Video: The Smell of Durian Explained

Durian is known as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia, but it’s also banned from many public spaces due to its powerful odor.

This video explains the unique chemistry behind durian, and catches people reacting to this stinky delicacy as they try it for the first time.

Watch video at You Tube (5:52 minutes) . . . .

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Spicy Vegan Burger with Buffalo Flavour

Ingredients

2 Tbsp oil
2 cups onions, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 vegan chicken-flavoured bouillon cube, crumbled
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic salt or powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 pack firm tofu, crumbled into small pieces

Toppings

8-10 burger buns
1/2 cup celery, sliced
8-10 leaves lettuce
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
hot sauce, to taste

Method

  1. In a large pot, combine oil, onions, garlic, bouillon, lemon juice, salt, garlic salt/powder, and black pepper and sauté over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until onion mixture is cooked and golden. Remove from heat.
  2. Mix in cooked rice, stirring well. Rice should be free of clumps and well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, and tofu. Mix all ingredients together. Remove 1 cup of mixture and process in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Return processed mixture to large batch and combine well. Shape mixture into patties.
  5. Preheat oven to 390°F.
  6. For more texture, patties can be coated in breading of your choice.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip patties. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Grill or toast burger buns.
  9. Layer on sliced celery, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
  10. Baste the patty in your favourite hot sauce. Add patty to bun.

Makes 8 to 10 burgers.

Source: ciao!

In Pictures: 3D Latte Art

Review: Cardiometabolic Health Benefits of a Plant-based Diet

Plant-based eating patterns continue to soar in popularity and a group of nutrition researchers outline the science behind this sustainable trend in a review paper, entitled “Cardiometabolic benefits of plant-based diets,” which appears as an online advance in Nutrients. The review will publish in a future special edition, entitled “The Science of Vegetarian Nutrition and Health.”

The review outlines how a plant-based diet, which is naturally low in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and rich in nutrients, like fiber and antioxidants, could be one tool, in addition to adopting a healthful lifestyle, used to improve nutrition intake and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

The authors, Hana Kahleova, Susan Levin, and Neal Barnard analyzed clinical research studies and reviews published until May 2017. Their research finds a plant-based diet, built around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, can improve nutrient intake and help manage body weight and glycemic control, improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reverse atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of the arteries caused by the accumulation of arterial plaque.

“The future of health care starts on our plates,” says Dr. Kahleova, the lead study author and the director of clinical research at the nonprofit Physicians Committee. “The science clearly shows food is medicine, which is a powerful message for physicians to pass on to their patients and for policymakers to consider as they propose modifications for health care reform and discuss potential amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill.”

To understand the health benefits of a plant-based diet, the researchers analyze its structure:

Fiber

Fiber contributes to bulk in the diet without adding digestible calories, thus leading to satiety and weight loss. Additionally, soluble fiber binds with bile acids in the small intestines, which helps reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar.

Plant-Based Rx: Aim to eat at least 35 grams of dietary fiber a day. The average American consumes 16 grams of dietary fiber each day.

Fats

Plant-based diets are lower in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can decrease insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Plant-Based Rx: Swap meat and dairy products, oils, and high-fat processed foods for smaller portions of plant staples, like a few avocado slices or a small handful of nuts and seeds, which are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Plant Protein

Vegetable proteins reduce the concentrations of blood lipids, reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Plant-Based Rx: Legumes, or lentils, beans, and peas, are naturally rich in protein and fiber. Try topping leafy green salads with lentils, black beans, edamame, or chickpeas.

Plant Sterols

Plant sterols that have a structure similar to that of cholesterol reduce cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, have anti-inflammatory effects, and positively affect coagulation, platelet function and endothelial function, which helps reduce blood clots, increases blood flow, and stabilizes glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Plant-Based Rx: Consume a high intake of antioxidants and micronutrients, including plant sterols, from whole plant foods, like vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. A plant-based diet supports cardio-metabolic benefits through several independent mechanisms. The synergistic effect of whole plant foods may be greater than a mere additional effect of eating isolated nutrients.

