Do Fruits and Vegetables Help Keep Your Brain Young?

Eating ample servings of fruit and vegetables every day is proven strategy for long-term health, one that may even help us live longer, according to large populations studies that have uncovered a direct connection between the numbers of daily servings consumed and the risk of mortality in various groups of people. In the search for understanding how fruit and vegetables work to protect health, research has zeroed in on natural compounds found in fruit and vegetables called “flavonoids.” Flavonoids are phytonutrients (“phyto” means “plant”) that exert protective effects on the heart and cardiovascular systems.

The health benefits of generous fruit and vegetable intakes extend to preserving cognitive function in the elderly, as shown in a prospective population study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Epidemiological research studies the incidence of diseases in population groups to identify possible causes or protective factors. The PAQUID study of 1640 subjects aged 65 and older looked at the intake of flavonoids in relation to cognitive function and decline. Standardized tests of cognitive function were utilized in the investigation. The subjects were divided into quartiles (fourths) based on the amount of flavonoids consumed daily from food, chiefly fruits and vegetables, over a 10-year period. Subjects with the lowest flavonoid intake lost twice as many points on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Those in the top two quartiles “performed significantly better over time than did subjects in the lowest quartile,” according to the report.

How flavonoids work in the body may help explain why eating multiple daily servings of fruit and vegetables is so good for us. “Flavonoids are powerful antioxidant molecules,” the report states, a fact established in other research papers. Antioxidants helps neutralize byproducts of metabolism called “free radicals” that can damage cells if they get out of control. The body has enzyme systems for dealing with free radicals, but these can slow down as we age, leaving us more vulnerable to free radical damage.

When we were kids, Mom told us to eat our vegetables; it’s now our responsibility to give our loved ones that same advice as they grow older. Young or old, however, it can be a real challenge to keep up with the standard recommendation to eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day without fail. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates the average number of daily servings eaten by Americans at only 1.6 for veggies and 1.1 for fruit. Taking a dietary supplement that includes concentrates of fruit and vegetables is one way consumers are helping meet the shortfall. The demand for “green food” supplements with organic vegetable and fruits continues to increase as consumers follow this emerging lifestyle trend.

Letenneur L, et al. Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period. Am J Epidemiol 2007;165(12):1364-71.

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Fruits and Veggies – Do You Get Your 5-a-Day?

Fruits and Vegetables – Do You Get Your “5-a-Day”? If not OJC Can fill the Gaps

Five a day, every day. That’s the widely accepted goal for the number of fruit and vegetable servings we should eat every day. With ever-mounting scientific evidence about the many health benefits of fruits and vegetables, gleaned from a plethora of research studies, government agencies and health experts are on the same page. While recommendations vary somewhat for different age groups, a good rule of thumb is that we should aim for two to three servings of both fruits and vegetables. And this should be a daily dietary practice, not something we do once or twice a week, or when we get around to it.

Here’s a sampling of government recommendations for daily consumption of veggies and fruit:
• USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)—Veggies: 2-3 cups. Fruit: 1½-2 cups.
•—Veggies: 4 servings (1 serving = ½ cup cooked). Fruit: 3 servings (1 serving = 1½- cup cooked, canned or chopped fruit, or 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear).
• CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)—Veggies: 2½-3 cups. Fruit 1½-2 cups.
• Health Canada—Veggies and Fruits: 7-8 servings for teens and adults.

Health Canada’s recommendation lines up with a recent analysis of data form the 2001-2008 Health Surveys for England. This large-scale population study of 65,226 people found a strong connection between intakes for fruit and vegetables and longevity. Eating more than 2-3 servings a day increased the likelihood of living longer, with the greatest benefit realized at seven servings.

Just how well are we doing at following these dietary guidelines? The sobering truth is not good news. According to the CDC, the average number of daily servings eaten by Americans is a mere 1.6 for veggies and 1.1 for fruit. Most of us are clearly falling far short of the mark. Realistically, it can be a challenge to keep up, day in and day out. Maybe we’re dieting, skip meals or frankly don’t have the time.

