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Nutritional Snippets - Did you know..

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Time to... Say O

According to a nutritional epidemiology study, women who consumed the largest amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA were a staggering 49 percent less likely to experience depression due to the seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
 
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Toast yourself!

A glass of wine a day can keep brittle bones at bay, says the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition... It is thought the beneficial effect comes from the phenols in the grape skins.
 
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Grind away and add pepper!

A study published in ACS's Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry has pinpointed the pungent tasting substance 'piperine' which gives black pepper its characteristic taste as being able to block the formation of new fat cells.

It is also known to include extremely potent fever reducing and antiseptic properties.
 
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Winter dry skin..

Cold winds and indoor heating tends to leave our skin dry and parched. Think about the regenerative qualities of rose and patchouli oils and calming peppermint oil. Mix 3 drops of each in two tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel and add to a tepid bath... and lay back moisturize and relax..

Caution: if you are sensitive or allergic to essential oils try a patch test or avoid having a bath.
 
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Connect with an artichoke..

Research suggests that cynarin, the active ingredient in artichokes, assists with high cholesterol by breaking it down into bile salts which increases bile flow. Plus cynarin speeds digestion, reducing bloating and indigestion.
 
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Middle Age - Become smarter!

A Canadian study has shown that high, intensity interval training may significantly improve cognitive function especially in middle aged people.

Caution: - not suggested until you have checked with your medical team.
 
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Spices, spices, spices!

Ginger
Has been used for centuries in indian, Asian and Arabic cultures as a medicine. It has even been documented as a valued preventative for the Black Death that plagued Europe in the Middle Ages.

These days it is best known therapeutically as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis and as a stimulant, digestive and anti-nausea agent, making it a perfect addition to winter and summer dishes.

Nutmeg - use it in many dishes..

A potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Its therapeutic talents are useful for a variety of digestive issues, as well as rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and even colds!

Current research suggests a starring role for nutmeg on the anti-ageing stage for its ability to encourage cellular renewal and reduce wrinkles!

Tumeric!

So much research is being conducted world wide with this wonderful orange colored spice.
Its key constituent, the antioxidant Curcumin has exceptional detoxifying and anti-inflammatory activity.

Research also suggests Curcumin stabilizes and increases collagen, which speeds healing. It has also been indicated to have an enormous healing potential for the liver, gall bladder, joints and heart.

Mmmm, Cinnamon...

Evocative aroma makes me think of Chai lattes, stewed apples, apple pie.. Christmas!

The use of cinnamon as a condiment, a healing agent and thanks to its antibacterial effects acts as a preservative. Like many spices, it lowers the effects of eating high fat foods and can support a weight loss program by boosting fat burning!

Tip: - used topically, it can be a potential irritant and should always be patch tested.

Clove
This is best known as a natural remedy for toothache due to its analgesic and antibacterial effects. However, did you know that clove is demonstrating the ability to counter and prevent minor skin infections.
 
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The Tree of Life..

Coconut is highly regarded in traditional medicine for treating numerous health issues and concerns. Highly nutritious, Rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, it is deeply hydrating. For inner health try a spoonful of pure coconut oil in hot water each morning.

Tip: - check out this article...

http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/coconut-oil-virgin.21741/
 
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Mercury and heavy metals - nutritional detox tips..

Certain nutrients, compounds, herbs and foods are being found to assist in removing mercury and other heavy metals from the body over time by supporting the body's detoxification system and also binding directly to the toxins which may assist in eliminating them..
  • Sulphur rich cruciferous vegetables, e.g. cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts all support production of glutathione, one of THE most important antioxidant for removing mercury.
  • Garlic, coriander and chlorella help to detoxify mercury and heavy metals from the body by binding to then and assisting in pulling them from soft tissue, such as the gut.
  • Dandelion and milk thistle are powerful detoxification herbs. The alginate found in seaweed and blue green algae products such as spirulina and chlorella also assist in the removal of toxic metals from the blood stream.
Note: check out herbal teas for dandelion and milk thistle
 
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Apple Cider Vinegar

What is it?
Raw, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar is a ''live'' food, rich with enzymes and potassium. It's the healthiest vinegar you can put in your body, according to health foodists and faddists, as it undergoes a two-stage fermentation process that converts the fruit sugars to acetic acid. The result is a deliciously tart-sweet vinegar with around 5 per cent acidity.

