Archive for the ‘antioxidants’ Category

Spices May Really Be The Spice Of Life

December 30, 2012
Paul Prudhome's Magic Seasoning

Paul Prudhome’s Magic Seasoning

I know I have focused on male and female pelvic health but I would also like to blog on other aspects of health that I think are worthy of mention. This blog discusses the health benefits of adding spices to meals.

It has been reported in medical journals that spices can increase your metabolism and improve your heart health. A study of two groups: one receiving high fat meals and the other group had the same identical high fat diet but had an added mix of spices-rosemary, oregano, and cinnamon. Each rich foods typically increases blood levels of insulin and triglyceride fats, which heighten the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Volunteers eating the spicy meal saw increase in triglycerides and insulin that were significantly lower than those of the group who ate the diet without the spices.

The investigators believe that antioxidants found in spices are responsible.

Bottom Line: Spices may be helpful for boosting metabolism and may be heart healthy. So add a little spice to your life and you just may increase the length of your life.

For more information on using spices in your cooking check out Chef Paul Prodhomme’s website: http://www.chefpaul.com/seasoning

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Prevent Prostate Cancer-Try a Tomato

June 22, 2011

That wonderful, tasty fruit\vegetable just may be what the doctor ordered for prostate cancer prevention.  The primary nutrient behind tomatoes’ healing power is lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that works by neutralizing free radicals which can be a cause of cellular damage leading to the development of prostate cells becoming cancerous.  Eating foods that are high in lycopenes protects against a wide range of cancers, from prostate cancer to lung and breast cancer.

There’s more good news.  Tomatoes can also help prevent heart attacks by lowering cholesterol levels.  Lycopenes also increase bone mineral density and may be protective against hip fractures.  Also, lycopenes can help prevent type-2 diabetes.

It is estimated that three or more servings a week of tomatoes are adequate for the purpose of prostate cancer prevention.

Bottom Line:  No one is certain about what causes prostate cancer.  However, we do know that dietary abuses are partly responsible for the cause of prostate cancer.  We also know that certain supplements including lycopenes can be helpful in preventing prostate cancer.  So in addition to your apple to keep the doctor away, throw in a few tomatoes.

Blueberries Beat Back Urinary Tract Infections Plus Other Medical Benefits

June 19, 2011

Recent studies have shown that blueberries have compounds similar to those of cranberries and can also be used to treat and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Epicatechin is a bioflavonoid (antioxidant) found both in cranberries and blueberries.

Epicatechin works to prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the bladder tissue. This causes the bacteria to be eliminated thru your urine rather than attaching to the bladder wall, where they start multiplying and ultimately causing infection.

Not just for urinary infections-Other benefits of blueberries

Antioxidants consist of a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that have health enhancing effects for our bodies. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals before they do harm to our bodies. Free radicals are atoms that cause damage to our cells. They harm our immune system leading to many degenerative diseases. Free radicals are formed by our cells being exposed to a variety of substances such as radiation, chemicals, pollution, smoke, drugs, alcohol, pesticides and sun and through various metabolic processes such as when our bodies utilize stored fat for energy. A poor diet also aids in the formation of free radicals.

Antioxidants work by donating an electron to free radicals to convert them to harmless molecules. This protects cells from oxidative damage that leads to aging and various diseases.

Besides tasting great and looking good, blueberries can also lower your cholesterol levels. This is due to the antioxidant compound found in blueberries called pterostilbene. Its effect is similar to a commercial medication, Ciprofibrate (sold under the name of “Modalim”) that is used to reduce “bad” or LDL cholesterol.

The simple conclusion is that blueberries lower cholesterol as effectively as drugs, but without the negative side effects.

Blueberries have been shown to have a positive effect on aging. Blueberries appear to reverse some aspects of brain aging. This has given the blueberry a nickname, the ‘brain berry’. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries build a protective coat around the brain to fight signs of aging and deterioration. There is also evidence that blueberries may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

The anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries appear to prevent and relieve arthritic symptoms, while the nutrients in blueberries may help strengthen blood vessels, leading to healthier blood pressure levels and heart health. The manganese in blueberries supports strong bones and its vitamin C supports the immune system.

Bottom Line:  Blueberries have great medicinal value and can be a boon against the common urinary tract infections.  They also can lower your cholesterol levels and may be an anti-aging agent.

Eat Your Veggies-It Just May Prevent Cancer

January 31, 2011

Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that preferentially destroy ineffective mutant p53 tumor suppressor proteins, but leave the good ones alone. Steve Mirsky reports in the Scientific American.

Generations of American children have been told, “Eat your broccoli!” And for decades, researchers have known that broccoli and related vegetables like cauliflower and watercress appeared to lower the risk of some cancers. And that compounds in the vegetables could kill cancer cells. But how the cruciferous veggies worked their medical magic was a mystery. Until now. Because researchers have figured out just what broccoli does that helps keep cancer in check. The work appears in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. [Xiantao Wang et al., “Selective Depletion of Mutant p53 by Cancer Chemoprevention Isothiocyanates and Their Structure-Activity Relationships“]

Proteins coded by the gene p53 help keep cancer from starting to grow. But when the p53 gene is mutated, the protection is gone. Mutated p53 is implicated in about half of all human cancers.

Broccoli and its relatives are rich in compounds called isothiocyanates, or ITCs. And these ITCs apparently destroy the products of the mutant p53 gene, but leave the healthy p53 proteins alone and free to suppress tumor development.

The researchers write that “depletion of mutant p53 may reduce drug resistance and lead to new strategies for treating cancer in the clinic.” In the meantime, eat your broccoli!

 

Berries For Your Blood Pressure-How Strawberries Can Reduce Your Risk of Hypertension

January 30, 2011

Eating just 1 cup of strawberries or blueberries each week can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The new findings appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The new study included 87,242 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II, 46,672 women from the Nurses’ Health Study I, and 23,043 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up study. During the 14-year follow-up period, 29,018 women and 5,629 men developed high blood pressure.

Men and women with the highest amount of anthocyanin from blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduction in their risk for developing high blood pressure, compared to study participants who ate the least amount of these anthocyanin-rich berries, the study showed.

Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that gives blueberries and strawberries their vibrant color. It may also help open blood vessels, which allows for smoother blood flow and a lower risk for high blood pressure.