Blood pressure, asthma, depression and diabetes–food to the rescue

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: Dr. Kyl Smith, author and one of our favorite guests, will talk about the connection between stress and testosterone. (That hormone is important to women as well as men) He will explain how supplementing Phosphatidyl Serine can help right imbalances. His terrific book on brain health is Brighter Mind. Please give me a break from asking all the questions and call in with yours at 1-800-281-8255. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.
Really? Foods are good for that?
Lack of energy and vitality DO NOT result from a deficiency of drugs. However, they can be caused by insufficient good food. The same applies to disease and last week we talked about fruits and vegetables in relationship to cancer prevention. The following list of recent studies illustrates more benefits, but it is still just the tip of the iceberg:

Depression.  Researchers in England combined results from 11 studies of subjects 18-97 years of age and found that the more subjects consumed folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids (e.g. olive oil and macadamia oil), fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes in their diet, the lower their risk of depression. But, in a typical scientist hedge, the authors were afraid to come right out and recommend a healthy diet until there is more research to prove it helps depression. (Sigh. I guess they want to make sure they can get another grant.) LINK

Artery stiffness, artery  thickness and blood pressure. Another English study of 1,898 women aged 18-75 showed that the anthocyanins (colors) in berries are good for those aspects of our circulatory systems. The authors said that sufficient amounts of those beneficial plant compounds “could be incorporated into the diet by the consumption of 1-2 portions of berries daily.” LINK

Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Asthma. An Australian study involved 137 asthmatic adults. Some were assigned to a high-antioxidant diet (5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit daily plus a placebo [inactive] supplement.) Others consumed a low-antioxidant diet (2 or fewer servings of vegetables daily and 1 serving of fruit daily) plus either a placebo or a supplement of tomato extract (45 mg lycopene/d).  After 2 weeks, those on the low intake of vegetables and fruit exhibited increased levels of inflammatory markers and poorer lung function. No significant difference was found with the lycopene supplement. LINK

It is really not surprising that the whole-food intervention was more helpful than pills. Just think about all the other plant antioxidants and nutrients that folks were getting with the real produce. The mineral magnesium would be one that is often helpful to asthmatics. It is shocking however that huge numbers of Americans would have to improve their diet to climb into what they called the “low intake” group. Government surveys show that fewer than 1 in 3 adults consume at least two servings of fruit a day and only a little over 1 out of 4 eat three or more servings of vegetables. Children do even less well but at least Canadians do better.

Blood sugar response. Scientists in Finland conducted a randomized, controlled, crossover meal study involving 20 healthy women.  They found that consuming purees of whole blackcurrants or lingonberries along with sucrose (sugar) reduced the negative effect the sucrose would normally have had on blood sugar and insulin. This would be important for anyone trying to avoid diabetes. LINK  I don’t recommend eating the sugar to begin with, but berries do have many other benefits. (Lingonberries, not common in the US, are also known by the less flattering name, cowberries.)

Hmm. Did you notice these were all foreign studies? That could be a coincidence or is it possible that there is so little profit in fruits and vegetables that, here in the US, interest is focused instead on finding a patentable drug to address those problems?
Fruit and Vegetable INSURANCE
Many nutritionists recommend 11 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The government hopes for just 5 and Americans still fall short. Because I’m a human and busy, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t always get 5.

So, for insurance and to enjoy the added benefits, I take Fruit of the Spirit. A single one ounce serving of this whole food puree is the equivalent of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables (minus most of the water). It contains an impressive array of Biblical fruits that are rich in antioxidants plus Dead Sea minerals and even resveratrol. There is no added sugar and,because it is quite low even in natural fruit sugars, the glycemic impact is low. Fruit of the Spirit is delicious straight or in a protein drink.

I asked the lovely folks at Fruit of the Spirit to give my readers a holiday bonus over and above the nice discount you regularly get by clicking through the show’s website. For a limited time, your order will contain a special serving glass and a book, Harmony…Achieving good health by learning the lesson of balance from science and faith. It is by John Young, MD, Aida Reyes, MD and Deborah Ray, MT. Consider buying one bottle for yourself and another as a lovely gift.If you decide to call (1-800-793-8830), be sure to tell them that “Martie sent you” so you will get your discount and bonuses (and the show gets a little support). LINK
Last Week
LINK to Archive. Canadian naturopathic consultant, Dr. Daniel J. Crisafi PhD, MH, joined us to discuss timely topics: influenza, vaccines and building our immune response naturally. In the second half, our special guest interviewer was our producer and periodic co-host, Andy Hopkins. He talked about holiday digestive issues with Certified Clinical Nutritionist and author…wait for it…wait for it…Martie Whittekin.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2012 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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