Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Blue light can reverse early signs of heart disease!


Blue light can reverse early signs of heart disease image

Blue light could be the drug-free solution to heart problems, still the world's most lethal disease. It can lower blood pressure and reduce stiffness in the arteries, two precursors of cardiovascular disease.
A 30-minute exposure to visible blue light can achieve the same results as antihypertensive drugs and reduce systolic blood pressure by almost 8mmHg. But the light has other benefits the drugs don't have: they also reduce arterial stiffness and increase blood vessel relaxation.

Blue light also increases levels of nitric oxide, which protects the cardiovascular system, say researchers from the University of Surrey.

They tested blue light on 14 healthy men, who had whole-body exposure to the light—radiating at 450 nanometres, which is similar to daily sunlight—for 30 minutes for two days. They were also exposed to a filtered light, which acted as the control.

After both sessions, their blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow were measured—and there was a significant improvement after blue-light exposure that wasn't seen after the filtered-light sessions.

Similar effects have been seen with UV (ultraviolet) light—which also helps nitric oxide to be released by the skin—but it can cause skin cancer at high doses, the researchers say.
https://www.wddty.com/news/2018/11/blue-light-can-reverse-early-signs

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Monday, 19 November 2018

Cut down your sugar levels with these superfoods!


BENGALURU: Keeping a check on your blood sugar and preventing diabetes is the deepest worry for every individual suffering from the disease. Being cautious about everything you eat is the saddest thing anyone can witness especially when you are a foodie. What if you can manage your blood sugar and say bye to diabetes by eating the right kind of food? Here are certain food products packed with wholesome nutrients that can help in normalising blood sugar levels and solving the complicated process of managing your diabetes.
Almonds
Consume a handful of soaked almonds. You can soak the almonds overnight. They are richer in nutrients than the non-soaked ones. They help in lowering and maintaining glucose levels, fight bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the body, thereby, keeping your heart healthy.




Peanut butter
For a filling breakfast, you can always go for a tablespoon of natural peanut butter paired with whole grain toast. Natural peanut butter and peanuts are also low glycemic index (GI) foods. This means that they have a lower effect on blood sugar levels.


Make your water flavoured
Consume water infused with fruits and vegetables. This way, you will be consuming more water. You can cut slices of lemon or cucumber and add them in your water bottle or make ice cubes with some flavours or you can even add any slice of vegetable to make your water flavoured.



Green Tea
Instead of taking caffeine, you can opt for green tea as it helps prevent overeating thereby, stabilises blood sugar levels and helps in weight loss.

Greek yogurt and berries
A good amount of protein should be included in your diet for balancing meal. Greek yogurt gives you a protein packed way to help control your hunger and blood sugar as it contains fewer carbohydrates compared to normal yogurt. You can make a smoothie from Greek yogurt or pair it up with your lunch or dinner. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all low in sugar and high in fibre. They are also low on glycemic index and are considered to be superfoods for diabetics.

Eat a lot of greens
While boiled vegetables are recommended for people with high cholesterol and sugar level, you can add a twist to it and make it stir fry vegetables or steamed vegetables. Make your lunch and dinner plate colourful by including spinach, vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, baby corns, broccoli, beans zucchini, sprouts, and onions. You can eat stir fry vegetables or steamed ones for maintaining the nutrients in it.
Say bye to unhealthy oil
It’s time to welcome healthy cooking, use extra virgin olive oil or diabetes friendly oil which is rich in mono unsaturated fats. These oils helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels which is essential to reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack and stroke.
Consultant Internal Medicine and Diabetologist, Fortis Hospitals, Nagarbhavi
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/nov/15/cut-down-your-sugar-levels-with-these-superfoods-1898279.html

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Stempel students help fight hunger, kick-start healthy habits!

