Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

artificial sweeteners

Giving up sugar to rely on low-calorie sweeteners seems like a good idea for your diet. Those small packages often have 600 times the sweetness of sugar, ensuring your favorite food or beverage won’t be bland. But there’s a hidden danger connected to artificial sweeteners: Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, associate professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., authored a study that shows the use of low-calorie sweeteners may pre-dispose overweight individuals to diabetes.

If you are predisposed to metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat — all things that lead to heart disease and strokes — then your risk of diabetes is also increased by three to five times. According to Sen, artificial sweeteners, especially in a person with metabolic syndrome, increase fat accumulation and can lead to diabetes.

Sen’s study looked at sucralose, the equivalent of three to four cans of diet soda per day, and found that transporters on the cell surface show more cell function when a person consumes artificial sweeteners. “Glucose rushes in when the gates are open,” he said. “And this causes inflammation.”

The study found that people who were already obese were the most likely to add fat cells. “If you are an athlete and normal weight, you can handle glucose,” Sen explained.

It is difficult to determine which chemical is causing the increased risk of diabetes, but Sen’s study used sucralose-based products, which are the newest on the market. He used a low-calorie, low-sweet mixture of sucralose in powder form that was diluted and added to cells. When quantities were increased, effects were even more pronounced.

In a separate experiment, biopsy samples of abdominal fat from people who said they consumed low-calorie sweeteners, primarily sucralose and a trace of aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium, were compared. The cells of the patients who were obese showed increased glucose transport compared to those who did not consume low-calorie sweeteners.

The FDA has approved five low-sugar products — saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. One low-calorie product, Stevia, has also been approved. One of the problems with artificial sweeteners is that a small portion of a low-sugar product is much more intense than sugar, and a person can begin to use it more and more or may find normally tasty foods less appealing.

So, what should you do? According to Sen, both sweetened beverages and low-sugar drinks are bad for you. “If you just drink sweetened beverages, you are taking in sugar itself, but if you drink beverages with artificial sweeteners you are taking in greater quantities of glucose. I’m not saying we should replace artificial sweeteners — that’s even worse,” Dr. Sen added. “But consider an option like fizzy water.”

In other words, weight gain and metabolic syndrome can be a vicious cycle for some. You use artificial sweeteners and become more and more reliant on these products. The more you use, the more glucose your body produces. Foods rich in natural sugars like fruit don’t taste as good.

The other problem is that people tend to think that artificial sweeteners don’t pack any extra calories and so they may over-indulge in other sweetened products.

Sen’s research took place in petri dishes in a laboratory, but the implications for people are serious. You don’t get a free pass with artificial sweeteners — even though the research model used smaller quantities of artificial sweeteners, the impact on cells was significant.

Remember We are in This Together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
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Foods, Uncategorized

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

This under 30-minute Olive Garden Copy Cat Pasta Fagioli Recipe is amazing. A delicious and hearty soup recipe made with meat, pasta, and vegetables! #valentinascorner #soup #pastafagioli #fagioli #recipe #copycat

This traditional pasta and white bean soup is an Italian classic that makes a wonderful supper!

Be sure to cook the pasta until just al dente, keeping it a bit chewy or “toothsome.” It makes a wonderful supper when served with a large tossed salad of romaine lettuce with red peppers, olives and sliced cucumbers and a dessert of plump dried fruit and roasted almonds.

Food as Medicine

Like all legumes, white beans are high in dietary fiber, with almost 50 percent of the Daily Value in just one cup. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol-containing bile and escorts it out of the body. A global study of 16,000 middle-aged men found those who consumed the most legumes reduced their risk of heart disease by 82 percent. This recipe is also beneficial for blood sugar control: a substance in onions known as allyl propyl disulfide has been shown to lower blood glucose levels.

