Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) May Be What the Doctor Ordered for Rheumatoid Arthritis

An apple a day may keep the doctor away… but a new study also indicates that some baking soda each day may keep the arthritis at bay.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Baking soda, or Bicarbonate of Soda, is often touted for its many uses, ranging from household cleaning to dental care and more.

Now, treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be added to its ever-growing list of purposes.

For your overall health, it’s important to maintain a proper pH balance in your body. An environment that’s too alkaline or too acidic can result in a wide array of health problems and negative physical symptoms.

Experts say baking soda can help alkalize a highly acidic environment in your body. Many holistic and naturopathic doctors, as well as nutritionists, health coaches, and dietitians tout the idea that an alkaline body environment is better than an acidic one.

While that’s true in general, it’s still important to note that being too acidic or too alkaline can result in medical concerns.

In April 2018, the Journal of Immunology medical journal published a study that concluded that drinking water mixed with baking soda could possibly reduce the chances of getting inflammatory conditions

Paul O’Connor, PhD, an associate professor and director of the physiology graduate program at Augusta University in Georgia, was the lead author on the study.

Dr. Connor introduced baking soda to two cases of test subjects. These tests subjects included both healthy humans and rats. Dr. Connor also introduced six human controls.

After two weeks of drinking the baking soda and water mixture, scientists found that their immune cells (macrophages) appeared to change jobs.

Researchers said that the macrophages began to focus on reducing inflammation instead of promoting it.

Essentially, the baking soda acted as a way to naturally stimulate or “turn on” the macrophages’ anti-inflammatory response. Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis could benefit from these anti-inflammatory properties.

How baking soda works

Baking soda — also known as sodium bicarbonate — appears to tell the body to calm down its autoimmune response. Instead, it helps to strengthen the anti-inflammatory response.

So, cells from the spleen and stomach can tell a faulty immune system that there’s likely no need to turn itself on, only to attack. The baking soda seemed to alert macrophages and mesothelial cells that the body wasn’t under actual attack.

Researchers noted a shift in healthy human subjects from autoimmune and inflammatory actions to anti-inflammatory ones in the stomach, spleen, kidney, and peripheral blood.

The shifting landscape is likely due to an increased conversion of proinflammatory cells to anti-inflammatory, plus the production of more anti-inflammatory macrophages and a shift in regulatory T cells.

This combination of processes drives down the immune response and could potentially help to keep the immune system from attacking its own tissues, which occurs in autoimmune diseases.

How to use baking soda

How much baking soda you should use likely varies from person to person.

In her blog, Julie Hand, a certified holistic health and nutrition counsellor, recommends starting with one-eighth of a teaspoon in a regular size glass of water and then build up to a quarter of a teaspoon.

baking soda

She warns that if you feel short of breath or your heart starts racing, then you’ve overdone it.

People who are in danger of alkalosis wouldn’t benefit from ingesting sodium bicarbonate or further alkalising their body’s pH levels.

This potentially could be an inexpensive, safe, accessible, and effective way to treat conditions such as RA and other autoimmune diseases. You should always talk to your doctor before starting a regimen like this.

“It’s potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease,” O’Connor said in a statement.

That’s not all it has been shown to do, either.

Baking soda has also been used to treat acid reflux. It’s even been studied as a way to potentially help prevent certain forms of cancer.

Michelle Neilly, an integrative nutrition health coach in Pennsylvania, told Healthline that “while there is no fix-all miracle cure out there, there is a reason that home remedies like apple cider vinegar and baking soda have been around for ages.

“This could really help RA patients with inflammation.”

Article taken from www.healthline.com

Mushrooms may ‘reduce the risk of mild brain decline.’

Eating mushrooms more than twice a week could prevent memory and language problems occurring in the over-60s, research from Singapore suggests.

A unique antioxidant present in mushrooms could have a protective effect on the brain, the study found.

The more mushrooms people ate, the better they performed in tests, the study found.

But researchers said it was not possible to prove a direct link between the fungi and brain function.

The National University of Singapore study’s findings were based on 663 Chinese adults, aged over 60, whose diet and lifestyle were tracked from 2011 to 2017.

