Month: May 2015
If scientists found a way to lower your risk of death from all causes by 20%, that discovery would be immediately broadcast on every major network, newspaper, and online information hub, right? Wrong.
In 2013, researchers form the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that people who made one simple nutritional choice daily dramatically decreased their risk of death. Their findings, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), showed that by a handful of nuts daily, individuals became 20% less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period.
In a Nutshell: An Ounce a Day Keeps Death Away
The researchers analyzed data collected from almost 120,000 people over three decades. The information for the analysis came from the Nurses’ Health Study (conducted with 76,464 women between 1980 and 2010) and the Health Professionals’ follow-up study (which included 42,498 men from 1986 to 2010).
Participants in both studies filled out detailed food questionnaires every two to four years. Both questionnaires specifically asked participants to estimate how often they consumed a serving (one ounce) of nuts.
When analyzing the questionnaires, the researchers used sophisticated statistical tools to subtract the effect of other factors that could have beneficially impacted risk of death. They discovered that a number of factors were linked to high nut intake, including body fat percentage, fruits and vegetable consumption, physical activity level, and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol.
But the researchers were able to neutralize the impact of these linked factors. “In all these analyses,” explained first author Dr. Ying Bao, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, ”the more nuts people ate, the less likely they were to die over the 30-year follow-up period.”
While Bao and the others acknowledged it would be impossible to account for every single difference between those who regularly ate nuts and those who did not, they said it was “unlikely” any of those differences affected the results.
Why Health “Nuts” Live Longer
The results linked nut consumption to a total reduction in death rate across a multitude of frequently fatal chronic conditions, such as…
- Heart disease
Dr. Charles Fuchs, lead author, noted, “The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease, the major killer of people in America.” Fuchs and his fellow scientists believe the decline in death rates came from a combination of health benefits.
Nuts appear to promote reductions to key factors linked to the development of chronic diseases, like…
- Oxidative stress
- Adiposity (stored fat)
- Insulin resistance
That last effect, reduction of inflammation, is likely responsible for nuts’ connection to an 11% decrease in your risk of dying from cancer.
Native to Asia, shiitake mushrooms are packed with vitamins and minerals and have been cultivated for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes. The latest research published April 11 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition confirms that shiitake mushrooms boost immunity.
Strengthen Your Immune System with Shiitake
Researchers from the University of Florida gave 52 healthy adults between the ages of 21 and 42 a four-week supply of dried shiitake mushrooms. Participants then ate one 4-ounce serving of shiitake mushrooms every day for four straight weeks. Researchers controlled for several variables:
- No vegans are vegetarians were studied
- Subjects could not drink tea or take antioxidant vitamins or probiotics before the study
- Participants were instructed to limit alcohol to 14 or fewer glasses per week so that immune-enhancing activity wasn’t adversely impacted
- Volunteers were allowed no more than 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
At the end of four weeks participants displayed better gamma delta T-cells and fewer inflammatory proteins.
Lead researcher Sue Percival explains: “If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial. We’re enhancing the immune system, but we’re also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.”
Fight Cancer with Shiitake
Shiitake mushrooms are also celebrated for their cancer-fighting properties. They are rich in the polysaccharide lentinan, which scientists have isolated and used to treat various cancers, including stomach cancer. In addition to its anti-tumor properties, lentinan has also been shown to protect the liver, alleviate stomach problems like gallstones and ulcers, and help treat anemia. In fact, shiitake mushrooms are one of the most bioavailable sources of iron.
In short, shiitake mushrooms are an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal powerhouse that can even help protect against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease when eaten regularly. An easy way to start adding shiitake to your diet is to use it to create a base for soups or stocks for making rice or quinoa. Add in some nuts, peppers, chicken, or tofu, along with your favorite seasonings
Research as found that Sugar is the ONLY cause of tooth decay! I’ve always told my family this and not it’s proven.
Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed public health records from around the world, and what they found was unequivocal: sugar, in any form, decays your teeth, which in turn erodes your health.
Tooth Decay Around the World
The study, published in BMC Health, showed that during World War II, when sugar was rationed, tooth decay in Japan was “hugely reduced.” However, once the war ended and sugar imports to Japan picked back up, tooth decay picked right back up, as well.
Also important were the findings on Nigeria, where sugar consumption is extremely minimal:
Only 2% of Nigerians have tooth decay
92% of American adults have tooth decay
60—90% of American children have tooth decay
America is the land of sugar, after all, with the majority of sugar coming from sodas and fruit juices.
How Dental Decay Can Ruin Your Health
Tooth decay ranks among the most common non-infectious diseases in the world. It doesn’t just cause gum disease; it has a major impact on all aspects of health.
Eating a high sugar diet…
|Leaves you susceptible to yeast infections
Exacerbates arthritis and asthma
Raises triglyceride levels
Increases your risk for obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes
Scientists believe that oral bacteria in your mouth enter into your bloodstream and attack all your major organs. Ultimately this can cause heart attack… dementia… rheumatoid arthritis… and, for pregnant women, premature birth.
For this reason, researchers are advocating for a disciplined cutback in sugar consumption. They conclude: “This means that it is now even more important to develop a radical prevention policy with a marked reduction in sugar intake since the use of fluoride on its own is insufficient to reduce substantially the burden of [cavities] over the lifetime of individual.”
They recommend limiting sugar consumption to 3% of total daily calories (which is just 60 calories out of 2000). In comparison, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests limiting sugar intake to 5% of total calories, with a 10% maximum.
You can measure your daily sugar intake using an online nutrient assessment tool, such as myfitnesspal.com, and then adjust your sugar consumption accordingly.