There’s help from Purity Products! You can use Purity’s OJC Greens to fill the gap. OJC brings farm fresh organic fruits and veggies right to your door with a diverse array of health-fueling phytonutrients, all in one, easy to take, certified organic greens drink. Organic Juice Cleanse is power-packed with dozens of organic, nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable concentrates. Just mix a tablespoon of Organic Juice Cleanse powder in eight ounces of pure water and drink. When you’re in a hurry, on the go, at the office and just about anywhere else … nourish your body with a serving of Organic Juice Cleanse and relax, knowing that you’re a long way toward crossing the goal post for fruit and vegetable intake.

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For many centuries alliums have been grown for their characteristic flavors and beautiful flowers. In addition to its esthetic and culinary attributes, the root bulb (“clove”) of garlic (Allium sativum) has been cherished by many cultures as a powerful promoter of good health.

Sanskrit records contain evidence that garlic was being used “medicinally” about 5,000 years ago and about 4500 years ago Charak, the father of Ayurvedic medicine, claimed that garlic maintains the fluidity of blood and strengthens the heart. The 3500-year old Egyptian Codex Ebers touts garlic, Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder were garlicophiles, Pasteur wrote about garlic’s activity in 1858 and garlic preparations were used on the battlefield in the 20th century.

Garlic and Healthy Blood Vessels

Modern research continues to affirm the health benefits that can be obtained by including raw garlic, whole garlic powders or extracts of garlic in the diet or consuming them as dietary supplements. As pointed out by the authors of a review published recently in the Journal of Nutrition, the evidence from studies in humans shows that the consumption of garlic supports many aspects of blood vessel health.1 The blood vessels are the all-important corridors of the cardiovascular system. While the heart is the engine that pumps our blood, without healthy blood vessels, it can’t reach the tissues where it’s needed.

As an example of garlic’s blood vessel-supportive prowess, the results of a human clinical trial published recently in the Journal of Nutrition indicated that the daily consumption of a modest amount of an extract of whole garlic cloves for 6 weeks on average doubled the ability of the brachial artery to expand in response to increased need for blood flow in healthy men and women.2 Not only were the big blood vessels affected – the small capillaries in the skin also increased their ability to circulate fresh blood after 6 weeks of garlic consumption. Increased ability of an artery to respond to increased demand for blood flow to tissues without impacting blood pressure (“arterial compliance”) and increased capacity of the small blood vessels within tissues to distribute that blood reflect a healthy cardiovascular system; this investigation provides persuasive evidence that garlic consumption is a major contributor to healthy cardiovascular function.

The results of other studies in healthy humans, also published recently in the Journal of Nutrition may explain how garlic can help maintain pliable arteries and open vessel channels in tissues.3,4 In these studies investigators found that garlic has potent antioxidant properties and slows the rate of oxidation of circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and promotes the integrity of blood vessel walls. Researchers agree that these two factors are of primary importance to maintaining excellent cardiovascular health. Keeping arteries healthy and discouraging the oxidation of lipids and fats in the blood go a long way to living a productive and heart-healthy life.

Another way garlic supports healthy blood vessels is by promoting the healthy metabolism of glucose in the blood. High blood glucose levels may adversely impact blood vessel health over time by reacting with proteins in the blood and vessels. This reaction effectively damages the protein, leading it to lose its functionality. Research published recently in the Journal of Nutrition shows how the bioactive compounds in garlic can prevent the formation of these sugar-protein complexes and keep your blood vessels healthy.5 Let the proteins play their role and let blood sugar perform its function and go where it’s meant to.

Where Does Allicin Come In?

A clove of garlic contains an extremely large amount of biologically active sulfur-containing phytonutrients. However, allicin, the most intensively studied phytonutrient associated with garlic and the source of garlic’s distinctive fragrance, is not found in the clove but instead is formed when a clove is chopped, crushed, cut or chewed (breaking up the garlic cells in the clove stimulates an enzyme to produce allicin quickly). Allicin is absorbed into the human bloodstream and either exerts its benefits directly or is converted into an effective alternative compound.

