Saturday, October 06, 2012

Bugs Bunny and The Healthiest Foods Of October

Carrots are uber healthy, ja? But, vy should vee eat zem? 

First if all, if it's good enough for bugs bunny, it's good enough for me. 

Think about it. Why is bugs always smiling? Because the carrots he eats all the time help him see better. They help keep his buck teeth under control. 

But also, it's because his little rabbit heart is protected by the carotenes and other antioxidants. 

Check out this chart

The vitamin K here is vital to maintain healthy bones. Bugs' rabbit foot is only lucky because it's not all osteoporotic and full of holes! 

That's another reason why he's always saying, "Eh, what's up doc." The magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C keep him OUT of the doctors office!! 

By the way, if you don't want to munch on carrots all the time, you can get the same benefit from drinking carrot juice. 

Read the research showing how drinking carrot juice is actually great for your heart.

Include The Food!!
(don't go overboard, just eat it once in a while)
Another awesome way to get your carrot fix, without walking around with a carrot stick in your hand, is with carrot soup. 

Actually, if you've had my butternut squash soup, you'll recognize this recipe because it's basically done just the same. 

Soften your carrots with onions, add stock with seasonings, puree the veggies and then add them back. 

Easy. And you'll love this! 

Get the recipe for a carrot soup that is dirt simple to make.

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Friday, October 05, 2012

The 7 Healthiest Foods Of October.

Over the next week, I'm going to list the healthiest foods available this month. Each day I'll have something new, with our recipes so you can make audible-groaning, healthy meals for you and your family!! 

The first must-include food is the pumpkin. The pumpkin IS fall, it IS Halloween, and it IS crazy good for you.  

When you're having a really, really hard time sleeping, you can read this research study showing how pumpkin can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer ... or this one, which links its consumption as a part of an overall set of choices that reduce a boat-load of cancers. 

Then, when you regain consciousness from your science-induced slumber, you could just include the Great Pumpkin in your diet. 

It's got massive vitamin A and also vitamin C, both of which tag team to help fight cancer. 

Got high blood pressure? 
Then you need foods high in potassium -- like pumpkin!! It's phytosterols have been shown to boost your immune response (it's getting chilly, winter's coming ... just sayin', perhaps you could use a little immunity boost?). 

Talk about a super food. The humble pumpkin is one of the best best fall foods, and ranks as our #1 Healthiest Choice Of October. 

Include The Food
Remember, you don't have to overindulge to get the awesome health properties of pumpkin ... just include the food.

Don't eat so much that YOU make it bad for you by overdoing it, just ... include the food.   

Pumpkin Pancakes!! Get the recipe.  

Pumpkin Pie!! Get the recipe.  
This is one of the best pumpkin pie recipes of all time, because it is relatively low in sugar, and it eats just as well for breakfast as it does for dessert after dinner!! 

I love when that happens. 

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Chocolate For Slow Learners?

Slow Learners? Let me explain. When you think of animals that move slowly, what do you think of? The snail, right? 

Well, study just published in The Journal of Experimental Biology  found that the strength and length of snail memories were improved after consumption of the epicatechin flavonoid found in chocolate.

Wait, so, chocolate for slugs? Slugs with memory problems? How could this possibly be relevant? It turns out that it is. 

There is a large body of evidence showing that these healthy flavonoid elements of cocoa (not nasty, sugary, milky, caramel-y, quote, chocolate candies) have awesome cognitive benefits (see this page from PubMed).

So what happened with the slugs?

The snails were trained on a dirt simple task -- to keep their breathing holes closed when tapped. This is apparently a standard learning model, where researchers studying learning/memory can show that slimy snails can actually learn this task, and remember it for a period of time.
Bottom line? These slow learners learned faster, and kept the learning longer when they were exposed to epicatechin, which is found in chocolate, wine, and tea. 

Again, why is this relevant? Because a very simple animal like a snail can reveal whether there is learning at the most basic, most elemental level in a biological system. We have great evidence linking chocolate with improved cognitive performance in humans. The work on lower animals can reveal the more primary mechanisms behind it. 
J. Exp. Biol. 215, 3566-3576. (2012) 
'A flavonol present in cocoa [(–)epicatechin] enhances snail memory'
Authors: Fruson, L., Dalesman, S. and Lukowiak, K.
Cocoa flavanols give snail brains a boost

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