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Why potatoes are the king of all vegetables 

Researchers have found that white potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit. The high cost of meeting federal dietary guidelines for potassium, 4,700 mg per person per day, presents a challenge for consumers and health professionals, alike.

However, the cost of potassium-rich white potatoes was half that of most other vegetables.

“Potatoes deserve credit for contributing to higher diet quality and increasing vegetable consumption,” said lead researcher Adam Drewnowski, from the University of Washington.

“Potatoes also play an important role in providing affordable nutrition to Americans. You can afford to meet key dietary guidelines if you include potatoes in your diet,” he stated.
For the finding, Dr. Drewnowski and colleagues merged nutrient composition data from the USDA Food and Nutrition Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS 2.0) with the USDA Centre for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) national food prices database.
Individuals who consumed potatoes (baked, boiled and roasted) had higher intakes of potassium and vitamin C and consumed more total vegetables in a day compared to those who did not consume potatoes.

Even slight increase in blood pressure ups stroke risk

Even slightly raised blood pressure which is within the normal range increases a person’s chances of experiencing a future stroke by 55 percent, according to a new research.
Prehypertension is clinical category created by experts in 2003 to describe patients whose blood pressure was elevated, but still considered within normal range. “The experts reasoned that, generally speaking, the higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of death and disease, possibly starting from within the normal blood range,” said Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, professor of neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine and senior author of the study.

 Scientists analysed data on 518,520 adults from 12 studies looking at blood pressure and stroke risk. The results showed that people who had prehypertension were at a 55 percent higher risk of experiencing a future stroke than people without prehypertension.
The health risk was measurably greater for those whose blood pressure levels were at the high end of the “normal” spectrum.

Psychosocial stress ups woman’s breast cancer risk

A study has suggested that psychosocial stress could play a role in the etiology of breast cancer aggressiveness, particularly among minority populations.

 “We found that after diagnosis, black and Hispanic breast cancer patients reported higher levels of stress than whites, and that stress was associated with tumour aggressiveness,” said Garth H. Rauscher, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology in the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Rauscher and colleagues studied patient-reported perceptions of fear, anxiety and isolation, together referred to as psychosocial stress, and associations with breast cancer aggressiveness.

Patients’ stress levels were examined two to three months post-diagnosis.
Results showed that psychosocial stress scores were higher for both black and Hispanic patients compared to white patients. “Those who reported higher levels of stress tended to have more aggressive tumours,” Rauscher said.

“It’s not clear what’s driving this association. It may be that the level of stress in these patients’ lives influenced tumour aggressiveness.

Urban cycling may save the environment, not your lungs

If you’re an urban cyclist, a new study reveals a dangerous side effect of this green mode of transport: you may be inhaling high levels of black soot.

The new University of London study found that urbanites who cycled to work had 2.3 times more black carbon in their lungs than pedestrians. Black carbon is present in car exhaust fumes and is created by the combustion of fossil fuels. “Pedestrians breathe in these miniscule particles of soot, but bikers inhale even more because they are closer to the fumes and take deeper breaths.This could be due to a number of factors, including the fact that cyclists breathe more deeply and at a quicker rate than pedestrians while in closer proximity to exhaust fumes, which could increase the airborne particles penetrating the lungs,” said a researcher.

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