Japanese Summer Sweet

Wagashi – Goldfish Jelly

The sweet is sold for a limited time period for 480 yen each in Japan.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

1/3 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Method

  1. Put the cashews in a blender and blend until finely ground. Add 3/4 cup water and blend for 2 minutes. Pour the cashew mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon. Discard the solids.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, strained cashew milk, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, sugar, cinnamon, and salt as needed. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until the desired consistency is reached.
  4. If using a standing blender, allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Pour the soup into the blender. Hold the lid down firmly with a clean, folded towel over it. Start on low speed and blend until the soup is smooth. Return to the pot and reheat if serving hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the cilantro before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: True Food

The Secret Why McDonald’s Fries Are So Addictive

Constantine Spyrou wrote . . . . . . .

French fries are the classic side chick to the typical burger, fried chicken, or whatever item you get when you roll into a fast food joint. Across the spectrum, it’s difficult to find a fry that everybody dislikes in the industry. However, it’s well known that drive-thru giant McDonald’s has fries that are more craved than anyone else’s.

Why is that? Well, if you take a dive into the ingredients that go into the crispy spuds at each chain, you’ll notice that McDonald’s has one key flavoring agent that makes them unique amongst major fast food brands: natural beef flavor.

On their website, McDonald’s states that this ingredient starts out with hydrolyzed milk and hydrolyzed wheat. What hydrolyzed refers to is a specific type of chemical reaction where bonds within the food are broken down with the assistance of water. Both are proteins that get broken down into compounds that release meaty and savory flavors when you eat them, giving an extra punch of umami to the already salty and starchy fries. The result is the elevation to a level of flavor that puts McDonald’s fries out of the reach of its competitors in terms of deliciousness.

Source: FoodBeast

15 Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

Mandy Ferreira wrote . . . . . . . .

Here are some of the potential benefits of pomegranate.

1. Antioxidants

Pomegranate seeds get their vibrant red hue from polyphenols. These chemicals are powerful antioxidants.

Pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices. It also has three times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice can help remove free radicals, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.

2. Vitamin C

The juice of a single pomegranate has more than 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be broken down when pasteurized, so opt for homemade or fresh pomegranate juice to get the most of the nutrient.

3. Cancer prevention

Pomegranate juice recently made a splash when researchers found that it may help stop the growth of prostate cancer cells. Despite multiple studies on the effects of the juice on prostate cancer, results are still preliminary.

While there haven’t been long-term studies with humans that prove that pomegranate juice prevents cancer or reduces the risk, adding it to your diet certainly can’t hurt. There have been encouraging results in studies so far, and bigger studies are now being done.

4. Alzheimer’s disease protection

The antioxidants in the juice and their high concentration are believed to stall the progress of Alzheimer disease and protect memory.

5. Digestion

Pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestion. It may be beneficial for people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.

While there are conflicting beliefs and research on whether pomegranate juice helps or worsens diarrhea, most doctors recommend avoiding it until you are feeling better and your symptoms have subsided.

6. Anti-inflammatory

Pomegranate juice is a powerful anti-inflammatory because of its high concentration of antioxidants. It can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and prevent oxidative stress and damage.

7. Arthritis

Flavonols in pomegranate juice may help block the inflammation that contributes to osteoarthritis and cartilage damage. The juice is currently being studied for its potential effects on osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other types of arthritis and joint inflammation.

8. Heart disease

Pomegranate juice is in the running as the most heart-healthy juice. It appears to protect the heart and arteries.

Small studies have shown that the juice improves blood flow and keeps the arteries from becoming stiff and thick. It may also slow the growth of plaque and buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. But pomegranate may react negatively with blood pressure and cholesterol medications like statins.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before indulging in the juice or taking a pomegranate extract supplement.

9. Blood pressure

Drinking pomegranate juice daily may also help lower systolic blood pressure. But more studies need to be done to determine if pomegranate juice can decrease overall blood pressure in the long term.

10. Antiviral

Between the vitamin C and other immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin E, pomegranate juice can prevent illness and fight off infection. Pomegranates have also been shown to be antibacterial and antiviral in lab tests. They are being studied for their effects on common infections and viruses.

