Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are Nutritional Supplements Killing You?

I imagine a lot of people read this article on Yahoo! And thought “Should I quit taking supplements? Is he crazy?!” What is not stated is the publishing date of the “study from the Archives of Internal Medicine. Maybe it was published in 1922. There is no doubt that the vitamin and supplement business is in the tens of billions of annual sales. But there is a doubt as to what good supplements do for people. When the vast majority of supplements sold in store fronts and some through direct sales are food grade and do not have any guarantees as to their potency, purity, bio-availability or dissolution there is certainly reason to believe that studies can conclude supplements as a whole either don’t do a person any good or are actually harmful.

Anyway, make up your own mind…here is the article:

Should You Quit Taking Vitamins?
By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men's Health, 24 Oct 2011

I'm a big fan of vitamins. And judging by the size of the vitamin and supplement industry—$20 billion in annual sales, a quarter of that in multivitamins—so are you. Pop one pill and you get a day’s worth of nutrients. What’s not to love?

Well, there is this: A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that taking multivitamins and other supplements may actually shorten your life. Uh-oh.

Researchers in the study collected information from nearly 40,000 women (but say the findings apply to men too) several times over 22 years. They asked about all sorts of health issues, including vitamin and supplement use. After reconciling this data with health and death records, researchers identified seven supplements that actually seem to hasten death: vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and your innocent-looking multivitamin. The increase in mortality rate ranged from 2.2 percent (multivitamins) to a whopping 18 percent (copper).

All of which begs the question: Should you quit taking your vitamins? Well, I’m not going to quit—and you shouldn’t either. Here’s why:

MyAchingKnees comment: I’m not going to quit taking supplements either. But I know the quality of the nutrients I take. Do you?

1. The Study Was Observational.

This means that researchers followed a group of people over time, but didn’t test the supplement group against a placebo group. Although researchers did carefully control for factors such as age, diabetes, physical activity, high blood pressure, and a few dietary habits, even they say the findings should be interpreted with caution. There may be factors they didn’t account for that skewed the results, admits lead author Jaakko Mursu, Ph.D., of the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Minnesota.

2. The Study Followed a Group of Older Women.

Average age: 62. That’s not quite a representative sample of the population. Plus, it’s been well established that iron supplements increase the risk of heart disease in post-menopausal women (which is why there’s no iron in Centrum Silver and other multi’s formulated for older adults). And copper—which can be toxic in large amounts—is prevalent in many natural foods, such as vegetables and nuts, so few people need large doses of supplementation.

MyAchingKnees comment: Centrum Silver? Does anyone really take that? Iron, at least in several tableted forms, interferes with the absorption of other nutrients. Hence the need to get the majority of what you need via foods.

3. People Who Take Vitamins Generally Make Poorer Health Choices.

A study in Psychological Science earlier this year found that the perceived benefits of multivitamins may cause many people to cheat on their diets and workout routines. “Taking dietary supplements increases perceived invulnerability,” Wen-Bin Chiou, Ph.D., a professor at National Sun Yat-Sen University and author of the study, told Men's Health. In other words: It’s not the vitamins that are harmful; it’s the life choices people make while taking vitamins. So, you know, don’t do that.

MyAchingKnees comment: Well, you are partially right. Supplements are necessary since you cannot get the amount of nutrients you need for optimal health with today’s food supply,…..and you must make lifestyle changes such as avoiding the bad foods and consuming the better foods; avoiding toxins that are so prevalent in today’s environment; and, get some type of physical exercise.

4. Scores of Studies Have Found Benefits to Certain Vitamins and Supplements.

“In my mind, there's no question that low levels of vitamin D are associated with heart disease and many other issues including obesity and type 2 diabetes. I recommend it routinely and have for years,” says Robert Tozzi, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology at the Hackensack University Medical Center . While your body produces vitamin D from sun exposure—and you consume it in certain foods—roughly one-third of Americans don’t have sufficient levels. (Mursu’s study found that vitamin D supplementation had no effect on total mortality.)

