Early-Stage Discoveries: Quinoa, Cashew, and Yerba Mate

Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Quinoa slowed aging, improved metabolism

After observing the lifespans, movement, and metabolism of nematode worms, doctors fed them a phytochemical-enriched quinoa seed preparation. Those consuming quinoa lived an additional two days, or 22 percent longer than average, had greater mobility, less body fat, and lower levels of oxidized proteins and lipids. Doctors said lowering levels of these damaged proteins and lipids may reduce the chances of developing many chronic age-related diseases, and are continuing to study quinoa.

Cashews during pregnancy boost offspring development

Mothers that ate cashew nuts while pregnant and lactating had more highly developed offspring. In the lab, doctors fed a diet of 7 percent soy oil as placebo, a 7 percent cashew nut fat diet, or a 20 percent cashew nut fat diet to pregnant mice. Offspring of those on the cashew diets developed reflexes sooner, had faster improvement in short-term memory, and accelerated maturation of the nervous system.

Yerba mate aids metabolism, and weight loss

In the lab, doctors studied the anti-obesity effects of yerba mate, comparing the weight gain, energy use, fat tissue, and lipid and insulin levels in obese mice with or without yerba mate in the diet. Those in the yerba mate group saw decreases in body weight and fatty tissue, increases in energy expenditure, and lower levels of fatty acids, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Insulin levels and insulin resistance also decreased with yerba mate.


Reference: Journal of Functional Foods; October,
2017, Vol. 37, 1-7
Natural Insights for Well Being May 2018
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