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Jun 8

Try this 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day diet for longevity: Harvard Study – Times of India

The study released by the American Health Association in March 2021 and conducted by researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health revealed that eating a balanced amount of fruits and vegetables can help us live longer.

Just two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables can lower mortality rates. However, eating more than that does not provide any additional benefits.

The lead study author Dong D. Wang, M.D., Sc.D., an epidemiologist, nutritionist and a member of the medical faculty at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston in an interview to a news channel revealed that two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables are the optimal amount of natural products that one can take to cut down the risk of developing any major diseases.

This amount likely offers the most benefit in terms of prevention of major chronic disease and is a relatively achievable intake for the general public," he said.

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Try this 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day diet for longevity: Harvard Study - Times of India

Jun 8

Here’s how much it would cost to reverse the Seminary Road Diet – ALXnow

The controversy over the Seminary Road Diet has been front and center this election season, with a majority of City Council candidates saying they will vote to reverse it if elected.

Council candidates have been peppered with questions on the road diet, in addition to their general philosophies on roadway development and community engagement.

Even Mayor Justin Wilson seems open to tweaking the plan, while his opponent, former Mayor Allison Silberberg is for fully returning the four travel lanes on the one mile of roadway next to Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Currently, the City has no plans to widen Seminary Road nor any estimates on how to do so, according to an email from the Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services. The stretch between N. Quaker Lane and Howard Street was reduced from four to two lanes, and a center turn lane, bike lanes, crosswalks and medians were added. Sidewalks were also installed on both sides of the street.

The City received thousands of emails and messages against the plan. Shortly after its approval in 2019, City Councilwoman Amy Jackson even tried to get it reversed, although her motion failed for lack of a gaining a second.

City staff estimated after the road diets implementation that fully reverting it back to its former self would cost up to $700,000, according to a Feb. 2020 presentation to Council. Replacing the two standard islands with mountable islands would cost $40,000, and it would also cost $300,000 to erase the roadway markings and re-patch the areas with asphalt. Additionally, it is estimated that micro-surfacing the roadway would also cost $500,000.

Shortly before the road diets 4-3 Council passage, however, city staff also presented a $150,000 alternative.

Staff provided this estimatebefore a conceptual alternative was adopted and before the Citys interdisciplinary team developed detailed design plans, City staff told ALXnow. The $300,000 to $700,000 range of estimates were developed post-construction with current (at that time) costs and design plans that were implemented to reflect what would need to be demolished and removed to revert to a four-lane cross section. Further estimating and actual quotes will need to be developed based off the specific Council direction.

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Here's how much it would cost to reverse the Seminary Road Diet - ALXnow

Jun 8

Healthy diet before and during pregnancy linked to lower risk of complications – National Institutes of Health

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A healthy diet around the time of conception through the second trimester may reduce the risk of several common pregnancy complications, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Expectant women in the study who scored high on any of three measures of healthy eating had lower risks for gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related blood pressure disorders and preterm birth. The study was conducted by Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at NIHs Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). It appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers analyzed dietary data collected multiple times during pregnancy from the NICHD Fetal Growth Study. Nearly 1,900 women responded to questionnaires on their diets at eight to 13 weeks of pregnancy and were asked to estimate what they ate in the previous three months. At 16 to 22 weeks and 24 to 29 weeks, the women identified what they ate in the previous 24 hours. Their responses were scored according to three measures of healthy eating: the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. All three measures emphasize consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, nuts and legumes while limiting red and processed meat.

Overall, the researchers found that following any of the diets around the time of conception through the second trimester was associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia and preterm delivery. For example, women with a high AHEI score at 16 to 22 weeks had a 32% lower risk for gestational diabetes than women with a low AHEI score. Women with a high DASH score at eight to 12 weeks and 16 to 22 weeks had a 19% lower risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorders. A high AMED score at 24 to 29 weeks or a high DASH score at 24 to 29 weeks was associated with a 50% lower risk for preterm birth.

Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, Acting Chief, NICHD Epidemiology Branch, is available for comment.

Li, M. Healthy dietary patterns and common pregnancy complications: a prospective and longitudinal study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2021.

