Healthy Take

A Healthy Take

Another reason to whip up a curry

Besides being appealing to the palate of many, researchers are finding that curries that contain turmeric might clean up the kinds of plaque in the brain found in Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Researchers from the University of Southern California and Veterans Affairs of Greater Los Angeles found that the chemical curcumin, found in turmeric,

possibly enhances the natural immune system. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Blood samples were taken from study participants, who were both Alzheimer’s sufferers and healthy patients. From the blood, researchers isolated cells called microphages. These cells travel through the body and brain and gobble up waste products, specifically amyloid beta, which forms plaques in the brain. Then the researchers treated the microphages with a drug derived from curcumin – and afterward introduced the waste products (amyloid beta). Half

of the Alzheimer’s sufferers showed an increased “ingestion” of the waste products. This could signify that curcumin is boosting the immune system. The healthy patients in the study showed no change after the curcumin was introduced.

Drinking coffee – moderate use shows many possible benefits

If you love having your cup of joe in the morning, a piece in Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch says you should go ahead and indulge – as long as you keep your consumption to a moderate level. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks to drinking coffee according to the newsletter:

 

 

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The risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among coffee drinkers than those who don’t drink it.

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Coffee may reduce the risk for developing gallstones.

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Coffee may reduce the risk for developing colon cancer.

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Coffee might improve cognitive functioning.

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Coffee may reduce the risk for liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease.

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Coffee may reduce the risk for Parkinson’s disease.

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Coffee may improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities.

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Coffee can help you stay alert – especially when you’re suffering from sleep deprivation.

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Caffeine does have a modest cardiovascular effect, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and occasional irregular heartbeat. It’s best to avoid heavy consumption of coffee to avoid any negative effects.

 How much fruit juice is one serving?

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, one serving of 100 percent fruit juice is six ounces. Nutritionists say that juice can be a great way to

get many of the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals we need. However, if you’re looking to boost your fiber intake and you’re watching your calorie intake, juice might not be your best option. Why? Because you’re not going to get fiber from your juice, and you’ll likely still be hungry when you’re done drinking it. Experts recommend that only one or two servings of fruit a day should come from juice. Instead, eating whole fruits is recommended. Consumers also need to be careful when consuming juices, because many are actually “cocktails,” which mean they are not 100 percent juice; they may also be called “juice beverages.” Also, many fruit labels refer to a serving as eight ounces instead of six ounces.

 

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