Experiments in mice published recently in Pathobiology “connect the dots” linking allicin to garlic’s vascular protective actions.6 Dietary supplementation with pure allicin resulted in the incorporation of allicin into all lipid-containing particles produced by the intestines and liver. As the lipid particles contained allicin, they contained less cholesterol and were more resistant to oxidation. This experiment was conducted in mice that were genetically programmed to produce numerous arterial plaques as a model for atherosclerosis. The daily consumption of pure allicin drastically decreased the size of the plaques that were formed. While these mice had a genetic predisposition to a chronic condition, this dramatic illustration suggests that healthy humans with no pre-existing cardiovascular disease may benefit greatly from the consumption of garlic and allicin, as this compound promotes arterial health and wellness. The dose used in this mouse study was the equivalent of daily supplementation in humans with about 500 to 600 mg of pure allicin daily.

1. Rahman K, Lowe GM. Garlic and cardiovascular disease: A critical review. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):736S-740S.
2. Weiss N, Ide N, Abahji T, Nill L, Keller C, Hoffmann U. Aged garlic extract improves homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction in macro- and microcirculation. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):750S-754S.
3. Lau BH. Suppression of LDL oxidation by garlic compounds is a possible mechanism of cardiovascular health benefit. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):765S-768S.
4. Ide N, Keller C, Weiss N. Aged garlic extract inhibits homocysteineinduced CD36 expression and foam cell formation in human macrophages. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):755S-758S.
5. Ahmad MS, Ahmed N. Antiglycation properties of aged garlic extract: Possible role in prevention of diabetic complications. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):796S-799S.
6. Gonen A, Harats D, Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Weiner L, Ulman E, Levkovitz H, Ben-Shushan D, Shaish A. The antiatherogenic effect of allicin: Possible mode of action. Pathobiology 2005;72:325-334.

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Flavonoids in Fruits and Vegetables – Protection for Your Heart

An ever-increasing volume of evidence from research studies has built a strong case for the heart health-protecting benefits of a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables. Eating multiple servings every day appears to benefit the heart and reduce the risk of death from heart disease. Do fruit and vegetables contain natural constituents can confer this protection? In search for the answer, science has focused on a diverse group of compounds called “flavonoids” that are abundant in plants. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified in the plant kingdom. These substances are also commonly known as “bioflavonoids”; meaning they are found in living things, in this case fruits and vegetables.

Flavonoids are plant-based phytonutrients with cardiovascular protective properties that have come to light in studies on cellular biology. A 2012 study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data on lifestyle behaviors, food consumption and medical histories from questionnaires completed by nearly 100,00 people (38,180 men; 60,289 women. Using a sophisticated statistical analysis method called “cox regression”, the researchers found a strong association between total dietary flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Compared to those in the lowest fifth of flavonoid consumption, people in the highest fifth had a nearly 20 percent lower risk. In men, there was a particularly strong link between flavonoid intake and reduced risk of death from stroke. As stated in the report: “Flavonoid consumption was associated with lower risk of death from CVD.”

How do flavonoids deliver their heart health benefits? There appear to be a number of physiological mechanisms. According to a research review published in the scientific journal Pharmacological Reviews: “The mechanism for a cardioprotective role of flavonoids likely involves more than one pathway, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions and vascular effects.”


McCullough ML, et al. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95(2):454-64.

Middleton M, et al. the effects of plant flavonoids on mammalian cells: implications for inflammation, heart disease and cancer. Pharmacol Rev 2000;52(4):677-751.

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Organic Really is Better For You – the Latest Research Shows It!

Scientists, cautious as they are, have debated as to whether organic vegetables and fruits are indeed healthier than inorganic. Even though studies have found higher levels—as much as nearly 70 percent higher – of antioxidant compounds in organic foods when compared to inorganic foods, the research data as a whole has been called inconclusive, from a strict scientific point of view. Just the same, there’s little argument that organic crops have lower levels of toxic substances; that alone is enough for many consumers to make the switch. Expectedly better nutritional value is an added value to the safety factor that comes with lower toxicity.

But now, one of the largest data reviews performed to date should settle the issue once and for all. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, meta-analyses of data pooled from 343 scientific studies “indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops and crop-based foods,” according to the report. The content of antioxidant plant-based nutrients such as flavonoids, “were found to be substantially higher” in organic crops. Non-organic crops, on the other hand have four times more pesticide residues. Levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, are also higher in conventional crops. And this holds true regardless of where the crops are grown, showing that organic farming practices do make a difference. “Organic crops, on average, have much higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentration of Cd (cadmium) and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and produce seasons”, the report concludes.

