Here’s your round-up of this week’s nutrition and dietetics studies from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics:
Superfoods for older adults
A registered dietitian, nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that older adults would benefit from eating berries as they are high in vitamin C, flavonoids and fiber, which helps with weight management and protecting against diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Other experts recommend that older adults should make sure they are getting lots of fruits and vegetables and lean meat, chicken or fish. They should also avoid saturated fats and sugars.
Study ties Vitamin D levels to type 2 diabetes risk
Findings from 28 studies and 83 case-control and cross-control investigations found that adults who had higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 35%. Those with a combined type 2 diabetes and prediabetes had a 30% lower risk, while those with prediabetes alone had a 51% lower risk.
Sunlight, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel, and fish liver oils are the best sources of Vitamin D. It may also be obtained from fortified milk, breakfast cereals, orange juice, yogurt and other foods.
Tai chi reduces waist circumference
Tai chi, sometimes referred to as “meditation in motion” has long been a favorite of older people because of its gentle movements. In a study of older adults between 55 and 69 years of age with central obesity, most of them women, it was found that tai chi was comparable to physical exercise in reducing waist circumference. In addition, at the end of 38 weeks, only the tai chi group showed reductions in HDL cholesterol and triglycerides as compared to the group that performed physical exercise only. What is even more interesting, the researchers said they paid no attention to what the participants ate as the focus of the study was to see how tai chi compared with regular exercise and no exercise.
The findings of the above studies confirm much of what I have written about in previous posts: that berries are good for you, especially older adults, and they help with weight management, protect against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Fruits and vegetables are highly recommended, not only for their vitamin and mineral content, but because they contain fiber. I’ve also written about the benefits of Vitamin D in fighting cancer, and physical exercise should always be part of your daily routine. If you have never heard of tai chi or you are interested in doing it, you can always find a video to help you get started.