How are you celebrating World Food Day today in Sacramento? Are you contributing food or volunteering with Sacramento’s food bank? See the recent Sacramento Bee article, Sacramento Scoop » Sacramento Food Bank to Build New Education Center and Urban Farm.
Two days ago on October 14, 2010 the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS) broke ground on a new 20,000 square foot Education Center building and Urban Farm. The expansion is going to bring more opportunities to more than 20,000 Sacramento families served by the SFBFS.
The groundbreaking event in Oak Park included a community celebration and ice cream social provided by Gunther’s as well as speeches by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Mayor Kevin Johnson and Father Dan Madigan, who founded SFBFS in 1976. Today, October 16th is United Nations World Food Day, observed annually on the occasion of the founding in 1945 of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO. This year’s theme is “United Against Hunger.” In Sacramento, you can unite against hunger by volunteering or donating to the Sacramento Food Bank’s new Urban farm and Education Center.
Sacramento consumers may frequently read about how one food or one supplement is supposed to be healthy or is supposed to cut inflammation, but a new study shows that it’s multiple foods acting together that aid memory and protect against disease, including fighting inflammation. It’s not just your fish oil or a dinner of vegetable juices. It’s an entire diet.
According to an October 15, 2010 EurekAlert! news release, “Right foods aid memory and protect against disease,” for the first time researchers have found out what effect multiple, rather than just single, foods with anti-inflammatory effects have on healthy individuals.
The test products were included in a food portfolio based on different food concepts with expected beneficial effects on risk factors of metabolic syndrome, for example, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Food that in different ways might subdue the low-grade inflammation, the key factor in developing metabolic syndrome, was selected.
Examples of food concepts that were included in the study are antioxidants, low GI food, wholegrain products and probiotics. The portfolio included, among others, food with slow carbohydrates, viscous dietary fiber, soy protein, oily fish, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon and vinegar.
Instead of studying each food concept separately they were combined in the same test diet with the aim to achieve, if possible, a more significant reduction of the harmful inflammation. Such a synergetic conception concerning food with focus on anti-inflammatory qualities is new – and resulted not only in moderate levels of inflammatory markers but also attenuated a
number of other risk factors for the metabolic syndrome and improved cognitive performance.
The results of a diet study show that bad cholesterol was reduced by 33 per cent, blood lipids by 14 per cent, blood pressure by 8 per cent and a risk marker for blood clots by 26 per cent. A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced, while memory and cognitive function were improved.
“The results have exceeded our expectations! I would like to claim that there has been no previous study with similar effects on healthy subjects,” says Inger Björck, professor of food-related nutrition at Lund University and head of the University’s Antidiabetic Food Center, according to the news release.
Forty-four healthy, overweight people between the ages of 50 and 75 took part in the diet study. For four weeks they ate foods which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, a condition which in turn triggers metabolic syndrome and thus obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The test diet was high in antioxidants, low-GI foods (i.e. slow release carbohydrates), omega fatty acids, wholegrain products, probiotics and viscous dietary fibre. Examples of foods eaten were oily fish, barley, soy protein, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar and a certain type of wholegrain bread. Some of the products in the food portfolio are not yet available in the shops, but were developed specifically for the study. Read a more detailed press release from the Antidiabetic Food Center’s website.
In the Sacramento-Davis regional area, the University of California, Davis also recently studied the effects of multiple diets on health. Three months ago UC Davis published a recent study on whether drinking vegetable juice can lower your blood pressure (if you’re hypertensive) and help you lose weight. Researchers at the University of California-Davis conducted a 12-week study among adults ages 40-65 years.
All of the people in the study who drank at least two cups of vegetable juice met daily vegetable recommendations. But only seven percent of the non-juice drinkers met the goal. The participants in the study with borderline high blood pressure who drank one to two servings of V8 juice lowered their blood pressure significantly.
UC Davis also did a study a few months ago on how strawberries can lower blood pressure. UC Davis recruited for the study pre-hypertensive (systolic 120-139 mmHg and/or diastolic 80-89 mmHg) men and women ages 25 – 65 years who were not taking blood pressure medication or receiving treatment, did not have an allergy or intolerance for dairy or strawberry products, did not take any other medications or supplements, and females were not taking birth control.