The Benefits Of Hiit, Gut Loving Greens And More Of The Latest Body Science

The benefits of HIIT, gut-loving greens and more of the latest body science

HIIT for fit

Recent research has sought to establish whether HIIT training will improve health. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) involves periods as short as four minutes of high-intensity exercise interspersed with recovery periods. The new study involved collecting and reviewing 10 years’ worth of research into HIIT, where the daily sessions involved at least 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise. Combined with a previous meta-analysis, the results showed that HIIT improved blood sugar levels, reduced fat in the liver, improved cardiorespiratory fitness, improved heart function and enhanced arterial health. These results were comparable to 45 minutes a day of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. The research suggests that HIIT is a safe way to exercise but it is intense, so check with your healthcare professional to make sure it is right for you — but for anyone with time constraints HIIT is well worth considering.

Sources: The Journal of Physiology

Cocoa and fat

In a new study, researchers gave obese mice a diet supplemented with 80mg of cocoa powder per gram of food for eight weeks. Compared to controls, the mice given cocoa gained weight at a 21 per cent slower rate, and had less inflammation and less oxidative stress. Cocoa contains antioxidant compounds but also blocks enzymes that are responsible for digesting dietary fat and carbohydrate. This effect was achieved with cocoa, not chocolate. Additionally, the amount of cocoa given to the mice is equivalent to about 10 tablespoons of cocoa powder a day for a human. The researchers do not advocate giving cocoa to obese people, but do suggest that substituting cocoa (not chocolate) for other snack foods in the context of a healthy diet and increased physical activity might have positive outcomes. A daily cacao (better than cocoa), banana, almond milk and cinnamon smoothie with a twist of honey couldn’t hurt.

Source: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

Green veg and your microbiome

Sulphoquinovose is a sulphonic acid that is a derivative of glucose and found primarily in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce. In new studies researchers have shown that sulphoquinovose stimulates the growth of key organisms in the gut microbiome of humans. Specifically, these organisms include the bacterium Eubacterium rectale, one of the 10 most common bacteria in the microbiome of healthy people. The E. rectale bacteria ferment sulphoquinovose to produce a compound called dihydroxypropane sulphonate, which in turn acts as an energy source for other bacteria. Additionally, sulphoquinovose was found to increase levels of hydrogen peroxide in the gut. Too much hydrogen peroxide is a bad thing, but at the low levels encouraged by eating these foods it is believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal lining. So you have yet another reason to eat your leafy greens.

Source: The ISME Journal

Mushrooms lower cancer risk

For a new study, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 cancer studies published between 1966 and 2020 that encompassed 19,500 subjects. Their analysis of the studies was aimed at exploring the relationship between mushroom consumption and cancer risk. Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, and the results do show that these wonder foods protect against cancer. Shiitake, oyster, maitake and king oyster mushrooms have higher levels of the unique and powerful antioxidant ergothioneine than white button, cremini and portobello mushrooms. Despite this, people who incorporated any mushrooms into their daily diet had a lower risk of cancer. Specifically, people who ate 18 grams of mushrooms daily had a 45 per cent lower risk of cancer compared to those who did not eat mushrooms. The strongest association was with a lowered risk of breast cancer. The mechanisms are not clear, but the protective effect of mushrooms against cancer is undeniable.

Source: Advances in Nutrition


The COVID flush

COVID-19 has been detected in stool and urine samples. Given this, public toilets may be a cause for concern, so researchers measured droplets generated by flushing a toilet. They found a substantial increase in aerosols in the air, with each flush generating up to tens of thousands of droplets. Since they are so small, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.

Source: Physics of Fluids

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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