Health is Wealth

10 December 2018

Eating Leafy Greens Each Day Tied to Sharper Memory, Slower Decline

Monday, December 10, 2018 0
To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.

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The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

"The association is quite strong," says study author Martha Clare Morris, a professor of nutrition science at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She also directs the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging.

The research included 960 participants of the Memory and Aging Project. Their average age is 81, and none of them have dementia. Each year the participants undergo a battery of tests to assess their memory. Scientists also keep track of their eating habits and lifestyle habits.

To analyze the relationship between leafy greens and age-related cognitive changes, the researchers assigned each participant to one of five groups, according to the amount of greens eaten. Those who tended to eat the most greens comprised the top quintile, consuming, on average, about 1.3 servings per day. Those in the bottom quintile said they consume little or no greens.

After about five years of follow-up/observation, "the rate of decline for [those] in the top quintile was about half the decline rate of those in the lowest quintile," Morris says.

So, what's the most convenient way to get these greens into your diet?

"My goal every day is to have a big salad," says Candace Bishop, one of the study participants. "I get those bags of dark, leafy salad mixes."

A serving size is defined as a half-cup of cooked greens, or a cup of raw greens.

Does Bishop still feel sharp? "I'm still pretty damn bright," she tells me with a giggle. She isn't convinced that her daily salad explains her healthy aging.

"I think a lot of it is in the genes," Bishop says, adding, "I think I'm lucky, frankly."

She has other healthy habits, too. Bishop attends group exercise classes in her retirement community and she's active on several committees in the community.

Many factors play into healthy aging — this study does not prove that eating greens will fend off memory decline. With this kind of research, Morris explains, scientists can only establish an association — not necessarily causation — between a healthy diet and a mind that stays sharp.

Still, she says, even after adjusting for other factors that might play a role, such as lifestyle, education and overall health, "we saw this association [between greens and a slower rate of cognitive decline] over and above accounting for all those factors."

Some prior research has pointed to a similar benefit. A study of women published in 2006 also found that high consumption of vegetables was associated with less cognitive decline among older women. The association was strongest with greater consumption of leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli and cauliflower.

And, as NPR has reported, there's evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet — which emphasizes a pattern of eating that is rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and whole grains — may help stave off chronic diseases.

What might explain a benefit from greens?

Turns out, these vegetables contain a range of nutrients and bioactive compounds including vitamin E and K, lutein, beta carotene and folate.

"They have different roles and different biological mechanisms to protect the brain," says Morris. More research is needed, she says, to fully understand their influence, but scientists know that consuming too little of these nutrients can be problematic.

For instance, "if you have insufficient levels of folate in your diet you can have higher levels of homocysteine," Morris says. This can set the stage for inflammation and a buildup of plaque, or fatty deposits, inside your arteries, which increases the risk of stroke. Research shows elevated homocysteine is associated with cognitive impairmentamong older adults.

Another example: Getting plenty of Vitamin E from foods in your diet can help protect cells from damage and also has been associated with better cognitive performance.

"So, when you eat leafy greens, you're eating a lot of different nutrients, and together they can have a powerful impact," Morris says.

Source story: www.npr.org
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The World's Most Nutritious Foods

Monday, December 10, 2018 0
After analysing more than 1,000 raw foods, researchers ranked the ingredients that provide the best balance of your daily nutritional requirements – and they found a few surprises.



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Imagine the ideal food. One that contains all the nutrients necessary to meet, but not exceed, our daily nutrient demands. If such a food existed, consuming it, without eating any other, would provide the optimal nutritional balance for our body.


Such a food does not exist. But we can do the next best thing.

The key is to eat a balance of highly nutritional foods, that when consumed together, do not contain too much of any one nutrient, to avoid exceeding daily recommended amounts.

Scientists studied more than 1,000 foods, assigning each a nutritional score. The higher the score, the more likely each food would meet, but not exceed your daily nutritional needs, when eaten in combination with others.

Calculated and ranked by scientists, these are the 100 most nutritious foods:

Please note: a few of the foods listed are endangered species, which we would not recommend. We would advise researching the provenance of all ingredients if buying them yourself.

