Weight loss beginning with what you drink

Weight loss beginning with what you drink

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Weight loss beginning with what you drink

Weight loss beginning with what you drink

1. Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink eight glasses per day, but that may take you some time to work up to. Your body needs a whole lot of water. Water doesn’t just flush all the toxins out of your body, but it makes you feel better and healthier. When you drink a lot of water, you just begin to feel fit, and this is the motivation you need to lose weight.
2. Start your day with a fresh, clean glass of water. As soon as you get up in the morning, drink one down. This will help your body to get going because it won’t be fighting through dehydration. Also, after you drink a glass of water, you won’t need to eat such a large breakfast.

3. Drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat. Water will naturally make you feel fuller, so you don’t have to eat as much food.

4. Do your best to stay away from soda. All sodas are sweetened with lots of sugar. The more you can cut out of your diet, the better. Also, diet soda is still soda. It may not have as much sugar, but it has other chemicals and components that are not good for your body either.

5. Fruit juice isn’t as healthy as most people think, either. Juice actually has a lot of sugar in it as well. If you are craving a glass of juice, drink fresh fruit juice instead of juice that has artificial flavors and coloring.

6. If you can say no to alcohol, then that is best. Alcohol beverages are not exactly good for you, although a glass of red wine does have heart benefits, most are just fattening. Beer is especially fattening. Cocktails are fattening, depending on what they are made of.

7. If you must have alcohol, try dry wine.

Dry wine is better than your sweet wines because sweet wines have more sugar! Dry wines have sugar, but most of it has been fermented away into alcohol, and from a weight gaining perspective, dry is better.

8. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee

as it desensitizes your body to the natural fat-burning effects that caffeine has. One or two cups (if the days really slow to get started) max.

9. Drink green tea.

It aids the digestive system and can help ease an overly full stomach, and it has been linked to a reduction in cancer risk. But for weight loss, the essential nutrient in green tea, EGCG, maintains high norepinephrine levels in your body to keep your metabolism revved up.

Weight loss beginning with what you drink

Weight loss beginning with what you drink

Weight loss beginning with what you drink

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Vitamin C Everything You Need to Know

Vitamin C Everything You Need to Know

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Vitamin C: Everything You Need to Know

Vitamin C: Everything You Need to Know

Do you reach for an orange, a glass of orange juice, or a vitamin C tablet at the first sign of a cold? If so, you aren’t alone. It’s an impulse nudged by Vitamin C and the Common Cold, written in 1970 by Linus Pauling, a double Nobel laureate and self-proclaimed champion of vitamin C. Pauling fervently believed that megadoses of vitamin C—between 1,000 and 2,000 milligrams a day (the amount in twelve to twenty-four oranges!) could prevent and abort colds . . . and could do the same for cancer.
There’s no question that vitamin C plays a role in fighting infection. It helps make collagen, a substance you need for healthy bones, ligaments, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves. It is also a potent antioxidant that can neutralize the tissue-damaging free radicals that assail the body.
We’ve known for almost two hundred years that citrus fruits prevent scurvy, a once-feared disease that killed an estimated 2 million sailors between 1500 and 1800. It wasn’t until 1932, though, that vitamin C was discovered and found to be the active agent in citrus fruits responsible for fighting scurvy.

Can high doses of vitamin C fight other diseases?

Not the common cold: study after study has failed to prove Pauling’s proposition.
There’s a smattering of evidence that a little extra vitamin C, about the amount found in a typical multivitamin, at the very beginning of a cold might relieve some symptoms, but there’s no support for megadoses.

Prevent cancer and heart disease?

The evidence is thin, and most studies don’t support that. It’s possible that some extra vitamin C might help prevent cataract formation, but here again, more research is needed.

Recommended intake:

Recommended intake: The current recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 75 milligrams a day for women and 90 milligrams a day for men, with an extra 35 milligrams a day for smokers. As the evidence continues to unfold, I suggest getting 200 to 300 milligrams of vitamin C a day. This is easy to do with a good diet and a standard multivitamin pill.

Good food sources

Good food sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and juices, berries, green and red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamin C.