Where did it come from?
Hippocrates was using apple cider vinegar to cleanse and heal back in 400BC. Since then, mashing apples into a slurry and leaving them to ferment has resulted in a vinegar that's part folk remedy and part magic, it is claimed. One study claims that two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar slows down the release of sugar into the blood. It is also said to boost the immune system, stop the build-up of fat in our bodies, and make our skin glow. All that, and it makes your kitchen benches sparkle, too.

What's the mother?

That cobweb-like clump you see floating in cloudy, unfiltered vinegar is the vinegar ''mother'' - the good stuff - so don't toss it. Look for apple cider vinegar that is raw, unpasteurised and unfiltered to fully reap the benefits.

Why do I care?
Because it tastes like a crisp, tart, early-season green apple.

How do I use it?
Add it to coleslaw, wholegrain salads, beans and warm roasted vegetables, or use in pickles and chutneys. Or drink it - one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of lightly sweetened hot or cold water taken before meals is said to boost the digestive system.
 
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Mindfulness: Think before you eat and make healthier choices

Making individuals more aware of their eating behaviour (mindfulness) can lead to healthier choices and help prevent emotional eating. The link between food consumption and psychological wellbeing seems more complex than the direct relationship of hunger and eating, one of the researchers said.

"The link between food consumption and psychological wellbeing seems more complex than the direct relationship of hunger and eating. This study focused on understanding the role mindfulness plays in general eating behaviour and in individual's Body Mass Index (BMI)"

The results showed that when individuals were more aware of their eating behaviour, they tended to respond less to emotional cues, and seem more mindful, regarding both food consumption and maintenance of healthier BMI.
 
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Taking short walking breaks found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting!

Three easy -- one could even say slow -- 5-minute walks can reverse harm caused to leg arteries during three hours of prolonged sitting, researchers report.

Sitting for long periods of time is associated with risk factors such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

When people sit, slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and affect the endothelial function of arteries, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow..

So the 'slow and steady' Bonesmart thinking applies to everyday living - watching a movie - get up and make a cup of tea - equals more hydration!


 
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The miracle of our cells during times of stress!

Researchers in the US and Singapore have found that when a cell gets stressed, either by overheating or starvation, its proteins no longer fold properly.

These unfolded proteins can set off an alarm -- called the unfolded protein response or UPR -- to slow down the assembly line and clean up the improperly folded products. It responds by reshuffling its workload. Much like a stressed out employee might temporarily move papers from an overflowing inbox into a junk drawer.

The study could lend insight into misfolded protein diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
 
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Superbug golden staph targeted with 'breakthrough' enzyme

Researchers at the the Regional Public Health Laboratory in the Netherlands found the enzyme killed the superbug methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Scientists have made what appears to be a significant step in the fight against the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria, developing an enzyme which has effectively attacked golden staph infections in patients.

The enzyme was delivered via a cream to 500 patients with the eczema-like, staphylococcus aureus-related dermatitis.

More than 80 per cent of the patients said they were satisfied with the effect, and in the seven the researchers examined, the staphylococcus aureus had disappeared completely.

Clinical microbiologist Bjorn Herpers, who led the research trial, said it was a breakthrough.

"We're running out of antibiotics that work against bacteria because bacteria become resistant," Dr Herpers said.

The enzyme, now called Staphekt, is made from microorganisms that kill bacteria known as phages, but it does not kill beneficial bacteria at the same time.

Dr Herpers said the superbug did not become resistant to it.

"We saw in the lab that we didn't find resistance and also we couldn't induce resistance when we exposed them repeatedly and repeatedly to this new enzyme, while in the same experiment we saw resistance against antibiotics," he said.

"So it's really a breakthrough, I think."

