Latest research shows vitamin C benefits include brain health and weight loss

For decades vitamin C has been lauded as the “go to” nutrient to ward off the seasonal cold and flu threat.

Well, move over cough protection… a new study from New Zealand has demonstrated that vitamin C also provides brain protection and weight loss support.

In the study, published in Nutrients, more than 400 participants in Canterbury, New Zealand were assessed for their vitamin C levels and dietary intake.

After participants completed a food diary for four days, researchers assessed their general well-being with a battery of tests that measured attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language and conceptual thinking.

When the researchers compared the participants’ vitamin C status with measures of health and well-being, an interesting pattern emerged: Lower levels of mild cognitive impairment were observed in those with the highest plasma vitamin C concentrations.

Additional studies support vitamin C’s ability to help prevent neurodegenerative disorders, and the problems that can accompany deficiencies.

For example, recent Chinese research showed that vitamin C has a significant neuroprotective effect, while another 2015 study suggested that consuming vitamin C-rich orange juice could reduce rates of cognitive decline.

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Three to four cups of coffee a day linked to longer life

New research reported in the British Medical Journal is likely to cause debate among health practitioners–as research on coffee always does.

According to the BMJ, “Drinking coffee is “more likely to benefit health than to harm it.”

In this study, researchers gathered evidence from more than 200 earlier studies.

The researchers found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of death–including lower risk of heart disease–compared to drinking no coffee.

Coffee drinking was also associated with lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.

The research came with a few caveats:

— Coffee drinking should be lowered, or avoided, during pregnancy as it does appear to have minor side effects in this situation.

— Coffee should be avoided by elderly women at risk of fracture. Though the “link” to increasing risk of fractures is small, it only makes sense for women already at risk to avoid exacerbating the issue.

— How you drink your coffee is important. The refined sugars and other chemicals that many coffee drinkers use carry their own risks, and may actually offset the advantages of drinking coffee.

For research details, visit the BMJ study here.

Using the “5-a-day” guidelines, only one in ten people eat enough fruit and veggies

As bad as the headline sounds, this statistic is actually the GOOD news.

The bad news is that the recommended “5-a-day” is an old recommendation that dates back to the 1990s.

Today experts are recommending 10 servings of fruit and veggies a day. And when we switch to THAT recommendation, only about 1% of the population is consuming adequate amounts!

As the “10 servings a day” guideline has become more widely accepted the Centers for Disease Control and the Produce for Better Health Foundation have launched a national campaign with the message, “Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.

Meanwhile, media outlets and universities in the UK are pushing their own “For a longer life, eat 10 a day” campaign.

These campaigns are reflecting updated research showing that the old 5-a-day simply doesn’t cut it.

A recent study on fruit and vegetable intake was conducted by Imperial College London. The results indicated that an increase to 10-a-day could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.

The conclusions were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies quantifying the eating habits of two million people.

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Alzheimer’s deaths are exploding

Alzheimer’s deaths are exploding.

The number of people dying from Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. has soared 55 percent over the last 15 years, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The incurable neurodegenerative condition which ultimately results in the loss of critical brain function, claimed the lives of 93,541 Americans in 2014, up from 44,536 in 1999.

Scientists say several factors are contributing to the trend, including an aging population, greater longevity, improved diagnoses, and an increased willingness among doctors to identify Alzheimer’s as a cause of death.

The CDC notes that more Alzheimer’s patients are dying at home, suggesting the burden of the disease is weighing more heavily on loved ones and personal caregivers, reports NBCNews.com.

“As the number of older Americans with the disease rises,” says CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, “more family members are taking on the emotionally and physically challenging role of caregiver than ever before.”

Alzheimer’s currently affects 5.5 million Americans, according to Alzheimer’s.com.

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Fun Food Facts, Part 1: Surprising origins of popular modern foods and snacks

There are many fun food facts: surprising origins of popular foods and snacks we enjoy today.

These fun food facts are surprising because their origins are not at all what we moderns might have thought.

Take PASTA, for example. We usually relate pasta’s origin to Italy. But the regions which today we know of as China and Tibet were actaully making pasta 3,000-plus years ago.

Tradition has it that Marco Polo and his uncles Niccolo and Maffeo, brought recipes for noodles back to Europe after their travels in China. It is known that pasta was firmly established in Italy by 1353 AD.

ICE CREAM is rated as America’s favorite dessert and we consume it in great amounts. But there again, ancient China surprises us in the list of fun food facts—by making ice cream 4,000 years ago!

Old China’s ice cream was more an ice milk than the creamy dessert we enjoy today. Originally the ice milk was made from overcooked rice and spices packed in snow. As the dessert became more popular and widespread, China imported snow from the mountains.

After China, ice milk and fruit ice appeared in Italy, then France and throughout Europe by the 1800s.

Italian ice cream vendors traveled throughout Europe, then Italian immigrant vendors in the U.S. until candymaker Burt Young of Ohio introduced the first chocolate-covered ice cream bar.

Thus was born the Good Humor man—and America’s love for ice cream.

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Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women in the U.S: here are foods to help fight it

Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women in the U.S.

