Healthy Take

A Healthy Take

eat your apples and onions

Apples and onions topped the list of a cancer-prevention study. Here’s why: Apples and onions are sources for quercetin, one of the most beneficial of flavenols, and could play a role in preventing and reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer, a study has found. All participants in the study experienced reduced risk, however, smokers who consumed foods rich in flavenols experienced a significantly greater reduction. 

Researchers tracked the food intake and health outcomes for 183,518 participants in the Multiethnic Cohort Study for eight years. The study evaluated the food consumption of participants and calculated the flavenol intake (for quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin). The study determined that flavenol intake does have an impact on the risk for developing pancreatic cancer. Smokers with the lowest intake of flavenols presented with the most pancreatic cancer, researchers say. It was also determined that women in the study had the highest flavenol intake (when compared with men), and 70 percent of the intake came from quercetin, which is linked to apple and onion consumption. 

Flavenols are found in many plants and found in high concentrations in apples, onions, tea, berries, kale and broccoli. Quercetin is most plentiful in apples and onions. 

The research was originally published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.  

Grape Juice: The new red wine?

Concord grape juice stimulates an arterial relaxation effect similar to that credited to red wine, laboratory research has found. The results were presented at the WineHealth 2007 conference in Bordeaux , France . In fact, the grape juice produced a prolonged relaxation effect that red wine has not been cited as stimulating. Researchers say the grape juice causes a vasorelaxation effect by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, which is known to be important in maintaining healthy, flexible blood vessels and helps support healthy blood pressures. The effect of the grape juice lasted for up to six hours, significantly longer than effects noted from red wine. The research seems to point to the benefit coming from the grapes themselves, rather than the alcohol. Concord grape juice is believed to have a blood-pressure-lowering effect, so if you’re looking for an alternative to the red-wine fix, this may be the answer.

seniors and sleep

Not sleeping well can lead to problems, especially for older adults, research has found. Depression, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness and nighttime falls can all occur as a result of poor nighttime sleeping. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, some of the more common sleep disorders in older adults include:

• Insomnia, which affects almost half of adults 60 and older. 

• Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can elevate the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and cognitive problems. Snoring, a symptom of OSA, is a very common condition affecting nearly 40% of adults, and is more common in older people. 

• Restless legs syndrome, which can cause people to jerk and kick their legs every 20 to 40 seconds during sleep, is evident in almost 40% of older adults. 

 Follow these tips to get a better night’s sleep: 


Establish a routine sleep schedule. 


Avoid using the bed for anything other than sleep and intimacy. 


Avoid substances that disturb your sleep, like alcohol or caffeine. 


Avoid daytime naps. If you must take a nap, limit the time to less than one hour and no later than 3 p.m. 


Stick to rituals that help you relax each night before going to bed. This can include things like a warm bath, a light snack or a few minutes of reading. 


Don’t take your worries to bed. Bedtime is a time to relax, not to hash out the stresses of the day. 


If you can’t fall asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity. Return to bed only when you are tired. 


Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and a little on the cool side.


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