Friday, April 30, 2010

Red Beets Nutrition - Miracle Vegetable

The red beets nutrition and health benefits come from its red pigment. This was first noticed by Dr. Alexander Ferenczi of Csoma, Hungary in the 1950's. Dr. Ferenczi noticed that patients would experience clinical recovery from cancerous tumors when place on a diet of raw red beets or red beet juice.

We now know that the red pigment is a betacyan called Betanin. Red beets also contain other cancer fighting substances such as folate and glutamine according to an article on Medicinal Whole Foods. Research also shows that the whole beets should be eaten and not just the juice. Many of the health benefits of red beets is found in its fiber.

Besides fighting cancer, such as colon cancer, red beet fiber also has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels while increasing HDL levels in animal studies. Serum cholesterol and triacylblycerol levels were decreased by 30% and 40%, respectively. Aortic cholesterol was also decreased by 30%.

Red Beets also contain Betaine. Studies have shown that betaine along with folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, help reduce toxic levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acide that at high levels is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Other studies have suggested that betaine may help protect against fatty deposits in the liver. Food sources of betaine are red beets, broccoli, whole grains, spinach and Quinoa.

Eat fresh red beets for good nutrition and receive its full health benefits.

See also " Beets ".

Fatty Liver Diet

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Folate and Vitamin B-6 Helps Protect Against Stroke and Heart Disease

In a Japan Collaborative Cohort Study titled " Dietary Folate and Vitamin B-6 and B-12 Intake in Relation to Mortality From Cardiovascular Diseases, " it was found that women who ate foods high in folate and vitamin B-6 were less likely to die from stroke and heart disease. Men who ate a diet high in these vitamins were less likely to die of heart failure. Vitamin B-12, on the other hand, had no association with reduced risk of death from Cardiovascular disease.

Foods that are high in folate are

  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Beets
  • Green Peas
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Avocados
  • Boccoli
  • Romaine lettuce
  • and Peanuts

Foods that are high in vitamin B-6 are

  • Tuna
  • Banana
  • Chicken Breast
  • Turkey Breast
  • Cod
  • Salmon
  • Snapper
  • Halibut
  • Beef Tenderloin

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Four Unhealthy Habits

According to a study published in the April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine by Elizabeth Kvaavik titled "Influence of Individual and Combined Health Behaviors on Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Men and Women", a combination of four unhealthy habits greatly increases your risk of premature death.

The bad habits that lead to premature death are

  • Smoking
  • Consuming fruits and vegetables less than three times daily
  • Less than two hours a week of physical activity
  • and weekly consumption of more than 4 ounces for women and 6 ounces for men of alcohol.

Those with all four bad habits were about three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease or cancer, and four times more likely to die from other causes. These bad habits also age you by about 12 years.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Exercise May Help Speed Wound Healing

In a study conducted by Charles Emery at The Ohio State University, it is found that regular exercise may speed up wound healing by as much as 25 percent in older adults.

The three-times per week exercise session followed this exercise schedule:

  1. 10 minutes of warm-up and stretching exercises.
  2. 30 minutes of pedaling.
  3. 15 minutes of jogging or brisk walking.
  4. 15 minutes of strength training.
  5. 5 minutes of cool down exercises.

At the end of the 3-month study, it was found that skin wounds healed on average 10 days faster in the people who exercised regularly following the above mentioned exercise schedule.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wider Use of Statins

" Should Cholesterol Drugs Be Used By Those Without High Cholesterol? " is an interesting articles published by HealthDay. Cardiologist love statins, and claim that the risks are worth the benefits of the drug. A recent study using 18,000 people and financed by AstroZeneca showed that those that took the drug for 1.9 years had a 44% lower risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. That is why the FDA has approved Crestor for some people with normal cholesterol levels.

Other doctors, however, are cautious, and I am too. Many studies have shown that statins can lead to muscles problems and even diabetes. Dr. Duane Graveline in a book titled "Lipitor: Thief of Memory, Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol," writes about his experience with statins. For some, statins have caused temporary memory loss to the point that these people can not mentally function properly.

Personally, I prefer to stay away from statins, regardless of the current studies claiming increased longevity with this drug. I prefer a proper diet, exercise and some alternative medicine options such as artichoke leaf extract, fish oil, phytosterols and psyllium to keep my cholesterol at acceptable levels. I have simply seen too many people on statins deteriorate mentally. For me, the risks are not worth the rewards.