Category Archives: fruit

More mold found in Capri Sun juice pouches … and more excuses

capri-sun-345A while back FoodFacts.com posted about a problem with Capri Sun juice pouches when a mother noticed a strange substance sitting at the bottom of the drink. Turned out it was mold. The company informed consumers that the mold formed because the juice doesn’t contain artificial preservatives. They also switched out the bottoms of the juice pouches, making them clear so moms everywhere could see inside the pouch, thus helping to alleviate the problem.

Well, the problem is back.

A mom found a giant piece of mold in her daughter’s Capri Sun juice pouch and now video of the disgusting discovery is going viral online. You can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=951537624859757

Hawaii resident Marty Sunderland said she and her family were taking a trip to the beach and picked up a pack of Capri Sun. But once her daughter opened one, she found some pieces of a slimy brown solid and a disgusting taste.

So Sunderland decided to open the Capri Sun pouch on camera, revealing a giant piece of brown, slimy mold.

Though the find was disgusting, it’s actually not a new problem for Capri Sun. Kraft Foods has been dealing with reports of mold found in Capri Sun pouches for some years now and even instituted a clear bottom on the juice pouches to put customers at ease.
“The reality is, mold spores are literally everywhere,” said Caroline Krajewski, a spokeswoman for Kraft Foods, earlier this year. “Most foods, especially those without artificial preservatives, eventually spoil and get moldy.”

Kraft even addressed the Capri Sun mold issue in its company’s FAQ:

“Why does mold grow in preservative-free juice drinks?”
“Although it’s very rare, it is possible for food mold to grow inside containers of preservative-free juice drinks that are exposed to air. What usually forms is a common food mold, similar to what might grow on fruit or bread. In the past, experts have told us there are no significant or long-term health effects associated with consuming this type of mold.”

“The photo I saw looks like a worm. How could you say it’s mold?”
“In some cases when people think they have found a “worm” inside a Capri Sun pouch it was actually mold. The mold takes the form of a straw, which can then be mistaken as a worm since it is long and thin. While this is not a common occurrence, it can potentially happen because the product is free of artificial preservatives.”

Capri Sun juice pouches are sold in packs in the grocery store. Moms don’t have the opportunity to pick up an individual pouch and check the bottom pane for signs of mold. That’s the first issue we can see. There are more though.

Kraft does seem to be using the mold problem to emphasize the idea that Capri Sun doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives. And while that’s nice, it also may lead consumers to believe that the product is natural. And it really isn’t. Even the 100% juice pouches contain more than 100% juice. There’s natural flavoring in every one of them. And while that technically allows them to call the product natural, we know it really isn’t. The Roarin Waters options contain natural flavors and high fructose corn syrup, as do the original Capri Sun flavors.

And lastly, we do have a problem with some of the statements on the FAQ page. Let’s start with the idea that Kraft is telling their customers that it’s safe to consume the mold. We don’t know anyone who would willingly consume mold, and we bet they don’t either. On that same FAQ page, they’re inferring that some of the pouches allow air in which is why there’s mold growth so moms should “gently squeeze the pouch to check for leaks.” If they find a leak, they should dispose of the pouch. After they’ve purchased it. Kind of convenient for Kraft. They sell the pouches in packs. You can’t check anything before you purchase it. So if there’s a leak or you look through the clear panel on the bottom and see mold, you’re throwing away the money you’ve spent on the product. No where on the FAQ page does it offer consumers a refund for wasted product. Honestly, it just seems like a better idea of purchase a different product.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1588975/mom-finds-mold-in-daughters-capri-sun-juice-pouch-posts-disgusting-video-of-her-discovery/#gPemurk6IFuOMsHT.99

Fruits and vegetables linked to better mental health

2012-10-10-FruitsVeggiesEating your five a day has been proven to do amazing things for health. But when we think of that, our thoughts generally turn to improved heart health, reduced risk of obesity, diabetes and even increased longevity. This new information, however, points to benefits that probably never crossed our minds.

A previous study suggested that consuming five portions of fruits and vegetables a day is the optimum amount for lowering the risk of death from any cause, which contradicts another study that suggested we should be eating seven portions of fruit and veg a day.

