Apr 25, 2012
FOODS THAT SOOTHE ARTHRITIS PAIN
adapted from an article by Stacey Colino in iVillage
There’s no proven anti-arthritis diet, but certain foods may make a difference in your symptoms
The Mediterranean diet is strongly anti-inflammatory. ...with less red meat but more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and olive oil than the standard American diet. People who follow the Mediterranean diet may have fewer arthritis pain symptoms. But plenty of other tasty foods contain anti-inflammatory nutrients... You won’t be able to ditch your pain-relieving meds, but eating more anti-inflammatory, arthritis-fighting foods may help you feel and function better if you have arthritis.
Coldwater fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, herring and anchovies are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)), which also combat inflammation. Research from Cardiff University in the UK suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish may ease osteoarthritis symptoms by reducing mRNA levels, the messengers involved in the synthesis of various proteins that contribute to osteoarthritis (OA). Keep in mind: Baking, broiling or grilling fish is healthier than frying it. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish, look for omega-3-enriched eggs.
1 medium plum tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions
Yield: 2 Servings
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt and hot sauce to taste in a food processor; process until finely chopped and uniform. 3.Place salmon in a medium roasting pan; spoon the salsa on top. Roast until the salmon is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
To Make Ahead: The salsa (Step 2) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Other fatty fish can stand in for the salmon -- adjust the roasting time accordingly.
WALNUTS, FLAXSEED (LINSEED)and CHIA SEEDS
Walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds are good sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), another type of omega-3 acid that comes from plants ...these nuts and seeds are another good way to sneak anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Toss a handful of chopped walnuts or a sprinkling of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds into your oatmeal or over your salad. ...go easy on the portions, because walnuts are high in calories.
Vitamin D is reduces inflammation and inhibits the enzymes that break down cartilage, thereby slowing the progression of arthritis, explains Jason Theodosakis, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and author of The Arthritis Cure. Fatty fish and egg yolks, as well as fortified milk, cereals and orange juice, all contain vitamin D; supplements are also a good source.
Tart cherries (and tart cherry juice) contain anthocyanins and anthocyanidins, health-promoting plant pigments (aka phytochemicals) that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties ...consuming tart cherries daily for 90 days reduces both systemic and local inflammation, according to research from the University of Michigan. Top your whole-grain cereal with tart cherries or add them to a spinach salad
The catechins (a type of phytochemical) in green, white, black and oolong teas have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, though green tea contains the most. It’s the epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, in green tea that’s especially good at inhibiting a key gene involved in the inflammatory response... For optimal anti-inflammatory benefits, steep the tea bag for three to five minutes in boiling water before sipping the soothing brew.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has long been known for its heart-healthy benefits. Now it has another claim to fame: an anti-inflammatory effect, thanks to its high concentration of plant-based compounds called polyphenols ...regularly consuming olive oil can reduce blood levels of inflammatory cytokines and inhibit tissue damage in the joints, even in those with arthritis. Make an effort to use olive oil when you’re preparing salad dressing or sauteing veggies -- for the sake of your joints and your heart.
Lemon Slices in Spicy Olive Oil
North Africans preserve whole lemons in a brine made with lemon juice and plenty of coarse sea salt. They eat the skin and white pith of the preserved lemons, which acquire a distinctive flavour and aroma. Chop and add to potato salads, steamed cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, or bitter greens; also to grilled chicken or fish, and to stufﬁngs for pork and poultry, and wherever 'preserved lemons' are called for. Besides the slices, use a few drops of the strongly ﬂavoured olive oil, to which you may add a few chillies, to enliven dressings and marinades.
3 or 4 lemons, preferably organic
2 to 3 dried peperoncini (or any other chile), cut in half lengthwise with scissors but still attached to the stem
4 to 6 tablespoons sea salt
About 1 cup olive oil
Yield: 2 cups Servings
1. Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly.
2. Cut them into 1/8 inch-thick slices and lay one layer in a stainless-steel colander.
3. Sprinkle the lemon slices with plenty of salt and repeat, making more layers until you have used all the lemons and salt.
