Seniors who fit in the most daily physical activity – from raking leaves to dancing – can have more gray matter in important brain regions, researchers reported on Monday.
The scientists have images that show people who were the most active had 5 percent more gray matter than people who were the least active. Having more little gray brain cells translates into a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, other studies have shown.
“People really want to know what they can do to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Cyrus Raji of the University of California in Los Angeles, who presented his team’s findings to a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
THE HEALTHY PLATE: Recipe for chopped summer salad with grilled chicken ...Washington PostSalads can be a great way to pile on the vegetables, not to mention serve as a fine canvas for showing off summer's bounty.
In this post, I talk about the health benefits of broccoli sprouts. The health benefits of broccoli sprouts are tremendous, primarily due to its sulforaphane.
Organic Broccoli Sprouts Provide Amazing Health Benefits…..and Sulforaphane
If you ever go to a talk by Dr. Brian Clement, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute and the person in this video discussing the merits of Green Juice vs. Green Smoothies, you can be guaranteed to hear this: eat and juice sprouts.
The reason that he is saying this is because sprouts have incredibly important health properties. They have very high levels of nutrients and enzymes, which provide the body valuable energy to detox and strengthen the immune system.
The other key benefits of sprouts include:
- Increased vitality, energy and vigor from the large amount of enzymes.
- 10 to 100 times more enzymes than fruits and vegetables when eaten within the first seven days of being sprouted.
- Powerful antioxidants which help fight free radicals and aging.
- The minerals and nutrients are easily absorbed into the body.
While there are many excellent sprouts, there is a specific reason why I buy organic broccoli sprouts.
What broccoli sprouts offer is sulforaphane, a powerful anti-cancer compound that helps fight and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Dr. Paul Talalay, Professor of Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University, found that 3-day old broccoli sprouts consistently contained 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds than those found in mature broccoli heads. And sulphoraphane is the reason why.
The President’s Cancel Panel report estimates that 41% (PDF File) of Americans will get cancer, and a large majority of those cases are environmental-related.
Even though I eat pretty much 100% organic, I am still exposed to many, many toxins by living in New York City and my mother passed away from cancer. Therefore, eating foods that have serious anti-cancer properties is a priority for me.
So, if I can get 20-50x times the cancer protection from eating broccoli sprouts rather than broccoli as a vegetable, I’ll take that any day of the week.
The next time you’re in the produce section of your market, take a look at organic broccoli sprouts.
You may have heard about a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that indicated organic food is neither more nutritious nor any less prone to bacterial contamination than conventionally grown foods.
You may have heard about a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that indicated organic food is neither more nutritious nor any less prone to bacterial contamination than conventionally grown foods. This study also found no evidence of a health benefit attached to organic food. Two hundred forty studies conducted from 1966 to 2011 were examined by researchers to look at nutrient and contaminant levels in food grown organically versus food grown conventionally.
Detectable pesticide residue was found in 7 percent of organic produce, even though by USDA definition, a food labeled organic must be produced without using conventional pesticides. Thirty-eight percent of conventional produce did have detectable pesticide residue, but none that exceeded the maximum allowed limits. Both organic and conventional foods were at similar risk for bacterial contamination.
Organic foods generally cost at least 25 percent more than conventionally grown counterparts and make up 12 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales. Most people buy organic products because they believe those foods are healthier or more nutritious, they are avoiding pesticides and other toxins, or because they feel organic farming is better for the environment.
Despite efforts by the food industry to equate the word “organic” with “nutritious,” this has never been the case. A tomato grown conventionally has the same nutrition profile as one grown organically. Remember, just because a processed food product has an organic label it doesn’t mean it is a healthy food. A pepperoni pizza made with organic ingredients isn’t better for you than a regular pepperoni pizza.
The Environmental Working Group analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine pesticide residue and ranks fruits and vegetables based on how much or how little residue is found. They estimate buying organic versions of the top 12 “dirtiest” foods would decrease our pesticide exposure by 80 percent. The 2012 “Dirty Dozen” include: apples, bell peppers, domestic blueberries, celery, cucumbers, grapes, lettuce, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach and strawberries. You can download and print a handy shopper’s guide from www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.
