Monday, April 27, 2009

Are Boiled Vegetables Less Healthy?

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Be Kind to Their Antioxidants...>

OK -- so you're doing everything you've been told. You're getting regular exercise, sometimes even exercise that’s rather vigorous in nature. Of course, at other times, you fall into the old exercise routine of simply raising fork to mouth. But, the good news is that even in the process of raising your fork to your mouth you can have a tremendously positive impact on your overall health.

Especially if you consume large quantities of vegetables.

But, even the vegetable-eating process is plagued with peril.

New research out of Spain indicates that simply choosing the right method of cooking your vegetables makes all the difference. The researchers found, surprisingly, that boiling your vegetables -- long thought to be a healthy method -- is in fact one of the least healthy means of preparing vegetables. And, in another surprise, microwaving is actually not all bad.

The researchers discovered that griddling (cooking the vegetables on a flat metal pan without oil) and microwaving are the two healthiest methods of preparation. There were also some vegetables that seemed resistant to damage -- green beans, celery and carrots.

The key the researchers looked for was the level of antioxidants found in the vegetables after they were prepared. Antioxidants are highly beneficial, closely associated with the prevention of cancer and other diseases.

So, the next time you fall into the exercise trap of fork-to-mouth repetitions, at least make sure your fork is filled with a healthy payload.

To read more about this study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about eating natural, whole foods, see this from the World's Healthiest Foods.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Can Coffee and Tea Conquer Cancer?

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Yeah, It's Good For You...

If you stumble out of bed each morning, your mind a completely blank slate, all of your energies focused on that first sip of a deep, rich cup of coffee, you actually may have much to celebrate. At least, that is, if you happen to have a uterus. Sorry guys -- this good news only applies to the gals.

Researchers reported recently that coffee and tea drinkers have a lower risk of uterine cancer. The specific cancer is endometrial cancer, a cancer of the lining of the uterus. The study involved close to 1,100 women, some of whom drank tea and coffee and some who were teetotalers.

The results speak quite highly of multitasking -- or possibly that's multi-drinking. Those women who drank both tea and coffee had the lowest risk of uterine cancer. The risk was 50% lower than for women who drank neither tea nor coffee. Women who drank only tea, but not coffee, showed a 44% reduction in risk. Coffee drinkers also showed a reduction in risk, though not nearly as significant -- 29%.

The researchers also pointed out that decaf tea and coffee showed no effect in lowering the risk of cancer. There appear to be enzymes in caffeine that have a protective effect on the body.

So, it seems your morning stumble to the coffee pot is actually quite healthy -- as long as you don't break a toe along the way.

To read more about this study, see this from Reuters. To see a timeline of the development of coffee, see this from Koffee History.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is Broccoli A Cancer Buster?

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Small, But Mighty...

Sure, you've heard it all before. Eat your veggies -- not only are they good for you, but you'll be incredibly happy and successful. Well, at least you'll be healthy...

New research from Japan adds one more confirmation to the healthy legacy of green vegetables. This time, the new super veggie is a mere youngster. The researchers found that baby broccoli is particularly effective in fighting against a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which reeks havoc within the stomach.

Helicobacter pylori is a prime culprit in several stomach ailments, including gastritis, stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. But, baby broccoli is up to the task. The young broccoli sprouts contain a natural biochemical, sulforaphane, which serves as a natural antibiotic against Helicobacter pylori. It also serves to promote production of enzymes that protect the gut from the damaging effects of oxygen radicals.

This is not an insignificant problem. In fact, it's believed that one-half the world's population is infected with Helicobacter pylori.

So, as word of this research spreads, we should anticipate a bright future for broccoli growers worldwide. And, with economic times being a bit difficult at this point, perhaps a backyard broccoli garden is in order. Enjoy...

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn about a variety of natural, healthy foods, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hot Tea Hard to Swallow

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Yes, of course hot tea is good for you. Study after study has proven the benefits of drinking both black and green teas. And, it's not just science -- there's that whole mystical, wonderfully soothing aspect to tea that can be found nowhere else.


New research indicates that not all tea drinking is beneficial. Surprisingly, it has nothing at all to do with the actual tea. In this case, it's all about preparation.

Researchers in Iran studied a group of people with a high incidence of throat cancer. The results were quite interesting. Though this group had a low rate of smoking and alcohol consumption they had an inordinately high rate of throat cancer.

This is where the tea comes in. The researchers found that those who drank very hot tea were much more susceptible to throat cancer. But, those tea drinkers who allowed the tea to cool slightly before drinking it, were largely spared.

The tipping point appears to be about 70° Celsius (158° F) -- while allowing the tea to cool to below 65° Celsius (149° F)provides both a soothing drink and eliminates the cancer risk.

So, by all means, continue to enjoy the many health benefits of black and green teas. Just stir in a bit of patience and allow your tea to cool for a couple of minutes before you sip.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters Health. To learn more about the history of tea, and the many varieties of tea, see this from Wikipedia.