Over the six-year study, the researchers found that eating mushrooms lowered the chances of mild cognitive impairment, so that roughly nine out of 100 people who ate more than two portions a week were diagnosed, compared with 19 out of 100 among those who ate fewer than one portion.

‘Encouraging’

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can make people forgetful, affect their memory and cause problems with language, attention and locating objects in spaces – but the changes can be subtle.

It is not serious enough to be defined as dementia.

The participants in the study were asked how often they ate six different types of mushrooms: oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, golden and tinned.

Mushroom eaters performed better in brain tests and were found to have faster processing speed – and this was particularly noticeable in those who ate more than two portions a week, or more than 300g (10.5oz).

“This correlation is surprising and encouraging,” said assistant professor Lei Feng, the lead study author, from the university’s department of psychological medicine.

“It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline.

“But we are talking about a combination of many factors – tea, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish are also beneficial.”

The researchers point to the fact that mushrooms are one of the richest dietary sources of ergothioneine – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to make on their own.

Mushrooms also contain other important nutrients and minerals such as vitamin D, selenium and spermidine, which protect neurons from damage.

But there is still a long way to go before evidence of a direct link can be established.

Diet and lifestyle factors

This study relied on self-reported information on mushroom intake and other dietary factors, which may not be accurate, the researchers acknowledged.

Dr James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There are lots of factors that contribute to the development of dementia and it’s estimated that up to a third of cases could be prevented by changes in lifestyle, including diet.

“Dementia is one of the top 10 causes of death, but people can take action to reduce their risk, so it’s important that we base our advice on consistent evidence that’s built up over multiple studies, and don’t get carried away with the findings of any one single study.

“So while eating a diet full of fruit and vegetables, including mushrooms, is a great starting point, our best advice is to also cut down on sugar and salt, be physically active, drink in moderation and avoid smoking.”

The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read the original article on the BBC website – HERE

Eat Your Greens – Cabbage Could Cut Your Risk Of Cancer

It might not be the most Instagrammable of vegetables but the humble cabbage is packed full of anti-cancer chemicals, according to scientists at the Francis Crick Institute.

The researchers found cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, is good for gut health as well as other vegetables including kale and broccoli and can reduce the risk of bowel cancers because it produces a chemical that is vital to the regeneration of the surface of the bowel.

The researchers studied mice who had a diet high in the chemical alongside mice that did not. The mice with the high-chemical diet were protected from cancer whereas those without showed signs of gut cells dividing uncontrollably – a sign of cancer. 

“Even when the mice started developing tumours and we switched them to the appropriate diet, it halted tumour progression,” Dr Gitta Stockinger, from the team, told the BBC.

But to get the benefit, people should avoid overcooking vegetables, she added. “Make sure they’re not overcooked, no soggy broccoli.”

To follow up on their surprising findings, the scientists are now hoping to do further experiments using human gut biopsies.  

Commenting on the findings Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK’s expert on diet and cancer, said: “This study in mice suggests that it’s not just the fibre contained in vegetables like broccoli and cabbage that help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but also molecules found in these vegetables too.

“This adds to the evidence that a healthy diet, rich in vegetables, is important. Further studies will help find out whether the molecules in these vegetables have the same effect in people, but in the meantime there are already plenty of good reasons to eat more vegetables.” 

Written by Sara Spary for Huff Post – See original article here

“Artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless.”

Below are a couple of interesting articles regarding artificial sweeteners. With obesity rates rising, government has taken the step to tax sugar. But are artificial sweeteners safe to consume. Personally I try to avoid anything with artificial sweeteners, although that’s becoming more difficult. I’ve understood, for many years, that there are hidden dangers in consuming too much sweetener and the articles below are suggesting this may be true.

Diet Fizzy Drinks Could ‘Increase Your Risk Of Stroke And Heart Disease’

Opting for a diet version of your favourite soft drink may seem like the healthiest option, but new research suggests it could increase your risk of stroke, heart disease and even early death.

The large study, involving more than 80,000 women in the US, found that drinking two or more diet drinks a day – including fizzy drinks and fruit-based diet drinks – increased the risk of stroke by 23%.

Compared with women who consumed diet drinks less than once a week or not at all, women who consumed two or more artificially-sweetened drinks per day were also 29% more likely to develop heart disease and 16% more likely to die from any cause.