For those of you who’ve made the transition to organic shopping, you can now be assured that, where your health is concerned, it’s well worth the effort and expense.

Barański M, et al. Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. Br J Nutr. 2014 Jun 26:1-18. [Epub ahead of print].

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Try our Certified Organic Juice Cleanse!

Our Organic Juice Cleanse has become a customer favorite!

It’s juicing without the hassle! Or expense! If you have trouble getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruit and veggies everyday then, Organic Juice Cleanse™ can provide your body with a quick and potent shot of healthy phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

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Organic Juice Cleanse

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Certified Organic Juice Cleanse, New from Purity Products

We are thrilled to introduce our Certified Organic Juice Cleanse!

It’s juicing without the hassle! Or expense! If you have trouble getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruit and veggies everyday then, Organic Juice Cleanse™ can provide your body with a quick and potent shot of healthy phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

Try our Certified Organic Juice Cleanse for FREE for a limited time by visiting:

Or buy anytime by visiting:

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Establishing Your “Healthy Aging” Plan

Learn from the Okinawans & the People of the Mediterranean!

First and foremost — slow down. Relax a little. Definitely don’t stress about it!

Now, take a leisurely but long and honest look at your lifestyle. While you’re relaxing is a good time to ask yourself: Is the way I eat fostering “old age” or is it promoting Healthy Aging?

A sensible way to assess the contribution your nutritional practices are making to your ability to age healthfully is to compare them to the information in our healthy aging posts.

Then, in a stepwise fashion, think about making incremental changes to your habits that will lead you down the path of health and wellness. Think of the core elements that we’ve talked about time and again. These include the fundamentals of diet, lifestyle, and nutritional therapy. Now, thinking about each one, assess where you may be deficient and then give some thought to incorporating healthy principles into your daily living.

Taking it one step further, your therapeutic nutritional regimen should work as follows: the foundational nutrients should include a high-quality, complete multivitamin and multimineral formula that has sufficient levels of essential nutrients and includes additional antioxidants. Given the immense benefits of essential fatty acids from fish oil, these should be a part of the foundational plan. A high-potency, purified fish oil product is best. In addition to these supplements, a final one to include in this foundation is a probiotic bacterial supplement that contains multiple friendly strains and that is certified to contain what it states on the label.

Now reassess your dietary habits and your lifestyle, along with any specific areas of need or support you have, and build on your foundation based on your needs. For example, if you’re not getting adequate levels of antioxidants in your diet, you may need to add additional ones. This can be accomplished in many ways, including by adding a greens drink to your regimen. Furthermore, if you need to support your joints, cognitive function, or heart health, you would add nutrients specifically targeted to those areas. In this way, you start with the fundamental core of nutrients and then add based on your individual situation. This ensures you achieve the comprehensive support you are looking for in order to age healthfully. Lastly, if you need guidance, don’t hesitate to check with your naturopathic physician or nutritionally-informed healthcare practitioner. It could be the wisest investment you’ll ever make. So, if you need help, ask for it!

Tier I — Diet and Lifestyle

Most of the food you eat should consist of fruits and vegetables as well as some whole grains (but not too many grain-based foods; they pack a sizeable caloric wallop). Five servings of fruits and five servings of vegetables every day will go a long way toward keeping you healthy. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables — during the course of a week, your 35 servings of fruits should include at least 10 different kinds of fruit — go ahead and stretch your sense of adventure beyond apples, oranges and bananas. Eat some blueberries, fresh grapes, pineapple, papaya — you get the idea.

The same for vegetables — 35 servings a week, with 5 or fewer being any form of potatoes. Carrots, lettuce and tomatoes are great — but use your imagination. Replace a plate of fries with a bell pepper (green, red, yellow or orange) stuffed with mushrooms. Rotate different varieties of squash and zucchini. Cucumbers aren’t just for sandwiches. And olives — how can you go wrong? Don’t be afraid to actually try some of those “unusual” vegetables available in the stores. Eat a rainbow of colors, as those colors represent something healthy that your body has an essential need for.

