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Share the Wealth of Health Are you a follower of the grain? Have you been searching for health and happiness and found it? Still searching? Come share your experiences with other macro followers.

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Old 03-03-2006, 12:02 PM   #1
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Go With The Grain

Whole Grains are the seeds of plants that belong to the grass family. This
seed, also known as the kernel, is made up of three key parts: the bran, the
germ, and the endosperm.

A whole grain can be a single food, such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley, or
popcorn, or an ingredient in another food such as bread or cereal. Whole
grains include whole wheat, whole oats/oatmeal, whole-grain corn, popcorn,
brown rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur
(cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, and sorghum. Other less common whole grains
include amaranth, emmer, farro, grano (lightly pearled wheat), spelt, and
wheat berries.

Whole grains may be eaten whole, cracked, split, flaked, or ground. Most
often, they are milled into flour and used to make breads, cereals, farinas,
and other grain-based foods. Regardless of how they are handled, whole
grains, or foods made from whole grains contain the three essential parts
and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed.

When a grain is refined, most of the bran and some of the germ is removed,
resulting in losses of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, trace minerals,
unsaturated fat, and about 75 percent of the phytonutrients. Examples of
refined grain products include white breads, pasta, crackers, white rice and
corn flakes cereal.

"Whole grains are much more than a vehicle for fiber," says Joanne Slavin, a
professor of nutrition specializing in whole-grain foods at the University
of Minnesota. Research demonstrates that the health-promoting benefits of
whole grains are attributed to more than just fiber. Slavin explains that
these health advantages are largely associated with the "package" of
nutrients in whole grains. "The individual components of whole grains have
an additive and synergistic effect. It's the combination and interactions
between components that we believe provide the protection against disease.
Whole grains are an example of how the whole (grain) is often greater than
the sum of its parts," says Slavin.

Research reported at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu,
M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole
grains contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone
unrecognized because research methods have overlooked them.

Despite the fact that for years researchers have been measuring the
antioxidant power of a wide array of phytochemicals, they have typically
measured only the "free" forms of these substances, which dissolve quickly
and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. They have not looked at
the "bound" forms, which are attached to the walls of plant cells and must
be released by intestinal bacteria during digestion before they can be

Phenolics, powerful antioxidants that work in multiple ways to prevent
disease, are one major class of phytochemicals that have been widely
studied. Included in this broad category are such compounds as quercetin,
curcumin, ellagic acid, catechins, and many others that appear frequently in
the health news.

When Dr. Liu and his colleagues measured the relative amounts of phenolics,
and whether they were present in bound or free form, in common fruits and
vegetables like apples, red grapes, broccoli and spinach, they found that
phenolics in the "free" form averaged 76% of the total number of phenolics
in these foods. In whole grains, however, "free" phenolics accounted for
less than 1% of the total, while the remaining 99% were in "bound" form. In
his presentation, Dr. Liu explained that because researchers have examined
whole grains with the same process used to measure antioxidants in
vegetables and fruits-looking for their content of "free" phenolics"-the
amount and activity of antioxidants in whole grains has been vastly

Evidence clearly points to an association between consuming whole grains as
part of a low-fat diet and lower risk of heart disease. Low-fat diets rich
in whole-grain foods tend to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Increased intake of whole grains and fiber in combination with a low-fat
diet has been associated with managing risk factors accompanying diabetes.
Whole grains appear to improve glucose responses and decrease insulin
sensitivity. Whole-grain foods may reduce the risk of cancer by a variety
of mechanisms. Fiber and certain starches found in whole grains ferment in
the colon to help improve gastrointestinal health. Whole grains also contain
antioxidants that may help protect against oxidative damage. Some scientists
believe that other substances in whole grains may affect overall hormone
levels and possibly lower the risk of hormone-related cancers like breast
cancer. Studies show that people who eat whole grains in place of fattier
foods tend to weigh less and typically gain less weight over time than those
who do not. In addition, whole grains may help to satisfy hunger for longer
periods, resulting in people eating less.

For the first time, the USDA Dietary Guidelines have specific
recommendations for whole grain consumption separate from those for refined
grains. The Guidelines, released in January 2005, encourage all Americans
over 2 years old to eat at least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings of whole
grains each day. If you have children in the house, it is important to set a
good example for them. It is not what we say that makes the difference, it
is what we do. Set a good example by eating whole grains with meals or as
snacks. Let children select and help prepare a whole grain side dish. For
older children teach them to read the ingredient list on cereals or snack
food packages and choose those with whole grains at the top of the list.
Make eating healthier a family adventure this year, lead by example, and go
with the grain!
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) By Amy Norton

Even a quite modest amount of exercise might be better than none at all when
it comes to preventing disability from arthritis, new research suggests.

In a study that followed more than 3,500 U.S. adults with arthritis,
researchers found that those who were getting some regular physical activity
at the study's start were less likely than their sedentary peers to develop
worsening problems with walking, climbing stairs and other daily activities.
What's more, exercisers were more likely than inactive adults to show
improvements in any mobility problems they had at the outset. The findings
are published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism in December 2005.

The study included 3,554 adults ages 53 to 63 who had osteoarthritis, the
wear-and-tear form of arthritis in which the cartilage cushioning the joints
breaks down over time, leading to pain, stiffness and, often, limited
mobility. Among older Americans, osteoarthritis is one of the major causes
of functional decline -- problems with daily activities like walking short
distances, bathing and preparing meals.

The new findings suggest, however, that even modest levels of exercise can
help prevent disability from arthritis, or perhaps reverse it in some cases,
according to Dr. Joe Feinglass, the study's lead author. Study participants
who got some exercise -- but less than 30 minutes per day of moderate
activity or less than 20 minutes of vigorous exercise -- were still less
likely than inactive arthritis sufferers to show functional decline over
time. However, that doesn't mean there's no benefit to getting more
exercise, noted Feinglass, a research associate professor at Northwestern
University Medical School in Chicago.

He told Reuters Health that he and his colleagues have found, in this same
study group, that vigorous exercise lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes -- a
major risk factor for such ills as heart attack and stroke -- while modest
activity did not. Still, even lower levels of exercise may be enough where
arthritis disability is concerned. Other studies, Feinglass said, have found
that walking may be a good form of exercise for people with the joint

In their study, he and his colleagues divided participants up into three
groups based on their reported leisure-time activities at the start of the
study: an inactive group, an insufficiently active group, and a group that
got the recommended level of exercise for adults - at least 30 minutes of
moderate activity like walking or gardening on most days of the week, or 20
minutes of vigorous exercise like running or swimming.

