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Soy: One Option for Menopause

CDC edamame

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By Jane Hart, MD

Despite a lack of conclusive research, many women try soy because they have heard that its plant-based estrogen-like compounds (isoflavones) may ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and irritability. Now a study published in Maturitas affirms the benefits of soy and reveals that postmenopausal women who add soy to their diet may experience similar relief from symptoms as women who took hormone replacement therapy. Soy soothes symptoms caused by “the change” In the past, some women have relied on hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms, but since the news about the increased risk of breast cancer associated with long-term hormone therapy use, women and clinicians have searched for alternative options for relief.

In this study, 60 healthy women (40 to 60 years old) were randomly assigned to receive dietary soy supplementation (90 mg of isoflavones), hormone therapy (1 mg estradiol and 0.5 mg norethestirone acetate), or placebo daily for 16 weeks. Participants were surveyed about their symptoms before and after treatment. Results showed that women in all the treatment groups experienced relief from hot flashes, muscle pain, and psychological symptoms such as irritability and fatigue. But compared with the placebo group, relief from hot flashes, muscle pain and urogenital symptoms was greater in the hormone therapy and dietary soy group. “Many women consider the risk associated with hormone therapy to be unacceptable and request nonhormonal alternatives for the management of their…symptoms,” said Lucio O. Carmignani and his colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, State University of Campinas, Brazil. The authors state that soy may be one helpful option that women and clinicians consider, and they recommend that treatment be based on each person’s specific symptoms and level of distress.

Should you use soy?

• It’s nutrient-rich. Soy is an excellent source of protein, which is important for people who are vegetarians or vegans as they rely on plant rather than animal sources of protein. Soy foods are also full of other key nutrients such as potassium and magnesium.

• It has a wide range of healthful effects. Regularly eating soy may support bone health, heart health, and cancer prevention, among other healthy effects. Recent research suggests that men who regularly eat soy may reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Further research is needed about the full range of health benefits from soy and the optimal amount to eat.

• It’s not for everybody. Soy may not be appropriate for certain people, so check with your doctor before taking soy supplements.

 

(Maturitas 2010;67:262–9.) Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker. Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net

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Thai Green Papaya Salad with Grilled Strawberries


From: California Strawberry Commission
Quick Facts
Servings: 3
Prep Time: 10 min.

Fresh, colorful and aromatic, this salad boasts exciting flavors like lime, mint and Thai basil!
Ingredients
1/2 clove garlic
1 tsp chopped shallot
8 cherry tomatoes
1 cup Chinese long beans, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs Thai fish sauce
2 Tbs palm sugar or light brown sugar, or to taste
2 cups shredded green papaya
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut into wedges
1 Tbs crushed roasted cashews
1 Tbs chopped dried shrimp (optional)
red chili flakes
6 large fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 tsp finely slivered Thai basil leaves
1 tsp finely slivered mint leaves
1/4 cup carrot shreds
Directions
In a large mortar and pestle, or in a bowl with a metal meat mallet, mash garlic and shallot to a paste. Add tomatoes and long beans; pound a few times to release juices. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar; stir gently to dissolve sugar. Add papaya; pound lightly.
Mix in strawberry wedges, cashews, shrimp and chili flakes; season with salt. Place strawberry halves on a hot grill, cut side down, 30-40 seconds or until grill marks form. Mound salad on a platter or 3 salad plates; garnish with grilled strawberries, basil, mint and carrot shreds.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 335
Calories from Fat 25 (7%)
(5%)
Total Fat 3g
(0%)
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
(0%)
Cholesterol 0mg
(40%)
Sodium 953mg
(0%)
Potassium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 67g
(40%)
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 0g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(32%)
Protein 16g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net

 

Blackened Salmon

Gunther Emathinger
New Orleans-style blackened fish is customarily coated Cajun seasonings and then cooked in a very hot cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz salmon filets
  • 3 Tbs Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 4 cups hot cooked short or long-grain rice
  • Vegetables8 oz haricot verts (thin French green beans) or regular green beans
  • 2 oz carrots, sliced julienne (thin strips)
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mango salsa3/4 cup chopped, pitted & peeled mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 small jalapeño seeded, finely diced
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat cast-iron pan to medium-high heat. Coat the top and bottom of the salmon filets with Cajun spice. Add the oil to the pan, then the salmon filets rounded side facing downward. Sear salmon filet for about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn filets over (the seasoning on the cooked side should be nice and dark to almost black in color) and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to a medium to medium-well doneness.
  • Green Beans:Trim regular green beans if using fresh, place them in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook until crisp-tender (2 minutes for haricots verts or 3 to 4 minutes for regular green beans) and drain in a colander. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) In a small sauté pan melt the butter, add carrots, green beans and basil. Sauté vegetables until hot, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mango Salsa:Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  • Place the rice in the center of plate. Top with the sautéed vegetables, and then with the backened salmon filet. Place the mango salsa on top of the salmon filet and around the plate. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of the National Fisheries Institute

