A new study confims the link between bad health and consuming fast foods.
“Eating fast food three or more times a week is linked to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children, researchers found.
The study didn’t prove that eating more fast food caused the increase in the conditions, which both can be linked to the overreaction of the body’s immune system. Because fast food was the only dietary category shown to have an association with the disorders, the results suggest that such a diet may cause asthma attacks or eczema outbreaks, the authors said. Conversely, eating three or more servings of fruit a week showed reduced risk in developing those conditions, they said.
- Two in Three Australians have bought Organic Produce in the past year
- Organics is predicted to grow by up to 15% over the next year compared to global growth trends of 2%-11%
- Australia remains with the largest area of certified organic land in the world
Recent research from University of Warwick in the UK demonstrates again the beneficial effects of strawberries on our cardiovascular health, particularly with regard to how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Natural News Reports:
“Flavonoids from many fruits have been associated with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help prevent a host of diseases ranging from cardiovascular ailments and metabolic disorders to dementia and cognitive decline. Increased antioxidant activity promoted by consumption of strawberries is essential to halt damage to metabolically active organs such as the heart and brain, and when consumed as part of a regular dietary regimen can prevent cellular damage associated with chronic disease and early death.
Researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on our cardiovascular health, particularly with regard to how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes. A study team led by Dr. Paul Thornalley has found that extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called ‘Nrf2′ which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. The protein decreases total blood lipids and levels of oxidized cholesterol, two elements known to promote cardiovascular disease.
Strawberries influence the expression of digestive genes to improve cholesterol absorption
Prior research has shown how consumption of strawberries can counter post-meal blood glucose surges and improve dangerous levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, thereby decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. This is the first time that strawberry extracts have been demonstrated to positively stimulate proteins that offer us protection against disease.
Dr. Thornalley commented “We’ve discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our built-in defenses to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and which can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and diabetes.” Strawberries and other members of the berry family modify our blood cholesterol profile with an effect similar to that seen with a high fiber diet, where cholesterol is absorbed in the intestines before it can be processed by the liver.
Strawberries accomplish this effect by down-regulating the impact of genes in the digestive tract that influence cholesterol absorption. The berries can also impact how the liver processes cholesterol, the degree of damaging oxidation and re-absorption of cholesterol for use by the trillions of cells throughout the body. As with most other natural foods that are shown to influence the expression of individual genes, only small quantities (one to two servings of strawberries, several days a week) of the super fruit are needed to provide positive health benefits that may help prevent a host of chronic illnesses.”
Nushies’ Natural Strawberry Ice Creamery contains 23% of natural organic strawberries. It tastes fabulous and is dairy and gluten free and contains no artificial additives or preservatives.
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Natural News Reports:
“Green tea has always been cited to improve a number of health benefits through its consumption. A recent study targeted LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and brought forth evidence that green tea reduces those levels. The question of how much and whether or not green tea should serve as a medical alternative remains to be seen; however, the overall benefits of green tea are difficult to ignore.
The study separated participants in two random groups: the first group who drank green tea and consumed green tea extract, and the second group that did not consume green tea. This study was staged for a period of time ranging from a few weeks up to three months, and the results showed that the former group who consumed high amounts of green tea had reduced levels of “bad” cholesterol. In fact, the participants who consumed green tea had a, on average, 7.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) reduction in total cholesterol levels compared to the participants who did not consume green tea. These participants also had their “bad” cholesterol levels dropped by 2.2 mg/dL.
Another study done by researchers at Western University of Health Sciences dissected the correlation between green tea and serum lipid levels, as well as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Over the course of three to 24 weeks, researches conducted 20 trials that resulted in lower LDL cholesterol levels. Specifically, the participants showed a five to six point reduction in their levels.
Why does green tea lower LDL cholesterol
Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a very powerful antioxidant that has been known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels, and also inhibit abnormal formation of blood clots.
The particular reason green tea is always cited as a superior health choice when it comes to tea, is its minimal processing. Green tea leaves are withered and steamed rather than fermented like black and oolong teas. This is what prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized, resulting in its catechins and EGCG to be more concentrated.
Although green tea is not being “prescribed” for lowering LDL cholesterol levels, the evidence is clear that it can help with lowering the “bad” cholesterol levels. When consumed regularly, green tea contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle and even to the prevention of heart disease.
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Try Nushie’s Natural Green Tea Ice Creamery. It tastes fabulous and is very healthy being non dairy and gluten free. It contains more than 15% steeped brewed and fresh organic raw Green Tea leaves. It also contains wheat grass which is full of anti oxidants as well as natural epicatechin compounds.
Science Daily reports that there is more good news for all of us who take Omega-3 fatty acid as part of our diet.
“ScienceDaily (June 20, 2012) — New research shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults, suggesting that regular use of these supplements could help protect against and treat certain illnesses.
Four months of omega-3 supplementation decreased one protein in the blood that signals the presence of inflammation by an average of more than 10 percent, and led to a modest decrease in one other inflammation marker. In comparison, participants taking placebos as a group saw average increases of 36 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of those same markers.
Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the frailty and functional decline that can accompany aging.
Study participants took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their supplements. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are considered”good fats” that, when consumed in proper quantities, are associated with a variety of health benefits. Study participants taking a placebo consumed pills containing less than 2 teaspoons per day of a mix of oils representing a typical American’s daily dietary oil intake.
“Omega-3 fatty acids may be both protective so that inflammation doesn’t go up, as well as therapeutic by helping inflammation go down,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
“This is the first study to show that omega-3 supplementation leads to changes in inflammatory markers in the blood in overweight but otherwise healthy people. In terms of regulating inflammation when people are already healthy, this is an important study, in that it suggests one way to keep them healthy.”
The study is published online and scheduled for later print publication in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
The scientists recruited 138 adults — 45 men and 93 women — who were in good health, but who were either overweight or obese and lived sedentary lives. Their average age was 51 years. Based on body mass index, a measure of weight relative to height, 91 percent of the participants were overweight and 47 percent were obese.
Inflammation tends to accompany excess body fat, so the researchers recruited participants who were most likely high in pro-inflammatory blood compounds at the beginning of the study.
“We wanted to have enough room to see a downward trend. Most other trials testing the effects of omega-3 supplements on inflammation used people who were seriously diseased or skinny and healthy,” said Kiecolt-Glaser, also an investigator in Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR). “You can see results in people with serious diseases, but there’s a lot of other noise in that system. We wanted to make sure we were studying results in people who were fairly fit but who weren’t exercising, because exercise can clearly lower inflammation.”
The researchers also excluded from participation people taking a variety of medications to control mood, cholesterol and blood pressure as well as vegetarians, patients with diabetes, smokers, those routinely taking fish oil, people who got more than two hours of vigorous exercise each week and those whose body mass index was either below 22.5 or above 40.
Participants received either a placebo or one of two different doses of omega-3 fatty acids — either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams per day. The supplements were calibrated to contain a ratio of the two fish oil fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), of seven to one. Previous research has suggested that EPA has more anti-inflammatory properties than does DHA.
After four months, participants who had taken the omega-3 supplements had significantly lower levels in their blood of two proteins that are markers of inflammation, also called pro-inflammatory cytokines. The low-dose group showed an average 10 percent decrease in the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the high-dose group’s overall IL-6 dropped by 12 percent. In comparison, those taking a placebo saw an overall 36 percent increase in IL-6 by the end of the study.
Levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) also dropped, but in a more modest way, by 0.2 percent and 2.3 percent in the low- and high-dose groups, respectively. The placebo group’s TNF-a increased by an average of 12 percent.
IL-6 and TNF-a are two of a family of six cytokines that, when stimulated, produce an inflammatory response to a stressor such as an injury or infection, said study co-author Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the IBMR.
“You need this good inflammation for an initial response, but if it stays up, and inflammation becomes chronic, then you’ve got a problem,” Glaser said. “Our research and studies done by others have shown that these two cytokines are clearly related to overall health — and when they’re elevated in the blood, that is not good for overall health. So the more ways we can find to lower them, the better.”
Statistically, there was no significant difference in lowered inflammation between the two doses, but each dose clearly produced cytokine reductions that differed significantly from the placebo group.
“These data support the idea that a higher dose of omega-3 is not necessarily better than a lower dose in terms of prevention of inflammation,” said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State and a co-author of the study.
However, levels of omega-3 fatty acids in participants’ blood increased according to which dose they consumed, which improved their ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. The current typical American diet contains between 15 and 17 times more omega-6 than omega-3, a ratio that researchers suggest should be lowered to 4-to-1, or even 2-to-1, to improve overall health.
“Scientists tend to agree that the best way to gauge a person’s omega-3 status is to see whether that ratio goes down,” Belury said. “That’s what we saw in this study, and it was achieved through supplementation. We wanted participants to maintain normal diets and simply add this modest amount of oil to their existing diet. We expected and we found that their blood plasma omega-3 fatty acids went up in a dose-responsive manner.”
The Food and Drug Administration considers daily omega-3 supplementation of up to 3 grams to be “generally regarded as safe.” The doses in this study were within those safety parameters, but the researchers did not extend their findings to make a general recommendation about omega-3 supplementation.
“Although omega-3 fatty acids cannot take the place of good health behaviors, people with established inflammatory diseases or conditions may benefit from their use,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.
The researchers also sought to determine whether omega-3 fatty acids could reduce depression symptoms, but participants had relatively few symptoms to begin with so no significant reductions were seen. Depression is also associated with chronic inflammation, but research hasn’t yet fully defined the mechanisms behind that relationship.
This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health. OmegaBrite, a company based in Waltham, Mass., supplied the supplements as an unrestricted gift but did not participate in the study design, results or publication.
Additional co-authors, all at Ohio State, include Rebecca Andridge of the Division of Biostatistics; William Malarkey of the IBMR and the departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine; and Beom Seuk Hwang of the IBMR and biostatistics.”
Try Nushie’s Natural Flaxseed Crackers. They are fabulous tasting full of Omega-3 and contain no artificial additives or preservatives.