Monday, April 30, 2007

Alcohol 'makes fruit healthier'

Strawberries are good for you but having them in a cocktail may make them even healthier, a study suggests.
The fruit contains compounds that can protect against cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
But having them with alcohol, such as in a daiquiri, boosts these antioxidant properties, the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture says.
Nutritionists said the "detrimental effects" of such drinks could cancel out such benefits.

The most common cocktail to include strawberries is the daiquiri - which also includes lime or lemon juice, strawberry liqueur, sugar - and rum.

Source - BBC

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

An orange a day to keep heart disease away

Oranges and grapefruits can help keep your arteries healthy and protect against heart attacks, say researchers.
The citrus fruits contain chemicals which reduced blood cholesterol levels by 20-25 per cent in studies on rats.

The findings could help explain why those who live in the Mediterranean tend to live longer and have lower levels of heart disease than those in northern Europe.
The researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem reported to Chemical & Industry magazine that the compounds, known as flavanones, not only reduced levels of bad LDL cholesterol, but also increased the ratio of good HDL cholesterol.
It is suggested that those with high cholesterol could try eating a diet rich in citrus fruits as a first alternative drugs such as statins.
It is already known that grapefruit consumption can have an effect on cholesterol levels by changing the way the liver functions - so much so that doctors warn patients who are prescribed statins not to eat grapefruit because it can increase the effect of the drugs.

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Study shows fruit juice benefits

A diet rich in fruit juice could cut the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other diseases, according to research.
A team at Glasgow University has carried out one of the first studies into the benefits of antioxidants.
The study found that grape, apple and cranberry juices contained high amounts of the beneficial chemicals.
Antioxidants are natural chemicals which reduce cell damage caused by free radicals, a major cause of disease and ageing.
Researchers from the Human Nutrition group at Glasgow University examined different juices and how much antioxidant they contained as well as the different chemical compounds.
Polyphenols are a very strong antioxidant that get rid of free radicals in the body.
It is believed they can maintain and improve health and also protect against chronic diseases.

Source - BBC

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Whole-grain breakfast cereals 'good for the heart'

To some it is like chewing soggy cardboard. To others it is the only way to start the day. Now researchers have come to the defence of lovers of muesli, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and similar breakfast cereals with a study showing they really are better for the heart.
People who eat whole grain breakfast cereals seven or more times a week have a 28 per cent lower risk of developing heart failure, researchers found.
The risk of heart failure falls 22 per cent in those who eat the cereals two to six times a week and by 14 per cent in those who eat them up to once week.
The findings add to growing evidence for the health benefits of breakfast. Nutritionists say starting the day with an intake of complex carbohydrates, which take longer to be digested and release their energy more slowly, boosts concentration as well as being better for the body.
Previous research has shown that a bowl of high-fibre cereal in the morning can reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
Results from the Physician's Health Study in the US, one of the longest examining the link between health and diet, were presented at the American Heart Association's conference in Florida yesterday - and they seem to confirm the link. More than 10,000 doctors were monitored for 25 years with detailed annual questionnaires, including details of heart events and breakfast cereal consumption.
Four out of five said they chose whole grain cereals, with a third saying they ate them seven or more times a week, and a quarter eating them up to once a week. The study was conducted from 1982 to 2006.
Luc Djoussé, the assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study, said: "There are good and powerful arguments for eating a whole grain cereal for breakfast. The benefits are not just for kids but also for adults. A whole grain, high-fibre breakfast may lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and prevent heart attacks."

Source - Independent

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