Overall, adults in this latter group were 41 percent less likely to show
functional decline over the next 2 years than their inactive peers were. The
risk reduction was almost as great for those who exercised at a
less-than-ideal level. "Given the high prevalence of arthritis," Feinglass
and his colleagues write, "even modest increases in rates of lifestyle
physical activity among older adults could make a substantial contribution
to disability-free life expectancy." It is always a good idea, Feinglass
noted, for sedentary people with arthritis to consult their doctor before
taking up any activity. SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatism, December 15, 2005.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association offers the following tips to help you bring
more physical activity into your daily life.

At Home
It's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows your
children to see you being active, which sets a good example for them. You
can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV. If you buy
exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense and other family members can use
it. It's easy to have short bouts of activity several times a day.

* Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.
* Work in the garden or mow the grass. Using a riding mower doesn't
count! Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
* Go out for a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both!
Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
* Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.
* When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk. Choose a
hilly route. When watching TV, sit up instead of lying on the sofa. Better
yet, spend a few minutes pedaling on your stationary bicycle while watching
TV. Throw away your video remote control. Instead of asking someone to
bring you a drink, get up off the couch and get it yourself.
* Stand up while talking on the telephone.
* Walk the dog.
* Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance.
Wear your walking shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall
* Stretch to reach items in high places and squat or bend to look at
items at floor level.
* Keep exercise equipment repaired and use it!

At the Office
Most of us have sedentary jobs. Work takes up a significant part of the
day. What can you do to increase your physical activity during the work

* Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk.
* Stand while talking on the telephone.
* Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the
* Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors
early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
* Walk while waiting for the plane at the airport.
* Stay at hotels with fitness centers or swimming pools and use them
while on business trips.
* Take along a jump rope in your suitcase when you travel. Jump and
do calisthenics in your hotel room.
* Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.
* Form a sports team to raise money for charity events.
* Join a fitness center or Y near your job. Work out before or after
work to avoid rush-hour traffic, or drop by for a noon workout.
* Schedule exercise time on your business calendar and treat it as any
other important appointment.
* Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to
work or home.
* Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Have you had your
prevention today?
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:06 PM   #3
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Laughter Activates the Immune System

There's been something funny going on at Loma Linda University and there are
two doctors right in the middle of it. We're talking about Dr. Lee Berk and
Dr. Stanley Tan, and they've been studying the effects of laughter on the
human immune system. To date, their published studies have shown that
laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle
range of motion, and boosts immune system function. Laughter also triggers
the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and produces a
general sense of well-being. This exciting research was featured in the
September / October 1996 issue of the Humor and Health Journal.

We all know that a good laugh leaves us feeling great. That wonderful,
euphoric, post-laugher feeling is a type of "positive stress" that produces
healthy and positive emotions. After a good laugh, your immune system also
seems to "turn it up a notch".

* Your body steps up production of natural killer cells that attack
viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells.

* Your body activates more cancer fighting T cells.

* Your body increases the antibodies that fight upper respiratory
tract insults and infections.

* Your body produces more gamma interferon, an antiviral protein that
"turns on" the various parts of your immune system.

Laughing is good exercise. It provides a workout for your diaphragm and
increases your body's ability to use oxygen while it brings in positive
emotions that can actually reduce pain. In a study published in the Journal
of Holistic Nursing, patients were told "one-liners" after surgery and
before painful medication was administered. Those exposed to humor perceived
less pain when compared to the others. Imagine that. a medicine that's free
and that has no bad side effects. The pharmaceutical companies haven't
quite figured out, as yet, how to get those two qualities into a single
pill, but in the meantime a good laugh will get you by.
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default APPLES

An Apple A Day

Apple in the morning - Doctor's warning
Apple at night - starves the Doctor outright

Is it just nursery rhyme? The latest scientific research shows that this
old nursery rhyme is more fact than fiction.


The disease-fighting profile of apples provides a multitude of health
benefits, including a potential decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Several recent studies suggest apples may provide a "whole-body" health
benefit which include Lower blood cholesterol, improved bowel function,
reduced risk of stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma.

A number of components in apples, most notably fiber and phytonutrients have
been found in studies to lower blood cholesterol and improve bowel function,
and may be associated with a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease, stroke,
prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma. Preliminary research from
Finland indicates diets with the highest intake of apple phytonutrients were
associated with a 46 percent reduction in the incidence of lung cancer.
Findings indicate that two apples a day or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice
reduced the damaging effects of the "bad" LDL cholesterol. (Interpoma 2002
Conference, Bolzano, Italy / Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., University of

Over the past four years, apple consumption has been linked with reduced
cancer risk in several studies. A 2001 Mayo Clinic study indicated that
quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of
prostate cancer cells. A Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals
in the skin of an apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by
43 percent. The National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing
flavonoids like those found in apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer by
as much as 50 percent. (Carcinogenesis March, 2001 / Nature June, 2000
/Journal of the National Cancer Institute January, 2000)

Two recent British studies indicated that eating apples can improve lung
health. A study of Welsh men indicated that people who ate at least five
apples per week experience better lung function. Researchers at the
University of Nottingham reported that those who ate five apples per week
also had a lower risk for respiratory disease. In the Netherlands at the
University of Groningen, apples were singled out as a fruit that could cut
smokers' risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in half.
Scientists believe antioxidants found in apples may ward off disease by
countering oxygen's damaging effects on the body. (American Thoracic Society
Meeting May, 2001 - Thorax January, 2000)

A Finnish study published in 1996 showed that people who eat a diet rich in
flavonoids have a lower incidence of heart disease. Other studies indicate
that flavonoids may help prevent strokes. (The British Medical Journal 1996)

Apples are a delicious source of dietary fiber, and dietary fiber helps aid
digestion and promotes weight loss. A medium apple contains about five grams
of fiber, more than most cereals. Also, apples contain almost zero fat and
cholesterol, so they are a delicious snack and dessert food that's good for

Researchers at the University of California-Davis recently reported that
apples and apple juice may help protect arteries from harmful plaque
build-up. In the first study conducted in humans, adults who added two
apples, or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice, to their daily diet demonstrated a
significant slowing of the cholesterol oxidation process that leads to
plaque build-up - thereby giving the body more time to rid itself of
cholesterol before it can cause harm.

