Funky, Functional Foods
Written by NutriSearch   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 23:47

Fruit We Are What We Eat

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good for us. But why?

Here is some of the science explaining why our mothers asked us to eat all the peas on our plates and follow Popeye's example by scarfing spinach.

Broccoli Sprouts Found to Boost Body's Ability to Eliminate Cancer-Causing Toxins in Human Study

A human trial conducted in China shows broccoli sprouts can help the body detoxify carcinogens, which may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer. A team from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with scientists at the Qidong Liver Cancer Institute, Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, conducted the study, which is published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

This is the first study to provide direct evidence that broccoli sprouts can enhance the body's detoxifying system to help prevent cancer. Although previous laboratory studies indicated this was true, this is the first time that a direct observation of this effect in humans was possible.

The blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted in Jiangsu Province near Shanghai, a rural area where the incidence of liver cancer is extremely high due to consumption of foods tainted with aflatoxin, a powerful carcinogen produced by mold contaminating the grain that the population grows and eats. The toxin binds to DNA and becomes a chemical indicator, or biomarker, for an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

Plant foods linked to better blood pressure People who fill up on vegetables, whole grains and fruit tend to have healthier blood pressure levels than their more carnivorous peers, according to an international study. The findings, say researchers, bolster recommendations that adults eat more plant-based foods for the sake of their cardiovascular health.

Cruciferous vegetables may protect against lung cancer Protective results were noted for consumption of cabbage and a combination of broccoli and brussels sprouts. These data provide strong evidence for a substantial protective effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on lung cancer.

Polymeal shows benefits of balanced lifestyle Eating key foods—including wine, fish, dark chocolate and garlic—can reduce cardiovascular disease by up to 75 percent. The preventive strategy outlined here is radical. We should recognise that in Western society we all have cardiovascular risk factors, so everyone is at risk, and the diseases they cause are common and often fatal.

Pumpkins Are Popular And May Sprout New Snack Food Research to develop a hull-less pumpkin seed, originally bred in the 1930s, may create a new line of healthy snack foods. The USDA notes: "Tiny pumpkin seeds are cholesterol free and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Seeds are rich in protein and unsaturated oil and contain significant zinc, potassium, and phosphorous."

Scientists Developing Blueberry Burgers Some scientists hope blueberry burgers will be coming to a restaurant, supermarket or school cafeteria near you, according to the Associated Press and Intellihealth.

Fish oils plus statins help protect heart Taking fatty acids commonly found in fish along with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins provides additional protection against heart attacks and other heart risks, according to a large Japanese study.

Preventing Cancer With Food No single food or nutrient will remove the risk of cancer, but following some guidelines can reduce your chances of developing certain types of cancer. (As an added benefit, some of these guidelines also help prevent heart disease, obesity and diabetes.) And for those who already have health problems, making these dietary changes can give you the needed stamina to fight the disease, plus increase your immune response and make treatment more tolerable.

Sweet relief: Guilty pleasure could have health benefits Chocolate is more than a food -- it's often a way straight to someone's heart. That's why great quantities of this most delectable candy will be given as gifts this holiday season and throughout the year. But could this velvety concoction also have a second heartfelt value -- playing a role in a heart-healthy diet? That's a question now gaining currency.

Coffee and Risk of Diabetes After adjusting for potential confounders including age, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol use, and smoking status, Finnish researchers found a significant inverse and graded association between daily coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes during a mean follow-up of 12 years.

Cardiovascular disease—fishing for a natural treatment Omega 3 fatty acids from fish and fish oils can protect against coronary heart disease. This article reviews the evidence regarding fish oils and coronary disease and outlines the mechanisms through which fish oils might confer cardiac benefits

Highly active compound found in coffee may prevent colon cancer Drinking coffee may help prevent colon cancer, according to a group of researchers in Germany. They identified a potent antioxidant compound in the popular brew that appears in animal studies to boost the activity of phase II enzymes, which are thought to protect against colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Soya foods could help reduce cancer of the womb Regular intake of soya foods is associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer (cancer affecting the lining of the womb), finds a study among Chinese women in the British Medical Journal.

Fish oils in heart cells can block dangerous heart rhythms Eating oily fish like salmon, tuna or bluefish at least twice a week can prevent sudden cardiac death because fatty acids in the fish block dangerous irregular heart rhythms, experts say in a review article in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Thanksgiving: Enjoy, But In Moderation His new nutrition book says Americans are making themselves fat and unhealthy by consuming white bread, potatoes, saturated fat and just too darn much food. So what does Walter Willett, M.D., D.P.H., author of "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating," plan to eat for Thanksgiving? Actually, a pretty traditional meal.

New research reveals urinary tract, cardiovascular and cancer benefits of the berry from the bog  Recent studies reveal that cranberries provide eight-hour protection against certain harmful bacteria and significant improvements in biomarkers for many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. The astringent berries protect against Escherichia coli (E. coli), responsible for as much as 95% of urinary tract infections, through unique anti-adhesion properties that prevent the bacteria from adhering to the cells lining the tract.