Are parsley and celery key to beating yo-yo diets?

For years, would-be slimmers have been stumped why they rapidly put on weight after a successful diet.

Now scientists believe that this 'yo-yo effect' may be caused by bacteria in our guts. While our body loses weight, the microbes living inside us used to a fatty diet remain for many months. And when they come across fatty foods again, they go into overdrive, making us pile on the pounds at an accelerated rate.
While this effect may once have been helpful – perhaps making us store extra fat after a time of famine – nowadays it is harmful.

Researchers believe the 'bad' gut bacteria cause a fluctuating weight by destroying natural compounds found in our food that encourage us to burn fat.
Instead we pile it up in our spare tyres.

This effect could be reversed, scientists believe, by taking a drink containing high levels of the substances which our found naturally in fruit and vegetables.
These compounds – flavonoids - encourage our cells to 'burn' fat rather than storing it. Although the research was in mice, scientists believe a similar mechanism may work in humans.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia as you grow older

Eating carrots, kale and sweet potatoes could prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests.
Consuming the compounds that give plants and vegetables their vibrant colours can bolster brain functioning in older adults. Those who had lower levels of carotenoids in their system had to rely on more brain power to complete memory-orientated tasks, scientists found. The powerful compounds can be found in a range of colourful vegetables and are known to improve cognitive ability.

Researchers from the University of Georgia used functional MRI technology to investigate how levels of carotenoids affect brain activity. They gauged the brain activity of more than 40 adults between 65 and 86 years old while they attempted to recall word pairings they were taught earlier. Brain activity was then analysed while the participants were in the MRI scanner.

They found individuals with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin didn't require as much brain activity to complete the task. However, those with lower levels had to use more brain power and relied more heavily on different parts of the brain in order to remember the words. 

Source  Daily Mail

Glass of wine a day 'cuts chances of the most common stroke'

A glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of the most common type of stroke by 10 per cent, researchers say.
Moderate drinking was found to help protect against the condition, in a study which the scientists admit is ‘controversial’. A small glass of red wine, or any drink of less than 1.5 units, is thought to cut levels of a protein that forms blood clots.

Those who drank this amount were 10 per cent less likely to have an ischaemic stroke, where a clot cuts off oxygen and blood to the brain, forcing many sufferers to re-learn how to walk and talk. Even up to two drinks a day, which could include almost two bottles of beer, was found by researchers in Cambridge and Sweden to cut the risk by 8 per cent.

More than 150,000 Britons a year suffer a stroke. Of these, 85 per cent are ischaemic. The scientists, who examined 27 studies, involving more than 21,000 stroke victims, pointed out drinking heavily still raises stroke risk. But they said small amounts may improve health by increasing ‘good’ cholesterol.

Source  - Daily Mail