Have you and your children had an apple today?
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:12 PM   #5
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Default RAW

Raw Power!

WASHINGTON, DC, February 9, 2006 (ENS) - Some vegetables contain chemicals
that appear to enhance DNA repair in cells, which could lead to protection
against cancer development, say Georgetown University Medical Center
researchers. In a new study published in the "British Journal of Cancer" and
by the journal "Nature" the researchers show that in laboratory tests, a
compound called indole-3-carinol (I3C), found in broccoli, cauliflower and
cabbage, and a chemical called genistein, found in soy beans, can increase
the levels of two specific proteins that repair damaged DNA.

This study is one of the first to provide a molecular explanation as to how
eating vegetables could cut the risk of developing cancer, an association
that some population studies have found, says the study's senior author,
Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation
medicine at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "It is now
clear that the function of crucial cancer genes can be influenced by
compounds in the things we eat," Rosen says.

"Our findings suggest a clear molecular process that would explain the
connection between diet and cancer prevention." In this study, Rosen exposed
breast and prostate cancer cells to increasing doses of I3C and genistein,
and found that these chemicals boosted production of the repair proteins
BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Since decreased amounts of the BRCA proteins are seen in cancer cells,
higher levels might prevent cancer from developing, Rosen speculates, adding
that the ability of I3C and genistein to increase production of BRCA
proteins could explain their protective effects.

The study was funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the
National Cancer Institute and co-authors include Drs. Saijun Fan, MD, PhD,
Qinghui Meng, MS, Karen Auborn, PhD, and Timothy Carter, PhD.
{End of article}

For many decades, science has been focused on understanding the mechanisms
of disease so that drugs could be developed. But the closer they look at
disease, the more they discover about the powerful and protective nature of
whole foods. Have you had your veggies today?
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:58 PM   #6
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A Good Nut To Crack

Back in 1993, the original Walnut Study from Loma Linda University made
headlines around the world and was published in the New England Journal of

Why all the excitement? Because Loma Linda University had broken new ground.
They were the first to find that walnuts in a controlled diet reduced LDL
(bad) cholesterol and heart disease risk significantly more than the Step 1
diet that was then recommended by the American Heart Association. In other
words - they proved, scientifically, that food can be thy medicine.

In April 2000, another landmark walnut study was published in the Annals of
Internal Medicine. The study, a follow-up to the 1993 Loma Linda study, was
conducted at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. Researchers had 49 men and
women with high cholesterol incorporate walnuts into a healthy Mediterranean
diet, substituting a handful of walnuts a day for some of the
monounsaturated fat in the diet.

Participants lowered their "bad" LDL cholesterol by almost 6 per cent and
heart disease risk by 11 per cent beyond what would be expected from the
Mediterranean diet alone. The Loma Linda study participants substituted
walnuts, one of nature's richest sources of polyunsaturated fat, for
saturated fat. The Barcelona participants substituted walnuts for another
healthy fat.

Barcelona scientists also remarked on the ease of incorporating walnuts into
the diet. According to researcher Juan Carlos Laguna, Ph.D., "That's the
main point of the study. You eat a normal amount, like five or six walnuts a
day. That's something you can do every day without any problem."

Walnuts taste great, kids love them, and they are easy to incorporate into
your day. Try adding some walnuts to your kid's oat meal
- what a healthy way to start their day. Enjoy a handful of walnuts as a
snack or toss a few walnuts in with your salad.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:27 PM   #7
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All our lives we've been told to eat our carrots, they help improve your
eyesight. Maybe you've wondered - what exactly is it about the carrot that
is good for my eyes? That would be the beta-carotene. In addition to giving
the carrot its name and orange color, it also converts to vitamin A in the
body which helps improve vision. The vitamin A forms a purple pigment called
rhodopsin the eye needs to see in dim light. Rhodopsin production is spurred
by vitamin A, raising the effectiveness of the light-sensitive area of the

But that's not all that carrots can do for you. The beta-carotene in carrots
is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions
like cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Medical studies
conducted in Texas and Chicago indicates that men with the high levels of
beta-carotene and vitamin C had a 37% lower risk of cancer than the men with
lower levels. Carrots also contain another antioxidant called
alpha-carotene. A study conducted in Bethesda, MD concluded that men who
consume high amounts of alpha carotene have a lower incidence of lung

Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits. The fiber in
carrots can trap the beta carotene, making it difficult for your body to
extract. By cooking them slightly, you free the beta-carotene, from the
fiber, which allows your body to absorb it better. Eating only a half-cup
serving per day will give you more than the recommended dosage of
beta-carotene. Remember, when you buy carrots raw at the store, you should
cut off the leafy tops before storing for maximum vitamin retention.
Getting your carrot-a-day is easy, considering the vegetable's versatility
and “blendability”. Carrots can subtlety enhance but don't overwhelm. Here
are a few ways to put more carrot power on your table.

Cook grated carrots with beans, split peas, lentils, rice, or pastas.
Carrots are great in stuffing. Try them roasted - split large carrots
lengthways and brush with a little olive oil then put on a roasting tray in
a 400 degree (F) oven for about 45 minutes until tender and browned. Try
roasted carrots, potato, sweet potato and pumpkin served with steamed green
vegetables and a nice sauce.

Toss grated carrot with potatoes for hash browns. (Toss in grated zucchini
and minced onion, too.)

Add to sauces, white or red. Grated carrots give body and impart subtle
flavor, and they fit any tomato or creamy soup, sauce, or casserole.

Mix finely-ground carrots into peanut butter for a new kind of healthy
crunch. (If you want to make a really GOOD Peanut Butter & carrot sandwich,
add a few slices of banana.)

Hot & Cold Salads: Sauté onions, green peppers, and grated or finely sliced
carrots. Remove from heat and pour your preferred salad vinegar over hot
veggies. (It will hiss and steam.) While hot, add to chilled salad greens.
Toss and serve.

Herb and Vegetable Bread or Biscuits: To your regular dough, add finely
grated carrots; minced onion (dried flakes or fresh green); parsley; garlic
powder; sprinkle of basil and pinch of oregano or sage. Top it all off with
some dried or pesto tomatoes and a few hearty shakes of vegetarian
parmesan cheese.
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:26 PM   #8
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Capsaicin is the stuff that turns up the heat in jalapeños. It also drives
prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, according to studies published in
the March 15, 2006, issue of Cancer Research.

