Antioxidants In Blueberries Improve Brain Function In Older Individuals

The benefits of blueberries have been proclaimed for quite some time. They are on every list of the most powerfully rich antioxidant foods and the berries are easy to incorporate into a well-balanced diet. In a recent study, it was shown that the juice within the berry can help a specific issue that many older people begin to face: cognitive impairment.

For healthy individuals between the ages of 65 and 77, drinking concentrated blueberry juice at least once a day can help to improve memory and cognitive function. This is due to the berry’s flavonoid capacity, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to regulate certain changes in the brain that often accompany getting older. This age range is when many start to experience issues with remembering things or with certain cognitive tasks. This is because there is an amount of swelling that the tissue and cells can do when they age. This can often lead to serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A Blueberry A Day

Based on this study’s findings, incorporating a glass of blueberry concentrate per day can eliminate these symptoms and common occurrences in this age group. Dr. Joanna Bowtell says that “our cognitive function tends to decline as we get older, but previous research has shown that cognitive function is better preserved in healthy older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods.”

The study showed that a mere 12 weeks of consistent consumption of at least 30ml of concentrated blueberry juice daily helps to activate the brain, stimulating blood flow and improving certain aspects of working memory in older adults who are already moderately healthy. Twenty-six adults took part in this study. While 12 were given the proper allotted amount of blueberry juice, the other 14 received a placebo. Once the 12-week period of time elapsed, all participants took a bevy of cognitive assessments and underwent MRI scans.

Compared to the group that took the placebo, the blueberry juice drinkers showed significant and notable increases to their amounts of brain activity. All participants were instructed to continue partaking in their normal dietary habits and to not consume more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Another study has shown that the risk for dementia is significantly lowered in those who have a high regular consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Importance Of Nutritional Value

This makes a lot of sense as the natural positive components within those foods can and do feed and fuel the brain. Poor dietary choices not only lead to problems like heart disease and diabetes, but can also lead to the formation of plaque in the brain that leads to cognitive impairments.

The flavonoids that are present in many plants help to counteract the effects of old age. Antioxidants have a canny ability to provide the body with assistance with certain necessities. Incorporating foods that have been dubbed superfoods or foods with high mineral and vitamin components should be added into a regular diet as often as possible. There’s a reason that getting a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables is so essential. Their importance does not expire after exiting childhood, but is vital throughout the course of our entire lives. Being privy to which foods have the most nutritional value is essential.

Brazil Nut Oil Benefits The Skin

Brazil nuts are incredibly rich in nutrients and can be incorporated into a healthy diet easily. Due to the size of the nuts, a few go a long way as a great source of fiber and will help you to feel full for a longer period of time. However, consuming this nut isn’t what we’re going to explore today. As is the case with many different varieties in the nut family, brazil nuts come in oil form. While brazil nut oil can be used in a whole host of ways, the way that it improves your skin should be highlighted. Here are some of the ways.

Gives You A Glow

Oftentimes when you use a certain set of products, your skin will start to get used to the ingredients and major improvements or changes are harder to visibly see. Due to the natural components of brazil nut oil, it helps to jumpstart your skin by actually feeding it vitamins and natural elements it so desperately  needs. The selenium that is present in brazil nut oil helps to increase the speed of cell turnover. This means that your skin will start to renew and replace cells much quicker. This will also improve the elasticity of your skin which helps it to retain that youthful, supple finish.

Fight Skin Cancer

This is a big benefit because so many worry about their skin cancer risks. Especially because many of us love sunny days and a little extra color in the skin. Well thankfully, brazil nut oil can help prevent those harmful UV rays from doing damage to the skin. Due to the amount of selenium in brazil nut oil the skin  will enjoy an extra barrier of protection against the sun. A study has shown that those who have insufficient amounts of selenium are more likely to suffer from skin cancer. Applying the brazil nut oil directly to the skin is a sufficient method of obtaining this necessary vitamin as the skin absorbs it.

