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Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline

Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline
Graphic – herbsandhealth.net. Image sources – see foot of article

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In 2016, Americans consumed more than 3.8 billion gallons [1] of tea, with black tea being a favorite. This is good news – due to the numerous possible health benefits of tea consumption, which have been well researched.

Recent data from a Singaporean human trial has reaffirmed the role of tea drinking in reducing the risk of cognitive decline in older persons.

Led by Feng Lei, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the study focused on 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older. Lei and his team discovered that the neuroprotective role of daily consumption of tea is not a bailiwick of one tea variety and is not limited to one race. They published the research outcomes [2] in The Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging.

The research team noted that drinking “real tea” – tea that is brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, such as green, black (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Assam, etc) or oolong, reduces a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders later in life. The authors gathered information on the participants’ tea drinking habits, lifestyles, medical conditions, and physical and social activities. They attributed the neuroprotective effect of brewed tea to a combination of bioactive compounds which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration.

The neuroprotective cognitive effects of tea have been widely explored by scientists: A study that first appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [3] confirmed the association between regular tea consumption and lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline. A Japanese study [4] determined the link between consumption of green tea and reduced risk of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. A Chinese study [5] also presented evidence on the relationship between tea consumption and reduced cognitive impairment.

Cognitive disorders refer to mental health issues that affect learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving. The most common types of cognitive disorder include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. Data from the World Health Organization [6] estimate that around 47.5 million people are living with dementia which is a major neurocognitive disorder. This medical condition registers 7.7 million new cases every year. The main risk factors linked to dementia include advancing age and family history of dementia. By 2050, the number of people with dementia is expected to reach 135.5 million.

As of this writing, there are no medications [7] approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which likely leads to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. However, there are coping strategies that may help delay or prevent the progression of MCI to dementia.

As posited by Lei’s team, drinking tea is a simple and inexpensive measure which may protect yourself from cognitive decline. Regular exercise [8] is another way to combat MCI since it benefits your blood vessels – including those that nourish your brain. Having a diet rich in flavonols and omega-3 fatty acids [9][10] could also reduce the risk of dementia.

References:

[1] Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc. Tea Fact Sheet – 2016-2017 http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet

[2] Feng L et al. 2016. Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12603-016-0687-0

[3] Ng TP et al. 2008. Tea consumption and cognitive impairment and decline in older Chinese adults https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18614745

[4] Noguchi-Shinohara M et al. 2014. PLoS One. Consumption of Green Tea, but Not Black Tea or Coffee, Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0096013

[5] Shen W et al. 2015. PLoS One. Tea Consumption and Cognitive Impairment: A Cross-Sectional Study among Chinese Elderly https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4567322/

[6] World Health Organization. Dementia Fact Sheet http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/

[7] Alzheimer’s Association. Mild Cognitive Impairment http://www.alz.org/dementia/mild-cognitive-impairment-mci.asp

[8] Geda YE et al. 2010. Archives of Neurology. Physical Exercise and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919839/

[9] P.J. Smith and J.A. Blumenthal. 2016. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4758517/

[10] Colin R. Martin and Victor Preedy. Diet and Nutrition in Dementia and Cognitive Decline http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780124078246

Infographic photo sources:
Pixabay.com (PD)

Study Finds Tai Chi Can Reduce Risk Of Dangerous Falls For The Elderly By Up To 64%

Study Finds Tai Chi Can Reduce Risk Of Dangerous Falls For The Elderly By Up To 64%
Graphic – herbsandhealth.net. Image sources – see foot of article

According to the well-known U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three American adults age over 65 falls each year. Some of these falls are fatal, with older adults more susceptible to risk for falls due to lack of exercise, diseases, medications, and vision problems. This danger is cited as one of the leading causes of injury and death in elderly people. [1]

A fascinating study published in May 2017 revealed that seniors who practice tai chi, a Chinese meditation practice, may be less likely to fall than their peers who don’t engage themselves in this type of exercise. [2] This study presents evidence on the role of tai chi in improving balance and preventing falls, especially for older adults.

The authors claim that their study is the most comprehensive systematic review that has yet evaluated tai chi for preventing falls. They considered data from other recently published trials to improve the precision of the estimated effects of tai chi on fall prevention. They divided the study’s participants in two groups – one group received tai chi lessons while another group didn’t get the intervention.

The researchers confirmed the link between tai chi and lower risk of falling when they accounted several factors including the frequency of practicing tai chi, the amount of time spent on doing the exercises, the style of tai-chi used, and the falling risk for individual patients. When the frequency of tai chi sessions was increased, spectacular improvements were noted – with risk reduction improved twelve-fold – or from 5% to 64%.

Previous studies have shown the value of tai chi for improving balance, flexibility, and strength of knee extension in older adults, according to Dr. Chenchen Wang of the Center for Complimentary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Center. Wang cited several components of tai chi that contribute to the meditation’s fall prevention impact – including breathing techniques, awareness of the body, balance, mindfulness, and relaxation. [3]

This work builds upon research undertaken in previous studies: In 2008, a Chinese study demonstrated the significant protective effect of tai chi on fall risk among older adults. [4] The study proposed the development of optimal tai chi training programs for older adults.

In 2005, American researchers evaluated the efficacy of a 6-month tai chi prevention for decreasing the risk of falling in older persons. [5] They concluded that a tai chi program could improve functional balance and performance in sedentary persons aged 70 years or older.

Findings from other studies also highlight the potential of tai chi in improving mental balance and reducing stress. There is a growing body of carefully conducted research that posits tai chi as an adjunct standard medical treatment for medical conditions commonly associated with age. One of them is arthritis which affects 54.4 million American adults, according to the CDC. [6] Tai chi is recommended by the health agency as an exercise program to improve the quality of life of arthritis sufferers. [7]

The financial toll from falls among older adults amounted to an astonishing $31 billion in 2015. Costs are expected to increase as the population of U.S. seniors is projected to reach 20% of the country’s population by 2030. [8] This scenario underlines the economic impact of tai chi, which appears set to play an important role in preventing falls and other chronic conditions.

References::

[1] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 11, 2016. Important Facts About Falls https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

[2] Zhi-Guan H et al. 2017. British Medical Journal Open. Systematic review and meta-analysis: Tai Chi for preventing falls in older adults http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/2/e013661

[3] Park M and Song R. 2013. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. Effects of Tai Chi on fall risk factors: a meta-analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23893224

[4] Yu-Ning H et al. September 2016. International Journal of Gerontology. Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on Fall Prevention in Older Adults: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873959816300746

[5] Li F. 2005. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Tai Chi and fall reductions in older adults: a randomized controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15814861

[6] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. Arthritis-Related Statistics https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm

[7] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arthritis: Intervention Watchlist https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/interventions/program_lists.htm

[8] Liz Mineo. April 15, 2017. Harvard Gazette. The balance in healthy aging http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/tai-chi-can-prevent-elderly-from-falls-add-mental-agility/

Infographic photo sources:
Pixabay.com (PD)

25 Super Snacks With 100 Calories Or Less

25 Super Snacks With 100 Calories or Less
Graphic – herbsandhealth.net. Image sources – see foot of article

It is possible to assuage your hunger pangs without making you pile on the pounds. There are some surprisingly healthy options that will keep you feeling fuller for longer, sans the need to reach for a bag of potato chips or a bar of sweet candy. Here are 25 super snack ideas that only contain 100 calories.

1. One Cup Of Grapes

Grapes are rich in fibers, vitamin K, and manganese. They also contain water which keeps you hydrated and is of course necessary for good living. Grapes can be added to a weight loss diet if eaten in moderate quantities. Grapes also have polyphenols [1] which may decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease.

2. One Cup Of Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is rich in disease-fighting nutrients including lycopene [2] which was found to be effective in reducing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level in overweight women. For best results of course make your own – but note that if you purchase tomato soup, check the ingredients to be sure you are getting a healthy product.

3. Twenty Pistachios

To keep yourself under the 100-calorie mark, you need to eat not more than twenty pistachios. Though these nuts do have high-fat content, this should not pose a problem to your weight because they are only unsaturated fatty acids. Interestingly, pistachios also have satiety effects [3] which may help control body weight.

4. Nonfat Greek Yogurt With Honey

Make your own: This creamy texture snack is made by combining a teaspoon of honey and 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt. This snack only contains up to about 84 calories. The beneficial effect of yogurt consumption on the weight of healthy adults was confirmed by a 2016 study [4].

5. Slices of Apple with Unsalted Peanut Butter

Do not use more than two teaspoons of peanut butter if you only want to consume less than 100 calories. Spread the butter on each slice of apple. Three-quarters of a cup of sliced apple are enough. Eating this fruit every day can help you lose weight, according to a Brazilian study [5].

6. Baby Carrots With Hummus

This combination is a good source of beta carotene and vitamin A (carrot) and protein (hummus). It also offers less than 100 calories. Just dip the carrots into about two tablespoons of hummus. The weight-loss benefit of carrot has been proven by several studies including one conducted by the University of Southern Queensland [6].

7. Mango Ice Cubes

This amazing snack can be prepared from scratch incredibly easily – by buying fresh mangoes, smushing them and putting them into ice cube trays! Perfect fun project for the kids and so much healthier than some sugar-laden ice pops. Consume only 3/4 cup of mango cubes – which contain 90 calories [7] and provides 60% of your daily vitamin C requirements.

8. Blueberry Smoothie

This iced smoothie will give you about 93 calories which will come from 1/3 cup of nonfat yogurt and 2/3 cup of frozen blueberries. Blueberries [8] and yogurt [9] have been proven by several studies to have weight loss effects.

9. Fourteen Almonds

Almonds are rich in fiber and protein with no cholesterol, which keeps you from hunger. Fourteen almonds are enough to provide you less than 100 calories. Almonds may help you in losing weight according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders [10].

10. Crackers with Cheese

You can eat three crackers and a generic slice of low-fat cheese without worrying that you are consuming more than 100 calories. Whole grain crackers [11] are rich in fiber while low-fat cheese is a wonderful source of protein, calcium, and phosphorous.

11. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese can make you stay full for a long time because it contains more of protein. You can eat it plain or pair with a fruit like a cantaloupe, which is a combination that never exceeds 100 calories. Cottage cheese makes a good addition to any weight-loss diet, according to a 2015 study published in Appetite. [12]

12. Baked Apple

The minerals and vitamins provided by eating a fresh apple are also provided by this ol’ standby snack. You can add cinnamon to a baked apple without worrying that you exceed the 100-calorie mark. As they always say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

13. Edamame aka. Young Soybeans

One-third cup of young soybeans contains more than eight grams of protein and four grams of fiber. Total calories consumed: 93. Edamame provides nearly 10% of your recommended daily allowance of iron and other nutrients that can help you shed pounds [13].

14. Slow-Churned Ice Cream

Slow-churned or double-churned varieties of ice cream [14] are made by a process that reduces fat and calories while retaining the snack’s creamy texture. Half-cup of this low-calorie snack only contains 100 calories.

15. Popcorn

Popcorn is one those few large snacks that delivers low-calorie count – provided that you make your own and don’t add sugar! Popcorn is also high in fiber, which aids satiety. [15]

16. Small Quesadilla

Mmmm… now we’re talking. You can keep a cheese quesadilla under the 100 cal mark by sprinkling an ounce of grated low-fat cheddar cheese over a corn tortilla. Grill briefly in a skillet and then fold the cheese into the middle to cook this quick and tasty snack which has only 100 calories and 1.3 grams of saturated fat.

17. Whole-Grain Pretzel Sticks

Whole-grain Pretzel sticks are cholesterol free and low in fat and sugar. Eating six whole-grain Pretzel sticks keep your calorie intake under 100 calories. This snack also provides more than three grams of fiber [16] which can help tide you over.

18. Pita Pocket Stuffed with Cheese

You need a whole-grain pita pocket and half an ounce of part-skim ricotta cheese to make this snack which gives you the satisfaction of biting into a sandwich. This snack offers protein [17] and fiber which will help fill you up. It also contains less than a gram of saturated fat.

19. Yogurt with Sunflower Seeds

Mix 1/2 cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a teaspoon of sunflower seeds which add plenty of texture but only contains 19 calories. Use unsalted seed for this snack which has less than half a gram of saturated fat. Yogurt is a good source of protein and is often by health sites as one of the key foods [18] linked to significant weight loss.

20. Baked Potato with Salsa

Baked potato is another snack that keeps your calorie intake under calories 100. Just consume half of a medium-sized baked potato which has 80 calories. To perk up this snack, spreading a tablespoon of salsa is recommended. Baked potato is loaded with vitamin C [19] which promotes weight loss.

21. Watermelon

This underestimated summer fruit is a favorite for picnics and barbecues. 100 grams of watermelon only contains 30 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [20] The fruit also offers 20 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C.