According to a team of researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical and their
colleagues from UCLA, the capsaicin in hot peppers caused human prostate
cancer cells to undergo “programmed cell death”, a process otherwise known
as apoptosis. Apoptosis is a natural process that maintains a healthy
balance between newer replacement cells and aged or worn out cells. As
cells become old and worn out, they are supposed to naturally
self-destruct. But in the case of Cancer cells it’s a different story.
Cancer cells often dodge this “self-destruct” process by mutating the genes
that participate in the process, leaving the cancer cells to proliferate.

This new research showed that capsaicin induced approximately 80 percent of
prostate cancer cells growing in mice to follow the molecular pathways
leading to apoptosis. Moreover, prostate cancer tumors treated with
capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in non-treated mice.
“Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer
cells in culture,” said Sören Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D., visiting scientist at
the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine. “It also
dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human
cell lines grown in mouse models.”

Lehmann estimated that the dose of pepper extract fed orally to the mice was
equivalent to giving 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week to a 200
pound man, roughly equivalent to between three and eight fresh habañera
peppers, depending on the pepper’s capsaicin content.

The pepper extract also curbed the growth of prostate cancer cells through
regulation of androgen receptors, the steroid activated proteins that
control expression of specific growth relating genes. On top of all that,
the hot pepper component also reduced cancer cell production of PSA, a
protein that often is produced in high quantities by prostate tumors and can
signal the presence of prostate cancer in men. PSA is regulated by
androgens, and capsaicin limited androgen-induced increases of PSA in the
cancer cell lines.

Habañeras are the highest rated pepper for capsaicin content according to
the Scoville heat index. Habañera peppers, which are native to the Yucatan,
typically contain up to 300,000 Scoville units. The more popular Jalapeño
variety from Oaxaca, Mexico, and the southwest United States, contains 2,500
to 5,000 Scoville units.
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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Red raspberries are a healthy addition to your diet. This fruit is
delicious, nutritious and packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.

The most promising benefit that red raspberries hold for consumers is their
substantial quantity of ellagic acid. Ellagic Acid is a phenolic compound
that has become known as a potent anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic
compound. Clinical tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Institute at the
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) show promising results that
ellagic acid, a naturally occurring plant phenol may help prevent cancer,
inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and arrest the growth of cancer in
subjects with a genetic predisposition for the disease.

Research published in the August 2004 issue of Cancer Letters offered an
insightful look at the reason that diets high in fruit help prevent cancer.
Raspberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes inhibit metalloproteinase
enzymes. When metalloproteinase enzymes are produced in abnormally high
amounts, these enzymes play a significant role in cancer development by
providing a mechanism for its invasion and spread. Raspberries, among other
fruits help keep these enzymes at the proper level.

Nutritious raspberries are easy as ever to include in your diet. Toss a
handful on your breakfast cereal, sprinkle them over your whole grain
pancakes, or make a delicious fruit salad or fruit smoothie. Make red
raspberries a part of your day!
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:55 PM   #10
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By Robert Bazell, Chief MSNBC Science & Health Correspondent

One of the refrains we hear most often covering the health and science beat
is: "You tell me one day something is bad for me and then it is good." There
are many legitimate reasons for this perception, and this story is a fine

About three decades ago, dermatologists alarmed at the rising incidence of
skin cancer began a campaign to get people to stop spending so much time in
the sun, or at least to cover up with strong suntan lotion if they did. The
effort was enormously successful.

Now there is a big problem with it. When the sun's rays (unfiltered by
lotion) strike our skin, our bodies produce vitamin D. Scientists always
knew vitamin D is critical for good health. Children not exposed enough to
the sun can get a terrible disease called rickets. But around 1989
scientists began to discover that vitamin D played an important critical
role in all the cells in the body, and they hypothesized that a lack of
vitamin D could increase the risks for cancer.

Large population studies have now verified that people with low vitamin D
levels indeed have higher levels of several common types of cancer,
including colon and breast. Some of the best research comes from the Nurse's
Health Study and the Health Professionals Study -- two efforts run by the
Harvard School of Public Health that have been following tens of thousands
of people for decades. The latest study looks at cancer incidence in men. In
addition to the Harvard study, two others came out today demonstrating an
increased incidence of breast cancer in women with low levels of vitamin D.
Those were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for
Cancer Research.

So how much vitamin D do we need? Based on these latest studies, experts now
recommend a minimum of 1,000 units a day. We get about 200 from food and
supplements usually contain 400. That is where the sun comes in. No one is
saying people should get sunburned or even tan. But you can get 1,000 units
of vitamin C by spending 10 minutes in the sun in the middle of the day with
your arms and face exposed. Amazingly, with our automobile and indoor
lifestyle many Americans do not get even that much. So here is an example
where the advice is changing not because of confusion, but because science
is making genuine progress.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:20 PM   #11
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Eat Your Colors!

For optimum health, scientists say, eat a rainbow of colors. Your plate
should look like a box of Crayons." - Janice M. Horowitz, TIME Magazine,
January 12, 2002

Colorful fruits and vegetables provide the wide range of vitamins, minerals,
fiber, and phytochemicals your body uses to maintain good health and energy
levels, protect against the effects of aging, and reduce the risk of cancer
and heart disease.*

Many of the phytochemicals and other compounds that make fruits and
vegetables good for us also give them their color. That's why it's essential
to sample the complete color spectrum every day to get the full preventive
benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Blue/purple fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of
health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics,
currently being studied for their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
Include BLUE/PURPLE in your low-fat diet to help maintain:

* A lower risk of some cancers *
* Urinary tract health
* Memory function & Healthy aging

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease
associated with many factors.

Get blue/purple every day with foods such as:

Blackberries, Blueberries, Black currants, Dried plums, Elderberries, Purple
figs, Purple grapes, Plums, Raisins, Purple asparagus, Purple cabbage,
Purple carrots, Eggplant, Purple Belgian endive
Purple peppers and Potatoes (purple fleshed).

Green vegetables contain varying amounts of phytochemicals such as lutein
and indoles, which interest researchers because of their potential
antioxidant, health-promoting benefits. Include GREEN in your low-fat diet
to maintain:

* A lower risk of some cancers*
* Vision health
* Strong bones and teeth

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease
associated with many factors.

Go green every day with fruits and vegetables like these:

Avocados, Green apples, Green grapes, Honeydew, Kiwifruit, Limes, Green
pears, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli
rabe, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage
Green beans, Green cabbage, Celery, Chayote squash, Cucumbers, Endive, Leafy
greens, Leeks Lettuce, Green onion, Okra, Peas, Green pepper, Snow Peas,
Sugar snaps peas, Spinach, Watercress and Zucchini.