4. Set aside to drain for 24 hours.
5. Press the lemon slices carefully with paper towels to extract most of the juice, then pack the slices in a 1pint jar, adding the peperoncini between the slices.
6. Completely cover the lemon slices with olive oil.
7. Close the jar. The lemon slices will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months.
TURMERIC, GINGER, CINNAMON
Turmeric, an ancient spice used in ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, ginger and cinnamon contain compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They block the production of cytokines and prostaglandins, which shuts off inflammation... In a study in Thailand, people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who consumed two grams of curcumin extract (the active compound in turmeric) daily for six weeks experienced reductions in pain and functionality while walking on level ground and up or down stairs comparable to those who took 800 milligrams of ibuprofen daily. Meanwhile, a University of Miami study found that people with OA of the knee who consumed ginger extract twice a day experienced greater reductions in knee pain while standing and walking than those in the control group.
Potato and Pea Curry
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1½ lb (675 g) all-purpose waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 fresh hot green chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1¼ cups hot vegetable stock
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ cup frozen peas
small handful of dried curry leaves (optional)
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Yield: 4 Servings
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, chiles, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds, and crumble in the curry leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes.
2. Add the potatoes and turmeric, and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Stir in the peas, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir in the cilantro. Serve hot with rice or naan bread.
Notes: This is a fairly dry curry; if you want more liquid, simply add more stock
ONIONS, of any colour
The quercetin [a flavonoid] in onions has similar anti-inflammatory effects to ibuprofen or aspirin and it has antioxidant properties. Besides decreasing inflammation and perhaps reducing the pain that comes with it, the compounds in these fragrant bulbs also may protect cells from inflammation-induced damage. Keep onions on hand for stir-fries, soups, stews and omelets, and as a savoury caramelized topping for fish, meat or poultry dishes
Herb & Onion Frittata
1 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
2 tablespoons farmer’s cheese, or reduced-fat ricotta
Yield: 1 Serving
1. Bring onion and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle in oil and stir until coated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
2. Pour in egg substitute, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg is starting to set, about 20 seconds. Continue cooking, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg will flow underneath, until mostly set, about 30 seconds more.
3. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over the frittata. Spoon cheese on top. Lift up an edge of the frittata and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon water under it. Cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot, about 2 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan using the spatula and serve.
EDAMAME, SOYNUTS, TOFU, TEMPEH, SOYMILK
Soy foods like edamame are featured prominently in the Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid created by Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson and author of Healthy Aging. The reason: They contain isoflavones, a class of phytochemicals that have antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study involving 135 people with OA or chronic knee pain, researchers found that those who consumed 40 grams of soy protein daily for three months experienced greater improvements in range of motion and various measures of pain compared to those who consumed 40 grams of milk-based protein per day. Consider this another good reason to consume one to two servings a day of cooked edamame, tofu or tempeh, soymilk or soynuts.
1/2 cup cooked edamame
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cooked dried or canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup low-fat, low-sugar cereal (such as Puffins)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Yield: 2 Servings
1. Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth, scraping down sides with a spatula as necessary.
2. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
The darker the grape, the more anti-inflammatory, antioxidant phytochemicals (plant-based compounds) like resveratrol it has ...resveratrol suppresses inflammatory signaling in cells called articular chondrocytes, which may help with the treatment of OA and related arthritic conditions. Make your next snack red or purple grapes, or propose a toast to your health with a glass of red wine or grape juice in the evening. Salut!
Grilled Curry Chicken with Watercress, Grapes, Peaches, and Orange-red Wine Vinaigrette
2 boneless, skinless split chicken breasts (cutlets), about 8 oz(225 g) each
2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and sliced into 8 sections
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 bunches watercress, trimmed, washed, and dried well
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 20 green grapes, stemmed, halved, and deseeded
Yield: 4 Servings
1. Make the dressing: On the stove top, bring the orange juice to a boil in a small pan over high heat, then lower the heat slightly and simmer until reduced in volume to 1/4 cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the oil, wine vinegar, parsley, salt, and pepper, whisk together, and set aside.
2. Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium, you’re ready to cook.
3. Coat the chicken breasts with oil, rub them all over with the curry powder, and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place them on the grill directly over the coals and cook until they are browned on the outside and just cooked through (6–8 minutes per side). To check for doneness, poke the chicken with your finger to test its firmness; if you’re unsure, make a cut in the thickest part of one of the breasts and check to be sure that it is opaque all the way through. When the breasts are done, transfer them to a plate and cover them loosely with foil to keep warm.
4. While the chicken is cooking, combine the watercress, grapes, and peaches in a large bowl. Stir the dressing again, add to the watercress-fruit mixture, and toss well to coat. Divide the salad among four plates.
5. Slice the chicken on the bias into strips, arrange the strips on top of each salad, and serve.
Apr 25, 2012 7:30am
Apr 25, 2012
SIX FOODS THAT WEAKEN BONES
Adapted from an article by By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com
Some ingredients actually leach the minerals right out of the bone, or they block the bone’s ability to regrow. Learn about Salt, Soft Drinks, Caffeine, Hydrogenated Oils, Vitamin D, and Alcohol.
Salt saps calcium from the bones, weakening them over time.
One study compared postmenopausal women who ate a high-salt diet with those who didn’t, and the ones who ate a lot of salt lost more bone minerals. Most people on a western diet ingest double what they should have daily... Key foods to avoid: processed and deli meats, frozen meals, canned soup, pizza, burgers and fries and canned vegetables.
2. Soft Drinks
Soft drinks pose a double-danger to bones. The fizziness in carbonated drinks often comes from phosphoric acid, which ups the rate at which calcium is excreted in the urine. Meanwhile, soft drinks fill you up and satisfy your thirst without providing any of the nutrients you might get from milk or juice.
Caffeine’s action is similar to salt (but not as bad), leaching calcium from bones. For every 100 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in a small to medium-sized cup of coffee), you lose 6 milligrams of calcium. ... can become a problem if you tend to substitute drinks like iced tea and coffee for beverages that are healthy for bones, like milk and fortified juice.
4. Vitamin A
...Found in eggs, full-fat dairy, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. ...it’s possible to get much more than the recommended allotment... Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher...had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was more sensible.
..a calcium-blocker; it prevents the bone-building minerals you eat from being absorbed. And heavy drinking disrupts the bone remodeling process by preventing osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job. ...not only do bones become weaker, but when you do suffer a fracture, alcohol can interfere with healing.
6. Hydrogenated oils
...the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into the solid oils used in commercial baking, destroys the vitamin K found in the oils.
Vitamin K is essential for strong bones. Sources are green leafy vegetables, and a little from canola and olive oil. If you’re eating your greens, you don’t need to worry about this too much.
Avoid baked goods like muffins and cookies, and read labels to avoid hydrogenated oils.
Apr 25, 2012 5:58am
Feb 24, 2012
15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health, by Michelle Schoffro Cook, 23 February 2012
Your liver must perform over 500 functions, making it potentially one of the most overburdened organs in your body.
Our modern lifestyle + air pollution + food additives + high amounts of stress can cause the liver to become sluggish. The sluggish liver can be a factor in many health conditions,
e.g. allergies, arthritis, asthma, bad breath, chronic fatigue syndrome, cravings for sweets, depression, environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivities, fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, hypoglycemia, hormone imbalances, immune system disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, overweight or obesity, poor digestion, recurring nausea and/or vomiting, skin diseases, and ulcerative colitis.
Of course there are other factors involved in these conditions so it is important to see a physician if you suffer from any of them.
Strengthening the liver is one of the ways to boost energy, balance weight, and strengthen overall health. Here are 15 ways to give your liver a boost:
1. VITAMINS and MINERALS- high amounts of vitamins and minerals are required by the liver.
2. FOOD ADDITIVES ARE FILTERED BY THE LIVER- When you eliminate processed foods, artificial food additives, colours and preservatives from your diet you give your liver a break.
