HealthWise at 5: Updates - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/26/05

HealthWise at 5: Updates

- Some people, including the first George Bush, hate broccoli. According to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, the intense reaction to broccoli and other cruciform vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts) appears to be genetic.

Broccoli contains a chemical called phenythiocarbamide (PTC) that has a very bitter taste. Apparently, for those with the genetic trait, it intensifies the bitterness.

A tip to improve the taste is to not cook broccoli too long because it intensifies that strong taste and smell. But don't avoid this marvelous vegetable. One cup contains all the vitamin C you need for one day along with beta carotene, niacin, thiamin, calcium, vitamin E, fiber, and only 30 calories.

- Many people are now taking Fosamax or other drugs to reduce or reverse bone loss. It is only taken once a week which is convenient but there are other instructions that must be followed if it is to be effective.

Take enough Vitamin D. Most vitamin pills contain 400 IU's of the RDA for Vitamin D. If you want to boost your bone density, you have to increase that to 800 mg. Take your vitamin pill and add another plain vitamin D pill.

Also take your calcium, but don't take it all at once. This is to aid absorption. Take smaller doses two or three times a day. And the good news is that there will soon be a pill on the market that you only have to take once a month.

- Can you prevent Alzheimer's by eating certain nutrients? A look at the research shows that's what's good for the heart is good for the brain. Trans fats are doubly dangerous for the brain. Eating moderate amounts double or even triple the risk of Alzheimer's.

Elevated cholesterol (according to studies in Finland) contributes to clogged arteries both in the heart and the brain Diabetes, too, is associated with cognitive impairment.

To help both the brain and heart, boost your levels of B vitamins (in food). Make sure you eat fruits and vegetables rich in C and E. Vitamin E appears to be especially important but not in pill form. Foods rich in E include vegetable oils, wheat germ, almonds, avocado, and sunflower seeds.

This all points to the wisdom in the new food pyramid. We need to increase our intake of fruits and vegetables. Our new motto should be, "Five cups a day keeps the doctor away."

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