100. SWEET POTATO (v)

86kcal, $0.21, per 100g

A bright orange tuber, sweet potatoes are only distantly related to potatoes. They are rich in beta-carotene.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 49

99. FIGS (v)

249kcal, $0.81, per 100g

Figs have been cultivated since ancient times. Eaten fresh or dried, they are rich in the mineral manganese.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 49

98. GINGER (v)

80kcal, $0.85, per 100g

Ginger contains high levels of antioxidants. In medicine, it is used as a digestive stimulant and to treat colds.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 49

97. PUMPKIN (v)

26kcal, $0.20, per 100g

Pumpkins are rich in yellow and orange pigments. Especially xanthophyll esters and beta-carotene.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

96. BURDOCK ROOT (v)

72kcal, $1.98, per 100g

Used in folk medicine and as a vegetable, studies suggest burdock can aid fat loss and limit inflammation.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

95. BRUSSELS SPROUTS (v)

43kcal, $0.35, per 100g

A type of cabbage. Brussels sprouts originated in Brussels in the 1500s. They are rich in calcium and vitamin C.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

94. BROCCOLI (v)

34kcal, $0.42, per 100g

Broccoli heads consist of immature flower buds and stems. US consumption has risen five-fold in 50 years.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

93. CAULIFLOWER (v)

31kcal, $0.44, per 100g

Unlike broccoli, cauliflower heads are degenerate shoot tips that are frequently white, lacking green chlorophyll.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

92. WATER CHESTNUTS (v)

97kcal, $1.50, per 100g

The water chestnut is not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in mud underwater within marshes.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

91. CANTALOUPE MELONS (v)

34kcal, $0.27, per 100g

One of the foods richest in glutathione, an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins including free radicals.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

90. PRUNES (v)

240kcal, $0.44, per 100g

Dried plums are very rich in health-promoting nutrients such as antioxidants and anthocyanins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

89. COMMON OCTOPUS

82kcal, $1.50, per 100g

Though nutritious, recent evidence suggests octopus can carry harmful shellfish toxins and allergens.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 50

88. CARROTS (v)

36kcal, $0.40, per 100g

Carrots first appeared in Afghanistan 1,100 years ago. Orange carrots were grown in Europe in the 1500s.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

87. WINTER SQUASH (v)

34kcal, $0.24, per 100g

Unlike summer squashes, winter squashes are eaten in the mature fruit stage. The hard rind is usually not eaten.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

86. JALAPENO PEPPERS (v)

29kcal, $0.66, per 100g

The same species as other peppers. Carotenoid levels are 35 times higher in red jalapenos that have ripened.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

85. RHUBARB (v)

21kcal, $1.47, per 100g

Rhubarb is rich in minerals, vitamins, fibre and natural phytochemicals that have a role in maintaining health.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

84. POMEGRANATES (v)

83kcal, $1.31, per 100g

Their red and purple colour is produced by anthocyanins that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

83. RED CURRANTS (v)

56kcal, $0.44, per 100g

Red currants are also rich in anthocyanins. White currants are the same species as red, whereas black currants differ.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

82. ORANGES (v)

46kcal, $0.37, per 100g

Most citrus fruits grown worldwide are oranges. In many varieties, acidity declines with fruit ripeness.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

81. CARP

127kcal, $1.40, per 100g

A high proportion of carp is protein, around 18%. Just under 6% is fat, and the fish contains zero sugar.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 51

80. HUBBARD SQUASH (v)

40kcal, $8.77, per 100g

A variety of the species Cucurbita maxim. Tear-drop shaped, they are often cooked in lieu of pumpkins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 52

79. KUMQUATS (v)

71kcal, $0.69, per 100g

An unusual citrus fruit, kumquats lack a pith inside and their tender rind is not separate like an orange peel.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 52

78. POMPANO

164kcal, $1.44, per 100g

Often called jacks, Florida pompanos are frequently-caught western Atlantic fish usually weighing under 2kg.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 52

77. PINK SALMON

127kcal, $1.19, per 100g

These fish are rich in long-chain fatty acids, such as omega-3s, that improve blood cholesterol levels.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 52

76. SOUR CHERRIES (v)

50kcal, $0.58, per 100g

Sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) are a different species to sweet cherries (P. avium). Usually processed or frozen.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 53

