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Malaysian-style Vegan Stir-fried Soba with Vegetables

Ingredients

500 g soba noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 g trimmed and sliced mushrooms
2 cups baby carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups broccoli florets

Sauce

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons agave syrup

Method

  1. Cook the soba according to the packet instructions. Drain and return to the pan. Stir in the vegetable oil, toss to coat the noodles, then cover the pan and set aside.
  2. Cmbine the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes, until onion and garlic are golden.
  4. Add the broccoli florets, cover the pan, and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crispp tender.
  5. Add the sauce and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Pour the vegetable-sauce mixture over the noodles, toss to combine, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan – The Cookbook

Video: Grilled Tofu

Watch video at You Tube (5:15 minutes) . . . . .

What You Need to Know About Antidepressants

Medication can help millions of people who struggle with depression, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Depression affects some 350 million people worldwide. It’s a serious illness and a major cause of disability. But its symptoms can be mistaken for other health issues and some people are afraid to seek help, the FDA said.

Not everyone with depression needs medicine, the agency said. But drugs used to treat it — antidepressants — can help ease symptoms, such as:

  • Depressed mood,
  • Loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities,
  • Changes in appetite or weight,
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
  • Loss of energy or fatigue,
  • Restlessness,
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt,
  • Problems thinking, focusing or making decisions,
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Doctors consider these symptoms — as well as a patient’s medical history, behavior and mental status — to diagnose depression and rule out other health issues, including thyroid disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Doctors should also evaluate patients for bipolar disorder, which can cause major mood swings. Giving antidepressants to someone with bipolar disorder could lead to psychosis, according to the FDA.

Antidepressants help treat depression by changing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters — such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine — that help regulate mood.

There are several different types of antidepressants, which affect different neurotransmitters in different ways. Antidepressants include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram) and Paxil (paroxetine),
  • Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine),
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), including Elavil (amitriptyline), Tofranil (imipramine) and Pamelor (nortriptyline),
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including Nardil (phenelzine) and Parnate (tranylcypromine),
  • Other antidepressants include Remeron (mirtazapine) and Wellbutrin (buproprion).

“Some evidence shows that the most effective way to treat many patients with depression is through both talk therapy and prescribed antidepressant medication,” Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the FDA’s division of psychiatry products, said in an agency news release.

Taking antidepressants may cause complications, including birth defects and high blood pressure. Other possible side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Weight gain,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Sleeping problems,
  • Sexual problems.

It’s important for patients to work with their doctor to find the best treatment for them, Mathis said.

But medication won’t ease depression overnight, the FDA cautioned. Most patients must take their prescribed drugs for several weeks before they fully take effect.

And people who take antidepressants should not stop without talking to their doctor first — even if they feel better. Suddenly discontinuing this medicine could cause depression to return or lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and irritability, according to the FDA.

The FDA requested drug makers to put a warning label on these drugs about the increased risk of suicidal thinking or behavior when children, teens and young adults up to age 24 start treatment or their dosage increases.

Source: HealthDay

Healthy Arteries May be Possible with Aging

Having the blood vessels of a healthy 20-year-old into one’s 70s is possible but difficult in Western culture, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

“For the most part, it’s not genetic factors that stiffen the body’s network of blood vessels during aging. Modifiable lifestyle factors – like those identified in the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 – are the leading culprits,” said study author Teemu J. Niiranen, M.D., research fellow at Boston University School of Medicine, Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.

“Vascular aging is thought of as normal aging. As people get older, their arteries become stiffer and they develop high blood pressure. In fact, that’s what happens to most people beyond age 70. But it doesn’t have to happen,” Niiranen said.

Niiranen and colleagues studied 3,196 adults ages 50 and older from the Framingham Heart Study. They defined healthy vascular aging for people 50 years old or older as having both normal blood pressure and pulse-wave velocity near the level of healthy people age 30 or younger. Pulse-wave velocity is a measurement of stiffness in the blood vessels.

Researchers found that overall, 566 (17.7 percent) of the participants studied had healthy vascular aging. The group most likely to have healthy vascular aging was the youngest. More than 30 percent of those 50 to 59 years old in the sample met the standards for healthy vascular aging. Only 1 percent of those 70 and older had healthy vascular aging, and they were more likely to be women.

The most important factors of achieving healthy vascular function were staying lean, or having a low body mass index, and avoiding diabetes, according to Niiranen.

The other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining favorable cholesterol levels, also came into play, according to Niiranen. In fact, the researchers found that those who achieved six out of seven of the American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 healthy heart goals were 10 times more likely to achieve healthy vascular aging than those who achieved zero to one of the measures.

The researchers also found that people with healthy vascular aging were at a 55 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to Niiranen.

“Western culture that includes poor diets and sedentary lifestyles is a hurdle for maintaining healthy blood vessels. Age-associated high blood pressure, for example, is not common in indigenous hunter-gatherer populations,” according to Niiranen.

“Unfortunately, there is still no magic pill that helps achieve healthy vascular aging. Achieving Life’s Simple 7 increases the odds of keeping healthy blood vessels even into old age,” he said. “For the population’s health, healthy vascular aging should be considered a universal goal.”

Source: American Heart Association


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