Winnie the Pooh Cake of the Ginza Cozy Corner in Tokyo, Japan

The price is 3,024 yen (tax included).

Is Mango the Luscious Superhero of Fruit?

Maria Elena Fernandez wrote . . . . . . . . .

If mangoes could be any more of a nutritional hero, they might need to wear capes.

The luscious, sweet tropical fruits are packed with so many vitamins and minerals they are great for our hearts, skin, eyes, and digestive and immune systems.

Packing more than 20 vitamins and minerals, including high doses of vitamins A and C, mangoes hail from the cashew family and are also low-fat – one whole mango is about 207 calories. One cup of sliced mango is about 165 calories, and provides nearly 70% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which improves iron absorption, helps defend cells from damage and aids the immune system.

“Vitamin C is good for immunity,” said Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

“It’s an antioxidant so it can help with oxidative stress in the body. The primary benefit, in addition to being a really good source of vitamin C, is that (mangoes) are a decent source of vitamin A, folate and are pretty high in fiber, which is beneficial for colon cancer prevention, heart disease and weight control.”

Mangoes help protect and support the body in a number of ways, especially when they are consumed in whole form and not with the added sugars found in canned mangoes. They contain several antioxidant compounds which help protect or delay damage from “free radicals,” unstable atoms or molecules that can damage cells and cause diseases such as cancer.

The fiber, vitamin and potassium content in the juicy fruit also helps reduce the risk of heart disease. “Apart from sodium reduction, potassium helps with blood pressure control, which is a major concern for most Americans,” Vadiveloo said.

Although mango season typically runs from May to September, imported varieties of the fruit are available in the United States year-round. But not everyone should eat them.

Like the rest of the cashew family, which includes poison ivy and poison oak, mangoes contain urushiol, an oil that can cause the skin to erupt in rashes for some people. The oil is found in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems and even the roots.

Those with sensitivities to this oily substance might be able to eat mangoes by wearing gloves to remove the skin or having someone else remove it for them. “The severity of the allergy is very individual,” Vadiveloo said, “so it’s best to check with a physician to determine what you are particularly at risk for.”

In addition to being low-fat, mangoes can aid in weight loss because their fiber content helps you stay full longer.

“One thing that is nice about mango is that people do combine it with different things, like salsa, and it can also be combined with a lot of vegetables. A great way to reduce your total calories is to combine fruits with some of the non-starchy leafy vegetables and make an interesting salad,” she said. “Or add some mango salsa to your fish.”

Mangoes are healthy, but it’s not the only fruit powerhouse out there, Vadiveloo said. Federal dietary guidelines recommend eating two cups of fruits daily.

Experts recommend people “consume varieties of fruits and vegetables because they each have a slightly different nutritional profile,” she said. “So, it’s best not to just eat mangos but also to have berries and melons and a variety of whole fruits without added sugar.”

Source: American Heart Association

Afternoon Tea of Rihga Royal Hotel in Tokyo, Japan

Taiwan Edition

Sweets

  • Taiwan Castella
  • Pineapple Cake
  • Milk Nougat
  • Mango Pudding and Chandon Syrup
  • Lychee Macaron
  • Nuts Praline

Savoury Items

  • Taiwanese rice dumplings
  • Sweet and spicy boiled pork roll sandwich
  • Stir-fried rice noodles with crab

The price is 5,000 yen (tax included).

Could a Type of Statin Raise Dementia Risks?

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Certain cholesterol-lowering drugs might speed dementia in some older adults whose memories are starting to fail, a small, preliminary study suggests.

The researchers found that of 300 older adults with mildly impaired thinking and memory, those using “lipophilic” statins were more likely to develop dementia over the next eight years.

Lipophilic statins include such widely used medications as simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and lovastatin (Altoprev).

They’re considered lipophilic because they are attracted to fat and can cross into many body tissues, including the brain. That’s in contrast to hydrophilic statins — like rosuvastatin (Crestor) and pravastatin (Pravachol) — which act mainly in the liver.

In this study, there was no link between those statins and increased dementia risk.

The findings do not prove that lipophilic statins directly raise dementia risk, experts cautioned. But they add to a conflicting body of evidence on statins and brain function.

