nutrition


MAKING SIMPLE SALADS
Learn easy and versatile salad recipes that are inexpensive and nutritious. At this workshop, you’ll have a hands-on experience in making an all-in-one salad meal, seaweed salad rolls and herbal salad in tomato cups.

Date: 18 June 2008
Time: 4pm to 5pm
Venue: Bishan Junction 8 Office Tower, #06-05
Fee/Registration: $20. Registration required.
Call 6250 1012.  Open to women 40 and above only.

INTERNATIONAL FALLS AWARENESS DAY
Each year, one in three people above the age of 65 experience a fall. At this event by Tan Tock Seng Hospital, learn more about how to reduce your risk of falling, how to fall-proof your home and the strategies in keeping your loved ones safe from falls.

Date: June 24
Time: 9.30am to 3.30pm
Venue: Tan Tock Seng Hospital Atrium
Fee/Registration: Free.

KIDS AT PLAY ON FRIDAYS
This play-and-learn programme guarantees loads of fun and excitement for the little ones. They can try their hands at different health discovery activities and take part in a treasure hunt.

Date: Fri
Time: 9am to 5pm
Venue: HealthZone, Level 2, Health Promotion Board, 3 Second Hospital Avenue
Fee/Registration: $2

*** extracted from TODAY newspapers 17 June 2008.

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Delicious sources of antioxidants for healthy summer eating

Forget the hype about single antioxidants, like vitamin E or beta carotene. They’ve never lived up to the promise that they can halt heart disease, cure cancer, eradicate eye disease, or prevent Alzheimer’s.

But that doesn’t mean antioxidants aren’t important to your health. The notion that antioxidants are good for you comes from studies showing that people who eat foods rich in a variety of antioxidants have better long-term health. Trials of single supplements, usually taken in pill form, have yielded disappointing results.

Antioxidants stabilize harmful by-products of the body’s energy-making machinery. These by-products, known as free radicals, can damage DNA, make LDL (“bad”) cholesterol even worse, and wreak havoc elsewhere in the body.

It’s possible that single antioxidants haven’t panned out because it takes a network of antioxidants — like those that exist in foods — to neutralize free radicals. If that’s the case, then it would be helpful to know the antioxidant content of various foods.

An international team of researchers did just that for more than a thousand foods that Americans commonly eat. Topping the list for antioxidant content were blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, and ground cloves (see “Antioxidant-rich foods”).

Antioxidant-rich foods

Here are the three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of antioxidants.

Product

Antioxidants (mmol/serving)

Blackberries

5.746

Walnuts

3.721

Strawberries

3.584

Artichokes, prepared

3.559

Cranberries

3.125

Coffee

2.959

Raspberries

2.870

Pecans

2.741

Blueberries

2.680

Cloves, ground

2.637

Grape juice

2.557

Chocolate, baking, unsweetened

2.516

Cranberry juice

2.474

Cherries, sour

2.205

Wine, red

2.199

Power Bar, chocolate flavor

1.875

Pineapple juice

1.859

Guava nectar

1.858

Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin C enriched

1.821

Cranapple juice

1.790

Prunes

1.715

Chocolate, dark, sugar-free

1.675

Cabbage, red, cooked

1.614

Orange juice

1.510

Apple juice, with added vitamin C

1.462

Mango nectar

1.281

Pineapples

1.276

Oranges

1.261

Bran Flakes breakfast cereal

1.244

Plums, black

1.205

Pinto beans, dried

1.137

Canned chili with meat and beans

1.049

Canned chili with meat, no beans

1.045

Spinach, frozen

1.040

Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal

1.024

Chocolate, sugar-free

1.001

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006

Cooking appears to increase the antioxidant potential of most foods, with the exception of grains such as rice, pasta, and corn grits, which show lower levels after cooking.

The researchers were careful not to claim that eating foods at the top of the list will keep you healthy. Instead, they believe that rating the antioxidant potential of different foods could help test whether antioxidants really do prevent disease. In the meantime, the list toppers are healthy foods, so don’t hesitate to dig in.

For more information on antioxidant-rich foods, order our Special Health Report, The Benefits and Risks of Vitamins and Minerals, at www.health.harvard.edu/VM.

9 ways to protect your heart from diabetes

Diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand. Here’s how you can uncouple them.

Diabetes and heart disease were once thought to be entirely unrelated disorders. New thinking suggests that they may actually spring from the same underlying cause — chronic, systemwide inflammation — or at least be influenced by it. This intertwining is a bad thing, since developing diabetes usually means developing heart disease as well. It also has a silver lining: Protecting yourself against one of these chronic conditions works against the other, too.

More than one million Americans are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year. Traditionally, up to 80% of people with diabetes develop some form of cardiovascular disease, from heart attack and stroke to peripheral artery disease and heart failure.

The connection between the two diseases isn’t ironclad. The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have joined forces to fight both heart disease and diabetes. Their latest effort focuses on helping people with diabetes whose hearts seem healthy keep them that way.

As you scan the tips below, remember that almost every recommendation is good for diabetes as well as heart disease.

