Diane May Nutrition Blog

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Eat Your Greens!

April 9th, 2021

We know how important vegetables are for overall health. They provide minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. A new study published in the The ISME Journalfound that the monosaccharide sugar, sulfoquinovose, a sulfonic acid derivitave of glucose, works with a bacteria in the gut to produce hydrogen sulfide. In low doses, hydrogen sulfide in the intestinal lining has an anti-inflammatory effect. In very large doses, found in high meat diets, it can have a negative effect. This study utilized  human fecal microcosms and mono- and co-cultures to determine the effects on the bacteria and sulfoquinovose in our gut lining and evidence for their importance for the microbial processes in the gut. They were able to show that ” the use sulfoquinovose to promote the growth of very specific gut bacteria that are an important component of our gut microbiome. We now also know that these bacteria in turn produce the contradictory hydrogen sulfide from it”. They were also able to show that sulfoquinovose “is an exclusive substrate for only a few gut microorganisms, particularly the abundant E. rectale. The concept of exclusive nutrient access promises sulfoquinovose dosage-dependent control over the abundances and activities of these bacteria that are generally associated with a positive impact on human health.”. This also means that sulfoquinovose may be able to be used as a dose dependant prebiotic. Prebiotics are compounds found in foods that promote the beneficial activity of microorganisms which can improve the microbiome. This study primarily focused on spinach, dark leafy greens, algae and green onions.

Our microbiome is vitally important to our overall health by controlling digestion and immune function. Eating a more plant based diet, has been shown to improve general gut and heart health, so make sure to eat some greens every day!

 

Marie Simmons

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2003

 

Recipe Summary

Total: 1 hr
Servings: 6
Ingredients
 
Peppers
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Filling
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare peppers: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached. Remove the seeds. Lightly brush the peppers outside and inside with oil; sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until peppers are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Turn cut-side up.

  • To prepare filling: Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water; squeeze dry. Finely chop.

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the kale. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in rice, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the filling among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.

  • Add 2 tablespoons water to the baking dish. Cover the peppers with foil and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tips: To cook brown rice: Place 1 cup brown rice, 21/2 cups water and a pinch of salt, if desired, in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cover; cook over low heat until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

To toast pine nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. (Or spread in a small baking pan and bake at 400°F for about 5 minutes.)

Nutrition Facts

 

176 calories; protein 5g; carbohydrates 16.2g; dietary fiber 3.2g; sugars 4.4g; fat 10.8g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 5.7mg; vitamin a iu 7725IU; vitamin c 110.8mg; folate 45.5mcg; calcium 100.2mg; iron 1.2mg; magnesium 45.1mg; potassium 340.5mg; sodium 327.4mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

What You Need To Know About Alzheimer’s Disease

March 4th, 2021

Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It is an irreversable, progressive brain disorder. Late onset Alheimer’s occurs in the mid 60’s, early onset Alzheimer’s occurs in the 30-40’s.  Amyloid plaques and tangled bundles  are some of the main features. The other feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells in the brain. As many as 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics, environmental factors, toxins, and microbiome modulation play a role in onset. Newer theories for onset include sleep, stress, menopause and hypertension and are being studied.  Currently approved Alzheimer’s treatments, which treat Alzheimer’s symptoms only and are not disease-modifying — are three cholinesterase inhibitors, donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Razadyne); the NMDA receptor modulator memantine (Namenda); and a combination treatment of memantine and donepezil (Namzaria).

Two new studies have shown some promise to help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers found a correlation between the composition of the gut microbiome and the behavioral and cognitive performance of mice carrying genes associated with Alzheimer’s. The findings are the first to demonstrate a direct connection between the gut microbiome and cognitive and behavioral changes in an Alzheimer’s disease animal model. Although more research is needed, this shows a correlation between gut health and brain health. Consume a diet rich in pre ad probiotic foods such as: Artichokes, oats, asparagus, onions, garlic, and fermented foods.

Another study, published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed that exercise may reduce decline in global cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate Alzhiemer’s disease. The researchers primary finding indicated that a 6-month aerobic exercise intervention significantly reduced the decline in global cognition in comparison to Alzheimer’s disease dementia’s natural course of decline. Both cycyling and stretching were found to be effective.

Accumulating evidence shows that nutritional factors influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and its rate of clinical progression. Dietary supplementation of antioxidants, B vitamins, polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are beneficial to Alzheimer’s disease, and consumption of fish, fruits, vegetables, and coffee,  reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.  Dietary patterns summarizing an overall diet are gaining momentum in recent years. Adherence to a healthy diet, the Japanese diet (fish, seafood, and plant-based foods with minimal amounts of animal protein, added sugars, and fat), and the Mediterranean diet (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and it includes less dairy and meat than a typical Western diet) is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimers disease.

If you suspect a loved one has Alzheimers disease, it is very important to reach out to your physician for testing and evaluation. Tests such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) can be done as well as blood work and scans.

Stuffed mushrooms and spinach-artichoke dip come together in this quick vegetarian recipe. Serve these cheesy stuffed mushrooms with a big salad for a satisfying and healthy dinner.

 

Carolyn Casner

Source: EatingWell.com, January 2020
 
Spinach & Artichoke-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Trusted Brands

Recipe Summary

Active: 30

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Combine oil, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Using a silicone brush, coat mushrooms all over with the oil mixture. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the mushrooms are mostly soft, about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, combine spinach and 1 tablespoon water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain as much water as possible from the spinach, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add artichokes, cream cheese, Parmesan and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine. Divide the mixture between the mushrooms and bake until hot, 7 to 10 minutes.

Tips

Tip: To prepare mushroom caps, gently twist off the stems of whole portobellos. Using a spoon, scrape off the brown gills from the underside of the mushroom caps. If you prefer, purchase mushroom caps rather than whole mushrooms.

Nutrition Facts

 

175 calories; protein 7.8g; carbohydrates 14.2g; dietary fiber 4.4g; sugars 3.3g; fat 10.7g; saturated fat 3.1g; cholesterol 11.9mg; vitamin a iu 2639.2IU; vitamin c 17.9mg; folate 31.2mcg; calcium 102mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 39.8mg; potassium 418.3mg; sodium 491mg; thiamin 0.1mg.