The American Heart Association recommends eating three servings of omega 3–rich fish per week, but how many of us meet that lofty goal? That’s why many experts recommend supplements. Studies show that men with the highest omega-3 levels, whether it's from natural sources or supplements, have the lowest risk of dying of heart disease. In fact, when researchers in Italy gave 2,800 heart-attack survivors 1 g fish oil a day, they found that the supplement reduced their risk of dying of heart disease by 30 percent and of sudden cardiac death by 45 percent, compared with those who didn't supplement their diets. That's pretty compelling evidence.

MyAchingKnees comment: Absolutely Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a hidden secret. The benefits are robust, carrying over not just for cardiac health, as a cholesterol fighter, but for joint health and brain energy and connectivity as well. Just be aware that low quality Omega 3 supplements are reported to have the highest levels of toxins such as PCB's, Dioxins and Mercury.  Before I took any off the shelf, food grade Omega 3 supplement, I would use whole foods high in Omega 3's, such as quality Olive Oil, flax seed and meal, and almonds.  

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healthy Drinks

I found this article on concerning healthy drinks. Go read the original article here.

The article starts off by stating "Say So Long to Soda", which is great advice as soda pop, diet or otherwise, especially with the artificial sweetener Aspartame, is a terrible product to consume.

Fitness Magazine offer's the tip to drink plain water or sparkling water with lemon instead of soda. However most people want some type of actual flavor rather than drinking something that tastes like you emptied it out of a clothes iron. So Fitness Magazine also offers these recommendations:

Green Tea

The Benefit: Helps reduce risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and cavities. Green tea contains a rich concentration of flavonoids and polyphenols, natural antioxidants that may protect cells from carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and inhibit tumor growth by helping to neutralize free radicals in the body. The tea's antioxidants may also guard against heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, inhibiting the formation of blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes. Green tea also contains fluoride, which strengthens teeth; the flavonoids may build up bones as well, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and tooth decay. Calories: 0

Mint Tea

The Benefit: Eases cramps and helps ward off indigestion. "Mint is an antispasmodic, so it can relax muscles, which combats stiffness and aches," says Susan Lark, MD, author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books, 1999). It also aids in digestion by promoting the movement of food through the digestive tract. Calories: 0

One Percent Reduced-Fat Milk

The Benefit: Curbs cravings and helps protect against osteoporosis. Because it has the components of a healthy meal -- carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat -- you absorb it slowly and stay full longer, says Molly Pelzer, RD, a nutrition educator in Tipton, Iowa. It also stabilizes blood sugar, so you're less susceptible to cravings. Milk is the ideal source of calcium, because it contains vitamin D, which is needed for maximum calcium absorption. It may also help your body stop storing fat. In a recent study, women who consumed three to four servings of low-fat dairy foods (milk being one) lost nearly twice as much weight as those who took in lower amounts. "The calcium causes your body's cells to burn the fat instead of holding on to it," says Pelzer. "This makes it easier to reach and maintain your goal
weight." Calories: 120 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: I buy whole milk and cut it to a 1:1 ratio with cold tap water. Tastes good and makes my bucks go a greater distance. Also use this same mix for my low-glycemic meal replacement drinks every morning.

Soy Milk

The Benefit: Lowers risk of heart disease. Soy milk contains soluble fiber and soy protein, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you're drinking it instead of cow's milk, buy soy milk fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D. One caveat: Soy contains phytoestrogens, which may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Talk to
your doctor about drinking soy milk if you have a family history of the disease or have had it yourself. Calories: 81 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Sure, drink Soy milk if you can stand the taste. I'd rather drink warm ketchup juice.

Hot Chocolate

The Benefit: Improves mood and may help protect against heart disease. Chocolate increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood. (Low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression.) Cocoa is also rich in polyphenols, plant-derived antioxidants that may protect cells against oxidative damage that can lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels, possibly putting you at higher risk for a heart attack. Calories: 195 for 8 ounces homemade cocoa; 115 for a powdered mix.

