Five fab foods

March 16, 2009 9:00:22 AM PDT
You eat, and eat, and eat and eat. So why not stock up on foods that offer real health benefits? Red Yeast Rice: This extract, used in Chinese meals, may be good for your heart. In a study of about 5,000 Chinese adults who had previously had a heart attack, researchers found a form of the extract reduced the risk of dying from heart disease or having another heart attack. They also found red yeast rice extract reduced deaths from cancer by two-thirds. However, researchers say the findings about the effects on cancer deaths are not conclusive and need to be investigated further. The red yeast rice extract gives Peking duck its red color. One of the original cholesterol-lowering drugs, lovastatin, was originally extracted from yeast rice.
(Source: Medical News Today: Red Yeast Rice Extract and Heart Disease)

Eggs: Eggs have not been known as a "healthy" food until recently. Over the past few years, many researchers have studied the health benefits of this food. Recent findings indicate that eating eggs every day does not increase levels of "bad" cholesterol in the blood. Eggs are a good source of protein and 11 essential nutrients. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants from the carotenoid family that contribute to improving eye health and protecting eyes from ultraviolet rays. These carotenoids help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
(Source: Alberta Egg Producers)

Coffee: Coffee is undoubtedly a popular beverage among Americans, but new research suggests drinking it could ward off a host of diseases. Harvard researchers analyzed data on 126,000 people for as long as 18 years and found that drinking one to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily can reduce the risk of diabetes. Having six cups or more each day cut men's risk by 54-percent and women's by 30-percent when compared to those who did not consume the beverage. At least six studies suggest that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80-percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease -- with three studies showing the more they drink, the lower the risk. (Source: WebMD, Coffee: The New Health Food?)

Honey: Penn State researchers found that honey may be a safe and effective alternative to cough medications for children. Their study showed a small dose of buckwheat honey given before bedtime provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or a cough suppressant medication. Cough is the reason for nearly 3 percent of all outpatient visits in the United States. Consumers spend billions of dollars each year on over-the-counter cough medications despite little evidence that these drugs provide significant relief.

Chocolate Milk: A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found plain old chocolate milk may be as good ? or better ? than sports drinks like Gatorade in helping athletes recover from strenuous exercise. In the study, nine male cyclists rode until their muscles were depleted of energy. They rested for four hours and then biked until exhaustion. During the rest period, the cyclists drank low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade or Endurox R4. During a second round, the cyclists who drank the chocolate milk were able to bike about 50 percent longer than those who drank Endurox and about as long as those who drank Gatorade.

For More Information, Contact:

Rick Cushman
Media Relations Representative
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 955-2240