‘Drinking pomegranate juice can make you love your job!’

Take 60 workers and get them to drink 1/2 a litre of pomegranate juice every day for a fortnight. Then ask them if they enjoy work more?

The answer: Yes! Nearly everyone said life felt better. They were more active, enthusiastic and pleased with their work. The responses indicated they were less stressed too.

Drinking pomegranate juice can make you more active at work
Drinking pomegranate juice can make you more active at work

No wonder pomegranate used to be hailed as the forbidden fruit of lovers if this is what it does.

But loving your job?

Okay so, physically, the workers’ pulse rates had actually reduced…

But given that lower pulse rates are seen as a sign of health, this latest report will still add to the range of benefits which a drink of antioxidant pomegranate offers: help with weight loss, lower blood pressure, less risk of heart and kidney disease or Alzheimer’s too. And scientists are still looking into the benefits of pomegranate juice with cancer.

To choose from a range of pomegranate juices take a look at GoodnessDirect.

Pomology – not the science for studying the English but the study of apples

When I was young I must admit, I didn’t like apples much – only the really juicy ones like Granny Smiths.

Now I find I appreciate them for their lovely taste and their ability to supply fibre and control my appetite. My favourite is now a Russet.

Apples have a lot more to offer than we realise. Research towards helping people with Alzheimer’s suggests that even just drinking apple juice could improve the memory.

Being a Pomologist doesn’t sound so bad after all.

10 apples... no added sugar
10 apples...no added sugar

Real fruit juice.
Many fruit juices are loaded with sugar so you want to avoid them. Apple juice from Cawston Press is different.

Cawston Press squeeze 10 apples into every large carton. The apples are picked ripe and pressed immediately.

What you get is a delicious and pure, 100% natural, cloudy apple juice which is bursting with healthy goodness. The refreshing taste not only cleanses your system but helps protect you against damaging cholesterol and rheumatism.

And they do different flavours too:
Apple Juice
Apple & Beetroot
Apple & Blackcurrant
Apple & Elderflower
Apple and Ginger
Apple and Rhubarb

That’s why Cawston won 3 Great Taste Awards this year.

If you’re still thinking apples here are some interesting apple facts:
Humans have been enjoying apples since 6500BC
25% of an apple is air. That’s why they always float!
Over 2,300 varieties of apple grow in the UK
Pomology is the science of growing apples.
Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
Apples are a member of the rose family.
Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.
Apples originate from the Tien Shan mountains in Central Asia.

Do you know what K2 can do for you?

What do you think of when you read ‘K2’?

Possibly the highest mountain in the world?
Perhaps the London Bus route?
A two-seater kayak…?

Whatever you think of it’s probably not the vitamin for bone, blood and heart health. K2 is also beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, a variety of cancers, varicose veins, and skin aging.

If you have children or are elderly you may have come across Vitamin K. What you may not know is that while Vitamin K1 is readily available in the diet it only stays in the body for 8 hours, whereas K2 is more effective because it is 10x more easily absorbed and is still at work in your body 3 days later.

But K2 cannot be gained from the average diet.

It can be consumed by eating spirulina or through supplements like VitaNat (taken from the Japanese food Natto) or Veridian’s Bone Complex.

Women who have experienced the menopause lose bone mass at an incresed rate, and they, along with the elderly and children, will benefit from a good intake of Vitamin K.

‘Antioxidants for Dummies’

I was trying to explain the importance of antioxidants the other day and I came across this easy explanation:

“Antioxidants are a bit like rust protection for the body.”

As with everything that goes rusty over time, the oxidation of our cells is damaging and leads to the early onset of diseases particularly associated with old age. Antioxidants – in various things from raisins to cacoa – reduce the effects of oxidisation and repair the damage as well, which helps you to have a longer life.

So there you go, even humble raisins can be superfoods nowadays.

Don’t forget, if you need to ask us questions about antioxidants or anything else you can always contact us by Twitter, email or phone 08710871 6611.