MyAchingKnees Comment: My choice over Hot Chocolate? Black Coffee.

Low-Sodium Tomato Juice

The Benefit: May protect against numerous cancers. Processed tomato products are the richest source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been associated with a reduced risk of lung and stomach cancer, as well as pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers. Lycopene also appears to protect the lungs and heart against oxidative damage, helping to ward off cardiovascular disease. Calories: 31 for 6 ounces.

Cranberry Juice

The Benefit: Helps prevent gum disease. Research suggests that the same antibacterial properties present in cranberry juice that fight off urinary tract infections may also protect against periodontal disease. Experts theorize that a component of the juice called nondialysable material (NDM) inhibits bacteria from sticking to the gums. Many nutritionists are wary of fruit juices because of their sugar content, so limit your intake to no more than one glass (6 to 8 ounces) daily. "Make sure the label says 100 percent juice, not 'juice drink' or 'cocktail,'" suggests Heidi Reichenberger, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. You can find this type of juice in health-food stores and some supermarkets. Calories: 140 for 8 ounces.

Orange Juice

The Benefit: May ward off cataracts, cancers, and birth defects and boost immunity. An excellent source of vitamin C, orange juice is also a potent antioxidant that may protect against a variety of diseases including cataracts (a clouding of the eye's lens that can lead to blindness) and lung cancer. Vitamin C may prevent oxidative damage that can cause cells to become cancerous, and it improves immune-cell functioning, enabling your body to fight off infections more efficiently. And it's a good source of folate, which protects against neural-tube defects in fetuses. To get the extra benefit of bone protection, try some calcium-fortified orange juice. Calories: 115 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Make sure you buy the "not from concentrate". I drink the brand called "Simply Orange" and in fact I use all their juice products - "not from concentrate". Vitamin C is also a nutrient thought to be significant for joint health, particularly connective tissue health. Vitamin C is one of the ingredients in the Glucosamine based product I take.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

More Nutritional Rating Systems?

From the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, this report was initially printed in several daily newspapers under the heading "Food Labels Need Energy Star Type Ratings" but the whole report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is available here.

Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake a study with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), with additional support provided by the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The task was split into two phases. A first report analyzed the nutrition rating systems and the scientific research that underlies them and was released in 2010. This second report delves into consumer use and understanding of front of package systems.

A variety of nutrition rating systems and symbols are now on the front of food packages—meant to make it easier for consumers to make healthful choices. However, the number and variety of nutrition rating systems in grocery stores today often lead to confusion in the grocery aisle, especially when consumers are pressed for time and may not understand a product rating system.

The report concludes that it is time for a move away from front-of-package (FOP) systems that mostly provide nutrition information on foods or beverages but don’t give clear guidance about their healthfulness, and toward one that encourages healthier choices through simplicity, visual clarity, and the ability to convey meaning without written information.

The report recommends that the Food and Drug Administration develop, test, and implement a single, standard FOP symbol system to appear on all food and beverage products, in place of other systems already in use. The symbol system should show calories in household servings on all products. Foods and beverages should be evaluated using a point system for saturated and trans fats and sodium, and added sugars. The more points a food or beverage has, the healthier it is. This system would encourage food and beverage producers to develop healthier fare and consumers to quickly and easily find healthier products when they shop.

Federal agencies should develop a new nutrition rating system with symbols to display on the front of food and beverage packaging that graphically convey calorie counts by serving size and a "point" value showing whether the saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars in the products are below threshold levels. This new front-of-package system should apply to all foods and beverages and replace any other symbols currently being used on the front of packaging, added the committee that wrote the report.