Diet Fizzy Drinks Could 'Increase Your Risk Of Stroke And Heart

Further analysis showed that some groups of women were most at risk, with those drinking two or more diet drinks a day who were also obese having more than double the stroke risk than others. African-American women also had a higher risk of stroke.

The authors stressed that the study found a link but could not prove that diet drinks cause stroke and heart problems.

Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, lead author of the study and associate professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, said: “Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet.

“Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”

The research, published in the journal Stroke, included data from 81,714 post-menopausal women (who were aged 50 to 79 at the start of the study) and who were tracked for an average of 12 years. One serving of diet drink was regarded as 355ml.

Dr Mossavar-Rahmani said the study had not looked at individual artificial sweeteners, saying: “We don’t know specifically what types of artificially sweetened beverages they were consuming, so we don’t know which artificial sweeteners may be harmful and which may be harmless.”

In response to the study, The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) said past reviews commissioned by the World Health Organisation found “no evidence that low calorie sweeteners could cause or increase the risk of cardiovascular disease″.

“It is important to highlight that, before being approved for use on the market, low calorie sweeteners are thoroughly tested and regulatory bodies around the world have consistently confirmed their safety and the lack of any negative health effect,” it said. 

Article from Huffpost – Read it here

Artificial Sweeteners In Diet Fizzy Drinks May Be Making You Gain Weight

Opting for a diet fizzy drink may seem like the healthier option, but artificial sweeteners used in the beverages may actually be making you gain weight.

New research has linked certain artificial sweeteners with long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, are used to make many of the most popular soft drinks and according to researchers, consumption of them is widespread and increasing.

Emerging data indicate that artificial, or nonnutritive, sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite, although the evidence is conflicting, they added.

Artificial Sweeteners In Diet Fizzy Drinks May Be Making You Gain

To better understand whether consuming artificial sweeteners is associated with negative long-term effects on weight and heart disease, researchers from the University of Manitoba’s George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation conducted a  review of 37 studies that followed over 400 000 people for an average of 10 years.

The trials did not show a consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss.  

In fact, the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

“Despite the fact that millions of individuals routinely consume artificial sweeteners, relatively few patients have been included in clinical trials of these products,” said author Dr Ryan Zarychanski, assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.

“We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management.”

Lead author and assistant professor Dr Meghan Azad, added: “Caution is warranted until the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are fully characterised.” 

Dr Azad’s team at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba is undertaking a new study to understand how artificial sweetener consumption by pregnant women may influence weight gain, metabolism and gut bacteria in their infants.

“Given the widespread and increasing use of artificial sweeteners and the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases, more research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits of these products,” she said.

Article from Huffpost – Read it here

Eating More Fruit and Veg Can Boost Your Mood

Now you need to eat TEN-a-day! Adding more fruit and veg to your diet boosts your mood and emotional wellbeing as much as landing a new job, study finds

  • Cutting fruit and veg out of our diet has more of an impact than being widowed
  • Fresh produce is rich in vitamins that lower inflammation linked to depression
  • The study of around 50,000 people was carried out by the University of Leeds

It has long been known that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is good for our hearts.

But now research suggests filling up on apples, carrots and bananas even gives our mental health a boost.

Adding ten additional portions of fruit and vegetables to your daily diet has the same effect on our emotional wellbeing as going from unemployment into a job, a study found.  

And if you suddenly cut fresh produce out of your diet, your mental health declines more than someone who has just been widowed, scientists say. 

The research was carried out by the University of Leeds and led by Neel Ocean, a research fellow in behavioural economics. 

‘Our findings provide further evidence that persuading people to consume more fruit and vegetables may not only benefit their physical health in the long run, but also their mental wellbeing in the short run,’ the authors wrote in the journal Social Science & Medicine.  

To build on past research that suggested a link between our diet and our mental health, the scientists analysed data from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey collected between 2010 and 2017. 

This survey is made up of information on both fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as mental wellbeing, for around 50,000 people.  

Participants were asked how many portions of fresh produce they usually eat in a given day or week. 

A portion was defined as a piece of fruit, a cup – or fist-sized amount – of raw vegetables or half a cup of cooked vegetables.

