From the May 2017 Issue
You know the age-old saying: you are what you eatand if were talking about complexion, the path to youthful looking skin might be through your stomach. Scientists are uncovering a number of nutrients found in certain foods that can help lessen the signs of aging skin, including wrinkles and dryness.
In October of 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research organization within the World Health Organization (WHO), released a report linking processed meat to an increased risk of cancer. The IARC estimated that every 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18 percent. There is also evidence linking processed meat to pancreatic and prostate cancer. This report was compiled by 22 experts from 10 countries and evaluated more than 800 human studies on meat and cancer.
A couple of slices of bread filled with a bit of lean meat and maybe some veggies. Sure, if you make them at home, sandwiches can make a great light lunch or dinner entree. But picking up a deli-style sandwich at a restaurant is another story. Those sandwiches are often overly stuffed with meat, overly slathered with mayonnaise, and overly salted. That doesnt mean you cant fit a restaurant sammie into a healthy eating plan. As long as you know what to look for, there are healthier choices to be made.
A lot of Americans use dietary supplements, with estimates among adults ranging from 52 percent (per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2012) to 71 percent (according to a Council for Responsible Nutrition 2016 survey). Common reasons people reach for supplements are to improve or maintain health, enhance energy, and fill nutrition gaps in the diet. Users have a high level of confidence in supplements effectiveness, quality and safety. Unfortunately, supplement makers arent required to demonstrate safety, ingredient purity or efficacy before selling products. As a result, adulterated, mislabeled and harmful supplements can make their way onto the market.
One of the first things that comes to mind when you think about whole grains is how healthy they are. But even when nutrition and health are priorities, we eat with our eyes and eat to satisfy our taste buds. Yes, they are nutritious, but whole grains are also beautiful to behold and packed with flavor and texture.
Scientists are studying how avoiding excess inflammation, keeping a healthy population of gut bacteria, limiting carcinogen exposure, and supporting normal cell processes may all guard against colon cancer, one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Fortunately, eating choices can provide protection on multiple fronts. Inflammation is one of several hallmarks of cancer, notes Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, professor and oncology researcher at the University of Arizona. Studies consistently link inflammation with development, progression, and prognosis of several cancers.
What do we do when we have a nutrition question? Search the Internet, of course. In a 2016 study, 85 percent of people surveyed used the Internet to search for health and/or nutrition information. But not all the information online is reliable. Conflicts of interest and biases can impact how information is presented, says Timothy Caulfield, a professor and researcher at the University of Alberta, who studies health and science in pop culture and media. We need to be cautious about how we learn online.
Rhubarb pairs so perfectly with strawberries and other sweet fruits in tarts, jams, cobblers, and pies that its known as the pie plant and is often mistaken as a fruit. However, this ancient vegetable traces back to 2700 BC China, where it was used medicinally as a laxative and to reduce fever. Marco Polo is said to have sung its praises in Europe and Ben Franklin is credited with bringing rhubarb seeds to North America in 1772, though it took until the 1900s to gain culinary popularity. Rhubarb remains an American favorite, not only for its sweet-tart appeal (strawberry-rhubarb pie!), but also as a healthy mecca of vitamins and nutrients.
As the warm weather approaches, its time to spend more time in your gardenan activity that can reap rewards beyond fresh air and exercise. A new study, which included more than 1,300 college students, found that those who gardened currently and in childhood consumed about one-half cup more fruits and vegetables daily, compared to those who never gardened. This recent study, which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, backs up previous research that shows that peoplein particular childrenbenefit from better diets when they participate in gardening.
Negative attitudes about fruits and vegetables grown with the use of pesticides results in a lower likelihood that low-income shoppers will purchase any fruits and vegetables, researchers found.
The flavonones in citrus fruit may help counter the negative effects of high fat meals on cardiovascular health in middle-aged men, scientists say. Foods that contain resistant starches, including potatoes, bananas, grains, and legumes, may improve gut health, blood glucose control, and satiety, according to English researchers. Berries contain anthocyanins, powerful plant compounds which may play an active role in providing cardiovascular benefits in people with high cholesterol levels, according to Chinese researchers.
Negative attitudes about fruits and vegetables grown with the use of pesticides results in a lower likelihood that low-income shoppers will purchase any fruits and vegetables, researchers found. Surveys from more than 500 low-income shoppers that revealed their attitudes about organic and conventional fruits and vegetables showed a general preference for organic, due to health and safety concerns with conventional. However, the higher cost of organic produce was a significant deterrent to participants purchasing them. Despite information about organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, shoppers were still less likely to purchase more fruits and vegetables, regardless of how they were grown.