Fruit and Veg: For a longer life eat 10-a-day – by James Gallagher, Health and science reporter, BBC News

Fruit and vegetablesImage copyrightISTOCK

Eating loads of fruit and vegetables – 10 portions a day – may give us longer lives, say researchers.

The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.

The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better.

A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg – the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.

What counts as five-a-day?

The conclusions were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies, involving two million people’s eating habits.

Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating:

  • green veg (eg spinach)
  • yellow veg (eg peppers)
  • cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower).

Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating:

  • apples
  • pears
  • citrus fruits
  • salads
  • green leafy vegetables (eg lettuce)
  • cruciferous veg
Harriet Micallef
Image captionHarriet is a big fan of spinach

Harriet Micallef, from Chippenham, says she often manages eight to 10 portions a day and has multiple portions of spinach every day.

She told the BBC: “I have a lot, I don’t ever have a meal without veg or salad so eight to 10 portions is a regular thing.”

She starts her day with a veg-packed omelette containing spinach and sometimes avocado or tomatoes.

Harriet’s salad-based lunch is also packed with a mix of veg and her evening meals tend to be stir fries or stews.

Snacks during the day include blended fruit smoothies or peppers dipped in hummus.

She added: “It’s definitely healthy, if you’ve got loads of colours on your plate then you’re pretty much okay.”

The results, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, also assessed the risk of dying before your time.

Compared with eating no fruit or veg a day, it showed:

  • 200g cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% while 800g cut the risk by 28%
  • 200g cut the risk of cancer by 4%, while 800g cut the risk by 13%
  • 200g cut the risk of a premature death by 15%, while 800g cut the risk by 31%
Graph showing risk reduction

The researchers do not know if eating even more fruit and veg would have even greater health benefits as there is little evidence out there to review.

Dr Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers, said: “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

“This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold.

“For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

However, many people struggle to even eat the five a day (400g) recommended by the World Health Organization.

In the UK, only about one in three people eats enough.

Heather Saunders
Image captionHeather is a vegan who loves sweet potato curry

Heather Saunders, 24 and from Oxford, routinely manages nine or 10 portions a day since becoming vegan.

She has two pieces of fruit with breakfast, a “massive pot” of roasted vegetables at lunch and then at least four vegetables in curries or chillies in the evening.

She told the BBC: “It is about making a conscious decision, I feel fuelling myself with plant-based foods is a more healthy way to sustain myself.”

Her tips for anyone trying to eat more is to do it gently: “Maybe decide to have one or two meat-free days a week and phase more veg in, I quite like a sweet potato curry with spinach and chickpeas.”

Dr Aune said the findings did not mean the five-a-day message needed to change.

He told the BBC: “There are many different considerations if changing policy, it’s not just the health effects – is it feasible?

“But our findings are quite clear in that they do support five a day, but there are even some further benefits for higher intakes.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “The five-a-day target is the foundation of a healthy balanced diet and is an achievable way to help prevent a number of diseases.

“Whilst consuming more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day may be desirable… adding pressure to consume more fruit and vegetables creates an unrealistic expectation.”


Your questions answered

Jonathan Shorney asked: “I eat a lot of apples, but that amounts to a lot of sugar. Could that amount of sugar be harmful?”

Sugar seems to have become public enemy number one in the past few years. But it is important to remember the “war on sugar” is actually a “war on free sugar”.

This includes sugars added to food as well as honey or those liberated in making fruit juices.

However, this does not include any naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruit and vegetables and the World Health Organization says “there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars”.

Mike asked: “Do pulses contribute to the 10?

Yes they do. All kinds of beans from kidney to cannellini as well as lentils count as a single portion according to Public Health England.

Gary Kruger asked: “Should fruit and vegetables be heavily subsidised by the government to encourage further consumption?

This is not being seriously considered, but something kind of similar is happening.

Rather than making the healthy stuff cheaper, a sugar tax will make sugar-sweetened beverages more expensive with the aim of shifting buying habits.

There is no VAT on fruit and veg, but the British Medical Association has called for the government to go further and use the proceeds of a sugar tax to discount fruit and veg.