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD leads research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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Healthy diet before and during pregnancy linked to lower risk of complications - National Institutes of Health

Jun 8

Nutritionist who helped Prince Harry get ‘wedding-ready’ reveals go-to weight loss method – 9Coach

The nutritionist who helped Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie get 'wedding-ready' has shared her go-to weight loss method and helped explain the popular "4:3 fasting plan" along the way.

London-based Gabriela Peacock, 41, claimed the plan, which involves restricting calories for three days of the week, aids effective weight loss because it doesn't require sacrificing major food groups.

RELATED: 'I tried intermittent fasting for two weeks, and here's what happened'

The former model and author of 2 Weeks To Feeling Great told The Telegraph, "One of the great pluses of being a nutritionist is that I know exactly how to lose any weight I do gain with my 4:3 fasting plan."

Peacock said the plan operates by alternating three fasting days with four healthy eating days over a fortnight.

RELATED: The best intermittent fasting diet is... whichever one you can stick to

On "fasting" days, the nutritionist recommended a calorie plan as low as 500 for women and 600 for men, while "healthy eating days" allowed participants to eat whatever they want, within a "reasonable" calorie budget.

"It's not two weeks of misery, and it's also very good for your metabolism," Peacock explained, noting McDonald's was permitted during the period, provided it wasn't consumed frequently.

The nutritionist's method follows a growing school of thought around the health benefits of "intermittent fasting", with variations such as the "5:2 diet" or "time-restricted eating" all said to benefit fat loss and muscle development and improve insulin levels.

Sydney dietitian Jaime Rose Chambers, a champion of the "16:8" fasting diet which involves fasting for 16 consecutive hours out of every 24 in the day previously told 9Coach the method can provide "effortless weight loss".

"It's pretty well-established now that on some level fasting is really good for our health [but] the science is still fairly young," she said.

RELATED: How to lose weight (instead of gain it) this winter

"There's not really one right way of [fasting]... We're all just so bogged down and bombarded and a bit paralysed about what to eat, and I want to keep it quite simple and basic."

Dr Joanna McMillan clarified the method of fasting was not the same as "skipping meals".

"A proper fast is carefully planned into your week you're eating less often, so you're eating carefully in the meals you're having [to ensure good nutrition]," she previously told 9Coach.

RELATED: 5:2 diet: Easy 500 calorie day meal ideas

"The most common mistake that I see is, 'I don't eat breakfast so I'm already kind of fasting, but I have a milky coffee with a sugar every morning' that's not actually fasting."

Peacock told The Telegraph the method was a way to kick-start a post-pandemic health kick.

"Everyone wants a magical solution but that doesn't exist, so the next best thing is a plan that works with your life, not against it, for as long as you need it," she explained.

Eight reasons why your fad diet isn't working

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Nutritionist who helped Prince Harry get 'wedding-ready' reveals go-to weight loss method - 9Coach

Jun 8

Eating This Diet for 2 Months Can Add Years to Your Life, New Study Finds – Best Life

People have long looked for miracle elixirs and magical diets to help keep them healthy into old age, and a recent study seems to have found just that. The new research out of the Helfgott Research Institute at the National University of Natural Medicine found that a specific combination of foods can add more than three years to your life in just eight weeks. While a regimented diet is essential, the researchers found, their two-month program also consisted of sleep, exercise, and supplement guidelines that promote longevity, too.

The study, which was published in the journal Aging in April, included 43 healthy adult men between 50 and 72 years old; 21 of them followed the diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and supplement regimen and 22 acted as the control group.

Lead author Kara Fitzgerald, ND, explained in a statement that the program "was designed to target a specific biological mechanism called DNA methylation and in particular the DNA methylation patterns that have been identified as highly predictive of biological age." The term "DNA methylation patterns" refers to "the accumulation of damage and loss of function to our cells, tissues, and organs," which is believed to be the driving force behind aging, the researchers explain.

"What is extremely exciting is that food and lifestyle practices, including specific nutrients and food compounds known to selectively alter DNA methylation, are able to have such an impact on those DNA methylation patterns we know predict aging and age-related disease," said Fitzgerald. To see what you should be eating and doing to add 3.23 years to your life, read on.