To determine their mental-health statuses, the participants completed The General Health Questionnaire, which asked about their happiness levels, self worth and any anxiety.

Results revealed a person’s mental health improves in proportion to the amount of fruit and vegetables they eat each day.

And eating just one extra portion of berries, greens or salad boosts someone’s mental wellbeing by the same amount as walking for an additional ten minutes for seven days over four weeks, the researchers wrote.

Exercise has repeatedly been linked to a happier mood in past studies. 

The study also suggested going from eating lots of fresh produce to cutting your consumption by five portions a day causes the same emotional distress as being diagnosed with a chronic condition. 

And going from no fruit or vegetables to four-to-six portions a day boosts someone’s life satisfaction by the same amount as getting married.    

Although unclear exactly why fresh produce boosts our mental health, past studies suggest beans, oranges and spinach are rich in vitamins E and C, which lower inflammation and ‘internal stress’ associated with depression.

The complex carbohydrates in fruit and vegetables may also boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain. 

Despite the emotional benefits of eating lots of fresh produce, the results further revealed that 78 per cent of the participants consumed fewer than the recommended five-a-day.  

Although those who earned high salaries were the most likely to get their five-a-day, poor fruit and vegetable consumption was observed across participants’ of all incomes.

Being unable to afford fresh produce is therefore not thought to be the cause of a diet lacking in fruit or vegetables. 

Those over 64 were also less likely to get enough fruit or vegetables, which is thought to be due to the elderly eating less in general. 

In keeping with past research, the study also found the female participants ate significantly more fresh produce than the men.  

A HEALTHY DIET AND PLENTY OF EXERCISE PROTECTS AGAINST DEPRESSION 

A healthy diet and plenty of exercise protects against depression, research suggests.

A study of nearly 46,000 people found eating lots of vegetables – while cutting back on fast food – boosts our mental health.

It does not matter if you eat better to lose weight or get more nutrients – the impact on your emotional wellbeing is the same. 

And the effects become stronger when a healthy diet is combined with an active lifestyle. 


The researchers – from the University of Manchester – hope a healthy lifestyle will be considered as a ‘viable treatment to help people with low mood’. 

But the study – published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine – found eating better has no impact on our anxiety levels. 

Source – The Daily Mail

Dieting Could Make Your Health Worse Not Better

Here’s an interesting, edited edited excerpt of ‘The Truth About Fat’ by Anthony Warner – The Truth About Fat: From the author of The Angry Chef

Why going on a diet and trying to lose weight could make your health worse, not better

Many experts believe we need to rethink everything we know about body size and longevity 

Measures to tackle obesity have met with little success and some experts are suggesting there may be a better way. They have suggested that the pursuit of weight loss is not only incredibly difficult, it might actually be harmful and counterproductive.

So instead of wasting so much time and effort trying to find ways of making everybody thin, perhaps we should just… stop. Maybe some people are fat and we should just leave them to it.

This is a controversial approach. Let’s face it, being extremely overweight is definitely bad for your health and costs healthcare services billions of pounds. To give up on fat would be like giving up on smoking prevention back in the 1970s.

A weight-inclusive approach to healthcare

Health at Every Size (HAES) is a movement that grew out of the beliefs of feminist anti-diet and fat-acceptance campaigns. At its core is the belief that the focus on weight loss is extremely harmful and should be stopped. Now increasing numbers of informed people are adopting some of the principles of the non-diet movements.

The HAES movement encourages a weight-inclusive approach to healthcare, trying to maximise behaviours that improve physical wellbeing, without ever focusing on a patient’s weight. It rejects the notion that BMI, fat or body size is an accurate proxy for health, and this is not too far from the truth.

The movement has spawned an approach to food termed “intuitive eating”. This is based on the idea that people should be encouraged to eat whatever they desire, tuning into their natural hunger signals. Strict eating rules are abandoned in favour of understanding what your body is telling you and developing a better relationship with food.

Taking the stigma out of being fat

It encourages a world that does not stigmatise fat people. Stigma, it claims, is the greatest barrier to fat people being healthy. As a result, size-acceptance movements have been some of the most vocal critics of the “obesity epidemic” narrative. This puts them in conflict with many of the world’s large public health bodies.

