Archive for the ‘Superfoods’ Category

In the News: A carrot a day to keep the doctor away

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

A new study has revealed that taking supplements of beta carotene, the pigment found in carrots, tomatoes and broccoli and which makes carrots orange, may cut the risk of dementia and help you remember words and conversations better.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that those who take beta carotene supplements for 15 years or longer have better memory and other brain skills. It is thought that beta-carotene protects brain cells from damage caused by ageing.


Researchers believe that the supplement could be used to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s but added that more research was needed to confirm this before they could recommend its use as a dietary supplement. Smokers were also warned not to take the supplement as it could increase the risk of lung cancer. The research does, however, provide more evidence that antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, which mop up harmful chemicals produced in the body can stave off diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Disease fighting foods for women

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

It’s well known that cranberries can help protect against cystitis but there are other foods for women with disease fighting properties:

  1. Papaya. This tropical fruit packs about twice the vitamin C of an orange. After analyzing the blood of over 13,000 people, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, found that women who had lower levels of vitamin C were more likely to have gallbladder illnesses. One medium papaya (about ten ounces), with its 188 mg of vitamin C and a mere 119 calories, is a good source of the vitamin. The once exotic fruit now can be found in most supermarkets.
  2. Flaxseed. Rich in oestrogen-like compounds called lignans which are a potential weapon against that lady killer breast cancer. You can add flaxseeds (also called linseeds) to cakes and bread, but the easiest and healthiest way to get the beneficial lignans is to sprinkle a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed on your morning cereal. Look for the seeds in health food stores or in supermarkets and buy organic ones. They’re easy to grind in a blender or coffee grinder or you can get them ready ground in a vacuum pack and then store them in the fridge. Buy the seeds if you want the lignan-effect as there are no lignans in the oil.
  3. Tofu. Foods high in soya protein can lower cholesterol and may minimize menopausal hot flushes and strengthen bone. Isoflavones, plant chemicals in soya beans that have a structure similar to oestrogen, may be the reason. A half-cup of tofu contains about 25 to 35 mg of isoflavones. Other beans like lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans etc are a good source of isoflavones too.
  4. Collard Greens. This humble vegetable may help fight osteoporosis, which afflicts many women late in life. In addition to getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, some studies suggest that vitamin K may have a bone-protective effect as well. Based on data from one of the largest studies of women, the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers discovered that women who ate enough vitamin K-rich foods (at least 109 micrograms of the vitamin daily) were 30 percent less likely to suffer a hip fracture during ten years of follow-up than women who ate less. The researchers stated that dark-green leafy vegetables — Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli — are all good sources of the vitamin. But collard greens, with about 375 micrograms per half-cup, are among the best.

The super herbs your body really needs

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

If you’re taking a good multivitamin and mineral but still find it hard to feel energetic throughout the day it could be time to consider herbs. There is no herbal equivalent to a multivitamin but herbs can help treat symptoms such as anxiety, poor concentration, headaches, insomnia and lack of energy.

For concentration: Ginkgo biloba is the memory herb and studies have shown it can help prevent dementia.

For ageing: Milk thistle is a fantastic herb to help your body get rid of the effects of ageing free radicals.

For anxiety: Valerian and skullcap can help relax your nervous system when you feel anxious and tense. You can take them daily until you start to feel calmer.

For hot flushes: The best herbal supplement for hot flushes is black cohosh. Buy the whole herb in capsules or tincture and get organic where possible. I use a mix of herbs in the clinic containing black cohosh, agnus castus, dong quai, sage and milk thistle; they are contained in Black Cohosh Plus

For headaches: If you get recurring headaches you need to find out why. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you under stress? While you are working out why try taking feverfew everyday.

For mood: Taking St John’s Wort three times a day is a great way to lift your mood. Studies have shown that it is effective as an antidepressant, as long as you are NOT on any other medication, especially the pill or HRT. If stress or tiredness are contributing to your low mood try taking rhodiola daily for four weeks.

For weight loss: The best way to lose weight is to eat healthily and exercise more but some herbs, such as as green tea extract could help rev up your metabolism to help you burn more calories.