Prebiotics for Better Sleep

Prebiotics are best-known for supporting gut health, but they can also improve sleep and enhance stress resilience, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder say prebiotics—dietary fibers that nourish the gut’s microbiome—create a symbiotic relationship with the body that affects the brain. For the study, researchers fed adolescent rats either standard chow or chow infused with prebiotics, then tracked the rats’ behavior. Those on the prebiotic diet spent more time in restorative non–rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep and, after stress, spent more time in…

Good News for Whole Grains

The average American Heart Association healthy-diet score for U.S. adults improved between 2003–2004 and 2015–2016, according to the AHA Statistical Update 2020. Two scales were used to measure diet quality. On one of them, scores for a poor diet decreased from 56% to 47.8%; on the second, poor diet prevalence dropped from 43.7% to 36.4%. The improvement was attributed to people reducing their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and eating more whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Unfortunately, results showed no significant change in adult consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish,…

The Med Diet Stands the Test of Time

Given the option, would you choose the Paleo diet, intermittent fasting (IF) or the Mediterranean eating pattern for weight loss? Among 250 healthy, overweight adults participating in a randomized controlled study, more than half (55%) went for IF (restricting intake 2 days a week), while 27% chose the Mediterranean diet (emphasizing whole grains, fruit and vegetables), and 18% opted to go Paleo (modified to allow some legumes and dairy). Participants also chose whether to try high-intensity interval training or a standard exercise regimen. After a brief educational session on their…