Regardless of the produce purchased, there are things you can do to further reduce your risk of bacterial or pesticide exposure.
Clean produce thoroughly with cold tap water. Fruit and vegetable “washes” have not been found to be any more effective than plain tap water, so you might want to save your money. Remove and discard the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
Wash prepackaged items, like salad mixes, even though they may say they have been prewashed. Scrub firm produce like melons and potatoes with a clean scrub brush.
Wash the outside of fruits and vegetables even if it won’t be consumed. (bananas, kiwi, avocado, etc) Although edible peelings provide desirable fiber, consider peeling those fruits and vegetables (apples, potatoes, cucumbers, peaches and nectarines) on the dirty dozen list before eating, especially if given to someone at higher risk like small children, the elderly, pregnant women or anyone with a suppressed immune system.
Whether you choose to purchase organic depends on your priorities and if you have the extra money to spend on these products. Just keep in mind that they are not more nutritious, they may not be totally pesticide free and there is no advantage as far as bacterial risk. The benefits of all fresh fruits and vegetables far outweigh any known risk of consuming pesticide residue.
Cheap organic foods? In the face of global economic struggle, the issue of personal finance is at the heart of the average consumer. But do you really have to shed an exorbitant amount of your money to purchase organic foods over conventional?
Find out what organic food can do you for you with the 20 best organic foods for men, taken from Maria Rodale's book Organic Manifesto. Read more about how to upgrade your diet, burn more fat, and protect the environment at Men's Health.
Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger's videos at bit.ly Donate at bit.ly DESCRIPTION: The antioxidant, phytonutrient, and vitamin content of basil grown in water (hydroponic) is compared to basil grown in soil.
Early BeginningsPart 3: I’ve devoted the first two installments in this series to exploring the dual wellsprings that gave rise to organic agriculture.
The Organic Certification Process
Part 3: I’ve devoted the first two installments in this series to exploring the dual wellsprings that gave rise to organic agriculture. Organic Agriculture: Its Origins and Evolution delved into Sir Albert Howard’s pioneering vision of organic agriculture as a self-regulating system of integrated crop and livestock production that provides optimal nutrition for organisms, including humans, on their journey through life. In Industrial Agriculture and the Organic Alternative: Rachel Carson’s Contribution, I introduced the more contemporary concern, brilliantly articulated by that noted marine biologist and author, that the reckless release of toxic synthetic compounds into the environment threatens to undermine the Earth’s ecological balance. The convergence of these two tributaries by the early 1960s led to a small but spirited torrent of dedicated farmers and supportive consumers who rejected a mainstream food supply increasingly driven by mass production, saturation advertising and convenience preparation.
How would consumers seeking chemical-free fruits and vegetables, brown eggs and bulgar wheat find the precious yet rare commodities they prized? One solution was to grow them personally and many people tried, with varying degrees of success, to go “back to the land” and start farming. Another solution was to pool resources with like-minded souls and procure bulk orders from trusted farmers for communal distribution which fostered the modern cooperative grocery/health food store movement. But becoming a farmer meant sweaty full-time work and joining a coop led to messy group dynamics and lots of left over brown rice. Alternative-minded farmers and consumers alike began imagining a simple yet reliable shorthand that would readily identify food raised and handled as naturally as possible and ideally with no chemical inputs. J.I. Rodale had been popularizing the term “organic” to describe such production systems through his publications and research institute since the 1940s. With this pedigree, “organic” was widely synonymous with natural farming systems and a numerous regional farmer groups (calling them “organizations” at this point would be stretching it) were using it as a marketing claim by the late 1970s.