Treats Acne

Suffering from blemishes and spots can be one of the most taxing issues you can face with your skin. Whether you deal from hormonal acne or chronic acne, it can feel like an endless battle trying to get your face into a zen state where it stops horrendously breaking out. Brazil nut oil is also high in the mineral zinc which not only helps to treat acne but also reduces the inflammation that often accompanies the breakouts themselves. This is especially true for those who deal with cystic acne.

Great Moisturizer

If you deal with dry skin, you know how important it is to properly moisturize your skin on a consistent basis. When you allow your skin to be very dry, you not only run the risk of developing other skin issues or increased sensitivity but you tend to age much quicker. No one wants that. A couple drops of this oil is a great way to coat your skin with a thin layer of moisture that’s not only protective but non greasy.

You can purchase brazil nut oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Tongue Function: Keeping Tastes Straight

The tongue has an amazing and wonderful job. Not only does it allow us to articulate our speech and regulate our saliva, but it is the foremost entity in our pleasurable eating experience. How our tongue and the taste buds therein differentiate between a multitude of tastes and textures every single time we eat something is pretty remarkable.

The complexity of the tongue and how it identifies tastes was recently studied at Columbia University Medical Center. It was found that the tongue, along with taste buds, uses specific molecules to help it communicate with the brain in order to identify the right taste. It turns out that the taste system is a process, and the way that we perceive the differences in tastes, as well as the types of tastes and the layers therein, is quite layered.

Five Taste Qualities

There is a rapid rate of cell turnover in the taste buds. This means they die off and are replaced at an exponential rate of speed. Because of this fact, it’s of interest to many researchers just how the tongue is able to maintain its sense of taste in such an organizational manner. The study showed that all of the tastes that we experience are some variety and combination of the five standard taste qualities. This actually gives your tongue greater exactitude. So instead of a flavor or taste profile of 40 or 50, all tastes can be reduced down to five, at least at their roots.

One of the principal researchers at Columbia, Professor Charles S. Zukor, states that “an organism’s survival can depend on its ability to distinguish attractive tastes like sweet from aversive ones like sour and bitter.” Yet, the tongue and taste buds often shift to include a positive experience when consuming foods of that taste type. While it’s hilarious to watch a baby eat a lemon for the first time, the reaction that is often garnered is the result of the lack of exposure to something of that taste makeup. Many people can eat sour candy or spicy food and love every moment of it and not flinch in the least bit. This is how amazing the tongue is.

Taste Mixtures

Human beings perceive taste by the tiny thousands of sensory organs otherwise known as taste buds. These are mostly located on the upper part of the tongue. Each individual taste bud has anywhere between 50 to 100 cells which contain their own set of molecules and receptors whose primary purpose is to differentiate between tastes. The main five types of tastes are sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami (savory). Everything you’ve ever consumed has been one or a mixture of these tastes. When the taste cells within the taste buds come into contact with these tastes, they then relay the specific information from the tongue to the brain.

Going back to the baby example, Zuker goes onto say that “…most portions of the brain circuits that govern taste are hardwired at birth, except in the tongue, where the cells in our taste buds – taste receptor cells – connect to taste neurons.” This is a process that takes time and continues to happen over the course of our lives. This also gives credence to that age-old saying about certain foods being “an acquired taste.” So many people start to actually enjoy the tastes of foods they once didn’t like.

What Is A Dika Nut?

One of the more unique and unknown oils comes from a nut or seed just as commonly unheard of. This unfamiliar nut is called a dika nut. It is most commonly referred to as African mango seed. The reason it’s called dika in certain circumstances is that the seeds that come from African mangos actually go by many different names, depending on region, common practice and so on. This seed is incredibly beneficial for many different ailments and is such a cultural staple in certain parts of the world that it is used as a common ingredient in stews and soups. Here are the benefits of dika nut oil.

It’s A Pain Reliever

There are properties within the dika nut that lends to its naturally analgesic components. This means that it helps to relieve pain. If you deal with a condition that has you in various states of pain, you may want to have some dika nut oil on hand. There are ethanol extracts within the nut that allow it to relieve various levels of pain. Whether you suffer from arthritic pain or a tooth ache, applying this oil on the painful area will help to mitigate the amount of pain that is felt. Just a drop or two will do as this oil is strong. Try mixing it with some coconut oil or avocado oil.

