Everyone loves a study that turns one of our favourite vices into a health benefit. This week, the news headlines tell us “eating chocolate improves brain function” and that it “could help protect against normal age-related decline”.
The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims. Weight-loss products make up one of the largest growing markets in the world.
Who doesn’t like a ready meal once in a while? People in the UK certainly do: consumption of ready meals and convenience meat products has increased five-fold over the last 40 years, according to the latest National Food Survey on UK food-buying habits. High levels of calories and fat in some of these products can
In the film The Martian, Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, is stranded on the red planet with nothing to eat but spuds. Now, a 36-year-old Australian is following the same diet, voluntarily. In an attempt to lose weight and improve his relationship with food, Andrew Taylor has decided to eat nothing but potatoes for a year.
In the middle of the last century, popular nutrition author Adelle Davis advised people to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Her advice stuck. Recent examination of the merits of adults eating breakfast has raised the question of whether we should indeed eat like kings at breakfast or just skip it all together.
We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugary drinks can also do to our brain. The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those
Don’t limit yourself to grapefruit – increasing the amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can help you lose weight. Monday – start diet. Tuesday – break diet! Wednesday – plan to start again next Monday.
Do the same rules that govern human attraction also apply to our choices of fruit and vegetables? Plenty of evidence suggests we do look for similar traits in both people and produce, and our perceptions of food are clearly affected by what
Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst.
Public health authorities are forever telling us how much we should weigh, but one essential element is missing: shape.
"For some individuals, this simple nutritional supplement might really help reduce the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. Any progress on the prevention front would be welcome given the number of people affected," says Zhigang Xie.
People don’t read diet books just to lose weight. They serve as both “myths and manuals” for a better world, a new analysis of contemporary diet books suggests.
The British government’s new guidelines advise reducing alcohol consumption to 14 units a week for both men and women and bluntly state that, for some cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, “risk increases with any amount you drink”
Scientists are taking a closer look at the main breakdown product of aspirin, called salicylic acid, and its potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Everyone loves D, the sunshine vitamin. Doctors, patients and the media have been enamoured with vitamin D supplements for decades. As well as their clear benefit in curing severe vitamin D deficiencies, endless headlines hail their magical ability to reduce a vast range of conditions from dementia to cancer.
Edible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they’re cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.
This time of year, most fridges are stocked up with food and drinks to share with family and friends. Let’s not make ourselves and our guests sick by getting things wrong when preparing and serving food.
People overeat. And people don’t always make the healthiest food choices. That much is clear. But who is to blame for overeating and poor food choices? And can we do anything about it?
Researchers found a significant association between a patient’s vitamin D levels and the severity of their IBS symptoms, particularly the extent to which IBS affects their quality of life.
In 1809, the French evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck put forward the theory that acquired traits could be transmitted to the next generation. His theory implies that our health is determined by the chosen lifestyle of our ancestors, long before our own existence. And our latest research adds to the credibility of this long-neglected theory.
The Australian federal court has accused Reckitt Benckiser of misleading consumers. The UK-based company has been marketing products in their Nurofen range for specific types of pain. The truth is, they all contain the same active ingredient: an analgesic drug called ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can’t be targeted at any specific pains.
Intermittent fasting diets involve periods of fasting cycled with periods of feeding. Fasting involves a zero or reduced calorie intake from foods and drinks. Feeding can involve food and drink consumption under strict rules – or not – and can be ad libitum (eating based on your hunger and fullness) – or not.
Suppose your relationship is falling apart and you want to save it. To find the best counsellor, you might search online or ask your friends. It’s no different in agriculture. The rational response to any food or farming dilemma is to test and compare different options to see which is most effective as a solution.
The holidays bring with them an abundance of festivities centered around eating and drinking. And, not to play Scrooge, but much of our favorite holiday fare sits atop the list of those opiate-like "trigger foods." These foods fall in the "naughty" category because they set off chemicals in the brain that make us want to gorge ourselves...
