Nutrient content of rice declining
When we think of climate change, we usually think of melting ice caps and rising sea levels but a recent report titled “As Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Rises, Nutrient Content of Rice Falls”, published by Harvard Magazine suggests it could have an effect on our health as well.
According to the sources cited in the article, by as soon as 2050 we could see rice lose between a sixth and close to a third of its B vitamin content. As rice makes up more than 50 percent of the daily calorie intake for half a billion people globally, this could see an additional 148 million people suffer protein deficiency, an additional 132 people with folate deficiency, 67 million additional people with thiamine deficiency and an additional 40 million people with riboflavin deficiency.
To make matters worse, the study authors believe this covers just a proportion of the negative impact of rising CO2. “Because elevated CO2 concentrations are likely to reduce B vitamins in other crops beyond rice, our findings likely represent an underestimate of the impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on sufficiency of B vitamin intake.”
Health benefits of Matcha tea
Matcha is a type of green tea leaf that is shade-grown before harvest and has been used for various medicinal purposes in Japan for many years. Despite this long history, its health benefits haven’t been fully uncovered before now.
A recent study covered in this article, “Drinking Matcha tea can reduce anxiety” by Science Daily , suggests that drinking matcha tea can improve mood through reducing feelings of anxiety.
It is thought that these effects are due to the matcha extract activating dopamine D1 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors. Speaking of the findings, the study leader Dr. Yuki Kurauchi of Kumamoto University said, “Although further epidemiological research is necessary, the results of our study show that Matcha, which has been used as medicinal agent for many years, may be quite beneficial to the human body".
The nutrition and health benefits of Okra
Despite not being particularly widely used, Okra is a fairly versatile ingredient and boasts a wealth of health benefits. Often used in gumbo and curry recipes, it is more frequently referred to as “lady’s fingers” in Europe.
This article, “7 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Okra” by Healthline highlights Okra’s nutritional credentials for being a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K1.
Another benefit of Okra is its folate content, which is important for pregnant women as it contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.
While okra isn’t a traditional kitchen staple in the UK, it is relatively easy to cook and implement into your diet. Either slice and roast it or grill it whole then add soups and stews as a thickener and benefit from its nutritional properties.
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Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.