The researchers from this latest study, led by Dr. Saverio Stranges of the University of Warwick Medical School in the UK, used data from the Health Survey for England, which included nearly 14,000 adults over the age of 16.
This survey collected detailed information on the mental and physical health of the participants, as well as their health-related behaviors, demographics and socio-economic characteristics.

In addition, the team assessed the participants’ mental well-being using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, putting the top 15% of participants in the “high mental well-being” group, the bottom 15% in the low group, and those between 16-84% in the middle group.

‘The higher the veg and fruit intake, the lower the chance of low well-being’
Overall, the researchers found that high and low mental well-being were typically associated with the participants’ fruit and vegetable intake.
In detail, 35.5% of participants with high mental well-being ate five or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day, compared with only 6.8% who consumed less than one portion.

Additionally, 31.4% of the individuals from the high mental well-being group ate three to four fruit and veg portions per day, and 28.4% ate one to two.
“The data suggest that [the] higher an individual’s fruit and vegetable intake, the lower the chance of their having low mental well-being,” says Dr. Stranges.

The researchers also considered other health-related behaviors – such as smoking, alcohol intake and obesity – and found that only smoking and fruit and vegetable intake were consistently associated with mental well-being.

Dr. Stranges explains:
“Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with both low and high mental well-being. These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental well-being in the general population.”

Alcohol intake and obesity were associated with low, but not high mental well-being, the researchers add.

According to the team, high mental well-being is more than simply the absence of symptoms or illness – it is the condition of feeling good and functioning well. They add that optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships are also part of this mode of being.

According to co-author Prof. Sarah Stewart-Brown, mental illness “is hugely costly to both the individual and society, and mental well-being underpins many physical diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and social inequalities in health.”

She says enabling people to maintain good well-being is important from a research perspective.

“Our findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to enhance their mental well-being at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer,” she adds.

When asked about whether the study accounted for physical activity, Dr. Stranges told Medical News Today that one of the limitations of the study was that such data “was not available in the Health Survey for England,” leaving room for further study.

What a great reason to strive to eat your five a day! FoodFacts.com believes this information gives us all a new perspective on fruit and vegetable consumption — and more great reasons to tell ourselves and all our loved ones (not just our kids) “Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you!”

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282972.php

Fresh fruit lovers may be reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 40%!

200472_10150133383738407_5646118_nIf you eat fresh fruit every day because you enjoy it, you may be doing something really important for your health without knowing it!

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Each year, 600,000 people die from heart disease and 130,000 die from stroke. But a new study finds that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease could be reduced by up to 40%, simply by eating fresh fruit every day.

The research team, led by Dr. Huaidong Du from the University of Oxford in the UK, recently presented their findings at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2014.

The results of their study came from an analysis of 451,681 individuals from five rural and five urban areas of China who were a part of the China Kadoorie Biobank – a study set up to investigate genetic and environmental causes of chronic diseases.

Dr. Du notes that numerous studies have indicated that improvements in diet and lifestyle are critical to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). But she points out that the majority of these studies have come from Western countries, with very few from China.

“China has a different pattern of CVD,” explains Dr. Du, “with stroke as the main cause compared to Western countries where ischemic heart disease is more prevalent. Previous studies have combined ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, probably due to the limited number of stroke cases in their datasets.”

She adds that given the difference in risk factors and physiology between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, the team was particularly interested in how fruit consumption influenced the risk of these stroke subtypes.

The more fruit consumed each day, the lower the risk of CVD
Study participants had no history of CVD and were receiving no treatment for high blood pressure at baseline.

At the beginning of the study, the researchers asked the participants how much fresh fruit they ate. Fruit consumption was divided into five categories: never, monthly, 1-3 days a week, 4-6 days a week and daily.

During 7 years of follow-up, 19,300 participants developed heart disease and 19,689 had stroke, of which 14,688 were ischemic and 3,562 were hemorrhagic.

Dr. Du and her team found that participants who ate fruit every day had a 25-40% lower risk of CVD, compared with those who never ate fruit. In detail, those who ate fruit daily had a 15% lower risk of ischemic heart disease, a 25% lower risk of ischemic stroke and a 40% reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Furthermore, the more fruit a person ate, the lower their risk of CVD. The average daily fruit intake was 1.5 portions (approximately 150 g).