White, tan, and brown fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of
phytochemicals of interest to scientists. These include allicin, found in
the garlic and onion family. The mineral selenium, found in mushrooms, is
also the subject of research. Including WHITE in your low-fat diet helps

* Heart health
* Cholesterol levels that are already healthy
* A lower risk of some cancers*

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease
associated with many factors.

Get all the health benefits of white by including foods such as:

Bananas, Brown pears, Dates, White nectarines, White peaches, Cauliflower,
Garlic, Ginger, Jerusalem artickoke, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Mushrooms, Onions,
Parsnips, Potatoes (white fleshed)
Shallots, Turnips and White Corn.

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of
antioxidants such as vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, two
classes of phytochemicals that scientists are studying for their
health-promoting potential. Including YELLOW/ORANGE in your low-fat diet
helps maintain:

* A healthy heart
* Vision health
* A healthy immune system
* A lower risk of some cancers*

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease
associated with many factors.

Choose Yellow/Orange fruits and vegetables like:

Yellow apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Cape Gooseberries, Yellow figs,
Grapefruit, Golden kiwifruit, Lemon, Mangoes, Nectarines, Oranges, Papayas,
Peaches, Yellow pears, Persimmons, Pineapples
Tangerines, Yellow watermelon, Yellow beets, Butternut squash, Carrots,
Yellow peppers, Yellow potatoes, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Yellow summer squash,
Sweet corn, Sweet potatoes, Yellow tomatoes, and Yellow winter squash.

Specific phytochemicals in the red group that are being studied for their
health-promoting properties include lycopene and anthocyanins. Include a
variety of RED fruits and vegetables in your low-fat diet to help maintain:

* A healthy heart
* Memory function
* A lower risk of some cancers*
* Urinary tract health

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease
associated with many factors.

Include RED fruits and vegetables in your diet such as:

Red apples, Blood oranges, Cherries, Cranberries, Red grapes, Pink/Red
grapefruit, Red pears Pomegranates, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon,
Beets, Red peppers, Radishes, Radicchio, Red onions, Red potatoes,
Rhubarb and Tomatoes
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:43 PM   #12
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Alzheimer's Risk Lowered by Mediterranean Diet in Study

Americans who ate a Mediterranean diet - lots of fruits, vegetables,
legumes, cereals, some fish and alcohol, and little dairy and meat - had a
reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease as they aged. The findings from this
new study are published in the April 2006 issue of Annals of Neurology, a
journal published by John Wiley & Sons.

"Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with
significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease," the authors
report. For each additional point to Mediterranean diet scores (indicating
increased adherence to the diet), Alzheimer's risk dropped by 9 to 10
percent. Compared with the subjects in the least adherent group that adhered
to a Mediterranean diet the least, subjects in the middle had 15 to 21
percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, and those in the
highest group had a 39 to 40 percent lower risk, suggesting a significant
response effect.

"We conclude that higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated
with a reduction in risk for Alzheimer's disease," they say. In addition,
they say that the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet for
non-neurological conditions have been previously shown to be generalized to
different populations, and that the current study provided the opportunity
to examine the effect of this diet for a neurological disease in a
multiethnic community in the U.S.
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:31 PM   #13
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Scientists are suggesting that tomato lovers may be more likely to reduce
the risk of serious disease. Lycopene, an anti oxidant which gives tomatoes
their lovely rich red color, helps remove free radicals from the body. Free
radicals are unstable oxygen molecules and have been implicated in cancer
and other serious diseases.

Professor Michael Avirim of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel who
is testing lycopene in clinical trials says, ' In its natural form, lycopene
is an excellent anti oxidant that helps to prevent formation of oxidized
LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol in blood, which contributes to the build up of
plaque that narrows, stiffens and constricts arteries and can lead to heart
attacks. When this natural extract was added to cancer cell cultures, the
lycopene inhibited their growth. Lycopene is the most potent nutritional
antioxidant found to date.

Another study compared men who had had a heart attack with the same number
of healthy men and found that those with high levels of lycopene appeared to
reduce their risk of heart diseases by 50%. The study's coordinator, Lenore
Kohlmeier, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the university of
North Carolina, said, 'Based on our findings, and other research, lycopene
can be an excellent antioxidant, we recommend that people eat tomato based
cooked foods.'

Several recent studies have shown that a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato
products is strongly linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers. In a six
year study of 48,000 male professionals, Dr Edward Giovannucci and
colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that consuming tomatoes and
tomato based products between five to seven serving a week was associated
with a reduced risk of prostate cancer of 21% to 34%.

Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer said that
lycopene appears to protect against cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus,
stomach, colon and rectum. Researchers at the University of Illinois report
that women with the highest lycopene levels had a five fold lower risk of
developing precancerous signs of cervical cancer than women with lowest
lycopene levels.

The human body does not produce lycopene alone and therefore relies on a
consumption of tomatoes and tomato based products for this anti oxidant.
Nutritionists and other health professionals have long advocated the cancer
preventative benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables.


Lycopene: Just The Facts

* Research by Dr. Joseph Levy and colleagues from Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, may have identified the unique
mechanism through which lycopene protects against cancer which is by
activating cancer-preventive phase II enzymes.

* Lycopene is an open-chain unsaturated carotenoid that imparts red
color to tomatoes.

* Lycopene is a proven anti-oxidant that may lower the risk of certain
diseases including cancer and heart disease.

* In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate
gland, colon and skin. Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher
than all other carotenoids.

* Epidemiological studies have shown that high intake of
lycopene-containing vegetables is inversely associated with the incidence of
certain types of cancer. For example, habitual intake of tomato products has
been found to decrease the risk of cancer of the digestive tract among

* In one six-year study by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School
of Public Health, the diets of more than 47,000 men were studied. Of 46
fruits and vegetables evaluated, only the tomato products (which contain
large quantities of lycopene) showed a measurable relationship to reduce
prostate cancer risk. As consumption of tomato products increased, levels of
lycopene in the blood increased, and the risk for prostate cancer decreased.
The study also showed that the heat processing of tomatoes and tomato
products increases Lycopene bioavailability.

