It is a fact that carbohydrates fuel muscles while decreasing physiological and inflammatory stress brought on by working out. Sugar is the most digestible whether it is in the form of glucose, fructose, or sucrose. However, most athletes resort to a sports drink which not only supplies the necessary carbohydrates but also provides the body with unnecessary artificial flavorings and dyes. A study was done at the lab in Appalachian State University in which cyclists competed in a 47 mile race. Some used only water, others leaned on a sports drink and the last group bananas. The groups that had either the sports drink or eaten a banana had less inflammatory markers in their blood after the race. However, the group that had eaten bananas had less of a particular enzyme known as COX-2 which increases inflammation in the body. Athletes sometimes have a problem with eating bananas because they feel bloated after eating the fruit. The solution may lie in dates which have a considerable higher level of fructose, a natural fruit sugar. This along with the fact that they are a much smaller fruit and are more economical than the cost of a sports drink makes this a better choice.
Latest science is showing that endurance exercise will not make you more vulnerable to sickness as previously thought. How is it that long tiring workouts can have this effect. In the 1980’s most scientists believed that these intense workouts would leave the body so fatigued that it would be susceptible to any number of illnesses. In the decades that followed scientists began to look more closely at the immune system.The findings contradicted what had been previously thought. It seems that during strenuous exercise the immune cells begin to flow into the bloodstream from all parts of the body saturating all the tissues. After extreme exercise the number of immune cells had actually increased which would be in accordance to what our ancestors experienced while they were escaping predators or chasing prey. Research published in Frontiers of Immunology showed that when mice were put through intense exercise their number of immune cells increased and were flooded into the bloodstream. Unlike previously thought, they did not decrease and die off. Instead they migrated to other organs and tissues strengthening the animals immune system. Testing is now being done to verify this in humans and is showing more and more evidence of the benefits of any form of exercise and how it strengthens our immune system.
One of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating is to cook once but make enough for three meals. However, this can become very boring if you find yourself reheating the same meal every evening. Let me give you an example of how I work around this. The first night I may make a pan of breaded fish filets covered in spices and lemon. On the second evening, I saute an onion with raisins and cover the reheated fish. On the third evening I reheat the fish covered in marinated red peppers and mushrooms. Not only are you incorporating different minerals and vitamins by adding different ingredients but you are able to make each meal a new experience.
Not only is it totally enjoyable sharing a story with a child, but research is showing that it can develop strong neural connections in the child’s brain. Reading has a strong influence on cognitive development. It exercises the brain, improves concentration, increases vocabulary and later on improves their grades in school. By stimulating a child’s imagination they are able to learn about people and places outside their own experience. According to a study done at New York University School of Medicine, children who are read to are able to develop empathy by imagining they are in a similar situation and are able to feel what a character is feeling. It can also be responsible for curbing later problems such as aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention. Phones and tablets take little space and make it so easy to sit in a park with your child and start reading an e-book.
What exactly is opportunity? Is it lucky chance? It it the right set of circumstances at a given time? Should we not let it slip by and instead take advantage of it? Opportunity can inspire hope that our lives will be made better in the future. It is something that can happen at the most inappropriate time and therefore might be overlooked and avoided when it crosses our path. Thomas Edison wrote “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”. How many times have we said no to a new adventure and in turn missed out on something great? We may not even have thought about doing something new until we were prompted with an opportunity. Maybe it is time to become more “Yes people”. I don’t mean saying yes to everything but trusting in our gut more. The fear of failing or being embarrassed can hold us all back. What if it turns out to be a mind-blowing and learning experience? Isn’t it better to know what would have happened then to wonder what might have been. By not seizing the opportunity by saying it is not the right time, you may in turn be reinforcing some hidden feeling that you don’t really deserve it. Life is filled with opportunities. At times they are dropped in our laps and sometimes they are a little hidden and may take a conscious effort to find.
James Harrison needed surgery and a large amount of blood when he was 14 years of age. As an adult he wanted to repay the favor and so for the next 60 years he donated blood 1,173 times. Medical professionals discovered that his blood contained a rare antibody that when combined with a certain medication would go on to save more then 2 million babies from dying of a fatal disease. Anti-D was issued in approximately 3 million doses to mothers since 1967. The Red Cross in Australia said that there are only about 160 donors that have this rare plasma. Certain babies born with a rare blood type can develop hemolytic disease of the fetus which is fatal. At 81 “the man with the golden arm” as Mr. Harrison was known will have to stop giving blood. It is felt that he might now compromise his own health. Researchers are now working on “A James in the Jar version” in attempting to recreate his antibody synthetically. p.s. I should mention that James is terrified of needles.
Not only do elephants have a powerful ability for communication via their trunk, but it seems that their footprints can produce sounds that can be heard even further. Scientistshave tools to study the magnitude and effects of earthquakes. Recently they have been using these same tools to study the “Seismic Signatures” of elephant’s footprint vibrations which act as long distance communicators. They are somehow able to monitor vibrations through their bodies. The study was done by The Universities of Oxford and Bristol in which the scientists were able to determine what exactly the elephants were trying to communicate. Specifically, they will be able to detect if the animals are being pursued by poachers.
The City Council of New York is considering banning plastic bottle sales on all beaches, parks and golf courses. New York will be the third municipality following San Francisco and Concord, Maine to do so. This would also include soda and juices sold in plastic. The ban will not prohibit people from bringing in plastic bottles but the goal is to make it inconvenient. It is an attempt to make consumers aware of the damage plastic is doing to our environment and to relieve some of the strain it is putting on our landfills. Hope is that people will start using refillable bottles. Many colleges, government agencies and businesses have already adopted this policy. This is also an attempt to ensure that tap water is fit for drinking and at the same time send a message to manufacturers that these bottles are unnecessary. San Francisco has even set up refillable water stations at all concert and sports venues. Hope is that this proposal will be more successful then the previous attempt to put a surcharge on plastic bags.
– 1 cup bulgur wheat
– 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
– 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– kosher salt and pepper
– 1 cup basil leaves, torn
Step 1—Heat broiler
Step 2—Cook the bulgur according to the package directions
Step 3—Arrange the eggplant slices on 2 baking sheets. Brush both sides with a total of 3 tablespoons of the oil. Broil the eggplant,1 sheet pan at a time, until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side
Step 4—Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the basil.
Step 5—Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl and top with the eggplant and tomato mixture before serving.
Scientists have always believed that the human heart stops producing new cells after birth and that these cells do not multiply but only grow in size as we age. However, according to a new study published in the “Journal of Physiology” exercise at an early age can increase the number of these cells and that these cells will remain with us for life. Scientists divided rodents into three groups. They started them on an exercise routine at ages that were equivalent to what humans would classify as childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All the groups had bigger cardiac-muscle cells but the childhood group had as many as 20 million additional cardiomyocytes (the type of cells that contract). The group that began as adolescents had some but fewer. Although exercise will benefit a heart at any age, these extra cells make it more likely to survive a heart attack in later years. Time to get the kids out there away from the TV, computer and video games and have them start adding those extra heart cells.