Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

 

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Research has revealed that heavy drinkers who’re attempting to quit smoking could find that limiting their alcohol consumption could also help them to quit smoking.  The nicotine metabolite ratio of study participants who consumed alcohol heavily reduced as their alcohol consumption was limited. Nicotine metabolite ratio is a biomarker which indicates how fast an individual’s body metabolizes nicotine, and is an index of nicotine metabolism.

Using alcohol together with cigarettes is common, with almost 1 in 5 individuals making use of both. Cigarette smoking is particularly common in heavy drinkers. Alcohol consumption is a proven risk factor for smoking, and smoking is proven risk factor for consuming alcohol. It requires a great deal of determination to quit smoking, usually taking quite a few attempts.

Previous studies have indicated that individuals having higher nicotine metabolism ratios will probably smoke a lot more and that individuals with higher rates have a more difficult time quitting. Slowing an individual’s nicotine metabolism rate by means of reduced alcohol consumption could provide an edge when attempting to quit smoking, which is proven to be a challenging undertaking.

The nicotine metabolite ratio was examined over a few weeks in a group of 22 individuals who smoked daily and had been looking for alcohol use disorder treatment, the medical term used for severe alcohol consumption.

This study indicates that the nicotine metabolism is changed by alcohol consumption as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio. The study also suggests that smoking and consuming alcohol on a daily basis should best be treated at the same time.

The nicotine metabolite ratio proved to be clinically useful. Individuals having a higher ratio have a more difficult time giving up smoking cold turkey. They’re also not as likely to successfully stop smoking by making use of nicotine replacement therapy products.

It was discovered that the nicotine metabolite rate of the male study participants decreased as they cut down on their alcohol consumption from an average of 29 drinks per week to 7 drinks per week.

The researchers’ results for men replicated those of previous research which discovered similar effects and provide more proof of the significance of the nicotine metabolite ratio biomarker for advising treatment for smokers attempting to quit.

Although the nicotine metabolite ratio is considered to be an index that is stable, it might not be as stable as previously thought. This is positive from a clinical point of view, because if an individual wants to quit smoking, they should be encouraged to cut down on alcohol consumption to assist with a smoking cessation plan.

The female study participants didn’t see reductions in the nicotine metabolite ratio, but it was found that they didn’t reduce their alcohol consumption very much for the duration of the study period. Their rate of alcohol consumption started low and remained low.

 

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do It!

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

Health and Wellness Associates

 

The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

 

According to a study, exercise produces the irisin hormone that could help in improving memory and protecting against Alzheimer’s. It’s known that physical activity improves memory, and research has suggested that it could also help to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.

The irisin hormone that’s released into circulation when performing physical activity was discovered by scientists several years ago. It was initially suggested that irisin primarily played a part in the metabolism of energy. Subsequent research discovered that the irisin hormone could also play a role in promoting neuronal growth in the hippocampus of the brain, a region important for memory and learning.

For the current study, researchers first looked for an irisin and Alzheimer’s association. Making use of brain bank tissue samples, the irisin hormone was found to be present in the hippocampus and that levels of irisin in the hippocampus are reduced in people with Alzheimer’s.

The researchers used mice for investigating the effect of irisin in the brain. They discovered that irisin protects the synapses of the mice’s brains as well as their memory. Synapses and memory were weakened in healthy mice when irisin was immobilized in the hippocampus. Both measures of brain health improved when levels of irisin were boosted in the brain.

The impact that exercise has on irisin and the brain was then examined. It was discovered that mice that swam almost every day for 5 weeks didn’t develop memory impairment even though they got beta amyloid infusions, which is the protein implicated in Alzheimer’s that clogs neurons and destroys memory.

The benefits of swimming were completely eliminated when irisin was blocked with a drug. Mice that were given irisin-blocking drugs and swam did not perform better on memory tests compared to sedentary mice after beta amyloid infusions.

anageoldstory

 

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do It!

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

 

Flaxseeds as well as flaxseed oil are rich sources of plant lignans. Research has shown that flaxseed lignans have considerable anticancer properties. Lignans are fiber compounds that are able to bind to estrogen receptors and restrict the cancer promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. Fish and flaxseed, and that includes flaxseed oil, also increase the production of a compound called SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This protein regulates levels of estrogen levels by eliminating excess estrogen out of the body.fishandflaxsee

 

Women with high levels of the phytoestrogen enterolactone, which is linked to high lignan intake from foods such as flax, flaxseed oils and fish, have been found to have a 58% reduction of breast cancer risk.

A study has shown that daily supplementation of ground flaxseed can reduce estrogen levels. Reducing estrogen reduces risk of breast cancer.