RELATED:People Who Live Past 105 Have This in Common, New Study Says.

The researchers configured a very specific diet for participants in the treatment group to follow during the eight-week study. Each week, they had to eat nine ounces of liver and five to 10 eggs.

The diet was also heavy in vegetables, with participants consuming the following each day: two cups of dark leafy greens (like kale, spinach, and collards); two cups of cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts); three cups of colorful vegetables (but not white potatoes or sweetcorn); and one or two beets.

Participants also ate four tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and four tablespoons of sunflower seeds or their respective butters every day. On top of that, they were told to consume one serving of methylation adaptogens, which could come in the form of half a cup of berries, half a teaspoon of rosemary, half a teaspoon of turmeric, two medium cloves of garlic, two cups of green tea, or three cups of oolong tea. Lastly, participants had to pack in six ounces of grass-fed, pastured, organic, and hormone/antibiotic-free animal protein and two servings of low glycemic fruit (like strawberries, apples, and peaches).

The diet also came with general guidance to get organic food whenever possible; stay hydrated; use "healthy" oils (like coconut, olive, flaxseed, and pumpkin seed oil); balance different types of fat; and avoid added sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes. Additionally, participants were advised not to eat between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Researchers also asked them to minimize their use of plastic food containers, which can cause you to ingest chemicals that negatively affect your health.

RELATED: Drinking One Glass of This a Day Slashes Your Heart Disease Risk, Study Says.

Exercising was another crucial part of the eight-week regimen. Participants in the treatment group were prescribed a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily for at least five days a week, totaling two and a half hours weekly.

And the workouts couldn't be phoned in, eithereach exercise session had to be at an intensity of 60 to 80 percent of "maximum perceived exertion."

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In accordance with the regimen, those in the treatment group also took one serving of PhytoGanix, "a combination of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds, herbs, plant enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics," twice a day.

They were also prescribed two capsules of UltraFlora Intensive Care; it contains the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum, which increases good bacteria in your gut.

RELATED:These Are the Only 2 Supplements That Help You Live Longer, Study Finds.

Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to your health. The men in the treatment group were instructed to average a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.

Additionally, they were directed to engage in a specific stress management technique. Twice daily, they were instructed to use the breathing exercise "The Relaxation Response," created by Herbert Benson, MD, which involves six steps, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. Throughout the exercise, you sit quietly, close your eyes, relax all your muscles, breathe through your nose, and say the word "one" silently each time you breathe out. You repeat this process for 10 to 20 minutes.

RELATED: If You Do This at Night, It May Be an Early Sign of Parkinson's, Study Says.

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Eating This Diet for 2 Months Can Add Years to Your Life, New Study Finds - Best Life

Jun 8

Candida Cleanse Diet: Does This Work — and Is It Safe? – Yahoo News

There's no shortage of anti-Candida, Candida cleanse or anti-yeast diet listings and information online offering ways to prevent or treat yeast infections. Many of those same diets also claim to relieve a wide range of symptoms related to gut health.

Candida is a type of yeast that typically lives inside the body in places like the mouth, throat, gut and genitals. There are hundreds of species of Candida yeasts. The most common is Candida albicans.

Their presence is normal and isn't a problem alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that about 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms. But when Candida grows out of control, it can cause infections. The most common type of yeast infection are vaginal yeast infections. It's estimated that 3 in 4 women have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.

[Read: Top Pharmacist-Recommended Women's Health Medicines.]

Because yeast infections are so common, numerous anti-Candida diets have bloomed in response. The most popular is the Candida diet, which subscribes to the notion that sugar feeds so-called Candida overgrowth, usually in the gut, leading to a range of problems that extend beyond one's intestines. These problems -- which are described as "symptoms of Candida" -- range from yeast infections to digestive issues, sinus infections, food allergies, mild depression and joint pain.

Lisa Richards, a certified nutrition coach and creator of the Candida diet, is a proponent of the belief that Candida in the gut can cause such wide ranging symptoms.