For most of us, Christmas and its festivities revolve around consuming tasty food and drinks with colleagues, friends and family. Between work Christmas parties, Christmas lunch or dinner, edible presents and New Year’s Eve, it can be an effort not to gain weight.
We’ve known for a long time that aspirin can help prevent damage from a heart attack or a stroke if taken during one of those events. In fact, you might have seen ads about how aspirin can be lifesaving during a heart attack.
The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. The Paris talks are of vital importance, not just for climate change itself but for framing what kind of food economy follows. And why does food matter for climate change? Well, it’s a major factor driving it yet barely gets a mention.
There seems to be a shortening gap between studies about diet, nutrition and health. And each starts another conversation about trans vs saturated vs polyunsaturated fats, or this diet vs that, or, as is today’s case, fats vs carbohydrates.
When you buy commercially baked goods such as pies, pastries, cakes and biscuits, there’s a good likelihood they’ll contain one of the nastier types of fatty acids: trans fats. These unsaturated fats have been chemically altered to give them a longer shelf life and withstand repeated re-heating.
Sulforaphane is found in vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, and cabbage—and in particularly high concentrations in young broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane also is available as a dietary supplement called BSE.
An informal network among farmers may be more important than federal regulation in building trust in the organic industry — and it needs greater support. If you live in the U.S., chances are you are among the 84 percent of American consumers who purchase organic food.
There’s a buzz in the air at the moment, and it’s all about “entomophagy”. If you’ve not heard this word before, it simply means the human practice of eating insects.
Eating breakfast has long been believed to benefit children’s education, leading to the widespread adoption of breakfast clubs throughout the UK, particularly in poorer areas.
People of healthy weight and those who are obese consume, on average, nearly identical amounts of candy, soda, and fast food, according to a new study.
When it comes to the best plan, I can’t tell you what’s right for your body. The truth is you have to figure that one out on your own because everyone is different. For instance, I don’t eat red meat because . . . well, I’ve never really eaten it. I just don’t like the taste of it.
When we think cravings, we tend to think potato chips, pizza, and sweets, and nights of gorging ourselves with foods saturated with salt from our tears of remorse. It may sound ridiculous to suggest that cravings can be used to benefit our bodies, but I’d say the problem isn’t cravings themselves, but how we view them.
Beyond the usual advice about less food and more exercise, the study suggests that consciously replacing unhealthy cues with healthy ones in the home could have a real impact on a person's BMI, especially for women.
Dietary nutrients are critical for brain structure and function, so they have a potentially profound impact on mental health. An increasingly robust body of research points to the detrimental effect of unhealthy diets and nutrient deficiencies, and to the protective value of healthy diets – along with select nutritional supplements as required – for maintaining and promoting mental health.
Antioxidants have made a fortune for the dietary supplement industry, but how many people really know what they are and why they’re supposedly good for you? One common claim is that the these molecules can protect you from cancer.
Hate the taste of Brussels sprouts? Do you find coriander disgusting or perceive honey as too sweet? Your genes may be to blame.
Food intolerance is often dismissed as a modern invention and a “first-world problem”. However, a study analysing the genomes of 101 Bronze-Age Eurasians reveals that around 90% were lactose intolerant.
A new study of more than 500,000 Chinese adults over seven years finds that participants who ate foods flavored with chili peppers every day reduced their risk of premature dying by 14 percent, as compared to people who ate chili peppers less than once a week.
The need to find fuel to generate energy is a profound drive within the biology of all living organisms: we all need food to survive. So it’s not surprising that our bodies have such a complex system to control food intake, driven by hormones.
Following a healthy diet can be hard. From deciding when and what to eat to how much food you actually put on your plate, the average person makes over 200 food-related decisions each day, most of which are automatic.
