Tag Archives: Beta-Carotene

How to slow down Aging

No one wants to grow old. The body constantly battles against this process. Free radicals are responsible for the changes and shortening of the DNA in our cells, which in turn causes the visible changes of ageing...click & see

Free radicals are compounds created when a molecule in our body gains or loses an electron, rendering it unstable. The commonest free radicals are known as ROS (reactive oxygen species).

Antioxidants act as scavengers, removing the destroyed or fragmented DNA caused by free radicals. These days they are being prescribed as the panacea of all ills. Conditions ranging from poor immunity, male infertility, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer to even ageing are said to benefit from antioxidant supplements.

Antioxidants occur in a variety of foods, especially coloured (red, yellow, green, purple) fruits and vegetables. They are not heat stable, so it is better to eat the fruits or vegetables raw. People who eat 4-6 helpings of fruits and vegetables a day have a lower incidence of cancer and live longer. On the other hand, they tend to be health conscious, exercise, have healthier lifestyles and are conscious of body weight.

A large amount of ROP is released during exercise. So taking antioxidant supplements should decrease recovery time. A number of studies have demonstrated that this is not the case. Ironically, taking antioxidant supplements actually slows down recovery.

Patients with cancer are often advised to take supplements of megavitamins and antioxidants. They may actually be detrimental. High doses of betacarotene increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Vitamin E can increase the risk of prostate cancer and high doses of vitamin C the risk of bladder cancer. High-dose supplements of antioxidants are linked to worse cancer outcomes, especially in smokers.

Instead of antioxidants, if we follow the following rules and do them regularly we could get better result....click & see

1)Do some freehand exercise (yoga) daily.

2) Walk, jog or run 40 minutes a day

3) Eat 4-6 helpings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day

4) Never smoke or spend time around smokers

Resources: http://www.telegraphindia.com/

Pick the Right Veg’ for Health

Obvious choices of fruit and vegetables are not necessarily the healthiest, say researchers.
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According to US experts, making simple swaps like eating sweet potatoes instead of carrots and papaya rather than oranges could make a difference.

Foods, like raspberries, watercress and kale, are richer in phytonutrients which may help prevent disease, they told a US meeting.

UK nutritionists said a balanced diet is essential to good health.

The British Nutrition Foundation warned that relying on eating a few select food types to boost health was ill-advised and said there was no such thing as a “superfood”.

Experts recommend five portions a day of fruit and veg in a healthy diet.

Plant foods are known to contain “phytonutrient” chemicals that can protect the heart and arteries and prevent cancers.

But the most popular varieties may not be the best, according to US researchers.

They analysed data from US health surveys of people’s dietary habits to look at the most common sources of phytonutrients.

They found that for 10 of the 14 phytonutrients studied, a single food type accounted for two-thirds or more of an individual’s consumption, regardless of how much fruit and veg they ate overall.

Carrots were the most common source of beta-carotene, oranges and orange juice the most common source of beta-cryptoxanthin, spinach the most common source of lutein/zeaxanthin, strawberries the most common source of ellagic acid and mustard the biggest provider of isothiocyanates.

However, for each of these phytonutrients there was a richer food source available.

Richer foods:-

Switching from carrots to sweet potatoes would nearly double beta-carotene intake, say the researchers.

Similarly papaya contains 15 times more beta-cryptoxanthin than oranges, while kale has three times more lutein/zeaxanthin than spinach.

Raspberries have three times more ellagic acid than strawberries and one cup of watercress contains as much isothiocyanate as four teaspoonfuls of mustard.

Study leader Keith Randolph, who is a technology strategist for the supplement company Nutrilite, said: “These data highlight the importance of not only the quantity but also the significant impact the quality and variety of the fruits and vegetables you eat can have on your health.”

Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “They are right that some foods are richer sources of phytonutrients.

“But at the end of the day, to be healthy you need to make sure you have a varied and balanced diet.

“No one food can give you everything you need.”

The findings were presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, California.

Source
: BBC NEWS: April 27. 2010
http://www.healthyreader.com/2008/05/13/12-most-contaminated-fruits-and-vegetables/

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Fresh vs Frozen Vegetables

Are we giving up nutrition for convenience? The answer may surprise you.:
Americans typically eat only one-third of the recommended daily intake (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables, so if you are in a bind, a vegetable in any form is better than no vegetable at all.

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And as winter approaches, fresh produce is limited  or expensive  in much of the country, which forces many of us to turn to canned or frozen options. While canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process (notable exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin), frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when  as a general rule  they are most nutrient-packed.

While the first step of freezing vegetables  blanching them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzyme   causes some water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freeze locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state.

On the other hand, fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to the fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine. In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and the B vitamin thiamin.

Bottom line:
When vegetables are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe. “Off-season,” frozen vegetables will give you a high concentration of nutrients. Choose packages marked with a USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield, which designates produce of the best size, shape and color; vegetables of this standard also tend to be more nutrient-rich than the lower grades “U.S. No. 1” or “U.S. No. 2.” Eat them soon after purchase: over many months, nutrients in frozen vegetables do inevitably degrade. Finally, steam or microwave rather than boil your produce to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.

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Source:msn. health & fitness

Watermelon’s Myriad Health Benefits

Easiest tips to keep you fit.

Sweet, juicy watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene.

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These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralising free radicals, that can cause a great deal of damage. They oxidise cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, leading to heart attack or stroke.

A cup of watermelon provides 24.3 per cent of the daily value for Vitamin C, and, through its beta-carotene, 11.1 per cent of the DV for Vitamin A.

Source: The Times Of India