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The director of the breast cancer prevention program at the Toronto Hospital has reported that flaxseed in the diet may shrink breast cancer tumors. His research involved 50 women who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and were waiting for surgery. They were divided into 2 groups, one group was given a daily muffin containing 25 grams of ground flaxseed, and the other group had plain muffins. After surgery, it was found that those who had been given the flaxseed muffins had slower-growing breast cancer tumors than the others.

 

Nothing will work unless You do it!

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

 

If you’re like me and a big fan of hitting the snooze button, then you know that making a nutritious and filling breakfast can be a challenge. Prepare this veggie packed frittata on the weekend and enjoy a slice for a grab-and-go breakfast. Your stomach will thank you!

broccoli and goat cheese frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
  • 1 ounce goat cheese

Preparation

  1. Beat eggs together with salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat broiler.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli.
  3. Pour in beaten egg and move around until it covers the pan completely. Cook the frittata until it’s starting to set around the edges, then sprinkle the top with goat cheese. Place the frittata under the broiler to cook through. It should only take a minute and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

With an oven-mitted hand, remove from oven, let cool slightly, then invert onto a serving plate, Cut into four slices and serve or refrigerate until ready to eat.

 

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

I love to make frittatas as an easy and satisfying breakfast throughout the year and switch things up based on what vegetables are in season. Try heirloom tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in the summer, kale and cheddar in the fall, cauliflower and feta in the winter, and asparagus and goat cheese in the spring.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of cholesterol in this recipe, replace some of the whole eggs with egg whites. You’ll need whites for every egg. You could also replace 2 eggs with ½ cup milk or unsweetened, unflavored plant milk.

To make this dairy free, simply leave out the goat cheese.

If you like your eggs with hot sauce, stir a teaspoon into the beaten egg or douse generously with your favorite hot sauce to serve.

I also like it topped with fresh herbs, like chives, green onions, or parsley.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Another fun option is to turn this recipe into mini-frittatas baked in a muffin tin. They’re perfect for snacks or sandwiched between a whole grain English muffin or mini-bagel to make a breakfast sandwich.

To make, crack an egg into 8 wells sprayed with oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, then whisk together with a fork. Divide the sauteed onions, tomatoes, and defrosted broccoli between the wells then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

To include a serving of healthy carbs with this meal, serve this with a slice or two of whole grain toast or English muffin, a side of fresh fruit, or add cubes or slices of steamed sweet or white potatoes to the frittata.

This frittata also makes a delicious dinner. Serve with whole grain bread or roasted potatoes and a side salad dressed with a quick dressing of equal parts lemon juice, olive oil, and a teaspoon of mustard to emulsify.

This frittata will last 5 days covered in the refrigerator. Serve warm, reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds, or at room temperature.

 

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

 

This tasty crock-pot or stove top coq au vin (chicken in red wine) recipe is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. It is a gluten-free and dairy-free dish that can be a one-pot meal, served with a green salad or steamed or roasted vegetables.

This is an excellent recipe through the winter months, starting it in the slow cooker in the morning so it is ready when you return home for dinner. It pairs well with sides of winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But if you are eating very low-carb, be sure to select the vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates. Carrot is often included in classic coq au vin, but is eliminated here because it is a root vegetable that is higher in carbohydrates.

If you are eliminating gluten, be sure to check that the chicken broth you use is gluten-free. Some brands may add gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, but many are labeled as gluten-free for your convenience. Use real bacon bits or make your own crumbled bacon. If you use imitation bacon bits made from soy protein, ensure that they are labeled as gluten-free.

Cornstarch contributes most of the carbohydrate grams in this recipes. Most brands of cornstarch, including Argo and Clabber Girl, are gluten-free. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in gluten-free and dairy-free cooking.

Nutrition: Approximately 200 calories per serving, 34 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 3 grams carbohydrate.

Makes 6 servings

Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 6 (5-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent amount of boneless skinless chicken tenders)
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth (fat-free and gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
  • 8 pearl onions (or 1 cup of chopped green onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bacon bits (or artificial bacon bits)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Crock-pot method: Place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme in a crock-pot on low for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Stove top method: In a large, deep saucepan, pot, or dutch oven, place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme and bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through but still tender.
  • Remove the chicken, potatoes, and most of the mushrooms, keeping the liquid in the pan or crock-pot. If using a crock-pot, turn the crock-pot up to high.
  • In a cup, mix the cornstarch and cold water, then add it to the reserved liquid and stir.
  • Bring to a boil with stirring and cook the sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve each breast with one-sixth of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions and Notes

Serve with sides of steamed or roasted vegetables. Green vegetables such as broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts, or snow peas make a colorful and appealing plate. If you prefer to serve it with a fresh salad, that makes a nice change of textures through the meal.