75. RAINBOW TROUT

141kcal, $3.08, per 100g

Closely related to salmon, rainbow trout are medium-sized Pacific fish also rich in omega-3s.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 53

74. PERCH

91kcal, $1.54, per 100g

Pregnant and lactating women are advised not to eat perch. Though nutritious, it may contain traces of mercury.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 53

73. GREEN BEANS (v)

31kcal, $0.28, per 100g

Green beans, known as string, snap or French beans, are rich in saponins, thought to reduce cholesterol levels.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

72. RED LEAF LETTUCE (v)

16kcal, $1.55, per 100g

Evidence suggests lettuce was cultivated before 4500 BC. It contains almost no fat or sugar and is high in calcium.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

71. LEEKS (v)

61kcal, $1.83, per 100g

Leeks are closely related to onions, shallots, chives and garlic. Their wild ancestor grows around the Mediterranean basin.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

70. CAYENNE PEPPER (v)

318kcal, $22.19, per 100g

Powdered cayenne pepper is produced from a unique cultivar of the pepper species Capsicum annuum.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

69. GREEN KIWIFRUIT (v)

61kcal, $0.22, per 100g

Kiwifruit are native to China. Missionaries took them to New Zealand in the early 1900s, where they were domesticated.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

68. GOLDEN KIWIFRUIT (v)

63kcal, $0.22, per 100g

Kiwifruits are edible berries rich in potassium and magnesium. Some golden kiwifruits have a red centre.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

67. GRAPEFRUIT (v)

32kcal, $0.27, per 100g

Grapefruits (Citrus paradisi) originated in the West Indies as a hybrid of the larger pomelo fruit.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

66. MACKEREL

139kcal, $2.94, per 100g

An oily fish, one serving can provide over 10 times more beneficial fatty acids than a serving of a lean fish such as cod.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

65. SOCKEYE SALMON

131kcal, $3.51, per 100g

Another oily fish, rich in cholesterol-lowering fatty acids. Canned salmon with bones is a source of calcium.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 54

64. ARUGULA (v)

25kcal, $0.48, per 100g

A salad leaf, known as rocket. High levels of glucosinolates protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 55

63. CHIVES (v)

25kcal, $0.22, per 100g

Though low in energy, chives are high in vitamins A and K. The green leaves contain a range of beneficial antioxidants.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 55

62. PAPRIKA (v)

282kcal, $1.54, per 100g

Also extracted from the pepper species Capsicum annuum. A spice rich in ascorbic acid, an antioxidant.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 55

61. RED TOMATOES (v)

18kcal, $0.15, per 100g

A low-energy, nutrient-dense food that are an excellent source of folate, potassium and vitamins A, C and E.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

60. GREEN TOMATOES (v)

23kcal, $0.33, per 100g

Fruit that has not yet ripened or turned red. Consumption of tomatoes is associated with a decreased cancer risk.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

59. GREEN LETTUCE (v)

15kcal, $1.55, per 100g

The cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is related to wild lettuce (L. serriola), a common weed in the US.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

58. TARO LEAVES (v)

42kcal, $2.19, per 100g

Young taro leaves are relatively high in protein, containing more than the commonly eaten taro root.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

57. LIMA BEANS (v)

106kcal, $0.50, per 100g

Also known as butter beans, lima beans are high in carbohydrate, protein and manganese, while low in fat.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

56. EEL

184kcal, $2.43, per 100g

A good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), though the skin mucus of eels can contain harmful marine toxins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

55. BLUEFIN TUNA

144kcal, $2.13, per 100g

A large fish, rich in omega-3s. Pregnant women are advised to limit their intake, due to mercury contamination.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

54. COHO SALMON

146kcal, $0.86, per 100g

A Pacific species also known as silver salmon. Relatively high levels of fat, as well as long-chain fatty acids.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 56

53. SUMMER SQUASH (v)

17kcal, $0.22, per 100g

Harvested when immature, while the rind is still tender and edible. Its name refers to its short storage life.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 57

52. NAVY BEANS (v)

337kcal, $0.49, per 100g

Also known as haricot or pea beans. The fibre in navy beans has been correlated with the reduction of colon cancer.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 57

