Many foods you eat have more than the amount of salt needed already in them, but researchers have proven that small amounts of sodium are good for a healthy diet. Sodium can help muscles contract and relax, balance your bodies fluids and can aid in the process of transmitting nerve impulses. Certain types of food hold more sodium than others and can harm your blood pressure, kidney functions and even lead to diabetes. More here
Nopales, or prickly pear cactus is being regarded as a superfood when considering the health qualities it can bring to one’s diet. This fruit is a high source of fiber, carotenoids and antioxidants while being known for treating high cholesterol and obesity. Nopales also contain anti-inflammatory properties and aid in treating diabetes. Evidence shows that nopales can significantly lower high blood-sugar rates in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. More here
An Emory University expert claims that most older adults overuse daily vitamins and supplements. Making simple diet improvements can help obtain needed nutrients, although it may be difficult for older adults with reduced appetite to receive their required amount of nutrition by diet alone. According to Donald B. McCormick, PHD, an Emory professor emeritus of biochemistry and the graduate program in nutrition and health sciences at Emory says “A lot of money is wasted in providing unnecessary supplements to millions of people who do not need them.” more here.
A study published on the British Medical Journal’s website found that eating at least two portions of fish a week led to a significant reduction in risk of stroke or mini-stroke. According to the research, oily fish like mackerel and sardines led to the most benefit, though any fish was better than none at all. In fact, two servings of any fish per week led to a 4.0 percent reduced risk of stroke, while two to four servings was associated with a 6.0 percent reduction and participants who ate five or more servings saw their risk lowered by 12 percent. The authors of the study said there are a number of reasons eating fish could be beneficial to vascular health, including interaction of nutrients, reduced intake of red meat, and a generally healthier diet. More here.
A study from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute has found that a combination of daily exercise and a daily dose of melatonin can help regulate circadian rhythm and protect against brain deterioration in mice. The research studied the effects of exercise and melatonin on a group of mice in the earliest phases of Alzheimer’s disease and found those receiving treatment showed signs of significant regression in the disease. Researcher Coral Sanfeliu said it’s been known for years that combinations of anti-aging therapies such as physical exercise, a Mediterranean diet, and not smoking add years to one’s life. According to Sanfeliu, melatonin also appears to have important anti-aging effects. More here.
New research from Dartmouth University and the University of Warwick found that a person’s happiness rose with the number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables they consumed. The study, which examined the diets of 80,000 people in England, found that happiness peaked at seven servings per day. Sarah Stewart-Brown, a professor of public health, said that the results were surprising since diet has typically been neglected when studying well being. The new research adds to recent studies recommending more than the familiar five servings per day. The study defined a serving as 80 grams or 2.8 ounces. More here.
A patient’s beliefs about treatment options and the cause of a disease can influence their willingness to follow a prescribed medication regimen, according to a study by Todd Ruppar of the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. Ruppar’s research focused on older patients being treated for high blood pressure, which affects nearly 70 million Americans. According to Ruppar, patients often have underlying beliefs about the causes of high blood pressure and how it can be treated, which lead them to underuse their medication. If a patient, for example, believes they can effectively control their blood pressure through diet and exercise they are less likely to faithfully follow their prescribed medication regimen. Ruppar believes practitioners should encourage more frequent monitoring of blood pressure levels to help patients associate taking their pills with health benefits. More here.
Foods such as broccoli and blueberries contain high levels of polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of the high concentration of polyphenols, these fruits and vegetables are often referred to as super foods and recommended as a part of a healthy diet. But, according to a new report,the health benefits of these foods may be overstated. Dr. Lucy Jones, deputy dean of Kingston University’s faculty of science, engineering, and computing, said polyphenols may work well when cells are directly exposed to them in a laboratory but their effectiveness when consumed as part of a food needs to be established. The study tested these compounds to see if they were able to pass through the stomach’s membrane or if the polyphenols have an effect in the stomach itself but don’t pass on to the rest of the body. More here.
According to a recent study from the University of Iowa, the ursolic acid found in apple peels may help fight obesity and the health problems associated with it, such as diabetes. The study found ursolic acid increased muscle mass, strength, and brown-fat levels in mice. Muscle and brown fat are both known for their role in calorie burning. Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., said the research tested ursolic acid on mice eating a high-fat diet and found that the acid increased skeletal muscle and reduced obesity, pre-diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Researchers theorized that the increased muscle and brown-fat levels helped build strength and burn calories in the mice receiving the supplement. More here.
An Australian study says a person’s personality has a role in determining their lifestyle. People who believed their actions determined their fate were more likely to eat a healthier diet, exercise regularly, and avoid binge drinking and smoking. On the other hand, those who put their faith in luck were more prone to unhealthy lifestyles. The research examined data on the diet, exercise, and personality type of more than 7,000 people. Deborah Cobb-Clark, director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said their study shows a direct link between personality type and a healthy lifestyle. More here.