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Functional foods

Eating a variety of functional foods works best to prevent disease

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: functional foods, disease prevention, health news


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(NaturalNews) Most food and dietary supplement studies evaluate the effects of a single item on health, which ultimately fails to properly identify how different foods works together with one another to promote health. But a new study out of Lund University in Spain has found that eating a variety of health-promoting foods has a synergistic effect on preventing disease and promoting wellness.

Inger Bjorck, professor of food-related nutrition at Lund and head of the University's Antidiabetic Food Centre, and colleagues fed 44 healthy, but overweight, people a specific food regimen for four weeks. The diet consisted of antioxidant-rich, low glycemic index (GI) foods like omega-3-rich oily fish, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar, and certain whole grains.

Each of these foods is known in isolation to perform functions like reducing bodily inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and preventing type-2 diabetes, but researchers wanted to know how each of these worked together with one another to promote health. What they found was that overall, bad cholesterol levels were reduced by 33 percent, blood lipid levels dropped by 14 percent, and blood pressure fell by eight percent.

"The results have exceeded our expectations!" said Bjorck. "I would like to claim that there has been no previous study with similar effects on healthy subjects."

In her book Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well, Elaine Magee explains that nutrients work together with one another at the molecular level to provide health benefits.

"We now know that synergy does exist at the micronutrient level, in various combinations of vitamins and minerals," she explains. "These nutritional partnerships also explain, in part, why some research that has focused on only one nutrient may not have had the expected health results."

Sources for this story include:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-...

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