1. Know your risk

Goal: Knowledge is power. Calculate your risk of heart disease, or ask your doctor to do it.
Getting there: The Framingham calculator is a general heart disease–risk estimator. Specific ones for people with diabetes have been developed by two diabetes groups.

2. Exercise

Goal: Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (like walking) or 90 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Getting there: If you do just one thing on this list, choose exercise. It is a key to controlling blood sugar, strengthens the heart and lungs, improves blood pressure, corrects out-of-whack cholesterol, and has other beneficial effects.

3. Control your weight

Goal: If your weight is in the healthy range, work to keep it there. If you are overweight, try to lose 5% to 7% of your weight over the next 12 months. (That’s about a pound a month for someone weighing 200 pounds.)
Getting there: Cutting out just one 12-ounce can of sugared soda a day (150 calories) is enough to help you lose a pound a month. You can easily double that by burning more calories with exercise.

4. Improve your diet

Goals:

  • Cut back on unhealthy fats: Lower saturated fat to under 7% of calories (about 17 grams), and keep trans fat intake as close to zero as possible.
  • Add more unsaturated fats from fish, grains, and vegetable oils.
  • Include at least 30 grams of fiber a day.
  • Watch the salt — reduce your intake to under 2,500 milligrams a day.
  • Choose whole grains and other slowly digested carbohydrates.

Getting there: The foods you eat can help you control blood sugar and protect your arteries. The main strategy is to get more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish, and vegetable oils (especially olive oil), and less fast food, salty or fried food, and rapidly digested carbohydrates. There is no one-size-fits-all “diabetes diet.” The American Diabetes Association released a comprehensive set of nutrition recommendations in January 2007. But rather than trying to wade through these, ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist.

5. Lower your blood pressure

Goal: A healthy blood pressure is 120/80 or below. If you have high blood pressure, aim for a systolic pressure of 130 or lower and a diastolic pressure of 80 or lower.
Getting there: Measure your blood pressure often; home monitors are a good investment. If it is above the goal, try exercise, the DASH diet, and, if needed, weight loss, smoking cessation, or medications.

6. Control your cholesterol

Goal: Aim for and LDL under 100 mg/dL, an HDL above 40 mg/dL, and triglycerides under 150 mg/dL.
Getting there: A healthful diet and exercise can do a lot to reverse risky lipid levels. A cholesterol-lowering statin can help protect against heart attack and stroke even when LDL levels are near the recommended goal. Niacin or a fibrate can improve HDL and triglyceride levels.

7. Quit smoking

Goal: If you smoke, try to stop. Avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible.
Getting there: The most effective quitting strategy includes talk therapy plus nicotine replacement therapy along with drugs such as bupropion (generic, Wellbutrin, Zyban) or varenicline (Chantix).

8. Control your blood sugar

Goal: Aim for hemoglobin A1c to be at least under 7% and, ideally, as close to 6% as possible without causing bouts of low blood sugar.
Getting there: Managing carbohydrate intake and switching to whole grains can help ease the blood sugar roller coaster. Exercise is vitally important. Use medications such as metformin, thiazolidinediones, and insulin as needed.

9. Prevent clots

Goal: Take a low-dose aspirin (75–162 milligrams) every day unless your doctor tells you not to.
Getting there: Aspirin prevents platelets from latching onto each other, an early step in clot formation. Preventing clots helps prevent heart attack and stroke.

For more information on controlling diabetes, order the Special Health Report, Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes, at www.health.harvard.edu/HED.

Body detoxification is for men too ! 

Every person needs to be enlightened in different aspect and at different stage of their lives. 

Having spent many years in detoxifying computers and preaching about anti-virus / Trojans / spyware / ransomware / phishing, anti-spam and what-have-you in the IT content security world, I stepped into the “different” yet the “same” industry. Different in the sense of human beings vs computers but yet the same as it is about health. Until 2 months ago, it had never occurred to me that it is not just about another business but about the real need to detoxify our body. 

Like most if not all “unenlightened” men, the sheer mention of “detox” or “detoxification” will raise my eyebrows followed by a frown and ended with a quick switch of subject to something else. The basic reason is that this ritual or obsession is for the female population. It is all about skin beauty that the “rugged” men do not have to be concerned about.

As marketing professional which loves Alvin Toffler’s quotation that The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”, I set on “unlearning” the previous (IT) products and immediately dive into learning the new product which is the Good Image Tea, which is formulated, manufactured and distributed by our company and group’s herbal manufacturing plant.

 biolife3-1.jpgGood Image Tea

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It is through the course of understanding the overall Good Image Tea, the characteristics and benefits of each of the ingredients such as green tea, licorice, peppermint and ginseng; as well as talking and learning from people in the same industry, customers and associates that I “relearn” that detoxification is for men too, especially those that are entering the middle age and beyond.

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Detoxification is not about maintaining skin beauty, it is about health maintenance.

