Empress Chicken Wings

Ingredients

600 g chicken wingettes
160 g bamboo shoots, sliced
2 slices ginger, chopped
1/2 piece slab sugar, crushed
12 soaked black mushrooms
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp sugar

Marinade

1-1/4 tbsp light soy sauce
1-1/4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1-1/4 tbsp ginger juice
1-1/4 tbsp wine
dash of sesame oil

Sauce

2-1/4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp chicken broth mix
1/3 tsp salt
160 ml water
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

Method

  1. Clean and dry chicken wingettes, marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Marinate black mushrooms with sugar for 10 minutes.
  3. Add 2 tbsp oil to a wok, saute bamboo shoot till fragrant. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add wingettes and stir-fry till golden brown. Add slab sugar. After sugar dissolved, add chopped ginger, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
  5. Stir well and add sauce. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to serving plate and serve hot.

Source: Chinese Cooking

Have Your Health and Eat Meat too

Barbecued, stir-fried or roasted, there’s no doubt that Aussies love their meat. Consuming on average nearly 100 kilograms of meat per person per year, Australians are among the top meat consumers worldwide.

But with statistics showing that most Australians suffer from a poor diet, and red meat production adding to greenhouse-gas emissions, finding a balance between taste preferences, environmental protection, and health benefits is becoming critical.

Now, researchers from the University of South Australia can reveal that Aussies can have their health and eat meat too with a new version of the Mediterranean diet adapted for Australian palates.

Incorporating 2-3 serves (250g) of fresh lean pork each week, the Mediterranean-Pork (Med-Pork) diet delivers cognitive benefits, while also catering to Western tastes, and ensuring much lower greenhouse-gas emissions than beef production.

A typical Mediterranean diet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate consumption of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods.

This study compared the cognitive effects of people aged 45-80 years and at risk of cardiovascular disease following a Med-Pork or a low-fat diet (often prescribed to negate risk factors for cardiovascular disease), finding that the Med-Pork intervention outperformed the low-fat diet, delivering higher cognitive processing speeds and emotional functioning, both of which are markers of good mental health.

UniSA researcher Dr Alexandra Wade says the new Med-Pork diet will provide multiple benefits for everyday Australians.

“The Mediterranean diet is widely accepted as the world’s healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health, but in Western cultures, the red meat restrictions of the diet could make it hard for people to stick to,” Dr Wade says.

“By adding pork to the Mediterranean diet, we’re broadening the appeal of the diet, while also delivering improved cognitive function.

“This bodes well for our aging population, where age-associated diseases, such as dementia, are on the rise.

“Improving people’s processing speed shows the brain is working well. So, in Australia, the Med-Pork diet is an excellent lifestyle intervention where dementia is one of the leading causes of disability and the second leading cause of death.

“Then, when you add the fact that pork production emits only a fraction of the greenhouse gases compared to beef, and the Med-Pork diet is really ticking all boxes – taste, health and environment.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2050, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than five years old, bringing common health concerns associated with ageing into the fore. Further WHO statistics shows that cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death globally and that dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.

Dr Wade says the Mediterranean diet with lean pork is an effective adaption of a successful eating plan

“Put simply, a Mediterranean diet encourages healthy eating. It’s a food-based eating pattern that, with pork, still delivers significant health benefits,” Dr Wade says.

“We’re hoping that more people will find this dietary pattern to be more in line with their accustomed eating patterns and therefore more adoptable.

“Making a Mediterranean Diet work ‘Down Under’ is just one step in a bigger picture for better health.”

Source: University of South Australia

Playing Sports Might Sharpen Your Hearing

Playing sports may improve the brain’s ability to process sounds, a finding that could lead to new therapies for people who struggle with hearing, researchers report.

“No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physical fitness, but we don’t always think of brain fitness and sports,” said study senior author Nina Kraus. She’s a professor of communication sciences and neurobiology at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill.

“We’re saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one’s sensory environment,” added Kraus, director of the university’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

The study included 495 female and male Northwestern student athletes and a control group of 493 age- and sex-matched non-athletes.

