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Archive for April, 2012

Energy Bites

Makes about 25 bites
This week the Greatist Team decided to take our Gractivity fun to a whole new level: We stayed in the office and made a super-fun, super-quick, and super-healthy treat! (Well, at least they’re super healthy for treats.) Thanks to some inspiration from The Kitchn, we came up with a gluten-free, nut-free, vegan-friendly two-bite treat packed with fiber (from the oats) and just sweet enough to satisfy any dessert craving.
What You’ll Need:

4 cups rolled oats (we used gluten-free!)
1.5 cups raw sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup banana chips, crumbled
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sunflower seed butter (can also use peanut or almond butter!)
1/2 cup agave nectar

What to Do: 

1. Combine oats, sunflower seeds, banana chips, blueberries, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Add sunflower seed butter and agave and stir until well combined.

2. Refrigerate mixture until relatively firm (about 20 minutes). (If you’re extra impatient like we are, feel free to throw the mixture in the freezer for half that time!)

3. Using a teaspoon to measure, roll mixture into balls. Feeling fancy? Try rolling the finished bites in cocoa powder, cinnamon, or toasted coconut. Or just start eating them as-is. Store in the fridge (or freezer) in an airtight container!

Read More: Greatist

Pho With Broccoli and Quinoa

This time I decided to include a high-protein grain in my vegetarian pho broth instead of traditional noodles. The broccoli is thinly sliced and steamed or blanched separately.

1 recipe vegetarian pho broth

6 ounces firm tofu, cut in dominoes

Soy sauce to taste (optional)

3 cups cooked quinoa

3 broccoli crowns, broken into florets and cut in slices 1/4 inch thick

A 3-inch piece of white radish, peeled and cut in 1 1/2-inch julienne

1/2 cup Asian or purple basil leaves, slivered if large, left whole if small

4 scallions, chopped

1 cup chopped cilantro

2 to 4 bird or serrano chilies, sliced thin or finely chopped (to taste)

6 mint sprigs

3 to 4 limes, cut in wedges

1. Have the broth at a simmer in a soup pot. Place the tofu in a bowl and season with soy sauce if desired.

2. Steam the broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes, just until crisp-tender.

3. Heat the quinoa and divide among 6 soup bowls. Add the tofu, steamed broccoli and radish julienne to the bowls and ladle in the hot broth. Sprinkle on half the cilantro, half the basil leaves and the green onions. Pass the chopped chilies, mint sprigs, the remaining basil and cilantro for guests to add as desired, and the lime wedges for guests to squeeze on.

Yield: 6 servings.

Advance preparation: The broth and the cooked quinoa will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and can be frozen. You can steam the broccoli several hours ahead.

Nutritional information per serving: 148 calories (151 with optional fish sauce); 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 65 milligrams sodium (255 milligrams with optional fish sauce; does not include salt to taste); 8 grams protein

Read More: NYT

Scrub Your Veggies With Baking Soda (and Other Tips)

It might not be the flashiest addition to a kitchen cabinet, but baking soda — fancy name, sodium bicarbonate — is a bona fide workhorse all around the house. And its ability to neutralize acids and bases gives this unassuming powder some truly unexpected uses. Note: Make sure not to mix up baking soda with baking powder, which has different chemical properties!

  • Make a fruit-and-veggie scrub. We’re tired of dirty produce! Add a few teaspoons of baking soda to water and use the solution to scrub fresh produce, which will help remove grit, pesticides, and whatever else made its way onto those vitamin-packed goodies. Rinse thoroughly afterward for fresh-tasting, clean produce.
  • Treat a sunburn. Add about a cup of baking soda to warm water and submerse affected skin for as long as desired to soothe the pain of sunburns.
  • Use it as an antacid. For regular heartburn victims or folks who ate a few too many tamales last night, baking soda is an effective antacid. Take 1/2 teaspoon in a full glass of water after meals for relief. Those watching their sodium might want to double check with a physician before taking this treatment, as baking soda contains a high amount of sodium.
  • Brush your teeth. Out of toothpaste? Make a thick baking soda paste using three-percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Scoop it up with a toothbrush for a quick and cheap substitute that could help kill harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Fight fires. We’re big fans of kitchen safety at Greatist, which is why we keep a box of baking soda handy whenever we cook. In the case of a grease fire or another small kitchen blaze, toss baking soda on the hot spot to help contain the flames. When heated, baking soda releases carbon dioxide, which helps stifle the fire.
Greatist

Brain Food: Berries Can Slow Cognitive Decline

Its spring, which means it’s the season for fresh, juicy berries. And that’s good news for your brain.