Safety:

Safety:

There seems to be no harm in getting more, although the latest dietary reference intake report on vitamin C cautions against taking megadoses above 2,000 milligrams a day. But there’s really no need to overdo vitamin C. Your body can’t store much of it (about 1,500 to 3,000 milligrams at a time) and flushes out the excess in bright yellow urine. What’s more, there’s no evidence that big daily doses help. At high concentrations, vitamin C can switch roles and act like a free radical instead of an antioxidant and theoretically could cause the things you may be trying to prevent.

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Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

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Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Heart disease accounts for 1 out of 4 deaths in the United States each year and costs over $207 billion per year when considering the cost of health care, medications, and lost productivity. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death across most ethnic and racial groups in the United States, with coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease, killing 365,000 people in 2014. Globally, CVD causes 17.3 million deaths per year. Preventive treatment that includes dietary patterns with emphasis on types of fat, physical activity, and lifestyle interventions can prevent and help treat CVD through their effects on modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, weight, and blood lipid parameters.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Two or more servings per week of fatty fish are associated with 30% to 45% reduced risk of death from cardiac events in the general population. This benefit is attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Suggested mechanisms of EPA and DHA include a modest decrease in atherosclerosis, blood pressure, left ventricular mass, and heart rate with an increase in stroke volume. The Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) recommendation for omega-3 FAs for the prevention of heart disease is two 4-ounce servings of fatty fish per week. In patients with heart disease, the advice increases to two or more 4-ounce servings of fatty fish per week. The dose of 1 g/day EPA + DHA has been shown to decrease the risk of death from cardiac events in patients with heart disease.

Nut

Nuts can be recommended as a source of unsaturated fat that may help to improve dyslipidemia when used to replace saturated/trans fats. The Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) states that there is fair evidence to suggest that the consumption of 5 ounces of nuts per week is associated with reduced risk of myocardial infarction (MI), based on results from the Nurses’ Health Study.

Added sugar

Added sugar contributes to weight gain, which is a risk factor for dyslipidemia. The AHA recommends reducing added sugar to no more than 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men. Medical nutrition therapy for dyslipidemia includes the identification and reduction of sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing, preparation, or at the table.

Physical Activity:

As a part of Medical nutrition therapy for dyslipidemia, the Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) recommends at least 2 days/week of resistance exercise and moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. The AHA/ACC guidelines for Cardiovascular disease prevention recommend physical activity 3 to 4 times per week for an average of 40 minutes at moderate to vigorous intensity. This level of physical activity can reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 3 to 6 mg/dL. The AHA/ACC concludes that the entire population of the United States was physically active; the incidence of CHD could be reduced by 6%.

Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Nutrition, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease

Ref
1. Kusumoto FM. Cardiovascular disorders: Heart disease. In: Hammer GD, McPhee SJ, eds. Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine. 7th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013.
2. Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation.2016;133:e38-e360.
3. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics— 2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131:e29-322.
4. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk. A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129:S76-S99.
5. Dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. A presidential advisory of the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017;135. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510
6. Mohrman DE, Heller L. The peripheral vascular system. In: Mohrman DE, Heller L, eds. Cardiovascular Physiology. 8th ed. NewYork,NY:McGrawHill;2014.http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com.ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/content.aspx?bookid=843&Sectionid=48779654 Accessed October 4, 2017.

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How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak.

How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak.

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How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

Numerous studies have found a link between excessive alcohol consumption and immune function. Research shows people who drink in excess are more susceptible to respiratory illness and pneumonia and recover from infection and wounds more slowly. Alcohol alters the number of microbes in the gut microbiome, a community of microorganisms that affect the immune system. Excessive drinking can damage the lungs and impair the mucosal immune system, which is essential in helping the body recognize pathogens and fight infection.

Check your vitamin D level.

Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon. In milk or foods fortified with vitamin D. In general, our vitamin D levels tend to be influenced by sun exposure, skin tone, and latitude — people in northern areas who get less sun exposure in the winter typically have lower vitamin D. A blood test is required to check vitamin D levels. Less than 20 nanograms per milliliter are considered deficient. The above 30 is optimal.
If you are concerned about immune health, you may consider having your vitamin D level checked and talking to your doctor about whether to take a supplement.

Lower your stress.

Your body does a better job fighting off illness and healing wounds when it’s not under stress. Learning techniques for managing stress, like meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, or talking to a therapist are all ways to help your immune system stay strong.

Eat a balanced diet and skip unproven supplements.