Get adequate amounts of protein in your diet. Try to remember that the healthiest protein sources for human adults do not come from mammals. You’ve heard this before — fish every day, poultry several times a week and eggs as often as you like. View dairy foods (even the so-called “fat-free” ones) as beverages or sweet treats and not as components of a healthy diet. Eat very lean red meats on occasion to add some variety to meals, but don’t fall into the “meat and potatoes” trap. And don’t forget — beans and legumes are a great substitute for animal protein once in a while.

Snack on raw nuts and seeds as they are good sources of essential, healthy fats. Don’t overdo it, though. They are calorie-rich.

Forget salt and sugar — you’ll get all you need and then some from the fruits and vegetables that form the base of your relationship to food. Add spices to spice up your life — switch to some real taste enhancers — herbs, spices such as turmeric, ginger, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, pepper — condiments that taste great, are less filling and are health-promoting.

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of establishing a routine regimen of physical activity and exercise. Alternate this with a spiritual practice or some form of meditation, such as yoga. These routines will help you cope with daily stress.

Tier II — Your Nutrition Insurance Policy

Of course, day-to-day life has its ups and downs, and it’s not realistic to plan on always being able to keep up with your dietary ideals, no matter how motivated and well-intentioned you may be. Besides, there’s no way you can maximize your nutritional health through foods alone — you just can’t eat a dozen oranges, snack on a bushel of wild berries or wolf down 5 pounds of even the tastiest broiled salmon every day. Or even every other day. Also realize that the nutritional value of our foods has decreased over the years due to irregularities in soil nutrient content, over-planting and over-harvesting.

In the real world, everyone needs a nutritional insurance policy — and individualized, carefully selected and targeted high-quality dietary supplements are the answer.

As we discussed above, the “basic” policy is provided by a superior multivitamin, multimineral supplement. Daily use will smooth out the fluctuations in your needs and food choices and can fill in any temporary gaps that might occur on any particular day.

In general, a superior vitamin and mineral supplement for an adult should provide:

  • Vitamin A
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Biotin
  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Molybdenum
  • Potassium

In addition to a superior multivitamin and multimineral supplement, you should add supplemental fish oil and a probiotic supplement. Quality products are essential to ensure you’re getting all of the good they offer and none of the bad – in terms of contamination, rancidity, certified strains, etc.

Beyond that, give consideration to adding a “whole foods” dietary supplement containing fruit and vegetable extracts or powders, if your dietary habits haven’t reached the healthy plateau yet. A fun and refreshing alternative is a “whole foods” liquid beverage packed with all of these nutrients plus a broad spectrum of phytochemicals, the dietary fiber of fruits and vegetables, and the other, so far unidentified, healthy food factors that nicely complement the purified vitamins and minerals in your basic supplement. A couple of these drinks a day can make up for any servings of fruits or vegetables you might happen to miss.

Tier III — Individualize and Target Your Coverage

The judicious selection and then faithful consumption of other dietary supplementation will allow you to focus on your greatest personal concerns. Want extra immune support? A concentrated bioflavonoid mix may be helpful. Joint support? Think glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, etc. If heart health concerns you, you may want to include CoQ10 and alphalipoic acid, among others in your daily “Tier III” supplemental nutrition plan for Healthy Aging. Looking for an edge in mental performance, memory, mental clarity, quick thinking? Consider folic acid, the omega-3 fish oils EPA and DHA, dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries, phosphatidylserine, N-acetylcysteine, vinpocetine and other brain-friendly phytonutrients.

Need help deciding? Consult a naturopathic physician or nutritionally-oriented health care practitioner.

Despite what you may want to think, it is impossible to take every supplement that could help improve your health. That’s why the basis of your nutrition plan for Healthy Aging is healthy food choices. Your dietary habits are of the utmost importance. Nonetheless, everyone can benefit from first identifying their own most urgent needs and then targeting their personalized nutrition plan for Healthy Aging accordingly.

Healthy Aging — Go For It!

Although Mark Twain said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d druther not,” when you embrace a positive lifestyle — eating healthfully, exercising moderately and joyfully filled with a sense of purpose, passion and social engagement — you will find that Healthy Aging is a journey well worth pursuing.