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How many men in modern days do not entertain, smoke, drink alcohol, eat all kinds of “unhealthy” food?   The demand from life, the stress from career to excel, the swing between happiness and sadness are the “evils” that everyone has to face them. However, when come to the physical well-being, most men are not too concerned about it or do not have the time to manage them. As chauvinist pig, the man might think to himself, “if there is so much toxin in my body, why is it that I am still so strong and healthy?” My shifu (teacher) told me that when one doesn’t take care of the body, it will “calculate the bill” when he or she gets older. This reminds me of the how we are treating mother earth all these years and the global warming, chaotic weather changes and unprecedented disasters are cropping across the globe might just be what mother earth is showing the bill now. 

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Back to the men – haven’t you noticed that men reaching the 40’s are experiencing many serious challenges ? – long sightedness, memory retardation, more lethargic, facial wrinkles, pot belly, pain at the joints, puffy eyes, etc. These are the signs of the changes in metabolism.  It is not that there is no toxin, but it is because the toxins accumulated over the years have yet to create havoc. The rising number of people with constipation is just a simple sign of toxin accumulation. Once the toxins have accumulated to a certain level, they will start to block your arteries, get into the blood, damage the organs and finally causing the body to collapse. 

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Younger people are no longer spared too! 

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News of men in the thirty’s having heart attack & stroke is not uncommon.  Be it the heavy mental stress at work, unbalanced diet or the fun and “de-stressing” night activities, the chauvinistic men will not admit or reveal it and are nonchalant about it. 

Call it doom-saying but this kind of attitude towards health will be a great mistake. As the world progresses, our health habits should follow suit to harmonize with our body.  Men must personally take care of themselves.  Detox is definitely for men too.

Tea ‘healthier’ drink than water
Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.

The work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates.

Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers,UK nutritionists found.

Experts believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health.

Healthy cuppa
These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage.

Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London, looked at published studies on the health effects of tea consumption.

They found clear evidence that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack.

Some studies suggested tea consumption protected against cancer, although this effect was less clear-cut.

Other health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and potentially tooth decay, plus bone strengthening.

Dr Ruxton said: “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

Rehydrating
She said it was an urban myth that tea is dehydrating.

“Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate.

But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid.

“Also, a cup of tea contains fluoride, which is good for the teeth,” she added.

There was no evidence that tea consumption was harmful to health.

However, research suggests that tea can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, meaning people at risk of anaemia should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.

Dr Ruxton’s team found average tea consumption was just under three cups per day.

She said the increasing popularity of soft drinks meant many people were not drinking as much tea as before.

“Tea drinking is most common in older people, the 40 plus age range.

In older people, tea sometimes made up about 70% of fluid intake so it is a really important contributor,” she said.

Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “Studies in the laboratory have shown potential health benefits.

“The evidence in humans is not as strong and more studies need to be done.

But there are definite potential health benefits from the polyphenols in terms of reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers.

“In terms of fluid intake, we recommend 1.5-2 litres per day and that can include tea. Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink.”

The Tea Council provided funding for the work.

Dr Ruxton stressed that the work was independent.

BBC Health 24 August 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5281046.stm

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
by Lynn Grieger, RD, CD, CDE

There are lots of reasons why I enjoy a hot cup of tea: I love the aroma of various flavors of tea; holding onto a hot tea mug warms my hands on a cold winter morning; sipping tea in front of the fireplace is a great way to relax. And those are just the feel-good reasons. If you’re not drinking tea yet, read up on these 10 ways tea does your body good and then see if you’re ready to change your Starbucks order!

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.  

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages. 

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time. 

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk.Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

http://health.ivillage.com/eating/0,,7kq79l90,00.html  

Obesity, illness speed testosterone decline
Mar 15, 2007

Reuters  NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Gaining too much weight can accelerate the decline in testosterone levels that accompanies aging, a new study shows.

“Although hormone declines appear to be an integral aspect of the aging process, rapid declines need not be dismissed as inevitable,” the researchers conclude.

Men’s testosterone levels fall as they get older, which may contribute to health problems such as diabetes, loss of bone and muscle mass, and sexual dysfunction, Dr. Thomas G. Travison of New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts and colleagues note in a report in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

To better understand how much of the decline in testosterone over time is due to aging and how much might be related to health and lifestyle changes, the researchers looked at data for 1,667 men 40 to 70 years old followed from 1987-1989 to 2002-2004. They were able to gather data for the entire time period on 35 percent, or 584, of the men.

Sharper declines in testosterone occurred among men who developed a chronic illness during the course of the study, those who lost a spouse, those who began taking six or more medications, and those who quit smoking, the researchers found.

And adding 4 to 5 points to one’s body mass index (BMI) — a tool used to determine how fat or thin a person is — resulted in a drop in testosterone levels similar to that seen over 10 years of aging.

On average, the men experienced a 14.5 percent drop in total testosterone levels for every decade of life and a 27 percent reduction in free testosterone, but when the researchers looked at a subset of men who were completely healthy throughout the course of the study, declines in total and free testosterone were 10.5 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively.

This suggests, the researchers say, that a “substantial proportion” of testosterone decline is due to changes in health.

“These results suggest the possibility that age-related hormone decline may be decelerated through the management of health and lifestyle factors,” they conclude. 

SOURCE: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, February 2007

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