by Tanya Fitschen
HOT Tap Water May Not Be Good
For Drinking Or Cooking
Many of us like the convenience of using hot water for cooking or preparing hot drinks to save time, but according to EPA experts, it is not a good idea to start with hot tap water for drinking or cooking. Hot water is more likely to leach lead and copper from pipes. Lead used in copper plumbing was banned in 1986, but older plumbing may still contain lead-soldered joints. The law did not go into effect until 1988, and some homes may still contain pipes or brass plumbing parts made from lead. The longer water stands in pipes, the more lead and copper is likely to dissolve, so it is important to allow cold water to run a minute or two to flush out standing water, if the tap has not been used for awhile.
The EPA says even new homes with legally “lead-free” pipes may contain up to 8 percent lead. These new pipes can leave significant amounts of lead in the water for the first several months after their installation.
In infants and children, exposure to lead in drinking water can result in delays in physical and mental development or cause slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause lead to kidney problems or high blood pressure.
If you need warm or hot water, take time to heat it. It is especially important to use only cold tap water to mix baby food or formula. Lead is especially dangerous for infants, and children. If your faucets are old, consider replacing them with new low-lead models. If you have a water filter that filters lead, be sure to change your filters on schedule.
Blueberries Are An Amazing Health Food!
Blueberries may lower triglycerides, protect your vision, and reduce your risk of diabetes and cancer. Experts say it is an overall superb antioxidant!
In a recent study conducted by Rimando, Kalt, Magee, Dewey, and Ballington, an antioxidant compound found in blueberries appeared to lower cholesterol as effectively as a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication. The compound known as “pterostilbene” not only lowers cholesterol but has powerful anticancer properties. Not only are blueberries a good source of fiber, but they also are high in three important antioxidants: resveratrol, pterostilbene, and piceatannol.
Top your high-fiber cereal or bowl of ice cream with a handful of blueberries, or check out the blueberry recipes in my recipe section below.
Source: Rimando, A. M., Kalt, W., Magee, J. B., Dewey, J., Ballington, J. R., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2004 July 28;52(15):4713-4719.
Yo-yo Dieting May Harm Your Immune System
A new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that maintaining the same weight over time appears to have a positive effect on a woman's immune system. Although no men participated in the study, researchers believe the immune systems of male dieters would likely be affected the same way.
Researchers working for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center interviewed 114 overweight, healthy, and sedentary older women about their weight-loss history during the past 20 years. The women had to have maintained a stable weight for at least three months before joining the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute.
The study found that long-term immune function decreases in proportion to how many times a woman has intentionally lost weight. Researchers measured natural killer cell activity in the women's blood. Natural killer cells are an essential part of the immune system that help kill cold viruses, infections, and cancer.
One weight-loss episode of 10 pounds or more in the previous 20 years was not associated with current natural killer cell activity, but more frequent weight-loss episodes were associated with a significant decrease in natural killer cells. The study found that women who maintained a fairly stable weight over several years had higher levels of these cells.
Those who reported losing weight more than five times had about 1/3 lower natural killer cell function, and women who maintained the same weight for at least five years had 40 percent greater natural killer cell activity as compared to those who maintained their weight for fewer than two years.
Although these findings are preliminary, researchers recommend avoiding fad diets, at least until further studies are conducted.
Reasons To Buy Organic Foods
Organic foods are somewhat difficult to find in our community. Albertson’s has only a scant few vegetables and occasionally organic bananas. Wal-Mart has a small organic produce section with foods such as baby carrots, potatoes, apples, broccoli, and a few other items.
There are several good reasons for purchasing organic foods. Some of the best reasons are listed below:
The Wild Oats natural marketplace in Salt Lake has a large variety of organic produce. If only there was a way to buy in bulk and maintain the freshness!
No Time To Work Out?
You don't need to work out like a maniac everyday to prevent chronic disease and obtain health benefits. Results from a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise concluded that short, mini-workouts throughout the day may lower your triglycerides as well as one long exercise session. You can derive health benefits by getting a half-hour of exercise in three 10-minute workout sessions throughout the day. Try taking three 10-minute brisk walks throughout the day if you can't find time to exercise. If you like to dance, turn up the volume and move to the groove! Whatever gets you moving at a good pace for 10-minutes, 3 times a day will improve your health.
