Wheat cereals really are breakfasts of champions
Abowl of whole-wheat breakfast cereal with skim milk may work just as well as specialized sports drinks in improving recovery after exercise, according to new research from the University of Texas at Austin. The researchers recruited 12 cyclists—eight men and four women—who were given either a whole-wheat flake cereal with skim milk or a sports drink containing carbohydrates after a two-hour cycling session. While both meals raised blood glucose and insulin levels, the cereal blunted the rise in blood lactate and showed a significant advantage in protein synthesis—both important factors in speedy post-exercise recovery. Lead researcher Lynne Kammer linked cereal's benefits to its protein and carbohydrate content, which has been shown to aid in the rebuilding of damaged tissue after exercise.
A new way to optimize organics' shelf life
Wish you could stock only the freshest, most beautiful-looking organic fruits and vegetables? New research proves this may soon be easier to do. A recent Israeli study found that a low-oxygen pre-treatment of organic produce can significantly extend shelf life. The researchers sealed Granny Smith apples in a low-oxygen atmosphere for seven days at 20 degrees Celsius prior to cold storage and found that it reduced scald development in 90 percent of the apples. While inexpensive chemicals can be used to preserve conventional produce, they cannot be used during the processing of organics—a factor that drives the cost of organic produce up. According to Lisa Richards, who reported on the study in Chemistry & Industry: "One of the major contributing factors affecting the price [of organics] is the short shelf life of organic produce."
Bring on the (whole grain) bread for health
Good news for carb-lovers: Steering clear of carbohydrates may adversely affect the number of certain types of beneficial bacteria in the gut, according to research in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Low-carb diet opponents have long maintained that the weight-loss approach increases the risk of a heart attack, but a new study by scientists at Scotland's Aberdeen's Rowett Research Institute finds that a low-carb diet may also adversely affect important gut bacteria that helps prevent colorectal cancer. "If low-carbohydrate diets are to be consumed for long periods of time, it may be important to ensure that there is enough of the right sort of carbohydrate[s] in the diet which … are beneficial for human health," said study author Harry Flint in a statement.
Milk does a body better than supplements
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who get most of their calcium from food have healthier bones than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplements. "Only about 35 percent of the calcium in most supplements ends up being absorbed by the body," said study author Reina Armamento-Villareal in a statement. "Calcium from the diet is generally better absorbed, and this could be another reason that women who got a high percentage of calcium in their food had higher bone densities."
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 30