Here are foods to help fight it.

ARUGULA is a cancer-fighting salad green, a cousin to broccoli. Arugula’s secret is it releases isothiocyanates, compounds that neutralize carcinogens in the body. Arugula is also rich in chlorophyll, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

FLAXSEEDS are tiny, nutty seeds packed with fiber which helps reduce cancer risk. Chew them whole, or grind them and sprinkle over salad.

GREEN TEA is packed with flavonoids that protect against DNA damage. Maximize their effects by using loose leaf tea.

RASPBERRIES are rich in fiber and high in ellagic acid, a potent anti-carcinogen. Studies show that raspberry extracts cause cell death in cancer cells.

NUTS are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (particularly walnuts). Nuts are filled with antioxidants that repel developing cancer cells.

SALMON, once an excellent health food that was the main diet of historical North American cultures, is now polluted by mercury, radiation and other poisons of modern societies. Even the FDA recommends reducing intake to two or fewer servings per week—of wild caught, not farm-raised.

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Are you supplementing the right type of vitamin K?

If you’re taking a vitamin K supplement, do you know if it’s the right type of vitamin K?

There are two main forms of vitamin K: Phylloquinone, which is more commonly referred to as “vitamin K1”; and menaquinones, which is more commonly referred to as “vitamin K2.”

Phylloquinone/K1 can be found in green leafy vegetables and makes up approximately 90% of the vitamin K consumed in the western diet.

Menaquinones/K2 is more complicated, as it is itself make up of different types. These types are denoted by “MK-n” with the “n” representing the prenyl side chains.

It sounds complicated, but the important issue is to remember that a wide variety of food sources are necessary to provide all the types of vitamin K2.

For example, the MK-4 type of vitamin K2 is found in animal meats, while the MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9 types of vitamin K2 is found only in fermented foods.

The reason these distinctions are important is because while some people don’t get enough K1 (i.e. not eating their veggies), almost everyone eating a western diet does not get enough K2.

For this reason a supplement that contains K2, rather than K1, is likely to be more beneficial to you.

If you consume a wide variety of fermented foods this may not be the case. But for most people this is a supplementing truism!

Fermented foods have provided beneficial bacteria and good health to humans for thousands of years

Fermented foods have provided beneficial bacteria and good health to humans for thousands of years.

Fermentation of food dates back at least 6,000 years BC. Scientists and historians say that fermented foods were probably discovered by accident as ancient people sought ways to preserve fresh food for later use.

They were adapted and perfected through generations of traditions and cultures throughout the world.

Fermenting and culturing mean the same thing—a method of pre-digestion that takes place when there are beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus or biffidus strains) NATURALLY present, or a yeast strain which breaks down the starch and sugar in foods.

As these bacteria divide, the process forms lactic acid, described as lacto-fermentation….

Which STOPS GROWTH OF BAD BACTERIA.

Nearly every civilization down through history has had its own favorite fermented foods in its traditional diet.

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Plant medicine: 28,000 medicinal plants have now been identified by modern scientists

Plant medicine: 28,000 medicinal plants have now been identified by modern scientists.

New analysis from 128,000 scientists representing twelve countries has been made public by Kew Gardens at Britain’s Royal Botanical Gardens in London.

Actually, since early times plants have provided the medicinal remedies of the human race. The whole structure of modern pharmacopeia is based on man’s trial and error historical knowledge of flowers, herbs, plants and trees.

The medicinal plant pioneers didn’t know what made certain plants work for what; they just knew it did work. Today scientists can tell us WHY certain plants have been found to help specific ailments.

Since 1981, 1,130 new therapeutic agents have been approved for use by Big Pharma drugs, 593 based on compounds from natural sources.

But only 16 percent (4,478) species) are cited in modern medicinal regulatory publications.

Fifteen of 56 natural drugs are registered for treatment of cancer from medicinal plants with a long history of traditional use.

Anti-cancerous drugs Vincristine and Vinblastine are based on the Madagascar periwinkle, catharanthus roseus, a member of the Apocynaceae family.

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Prescription drugs can help us and kill us: a few things we should know

Prescription drugs can help us and kill us.

We should be aware that opioid makers and supplier have spent $880 million in the past decade lobbying state and federal legislators to block new regulations in their addictive painkillers and make the drugs more easily available.

That’s eight times as much as gunmakers spent on lobbying during that time (www.Vox. com).

According to the American Sociological Association, in the U.S. and Europe 330,000 deaths a year and 6.6 million hospital visits are officially attributed to legal prescription drugs.

The 4rth leading cause of death in the U.S. is ‘appropriately’  prescribed LEGAL drugs, according to Donald Light, author of the book, The Epidemic of Sickness and Death from Prescription Drugs.

That doesn’t count the unknown millions of people who suffer dysfunction and side effects, but don’t go to the hospital.

Our tax-funded (health?) bureaucracies such as the FDA and CDC should have been warning us in the media about the brewing epidemic of overuse of chemical prescription drugs over the last decade or two.

But the media depends on Big Pharma—possibly the current biggest advertiser on TV and even newspapers— advertising to support it.

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