But given the failure of most public health interventions to tackle obesity, perhaps a weight-inclusive approach might benefit this field, shifting the focus towards improving health, which is eminently possible, rather than reducing size, which is very difficult.

Laura Thomas PhD is a UK-based registered nutritionist who specialises in Intuitive Eating. She explains that there is great resistance to some of the HAES approaches, partly because of a lack of evidence. She told me: “There is some evidence that intuitive eating can be effective, especially in terms of improving metrics of mental health and normalising eating behaviours but there are lots of unanswered questions. We need more robust trials.”

The downside of restrictive diets

Studies have shown that restrictive weight-loss dieting is associated with binge-eating disorder, bulimia, future weight gain, negative body image, low self‑esteem and depression.

Deb Burgard, psychologist, explains: “Part of the problem is the underlying assumption that we are all meant to be one size. I don’t see the scientific basis for considering a body size a disease – we are not meant to be one size.”

The weight-inclusive movement asserts that categorising a certain range of BMIs as “normal”, is likely to create stigma. And stigma is known to cause many health inequalities, including those frequently associated with obesity and assumed to be caused by fat. People who are oppressed get sick far more frequently.

Studies have shown that the degree to which people are dissatisfied with their weight is related to their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, independent of their BMI. This raises the possibility that the stress caused by telling people they should be thinner than they are is one of the things making them sick.

Most diets don’t help people lose weight

Even for the most well-supported scientific studies, large amounts of weight loss seem hard to attain. Participants in the US Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP), a four-year experiment to study the effects of lifestyle interventions on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, received intensive personalised training in behavioural management strategies, physical activity and advice on dietary modification.

Participants achieved an average weight loss of 7kg in the first year, but in long-term follow‑ups, most of this weight had been regained.

The Look AHEAD study was a 10-year programme that went further, offering participants regular access to lifestyle coaches, dietitians, psychologists, doctors and physiologists. But even then, over the long term, only a third of people were able to maintain a weight loss of 5 per cent.

Focusing on wellness, not size

Both failed when it came to long-term weight loss, but they showed improvements to participants’ health. DPP focused on diabetes, pitching lifestyle against a well-known drug therapy, and proved that the lifestyle interventions were far superior. Exercise particularly seemed to have a significant effect, even if initial weight loss was not sustained at all.

The Look AHEAD study was stopped early because it failed to show enough impact on cardiovascular risk, but participants showed improvements in blood pressure, sleep apnoea, visceral fat, depression, kidney problems, physical mobility, the need for diabetes medicines, life quality, knee pain, sexual function and inflammation.

When smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake and a lack of exercise are studied, it is no surprise that people doing all those things have high rates of mortality. Combine that with being fat, and the picture looks bad indeed.

Being fat and fit

Anyone fat who eats badly, drinks too much, smokes and rarely gets off the couch is far more likely to die than a thin person doing exactly the same. But research has shown that as these behaviours change, the difference between fat and thin people seems to diminish. For non-smoking, regular exercisers who only drink moderately and eat lots of vegetables, there is no difference in mortality rates between thin and fat groups.

Public health organisations exist to help us be healthy, not to become thin. Anyone who researches, campaigns, writes or works on obesity, food and health should ask themselves this: are we worried about people’s health, or about their silhouettes?

You can find the article here – I News

The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of

By James GallagherHealth and science correspondent, BBC News

Opening a kitchen cupboard containing storage jars
Is there something in your cupboard that could extend your life?

If I offered you a superfood that would make you live longer, would you be interested?

Naturally it reduces the chances of debilitating heart attacks and strokes as well as life-long diseases such as type-2 diabetes.

And it helps keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.

I should mention it’s cheap and widely available in the supermarket.

What is it?

Fibre – it’s not the sexiest thing in the world but a major study has been investigating how much fibre we really need to be eating and found there are huge health benefits.

“The evidence is now overwhelming and this is a game-changer that people have to start doing something about it,” one of the researchers, Prof John Cummings, tells BBC News.

It’s well known for stopping constipation – but its health benefits are much broader than that.

How much fibre do we need?

The researchers, at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, and the University of Dundee say people should be eating a minimum of 25g of fibre per day.

But they call this an “adequate” amount for improving health and say there are benefits for pushing past 30g (1oz).