However, it is not clear how big a health impact there could be without knowing who it would be for (everyone or just the poor), how big the discount would be and then how that would change shopping habits.


Harriet, who started cooking family meals at the age of 12, thinks more should be done to get children eating more.

“I think it comes from schooling and the traditional British meat and two veg.

“I think if you teach children to always have something green on their plate in addition then they’ll naturally start having more.

“There’s just so many different veg that people don’t have like bean sprouts and chard.”

Not all of the 95 studies that were analysed fully accounted for other aspects of lifestyle, such as exercise levels, that could also play a role in prolonging lives.

However, Dr Aune said the conclusions were “quite robust”.

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Are You Eating These 8 Nutrients That Block Cancer Metastasis? by Dr. David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS

nutrition-Block-Cancer-Metastasis

In a hurry? Click here to read the Article Summary…

Diet plays a major role in both the prevention of cancer and the contributing factors of cancer growth and cancer metastasis. In fact, 75%-85% of cancers diagnosed in one study in the United States showed that unhealthy lifestyle factors were the primary causes of these diagnosis and may have been prevented with improved dietary changes. Researchers believe that 30% of deaths associated with cancer today can be prevented from diet alone.

Evidence links plant-based foods with some of the best known chemoprotective (cancer-preventing) properties. The phytochemicals they contain interfere with cellular communication that triggers inflammation and stimulates the progression of cancer in the body.

8 Nutrients That Help Block Cancer Metastasis

The following 8 nutrients are some of the best dietary compounds you can introduce into your diet daily to inhibit the spread of cancer. Incorporating foods containing these nutrients will help starve cancer growth, substantially reducing your risk of developing cancer and may even reverse the progression of cancer that has already spread.

#1. Ursolic Acid:

Ursolic acid is a plant oil and phytonutrient. It is found in herbs like holy basil and oregano, the skin on apples, and bilberries.

One of the key characteristics of cancer cells is their ability to disable the normal mechanism of cells to undergo apoptosis. This programmed cell death also referred to as cellular suicide prevents abnormalities in cells from multiplying but is turned off in cancer cells. Disabling apoptosis contributes to the activity of cancer to metastasize and promote tumor growth.

An increase in dietary ursolic acid is associated with the treatment of cancer pertaining to the pancreas, cervix, lung, colon, skin, and breast. Ursolic acid has been shown to disrupt cancerous activity by destroying the survival mechanisms that cancer cells are reliant upon. For instance, ursolic acid turns on apoptosis thus inhibiting the replication of damaged DNA and cancer metastasis.

#2. Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is critical to the production of a cancer-fighting protein called GcMAF. GcMAF inhibits cancer metastasis and even has the capability to reverse the devastating effects of cancer on the body. Receiving a healthy dose of vitamin D daily supports GcMAF synthesis and consequently shuts down pro-cancer receptors and enzymes that encourage metastasis.

Another protein linked to a reduction in cancerous activity is DBP-maf (vitamin D binding protein-macrophage activating factor). DBP-maf directly stimulates the immune response by suppressing blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) required for cancer cell migration and tumor growth. DBP-maf requires vitamin D for transport through the bloodstream.

Vitamin D intake is shown effective at inhibiting the growth and development of tumors including its metastasis associated with prostate cancer, colorectal, breast cancer, and melanoma. Increase your vitamin D levels by exposing your skin to sunlight daily without added sunscreen protection. Add vitamin D-rich foods to your diet including wild caught salmon, organic and pastured eggs, mushrooms, and fermented (not pasteurized) dairy or whole milk from grass-fed cows.

#3. Curcumin:

Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its yellow color. It is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent and treat diseases associated with chronic inflammation like cancer. Curcumin has been traditionally used as an herbal remedy in Chinese and Indian medicine for a variety of health ailments.

By regulating apoptosis and inhibiting cancer cell growth, curcumin is included in numerous medical products as a therapeutic agent to support a healthy immune system. Curcumin is shown in studies to act as a potent free radical scavenger. It also blocks the production of TNF (tumor necrosis factor) which increases pro-inflammatory signals and stimulates tumor growth.