The uptick in plastic packaging is a result of schools' efforts to streamline food preparation and meet federal nutrition standards while keeping costs low. "If this is an avoidable exposure, do we need to risk it? If we can easily cut it out, why wouldn't we?" says Jennifer Hartle.
Drinking concentrated beet juice, which is high in nitrates, increases muscle power in patients with heart failure, a new study shows. “It’s a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice,”
When you drop a piece of food on the floor, is it really OK to eat if you pick up within five seconds? This urban food myth contends that if food spends just a few seconds on the floor, dirt and germs won’t have much of a chance to contaminate it.
While excess weight and obesity is a growing global concern, there has been more and more advertising and promotional effort encouraging the consumption of unhealthy food.
Severely cutting calorie intake appears to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and make people more sensitive to insulin, according to the largest study to date of sustained calorie reduction in adults.
There are opportunities to maximize the quality of the foods we consume through careful selection and astute buying. There are also opportunities for some families to become involved in the production of wholesome vegetables by growing vegetables in pots on a patio, lawn space, or by participating in a community garden project.
Food is simple. At least, it used to be. Knowing what to eat and whether it was healthy and healing for us was clear. It was instinctual. We did not have to think about food. We just ate it. Today, food has become complicated. As humans normally do with most issues, we overthink them...
There is an economic and political battle taking place in America over the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.
Have you ever snapped angrily at someone when you were hungry? Or has someone snapped angrily at you when they were hungry? If so, you’ve experienced “hangry” (an amalgam of hungry and angry) – the phenomenon whereby some people get grumpy and short-tempered when they’re overdue for a feed.
Personally, I need breakfast. Almost every morning, I wake up early feeling hungry, and it’s only once I banish my morning hunger that I’m ready to fire. By mid-morning, I take a break and enjoy a snack.
High vitamin C concentrations in the blood from eating fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death, report researchers.
Each year, spectators at the Wimbledon tennis tournament get through a whopping 30 tons of strawberries in the course of a summer fortnight. It is no wonder that the association between Wimbledon and strawberries is such a marketing triumph. But why do we fall for it?
Whether commanding the attention of rock star Neil Young or apparently being supported by the former head of Greenpeace, genetically modified food is almost always in the news – and often in a negative light
In a new study, Valter Longo and his colleagues show that cycles of a four-day low-calorie diet that mimics fasting (FMD) cut visceral belly fat and elevated the number of progenitor and stem cells in several organs of old mice—including the brain, where it boosted neural regeneration and improved learning and memory.
Some like it hot, some like it iced, and some just don’t like it at all. Until recently, coffee was on the list of habits to break if you really wanted to be healthy.
The demand for bottled water it seems is booming. Canadean, a market research company specialising in the beverage industry recently reported the remarkable growth in global sales of bottled water. With an average annual growth of 6% since 2008 it looks as though water will, for the first time, overtake sales of soft drinks by 1.3% this year.
Elevated blood sugar can rapidly increase levels of amyloid beta, a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients, a new study shows. The buildup of plaques is thought to be an early driver of the complex set of changes that Alzheimer’s causes in the brain.
Have you ever wondered what those food additive numbers in the ingredients list on your food packaging meant and what they were really doing to your body? A recent study suggests emulsifiers – detergent-like food additives found in a variety of processed foods have the potential to damage the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation and increasing our risk of chronic disease.
Can organic farmers use Roundup® ? I get that question a lot. Society has been told and, it seems, really believes, that as crop chemicals go, nothing could be safer. But that's just it, using nothing is safer.
In the United States, we live in a nation where hunger and obesity go hand in hand. More than 17 million US households struggle to put food on the table, and when they do, it’s often high in fat and sugar because healthy options are scarce in low-income neighborhoods.
In a study published last week, researchers at Harvard University examined 21 brands of dietary supplements containing an herbal stimulant called Acacia rigidula. More than half of the brands analyzed contained an untested amphetamine isomer called β-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA).