51. PLANTAIN (v)

122kcal, $0.38, per 100g

Banana fruits with a variety of antioxidant, antimicrobial, hypoglycaemic and anti-diabetic properties.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 57

50. PODDED PEAS (v)

42kcal, $0.62, per 100g

Peas are an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals and water-soluble vitamins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 58

49. COWPEAS (v)

44kcal, $0.68, per 100g

Also called black-eyed peas. As with many legumes, high in carbohydrate, containing more protein than cereals.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 58

48. BUTTER LETTUCE (v)

13kcal, $0.39, per 100g

Also known as butterhead lettuce, and including Boston and bib varieties. Few calories. Popular in Europe.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 58

47. RED CHERRIES (v)

50kcal, $0.33, per 100g

A raw, unprocessed and unfrozen variety of sour cherries (Prunus cerasus). Native to Europe and Asia.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 58

46. WALNUTS (v)

619kcal, $3.08, per 100g

Walnuts contain sizeable proportions of a-linolenic acid, the healthy omega-3 fatty acid made by plants.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 58

45. FRESH SPINACH (v)

23kcal, $0.52, per 100g

Contains more minerals and vitamins (especially vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus and iron) than many salad crops. Spinach appears twice in the list (45 and 24) because the way it is prepared affects its nutritional value. Fresh spinach can lose nutritional value if stored at room temperature, and ranks lower than eating spinach that has been frozen, for instance.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 59

44. PARSLEY (v)

36kcal, $0.26, per 100g

A relative of celery, parsley was popular in Greek and Roman times. High levels of a range of beneficial minerals. 

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 59

43. HERRING

158kcal, $0.65, per 100g

An Atlantic fish, among the top five most caught of all species. Rich in omega-3s, long-chain fatty acids.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 59

42. SEA BASS

97kcal, $1.98, per 100g

A generic name for a number of related medium-sized oily fish species. Popular in the Mediterranean area.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 59

41. CHINESE CABBAGE (v)

13kcal, $0.11, per 100g

Variants of the cabbage species Brassica rapa, often called pak-choi or Chinese mustard. Low calorie. 

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 60

40. CRESS (v)

32kcal, $4.49, per 100g

The brassica Lepidium sativum, not to be confused with watercress Nasturtium officinale. High in iron.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 60

39. APRICOTS (v)

48kcal, $0.36, per 100g

A ’stone’ fruit relatively high in sugar, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, including the carotenoid beta-carotene.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 60

38. FISH ROE

134kcal, $0.17, per 100g

Fish eggs (roe) contain high levels of vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Caviar often refers to sturgeon roe.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 60

37. WHITEFISH

134kcal, $3.67, per 100g

Species of oily freshwater fish related to salmon. Common in the northern hemisphere. Rich in omega-3s.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 60

36. CORIANDER (v)

23kcal, $7.63, per 100g

A herb rich in carotenoids, used to treat ills including digestive complaints, coughs, chest pains and fever.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 61

35. ROMAINE LETTUCE (v)

17kcal, $1.55, per 100g

Also known as cos lettuce, another variety of Lactuca sativa. The fresher the leaves, the more nutritious they are.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 61

34. MUSTARD LEAVES (v)

27kcal, $0.29, per 100g

One of the oldest recorded spices. Contains sinigrin, a chemical thought to protect against inflammation.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 61

33. ATLANTIC COD

82kcal, $3.18, per 100g

A large white, low fat, protein-rich fish. Cod livers are a source of fish oil rich in fatty acids and vitamin D.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 61

32. WHITING

90kcal, $0.60, per 100g

Various species, but often referring to the North Atlantic fish Merlangius merlangus that is related to cod.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 61

31. KALE (v)

49kcal, $0.62, per 100g

A leafy salad plant, rich in the minerals phosphorous, iron and calcium, and vitamins such as A and C.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 62

30. BROCCOLI RAAB (v)

22kcal, $0.66, per 100g

Not to be confused with broccoli. It has thinner stems and smaller flowers, and is related to turnips.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 62

29. CHILI PEPPERS (v)

324kcal, $1.20, per 100g

The pungent fruits of the Capsicum plant. Rich in capsaicinoid, carotenoid and ascorbic acid antioxidants.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 62