Curcumin has been demonstrated in clinical studies to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and metastasis associated with a variety of cancers. These include breast, uterine, ovarian, kidney, bladder, renal, brain, leukemia, colorectal, liver, pancreatic, lung, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Add curcumin to your diet by incorporating the spice turmeric into marinades, soups, chili and stews, herbal teas, or a preparation of what is called “golden milk” (a combination of the yellow spice turmeric along with coconut milk and/or coconut oil.

#4. EGCG:

The cancer-preventive effects of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) has been closely studied for almost three decades now. EGCG is a polyphenolic compound that is commonly known for its concentration in green tea. It is one of the primary nutrients associated with improving health and healing in ancient Chinese medicine. Consumption of EGCG is believed to suppress tumor growth associated with several tissues in the body such as the prostate, bladder, intestines, liver, pancreas, lungs, and oral cavity.

Although many of the biological pathways that this nutrient influences to inhibit cancer metastasis remain unknown, it has been recently discovered that EGCG binds to a protein receptor, 67LR, responsible for cancerous activity. By attaching itself to this cancer-causing protein, EGCG inhibits metastasis by preventing angiogenesis responsible for cancer cell migration. EGCG also induces apoptosis supporting the destruction of cancer cells.

The high EGCG content in green tea exhibits various ways to promote health of the whole body. Research indicates that daily green tea consumption improves gut microflora which is essential to optimizing the health of the immune system. Coupling a healthy whole foods and plant-based diet with at least one cup of green tea daily can support your fight against chronic diseases and prevent the spread of cancer in your body.

#5. Sulforaphane:

One of the best chemoprotective nutrients that prevents the formation of free radicals and growth of tumors is sulforaphane. This nutrient reduces inflammation and protects against cancer growth by boosting the body’s natural detoxification pathways to eliminate toxins and support the immune response.

Sulforaphane is shown to fight the spread of cancer by inhibiting the activation of cancer cells. Sulforaphane inhibits metastasis of cancers associated with the spleen, colon, prostate, stomach, and breast.

Broccoli sprouts are one of the best foods to eat to inhibit the spread of cancer in your body. Other excellent food choices are cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. These foods are also high in chemoprotective nutrients glutathione, amino acids, chlorophyll, and a variety of other vitamins and nutrients to improve health.

#6. Quercetin:

Quercetin is a super antioxidant that stimulates the body’s natural detoxification pathways and exhibits natural anti-cancer properties. High intake of quercetin in an individual’s diet suppresses cancer cell proliferation, reduces oxidative damage, and inhibits the activity of a mutant gene associated with tumor growth known as P53.

This dietary flavonoid shows promising evidence in treating breast cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, neuroblastoma, and colon cancer.

Foods high in quercetin include onions, capers, blackberries, raspberries, black and green tea, dark cherries, cocoa powder, kale, apples, and herbs like sage and parsley.

#7. Apigenin:

This flavonoid exhibits chemopreventive properties by inhibiting the invasion of cancer cells to new tissue and the growth of tumors. Apigenin reduces free radical activity and aids in the elimination of toxins from the body. It has been extensively used to maintain the health of the stomach, kidneys, liver, and blood.

The protection against cancer cell migration is one of the best influences apigenin has on preventing cancer metastasis. Researchers have even found that topical treatments containing extracts of apigenin are effective at suppressing the growth of skin tumors and reducing the signs of damage associated with UV exposure to the skin.

Apigenin is found in many fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, onions, and oranges. It is also found in beverages sourced from plants including chamomile teas. Parsley is one of the best dietary sources of apigenin that you can easily add to your diet. Consider juicing parsley, adding it to salads, and flavoring your favorite dishes.

#8. Luteolin:

Another anticancer flavonoid present in a plant based diet is luteolin. Luteolin is found in green peppers, chamomile teas, and celery. Its antioxidant effects are shown to protect the lungs, liver, and heart tissue from inflammation and exhibit protection against the degenerative effects of cancerous activity.

Despite the extensive investigation into the chemoprotective effects of luteolin on the body over the past half millennium, not all of its biological health benefits are known. Scientists are certain however that these citrus flavonoids, luteolin and apigenin, are generally found in low concentrations in foods but exhibit a greater effect at preventing metastasis than do common dietary compounds.

