Monday, 31 July 2017

Total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017: Learn how you can participate in nation-wide science experiment


US space agency NASA is opening up an opportunity where eclipse viewers around the country can participate in a nation-wide science experiment by collecting cloud and temperature data from their phones.

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, Program is a NASA-supported research and education program that encourages students and citizen scientists to collect and analyze environmental observations. GLOBE Observer is a free, easy-to-use app that guides citizen scientists through data collection.
For the first time in 99 years, on August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States.
NASA says crossing the country from Oregon to South Carolina over the course of an hour and a half, 14 states will experience night-like darkness for approximately two minutes in the middle of the day.
The eclipse enters the US at 10:15 a.m. PDT off the coast of Oregon and leaves US shores at approximately 2:50 p.m. EDT in South Carolina. And all of North America will experience at least a partial eclipse.
In order to participate, you need to first download the GLOBE Observer app and register to become a citizen scientist.
The app will instruct you on how to make the observations. You will also need to obtain a thermometer to measure air temperature.
Observations will be recorded on an interactive map.
To join in the fun, NASA says you can download the GLOBE Observer app https://observer.globe.gov/about/get-the-app.
After you log in, the app explains how to make eclipse observations.
Check out NASA video below to learn more about the GLOBE Observer eclipse app!

“No matter where you are in North America, whether it’s cloudy, clear or rainy, NASA wants as many people as possible to help with this citizen science project,” said Kristen Weaver, deputy coordinator for the project. “We want to inspire a million eclipse viewers to become eclipse scientists.”

US bombers fly over South Korea after North's 2nd ICBM test

The US flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea following the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.
The US also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska.
The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.
It said the mission was a response to North Korea's two ICBM tests this month. 
Analysts say flight data from the North's second test, conducted Friday night, showed that a broader part of the mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of Pyongyang's weapons.
Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday during a visit to Estonia that the US and its allies plan to increase pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program.
"The continued provocations by the rogue regime in North Korea are unacceptable and the United States of America is going to continue to marshal the support of nations across the region and across the world to further isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically," Pence said.
"But the era of strategic patience is over. The President of the United States is leading a coalition of nations to bring pressure to bear until that time that North Korea will permanently abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile program."
"The time for talk is over," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement. She denied reports that Washington would seek an emergency session of the UN Security Council, saying that new sanctions that fail to increase pressure would be "worse than nothing."
Haley said a weak resolution would show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that "the international community is unwilling to challenge him," and singled out China, the North's biggest trading partner, as a country that must change its approach.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and President Donald Trump spoke by phone Monday morning Asia time and have agreed to take further action against North Korea.
 Abe said Trump pledged to "take all necessary measures to protect" Japan and that Abe praised his commitment to do so.
Abe said Japan would pursue concrete steps to bolster defense system and capabilities under the firm solidarity with the US and do utmost to protect the safety of the Japanese people.
Gen Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, called North Korea "the most urgent threat to regional stability."
"Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario," O'Shaughnessy said. "If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."
Sen Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, told CBS' "Face the Nation" that North Korea's latest test presents a clear and present danger to the United States.
"I've spent time on the intelligence and at the briefings, and done as much reading as I possibly could," said Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "And I'm convinced that North Korea has never moved at the speed that this leader has to develop an ICBM."
Feinstein said the situation shows the danger of isolating a country.
"I think the only solution is a diplomatic one," she said. "I'm very disappointed in China's response, that it has not been firmer or more helpful."

A super liquid that fights diabetes, improves your heart health, and supports fat burning and weight loss

There are many natural substances we can and should be using daily to improve and maintain our health. However, certain substances stand above the rest. These are the essential substances that we should be using daily. They stand above the rest because they are safe, easy to use and effective at positively influencing our health in many ways.
  
One of these substances is Apple Cider Vinegar, which should be consumed daily for detoxification, higher energy levels and better absorption of vitamins and minerals. It can also improve your hair and teeth. 

Additionally, Apple Cider vinegar is useful around the house as a cleaner and disinfectant. Let’s take a closer look at how you can and should be using this substance daily.
  
