You’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s an old English adage, but there’s actually a lot of truth to the saying: Study after study shows the merits of eating antioxidant-rich apples include everything from cancer prevention to reduced risk of heart attack to improving the health of your brain. Best of all, the fruit weighs in at under 100 calories a pop, which means they’re part of a healthy diet and may even help you lose weight!
Take a look at our list of the health benefits that come from eating apples then stock up on the red and green fruits at the grocery store. (Use our handy apple guide to select the right type for you.) Remember, much of the health benefits of apples can be found in the peel, so aim to eat whole apples, not apple sauce or apple juice.
The latest research shows:
Apples may work as well as statins: A majority of adults over 50 are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, but a new study from the UK found that eating an apple each day is just as effective at reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. As in, you get the same health benefits as with statins but without any side-effects.
This morning I read a nutrition article that was popping up all over my Facebook feed. The story, This is Your Brain on Gluten, which appeared in The Atlantic, covered the science behind a new book called Grain Brain. From the sound of things, the author of the article, James Hamblin, who is a medical doctor, had been hesitant to cover the book—he wasn’t sure what to make of the general hypothesis, which is that eating all grains ultimately causes mental deterioration such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But because it’s been a best-seller since its release he finally gave it a read.
To say Hamblin remained skeptical after reading the book—and speaking with the author of Brain Grain, David Perlmutter, MD, as well as a handful of other notable researchers and physicians, including David Katz, MD—would be an understatement. He pokes holes in some of the claims and reminds readers that much of the “science” that the diet is based on is either not widely accepted or is simply speculation—a connecting of dots that can’t actually be proven.
Hamblin’s overview of the book and the scientific basis for following or eschewing this type of diet seemed spot-on, but it also felt familiar. After a quick search on DietsInReview I realized why: Our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD, wrote a similarly cautionary article on Grain Brain back in October!
When it comes to improving your memory, experts say it’s all about rest.
A new study from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, suggests that taking breaks is more effective for boosting memory than other traditional methods like caffeine and mental exercises.
As reported by CNN, researchers gathered a small group of “normally aging” elderly men and women, and asked them to recount as many details from two stories as they could.
Following the first story, participants were asked to relax and close their eyes in a dark room for 10 minutes. Researchers then asked participants to point out the differences in several pairs of near identical images.
Researchers found that overall, participants recounted far more details after they had rested; and that their memory boost held up even a full week after the initial trial.
Previous research has showed that small periods of rest – even a few minutes – are beneficial to both memory and alertness. But this new study points to the effectiveness of short periods of rest for “long-term memory consolidation.”
Research fellow and lead study author, Michaela Dewar, points out that when we first encounter new information, we’re likely in an early stage of memory formation. “Further neural processes have to occur after this stage for us to be able to remember this information at a later point in time,” she said. (more…)