The report envisions a rating system in which foods and beverages earn points if their amounts of nutrients of concern -- saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars -- are at or below levels considered acceptable based on qualifying criteria. The more points a food or beverage has, the healthier it is. A product could earn up to three points, one each for having sodium and added sugars that do not exceed threshold amounts and one for having saturated and trans fats below designated levels. For example, 100 percent whole wheat bread could qualify for all three points while graham crackers could earn two points for having levels of sodium and saturated and trans fats below the thresholds. Points would be graphically displayed on packaging as check marks, stars, or some other icon to be determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Question of Food Grade v Pharmaceutical Grade

I received an e-mail from Ray, who asked: "What is the difference between what you call food grade and pharmaceutical grade? Do I have to get a prescription?"

MyAchingKnees response: Short answer - No.  Food Grade products are manufactured where there is no requirement to be accurate on the label. What it says on the label is not necessarily what is in the bottle. There is no guarantee for purity (lack of toxins), potency or dissolution. It is literally crazy what companies can put on the label as opposed to what's in the bottle. pharmaceutical-grade standard would meet FDA standards of pharmaceutical grade products just like the prescriptions that an M.D. would write for you, but fortunately there are nutritional products that are pharmaceutical grade that do not require an expensive Doctor's visit. Heck, most Doctor's couldn't tell what are good nutritional supplements or not,...unless they looked in the Physicians Desk Reference,.....and would probably tell you just to buy Centrum from Walgreen's.

But the lack of enforcement on label claims for food grade products extends past nutritional supplements,....all foods are affected. I found this article on concerning store bought honey.

Shock finding: More than 75 percent of all 'honey' sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all from, November 9, 2011.

Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say "honey" on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation's leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University , evaluated more than 60 products labeled as "honey" that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia .

Bryant found that 76 percent of "honey" samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were "honey" samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald's and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.

The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less "honey" brands can be accessed here:

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China , and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Most conventional honey products have been illegally ultra-filtered to hide their true nature. According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional "honey" products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate "honey" from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Omega 3 - Where Art Thou?

I received a question from a reader, Jack in Oregon, asked: "Can you explain why you think Omega 3 oils are beneficial for your joints? I use Flax Seed oil in my food and think it's a good thing and can't find anything that shows to take Omega 3 for joint pain."

MyAchingKnees reply: Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in Flax Seed Meal and Oil. It's great for a person to use with their foods, if they are getting a whole source. I buy Flax Seed and use a coffee grinder to grind up and use in Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast or Lunch most of the time.

There are many sources that claim not only the joint pain reduction benefits of adding a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to your diet, but link Omega 3 to other degenerative disease fighting benefits and energy transfer between cells especially in cognitive functions.

I don't think Omega 3's are the end all to nutritional supplements, but I think they are an essential optimizers to a balanced daily nutritional supplement. I think there is truck loads of information that you bring a person to believe that there are amazing changes in your health that can be brought about from taking a quality (read pharmaceutical grade) nutritional supplement and optimizers, especially combining that eating good foods and avoiding bad foods, getting physical exercise and avoiding a toxic lifestyle. I am convinced of that and will be taking the supplements I do for the rest of my life, including the Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Glucosamine, which I attribute to not only reducing, but eliminating my knee pain.

Below is a recent article (you have to do your diligence to find these articles) on Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the link to slowing arthritis and osteoarthritis both degenerative diseases and causes of sometimes unrelenting joint pain. The article from Natural News can be found here.

Omega-3 fats from fish oil and supplements prevent and slow arthritis progression

Humans have been consuming omega-3 fats from natural fish, nut and seed sources for countless generations. Our core genetic structure depends on a regular supply of the long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to form cell wall structures and perform millions of metabolic functions that we normally associate with vibrant health. Imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats cause a surge in inflammatory cytokines that can lead to the painful and debilitating condition known as osteoarthritis.

New research published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage has shown for the first time that omega-3 fats supplied by fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as we age.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in England tested the effect of omega-3 fats on a breed of guinea pigs that are genetically predisposed to develop arthritis. Guinea pigs were chosen for this study as they develop osteoarthritis in a similar manner to humans. Anecdotal reports over the years provide support for the beneficial effect of fish consumption on joint health. Dr. John Tarlton from the Matrix Biology Research Group and his team set out to confirm the impact of omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, in preventing or slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis.

