four times a week. You can also take an omega-3 fish oil supplement.
Drink plenty of fluids – approximately three to five pints (two to three litres) – a day to maintain good hydration and a steady flow of nutrients to your joints. Choose from water, soups, tea and juices.
You may find your symptoms are triggered by particular foods. Culprit foods vary, so it’s important to keep a food-and-symptom diary to help pinpoint the foods that irritate. This is not always easy, as symptoms can worsen up to 36 hours after eating a trigger food.
The foods most commonly found to worsen arthritis are wheat, corn, rye, sugar, caffeine, yeast, malt, dairy products, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes. Meats most likely to provoke symptoms are bacon, pork, beef and lamb.
A number of foods may trigger joint pain in those with arthritis. Research shows that when these are avoided, about 70 per cent of sufferers report less pain and improved mobility.
Some are particularly sensitive to foods from the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Commonly eaten nightshade foods include potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, sweet peppers, paprika, cayenne and all other types of pepper (except black pepper).
Try to minimise your intake of vegetable oils rich in omega-6, such as sunflower oil, because these promote inflammation. Switch to olive oil for cooking, and macadamia nut oil or walnut oil for salad dressings.
Studies have also shown an association between the amount of meat and offal consumed and arthritis.
Eating a vegan (no animal products) diet can reduce the number of tender and swollen joints.
Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain in your knees and hips, whatever form of arthritis you have. When you walk, the load on your knees increases by four times your body weight. This means that if you are 10lb (4.5kg) overweight, the load on your leg joints is up to 40lb (18kg) more than if you were at a healthy weight.
Studies show that weight loss can at least halve the level of pain experienced by those with arthritis affecting their lower limbs – this is a better result than standard drug treatments.
The foods below have a natural anti-inflammatory action that’s particularly beneficial for those with arthritis – however, some (such as chilli peppers) may trigger an idiosyncratic reaction in some sufferers:
Apples: Contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Red Delicious apples contain the most. The antioxidants are five times more concentrated in the apple’s skin than the flesh.
Avocados: Contain antioxidant monounsaturated oils, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. Promote cartilage repair in osteoarthritis.
Chillies: Contain capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin which block transmission of pain messages. They also trigger endorphins - the brain’s own morphine-like painkillers.
Dark green leafy vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, cabbage and parsley, for example, supply antioxidants, Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.
Macadamia nuts: The richest source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Also contain Vitamin E and selenium.
Oily fish: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Red wine: A good source of antioxidant polyphenols which reduce inflammation.
Walnuts: A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some research shows that eating them daily can help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis