Sunday, October 25, 2009


Over hundred thousand scientists are working world over on different aspects of food and large body of new information is being generated every minute, many of which never reach common people. Even if tit-bits do get published in English news media, the significance and implications of new knowledge are rarely understood. Added to this is the conflicting nature of some of the reports with diametrically opposite views being held by diverse group of scientists on same issue. Many scientific findings sound like fiction but since they have been researched by competent people there must be truth in them.

Can any one believe that consumption of beet root juice can increase stamina during exercise? If you believe in the research findings of the group at University of Exeter, the nitrate present in the juice reduces oxygen up take during physical work out and enables extending the exercise period by at least 16%. To get the beneficial effect one has to consume 500 ml of the juice which can be extracted from a kilogram of raw material. What about the exotic properties of melon fruits? The ability of water melons, cantaloupe and other high potassium containing fruits and vegetables to bring down blood pressure has been documented by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and they recommend regular consumption of other sources of potassium like dried apricots, avocados, raisins, figs, kiwi fruits,oranges,dates beans, potatoes tomatoes grapefruit etc, Some of them able to provide as much as 20% of daily needs of this vital mineral in a single serve.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and the ability of liver to metabolize it is very limited, leading to its circulation in the blood with potential to do some harm. Can avoiding alcohol lead to depression? According to a Norwegian study teetotalers are more likely to experience depression compared to those consuming alcoholic drinks with moderation regularly. Must be a good news for the alcoholic beverage industry! Hear about the wonders the magical juice from blueberry fruits can do to obese people. Scientists from Montreal University treated the extracted juice with bacteria isolated from the fruit skin and this bio-transformed juice was found to protect mice from obesity and diabetes. A new 'foodceutical' is borne!

What is the connection between green tea and bone growth? Listening to scientific workers in Hong Kong, it appears that there is convincing evidence establishing such an association. Many scientific studies have established the benefits of drinking green tea because of its property to protect consumers from disease like cancer, heart disease and other disorders but its ability to inhibit osteoclast that breaks down or weakens the bone is a new finding with some far reaching implications. Can coconut oil, rich in saturated fats, fight obesity and diabetes? Experts at Garvan Institute of Medical Research seem to have found that coconut oil does protect against insulin resistance in muscles and consequent accumulation of glucose in the blood. It also facilitates shedding of body fat already in place if consumed regularly in the diet.

One should not get overwhelmed by such an array of research findings and in stead getting too much worried about the diet in the light of newer reports emanating from R & D institutions, layman must focus on eating as many varieties of food as possible which will take care of all body needs for a good quality life. After all there are at least 300 different varieties of edible materials with different size, shape, colors, texture, flavor and nutrient mix available to man from which one can easily choose about 30 to keep one-self healthy!


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