Antibacterial

Bacterial infections are pesky irritants and can often lead to other issues down the line. Ensuring that your body is healthy from the outside in and vice versa, will help to ward off any further health concerns or complications. If you suffer from skin rashes, athlete’s foot or any other type of infection, you will find that this oil works wonders in helping rid your skin and body of the issue. Apply a mixture of dika nut oil and jojoba onto the problem area at least twice a day and watch it start to clear up in a matter of days.

Improves Skin Conditions

If you, or anyone you know, suffers from psoriasis or eczema, it can be a very debilitating skin issue to deal with. The clusters of affected skin can be very difficult to manage. Not only are they uncomfortable and itchy, but can be the cause of increased self consciousness. Other people may see the skin legions and not know what they are. The understanding of these skin conditions is minimal and many have assumed it’s something contagious. This can be a very anxiety provoking condition to deal with. Dika nut oil has been known to treat skin that is dry and scaly, two of the most common symptoms of these skin conditions.

Eases Constipation

Digestive issues are not fun to deal with. There are few things more uncomfortable than not being able to go to the bathroom. Because of the rich source of fiber within the dika nut, it has been shown to assist in improving bowel movement functioning.

You can purchase dika nut online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Is Curcumin All Hype?

For years, curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has been heralded as an impressive and impacting entity that has tremendous health benefits. However, a recent study published by the American Chemical Society found that its benefits may be much less than what was previously believed. The evidence found within the study actually makes staunch counter claims regarding the benefits and abilities of curcumin. So what is the truth? Does this natural mineral really do what so many claim? While it’s hard to disprove personal results and increased health, this study challenges those notions and contemplates an alternative.

Curcumin has been said to have tremendous healing power. Incredibly, serious conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s can potentially be shifted and eased in the face of curcumin, or at least that’s what numerous claims have reported. This may have been the outcome for some who have implemented this natural source as a treatment plan for their ailment. However, this recent study did not come to similar findings. In fact, it was found that perhaps this compound only has limited abilities and power.

Link Between Curcumin And Turmeric

Turmeric has traditionally been used in mustards and curry, a real accent to many dishes in East Asian countries. It has a very rich color and flavor that has been used in various capacities for centuries. In the ‘90s, there were quite a bit of rumblings and interest in the curcumin element of the spice. This compound makes up only three to five percent of the overall makeup of turmeric. Over 100 trials have been conducted to find out just how effective this spice is. Researchers Michael A Walters and Guido F. Pauli compiled all the information and data they could gather to uncover what all the hype was about and if it was warranted.

Ultimately, in their estimations, it’s not. They found specific evidence that suggests curcumin is actually unstable under physiological conditions and is not easily absorbed by the body. These two things are what actually make the compound a poor therapeutic candidate. There was also no evidence of the eradication and elimination of something called the placebo effect that could account for the positive results some have experienced while taking this supplement.

Now some may think it’s a pretty big coincidence considering so many have had amazing results when taking curcumin. However, researchers deal with data and hard facts. As such, they did not find anything within the research that would indicate curcumin is the miracle cure some claim it is.

Other Health Claims

Interestingly enough, it was also found that turmeric extracts do widely provide benefits to some less intrusive and serious health concerns. However, the serious nature of some of the health claims included, simply aren’t proven with data to the level that these researchers would like. Counter that fact with the discovery of some underling issues, researchers simply don’t buy it’s claimed level of effectiveness.

As is the case with many things, it really depends on your own personal experience and own research. Unfortunately, there isn’t one end-all, be-all cure for everything. If there was, there would be no sickness or illnesses. But the bottom line is certain things do work for certain people. Sometimes a product is discovered that multiple individuals have good reactions to. These shouldn’t be discarded based on certain outlier elements that may be found within research.

