Health And Green Leafy Vegetables

 

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific food.

 

1. Heart
Soo Yeon Kim, Sun Yoon, Soo Mi Kwon, Kye Sook Park, Yang Cha Lee-Kim. Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemia men. Biomed Environ Sci. 2008 Apr;21(2):91-7. 
In this study 32 men with high cholesterol consumed 150 ml of kale juice per day for 12 weeks.  After this time, there was an increase in HDL, the good cholesterol while there was a decrease in LDL, the bad cholesterol.  Apart from this, there was also a significant increase in enzymes which supports immunity (glutathione peroxidase and selenium).  These results were not as great among smokers than non- smokers. 
 
Pollock, RL. The Effect of Green Leafy and Cruciferous Vegetable Intake on the Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 5(2048004016661435. PMC4973479
This was a meta analysis of eight studies.  It investigated the relationship between the incidences of total cardiovascular disease with the intake of green leafy vegetables.  It showed a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease correlated with the consumption of the greens. 
 
 
2. Bladder cancer
Chang Xu, Xian-Tao Zeng, Tong-Zu Liu, Chao Zhang, Zhong-Hua Yang, Sheng Li, Xiao-Yan Chen. Fruits and Vegetables Intake and Risk of Bladder Cancer: A PRISMACompliant Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 May ;94(17):e759
This study looked at 17 studies including 9447 case studies to show the effect of the consumption of fruit and vegetables on the development of bladder cancer.  It was shown that the higher the consumption of green leafy vegetables, the smaller
the risk was in the development of the disease.  Consequently it was concluded that green leafy vegetables might even help prevent bladder cancer. 
 
 
3.  Type II diabetes
Ping-Yu Wang, Jun-Chao Fang, Zong-Hua Gao, Can Zhang, Shu-Yang Xie. Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A metaanalysis. J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan ;7(1):56-69. Epub 2015 Jun 22
Twenty three articles were used to carry out a meta-analysis between the intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.   
It was found that a higher intake of fruit, especially berries, and green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, cruciferous vegetables or their fiber is associated with a lower risk of development of type 2 diabetes. 
 
 
4.  Appetite control
C J Rebello, C E O'Neil, F L Greenway. Gut fat signaling and appetite control with special emphasis on the effect of thylakoids from spinach on eating behavior. Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Jul 31. Epub 2015 Jul 31. 
This study found that consuming spinach with fat, it delays the fat metabolism.  As a consequence the body senses satiety for a longer period of time after consuming a meal.  This plays a positive role in apetite control, one of the problems in the obesity crisis.   
 
 
5.  Anti-aging
Jae H Kang, Alberto Ascherio, Francine Grodstein. Fruit and vegetable consumption and cognitive decline in aging women. Ann Neurol. 2005 May ;57(5):713-20. 
In this prospective study, done from 1976 to 2001, women were studied for fruit and vegetable intake and their decline of cognitive function.  It was found that total vegetable intake was associated with less decline.  Spicifically green  leafy vegetables and crucifirous vegetables were associated with higher cognitive function.  As consumption of these vegetables were increased, there was less decline in function.   
 
 
6.  Blood purification
 
PATEK AJ Jr.  Chlorophyll and regeneration of the blood. Effect of administration of chlorophyll derivatives to patients with chronic hypochromic anemia. Archives of Internal Medicine 1936 Vol. 57 pp. 73-84  ISSN: 0003-9926
 
In this study it was shown that intake of chlorrophyl derivatives (dark green vegetables such as green leafy and sea vegetables) by anemic patients increased their hemoglobin independently from iron intake.    
 
 
7. Liver detoxifier
Rose, P, Ong, CN, et al. Protective Effects of Asian Green Vegetables against Oxidant Induced Cytotoxicity. World J Gastroenterol 11(48)7607-14. PMC4727240
This article showed that green leaf vegetables are potential sources of antioxidants and phase II detoxification enzyme inducers. It is likely that consumption of such vegetables is a major source of beneficial phytochemical factors that may protect against colonic damage. 
 

Flaxseed

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Gillian Flower, Heidi Fritz, Lynda G Balneaves, Shailendra Verma, Becky Skidmore, Rochelle Fernandes, Deborah Kennedy, Kieran Cooley, Raimond Wong, Stephen Sagar, Dean Fergusson, Dugald See.  Flax and Breast Cancer: A systematic Review.  Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sept 8. Epub 2013 Sept 8. PMID: 24013641

 

Our interpretation:

This was a literature review study.  The researchers searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and AMED for scientific material on human interventional or observational data about the consumption of flaxseed and breast cancer. 

From the ten studies researchers chose to include, they concluded that evidence suggests that flax may be associated with decreased risk of developing breast cancer.   Flaxseed consumption also demonstrates suppression of tumor growth in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer, indicating support for cancer treatment.