Ingredients

1 cup dried or canned small white or red  beans

1 pound of hamburger, optional
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup small pasta, such as orzo or small shells
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Additional extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

I add a large can of crushed tomatoes, and oregano

Instructions

  1. Wash the beans. In a large pot, cover them with cold water. Soak for 8 hours. Drain into a colander.
  2. In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the beans and water or stock. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add the rosemary, and simmer 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
  5. Raise heat to high, add the pasta, and cook until al dente.
  6. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with the chopped parsley.
  7. Serve accompanied by grated Parmesan cheese and the optional drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

We are in This Together

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Stroke: Know These 6 Signs And Take Action

 

Signs of A Stroke

 

Knowing the signs of stroke is crucial, as prompt treatment is necessary to help reduce the damage that can be caused by sudden interruption of the brain’s blood supply. Be aware of these classic stroke symptoms:

  1. Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  2. Weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including the face
  3. Difficulty speaking
  4. Sudden disorientation, confusion or memory loss
  5. Dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
  6. Severe headache that comes on suddenly with no apparent cause

Stroke is an emergency medical condition that occurs when the blood flow to the brain is cut off. Without blood intake, brain cells will die. This can cause a series of fatal complications, from permanent paralysis to death. There are more than one type of stroke. The most common are ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. #ischemicstroke #hemorrhagicstroke #stroke #healthThe American Stroke Association suggests that anyone can identify a person having a stroke by checking for the signs of facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems. As a bystander, you can help to determine if someone is having a stroke by asking them to perform three simple actions:

  1. Ask the person to smile
  2. Ask the person to raise both arms above his or her head
  3. Ask the person to speak a simple sentence

If the person has any problems completing any of these steps, call 911 immediately, noting the exact time of onset if possible and describe the symptoms.

 

We are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Early Signs in Young Children of Autism

Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism

 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects a person’s behavior and impairs the ability to communicate and interact with others. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder can range from mild to severe. The cause is unknown.

Autism spectrum disorder refers to several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately, including:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Asperger syndrome

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in infants and babies?

 

Some children may show symptoms of autism disorder in infancy, but many do not show any signs until 24 months of age (2 years) or later. Some signs and symptoms that an infant or baby may have an autism spectrum disorder include:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Not responding to his or her name or to familiar voices
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as reaching, pointing, waving, or showing
  • Does not make noises to get attention
  • Does not initiate cuddling or respond to attempts to do so
  • Absence of visually following objects or gestures
  • Does not imitate facial expressions or movements
  • Lack of interest in playing with other children
  • Does not share interest or enjoyment in activities
  • Seems not to notice if others experience pain or discomfort

In addition to the common symptoms that infants with autism may exhibit, some developmental red flags may also indicate autism spectrum disorder in infants such as a lack of smiles or other joyful expressions by 6 months of age, and no back-and-forth sharing of smiles, facial expressions, or sounds by 9 months of age.

What Causes Autism?

Autism is recognized as a set of a wide variety of signs and symptoms, and may have many causes. Autism is caused by, for example:

  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Fragile X syndrome (inherited disorder)
  • Cerebral digenesis (abnormal development of the brain)
  • Rett syndrome (a mutation of a single gene)
  • Some of the inborn errors of metabolism (biochemical defects)
  • Strong association between:
  • Autism and seizures
  • Autism and Landau-Kleffner syndrome
  • Acquired epileptic aphasia

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in toddlers?

A toddler is a child age 12 to 36 months (1 to 3 years), and often this age is when parents start noticing the first signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Studies have shown up to half of parents of children with autism noticed signs before their child’s first birthday, and almost 80%-90% noted symptoms by 24 months.

In addition to the symptoms that infants with autism may exhibit, some developmental red flags that may indicate autism spectrum disorder in toddlers by 12 months old include:

  • Not responding to their name
  • Lack of babbling or “baby talk”
  • Absence of back-and-forth gestures, such as reaching, pointing, waving, or showing

By 16 months, a red flag that a toddler may have an autism spectrum disorder is a lack of spoken words, and by 24 months, an absence of meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating may be noticed.

 

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in older children and teens?

 

For older children and teenagers, signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders usually involve problems with speech and language, impaired social skills, non-verbal communication difficulties, and inflexible behavior. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Some children may be severely disabled by symptoms, while others may be high-functioning.