Researchers report in the journal Annals of Neurology that women who ate berries more frequently over a period of years showed slower decline in brain functions such as memory and attention when they got older than women who ate them less often. The findings don’t confirm that eating berries can prevent dementia associated with aging, or slow down Alzheimer’s, but they suggest that the fruits may play a part in keeping brains healthy.

The protective effect of blueberries and strawberries isn’t an entirely new finding. But previous studies have involved animals and only a small number of people, which left open the possibility that it wasn’t the berries, but something else that might be influencing how quickly the brain lost its executive functions.

In the current analysis, Elizabeth Devore, an instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her colleagues addressed the gap in the research by reviewing the eating habits of a single cohort of 16,000 women participating in the Nurses Health Study. During their 50s and 60s, every four years the women answered questions by phone about what they ate. And in their 70s, they came into the lab for six different cognitive function tests. Devore and her team also had information on the women’s education, income and other socioeconomic factors that can affect cognitive function.

Their findings confirmed that women who ate berries at least once a week were able to slow down their cognitive decline by about 1.5 to 2.5 years. For blueberries, the effect started with about a half cup of berries each week; for strawberries, it took about a cup of the fruit per week. This effect persisted even after the scientists accounted for the fact that berry-eaters might also have other brain-healthy habits or characteristics, such as having more education and engaging in intellectually satisfying pursuits such as learning new languages or maintaining a rich network of social connections. “In the end, we did not see a lot of confounding from these factors,” says Devore.

(SPECIAL: What Health Experts Eat For Breakfast)

She and her colleagues focused their attention on berries because rodent studies showed that the key compound in berries, a flavonoid called anthocyanidin, could seep through the blood and into brain tissues — specifically concentrating in the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory. As an antioxidant, flavonoids also fight inflammation and oxidation, both processes that affect aging brain cells.

The study is only the first to track berry consumption long term until cognitive decline set in, and the findings will need to be repeated and confirmed. But in the meantime, says Devore, it makes sense to add blueberries and strawberries to your diet, frozen or fresh. “I don’t think there are many downsides to that. The availability of berries and access to this kind of intervention is great as a public health message.” And a tasty one too.

Read more: Time

Sleeping on the Job? Good! Overachievers Do

Don’t expect to find Ronit Rogoszinski in meetings, entertaining clients, or hunched over her desk around lunchtime. The 45-year-old wealth adviser and financial planner in New York describes herself as an expert “practitioner of the power nap.” After waking up at about 5 a.m., sending her kids off to school, and putting in a morning of meeting with clients, Rogoszinski needs to crash. “By noon, my brain starts to fry,” she says. So she heads to one of her hideouts—her car, for example—to recharge. As she puts it, “I’m not quite sure how I’d handle the day without that timeout.”

Rogoszinski is by no means a lone clandestine sleeper. Comments on Wall Street Oasis, a Web forum popular among investment bankers, reveal an obsessive interest in daytime napping, with tips on “sleep hacking” (moving to polyphasic sleep schedules), recommendations on where to doze (bathroom stalls, conference rooms), and directions for how to act when caught (as if nothing unusual had happened). When nodding off on a toilet, “you clearly need the seat down for maximum comfort,” advises one commenter, “which necessitates pants up to prevent your bare ass on the cold porcelain. Longest I ever slept uninterrupted without tipping over was two hours, from 4-6am.”

Many Wall Street types use power-napping to make up for lost sleep. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey lists finance as the eighth-most-sleep-deprived occupation. (Home health aides, lawyers, police officers, and paramedics make up the top four.) In another study, published in January in Administrative Science Quarterly, Dr. Alexandra Michel of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business mapped the sleep deprivation of investment bankers over a nine-year period. She discovered that maladies including back pain, depression, and physical tics emerge—and affect performance—as soon as the fourth year on the job.

