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Cocoa compound could 'delay or prevent' type 2 diabetes

Cocoa compound could 'delay or prevent' type 2 diabetes. Finding potential medical interventions for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes is more pressing than ever. On top of this reduction in sensitivity to insulin, studies have shown that beta cells' ability to produce and secrete insulin is also hampered; this appears to be due to increased rates of cell death among beta cells. So, not only is the body less reactive to insulin, the cells responsible for creating insulin are reduced in number, further adding to the progression of type 2 diabetes. Earlier research has shown that beta cells are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress (free radicals); for this reason, the researchers decided to investigate flavanol compounds in cocoa, which are known to have antioxidant powers. Cocoa compound protects beta cells? Scientists have been investigating flavanols and how they might protect beta cell function for some time. Study author Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics, and food science at BYU, explains what they found: "What happens is, it's protecting the cells, it's increasing their ability to deal with oxidative stress. The catechin monomers are making the mitochondria in the beta cells stronger, which produces more ATP (a cell's energy source), which then results in more insulin being released." The results are promising; compounds found in chocolate might mark a new line of research into preventing or treating diabetes, but, sadly, eating chocolate is still not a healthful option.

11 Baby Steps to Ease Into a Plant-Based Diet

Add more greens YuliiaKas/ShutterstockAdding a large salad to your day is another tip from Nordby. After all, greens are among the 10 healthiest vegetables. "That adds up to big results over time: 100 calories per day is 10 pounds in a year. Learn more about how a nutritional breakfast makes your day better. Make your diet more colorful Alena Ozerova/ShutterstockIn can be easier to get more plants into your diet by adding different colors at every meal—and those colors signal different nutritional benefits. "The colors often reflect different phytochemicals which occur naturally only in plants and may provide health benefits beyond those that essential nutrients provide," says Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietitian and author of the book, Body Kindness. "For example, yellow fruits and vegetables have vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system. Keep fruits in check Fascinadora/ShutterstockKeep your fruit servings balanced. Check out this guide to getting the right amount of fruit in your diet. "Keep your starches to a fist-sized serving and place them in your post-exercise meal with a great protein source whenever possible to optimize your recovery," Brown says.

The Best Foods For Athletes

As a Sports Dietitian, I find myself constantly saying the same things over and over. “Remember to hydrate.” “Don’t forget to fuel.” Sports nutrition is not a topic that is taught in school, so it’s no wonder that knowledge about these topics is lacking. But if there’s one thing I could say to all athletes,...

Camp Essentials: Ideas for Meals and Snacks

Camp Essentials: Ideas for Meals and Snacks

Summer has arrived, which means school is out and camp is in. If you’re sending little ones off to day camp this summer, it’s time to think about what the heck they’re going to eat. Since camp meals can be more stressful than packing school lunches, we’ve got some tasty, healthy and easy ideas to make...

Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement

Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement

Vertical aeroponic gardening at Tower Gardens.

Farms aren’t just in the country anymore. Rooftop gardens supply dozens of Chicago restaurants with just-picked veggies. In the lobby of Vin de Set restaurant in St. Louis, diners are greeted by tall white towers growing kale for salads thatnight. At New York’s...

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