3. CARROTS, BEETS, GREEN FOODS- Eat plenty of these powerful liver cleansing and rebuilding foods.
4. GROUND FLAXSEED- Eat two heaping tablespoons sprinkled on cereal, toast, salads, or blended into smoothies. By eating flaxseeds and flax oil you are helping your liver to filter excess hormones more effectively.
5. HERBS that help strengthen the liver: milk thistle, dandelion root, globe artichoke, turmeric, slippery elm, greater celandine, balmony, barberry, black root, blue flag, boldo, fringetree bark, vervain, and wahoo. If you are pregnant, have a serious health condition, or are taking medication, consult a qualified health practitioner before using herbs.
6. REDUCE REFINED SUGAR and AVOID SYNTHETIC SWEETENERS altogether.
7. LECITHIN helps the liver metabolize fats and reduce cholesterol; prevents fatty deposits; reduces high blood pressure. You can get lecithin in organic soyfoods like soy milk, tofu, and miso, as well as organic eggs.
8. AVOID VITAMIN and MINERAL DEFICIENCIES by taking a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. The liver depends on many nutrients to detoxify properly. Even a single nutrient deficiency can be harmful.
9. TAKE 1000 to 2000 mg of Vitamin C daily, even if there's vitamin C in your multivitamin.
10. GARLIC, ONIONS and BROCCOLI contain sulfur that is required to increase enzyme activity that boosts liver cleansing, so eat plenty of these. Without adequate levels of sulfur, the phase 2 of liver detoxification cannot keep pace with level 1, meaning that many toxins can become MORE dangerous in your body.
11. AVOID LARGE MEALS. Instead, eat small meals made up of easy-to-digest foods.
12. Eat steamed vegetables, raw salad greens, raw fruits, and bitter greens. The bitter greens, especially, help to cleanse the liver.
13. EAT WHOLE RAW UNSALTED NUTS and SEEDS for their essential fatty acids and protein.
14. AVOID HEAVY FATTY FOODS as they just create more work for the liver. Avoid margarine, shortening or commercial oils or any foods made with them.
15. AVOID EATING for at least THREE HOURS before BEDTIME to allow the liver adequate time during the night to perform its many functions, unimpeded by other bodily processes like digestion.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-ways-to-boost-your-liver-for-great-health.html#ixzz1nNSiPynA ...
Jul 26, 2010
5 Foods That Will Help You Snooze - posted by Lisa Turner, Care2 blogger
Food can dramatically affect how much, and how well, we snooze. Some calm and relax, some wake up the nervous system, and some downright wire you for the night.
What you should eat for deeper sleep depends partly on your patterns. If you toss and turn before drifting off but then doze soundly for the rest of the night, you might benefit from adding slow-burning carbs (beans, sweet potatoes, berries) to your evening meal to prompt the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes calm. If you zonk out quickly but wake up a few hours later, you might be suffering from blood sugar fluctuations. I have tried a high-protein snack before bed - a handful of walnuts, a spoonful of almond butter, a small cube of cheese - and these tend to keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the night.
Focus on foods with soothing nutrients, like magnesium, which helps relax muscles and calms the body and B vitamins, key in the production of serotonin and other brain chemicals key to sleep. Trytophan, an amino acid that’s needed to make sleep-inducing serotonin, is especially effective when it’s paired with complex, slow-burning carbs.
And banish foods that stimulate the body and disrupt sleep.
...Caffeine - its effect can last up to 10 hours, so steer clear of coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate and other foods that contain caffeine after lunchtime.
...Sugar - it prompts the brain to release stress hormones that block sleep, and causes blood sugar fluctuations that can wake you in the wee hours.
...Chocolate. In addition to caffeine, it is high in theobromine, a stimulating plant compound.
...Red wine contains sleep-disrupting alcohol, as well as tyramine, an amino acid that increases the brain’s levels of stimulating neurotransmitters.
