Apples and pears may keep strokes away.
That's the conclusion of a Dutch study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association in which researchers found that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables with white flesh may protect against stroke.
While previous studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower stroke risk, the researchers' prospective work is the first to examine associations of fruits and vegetable color groups with stroke.
The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables reflects the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
Fruits and vegetables were classified in four color groups:
* Green, including dark leafy vegetables, cabbages and lettuces
* Orange/Yellow, which were mostly citrus fruits
* Red/Purple, which were mostly red vegetables
* White, of which 55 percent were apples and pears
During 10 years of follow-up, 233 strokes were documented. Green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and vegetables weren't related to stroke. However, the risk of stroke incidence was 52 percent lower for people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables compared to people with a low intake.
Each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average apple is 120 grams.
"To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables. For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake. However, other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases. Therefore, it remains of importance to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables."
Apples and pears are high in dietary fiber and a flavonoid called quercetin. In the study, other foods in the white category were bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber.
2. I need to eat more yogurt:
Probiotics Have Slight Preventive Effect on Colds: Review
Taking probiotics seems to provide both children and adults with a mild degree of protection against many upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) including the common cold, according to a new systematic review. People who consume probiotics are also less likely to end up taking antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection, the review found.
Probiotics are in fermented foods like yogurt, soy yogurt and kefir. People also often take probiotics as supplements. The reviewers compared how often colds and other respiratory infections occurred in people who consumed probiotics to people who took placebos and found a statistically significant difference.
3. I'm glad I take a statin for high cholesterol:
a. People with high cholesterol may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
b. Statins reduce deaths from infection and respiratory illness
4. I eat a lot of broccoli but it's probably overcooked and I don't put mustard on it as I should:
Spicing up broccoli boosts its cancer-fighting power
Teaming fresh broccoli with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase significantly enhances each food's individual cancer-fighting power and ensures that absorption takes place in the upper part of the digestive system where you'll get the maximum health benefit, suggests a new University of Illinois study.
"To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish, or wasabi. The spicier, the better; that means it's being effective," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of nutrition. It's no secret that many people cook the benefits right out of broccoli instead of steaming it lightly for two to four minutes to protect its healthful properties, she said. "However, this study shows that even if broccoli is overcooked, you can still boost its benefits by pairing it with another food that contains myrosinase," she said.
5. I'll drink to that:
a. Alcohol intake and 'successful aging'
Among 13,894 women in the Nurses' Health Study, investigators prospectively examined alcohol use assessed at midlife in relation to "successful aging," which was defined as survival to age 70 years, not having a major chronic disease (such as coronary disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes), and having no major cognitive impairment, physical impairment, or mental health problems. Only 11% of the women met these criteria.
The results indicate that moderate drinkers, especially those consuming wine and drinking regularly, were more likely to exhibit successful ageing. For average amount consumed, the largest benefit (an increase of 28%) was among women who reported 15.1 – 30 g of alcohol per day (an average of just over 1 to 2 _ drinks per day), when compared with non-drinkers. The frequency of drinking was especially important: in comparison with nondrinkers, women who drank only on 1 to 2 days per week had little increase in their risk of successful aging, but those drinking on at least 5 days per week had almost a 50% greater chance of successful aging.
b. Daily Moderate Drinking Helps Clogged Arteries - Weekend Binge Hurts
In the journal Atherosclerosis, scientists found that daily moderate drinking – the equivalent of two drinks per day, seven days a week – decreased atherosclerosis in mice, while binge drinking – the equivalent of seven drinks a day, two days a week – increased development of the disease. Atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries, is a serious condition that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
6. I've always felt that I need regular exercise to keep me from going crazy, but here's proof:
Aerobic Exercise May Reduce the Risk of Dementia
Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reported a Mayo Clinic study published this month in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers examined the role of aerobic exercise in preserving cognitive abilities and concluded that it should not be overlooked as an important therapy against dementia.
The researchers broadly defined exercise as enough aerobic physical activity to raise the heart rate and increase the body’s need for oxygen. Examples include walking, gym workouts and activities at home such as shoveling snow or raking leaves.
7. I've always avoided baked potatoes because of their high glycemic index. But new research is eye-opening as is the article below:
a. Baked Potatoes Reduce Blood Pressure
The potato’s stereotype as a fattening food for health-conscious folks to avoid is getting another revision today as scientists report that just a couple servings of spuds a day reduces blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain. S
But don’t reach for the catsup, vinegar or mayonnaise. The research was not done with French fries, America’s favorite potato, but with potatoes cooked without oil in a microwave oven. Although researchers used purple potatoes, they believe that red-skin potatoes and white potatoes may have similar effects.
b. The TRUTH about Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and "White Foods" - Friend or Foe for Fat Loss?
White potatoes are actually a healthy carbohydrate as long as you eat them in the right form... with the entire skin, and please don't ruin them by deep frying them into french fries either! French fries are one of the most evil things ever invented for your health, but only because we ruin them by soaking them in a scorching bath of trans fats in the deep fryer from the hydrogenated oils that are typically used.
Keep in mind that potatoes contain so many vitamins and minerals that the list is way too long to even try. Also, as long as you eat the skins, you get a decent shot of fiber too.
8. I take it for other reasons but this is good to know:
Alternatives To Halt High Blood Pressure
The shining star among supplements is coenzyme Q10, an enzyme involved in energy production that also acts as an antioxidant. Patients with hypertension tend to have lower levels of the enzyme, and a meta-analysis – an overarching analysis of past studies – found that treatment with coenzyme Q10 supplements significantly reduced blood pressure.
9. My cycling is slow and steady (what little I do of it - I really, really need to do more), but at least my running on the soccer field is often intense:
Cycling fast: vigorous daily exercise recommended for a longer life
A study conducted among cyclists in Copenhagen, Denmark1 showed that it is the relative intensity and not the duration of cycling which is of most importance in relation to all-cause mortality and even more pronounced for coronary heart disease mortality.
10. Eating dark chocolate (86%) is one of the things I do best:
Chocolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
Five studies reported a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiovascular events and they found that the "highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels." No significant reduction was found in relation to heart failure.
11. More research directly related to my diet:
Why White Bread is Bad for You
Breast cancer risk drops when diet includes walnuts