Currently, more than enough food is produced worldwide to feed everyone globally. Yet, 11 percent of the world’s population, roughly 815 million people, suffer from food insecurity or hunger, according to the U.N.
Closer to home, 17.6 percent, or nearly 433,000, people living in Miami-Dade County are not sure where their next meal will come from or how substantial it will be.
In an effort to help, the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) and the Association of Graduate Students in Dietetics and Nutrition (AGSDN) joined forces with the Dietetics & Nutrition Peer Mentors to launch a food drive at Stempel College that will help supply non-perishable items to the FIU Food Pantry before the busy holiday season.
Roary Visits Food Pantry

“This is the first food drive organized by the Peer Mentors and we could not think of a better place to start donating than within our own Panther family,” said Maria Sader, graduate student in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. “The drive will run throughout November, and we are hoping to collect as many items as we can to bring to the FIU Food Pantry in the beginning of December.”
But the students are taking their efforts a step further, using their expertise in the field of dietetics and nutrition to provide tips for healthier eating.
“When you do not know where your next meal will come from, you end up not being too concerned about following healthy habits. There’s an association between being food insecure and lower intakes of fruits and vegetables, which tend to be underrepresented in the diets of most college students,” said Alexander Gonzalez, SDA president and bachelor’s student in the department of dietetics and nutrition.
Healthier food options tend to be more expensive in terms of cost, but for perishable items, there is also chance for waste. On the other hand, processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are usually less expensive and often become a first option.
“Our idea is to provide a flyer with recipes including pantry items to promote healthier eating,” said Alexandra Briceno, SDA member and undergrad in the department of dietetics and nutrition. “With an easy to use guide we want to help people better understand what appropriate portion sizes look like to avoid overeating. Limiting portion sizes can help decrease obesity, which is a big problem among college students.”
Another tip? The group recommends eating foods that are rich in fiber, which can help lower the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by 21 percent.
“If we are able to promote at least one healthier eating habit, we believe we are moving in the right direction,” added Sader.
To contribute to the Dietetics & Nutrition November Food Drive, please drop off non-perishable items to AHC5, room 317 between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
https://news.fiu.edu/2018/11/stempel-students-help-fight-hunger-kick-start-healthy-habits/127916

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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Berries: Healthy Eating!

I didn’t grow up eating berries. They taste good, but is there a nutrition reason for eating them? — FJ, Greenville

 A We are lucky to see a greater variety of berries — fresh, dried, canned and frozen — in our local stores than before. Children and people of all ages enjoy eating berries. Milary Lugo, an ECU dietetic student, wanted to tell you about the health reasons for eating them.

Fruits always have been recommended as part of a healthy diet. Our national food guide, MyPlate, suggests making half of our plate fruits and vegetables. I am often asked if juice counts as a fruit. For the best nutrition for your calories it really is best to focus on eating nutrient dense foods — those high in nutrients and low in calories — so choose whole fruits rather than juice.
Berries are an excellent choice because they are high in antioxidants — substances that prevent or delay cell damage. Studies have shown that the high antioxidant content in berries can offer benefits such as protection against heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers.

Berries have different types of polyphenols — the elements that occur naturally in plants that offer positive health benefits. There is evidence that a greater intake of foods high in polyphenols can help lower the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. That is because polyphenols relax or open the blood vessels, allowing more blood to be delivered to the brain and heart.
Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are rich in anthocyanin — a plant pigment that gives off red and blue colors. Experts writing in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology last year explained that anthocyanins appear to have anti-inflammatory properties — meaning they reduce inflammation or swelling — and also help maintain the levels of blood sugar. Eating three or more servings per week of blueberries and strawberries can lower the risk of heart attacks by lowering blood pressure, and also lower the risk for diabetes.
Because the skin of fruits, specifically berries, is high in both anthocyanins and dietary fiber, eating them can help control blood sugar. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes and heart disease are among the leading causes of death in the United States, so regularly adding berries in your diet can definitely help lower your risk for these diseases.
There are lots of ways to incorporate berries into our diet. Add them to your breakfast meal. Put them in oatmeal, cereal or yogurt, or on top of pancakes or waffles. Frozen berries can be used in smoothies that use yogurt or low-fat milk as the base. Add your favorite berry to salads or make a sauce for your warm meal. Another way of making sure we get our daily serving of berries is to add them to our water, a trick that can help those who need to drink more water.