11. Vitamin-rich

In addition to vitamin C and vitamin E, pomegranate juice is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin K.

Whether you decide to add pomegranate to your daily diet or just sip on it every now and then, check the label to ensure that it is 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, without added sugar. Or, juice it fresh.

12. Memory

Drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a daily may improve learning and memory, according to a recent study.

13. Sexual performance and fertility

Pomegranate juice’s concentration of antioxidants and ability to impact oxidative stress make it a potential fertility aid. Oxidative stress has been shown to cause sperm dysfunction and decrease fertility in women.

The juice has also been shown to help reduce oxidative stress in the placenta. But researchers don’t yet know the exact benefits this may provide. Drinking pomegranate juice can also increase testosterone levels in men and women, one of the main hormones behind sex drive.

14. Endurance and sports performance

Move over, tart cherry and beet juice. Pomegranate juice may be the new sport performance enhancer. The juice may help reduce soreness and improve strength recovery. It also decreases oxidative damage caused by exercise.

15. Diabetes

Pomegranate was traditionally used as a remedy for diabetes in the Middle East and India. While much is still unknown about the effects of pomegranate on diabetes, it may help decrease insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.

Bottom line

Green juice isn’t the only healthy option out there. Adding pomegranate juice to your diet may reduce your risk for chronic disease and inflammation. It’s also a great way to get the fruit’s nutrients and a boost of antioxidants.

It’s best to check with your doctor before drinking pomegranate juice every day, to make sure it won’t interfere with any of your medications.

Source: Medical News Today

Long Working Hours Increases the Risk of Developing Atrial Fibrillation

People who work long hours have an increased risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, according to a study of nearly 85,500 men and women published in the European Heart Journal today (Friday).

The study showed that, compared to people who worked a normal week of between 35-40 hours, those who worked 55 hours or more were approximately 40% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation during the following ten years. For every 1000 people in the study, an extra 5.2 cases of atrial fibrillation occurred among those working long hours during the ten-year follow-up.

Professor Mika Kivimaki, director of the Whitehall II Study, from the Department of Epidemiology at University College London (UK), who led the research, said: “These findings show that long working hours are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia. This could be one of the mechanisms that explain the previously observed increased risk of stroke among those working long hours. Atrial fibrillation is known to contribute to the development of stroke, but also other adverse health outcomes, such as heart failure and stroke-related dementia.”

Prof Kivimaki and colleagues from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium analysed data from 85,494 men and women from the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Finland who took part in one of eight studies in these countries. They assessed the participants’ working hours when they joined the studies between 1991 and 2004. Working hours were classified as less than 35 hours a week, 35-40 hours, which was considered as the standard working hours of full-time workers, 41 to 48 hours, 49 to 54 hours, and 55 hours or more a week. None of the participants had atrial fibrillation at the start of the studies.

During the ten-year follow-up period, there were 1061 new cases of atrial fibrillation. This gave an incidence rate of 12.4 per 1000 people in the study, but among the 4,484 people working 55 hours or more, the incidence was 17.6 per 1000. “Those who worked long hours had a 1.4 times higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, even after we had adjusted for factors that could affect the risk, such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, obesity, leisure time physical activity, smoking and risky alcohol use,” said Prof Kivimaki.

“Nine out of ten of the atrial fibrillation cases occurred in people who were free of pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease. This suggests the increased risk is likely to reflect the effect of long working hours rather than the effect of any pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease, but further research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved.

“A 40% increased extra risk is an important hazard for people who already have a high overall risk of cardiovascular disease due to other risk factors such as older age, male sex, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, smoking and physical inactivity, or living with an established cardiovascular disease. For a healthy, young person, with few if any of these risk factors, the absolute increased risk of atrial fibrillation associated with long working hours is small.”

The study does have some limitations, including the fact that working hours were only assessed once at the beginning of the study and that the type of job (for instance, whether it involved working night shifts) was not recorded.

Source: European Society of Cardiology


Today’s Comic