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

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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. Read more… “Study: Nutrient versus Food for Disease Prevention, Who Wins?”

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

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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 Read more… “Flavonoids in Your Foods, Here’s Where to Get Them”

Talk to Your Teens About Cancer Prevention

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Parents are teens’ top source of health information, according to a new study from Northwestern University. This is important for helping your teens learn about a topic they are probably not thinking a lot about: cancer prevention.

The “Teens, Health & Technology” survey included a nationally representative group of American teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18. Fifty-five percent of teens reported that they got “a lot” of their health information from parents, followed by health classes at school, medical providers, and the Internet (see below). This means that, for the majority of teens, the conversation about cancer prevention has to begin at home.

Chart_Teens
*13-18 year olds who say they get “a lot” – Source: Teens, Health and Technology survey, June 2015.

The habits your teens are forming now will likely follow them into adulthood, so now is the time to start building positive health-promoting habits.

Here are 4 things parents can do to teach teens about cancer prevention: Read more… “Talk to Your Teens About Cancer Prevention”