We know that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes and less fat can help protect us against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There is also a direct relationship between the food we eat and the health of our brain, the most complex organ in the body. A poor diet can have adverse effects on cognitive function and is related to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Now a study led by Dr. Thomas Holland, an assistant professor at the Rush Institute for Health Aging, is exploring associations between bioactives found in food products, such as flavonols, and cognition.
Flavonols: what you need to know!
Flavonols are a class of flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals found in plants. These compounds can be extracted from cocoa, tea, apples, and other plant-based foods and beverages. A growing body of research suggests that flavonol consumption may have positive effects on human health.
How do flavonols affect health?
Through various biochemical reactions, free radicals and reactive oxygen species can damage cells and eventually organs. This damage is known as oxidative stress. When we eat foods that contain antioxidants such as flavonols or vitamin E, these antioxidants act as reducing agents and essentially “smash” these free radicals and prevent further cell damage.
Flavonols are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Dietary intake of foods containing nutrients and bioactives with anti-inflammatory properties can potentially prevent overactivation or continued response of inflammatory cells and thus prevent cell damage.
Flavonols and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2020, Holland and colleagues published a study of 921 Rush Memory and Aging (MAP) project participants. “This continuing cohort began in 1997 and is comprised of Chicago residents from public senior housing and retirement communities. They have no known dementia when recruited and undergo annual in-person clinical assessments, with detailed risk factor assessments and cognitive testing,” Holland describes.
The researchers concluded in their 2020 paper that a higher dietary intake of flavonols may be associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The latest Neurology study is an extension of that work, exploring rates of cognitive decline (CD).
The health benefits of flavonoids.
Flavonoids are particularly known for their antioxidant activities, which play an important role in cardiovascular health and cancer prevention. In addition to fighting free radicals, they are also known for their antihistamine, antimicrobial, memory-enhancing, and even mood-boosting properties.
Flavonoids may have the potential to kill cancer cells.
A study from the University of Illinois showed that celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells under laboratory conditions. Flavonoids work by inhibiting an important enzyme. However, the research team said the trick seemed to lie in using the flavonoids as a pre-treatment rather than using them along with the chemotherapy drug. Because “flavonoids can act as antioxidants and taking antioxidant supplements on the same day as chemotherapy drugs can nullify the effect of the latter.”
Flavonoids have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.
A review study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed previous research on the beneficial effects of chocolate flavonoids on cardiovascular health. The researchers found that chocolate or cocoa lowered blood pressure and had significant effects on LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Flavonoids are beneficial in controlling diabetes.
The study also found that chocolate or cocoa improved insulin resistance due to significant reductions in serum insulin.
To limit your salt intake, opt for these less salty cheeses
Do you want to reduce your sodium intake, but love cheese? You are not the only one ! Cheese can be a great source of salt, especially in processed varieties, making it difficult for those trying to cut back. Fortunately, there are delicious cheeses that are less salty than others, and there are many ways to incorporate them into meals or snacks. In this article, we’ll explore the least salty types of cheese (and show you which ones to avoid) so you can still enjoy your favorite dish without consuming too much sodium. So get ready to say “cheese” while still living a healthy lifestyle!
Low-salt diet: what the WHO recommends!
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends a low-salt diet for people who want to improve their health. Excessive salt intake can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to several dangerous conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. To adopt a healthier lifestyle, the WHO suggests reducing daily salt intake to less than 5 g per day.
In addition to limiting the amount of table salt added to food, the WHO also encourages people to be careful about the types of processed foods they eat. Processed foods are often high in sodium and should be avoided or limited as much as possible. In addition, canned goods, such as soups and sauces, can also contain high levels of sodium; therefore, it is advisable to check the labels carefully before any purchase.
For those seeking an alternative form of seasoning to table salt and processed seasonings, the WHO recommends using fresh herbs and spices for cooking at home. Herbs like thyme and oregano not only add flavor, but can also provide vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Also, adding lemon juice or vinegar is a great way to enhance the flavor of dishes without adding salt or sugar.
A healthy diet is essential for general well-being and to reduce the risk of preventable diseases. Reducing your daily salt intake is just one way to help people stay healthy over time. With proper knowledge of food choices and portion control, it’s within the reach of anyone who wants to live a low-salt lifestyle with more energy and fewer risks associated with excessive sodium intake.
For cheese lovers, we have selected the top less salty cheeses so that you can savor your delicacies without depriving yourself.
A 60 g piece of Emmental contains approximately 0.45 g of sodium.
Also, Comté has a lower sodium content than other varieties of cheese. A 60g piece of Comté contains approximately 0.41g of sodium.
Fresh goat cheese:
Another low-salt variety, with just 0.297g of sodium per 60g.
Ricotta is one of the most recommended cheeses for people looking to lose weight due to its low sodium content. A 60 g piece is equivalent to only 0.070 g of sodium
An appetizing cheese that you can use in all your baked dishes without feeling guilty. A 60g piece contains only 0.216g of sodium.
High sodium cheeses to avoid include:
High-sodium cheeses are a common staple in many of our diets, but these five varieties are the ones to avoid if you want to limit your sodium intake. Parmesan has the highest overall content of the five, at 360 milligrams per 60g. Roquefort reaches 354 milligrams, while cheddar and boursin contain respectively 324 and 327. Feta is the least rich with 313 milligrams per 60 g. Remember that it is therefore important to make wise choices when selecting cheeses.
Is it healthy fast food or a marketing gimmick?
