Sow the Seeds of Good Health

Why wait till you are older to get wise about eating healthy? Start today.

In some studies, moderate use of alcohol is linked with higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels. But take it easy there, Dino. People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol (an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women) have a lower risk of heart disease, but increased consumption of alcohol can bring other health dangers, such as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancer.

Johnny B good
A B vitamin called niacin reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol at the same time it raises beneficial HDL. In fact, niacin can be more effective at treating these things than popular cholesterol-busting drugs, which tend to act more generally on total cholesterol and gross LDL. (Be careful, though. While the niacin you get from foods and over-the-counter vitamins is fine, super-high doses of niacin can have serious side effects and should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision.)

Time for some tea.
Three recent studies confirm that drinking green tea can help lower your cholesterol level and reduce your risk of developing cancer. In a 12-week trial of 240 men and women, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that drinking the equivalent of 7 cups of green tea a day can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 16 percent. Seven cups a day is a lot of tea, but even 1 or 2 cups a day could have a beneficial impact. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Rochester recently determined that green tea extract can help prevent the growth of cancer cells, and Medical College of Ohio researchers found that a compound called EGCG in green tea may help slow or stop the progression of bladder cancer.

Go for the grapefruit.
If you want to make one simple dietary change for better health, the best thing you can do is eat a single white or ruby grapefruit every day. Grapefruit is gaining ground as a power food. New research shows that it can fight heart disease and cancer, trigger your body to lose weight, and even help you get a better night’s sleep. A grapefruit a day can lower your total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 8 and 11 percent, respectively.

Gain with grains and beans. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto had people add several servings of foods like whole grains, nuts, and beans to their diets each day. One month later, the test subjects LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were nearly 30 percent lower than when the trial began. In another study, this one at Tulane University, researchers found that people who ate four or more servings a week had a 22 percent lower risk of developing heart disease (and 75 percent fewer camping companions) than less-than-once-a-week bean eaters.

Don’t let your tank hit empty.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who eat six or more small meals a day have 5 per cent lower cholesterol levels than those who eat one or two large meals.

Refrain from fries.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the exercise and nutritional habits of 80,000 women were recorded for 14 years. The researchers found that the most important correlate of heart disease was the women’s dietary intake of foods containing trans fatty acids, mutated forms of fat that lower HDL (good) and increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. Some of the worst offenders are french fries.

Sow your oats.
In a University of Connecticut study, men with high cholesterol who ate oat bran cookies daily for 8 weeks dropped their levels of LDL cholesterol by more than 20 percent. So eat more oat bran fibre, such as oatmeal. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that two servings of whole-grain cereal a day can reduce a man’s risk of dying of heart disease by nearly 20 per cent.

Rise and dine
In a study of 3,900 people, Harvard researchers found that men who ate breakfast every day were 44 percent less likely to be overweight and 41 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance, both risk factors for heart disease.

Fortify with folic acid
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who
consume the recommended amount of folic acid each day have a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease than those whose diets are lacking in this B vitamin. Good sources of folic acid include asparagus, broccoli, and fortified cereal.

Order a chef’s salad Leafy greens and egg yolks are both good sources of lutein, a phytochemical that carries heart disease fighting antioxidants to your cells and tissues.

Be a sponge
Loma Linda University researchers found that drinking five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day could help lower your risk of heart disease by up to 60 per cent — exactly the same drop you get from stopping smoking, lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol numbers, exercising, or losing a little weight.

Give yourself bad breath
In addition to lowering cholesterol and helping to fight off infection, eating garlic may help limit damage to your heart after a heart attack or heart surgery.

Researchers in India found that animals who were fed garlic regularly had more heart-protecting antioxidants in their blood than animals that were not.

Snack on nuts
Harvard researchers found that men who replaced 127 calories of carbohydrates decreased their risk of heart disease
by 30 per cent.

Source: The Times Of India

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