A Blueprint for Healthy Aging

  • A healthy diet is the foundation of healthy aging.
  • Fill in the gaps with individualized and targeted dietary supplementation.
  • Build on that core with daily physical activity and exercise.
  • Never use tobacco products and drink red wine at dinner and in moderation.
  • Embrace your life as it is, and let a desire to improve — not ambition — guide you.
  • Become inspired by whatever makes you truly happy and fulfilled
  • Turn your back on stress and learn to relax.
  • Turn toward the meaningful people in your life and allow their love and friendship to restore your energy.
  • Rekindle your trust in others.
  • Exercise your mind and challenge it to retain a positive outlook and attitude.
  • Laugh once in a while and smile often.
  • Maintain balance in all things.
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Three surprising cardio boosters

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The treatment of those with cardiac disease cost more than $100 million per year in the U.S. in 2013 and many have predicted that amount will double by the year 2030 as baby-boomers are continuing to enter old age.

There are many recommendations out there to improve cardiac health: quitting smoking, cutting back on fatty food keeping cholesterol under control and exercising are all highly recommended for those who want to keep their heart and circulatory system in peak operating condition. However, there are also some less known cardiac boosters that heart health enthusiasts can look into to keep their optimally.

Hibiscus flower tea 
According to, hibiscus flower tea may be a huge aid to those looking to lower their blood pressure. The lightly cranberry flavored tea acts a diuretic and brings down the volume of water in the body. It is also naturally packed with phytonutrients called anthocyanins that work to block the compounds that cause blood vessel constriction.

Black walnuts
English, or black, walnuts are rich in antioxidants and contain minerals and fatty acids such as linoleic acid and linolenic acid. A 2011 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin also demonstrated that the consumption of 1 ounce of black walnuts per day were linked to improved blood lipid levels and superior processing of consumed saturated fats{,} with no side effects such as weight gain. Though researchers did advise more study, they noted that black walnuts could be added to a cardio-protective regime.

Vitamin C
The ultimate health utility player, vitamin C has been linked to general improved immune response and to being helpful against specific conditions like the common cold. It can also help your heart, notes The vitamin has been linked to such favorable health events such as potentially reducing high blood pressure; preventing the hardening of the arteries, lowering cholesterol and repairing damaged arterial walls.

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Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 10: Soy Protein Isoflavones

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 10: Soy Protein Isoflavones

Soy protein contains a set of phytochemicals called isoflavones. These phytonutrients are absorbed into the human blood stream and circulate to a variety of tissues where they interact with the processes regulating cell functions. One area of isoflavone biology that has received a great deal of attention is the support of bone health. Studies consistently show a beneficial effect of soy isoflavone consumption on human bone. The results of a hallmark randomized, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that several months of daily supplementation with 90 mg of soy isoflavones facilitated an increase in the bone mineral content and bone mineral density of the spine in postmenopausal women.17 In contrast, only 56 mg daily was not effective. Another randomized, placebo-controlled study showed that daily consumption of 80 mg of soy isoflavones for 6 months supported the density of vertebral bone in perimenopausal women.18 In confirmation of previous studies, two studies published recently demonstrated that less than 80 mg of soy isoflavones daily is ineffective in promoting bone health in postmenopausal women.19,20

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11:  Ipriflavone

17. Potter SM, Baum JA, Teng H, Stillman RJ, Shay NF, Erdman JW Jr. Soy protein and isoflavones: Their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68(Suppl.):1375S-1379S.
18. Alekel DL, Germain AS, Peterson CT, Hanson KB, Stewart JW, Toda T. Isoflavone-rich soy protein isolate attenuates bone loss in the lumbar spine of perimenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:844-852.
19. Roughead ZK, Hunt JR, Johnson LK, Badger TM, Lykken GI. Controlled substitution of soy protein for meat protein: Effects on calcium retention, bone, and cardiovascular health indices in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005;90:181-189.
20. Arjmandi BH, Lucas EA, Khalil DA, Devareddy L, Smith BJ, McDonald J, Arquitt AB, Payton ME, Mason C. One year soy protein supplementation has positive effects on bone formation markers but not bone density in postmenopausal women. Nutr J 2005;4:8. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-8 (

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