The range of dark coloured berries may have key ingredients needed to help fight colon cancer.
A recently published study exposed strong evidence that foods colored with artificial additives may cause a host of undesirable behavioral effects in children.
It is interesting to note that compounds performing the same function in nature – to give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors – actually serve to improve the health of human beings.
Looking at the stark, even polar contrast between these man-made chemicals and their naturally occurring counterparts, a predictable trend is illustrated. When a synthetic chemical is matched against a comparable naturally occurring compound, nature tends to come out on top.
A team of researchers at Ohio State University announced that the compounds that give many blue, purple, and red fruits and vegetables their color are capable of cutting the growth of colon cancer cells by 50%-100%, with certain extracts even destroying up to 20% of the cancer cells while leaving healthy surrounding cells intact.1
It turns out the darker berry or plum or grape, the stronger the cancer-fighting properties.
“These foods contain many compounds, and we're just starting to figure out what they are and which ones provide the best health benefits,” said Monica Giusti, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of food science at Ohio State University.
In their studies on human colon cancer cells grown in laboratory dishes, the researchers tested the anti-cancer effects of anthocyanin extracts from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Extract derived from purple corn was the most potent and used the least amount of extract to cut cell numbers in half.
“All fruits and vegetables that are rich in anthocyanin have compounds that can slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, whether in experiments in laboratory dishes or inside the body,” Giusti said.2
On the other side of the coin, another recent study has found that colon cancer survivors with diets heavy in red meat and fatty foods are more than three times as likely to suffer a recurrence of their disease or die from it than those who avoid such foods.
Previous studies had shown that a high-fat diet, especially one with lots of red meat, may increase a person's risk of developing colon cancer, a leading cancer killer. But this study was the first to show how diet affects whether colon cancer returns in people previously treated for it, the researchers said.3
~1. Adam Miller, NewsTarget.com, September 26 2007. 2. Ohio State University Study, published August 20, 2007. 3. NZPA, 15 August 2007.
And Its Effects On The Brain
Omega-3 is a term that has come to the front of the health scene of more recent times. What is referred to is a category of a larger range of fatty acids which are essential to health. Since our body does not manufacture Omega-3 fatty acids, we must obtain them from food.
Omega-3 is commonly known to be sourced from fish oils and is used in treating blood related issues like Heart disease, Cholesterol, High blood pressure, Stroke and Diabetes. But in this article we want to focus on plant sources and the effect on the brain and related issues.
Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.1
Deficiency in Omega-3 has been linked to increased risk of depression, increased aggression in prisoners and for infants it will lower the IQ level by 9-10 points by adulthood.2
Other mental conditions that may be affected by Omega-3 levels include Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Eating Disorders.1
Researchers have also reported that omega-3 fatty acid is highly effective in treating children with ADD, ADHD and bipolar disorder.
A supplement of Omega-3 fatty acids called OmegaBrite, was tested for effectiveness and safety on 20 boys and girls with bipolar disorder, ages 6 to 17 years old, over an eight-week period. Half of the participants experienced a rapid 30 percent reduction in symptoms with no side effects.
It was also claimed that symptoms of ADHD are easily eliminated in 80 percent of children within two weeks by merely supplementing with omega-3 oils and eliminating processed foods (especially refined sugars) from kids' diets.3
Omega-3 appears naturally in a number of plant foods including flaxseed/linseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, wheat germ, soybeans, spinach, almonds, avocado and many others.4
Dr Neil Nedley M.D. from Texas USA has studied extensively into depression and other mental issues and has published books on the topic. As a result of his studies he also endorsed a health bar combining many of these foods high in omega-3.
1. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm 2. Beneficial foods, Texas, USA 3. Mike Adams, NewsTarget.com. Originally published August 15 2007 4. Proof Positive, by Dr Neil Nedley M.D, page 122
Recipe of the Month
2 T sesame seeds
2 T linseed/flaxseed
1 T sunflower seeds
1 T almonds
2 T wheat germ (optional)
Grind seeds and almonds in coffee grinder. Add wheat germ. Sprinkle on breakfast. Store in an airtight container.
Make only in small amounts; once oils are exposed they can go rancid quicker.