Even though fresh fruits can be more expensive, some dollar stores offer frozen strawberries or mixed berries that can be added to the diet. Whole fruits are encouraged because they are high in fiber and do not contain added sugars like many juices do. MyPlate recommends that adults consume 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit a day. The Food Lists for Diabetes explains that one choice of fruits equals 60 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of protein. Adding berries to the diet can help replace high-calorie desserts with low-calorie and healthy fruits.
Here is a quick and healthy berry smoothie recipe. Combine 2 cups of frozen berries and 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt in a blender. If you like it a bit sweeter, add 1 tablespoon of honey or a sugar replacement product. Blend for 30 seconds or until everything is well mixed, pour into a glass and enjoy!
Smoothies are better than juicing since all the parts of the fruit are retained, giving healthy fiber and antioxidants. If you are buying a berry smoothie, make sure the calories are right for the meal you are replacing:  less than 200 for a snack; less than 300 for breakfast; less than 500 for lunch; and less than 1,200 for dinner.
Professor emeritus Kathy Kolasa, a registered dietitian, nutritionalist and Ph.D., is an Affiliate Professor in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Contact her at kolasaka@ecu.edu.

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New Study Says Peanuts Are Just as Healthy for Diabetes as Almonds!


Photo courtesy of the Peanut Shop of Virginia.
Almonds aren’t the only nut you should eat for better blood sugar regulation.
When it comes to sprinkling nuts atop oatmeal or yogurt, peanuts are often disregarded in favor of more buzz-worthy nuts, like almonds or pistachios. (Yes, peanuts are technically legumes, but we basically think of them as a nut.)
Peanut butter will probably always remain popular, but with new nut butter spreads on the market, tons of people are making the swap for good, too.
Why? Well there have been many studies on the benefits of eating other nuts for heart health, higher “good” fat content, and fiber, and so people have begun to think that peanuts are a lesser-valued nut for snacking on raw and adding to your favourite trail mixes.
But it’s time to reshape your thinking! It turns out, contrary to popular belief, peanuts have as much heart-healthy, blood-sugar regulating benefits as almonds do.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrients last month, eating two servings of peanuts provides the same benefits for those with type 2 diabetes as they’d get from eating almonds.
In this study, 25 participants ate a low-carb diet for 12 weeks and had either a serving of peanuts or almonds twice a day. They found that there was no difference in improving blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels (a factor to determine long-term blood glucose regulation), between the two groups.
“The takeaway here is that individuals with diabetes should consume nuts to receive the many glycemic and cardio-metabolic benefits and can feel confident choosing peanuts, which are less expensive and more palatable to most consumers,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.
Here’s why: “The fat, fiber and protein in peanuts help slow digestion and lessens spikes in blood sugar and insulin—more of these added to the daily diet can help impact [and improve] daily blood glucose control,” says Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC author of Healthy, Quick & Easy Smoothies.
Plus, they have a ton of other nutritional perks. “Peanuts are a powerhouse of nutrition with more protein than any nut, good fats, and a source for a variety of vitamins and nutrients. They contain arginine and resveratrol, associated with heart health, and are a good source of fiber, niacin, folate, and manganese just to name a few,” says Harris-Pincus.

How Much Do You Need to Eat? 
Anything will help, but locking down those two servings a day, as was instructed in the study, will help you get the maximum benefit. “This study used 2 servings a day, so aim for 1 oz of nuts (about 28 peanuts) in a salad or a smoothie and then 2 tbsp of peanut butter on a rice cake or apple as a snack later in the day,” suggests White.
 What’s more, you’re better off consuming peanuts at two separate times throughout the day to help with daily blood sugar management, White adds. “This could also be achieved with other foods rich in fiber/protein/healthy fat—not just peanuts, or almonds,” she says.
If you are adding peanuts to your day, look for unsalted and products free of additives. “When choosing peanut butter, I always suggest natural peanut butter without added oils and sugars to provide the same nutrition as whole peanuts,” says Harris-Pincus. 
https://www.cookinglight.com/news/peanuts-just-as-healthy-as-almonds-diabetes-blood-sugar

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Are Smoothies Healthy? Here’s What the Experts Say!


Getty Images
 
Smoothies have a health glow about them. They’re often an integral part of cleanses, and they’re ubiquitous at health food stores and health-centric restaurants. And the smoothie trend is still going strong. Workout studios serve them up post-class, dietitians preach their powers and fit celebrities tout their nutritional prowess.
But are smoothies healthy? Here’s what you should know about the drink, whether you’re picking one up or making your own.

