Cholesterol management and V8

Living longer and healthier may be important to you. Having routine check-ups with comprehensive blood tests may provide alerts to silently creeping illnesses. There are pills for almost everything. When you find cholesterol levels rising, you might want to consider adding V8 to your diet as a lifestyle addition. Like most lifestyle alternatives, V8 may be as annoying as routine exercising. Yet this vegetable juice beverage may have some covert positives that you may not be aware about.

Eating vegetables is good for you, ancient wisdom indicates. Adding a daily serving or two of V8 vegetable juice to your diet may help manage cholesterol and gradually contribute to wellness. V8 Vegetable Juice contains the juices of tomatoes, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress and spinach. While the juice doesn’t necessarily brims with vitamins or fiber, there are phytonutrient traces, that (over time) may help contribute to overall wellness. V8 nay possibly help manage LDL cholesterol levels by around 10%.

Phytonutrients are plant nutrients, thought to help decrease the risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough. Salads provide insufficient amounts in many cases. Most people don’t really eat enough carrots and tomatoes to get the required flood of those nutrients.

Many are familiar with antioxidants being present in fruits and berries. Research indicates that coffee and tea contain catechins that are forms of antioxidant phytonutrients that are healthy. Tea isn’t just a comforting beverage, it also has remarkable healing properties—so much so that it’s deemed a sort of “wonder drink” by many for thousands of years.

Antioxidants are chemicals that block the activity of other chemicals known as free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive and have the potential to cause damage to cells, including damage that may lead to cancer. Most research studies were with animals. Tests on humans have not demonstrated convincingly that taking antioxidant supplements can help reduce the risk of developing or dying from cancer. Eating foods rich in antioxidants may promote other healthy issues at maintaining cellular health.

According to George Mateljan, who maintains a comprehensive website on the world’s healthiest foods, V8 may not be his number one choice for getting those great phytonutrients. He believes that using whole foods provide the natural nutrients.

Indeed, V8 is a processed juice and is not organic. It is available in most supermarkets, especially since it is sold by Campbell Soup companies. There may be smaller traces of those phytonutrients but they are still present.

Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Lycopene is present in tomatoes and tomato sauces and juices. It is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color, and is considered one of the carotenoids. Research has garnered inconsistent results withy regard to eye health, something well touted for maintaining vision as you age. There is some evidence showing that higher lycopene blood levels is associated with a reduced risk of hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis that contributes to cardiovascular disease. Harder arteries allow plaque deposits from cholesterol and other lipids to form and obstruct blood flow.

V8 contains spinach. Health-supportive phytonutrients found in spinach are called Glycoclycerolipids that have shown anti-inflammatory properties in digestion. Spinach contains lutein, which helps protect arteries from clogging. Spinach is among the highest lutein food and there are many delicious ways to eat spinach (kale also is high, while broccoli and cauliflower have lesser amounts). One of the neat things about spinach is that some research cite evidence that foods that have Glycoclycerolipids also may behave as bile acid sequestrants. Bile acids often contain cholesterol lipids. Bile acid sequestrants bind bile acids in the intestine and increase the excretion of bile acids in the stool. The liver converts more cholesterol into bile acids, which lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Watercress is sort of like cabbage and may find its way into salads. It shares many properties with spinach but Gluconasturtin, a glucosinolate compound providing the peppery flavor, helps add a spicy taste to V8. Glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage and horseradish. This form of phytonutrient is found in green leafy vegetables like spinach. Like spinach, watercress has that bile acid sequestrant property to help reduce LDL cholesterol blood levels.

Parsley and lettuce are ingredients in V8. One cup of parsley contains 3.7 milligrams of iron. Cup for cup, it has one of the highest iron contents of all leafy greens. When was the last time you had a cup of parsley? Parsley and lettuce behave as bile acid sequestrants but to a lesser extent than spinach.

