Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry…

Too HungryAbstaining from breakfast or putting off eating in hopes of dropping some pounds may totally backfire. Letting yourself get to the point when you are experiencing uncontrollable hunger can lead to making unhealthy choices. A substantial breakfast along with being prepared with healthy snacks is a good way to start the day. In so doing, when those sudden pangs of hunger arise you will be prepared instead of being so hungry that you make choices that you will regret and feel bad about.

Dill…

Dill weed, as it is sometimes called, is part of the family of plants with hollow stems calledDill umbellifers. Other plants included in this family are carrots, fennel, cilantro and parsley. Its origin can be traced back to Southern Russia, the Mediterranean and Western Africa but its name is derived from an Old Norse word “dilla” which means to calm and sooth. The Greeks used it as a symbol of wealth. The Romans believed it brought good fortune and made wreaths for their athletes from it. The Egyptians used it as an aphrodisiac and to ward off evil. However, in spite of all the beliefs placed on this herb, these different cultures used dill to sooth stomach ailments and to relieve one of flatulence. In fact it was commonly served at large banquets to sooth over-indulgence. The essential oils in dill seem to stimulate the secretion of bile and digestive juices and at the same time usher gas gently down the digestive tract and out of the system. It accommodates and enhances the flavors of vegetables, meats and seafood. My personal favorite use of the herb is simply mixing it with scrambled eggs.

Diet-Acne Connection…

acneAcne is a disorder causing inflammation of the skin and hair follicles. It can affect those as young as 4 as well as adults past 50. It has always been attributed to either stress, heredity, gender, age, hormones, or bacteria. However, more and more of a connection is being made to the effects of the over processed western diet on the condition of our skin. According to studies done at Colorado State University, non-westernized populations do not suffer from acne. In studying populations in both Paraguay (the Ache tribe of hunter-gatherers) and in Papua, New Guinea (Kitavan Islanders) not one single trace of acne was found. This led scientists to believe that the condition was more environmental then genetic. Processed high glycemic carbohydrates seem to be the culprit. Incorporating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, avocados etc.) because of their anti-inflammatory qualities may be one of the best courses of action to take to relieve this condition.

 

Making the Most of Rainwater…

Efforts are being made in Los Angeles to capture every drop of water that falls from the sky. Elmer Avenue is a flood prone area in the San Fernando Valley. Until recently stormElmer Avenue water would be funneled to the storm drains via tunnels and then out to sea. Due to the efforts of The Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, The Tree People, and 24 homeowners, Elmer Avenue has become a shining example of the Green Movement. The project involved capturing curbside water for reuse with permission from all the residents who donated a portion of their front yardage closest to the street. Biowales, a type of filtering system, were installed in these curbside meandering gardens which enable rainwater to be filtered and banked in an aguifer. The cost of the project is $2.7 million. The 37 acres drained by The Elmer Avenue Retrofit Project will produce enough water to sustain the residents of the street.

Acupuncture and Constipation…

When acupuncture was administered to the abdominal region it relieved the symptoms of Acupunctureconstipation according to a new study. A study of 1,075 patients was conducted by Chinese researchers and results were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Participants suffered from severe constipation which meant that they were unable to have a bowel movement more than twice a week. Symptoms also included extremely hard stool and straining when trying to eliminate. Two groups were formed. One group received acupuncture and the other a sham treatment. After eight weeks 31.3% of the group who received the acupuncture treatment reported having an extra bowel movement per week. One theory is that acupuncture stimulates the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.  

Phytochemicals…

Phytochemicals caul.Plant life possesses special chemicals that may have a tremendous impact on our quality of life. They have been given a special classification called phytochemicals. These are chemicals that are responsible for giving a plant its protective coloring, its unique odor and special taste. Vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are rich sources of these phytochemicals. These chemicals have a tremendous effect on the chemicals in our body. Scientists are now attributing plant chemicals with the power to prevent one in five cases of cancer. Studies are finding that they are powerful in stimulating the immune Phytochemicals animalsystem against fighting off bacteria and viruses. They can reduce inflammation, block environmental carcinogens, trigger death of damaged cells as well as regulate hormones. As far back as the early 1900s scientists started questioning why people who ate a diet rich in plant food had lower rates of cancer. It was then discovered that certain plants such as broccoli had sulforaphane which seemed to stop cells from becoming cancerous. However, not all of these chemicals have been Phytochemicals kdnamed or classified. Some of the more commonly known are lycopene in tomatoes, resveratrol in grapes, curcumin in turmeric, beta-carotene in sweet potatoes and the list goes on and on. Supplements have now been made available for many of these chemicals. However, they are not as effective and, in some cases, have even proven to be toxic if taken in large amounts. Phytochemicals are best absorbed if taken in combination with their original food source. Some questions remain to be answered. What quantity is sufficient for maximum health, how long does their protection last, how do they react with each other and to what extent does cooking affect them? Until all of these questions are answered it can’t hurt to sit down and enjoy a colorful plate of mixed fruits and vegetables.

Let there be Light…

NearsightednessMyopia (nearsightedness) is a condition that has steadily increased since the 1970s. According to the National Eye Institute, 90% of high school graduates now have this condition. With Myopia there is an elongation of the eyeball changing the angle in which sunlight hits the eyeball in turn making it difficult to focus on distant objects. The condition has been attributed to the many hours young people spend on technology. A new study in Jama Ophthalmology is attributing Myopia to many hours spent indoors and the lack of sunshine. The London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined 3,100 older Europeans. All factors were considered from careers to hours spent reading. Those that had been exposed to UVB radiation from the sun, between ages 14 and 19, were 25% less likely to have developed Myopia by middle age. Caution should still be taken as to avoiding sun exposure during peak hours.

A Cafeteria tray can Encourage Healthier Eating…

Researchers at Cornell University discovered that diners in cafeterias that grabbed a tray Food Traybefore collecting a meal were more inclined to collect foods of a more balanced nature. Selections usually included a salad, entree and a dessert. A tray-less trip usually forced diners to leave one of the choices since only one dish could be carried in each hand. The study showed that those individuals usually left out the salad and kept the dessert.

Fresh Fruit without the Wax…

The challenge for fruit growers has always been, how can you leave fruit on the vine long enough to ripen and still be juicy when it arrives at market? This is the goal of ApeelWaxed fruit Sciences a company whose aim is to eliminate gas and wax used by most commercial farmers. We have grown accustomed to fruits and vegetables that are devoid of taste simply because of their ability to withstand time and transportation. In so doing most produce is picked before it is truly ripe. Crops can be dipped in a solution called Edipeel created by Apeel Sciences. It is a product that has been derived from totally organic sources composed of grape skins after wine-making, stems of broccoli that have been discarded, banana peels and other fruit and vegetable waste.  Edipeel creates an edible barrier that can repel pests and fungi during transport.

Pigeons and lead Poisoning…

A study published by the Journal Chemosphere found that Manhattan neighborhoods that Pigeonshad the highest blood lead levels in children also had high levels in pigeons that inhabited the same region. Rebecca Calisi of Bernard College conducted the study. Data from 825 pigeons was examined. There was a direct correlation between pigeons and children in both Soho and Greenwich village according to statistical analysis by the New York City Health Department and data from the Wild Bird Fund. Pigeons are easy to study because they live in close proximity to humans, eat the same food and spend most of their lives in a square mile. This information could prove invaluable in detecting areas of the city that might pose a potential risk for lead poisoning and therefore prevent health problems before they arise. The benefits of using pigeons could extend outside the city limits where they could be useful in monitoring heavy metals, pesticides and fire retardants.