Rising #carbon #dioxide level affecting #food #quality

Rising carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is lowering protein in key dietary crops which may affect the nutritious value of foods, a new study has warned.

SQF_000004651059MediumFor the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants’ assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies, researchers said.

“Food quality is declining under the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that we are experiencing,” said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in the department of plant sciences at University of California, Davis.

“Several explanations for this decline have been put forward, but this is the first study to demonstrate that elevated carbon dioxide inhibits the conversion of nitrate into protein in a field-grown crop,” he said.

The assimilation, or processing, of nitrogen plays a key role in the plant’s growth and productivity.

In food crops, it is especially important because plants use nitrogen to produce the proteins that are vital for human nutrition. Wheat, in particular, provides nearly one-fourth of all protein in the global human diet.

To observe the response of wheat to different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the researchers examined samples of wheat that had been grown in 1996 and 1997 in the Maricopa Agricultural Center near Phoenix, Arizona.

At that time, carbon dioxide-enriched air was released in the fields, creating an elevated level of atmospheric carbon at the test plots, similar to what is now expected to be present in the next few decades.

Control plantings of wheat were also grown in the ambient, untreated level of carbon dioxide.

In the recent study, the researchers documented that three different measures of nitrate assimilation affirmed that the elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide had inhibited nitrate assimilation into protein in the field-grown wheat.

“These field results are consistent with findings from previous laboratory studies, which showed that there are several physiological mechanisms responsible for carbon dioxide’s inhibition of nitrate assimilation in leaves,” Bloom said.

Bloom noted that other studies also have shown that protein concentrations in the grain of wheat, rice and barley — as well as in potato tubers — decline, on average, by approximately 8 per cent under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

“When this decline is factored into the respective portion of dietary protein that humans derive from these various crops, it becomes clear that the overall amount of protein available for human consumption may drop by about 3 per cent as atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches the levels anticipated to occur during the next few decades,” Bloom said.

The finding was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


9 #foods #men need to #eat

Here is a list of essential foods for good health!

While many men are less conscious about what they eat, experts say that at times, eating healthy can mean different things for men and women because both sexes have their own set of dietary requirements.

Tomatoes are also known as superfoods because of their numerous benefits. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which, studies say help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and lower cholesterol — all common ailments in men.

Oysters have high levels of zinc — essential for men’s fertility and sexual health. Zinc maintains healthy testosterone levels and is excellent for healthy sperm production. It is also great for the hair.

Whole grains
Whole grains contain healthy levels of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Whole grains like oats and brown rice have healthy amounts of B vitamins, good for over-all well-being and they also help alleviate depression. Studies also say that folate can keep sperm healthy, while biotin helps curb hair loss.

While garlic is known for the role it plays in protecting the heart, it is said that men who consume garlic regularly have lower cholesterol levels.

Not only is salmon a great source of protein, it is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lowered levels of bad cholesterol. They also reduce the risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and depression.

Experts say that blueberries have high levels of proanthocyanidins, which are linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Blueberries are also said to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and age-related memory loss.

Broccoli, as well as cabbage and sprouts, contains a strong cancer-fighting chemical called sulphoraphane, which is said to reduce men’s risk of developing bladder cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.

Suffering from hair loss? Make sure you include eggs in your diet. Eggs have high sources of protein, important for hair growth. The yolk is also a good source of iron.

Pomegranate juice
Pomegranate juice helps lower cholesterol levels and prevent hypertension because it is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Some studies have also suggested that having pomegranate juice daily can slow down the progress of prostate cancer.

7 #Foods that make you #stink

Blamed on everything from genes, to cheap perfume, even occupation, or the type of food you ate, body odour can be crowned as the single biggest turning off factor in social interactions.

Some experts might blame it on the excessive use of deodorants and some might blame it on the biological composition of your body, but many unanimously agree that some specific types of food items can lead to body odour. Zoom in on our list of top 7 foods that cause body odour and consume them in moderation if you are a regular victim of this disorder.

Spicy food
A spice overload can lead to excessive sulfur in your food intake, which will be eliminated through skin’s pores and breath. Ensure that you eat well-balanced meals that aren’t too heavy on garlic, onions or piping hot curries.

Red meat
Red meat requires maximum digestion effort for your body to process. Over-eating will lead to issues liker perspiration and unwanted sweat. While vegetarians might not have such issues with their limited food intake, fenugreek and other strong flavoured plants cause similar results.

Chocolate, soda, tea, coffee, alcohol – consuming any of these in excess causes body odour as when you drink them atleast 10% of it will be left unprocessed causing perspiration. Excessive alcohol, in particular, may cause body odour.

Junk foods
Excessive consumption of junk foods with next to no exercise routine, will lead to accumulation of fatty cells inside your body which is the chief reason behind sweating and BO. They lead to unwanted breath and body odour as the food takes longer than their healthier counterparts to get digested. Foods high in hydrogenated oil, sugar, flour, salt and so on are not good when consumed in excess.