In describing the diet online, she states: "By improving your gut health and restoring the balance of the bacteria and yeast that live inside your body, you can get relief from Candida symptoms like bloating, indigestion, yeast infections, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and gas."

Richards further wrote in an email: "The Candida diet is a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet designed to reduce the colonization of Candida in the gut and lower the incidence of yeast infections and other symptoms." It's also a gluten-free diet.

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[Read: Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet Is Probably Just the Opposite.]

The diet includes:

-- Non-starchy vegetables, such as zucchini and broccoli.

-- Some low-sugar fruits like berries (while avoiding fruits like bananas, grapes and mangoes).

-- Gluten-free grains like quinoa (avoiding wheat, barley, rye and spelt).

-- Lean proteins. Eggs and the white meat of chicken and turkey are preferred choices, though some red meat, like well-cooked beef, is allowed.

-- Only some dairy products like ghee and butter fit in the diet; no cheese or milk.

-- Fermented foods, which contain probiotics -- like yogurt (that doesn't have a lot of sugar) and kefir -- are two other sources of dairy that get the green light.

In addition, followers of the diet are encouraged to avoid alcohol and minimize caffeine consumption.

Despite healthy elements of the Candida diet like reducing sugar intake, some independent experts question the diet's claim that it can reduce yeast infections. They also question the wide range of symptoms attributed to Candida overgrowth. What's more, clinicians and dietitians worry that its restrictive nature could be worse for gut health, compared with eating a wider variety of foods, and may therefore undermine one's overall health.

The most recent gut microbiome research links diverse, plant-based diets to diverse gut microbiota that are associated with robust gut health and metabolic and cardiovascular health. In parallel, research that shows diets that restrict categories of plant-based foods, including grains, legumes and certain fruits and vegetables, seem to have an adverse effect on the health of the gut microbiome by essentially 'starving' the good bacteria.

It's also not clear whether dietary changes of any kind can prevent or treat yeast infections in most women. "In women who are diabetic, where the glucose is out of control, it does increase their risk of having yeast infections, and there dietary changes may make a difference," says Dr. Paul Nyirjesy, a gynecology specialist with the Vulvovaginal Health Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Nyirjesy has been a consultant on the CDC's guidelines on sexually transmitted diseases treatment since 2005 and wrote the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' most recent guidelines on vaginitis.

While dietary changes may help with the management of diabetes, Nyirjesy says that doesn't translate to individuals whose blood sugar is in a normal, healthy range. "For most women with yeast infections (who don't have diabetes) there's no evidence that dietary changes make a bit of a difference," he says.

[See: Foods That Cause Bloating.]

In the 1980s, a study of 100 women found that cutting down on artificial and real sugar led to a decrease in the incidence and severity of yeast infections. However, Njirjesy questions the study's methods and results. In addition, he notes that there's been a lack of supportive research in the decades since, which he sees as undercutting those findings.

For her part, Richards contends that reducing sugar intake can also help control candida growth in the gut. "There is evidence that Candida colonization in the gut forms a 'reservoir' that allows patients to be repeatedly re-infected with vaginal yeast infections," she says, citing 2001 research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

However, according to gut microbiome researchers, there are no established "normal" reference ranges for Candida in the gut, so the idea of overgrowth is a subjective one.

Heidi Silver, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a research associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, also describes a lack of research that directly tests or supports the Candida diet, despite decades of people following it. While there's much emerging data on the wide-ranging importance of gut health, experts like Silver say there's a dearth of studies to support that an anti-Candida diet specifically is what's needed to bolster gut health, reduce yeast infections or address a range of other symptoms.

"This was a very popular fad diet as far back as 35 years ago. So it's been around for quite a while," Silver says. "It's not a new concept." But despite all the time that's passed, "there really isn't a scientific evidence base to make any conclusions about the anti-Candida diet."

Silver adds, "Truthfully if you really want to improve your gut health, you really wouldn't want to restrict the variety of nutrients in your diet, and the variety of nutrients comes from eating a variety of foods."

