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Posts tagged ‘best vegetables’

Study: Heart Health Improved with Fruits and Veggies

Colorful fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, compounds that protect our tissues from deterioration and may help slow the aging process.  A recent study from Sweden has found that eating these foods can strengthen the heart and reduce heart failure.

Susanne Rautiainen from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, analyzed data collected from 33,713 women enrolled in a Swedish study, ages 49 to 83 years.  The participants had been surveyed for their dietary intakes.  Over the 11 years of follow-up, 884 cases of heart failure occurred.  The good news is that the researchers found those women with the highest average antioxidant intakes were 42% less likely to develop heart failure, as compared to women with the lowest intake.

The researchers said: “We observed a lower risk of heart failure where the average intake of fruits and vegetables was 4.4 servings per day. Thus, these results suggest that following the nutritional recommendations of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables issued by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and also the National Food Agency in Sweden, may be beneficial in heart failure prevention.”

This news is brought to you and edited by Nutrition Breakthroughs.  Since 2001 Nutrition Breakthroughs has been providing natural health articles and effective natural remedies.  Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that get results, and therefore help people to avoid drugs and their side effects.

Since 2009, their natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II has been keeping that promise – by providing highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium that soothe even the worst insomnia and help everyone from teenagers, to women with menopause symptoms, to seniors, to get a good night’s sleep.

For more information on the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II, visit this page.

 

Article courtesy of Nutra Ingredients USA
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/

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The Healthy Colors of Your Diet (Purple, red and yellow fruits and veggies)

By Matthew Picklo,  Human Nutrition Research Center

    Have you thought about the many colors of our foods?  They catch our eye and add so much to the appeal of our meals – particularly fruits and vegetables.  Research shows that the colors of our foods may also be related to the health benefits they provide.

    The pigments that give plant foods their vibrant colors are of value to the plants themselves, as well as to those who consume them.  These colorful fruit and vegetable pigments also serve to attract feeding animals who later help distribute the plants’ seeds.

    Plant pigments have long been of interest to food chemists who have studied their contributions to the visual appeal of foods.  In recent years, there also has been an explosion of interest in the health potentials of the pigments that are responsible for food colors.

    There are several types of pigments in foods.  One group is the “anthocyanins”, a term derived from the Greek words for “flower” and “blue”.  Anthocyanins are present in many fruits including cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries.  They also are found in colored grains such as purple corn, red rice, black rice, purple carrots and blue potatoes.  

   One of the richest sources of anthocyanins is the chokecherry.  Black rice, which has a purple-black bran, also has very high levels of anthocyanins. In ancient China, it was known as “forbidden rice”, as it and was only eaten by the nobility.  Anthocyanins appear to protect plant tissues from damage by ultraviolet light.  They may also be anti-microbial.

    Laboratory studies suggest that the anthocyanins in foods benefit health by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to cells, a process associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Studies have shown this for anthocyanin-rich fruit juices, and scientists are now asking whether some anthocyanins may be more useful than others, and how they function in the body.

    Another group of plant pigments are the carotenoids – a large group of more than 600 compounds that give vegetables and fruits their yellow, orange and red colors. Some familiar sources include tomatoes, carrots, yellow squash and spinach.  The most common carotenoids are beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein.

    Beta-carotene is related chemically to vitamin A, which is essential for vision and functions in maintaining healthy bones, immune function and may other vital functions.  In fact, the body can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A.  Spinach, carrots, orange juice and cantaloupe are particularly good sources of beta-carotene.

    Lycopene is present in tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato juice.  It is of current interest in cancer research, as studies have associated reduced prostate cancer risk for men with relatively high blood levels of lycopene.

    Lutein is accumulated by the key visual area of the retina called the macula where it is thought to protect against potentially damaging effects of light.  It is thought that lutein may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which is a major cause of visual impairment in people aged fifty years and older.  Good sources of lutein include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and turnips greens.  USDA scientists have found that eggs can be an important source of lutein.

