Natural Cures For What Ails Ye!

by DavalosMcCormack on December 18, 2009

I don’t usually rely on the  Bible for nutrition advice (usually it’s just a list of what you can’t eat – which seems to include most of my favorites) but every once in a while it does come up with something entirely appropriate. And at this time of year the line from Ecclesiastes (8:15) is particularly appropriate;  “A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and be merry.”

But what you eat and drink can have a big influence on just how long you’ll be merry.

For instance, a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine points out that drinking coffee and tea – even decaff – can reduce your risk of diabetes. That’s great news for people like me who have a long family history of drinking tea and coffee, and also have a family history of diabetes.

The study was actually a meta-study, namely one that looked at the results of a bunch of different research projects to come to an overall conclusion. In this case the researchers (from the US, the UK, Australia, France, and the Netherlands) looked at studies involving more than half a million people.

Here’s some of what they found:

  • The more coffee you drink the lower your risk of diabetes
  • Each extra cup of coffee reduces your risk of diabetes 7 percent.
  • Drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee is linked to a 25 percent reduction in diabetes risk.
  • Drinking 3 to 4 cups of tea is linked to a 20 percent reduction in risk
  • Even drinking decaff reduced your risk

The researchers aren’t sure why coffee and tea reduce the risk of diabetes but speculate it could be because they have compounds such as magnesium, or antioxidants, and that these help the body fight the disease.

So tomorrow go out and hug your local barrista. They’re not only helping you get your daily fix, they’re helping improve your quality of life.

See, I told you carrots were good for your eyes!

Turns out Bugs Bunny was right all along, carrots really are good for your vision.  You don’t have to take my word for it, a study in the Journal of Food Science says so too.

The researchers looked at some compounds found in things like carrots, green leafy vegetables and brightly colored fruits – namely the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin – and measured what kind of impact they had on vision. They found that those carotenoids not only reduce the disability and discomfort from glare, but they also increase the visual range.

So, in other words they help you see better.

The researchers think they may work by protecting the retina – that’s the part of the eye that takes light rays and turns them into electrical signals for the brain to “read” and interpret. They also think that the carotenoids could help protect you against some of the most common age-related vision problems, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Best of all, munching on a few carrots, or other fresh fruit or green leafy veg, could mean you’ll be able to avoid going to see your local opthalmologist and asking her “So, what up doc?”

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