A healthy diet and exercise are essential to maintaining a strong immune system. However, no single food or natural remedy has been proven to bolster a person’s immune system or ward off disease.

How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

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Healthy Eating for Seniors

Healthy Eating for Seniors

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ealthy Eating for Seniors

Supplements must be safe because they’re natural.

NOT ALWAYS. Plants and other natural products have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and treat illness, and many are helpful. However, you should never assume that just because a health product is “natural,” it is automatically “safe.” Like conventional drugs, herbal medicines and other natural products may have potentially serious side effects or trigger allergic reactions. These supplements may also affect how your prescription drugs work. Talk to your doctor before you take any supplements, including herbal or botanical supplements, Chinese, Ayurvedic, or other traditional medicines. You should do this, especially if you have a medical condition. Your doctor can tell you which supplements may be helpful, which may have adverse side effects and how the supplements will interact with any medications you may be taking. You should also speak with your pharmacist before taking any supplements.

Calcium and vitamin D

Calcium works together with other bone-building nutrients – particularly vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium – to maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D throughout your life, combined with regular physical activity, will help prevent osteoporosis. With osteoporosis, your bones become smaller, more fragile, and more likely to break. In Canada, one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Recent studies have also shown that eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D will help protect against muscle weakness, which in turn will help prevent falls. Seniors should consume 1200 mg of calcium and 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day from food sources and/or supplements. Seniors over 70 years of age may require up to 800 IU a day. If you already have osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend even higher amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

I’m too old to exercise.

False. You are never too old for physical activity. Even if you are in your 80s or 90s, staying active will help you feel better and do the things you want to do.
You should work towards 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day, but it does not have to be all at once. For example, you could try walking for 10 minutes in the morning, and another 10 in the afternoon, with a short stretch before and after and a little gardening or vacuuming in between. You can also alternate walking days with days where you do some strength training – lifting light weights, such as soup cans, for example. And if you can’t do 30 minutes, even 10 minutes of light physical activity a day will help you feel more vibrant, energetic, and alert.

All fats are bad.

False. Research now proves that it is not fat that is bad for you, but the type of fat you eat that counts most. Everyone needs to eat some fat to stay healthy. Fat supplies your body with energy and helps build a
protective coat around your cells – but it’s got to be healthy fat and in the right amount.
Unhealthy fats are saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are mostly found in food that comes from animals. They are also found in palm and coconut oils. Trans fats come mostly from vegetable oils
that have been made solid through a process called hydrogenation.
unhealthy fats are found in:
-whole or full-fat milk, including coconut milk and Hong Kong-style milk tea
-cream, sour cream, and ice cream
-butter and clarified butter or ghee
-fatty red meat (sausage, pork hock, bacon, Chinese preserved meats)
– chicken feet, chicken, duck and turkey skin or fat
– dim sum (including pork pastry, potstickers, and sticky rice wraps)
Healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
One type of polyunsaturated fat – omega 3 fatty acid – is particularly helpful in reducing the “stickiness” of your blood, so you are less likely to develop clots. Omega 3 fatty acids also help lower triglycerides, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Healthy fats are found in:
-oily or fatty fish*, such as salmon, anchovies, rainbow trout, sardines, mackerel, eulachon, char, and herring
-nuts and seeds, such as cashews, almonds, walnuts*, peanuts and ground flaxseeds*
-vegetable oils, including olive, peanut, canola*, soybean*, and sesame oil and soft-tub margarine made from these oils (provided they have “non-hydrogenated” on the label)
-flaxseed and walnut oils* (do not heat these oils; use them cold)
-wheatgerm
-avocadoes, and
-foods fortified with omega 3, including eggs, yogurt, and soy beverages. *
* These items are all particularly high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Healthy Eating for Seniors

Healthy Eating for Seniors

Healthy Eating for Seniors

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Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

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Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

The steps you take toward a healthier home food environment need not be extreme. Here are four small steps you can take today.
1. Ditch the sugary soda: It may seem simple, but for some households, this may be easier said than done. A Gallup poll, the results of which were published in July 2012, found that nearly half of Americans drink soda daily. This despite the fact that most of us certainly know by now that drinking it regularly, is not the best thing we could be doing for ourselves. While plain water is an ideal alternative, many other low-calorie or no-calorie alternatives exist that might soften the blow of a no-cola policy in your home. Club soda, for instance, gives the same fizzy feeling with no calories. Add a bit of lemon or lime, and you may not have the sugary jolt you had before, but you will still have a refreshing beverage in your hand.