Luteolin inhibits the activation of cancer cells by suppressing pro-cancer enzymes, blocking the accumulation of carcinogens in new tissue and supporting the elimination of toxic agents. Consequently, luteolin is an effective dietary antioxidant that produces an anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic effect on the human body.

Summary

Avoiding processed foods, sugars, and conventional meats and dairy products that break down your body’s natural immune defenses is critical to your health. Eat to starve cancer by feeding your body the 8 nutrients listed above to stimulate apoptosis in cancer cells, prevent angiogenesis and consequently inhibit tumor formation and cancer metastasis to other areas of the body.

8-nutrition-Block-Cancer-Metastasis

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Article Summary

  • Diet plays a major role in both the prevention of cancer and the contributing factors of cancer growth and cancer metastasis.
  • Researchers believe that 30% of deaths associated with cancer today can be prevented from diet alone.
  • The phytochemicals in plant-based foods contain some of the best known chemoprotective (cancer-preventing) properties.
  • The following 8 nutrients are some of the best dietary compounds you can introduce into your daily diet:
    1. Ursolic Acid
    2. Vitamin D
    3. Curcumin
    4. EGCG
    5. Sulfuraphane
    6. Quercetin
    7. Apigenin
    8. Luteolin

5 Ways Not Having a Healthy Gut Compromises Your Health by Ty Bollinger

Imbalanced-gut-health-cancer-connection

There is a growing amount of research-based evidence that shows how crucial having a “healthy gut” (meaning a good balance of gut flora) is for your overall health and wellness − including your mental and emotional health.

Your gut contains a delicate system of over 100 trillion organisms – fungi, bacteria, yeasts, and other microbes – collectively known as your “microbiota.” Each of these organisms has a purpose within the symbiotic community that is your microbiome. More to the point, NOT having a well functioning microbiome with the microbiota working in harmony can have some distinct health consequences.

Depleting the diversity of your microbiota, or allowing specific strains to gain the upper hand, is an imbalance. This is also known as dysbiosis. As I addressed in yesterday’s post on TTAC, everyday things like sucralose, antibiotics, and your diet can adversely affect your gut flora balance. When this system is permitted to get out of balance, the synergy dissipates, and true chaos can occur… wreaking havoc on your body and mind.

Here are just five specific areas of health and wellness that have been linked to gut health, or lack thereof:

Healthy Gut Impact #1 – Poor Nutrient Absorption

Probably the most obvious consequence of an imbalanced microbiome is what it can do to compromise your nutrition. The microbiota in your system carry out countless processes that assist in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. As an article by Tufts University put it, “Your microbiota also work as vitamin-production plants. Bacteria in the gut synthesize vitamins, and those that they don’t use are excreted to benefit their host.”1

Mess with the balance of microbes, and it follows, the body will not get the full range of nutrients.2,3,4 You can be eating the healthiest foods on the planet, but if you can’t absorb them, there’s little benefit.

In addition, there are chemicals and vitamins created within your gut, as a result of the many interactions between the different microbiota. Likewise, there are several amino acids and hormone processescreated by and connected to what happens in your microbiome.5,6,7 If your microbe family is in disharmony, these interactions may be altered, or not present at all, leading to deficiencies that affect your health, mood and wellness.1,8,9

Click Here to Find Out About the Probiotics I Personally Take

Healthy Gut Impact #2 – Weight Gain & Obesity

There is a growing amount of research connecting weight imbalance (gain, obesity) to your gut health.10,11,12

As stated in a Scientific American article, the “wrong mix” of microbes can “set the stage for obesity and diabetes from the moment of birth.” This is because the microbiome affects how your body stores fat, balances glucose, and responds to hunger-stimulating hormones, among other things.13

Experiments on mice suggest that we pass microbes back and forth between those close to us in our environment. The research seems to show that living with people who are at healthy weights, with healthy microbiomes, can have benefits for those already predisposed to weight problems, as long as they are living a probiotic-promoting lifestyle, as well.14

However, it has also been noted that diet can significantly alter the microbiome in just a single day. The mice experiments observed that if the typical high-fat, high-carb Western diet was eaten, the healthy microbes didn’t “move in” to the obese mice, as they had previously observed. Diet still remains the biggest contributor to weight issues, even as it relates to a healthy microbiome, and how your body processes fat, nutrients, hormones, etc.14

Bottom line (pun intended), seeking gut balance is a vital step to anyone with weight concerns.