 

Recent Studies Shed Light On Benefits Of Vitamin D

A recent study led by Queen Mary University of London provides the most evidence yet that vitamin D has benefits beyond bone and muscle health, and could have major implications for public health policy, including the fortification of foods with vitamin D to tackle high levels of deficiency. The study was conducted by a consortium of 25 investigators from 21 institutions worldwide and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

The results, published in The BMJ, are based on a new analysis of raw data from around 11,000 participants in 25 clinical trials conducted in 14 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, India, Afghanistan, Belgium, Italy, Australia and Canada. Individually, these trials yielded conflicting results, with some reporting that vitamin D protected against respiratory infections, and others showing no effect.

Respiratory Infection Protection

Lead researcher Professor Adrian Martineau from QMUL said: “This major collaborative research effort has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections. Our analysis of pooled raw data from each of the 10,933 trial participants allowed us to address the thorny question of why vitamin D worked in some trials, but not in others.

“The bottom line is that the protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest vitamin D levels, and when supplementation is given daily or weekly rather than in more widely spaced doses,” she said. “Vitamin D fortification of foods provides a steady, low-level intake of vitamin D that has virtually eliminated profound vitamin D deficiency in several countries. By demonstrating this new benefit of vitamin D, our study strengthens the case for introducing food fortification to improve vitamin D levels in countries such as the UK where profound vitamin D deficiency is common.”

The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – is thought to protect against respiratory infections by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides – natural antibiotic-like substances – in the lungs. Results of the study fit with the observation that colds and flu are commonest in winter and spring, when levels of vitamin D are at their lowest. They may also explain why vitamin D protects against asthma attacks, which are commonly triggered by respiratory viruses.

Daily or weekly supplementation halved the risk of acute respiratory infection in people with the lowest baseline vitamin D levels, below 25 nanomoles per liter. However, people with higher baseline vitamin D levels also benefited, although the effect was more modest – 10 per cent risk reduction. Overall, the reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection induced by vitamin D was on a par with the protective effect of injectable flu vaccine against flu-like illnesses.

Acute respiratory infections are a major cause of global morbidity and mortality. Upper respiratory infections such as colds and ‘flu are the commonest reason for GP consultations and days off work. Acute lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia are less common, but caused an estimated 2.65 million deaths worldwide in 2013. Vitamin D supplementation is safe and inexpensive, so reductions in acute respiratory infections brought about by vitamin D supplementation could be highly cost-effective.

The Link Between Exercise And Vitamin D

Johns Hopkins researchers recently reported that an analysis of survey responses and health records of more than 10,000 American adults for nearly 20 years suggests a “synergistic” link between exercise and good vitamin D levels in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Both exercise and adequate vitamin D have long been implicated in reducing heart disease risks, but in a new study the researchers investigated the relationship between these two health factors and their joint role in heart health. Their findings, which were published in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, identified a positive and direct relationship between exercise and vitamin D levels in the blood, which may provide evidence that exercise may boost vitamin D stores.

They also found that the two factors working together seemed to somehow do more than either factor alone to protect the cardiovascular system. The researchers caution that their study is an observational one and that long-term, carefully controlled clinical trials would be needed to establish evidence for cause and effect. Nevertheless, the study does support the notion that exposure to the “sunshine” vitamin D and exercise are indicators of good health.

“In our study, both failure to meet the recommended physical activity levels and having vitamin D deficiency were very common” says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.,associate director of preventive cardiology and associate professor of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The bottom line is we need to encourage people to move more in the name of heart health.”

Healthy Diet And Lower Body Fat

Michos adds that exposure to a few minutes a day of sunlight in non-winter seasons, eating a well-balanced meal that includes oily fish such as salmon, along with fortified foods like cereal and milk, may be enough to provide adequate levels of vitamin D for most adults. But Michos says that sun exposure may not be the whole story of the direct relationship found between exercise and vitamin D levels, since vitamin D produced by the skin after exposure to sunlight tends to level off when the body makes enough, and the levels in the study’s participants didn’t show signs of doing so.