A nutrient in garlic may offer the brain cells protection against aging and disease, according to new research. “Most people think of it as a ‘superfood,’ because garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds are known as an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection."
Fasting is something that human beings have practiced throughout history, often out of circumstance rather than choice. Intermittent fasting (also called alternate day fasting) has become a popular diet. In most versions of intermittent fasting, people fast or eat very little a few days each week and then eat normal amounts during the remaining days.
TFPPublic discussions about obesity can fall prey to false dichotomies in portraying complex relations among weight, eating, activity and disease risk. Applying the logic of false dichotomies, obesity is either caused by individuals eating too much, or an environment that promotes weight-gain. It’s either a disease or the result of gluttony.
The trendy Paleo Diet draws inspiration from how people lived during the Paleolithic or Stone Age that ran from roughly 2.6 million to 10,000 years ago. It encourages practitioners to give up the fruits of modern culinary progress – such as dairy, agricultural products and processed foods – and start living a pseudo-hunter-gatherer lifestyle, something like Lon Chaney Jr. in the film One Million BC.
Whether man-made sources of mercury are contributing to the mercury levels in open-ocean fish has been the subject of hot debate for many years. My colleagues Carl Lamborg, Marty Horgan and I analyzed data from over the past 50 years and found that mercury levels in Pacific yellowfin tuna, often marketed as ahi tuna, is increasing at 3.8% per year. The results were reported earlier this month in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
The prevailing notion about obesity is that if we just work out harder and eat a little bit better, then perhaps the obesity trend will subside in a few years. However, the key to really making a difference is food – the number of calories we eat is the most important factor in obesity.
Government nutrition guidelines recommend a high carbohydrate diet regardless of the ample evidence of the health risks it promotes. Yet, chronic diseases and obesity rates have risen in correlation with a reduced intake of dietary fat. While science has moved on, nutritional advice lags behind.
Do you eat only when you’re actually hungry? Many of us eat even when our bodies don’t need food. Just the thought of food entices us to eat. We think about food when we see other people eating, when we pass a favorite fast-food restaurant, when we see a scrumptious snack near the check-out at a convenience store.
Broccoli is frequently touted as a food that can help prevent cancer, but a compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables also may treat it.
A diet containing a moderate amount of fat and one avocado may help lower “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, could reduce the risk of heart disease, say researchers.
Enzymes are essential for proper functioning of our body. They are found in all living plant and animal matter. Their primary job is to maintain balanced body functions, digest food, and aid in the repair of tissue. What types of enzymes do you need? Choosing the...
Obesity and weight loss has become an obsession, such as with anorexia, bulimia, constant dieting and bingeing, when the issue of weight is clearly out of perspective. While weight control is a feminist issue, it is also a health issue. Obesity can endanger the internal organs through ...
Contrary to what Juan Ponce de Leon thought when he searched for it in the 16th century, the fountain of youth is made of anti-oxidants, not water, and it's a lot easier to find than the famed explorer thought. Research on aging from the University of Florida shows that anti-oxidants slow down aging process...
Saw Palmetto Berries is an herb which is needed in the U.S. today. The average male over age 50 may suffer from a variety of reproductive ailments, such as prostate problems, low back pain, and diminishing sexual vitality — this herb can help in alleviating some, if not all, of these symptoms. Likewise, women who may experience...
Knowledge has been handed down through the ages regarding the contributions that essential oils can make in our lives. Some of the stories originated in our grandmothers' tales, some were told by wise sages, while others were revealed by those deeply in touch with the plants. Essential oils are established and revered as a reliable and resourceful healing modality.
Garlic is among the oldest and most versatile of the documented natural remedies. When Hippocrates, the father of diagnostic medicine, was busy noting which treatments worked for the Greek people he treated, he listed garlic. A total of twenty-two ancient Egyptian remedies were found to use garlic, as noted in the Ebers Papyrus dating from the sixteenth century B.C.E.