Is that all?

Well, a banana on its own weighs about 120g but that’s not pure fibre. Strip out everything else including all the natural sugars and water, and you’re left with only about 3g of fibre.

Most people around the world are eating less than 20g of fibre a day.

And in the UK, fewer than one in 10 adults eats 30g of fibre daily.

On average, women consume about 17g, and men 21g, a day.

Fibre includes fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta and grains
Fibre is present in fruit, vegetables, wholegrain bread, pasta and lentils

What other foods have more fibre in them?

You find it in fruit and vegetables, some breakfast cereals, breads and pasta that use whole-grains, pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, as well as nuts and seeds.

What does 30g look like?

Elaine Rush, a professor of nutrition at Auckland University of Technology, has put together this example for getting into the 25-30g camp:

  • half a cup of rolled oats – 9g fibre | two Weetabix – 3g fibre | a thick slice of brown bread – 2g fibre | a cup of cooked lentils – 4g fibre | a potato cooked with the skin on – 2g fibre | half a cup of chard (or silverbeet in New Zealand) – 1g fibre | a carrot – 3g fibre | an apple with the skin on – 4g fibre

But she says: “It is not easy to increase fibre in the diet.”

Prof Cummings agrees. “It’s a big change for people,” he says. “It’s quite a challenge.”

Graphic

Are there any quick and easy tips?

The UK’s National Health Service has a page full of them.

They include:

  • cooking potatoes with the skin on | swapping white bread, pasta and rice for wholemeal versions | choosing high-fibre breakfast cereals such as porridge oats | chucking some chickpeas, beans or lentils in a curry or over a salad| having nuts or fresh fruit for snacks or dessert | consuming at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day

BBC Food: High fibre breakfasts

What will the benefit be?

Well, after analysing 185 studies and 58 clinical trials, the results are in and have been published in the Lancet medical journal.

It suggests if you shifted 1,000 people from a low fibre diet (less than 15g) to a high-fibre one (25-29g), then it would prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease.

That’s during the course of these studies, which tended to follow people for one to two decades.

It also showed lower levels of type-2 diabetes and bowel cancer as well as lower weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

And the more fibre people ate, the better.

What is fibre doing in the body?

There used to be a view that fibre didn’t do much at all – that the human body could not digest it and it just sailed through.

But fibre makes us feel full and affects the way fat is absorbed in the small intestine – and things really become interesting in the large intestines, when your gut bacteria get to have their dinner.

The large intestines are home to billions of bacteria – and fibre is their food.

It’s a bit like a brewery down there, admittedly one you wouldn’t want a pint from, where bacteria are fermenting fibre to make a whole load of chemicals.

This includes short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed and have effects throughout the body.

“We have this organ set up to digest fibre, which a lot of people just don’t use very much,” says Prof Cummings.

Why is this relevant now?

The fact fibre and whole-grains and fruit and vegetables are healthy should not come as a surprise.

But there is concern people are turning their back on fibre, with the popularity of low-carb diets.

Prof Nita Forouhi, from the University of Cambridge, says: “We need to take serious note of this study.

“Its findings do imply that, though increasingly popular in the community at large, any dietary regimes that recommend very low-carbohydrate diets should consider the opportunity cost of missing out on fibre from whole-grains.

“This research confirms that fibre and whole-grain intakes are clearly important for longer term health.”

The study has been done to help the World Health Organization come up with official guidelines for how much fibre people should be eating to boost health and they are expected next year.

Presentational grey line

Analysis from BBC Reality Check

One of the suggested ways of boosting the amount of fibre in your diet is to switch from white bread to brown or wholemeal.

This is what has been happening to sales of those products, based on a succession of government surveys of household spending since 1974.

Chart showing purchases of white and brown bread since 1974

From the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties, white bread fell while brown and wholemeal rose.

Since then, white bread sales have continued to fall, but brown and wholemeal bread sales have been falling for most of that period, although at a slower rate.

So it looks as if while overall demand for bread has been falling, a higher proportion of bread sold has been higher fibre.

Whole wheat pasta has made less of an impact on sales than higher fibre breads, with a survey for the British Journal of Nutrition finding that pasta accounted for less than 1% of the occasions on which people were consuming whole grains.