The World Health Organisation has estimated that in the United States and Europe, 50,000 people die because of multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Australian National University infectious diseases physician and microbiologist Professor Peter Collignon said it was an exciting development.

"I think it is actually good that we have people looking seriously at new alternatives for antibiotics that are completely different, because we have a real problem with not having enough antibiotics and no new ones being developed," Professor Collignon said.

But he warned its application could be limited.

"The problem with this particular one is it's a protein or enzyme produced by viruses called bacteriophages, and that's very effective if the compound itself gets delivered to where the bacteria is," he said.

"So it has a lot of potential where you can put it on skin and kill bacterias such as golden staph.

"The real problem is going be to take it a step further where you actually want to treat deep-seated infections, such as involving the heart or the lungs or in the bloodstream, because this compound is what we call a protein or an enzyme [and] it's much more difficult to deliver that into the body particularly at the site where the bacteria might be."

The Dutch research team is hoping to expand its research next year, (presented 7 November 2014 at the London conference Antibiotic Alternatives for the New Millennium)
 
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Are we eating too many calories..

The adage 'you are what you eat' has been around for years. Now, important new research provides another reason to be careful with your calories.

Neuroscientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have shown that calorie reduced diets stop the normal rise and fall in activity levels of close to 900 different genes linked to ageing and memory formation in the brain.

In a presentation prepared for the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 17, researchers say their experimental results, conducted in female mice, suggest how diets with fewer calories derived from carbohydrates likely deter some aspects of aging and chronic diseases in mammals, including humans.

"Our study shows how calorie restriction practically arrests gene expression levels involved in the aging phenotype -- how some genes determine the behavior of mice, people, and other mammals as they get old," says senior study investigator and NYU Langone neuroscientist, Stephen D. Ginsberg, PhD. Ginsberg cautions that the study does not mean calorie restriction is the "fountain of youth," but that it does "add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of aging and age-related disease."

While restrictive dietary regimens have been well-known for decades to prolong the lives of rodents and other mammals, their effects in humans have not been well understood. Benefits of these diets have been touted to include reduced risk of human heart disease, hypertension, and stroke, Ginsberg notes, but the widespread genetic impact on the memory and learning regions of aging brains has not been shown before. Previous studies, he notes, have only assessed the dietary impact on one or two genes at a time, but his analysis encompassed more than 10,000 genes.

Ginsberg, an associate professor at NYU Langone and its affiliated Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, says the research "widens the door to further study into calorie restriction and anti-aging genetics."
 
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Blueberries fresh or frozen - does it matter?

Blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch, whether eaten fresh or from the freezer, according to South Dakota State University graduate Marin Plumb.

Anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant compounds, are responsible for the color in blueberries. Since most of the color is in the skin, freezing the blueberries actually improves the availability of the antioxidants.

A food science major from Rapid City, who received her bachelor's degree in December, did her research as part of an honors program independent study project.

"Blueberries go head to head with strawberries and pomegranates in antioxidant capacity," said professor Basil Dalaly, Plumb's research adviser. In addition, blueberries are second only to strawberries, in terms of the fruits Americans prefer.

Blueberries are beneficial for the nervous system and brain, cardiovascular system, eyes and urinary tract, Dalaly explained. "Some claim it's the world's healthiest food."

Since blueberries are frozen soon after they are picked, "they are equal in quality to fresh," Plumb explained. She analyzed the anthocyanin content of blueberries frozen for one, three and five months and found no decrease in antioxidants over fresh berries.

The leaching that occurs from freezing actually increased the anthocyanin concentration, noted Plumb. "The ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available."

Antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, eliminate free radicals, which are produced through common biological reactions within the body and outside factors such as the sun, pesticides and other pollutants, Dalaly explained. If left to roam free, these free radicals can attack DNA, proteins and lipids resulting in cellular changes that lead to development of diseases such as cancer.

"They have a domino effect," Dalaly said. "That is why we need to consume at least seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day."
 
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Home cooking a main ingredient in healthier diet, study shows..

People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

"When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all -- even if they are not trying to lose weight," says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.