22. White Bean Salad

White beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron. This salad is just a combination of 1/3 cup of beans, one tablespoon of sliced scallions, a squeeze of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes. The potential role of the common white bean [21] to induce weight loss was revealed by a 2011 study.

23. Strawberries and Goat Cheese

Ten large strawberries paired with one tablespoon of soft goat cheese is another excellent snack that will not make you worry about going to the gym later. Strawberries provide over 100 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. They are also loaded with fiber and are a healthy food to eat to lose weight. [22]

24. Dry-roasted Peanuts

If you are craving for salty foods that have less than 100 calories, a small bowl of dry-roasted peanuts will satisfy you. Peanuts are a good source of antioxidants, B vitamins, and healthy monounsaturated fats.

25. Dry Oat Cereals

You can have this snack if you want to cut out milk while having cereals. Dry oat squares cereal is a perfect low-calorie snack that you can munch on. Cereals are rich in soluble fiber which increases your satiety [23] and can therefore help you lose weight.

References:

[1] Mustali M. Dohadwala and Joseph A. Vita. 2009. The Journal of Nutrition. Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728695/

[2] Cuevas-Ramos D et al. 2013. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. Effect of tomato consumption on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level: a randomized, single-blinded, controlled clinical trial
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3735277/

[3] Mark L. Dreher. 2012. Nutrition Reviews. Pistachio nuts: Composition and potential health benefits
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223994940_Pistachio_nuts_Composition_and_potential_health_benefits

[4] Eales J. 2016. International Journal of Obesity. Is consuming yoghurt associated with weight management outcomes? Results from a systematic review
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26443336

[5] ConceiÁ„o de Oliveira M et al. 2003. Nutrition. Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12620529

[6] Honor Tremain. 2014. Fraser Coast Chronicle. Purple carrots, plums help people lose weight: USQ research
https://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/what-colours-our-plate-optimises-our-wellbeing/2171175/

[7] Mangos, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1952/2

[8] Arti Patel. 2017. The Huffington Post Canada. Eating Fruits Like Blueberries Will Help You Lose Weight: Study
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/02/14/blueberries-weight-lost_n_14742970.html

[9] Dr. Eric Braverman. 2011. The Huffington Post. For Consistent Weight Loss, Eat Yogurt Every Day
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-eric-braverman/for-consistent-weight-los_b_161701.html

[10] Wien MA et al. 2003. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14574348

[11] Jonnalagadda SS et al. 2011. The Journal of Nutrition. Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole GrainsóSummary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Sympo
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078018/

[12] Marsset-Baglieri A et al. 2015. The satiating effects of eggs or cottage cheese are similar in healthy subjects despite differences in postprandial kinetics
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25772196

[13] Leann Forst. 2014. 100 Ways To Lose Weight: Proven Methods From Worldwide Experts
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=ivVZDQAAQBAJ

[14] Julia Moskin. 2006. The New York Times. Creamy, Healthier Ice Cream? What’s the Catch?
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/26/dining/26cream.html

[15] Clark MJ, Slavin JL. 2013. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23885994

[16] Frank Bottone, Jr. 2009. The Diet Denominator: A Practical Guide to Choosing Low Energy Density Food
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=7f0Q6xQooK8C

[17] Jennifer E. Norton, Peter Fryer, Ian T. Norton. 2013. Formulation Engineering of Foods
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=-BtUXW3O0PQC

[18] Melanie Haiken. 2013. Forbes/Health. 5 Foods That Help Shed Pounds (When Paired With A Weight Loss Plan, Of Course)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/05/02/5-top-foods-for-quick-weight-loss/#564791c039e3

[19] Johnston CS. 2005. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Strategies for healthy weight loss: from vitamin C to the glycemic response
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15930480

[20] Rachel Swalin. 2014. ABC News. 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/things-didnt-watermelon/story?id=24420280

[21] Marilyn L Barrett and Jay K Udani. 2011. Nutrition Journal. A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071778/

[22] Leo Galland. 2011. The Huffington Post. Slimming Strawberries For Weight Loss
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/strawberries-for-weight-loss_b_859578.html

[23] Rebello CJ et al. 2015. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Instant Oatmeal Increases Satiety and Reduces Energy Intake Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Oat-Based Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674378/

Infographic photo sources:
https://pixabay.com/en/fruit-plate-grapes-strawberries-1271943/
https://pixabay.com/en/soup-tomato-healthy-homemade-1429806/