Shine Muscat Sweets of Crazy Corner in Ginza, Japan

Shine Muscat Cake

Shine Muscat Custard Tart

Fluffy Shine Muscat Sponge Cake with Apple Jam

Luxurious Shine Muscat Cake with Yogurt-flavoured Cream

The prices are from 490 yen to 2,400 yen (plus tax).

Shine Muscat is a diploid table grape cultivar resulted from a cross of Akitsu-21 and ‘Hakunan’ made by National Institute of Fruit Tree Science in Japan in 1988. It has large yellow-green berries, crisp flesh texture, muscat flavor, high soluble solids concentration and low acidity. The price is about 3,000 yen per kilogram in Japan.

 

 

 

 

For Back Pain, Earlier Is Better for Physical Therapy

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

When people have backaches bad enough to send them to the doctor, prompt physical therapy may be a wise choice, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when those patients had “early” PT — within a couple weeks of seeing a doctor — they were less likely to need other, often pricey, types of medical care.

Over the next month to year, they were less likely to see a specialist or a chiropractor, land in the emergency room, need imaging tests like MRI, or receive injection pain medication into the spine.

Experts said the findings are in line with what they see in everyday practice.

“The sooner patients with acute low back pain get in to see the physical therapist, the sooner they get better and the less likely they are to need additional therapies,” said Dr. Catherine MacLean, chief value medical officer at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

MacLean, who was not involved in the study, said PT may directly ease back pain, and also give patients some peace of mind.

“My sense is that part of what’s going on is that the physical therapy is helping,” she said. “Additionally, I think reassurance that what they are experiencing is not serious and will resolve quickly is incredibly important and helpful to these patients.”

Low back pain is exceedingly common, and in general, experts recommend conservative, non-drug treatments to start. Guidelines differ on when to try PT, but some medical groups recommend that people start with “self-care,” like heating pads and gentle movement.

It’s true that low back pain often goes away “spontaneously,” said Richard Skolasky, the senior researcher on the new study.

So he and his colleagues focused on patients with a bout of back pain severe enough to send them to the doctor. That likely weeds out many people whose back pain would get better with the self-care route, according to Skolasky, director of the Johns Hopkins Spine Outcomes Research Center in Baltimore.

His team used a health insurance database to analyze claims from nearly 980,000 U.S. adults under age 65 who were diagnosed with acute lower back pain. About 11% were referred for early PT — meaning they had their first session within two weeks of their medical visit.

Over the next month, the study found, those patients were anywhere from 57% to 32% less likely to see a chiropractor or orthopedic or pain specialist, to need advanced imaging tests or pain-relieving steroid injections, or to end up in the ER.

Those differences persisted, though were smaller, over the next year. Early PT did not, however, ultimately cut people’s health care costs: The cost of two to three months of therapy may outweigh the savings from an MRI averted.

Still, Skolasky said, it’s “heartening” to see that people in early PT did not have to see other providers or have tests and procedures as often as other patients did.

Past research, he noted, has shown that prompt PT may lower the likelihood of acute back pain becoming chronic. Beyond that, patients may be better prepared the next time they have a back pain flare-up: One of the goals of PT, Skolasky said, is to teach people ways to manage the problem on their own.

That said, access remains an issue. PT is a time investment, Skolasky said, and patients can have a hard time fitting it into their lives. And in less populated areas with few providers, he noted, it may be difficult to find a facility within a reasonable distance.

In this study, patients in the Southeast and Midwest had particularly low rates of early PT. Skolasky speculated that the supply issue might partly explain that.

Despite some barriers, though, PT is worth a discussion, according to Skolasky.

“If your back pain symptoms are severe enough to see a doctor,” he said, “have a conversation about the non-drug options for treating them.”

Researchers lacked information on whether early PT helped people avoid pain medication — an important question, Skolasky noted. Guidelines on treating low back pain recommend trying non-drug options first.

The findings were recently published in the journal BMC Health Services Research.

Source: HealthDay

 

 

 

 

In Pictures: Food of The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium

Bold Belgian Flavours Cuisine with Heavy International Allure

No.23 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

 

 

 

 

Is Caffeine a Friend or Foe?

Laura Williamson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Caffeine jump-starts your day and puts a bounce in your step. It can help you focus, improve your mood and maybe even help you live longer.

But how much is too much?

