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.
Food for Thought, 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!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Listen to this when you have some time...it is five seconds or so of every number one single from the beginning of pop charts to the 90's as a single track...
and then Part two
Enjoy...I bet some of these will take you back!
Vitamin E decreased pneumonia risk by 69% among participants who had the least exposure to smoking and exercised during leisure time. In contrast, vitamin E increased pneumonia risk by 79% among those who had the highest exposure to smoking and did not exercise! In laboratory studies, vitamin E has influenced the immune system. In several animal studies vitamin E protected against viral and bacterial infections. So studying humans seems reasonable...
Very interesting outcome swing from protective to non-protective depending on smoking status. Message here? Don't Smoke...take vitamin E and exercise!
Why do we worry about this? Well, aside from the risk of dementia..or Alzheimer's, having elevated homocysteine also puts us in danger of heart attack, and blood clots in our brains or in our legs...and yes the ones in our legs are very dangerous. They can move to our lungs and kill us...just as a clot in the brain can cause a stroke, or one in a coronary artery can cause a heart attack.
Suffice it to say...we don't want to ignore elevated homocysteine. Homocysteine is thought to cause vascular disease because of its effect on blood vessel walls. Homocysteine binds to certain proteins in the body affecting their structure and function. The binding of homocysteine to proteins will degrade and inhibit repair and maintenance of three main vascular connective tissue structures—cartilage, elastin and proteolgycans—making them more susceptible to disease processes, including vascular disease.
How might we protect ourselves....well that part is easy!
B Vitamins...B-12, Folic acid and B-6..and another supplement called NAC. N Acetyl Cysteine. You can have your doctor add the homocysteine screening to your cholesterol panel next time you're in for a check-up...you ARE getting them routinely yes? If your multi-vitamin isn't getting the job done...meaning your level is higher than what is ideal...you could use a higher potency B-Complex for a bit, and some NAC to reduce your risk.
Here's an abstract from one study that identified the mechanisms I mentioned above for blood vessel damage...
"Elevated blood levels of homocysteine also are considered an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and thromboembolism (the obstruction of a blood vessel by a clot), and are correlated with a significant risk for coronary, cerebral and peripheral vascular disease, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), peripheral vascular occlusive disease, cerebral vascular occlusive disease, and retinal vascular disease."
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
In a retrospective study involving 32 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, 12 vascular dementia (VaD) patients, 83 dementia due to other causes (DOC) patients, and 127 controls, results indicate that AD and VaD patients may benefit from vitamin B12 and folate supplementation. In AD, VaD, and DOC patients, the levels of vitamin B(12), and folate were significantly lower, compared with controls. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "Vitamin B(12) and folate were significantly low in both AD and VaD patients. Hence, B vitamin supplementation should be considered as possible targets for the therapeutic intervention in dementia."
Monday, February 21, 2011
Eat Mostly Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Whole Grains
Be Wise About Fats
Be Wise About Wine
Here are some guidelines to get you going:
- Eat an abundant array of vegetables and fruits — and switch to whole grains. A variety of plant foods should dominate your plate. Try to have three fourths of the "real estate" on your plate occupied by fruits and veggies. They should be fresh, and ideally in season. Strive for seven to 10 servings a day of veggies and fruits. Switch to whole-grain bread and cereal, and begin to eat more whole-gain rice and pasta products. Cut the white flour products out of your meals. Keep baby carrots, apples and bananas on hand for quick, satisfying snacks. Fruit salads are a wonderful way to eat a variety of healthy fruit.
- Find a Great Fish Market. Eat fish two to four times a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grilled and baked fish cook in minutes. Avoid fried fish, the benefits of Omega 3's are lost when the fish is fried
- Olive Oil not butter. Try olive oil as a healthy replacement for butter and get rid of margarine. Use olive oil in cooking. After cooking pasta, add a touch of olive oil, some garlic and green onions, and a small handful of parmesan for flavoring. Dip bread in flavored olive oil or lightly spread it on whole-grain bread for a tasty alternative to butter. Try tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a dip or spread for bread too.
- Go nuts. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Try tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a dip or spread for bread. An incredible treat is a pitted date, stuffed with tahini, sprinkled with sea salt...
- Spices replace salt. Herbs and spices make food tasty and are also rich in antioxidants and healthy aging compounds. Season your dishes with herbs and spices rather than salt.
- Limit red meat. Substitute fish and poultry for red meat. When eaten, make sure it's lean and keep portions to about 4 ounces. Also be very sparing with sausage, bacon and other cured high-fat meats. Pork is the most inflammatory of all protein sources.
- Choose less and only low-fat dairy. Limit higher fat dairy products such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream. Switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese. Eat Goat cheese.
- Vino, Grape or Pomegranate Juice. If alcohol isn't an issue for you have a glass of wine at dinner. If you don't drink alcohol, Purple grape juice has the same antioxidant benefits as wine. Pomegranate juice is a delicious lower sugar alternative.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Recipe for Happiness..to sweeten up your day...hangs in my kitchen and never fails to make me smile...
Combine 4 parts of Contentment, 2 parts Joy & 1 part Pleasure. But these ingredients must be grown in one's own garden.
Sometimes they may be obtained of a good friend.
So procured, a fair return must be made else happiness spoils and becomes trouble.
Sometimes Discontent and Ambition have been combined in a desire to obtain Happiness but Fame and Wealth have resulted and persons who have tasted these say they are inferior substitutes...
~ Mary Englebreit
If you love Mary's work as much as I do..check out Amazon's Mary Englebreit Page