How to make healthy smoothies

You can put nearly anything into a smoothie. But most consist of liquid (like water, non-dairy milk or kefir), fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts (or nut butter), supplements like protein powder, maca or matcha, and toppings (such as granola, coconut and cacao nibs), says Ryan Andrews, a registered dietitian and author of A Guide to Plant-Based Eating.
The key to making it healthy is to strike the right balance of vegetables, fruit, protein and fat, says Miranda Hammer, a registered dietitian and natural foods chef based in New York. “The smoothie is a really great way to get in those key foods,” Hammer says. When you make this type of smoothie, “you have the foundation for a healthy breakfast or snack.”
Protein can come from unsweetened nut butter, chia, hemp or flax seeds, plain yogurt or nut milk. And fat, which helps fill you up, is the other key factor in a smoothie. “Good sources of fat in smoothies are salt and sugar-free nut butter, chia, flax, sesame, or hemp seeds, flax oil, coconut meat, coconut yogurt, or full-fat organic yogurt,” Hammer says.
For an additional nutritional boost, she recommends adding ingredients such as maca, acai powder, lucuma, cacao, spirulina, herbs like cilantro or parsley and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or turmeric.
And do embrace variety. “Try to mix up the ingredients. Dietary diversity can be really helpful to ensure a well-rounded nutrient intake,” Andrews says. If you use kale, kefir and blueberries one week, for instance, try spinach, hemp milk and pineapple the next.

Are fruit smoothies healthy?

While fruits have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, smoothies often become hyper-concentrated sources of fruit sugars, Andrews says. Balance it by adding a dark leafy green like spinach, kale or Swiss chard (which provides fiber, calcium, vitamins A, C and K, as well as powerful phytochemicals) and protein to keep blood sugar in check and control cravings and hunger.
Just beware of the smoothies you buy. “With store-bought smoothies, you lose total control over quality and quantity of the ingredients used,” says Hammer. Store-bought varieties may use artificial sweeteners, fruit juice, large amounts of fat or sweetened dairy products, contributing to higher amounts of sugar, fat and calories. Smoothie bowls can also contain large amounts of sugary granola and sweetened coconut flakes, she says.
“Once in a while, these aren’t a major concern,” says Andrews. But if these types of smoothies are in your regular rotation, they could lead to excessive sugar intake or digestive distress, he says.

Are green smoothies healthy?

Yes. One of Hammer’s rule is that all of her smoothies include a dark leafy green like spinach, kale or Swiss chard, which provides fiber, calcium and vitamins A, C and K, as well as powerful phytochemicals.
Green smoothies are a great way to get much-needed vegetables. Only 9% of Americans get the recommended daily amount of vegetables (2 to 3 cups), despite research suggesting that plant-based diets reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancer.
Green, leafy vegetables in particular are linked to a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, as well as slower age-related cognitive decline. A handful or two of greens usually makes for the best-tasting smoothie.

Are smoothies good for weight loss?

Smoothies are often touted as a diet food and a way to detox the body. But when it comes to the idea of a “detox,” most experts agree that smoothies (or any other food, for that matter) aren’t the solution — and that the human body has its own resources (namely the liver, kidneys and GI system) to cleanse itself naturally. There’s also no solid scientific evidence to suggest the idea of a detox for overall health or well-being.
As for weight loss, instead of focusing on dieting — and what foods might be a part of that diet — it’s best to consider all of the behaviors that support a healthy body, says Andrews. Drinking smoothies could fit as one of those weight-loss behaviors, along with eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, building social connections and practicing stress management. But it’s not the only part of the puzzle.

Can a smoothie replace a meal?

While eating a smoothie as a meal could be a healthy option, in order to make it nutritious, it’s important to make sure the smoothie contains a mix of foods that would be similar to a meal, says Andrews. “If someone just blends up some fruit, I wouldn’t say that’s an adequate meal,” he says. But add vegetables, seeds or nuts, kefir or yogurt and possibly some protein powder, and “this would be similar to foods that make up a meal.”
A well-rounded smoothie usually has 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat, 1 cup of fruit, a handful or two of greens and 1 cup of protein, Hammer says. How much you eat depends on what else you’re eating that day, as well as how you’re eating your smoothie — as a meal or as a snack — notes Andrews.
To make one of Andrews’ favorite breakfast smoothies, combine 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower, 1 to 2 leaves of kale, 1 to 2 cups of unsweetened non-dairy milk, 1 to 2 spoonfuls of mixed seeds (chia, hemp, flax), 1 scoop hemp protein powder and some granola.

What’s the healthiest way to eat a smoothie?

