Study: Nutrient versus Food for Disease Prevention, Who Wins?

What do you think is better at preventing cancer and other chronic diseases: A) a potassium supplement or B) a banana?

If you think like a group of college students, a new study suggests you’ll answer A.

banana potassium LABELEDThe study looked at which of two schools of thought was most common when it comes to the connection between diet and disease. On the one hand is the belief that nutrients like potassium are the most critical for preventing disease. Others take the stance that the whole foods that contain these nutrients are the key to better health.

In the study, about 110 participants read scenarios describing an active, generally healthy, young man named “Steve” who was living a typical American middle-class lifestyle. The description of his diet either emphasized “healthy” nutrients (potassium, omega-3s, vitamin C, calcium, and iron) or “healthy” whole foods (bananas, fish, oranges, milk, and spinach). Participants were then asked how likely they thought Steve was to experience different diet-related chronic diseases in his lifetime. Continue reading


Flavonoids in Your Foods, Here’s Where to Get Them

Every time you eat chocolate covered berries or drink a cup of tea, you are getting a dose of flavonoids! Flavonoids are compounds found in plant foods that are well studied for their role in preventing cancers, as well as other chronic diseases.

A new study on flavonoids is highlighted in Cancer Research Update. This study of Australian women looked at the role of flavonoids in preventing death from all causes, including cancer and heart disease specifically. Researchers found that women with the highest intake of flavonoids experienced 62% fewer deaths during the course of the 5 year study compared to those who consumed the least, with similar lower risk from cancer and hear disease.

Flavonoids are generally divided into 6 groups. Foods provide different flavonoids and so may have different health benefits.

Flavonoids

Source: USDA Database for Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods

The women in this study consumed most (about 80%) of their flavonoids from black tea, which contains flavanols. The women were not, however, eating many foods like Continue reading


Six Weeks of Turning on Your Summer Shield for Your Kids’ Health

With nearly 1 in 2 Americans developing cancer at some point in their lives, prevention must start early. So we’ve teamed up with AICR and are reaching out to parents and camps with our free printable activities, recipes and trackers to use during 6 weeks of summer! Kids’ activity level actually tends to decrease in the summer despite the images of going to the beach, riding bikes and playing outside. There is often less activity and more lounging, resulting in excess weight gain. This is why summer is an important time to focus on children’s health!

You can’t change your genes, but you can turn your protective shield on to influence them! Diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference to your health, while altering your genetic influences.

Think about what good health means to you and your family – living longer or better, social acceptance (for kids at school), having more energy, or for adults, being able to do daily chores with no problems, looking younger and/or setting an example for your kids. Then commit to just a few activities this summer that match your idea of good health.

kids-tracker-thumbHere are 7 ideas you can do — and why they’re so important — to help get you started: Continue reading