28. CLAMS

86kcal, $1.78, per 100g

Lean, protein-rich shellfish. Often eaten lightly cooked, though care must be taken to avoid food poisoning.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 62

27. COLLARDS (v)

32kcal, $0.74, per 100g

Another salad leaf belonging to the Brassica genus of plants. A headless cabbage closely related to kale.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 63

26. BASIL (v)

23kcal, $2.31, per 100g

A spicy, sweet herb traditionally used to protect the heart. Thought to be an antifungal and antibacterial.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 63

25. CHILI POWDER (v)

282kcal, $5.63, per 100g

A source of phytochemicals such as vitamin C, E and A, as well as phenolic compounds and carotenoids.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 63

24. FROZEN SPINACH (v)

29kcal, $1.35, per 100g

A salad crop especially high in magnesium, folate, vitamin A and the carotenoids beta carotene and zeazanthin. Freezing spinach helps prevent the nutrients within from degrading, which is why frozen spinach ranks higher than fresh spinach (no 45).

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 64

23. DANDELION GREENS (v)

45kcal, $0.27, per 100g

The word dandelion means lion’s tooth. The leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 64

22. PINK GRAPEFRUIT (v)

42kcal, $0.27, per 100g

The red flesh of pink varieties is due to the accumulation of carotenoid and lycopene pigments.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 64

21. SCALLOPS

69kcal, $4.19, per 100g

A shellfish low in fat, high in protein, fatty acids, potassium and sodium.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 64

20. PACIFIC COD

72kcal, $3.18, per 100g

Closely related to Atlantic cod. Its livers are a significant source of fish oil rich in fatty acids and vitamin D.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 64

19. RED CABBAGE (v)

31kcal, $0.12, per 100g

Rich in vitamins. Its wild cabbage ancestor was a seaside plant of European or Mediterranean origin.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 65

18. GREEN ONION (v)

27kcal, $0.51, per 100g

Known as spring onions. High in copper, phosphorous and magnesium. One of the richest sources of vitamin K.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 65

17. ALASKA POLLOCK

92kcal, $3.67, per 100g

Also called walleye pollock, the species Gadus chalcogrammus is usually caught in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. A low fat content of less than 1%.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 65

16. PIKE

88kcal, $3.67, per 100g

A fast freshwater predatory fish. Nutritious but pregnant women must avoid, due to mercury contamination.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 65

15. GREEN PEAS (v)

77kcal, $1.39, per 100g

Individual green peas contain high levels of phosphorous, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and dietary fibre.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 67

14. TANGERINES (v)

53kcal, $0.29, per 100g

An oblate orange citrus fruit. High in sugar and the carotenoid cryptoxanthin, a precursor to vitamin A.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 67

13. WATERCRESS (v)

11kcal, $3.47, per 100g

Unique among vegetables, it grows in flowing water as a wild plant. Traditionally eaten to treat mineral deficiency.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 68

12. CELERY FLAKES (v)

319kcal, $6.10, per 100g

Celery that is dried and flaked to use as a condiment. An important source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 68

11. DRIED PARSLEY (v)

292kcal, $12.46, per 100g

Parsley that is dried and ground to use as a spice. High in boron, fluoride and calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 69

10. SNAPPER

100kcal, $3.75, per 100g

A family of mainly marine fish, with red snapper the best known. Nutritious but can carry dangerous toxins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 69

9. BEET GREENS (v)

22kcal, $0.48, per 100g

The leaves of beetroot vegetables. High in calcium, iron, vitamin K and B group vitamins (especially riboflavin).

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 70

8. PORK FAT

632kcal, $0.95, per 100g

A good source of B vitamins and minerals. Pork fat is more unsaturated and healthier than lamb or beef fat.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 73

7. SWISS CHARD (v)

19kcal, $0.29, per 100g

A very rare dietary source of betalains, phytochemicals thought to have antioxidant and other health properties.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 78

6. PUMPKIN SEEDS (v)

559kcal, $1.60, per 100g

Including the seeds of other squashes. One of the richest plant-based sources of iron and manganese.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 84

5. CHIA SEEDS (v)

486kcal, $1.76, per 100g

Tiny black seeds that contain high amounts of dietary fibre, protein, a-linolenic acid, phenolic acid and vitamins.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 85