* Ongoing research suggests that lycopene can reduce the risk of
macular degenerative disease, serum lipid oxidation and cancers of the lung,
bladder, cervix and skin.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:52 AM   #14
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In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, called it "the great
therapeutic". Homer called it "liquid gold" and ancient Greek athletes
ritually rubbed it all over their bodies. The health benefits of Olive Oil
that had been known and applied for centuries in ancient Greece are now
being rediscovered by modern day researchers.

A study published in the March 2004 issue of Medical Science Monitor
reported that 2 tablespoons a day of olive oil added to an otherwise
unchanged diet in 28 outpatients, ranging in age from 64 to 71, resulted in
significant drops in total and LDL cholesterol

Published studies link the judicious use of olive oil to reducing the effect
of a growing list of ailments. For example, Greek women have a 42% lower
rate of breast cancer than women in the U.S.

Olive oil is recognized as important in maintaining metabolism and
contributes to the development of the brain and bones in children. It is
also recommended as a source of vitamin E for older people. A natural
anti-oxidant, olive oil slows down the natural aging process. It also slows
down acid overproduction in the digestive system thereby reducing the risk
for ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems.

There is also a low incidence of skin cancer among Mediterranean
populations, and olive oil consumption could be a contributing factor to
this low skin cancer rate. Olive oil contains significantly higher amounts
of Squalene than other seed oils, and Squalene is to a large extent
transferred to the skin. German researchers believe that this transfer
mechanism is probably accomplished by scavenging singlet oxygen generated by
ultraviolet light. Japanese scientists also claim that virgin olive oil
applied to the skin after sunbathing could protect against skin cancer by
slowing tumor growth.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:26 AM   #15
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Default Bananas


Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a
strenuous, 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit
with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana
can help us keep fit. Bananas can also help us overcome or prevent a
substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to
our daily diet.

Research published in the January 2005 issue of the International Journal of
Cancer suggests that regular consumption of whole fruits and vegetables,
especially bananas, is highly protective against kidney cancer. The results
of this large population based prospective study (13.4 years) of 61,000
women aged 40-76, show that women eating more than 75 servings of fruits and
vegetables per month cut their risk of kidney cancer by 40%. Among the
fruits, bananas were found to be especially protective. Women eating bananas
four to six times a week cut their risk of kidney cancer by 50% compared to
those who did not eat bananas.

A group called MIND, the largest mental health charity in England, did a
study amongst people suffering from depression and found that many felt much
better after simply eating a banana. This is because bananas contain
Tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known
to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Two-hundred students at a Twickenham (Middlesex, UK) school were helped
through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and
lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the
potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Bananas have also been recognized for their antacid effects that protect
against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. In one study, a simple mixture of
banana and milk significantly suppressed acid secretion. The nutrients in
bananas help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, so they
produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Bananas
also contain compounds known as protease inhibitors which help eliminate
bacteria in the stomach that are the primary cause of stomach ulcers.

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt,
making it perfect to help with high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food
and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make
official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure
and stroke.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:12 PM   #16
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Default GRAPES


Eating fresh grapes may prevent the accumulation of harmful oxidized
cholesterol as well as the development of atherosclerotic lesions. According
to the study, as reported in the Journal of Nutrition (vol. 135, pp.
722-728, 2005.), naturally occurring antioxidants in fresh grapes known as
polyphenols are believed to be responsible for this beneficial impact.

In order to ensure the scientific validity of grape health studies, a
representative sample of fresh California grapes was collected, freeze-dried
and ground into an edible grape powder. The grape powder used in this study
contains all of the biologically active compounds found in fresh grapes.

"We found a remarkable reduction in the development of atherosclerosis
following consumption of grape powder," said principal investigator Bianca
Fuhrman, Senior Scientist at the Lipid Research Laboratory headed by Dr.
Michael Aviram at the Rambam Medical Center in Israel. "Grapes contain an
abundance of powerful antioxidants that appear to inhibit an array of
critical factors that can cause atherosclerosis."

Atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, is the result of
cholesterol build-up on the arterial wall, which leads to blockage of the
vessels that supply blood to the heart or the brain, resulting in a heart
attack or stroke, respectively. Blood cholesterol is carried throughout the
body by two lipoproteins. Low density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the
"bad" cholesterol, deposits cholesterol in arterial walls when it is present
in excess. High density lipoprotein (HDL), or the "good" cholesterol,
removes the excess cholesterol from the arteries to the liver and out of the
body. When cholesterol is damaged by oxidation, such as oxidized LDL
cholesterol, it is more easily deposited in the arterial walls, leading to a
blockage of the vessels. Diseases caused by atherosclerosis are the leading
cause of illness and death in the U.S.

Dr. Fuhrman's study showed that grape polyphenols reduced oxidative stress,
increased serum antioxidant capacity, reduced cell uptake of oxidized LDL
cholesterol and decreased the oxidation of LDL in general. These processes
eventually reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in the cells and prevent
foam cell formation, thus inhibiting the development of atherosclerosis.

"We are pleased to see studies such as this further the mounting evidence
that grapes exert a protective role in heart health," said Kathleen Nave,
president of the California Table Grape Commission. "Importantly, this work
provides insight that grapes impact a number of mechanisms that may lead to
a reduction in atherosclerosis."

Make 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day your goal this summer
and lead your children towards a life of health, happiness, vitality, and
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:11 PM   #17
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Default FIBER


You don't usually see it or taste it, but fiber works wonders for your body. Dietary fiber, or roughage, is a known cancer fighter found only in the cell walls of plant foods. For years, studies have pointed to the fact that increased fiber intake decreases the risk of colorectal cancer.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1999), this protective effect may be due to fiber's tendency to add bulk to your digestive system, shortening the amount of time that wastes travel through the colon. As this waste often contains carcinogens, it is best if it is removed as quickly as possible; so, increased fiber decreases chances for intestinal cells to be affected.

The Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1999) reported that Fiber may also help protect against breast cancer, an effect noted especially with consumption of whole grains and wheat bran. Additionally, studies suggest that high amounts of fiber may also prevent breast cancer by binding to estrogen. When bacteria in the lower intestine break down fiber, a substance called butyrate is produced which may inhibit the growth of tumors of the colon and rectum as reported in the Journal of Oncology Research in 2000. Fiber may also have a protective effect against mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2001.

If you're like most North Americans, you take in only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. However, most studies have shown that optimal intake for cancer prevention is at least 30 to 35 grams per day. Recent studies suggest that small increases in fiber, such as adding vegetables to a chicken stir-fry or having a hamburger on a whole wheat bun, do not offer much protection. On the other hand, when we replace high-fat, animal products such as chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs with plant foods, we easily boost fiber to levels where real protection is possible.

