In This Week's Issue:
How Vegetables Can Save Your Life
Eating more vegetables - and fruit - can literally lengthen your life, according to an ongoing study from Europe. Researchers from 10 countries have been following more than 450,000 people for over 13 years, during which time about 26,000 of the study participants have died. An analysis of the data shows that eating about 2.4 cups of vegetables or more daily reduced the risk of death by 10 percent and delayed that risk for 1.12 years compared to the risks of people who consumed less than nine ounces (about one cup) of vegetables and fruit daily. The researchers also reported that for every increase of about one cup in daily vegetable and fruit consumption, the mortality risk drops by six percent, and calculated that if everyone were eating the recommended 2.4 cups of vegetables and fruits daily, the mortality risk could drop by about three percent. Most of the deaths seen in the study were from cardiovascular disease. The highest (between 30 and 40 percent) reduction in the risk of death associated with fruit and vegetable consumption was observed among study participants who also drank alcohol, and a 20 percent risk reduction linked to eating fruits and vegetables was also seen for obese people. Eating a lot of raw vegetables had a big impact, too - high consumption was linked to a 16 percent reduction in the risk of death.
My take? This study's findings are impressive, especially since the amount of fruits and vegetables that made a difference was relatively low - 2.4 cups a day is not that much. We know from earlier studies that individuals who consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily have a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease or stroke than do those who eat fewer than 1.5 servings per day. Similarly, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Earlier results from this same European study published in 2010 showed no risk reduction for cancer deaths, but the research team didn't look at the effects of specific nutrients on cancer risk. As far as that is concerned, I believe you can benefit from regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, which contain a cancer-preventing compound so potent that it is being investigated as a chemotherapy agent. I also continue to recommend eating berries and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables for their protective phytonutrients and antioxidants. My anti-inflammatory diet calls for four to five servings of vegetables (cooked or raw) and three to four servings of fruit daily.
What Makes the Anti-Inflammatory Diet Healthy?
From the best grains and oils to which fish to enjoy (and which to avoid), eating for your health can seem challenging - but it doesn't have to be! Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging has simple yet informative lists for shopping, preparing and cooking. We cover the anti-inflammatory diet from A-Z! Start your free trial today.
Do You Really Know How Much Wine You're Drinking?
Unless you're measuring carefully, you may not have a clue. A new study on the subject of wine consumption shows that informal servings differ based on the size of the glass you're using, whether you are holding the glass as you pour or whether you're pouring red wine or white. Researchers at Cornell University and Iowa State University looked into the wine-serving issue and published their results online on September 12, 2013 in the journal Substance & Abuse. They asked students to do the pouring and here's what they found: study participants poured about 12 percent more wine into a wide glass than a standard wine glass. They also poured more when they were holding the glass than when it was standing on a table. And when pouring white wine into a clear glass, they poured about 9 percent more than they did when pouring red. (Here, color contrast is believed responsible for the difference.) The researchers also found that wine drinkers focus more on vertical than horizontal measures and tend to consume less when they drink from a narrow glass because the serving appears larger than it actually is. For the record, a standard serving of wine is five ounces. If you want to make sure you don't over-imbibe here are two tips from the researchers: use narrow wine glasses and pour only when the glass is on a table, not in your hand. Alternatively, measure five ounces of wine into a glass you already own and note the height of the liquid; use that observation as a rough measure in the future.
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How Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Improve Your Looks
Here's a study that developed as a result of staffer observations at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center: they noticed that sleep apnea patients coming in for their check-ups looked better than they did before treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices to help them breathe better during sleep. Sleep apnea causes multiple interruptions of breathing (for at least 10 seconds) during sleep. For the study, done in collaboration with researchers at Michigan Technological University, the investigators took before and after pictures of 20 sleep apnea patients. The study photos were taken under identical conditions before CPAP and a few months later. The researchers then asked a panel of 22 independent raters to look at the photos and rank the individuals for attractiveness, alertness and youthfulness - and to pick which picture they thought showed the patient after sleep apnea treatment. About two-thirds of the time, the panel picked the "after" photos as showing the patient more alert, youthful and attractive; and they also correctly identified "after" pictures two-thirds of the time. The research team said a larger study will be needed to confirm the results.
The Latest Health Tweets
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Recipe: Pineapple Almond Shake
The almonds in this invigorating shake make it a terrific source of protein, and blanching your own almonds is a great kitchen activity for children.
Try this recipe today: Pineapple Almond Shake
See a complete list of Dr. Weil's speaking engagements on the Events page.
The 2013 Bravewell Leadership Award Event
November 7, 2013, New York City, New York
Over the last decade, Bravewell has conferred three leadership awards (2003, 2005, 2011) and presented six of the field's early leaders with a Pioneer in Integrative Medicine Award (2007). On November 7, 2013, The Bravewell Collaborative will hold its fourth and final in Leadership Award Event. Dr. Andrew Weil will be giving a presentation at the event. Learn more about the event.
Yoga Journal LIVE: San Francisco 2014
January 17, 2014, San Francisco, California
One in ten Americans--including children--are taking antidepressant drugs, and the World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, more people worldwide will be affected by depression than by any other health condition. Dr. Weil, who has struggled with moderate depression himself through midlife, investigates how we got here, what we can do outside of traditional medicine to start feeling more content, and how we can sustain this contentment through life's inevitable dark patches. He explains how, scientifically, emotionally, and spiritually, humans have the innate ability to achieve positive emotions without external agencies--a process he calls "spontaneous" because it is a natural one that does not rely on drugs or other medicines. Learn more and find registration information.
Sacramento Speaker Series
January 21, 2014, Sacramento, California
Andrew Weil is a pioneer in the fields of health, wellness, and integrative medicine. He is founder, professor, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Join the Sacramento Speakers Series on January 21, 2014 as Dr. Andrew Weil gives a speech. For more information on the series, visit the Sacramento Speakers Series website.
Journey Into Healing: What Are You Hungry For?
March 6-9, 2014, Carlsbad, California
Dr. Weil will join Dr. Chopra for a very special workshop: Journey into Healing is one of the Chopra Center's most popular signature workshops, offering an in-depth exploration of mind-body medicine, with a special emphasis on the ancient healing system known as Ayurveda. Journey into Healing offers the latest cutting-edge information and practical advice for incorporating this knowledge into any practice or lifestyle. Enroll now!
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