Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why you should eat less meat

Let’s be honest, your doctor isn’t asking you if you’re following a healthy diet just to hear himself talk. There’s a reason why nutritionists recommend you should limit your red meat consumption to no more than two 3-ounce servings a week, if at all. After all, time and time again red meat consumption has been associated with multiple health risks.
Now we know passing up a juicy burger at your Memorial Day barbeque this weekend isn’t going to be easy, so instead of going meatless at the drop of a hat, become a part-time vegetarian. Consider joining the #meatlessmondays movement to try out vegetarianism one day a week. By doing so, you can reap these major health benefits:
To help your heart
"Fatty red meats and many processed meats are high in saturated fat, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases risk of coronary heart disease," says Dr. Rachel K. Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and professor of Nutrition and Medicine at the University of Vermont. More over, one study revealed a compound found in red meat (carnitine) promotes hardening and clogging of the arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis. The researchers found that consistently high carnitine levels were associated with a raised risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and heart-related death.
To stay in your skinny jeans
Obviously swapping a black bean burger for one with ground beef, however lean, will save you unwanted calories — but a 2010 study shows it can actually save you a few pounds too. Women’s Health Magazine writer Amy Van Deusen references a large-scale study from Imperial College London which found that those who ate about 250 grams a day (the size of one half-pound steak) of red meat or processed meat gained more weight over five years than those who ate less meat, even if they consumed the same amount of calories overall.
To shrink your cancer risk
According to Van Deusen, “The Cancer Project found that foods with high levels of fat artificially boost the hormones that promote cancer.”  In one study of more than 35,000 women published in the British Journal of Cancer, those who ate the most red and processed meat were found to have the highest risk of breast cancer. In another study conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research, diets high in beef, pork and lamb were linked to increased risk for colon cancer. So, instead of sticking with steak, burgers and franks, use spices, herbs, hot peppers and sauces to get creative with healthy alternatives like fish and chicken.
To live a longer life
Grilled hot dogs and sausages may be tasty treats at ball games and picnics, but a recent study of nearly 450,000 people found that eating too much processed meat could shave years off your life. The findings by researchers of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich revealed that those who ate the most processed meat increased their risk of dying early by a whopping 44 percent. On the flip side, if people ate less processed meat, the number of premature deaths dropped by almost 3 percent. Suddenly Meatless Mondays seem like a no brainer!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

7 Fruits and Vegetables that Reverse the Signs of Aging

By Nicole Frehsée

The human diet contains thousands of antioxidants--nutrients that may help do everything from preventing wrinkles to killing off cancerous cells. But while many foods from chocolate to popcorn promise these health benefits, your best bet for a long, vibrant future begins with produce.


Lycopene, an antioxidant that can combat free radicals (molecules or ions that can damage healthy cells and suppress your immune system), gets the credit for tomatoes' ability to help protect against some cancers, including lung cancer. If possible, opt for Classica tomatoes--in a study of 13 tomato varieties, Classicas ranked highest in lycopene.


This popular leafy green is a major source of vitamin K (one cup cooked contains almost 12 times your recommended daily value), which may help ward off heart disease and osteoporosis. Ask for Winterbor kale at your local farmers' market--in addition to vitamin K, this variety contains high levels of fiber, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


The deep-purple skin gets its rich color and anti-aging power from nasunin, a nutrient that helps fight the spread of cancerous cells by cutting off the blood supply they need to multiply. Research also suggests that nasunin may slow the development of Alzheimer's disease by preventing free radicals from damaging neurons.

Red Bell Pepper


This immunity-boosting superstar contains roughly 60 percent more vitamin C--which triggers the production of white blood cells that fight off germs and bacteria--than its green counterpart. It may also keep you looking young: A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with diets high in vitamin C were less prone to wrinkles, possibly because the nutrient spurs the production of collagen.


Rutin, a potentially lifesaving flavonoid (a class of antioxidants) found in high levels in this flavorful fruit, may block an enzyme linked to the formation of blood clots, lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a 2012 study from Harvard Medical School.


One of the herb's medicinal properties comes from the antioxidant eugenol. Recent lab studies found that this compound sparks anticarcinogenic activity in cervical cancer cells, causing them to self-destruct.

Brussels Sprouts

Our cells are naturally equipped with tumor-suppressing genes, and the sulfur compounds found in Brussels sprouts may help those genes by blocking enzymes that promote tumor growth. A 2012 study also found that these sulfur compounds could play a key role in treating rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation and activating cartilage-protecting proteins.