 

Lilian U Thompson, Jian Min Chen, Tong Li, Kathrin Strasser-Weippl, Paul E Goss. Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 15;11(10):3828-35. PMID: 15897583

The study was conducted on post-menopausal women all diagnosed with breast cancer.  It looked at the effect of flaxseed consumption on breast cancer markers (evidence in the body reelecting the presence of breast cancer) and the urinary excretion of lignans.  Lignans are present in flaxseedand offer protection against cancer in general and breast and ovarian cancer specifically.  Lignans in the urine provide us an idea of its presence in the body. 

The women in the study were designated to two groups.  One group had no dietary interventions while the other consumed one muffin containing 25 g of flaxseed on a daily basis for one month.  After this time, the biomarkers in the women who consumed the flaxseed were significantly lower than those who did not consume flaxseed.  This indicated that the cancer was less active.  Also, the women who consumed the flaxseed had more lignans in the urine which was indicative of more lignans in the body to protect them from cancer.

This study clearly indicates how only one month of flaxseed consumption could lower our risk for breast cancer and improve our chances of breast cancer survival.  Although this study was conducted on patients with breast cancer we also know that flaxseed protect us from other forms of cancer.  With no serious side effects and a few added side benefits, everyone should explore ways to incorporate flaxseed into their daily diets.

A study published in the journal ‘Nutrition and Cancer’ by Thompson et. al.  (Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(1):43-52) showed high amounts of lignan precursors in oilseeds, dried seaweeds, whole legumes, cereal brans, legume hulls, whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits (84 +/- 22). Flaxseed flour and its defatted meal were the highest producers of lignans.

 

Turmeric - a wonder food

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

Yanyan Li, Tao Zhang.  Targeting Cancer Stem Cells by Curcumin and Clinical Applications.  Cancer Lett. 2014 Jan 23. Epub 2014 Jan 23. PMID: 24463298  

Our interpretation:

This is a composite article reviewing all the articles published regarding the ability of curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, to protect against cancer.  It deals specifically with targeting cancer stem cells which now is believed to not only initiate cancer but also play a role in drug resistant cancers and recurrence of cancer.  Although much research is still needed, this article acknowledges the potential of curcumin to control the renewal of cancer stem cells, and thus the development of cancer as well as recurrence and response to treatment.  Studies were done to test the efficacy of this agent independently as well with traditional cancer therapies.  Numerous studies have shown both turmeric and curcumin to be tolerated very well as food and supplement.  Although only a small portion of ingested curcumin is absorbed, it could be improved multiple times with the simultaneous ingestion of pepper. 

So what does this mean to the nutritionist?  Although not guaranteed to protect from all cancers it could be beneficial to add this spice to your food and drinks.  Turmeric is not an overwhelming spice and blends very well with all curry dishes, tomato and pumpkin based soups and stews.  It also makes a flavorful drink for bedtime when it is mixed into warm milk (of any kind) with honey and ginger. Remember to always add pepper to enhance the absorption of curcumin. 

 

R Thomas, M Williams, H Sharma, A Chaudry, P Bellamy.  A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer-the UK NCRN Pomi-T study.  Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014 Mar 11. Epub 2014 Mar 11. PMID: 24614693

This was a study with very exciting results showing the benefit of consumption of a supplement of nutrients by men with localized prostate cancer.  In this case the supplement included pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric. None of these men received active medical treatment and they were divided into two groups. One of the groups took a supplement containing the above mentioned nutrients while the other group received an identical placebo.  The efficacy of the experimental supplement was measured in the increase of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels from baseline.  PSA is elevated in men with prostate cancer and an increase is thus a measurement of the progression of the disease. 

The amazing results showed an increase of 14.7% PSA in the men on the experimental supplement while the increase in the other group was 78.5%!  The supplement was well tolerated and because the study ran for only six months, the investigators will only claim short term effects.  As a nutritionist, this is only reinforcement of the belief that nutrient rich food will not only have benefits for general health, but will specifically help in the enormous task today to protect against, stop or at least hinder the progression of cancer.

 

 

Anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Alexandra Balbir-Gurman, Bianca Fuhrman, Yolanda Braun-Moscovici, Doron Markovits, Michael Aviram.  Consumption of pomegranate decreases serum oxidative stress and reduces disease activity in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study.  Isr Med Assoc J. 2011 August 2013,13(8):4749.  PMID: 21910371

Our interpretation:

This study looked at the effect of pomegranate extract in patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  After the consumption of 10 ml pomegranate extract per day for twelve weeks, the results were astounding. 

There was a 62% reduction in tender joint count which translates into 62% less pain.  Other markers of the disease (serum oxidative status, high density lipoprotein-associated paraoxonase 1 and free radical-induced lipid peroxidation) were also reduced. These results could be related to the anti-oxidant and detoxifying properties of pomegranates and therefore makes it suitable as a supplement for a person suffering from RA.