A few of the most prominent properties of Apple Cider Vinegar are acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes. Acetic Acid is particularly valuable as it can kill bad bacteria, which means it acts as a natural antibiotic (reducing illnesses, skin infections and rashes, etc.). Also, Apple Cider Vinegar has polyphenols which research has indicated are essential for fighting off cancers, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, diabetes and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar:

· Detox your body: Add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to a glass of water and drink daily to cleanse your body of toxins. It will also improve your digestion, resulting in improved nutritional uptake while reducing gases and indigestion.
· Hypertension: Drinking a glass of water with a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar can lower both blood pressure and triglyceride levels. It is also able to improve insulin levels in those suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
  
· Natural Hair Conditioner: Add 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to an old shampoo bottle and add 1 cup of water. Poor this on your hair after shampooing at least 3 times per week for softer, shinier hair
· Weight Loss: Drink 1 glass of water with 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinagre daily to improve digestion. The high amount of Vitamin B6 helps our body to rid itself of fats ingested when eating. It can also help keep energy levels high while fasting.
· Acne: Mix one tablespoon of Apple Coder Vinegar with two tablespoons of filtered water. Using a cotton swab, rub the mixture on acne infected areas and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. The rinse with fresh water. Do this up to three times per day for best results.
As you can see, there are many beneficial uses for Apple Cider Vinegar. Best of all it is cheap! Make sure to purchase organic, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar for best results and to avoid man made toxins.

4 Herbs That Heal Your Kidneys and Urinary Tract

Most people have experienced a urinary tract infection or other UTI issue at some point in their life. And, with the growing resistance of the superbugs that cause them, it is more important than ever to keep the urinary tract healthy and strong. Here are some of my favorite herbs for this purpose:

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva ursi)

The leaves of this shrub can be an effective kidney and urinary tract cleanser. It reduces inflammation throughout the urinary tract and has been traditionally used to help with kidney stones or gravel. Preliminary research suggests that the compound arbutin found in bearberry may help counter bladder cancer. Steep one teaspoon of dried bearberry leaves in a cup of boiled water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and drink three cups daily if you’re fighting a UTI infection or one to three per day to give your urinary system some love. While there are reports on the internet that the herb causes many serious side-effects or organ damage, research published in the International Journal of Toxicology concluded that the herb was a safe option against urinary tract infections. Regardless, like other herbs, it is a potent medicine and it is best not to exceed the recommended dose. 

Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Also known as goosegrass, this herb has a lengthy tradition of use as a kidney and urinary tract booster. It is believed to flush out toxins and waste matter from the kidneys. You can reap its benefits by using two teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of boiled water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, then strain and drink up to three cups a day. Avoid use if you have diabetes or diabetic tendencies.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion leaves have been used for many years by herbalists to help cleanse and strengthen the kidneys and urinary tract. New research in the medical journal Renal Failure found that the herb does indeed help to protect the kidneys against damage from certain toxins. It is believed that dandelion works on the urinary tract by acting as an antioxidant and as a diuretic, to boost the excretion of excess water and sodium in the body. By doing so, it may also have a balancing effect on high blood pressure, which is regulated by the kidneys.

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

I recommended nettles for building strong bones in my recent blog 4 Herbs that Build Strong Bones but nettles has also been found to help fight E. coli infections linked to urinary tract infections. Published in the medical journal Urological Research, the scientists found that not only do nettles demonstrate antibacterial activity against E. coli bacteria, it also battles the biofilms the bacteria secrete to help them survive in the body. Biofilms are a thin, potentially health-damaging layer of microorganisms that secrete substances to help ensure their survival in or on the body. The presence of biofilms is usually a factor in infections that are difficult to eradicate.
Whether you’re battling urinary tract infections, frequent trips to the bathroom or just need a kidney and urinary tract boost, look no further than these potent herbs.