It’s not uncommon for finance workers to brag about how little sleep they get—or need. “Short sleepers,” outliers who thrive on four or five hours of sleep a day, do exist. (Napoleon is said to have been one.) But they constitute only 1 percent to 3 percent of the population. So some workers on Wall Street are adapting their daily schedules to hit the targeted amount of sleep, which is at least seven hours.

“We can use sleep tactically, to our advantage,” says Dr. David F. Dinges, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied astronauts’ sleep habits for NASA. Dinges encourages workday napping, or “multitask relaxing,” in his words. His research suggests that cognitive ability depends on how much sleep one accumulates over a 24-hour period, not just overnight. Short periods of work followed by sleep reinforcement allow people to enhance their cognitive efficacy, he argues. Rather than fighting to stay awake at your desk with diminishing cognitive returns, he says, “work on it in your sleep.” Your brain continues to be productive while you’re unconscious.

Cubicle grunts aren’t the only creative sleep strategists. Jim Angleton, the chief executive officer of a financial advising firm in Miami, is a self-described “sleep pro.” He starts resetting his internal clock two days before departing for destinations abroad by manipulating his sleep and breakfast patterns. While flying, he’s careful about what he drinks (never alcohol or caffeine) and where he sits (business class). Dinges, for his part, asks for hotel rooms far from noisy gathering areas and rumbling ice machines. “I don’t care about the view,” he says. “I want a nice, quiet room.”

No matter what the science says, sleeping on the job remains a covert op. Rogoszinski once fell asleep on a patterned sweater, which blew her cover and left an imprint on her face. Her colleagues still tease her about it. “Be sure to rest on smooth surfaces,” she cautions.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Perceptions ‘can make pain worse’

How much of pain is in the mind?

 

Feeling sad or watching while receiving an injection may make pain an even more unpleasant experience, according to a pair of studies.

Pain is known to be a complicated mix of responses in the mind and in the body.

A study in Japan used different pictures of emotions to change the response to pain.

While a team in Germany showed that altering what patients could see also affected pain levels.

The first study, published in The Journal of Pain, showed pictures of sad, happy and emotionless faces to 19 people in the experiment. The pictures are supposed to provoke a similar emotional response in the person taking part.

At the same time as they were shown the pictures, the participants were zapped in the arm with an electrical current.

The painful jolt was the same strength each time, however, the people in the study reported higher levels of pain when looking at sad faces.

The researchers at Hiroshima University said: “Our results provide evidence that people tend to show higher pain sensitivities when they are feeling sad… and that emotional context is an important factor for understanding pain in human beings.”

‘Don’t look’

A separate investigation by a team at University Medical Center Hamberg-Eppendorf, in Germany, tried altering pain in a different way.

It replaced 25 people’s left hand with a virtual one. A video of a hand was played on a screen and the participant’s hand was placed underneath the screen so that it appeared as though the image was really their own hand.

The video would show either just the hand, the hand being pricked by a needle or being poked with a cotton bud.

An electrical jolt, which could be painful or non-painful, was delivered at the same time as the prick or the poke.

The researchers, writing in the Pain Journal, said: “Both painful and non-painful electrical stimuli were perceived as more unpleasant when participants viewed a needle prick, compared to when they viewed [cotton bud] touch or hand alone.

“This finding provides empirical evidence in favour of the common advice not to look at the needle prick when receiving an injection.”

BBC

H5N2禽流感還不會危害人體 但須建立長期監控機制

H5N2禽流感還不會危害人體 但必須建立長期監控機制(李河錫報導)

 