Signs of speech and language difficulties include:

  • Starts talking later than other children
  • Problems communicating needs
  • Lack of understanding of simple questions or directions
  • Takes things literally (does not understand humor, sarcasm, or irony)
  • Speaks in an unusual tone of voice, or with a strange cadence
  • Repeats words and phrases over and over
  • Repeats, rather than responds to, questions
  • Does not use language correctly
  • Refers to him- or herself in the third person

Signs of social communication problems include:

  • Seems aloof and detached from others
  • Difficulty connecting with others and making friends
  • Seems disinterested or unaware of what is going on around them
  • Does not like to be touched, cuddled, or held
  • Difficulty playing “pretend” or using toys creatively
  • Doesn’t share with others
  • Doesn’t seem aware when others are speaking to them
  • Difficulty understanding or expressing feelings
  • Have trouble maintaining a conversation
  • Talk a lot about a specific topic but have difficulty talking about a range of topics
  • Find it hard to follow instructions with a lot of steps

Signs of nonverbal communication difficulties include:

  • Difficulty picking up on subtle nonverbal cues from others (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice)
  • Avoidance of eye contact or unusual or inappropriate eye contact
  • Facial expressions do not match what is being said
  • Rarely makes gestures and may seem cold or robotic
  • Has abnormal posture or eccentric ways of moving
  • May be overly sensitive to sights, smells, textures, and sounds

Signs of inflexibility include:

  • Insistence on a rigid routine
  • Has problems adapting to changes in schedule or environment
  • Forms unusual attachments to strange objects (such as keys or light switches)
  • May obsessively line up or arrange objects in a particular order
  • Becomes preoccupied with one narrow topic of interest, often that involves symbols or numbers such as train schedules or sports statistics
  • Spends long periods watching moving objects or focusing on one part of an object
  • Repetitive movements (called self-stimulatory behavior, or “stimming” – believed to soothe children with autism):
  • Hand flapping
  • Rocking
  • Twirling
  • Head banging
  • Staring
  • Snapping fingers
  • Flicking light switches on and off
  • Scratching

 

Are the early signs and symptoms of autism the same for girls and boys?

There are some differences between girls and boys with autism. Not every child shows (or does not show) certain behaviors, and certain aspects of behavior and interaction are more common in one gender versus another.

Girls with autism

  • Tend to have at least one close friend – more sociable
  • Are not demanding
  • Auditory hallucinations (hears things others can’t)
  • Speaks her mind
  • Can hide feelings
  • Shows some affection
  • Speaks on time and few problems with speech
  • Speaks in high pitch
  • Apologizes a lot (sometimes to excess)

Boys with autism

  • Often have no friends – more reclusive
  • Are very demanding
  • Typically no auditory hallucinations
  • Does not speak his mind
  • Show emotions
  • Indifferent
  • Speaks late and has speech impairment
  • Monotone speech
  • Rarely, if ever, apologizes – doesn’t seem to care

 

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in adults?

 

In adults, signs and symptoms of autism are similar to those in older children and teens, including:

  • Difficulty understanding what others think and feel, lack of empathy for others
  • Anxiety in social situations
  • Difficulty making friends or maintaining romantic relationships
  • Preferring to be alone
  • Coming across as rude or disinterested without meaning to be
  • Problems with nonverbal communication (difficulty maintaining eye contact, interpreting facial expressions, or using gestures)
  • Difficulty expressing feelings
  • Trouble maintaining conversations
  • Takings things literally (difficulty understanding humor, sarcasm, or irony)
  • Sticking to a strict routine and getting anxious if anything changes
  • Not understanding social “rules”
  • Avoiding eye contact or showing inappropriate eye contact
  • Invades personal space, or gets upset if others come too close to them
  • Preoccupations or hyper-focus on certain subjects or activities
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Anxiety and sleep problems
  • Temper control issues
  • Depression

Autism may be different in women and men. It may be harder to tell if a woman is autistic. Women with autism may hide their feelings, may be quieter, and may appear to handle social situations more easily.

On the positive side, adults with autism may excel at a particular skill, have an abundance of knowledge in one specific area, or have an exceptional memory.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
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Foods, Uncategorized

LOW-CARB TACO SOUP

LOW-CARB TACO SOUP

 

Low-Carb Taco Soup – SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren’t doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!!

Low-Carb Taco Soup - SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren't doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!! #crockpot #slowcooker #soup #taco #lowcarb

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb ground beef, cooked
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8-oz) package Velveeta cheese, cubes
  • 1 (1-oz) package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
  • 3 Tbsp taco or  southwestern seasoning  (Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle)
  • 2 (10-oz) cans Ro*tel diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 4 cups beef broth

INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Place all ingredients in a 6-qt Slow Cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  1. Serve with cheese, cilantro and sour cream, if desired.