Whole foods contain two types of dietary fiber which are known as soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. It cuts cholesterol and adds to your feeling of fullness. Good sources of soluble fiber are oats, oat bran, oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, dried beans, barley, rye flour, potatoes, raw cabbage, and pasta.

As you may have guessed, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is found in whole grain brans, fruit pulp, and vegetable peels and skins. It is the type of fiber most strongly linked to cancer protection and improved waste removal. Good sources of insoluble fiber are wheat bran, whole wheat products, cereals made from bran or shredded wheat, crunchy vegetables, barley, grains, whole wheat pasta, and rye flour.

It is best to choose fiber-rich foods over fiber supplements in order to get the full range of the cancer-fighting phytochemicals that fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains contain.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:05 AM   #18
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Default PECANS


Pecans have it all. Besides being one of the most elegant, versatile and rich-tasting nuts you can put on your plate, they offer up a package of health benefits that’s very impressive. In fact, the new 2005 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend eating 4 to 5 servings of nuts each week.

The Mayo Clinic conducted a study which found that all nuts are nutrient dense and naturally cholesterol free. Not only are nuts cholesterol free but, studies have suggested that eating pecans may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, leading to a reduction in the risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The serving size for nuts is about one ounce, which equals about 15 pecan halves. Pecans are a great staple for vegetarians, because one serving of pecans can take the place of the protein found in an ounce of meat.

Pecans are also a rich source of oleic acid, the same type of fatty acid found in olive oil. Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago recently found in laboratory tests that oleic acid has the ability to suppress the activity of a gene in cells thought to trigger breast cancer. While this area of study is still in its early stages, the researchers say it could eventually translate into a recommendation to eat more foods rich in oleic acid, like pecans and olive oil.

Researchers from Loma Linda University in California and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, have confirmed that when pecans are part of the daily diet, levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood drop. Pecans get their cholesterol-lowering ability from both the type of fat they contain and the presence of beta-sitosterol, a natural cholesterol-lowering compound. Eating 1 ½ ounces of pecans a day, when its part of a heart-healthy diet, can reduce the risk of heart disease. Moreover, a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that pecans, hazelnuts, and walnuts contained the highest antioxidant levels of all nuts tested.

The same natural compound that gives pecans its cholesterol-lowering power, has also been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland in men. About two ounces of pecans provides a dose of beta-sitosterol found to be effective. In addition, a recent laboratory study from Purdue University found that gamma-tocopherol, the type of vitamin E found in pecans, has the ability to kill prostate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Last but not least, despite the widely held belief that “nuts are fattening,” several population studies have found that as nut consumption increased, body fat actually decreased.
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:18 AM   #19
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When it comes to a triple serving of health benefits, grapefruit packs a tri-power punch that’s hard to beat.

Researchers in Israel recently found that red and white grapefruit contain powerful antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that serving heart by-pass patients the equivalent of one grapefruit a day significantly reduced cholesterol levels. The study included 57 patients, both men and women, who recently had coronary bypass surgery and failed to respond to cholesterol-lowering medication. Red grapefruit was especially effective, reducing cholesterol by 15 per cent and triglycerides (a type of fat that increases the risk of heart disease) by 17 per cent.

Another recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. The research was published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Scientists noted that DNA repair by Naringenin might contribute to the cancer-fighting effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

An even more recent study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women and found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculate resulted in the weight loss. The smaller the amount of insulin in the blood after a meal, the more efficiently the body uses food for energy rather than storing it as fat. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:04 AM   #20
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Milling is the process that turns brown rice into white rice by removing the outer layer known as the bran layer - this alters the nutritional value of the rice. The complete milling process that creates white rice from brown rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. In short, brown rice is a fiber-rich whole grain whereas white rice is simply a refined and nutritionally depleted processed food.

In March of 2006, research reported in the journal Agricultural Research, Nancy Keim and a team at the USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Center studied 10 women age 20-45 who ate a whole grain diet for three days, then ate the same foods but with refined grains in place of whole grains. Blood samples at the end of each 3-day period showed that the refined grains diet caused a significant increase in triglycerides and a worrisome protein called "apolipoprotein CIII" (apoCIII), both of which have been associated with increased risk of heart disease.

At the University of Utah, in a study of over 2000 people, a team led by Dr. Martha Slattery found that high intakes of whole grains, such as brown rice, reduced the risk of rectal cancer 31%. They also found that a high-fiber diet, 34 grams or more of fiber per day, reduced rectal cancer by an impressive 66%. The findings were published in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In a Study presented at American Heart Association Conference, March 2006, overweight children, age 9-15, spent two weeks on an all-you-can-eat diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein, while exercising 2.5 hours each day. University of California researchers led by Dr. James Barnard reported that in just two weeks the children's cholesterol levels dropped an average of 21%, while insulin levels fell 30%.

We encourage parents everywhere to consider guiding themselves and their children down a healthier path by replacing processed and refined grains with healthy, natural whole grains such as brown rice. The healthy habits that your children learn from you while young will stay with them and be passed on for generations to come.

This is one small change that can make a BIG difference.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #21
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Default Stretching


Stretching is something you can easily do anytime, anywhere — in your home, your office, or even when you're traveling. Aim to stretch at least three times a week. If you can't get a full workout in, you can still benefit from stretching at least that often.

Many experts believe that stretching may also reduce your risk of injury in sports. "The more prepared your muscles and joints are for an activity, the more protected you are against injury," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Laskowski explains, "If your joints are not able to go through their full range of motion because of muscle tightness, sports and exercise activities may put an excessive load on the tissue and contribute to injury.”

The many benefits of stretching include:

Increased flexibility and better range of motion of your joints - Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.

Improved circulation - Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries.

Better posture - Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture. Good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.

Stress relief - Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress. Maintaining the full range of motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older.

Basic stretches to improve your flexibility focus on your body's major muscle groups: calf, thigh, hip, lower back, neck and shoulder.

Warm up first. Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock to make sure you're holding your stretches long enough. For most of your muscle groups, if you hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds, you'll need to do each stretch only once.

Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible — and more prone to pain.

Focus on a pain-free stretch. If you feel pain as you stretch, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch. Relax and breathe freely. Don't hold your breath while you're stretching. Stretch both sides. Make sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body.