“This adds another piece to a complicated puzzle,” said Dan Berlau, a professor of pharmacy at Regis University in Denver, who was not involved in the new investigation but studies memory and disorders of the brain.

He said that high cholesterol in middle-age is linked to a higher risk of dementia later on. As for whether taking statins might curb that risk, Berlau said, studies have mostly come to either of two conclusions: the drugs show no effect, or a protective one.

If statins are protective, one reason may be their cardiovascular benefits: They cut “bad” cholesterol and help prevent fatty plaques from clogging arteries that supply the brain.

But other types of cholesterol medications have not been tied to lower dementia risk, Berlau noted, which hints at something special about statins. Animal research has suggested the drugs might reduce Alzheimer’s-related “plaque” buildup or counter inflammation in the brain, for instance.

Yet there is also evidence tying statins to short-term problems with cognition (thinking and memory), Berlau noted. Some statin users have developed cognitive problems while taking the drugs — issues that go away when the medication is stopped. (Statin labels now carry a warning about that.)

It’s been theorized that in some people, lipophilic statins might lower cholesterol levels in the brain below the threshold needed for normal cognition.

According to Berlau, it’s difficult to know how to square that with large population studies showing a lower dementia risk among statin users, most of whom were on lipophilic medications.

This latest study dug deeper, said project leader Prasanna Padmanabham, of the molecular and medical pharmacology student research program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The researchers separated older adults into groups based on three factors: their initial cognitive status; initial cholesterol levels; and the type of statin they were using.

Of 303 participants with mild cognitive impairment, 200 had total cholesterol levels that were normal or near-normal. It turned out that lipophilic statins were linked to higher dementia risk only among those individuals.

In that group, 24% of lipophilic statin users developed dementia over the next eight years, versus 10% of people not using any statin and 11% of hydrophilic statin users.

In addition, brain scans revealed certain changes linked to dementia among lipophilic statin users, but not people on hydrophilic statins, the researchers said.

Padmanabham presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, held online, and the findings were recently published in a supplement of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

No one should toss their statins based on these findings, cautioned senior researcher Dr. Dan Silverman, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA.

For one, he said, the elevated dementia risk was seen only in a select group of people.

And in general, the decision to use statins — and the choice of medication — depends on various factors, Silverman added.

Those factors include an individual’s personal risk of cardiovascular disease and whether there are any co-existing medical conditions, like kidney disease.

That said, if people with mild cognitive impairment and fairly low cholesterol levels are on a lipophilic statin, they might want to talk to their doctor about a switch, Silverman said.

Hydrophilic statins can help keep blood cholesterol in check, he noted, without crossing into the brain.

It’s not clear why lipophilic statins carried a higher dementia risk only among study participants with lower cholesterol. But it’s possible, Silverman said, that in those with higher cholesterol, the benefits of the medications outweighed any potential ill effects on the brain.

Berlau echoed the message that patients should not abandon their statins. “We have lots of evidence tying statins to a protective effect against dementia,” he noted.

And based on their well-established cardiovascular benefits, Berlau said, “I’d still recommend them.”

Source: HealthDay

Chocolate and Cabernet Pots

Ingredients

3/4 cup fruity Cabernet Sauvignon, preferably from California, Chile, or Australia
2 tablespoons sugar
7 oz plain dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
1-1/4 cups light cream
1 egg
a pinch of ground cinnamon

To Serve

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
confectioners’ sugar (optional)
6 or 8 small pots, ramekins, or espresso coffee cups, 1/2 cup each

Method

  1. Put the wine and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat very slightly and simmer gently until the wine has reduced by two-thirds to about 3 tablespoons, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Break the chocolate into squares, and put them in a blender. Blitz briefly to break them into small pieces.
  3. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the blender, then add the hot, sweetened wine. Leave for a few seconds so the chocolate melts. Whizz briefly until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the egg and cinnamon and whizz again briefly to mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into 6 or 8 ramekins or espresso cups, then chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the chocolate pots from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.
  6. To serve, sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder over the top of each pot, then sprinkle with a little sifted confectioners’ sugar, if liked.

Note: Unless pasteurized egg is used in the recipe, this dessert should not be served to the very old, frail, young children, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine


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