“When you are eating a fruit or vegetable in its whole original form, your body is breaking everything down itself,” says Hammer. Digestion starts with the process of chewing, adds Andrews. Smoothies don’t involve chewing. Essentially, the blender does the chewing for you, he says.
That means some people might notice that they feel a little bloated when they drink a smoothie quickly. Smoothies can have a lot of calories, Andrews says, and the more calorie-dense a beverage is, the longer it will stay in the stomach, he says. To help slow you down, Andrews suggests eating a smoothie with a spoon, like you would a whole-food meals.
 http://time.com/5447846/are-smoothies-healthy/

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8 ingredients to add to your plate for more peace of mind this autumn!


  • Between four and six  percent of people get seasonal depression 
  • The mood disorder typically starts to come on in the fall 
  • But many in-season ingredients contain depression-busting nutrients
  • Dietitian Abbey Sharpe explains how stocking your pantry with delicious hearty ingredients like squashes and root vegetables to this season fights fall blu

Fall is full of warm colors, cooler weather and festive holiday meals. 
But with the days growing shorter and the long winter months looming ahead, you may start to feel the edges of the seasonal blues. 
That makes now a great time to start looking out for your mental health. 
And you're in luck: squashes, spices and spuds that are seasonal now aren't just good for your table - they're good for your brain, too. 
Dietitian and blogger Abbey Sharpe of Abbey's Kitchen told Daily Mail Online which fall foods have protective effects for your mental health and boost your mood.