Low carbs
A diet which does not contain carbs can lead to a greater release of sweat in the body and also excess of protein foods. This process leads to a release of chemical called ketones in your bloodstream which lead to unwanted smell.

Dairy products
Again, dairy products are rich in protein and high consumption of these food items will take longer for your stomach to digest them. Excess consumption of dairy products can lead to release of hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan in the body which can easily trigger off a foul smell.

We all know it. When the smoke of cigarettes mingles with other sweat glands in the body it’ll lead to a release of a distinctive smell which leads to a specific ‘smoker’ smell that lingers on everything from clothing to hair.

Read more Personal Health, Diet & Fitness stories on www.healthmeup.com

It all #depends on when and what you #eat

When you eat is as important as what you eat. Here’s why you should mind the clock!

Your grandma told you so, and now researchers say she was right. Eat on time. All the diets in the world won’t help if you don’t time your meals. Dieticians across the world agree that timing is possibly the most underrated fitness strategy to maximise fat burn and stay healthy.

A recent study conducted in Spain concluded that the time of the day you eat large meals is a big factor in how many kilos you shed. In the research, conducted over 20 weeks, researchers monitored 420 overweight participants, by splitting them into two groups: early-eaters and lateeaters. After keeping all factors same, the groups were evaluated based on their day’s biggest meal: lunch. Those who ate their lunch later in the day dropped the kilos at a slower rate than those who ate earlier in the day.

Breakfast like a king
Health experts recommend digging into your breakfast within an hour of waking up. Dietician Mehar Panjwani reiterates the importance of starting the day with a hearty breakfast, saying this will also keep your stress hormones in check. “Your body’s metabolic needs differ at different times of the day. Polishing off the day’s biggest meal earlier, increases the chances of burning off calories rather than letting them translate into extra kilos through the day,” she says. Besides, she adds, a good breakfast calms down your stress hormone — cortisol — which is at its peak when you wake up.

Stick to a schedule
Dr Jagmeet Madan, nutritionist and President, Indian Dietetic Association (Mumbai Chapter), says consistently eating on time helps the body utilise nutrients better. “When you spread your intake of nutrients throughout the day, you can maintain your energy levels and avoid hunger pangs.”

Panjwani says breaking up your meals into six to eight parts, instead of three, works better as it boosts your Basal Metabolic Rate (the energy your body expends while at rest). “Irregular meals, on the other hand, causes a spike in BMR, leading to weight gain and obesity, making you more prone to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure issues,” says Panjwani. Also, including protein in your meals earlier, helps control your hunger pangs the rest of the day.

Fruits are not desserts 
Munching on a fruit after a meal is a common practice, but it doesn’t bode well for your body. When fruits get mixed up with other foods and have to wait to get processed, they rot and ferment in the gut. This often causes indigestion, bloating and heartburn.

Madan recommends eating fruits early in the morning, on an empty stomach. “In the night, as you sleep, your body enters the fasting mode, putting it into an acidic state. Fruits, being alkaline, work best in the morning. Intake of fruits prior to a meal also create a better gut environment for digestion. If you must eat fruits later, it’s always better to have them in between meals or before them, else their nutrients get lost with other foods.” As fruits contain energy-rich simple sugars, it’s best to avoid them at night as they’ll keep you awake.

Your system needs rest
As the day ends, your body is also winding down and thus, finds it hard to break down the calories. The golden rule for dinner is to have it three hours before bedtime. The closer your meal is to your bedtime, the more your quality of sleep suffers. It also prevents the release of melatonin (which maintains the body’s circadian rhythm) and growth hormones.

Madan says, “When you stuff yourself in the latter half of the day, you push too many nutrients into your body — mostly carbs — raising your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Eating late also impedes the body’s hormonal secretions, which in turn favours conversion of sugar into fat, predisposing you to diabetes and other health issues over time.”

Panjwani says, “Our bodies have an innate timing system called the Circadian Rhythm. It regulates the metabolism and chemical and hormonal production telling us when we are supposed to wake up, sleep, etc. This internal clock plays a big role in our weight loss or gain. That’s why eating late at night triggers weight gain,” she says. Those suffering from night eating syndrome (a disorder that causes people to eat excessively just before bedtime), consume around 25-50 per cent of their daily calorie intake at this time, she adds. “Such eaters suffer from depression, low selfesteem and obesity,” she adds.

Your food time-table

Morning: Within 10 minutes of waking up, have two glasses of lukewarm water. For breakfast around 15-30 minutes later, have large portions of fresh fruits along with complex carbs such as multigrain bread or oats.

Mid-morning: Two hours later, have a glass of lemon juice, coconut water, fruit or vegetable juice.

Lunch: Two-three hours later, have large portions of salad, a small portion of brown rice or a couple of rotis, with little sabzi, dal and some protein (cereals, pulses or lean meat).

Evening snack: Two-three hours later, snack on green tea and roasted khakra, idli or dosa

Dinner: Two-three hours later, have a soup, salad, some complex carbs and protein.