Check out some stand-out news relating to natural health from around the world.

Eating nuts improves brain health

Eating nuts regularly can improve your cognitive function. A new study published in Nutrients and using data from the Qatar Biobank Study (QBB) found that people over the age of 50 eating nuts 4-6 times a week experienced improved cognitive function as measured by mean reaction time. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, which are key to good brain health.

Kids health benefits from nature

Spending time in nature improves children's all-round development. Published in Lancet Planetary Health researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) faculty of forestry and faculty of medicine analysed data from 27,372 children in Vancouver, Canada who attended preschool between 2005 and 2011. They found that those children with more access to greenspaces showed better overall development in terms of language skills, socialisation and cognitive ability. The researchers believe this is due to lower levels of pollution and noise that can impact on a child’s development through increased stress, lack of sleep and damage to their central nervous system. The researchers didn't mention the effects of the chemicals emitted by plants and trees that also have a beneficial effect on our health. Why not take the whole family out to engage in a little Forest Bathing to wash away the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Can eating wholegrains reduce type 2 diabetes risk?

Levels of type 2 diabetes in the UK are set to rise by the end of the decade. UK charity Diabetes UK has warned that 1 in 10 people could develop either type 1 or type 2 diabetes by 2030 and that hospitalisation rates could skyrocket. The news comes as a new study from Finland and published in Nutrients shares claims that consumption of wholegrains could slash a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, funded by the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology Service, used data from national databases and scientific literature to create a model to estimate the effects of increased wholegrain intake on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The team did not conduct an experiment that assessed the effect of increased consumption of wholegrain on individuals' metabolic health. Existing scientific literature is very clear that type 2 diabetes is a form of carbohydrate intolerance that can be prevented and reversed through the use of dietary and lifestyle changes.

Gene editing risks

The risks of new gene editing techniques have been brought into sharp focus by a study published in Plants as part of a special issue ‘Potential Unitended Effects of Genetic Technologies in Plants’. The results of the study highlight the need for extreme caution in regard to approving the introduction of plants (and other oganismis) genetically engineered using new techniques such as CRISPR as even seemingly small changes to a plant's genome can create complex, unanticipated ‘off-target’ changes. The warnings of the paper are even more relevant as pressure on EU and UK governments by the Big Ag companies to approve and reduce legislative requirements around such techniques mount.

Plant rich diets heal leaky gut

A diet rich in plant foods that contain high levels of polyphenols, such as apples, cocoa, dark chocolate, green tea, cranberries, oranges and pomegranate juice can help to reduce leaky gut syndrome, particularly in people over the age of 60. Researchers publishing in Clinical Nutrition found that eating more polyphenol rich foods has a positive impact on the health of the gut microbiome, which in turn helps to repair the gut lining and reduce leaky gut. Put simply we need to eat more plants to keep our gut microbiome in tip top condition to maintain our overall health and wellbeing. Find out more from our Food4Health guidelines.