She says this points to evidence that there may be something else going on in the body that causes vitamin D and exercise to positively influence levels of each other. For example, people who exercise may also have other healthy habits that influence vitamin D levels such as lower body fat and a healthier diet. Alternatively, people who exercise may take more vitamin supplements.

As for the racial disparity they saw, this could mean promoting physical activity may not be as effective for raising vitamin D levels in African-Americans as in whites. Michos notes that people with darker skin produce vitamin D less efficiently after sun exposure, possibly due to the greater amount of melanin pigment, which acts as a natural sunscreen. African-Americans also tend to have lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D overall but they don’t seem to experience the same consequences, such as bone fractures, that whites have with similarly low levels.

Michos cautions that people who meet the recommended daily amount of 600 to 800 International Units a day and who have adequate levels of vitamin D don’t need to take additional vitamin supplements. “More isn’t necessarily better once your blood levels are above 20 nanograms per milliliter,” says Michos.

Sunlight And Sunscreen

“People at risk of bone diseases, have seasonal depression, or are obese should have their physicians measure vitamin D levels to ensure they’re adequate, but for many, the best way to ensure adequate blood levels of the vitamin is from sun exposure, healthy diet, being active and maintaining a normal body weight,” she continued. “Just 15 minutes of sunlight in the summer produces about 3000 international units of vitamin D depending on latitude and skin pigmentation, which is equivalent to 30 glasses of milk. Just be sure to use sunscreen if you plan to be outside longer than 15 minutes.”

While the health boost from regular physical activity is undisputed, the benefits of vitamin D supplements haven’t yet been proven for heart health. Michos notes that a recent randomized clinical trial published in JAMA Cardiology failed to show any cardiovascular benefit with high-doses of monthly vitamin D supplements among participants living in New Zealand. She says that larger studies including more diverse populations of patients and different dosing regimens are currently on-going and, when published, will provide further insight and guide recommendations for patients.

Positive Properties Of Pistachio Oil

When it comes to nut oils, many others come to mind before the oil of pistachio such as macadamia and peanut. However, just because pistachio oil isn’t used as readily doesn’t mean it’s not an oil that should definitely be explored and considered. This oil is a great option when you want an oil that is nutrient rich and dense with healthy properties. It can be used both internally and externally. Here are the ways in which the oil can really be beneficial.

Prevents Diabetes

One of the biggest health concerns in this country is diabetes. With so many having type 2 diabetes, because of the amount of sugar our diets contain, we have to really get a hold of our sugar intake and its effect on our health. Thankfully the amount of phosphorous that is present in the pistachio nut is an amazing aid for that issue. It actually has more than half of the daily amount of the nutrient per cup – less if it’s the oil. The phosphorous helps to break down the proteins into amino acids that aid with glucose tolerance.

Nervous System

The amount of vitamin B6 that is present in the nut is incredibly good for the nervous system. It will help to coat and treat the nervous system from the inside out. Nerve fibers that fire off incorrectly or inaccurately can lead to a whole host of issues. Thankfully the vitamins and proteins in this oil help to increase the frequencies with which one nerve fiber connects to another. This helps to aid the proper transmission of nerve impulses. This directly affects stress levels, anxiety and energy.

Healthy Brain

We’ve said it plenty of times here but the brain needs fat. It thrives off of and functions best on healthy fats. This is exactly the type of fat that pistachio oil is. With the amount of vitamin B6 present, it naturally increases the hemoglobin count in the blood. This increases the supply of blood that gets to your brain. This adequately makes it even more active and sharp. Use a couple of teaspoons in your salad dressing or add it to your meals. This oil is tasty and also incredibly healthy.

Anti-Aging

Vitamin E is considered the skin vitamin. Pistachio oil is definitely high in this nourishing vitamin which makes it great for healthy and youthful looking skin. It helps to provide the skin with adequate moisture while also protecting it from harmful UV rays which are one of the primary causes of aging signs like sagging skin, wrinkles, or age spots. Its emollient properties will ensure you never have to fight off drying or cracking skin again.

