Haven’t been eating your beets? Don’t beat yourself up (see what we did there), because technically they’re out of season right now. But with spring fast approaching, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper and examine what these little purple monsters have to offer!
Hailing from South Africa, the beet – which is a relative of Swiss chard and a member of the Chenopodiaceae family – was initially cast off in Northern Europe as nothing more than animal chow. However, in the 16th century, Romans began eating the green leaves of the root vegetables and by the 19th century, they had become less picky and began eating the whole darn thing! In doing so, it was discovered that beets were an excellent source of natural sugar – so much so that Napoleon declared them Poland’s primary source of sugar after the British put the squeeze on other sugar sources during the war!
We talk a lot around here about inflammation, and some of you have raised good questions (and answers) regarding what we’re really getting at. A continuing thanks for your comments and thoughtful responses.
So, what do we mean by inflammation when we harp on the evils of sugars, grains, trans fats and other nutritional fiends? Ah, the many sides of swelling: abscesses, bulges, distensions, engorgements, boils, blisters, bunions, oh my! Do swollen ankles and puffy black shiners really have anything to do with the inflammation of arterial walls? Can flossing possibly help prevent heart disease? Let’s explore, shall we.
Chalk yet another one up for low-carb, high protein diets: A study in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that a vegetable-based, low-carbohydrate diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
To assess the impact of diet on type 2 diabetes risk, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined the dietary habits of 85,059 women participating in the Nurse’s Health Study. The women were then assigned a score based on their diet, with higher scores going to the women who consumed a diet rich in animal fats and protein and low in carbohydrates and lower scores assigned to women following a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.
One more point to show that “nature” doesn’t run the show when it comes to the health of our seedlings (or any of us, for that matter)… Last week Mark offered commentary on an analysis of twins and childhood obesity published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which had been picked up by MSNBC. Research out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health late last week highlights yet another environmental influence related to childhood obesity.
Their analysis of epidemiological studies found that with each additional hour of sleep, the risk of a child being overweight or obese dropped by 9 percent. Our analysis of the data shows a clear association between sleep duration and the risk for overweight or obesity in children. …The results of the analysis showed that children with the shortest sleep duration had a 92 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese compared to children with longer sleep duration. For children under age 5, shortest sleep duration meant less than 9 hours of sleep per day. For children ages 5 to 10 it meant less than 8 hours of sleep per day and less than 7 hours of sleep per day for children over 10. The association between increased sleep and reduced obesity risk was strongly associated with boys, but not in girls.
via Science Daily
We spent last Tuesday explaining why the top 10 health myths were…well…myths. Today we present you the top 10 health-based old wives’ tales that actually are true.
Last week The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) halted a treatment regimen that was part of a large trial assessing treatment goals for those with both type 2 diabetes and very high risk of cardiovascular disease. Patients had been divided into two groups with different blood sugar goals: one with a conventional treatment goal and another with a more rigorous, lower target. Researchers cancelled the intensive target after a larger number of patients in that group died and will continue the study using the conventional target for all patients.