Test Question

My students are taking their final test tomorrow and I thought I’d share one of the questions. (None follow my Minute, so I think I’m safe in letting you in).

Eat more vegetables if you want to decrease your risk of developing what disease or condition?

We, in the US, get so focused on micronutrients and wannbe nutrients, we miss the bigger picture which is food contains all that we need for good health. There are certainly conditions that require supplementation (malabsorption disorders top the list) but that’s a rarity. While I know I beat this drum pretty regularly, the rhythm is right: eat whole foods for better health.

Time’s up. Raise your hand if you answered heart disease. How about cancer? Another show of hands with Type 2 diabetes. And finally, did anyone think of stroke?

You are all correct. As we transition to a new produce season, challenge yourself to try a new vegetable to be well.

Marcia

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Quick Bites

Three bites today.

Breast feeding seems to have long-term significant positive health effects in humans. American Indians and Alaska Natives have a higher incidence of obesity compared to non-Hispanic whites. Looking at those two factors, a published longitudinal study (looking at the same individuals for many years) found the those infants who were breast-fed for at least 6 months had lower levels of obesity in adolescence.

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Annals of Internal Medicine published data from more than 27,000 people in one of our largest and longest studies in the US. Nutritional supplements were the focus. Most commonly consumed supplements were vitamins C, E and D and the minerals calcium, zinc and magnesium. The results indicated that for our two leading causes of death in the US (heart disease and cancer) nutritional supplements do not decrease one’s risk. One comical stat was that the people taking supplements were most often the ones who already achieved an adequate nutrient intake from food. Lycopene was a single exception and we’ll tackle that one in another Minute. But food first is the bottom line.

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The Food and Drug Administration has taken out after companies claiming their brain supplements will “prevent, treat or cure” diseases including Alzheimer’s. And haven’t we been inundated with radio ads for pills that boost brain function? Maybe some day, but not today. Since supplements are not regulated, over-the-top claims are typical…until the feds step in. Better brains are aided by a healthy diet, exercise, sleep and adequate hydration. Not close to being news, right?

Eat a colorful diet to be well,

Marcia

 

 

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