Food and Nutrition: Health News & Tips


The food you eat may be your best resource in fighting many chronic health conditions. Here are a few food sources and how they can impact some popular chronic health conditions.

A Banana A Day…Researchers have known for years that getting enough potassium can lower blood pressure. However, a new study suggests that women who eat more potassium, but who don’t have high blood pressure, may benefit as well—more potassium intake was linked to a 21 percent lower risk of stroke in these women. Source: Stroke

Pom Power: Following heart surgery, many patients complain of memory dysfunction—but one study shows that supplementing with pomegranate extract post-op may help. In fact, patients receiving 2 grams of the extract every day after surgery actually showed improved memory retention for up to six weeks, compared with their presurgery baseline performance. The placebo group, on the other hand, showed significant deficits in postsurgery memory retention. Source: eCAM

Oatmeal; Interest in oatmeal has increased considerably during the past 20 years because of its health benefits. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed that foods with high levels of rolled oats or oat bran could include data on the label about their cardiovascular health benefits as part of a low fat diet. This led to a surge in oatmeal’s popularity.

Research has found that the cereal’s soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. Oats contain complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber. These slow down digestion and help stabilize levels of blood glucose. Oatmeal is also a good source of folate and potassium. People can make oatmeal from rolled or ground oats. Coarse or steel-cut oats contain more fiber than instant varieties. Source: USDA

Follow Your Heart: It may not matter whether your main source of protein is from animals or vegetables, suggests one study: When researchers examined protein intake from red meat, dairy products, fish, nuts, eggs, and legumes, they did not discover a significant relationship between major dietary protein sources and the risk for coronary heart disease. Source: PloS One

Walnuts & Brain Health: A new animal study found that walnuts—with their high antioxidant and omega-3 content—may have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer’s disease, including reducing the risk, delaying the onset, slowing the progression, or even preventing it altogether. Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

57: The percentage of American moms who currently purchase more foods derived from natural ingredients than they did 10 years ago. Source: Chr. Hansen “Thought for Food” survey.

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