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation Slashes Osteoarthritis Disease Progression by Half

The team fed one group of guinea pigs a diet including full-spectrum omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) and compared the results to a second control group of non-supplemented animals. Typical degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties were both reduced in the omega-3 supplemented group. Researchers noted that omega-3 fats reduced disease by
50 per cent compared to the control group.

Upon examination of the results, Dr. Tarlton explained: "there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis." This is a critical finding, as most people suffering from arthritis are prescribed a plethora of ineffective pain medications that
dramatically increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or of suffering a heart attack.

Omega fat imbalance from a poor diet causes excessive joint inflammation and needless suffering. Researchers performing this study concluded "Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease." Many health-minded individuals will want to supplement with a
molecularly distilled form of fish oil (minimum 1200 mg EPA/DHA content) each day to combat inflammation and osteoarthritis.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Are Vitamins Killing Women? Really?

From the title of the article below, pulled from Yahoo!, you would conclude that the researchers, who that think taking supplements increase a woman’s chance of death, are just plain morons.

Vitamins May Increase Women's Risk of Dying, Research Finds, by Joseph Brownstein of Live Science, (for the article click here)

Popping vitamins may do more harm than good, according to a new study that adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting some supplements may have health risks. Researchers from the University of Minnesota examined data from more than 38,000 women taking part in the Iowa Women's Health Study, an ongoing study with women who were around age 62 at its start in 1986. The researchers collected data on the women's supplement use in 1986, 1997 and 2004.

Women who took supplements had, on average, a 2.4 percent increased risk of dying over the course of the 19-year study, compared with women who didn't take supplements, after the researchers adjusted for factors including the woman's age and calorie intake.

"Our study, as well as other similar studies, have provided very little evidence that commonly used dietary supplements would help to prevent chronic diseases," said study author Jaakko Mursu, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

"We would advise people to reconsider whether they need to use supplements, and put more emphasis on a healthy diet instead," Mursu said.

MyAchingKnees comment: No doubt one should avoid bad foods and consume only healthy foods; get a moderate amount of physical exercise and activity; and, avoid toxins or a toxic environment;...... but, with today’s food supply be as low as quality as it is, taking high quality nutritional supplements is a necessity since we just cannot get all the nutrients our bodies need through foods.

A toxic combination?

The new study linked a number of individual vitamins and minerals to the slight mortality risk, including multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. For example, of the 12,769 women in the study who took a daily multivitamin, 40.8 percent had died by the end of 2008, whereas 39.8 percent of the 10,161 women who hadn't taken a daily multivitamin had died.

MyAchingKnees comment: Yes look at those numbers again,….40.8 percent versus 39.8 percent. The researchers are basing their conclusion on 1%. Really?

Mursu said that the design of the study did not allow the researchers to determine if there was a specific cause for the increased mortality.

"However, we do know that most compounds are toxic in high amounts, and long-term use might predispose [a person] to detrimental outcomes," he told MyHealthNewsDaily. The increased chance of dying" could be related to generally high concentration of compounds that these supplements contain. Most supplements contain higher amounts of nutrients than would be derived from food, and it is known that several compounds can be toxic in higher amounts, especially when consumed for a long time, as some of these accumulate to body," Mursu said.

Taking calcium supplements, on the other hand, actually seemed to lower the woman's death risk slightly, by 3.8 percent, although the researchers noted that there was not a relationship between consuming increasingly higher amounts of calcium and a continuing decrease in mortality rate.

Less is more!

While vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper nutrition, excess intake has not shown further benefit, and recent studies have cast some doubt on the idea that vitamin supplements provide a "safety net" for people not getting enough of a given nutrient. Instead, too much may be a problem. The study, published today (Oct. 10) in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, is part of a series examining interventions in medicine that may be unnecessary. "Until recently, the available data regarding the adverse effects of dietary supplements has been limited and grossly under reported. We think the paradigm "the more, the better" is wrong," wrote Dr. Goran Bjelakovic and Dr. Christian Gluud, of the Center for Clinical Intervention Research at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark in an accompanying commentary.

"We believe that for all micronutrients, risks are associated with insufficient and too-large intake. Low levels of intake increase the risk of deficiency. High levels of intake increase the risk of toxic effects and disease," they wrote.

MyAchingKnees comment: If “high levels of (supplement) intake increase the risk of toxic effects and disease” then why hasn’t my wife or daughter or a hundred other ladies that I know who are taking high doses of pharmaceutical grade products laying dead right now? Hello? It’s the quality and purity of the products for one thing....

"Therefore, we believe that politicians and regulatory authorities should wake up to their responsibility to allow only safe products on the market," they wrote.

MyAchingKnees comment: Again, I am not in favor of the government controlling anymore things. They have done a bad enough job with what they do control so far. It is up to the consumer to figure out what are good products and what are worthless or even bad for you. There are plenty of resources out there. Make sure you are getting science based products rather than relying on products with fancy advertisements or emotional appeals.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Healthy Fruits and Veggies You May Not Know About

Although the Scientists I have partnered up with will recommend taking the highest quality nutritional supplements you can find, they will be the first to admit that getting your nutrients from fresh and whole foods is best, however that is just near impossible.

If you are one of the rare people who make a tremendous effort in ensuring you get the best and most fresh whole foods possible then consider these five fruits and vegetables you may have not heard about.

This is from an article written by Mara Betsch of Prevention, titled "5 Surprisingly Healthy Fruits and Veggies You Aren't Eating". The original article can be found here:

1. Purple Potatoes
Even though low-carb diets are no longer the rage, potatoes still have a bad reputation for wrecking diets. Brand new research from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania comes to a different conclusion, at least about the purple variety. A study followed 18 overweight and obese people who also had high blood pressure. Participants were asked to either eat six to eight golf ball-sized purple potatoes for lunch and dinner, or stick to a potato-free diet. After a month, participants switched diet routines. Participants who ate potatoes saw a significant drop in their high blood pressure—diastolic pressure fell an average 4.3 percent while systolic blood pressure dropped an average 3.5 percent.

2. Lychees
This sweet white fruit is popular in Asia , but with its big health benefits, it should make its way into your cart, too. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition, lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of 24 fruits tested. They were beat only by strawberries, and the study found they had nearly 15% more disease-preventing polyphenols than grapes. Lychee's powerful antioxidants may also help to prevent the formation of breast cancer cells, according to a recent test-tube and animal study from Sichuan University in China .

3. Guava
Eat just one cup of this South American fruit, and you're getting 5 times as much vitamin C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg). Like other red fruits, including tomatoes and watermelon, guava contains lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease. And according to research by microbiologists in Bangladesh , guava can even protect against food borne pathogens such as Listeria and staph. MyAchingKnees comment: Lycopene is also a nutrient for healthy prostrates………I’m just saying,…..

The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report in June 2011 comparing the nutritional info of 50 popular fruits. They ranked them based on the percentages of certain nutrients—fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, iron, calcium, and antioxidant-packed pigments called carotenoids–in each serving. Guava beat out apples, bananas, and grapes to be the number one fruit.

4. Bok Choy
This leafy green cabbage is the number one veggie in China and boasts 10 times the recommended amount of vitamin A in just one cup. Packed with antioxidants, it's no surprise that several studies show that high intake of Brassica vegetables (a family of vegetables including kale, broccoli, and bok choy may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer.

5. Asian Pears
Snack on one large Asian pear, and you'll get 10 g of fiber, nearly half of your daily recommended amount. So what's so great about fiber? Not only does it lower cholesterol, but it also keeps you full longer and helps to control blood sugar levels.

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