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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nutrition In the News

Some interesting nutrition topics in the news this week. 
Coffee Drinker?  Well good news for your health.  I love coffee and couldn’t start my day without it.  A large study has reported drinking coffee actually reduces your risk of dying from heart disease and other diseases.  Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health studied both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee in over 200,000 men and women.  For non-smokers the reduced risk is impressive.  Just one-three cups of coffee a day reduces risk of dying by 8%, 3-5 cups reduced it by 15%.  But less returns on coffee consumption for over 5 cups a day.   Interesting, these findings were also true for those drinking decaf coffee. 
Cranberries – what is Thanksgiving without the traditional cranberries?  Have any leftovers?  Enjoy as cranberries are great for your health.  Eating fruits and vegetables is more than getting vitamins and minerals.  Most are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are beneficial to our health.  Cranberries have the chemical compound, proanthocyanidins in them.  These may help reduce tooth decay and lower your risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol.  Eating homemade cranberry sauce is good as you are getting a good dose of proanthocyanidins.  If you drink cranberry juice, choose one that is at least 25% pure cranberry juice. 
Peanut Butter – with kids going back to school many parents will be putting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their lunch.  So how healthy is peanut butter?  Eat this, Not That! Recently highlighted the health benefits of eating peanut butter.  Among them are:  the monounsaturated fats in peanut butter are anti-inflammatory, peanut butter helps fill you up, eating peanut butter, 2 T. a day five days a week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, peanut butter contains protein (but not a complete protein so it needs to be on a grain like bread to get the protein benefit).  Interesting a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich also provides some resveratrol, more commonly associated with grapes.  Peanuts provide some resveratrol and there is even a small amount in the grape jelly.  This chemical has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and may protect against heart disease, cancer, obesity and infections.  So giving your child a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich for lunch or a snack is a healthy thing to do.  Serving it on whole wheat bread would add to the nutritional benefits. 

So have that cup of coffee for breakfast, enjoy some leftover cranberry sauce and pack your kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a healthy lunch.  


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