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Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Red Wine, Green Tea and Dark Chocolate, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 19, 2016

A growing understanding of the connection between our gut and our brain.

Although the interaction between our brain and gut has been studied for years, its complexities run deeper than initially thought. It seems that our minds are, in some part, controlled by the bacteria in our bowels.
The gut has defenses against pathogens, but, at the same time, it encourages the survival and growth of "healthy" gut bacteria.

Of course, these bacteria do benefit from the warmth and nutrition in our bowels, but it is not a one-way relationship - they also give back.


Some species benefit us by breaking dietary fiber down into short-chain fatty acids that we can then absorb and use. They metabolize a number of compounds on our behalf and play a role in the synthesis of  vitamins B and K.
On the other hand, recent research infers that imbalance of gut bacteria might be an important factor in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
The microbiome's role in health and disease is only slowly giving up its secrets. The latest and perhaps most remarkable finding is the ability that gut bacteria have to moderate our brain and behavior.

The links between our gut and brain are hormonal, immunological, and neural, via the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system, which governs the function of the gut. Collectively, they are termed the gut-brain axis.

These gut-brain conversations have been studied for some time. However, a new level to this partnership has recently been glimpsed; researchers are now considering the influence of our microbiome on the gut-brain axis. In other words, researchers are asking: do the bacteria in our gut affect our psychology and behavior?

The question is whether adding beneficial gut bacteria to an animal can make a difference. Research seems to say yes.

A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, collated the results of studies looking at the effects of probiotics on central nervous system function in both humans and animals.
They examined 25 animal and 15 human studies, most of which used Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus over a 2-4-week period. Although, as the authors mention, translating animal studies like this into human terms is a dodgy game. They concluded: "These probiotics showed efficacy in improving psychiatric disorder-related behaviors including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and memory abilities, including spatial and non-spatial memory."


Friday, July 22, 2016

What if everything you believe about mammograms has been wrong?

Ladies? Mammograms are the best way you can stay safe from breast cancer right?
 
Last year, results from a 25-year follow-up of two landmark studies tracking about 90,000 women concluded that mammography did not reduce breast cancer deaths at all.

In fact a mammogram means you are at least three times more likely to be diagnosed and treated for a cancer that never would have harmed you rather than saving your life. But perhaps the most infuriating thing is that scientific evidence for the harms of mammography has been available—published in medicine's most highly regarded journals—for decades.


Before you rush to that annual screening please read this very informative article on the reality of mammograms and the very real possibility of false positives and overdiagnosis.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Planning a pregnancy? Be sure you start the prenatal before trying to conceive.

Taking a prenatal multivitamin during pregnancy may reduce the risk of losing the baby by 55%, compared to not taking a multivitamin, says a new study. 


When a woman is on the prenatal before she conceives, that is every single day of the pregnancy, the risk reduction climbs to 79%.


This is just too important a benefit to ignore. It is simple and very inexpensive to take a high quality multi-vitamin or prenatal multi-vitamin. Women of childbearing age who would welcome a pregnancy would be well advised to select a multi that provides not just the typical nutrients including folic acid, but that includes the omega-3 DHA as well. Here are two of my favorites.


One more thing the study found, limit coffee. The risk of miscarriage increases when a woman drinks more than two cups of coffee per day.

Source: Fertility and Sterility
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.03.009
“Lifestyle and pregnancy loss in a contemporary cohort of women recruited before conception: The LIFE Study”
Authors: G.M. Buck Louis, et al. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Avoid these pesticide-laden foods; they’re the most sprayed.

Earth Day April 22nd, 2016


EWG (Environmental Working Group) analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items. All 48 foods are listed below from worst to best (lower numbers = more pesticides).
EWG analyzed pesticide tests of 48 popular produce items. Domestic and imported versions of two items – blueberries and snap peas – showed sharply different results, so we have ranked those domestic and imported items separately. As a result, the full list of foods ranked by the Shopper’s Guide displays 50 entries.
1EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Strawberries

2EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Apples

3EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Nectarines

4EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Peaches

5EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Celery

6EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Grapes

7EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cherries

8EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Spinach

9EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Tomatoes

10EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet bell peppers

11EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cherry tomatoes

12EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cucumbers

13EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Snap peas – imported

14EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Blueberries – domestic

15EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Potatoes

16EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Hot peppers +

17EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Lettuce

18EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Kale / collard greens +

19EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Blueberries – imported

20EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Green beans

21EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Plums

22EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Pears

23EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Raspberries

24EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Carrots

25EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Winter squash

26EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Tangerines

27EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Summer squash*

28EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Snap peas – domestic

29EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Green onions

30EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Bananas

31EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Oranges

32EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Watermelon

33EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Broccoli

34EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet potatoes

35EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Mushrooms

36EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cauliflower

37EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cantaloupe

38EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Grapefruit

39EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Honeydew melon

40EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Eggplant

41EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Kiwi

42EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Papayas*

43EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Mangos

44EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Asparagus

45EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Onions

46EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet peas frozen

47EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cabbage

48EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Pineapples

49EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet Corn*

50EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Avocados