    Understanding how diet and physical activity can prevent disease and promote health is central to the research mission of the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, or GFHNRC. This includes better understanding of the health roles of anthocyanins and carotenoids.

    More information to help you make healthful and colorful food choices can be found at MyPyramid.gov.

———-

Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: When deciding what to eat, seek out brightly colored fruits and vegetables for greater health. Good eating leads to good health for all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, and leads to higher levels of energy during the day and better, deeper sleep at night.

This article is provided to you by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, maker of the effective sleep remedy for insomnia “Sleep Minerals II”. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of magnesium, calcium and Vitamin D.  If you or someone you care about would like to get better or deeper sleep, visit this link: http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

————-

Article Source: http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=21735

Colorful fruits and veggies fight disease and increase health

By Jack Saari, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center

The most naturally colorful place in a supermarket is the produce department. Recent studies indicate that those colors are sending us a message. It seems that the color-producing chemicals in fruits and vegetables, nature’s packaging scheme, are advertising the health benefits of those plants.

What are these chemicals? A term coined to describe plant chemicals is phytonutrient, ‘phyto’ meaning plant-based. Some phytonutrients, colors or pigments, may already be familiar to you. These include lycopene, which makes tomatoes red; lutein, the color of corn; and beta-carotene, which gives carrots their orange color. The green color of chlorophyll is evident in leafy vegetables, but in many cases hides the presence of other pigments such as lutein and beta-carotene.

Other chemicals may be less familiar, for instance, the broad class of compounds called anthocyanins, which impart the vibrant reds (strawberries, cherries), blues (blueberries) and purples (grapes, plums) to many fruits. How do these colored chemicals protect us? A clue is provided by how they protect plants. While plants need light to survive, excess light energy can be destructive. In times of plant stress, light energy beyond what plants can use causes formation of highly reactive oxygen radicals. This so-called oxidant stress can damage the plant. In agricultural terms, this reduces yield.

Carotenoids in plants, in particular, lutein and zeazanthin, have been shown to prevent this damage by acting as antioxidants. Many of the colored phytonutrients have structures that make them good antioxidants. To increase yield, plant scientists are trying to find ways to increase the amounts of these naturally protective chemicals in crops.

Nutritionists in turn are trying to increase the amounts of plant-based foods in our diets. That’s because the colored phytonutrients can do for us what they do in plants. Many diseases have at their core the excess production of oxygen radicals. These radicals can mutate DNA to cause cancer. They can oxidize LDL (bad cholesterol) to promote atherosclerosis. Oxygen radicals can trigger clotting, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Excess light, in addition to damaging plants, can damage the eye. In general, aging is thought by many scientists to result from accumulation of oxygen radical damage. Scientists are finding that consumption of plants with their high concentrations of antioxidant phytonutrients can combat many of the diseases mediated by oxygen radicals.

But fighting oxidant stress may not be all they do. Research is beginning to show effects of phytonutrients on cancer growth, hormone function, immune response, inflammation and blood vessel function that are independent of their antioxidant nature. From these findings, it is not surprising that consumption of tomato products has been linked to reduction of both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Foods containing alpha- and beta-carotene, such as carrots and spinach, have been shown to reduce coronary heart disease. Lutein and zeazanthin, present in corn, carrots and dark green vegetables, are also components of the eye’s macula and thus essential for prevention of macular degeneration. Consumption of blueberries has been shown to improve memory, coordination and balance in aging rats. Strawberry extracts have been shown to prevent aging as simulated by a high oxygen environment in rats. Sour cherries appear to benefit arthritis sufferers by reducing inflammation.

And don’t ignore white. Though unpigmented vegetables such as garlic and white onions may lack colorful pigments, they nonetheless contain important protective phytochemicals.

Another side benefit of adding colorful plant-based foods to your diet is that they replace high-calorie foods in your diet. Along with exercise, this can contribute to weight reduction. As we know, excess weight is a risk factor for both cancer and heart disease.