Exercise reduces the spike in blood fats that occurs after consuming a high-fat meal. The study concluded that people who exercised in short bursts did not experience as sharp a rise in triglyceride levels after consuming a high-fat meal as those who did not exercise at all. The results suggest that short bouts of physical activity help the body metabolize fats and may reduce the risk of heart disease. It is important to remember that longer bouts of exercise are better for losing weight, while short bursts help with improving overall health.
The study trials consisted of 30 min of treadmill jogging at 60% max. One group exercised in three 10-minute sessions per day while another group did no exercise. Exercise trials were completed 12 hours before the high fat meal. Trials were separated by 7-10 days and were performed in random order.
Results: Plasma triglycerides were significantly lower in the short-burst exercise group compared with the no-exercise group.
You have heard all the advice: take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car farther away from your destination, wear a pedometer to help motivate you, etc. My advise is to do whatever activity you enjoy for 10 minutes, 3 times a day at a good pace. Even if you only make two sessions a day, it is a good place to start!
Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 36(8):1364-1371, August 2004.
Live Longer with Legumes!
A recent study of older people revealed that regular legume eaters have a significantly lower risk of mortality compared to non-legume eaters.
Legumes are an incredibly
diverse group of foods that includes peanuts, garbanzo beans,
soybeans, lentils, peas, lima beans, and red, white, or black
beans. Legumes are good for you, because they are high in
protein and fiber and low in fat. They also contain other
healthy nutrients such as folate, magnesium, and potassium that
help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugars by
slowing digestion. Folate (a B-vitamin) reduces blood levels of
homocysteine (associated with arterial damage and heart
disease). Magnesium and potassium are minerals that are
critical for blood pressure control.
The study was a cross-cultural study conducted by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Baseline data on food habits, health status and social variables were collected from subjects aged 70 and over (from Japanese in Japan, Swedes in Sweden, Anglo-Celtic in Australia, Greeks in Australia and Greece). The data obtained from this seven-year longitudinal study showed that a higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless of their ethnicity.
Health Division, National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne,
,,, Recipes ,,,
From The Fitschen Kitchen
Low-Fat Lemon Blueberry Cake
Makes about 15 pieces
Per Serving: 144 calories, 4g fat (0.5g saturated), 1.5g protein, 26g
carbohydrates, 13mg cholesterol, 229mg sodium
Blueberry Spelt Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the oil, sugars, applesauce, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, orange peel, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid and combine gently. Fold in the blueberries. Bake in lightly oiled or sprayed muffin tins for 30 minutes, or until done.
Wild Blueberry Cobbler
For the filling:
For the topping:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine blueberries, flour, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Pile mixture into a large baking dish or pie plate. In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. Lightly toss with the half-and-half until it forms a soft dough. Drop the dough in tablespoon size pieces on top of the blueberries until the surface is almost covered. Lightly pat the dough down to evenly distribute the top, but leave spaces for the blueberries to show through. Sprinkle with two tablespoons sugar.
Bake the cobbler for about forty to forty-five minutes until top is golden and the berries are bubbling. Serve with low-fat ice cream or yogurt.
Blueberry Cornmeal Waffles
Makes 16 waffles (8 servings)
A good source of thiamin and selenium
Equal parts of flour and cornmeal give these waffles a good crunch and corn-like flavor. Use a nonstick waffle iron if you have one or lightly brush a regular waffle iron with oil. This recipe makes 16 waffles that are about 3" square. Some waffle irons have four individual squares and some have only two. Whichever type of iron you have, use 1/4 cup of batter per waffle, spooning it into the center of the waffle square.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Per Serving: 211 calories, 4.5g total fat, 0.7g saturated fat, 2.8g monounsaturated fat, 0.6g polyunsaturated fat, 2.2g dietary fiber, 6g protein, 37g carbohydrate, 27mg cholesterol, 374mg sodium
Healthy and Nutritious Blueberry Pie
This wonderful pie is loaded with antioxidants. The filling is cooled and poured into a 9-inch baked pie crust. This recipe for Healthy Pie Crust makes two 9-inch crusts. Bake both crusts and freeze one for later, or simply use half the recipe.
Ingredients For Filling:
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen blueberries
Healthy Pie Crust
1. Pulverize the Graham crackers in a food processor.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well-blended.
3. Press half of mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, firming it well.
4. If an unbaked filling is to be used, bake the crust in an oven heated to 350ºF for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned. Otherwise, add the filling and bake the pie as directed.
Nutrients Per Serving –
Sodium: 135 grams