While clinicians like Dr. Edwin McDonald concede that cutting back on certain foods may reduce bloating or help address gastrointestinal upset, they're quick to point out that doesn't mean wholesale dietary changes are in order. "Within GI, the gastrointestinal literature, I have not seen any official studies that have demonstrated the benefit of this anti-Candida diet," says McDonald, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. McDonald is also the associate director of adult clinical nutrition at UChicago Medicine and a trained chef.

One primary issue, he points out, is that there's not even a test, at present, to determine if a patient has candida overgrowth in the gut. "I don't want to say that there's nothing to this. I'm just going to say that so far it is not well understood," McDonald says. And yet, he adds, "On the internet, if you just Google Candida overgrowth, you would think that this is a pandemic."

McDonald says he's had plenty of patients come in who've searched online for answers to GI symptoms who are convinced it's due to Candida overgrowth. For those patients, "I definitely have diagnosed them with lactose intolerance, with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, with sucrose intolerance or fructose intolerance," he says. "But these are all conditions that we have diagnostic studies to help suggest that these are possibilities that may be the underlying reason why people are having symptoms. And we also have treatment for that." Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, also known as SIBO, is a condition with symptoms that include bloating and GI distress.

He and other clinicians worry, practically speaking, that a fixation on Candida may miss the actual cause of symptoms like bloating, such as an intolerance to lactose (the sugar in dairy) or otherwise obscure any number of underlying conditions, from irritable bowel syndrome to cancer. "The causes of bloating can be wide-ranging, but include ovarian cancer," Nyirjesy adds.

Experts roundly emphasize that before making any major dietary changes in an attempt to deal with problems such as a potential yeast infection, persistent bloating or diarrhea or any other concerning symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention to ensure a proper diagnosis.

For women who have vaginal yeast infections, antifungal medications are still the mainstay of treatment. Probiotics are also often recommended -- both oral and vaginal. While some clinicians say those may help, especially in combination with medication, Nyirjesy contends there isn't sufficient evidence to support using probiotics for treating yeast infection.

Generally speaking, experts say including fermented foods like yogurt in one's diet could bolster gut health. But above all, dietitians generally stress eating a wide range of nutritious foods -- fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of fiber, where most Americans fall short -- is key to proper gut health and better overall health.

Cutting down on excess sugar and processed foods is also advised. While research is still ongoing to better understand how diet impacts gut health, what's clear is that we thrive when we host a diverse and plentiful collection of microorganisms in our gut. The trillions of bugs in our gut are collectively known as our gut microbiome.

By contrast, McDonald says he sees a lot of patients who, after going on a restrictive diet, suffer from malnutrition. "When you restrict foods, you're restricting nutrients," Silver adds. "I can't know if I'm not working with you directly, have you now increased your intake of other foods that provide those nutrients?"

Similarly, dietitians generally recommend that if people suspect they have a gluten intolerance -- where consuming the protein found in grains like wheat and barley could do damage to the body -- they should undergo an evaluation before making sweeping dietary changes. This should be done to hone in on whether issues such as celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity is to blame, although it can take time to make that determination.

"It is usually very difficult to identify food intolerances," Richards contends. "The Candida diet eliminates many foods that can cause gut inflammation, like added sugars, additives in processed foods and gluten." She adds that "most people start the Candida diet because they suffer from repeated yeast infections or they suspect that antibiotics or a poor diet may have disrupted their gut flora."

Besides asserting that the diet is good for one's gut -- and the microorganisms in it -- Richards also pushes back against the concern that it's unnecessarily restrictive. "The Candida diet is a healthy diet that, if followed correctly, should not result in any nutritional deficiencies," she says.

But even for patients who may see some symptom relief after going on the diet, clinicians like McDonald and Nyirjesy reiterate that it's important that symptoms are evaluated to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment. That way, the therapy -- including dietary changes, if recommended -- can be targeted accordingly. That means not relying solely on self-diagnosis or self-treatment for yeast infection or other symptoms -- and getting a second opinion if necessary.

Nyirjesy says many patients get desperate because they have these ongoing symptoms that keep coming back. "And the reason that they're not getting better," he says, "is they're not being diagnosed properly, either on their own or sometimes by their provider."