How many servings of fruits and vegetables should we eat a day?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendation (www.mypyramid.gov) actually is five to nine servings a day three to five of vegetables and two to four of fruit.

You may balk at the idea of nine servings, but don’t be distressed by the number. Serving sizes are not that big. Most would fit in the palm of your hand. The key is variety, not bulk.

So get healthier. Go out and color your diet.

via http://www.ars.usda.gov

Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: When deciding what to eat, seek out brightly colored fruits and vegetables for greater health. Good eating leads to good health for all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, and leads to higher levels of energy during the day and better, deeper sleep at night.

This article is provided by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation: Calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.  For more information visit
http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Healthy Colors of Your Diet (Purple, red and yellow fruits and veggies)

By Matthew Picklo,  Human Nutrition Research Center

Have you thought about the many colors of our foods?  They catch our eye and add so much to the appeal of our meals – particularly fruits and vegetables.  Research shows that the colors of our foods may also be related to the health benefits they provide.

The pigments that give plant foods their vibrant colors are of value to the plants themselves, as well as to those who consume them.  These colorful fruit and vegetable pigments also serve to attract feeding animals who later help distribute the plants’ seeds.

Plant pigments have long been of interest to food chemists who have studied their contributions to the visual appeal of foods.  In recent years, there also has been an explosion of interest in the health potentials of the pigments that are responsible for food colors.

There are several types of pigments in foods.  One group is the “anthocyanins”, a term derived from the Greek words for “flower” and “blue”.  Anthocyanins are present in many fruits including cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries.  They also are found in colored grains such as purple corn, red rice, black rice, purple carrots and blue potatoes.

One of the richest sources of anthocyanins is the chokecherry.  Black rice, which has a purple-black bran, also has very high levels of anthocyanins. In ancient China, it was known as “forbidden rice”, as it and was only eaten by the nobility.  Anthocyanins appear to protect plant tissues from damage by ultraviolet light.  They may also be anti-microbial.

Laboratory studies suggest that the anthocyanins in foods benefit health by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to cells, a process associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Studies have shown this for anthocyanin-rich fruit juices, and scientists are now asking whether some anthocyanins may be more useful than others, and how they function in the body.

Another group of plant pigments are the carotenoids – a large group of more than 600 compounds that give vegetables and fruits their yellow, orange and red colors. Some familiar sources include tomatoes, carrots, yellow squash and spinach.  The most common carotenoids are beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein.

Beta-carotene is related chemically to vitamin A, which is essential for vision and functions in maintaining healthy bones, immune function and may other vital functions.  In fact, the body can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A.  Spinach, carrots, orange juice and cantaloupe are particularly good sources of beta-carotene.

Lycopene is present in tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato juice.  It is of current interest in cancer research, as studies have associated reduced prostate cancer risk for men with relatively high blood levels of lycopene.

Lutein is accumulated by the key visual area of the retina called the macula where it is thought to protect against potentially damaging effects of light.  It is thought that lutein may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which is a major cause of visual impairment in people aged fifty years and older.  Good sources of lutein include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and turnips greens.  USDA scientists have found that eggs can be an important source of lutein.

Understanding how diet and physical activity can prevent disease and promote health is central to the research mission of the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, or GFHNRC. This includes better understanding of the health roles of anthocyanins and carotenoids.

More information to help you make healthful and colorful food choices can be found at MyPyramid.gov.
———-
Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: When deciding what to eat, seek out brightly colored fruits and vegetables for greater health. Good eating leads to good health for all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, and leads to higher levels of energy during the day and better, deeper sleep at night.

This article is provided to you by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, maker of the effective sleep remedy for insomnia “Sleep Minerals II”.  Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of magnesium, calcium and Vitamin D. If you or someone you care about would like to get better or deeper sleep, visit this link: http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

————-

Source: http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=21735

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