Tablet to keep the mind active not naturally available in UK

Ginkgo biloba is the world’s oldest type of tree (the Maidenhair tree). Now humans are harvesting these 1000 year old trees to look after them in old age.

Ginkgo Biloba, leaves from the oldest tree help with old age
Ginkgo Biloba, leaves from the oldest tree help with old age

The leaves are used for impaired memory, poor concentration and circulation, particularly to hands and feet.

However, the trees are not natural to the UK, which means you won’t find it readily available in your diet. To gain the benefits of ginkgo biloba the best advice is for you to take it in tablet form.

After all to get anywhere near 1000 years old, you’re going to need some help aren’t you?

A course of biloba supplements keeps your blood vessels elastic and helps prevent blood clotting. Their powerful antioxidant property can keep your mind and body operating efficiently in old age.

In fact a British study of biloba products revealed that Bio-Biloba has the highest antioxidant activity of all.

Biloba is also good for treating depression, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, vertigo and vitiligo. If you want an aid in fighting the free-radicals which lead to deterioration in later years it’s worth investing in nature’s oldest remedy.

Water – how pure do you want to be?

Filtered water
Filtered water

If you’re one of those people who manages to drink 2 litres of water a day then I’m jealous.

My attempt to keep a bottle of water at my desk always fails a few days into the mission. Guilt feelings about how bad my liver’s going to be in old age don’t have much impact either. Buying bottled water would probably help but let’s face it, it’s bad for the environment and my friends just laugh at the poncyness of it all (yes, I’m male), plus they’ve got a point, tap water’s cheaper and may well be just as clean.

The one thing which does work is keeping a jug of tap water in the fridge. I like that cool clean feel to the water – it makes me feel (almost) pure.

However, if you live in an area where the water is hard (ie. very mineral tasting and it furs up your kettle) then you may not like the taste.

Devotees of tea and coffee will promise that purer water produces a higher quality beverage and I’ve heard that steaming food with pure water increases the nutritional value of the food further.

So it’s worth investing in a water filter if you are interested in enjoying a clean natural taste. I’ve been looking at some Brita water jugs which reduce limescale and chlorine and removes lead and copper from the water.

I won’t scare you with a list of the chemicals which you can find in tap water. The amount is too small to have any impact on your health, though scientists still query the long term effect on your body. In fact UK tap water is said to be among the cleanest in the world. But, if you’re pregnant or elderly, there are some reports about the possible detriment of drinking water straight from the tap, research has linked tap water to birth defects and alzheimers.

NB. Always make sure you have enough minerals in your diet (the main source is from food), they help decrease the chance of heart disease when you’re older – but don’t worry about me. I’m going to have enough trouble looking after my liver.

Vitamin K2, of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s fame, discovered in Spirulina

There is a  growing body of research showing benefits for Vitamin K2. Among other benefits Vitamin K2 is believed to:

* Support blood health
* Support cardiovascular health and circulation
* Support bone health and benefit people with osteoporosis

These are very significant areas of health and in addition to this list, exciting new research is showing that Vitamin K2 may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, a variety of cancers, varicose veins, and skin aging.  That is some line up indeed.

In general one of Vitamin K’s job in our bodies is to put the calcium in the right places and keep it from being deposited in the wrong places so helping to avoid bone spurs and calcification of soft tissues. It also helps prevent calcification of arteries which contributes to ageing.

It is only relatively recently that the role of Vitamin K in the balance of calcium within our bodies has been appreciated, whereas the other balancing nutrients of Vitamin D3  and Magnesium have been recognised for much longer.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble compound which is important for blood coagulation generally found in plants and in the ‘good bacteria’ of our bodies. In normal situations our bodies have no trouble storing Vitamin K, but antibiotics and other drugs can hinder it’s production.  This is a very brief summary of a complex issue which can be read more fully here or here.  However the good news I have for you is that  Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides approximately 15 mcg / 3gm daily serving or 19% of the Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin K2, and 75 mcg / 3gm daily serving of Vitamin K (including all forms) or 94% of the Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin K based on analytical results from an independent laboratory.

Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina is already recognised as one of the world’s most nutrient rich foods. To hear, in addition to this, that Spirulina is also a good source of Vitamin K2 is indeed a bonus.  The manufacturers have told us : ‘ We have long known that Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica is an excellent source of Vitamin K, with 94% of the recommended Daily Value; but until now no Spirulina product has been shown to specifically contain Vitamin K2. We are delighted.’

See the full range of Hawaiian Spirulina

Green tea heals body and soul

My friend recently got into green tea. He was reading a self-help book on how to reduce stress, took the hint and is now practically addicted to the stuff. (It makes for neat little gifts to him: green tea and nettle, green tea with orange and lotus flower, green tea with interesting red bits…)

Because green tea is steamed rather than fermented, like the more familiar black tea, that is what holds its antioxidant and anticancer properties. The latest report out this month is that drinking five cups a day would reduce your risk of getting blood and lymph cancers by over 40%. In fact so well documented is the healing effect of green tea that 1000s of studies now exist into its benefits. My friend thinks he’s drinking something to help him de-stress but he could be helping to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, osteoporosis and weight-gain. Not bad for a cup of green stuff.

Incidentally, green tea contains half the caffeine of coffee and slightly less than black tea, so you can drink it before bedtime. Since it aids digestion and cleanses the pallet it is also good to drink after a meal or in the afternoon as a pick me up. It is best made with spring or filtered water and usually brewed for only a short time. Personally, I like to drink it before the evening begins as it really does help clear away the day’s stress. If you’re anything like me (or my friend) you’ll find it will help relax you, giving you composure for the twilight hours.

Fish oil may protect against diseases like Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder first described by James Parkinson in 1817 as ‘paralysis agitans’ (shaking palsy). Dr Nicholas Bazan and colleagues from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center recently presented new research findings to the American Society for Nutrition at the annual meeting for Experimental Biology 2009. These findings demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids in the diet may help prevent the misfolding of a protein resulting from a gene mutation, which is a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Dr Bazan and colleagues developed a cell model with an Ataxin-1 gene mutation, caused by an abnormally high number of base repeats (cytosine, adenine and guanine), which induces the production of misfolded proteins. Consequently, these proteins acquire toxic gains-of-function and become averse to degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) which serves to dispose of aberrant proteins. One resultant disorder of this Ataxin-1 mutation is Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) characterised by lack of muscle coordination, speech impairment, deformity of the spine, irregularity of movement along with other developing symptoms.

The research led by Dr Bazan, who is the Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, protects the cells from the Ataxin-1 mutation defect. DHA is obtained from the diet is derived mainly from marine alage and fish oils. It is known to be the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid found in the membrane phospholipids of neurons. Functionally, free DHA produces neuroprotection D1 (NDP1) which limits oxidative-stress induced cell death. NDP1 is an effective anti-inflammatory signalling molecule with neuroprotective value in several neurodegenerative diseases. DHA is required to maintain membrane integrity and subsequently NDP1 protects cells from apoptosis.

Therapeutically, this research by Dr Bazan and colleagues provides proof of principle that NDP1 can be utilised to target neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Bazan is quoted as saying that the results of his study should provide the basis of new therapeutic approaches to manipulate retinal pigment epithelial cells to be used as a source of NDP1 to treat patients with disorders characterised by this mutation like Parkinson’s, Retinis Pigmentosa and some forms of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Article submitted thanks to Reading Scientific Services Ltd     Read More

Grape seeds may combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Telegraph: New research is showing that eating grape seeds may help fight degenerative brain conditions.

Grape seeds contain a compound which when fed to mice for six months, showed “better cognitive function” than those on a normal diet.

“Experts at the Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, found that mice fed with grape seed extract for six months had “better cognitive function” than those on a normal diet.

They believe that the seeds could be used as a cheap treatment for preventing Alzheimer’s.

Professor Xin-Fu Zhou said the extract prevented the formation of deposits of amyloid proteins – a major cause of the disease – in the brain.

So he believed that people should think twice before spitting the seeds out.”