1. ACORN SQUASH KEEPS YOUR CELLS SAFE FROM FREE RADICALS
This hearty gourd was the first crop raised by Native Americans. 
It's a bit difficult to work with, but has become an autumnal favorite in the US. 
Plus it has protective effects for your cells, combating aging in your body and your brain.  
Nutty, tasty acorn squash contains antioxidants and magnesium to combat depression 
Nutty, tasty acorn squash contains antioxidants and magnesium to combat depression 
'Acorn squash is one of the best sources of the antioxidant beta carotene, an antioxidant that protects our cells and DNA from damage,' Abbey says.  
Our cell processes have byproducts called free radicals. The stress and damage these unstable compounds do to cells is called oxidative stress.  
The older we get, the more oxidation builds up and damages our cells, and that damage can contribute to the development of mental and mood disorders. 
'Antioxidants from fruit and vegetable intake were lower in individuals with late-life depression! It’s also rich in magnesium which may be associated with a decline in depressive symptoms,' Abbey says. 
2. AN APPLE A DAY HELPS KEEP ALZHEIMER'S AWAY 
Apple-picking season has just ended, so it's now time to make a pie, a tart or just have a lunch time snack.  
And the saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' didn't become a cliche without reason. 
The all-American fruit is low-calorie, but packs a heavy dose of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B, E and K.   
Acetylcholine in apples helps keep your mind healthy, mood stable, and may protect against Alzheimer's disease
Acetylcholine in apples helps keep your mind healthy, mood stable, and may protect against Alzheimer's disease.
Like squash, apples contain antioxidants - a whole litany of strong ones, in fact.
'Apples contain a rich source of antioxidants which play a protective role against neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease,' Abbey says. 
They are rich in acetylcholine as well, which may also help to guard your brain against diseases of mental decline. 
Plus, fiber is not only beneficial for your overall digestion, but helps to stabilize your blood sugar which in turn helps to keep your mood stable.  
3. ROASTING UP SOME PUMPKIN COULD BOOST SEROTONIN TO LEVEL OUT YOUR MOOD
Besides making good carved, decorative heads, pumpkins are good for your head. 
Perhaps most importantly, pumpkin encourages the brain's production of serotonin. Pumpkin contains the same hormone - tryptophan - that makes us feel tired after eating a turkey dinner. 
Serotonin helps us stabilize our minds and bodies. The neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in keeping our digestion as well as our moods stable, and promoting the feeling over overall 'well-being.' 
Move over, turkey: pumpkin has plenty of tryptophan, the sleepy amino acid found in turkey.  Tryptophan plays a crucial role in serotonin production, which stabilizes mood 
Move over, turkey: pumpkin has plenty of tryptophan, the sleepy amino acid found in turkey.  Tryptophan plays a crucial role in serotonin production, which stabilizes mood 
And tryptophan, which pumpkins are rich in, is the key ingredient in serotonin production.  
'Pumpkin also contains two important antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which play a role in overall cognitive health,' Abbey said. 
'One recent 2017 study found that these antioxidants improved the memory and overall cognitive health in older adults.' 
4. THE REAL 'ZEN' POWER OF PUMPKINS IS IN TRYPTOPHAN-LOADED SEEDS 
The flesh of a pumpkin contains the healthy amino acid, the gourd's seeds are where the mother load lies. 
In 100 grams of pumpkin seeds - about two thirds of a cup - there are about 1,000 grams of tryptophan. 
That's a lower-calorie way to get as much tryptophan as you would in a turkey breast. 
'Tryptophan which have been shown to decrease depressive symptoms and decrease anxiety,' says Abbey. 
'Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc which can act on the brain directly and can play a significant role in learning and memory,' she adds. 
5. TRENDY SPICE TURMERIC MAY MAKE YOUR MOOD MORE MELLOW 
Turmeric is all the rage right now, for both your curry and your health. 
The spice has historically been popular in Southeast Asian cooking, but lately it has become a full-on health fad. 
Some have pushed it as a cancer cure or Alzheimer's treatment, but science doesn't really bear those claims out. 
But it, too, contains antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory effects. 
Turmeric is trendy for purportedly doing everything - but its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects really might help your mind 
Turmeric is trendy for purportedly doing everything - but its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects really might help your mind 
These two qualities were the initial basis for the meteoric rise of the spice, and they have full-body benefits. 
That includes its effects on the brain. 
Inflammation is thought to contribute to mood instability and depression, so any spice or snack that can alleviate swelling may help mental health, too  
Plus, 'curcumin which is found in turmeric and gives it its yellow color may play a role in preventing memory problems,' Abbey says.  
6. BUTTERNUT SQUASH IS 'GOLD' FOR FIGHTING DNA DAMAGE IN THE BRAIN  
This squash may be unwieldy to dice, roast or puree, but its mental benefits might well be worth the the effort. 
'Butternut squash is chalk full of antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E which may play a significant role in improving anxiety and depression, Abbey says. 
The key is in its iconic color. 
The orange-y color of butternut squash signals its carotene content. Higher levels of htis antioxidant have also been linked to lower rates of depression 
The orange-y color of butternut squash signals its carotene content. Higher levels of htis antioxidant have also been linked to lower rates of depression 
Carotene, a potent antioxidant found in orange fruits and vegetables like this squash and carrots, has been shown to have particular importance to mental health.  
One study of nearly 1,800 people found that those who had high levels of caortenids in their bloodstreams were 37 percent less likely to be depressed than those with lower carotenid levels. 
And once more carotene was introduced into their diet, people's depression symptoms seemed to become more mild.   
7. YOU CAN TASTE THE MENTAL BENEFITS IN BRUSSELS SPROUTS' FLAVONOIDS  
These hearty sprouts 'contain the antioxidant kaempferol and according to an animal study may have an antidepressant effect', said Abbey. 
Kaempferoli is a flavonoid found in coarser green, leafy vegetables. 
Research on kaempferoli is still nascent, but so far, it's looking promising. It contributes not only taste but potential health benefits like fighting inflammation and perhaps obesity and cancer, some studies have suggested. 
In the animal study, a group of stressed out mice were fed kaempferol doses, and the substance seemed to calm the anxious animals. 
But, Abbey reminds us: 'Again, more research is needed before we can make a clear link.' 
8. GET A LOW-SUGAR INFUSION OF VITAMIN C FROM SWEET POTATOES TO PROTECT YOU FROM FEELING LOW  
Sugar-loaded orange juice was once touted as the go-to way to get vitamin C. 
That has since been debunked, but there's another sweet way to get the nutrient: spuds. 
Sugar can actually contribute to mood instability as you ride the wave of sugar highs and crashes. 
Instead of drinking sugar-loaded orange juice in hopes of boosting your vitamin C levels, have a yam. Sweet potatoes contain vitamins B6 and C, both of which stabilize mood 
Instead of drinking sugar-loaded orange juice in hopes of boosting your vitamin C levels, have a yam. Sweet potatoes contain vitamins B6 and C, both of which stabilize mood 
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand 'are rich in antioxidants including vitamin C. At least study found that a high vitamin C status was associated with improved overall mood,' Abbey says. 
Yams are also rich in B6, low levels of which may contribute to low moods.  