Are muesli and granola really healthier breakfast options, or are they just a marketing gimmick? If you’re looking to optimize your health through diet, it helps to know exactly what you’re eating, but with all the breakfast options out there, it can be hard to decide. This article will walk you through the nutritional facts of cereals and muesli/granola, from their comparative fiber content to calorie levels and even possible additives. Try to understand how these products fuel your body so you can make more informed decisions when choosing a product for your most important meal of the day!
Muesli, granola, classic cereals: the nutritional value changes from one product to another.
Traditional whole grains, granola and muesli are excellent sources of nutrition and each offer their own benefits. Traditional whole grains, such as quinoa, oats, barley, and millet, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They also provide a variety of essential antioxidants that help protect against disease and promote overall health.
Granola is a breakfast cereal made from oats combined with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. It is high in fiber and low in fat, making it a great choice for those looking to limit their calorie intake. Muesli is a mixture of rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It is usually served cold or soaked overnight in milk or yogurt for a sweeter taste. Although higher in calories than traditional whole grains or granola due to ingredients such as dried fruit that contain added sugars, muesli provides many essential nutrients such as iron and magnesium.
Compared to traditional whole grains, granola and muesli offer a wider range of flavors thanks to the added ingredients they contain. On the other hand, it should be taken into account when choosing food, because they contain more calories. These three products are good sources of nutrition and can be an ideal complement to any balanced diet. However, it is worth carefully considering the nutrient profile before opting for one or the other.
How to choose the best for your health?
Look for one that offers you nutritional balance:
First, look for a product that provides the right amount of nutrition for your health needs. Make sure it contains a good balance of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as dietary fiber and healthy fats. Whole grains such as oats or whole wheat can provide these important nutrients.
Check its sugar and salt content:
Some granolas are high in sugar due to sweeteners or nuts that may be added. Instead, opt for granolas and mueslis with enough sugar from natural sources like honey or fruit juice concentrates, without too much added sugar. Also check the salt content of the product; choose those with less than 0.3g of salt per 100g to limit your sodium intake.
Do not hesitate to also check its fat content:
It is also worth checking the fat content of the granola/muesli you have chosen. Some are higher in saturated fat than others, which is not good for our cardiovascular health. Instead, choose products that contain healthier unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and seeds. Finally, look for products that are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, which is especially helpful if you’re looking to give your breakfast cereal an extra nutritional boost.
Balanced and conscious diet: if they are nutritious and healthy, they should not be abused!!
According UK National Health Service, the recommended amount per serving of granola/muesli is 30-40g and should be consumed 2-3 times a week for the best health effect. Eating too much muesli or granola can increase your calorie and sugar intake, so it’s important to watch your diet carefully if you choose to include it as part of your diet.
What happens if you eat these 10 foods with 2-in-1 effects at night?
Sleep is one of the most essential aspects of our health and well-being. Yet too many people struggle to find the restful sleep they need. If creating a healthy sleep environment, such as establishing consistent bedtimes and limiting distractions, can help improve sleep quality. It can also be beneficial to focus on what our bodies are taking in during the day to help ease the transition to restful sleep at night. Eating certain foods throughout the day has been shown to be particularly beneficial for improving digestion and allowing us to fall asleep naturally. Keep reading and discover 10 foods that promote both digestion and sleep!
Not only are they delicious, but bananas are packed with magnesium and potassium, two minerals that can help relax muscles and reduce stress. Plus, its high fiber content aids digestion, so you won’t feel bloated or dizzy before bed.
This herbal tea is known for its calming effects, but it is also useful for aiding digestion thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can soothe an upset stomach, relieve cramps, and ease bloating.
A bowl of oatmeal is a great option for those looking for digestive benefits and better quality of sleep. Oats contain complex carbohydrates that slow the absorption of sugars into the blood and prevent waking up in the middle of the night with cravings. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants and magnesium, a mineral you need for a good night’s rest.
Eating yogurt before bed is another way to make sure your digestive system doesn’t suffer overnight. Yogurt contains probiotics that act like beneficial bacteria that help your digestive tract function properly while you sleep. It also provides a dose of tryptophan, an amino acid that increases serotonin levels in the brain to ensure sleep quality is improved too!
This versatile nut is packed with healthy fats and proteins that digest slowly overnight while you rest easy. No more rumbling stomachs in the middle of the night! Additionally, almonds contain melatonin which helps regulate your body’s internal clock so you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up frequently during the night, honey may be just the thing for you! Consuming this natural sweetener helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which promotes relaxation. And since it has antimicrobial properties, it can help improve gut health for better digestion overall!
Rich in melatonin, cherries work wonders when it comes to improving sleep quality and digestion at the same time. By eating cherries regularly (fresh or dried), you’ll avoid an upset stomach thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, not to mention delicious!
Eating fish at night can help the digestive system to better process food while providing the body with nutrients that contribute to restful sleep. Research supports these benefits, as studies show that increasing omega-3 fatty acids through fish consumption can lead to improved postprandial glucose metabolism and symptoms of digestive difficulties. Additionally, research shows that eating tryptophan-rich foods can lead to a significant increase in serotonin levels. A neurotransmitter associated with calm and sleep promotion.
Peanut Butter Toast:
Peanut butter toast is not only delicious, it is also very effective in promoting better digestion and better sleep habits. The toast contains whole grains that take time to break down, while the peanuts provide healthy fats and long-lasting energy, perfect for keeping your tummy happy until morning!
Pumpkin seeds can be a great way to take care of your digestion and help you sleep better. Rich in dietary fiber, healthy fats, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of several minerals that help support good digestion. Like Greek yogurt, they are rich in tryptophan to help you relax and find a restful sleep. Eat just two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds each day. Whether grilled or raw, adding them to salads or having them as a between-meal snack can have valuable benefits when it comes to improving digestion and promoting restful, restful sleep. .
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