Aloe Vera called Nature's Miracle has been associated with myth, magic, and medicine since pre-biblical times. All over the world today, Aloe Vera is a common household plant. It is one of the most talked about, yet most misunderstood plants in history.
Herbology evolved into a healing art in China through observation and usage. This knowledge was compiled and passed down for refinement through the centuries. Herbs, like everything else in Chinese Medicine, are classified according to their energetic qualities and functions.
Worldwide consumption of olive oil has grown rapidly in recent years, but climate extremes and disease have seriously damaged this year’s crop in many regions and pushed prices up.
Among the many properties of the various essential fatty acids—including the omega-3s, the omega-6s, and so on—are the anti-inflammatory effects of the omega-3s. These substances produce the “prostaglandins of peace” whose actions counter those of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins responsible for inflammation.
We’ve long known that that the gut is responsible for digesting food and expelling the waste. More recently, we realised the gut has many more important functions and acts a type of mini-brain, affecting our mood and appetite. Now, new research suggests it might also play a role in our cravings for certain types of food.
The World Health Organisation recommends we limit our sugar intake to 10% of our total calorie intake a day because of the negative effect that sugar has on our health. Boys and girls around the age of three require around 1,100 calories a day, which means no more than...
A healthy body is a key for a healthy mood. It is essential to know that there are many factors that can create an unhealthy body as well as poor mood—and that there are steps you can take to reverse the process.
Science has a simple and incredible trick that will help you lose weight. The idea, it seems, is to make portions appear bigger because this leads people to serve and eat less.
While other nations have successfully reduced their sodium intake, Australians are still eating too much salt, and paying the price with our health; a high-salt diet can lead to high blood pressure, one of the key contributors to heart disease.
Botanicals can be incorporated into wines, cordials or teas, used in cooking and made into tinctures or salves. Some are applied topically as a poultice. Some plants we dry and use as teas or decoctions.
Both rats and humans are omnivores, and both use flavour conditioning – learning through taste and experience which foods are good to eat and which to avoid. So if a particular flavour is associated with a desirable outcome like feeling full, this makes it more palatable, whereas a stomach illness would make it unpalatable.
Ginseng, the root of the plant Panax ginseng, is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines and is often sold as an over-the-counter remedy for fatigue. Although it has been used by humans for thousands of years, more recent research has begun to investigate therapeutic and pharmacological uses including anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties.
Using real, whole foods as the starting point for her recipes, Leanne Brown offers shopping tips and cooking techniques that help users optimize both the dollar and nutritional value of their meals. While the cookbook was conceived as a tool for SNAP recipients, who wouldn't like to eat better for cheaper?
The future of food arrived at Waitsfield Elementary School — a tiny brick throwback in Vermont’s pastoral Mad River Valley — just after lunch on May 15, 2014. Rachael Young slipped into the kitchen as surreptitiously as possible. “Let’s see if we can do this on the sly,” she said to me. “I don’t want them to see anything ahead of time.”
Plaque on prehistoric human teeth offers a whole new perspective on our ancestors’ diet and their relationship with plants. The research suggests that prehistoric people living in Central Sudan may have understood both the nutritional and medicinal qualities of many plants, including the purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus), regarded as a nuisance weed today.
We all need to eat, and whenever we do, we make choices. We make these choices all day long. Cook at home or eat out? Fresh or frozen? Raw or cooked? Sweet or savory? Cheap or expensive? Healthy or maybe not-so-healthy? Real or decaf? Cream or sugar? Tall or grande?
The Farmer needs more frequent meals and snacks compared with the Hunter. The varying dietary needs of Farmers and Hunters also means they are different when it comes to their most common health problems and diseases.
Our understanding of fats – including which ones are actually good for us – is evolving. We know for example that red meat and meat products, cakes and biscuits, which are rich sources of saturated fatty acids, are associated with an increased number of cardiovascular deaths.