The Fit Fix: Three Reasons to Eat More Veggies

Plus more of today's top health and science headlines.

Vegetarians shown to have lower blood pressure.

A simple and safe fix for people with high blood pressure could be as easy as cutting out meat from your diet (easy, that is, if you aren't a burger-craving carnivore like some of us). A new review of past studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine says that vegetarianism has been conclusively linked to lower blood pressure and could be an effective alternative to medication. "Unlike drugs, there is no cost to a diet adjustment of this type," lead author of the review Yoko Yokoyama told Reuters. "All the 'side effects' of a plant-based diet are desirable: weight loss, lower cholesterol, and better blood-sugar control, among others." [Reuters]

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“Browning" meat might be linked to dementia later on in life.

Grilling, frying, or cooking meat in an oven renders potentially dangerous proteins called "AGEs" (advanced glycation ends). Examining the effects of AGEs on mice, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC found that taking in high level's of AGEs caused a worrisome buildup of hazardous defective protein (beta amyloid) in the brain—a known precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. While their research is anything but conclusive, it could help reveal a greater relationship between diet and mental health. [BBC]

Superfood of the hour: one more reason to eat strawberries.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry claims that while already known to be an antioxidant powerhouse, the sweet little snack fruit may also lower cholesterol. After a month of eating strawberries, the study’s volunteers showed markedly improved cholesterol. However, they had to eat 500 grams per day. That’s about 2 cups of strawberries, quite a mouthful. [EurekAlert]

Panel of experts says that healthy people should avoid taking vitamin E and beta carotene.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said on Monday that the supplements not only do not help prevent cancer and heart disease but may also actually pose some health risks, including an increased chance of developing cancer for beta carotene takers. While the exact science behind the debate is still up in the air, they reminded the public that supplements were no substitute for healthy living and eating right. [Philly]



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