Between these seven ingredients, there's plenty of mentally healthy food to put on your plate this fall. 


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Friday, 16 November 2018

Pumpkin And Pine Nut Noodles!


Pumpkin and pine nut noodles image
Pumpkin contains an abundance of free-radical-fighting antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, so it's a fantastic anti-ageing food.
Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween—they're an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes. You can even enjoy pumpkin raw, and most of its parts are edible, including the fleshy shell, seeds, leaves and flowers.

It's also packed with minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Why not try my delicious pumpkin noodle recipe as a simple savoury, gluten-free, starter or side dish? Or combine the noodles with fresh sliced grapes, a drizzle of raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delectably healthy dessert.

Pumpkin and pine nut noodles
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups pumpkin, grated or shredded into noodles
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, soaked and/or pumpkin seeds
  • 6 dried apricots, sliced
  • 6 halves sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil, cold-pressed
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 1 handful fresh chervil

Directions
  1. Peel and clean out the insides of the pumpkin so that the flesh can be shredded or sliced into noodles or strips, using a food processor or mandolin. If you don't like or can't find pumpkin, you can use squash instead.
  2. Gently mix all the ingredients together, then set aside for a while to allow the oil and lemon juice to soak in.
  3. Decorate with the chervil (a herb from the parsley family), or any fresh herbs of your choice, and serve.

Mark├ęta Bola is a natural nutritionist and raw living-food chef who leads raw-food workshops, classes, dining experiences and Tree of Life Wellbeing & Vitality Festivals in the Midlands.


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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Lactic acid – the key to a healthy vagina!



Lactic acid key to a healthy vagina
Women are at greater risk of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and, in turn, problems with their reproductive health if their vagina doesn't have high amounts of lactic acid, according to a recent review published in the journal Research in Microbiology.
A healthy vagina needs to have certain types of the bacteria lactobacillus, which produce high levels of lactic acid. The study found this lactobacillus make the vagina acidic, which is important in helping to prevent a condition known as bacterial vaginosis (BV).
BV is a bacterial infection of the vagina that occurs when its normal balance of bacteria changes. The main symptoms of BV are a white discharge and a strong fishy odour, but half of cases show no symptoms. These cases can only be diagnosed with a vaginal examination by your doctor.
BV can increase a woman's risk of catching STIs – such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes and HIV –  and has also been linked to an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), early pregnancy loss, premature delivery and low birth weight of babies.
In Australia, BV affects up to 12% of women, but up to 30% of women in higher-risk groups such as indigenous communities. It can be due to reasons such as:
  • a change in sexual partner
  • washing the vagina (douching) with soap or another product
  • smoking.
The review – which involved the review of 142 studies – looked at the role of lactobacillus in vaginal health, including the prevention and treatment of BV. It found that 'beneficial' lactobacillus appeared to improve the health of the vagina, most likely due to the lactic acid's ability to kill harmful bacteria.
Undertaken by a team of researchers from Australian institutions, and John Hopkins University in the United States, the review sheds further light on the connection between the human body and the 39 trillion bacteria living in it. The bacteria – called the microbiome – live in various parts of the body including the gut, mouth, skin, nose, throat, urethra, vagina and penis.
"Studies … in this review demonstrate the importance of a stable vaginal microbiome for a woman's health," said Professor Gilda Tachedjian, the lead author of the review and the Head of Life Sciences Discipline at the Burnet Institute.
"Unlike the gut, where a diverse range of bacteria is beneficial, the vagina is most stable with a microbiome dominated mainly by favourable lactobacillus," she said.
The current recommended treatment for BV is antibiotics. However, several studies have examined the use of probiotics for treating BV.
While some of these studies appeared to show a positive effect, Prof Tachedjian said that, overall, there has not been enough to show consistent benefit of lactobacillus-based probiotics. "Better designed clinical trials" were now needed to prove their benefits for treating or preventing BV.
In the meantime, she said, her team was focusing their work on creating vaginal gels containing lactic acid for women with BV.  "We are at an exciting stage of discovery," said Prof Tachedjian.
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Winter Roasted Butternut Squash Black Lentil Salad with Grapes + Arugula!


