New Evidence Your Heart Loves Nuts

If you grew up thinking of nuts as a not-very-good-for-you indulgence, theres a growing pile of evidence that should change your mind about these healthy foods. For a long time, consumers thought that coffee raises blood pressure, eggs cause heart disease, chocolate is an unhealthy treat, and nuts make you fat, says Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, director of Tufts HNRCA Antioxidants Research Laboratory. However, such conclusions were often based on very little science and several mistaken assumptions. The latest news in nuts rehabilitation comes from two studies spotlighting the heart-health benefits of almonds and peanuts.

Blueberries Good for Your Blood Pressure and Brain

With the domestic blueberry season about to begin, theres no better time to celebrate the bountiful health benefits of Americans second-favorite berry (after strawberries). New research has linked blueberry consumption to better blood pressure, and Tufts scientists continue to explore how blueberries protect the brain. More than three-dozen current clinical trials are testing blueberries possible benefits for vision, gout protection, arterial function, blood sugar and more.

Are You Seeing All the Health Benefits of Carrots?

Bugs Bunny, always depicted munching on a carrot, may have been onto something. Researchers have found that carrot consumption not only helps insure an adequate intake of a variety of important nutrients and fiber, but may also reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Consuming More Potassium Linked to Lower Stroke Risk in Women

A new analysis of data from the Womens Health Initiative (WHI) shows that postmenopausal women who consume the most potassium in their diets are at lower risk of suffering a stroke. The association was strongest in women without hypertension. Although the WHI is an observational study, which cant prove cause and effect, scientists say it provides another reason to boost your potassium intake-especially given that most Americans fall far short of meeting recommended potassium requirements.

Organic Crops Found Higher in Antioxidants

Are organic fruits, vegetables and grains better for you? No one disputes that organic foods are lower in synthetic pesticides, though how important that is to your health remains controversial, as long as levels fall below EPA thresholds. But most studies have found little difference between organic and conventionally grown crops in nutritional value.

Reality Check on Resveratrols Health Benefits

Proponents of resveratrol, the antioxidant compound found in red wine and grapes whose near-miraculous health claims have created a $30 billion supplement industry, must have felt a bit of whiplash lately. First, a new study of dietary intake of resveratrol in the Chianti wine-making region of Italy made headlines by reporting no correlation with longevity or lower risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol Health Benefits a Myth?, one news article asked. Then, just three weeks later, another new study reported that resveratrol supplements improved memory in overweight older people-raising hopes once again.

How to Get Maximum Health Benefits from Tomatoes

Tomatoes are so ubiquitous in the American diet, from the fresh tomatoes just now coming into prime season to countless processed products, that its hard to believe they were once commonly avoided as poisonous. Its true that tomatoes, like potatoes and peppers, belong to the nightshade family, and their leaves contain alkaloids that can indeed be toxic to pets. Europeans who saw the plants from the New World thought tomatoes resembled belladonna-deadly nightshade-and gave the fruit the forbidding name wolf peach.

Green Tea May Enhance Working Memory

A small clinical trial suggests that green tea could improve the connectivity between parts of the brain involved in tasks of working memory. You might think of working memory as the brains sticky notes, where bits of information are temporarily held for manipulation before forgetting or transferring to long-term memory.

Large Study Will Test Chocolate Compounds

Participants in a recently announced nationwide study wont get to eat chocolate candy in the name of science, but they will be testing the cocoa flavanols thought to give dark chocolate heart-healthy properties. The four-year study will give participants either a placebo or flavorless capsules containing doses of cocoa flavanols higher than could be easily obtained by eating chocolate. It will be by far the largest trial of the chocolate compounds, which previous findings have…

Q. I keep seeing advertisements for multivitamins that say I need antioxidants to promote...

Q. I keep seeing advertisements for multivitamins that say I need antioxidants to promote cell health. What does this mean?