Eating white bread is just like eating sugar.

A study finds an association between white bread consumption and obesity and makes an argument for switching to whole grain bread.

The extensive refining process that flour has to go through to make white bread is bad for the environment. A new study suggests that the same highly refined white bread is bad for health, too. Researchers at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain found that consuming more than three or four slices of white bread a day is associated with a 40 percent higher risk of becoming obese.

The highly refined flour that is used in white bread gets rapidly absorbed as sugar. Professor Martinez-Gonzalez said, “Essentially it is equivalent to a high consumption of sugar. The problem is similar to what we see with soft drinks — their sugars are rapidly transformed into fat in an organism.”

This isn’t surprising information. We’ve been hearing for a while now that the body processes white bread in a similar fashion to how it processes sugar. People are hearing the message, too, and in 2010, the sales of wheat bread surpassed the sales of white bread.

But, wheat bread isn’t necessarily any better than white bread unless it contains whole grains and skips the added sweeteners. Make sure your wheat bread is a good one by looking for the word “whole wheat” and not just “wheat” in the ingredients list.

By: Robin Shreeves

Lime Water Benefits

This small citrus fruit with origins in Asia packs a large nutritional punch. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one lime with a 2-inch diameter contains just 20 calories.

The same size lime also contains the following nutrients:

  • 22 milligrams (mg) calcium
  • 12 mg phosphorus
  • 68 mg potassium
  • 19.5 mg vitamin C, which is about 20–25 percent of the daily value recommended for adults

In addition to the nutritional value of limes, lime water has the following benefits:

1. Promotes consumption of water

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that people who do not drink enough water could add a squeeze of lime to enhance the flavor, which may encourage them to drink more water.

2. Helps improve diet

A recent study in Nutritional Epidemiology showed that people who drank more water instead of sugary drinks, such as soda or juice, improved their diet.

People who drank water instead of sweetened drinks reduced the amount of sugar and fat they consumed on a daily basis.

3. May aid digestion

Adding lime to water can help aid digestion. Limes contain compounds that help stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach. Also, the acid in the lime juice helps the saliva break down food.

4. Reduces cancer chances

Several studies show a link between citrus fruit and a reduced risk of some types of cancer. A 2015 study in Medicine (Baltimore) showed a possible link between increased citrus fruit consumption and a diminished risk of esophageal cancer. However, more research is required.

5. Improves skin quality

Limes contain vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which are ingredients in many commercial skin products. When consumed with water, the natural ingredients in the lime juice can help improve the appearance of aging skin.

6. Promotes weight loss

Nutritionists often recommend drinking a glass of water with a meal to help prevent overeating.

Lime water has an additional benefit. The citric acid found in lime juice helps boost a person’s metabolism, helping them burn more calories and store less fat.

7. Improves immune system

The vitamin C combined with the antioxidants contained in limes provide support to the body’s immune system.

When drunk regularly, lime water might help prevent and shorten the lifespan of colds and cases of flu.

8. Reduces risk of heart disease

Limes contain high levels of magnesium and potassium.

Both of these elements help support the overall health of the heart. In particular, potassium can improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.

There is also limited research indicating that limes may also help reduce cholesterol levels.

9. Lowers blood sugar

According to some research, vitamin C can help lower morning and post-meal blood sugar changes. Though the study focused on people taking supplements of vitamin C, the conclusion indicated that vitamin C offers excellent potential for improving a person’s sugar levels.

10. Prevents the growth of micro-organisms

According to some research, the limonins found in limes can help prevent the accumulation of Streptococcus bacteria.

Streptococcus is a type of bacteria responsible for a variety of infections and health conditions, including respiratory and mouth infections.

Drinking lime water may help stop these harmful organisms from developing and prevent bacterial illnesses.

11. Has anti-inflammatory properties

Limes provide a good source of vitamin C. Among many other potential benefits, vitamin C acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body.

Oregon State University conducted a review of research that focused on the positive effect vitamin C has on reducing inflammation.

They concluded that the majority of studies indicated that the use of vitamin C showed favorable results in reducing inflammation.

12. Helps prevent kidney stones

Limes contain both citric acid and vitamin C. A 2014 study showed that both vitamin C and citric acid helped break up or prevent the formation of some types of kidney stones.

The researchers concluded that by including vitamin C and citric acid in their diet, a person could reduce their risk of developing specific stones again in the future.

How to make lime water

Fresh lime being cut
It is best to drink lime water within 1 day of making it.

Lime water is easy to make:

  • Wash a fresh lime before cutting it.
  • Fill a glass with water and squeeze the juice from a piece of the lime into the water.
  • To make lime water ahead of time, fill a pitcher with water and squeeze in the juice of a whole lime.
  • Add lime slices to the pitcher for added flavor.
  • Drink the water within 1 day for best flavor.

Takeaway

For people who have trouble drinking the recommended amount of water each day, lime water may be a good alternative.

In addition to extra flavor, lime water also offers additional nutrients that may have a variety of health benefits.

Lime water is easy to prepare, and almost everyone can add it to their diet.

By: Medical News Today