Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

UCSF: Paleo Diet Brought Dramatic Health Benefits!

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Researchers from UCSF say that their research has shown people on a diet of high protein and plenty of vegetables show dramatic health improvements, including weight loss without exercising profusely and lower blood pressure. In short it's the diet of our caveman ancestors thousands of years ago who were what is termed "Hunter Gathers".

Contrast to our diet today?
We eat whatever and whenever we want, and generally speaking the food is heavily processed and high in sugar and salt.

The team selected people who were unhealthy in one way or another. They were given a specific diet of lean meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. The diet includes only healthy fats, such as those in the fish and in nuts and seeds.

What happened? Everyone's blood pressure went down. In two weeks the entire group’s cholesterol and triglycerides got better.  The average drop was 30 points ... That's the kind of cholesterol result you get by taking Statins for six months.

People on the diet have experienced a regression of their diabetes as a result, to the point they are effectively cured.

Rupert Shepherd B.Sc. "Eat Like A Caveman To Lose Weight." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 13 Nov. 2011

Kiwis are heart smart!

Individuals from southern China can be proud of their native fruit once again, as new research shows the furry fruit lowering blood pressure.

Kiwis may be one of the smaller fruits, but they are stacked with nutritional contents in their juicy green flesh; including Lutein, a powerful antioxidant which is thought to be one of the active components in the fruit that reduces blood pressure. They have a good vitamin C content as well, which is known to promote elasticity of blood vessels.

Researchers who were led by Mette Svendsen of Oslo University Hospital in Norway point to lutein as having benefits, but cardiologists were quick to say that there is no magic bullet or compound that is going to take care of a person's heart health, it's more a question of a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise. Kiwis though, can happily make up one of the recommended five a day servings of fruit and vegetables that have shown to improve health in the long run.

The study, funded by the Oslo University Hospital, included 50 men and 68 women with an average age of 55 who were randomly assigned to eat three kiwis or one apple a day for eight weeks. Participants had blood pressure levels in the mildly elevated range of 128/85 when the study began. A blood pressure reading that is less than 120/80 is considered ideal. They changed nothing in their diet other than adding the fruit. Researchers measured blood pressure via 24-hour ambulatory monitoring, which is thought to be more precise than measuring it during a single point in time.

The researchers concluded: "Three kiwi a day improved 24-hour blood pressure more than an apple a day."

Rupert Shepherd B.Sc. "Three Kiwis A Day To Keep The Cardiologist At Bay." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 15 Nov. 2011.