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Health Notes 1

The herb that’s 42 times better for you than an apple 

The American Chemical Society (ACS), one of the pre-eminent scientific organizations in the world-and one with a degree of integrity far above any medical group I know of-has come out with a report to warm the heart of any barefoot doctor.

Herbs have higher antioxidant activity than fruits, vegetables, and some spices, including garlic, report scientists in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the journal of the ACS.

Oregano came out way ahead of all other herbs in antioxidant power -from three to 40 times as much. In comparison to the antioxidant activities of a few select fruits and vegetables, the potency of oregano was well ahead.

Oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries. One tablespoon of fresh oregano, for example, contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple. The other herbs with an antioxidant punch, in order of potency, are dill, garden thyme, rosemary, and peppermint.

Shiow Y. Wang, Ph.D., of the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, studied and compared the antioxidant activity of 39 commonly used herbs. “People should use more herbs for flavoring instead of salt and artificial chemicals,” he said.

Action to take:

Now that you can buy fresh herbs as you would any other vegetable in most supermarkets, you should treat them like any other vegetable–to derive the nutrition from them as well as the enhanced flavor.

Reference:

“Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Compounds in Selected Herbs,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2001: 49 (11); 5,165 -5,170

Wine for health- now in your choice of colors 

OK, so you can’t stomach the rich, full-bodied glass of Merlot that’s supposed to keep your heart strong and healthy. No, you’re more of a crisp, chilled Chardonnay aficionado. But none of the research says anything about health benefits of white wine.

Leave it to the scientists, of all people, to make sure everyone gets to eat, drink, and be merry-and healthy.

Researchers in Israel have developed a way to make white wine using grape skin polyphenols, the substances in red wine that give it its heart-boosting powers. Grape skin is usually left out of the white-wine making process, but since that’s where the highest concentration of polyphenols is found, up until now red wine had the advantage.

So far, there’s no word on how to get a bottle for your own wine cellar, but if I find out more, I’ll be sure to let you know in one of my Daily Dose e-letters (to sign up to receive this free service visit www.realhealthnews.com).

References:

“White wine with red wine-like properties: increased extraction of grape skin polyphenols improves the antioxidant capacity of the derived white wine.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2001; 49(7): 3,164-3,168

New white wine may have health benefits of red,” Reuter’s Health news, 6/8/01

Alternative medicine: The universities move in for the kill

“After dismissing CAM therapies as quackery for the better part of a century, the medical establishment now finds itself racing to evaluate them. The short-term goal is to identify the most effective and safe alternative therapies and make them part of routine clinical practice. But the larger mission is to spawn a new kind of integrative medicine, one that employs the rigor of modern science without being constrained by it.”

That quote is from a recent Internet news report I came across. But CAM is attracting enough interest to have made the cover of the December 2, 2002 issue of Newsweek too.

CAM stands for Complementary Alternative Medicine and now that it’s a $30 billion a year business, Big Medicine is paying attention

I’m not sure this news is as good as the media wants us to believe. Letting the medical establishment get its hands on alternative medicine will mean regulating it to death. Then it won’t be any different from mainstream medicine. And look at where that’s gotten so many people -straight into an early grave.

References:

“The Science of Alternative Medicine,” Newsweek (cover story), 12/2/02

“Newsweek Cover: ‘The Science of Alternative Medicine,’” PRNewswire, 11/24/02

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