What you serve with this dish is very accommodating of different dietary needs. If you are eating gluten-free and are less concerned about carbs, you can enjoy this dish with rice or a potato to sop up the tasty sauce. Guests who are not concerned with gluten or carbs may enjoy this dish with a dinner roll as well.

Refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Reheat them in the microwave for one minute or more per serving, until hot. The sauce may remain gel-shaped and less appealing in appearance, so it’s best for personal enjoyment rather than serving to guests or picky eaters.

You can freeze leftovers for later use, with the same caveat that the sauce may not be visually appealing once reheated.

 

Variations

If you are not aiming to reduce carbs, you can add 1 pound baby potatoes or potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook these with the chicken and other ingredients. This adds carbohydrates and calories but makes it into more of a traditional complete meal.

If you or your family or guests have an onion food allergy, you can leave them out. Fennel is a good substitute.

If you are using frozen chicken breasts or tenders, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator before adding them, especially if using the crock pot method. The frozen chicken might keep the temperature lower in the crock-pot for long enough for bacteria to grow.

 

 

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

 

Green bean casserole is a holiday meal favorite and a tradition in many American homes. The classic green bean casserole includes canned cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own sauce, however, you have much more control over the ingredients—choosing your preference of butter or oil, the type of liquid to add, and the thickener to use.

In addition, the green bean casserole we’re all familiar with features a topping of crispy, deep-fried onions, usually from a can. Both of these pre-made ingredients add fat, calories, and preservatives to the dish. This recipe uses all fresh ingredients, and replaces the fried onions with sauteed, making this green bean casserole a much healthier version while remaining familiar and delicious. One thing to note, however, is that this casserole is not very saucy and may not satisfy all diners.

 

Green bean casserole with onion and mushroom

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly slice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ​​almond meal
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 14-ounce bag frozen green beans, thawed

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Put half of oil in a skillet and add about 3/4 of the onion slices. Let them slowly cook. When they start to get soft, add salt and pepper. You want the onions to get soft and sweet, but if you let them cook down for a very long time they will start to lose too much volume.
  3. When they are soft, remove from heat and toss with almond meal. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Chop up the rest of the onion slices and saute the mushrooms in the rest of the oil. Add thyme, stir, and add the thickener. Stir for another two minutes.
  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk with the cream; add to the sauteed onions and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Mix in the beans and put in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the onions on top and cook for 5 more minutes or until topping begins to brown.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Any type of “dairy” product works in this recipe. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, the lowest carb count is in unsweetened soy milk. This recipe combines unsweetened soy milk and cream for richness, but you can use any fat level of milk you want to use, and any combination. Since cream adds some body and thickness, you may need to adjust the amount of thickener if you change the amount of cream.

The type of thickener you use in this recipe is up to you as well. You can use any type of flour or other lower-carb thickeners such as guar gum and proprietary thickeners.

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness!

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

 

This spinach casserole is easy to make and cheesy, yet light. This recipe can replace your traditional spinach dip appetizer. Using cottage cheese and feta instead of cream cheese and cheddar cheese in this recipe saves fat and calories, but gives a similar taste and texture. Bake this in the oven, or use a slow cooker to make ahead. Enjoy as an entree, appetizer or snack.

 

Spinach Casserole with Cheese

 

Ingredients

  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package cottage cheese, low-fat 2%
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup Monterrey jack cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or other spice mixture to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, hard (not the dried kind in a can)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Defrost spinach in the boxes or in a 2-quart casserole dish.

3. Fry chopped onions in oil until they are translucent and begin to soften.

4. Mix all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cheese on top begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve warm with crudites or chips of your choice.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

This recipe is easy to adapt, so if you have certain spice mixtures or salad dressing seasonings that you like, feel free to add them. For example, you can add ½ teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder or another spice mix to give the spinach casserole some depth. It’s not unusual to add dried ranch dressing mix or dried vegetable soup mix to the recipe to give your spinach casserole a distinct flavor.

Speaking of spice, you can make this spinach dip spicy too. Add some kick to this spinach dish by adding jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Simply add these when preparing the onion.

Spinach is full of iron, folate, and fiber, but who says you can’t add more. Add shredded artichoke hearts, broccoli, carrots or zucchini to boost the nutritional value of the dish. Instead of crackers, corn chips, or bread, serve with cucumbers, jicama, cauliflower florets or bell pepper strips.

Kale can be substituted for spinach if you want to try different greens with this recipe. Another excellent addition is fresh garlic for extra flavor. A cup of cooked quinoa or chopped chicken breast can also be added to this recipe to boost protein, although the Greek yogurt addition in this recipe provides plenty of it.

 

 

We can turn an Illness into Wellness

Health and Wellness Asssociates

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