tomatoes in a row

Tomato Compound Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

A tomato is a tasty and versatile food. It happens to have many healthy compounds that negatively affect free radicals. Subsequently, free radicals and inflammation can cause many diseases

A large study shows that participants measuring in the highest range of lycopene levels have a 64% lower risk of colorectal cancer. This group is compared to the lowest quarter. High lycopene levels have shown to reduce the risk of other cancers like ovarian and skin.

tomato compound in rows

Tomato Compound Lycopene Reduces Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men. Many studies show that lycopene, found in tomatoes, reduces the risk of prostate cancer. In many cases, the first treatment is hormone suppression. Hormones play a role in the growth of cancer cells.

Signal Disruption

The most abundant male hormones are testosterone and androstenedione. Lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer, but it also reduces the hormone signaling to normal prostate tissues.

Similarly, this is the same case for breast cancer and the hormone estrogen. After a biopsy, the breast tissue will be tested for estrogen receptors. For instance, receptors signal hormones to attach to a receptor site on tissue. If hormones attach to receptors on tumors, the tumor will grow. Lycopene disrupts this signal.

Lycopene Filled Varities

Different varieties of tomatoes will have more lycopene. Thus, if you have a green thumb plant Health Kick VFFA Hybrid, Tangerine (heirloom), and Jet Star VF Hybrid. Finally, if you don’t have the ability to plant, grocery store varieties will do.

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coconut with hole in middle

Coconut Oil, Butter, or Olive Oil?

What type of fat should I cook with? That may depend of a few variables. Does the recipe require a baking, sauteing, or searing? Each one has its pros, but there is one that is the healthiest. The best fat to cook with is coconut oil. Why?

Coconut with hole in middle

Coconut while solid at room temperature like butter is mostly made up of saturated fatty acid. That’s not good, right? Not necessarily. Coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up mostly of small to medium chain fatty acids. Long chain fatty acids can increase cholesterol levels. Despite its wonderful flavor, butter, is made mostly of long chain fatty acids.

The Best Types of Fat

A recent study shows coconut oil increases HDL-cholesterol and does not raise LDL-cholesterol compared to olive oil. LDL-cholesterol is the bad cholesterol while HDL-cholesterol is good. High levels of LDL-cholesterol is a potential risk for heart disease. Also, coconut oil decreases C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation and potential disease.

Heat or No Heat

Olive oil is best used in cold applications. Olive oil is good for dressings and a finishing-oil on top of cooked foods. Coconut oil is more versatile for high heat cooking. Thus, it can be used in sauteing and baking.

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swimming in a pool

Exercise or Diet to Maintain Weight?

Diet or exercise. Which one is better at maintaining weight loss? There is much in question about which is best to keep weight off. Studies show it’s more important to stay active than count calories. This according to a new study. 

Physcial Activity and Weight

Certainly, diet is always important for health and optimal weight. There is no debate. This study stresses the importance of physical activity after weight loss. There is nothing more frustrating than losing weight only to gain it back. Similar results are correlated in the ‘Biggest Loser’ study, the hit television show.

Steps Matter In Weight Control

Successful participants maintained a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more over one year. That is a lot of weight. Interestingly, weight-loss maintainers burned more calories than normal body weight controls. Also, weight-loss maintainers’ step count is significantly higher than overweight/obesity and normal weight participants. 12,000 steps compared to 9,000 and 6,500 respectively.

Exercise Over Calories

Weight-loss maintainers consume an equal amount of calories to overweight/obese participants, but activity levels remain higher. The study includes an interesting way to measure energy expenditure as well. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the water were ‘labeled.’ This is the gold standard of energy expenditure measure. Lastly, don’t ask me how they ‘label’ the water.

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bread with sesame seeds

Increase Metabolism By Fasting

We have always been told to eat three full meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, some studies show a simple break from eating (i.e. fasting) can improve your health. A recent study shows that fasting can boost metabolism, but what does that really mean for our health? Link here

Fasting Breaks Down Nutrients Faster

Fasting increases the process of energy utilization or breakdown. In short, boosting metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, your body will burn carbohydrates, fats, and protein faster. The body prefers to burn carbohydrates for energy or activity. However, in the absence of carbohydrates, the body will burn fat stores and proteins. Without carbs, the cells do not work as hard. When the body uses fat as energy, the breakdown of fat is more efficient.

Fasting Increases Anti-aging Compounds

Fasting has other health benefits in addition to an increased metabolism. Researchers have found certain antioxidants and muscle-maintaining compounds can appear. Because muscle mass declines as you age, this suggests that fasting could increase longevity. Antioxidants are also beneficial because they keep cells healthy.

Important Notes Before Fasting

If you are considering fasting, check with your primary care doctor. Certain conditions contraindicate fasting. The benefits detailed above were tested at a fasting length of 34-58 hours. The study did not report what participants drank during the fast.  

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