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Seafoods Galore: Let’s Indulge

Published August 29, 2016 by teacher dahl

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Seafood

From saltwater and freshwater fish to deep water shellfish, seafood is a beloved delicacy. Seafood is nutrient-rich, serves as a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and in the reduction of common diseases. So as you embark on yet another crawfish boil or fish fry, know that the seafood you’re consuming will yield many benefits!

Here are  top 10 health benefits of eating seafood.

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Provides essential nutrients – Though the specifics depend upon which type seafood you consume, seafood is known for being a natural source of vitamins and minerals. B-complex vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin B. B-complex vitamins (vitamins such as B1, B3, biotin, B12, etc.) perform many different functions, influencing energy production, metabolism, concentration, and even beauty! Some types of fish, such as salmon, are rich in vitamin A, which helps protect vision and boost the immune and reproductive system’s capabilities. Another vitamin found in some seafood – often the fatty skin of salmon, tuna and others – is vitamin D, which promotes healthy bone growth, calcium absorption, and boosts immune system efficiency as well as cell growth.

 

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Promotes heart health – While seafood is nutritious enough to be low in saturated fats and high in protein, its greatest health benefit lies in its abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids. While several studies have been conducted on the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids, they are most notably known for their benefits in heart health. In fact, they can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events from occurring, such as arrhythmias, strokes, and heart attacks. Though many prefer to acquire their omega-3 fatty acids with capsules, scientists prefer the actual consumption of actual seafood.

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Good for your joints – Eating seafood on a regular basis has been proven to ease the symptoms of arthritis. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can ease tender joints and reduce morning stiffness in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Maintains eyesight – A 2014 study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Journal suggests that those who consume omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration, a disease that can result in the loss of vision. Fish and shellfish can also boost your night vision. Eating oil-rich fish regularly can help to keep the eyes bright and healthy.

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Good skin – Eating seafood helps preserve moisture in the skin. Your skin’s natural glow is affected more from what you eat than what you apply directly to it. The omega-3 fatty acids in seafood protect the skin against UV rays from the sun and recent research has found limited findings suggesting fish oil can help reduce the prevalence of acne.

 

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Boosts brainpower – Seafood omega-3s may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A sufficient intake of DHA and EPA found in omega-3 fatty acids promote proper brain growth in infants and children. ( needs research) and recent research speculates long-term consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can boost cognitive function in aging women.

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Fights against depression – Recent research has shown an association between the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and risk of depression ad has found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids can not only decrease the risk of depression but has the potential to treat depression as well. Consuming more seafood can help you have a better, more positive outlook on life.

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Pregnancy benefits – Studies indicate that eating more fish has positive benefits on birth weight because it enhances fetal growth and development. Seafood consumption also aid in reducing preterm delivery and is essential for central nervous system development. Furthermore,

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Improves immune function – Increased omega-3 consumption can reduce the symptoms of asthma and certain allergies. Selenium is a potent antioxidant found in seafood that is known to improve the immune system.

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Many choices – Who doesn’t like having options, right? There are a great variation of seafood to choose from, and while one of the greatest deterrents to seafood is “that sea taste” there are many different healthy ways to prepare your meal to help get rid of that fishy feeling.

Source : Health Fitness revolution

The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between

Published July 31, 2016 by teacher dahl

 

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The Family Health Guide
For years, fat was a four-letter word. We were urged to banish it from our diets whenever possible. We switched to low-fat foods. But the shift didn’t make us healthier, probably because we cut back on healthy fats as well as harmful ones.
Your body needs some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy. It helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.
All fats have a similar chemical structure: a chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. What makes one fat different from another is the length and shape of the carbon chain and the number of hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon atoms. Seemingly slight differences in structure translate into crucial differences in form and function.
Bad fats
The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. When vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen and a heavy-metal catalyst such as palladium, hydrogen atoms are added to the carbon chain. This turns oils into solids. It also makes healthy vegetable oils more like not-so-healthy saturated fats. On food label ingredient lists, this manufactured substance is typically listed as “partially hydrogenated oil.”

