Starting in 2010, researchers in Toronto, Canada, enrolled 121 patients with Type II diabetes and tested their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more. Roughly half of the study participants were randomly selected to add a cup of legumes per day to their diet. The other half were told to try to eat more whole-wheat products.
After three months, the patients were tested again on the same measures. Both the legume-eaters and the whole-wheat-eaters saw a reduction in their hemoglobin A1c values — a marker of average blood sugar, for a period of several weeks. But that reduction was slightly larger among the legume group than among the whole-what group: 0.5% compared to 0.3%. And while those changes may seem small, the study authors say that drops of this magnitude are “therapeutically meaningful,” and can lead to fewer diabetic symptoms as well as lower doses of medication to control blood sugar levels. The legume-eaters also achieved modest reductions in body weight relative to the wheat group, losing an average of 5.9 lbs compared to 4.4 lbs, as well as drops in total cholesterol and blood pressure.
In 2002, a large government trial found that overweight people on the verge of developing diabetes could dramatically lower their risk of the disease by changing their diet and exercising more. And in 2008, David Jenkins, one of the current study’s lead authors, published similar results that demonstrated the strong benefits of a diet high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, flaxseed, and, yes, legumes.
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Global spending on cancer treatment crossed the US$100 billion threshold for the first time last year, which was cause for celebration among pharmaceuticals companies. It was hardly good news for cancer sufferers though, as about eight million people still die from the disease every year, the World Health Organisation says.
In December, with the dollar figure close to its new milestone, Vietnamese retiree Nguyen Bao An was diagnosed with stage-four liver cancer and given three months to live. Almost 10 months after his fateful visit to the doctor, however, the 64-year-old former driver's health has improved considerably after receiving traditional treatment - absolutely free - at a Buddhist temple and clinic in rural Vietnam. The apparent cure has been traditional Vietnamese medicines, a vegan diet, and spiritual teachings to soothe his mind, says Hongkonger Paul Tarrant, Nguyen's son-in-law.
Nguyen's tumours have reduced in size to the point where he has a good chance of making a full recovery, says Tarrant, who, with his wife and two daughters, is a Buddhist.
Stage four is the most advanced at which the disease is diagnosed, when cancer cells are in the bloodstream and can spread to any part of the body. It's often a death sentence, and the diagnosis only adds to the patient's suffering.
Nguyen was cared for at home in the coastal city of Danang by Tarrant's wife Duyen and her twin sister Trang. Tarrant and Duyen are co-founders of two Karma Waters vegan restaurants and a responsible tourism company in the city. Tarrant says Nguyen was persuaded by his daughters to switch to a simple vegan diet or red rice and sesame seeds, supplemented by medicinal water from boiled lingzhi mushrooms, a drink of water and white turmeric powder, and a liver medicinal #tea. He was also encouraged to listen to recordings of Buddhist chants and read scripture.
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The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 ruling requires food manufacturers to label common food allergens, leading some companies to be more transparent about the source of their ingredients. However, the FDA does not require food companies to clearly indicate all ingredient sources on the label. This has presented concerns for vegetarians and vegans who have to deal with the ambiguity of ingredients like “natural flavors,” which could be derived from either an animal or plant source.
It may seem “bananas” that this potassium-rich food is not vegetarian, but it turns out a spray-on coating designed to lengthen its shelf life may contain animal parts. Chitosan, a bacteria-fighting compound derived from shrimp and crab shells, is used to prevent bananas from ripening, softening and rotting into mush, according to Science Daily. This presents bad news for vegetarians, vegans and those with a shellfish allergy.
Although the banana itself is fine, it’s the spray used to extend its shelf life that makes it non-veg. Gina Keatley, a New York-based dietician at Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Medical Daily in an email: “The coating is made of shellfish and works amazingly well; however, this makes the product no longer vegan.” She suggests vegetarians and vegans go organic to avoid the spray.
The coating is a so-called "hydrogel," a superabsorbent material like those with many medical and commercial uses, made from chitosan, a substance derived from shrimp and crab shells said Xihong Li, Ph.D., who presented the report.
Li explained that bananas, like other fresh fruit and vegetables, are alive and actually "breathing," or respirating. He is with Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, China
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Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may help you reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and some forms of cancer.
The fiber in fruits and vegetables may help to lower blood #cholesterol levels.
Eating more fruits and vegetables may help reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes.
Generally, fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods, so choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables can help to lower your overall calorie intake.
Foods that are rich in potassium like oranges and bananas may help you maintain a #healthy blood pressure.
Almost all fruits and many vegetables are low in fat and sodium. Also, fruits and vegetables are naturally cholesterol free.
Eating whole fruits and vegetables adds fiber to your diet. Fiber fills you up. This feeling of fullness may help you maintain your weight.
If you are a woman of childbearing age or in your first trimester of pregnancy, you need folate (folic acid), a nutrient that is found in fruits and vegetables. Folate reduces the risk of birth defects during your baby’s development.
Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals (plant compounds) that may help prevent or delay disease and help you maintain good health.
And finally, here’s a great reason to eat more fruits and vegetables – the variety of colors, flavors, and textures that fruits and vegetables bring to meals and snacks.