In addition, the researchers found that participants who reported eating fruit daily had lower blood pressure at baseline, compared with those who reported never eating fruit. “We also found that the beneficial effect of fruit on the risk of CVD was independent of its impact on baseline blood pressure,” adds Dr. Du.

The team then carried out a separate analysis to see how fruit consumption affected all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in 61,000 patients who had high blood pressure or CVD at study baseline.

Overall, the researchers found that participants who ate fruit daily had a 32% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never ate fruit, as well as a 40% lower risk of death from stroke and a 27% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease.

Commenting on their findings, the team says:
“Our results show the benefit of eating fruit in the healthy general population and in patients with CVD and hypertension. Fruit consumption is an effective way to cut CVD risk and should not only be regarded as ‘might be useful.’

Policies are needed to promote the availability, affordability and acceptability of fresh fruit through educational and regulatory measures.”

It does seem like no one really ever complains about eating fruit. Kids love fresh fruit — apples, bananas, pears, berries, melon — all are sweet and tasty. And for adults, seasonal varieties of fruit keep our diets interesting and flavorful. Remember the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Worthwhile advice. FoodFacts.com hopes we all take it!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/281903.php

Increase your intake of polyphenols and live a longer life

FoodFacts.com would love for all food consumers to answer this question: If someone told you that you could extend your life by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables, would you do it? Pretty easy to answer, isn’t it? Today we read some new research that infers just that!

It is the first time that a scientific study associates high polyphenols intake with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults. The research, published on Journal of Nutrition, is the first to evaluate the total dietary polyphenol intake by using a nutritional biomarker and not only a food frequency questionnaire. Research is signed by Cristina Andrés Lacueva, Montserrat Rabassa and Mireia Urpí Sardà, from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology of the UB; Raúl Zamora Ros (ICO-IDIBELL), and experts Antonio Cherubini (Italian National Research Centre on Aging), Stefania Bandinelli (Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Italy) and Luigi Ferrucci (National Institute on Aging, United States).

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found largely in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, legumes and cereals. More than 8,000 different phenolic compounds have been identified in plants. Polyphenols have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticarcinogenic, etc. effects.

The research published on Journal of Nutrition is based on a 12-year follow-up of a population sample composed by 807 men and women aged 65 or over from Greve and Bagno (Tuscany, Italy), within the InCHIANTI study. The group of the UB analysed the effect of polyphenol-rich diets by means of a nutritional biomarker — the total urinary polyphenol (TUP) concentration — as a proxy measure of intake. To be exact, UB researchers contributes to first literature references on TUP application to epidemiological or clinical studies.

Professor Cristina Andrés Lacueva, head of the Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics Research Group of the UB and coordinator of the study, explains that “the development and use of nutritional biomarkers enables to make a more precise and, particularly, more objective estimation of intake as it is not only based on participants’ memory when answering questionnaire. Nutritional biomarkers take into account bioavailabity and individual differences. According to the expert, “this methodology makes a more reliable and accurate evaluation of the association between food intake and mortality or disease risk.”

In conclusion, the research proves that overall mortality was reduced by 30% in participants who had rich-polyphenol diets (>650 mg/day) in comparison with the participants who had low-polyphenol intakes ( Raúl Zamora Ros, first author of the study, points out that “results corroborate scientific evidence suggesting that people consuming diets rich in fruit and vegetables are at lower risk of several chronic diseases and overall mortality.” Moreover, the research stresses the importance of evaluating — if possible — food intake by using nutritional biomarkers, not only food frequency questionnaires.

Here at FoodFacts.com, we try to get our five a day every day. We’re committed to a healthy diet based on fresh, whole foods and avoiding controversial ingredients. Our awareness of how nutrition affects our health and well being is paramount in our mission and in our lives. Today we just added to that awareness with this great news! Lets pass it on!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009111025.htm

Eat more fruits and vegetables and live longer!

FoodFacts.com is a big believer in finding every possible way to consume your five a day! Fruits and vegetables are such an important source of nutrients for us. They really do help us to maintain our health, and have been associated with lowered risk and even prevention of various chronic health conditions and diseases. Today we found yet another reason to find even more healthful and delicious preparations for fruits and vegetables.

A new European study analyzes the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of mortality and concludes that fruit and vegetable consumption reduces all-cause mortality, and especially cardiovascular disease mortality.

The benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption are not a new discovery. However, new research confirms their role in reducing mortality. This reduction is more significant in the case of deaths from cardiovascular disease.

The analysis, recently published in the ‘American Journal of Epidemiology’, was directed by researchers from ten countries, including Spain, as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

The sample analyzed includes 25,682 deaths (10,438 due to cancer and 5,125 due to cardiovascular disease) among the 451,151 participants studied over more than 13 years.
“This study is the most significant epidemiological study that this association has examined to date,” María José Sánchez Pérez, director of the Andalusian School of Public Health’s (EASP) Granada Cancer Registry and one of the authors of the research, explains to SINC.

According to the results, a combined fruit and vegetable consumption of more than 569 grams per day reduces the risk of mortality by 10% and delays the risk of mortality by 1.12 years compared to a consumption of less than 249 grams per day.

Furthermore, for every 200 gram increase in daily fruit and vegetable consumption, the risk falls by 6%. The proportion of deaths that could be prevented if everyone eating too few fruit and vegetables increased their consumption by 100-200 grams per day — thus reaching the recommended 400-500 grams per day — is 2.9%.

Previous studies already noted that fruit and vegetable consumption, in accordance with the recommended daily allowance, prevents the development of chronic diseases, and reduces the risk of mortality by 10-25%.

“There is now sufficient evidence of the beneficial effect of fruit and vegetable consumption in the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases,” Sánchez states, “for this reason, one of the most effective preventative measures is promoting their consumption in the population.”

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality by 15%. Furthermore, more than 4% of deaths due to cardiovascular disease could be prevented by consuming more than 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day.

The mortality risk reduction due to fruit and vegetable consumption was greater in those participants who consumed alcohol (around 30-40% risk reduction), who were obese (20%), and “possibly” also in those who smoked.

The authors add that this positive effect is probably due to their high antioxidant content, which mitigates the oxidative stress caused by alcohol, tobacco and obesity.

“As such, these population groups in particular could benefit from the positive effects of fruit and vegetables in preventing chronic diseases and their associated mortality risk,” Sánchez concludes.

All these benefits just from increasing fruit and vegetable consumption! FoodFacts.com couldn’t be more pleased! And with so many flavorful, colorful choices to pick from, we can keep our diets tasty, interesting and healthy and enjoy a longer, healthier life!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130926102433.htm

A great new reason for women to make sure they get their five a day

FoodFacts.com is always talking about the health benefits of a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables. There are so many nutrients derived from the colorful varieties we’re lucky enough to be able to choose from! We know that getting our five servings a day of fruits and vegetables helps to reduce our risk of heart attack and stroke, in addition to diabetes, obesity, and even some types of cancer. Today we read about a new study that points to a lowered risk of bladder cancer for women who increase their fruit and vegetable consumption!

Researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center reported on this new study in The Journal of Nutrition. The authors explained that fruits and vegetables have been extensively studied for their possible effects on the risk of cancer, including bladder cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain several nutrients, phytochemicals, as well as antioxidants which potentially protect from cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute2, there are approximately 72,570 new cancer bladder cases and 15,210 deaths caused by bladder cancer annually in the United States.

Song-Yi Park, PhD., and colleagues set out to determine what effect high fruit and vegetable intake might have on invasive bladder cancer risk. The team carried out a prospective analysis involving 185,885 older adults who participated in the Multiethnic Cohort Study. The study was set up in 1993 to examine the relationship between dietary, lifestyle, genetic factors, and the risk of cancer.

The researchers gathered and analyzed data over a 12.5-year period. During that time 152 females and 429 males developed invasive bladder cancer.

After making adjustments for some variables which influence cancer risk, such as age, the scientists discovered that those with the lowest bladder cancer risk were women who ate the most fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Park and team found that:

• Women with the highest yellow-orange vegetable intake had a 52% lower risk of developing invasive bladder cancer compared to women with the lowest consumption.
• Women with the highest consumption of vitamins A, C, and E were the least likely to develop bladder cancer.
• Fruit and vegetable consumption appeared to have no effect on male bladder cancer risk.