Some find that steaming or cooking spinach or other greens lose phytonutrient content. In some cases, it enhances it. Excessively eating raw spinach may have a side effect. Oxalic acid is found in greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops, lambs quarters and amaranth plus sorrel, parsley, purslane and rhubarb. It imparts a sharp taste to beet greens and chard that is felt in the throat. Oxalic acid generally increases as foods mature, producing increasingly bitter vegetables. Young, fresh vegetables such as baby spinach are less likely to have oxalic acid. Oxalic acid may form into insoluble salts such as calcium oxalates that when found in high quantities in body fluids, might crystallize and may cause health problems such as kidney stones. The processing of V8 juice minimizes formation of oxalates so you can feel better with all its green-leaf ingredients.

Carrots are rich in carotenoids and Vitamin A and this V8 ingredient offers considerable power. Inconsistent findings cite some evidence that carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. Polyacetylenes isolated from carrots have been found to be potentially highly cytotoxic against numerous cancer cells. The massive amount of natural vitamin A from carotenoids offers high antioxidant properties.

Ever eat beets? Some products add beet juice as a natural coloring. A key ingredient of Borscht, an eastern European soup, one serving of beets contains 11% the daily recommended value (DV) of vitamin C, 37% DV of folate, 5% DV of vitamin B6, 13% DV of potassium, 22% Dv of manganese, 8% DV of magnesium, and 6% DV of iron. Beets have a high level of nitrate, which is known to effectively lower blood pressure levels. By lowering blood pressure, beets also may aid in cardiovascular health.

V8 offers several leafy vegetable ingredients per serving. They are the best natural sources for vitamin K. Vitamin K is perhaps best known for its role in the blood clotting process. For those using prescribed blood thinner medications, those vegetables are prohibited.Over a three-year period, 500 mcg of vitamin K—about the amount found in one serving of parsley was associated with slightly slower progression of hardening of the arteries of the heart.

Again V8 is processed and many of the phytonutrient components may be miniscule. There are also organic vegetable juices with similar ingredients that are less processed. As lifestyle choices, the many different types of V8 offer average, healthy individuals some helping of very vital phytonutrients that can help as a dietary means of keeping cholesterol levels at normal levels.

For those that have chronic or genetic cholesterol issues, virtually all the medications indicate “as part of a dietary and exercise routine” for maximum effect. Adding V8 (or those vegetables indicated in this article) may help you manage your cholesterol levels better.

For those watching sodium intake, Low Sodium V8 has 140 mg sodium per 8-ounce serving or contains 78% less sodium than regular V8 juice. Add your own spices for additional flavor. While debates occur about salt and blood pressure elevation, sodium is required for cellular maintenance. If you feel hypertension is a problem, go low sodium.

V8 was invented in 1933 and has been a Campbell Soup product since 1949. As a food juice, V8 has longevity. While V8 is no substitute for eating vegetable portions, it is a great choice for those that skip their veggies as they reach for a burger or pizza. It may be an acquired taste and definitely is not preferred over most soft drinks. V8 may offer some health benefits toward longer and healthier living, as part of your lifestyle. V8 is only one of many choices to consider. Ask your doctor or dietician about it.

Resveratrol life isn’t sweeter with wine

Praised Resveratrol nutritional supplements, touting wide health benefits, are being questioned by a new study. Back in the 1960’s, Linus Pauling endorsed mega-doses of Vitamin C might ward off the common cold. Doses of practically every vitamin have been tweaked to help support many health benefits, with multiple vitamins you can hardly swallow. A couple years back, Green Coffee Extract supplements touted rapid weight loss benefits. All these were supported by news and medical media. Practically all have faded from star status due to ill-gotten claims or noticed side effects. Star or starless, sales of nutritional supplements topped 11 billion dollars in 2012 USA sales. Are people gaining health benefits? Is it hype or faith? Do these behave like placebos producing a vast placebo-effect for those that believe in supplements as a lifestyle?

There’s an irony in research and often it’s hard to conjure any thoughts of conclusiveness. Just last month, the Scripps Institute released Resveratrol modulates the inflammatory response via an estrogen receptor-signal integration network. Just about two weeks later, a group from Johns Hopkins debunks Resveratrol’s effectiveness as a supplement. The disunity among science research may confuse the masses with ideas that are drawn from inconclusive conclusions. Is Resveratrol the elixir of love and life that many purport it to be? Is it possible that it may and may not, simultaneously?

