Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: Conditions and Diseases

Fish Roe is Best Source of Omega-3

Fish roe best source of omega-3

Fish roe best source of omega-3

Did you know? A tablespoon of caviar has as much omega-3 fat as a 1,000 mg of fish oil?

But before you go rushing out and spending all your hard earned cash on this pricy delicacy, it is worth remembering the cheaper lump fish versions work just as well.

The roe from hake, lumpfish and salmon contains the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids according to research published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology.

The study found minimal consumption of lumpfish, hake or salmon roe provides the body’s daily requirements for omega-3 due to their high levels of EPA and HDA.

A lack of omega-3 has been linked to cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, diabetes and inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s.

Lumpfish is a great topping for  salads, sandwiches or a baked potato.

Carrots may help prevent cancer

carrots may help prevent cancer

Carrots really may help to prevent cancer

EVERY year in the UK around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 10,000 die of the disease. But the good news is that humble carrots may help prevent cancer. 

Studies by Professor Norman Maitland at the University of York have found a diet rich in vitamin A could be key in beating the disease by making it more treatable. The researchers discovered that carrots may help prevent cancer because they contain retinoic acid, a chemical made from Vitamin A which is found in foods including carrots, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables, and can reduce the ability of the cancer to invade surrounding tissue.

Prof Maitland said: “If the cancer is confined to the prostate it’s much more treatable with conventional medicine. This is about prevention rather than cure, but it can stop the spread of cancer. It has been known for many years that low vitamin A in samples of men’s blood is associated with prostate cancer, but nobody knew the mechanisms involved. This is an exciting new development which links an element from our diet to prostate cancer stem cells. Carrots may help prevent cancer.”

Raw carrots and carrot juice have been used in complementary medicine as a ‘cure’ for cancer for quite while now. So, maybe there is now some scientific evidence behind this alternative practice after all. Carrots contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant and pre-cursor used to make vitamin A in your body, along with carotenoid derivates such as zeaxanthin and lutein. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and falcarinol, may help prevent cancer by stopping damage to the healthy cells in your body.

Falcarinol is a natural substance found in raw carrots, which according to research, can significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that falcarinol slows the growth of cancer cells, making it less likely to invade the body. Laboratory rats fed a diet of raw carrots or isolated falcarinol were a third less likely to develop full-scale, chemically-induced tumors than those in the control group.

A study by researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England and Denmark and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found falcarinol, a natural pesticide that protects the roots of carrots from fungal disease, reduced cancer risk. The researchers found that it actually had a more powerful effect than beta carotene. So, yes, eating carrots may help prevent cancer.

Source: www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/10357737.University_of_York_scientists_in_prostate_cancer_treatment_breakthrough/

Soft drinks raise diabetes risk

FizzyRESEARCHERS from Stanford University, the University of California-Berkley and the University of California-San Francisco have found evidence that even one can of a sugary drink a day is one too many.

According to a recent report published in the journal PLoS One, scientists have found sugar-based calories, such as those found in fizzy drinks, are much more likely to cause Type 2 diabetes than the same number of calories from any other source. The incidences of diabetes in trial candidates rose by one per cent for each additional 150 calories of sugar per person per day.

On the other hand, an additional 150 calories from other source caused only a 0.1 per cent increase in the population’s diabetes rate. Yet again, sugar has been identified as a major culprit in Type 2 diabetes and that sugar-based calories, such as those found in fizzy drinks, are much more likely to cause diabetes than calories from other sources. Diabetes rates dropped over time when sugar availability dropped, independent of changes to consumption of other calories and physical activity or obesity rates.

The findings support those from previous trials that suggest sugar affects the liver and pancreas in ways that other types of foods or obesity doesn’t.

So what should you drink? Well, green tea is a great option. It’s a wonderful source of catechins, the healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost the immune system. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of green tea for an immune boosting wake-up.

Cranberry juice is another great choice. Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C but also contain a substance that helps prevent the build up of bacteria on bladder walls. This can help prevent urinary tract infections. Go for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted blueberry juice is a great choice too.

