Health  

How leafy vegetables, beetroot juice, others beat heart failure, depression, by researchers

Fresh fruits and vegetables...new study suggests that those who follow healthy dietary patterns that prominently feature fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes may be at a reduced risk of depression.

Fresh fruits and vegetables…new study suggests that those who follow healthy dietary patterns that prominently feature fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes may be at a reduced risk of depression.

• High dietary sodium, potassium may worsen chronic kidney disease
• Overweight, obesity may increase brain tumour risk, researchers find

CAN eating foods rich in leafy vegetables, beetroot, fruit, nuts and legumes reduce the risk of heart failure and depression? And can overweight, obesity may increase brain tumor risk?

A new study has demonstrated how muscle power improves in patients with heart failure when they adopt a diet high in nitrates – found in abundance in beetroot juice.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, United States, publishing in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, wanted to know if patients with heart failure could get the kind of benefits athletes find in beet juice.

This study builds on the team’s previous work that suggests using dietary nitrates improves muscle performance in the world of elite sport.

Nitrates are the active ingredient in beet juice, as well as spinach and other leafy vegetables, including arugula and celery.

During exercise, these nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, with various beneficial effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. The benefits are most commonly found during aerobic exercise – that is, when breathing is increased to bring more oxygen into the body, for example, in walking, cycling or swimming.

The researchers hypothesized that heart failure patients may benefit in similar ways to athletes, since heart failure is the gradual loss of pumping capacity. When the heart is weak, fatigue and shortness of breath follow, making everyday activity difficult.

Meanwhile, a new report published in the journal Neurology suggests that being obese or overweight may contribute to the development of some types of brain tumour.

Malignant brain tumors are notoriously difficult to fight, and in most cases, the cause is unknown. Prior exposure to brain radiation has been suggested by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) as the “most solid risk factor for developing a primary brain tumor,” and certain rare genetic conditions may increase the risk. But for many of the 120 plus different types of brain tumor, the origin remains a mystery.

The study, carried out by Gundula Behrens, PhD, of the University of Regensburg in Germany, focused on two types of brain tumor: meningioma and glioma – the most common primary tumors in adults.

Also, another new study suggests that those who follow healthy dietary patterns that prominently feature fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes may be at a reduced risk of depression.

The study, published in BMC Medicine, found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern or Alternative Eating Index-2010 appeared to play a protective role against the illness.

Also, scientists have found that high dietary intake of sodium and potassium may speed the progression of kidney disease. The study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) could impact dietary recommendations to help safeguard patients’ health.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health challenge because it is common, frequently progresses to kidney failure, and increases risk of heart disease and premature death. Diet may play an important role in CKD progression, but little is known about the role of certain dietary components such as sodium and potassium.



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