I made this recipe a few weeks ago for a Friendsgiving I hosted and everyone commented on how much they loved it. The butternut squash is sweet, paired with earthy lentils, creamy tahini dressing, crunchy pecans and zippy arugula.
Basically it’s a salad dream come true.
Winter roasted butternut squash black lentil salad with juicy grapes served over a bed of arugula and drizzled with a creamy tahini dressing! Full of texture, comforting and so delicious!
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. xo!

Winter Roasted Butternut Squash Black Lentil Salad with Grapes + Arugula
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 40 mins
  • Serving size: 6
  • Calories: 245.7
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.1g
  • Sugar: 11.8g
  • Fiber: 8.7g
  • Protein: 7.7g
Recipe type: Salad, Winter, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Winter roasted butternut squash black lentils salad with juicy grapes served over a bed of arugula and drizzled with a creamy tahini dressing! Full of texture, comforting and so delicious!
Ingredients
  • For the butternut squash:
  • 4-5 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more, to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • For the lentils:
  • ½ cup dry black lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons warm water, to thin, plus more if necessary
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 ½ cups of red or purple grapes, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Place cubed butternut squash on baking sheet and drizzle coconut oil mixture on top. Toss to evenly coat the butternut squash with oil and spices. Spread butternut cubes evenly around pan and roast for 25-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.
  2. While your butternut squash is roasting, make your black lentils. Bring water and salt to a boil and stir in lentils. Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until cooked and tender but not falling apart. Drain excess water and rinse cooked lentils with cold water.
  3. Next, make your dressing. In a small bowl mix together tahini, maple syrup, garlic powder, lemon juice, and water. Mix until it resembles a dressing. Add a little more water to thin out for a drizzle, if necessary.
  4. Assemble your salad. Place arugula down on a platter, top with black lentils, roasted butternut squash, sliced grapes and pecans. Drizzle lightly with tahini dressing, then top with pecans. No need to toss together, just serve as is and allow everyone to dig in and serve themselves with salad tongs/servers. Enjoy! Salad can be enjoyed warm or cold. Serves 6-8.
Notes
If you can't find black lentils, feel free to use brown or green lentils. Cooking times may vary. Cook according to directions on the package.
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Gluten Free & Vegan Quinola Burger!

 

Ingredients:

(for 8 burgers)
20g vegan margarine
300g roasted sweet potato
1 small onion diced
50g diced mushroom
1/2tbsp potato or corn starch
(1 egg yolk for the non-vegan version)
60g chickpea flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2tsp ground cumin
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Garnishing and sauce of your choice
Gluten-free buns

Instructions:

Prior to making the burgers, roast the unpeeled sweet potato and let it cool ( you could make it ahead and store it in a fridge). In a frying pan, place the margarine, onion and mushrooms and fry for a few minutes. In a large mixing bowl place the peeled sweet potato and mash it with a fork. Add the fried mushrooms and onion and mix in cumin and cayenne pepper.  Add a 1/2tbsp of potato or corn starch, cooked Quinoa and chickpea flour, add salt and pepper to taste. With your hand form the mix into about 8 equal size burger patties. When ready, fry the patties for a couple of minutes on each side. Serve with garnishing and sauce.
http://quinola.com/gluten-free-and-vegan-quinola-burger/

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Coconut oil beats DEET against malaria-carrying mosquitoes!





Coconut oil beats DEET against malaria-carrying mosquitoes image
Coconut oil is a more effective insect repellent than DEET sprays, often considered the only 'serious' choice that can provide protection against malaria-carrying mosquitoes in tropical regions.
The oil has the same level of protection as DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), and its protective effects last longer, researchers from the University of Nebraska have discovered.

DEET has been considered the 'gold standard' of insect repellents since its commercial launch in 1957—but it comes with health risks, especially for infants and pregnant women.

It also provides just 10 hours of protection against mosquitoes—but coconut oil can provide protection for up to two weeks, the researchers discovered. The fatty acids in the oil also provide protection against other blood-sucking insects such as flies, ticks and bed bugs.

The researchers created a concoction of coconut fatty acids mixed with water and starch that they tested against DEET.

The compound protected against biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks, and against ticks for one week. It was also used on cattle, and it protected them against biting flies for 96 hours, or four days, during a very hot summer. The researchers say it is "the longest protection provided by a natural repellent product".
https://www.wddty.com/news

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