Stimulates Hair Growth

This oil can be used topically on the scalp to promote hair growth. The follicles on our head can sometimes become unresponsive causing hair growth and health to deteriorate. Add a couple of drops of this to your scalp and massaging it in for a couple of minutes. You’ll start to notice the difference after continued use.

You can purchase pistachio oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Plant-Grafted Seedless Watermelons Resist Disease

Researchers at the University of Florida succeeded in using plant grafting to grow seedless watermelons that are more resistant to many soil-borne diseases, even as they retain the fruit quality and flavor. The research will lead to future studies that ensure the fruit will remain resistant in areas of high disease pressure.

Who doesn’t love a juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? Florida is one of the country’s top producers of watermelons, and its business has received a major boon from the research of Xin Zhao, a University of Florida Institute of Agricultural Sciences associate professor. Zhao and her co-authors on a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture used a technique known as plant grafting to produce seedless watermelons that resist common soil-borne diseases while retaining both a strong quality and flavor.

This horticultural technique joins two plants so that they seem to grow as one: the “scion,” or top plant, is grown on top of the “root stock,” or root system, of an entirely different plant.

Fruit Quality

Seedless watermelons are in high demand, but seedless cultivars appear to be more susceptible to common diseases present in soil, such as fusarium wilt. Using the plant-grafting technique, researchers joined seedless watermelons with squash rootstocks, which are more resistant to many soil-borne diseases. This process carries with it the risk of diminishing the quality and taste of the fruit. However, Zhao’s study revealed no loss in flavor through the use of panels of blind taste testing.

The grafted fruit also did not lose markers of quality, such as total soluble solids – including natural sugars and organic and amino acids – and lycopene content – the naturally occurring chemical that gives watermelons their red color. The total soluble solid content is one of the factors most commonly used in assessing the quality of this fruit. In fact, grafted watermelons had an even higher level of flesh firmness than their non-grafted cousins.

These results are exciting for growers of watermelons. Zhao commented, “We are continuing our grafted watermelon research to optimize management of grafted watermelon production, maximize its full potential and seek answers to economic feasibility.”

Other Issues

Further studies will investigate whether the grafted plants resist fusarium wilt in areas of high disease pressure. Zhao pointed out that there are additionally some challenges with this method of plant grafting: watermelons grafted onto squash rootstocks are more susceptible to root-knot nematodes, roundworms that prey on roots. These nematodes are present in Florida, and they may pose a hurdle to the implementation of the plant grafting technique.

Another team of researchers at UF/IAS is currently addressing these issues. For now, growers may employ the grafting technique in areas plagued by fusarium wilt but relatively low in root-knot nematodes.

This exciting new technique and its developments may well increase yield and raise quality of seedless watermelons in the years to come. While some may be skeptical of these findings as watermelons do not naturally come in seedless form, the research here is clear. If this specific scientific technique can result in fruit that is even better for the system than how it may naturally occur, this is something that we should continue to keep our eye on, and be well aware of.

Salt Consumption Control

A global initiative has recently been introduced calling for a National Salt Reduction as a cost-effective way to prevent the problem of cardiovascular disease that is plaguing many parts of the world. This government-supported policy seeks to provide actionable steps so that salt consumption is diminished thus improving overall health and increasing the amount of healthy years for many. It is estimated that based on even a small 10 percent reduction of the intake of salt over the course of 10 years would yield something close to saving the lives of over six million individuals. The policy claims that the cost of cardiovascular disease treatment saved via this measure is over $200 per year per life saved.

A study was conducted that modeled the specific cause and effects prevalent in those who consume high amounts of salt via what costs would be seen even only in a small decline. Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., who is the dean at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, says that “we know excess dietary salt causes hundreds of thousands of cardiovascular deaths ever single year.” The huge issue has largely been how to bring the consumption of salt down and what type of monetary impact that would require. A statistical model including 183 countries was constructed using the data on salt consumption from 2010.

