April 2014 ISSUE

 

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Mean Green Machine
A diet high in vegetables and fruits is a beneficial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle As the saying goes - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
A diet high in vegetables and fruits is a beneficial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle As the saying goes - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Just recently, a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute concluded - an extra serving of fruits and vegetables a day may reduce the risk in the development of head and neck cancers.

Head and neck cancers originate in the throat, larynx (voice box), pharynx, salivary glands, or oral cavity (lip, mouth, tongue).
Most head and neck cancers involve cells that line the mouth and throat.Tobacco and alcohol use also increase the risk of head and neck cancers which effect the throat. In 1999 there were 5,000,000 cases of head and neck cancers worldwide.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted in regards to our diets - demonstrating that what we ingest plays a enormous part in the risks associated with cancer.

The National Cancer Institute conducted studies on 500,000 men and women aged 50 and older in regard to their diets. Researchers studied these retirees for 5 years and recorded all diagnosis of head and neck cancers - the sixth leading cause in cancer related deaths worldwide.

The study found that eating 6 servings of fruit and vegetables a day for every 1,000 calories consumed, slashed the risk of head and neck cancer by 29% compared to eating one and a half servings.

“It may not sound like news that vegetables protect from cancer, but there is actually some controversy in the literature. It is important that we do these large studies,” said Dr. Alan Kristal, associate head of the cancer prevention program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

“Increasing consumption by just one serving of fruit or vegetables per 1,000 calories per day was associated with a 6 percent reduction in head and neck cancer risk, said Neal Freedman, cancer prevention associate at the National Cancer Institute.

As much as all of us hate to admit it - our diets rarely contain the necessary amounts of fruits and vegetables recommended by our doctors. This is probably due to the lack of time our hectic lives enable us to work with. After all, vegetables are can be boring, and when grabbing lunch on the run it's understandable why we reach for the slice of pizza or burger - convenience. We just don't have the space to carry around the amounts of fruits and vegetables we need to meet our recommended intake. However, this is no excuse, and taking about ten minutes to prepare a 2-3 serving fruit or vegetable salad to take to work will definitely bring future rewards.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

  • No cholesterol
  • Low in fat
  • Contain dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A,E,and C.
  • Can Reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • Can reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce risk of cancers
  • Aid in lowering caloric intake
  • Reduced risk in kidney stones and bone loss


  • Solid fruits and vegetables are the way of choice. However, there's nothing wrong with drinking them through juices. The right choice of juice can have exceptional vitamin C, B, and potassium, as well as antioxidants. However, juice does not contain the amounts of nutrients found in whole products and should not be considered a substitute.

    Studies revealed that most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants in the peels which don't make into juice. It is reported that the pulp and membranes that separate orange slices contain up to 5 times more of one major antioxidant than a glass of juice. Mix it up - use a wide variety of natural fruit and vegetable compounds.

    Another study witch included over 183,000 residents of California and Hawaii concluded that maintaining a diet high in flavonoids - common in plant based foods such as apples, berries and broccoli - can reduce the risk of pancreas cancer in smokers.

    Here are a few simple fruit and vegetable recopies that are quick and easy for anyone to prepare.

    DETOXIFYING FRUIT SALAD

    2 handfuls of blue berries

    2 apples

    2 bananas

    2 oranges

    2 Tbs. raisins

    1/2 cup of natural cranberry juice

    Peel and slice fruit into small pieces.
    Soak raisins for an hour to soften.
    Mix well with cranberry juice.


    PEACEFUL CABBAGE

    Serves 1

    2 apples

    wedge of cabbage

    2 Tbs. honey

    1 tsp. cinnamon

    1/4 cup water

    Blend apples into puree, add remainder of ingredients. Blend 3-4 minutes. Chill and serve.
Before attempting any exercise or diet modification, always consult a fitness or medical professional.
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