2. Banish bad foods to the back:

Is it all too easy to reach for sugary snacks when you want them? Consider relocating these snacks to a less convenient area of the fridge, cabinets, or kitchen pantry. In their place, substitute healthier options—fresh-cut vegetables and fruit, refreshing yogurt, or whole wheat snacks. Knowing that the less-healthy snacks are still available may help make the switch seem less restrictive, but you will also know that a healthy option is always close at hand. On the other hand, some of us find it easier to keep the cookies and candy out of the house because our ability to resist temptation is too low.

3. Out with the white foods, in with the brown:

One of the easiest swaps you can make in your cupboard may be whole grain pasta and brown rice instead of their refined counterparts. These sources of carbohydrates are more filling and more nutritious, and they provide more nutrients with your meals. It may be an adjustment at first, but you might find that the change is worth making.

4. Capitalize on your free time to set yourself up to succeed:

When you aren’t hungry and have your food “wits” about you, prepare fruits, veggies, and protein snacks so that you can pick them up and go in the morning. Brown rice can be prepared, boiled, and frozen in individual containers and then warmed up during the week to accompany a healthy protein choice and some greens. Taking this extra time in advance helps minimize your excuses for not choosing wisely when it comes to nutrition.

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

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Eating well and losing the pounds

Eating well and losing the pounds

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The Best Weight Loss Tips

Chapter 2: eating well and losing the pounds

Eating well and losing the pounds

1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables that have high water content. These are foods like tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapes – you get the idea. All of those fresh and flavorful, juicy fruits and veggies are good for you.

2. Eat fresh fruit instead of processed fruit. Anything that is processed as more sugar. Processed and canned fruits also do not have as much fiber as fresh fruits.

3. Increase your fiber intake as much as you can. This usually means eating more fruits and veggies.

4. Veggies are your friends when it comes to shedding pounds. There are tons of options here, and you may even want to try some you haven’t had in the past. The leafy green varieties are the best, and you always want to work in a salad when you can. Salads are packed with nutrients as long as you don’t pour too much dressing on and load them with too much cheese. The leafy greens also have a lot of natural water.

5. Watch everything you consume from the food itself to what you top it with. Garnishments and condiments can sabotage a healthy meal because they are typically high in fat.

6. Set meal times and stick to them. Try to have your meals at specific times and eat them at that time. An eating pattern will help you to control what you eat and when you eat it. Also, it is better to have five small meals a day rather than just one or two huge meals.

7. If you must have a snack make sure it is a healthy one. If you travel a lot, try to find healthy snacks and not junk food.
8. Veggies make great snacks. They can get you through the hunger pangs if you have them. Carrots are great because they satisfy hunger, and they are packed with nutrients.
9. Counting calories is a good idea for those must-have food items. If it is a packaged food item, then it will have the calories on the packaging. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes in terms of calories as well.
10. Work off the extra calories by the end of the week. If you feel you have splurged too much this week, be sure to get to the gym or go walking a little longer to work off those extra calories you have consumed.
11. Stay away from all things fried. If it is breaded, it is better than it is baked. Fried foods are immersed in fat and oil. Even after the excess has oil has been drained away, there is still oil absorbed into the food item itself.
12. Don’t skip meals. You should have, at the very least, three meals a day, but preferably five small meals. This will keep you from getting hungry during the day and overeating out of starvation.

13. Just like fruits, fresh vegetables are better than those that are canned. It is even better if you can eat your veggies raw. When you cook them, you cook away the nutrients. If you must cook them, try to boil them to the point that there is still some crispness to them. Also, don’t soak them in butter. If you can buy organic and pesticide-free veggies, that is even better.

14. Eat foods from all of the food groups each day. This is a great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, and it helps to ward off any diet deficiencies. Also, don’t eat the same foods all the time. Experiment so that you don’t get bored with the same old diet.

15. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. This is the best way to give your body the jump start it needs. Don’t wait until you are really hungry. Breakfast is essential, but you don’t need to stuff yourself.