正當禽流感逐漸平息之際,衛生署卻公佈彰化出現三起民眾感染「H5N2禽流感」產生抗體個案;縣府衛生局長葉彥伯彙整表示,這是今年初疫情盛行期,所採取「人體血清檢體」監測的結果,共採取七十二個檢體,經換算感染率約只有4%,以流行病學盛行率來研判,H5N2不論低還是高病原性病毒,即使在盛行高峰,對人體感染率依然相當低。
葉彥伯局長進一步指出,衛生署所宣告人體產生禽流感抗體案例,都是在芳苑鄉、同一處蛋雞場遭感染,一位是養雞場業者、兩名則是協助撲殺雞隻人員,經事後追 蹤都沒有出現明顯感冒病徵,證實「H5N2病毒」,至今還沒進入「人畜共通」疾病階段,比起一般感冒或流行性感冒,對民眾並沒有任何危害性!
H5N2對人體並沒有危害性,但是衛生署公佈三起人體產生抗體案例後,還是難免引起部份消費者憂心;彰化養雞業者則強調,多年前已有學者研究報告質疑,H5N2禽流感病毒已有本土化趨勢,並有部份養雞戶感染後不發病,人體產生抗體應該是常態現象,但衛生署卻又大肆宣告,唯恐讓原本就低迷的產業再度受到波及。
彰化縣養雞協會理事長陳國村,更埋怨衛生署,沒有知會產業界就勁行公佈這項訊息,將讓好不容易回穩雞蛋與土雞價格再度遭到衝擊,會造成產業界二度傷害。
基層動物防疫人員則質疑,多年前衛生署為何沒進行「人體血清抗體」流行病學調查,早已有學者研究發現人體會產生H5N2抗體卻不加以彙整採信,如今才以「首例」公佈,是否凸顯當年有防疫失職之嫌!還是如今才倉促公佈意圖卸責,則有待檢視。
葉彥伯局長強調,根據WHO世界衛生組織監測,有部份流行感冒病毒經人傳畜、畜傳人、在經由人傳人後危害性將相當大,因此將會同動物防疫所,從常態性抽檢家禽畜血清中的病毒與移行抗體,以及飼養戶等高危險族群人體血清進行雙管齊下監測,經交叉比對後,希望能強化建立疫情預警機制,以防萬一出現疫情、導致失控。
雖然「H5N2禽流感」已出現感染人體、產生抗體個案,不過葉彥伯局長則是樂觀表示,以多年來國內外疫情盛行趨勢研判,會演變成像「H5N1病毒」嚴重危害人體的機率並不高,只需持續嚴密監控,民眾還不需太過緊張!
(攝影:李河錫)

