Potatoes

Potatoes

The vegetable we might never have known about

It’s almost impossible to imagine Sunday lunch, a braai or a weeknight meal without potatoes. Mashed, baked or roasted, potatoes are delicious and a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fibre and pantothenic acid. They also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. The potato, from the perennial Solanum tuberosum, is the world’s fourth largest food crop after rice, wheat, and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C.



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Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Sinusitus

Every year millions of people suffer the annoying and painful effects of sinusitis that can drag on for months or years, with little relief. The sinuses are the cavities around your nasal passages that filter and humidify the air you inhale. The lining of the sinuses contain little hair-like cells, cilia, which collect and sweep out pollutants, micro-organisms, dust, and dirt from the nasal passages.

In healthy people, sinus secretions are always moving and draining into the nasal cavity. Sinusitis, when the cavities become inflamed and swollen, occurs when the movement of those secretions is blocked or mucous is thickened.


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Get walking!

Get walking!

Want a happy heart, legs, mood and waistline in a few easy steps? Get walking!

As babies we refused to give up until we had mastered it. As children we did it from sun up to sun down, generally outdoors at high speed with our friends. If our parents let us do it to the shop by ourselves, well then we felt really grown up! Then we did grow up and something changed. We stopped doing it. We’re ‘too busy’, we ‘don’t have time’, ‘it’s too hot/too cold’, we ‘haven’t the energy’, or ‘it’s too much hassle to bring out the pushchairs and the dog leads, let’s just do it another day.’


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Could your ‘winter cold’ be an allergy?

Cold-or-Allergy-Icon

How to tell the difference.

Winter.  Those beautiful blue sky days that start off cold and (very) fresh yet warm up enough to make being outside at midday very pleasant.  The air is crisp and dry, the green grass of summer has been replaced by winter’s yellows and browns and if we walk outside, we do it to a soundtrack of crunching leaves….and often also to our sneezing and coughing.  This is the time of year that your nose starts to run, your eyes get puffy and water and you find yourself sneezing often.  Well it is winter and colds are galloping around so no doubt it’s caught you.  Or has it?  How do you know you have a cold and not an allergy?

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Chicken Soup: more than a delicious winter warmer

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is delicious for chilly winter evenings or weekends but did you know research is showing this this popular soup to have significant health benefits? Tradition has long held that chicken soup is a remedy for colds and flu. Who hasn’t been told by an older friend or relative to have chicken soup whenever they get sick?

Latest research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics has shown this tradition is no old wives’ tail.  Researchers have identified a compound in chicken soup, carnosine, which helps the body fight the early stages of flu.


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Colds and Exercise

Colds and Exercise

…when to work out and when to sit it out

We know that regular exercise helps ward off diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, but did you know that it can also help prevent you from getting colds?

Regular exercise and being physically active improves your fitness levels which can boost your immune system. Exercise appears to exert an effect on the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells, specifically the natural killer cells, by as much as 50 – 300%. Although it’s a temporary effect, it can make the immune system more efficient at fending off cold and flu viruses. And we’re talking about moderate intensity exercise, such as going to the gym every second day, walking briskly for 30 – 60 minutes daily or cycling a few times a week.


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The health benefits of good sleep

The health benefits of good sleep

Getting enough sleep can help protect you from illness. During sleep hormones are released into the bloodstream and our body repairs itself after the day’s wear and tear.  That repair and maintenance work includes your immune system too.  Research shows that chronic lack of sleep is linked to colds and flu, heart disease, diabetes, mental health and obesity.

Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, the underlying condition where the body doesn’t utilise this sugar-processing hormone. Sleep deprivation has been shown in one study to impair glucose tolerance which is a precursor to developing diabetes.   Another study observed that people in their late twenties and early thirties who got less than 6.5 hours’ sleep a night had the insulin sensitivity of someone in their 60’s...


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Antibiotics in manure

A far-reaching impact on abundance of human pathogenic bacteria in soils

Date:   April 4, 2014
Source:   Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen - German Research Centre for Environmental Health
Summary:   Scientists have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics lastingly changes the composition of bacteria in the soil. The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure.

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Say no to sugar and refined carbs!

Anahad-OConnor Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease
By: Anahad O'Connor, New York Times

Many of us have long been told that saturated fat, the type found in meat, butter and cheese, causes heart disease. But a large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.

The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat.


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