Swapping your usual cooking oil for olive oil might help protect you from a stroke. In a study of more than 7 000 over-65s, French researchers discovered that those who regularly use olive oil for cooking and dressing salads were 41% less likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t use it at all. Olive oil’s high levels of monounsaturated fats block the body’s response to inflammation in conditions such as heart disease and arthritis, and also reduce blood pressure. The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa suggests some other ways to protect yourself:

·         Limit your intake of high-cholesterol foods to 300mg per day.

·         Limit salt to 5g a day. Remember, processed foods may contain sodium.

·         Use alcohol in moderation – once to two drinks maximum per day.

·         Use healthier alternatives in cooking, such as salt-free spices and ginger.

Description: Make the Switch

Make the Switch


An apple a day…apparently can keep the doctor away. After 160 women were assigned to eat either dried apples or dried plums every day for a year, a study by Florida State University in the US found that the apple eaters had a 23% cholesterol and a 3% jump in healthy DHL cholesterol.

Description: Health to the core!

Health to the core!

Look on the white side

Turning decades of nutrition advice on its head, new research has found that pale produce delivers a big health bonus. In a 10-year Dutch study of more than 20 000 men and women, those who ate the most white fleshed fruits and vegetables – including apples, cucumbers, pears, bananas and cauliflower – had a 52% lower risk of stroke than participants who selected only more colourful food.

Apples and pears were the most common choices in the ‘white group’, leading researchers to speculate that the benefit comes from the plant chemical quercetin in these fruits.

Shine the light on Spinach

When you’re buying spinach, don’t automatically reach for bags in the back of the display case. New research by the United States Department of Agriculture designed to simulate supermarket conditions found that spinach leaves exposed to continuous light – as they would be in the front of the case – had much higher levels of certain carotenoids, foliate and vitamins C, E and K than those that got the dark treatment (mimicking conditions in the back of the case). For the best spinach, choose from the front, but take note of sell-by dates and the condition of the leaves. In the study, some writing occurred after three days of storage under the lights.

Description: Shine the light on Spinach

Shine the light on Spinach

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