4. FLATFISH

70kcal, $1.15, per 100g

Sole and flounder species. Generally free from mercury and a good source of the essential nutrient vitamin B1.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 88

3. OCEAN PERCH

79kcal, $0.82, per 100g

The Atlantic species. A deep-water fish sometimes called rockfish. High in protein, low in saturated fats.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 89

2. CHERIMOYA (v)

75kcal, $1.84, per 100g

Cherimoya fruit is fleshy and sweet with a white pulp. Rich in sugar and vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and potassium.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 96

1. ALMONDS (v)

579kcal, $0.91, per 100g

Rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Promote cardiovascular health and may help with diabetes.

NUTRITIONAL SCORE: 97

This page was originally published as an infographic but has been updated to fix a technical problem. 

SOURCES

Food selection, ranking and cost based on the scientific study “Uncovering the Nutritional Landscape of Food”, published in the journal PLoS ONE. (Download the dataset). 

Nutritional data based on The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

Nutritional insights from The Encyclopaedia of Food and Health (2016), published by Elsevier Science.

Produced for BBC Future by Fact & Story.

Story Source: http://www.bbc.com

Images credit


Older Women Who suffer Tooth Loss More Likely to Develop High Blood Pressure

Monday, December 10, 2018 0
A new study in the American Journal of Hypertension indicates that postmenopausal women who have experienced tooth loss are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Multiple studies have suggested an association between periodontal disease and tooth loss with hypertension, but the relationship remains unclear.

www.trendsnowdays.com
Study participants were 36,692 postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative-Observational Study, in the US, who were followed annually from initial periodontal assessment in 1998 through 2015 for newly diagnosed hypertension.

The study observed a positive association between tooth loss and hypertension risk among postmenopausal women. Specifically, these women had approximately 20% higher risk of developing hypertension during follow-up compared to other women. The association was stronger among younger women and those with lower BMI.

There are several possible reasons for the observed association. One possible explanation is that as people lose teeth, they may change their diets to softer and more processed foods. These changes in dietary patterns could be associated with higher risk of hypertension. There was no association found between periodontal disease and hypertension.

The study suggests that older postmenopausal women who are losing their teeth may represent a group with higher risk for developing hypertension. As such, the researchers involved in the study believe that improved dental hygiene among those at risk for tooth loss as well as preventive measures such as closer blood pressure monitoring, dietary modification, physical activity, and weight loss may reduce the risk of hypertension. The findings also suggest that tooth loss may serve as a clinical warning sign for increased hypertension risk.

"These findings suggest tooth loss may be an important factor in the development of hypertension," said the paper's senior author, Jean Wactawski-Wende. "Further research may help us to determine the underlying mechanisms by which these two common diseases are associated."

Story Source:
Materials provided by Oxford University Press USA. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Joshua H Gordon, Michael J LaMonte, Jiwei Zhao, Robert J Genco, Thomas R Cimato, Kathleen M Hovey, Matthew A Allison, Charles P Mouton, Jean Wactawski-Wende. Association of Periodontal Disease and Edentulism With Hypertension Risk in Postmenopausal Women. American Journal of Hypertension, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpy164

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Oxford University Press USA. "Older women who suffer tooth loss more likely to develop high blood pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181204090339.htm>.

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28 November 2018

Weight Loss Procedure Shrinks Both Fat and Muscle

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 0
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Left gastric artery embolization, a novel interventional procedure used to treat obesity, leads to the loss of both fat and muscle, according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Researchers said the loss of muscle mass is concerning and underscores the importance of proper nutritional counseling after the procedure.



Obesity is a major health issue worldwide, linked with serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. First-line treatments such as diet and exercise often don't work, leading many patients to opt for gastric bypass surgery. The surgery, which reduces the size of the stomach, has been effective in treating obesity, but carries with it significant costs and potential complications.

Currently under investigation in clinical trials, left gastric artery embolization is a less invasive option to surgery. In the procedure, microscopic beads are injected under imaging guidance into the artery that supplies blood to the stomach. The beads block blood flow to the stomach and reduce the production of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger. Early studies have shown that embolization is effective in helping people lose weight, but information is lacking on how it might change a patient's composition of muscle and fat.