Despite a perpetual cold shoulder from the land grant agricultural establishment and the commercial food industry, organic agriculture grew steadily if silently during the 1980s. Each regional farmer group developed its own set of standards that specified the conditions with which a farmer must comply for their farm and the food it produced to be certified, labeled and sold as organic. These standards began with the basics of Howard and Rodale – small scale systems emphasizing natural fertility sources including compost and cover crops, crop rotations, and crop diversity – and grafted on the Carson commandment – no synthetic inputs, especially pesticides. The pioneering farmers of this era deserve high praise not only for developing ways to produce under what were generally thought to be impossible conditions but for also building the credibility and market value of their distinct brands. By the end of the decade, there were at least thirty organic certification programs operating across the United States with some – especially in California, New England and the Upper Midwest – developing sizable consumer loyalty.
How were these nascent organic certification programs capable of guaranteeing potential customers that certified products had indeed been grown and processed in accordance with the proclaimed standards? It takes something more than the threat of bad karma to deter us from acting selfishly when we think no one is listening. The answer then, and to a considerable degree to this day, was similar to Ronald Reagan’s approach to negotiating nuclear disarmament with the Soviet Union: “Trust, but verify”. The certification process is predicated upon a comprehensive and ongoing dialogue between the farmer and their certifying agent. In a nutshell, the two parties agree on an organic system plan that commits the farmer to managing their operation in compliance with the standards. Compliance with the organic system plan is documented through an annual on-site inspection with follow-up as warranted, although the certifying agent can also conduct unannounced inspections. Detailed paperwork is fundamental to smooth certification and over time the certifying agents – who then and now tend to be the exacting types you would imagine would be drawn to this work – became highly efficient. In an oft-repeated phenomena, a member of the original farmer group who proved the most capable at the certification process stepped away from farming and took on an independent role in certifying their former peers. One cannot say that deliberate misrepresentation has not occurred, but the nearly forty year history of organic certification in the United States reflects has been overwhelmingly transparent, honest and accurate.
Anyone involved in business (or a relationship, for that matter) knows that success brings with it a whole new set of challenges and the organic community was clearly experiencing growing pains by 1990. More and more consumers were drawn to organic foods, but the plethora of independent certification programs (several states had joined the existing pool of farmer-based and for-profit certifying agents) created confusion around the generally slight but occasionally significant differences between their standards. This problem was magnified for food processors who wanted to combine ingredients certified by different programs into a single certified product such as corn chips or soup but were constrained by the lack of reciprocity. Amidst growing concern among established farmers and certifying agents that newcomers could seriously dilute or outright misrepresent the meaning and integrity of their hard work, organic agriculture literally went prime time overnight. In late 1989, the CBS news program 60 Minutes covered findings from the Natural Resources Defense Council that the widely used agricultural chemical Alar left carcinogenic residues on apples. In pre-Internet days when 60 Minutes was among the country’s most widely watched and trusted news sources, the story triggered a classic Rachel Carson backlash and Americans knocked down doors to get “chemical-free food”. Having become in a sense too big to fail and too small to keep going it alone, the organic community accepted what many continue to see as a Faustian bargain: they turned to the federal government to create a single standard and certification program to regulate use of the term “organic”.
Next time: we’ll explore how this relationship was consummated and what fruits it has borne.
Mark Keating has worked in the natural, sustainable, organic and local food movements since 1982. His work experience includes stints in commercial food service, farm labor, retail sales and marketing, state and federal civil service, non-profit advocacy and academia. While at the USDA between 1999 and 2004, Mark helped draft the national organic standards for crop and livestock production and spent two years working to develop and promote farmers markets. An inveterate believer that naturally raised and locally distributed food offers the best opportunity for human health and planetary survival, Mark lives in the Kentucky Bluegrass with his wife and their daughter.
Are you one of the millions of Americans with diabetes?
November is National Diabetes Month, a condition that is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Of the 25.8 million Americans who suffer from the disease, 7 million do not know they have it, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Much as I wanted to lose the 25 pounds, believing that I shouldn't have to was more powerful. And so the weight piled on. And stayed. Finally aware of this underlying belief, I had a decision to make: pride or humility.
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