Low-Carb Taco Soup - SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren't doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!! #crockpot #slowcooker #soup #taco #lowcarb

 

Remember, We are in This Together!

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

News Picture: What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds — we hear a lot about the “best” food groups for health. But what about the worst ones? What foods should you be eliminating or at least cutting back on?

Research published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at dietary intake and 318,000 deaths from diabetes, stroke and heart disease. In addition to not eating enough omega-3 rich seafood, nuts and seeds, two problematic factors stood out.

These deaths were associated with eating too much salt and too many processed meats. The two go hand-in-hand in sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat, meat sauces, lunch meats and bacon. Eating too much salty food was associated with nearly 10% of those deaths. Processed meats are a key source of salt, but so are snacks, prepared foods and even packaged vegetables, especially those canned in salt.

A separate study of 400,000 deaths related to heart and blood vessel diseases presented at an American Heart Association scientific meeting came to similar conclusions — finding 9% of these deaths were due to too much salt. The very unhealthy trans fats were also on the dangerous foods list.

Fortunately, these are being phased out of packaged foods.

But again, what you’re not eating makes a difference, too. These researchers also found that not getting enough whole grains, vegetables, and nuts and seeds was detrimental, with each missing food group being linked to between 10% and 11% of the deaths.

When planning your best diet, remember that eating healthy is a balancing act — you want to increase good foods and cut back on the bad ones to make sure that the scales tip in your favor.

 

Remember, we are in this together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Drink That is Killing Your Night Vision

The Drink That Is KILLING

Your Night Vision

People Share The Scariest Thing They've Seen Driving At Night - Odometer.com

Driving at night can be downright scary.

You could see halos around every light…

Passing headlights can blind you…

And, sometimes, you just can’t see cars, pedestrians, or other objects in the road.

This can be pretty serious and could signal that your night vision is getting worse – and not better.

And although aging does lend a hand in poor night vision, there is something else – a common drink – that could make it much harder for you to see at night.

And that one drink is…

Alcohol!

Of course you know that you should never get behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink…

It’s just common sense.

However, sometimes you have a drink or two and head home to your family.

But here is the problem…

Alcohol interferes with your normal tear development and the size of your pupil.

This could make it much harder for you to see in general – let alone see at night while you’re driving.

This just adds another layer to the harmful impacts of alcohol and your health.

Now, if you want to improve your night vision, then you should limit your intake of alcohol…

 

Remember, we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

 

 

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that’s lower in fat and calories but still thrills the crowd isn’t hard. All it takes is a few ingredient substitutions and some clever fat-busting techniques. Let’s take a look at how to make a delicious, healthier Thanksgiving meal.

The Turkey

If you’re hosting a small gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than the whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

“This is simple and delicious, and certainly not rocket science,”  “No need to really add anything or change anything other than the cooking time — mine was done perfectly at 5-1/2 hours. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicately seasoned.”

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Photo by Lori

 

 

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper, and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
  4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
  5. Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.

“This one is a keeper,” “I make it every thanksgiving instead of the whole turkey — it turns out beautifully every time! Very pretty presentation, too!”

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
Photo by lutzflcat

 

If you do buy a whole turkey, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, as they often contain added fat. And, it goes without saying, stay away from the deep fryer this year, and roast or smoke the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with whole or halved onions, halved lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and/or rosemary. Rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt and pepper.

Guilt-Free Gravy

Gravy is one of the biggest calorie culprits on the table. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings when making the gravy — it’s still fat, but vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free.

If you use turkey drippings to add flavor, use a gravy separator. Pour the gravy into a separator and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Some of the fat in the gravy will rise to the top of the glass where you can skim it off easily. Better yet, make a low-fat broth-based gravy or a vegetarian gravy instead.

Lightning Gravy

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a microwave safe dish heat water and bouillon on high, stirring occasionally until just boiling.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and cold water and mix together; stir into the hot broth and cook on medium for about 1 minute, or until thick, stirring at 30 second intervals.

“This is awesome because it’s low fat, low cal, (for gravy!) and quick,” “I added a black pepper and a small pinch of ground sage.”