...Aspartame is worse than sugar; like monosodium glutamate (MSG), it encourages the release of excitatory nerve transmitters that can keep you up all night.
...Spicy foods like garlic, ginger and hot peppers are way too warming and stimulating to eat before bed.
For better, faster and deeper Zs, ease yourself into sleep with these soothing snacks…
1.Turkey has the highest levels of tryptophan. Chicken, seafood and soybeans are close seconds. Soothing snacks: a slice of turkey and a few avocado cubes, rolled up in a lettuce leaf; a small bowl of beans plus a couple of grilled shrimp.
2. Yogurt and other dairy products are also rich in sleep-prompting tryptophan. Soothing snacks: a blueberry and flax seed smoothie; a small bowl of yogurt with chopped walnuts and strawberries; a few whole-grain crackers spread with soft goat cheese.
3. Almonds and other nuts and seeds are rich in both tryptophan and nerve-calming magnesium. Soothing snacks: half an apple cut into wedges and spread with almond butter; a small dish of blackberries sprinkled with chopped cashews.
4. Beans and soy are high in B vitamins and magnesium, as well as tryptophan. Soothing snacks: a small dish of hummus with red pepper strips and celery for dipping; a quarter cup of black beans with a slice of avocado.
5. Spinach and other leafy greens like chard, kale and collards, are loaded with both magnesium and B vitamins. Soothing snacks: a small bowl of chopped kale with feta cheese and almonds; a handful of spinach with turkey cubes.
Visit Lisa's websites at www.TheHealthyGourmet.net and InspiredEating.com
Jul 26, 2010 9:01pm
Mar 16, 2010
Aside from drinking it - beer has several other uses
ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES TO YOUR GARDEN
Use beer to get some flutter-action in your garden. Many butterflies feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion, urine...this 'butterfly bait' sounds nicer! Mix 1 pound sugar, 1 or 2 cans stale beer, 3 mashed overripe banana, 1 cup of molasses or syrup, 1 cup of fruit juice, 1 shot of rum-and splash on trees, fences, rocks, or soak a sponge to hang from a branch.
BEER RINSE FOR BOUNCY HAIR
The vitamin B and natural sugars in beer add body and shine, while acting as a natural setting lotion that increases resilience, vitality, and hold. Allow one cup of beer to go flat and warm. Shampoo and rinse hair as usual. Pour the flat warm beer on your hair and work it through. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
For extra shine, try this formula.
REMOVE STAINS WITH BEER
Getting coffee or tea stains out of your rug may seem as feasible as getting water out of a rock, but beer can be a miracle worker in this field. Do a test patch and allow to dry. If it looks ok, tackle the stain: douse it in beer, blot, repeat.
For other types of carpet stains, try some of these tricks
MINI FIRE EXTINGUISHER
For small paper or grill fires. Because of the water content and pressure, you can shake a can or bottle and unleash the liquid on the fire. Some people carry an emergency can in their car in case of engine fire. NOTE: Not for grease fires or electrical fires.
Beer works as a great tenderizer that isn’t as acidic in flavour as wine or vinegar-based marinades. Use a hearty-flavoured beer e.g. stout or barley wine, poke a few holes in the meat or mushrooms, add any other herbs or spices, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
POLISH COPPER POTS
Just dampen a soft towel with beer, and buff! In the past, dregs of beer from spent kegs were used to polish the copper vats in breweries. Because of beer’s subtle acidity, it can help boost shine without staining the metal like a higher-acidity liquid would. Do a test spot first.
You might like to check out Annie’s formulas for metal polishing also.
BUILD A PATIO WALL,
and more, from Beer Bottles. Many handmade houses have employed empty beer cans and bottles, like the one pictured here, built by Tito Ingenieri (Argentina), which used 6 million beer bottles! Perhaps you could adapt the idea to build something at home, e.g. a retaining wall or a screen for a patio.
Adapted from 9 Surprising Uses for Beer-Care2's GreenLiving by Melissa Breyer
Mar 16, 2010 6:28am
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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