December 2017 News Round-Up

Last Updated on May 29, 2019 by Afifah Hamilton
Read Time: 5 min

Here’s a bunch of interesting health and diet articles we found in the press this month. Just for fun I’ve written them up as a New Year’s Resolution list.

1. Resolve to eat more fish

One of the meal table discussions that took place this Christmas was about the edibility of limpets, or not, as the case may be. Not a common shellfish on British menus but offered in restaurants in Madeira where we went on holiday in October. Interestingly, this shellfish has some ambiguous attention in a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall book, which made me laugh mightily. The term ‘damning with faint praise’ comes to mind.
DailyMail (Dec 21st), Children who eat fish just once a week have higher IQs and sleep better, study finds. Newsweek (Dec 26th), Heart and brain health: Eating fish weekly is good for your body and mind. Of course fish and fish oils are beneficial to all age groups as demonstrated in this BBC Trust me I’m a doctor programme.

2. Resolve to eat a polyphenol rich diet…

We wrote this month about the health benefits of Brussels sprouts, but brassicas featured in the press too: MedicalNewsToday (Dec 11th) sprouts help in breast cancer treatment and Women’s Health (Dec 14th) cabbage is an underrated superfood.
The Independent (Dec 22nd) reports on a study that found an association between consumption of fresh (not tinned) tomatoes and apples and lung health – especially evident among recovering smokers.
The polyphenol-rich Mediterranean diet gets a ton of coverage this month with studies showing that its anti-aging effects can be seen on DNA; It can lower stroke risk, help reduce visceral fat, help fight depression. Meanwhile scientists race to provide a ‘Mediterranean diet in a pill‘ – weirdly the main ingredients are a tomato extract and milk !?!
We have recently posted about the benefits of alcoholic bitters like angostura and mulled wine, but for people that need to keep their alcohol low Seedlip manufacture non-alcoholic cocktail drinks (I gave some as presents this year). The Telegraph (Dec 7th) has a great article about their botanical magic.

3. …But don’t go vegan

The vegan fad continues to grow. DailyMail (Dec 11th) reminds us of the dangers of a vegan diet: Why a plant-based diet can ‘crush your energy, skin and make you depressed’. Meanwhile the Lad Bible (Dec 16th) details a recent Austrian study that found vegetarians were significantly less healthy than the rest of the population. Part-time veganism is the way to go – we call that meat and two veg 🙂
Animal foods in the headlines this month include cheese which is a ‘heart healthy food, new research says’ Newsweek (Dec 5th). Whilst you are thinking about all this you might like to make yourself a nice pot of bone broth. Here’s a helpful recipe – WomensHealth (Dec 7th). If you need something more substantial here are 20 Easy, Breezy paleo recipes to try (PopSugar Dec 15th)
For a reminder of what traditional foods can do for your health try this article: The Five Ancestral Superfoods That Have Helped Me Recover from Lyme DiseaseProHealth (Dec 16th).

4. Resolve to grow your own – (there’s more to the Med diet than the food!)

News Medical (Dec 17th) A study of Italian villagers who were over 90 years old identified several personality traits associated with longevity: optimism, stubbornness, and love of their customs and land –  especially working on their homes and vegetable gardens. See our gardening blog for inspiration.

5. Resolve to always get a copy of your test results

Last month ~I wrote a post about the importance of keeping your test results and that even when results are within the ‘normal’ range they can still explain your symptoms. An example comes courtesy of News Medical (Dec 20th)  who report on research that found women with low-normal thyroid function have more difficulty conceiving.

6. Resolve to improve your sleep health (maybe this should be your no. 1 aim)

Eating more fish may improve your sleep (see 1 above). News Medical (Dec 17th) notes that reducing exposure to blue light by wearing amber tinted glasses before bedtime can improve sleep quality. In another article (Dec 7th) they report on a range of studies investigating how orange light – and a restored circadian rhythm – is helping people with mental illness. It finishes with a warning about the use of LED light bulbs in the evening as they can emit more blue light than traditional filament lamps. The DailyMail (Dec 29th)  explains why good sleep may protect you from Alzheimer’s.
Keep your bedroom dark and move your phone and other electronic gadgets further away from you. New evidence has emerged of the possible health risks associated with electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by WIFI, mobile and cordless phones (News Medical, Dec 13th) or as the DailyMail (Dec 15th) put it ‘Stop sleeping with your cell phone: Anything closer than arm’s length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn’

7. Eat more fermented foods

I was given some fermentation jars with special gas-releasing valves for Christmas, so I’m going to get into making fermented vegetables more. News Medical (Dec 13th) reports on a study that showed lactic acid bacteria can protect the body against influenza – helpful at this time of year! BBC goodfood (Dec 26th) has a helpful article ‘Beginners guide to fermented foods’. Men’s Health (Dec 13th) includes regularly eating fermented fare among its 15 Foods You Should Eat to Stay Healthy All Winter.

8. Resolve to always eat breakfast

NewsMedical (Dec 5th): ‘Breakfast may lower risk of diabetes and heart disease’ ran the headline. I would recommend eggs in some form as a great start to the day. This month the DailyMail (Dec 22nd) reported on a study that found that just ONE egg a day for six months can boost a baby’s brain development and function. Why not take a look at my 10 low carb breakfast ideas to get some inspiration?

9. Definitely resolve to control carb intake

Low carb and ketogenic diets continue to show benefits in numerous studies as well as clinical experience. Here is a round up of the month’s news:

10. Resolve to make 2018 your Bone Broth year

Verily (Dec 21st) has a nice article by a nutritionist about the benefits of bone broth – especially in cases of leaky gut and IBS – and why commercial varieties are not as good as the home made variety. Another great article is found on the site of Dr David Perlmutter (Dec 22nd). Bone Broth also crops up in Women’s Health (Dec 28th) in an article about the benefits of a paleo diet.

and good eating and good health in 2018!
~ Afifah


2 thoughts on “December 2017 News Round-Up”

  1. Good round up Afifah! But how did you get that photo of my leeks and carrots?!! I always harvest into a basket….. Happy New Year to you and yours. Susan
    Sent from my iPad

    • Hi Susan, these veg are from my own garden, but, to be fair, they do look similar to other leeks and carrots. Unless you are a leek or a carrot it’s hard to tell the difference! Happy New Year:)


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