"There has been lots of research focused on the efficacy of gastric artery embolization for weight loss," said the study's lead author, Edwin A. Takahashi, M.D., vascular and interventional radiology fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, there has been no data on what is contributing to the weight loss, whether the patients are losing fat, as desired, or muscle mass, or some combination of the two."

To learn more, Dr. Takahashi and colleagues studied CT scans of 16 overweight or obese patients who had undergone left gastric artery embolization to treat gastrointestinal bleeding. CT scans, when used in conjunction with special software, allow for measurements of body composition based on the different densities of tissues like fat and muscle.

The scans were done before and approximately 1.5 months after the procedure. The results were compared to those of a control group of 16 outpatients who did not undergo left gastric artery embolization but had CT scans at two different time periods for nonspecific abdominal pain.

All 16 individuals experienced significant weight loss after the embolization procedure, losing an average of 6.4 percent of their body weight over 1.5 months. Body mass index, a measure of body weight relative to a person's height, dropped by 6.3 percent.

While the weight loss was not surprising to the researchers, the changes in body composition were. The skeletal muscle index, a measure of the amount of muscle that connects to the skeleton and helps move the limbs, fell by 6.8 percent. Skeletal muscle is important to health, and loss of it can impair physical function and metabolism and put a person at higher risk of injury.

"The significant decrease in the amount of skeletal muscle highlights the fact that patients who undergo this procedure are at risk for losing muscle mass and need to be managed accordingly after procedure," Dr. Takahashi said. "We must make sure they receive adequate nutrition to minimize the amount of muscle tissue they lose."

The patients also lost a significant amount of body fat. Their overall body fat index dropped by an average of 3.7 percent. However, much of the fat loss was subcutaneous, or the fat that lies directly under the skin. Visceral fat, the more dangerous fat surrounding the organs and associated with serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes, did not decrease significantly over the course of follow-up.

The researchers plan to expand their studies in the future to include people who are specifically undergoing embolization as a treatment for obesity.

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Radiological Society of North America. "Weight loss procedure shrinks both fat and muscle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181126093217.htm>.

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20 November 2018

Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 0
Eggs are one of the few foods that should be classified as "superfoods."

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They are loaded with nutrients, some of which are rare in the modern diet.

Here are 10 health benefits of eggs that have been confirmed in human studies.

1. Incredibly Nutritious

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.

A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken.



A single large boiled egg contains (1):

Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
↳ Folate: 5% of the RDA
↳ Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
↳ Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
↳ Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
↳ Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
↳ Selenium: 22% of the RDA

Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc

This comes with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats.

Eggs also contain various trace nutrients that are important for health.

In fact, eggs are pretty much the perfect food. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.

If you can get your hands on pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs, these are even better. They contain higher amounts of omega-3 fat and are much higher in vitamin A and E (2, 3).
SUMMARY- Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. Omega-3 enriched and/or pastured eggs are even healthier.

2. High in Cholesterol, but Don't Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol

It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol.

In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg.

However, it's important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn't necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood (4, 5).

The liver actually produces large amounts of cholesterol every single day. When you increase your intake of dietary cholesterol, your liver simply produces less cholesterol to even it out (6, 7).

Nevertheless, the response to eating eggs varies between individuals (8):

In 70% of people, eggs don't raise cholesterol at all

In the other 30% (termed "hyper responders"), eggs can mildly raise total and LDL cholesterol

However, people with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or a gene variant called ApoE4 may want to limit or avoid eggs.

SUMMARY-Eggs are high in cholesterol, but eating eggs does not adversely affect cholesterol in the blood for the majority of people.

3. Raise HDL (The "Good") Cholesterol

HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is often known as the "good" cholesterol (9).

People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems (10, 11, 12, 13).

Eating eggs is a great way to increase HDL. In one study, eating two eggs per day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10% (14, 15, 16).
SUMMARY-Eating eggs consistently leads to elevated levels of HDL (the "good") cholesterol, which is linked to a lower risk of many diseases.

4. Contain Choline — an Important Nutrient That Most People Don't Get Enough Of

Choline is a nutrient that most people don't even know exists, yet it is an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins.

Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions (17).

The symptoms of choline deficiency are serious, so fortunately it’s rare.

Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. A single egg contains more than 100 mg of this very important nutrient.
SUMMARY-Eggs are among the best dietary sources of choline, a nutrient that is incredibly important but most people aren’t getting enough of.

5. Are Linked to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

LDL cholesterol is generally known as the "bad" cholesterol.

It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (18, 19).

But many people don't realize that LDL is divided into subtypes based on the size of the particles.

There are small, dense LDL particles and large LDL particles.

Many studies have shown that people who have predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles (20, 21, 22).

Even if eggs tend to mildly raise LDL cholesterol in some people, studies show that the particles change from small, dense to large LDL, which is an improvement (23, 24).
SUMMARY-Egg consumption appears to change the pattern of LDL particles from small, dense LDL (bad) to large LDL, which is linked to a reduced heart disease risk.

6. Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Antioxidants That Have Major Benefits for Eye Health

One of the consequences of aging is that eyesight tends to get worse.

There are several nutrients that help counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect our eyes.

Two of these are called lutein and zeaxanthin. They are powerful antioxidants that accumulate in the retina of the eye (25, 26).

Studies show that consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two very common eye disorders (27, 28, 29).

Egg yolks contain large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin.

In one controlled study, eating just 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 28–50% and zeaxanthin by 114–142% (30).

Eggs are also high in vitamin A, which deserves another mention here. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness in the world (31).
SUMMARY-The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are very important for eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Eggs are high in both of them.

7. Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs Lower Triglycerides

Not all eggs are created equal. Their nutrient composition varies depending on how the hens were fed and raised.

Eggs from hens that were raised on pasture and/or fed omega-3 enriched feeds tend to be much higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce blood levels of triglycerides, a well known risk factor for heart disease (32, 33).

Studies show that consuming omega-3 enriched eggs is a very effective way to lower blood triglycerides. In one study, eating just five omega-3 enriched eggs per week for three weeks reduced triglycerides by 16–18% (34, 35).
SUMMARY-Omega-3 enriched and pastured eggs may contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these types of eggs is an effective way to reduce blood triglycerides.

8. High in Quality Protein, With All the Essential Amino Acids in the Right Ratios

Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body.

They're used to make all sorts of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes.

Getting enough protein in the diet is very important and studies show that currently recommended amounts may be too low.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with a single large egg containing six grams of it.

Eggs also contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so your body is well-equipped to make full use of the protein in them.

Eating enough protein can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimize bone health, to name a few (36, 37, 38, 39).
SUMMARY-Eggs are fairly high in quality animal protein and contain all the essential amino acids that humans need.

9. Don’t Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease and May Reduce the Risk of Stroke

For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonized.

It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart.

Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between eating eggs and the risk of heart disease.

One review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants found no association between egg intake and heart disease or stroke (40).

Many other studies have arrived at the same conclusion (41, 42).

However, some studies have found that people with diabetes who eat eggs have an increased risk of heart disease (43).

Whether the eggs are actually causing the increased risk isn't known, because these types of studies can only show statistical association. They cannot prove that eggs caused anything.

It is possible that people who eat lots of eggs and have diabetes are less health-conscious, on average.

On a low-carb diet, which is by far the best diet for people with diabetes, eating eggs leads to improvements in risk factors for heart disease (44, 45).


SUMMARY-Many studies have looked at egg intake and the risk of heart disease and found no association. However, some studies have found an increased risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

10. Are Filling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories, Helping You Lose Weight

Eggs are incredibly filling. They are a high-protein food, and protein is, by far, the most satiating macronutrient (46).

Eggs score high on a scale called the satiety index, which measures the ability of foods to cause feelings of fullness and reduce later calorie intake (47).

In one study of 30 overweight women, eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and made them automatically eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours (48).

In another study, replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast caused significant weight loss over a period of eight weeks (49).
SUMMARY-Eggs are highly satiating and may reduce calorie intake later in the day. Regularly eating eggs may promote weight loss.The Bottom Line

Studies clearly show that eating up to three whole eggs per day is perfectly safe.

There is no evidence that going beyond that is harmful — it is just "uncharted territory," as it hasn't been studied.

Eggs are pretty much nature's perfect food.

On top of everything else, they are also cheap, easy to prepare, go with almost any food and taste awesome.

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