Nutrition Facts

Calories 527
Calories from Fat 181 (34%)
(31%)Total Fat 20g
(23%)Cholesterol 68mg
(20%)Sodium 483mg
(19%)Potassium 677mg
Total Carbohydrate 54g
Sugars 7g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(60%)Protein 30g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Diet, Egg-Free, Fish, Food, Low-Calorie, Main Course

 

Mushroom Consommé with Sake

A fusion of East and West techniques and flavors, it makes a refined first course. It is also comforting sipped from a mug if you omit the garnish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 10 oz white mushrooms, with stems, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms (1/4 ounce)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup diced soft regular tofu (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach, cut in 1/4″ ribbons
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup enoki mushrooms, for garnish
  • 4 paper-thin slices daikon radish, for garnish

Directions

  • Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until it is well-browned, 10 minutes. Pour in 10 cups cold water. Add the mushrooms, celery, parsley, sage, and peppercorns. When the liquid boils, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  • Set the broth aside to steep for 30 minutes. Strain it into a large bowl. Press lightly on the solids before discarding them. There will be about 8 cups mushroom broth.
  • To serve, set out 4 small, deep bowls. Place one-quarter of the tofu and spinach in each bowl. Heat 4 cups of the broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the soup starts bubbling around the edges, add the sake, tamari, and salt. Divide among the 4 bowls. Add in the enoki and daikon slices, and serve.
Copyright © 2005 by Dana Jacobi

Nutrition Facts

Calories from Fat 54 (22%)
(10%)Total Fat 6g
(0%)Cholesterol 0mg
(37%)Sodium 883mg
(50%)Potassium 1743mg
Total Carbohydrate 31g
(41%)Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 5g
(29%)Protein 14g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.
 

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2011.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Food, Soup

 

Olive and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Olive and Goat Cheese Quesadillas: Main Image
From: California Olive Board

Quick Facts

Servings: 24
Cook Time: 4 min.

Sides & Desserts

Wine Pairings

Feta cheese and pita bread gives these quesadillas a Middle Eastern twist.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbs oregano leaves, fresh, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped olives
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, fresh, chopped
  • 12 pita bread rounds, cut in half
  • Greek Salsa1/2 cup mint, fresh, minced
  • 3 cups plum tomatoes, fresh, diced
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

  • Mix feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, oregano and garlic. Stir in olives and spinach. Spread 2 rounded Tbsp. cheese mixture on inside of each pita bread pocket.
  • Place quesadillas on large baking sheet. Bake at 450°F (conventional oven) 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and quesadilla is toasted. Cut each half into thirds. Serve with Greek Salsa.
  • Greek SalsaCombine all ingredients.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 202
Calories from Fat 85 (42%)
(15%)Total Fat 10g
(8%)Cholesterol 25mg
(20%)Sodium 468mg
(4%)Potassium 157mg
Total Carbohydrate 21g
(13%)Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 2g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(20%)Protein 10g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2011.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Food

 

Meringue Kisses

Meringue Kisses: Main Image
From: Egg Board

Quick Facts

Servings: 60
Prep Time: 25 min.
Cook Time: 60 min.
Total: 1 hr. 25 min.

These light and airy treats can easily be modified to produce a variety of flavors.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1- 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups ground almonds (8 oz.)

Directions

  • Heat oven to 225°F. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, add sugar, 2 Tbs at a time, until whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks.
  • Fold in almonds. Drop meringue by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Bake in 225°F oven until firm, about 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let dry in oven, with door closed, until cool and crisp, at least 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 33
Calories from Fat 16 (48%)
(3%)Total Fat 2g
(0%)Cholesterol 0mg
(0%)Sodium 4mg
(0%)Potassium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
(2%)Protein 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.
 

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7. All rights reserved. http://www.Aisle7.net
The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2011.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Dessert, Food

 

Food as Medicine: The Pros & Cons

By Alan R. Gaby, MD
Everyone knows it: Eating well is almost universally the first-line defense for both managing and treating many diseases. But not everyone realizes that food’s “medicinal” properties can also influence medicines in the body—enough that people should consider what they eat and drink while taking medication.