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Candida Cleanse Diet: Does This Work -- and Is It Safe? - Yahoo News

Jun 8

A new study links this popular diet with lower blood pressure and reduced cardiac injury and strain – MarketWatch

Does the DASH diet have hidden health effects?

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined three cardiovascular indicators to determine if and how diet directly impacts cardiac health. They analyzed blood samples from clinical-trial participants who stuck to strict dietary regimens and found that the DASH diet, already shown to lower blood pressure, also reduces inflammation.

The conclusion, published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also found that the DASH diet whether or not its adhered to in conjunction with a low-sodium diet reduces heart injury and strain. The researchers analyzed stored specimens from 412 participants conducted at four medical centers in the U.S. between 1997 and 1999.

The DASH diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products, while restricting salt, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Among trial participants on the DASH diet, biomarkers linked to cardiac damage and inflammation fell by 18% and 13%, respectively. Participants combining the DASH diet with reduced-sodium behavior had the most pronounced reductions in both cardiac injury and stress 20% and 23%, respectively although inflammation was not significantly impacted.

Our study represents some of the strongest evidence that diet directly impacts cardiac damage.

Our study represents some of the strongest evidence that diet directly impacts cardiac damage, and our findings show that dietary interventions can improve cardiovascular risk factors in a relatively short time period, said Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

The data reinforce the importance of a lifestyle that includes a reduced-sodium, DASH diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to minimize cardiac damage over time, said Juraschek, a co-author on the study.

U.S. News and World Report named the DASH diet the No. 2 diet for 2021 in a tie with the Flexitarian diet, with the Mediterranean diet taking first place.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on olive oil rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein like fish and chicken, with the occasional piece of red meat. It also emphasizes beans, nuts, legumes, and flavorful herbs and spices, as well as cheese, yogurt and a glass of red wine in moderation.

Unlike the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and nuts while limiting saturated fats, total fat, cholesterol, red meat, sweets and sugar-containing beverages, Juraschek and his co-authors said. It was developed in the 1990s with the specific goal of lowering blood pressure, and has been shown to help lower the chances of stroke and diabetes.

Blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health, and cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of people in the U.S. Previous research also suggested that a lack of sleep may offer one possible explanation for why sleep problems have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death from cardiovascular disease.

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A new study links this popular diet with lower blood pressure and reduced cardiac injury and strain - MarketWatch

Jun 8

Could a Zombie Survive On a Diet of Human Brains? – Mental Floss

Most people have thought about what they would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. You know where youd hide, what youd weaponize, and the destination you'd attempt to reach. But few of us have ever thought about the scenario from the perspective of the zombies. Leaving aside the grossness and tragedy of their head-chomping lifestyle, is a brain-heavy diet providing them with everything they need, nutrition-wise?

Thanks to pop culture, many people associate brains-as-food with zombies, or with movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which presents a monkey brain as the grossest thing imaginable. But brains used to be on the menu for the non-undead a lot more than they are today.

Most cultures have some version of brain dishes, from tacos de sesos to brainneggs to Ohio River Valley fried brain sandwiches. The beloved cookbook The Joy Of Cooking used to feature baked brains, boiled brains, and sauteed brains (not monkey ones, admittedly, or served chilled as a dessert straight out of a disembodied monkey head).

While you can still find brains for dinner here and there, featured as upmarket offal in "nose-to-tail" restaurants or showing up as less-upmarket fare canned in milk, its a vastly less popular food than it once was. In part this comes down topeople having more choice and not everyone necessarily wanting to chow down on a chunk of goop that once housed a cows thoughts, but there are health reasons as well.

The emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in the 1990s didn't do the brains-as-food industry any good. Like "mad cow" disease (a.k.a. bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE), vCJD is aprion disease, which is caused by transmissible proteins in the brain misfolding and causing other proteins near them to follow suit. Today, there are much stricter laws surrounding the storage and distribution of brains for consumption than there used to be.

Prion diseases are both very rare and very seriousthere are only about 300 cases per year in the U.S.but they lead to neurodegeneration and death. The Fore people of Papua New Guinea, for example, havea tradition involving cooking and eating the brain of a deceased loved one as a way of freeing their spirit. However, in the 1950s, this led to an outbreak of the fatal prion disease kuru, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors and uncontrollable laughing fits that ends in death.