The participants’ brain activity was monitored while they wore earbuds that delivered speech sounds. The athletes were more adept than those in the control group to tune out background noise to better process the speech sounds, according to the study published Dec. 9 in the journal Sports Health.

That skill can be useful for athletes when they’re trying to hear a teammate or coach calling to them during a game.

Kraus equated it to listening to a DJ on the radio.

“Think of background electrical noise in the brain like static on the radio,” Kraus said in a university news release. “There are two ways to hear the DJ better: minimize the static or boost the DJ’s voice. We found that athlete brains minimize the background ‘static’ to hear the ‘DJ’ better.”

She added that “a serious commitment to physical activity seems to track with a quieter nervous system. And perhaps, if you have a healthier nervous system, you may be able to better handle injury or other health problems.”

The findings could lead to sports-based therapies for people who struggle with auditory processing.

Source: HealthDay

Treating More than Just the Heart is Critical for Geriatric Patients

Geriatric conditions such as frailty and cognitive impairments may inadvertently worsen when older patients are treated in cardiac intensive care units – even as they receive excellent care for their heart attack, heart failure, valvular heart disease or pulmonary embolism, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published today in the Association’s premier journal Circulation.

In addition to their cardiovascular conditions, many older patients often have additional health conditions, take multiple medications for these conditions, may be frail or have cognitive impairment. Caring for older adults in the cardiac intensive care unit is markedly different than caring for younger patients, according to the statement, which provides an overview of how geriatric conditions may influence acute cardiovascular care.

“Treating the whole patient – considering their entire health profile, rather than focusing only on their acute cardiovascular event – is essential for achieving the best possible outcomes among geriatric patients with acute cardiovascular disease,” said Abdulla A. Damluji, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the writing group for the statement, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and interventional cardiologist at the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia.

While in a cardiac intensive care unit, older patients often experience factors that are emotionally and physically disorienting – such as bright lights, excessive noise, new medications, urinary catheters, dietary shifts, sleep disruptions and toileting challenges. “For vulnerable older adults who may already be experiencing cognitive decline, the environment in the cardiac intensive care unit may deplete already limited coping skills and could lead to delirium,” said Damluji.

Delirium is a state of an acute disturbance in awareness and attention. It commonly occurs during critical illness, and it contributes to a higher risk of dying in the hospital. “Reducing the level of sedation used in older patients may help mitigate delirium, however, more research needs to be done to fully understand how best to treat this condition in the context of acute cardiovascular illness,” said Damluji.

Extended bedrest, often necessary in an intensive care unit, is detrimental to patients of all ages. For older, critically ill patients, who are often frail when admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit, bedrest can significantly worsen their frailty. Further deterioration in muscle strength and bone density often occurs with prolonged immobility, which can also lead to poor medication tolerance, an increased risk of falling, weakened heart function and pressure ulcers (bed sores).

Early mobilization – getting the patient out of bed as soon as appropriate, may be helpful for some patients to address frailty. Encouraging appropriate physical movement may result in less weakness, an improved ability to walk and less time in the cardiac intensive care unit, among other benefits.

Another issue faced by older adults admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit is that they take an average of 12 different prescription medications, raising the risk of adverse side effects, drug-to-drug and drug-to-disease interactions. Patients may benefit by having some of their medications discontinued or deprescribed, if appropriate.

“In recent years, there has been a strong emphasis by the American Heart Association and other organizations to integrate geriatric syndromes into cardiovascular care for older patients, although implementation is slow. Strategies to achieve a wholistic care approach for each patient remains an important goal to improve care of older patients in the cardiac intensive care unit,” said Damluji.

Most clinical trials on how to treat acute cardiovascular conditions were performed on younger populations, however, their findings may not be accurate for older patients. Yet, most people over age 85 years have a cardiovascular disease and are likely to be admitted to a cardiac intensive care unit for treatment of an acute event, according to the statement.

Source: American Heart Association


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