Delicious, nutritious…and therapeutic

Some foods are packed with disease-fighting nutrients that have been shown to help with particular conditions. For example:

• Grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, and may even help lower high cholesterol levels.

• Pomegranate has been shown to slow atherosclerosis progression.

• Dark-green leafy vegetables are loaded with lutein (for healthy eyes), magnesium (for a strong heart and reducing negative effects of stress), and fiber (for healthy digestion).

While these tasty, wholesome foods have these proven benefits and more, each is also known to interact with certain prescription medications—some with potentially serious consequences.

What we eat affects body chemistry

Eating to support health makes food a kind of medicine—and viewing it as that is a helpful reminder that what we eat creates chemical reactions in the body. So adding more chemical reactions—such as supplements and drugs—to the mix should be done with some consideration. The types of interactions that food may have with medicines include:

Beneficial: Replenishes depleted nutrients: Eating more of a nutrient-rich food may help replenish nutrients when a medication obstructs or depletes it from the body.

Beneficial: Side effect prevention: Eating more of a nutrient-rich food may help prevent or reduce the likelihood or severity of a potential side effect caused by a medication. Taking certain medications on an empty stomach can sometimes cause side effects such as nausea, solved by taking the medication with a meal.

Beneficial: Positive interaction: Some medications are more easily absorbed when taken with food, improving their action in the body. Some, for example, are fat-soluble, and could be affected by the amount of fat in the diet.

Adverse: Reduces drug effectiveness: When taking a medication, a food, nutrient, or other substance should be avoided as it may increase or decrease the medication’s absorption and/or activity in the body. Sometimes just having too much food in the stomach can block a medicine’s action, which can be avoided by taking it on an empty stomach.

Adverse: Negative interaction: When taking certain medications, a food, nutrient, or other substance should be avoided, as the combination may cause undesirable or dangerous interactions. It is generally recommended to avoid foods that have been shown to interact with a medicine.

Spotlight on some highly interactive foods

Drug interactions are not often studied, and animal and test tube studies, which don’t always translate to clinical effects, are often the primary sources of information. But following research over time has revealed some foods that should be avoided or taken with care when under medical treatment:

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice: By inhibiting an intestinal enzyme that helps metabolize many different drugs, grapefruit allows more of certain drugs to be absorbed, potentially increasing the medication’s effectiveness and the toxicity, even if the grapefruit is consumed at a different time than the drug. A few of the long list of interacting drugs include amlodipine, atorvastatin (Lipitor), cyclosporine, diltiazem, felodipine, lovastatin, methylprednisolone, nifedipine, sildenafil, simvastatin (Zocor), and verapamil.

Pomegranate and pomegranate juice: This fruit inhibits the same enzyme blocked by grapefruit. While there is much less research on drug-pomegranate interactions than on drug-grapefruit interactions, it would be reasonable to assume that the same interactions that occur with grapefruit would also occur with pomegranate.

Dark-green vegetables: These are rich sources of vitamin K, which interferes with the blood-thinner, warfarin. A person taking warfarin does not have to avoid vitamin K–containing foods. However, with the aid of a doctor or a dietitian the average vitamin K intake should be kept relatively constant from week to week.

The key to health is conscientious consumption

While the strength of research varies, there is enough data to suggest a number of other interactions between foods and drugs, such as:

• Alcohol, which should not be mixed with certain medications

• High-calcium foods which can block the absorption of some drugs

• Black tea, some spices, beer, and nutrients such as resveratrol (found in red wine, nuts, and dark chocolate) have been found to have various interactions with medications.

To get the benefits of both a healthful diet and prescription medications, without exposing yourself to potentially harmful interactions, look for credible science-based information and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

An expert in nutritional therapies, Chief Medical Editor Alan R. Gaby, MD, is a former professor at Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences, where he served as the Endowed Professor of Nutrition. He is past-president of the American Holistic Medical Association and gave expert testimony to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the cost-effectiveness of nutritional supplements. Dr. Gaby has conducted nutritional seminars for physicians and has collected over 30,000 scientific papers related to the field of nutritional and natural medicine. In addition to editing and contributing to The Natural Pharmacy (Three Rivers Press, 1999), and the A–Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Dr. Gaby has authored Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis (Prima Lifestyles, 1995) and B6: The Natural Healer (Keats, 1987) and coauthored The Patient’s Book of Natural Healing (Prima, 1999).
 
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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Diet, Food, Medicine, Nutrition