In Pictures: Summer Dessert Buffet at Hilton Tokyo Odaiba in Japan

Canadian-style Cobbler with Apple and Blueberries


3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
3 cups frozen or fresh blueberries, preferably wild
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
  2. In prepared baking dish, combine apples, blueberries, sugar and flour. Spread evenly.
  3. To make the topping, in a bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Without stirring, sprinkle with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir with a fork, just until moistened.
  4. Drop topping by 6 large spoonfuls over fruit, spreading gently to cover. Bake for about 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbling, topping is golden and tester inserted in centre of topping comes out clean.
  5. Remove and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Manitoba Dairy Farmers

In Pictures: Pancakes of IHOP in the U.S.

What Foods Can Hasten, or Delay, Menopause?

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . . . .

What women eat might determine when they enter menopause, new research suggests.

After tracking more than 35,000 British women for four years, investigators found that menopause tended to start earlier among those whose diets were heavy in refined carbs. In contrast, menopause tended to begin later among those who consumed a lot of fish and legumes.

“In particular, a higher consumption of oily fish was found to delay the timing of natural menopause by approximately three years, and fresh legumes — such as peas and green beans — was linked to a later menopause by around a year,” said study author Yashvee Dunneram.

“On the other hand, a higher consumption of refined carbohydrates — such as pasta and rice — hastened the onset of menopause by 1.5 years,” said Dunneram. She is a postgraduate researcher with the nutritional epidemiology group in the school of food science and nutrition at the University of Leeds, in England.

The reason for the link remains unclear. But Dunneram speculated that it may have to do with the way certain foods affect hormones.

“Refined carbs are one of the main culprits for insulin resistance,” Dunneram said. “A high level of circulating insulin could interfere with sex hormone activity and boost estrogen levels, both of which might increase the number of menstrual cycles and deplete egg supply faster, thus causing an earlier menopause.”

But the researchers cautioned that the study does not prove cause and effect, and that prior research has linked earlier menopause to both a higher and lower risk of developing a wide range of diseases.

“As such, we cannot really recommend women to consume these specific foods to influence their onset of natural menopause,” Dunneram said.

For the study, the researchers surveyed a group of English, Scottish and Welsh women to establish their nutritional patterns with respect to 217 specific foods. All of the women were aged 40 to 65, and none were told to alter their eating patterns.

About 14,000 women were tracked for four years post-survey, during which just over 900 experienced natural menopause.

On average, menopause began at 51. But for every additional daily intake of a standard portion of refined carbs, menopause onset began about 1.5 years earlier, the findings showed.

By the same token, every additional daily portion of oily fish and legumes was linked to a delay in menopause of roughly three years. Higher daily intake of both vitamin B6 and zinc was similarly linked to delayed menopause.

But complicating the matter, the investigators also found that vegetarian women experienced menopause about a year earlier than meat-eaters. The study team noted that the high-fiber/low-animal fat content in vegetarian meals has previously been linked to low estrogen levels.

But meat-eaters who ate higher daily amounts of savory foods — such as potato chips, pretzels and peanuts — experienced menopause about two years earlier than otherwise.

Dunneram suggested that more research will be needed to further sort out the specifics of the diet-menopause connection.

Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St Louis, cautioned that “the age of menopause is also genetically driven, so diet is just one factor.”

But, she said, “as a registered dietitian my response to this study is that it, like so many others, shows why it is important for us to continue to shift from animal protein choices to plant-based choices to improve overall health.”

That point was seconded by Lona Sandon, program director of the department of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern, at Dallas.

“Women should take up eating fish and legumes simply because they are healthy for you,” Sandon said.

But as for the specific notion that food might have an impact on menopause timing, “we really cannot conclude much of anything from this study,” she cautioned.

“There is a lot of speculation,” Sandon observed, “and seemingly random correlations at this point.”

