Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A good word for grub (in effect)

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I continue to make batches of grub—a mix of some protein, some starch, a little oil, and a varied mix of vegetables: for example, onions, garlic, zucchini/summer squash, beans (green or cooked dried), eggplant, tomatoes, and always at least one kind of greens and often two—greens are the heart of the meal. I could cook each food in a separate pot and arrange them on a plate, but being practical/lazy, I normally cook them all in a single pot as a sort of thick semi-stew. While its appearance is … understated?, the taste is excellent, plus I know that I’m getting a well-balanced meal.

And, it turns out, grub (or at any rate, such a varied mix) has other benefits as well, as reported by Allison Aubrey on NPR:

There’s no magic elixir for healthy aging, but here’s one more thing to add to the list: good gut health.

study published in the latest issue ofNature finds diet may be key to promoting diverse communities of beneficial bacteria in the guts of older people.

To evaluate this, researchers analyzed the microbiota, or gut bacteria, of 178 older folks, mostly in their 70s and 80s.

Some of the people were living in their own homes, and their diets were rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, grains, poultry and fish.

Others were living in long-term care facilities or nursing homes where the typical diet was much less varied. “Mashed potato and porridge were the only staples in this diet type that were consumed daily,” explains Paul O’Toole of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork in Ireland. Meals were supplemented with puddings, cookies and sugar-sweetened beverages such as tea.

O’Toole’s team found that people living independently, who had the most diverse diets, also had more varied gut bacteria. And they also scored better on clinical tests measuring frailty and cognitive function. In other words, “they were healthier older people,” says O’Toole.

There may be many factors at play here, but O’Toole thinks diet is key. “We were surprised that the correlations between microbiota and health came out so strongly,” O’Toole says.

There’s an explosion of research into the gut microbiome as scientists fine-tune methods to analyze bacteria in the gut, and with that comes an emerging body of evidence that diversity of gut bacteria is important. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2012 at 9:38 am

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