Source – http://www.bbc.co.uk

36 Nutrients That Help You Live Longer

REVEALED: THE 36 NUTRIENTS THAT HELP YOU LIVE LONGER, HOW THEY BENEFIT YOUR HEALTH AND WHAT TO EAT TO GET THEM 

Vitamin A

Protects against: Blindness, certain cancers, acne and osteoporosis

Found in: Liver, fish oils, milk, eggs, and orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Protects against: Nerve, muscle and heart damage

Found in: Beef, liver, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds and peas 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Protects against: Cataracts, heart disease and migraines

Found in: Red meat, almonds, dairy, eggs, fish and green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach 

Vitamin B6

Protects against: Heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s

Found in: Pork, poultry, fish, bread, eggs and vegetables  

Vitamin B12

Protects against: Anaemia 

Found in: Animals products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy; as well as fortified cereals 

Biotin

Protects against: Multiple sclerosis

Found in: Egg yolks, almonds, cauliflower, cheese, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and spinach 

Vitamin C

Protects against: Heart disease, osteoporosis, anameia and scurvy

Found in: All fruit and vegetables, particularly broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower

Choline

Protects against: Liver, brain, muscle and nervous system damage

Found in: Liver, salmon, chickpeas, eggs and turkey 

Vitamin E

Protects against: Skin, heart and eye damage 

Found in: Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables 

Folic acid

Protects against: Spina bifida in newborns when taken in early pregnancy, certain cancers and anaemia

Found in: Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified breads and cereals

Niacin

Protects against: Heart disease, brain damage and arthritis 

Found in: Liver, chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon, anchovies, pork and beef 

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate)

Protects against: ADHD, arthritis, allergies, hair loss, asthma and colitis 

Found in: Mushrooms, fish, avocados, eggs, chicken, beef, pork and sunflower seeds 

Calcium

Protects against: Bone damage, certain cancers and diabetes

Found in: Dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya beans, tofu, fish where you eat the bones; such as sardines, and fortified products; like bread and soya drinks 

Chloride

Protects against: Dangerous blood pressure levels and poor nerve signalling

Found in: Salt, seaweed, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, celery and olives 

Chromium

Protects against: Diabetes

Found in: Vegetables, whole grains, beef, poultry and dairy

Cobalt

Protects against: Nerve damage

Found in: Fish, nuts, cereals and green leafy vegetables 

Copper

Protects against: Nerve cell damage 

Found in: Shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, kidneys and liver 

Iodine

Protects against: Bone damage and immune dysfunction

Found in: Seaweed, cod, dairy, shrimp, tuna, eggs and prunes 

Iron 

Protects against: Low levels of oxygen in the body

Found in: Red meat, shellfish, spinach, liver, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and turkey  

Molybdenum

Protects against: Oesophageal cancer, liver disease, yeast infections and allergies

Found in: Peas, lentils, kidney beans, nuts, soy, dairy, eggs and whole grains 

Phosphorus

Protects against: Arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline 

Found in: Milk, meat, beans, lentils and nuts 

Potassium 

Protects against: Stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones

Found in: Squash, sweet potato, yoghurt and halibut 

Sodium

Protects against: Muscle and nerve damage

Found in: Salt, and smoked and cured meats 

Sulfur 

Protects against: Bacterial infections and acne 

Found in: Seafood, eggs, liver, kidneys, nuts and dairy  

Zinc 

Protects against: Bleeding, immune dysfunction and thyroid problems

Found in: Seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds

Vitamin K

Protects against: Heart disease, osteoporosis and cognitive decline 

Found in: Parsley, spinach, grapes and eggs 

Selenium 

Protects against: Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke and certain cancers

Found in: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, chicken, eggs and sardines 

Vitamin D 

Protects against: Rickets (known as osteomalacia in adults), certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline

Found in: Sunlight and oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel  

Omega-3 fatty acids

Protect against: Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, bipolar and depression 

Found in: Oily fish 

Magnesium

Protects against: Cancer, particularly lung; heart disease and stroke 

Found in: Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds 

Choline

Protects against: Cognitive decline

Found in: Liver, peanuts, red meat, poultry, fish, pasta, noodles and rice 

Taurine 

Protects against: Heart disease, cognitive decline, diabetes and mitochondrial diseases, which can cause brain damage. 

Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouses’ of cells

Found in: Fish and other seafood, seaweed, eggs and the dark meat of poultry 

Ergothioneine

Protects against: Heart disease, and brain and eye damage

Found in: Mushrooms, meat, poultry and red kidney beans

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone 

Protects against: Diabetes, cognitive decline and general inflammation

Found in: Fruit and vegetables

Queuine 

Protects against: Multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, ADHD, autism and bipolar

Found in: Tomatoes, wheat, coconut water and dairy 

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are antioxidants produced by plants. The following make up 95 per cent of those in the human body: 

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lycopene
  • Alpha and beta carotene
  • Beta cryptoxanthin

Protect against: Blindness, cognitive decline, heart disease, various cancers, high blood pressure, hearing loss, inflammation and immune system damage 

Found in: Fruit and vegetables  

Putting raw spinach in a smoothie is the healthiest way to eat it.

Putting raw spinach in a smoothie is the healthiest way to eat the vegetable because heat destroys its antioxidants, scientists discover

  • Cooking spinach can destroy the vitamin lutein – good for heart and eye health 
  • Scientists say adding dairy fat, like yoghurt, helps to release the antioxidant
  • Cooking spinach on a high heat is the quickest way to destroy lutein

By SAM BLANCHARD HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE

Chopping up spinach and putting it in a smoothie is the healthiest way to eat it, research suggests.

Cooking the leafy vegetable breaks down its antioxidants, while mixing it raw with yoghurt or milk helps to release the powerful nutrient lutein.

Boiling or frying spinach are sure-fire ways of destroying lutein, a study found.

Lutein helps lower the risk of heart attacks and prevents eye damage, previous research suggests.

Keeping spinach raw, chopping it up and putting it in a smoothie with dairy is the healthiest way to eat it. Cooking the green vegetable destroys its antioxidants, such as lutein, Swedish researchers found. Lutein can reduce the risk of heart disease and eye damage 

Keeping spinach raw, chopping it up and putting it in a smoothie with dairy is the healthiest way to eat it. Cooking the green vegetable destroys its antioxidants, such as lutein, Swedish researchers found. Lutein can reduce the risk of heart disease and eye damage 

Researchers from Linköping University in Sweden tested different ways of cooking supermarket-bought baby spinach to see how its nutritional content changed.

They measured the lutein levels regularly and concluded the leaves are best chopped up and consumed raw alongside dairy.

‘Best is not to heat the spinach at all,’ PhD researcher and study author Rosanna Chung said.

‘And even better is to make a smoothie and add fat from dairy products, such as cream, milk or yoghurt.’

She explained: ‘When the spinach is chopped into small pieces, more lutein is released from the leaves and the fat increases the solubility of the lutein in the fluid.’

The more lutein dissolved into a smoothie, the more it can be absorbed by the body, the scientists suggested.

Whereas cooking spinach for a long time at a high heat – such as in a lasagne or frying it – is the most damaging way to prepare the green vegetable.

A meal cooked at a lower heat, like a stew, retains more of the vitamin, with heating spinach in a microwave also potentially being a healthier option, the study suggests.

Study author Professor Lena Jonasson, from the department of medical and health sciences, said: ‘What is unique about this study is that we have used preparation methods that are often used when cooking food at home.

‘And we have compared several temperatures and heating times.

‘We have also investigated methods of preparation in which the spinach is eaten cold, such as in salads and smoothies.’

The research was published in the journal Food Chemistry.

Lutein has been shown to help reduce chronic swelling in the blood vessels of people with coronary artery disease, which can lower their risk of a heart attack.

It is also referred to as the ‘eye vitamin’ because lutein it is thought to protect against damage from sunlight.

Article from The Daily Mail

Eating garlic can reduce risk of certain cancers, study finds

https://www.independent.co.uk

Garlic has been highly regarded as a health-boosting ingredient for a very long time, used to treat human disease for thousands of years.

However, the way that garlic benefits the body has perplexed researchers for eons.

In a recent study published by scientists from the University of Nottingham, researchers concluded that garlic can in fact reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. . . (read more)

garlic.jpeg

An article from www.independent.co.uk