The findings also suggest that those who frequently cooked at home -- six-to-seven nights a week -- also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they ate out!
 
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While you eat trans fat, it eats your memory!

It's no secret that trans fats are the worst kind of fat in terms of heart disease and weight control.
Spanish researchers have also linked trans fats and saturated fats to depression. And, after the US Food and Drug Administration announced that trans fats "are not generally recognised as safe for use in food", Australian experts indicate that they should be banned.

Now, a new study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014 has found a link between trans fat and memory impairment. Researchers looked at the eating habits of 1000 healthy men above the age of 20, and postmenopausal women to determine the effect trans fat has on memory. Participants completed a dietary questionnaire and their memories were tested using word cards. Each participant was asked to state whether the word was new or a duplicate word that had already been presented.

Researchers found men under 45 had a reduced ability to be able to recall words, with those who consumed the highest amounts of trans fats remembering an estimated 11 fewer words. Further studies need to be conducted for women.

Lead author and professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego Beatrice Golomb said "Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years."

"From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease. As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people."

While, it was said "a study like this can't prove cause and effect" to show why trans fat affect the memory, Golomb believes it may contribute to oxidative stress, a cell-damaging process associated with heart disease and cancer.

"Foods have different effects on oxidative stress and cell energy," Golomb said.

"In a previous study, we found chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants and positively impacts cell energy, is linked to better word memory in young to middle-aged adults. In this study, we looked at whether trans fats, which are pro-oxidant and linked adversely to cell energy, might show the opposite effect. And they did."

President of the American College of Cardiology Dr Patrick O'Gara reported, "The study adds to the growing evidence that what we eat affects how we think.

"The supply of nutrients in blood to the brain can actually affect its function," O'Gara said.

Similarly, Dr Joanna McMillan isn't surprised by the results.

"We know the brain is made up primarily of fat and for a long time we've known about the importance of omega fats for brain health," she said.

"So if good fats are important for brain function then it doesn't surprise me that a bad fat is going to have a negative effect on brain function."

Trans fats are not always labelled, but Dr McMillan said cutting back on processed foods is the best way to avoid them.

"If you are making most of your meals with fresh food and ingredients then your intake of trans fats is going to be very small, if it all."

What is trans fat?

Trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that behaves like a saturated fat because of its chemical structure. It increases our risk of heart disease by increasing the “bad” LDL cholesterol, while also lowering the “good” HDL cholesterol in our blood.

Naturally occurring trans fats are found in small amounts in dairy products, beef, veal, lamb and mutton.

Artificial, synthetic, industrial or manufactured trans fats are caused by the way some fats and oils are processed. They are found in foods that use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, such as deep-fried and baked foods.
 
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Kiwi fruit - super food summer delight!

When it comes to antioxidants, kiwifruit come out top, even beating nutrient-rich citrus fruit, according to a recent study.

Kiwis contain more polyphenols than oranges and grapefruit, and the golden variety contain the most antioxidants, say scientists from Japan's Teikyo University.

Participants ate three kiwifruit a day, then had their urine tested for antioxidant levels. Researchers say kiwifruit may help prevent the development of diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as heart failure, cancer and Parkinson's.
 
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Seven things to do with broccoli stems

Don't throw out the broccoli stems - I know I am guilty of that! However, there is heaps of nutrition in the stems..

1. Peel, cut into quarters lengthwise and use as raw crudite with a creamy dip.

2. Save them to add to other leftover vegetables to turn into vegetable stock.

3. Cook in chicken stock with two chopped potatoes until tender then blend into soup.

4. Cut stalks on diagonal and stir-fry with Chinese sausage, soy and hoisin sauce.

5. Pickle sliced stalks in vinegar, salt and sugar, and serve in burgers and salads, although I am not that keen on pickling them, I did try it once, tasty, but I am not a fan of salt or sugar.

6. Steam until tender and top with a fried or poached egg and grated parmesan.

7. Steam until tender, mash and turn into vegie burgers and fritters. Add white beans - yummy!
 
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