Tag Archives: folic acid

10 Essential Foods for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Alzheimer’s: The word conjures up scary thoughts of slowly losing your memory as you become a shell of your former self. Experts project that diagnoses of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the primary cause, will triple worldwide by 2050. But scientists tell us that preventative measures can go a long way in protecting the brain from memory loss diseases, and they are as simple as doing things like making changes in your diet.

Here are 10 super foods that work to boost brain power and, in turn, lessen your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. No one food has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but healthy eating habits appear to be one of the top factors in lowering your risk for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

1. Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it contains vital omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help the body function properly and may slow cognitive decline by 10 percent, studies show.

“The main concept is that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids creates BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a protein between nerve cells that helps increase the strength between connections,” said Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of “Super Body Super Brain.” Trout, mackerel, and herring are also good choices, and taking a fish oil vitamin can also help your body obtain this much-needed nutrient. (more…)

Top 5 Vitamins That Protect Against Cancer

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a lifestyle to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 vitamins that help protect against cancer. Stay posted next week for the Top 5 Minerals that Help Protect Against Cancer.

1. Beta carotene
This precursor of Vitamin A is found in most orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables. An amazing nutrient, it has been shown in research to protect the lungs against toxins that are linked to lung cancer.

Another study found that ex-smokers who ate green and yellow vegetables high in beta carotene daily decreased their risk of stomach and lung cancer.

2. Vitamin B6
This B-Vitamin is essential to maintain a healthy immune system and helps protect the respiratory tract from pollution and infection. In studies it has helped protect against cervical cancer. Vitamin B-6 is primarily found in carrots, apples, organ meats, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and sweet potatoes.


Multi-Vitamins are not Living Up to Their Claims

If you’re faithfully taking your daily multi-vitamin, you should be proud of yourself. You’re doing a good thing for your body and your overall health, right? Unfortunately, you may not be helping yourself as much as you think.

A recent MSNBC article reported that many of the vitamins and supplements on the shelf are not as nutritious as they claim and, in some cases, they are more potent than they claim.

The FDA has strict guidelines and regulations for prescription drugs, however there is not process for regulating vitamins and supplements. The only testing on these products is done independently. ConsumerLab.com and its researchers conducted a test on 38 multi-vitamins and published their findings this week. The tests concluded that eight products contained too few of the specific nutrients, two contained more nutrients than the label stated, and three simply had improper labeling.


Gastric Bypass in Women Increases Risk of Birth Defects

U.S. mothers give birth to more than four million babies a year. Approximately 2,500 of those infants are born with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Dr. Diana Farmer from Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco is cautioning young women from undergoing gastric bypass surgery. Besides the obvious risks and side effects, a new study has shown a possible link between the surgical procedure and spina bifida in babies.

Often times, patients who have gastric bypass have difficulty absorbing nutrients. This could be a very dangerous side effect if the woman ever plans to have children. While in utero, the fetus gathers all nutrition from its mother. If the mother is malnourished, the fetus will be as well. Malnutrition greatly increases the risk of birth defects. (more…)

Will Your Morning Cereal Cause Cancer?

Could your favorite morning cereal be giving you cancer? I know, scary. But, there is a real concern among scientists who think that too much folic acid may increase your odds of developing cancer. Enriched grains, like those found in cereal, snack bars, and other foods get a boost of folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate.

Interestingly, the extra fortification is not meant for us, but as a protection for fetuses from developing rare but tragic birth defects. It appears to have worked, as the number of these birth defects has dropped by about 19 percent since 1998.

But, for women beyond their child-birthing years and men of all ages, the effects may be harmful.

“The more we learn about folic acid, the more it’s clear that giving it to everyone has very real risks,” says researcher David Smith, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford in England.


Folate for Breast Cancer Prevention

You commonly hear how important folate is for women in their childbearing years.  This is because research has proven time and time again that folate is critical in reducing risks of neural tube defects. Studies also show that folate can help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Now knowing this information, you may be wondering how to incorporate more folate into your diet.

Some great sources of folate, include:

– Legumes (black beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas)
– Fruits
– Vegetables
– Leafy green veggies (spinach, broccoli)
– Fortified grains
– Liver

Take care when cooking and storing these items though, heat and oxidation can destroy as much as half of the folate in foods.

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