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|All Health and Nutrition Bites|
Does washing fruit and vegetables remove the pesticides?
I am concerned about pesticides on foods. How does one avoid the "dirty dozen" and protect infants and children, while still eating a balanced diet? Do any safe, cleansing agents get rid of pesticides on food? What solid research indicates that the "washes" work?
How to Eat More Fruit
For those of you who follow Dr. Gourmet faithfully, you know how much I think of eating fruit. Of course, it's really healthy and for sweet snackers it makes the perfect treat. Adding servings each day to your diet can have a profound effect on both short and long term health. Study after study proves this.
Diverticulitis, nuts and seeds
People with diverticulosis have small out-pouchings of the colon. It is a very common condition with 1/3 of the population developing diverticulosis by the age of 60 and 2/3 by the time they reach 85. Oftentimes the pouches will become infected and the result can be quite serious with abscess formation, hospitalization and frequently surgery. The longstanding theory has been that the seeds might become stuck in the small diverticula (pouches) and create a setting for infection (known as diverticulitis).
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I've written before about the heart-healthy effects of polyphenols, the flavonoids found in large quantities in cocoa (Bite, 04/10/07), tea (09/15/06), and wine (11/21/07). Researchers in Finland noted that berries, such as strawberries, also are high in polyphenols. Could eating berries regularly have similar positive effects on heart health?
To find out, the scientists recruited seventy-two men and women of normal weight who had at least one of the following conditions: mild high blood pressure, slightly raised blood sugar levels, high total cholesterol or triglycerides, or low HDL cholesterol. They were then randomly assigned to either the berry group or the control group. The berry group ate two portions of berries each day for eight weeks, while the control group ate similar amounts of control products such as marmalade or a sweetened cereal product.
After the eight weeks, the subjects' blood pressure and cholesterol scores were compared to their scores at the beginning of the study. Interestingly, while the subjects' blood pressure improved only slightly, their HDL cholesterol levels increased by 5% (Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87(2):323-31).
Add berries to the list of delicious things that are good for you. One of my favorite desserts is a bowl of sliced strawberries with Reddi Wip Fat Free whipped cream. A cup of strawberries is about 50 calories and an ounce of the topping is about 40 (and that's a lot of topping!). That's only 90 calories for a satisfying dessert and a big hit of polyphenols. Have some tonight!
First posted: March 26, 2008