While a lot of infectious or potentially infectious material can be destroyed by thorough cooking, prions cannot. The only way the Fore got the disease under control was to give up cannibalism.

Would zombies be willing to give up eating brains? Its hard to say. The idea of the walking dead feasting on gray matter is a newer trope than many people realize. George A. Romeros zombie films, which cemented most of the traits of zombies as we know themshambling, mindless, groaning killing machines with fleshy bits falling off themfeature them eating human flesh in general, with no specific parts preferred. It wasnt until 1985s unrelated Return Of The Living Dead that the concept of zombies snacking on brains was codified, with one zombie specifically explaining that eating brains "takes away the pain of being dead."

There's another issue with brains: They're high in fat. This largely comes down to myelin, the coating on axonsthose fibers that connect different parts of the brainwhich functions in a way not dissimilar to the plastic insulation on a wire. Brains are also very high in cholesterol; Fitbit claims that 1 pound of lambs brain contains 20 times your daily recommended cholesterol intake.

Those numbers go way up for a human brain. "An adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds. It would also be somewhat fatty," Monroe Turner, Ph.D., a computational neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallass Center for BrainHealth, tells Mental Floss. "The regions of the brain have different characteristics: gray matter is high in protein, for instance. In white matter, the fiber tracks that connect the brain cells are fatty, and since there are more neurons to connect in human brains than in animal brains, it would be a fattier meal than an animal brain. And cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) might be salty."

But brains do contain quite a lot of vitamins and nutrients. Theres vitamin C in there, plus B12, iron, and niacin. "While eating a human brain wouldnt help your own brain, it might contribute to a balanced diet," Turner says. "To actually help your brain, you should exercise it by applying cognitive strategies to your daily life."

A brain is an incredible thing. You can see why zombies dig em so much.

Which brings us back to the question of the nutritional value of eating brains. The bottom line is, it's not really possible for a zombie to maintain a healthy lifestylewell, as healthy a lifestyle as an undead human can haveby munching mostly on human brains. The high cholesterol will do them no favors long-term, and dehydration will likely be an issue given the salt content of cerebrospinal fluid and blood.All of which really gives you something to think about while they're tearing you apart.

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Could a Zombie Survive On a Diet of Human Brains? - Mental Floss

Jun 8

With A High-Protein PCOS Diet And Hiking, I Lost 80 Pounds And Healed From My Traumatic Past – Women’s Health

My name is Breanna Potter (@thatonehealthyteacher), and I'm 26 years old. I live in northeastern Oklahoma on the Cherokee Nation Reservation, and I'm a high school teacher in western Arkansas. I struggled with my weight throughout my life after experiencing childhood trauma, until I embarked on a healing journey, prioritized my health, started eating a diet that made me feel good (high-protein, high-fiber for polycystic ovary syndrome), and began hiking and weight lifting.

From the time I was in kindergarten, I was overweight. As a child, I was active and played soccer, but still struggled consistently with my weight. At the age of 8 years old, I went on my first diet through a pediatric weight-loss program at my doctors office. Since then, I have tried every diet imaginable. You name it, I tried it.

Eventually, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At 14, my world crashed in around me. My dad, who was my best friend, died. It destroyed me. Just a few months later I had a massive knee surgery that left me bedridden for months. My surgeon told me surgery was my only option to fix the deformity and alleviate the constant pain I was in. Even then, I was told I would still probably lose function of my knee by the time I was 30. I missed nearly an entire semester of school and quickly reached over 280 pounds.

While I was dealing with this turmoil, I also faced verbal and physical abuse from someone in my life, and it continued until late 2011, when I was a senior in high school.

At 17, I had no idea who I was or how to put the pieces of my life back together. The grief and abuse I was dealing with left me a shell of my former self. Over the past nine years, Ive struggled to put back the pieces. I struggled with drug use, abusive relationships, sexual assault, and financial instability, but I've managed to turn all of it into the amazing life Ive built for myself now.