Stretch before and after. Light stretching after your warm-up followed by a more thorough stretching regimen after your workout is your best bet. In addition to stretching major muscle groups, stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. Sport-specific stretching prepares your muscles for a particular sport or activity. For example, if you frequently play tennis or golf, working in a few extra shoulder stretches loosens the muscles around your shoulder joint, making it feel less tight and more ready for action.

Stretch when you exercise or three times a week to maintain flexibility "Stretch as often as you exercise," Dr. Laskowski recommends. "Most experts recommend a cool-down period anyway after exercise. Going into your stretches after your workout is a good way to cool down.

Why not make stretching a family fun time with the kids as part of your family’s daily wellness program?
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:13 AM   #22
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The French seem to know something about the health benefits of red wine. In a study that compared French and German red wines, the French red wines delivered a greater health benefit due to their higher level of antioxidants.

In 1991, the television program 60 minutes aired a report called The French Paradox. The program explored the heart attack rates of daily moderate wine drinkers in southern France; their rate is one of the lowest in the world, and their food among the unhealthiest.

One of the most studied antioxidants in red wine is resveratrol, a compound found in the seeds and skins of grapes. Red wine has a high concentration of resveratrol because the skins and seeds ferment in the grapes' juices during the red wine-making process. This prolonged contact during fermentation produces significant levels of resveratrol in the finished red wine.

Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol called a phytoalexin, a class of compounds produced as part of a plant's defense system against disease. It is produced in the plant in response to an invading fungus, stress, injury, infection, or ultraviolet irradiation. Red wine contains high levels of resveratrol, as do grapes, raspberries, peanuts, and other plants.

Beliefs in the benefits of red wine got a boost in 2006 when Harvard Medical School researchers found that resveratrol made mice live longer, more active lives, even if the mice made pigs of themselves. The study, reported in the journal Nature, showed that with daily doses of resveratrol, middle-aged mice on an unhealthy, fat-heavy food regimen remained as healthy, or even healthier, than those eating much less fat.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people who drink in moderation are different from non-drinkers or heavy drinkers in ways that could influence health and disease. Part of a national 1985 health interview survey showed that moderate drinkers were more likely than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers to be at a healthy weight, to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and to exercise regularly.

The definition of moderate drinking is something of a balancing act. Moderate drinking sits at the point at which the health benefits of alcohol clearly outweigh the risks. The latest consensus places this point at one to two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women - moderation seems to be the key
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:15 AM   #23
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Quinoa, though not technically a cereal grain like wheat or oats, has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for thousands of years by South Americans. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is the tiny seed of the Chenopodium Quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach and beets.

Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas (chisiya mama). Now, as people in the rest of the world learn more about Quinoa, they're discovering that its ancient nickname was well deserved - Quinoa is indeed a nutritional powerhouse.

Quinoa's protein content, about 16 percent, is higher than that of any other grain. Wheat also has a high protein content, about 14 percent, but the protein in wheat and most other grains is lacking in the amino acid lysine, which Quinoa has in abundance. In fact, the amino acid composition in Quinoa is almost perfect. The World Health Organization has judged the protein in Quinoa to be as complete as that in milk. In addition, Quinoa contains more iron than most grains, and is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, folate, and many B vitamins.

Eating a serving of whole grains, such as Quinoa, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease.

A 3-year prospective study of 229 postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease, published in the July 2005 issue of the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week experienced:

* Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows.

* Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:17 AM   #24
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In the first ever comprehensive study of strenuous physical activity and the risk of Parkinson's disease, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that men who exercised regularly and vigorously early in their adult life had a lower risk for developing Parkinson's disease compared to men who did not. The findings appear in the February 22, 2005 issue of the journal Neurology.

Men who were the most physically active at the start of the study cut their risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 50 percent compared to male study participants who were the least physically active. The researchers also found that men who reported regularly strenuous physical activity in early adult life cut the risk for Parkinson's by 60 percent compared to those who did not.

Alberto Ascherio, senior author and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said: "These are intriguing and promising findings that suggest that physical activity may contribute to the prevention of Parkinson's.”

As the New Year approaches, we encourage all to make 2007 the year to Get Active. With a little creativity and planning, even the busiest people can make room for physical activity. Think about your daily schedule and look for opportunities to be more active. Every little bit helps - so here are some helpful tips:

* Walk, cycle, jog, skate, etc., to work, school, the store, or place of worship.
* Park the car farther away from your destination.
* Get on or off the bus several blocks away.
* Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
* Play with children or pets. Everybody wins.
* Take fitness breaks – walk or stretch.
* Perform gardening or home repair activities.
* Turn off the self-propel option on your lawn mower or vacuum cleaner.
* Use leg power-take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
* Exercise while watching TV using hand weights or a stationary bicycle.
* Dance to music.
* Walk while doing errands.

We especially reach out to parents everywhere and encourage you to guide your children towards more physical activity. The lifestyle that your children learn from you will likely stay with them their entire lives. By encouraging your children to be active, to run and play, to ride their bikes and to participate in organized sports – you can put them on a path that offers life long health benefits.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:20 AM   #25
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Over half of the most aggressively advertised children’s foods that prominently feature fruit on their packaging contain no fruit at all, according to a study released by the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments. The study - Where’s the Fruit? reveals that 51 percent of these products do not contain fruit, and another 16 percent contain only minimal amounts of fruit despite prominent fruit promotions on the packaging.

“Parents drawn to products that seem healthier for their children based on references to fruit on the packaging are being deceived,” explains Leslie Mikkelsen, a registered dietician with the Strategic Alliance and lead author of the study. “Food and beverage companies are some of the most sophisticated communicators in the world and are clearly capable of accurately reflecting what is in their products if they wanted to.”

The Where’s the Fruit? study identifies the most heavily advertised children’s food products that include words and images of fruit and/or fruit ingredients on the packaging. A total of 37 products were included in the final study, and their ingredient lists were analyzed to determine the presence of fruit ingredients. A full 51% of the products contained no fruit ingredients at all despite the images of fruits and use of words such as “fruity,” “fruit flavors” and “berry” on the packaging.

“The nation is facing a staggering epidemic of chronic diseases that result from poor eating and physical inactivity,” cautions Dr. Andria Ruth, a pediatrician for the Diabetes Resource Center of Santa Barbara. “Children are particularly affected and these food companies are making parents’ jobs even harder by using misleading packaging to lead them to think that they are making a healthy choice when they are not."
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