Science Catch-up. Souping = The New Juicing?


by The Health Sciences Academy — Get free science updates here.


Welcome to our Thursday’s Science Catch-up: curated links by The Health Sciences Academy. Get our email updates every other Thursday here (it’s free).

Let’s catch you up with studies and news that recently made the headlines!

Click on your favourite topics to read our summary:

1. Souping = the new juicing?

2. Flavonoid foods prevent weight gain?

3. Honey’s potential to save lives by destroying harmful fungus

4. What’s BX in rye and wholegrains?

5. Barley helps improve blood sugar and reduce appetite

6. High-fat diet in pregnancy alters child genes?

7. Sustained aerobic training increases neurogenesis in brain

8. Organic growth set to double – but it won’t feed the planet alone

Souping = the new juicing?

News link

Although I’m not sure they accurately grasp the scientific meaning of “detoxification”, souping start-ups seem to be on the rise! The chunkier that veggie soup, the better: keeping the fibre in is crucial to hunger control and satiety.

Flavonoid foods prevent weight gain?

Study link

This study found that those who ate more flavonoids gained less weight than those consuming less over a 24-year period. These flavonoids included:

  • anthocyanins (from blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, red grapes, red cabbage, red onions, black beans, aubergines, and all things purple and dark-red),
  • flavonoid polymers (from tea, apples, cinnamon, and raw cocoa), and
  • flavonols (from tea, garlic, and onions).

Every extra 10mg of anthocyanins, 138mg of flavonoid polymers, and 7mg of flavanols per day, was linked to up to 100g less weight gained over 4-year intervals. While this may not seem a lot, it adds up over a number of years!

Honey’s potential to save lives by destroying harmful fungus

News link

Here’s a reminder of the antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey. While honey has its health benefits, remember that it still qualifies as a “free sugar”. UK carbohydrate guidelines advise that you limit your intake of “free sugars” to no more than 5% of your total caloric intake for the day (more here).

What’s BX in rye and wholegrains?

News link

Ever heard of “cereal phytochemicals”?

Well, rye and wholegrains are rich in a group of phytochemicals (bioactive compounds) called “benzoxazinoids”, or BX, which have health-protective qualities.

Danish scientists have documented the uptake of BX compounds from wholegrains in humans, and their possible beneficial effects on your immune system – as well as the prevention of certain cancers.

Barley helps improve blood sugar and reduce appetite

News link

I often use boiled barley kernels in my soups or salads. I like them because they add consistency, they taste delicious, and they are known for the low-glycaemic, high-fibre content. In fact, barley kernels have half the glycaemic value of brown rice: GI 25 for barley vs GI 50 for brown rice!

This week, Swedish scientists revealed that barley can help prevent blood-sugar and insulin spikes, and increase insulin sensitivity in your body’s cells, all of which are known to reduce your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Moreover, it seems that the special mixture of fibres found in barley kernels might also decrease appetite and help with hunger control.

And if that wasn’t enough, when these fibres reach your gut, they stimulate the increase of good bacteria and the release of important hormones that reduce chronic low-grade inflammation.

Well, unless you have a gluten sensitivity, I’d say to give barley a go!

High-fat diet in pregnancy alters child genes?

News link

A mum’s high-fat diet during pregnancy can adversely alter her child’s genes (via epigenetic mechanisms) and cause weight gain and insulin resistance, according to new findings. Although this was a mice study, the same effects cannot be ruled out in us (humans)!

Sustained aerobic training increases neurogenesis in brain

News link

This is good news if you’re a marathon runner! Finnish scientists tell us that it might be possible to increase the neuron reserve of your hippocampus (and improve preconditions for learning and memory) by promoting neurogenesis (the birth of new brain cells) though sustained aerobic exercise, such as running. Nice side effect if you’re a fan of endurance training :-)

Organic growth set to double – but it won’t feed the planet alone

News link

Sales of organic food and drinks are expected to double by 2018, but this is not enough to feed the world. We need to produce enough food to feed our planet’s population of 7 billion. It breaks my heart that 805 million people go to bed hungry each night. And an additional 2 billion have a micro-nutrient deficiency. By 2050, there will be 9 billion of us on Earth… so the big question is: how will we fill 9 billion bowls by then?

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What has inspired you this week? What are your thoughts on some of these topics? Leave a comment and let us know!

The-Health-Sciences-Academy-Alejandra-Ruani-small1-right Alex Ruani, Doctoral Researcher, leads the research division at The Health Sciences Academy, where her team of accomplished scientists and PhDs are training a new breed of over 100,000 highly-specialised nutrition professionals who are leveraging the latest personalisation strategies to help their clients. She is a Harvard-trained scientist and UCL Doctoral Researcher who is fanatical about equipping health professionals with the latest science-based tools so they can succeed in their practices – from identifying the unique nutrient needs to building highly personalised nutrition programs. Besides investigating and teaching the latest advances in health and nutrition biochemistry, Alex makes it easier to be smarter with her free email updates.


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