The antioxidants found in red wine have been linked to heart benefits, reduced stress and may even help preserve your memory – as long as you don’t drink too much of it! Try and limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. But, if you don’t drink, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to get lots of antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

Pure, filtered water is a great option during the day. Staying well hydrated is essential for optimal health and general body functioning. Just sip water throughout the day, and as the weather gets warmer, make sure you drink enough before and after exercising to avoid dehydration.

Source: www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0057873

Vitamin D and the obesity epidemic

THIS week I am going to write about the importance of vitamin D. Yes, yes, again, I know! But this time because it affects obesity.  As you are probably aware, the Western world is seeing an increase in obesity of epidemic proportion.  In May 2011 David Cameron stated that obesity already costs the NHS a staggering £4 billion a year, a figure expected to rise to £6.3 billion by 2015. However, within four years, that figure is expected to rise to £6.3 billion.

These figures include the cost of treating the spiralling number of people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, many cancers and osteoarthritis.  The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is around 20–80 times more likely for people who are obese compared with lean people. Coronary heart disease (which itself is slightly more common among obese people) is two to three times more common among diabetic men and five times more common among diabetic women.

Could vitamin D deficiency cause obesity?

Let’s take a look at what researchers have found about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and obesity.  A study published in the Journal Medical Hypotheses, entitled ‘Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of common obesity’ suggests that when the body perceives a drop in vitamin D levels, it assumes that the sun (our main source of vitamin D through the action of sunlight on the skin) has gone in and winter has arrived.  To prepare the body for the scarcities of this season, it adopts a winter metabolism by storing fat and therefore increasing body size. Other physiological changes could include an increase in blood pressure and insulin resistance – both perfectly normal bodily responses to ensure protection against cold and lack, but deadly in a time of warmth and plenty.  Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes and a study from Drexel University found that there is an increased risk of diabetes for the vitamin D deficient obese.

Now, clearly not everyone suffers from this kind of ‘winter response’ but if you think you do, I would really recommend that you have your vitamin D levels tested.  This is a simple blood test that Dr. Ruth Hillelson can do for you.

Don’t stop for a cappuccino

Don’t stop for a cappuccino just because you went to the gym.  People tend to overestimate the amount of calories they burn during physical activity and underestimate the calories in most foods!  It can take 45 minutes to burn off a cappuccino and will undo all the good you did in the gym!

Sources: 

Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of common obesity. Medical Hypotheses [2009, 72(3):314-321]

Foresight: Tackling Obesities: Future Choices – Modelling Future Trends in Obesity & Their Impact on Health. www.bis.gov.uk/assets/foresight/docs/obesity/14.pdf

Drexel University. Increased Risk For Diabetes When Obesity And Low Vitamin D Are Present. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 19 Jul. 2012. Web.

Protect yourself against Alzheimer’s

SCIENTISTS can detect signs of Alzheimer’s decades before any symptoms show according to the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute.

Avoid Alzheimer's Disease 2

Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease 2 (Photo credit: AlzheimerHelp)

A team at the institute in Arizona studied brain scans of 20 people. The subjects were all members of a Columbian family who have a genetic mutation that means they tend to get Alzheimer’s in their 40s (the usual onset is age 75+).

The researchers found that differences could be detected more than 20 years before symptoms would appear, so identifying high-risk patients and allowing for earlier treatment.

Signs of dementia only appear when sufficient brain cells have died, maybe up to 20%. At that point it may be too late for treatment.

Early diagnosis and treatment should help prevent damage to memory and thinking – if drugs can be found.

Source: The Lancet

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(12)70228-4/abstract

To keep your brain healthy, it’s important to eat omega-3 oils two or three times a week.

They’re found in oily fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and anchovies), nuts and seeds, and of course omega-3 supplements. Note that baked or steamed fish is better than fried.

You can also increase cognitive performance through regular exercise, as it improves blood flow to the brain and so helps retain mental agility and avoid memory loss. Simply going for a brisk walk every day will help protect you as you age.

Antioxidants including vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables are thought to help relax arteries and improve blood flow.

So there you go – three practical ways to help preserve your memory.

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