FoodFacts.com certainly stands behind the idea that five servings of fruits and vegetables every day is a good idea for everyone. This new information, however, gives all women yet another reason to be vigilant about their fruit and vegetable consumption. Keeping your fruit and veggie choices interesting and colorful makes it easy to include them in your daily diet. And your optimal daily diet will help you enjoy good health for years to come!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265231.php

Eat your colors and reduce your risk of breast cancer

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. FoodFacts.com has always felt that Hippocrates had the right idea! We’re always thrilled to learn about how the foods we consume can have a positive influence on our health and well being. And we’re especially excited to discover that simple additions of fresh, healthy food to our diet can help us avoid chronic and often fatal illness.

A recent study from the researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has shown that women with high levels of carotenoids (naturally occurring plant chemicals) have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer.

While we know that diets high in fruits and vegetables have a positive influence on the risk of many different cancers, this particular link to those that are high in carotenoids offer specific benefits for women.

We’ve often heard the advice that “It’s best to eat in color”. This is certainly the case here. Carotenoids are pigements that give vegetables and fruits deep yellow, orange and red hues. Carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash, apricots, mangoes and papyas are all great examples of foods high in carotenoids.

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of data from 8 different studies that included 7,000 women. They discovered that the women whose blood levels were in the top 20 percent for carotenoids were 15 to 20 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those women whose carotenoid levels were in the bottom 20 percent. Most impressive, thought, was that the link between higher carotenoid levels in the blood was the strongest for the most aggressive, lethal forms of breast cancer.

Researchers noted that it seemed to be a linear relationship. The higher the levels of caretonoids in the blood, the lower the risk of breast cancer.

While more research is needed to discover the specific reason for the link, researchers hypothesize that the body may metabolize carotenoids into retinol, which may inhibit tumor growth.

It was noted in the study that the most effective way to boost carotenoid levels in the blood is through food consumption, not supplementation. They clearly felt that increasing fruit and vegetable intake is the best way to receive the health benefits of carotenoids and perhaps decrease the risk of breast cancer.

There are so many wonderful fruits and vegetables in beautiful colors. FoodFacts.com honestly has a difficult time deciding which ones to include in our diets first. Whichever you choose, enjoy them in good health, knowing that the rich bounty of colorful, carotenoid-containing produce may help us decrease our odds of developing a deadly disease.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039018_breast_cancer_carotenoids_fruits_and_vegetables.html#ixzz2VUaOiltR

Smaller serving pieces of fruit can help kids consume their recommended daily requirements!

Most of us here at FoodFacts.com love biting into a big, juicy apple, or peeling an orange and enjoying the whole fruit – the same holds true for pears, and bananas. It really hadn’t occurred to us that there might be kids all over the country who are turned off to eating fruit based on the simple concept that bite-sized pieces are more appealing to them.

A new study from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab takes a closer look at why children are avoiding fruit in the school cafeteria line and if, perhaps, that “ready-to-eat”, no additional work required appearance could, in fact, encourage kids to consume more fruit. While most believe that children avoid fruit because of the taste and the competition fruit faces from packaged snacks, the researchers wanted to dig deeper and see if there were really other reasons for kids to pass fruit up in their school cafeterias.

The researchers designed a pilot study that included eight elementary schools within the same district. First, they gave each school a commercial food slicer and instructed cafeteria personnel to use it when a child requested an apple. The fruit slicer cut the apple into six pieces and took between three and four seconds to use on each apple. Initial results of the pilot study showed that fruit sales increased by an average of 61% when the apples were sliced for the kids. They then interviewed the students and found out that they disliked eating fruit in school for two main reasons. The first was that for the younger kids, who might be wearing braces or be missing a few teeth, a whole fruit was inconvenient to eat. Older girls stated that they felt they looked unattractive eating a whole fruit in front of other kids and were self conscious about it. The sliced fruit solved both these issues for the children.

The researchers then expanded the pilot study to confirm the initial findings by adding six middle schools in the same district. Three of the six were given the fruit slicers while the others continued normal cafeteria operations, acting as a control. The fruit slices were placed in cups in two of the three schools and on a try in the third school. To accurately access actual consumption, field researchers were assigned to every school to record how much of the apple was wasted by counting the number of slices thrown away by each student.

