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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Can your diet affect your genes? Stay tuned

A new field of nutrition has emerged over the past few years. It is called nutrigenomics and deals with how genes and dietary nutrients interact to support health or cause disease. It tries to find out how an individual's diet might affect ones health and whether the diet might be altered to maintain a balance between health and disease and to determine what diet is right for an individual. (more ...)

Coffee -- A functional food with health benefits

The Institute of Medicine defines functional foods as "those foods that encompass potentially healthful products including any modified food or ingredient that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains."

For many, including myself, coffee is a functional food -- not in the sense of the medical definition, but in the sense that we don't function as well without morning coffee. (more...)

Fatness or fitness: Predicting risk of future illness

Have you ever wondered what factors influence the chances that you will develop diabetes, heart disease or some types of cancer? While family history plays a part, your body size, physical fitness and even the amount of fat in your belly are contributing factors. (more...)

DASH away threat of high blood pressure

Hypertension is a prevalent problem in our society. About 25 percent of American adults have high blood pressure and in people aged 60 years and older, the incidence is even higher at about 50 percent. (more...)

Nutrients keeps immune system in balance

The human body has a defense system called the inflammatory response, which is activated when the body is infected with bacteria and viruses, or is injured by trauma, toxins and other causes. (more...)

Improve mental health with good food, exercise

Did you know that being more physically active can improve your mental health?

The news media are full of stories about the increase in overweight and obesity in the United States. We are reminded that excess weight is a major risk factor for many health problems. These include heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. And we repeatedly are told that eating a healthy diet and being physically active are the keys to losing weight and avoiding weight gain. (more...)

To your health: Probiotic and Prebiotics

Most of us think of bacteria as harmful and have taken antibiotics for the infections they cause.

However, not all bacteria are harmful in fact some are helpful. For example, some bacteria make vitamins, including B12, folic acid, biotin and K, which may be used by the host. Other bacteria have been implicated in prevention and treatment of certain disorders, including allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and even colon cancer. We depend on these helpful bacteria even if we don't realize it. (more...)

Trans fats: Arriving soon on a label near you

Trans fats are the newest edition to the Nutrition Facts Label on our foods. As of January, the Food and Drug Administration is requiring manufacturers to list trans fat on the label (just below the total fat and saturated fat) as well as some nutrition supplement labels. (more...)

Add color to your diet with fruit, veggies

The most naturally colorful place in a supermarket is the produce department. Recent studies indicate that those colors are sending us a message. It seems that the color-producing chemicals in fruits and vegetables, nature's packaging scheme, are advertising the health benefits of those plants. (more...)

Selenium - An essential mineral for the body

Selenium, a mineral found in the soil, is taken up into plants and animals and is necessary for proper body functioning.

The majority of the United States has soils that are very low in selenium, requiring the supplementation of all animal feeds to prevent deficiency related diseases. (more...)

B12 - More Important Than You Think

Mom was right when she encouraged you to eat meat, dairy products and eggs. These foods have always been good sources of vitamin B12, in addition to being rich in other vitamins and minerals. (more...)

Striving for health should be community effort

At this time of year, many of us are thinking about our health and our habits. Maybe you have made a New Year's resolution or two. Are you planning to start eating healthier and being more active? (more...)

Last Modified: 7/30/2009
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