16. Eat more white meat than red meat. White meat includes chicken, fish, and some other fowl. Red meat includes beef and pork.

17. White bread is good, but high fiber multigrain breads are much better. These breads are another way to add more fiber to your diet.

18. Don’t worry about cheating, but don’t cheat for a meal. Eat sweets and your favorite cheat food for the flavor only. If you want dessert after dinner, share one with the whole family. You’ll get the flavor, but not the pounds.

19. Pork does not assist in weight loss in any way. The less pork you eat, the better off you will be when trying to lose weight. Pork has a high-fat content and includes food items such as bacon, ham, and sausage.

20. Limit your sugar intake as much as possible.

If you must have sweetener in your coffee and tea, try to find an artificial sweetener that you don’t mind the taste of. However, these things are not all that healthy either and should be limited as well.

21. Take it easy on the salt and try to cut what you use in half.

Salt is one of the main causes of obesity.

22. Opt for dark chocolate as an occasional sweet.

Look for a brand that has at least 70% cocoa content (75% or higher is even better). Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants but doesn’t look at it like a “healthy meal.” Try to have no more than one or two small pieces per day, perhaps after lunch or dinner, so you get the taste without going overboard.

eating well and losing the pounds

eating well and losing the pounds

eating well and losing the pounds

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Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer

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Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

There’s some evidence that certain types of fruits or vegetables work against specific cancers. Examples include the following:

Prostate cancer.
Lycopene from tomatoes and cooked or processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce and ketchup, seems to be involved in the prevention of prostate cancer. In the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, for example, men who consumed several servings of tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato juice a week were less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those who ate one to two servings a week. This finding has been supported by studies that look at blood levels of lycopene and other carotenoids.

Breast cancer.

One problem with studying breast cancer is that it isn’t a single disease. It is several different diseases, each with its risk factors. One type, estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer, is particularly aggressive and more likely to be deadly. By combining data from cohort studies around the world, researchers were able to examine breast cancers by their estrogen receptor status. They found that consuming more vegetables was linked to a lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Colon and rectal cancer

There is strong evidence that the vitamin folate (also called folic acid) helps protect against colon and rectal cancer. Vegetables such as spinach and beets are good sources of folic acid and so can help fight these cancers. Today, though, with so many foods fortified with folic acid, the contribution of this vitamin from fruits and vegetables to protection against colon and rectal cancer may be dwindling.

Bladder cancer

Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli has been linked with lower rates of bladder cancer.

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Ref

1. Boffetta, P., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 21 (2010): 529– 37.
2. Smith-Warner, S. A., et al. “Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Cohort Studies.” JAMA 285 (2001):769–76.
3. Hendrickson, S. J., et al. “Plasma Carotenoid- and Retinol-Weighted Multi-SNP Scores and Risk of Breast Cancer in the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium.” CancerEpidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 22 (2013): 927–36.
4. Giovannucci, E. “Tomatoes, Tomato-Based Products, Lycopene, and Cancer: Review of the Epidemiologic Literature.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 91 (1999): 317–31.
5. Farvid, M. S., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Adolescence and Early Adulthood and Risk of Breast Cancer: Population Based Cohort Study.” BMJ 353 (2016): i2343.

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Too Much of a Good Thing Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

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Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Almost all essential nutrients can be toxic if you take in too much of them. That cautionary note likely applies to fruits and vegetables as well. Legendary biochemist Bruce Ames once pointed out that plants evolved to make chemicals that are toxic to insects and other animals that might eat them or to ward off infections by bacteria, yeast, and other organisms. Many of these chemicals are natural carcinogens when tested, but, as Ames pointed out, we have evolved multiple detoxification mechanisms to protect us. Some of these plant-made agents may slip through our defenses. And we have also altered the chemical content of the foods we eat, especially fruits and vegetables, by selective breeding for many characteristics, such as sweetness, that could increase the natural carcinogens.

