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Will You "Pick" Fruit in the Supermarket?

Rather than buying tomatoes or apples that were picked days or even weeks ago, future grocery shoppers may be able to "harvest" live produce from living plants.

Futurelab, a company that helps businesses predict trends, made the forecast as part of a report commissioned by Sainsbury, a supermarket chain.

Under the plan as outlined, plants would be grown in small greenhouses, and a soil-free solution of nutrients and water would feed the roots.The greenhouses would be tended by a farmer until the produce was ripe, then he or she would transport the enclosure from the farm to the supermarket, allowing shoppers to pick their own food in climate-controlled comfort. The authors suggested, however, that this innovation is at least a decade away. It's an interesting idea.

Certainly the food would be fresher, and perhaps tastier, than what is currently found on supermarket shelves. But soil-free, hydroponic gardening is often dependent upon synthetic chemicals, which is definitely a downside. So I continue to suggest that the best produce comes from your own backyard organic garden, closely followed by an organic grower’s stand at a local farmers’ market.


When Should You Take Your Supplements?

If you take daily supplements, vitamins or herbs, the following guidelines can help to lessen or prevent any side effects - and help to promote the full benefits supplements can provide:

  • Take your supplements during or right after a meal, unless directed otherwise, and drink plenty of fluids as well.
  • Take consistently to achieve maximum health benefits. It usually takes two to three months before you feel the full positive effects of adding nutritional supplements.
  • Take as indicated. Your supplements may be recommended or packaged for morning, noon or evening dosages, based on your individual health needs. For maximum benefit, take your supplements at the time of day indicated on the package.
  • In addition, keep your physician informed about your supplement usage.


    Seasonal Foods: June - Watermelon

    Providing healthy doses of vitamins C, A, B6 and B1, watermelon is a low-calorie, antioxidant-rich treat. It is particularly healthy for men: it is a good source of the carotenoid lycopene, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers. Try spicing it up and add some black or crushed red pepper to sliced watermelon.


    Curcumin Inhibits Fat Formation

    A new study reveals that curcumin, a compound in the spice turmeric, has a remarkable potential to limit the growth of fatty tissue. Research by the Vascular Biology Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., examined the fat tissue deposition in mice fed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. They discovered that adding curcumin limited the deposition of new fat in the tissues by inhibiting blood vessel formation (fatty tissue, like all animal tissue, needs adequate circulation to supply it with blood-borne nutrients). The conclusion; “Our findings suggest that dietary curcumin may have a potential benefit in preventing obesity.” The study was published in the May, 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

    My take: As is so often the case, natural, unprocessed foods such as turmeric are valuable in many ways. The fact that turmeric, an essential component of curry, seems to be responsible at least in part for the low rate of Alzheimer’s disease among elderly citizens of India is now well established. Its ability to inhibit fatty tissue formation is yet another bonus, on top of other reasons to eat turmeric that have already been discovered. Turmeric is part of my recommended anti-inflammatory eating plan, and a valuable addition to any diet.


    Fish, Nuts, Olive Oil for Your Eyes

    These foods can protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of age-related blindness in the developed world. Two separate Australian research teams reported new findings on age-related macular degeneration in the May 2009 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

    In the first study, researchers looked at the diets of 2,454 men and women between 1992 and 1994 and then compared these eating habits with digital photographs of the retina five and 10 years later. They found that a single serving of fish per week was associated with a 31 percent lower risk of AMD - this positive link was strongest among individuals with a lower intake of linoleic acid, an unsaturated omega 6 fatty acid found in vegetable oils. One to two servings of nuts per week were associated with a 35 percent risk reduction. The second study focused on food intake reported from 1990 and 1994 by 6,734 individuals between the ages of 58 and 69. From 2003 to 2006 the researchers tracked cases of AMD that developed in their study participants. Those least likely to develop AMD later in life had the highest intake of olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids.


    Lemon Baked Halibut

    The mellow flavor of this low-fat fish comes from marinating it in vigorous spices. After cooking, it is topped with homemade salsa rich with the flavor of tangy onions, fiery jalapeño peppers, and cool papaya. Make the salsa first, before you start preparing the fish. It is also best to make the marinade far enough in advance so that the flavors can blend together for at least 2 hours before you actually marinate the fish in it for 30 minutes. Keep this in mind when deciding what time you want to serve this dish. I couple this entrée with a side of steamed vegetables or Roasted Root Vegetables.

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    This Fruit Protects Against Wrinkles

    More news is coming about the remarkable health-protective effects of berries. The latest: using a topical application of the antioxidant ellagic acid - an antioxidant found in numerous fruits, vegetables and nuts, especially raspberries, strawberries and cranberries - researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea prevented collagen destruction and moderated the inflammatory response. This effect was seen in both human skin cells and the skin of hairless mice after continuing exposure to UV-B, the sun's skin-damaging ultraviolet rays.

    There is now a great deal of well-designed research showing that many compounds in berries, whether applied to the skin or eaten in the form of whole fruit, are among the most protective nutrients your body can utilize. I hope that topical ellagic-acid-based preparations become widely available for a variety of skin conditions. In the meantime, eating berries regularly is one of the best, not to mention tastiest, moves you can make for overall health.


    5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol Through Diet

    For people battling high cholesterol, choosing meals wisely can be a challenge, but it is essential. Restaurants, parties, even an office potluck may present unhealthy temptations. But simple dietary modifications can help you eliminate those unhealthy choices, while still allowing you to enjoy your meals. Try these healthful ways to help lower your cholesterol:

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