Cost-Effective Policy

The World Health Organization’s costing tool on noncommunicable diseases weighed the resources needed for training, supplies, equipment, meetings, and mass media, and that figure was considered when taking into account the different currencies around the world as well as the purchasing power. Specific information was taken into account in order to find out if there was a reasonable level of cost effectiveness for this specific policy. A number of countries were tested and it was found that the plan would be cost effective in practically every single country in the world.

The researchers are forthcoming when it comes to some of the limitations of their findings. They acknowledge that the raw data used from 2010 did cover the majority but does not necessarily represent the global population as a whole. They also are aware of the fact that this only targets cardiovascular disease. This means that other equally pervasive diseases aren’t necessarily positively impacted by this plan. Even with these shortcomings, there is definitely a benefit in rolling out true statements and initiatives that focus on health, proper information, valuable content, and the overall quality of life.

It’s important to note that there are so many food-related illnesses that plague specific parts of the world – especially in western civilizations that have increased options and heightened exposure to food. Whether it is diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune conditions or a host of other issues, so many of them can be intrinsically linked to diet. What we consume begins to drive us and put us in positions of supreme optimum health or lack of that.

There have been many changes regarding what actually is good for us. The government peddled nonfat products for a very long time. Recent studies show that good fats are essential, and that healthy fats are a huge part of a good and balanced diet. Once we’ve seen the statistics and the truth, we as a society need to make huge strides to move forward toward the betterment of our global health makeup.

The Benefits Of Walnut Oil

The walnut isn’t as readily consumed because some don’t necessarily want to deal with the hard shell in order to eat the nut. However, there is an alternative way to consume these healthy, high in omega 3 fatty acid nuts. Not only is the consumption of this nut advised, but the oil form can also be used in a whole host of ways. Here are some of the top reasons why walnut oil should definitely be a nut oil worth having on hand.

Fights Wrinkles

Signs of aging can be incredibly difficult to deal with. It can make one self-conscious as no one wants to look old. Finding the fountain of youth and products that actually work on the skin are what makes the skin care industry such a booming one. What many don’t realize is that there are several natural ingredients that can provide your skin with the ultimate anti-aging and restorative experience. Walnut oil is one of them. Due to the greasy texture of the oil, it can help to fight those fine lines and wrinkles in time. You would need to apply it regularly to your problem areas, let it set and then wash it off.

Psoriasis Remedy

Those who deal with psoriasis can really struggle with how it makes them feel and how they are perceived publicly. It can be a very tough thing to deal with because the affected patches of skin can sometimes be embarrassing and make others wary. Walnut oil is especially helpful to apply topically on the affected area. Walnut oil helps to combat the dryness that is usually associated with psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Fights Hair Loss

Balding is an issue that many people face. It’s much more common than some realize and it’s not just something that affects men. Women are also known to notice hair thinning around their temples as they get older. If you are starting to see the number of hairs you lose increase, you may want to grab some walnut oil and treat your scalp with it. Due to the high omega 3 fatty acid content in the oil, it helps to fight against and prevent cell damage that can cause significant hair loss.

Improve Sleep

Many people find it difficult to go to sleep. Whether it’s their lifestyle or high levels of stress that make falling asleep incredibly difficult, consuming walnut oil can actually be a very effective aid. Walnuts have healthy amounts of melatonin within them. Melatonin helps to regulate sleep cycles and also naturally promotes sleep. You can take melatonin in tablet or pill form but consuming it from organic, natural sources is always the best option. You can use the oil to make your salad dressings or use it as your go-to sauté oil.

You can purchase walnut oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Broccoli Compound May Help Diabetes Patients, Study Finds

A new study in the journal Science Translational Medicine suggests that those who suffer from type 2 diabetes might be able to manage their blood sugar levels with the aid of concentrated broccoli sprout extract.

The majority of diabetics suffer from type 2 diabetes. While the five to 10 percent of diabetics with type 1 cannot produce insulin – because their immune system destroys the cells that produce it – the remainder of diabetics with type 2 lack sufficient insulin or cannot use the insulin in their bodies effectively.

