Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bananas and Blood Pressure - Do Bananas Lower Blood Pressure - RealAge

Cheap and plentiful year-round, bananas are bursting with potassium. And a review of several major studies suggests that people who add the potassium equivalent of an extra 1 1/2 to 2 bananas to their day could drop their blood pressure 2 to 3 points.

More Points for Potassium
Dropping BP by 2 or 3 points is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it's enough to lower stroke risk. In other research, people with the highest potassium intake levels cut their stroke risk by a whopping 38 percent compared with the people who got the least potassium. This magical mineral works by encouraging your kidneys to filter more pressure-boosting sodium out of your bloodstream. It also helps tiny blood vessels relax and makes pressure sensors in artery walls function more efficiently.

Even people who generally don't like fruit make an exception with bananas, so there really is no excuse...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nutrition: Sweet Potato (A Paleo Exception) - Explore Fitness

The sweet potato is a moderate GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrate and is very high in Vitamin A (a fat-soluble antioxidant).  Vitamin A (beta-carotene) is what gives sweet potatoes the rich orange colour (some sweet potatoes are purple in colour).
To maximise absorption of vitamin A ensure you have adequate fat with your meal to ensure the body is better able to utilise this antioxidant.
Interestingly a study several years ago of 10,000 Finnish smokers found that those with higher levels of Vitamin A (beta-carotene) in the blood had a lower incidence of lung cancer.  This was only the case with Vitamin A from natural sources though, not that coming from synthetic vitamin supplementation where lung cancer rates where actually found to be higher! [1]  Another reason to stick to natural sources for antioxidants!
In Loren Cordain's book "Paleo Diet For Athletes" the sweet potato is also considered as one of the better options for recovery from extended endurance work.  This book goes into great detail of nutrition for pre-, during and post-activity.
The sweet potato also includes Vitamin C, E, B6 - the micronutrients manganese, copper and traces of potassium and iron.  Anthocyanin is a colour related pigment which studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties another property supporting one's recovery from activity.[2]
Here's a recipe for Sweet Potato Chips (using coconut oil for adequate fat intake).
Excellent alternative to potatoes, especially if you are avoiding the deadly nightshade family because of joint pain.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Olive oil 'helps prevent stroke' - BBC News

Olive oil can help prevent strokes in people over 65, a study suggests.
Researchers followed around 7,000 people aged 65 and over living in three French cities, for at least five years.
They found those who used a lot of olive oil in cooking or as a dressing or dip had a lower risk of stroke than those who never used it.
The researchers say older people should be given new dietary advice regarding olive oil, based on the findings, which are published in the journal Neurology
Good to see at last commonsense healthy eating is being researched and verified.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lose Weight by Eating 30 Grams of Protein Within 30 Minutes of Waking

So says Tim Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Let me know your thoughts, or results, in the comments.