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In December 2019, my weight was its highest. I was only sleeping a few hours a night and had zero energy throughout the day. I remember being out of breath just walking around my classroom every day. I could not physically walk for more than a few minutes without being exhausted. I was also dealing with digestion issues and polycystic ovary syndrome, a.k.a. PCOS.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on the last decade of my life. Once I accepted that I was ready to forgive and move on, I decided it was time to prioritize myself for the first time in my life. I made a list of goals for myself that fit within the following categories: health, financial, career, and personal.

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The weight loss first came about as I started making changes to address the trauma that had caused me to gain so much of the weight I was carrying. I made eating changes that initially revolved around what I could eat to make my body feel its best.

Since I have digestion problems and PCOS, eating a high-protein, high-fiber diet is what feels best for me. My body doesnt tolerate things like soy or high-carb foods, so I needed to eliminate that from my diet. I eat lots of veggies and lean meats, and focus on foods that I enjoy.

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I didn't start working out right away. I was not in any physical condition to go hop on a treadmill or attend a class.

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Within about two months, I joined a gym in a local town so I could start weight lifting again. Two weeks later, everything closed due to COVID. When COVID hit, I didnt know what to do because I had never enjoyed at-home workouts. I went back to what I knew and started walking again. Eventually, I started hiking and making that my daily workout. I did that for several months until gyms reopened.

Now, I lift weights and do 10 to 20 minutes of cardio four to five times a week. I enjoy building muscle and feeling like a badass. Working out again has been incredible for my mental health and gives my day the structure it needs.

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Losing weight for me is only a small part of this journey. The primary focus of this season of my life has been about healing for me. This is about healing the brokenness in my life and using it for good. The truth of it all is that trauma is something that many of us carry around throughout our lives acting as an anchor preventing us from reaching our goals.

My story isn't unique. It's one of a thousand. For so many women, the idea of taking time away from their responsibilities to focus on healing seems daunting and selfish. The truth is that healing is possible and your health is worth the investment.

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With A High-Protein PCOS Diet And Hiking, I Lost 80 Pounds And Healed From My Traumatic Past - Women's Health

Jun 8

Switching To A Plant-Based Diet? Dont Miss These 3 Important Nutrients – NDTV Doctor

Plant-based diet: Pooja Makhija says these 3 nutrients are important to nourish your body. If you are following a plant-based diet, do not miss these.

When following a plant-based diet, do not miss these important nutrients

Nutritionist Pooja Makhija shares a few important tipsfor those who have just adopted a plant-based diet. Plant-based diets have become increasingly popular due to their health benefits including weight loss. The diet is sustainable and good for the environment. However, it is important to ensure the intake of certain nutrients to be able to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle while you are on this diet. So, if you are switching to a plant-based diet, here is a list of key nutrients to keep track of, according to Makhija. In a video on Instagram, she talks about the three nutrients that you need to take regularly along with the plant sources you can imbibe them from.

If you want to continue experiencing the high energy from switching to a plant-based diet, then iron is your best friend. Incorporate plenty of lentils, chickpeas, and spinach into your diet. Also, keep an eye on increasing your vitamin C intake and lowering caffeine intake.

Also read:Reasons Why You Should Add Protein-Rich Chickpeas To Your Plant-Based Diet

Vitamin B12 is a key nutrient in keeping your body's nerve and blood cells healthy. The vitamin is predominantly found in animal meat sources. However, Makhija has the perfect substitute nutritional yeast. Not only is it rich in vitamin B12, but it also has a cheesy flavour that won't make you miss cheese.

Increase your omega-3 intake by having 1 teaspoon of flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds every day. Omega-3 is essential and promotes brain health, lowers blood pressure. While meat is considered a primary source of omega-3, these seeds are also an equally rich source of this nutrient.

Also read:3 Plant-Based Sources Of Protein And Why They Must Be A Part Of Your Daily Diet

Watch the video here:

Incorporating these three key nutritional hacks is the perfect way to ensure that your body's love affair with a plant-based diet is long-lasting and beneficial.

(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

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Switching To A Plant-Based Diet? Dont Miss These 3 Important Nutrients - NDTV Doctor

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