中國廣播公司

10大食物讓你的牙齒越吃越白

美白牙齒方法很多,但你必須懂得選擇。只有針對自身的牙齒基礎條件,選擇恰當的方法,才能得到最佳效果。以下十種食物讓你簡簡單單靠吃就能美白牙齒。

芹菜

  1、芹菜

纖維粗就像掃把,掃掉牙齒上的部分食物殘渣,另外愈是費勁咀嚼就愈能刺激分泌唾液,平衡口腔內的酸鹼值,達到自然的抗菌效果。

芭樂/香蕉

  2、芭樂/香蕉

熱帶水果含高維C可維護牙齦健康。如嚴重缺乏則牙齦會變得脆弱,容易罹患疾病,出現牙齦腫脹、流血、牙齒松動或脫落等症狀。

乳酪

  3、乳酪

鈣及磷酸鹽可以平衡口中的酸鹼值,避免口腔處于有利細菌活動的酸性環境,造成蛀牙;經常食用能增加齒面鈣質,有助于強化及重建琺瑯質,使牙齒更為堅固。

 無糖口香糖

4、無糖口香糖

可以增加唾液分泌量,中和口腔內的酸性,進一步預防蛀牙。

薄荷

  5、薄荷

薄荷葉裏含有單帖烯類化合物,可經由血液循環到達肺部,在呼吸時感覺氣味清新。

  6、水

適量喝水能讓牙齦保持濕潤,刺激分泌唾液。吃完東西後喝水,順道帶走殘留口中的食物殘渣,不讓細菌得到養分,借機作怪而損害牙齒。

綠茶

  7、綠茶

綠茶含有大量的氟和牙齒中的磷灰石結合,具有抗酸防蛀牙的效果;兒茶素煟悖幔簦澹悖瑁椋睿螅犇薌跎僭誑誶恢造成蛀牙的變形鏈球菌,同時可除去難聞口氣。

洋蔥

  8、洋蔥

洋蔥裏的硫化合物是強有力的抗菌成分,能殺死包括造成我們蛀牙的變形鏈球菌。

香菇

  9、香菇

所含的香菇多醣體煟歟澹睿簦椋睿幔睿牽梢砸種瓶謚械南婦制造牙菌斑。

芥末

  10、芥末

內含isothiocyanates成分可以抑制造成蛀牙的變形鏈球菌繁殖。

新華網

只吃蔬果快速減重 女大生膚質老化超齡20年

女性朋友過了三十五歲,皮膚身材維持得好,常會被讚美是「美魔女」,最近美魔女風潮,許多女性朋友也常詢問營養師,怎麼吃才能變美,營養師表示,要打造美魔女的健康蘋果臉,一定要飲食均衡,多吃維生素C、膠原蛋白、葉酸、維生素B12等食物,也提醒減重時,千萬不要只吃單一食物,這可能讓皺紋提早出現,就曾有二十多歲大學生只吃蔬果減重,結果體重輕了,膚質卻超齡老化二十歲。(林麗玉報導)
台北市立聯合醫院營養師周千欽說,想要擁有好膚質,首先要從均衡飲食下手,營養科門診就曾有二十出頭的大學女生,為了快速減重,結果每天只吃蔬果減重,結果才二十多歲,皮膚卻暗沈、膚質像四十歲的上班族。(t)
營 養師周千欽說,許多女性朋友為了減重,常常只吃一種食物來維持體重,不僅體重控制不易,還可能因此讓皮膚暗沈、乾巴巴,例如只吃蔬果,可能還會造成身體水 腫.

如果偏好肉類、油炸物、甜食等酸性物質,則可能讓皮膚遭受氧化因子破壞出現皺紋、加速老化、還會冒痘痘等.

營養師周千欽說,打造健康美魔女,擁有健康 蘋果臉,除了飲食均衡,還可以多攝取維生素C,包括各類深色蔬菜、芭樂、柑橘、草莓、櫻桃等富含維生素C,可以幫助細胞間質相連的緊緻性,增加皮膚彈力、還兼具抗氧化、美白效果,也可以多吃膠原蛋白食物,讓肌膚變得緊緻有彈性,包括木耳、秋葵、海帶、山藥、菇類、雞腳、蹄筋、海蔘等,都富含膠原蛋白;

多吃葉酸食物,則可以幫助骨髓造血,多吃瘦肉、深綠色葉菜、海帶、蛋黃、豆類製品等含鎂、鐵、銅、錳等食物,可以促進新陳代謝、掃除黯淡肌膚,營養師建議,每天三蔬兩果,天天五蔬果,可以補充膳食纖維,也要少吃過甜、高油脂食品,才能維持健康膚質。

中國廣播公司

新研究證實:黑巧克力對心臟有好處

加利福利亞聖叠戈大學舉行的2012實驗生物學大會將發表新的研究證實,吃黑巧克對心臟有好處。

研究人員組織了31名參與者隨機分成三組, 這三組分別食用不含可可粉的白巧克力,含70%可可粉的普通黑巧克力和融化後再變硬的黑巧克力,連續15天每天每人食用17盎司(1公斤約等於35.274盎司)巧克力。

該研究的首席研究者,運動和營養科學的副教授Mee Young Hong和她的團隊測量參與者的血壓,血糖和膽固醇水平。

15天後,研究者比較了三組的結果,結果發現,與吃白巧克的相比,吃黑巧克力的 “好”的高密度脂蛋白膽固醇水平顯著高,而“壞” 的低密度脂蛋白膽固醇血糖水平水平比較低。

不過,研究人員沒有發現這些參與者之間有任何水平的的血壓差異,不管是吃白巧克力還是黑巧克力。此外,研究者還提到白巧克力會降低參與者衡量血管功能的血流量。

雖然吃黑巧克力能減少心血管疾病的風險和改善血糖和血脂水平。Hong教授和他的團隊警告說,應適量食用黑巧克力,因為它很容易增加每日攝入的脂肪和熱量。

“我們有非常 ‘偉大’的合作者,因為每個人都想吃巧克力。事實上,我們不得不告訴他們每天不要吃超過50克。”研究者在新聞發布會上說。

醫藥日報

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