The findings were published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Source: HealthDay

Twenty Things You Didn’t Know About Stroke, that May Save a Life

Stroke is a leading cause of preventable death, but lack of awareness, education and resources are major barriers to stopping it. During May, American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization devoted to saving people from stroke, reveals 20 important things you probably didn’t know about stroke, in recognition of its 20th Anniversary:

  1. There are different types of strokes: ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack (TIA). An ischemic stroke is a clot-caused blockage in an artery to the brain, while a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures in the brain. A TIA or “mini stroke” is caused by a temporary blockage. Eighty-seven percent of all strokes are ischemic.
  2. During a stroke, nearly 120 million brain cells die every hour. Compared with the normal rate of cell loss in brain aging, the brain ages 3.6 years each hour without treatment. The sooner the patient gets medical care, the better their chances of recovery.
  3. About 66 percent of the time, someone other than the patient makes the decision to seek treatment – recognizing the warning signs and sudden symptoms of stroke to receive treatment fast, could help save a life.
  4. F.A.S.T. is an acronym used to teach the most common warning signs and sudden symptoms of stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for (F) face drooping, (A) arm weakness, (S) speech difficulty, (T) time to call 9-1-1. Less than half of the population is aware of the signs.
  5. Stroke symptoms can also include sudden numbness, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden severe headache with no known cause and sudden trouble walking.
  6. Calling 9-1-1 and arriving at the hospital in an ambulance is the fastest way to get treated quickly during a stroke emergency. Driving to the hospital is a common mistake people make, that can result in longer wait times before the patient receives medical care.
  7. Patients who have an ischemic stroke, may have a treatment window for mechanical clot removal within six hours to up to 24 hours in certain patients with clots in large vessels.
  8. Alteplase (also known as tPA) is a drug used to dissolve a blood clot that causes stroke. Stroke patients who arrive at a hospital within 90 minutes of symptom onset and qualify to receive tPA are almost 3 times more likely to recover with little or no disability.
  9. TeleStroke is videoconferencing, similar to Facetime and Skype, connecting patients with neurological experts separated by distance. TeleStroke Units are increasing access to acute stroke care in rural areas and improving patient outcomes.
  10. Having a stroke increases the risk of a second one (1 in 4 survivors have another stroke). Prevention is crucial because second strokes can be more debilitating than first strokes.
  11. In some ischemic stroke cases, the cause is unknown (cryptogenic stroke). It’s a challenge to prevent a second stroke, when the cause of the first one is unknown. The patient should work with their healthcare team to find the root cause.
  12. Stroke survivors stopping their aspirin regimen can up their risk of having another stroke, possibly due to increased clotting levels from the loss of aspirin’s blood-thinning effects. Following an aspirin regimen can help prevent stroke in some survivors.
  13. First-ever ASA rehabilitation guidelines call for intensive, team approach. For the first three months after a stroke, the brain is ready to learn. This ability for our brains to adjust is known as neuroplasticity and it plays a crucial role in recovery.
  14. Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke is an in-hospital program that promotes adherence to the latest scientific guidelines to improve quality of stroke care. The program has expanded from 24 hospitals in 2003 to more than 2,000 hospitals to-date.
  15. In the Stroke Belt, an 11-state region in southeast U.S., the risk of stroke is 34 percent higher for the general population.
  16. More strokes are happening to people in their 30s and 40s.
  17. High blood pressure is the most common controllable cause of stroke. Recent guidelines redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.
  18. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. (an estimated 103 million) have high blood pressure.
  19. Other stroke risk factors: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking and family history.
  20. Eighty percent of strokes are preventable. Eating healthfully, being physically active and controlling risk factors are important lifestyle changes that can help prevent and beat it.

“We must aggressively continue our efforts to reduce stroke, especially in multicultural communities and to reach people at younger ages,” said Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., a professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University and chair of the American Stroke Association. “If people are not aware of how to prevent, treat and beat stroke, they can’t take advantage of the progress made over the last twenty years to save lives.”

Source : American Heart Association

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