Brussels sprouts

Many people like the edgy bitterness of this cruciferous vegetable. But this bitterness is sometimes a signal of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. In a pooled analysis of cohort studies, showed a modest increase in pancreatic cancer among people consuming Brussels sprouts three times a week. In a separate analysis, the high consumption of Brussels sprouts was also linked to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. If you think about the unusual shape of the Brussels sprout, the tight packages of leaves that we eat emerge from the stalk, which would usually be covered with bark or spines for protection. The fragile sprouts don’t have anything like that, and so turn to a different defense mechanism: chemical warfare. Given what we’ve found, it makes sense to eat this vegetable not more than once a week while we wait for more data.
 As we dig more deeply into the roles of specific fruits and vegetables, I expect to see more of the unexpected. Plants may seem like simple organisms compared to animals, but their biology is complicated!

Too much spinach.

. This green leafy vegetable is a healthy, versatile plant. You can eat it raw in salads, use it as a bed for salmon, or sauté it as a side dish. But spinach is quite high in oxalates. The kidneys can turn these naturally occurring acids into kidney stones. The more oxalates consumed, the higher the risk of developing these painful stones. This doesn’t mean you should avoid spinach. But if you have had a kidney stone, it would make sense to limit spinach to a few times a week and rely on a wider variety of greens, most of which are lower in oxalates. You might also eat cheese or some other dairy food along with spinach because these foods reduce the absorption of oxalates.

Grapefruit juice

. This popular juice contains potent compounds that alter the metabolism of many drugs. Depending on the drug, these changes can lead to too much or too little of the drug in the bloodstream. If you take medications and you like to drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit, talk with your health care provider about possible interactions.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Ref

1. Taylor, E. N., and G. C. Curhan. “Oxalate Intake and the Risk for Nephrolithiasis.” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 18 (2007): 2198–2204.
2. Koushik, A., et al. “Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in a Pooled Analysis of 14 Cohort Studies.” American Journal of Epidemiology 176 (2012): 373–86.
3. Borgi, L., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Incidence of Hypertension in Three Prospective Cohort Studies.” Hypertension 67 (2016): 288–93.
4. Wang, X., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.” BMJ 349 (2014): g4490.
5. Bhupathiraju, S. N., et al. “Quantity and Variety in Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 98 (2013): 1514–152.
6. National Potato Council/USDA, U.S. per Capita Utilization of Potatoes, by Category: 1970–2014. http://www.nationalpotatocouncil.org/files/6414/4223/8719/Pg._76_US_per_capita_Utilization_of Potatoes_by_category_1970- 2014.pdf
7. Muraki, I., et al. “Potato Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies.” Diabetes Care 39 (2016): 376–84.
8. Borgi, L., et al. “Potato Intake and Incidence of Hypertension: Results from Three Prospective US Cohort Studies.” BMJ 353 (2016): i2351.

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Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

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Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Many people are afflicted with depression at some point in their lifetimes. Globally, it is among the most important causes of disability. Depression can be mild and brief or prolonged and severe. Seeking professional help is essential in any case. Maintaining overall wellness through diet and regular physical activity can help promote good mental health. One specific aspect of diet linked to mental health is the consumption of caffeinated coffee, which is strongly related to lower risk of depression and suicide. In both the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, women and men who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had about half the risk of suicide compared with those who didn’t drink coffee. This isn’t surprising, because coffee has long been known to have mild mood-elevating effects. We also found that consumption of flavonoid-containing fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and juices, was associated with lower risk of depression.
In spite of the intense interest in the possibility that higher intake of omega-3 fats might prevent depression, the evidence for this is weak. Some researchers have hypothesized that higher dietary intakes of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many plant oils like soybean and corn oil, could increase the risk of depression by boosting inflammation throughout the body. But higher intake of omega-6 fats may reduce inflammation. In our research on suicide risk, we saw no evidence of a reduction in suicide with a higher intake of omega-3 fats or lower intake of omega-6 fats.

Many people are afflicted with depression

Many people are afflicted with depression at some point in their lifetimes. Globally, it is among the most important causes of disability. Depression can be mild and brief or prolonged and severe.

In spite of the intense interest

In spite of the intense interest in the possibility that higher intake of omega-3 fats might prevent depression, the evidence for this is weak. Some researchers have hypothesized that higher dietary intakes of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many plant oils like soybean and corn oil, could increase the risk of depression by boosting inflammation throughout the body. But higher intake of omega-6 fats may reduce inflammation. In our research on suicide risk, we saw no evidence of a reduction in suicide with a higher intake of omega-3 fats or lower intake of omega-6 fats.
Many people are afflicted with depression
In spite of the intense interest in the possibility

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

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