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Food Facts

Fruits that are at the top of the list for easing constipation are peaches, pears, cherries and apples, according to Norton J. Greenberger, M.D., in an article for the October 10 Bottom Line Health.

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that you may take to relieve injury pain also deplete key nutrients like vitamin C and folate. Low folate can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease due to elevated homocysteine in the blood. If you’re taking NSAIDs, take extra C and folate.

Fish can prevent age-related hearing loss. In a recent study subjects who ate at least two servings of fish a week were much less likely than those who didn’t eat fish frequently to develop the “huh syndrome.”

Olive oil is good for health due to its abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories; however, a 2009 Italian study found that it loses 40 percent of its potency after only six months. Date your bottle when you buy it; then throw it out after six months and buy more.

Apple juice may reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms, according to Thomas Shea, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Cellular Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Twenty-one adults aged 72 to 93 who had moderate to severe Alzheimer’s and who drank eight ounces of apple juice a day for one month showed a 27 percent improvement in symptoms. Researchers cite apple juice’s ability to increase production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

—Becky Holman

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