Healthy Gut Impact #3 – Autoimmune Issues & Disease

The term “autoimmune disease” comprises over 80 health issues.15 What generally defines an autoimmune problem is the body starts attacking itself – tissues, organs, cells, etc. – normally referred to as an “inappropriate response.” This creates damage and inflammation that creates further problems and can be a vicious cycle.

Ironically it can often be inflammation that contributes to the development of autoimmune and allergic disorders, not the least of which can be caused by a microbiome imbalance.16-19

Common autoimmune disorders include: lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.20,21

Healthy Gut Impact #4 – Brain Health (Depression & Chemical Imbalances)

You may be thinking: What? My gut affects my brain!? It sure does. To an even greater extent than known before, according to scholars and scientists investigating the “gut-brain axis.”22,23

Here are a few facts to help you understand how your brain is directly influenced by your microbiome:

  • There are more than a billion nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have referred to this complex system of neurotransmitters, officially called the enteric nervous system, or ENS, as “the second brain.”
  • Your ENS contains over 100 million neurons. This is more than both the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, combined.
  • Your ENS can function independently without the brain. The brain doesn’t overly influence the gut, but the second brain, your enteric nervous system, does influence the brain by sending signals and creating most of the body’s serotonin, around 50% of dopamine, and a host of other brain influencing chemicals and hormones.16 This is called the gut-brain axis, or GBA.
  • The effects of the gut-brain axis include emotional and cognitive functions.24

Also of note, there is emerging evidence that the microbiome is observed to have specific characteristics within Alzheimer’s patients, as well as children with autism. However, more research is required in both these areas.25,26,27

One area that has had much more defined conclusions is the effect of the GBA on mood.28,29

As mentioned in the bullets above, serotonin30 and dopamine are just two brain chemicals that are produced in the gut.31-33 The interplay of chemicals and hormones between the brain, gut, and body can be affected by microbiome imbalance, to the point of creating “high levels of major depression and anxiety.”24

A 2014 study noted that depressed patients held certain strains of bacteria in common.33 In Sweden, researchers noted that mice bred microbe-free were naturally more daring, and had less anxiety, over mice that developed normal microbiota, or had various forms of it implanted.34

So important is a healthy microbiome to brain balance and in psychological disorders, work is being investigated in “psychobiotics” – the use of probiotics to repair the microbiome, and thus reverse disorders.24,33,35

Healthy Gut Impact #5 – Cancer

I can’t not mention the connection between your microbiome balance and cancer. Research abounds linking the development of cancer to a compromised microbiome. Essentially, the systemic failures that are the results of microbiota out of harmony can lead to tumors, and even full-blown cancer.36

A 2015 paper, Cancer and the gut microbiota: An unexpected link, revealed that epidemiological studies indicate damage to the microbiome as a major risk factor in cancer development. Once again, a GI system that is imbalanced leads to inflammation locally and systemically, which can so severely affect the body as to allow several different types of cancer to flourish.37

The improper balance of microbes in the body have been linked to colorectal cancer, breast and liver, among others.38

One thing seems true: anyone wanting optimal health, or to reverse already existing problems, should look at their gut balance as a matter of profound importance.

A quality probiotic diet, supplemented with substances of and contributing to microbiota diverse richness is essential to your health and wellness.

Imbalanced-gut-health-cancer

What is a Probiotic Diet?

A probiotic diet would be one that includes quality probiotic foods and microbe promoters, such as fermented foods, those rich in antioxidants and phenols, and lactic acid; prebiotic foods (these feed the probiotics), and avoiding microbiome disrupters such as sucralose, antibiotics, alcohol, and preservatives.

Supplementing with a really good probiotic, preferably one with strong strains of probiotics known to survive the digestive system, to colonize well, and contain other microbiota enhancing substances, is another good option.

Click Here to Find Out About the Probiotics I Personally Take