By Dr. Orna Izakson
beans and oregano.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BCE) famously said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Gardeners know the best way to get your veggies is fresh and organic, ideally straight from the farm or garden. But beyond simple nourishment, scientists are finding some foods specifically help prevent or reverse certain diseases. Published research from the past few months alone has shown fruits and veggies protect your heart, brain and eyes, and help fight asthma, cancer, swine flu, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
Much of the research looks at isolated constituents in the foods, although of course there’s more to fresh fruits and veggies than the isolated “active ingredients” scientists have identified so far. All the components in the plant work synergistically, and do more than just one thing.
Here’s a short list to get you started. (more…)
You knew that brown rice was good for you, but now there’s more research explaining why. Scientists based in Philadelphia have found a constituent in the whole grain that reduces the potency of angiotensin II, a natural body protein that boosts blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. That key ingredient occurs naturally in the outer layer of the rice grain — the part that gets stripped off to make white rice. Brown rice also offers more healthful fiber, vitamins and flavor while lessening blood-sugar spikes. (Via Health.com).
Finnish researchers have uncovered grandpa’s secret: Turns out that rye bread is nature’s great answer to constipation. Writing in the Journal of Nutrition, the researcher found rye is not only more effective than laxative medications, it also helps make the gut healthier. Rye is rich in a compound called arabinoxylan, a favorite food of healthy bacteria in the colon. The bacteria ferment the compound to create short-chain fatty acids, which make the colon more acid, less friendly to pathogens and more active in moving wastes out. Constipation affects an estimated 27 percent of people in Western countries. Turns out grandpa had it right after all.