Bad Fats

Early in the 20th century, trans fats were found mainly in solid margarines and vegetable shortening. As food makers learned new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, they began appearing in everything from commercial cookies and pastries to fast-food French fries.
Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.Research from the Harvard School of Public Health and elsewhere indicates that trans fats can harm health in even small amounts: for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.
Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Today, these mainly man-made fats are rapidly fading from the food supply.
In-between fats
Saturated fats are common in the American diet. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease. Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.
The word “saturated” here refers to the number of hydrogen atoms surrounding each carbon atom. The chain of carbon atoms holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible — it’s saturated with hydrogens.
A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.
A handful of recent reports have muddied the link between saturated fat and heart disease. One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease.
Two other major studies narrowed the prescription slightly, concluding that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils or high-fiber carbohydrates is the best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, but replacing saturated fat with highly processed carbohydrates could do the opposite.

Good fat
Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. They differ from saturated fats by having fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid. There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats. When you dip your bread in olive oil at an Italian restaurant, you’re getting mostly monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature.
good fats
Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.
The discovery that monounsaturated fat could be healthful came from the Seven Countries Study during the 1960s. It revealed that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region enjoyed a low rate of heart disease despite a high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not the saturated animal fat common in countries with higher rates of heart disease. It was olive oil, which contains mainly monounsaturated fat. This finding produced a surge of interest in olive oil and the “Mediterranean diet,” a style of eating regarded as a healthful choice today.
Although there’s no recommended daily intake of monounsaturated fats, the Institute of Medicine recommends using them as much as possible along with polyunsaturated fats to replace saturated and trans fats.
Polyunsaturated fats. When you pour liquid cooking oil into a pan, there’s a good chance you’re using polyunsaturated fat. Corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are common examples. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they’re required for normal body functions but your body can’t make them. So you must get them from food. Polyunsaturated fats are used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
A polyunsaturated fat has two or more double bonds in its carbon chain. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The numbers refer to the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond. Both types offer health benefits.
Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and improves the cholesterol profile. It also lowers triglycerides.
Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. In addition to reducing blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising.

Evidence also suggests they may help reduce the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies linking omega-3s to a wide range of other health improvements, including reducing risk of dementia, are inconclusive, and some of them have major flaws, according to a systematic review of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Omega-6 fatty acids have also been linked to protection against heart disease. Foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils.

Credit: healthharvardedu.com

Expose Children to Vegetables Early and Often

Published May 16, 2016 by teacher dahl

baby n veggies

Exposing infants to a new vegetable early in life encourages them to eat more of it compared to offering novel vegetables to older children, new research from the University of Leeds suggests.

expose babies to vegetables early and often to adopt healthy eating habitsThe researchers, led by Professor Marion Hetherington in the Institute of Psychological Sciences, also found that even fussy eaters are able to eat a bit more of a new vegetable each time they are offered it.

The research, involving babies and children from the UK, France and Denmark, also dispelled the popular myth that vegetable tastes need to be masked or given by stealth in order for children to eat them.

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Professor Hetherington said: “For parents who wish to encourage healthy eating in their children, our research offers some valuable guidance.

“If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often. Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that 5-10 exposures will do the trick.”

In the study, which was funded by the EU, the research team gave artichoke puree to 332 children from three countries aged from weaning age to 38 months. During the experiment each child was given between five and 10 servings of at least 100g of the artichoke puree in one of three versions: basic; sweetened, with added sugar; or added energy, where vegetable oil was mixed into the puree.

There was also little difference in the amounts eaten over time between those who were fed basic puree and those who ate the sweetened puree, which suggests that making vegetables sweeter does not make a significant difference to the amount children eat.

Younger children consumed more artichoke than older children. This is because after 24 months children become reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods – even those they previously liked. Among the children, four distinct groups emerged. Most children (40 percent) were “learners” who increased intake over time. Of the group, 21 percent consumed more than 75 percent of what was offered each time and they were called “plate-clearers”.

plate

Those who ate less than 10g even by the fifth helping were classified as “non-eaters”, amounting to 16 percent of the cohort, and the remainder were classified as “others” (23 percent) since their pattern of intake varied over time. Non-eaters, who tended to be older pre-school children, were the most fussy, the research found.

Globe artichoke was chosen as the sample vegetable because, as part of the research, parents were surveyed and artichoke was one of the least-offered vegetables. NHS guidelines are to start weaning children onto solid foods at six months.

The research has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Source: University of Leeds

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