These results showed that sales of apples in the schools using the fruit slicers increased by 71% compared to the control schools selling the whole fruit. Most importantly, researchers found that the percentage of students who ate more than half of the apple they purchased increased by 73%.

This pilot study showed that, in fact, taste and competition from processed snacks may not be the reason kids aren’t consuming fruit in school. When the fruit was made easier to eat, more kids were purchasing it and, most importantly, more of them were eating more of it. So for a small investment ($200 for the slicers) kids were encouraged to make healthier choices and waste less of the choices they made.

What a great, simple idea! FoodFacts.com hopes that this study gets the recognition it deserves from school districts all over the country. We wonder if these researchers are actually on to something for adults as well.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417165007.htm

Increasing fiber intake may lower first-time stroke risk

FoodFacts.com evaluates every aspect of the food products in our database. Fiber is an aspect that we note on the Report Card for each one. It’s been well-known that fiber intake is an important part of a healthy diet for many reasons. Consumers are attracted to products that are higher in fiber for weight and appetite control But we’ve also known that dietary fiber can help reduce risk factors for stroke and can influence blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Today we found new research that indicates that eating more fiber can decrease the risk of an initial stroke. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that the body doesn’t absorb during digestion. Fiber can be soluble, which means it dissolves in water, or insoluble.
This new study found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. Researchers noted that this seven-gram increase could be satisfied easily with one serving of whole wheat pasta and two servings of fruits or vegetables. This is especially important for those with pre-existing stroke risk factors like being overweight, having high blood pressure or smoking.
The research analyzed eight previous studies conducted between 1990 and 2012. These studies focused on different types of stroke, with four of them specifically focused on ischemic stroke (occurring when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain). Three of them were focused on hemorrhagic stroke (occurring when a blood vessel bleeds into the brain or on its surface). Findings from all the studies were combined and other stroke risk factors were considered.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily fiber intake of at least 25 grams daily. That can be achieved through six to eight servings of grains and eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables. Most Americans do not consume the recommended level.
Stoke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. It accounts for over 137,000 deaths annually and is the leading cause of disability for stroke survivors.

FoodFacts.com wants to remind our community of the importance of our daily fiber intake. It’s not that difficult to achieve increased fiber consumption. This study indicates that by increasing our daily fiber we can decrease our risk of ever experiencing a stroke, prolonging our life and living healthier.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328161434.htm

Setting out to prove that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!

FoodFacts.com learned about some interesting research that’s being planned right now that can ultimately give us a better understanding of how different fruits can actually improve heart and vascular health in our population.

The University of Warwick is teaming up with Unilever to attempt to discover if nutrients in fruits in the right combinations can have a positive impact on our health. The study is based on the concept that certain properties of fruits help to trigger cell defense mechanisms in the walls of blood vessels. This protects the vessels from damage caused by aging and prevents the onset of Type-2 diabetes. If the conclusions derived from this study show these links, it would be the first time research will have shown an association between fruit consumption and heart health improvement.

The study is planned as a three year endeavor. It will implement a new screening technology developed by the University of Warwick that can identify which fruits contain the nutrients that impact heart and vascular health. The findings will then be used to develop prototype products to be tested on human blood vessels. Clinical trials of the products would then be implemented on middle-aged, overweight participants using metabolism research equipment. The volunteers will have their blood vessel function and glucose levels monitored to illustrate which foods activate the blood vessel protection being hypothesized.

The hopes for this study are quite broad. In the first place, the findings could help influence consumers to make small dietary changes that may help them make huge health improvements. If you understood that eating certain fruits would help to bolster your body’s natural protective mechanisms, you could easily include more of those fruits in your daily diet. But beyond that, the hope is that a new line of health products could be designed that can leverage the ingredients present in the fruits that jump start the body’s protection system. If the healthy properties of fruits like grapes, strawberries and olives can be harnessed to assist the body’s own defenses against heart disease and diabetes, we may be able to make a real change in the problems associated with aging.

While FoodFacts.com is always reporting on new research findings, we were excited to learn of this new, planned research. This window into the future speaks to discoveries yet to be made regarding our nutrition health. It’s science waiting to happen and raises questions about how, in the future, it might be possible for us to reduce the health problems normally associated with aging because of the nutrients contained in our fruits.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-fruit-vascular-health.html#jCp