“To make significant health changes, we have to make significant diet changes,” concludes Dr. Kahleova. “A colorful plant-based diet works well for anyone, whether you’re an athlete looking to boost energy, performance, and recovery by enabling a higher efficiency of blood flow, which equates to oxygen conversion, or if you’re a physician who wants to help patients lose extra weight, lower blood pressure, and improve their cholesterol.”

Dr. Kahleova and the study authors recommend using a plant-based diet as an effective tool to treat and prevent cardiometaoblic disease, which they would like to see promoted through future dietary guidelines and nutrition policy recommendations.

Source: Medical News Today

Blood Test Detects a Range of Cancers Earlier

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . .

A new genetic blood test might pave the way for detecting early stage cancers that often prove fatal when caught too late, a new study suggests.

The test scans blood for DNA fragments released by cancerous tumors, explained lead researcher Dr. Victor Velculescu.

By reviewing these DNA fragments for mutations found in 58 “cancer-driver” genes, the blood test detects many early stage cancers without rendering false positives for healthy people, said Velculescu, co-director of cancer biology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, in Baltimore.

The test detected stage 1 or 2 colon, breast, lung or ovarian cancers between 59 percent and 71 percent of the time when assessing 200 patients previously diagnosed with cancer, researchers found.

“If we are able to detect cancer earlier, our chances of saving lives would be much higher,” Velculescu said. “The survival difference between late-stage and early stage disease in these cancers accounts for over a million lives worldwide each year.”

The test also proved capable of screening out cancer-free people.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, called this “important research” that “moves us one step further down the path to developing a blood test that might find cancer earlier.”

“We still need to improve the sensitivity, but this is a step forward. It is a proof of concept,” Lichtenfeld said. “It is not a test that’s going to be available in a clinical laboratory anytime soon.”

To develop a genetic blood test for cancer, researchers must find ways to spot DNA mutations linked to cancer while ignoring natural and harmless mutations that regularly occur in humans, Velculescu explained.

Velculescu and his team developed a genetic scan that essentially “takes a fragment here and a fragment there and uses it to create a picture of what the tumor DNA looks like,” Lichtenfeld said. “That’s what makes it so elegant.”

The research team assembled a panel of 58 cancer-linked genes, and used their scan to look for tumor DNA fragments in the blood of 200 people known to have cancer.

Overall, researchers detected about 62 percent of stage 1 and 2 cancers.

The test specifically spotted early stage colon cancer 71 percent of the time, breast and lung cancer 59 percent of the time, and ovarian cancer 68 percent of the time.

The ability to catch early stage ovarian cancer is particularly needed, Lichtenfeld said. Fewer than one in five ovarian cancers are caught early, when the five-year survival rate is greater than 90 percent. Most are detected after they’ve spread, and by then the odds of five-year survival are 40 percent or less, he said.

“Finding any marker in a stage 1 ovarian cancer patient is very important, because this is a tumor that usually presents at a much later stage,” Lichtenfeld said.

The researchers also directly tested cancerous tissue removed from half of the 200 cancer patients. They found that 82 percent of the tumors contained mutations that correlated with DNA fragments found in the person’s blood.

To check the blood test’s ability to weed out healthy people, the researchers also analyzed blood from 44 volunteers without cancer. No false positives occurred.

That equates to less than one false positive for more than 3.5 million letters of DNA sequenced, since each separate test requires assessment of 80,000 DNA base pairs associated with the 58-gene screening panel, Velculescu said.

Despite these promising results, researchers need to validate the blood test in larger studies, Velculescu said.

More work also needs to be done to improve the detection rate, Lichtenfeld added. “These tests were not able to detect 100 percent of the cancers,” he said.

Finally, cancer doctors must discuss what will be done when technology evolves to the point that such tests regularly find tumors that aren’t life-threatening, Lichtenfeld said. In some cases, treatment to remove the cancer could be worse than leaving it alone.

“What’s going to be so important is to be able to distinguish cancers that will hurt people versus cancers that may not have long-term impact on survival,” Lichtenfeld said.

The report appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Source: HealthDay


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