Lightning Gravy
Photo by Marianne

 

Slimmed-Down Sides

Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, add some of the starchy water you used to boil the potatoes. The starchy water will give your mashers a low-cal creamy texture and help cut back on fat.

You can also add turkey or chicken broth, evaporated skim milk, or fat-free sour cream to your mashed potatoes. For extra flavor, stir in roasted garlic and herbs. For added nutrition, add pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips — or replace the potatoes entirely with Mashed Parsnips or Mashed Turnips.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine potatoes and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook potatoes on Low for 3 hours. Add cauliflower and continue cooking on Low another 3 hours.
  3. Stir milk, butter, sour cream, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt into the potato mixture. Mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
  4. Continue cooking until hot, about 10 minutes more.

 

“This was good and a great way of adding extra veggies into a meal,”  I had mine along side some corn and stuffing. It was the perfect accompaniment and easy to make.”

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Photo by bd.weld

Cndied sweet potato casseroles in favor of a low-fat, naturally-sweetened sweet potatoes. Try a cranberry relish or cut down on the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce by adding fruit juices or apple sauce.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until potatoes can be handled, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. Set shells aside. Place pulp into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, ginger, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
  5. Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir in shallots, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Spoon mixture back into potato skins. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

“These were absolutely fabulous,” says “We aren’t fond of sweet potato dishes that have a lot of added sugar, so this was really to our taste.”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

y, where it absorbs fat from the turkey as it bakes. It’s hard to slim down a stuffing recipe, so take a small serving if it’s your Thanksgiving favorite. If you can avoid recipes using too much sausage or bacon; wild rice and grains are more nutritious than bread stuffings.

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook and stir sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling coarsely, for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Empty pan of grease.
  2. Into the same pan melt the butter. Add the leeks or onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, dried cranberries and cooked sausage. Mix all with the dried bread cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Moisten with the chicken stock.
  3. Stuff turkey with about 5 cups for a 14 pound turkey. Add additional chicken stock to moisten stuffing if needed. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered casserole at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown top.

 

LivinOurLuvSong. “I left out the sausage and used veggie broth. I baked it in a pan and it was perfect.”

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Photo by alexandra5

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Most of the fat in a pie comes from the crust. Try a crust-free pumpkin pie recipe or a reduced-fat graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.

 

“This is a great recipe,” raves LAURA J JOHNSON. “It makes homemade pumpkin pie much easier and it tastes great.”

Pumpkin Pie Squares
Photo by CC
Remember, We Are In This Together!
-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
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Foods, Uncategorized

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

appleharvest

Crisp, juicy apples are a fall tradition. Take advantage of the bountiful selection of apples available this time of year. There are hundreds of varieties to sample. They range from red to yellow to green, crunchy to tender, sweet to tart and simple to complex.

Apples contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, many of which have been found to have strong antioxidant activity. They are particularly high in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant.1 Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity.2-7 Not only can eating an apple a day help keep the doctor away, an apple a day might keep the pounds away too; adding apples to the diet has been shown to enhance weight loss.8-9 To optimize phytochemical content, it is important to eat the pigment-rich apple skin. Choose whole, organic apples over applesauce or apple juice.

Apples are also a rich source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is found in plant cell walls and tissues. This soluble fiber works to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount that is absorbed in the intestines. Studies have shown that the pectin in apples interacts with other apple phytonutrients to achieve an even greater reduction in cholesterol.10 Researchers have also discovered that apples can boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria which feed on apple pectin.11

Portable and easy to pack, apples are great to include in your on-the-go meals. For an easy dessert, enjoy them baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to dice an apple, toss it with baby greens, some chickpeas, maybe a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds and then top it off with one of my flavored vinegars or perhaps my Almond Balsamic Dressing.

Experiment with the many different varieties of apples to discover which ones are your favorites. Have fun seeking out your local organic apple growers, farm stands and farmers markets and look for different types of interesting apples. They do not have to look perfect. The smaller and more imperfect they look, the better they taste. If you go apple picking and get lots of them, don’t worry, you can store them for several months. Just wrap each apple in a paper towel to prevent them from touching each other and store in a closed cardboard box in a cool place such as the basement or garage.

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Health and Wellness Associates
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Dr Furhman

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.