Korean Snacks

Steamed Half-moon Shape Rice Cake

Omija-flavoured Jelly

Pine Nut Cake

Omega-3 Supplements May Slow A Biological Effect of Aging

Taking enough omega-3 fatty acid supplements to change the balance of oils in the diet could slow a key biological process linked to aging, new research suggests.

The study showed that most overweight but healthy middle-aged and older adults who took omega-3 supplements for four months altered a ratio of their fatty acid consumption in a way that helped preserve tiny segments of DNA in their white blood cells.

These segments, called telomeres, are known to shorten over time in many types of cells as a consequence of aging. In the study, lengthening of telomeres in immune system cells was more prevalent in people who substantially improved the ratio of omega-3s to other fatty acids in their diet.

Omega-3 supplementation also reduced oxidative stress, caused by excessive free radicals in the blood, by about 15 percent compared to effects seen in the placebo group.

“The telomere finding is provocative in that it suggests the possibility that a nutritional supplement might actually make a difference in aging,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State and lead author of the study.

In another recent publication from this study, Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues reported that omega-3 fatty acid supplements lowered inflammation in this same group of adults.

“Inflammation in particular is at the heart of so many health problems. Anything that reduces inflammation has a lot of potentially good spinoffs among older adults,” she said.

Study participants took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are considered “good fats” that, when consumed in proper quantities, are associated with a variety of health benefits. Participants on the placebo took pills containing a mix of oils representing a typical American’s daily intake.

The researchers say this combination of effects suggests that omega-3 supplements could represent a rare single nutritional intervention that has potential to lower the risk for a host of diseases associated with aging, such as coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study is published online and scheduled for later print publication in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Read more ….

Can Tomatoes Prevent A Stroke?

“Tomatoes are ‘stroke preventers’,” BBC News has claimed.

The news is based on a study looking at the levels of various chemicals called carotenoids in men’s blood and their long-term risk of stroke.

Carotenoids are naturally occurring chemicals which give fruit and vegetables their colour. They can act as antioxidants.

Antioxidants are believed to help protect against cell damage from molecules known as “free radicals” and “singlet molecular oxygen”. Antioxidants are thought to work by reacting with an unstable molecule and bringing it under control.

Some have suggested that antioxidants may have a protective effect against stroke by reducing damage to blood vessels.

In this study, the researchers found that men with the highest levels of a chemical called lycopene (known to be an antioxidant) in their blood had a 55% reduced risk of stroke compared with those who had the lowest levels. Lycopene is the chemical that gives tomatoes their distinctive red colour.

An important limitation of this study is that, although it included 1,000 men, only 67 strokes occurred. This makes for a very small sample size, which decreases the reliability of the risk calculations.

Overall, this research cannot show that the levels of lycopene were directly responsible for the differences in stroke risk, and it is also unclear how lycopene could prevent strokes. However, the findings of this study support the recommendation to eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

The study was published in the journal Neurology.

Read more ….

Vegetarian Samosa

Ingredients

Pastry

250 g plain flour
2 tbsp oil

Filling

4 peeled and boiled potatoes, broken into pieces
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves
1 to 2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Mix together oil and flour until a stiff dough forms. Add more water and oil if necessary. It should be so stiff that you should not require any extra flour for rolling. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes and roll into a large ball. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside.
  2. To prepare filling, heat oil. Add cumin seeds, ginger and chillies. Fry for 1 minute. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients. Sauté for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Make a paste with extra flour and water in a cup. This is used to seal the samosa.
  4. Take walnut-size balls of the dough. Roll out to make 6-inch circles. Cut each in half to make a D shape.
  5. Put a little paste on half length of the cut side, fold and lightly seal it with the other half to form a cone. Fill the cone two-thirds with the filling. Apply paste to the inside of the open edges at the top, and press to seal to form the samosa.
  6. Continue to make samosa with the remaining dough and filling. Cover finished samosa with a damp cloth.
  7. Deep-fry samosa in oil until golden.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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