More than 300 million people in the world suffer from type 2, and they require medication to help them manage the levels of sugar and insulin in their blood. Yet a full 15% of these diabetics cannot take metformin, the primary drug used for this purpose, because they have reduced kidney function and the medication could damage their organs and lead to lactic acidosis, an uncomfortable build-up of lactic acid. Among the patients who do take metformin, around 30% develop other unpleasant symptoms.

A team of researchers led by doctoral student Annika Axelsson – from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden – has located an alternative by using an innovative approach to locate compounds that seem to check the gene expression changes caused by type 2 diabetes.

Researchers began by creating a signature for the disease, a group of genes that are commonly characteristic of a certain medical condition. They identified 1,720 genes that are associated with hyperglycemia, an excess of glucose in the blood typically experienced by diabetics. They narrowed these genes to 50 key genes that would serve as the signature. Using a database of drug compounds, they used a modeling program to determine which compounds were best at counteracting the signature they had developed.

Natural Compound

Researchers quickly zeroed in on sulforaphane, a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. This compound seemed so useful because it diminished glucose production in liver cells; when administered to diabetic rats, the compound altered their gene expression.

Based on these results, the researchers studied 97 diabetic humans in a 12-week double-blind study with placebos for the control group. Test subjects were given broccoli sprout extracts with approximately 100 times the sulforaphane typically found in broccoli. Non-obese patients showed no effects, but obese patients saw a reduction in levels of blood sugar.

Normally, diabetics retain high blood sugar even when fasting, but sulforaphane cut fasting blood glucose levels by 10%, a significant enough amount that it may reduce further health complications. The compound lacks any of the side effects of metformin and could make a suitable replacement.

Future studies will see if sulforaphane can help those with prediabetes avoid developing type 2 diabetes. As a very debilitating condition, diabetes has plagued a substantial amount of individuals in recent years because of dietary missteps and lack of information. Our consumption culture has ravaged the health of so many and most doesn’t know where to look when it comes to taking preventative measures to protect their sanctity of health.

Adding something like broccoli into an eating plan with regularity can help more than some people think. Making better food decisions and staying away from things like sugar and processed carbs is a good way to manage this disease. Mismanagement or failure to properly deal with diabetes can be disastrous.

 

The Health Benefits Of Hot Chili Peppers

Researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont recently discovered through a large prospective study that the consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality primarily in deaths due to stroke or heart disease.

The study – published in PLos ONE – examined the baseline characteristics of the participants – more than 16,000 Americans that were followed for up to 23 years – and their hot red chili pepper consumption. They discovered that these consumers tended to be younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and that they smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, consume more vegetables and meats, had lower income, less education and lower HDL-cholesterol in comparison to participants who did not consume red chili peppers. They then examined data from a median follow- up of 18.9 years and observed the number of deaths and then analyzed specific causes of death.

The explanation for the health benefits of red chili peppers? Capsaicin is believed to play a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow, and also possesses antimicrobial properties that may indirectly affect the host by altering the gut microbiota.

“Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin – the principal component in chili peppers – may in part be responsible for the observed relationship,” say the study authors. “Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper – or even spicy food – consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” says Chopan.

Brazilian Peppertree Berries

In another study, the journal Scientific Reports published the finding that red berries of the Brazilian peppertree – common in Florida – contain an extract with the power to disarm dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria.

The research from Emory University states that a refined, flavone-rich composition extracted from the berries inhibits formation of skin lesions in mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus auereus (MRSA). The compound works not by killing the MRSA bacteria, but by repressing a gene that allows the bacteria cells to communicate with one another. Blocking that communication prevents the cells from taking collective action, a mechanism known as quorum quenching.

“It essentially disarms the MRSA bacteria, preventing it from excreting the toxins it uses as weapons to damage tissues,” said Cassandra Quave, an assistant professor in Emory University’s Center for the Study of Human Health and in the School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology. “The body’s normal immune system then stands a better chance of healing a wound.”

The discovery may hold potential for new ways to treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant infections,