Caffeine, a natural stimulant, can be found in a variety of foods, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao beans, guarana berries and yerba maté leaves. It also can be synthetically created and added to beverages such as soda and energy drinks. Research shows that about 90% of U.S. adults consume some form of caffeine every day.

One of the most popular ways people consume it is through coffee. Because of that, most caffeine research centers around this drink, said Dr. Greg Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“The literature on the whole shows that coffee consumption is generally not a detriment to health,” he said. “But I am very reluctant to recommend anyone begin drinking coffee if they aren’t otherwise doing so, or to increase consumption for any health benefit.”

Studies have found caffeine can do both good and harm. People who regularly drink coffee may be less likely to develop chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers. A few studies suggest they are less likely to die from heart disease and other illnesses.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, as much as 400 milligrams of caffeine a day – equal to four or five cups of coffee – is considered safe for healthy adults. An 8-ounce cup of green or black tea has 30-50 mg of caffeine. Energy drinks may contain 40-250 mg for every 8 ounces, and a 12-ounce can of caffeinated soda contains 30-40 mg.

In moderate doses – up to two 8-ounce cups of coffee – caffeine can make people less tired and more alert. Some studies suggest it can reduce appetite and lower the risk for depression. But high doses – 12 cups or more – can make people feel anxious, raise blood pressure and lead to heart palpitations and trouble sleeping. For people who consume caffeine regularly, stopping consumption abruptly can lead to symptoms of withdrawal, such as headaches, fatigue and depressed mood.

Determining how much is too much can be tough. A moderate amount of caffeine for one person may feel like a high dose for someone else. That’s because some people metabolize caffeine faster than others, Marcus said. Factors such as how much someone weighs and what medications they take also can play a role. The bottom line is, caffeine affects everyone differently.

“The compound is complex, and we need to recognize that not only might there be benefits and harms, but this may vary from one person to another,” Marcus said.

He and his colleagues recently completed one of the few randomized studies on caffeine consumption, which he presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions last year. The researchers asked participants to drink – or refrain from drinking – coffee for no more than two consecutive days each for two weeks.

The findings, which are considered preliminary until the full results are published in a peer-reviewed journal, showed that people were more physically active and slept less on days they drank coffee than on days they went without. They also had more irregular heartbeats from the lower chambers of the heart but fewer episodes of abnormally rapid heartbeats from the upper chambers.

Marcus said one limitation of the study was that people were starting and stopping caffeine consumption, which could be causing an exaggerated reaction in people who were used to drinking it every day. “The effects of caffeine are attenuated when you drink it regularly,” he said. “The body adapts to that caffeine level. And more regular consumption of caffeine can speed up the metabolism.”

People who metabolized caffeine faster had fewer problems sleeping than those whose bodies broke it down more slowly, he said.

In his cardiology practice, Marcus tells patients who are having trouble sleeping or experiencing abnormal heart rhythms to see what role caffeine might be playing. “I generally advise that it is reasonable for patients bothered by trouble sleeping or with palpitations to experiment with their caffeine consumption. Take some time off of caffeine to see if it makes a difference.” But he does not give a blanket recommendation to avoid caffeine.

Marcus doesn’t distinguish between the caffeine that people get from coffee versus hot or iced tea. “There may be health differences between the two, but they haven’t been studied yet,” he said.

He is less flexible about the consumption of energy drinks, which typically have a higher concentration of caffeine, as well as added sweeteners or carbohydrates and no evidence they provide any health benefits. Research has found energy drinks can cause abnormal electrical activity in the heart and higher blood pressure that persists for several hours.

“In general, I would caution against the use of energy drinks,” Marcus said.

There are other ways to stay alert.

“The best strategies and overall most healthy strategies to boost alertness are long-term healthy habits,” such as getting a good night’s sleep and exercising regularly, Marcus said. He recommends people who have trouble staying awake consult a physician to see if they have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

Source: American Heart Association

 

 

 

 

Warm Camembert with Wild Mushroom Fricassee

Ingredients

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 (8-ounce) wheel of ripe Camembert in its wooden box, at room temperature
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound wild mushrooms, trimmed, caps thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large sage leaves, minced
sourdough toasts, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Lower the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. Remove the Camembert from the box and unwrap it. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until soft.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes longer.
  5. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the parsley and sage; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Invert the Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon over the cheese. Serve with the toasts.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Daniel Boulud


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