People are told that a polyphenol called Resveratrol, found in red wine and chocolate, can prolong life. A recent study among Italians has found it has no effect on mortality rates. Resveratrol has attracted a lot of attention owing to its effects on inflammation, carcinogenesis, and longevity in various studies that spawned many Resveratrol supplements on store shelves.

This study, however, examined 2 villages in the Chianti area in a population-based sample of 783 community-dwelling men and women 65 years or older, from 1998 to 2009. In these regions, consumption of red wine each day is normal. In areas where red wine isn’t a staple, will Resveratrol reduce inflammation and add longevity. The researchers concluded that “resveratrol levels achieved with a Western diet did not have a substantial influence on health status and mortality risk of the population in this study.”

There are many other polyphenols in red wine and chocolate that serve as antioxidants. Supplementation may not offer the full benefits. In addition, few make lifestyle choices to continue supplementation. The areas of Tuscany are key wine production areas. The population consumes grapes and red wine routinely, often through several generations.

Popping pills is no alternative for the health benefits of a habitual diet of natural foods. Adding dark chocolate (70% or greater), wine, and grapes to your diet is likely more beneficial.

Chocolate has natural fats and grapes or wine have lots of natural carbohydrates. One can assume that the people of Tuscany are busy gathering grapes and manufacturing wine, both active chores. Whether the Resveratrol from grapes will effect life spans in more sedentary countries is still questionable. The study, however, does indicate that Resveratrol supplements themselves offer no measurable benefits.

I admit that I use two nutritional supplements for controlling my metabolic blood panel results. Due to other conditions, drugs offer wide side effects. I do accept that I am a guinea pig and monitor blood tests regularly. The results are generally successful. Do I see a wider population able to follow my lifestyle discipline? I don’t think so. My case is unique.

Less unique is the use of supplements in sports among competitive players. The Olympics and major sport franchises frown on this behavior. The problem seems to be growing and harsh penalties are dispensed. Do these supplements, then, really enhance performance?

Supplements are not drugs. They are legally viewed as food by the FDA but supplementation claims are not necessarily scientifically supported in the United States. Other countries may have designed studies, however.

Many foods, especially cereals and juices, have added nutritive supplements. Getting 100% allowances on 10 vitamins in some cereals mean they’ve added vitamins. Wheat, corn, or rice don’t have that nutrient supply. Raw cereals have few (if any) vitamins. Just read the ingredients beneath the nutrition panel.

The differences of these nutrients are bioavailability or how well these are absorbed by your body. In natural foods, naturally occurring polyphenols and phytochemicals aid in your body’s absorption of these nutrients. Processed foods may use processed nutrients that are not readily absorbed, if at all.

We are the descendants of countless generations who have survived on natural foods. These supplements were not around before the late 1800’s. Of course there have been incidences among sea voyagers developing diseases due to lack of available fruits. In extreme cases like this, supplements are necessary.

Nutrition is the products of the foods you eat. If your diet contains fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, meat and dairy, you should be getting what you need. If all you eat are burgers and shakes, a daily multivitamin might be fine. Blood tests often have panels to determine whether you are getting proper nutrition from your diet.

So when you read research that a compound in grapes, red wine could help treat multiple types of cancer, that the role of resveratrol may be a potential but isn’t a definite helper within a specific case. On the other hand, use of resveratrol supplements can worsen certain Multiple Sclerosis symptoms (in mice).

Resveratrol is in the eye of many researchers. Despite all the studies demonstrating pros and cons, resveratrol use from diet or supplementation needs more studying to offer solid evidence that it is a spectacular nutrient.

So far, resveratrol life isn’t sweeter with wine unless you lead an active life and follow a good diet. Nutritional fads come and go. Wellness often requires a marriage with nature and movement. Barring serious illnesses, the best methods of survival is relying on what your ancestors did. After all, you made it to where you are. Want a cup of wine?