7 Biggest Health Problems Americans Face

Americans include two health-related issues among the 10 most important problems facing the U.S., according to a recent Gallup survey. Healthcare in general ranked fourth on the list, with Ebola coming in at no. 8. But is Ebola really among the biggest health problems for Americans? Not when we look at the chances of actually being infected. 
So, what are the actual biggest health problems that Americans face? One way to answer this question is to look at what drugs are prescribed the most. Here are the seven top health problems based on the most-prescribed drugs in the U.S., according to Medscape's analysis of data provided by IMS Health.
1. HypothyroidismAbbVie's  Synthroid ranks at the top of the list of most-prescribed drugs. Synthroid is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland.
The American Thyroid Association estimates that 2%-3% of Americans have pronounced hypothyroidism, while 10%-15% have a mild version of the disease. Hypothyroidism occurs more frequently in women, especially women over age 60. Around half of Americans with the condition don't realize that they have hypothyroidism. 
2. High cholesterol and high triglyceridesComing in at a close second on the list is AstraZeneca's  Crestor. The drug is used to help control high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 99 million Americans age 20 and over have high cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol levels are one of the major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. The problem is that you won't know if you have high cholesterol unless you get tested -- and around one in three Americans haven't had their cholesterol levels checked in the last five years.
3. Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux diseaseAstraZeneca also claims the third most prescribed drug in the nation -- Nexium. The "purple pill" helps treat hearburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, also commonly referred to as acid reflux.
Around 20% of Americans have GERD, according to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. A lot of people take over-the-counter medications, but that's not enough for many others. Medscape reported that over 18.6 million prescriptions of Nexium were filled between July 2013 and June 2014.
4. Breathing disorders The next two highly prescribed drugs treat breathing disorders. GlaxoSmithKline's  Ventolin HFA is used by asthma patients, while the company's Advair Diskus treats asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
More than 25 million Americans have asthma. Around 7 million of these patients are children. Meanwhile, COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, ranks as the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. 
5. High blood pressureNovartis  claims the next top-prescribed drug with Diovan. The drug treats high blood pressure by relaxing and widening blood vessels, thereby allowing blood to flow more readily. 
Around one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. Many don't know that they are affected, because the condition doesn't usually manifest symptoms for a long time. However, high blood pressure can eventually lead to other serious health issues, including heart and kidney problems. 
6. DiabetesSeveral highly prescribed drugs combat diabetes, with Sanofi's   Lantus Solostar taking the top spot for the condition. Lantus Solostar is a long-acting basal insulin that is used for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. 
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report released in June 2014, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes in 2012. That's a big jump from just two years earlier, when 25.8 million Americans had the disease. Diabetes ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. 
7. Depression and anxietyEli Lilly's  Cymbalta fell just below Lantus Solostar in number of prescriptions. Cymbalta is the leading treatment for depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 14.8 million Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a major depressive disorder each year. Around 3.3 million have persistent depressive disorder, a form of depression that lasts for two or more years. Generalized anxiety disorder affects around 6.8 million adults in the U.S. 
Common thread for common diseasesOne thing that stands out about several of these common diseases affecting millions of Americans is that many people have one or more of these conditions -- but don't know it. This underscores the importance of getting a checkup on a regular basis.
Regardless of what the Gallup survey found, the odds of you getting Ebola are very low. On the other hand, the chances of you or someone in your family already having one of these seven conditions could be higher than you might think. Perhaps the truly biggest healthcare challenge facing Americans is knowing the status of their own health.
This coming blockbuster could change the face of healthcareA product is now in development that will revolutionize not just how we treat a common chronic illness, but potentially the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. What is this revolutionary product? Find out by getting The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster.  

The Drink That'll Drastically Increase Your Sleep Time


Give your box of chamomile a rest. New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting finds drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you sleep nearly 90 more minutes a night.

Researchers from Louisiana State University had seven older adults with insomnia drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of no juice, and then two more weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. Compared to the placebo, drinking the cherry juice resulted in an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time each night.  

Cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan, says study coauthor Frank L. Greenway, director of the outpatient research clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU. “Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body,” he says. Montmorency cherries are particularly high in those compounds. (The study was funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute, but the group had no role in the study design or outcome.)

Greenway estimates that up to one-third of American adults over age 65 have insomnia, which is defined as having trouble sleeping more than three nights per week. He believes cherry juice is a safer way to improve sleep quality than going the pharmaceutical route, given the lack of side effects. “Sleeping pills in the elderly are associated with a 4-fold increase in the prevalence of falls which, at that age, can result in fractures that require surgery,” he explains.

Not a cherry juice fan? Try kiwi. Eating two kiwi fruits an hour before bed was shown to increase sleep time by 13% and decrease mid-sleep waking periods by 29% after just four weeks, finds a recent Chinese study. Or incorporate seaweed into your dinner; the ocean vegetable is high in omega-3 DHA, which helped children get an extra full hour of sleep, according to a recent University of Oxford study.

31 Superfood Secrets for a Long and Healthy Life

Eat, drink, and live longer!
 Some things about life—and how long we get to enjoy it—are out of our control. But emerging nutrition science research, as well as data collected from people in their 90s and beyond, shows what, when, and how we eat has a profound influence on how long we live. Want to eat for a long and healthy life?

Broccoli, grapes, and salad
We'll start with the scientific consensus: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, high in nutrients and low in calories, is your best bet for a long life.

Need specifics? Eat more broccoli, grapes, and salad: Researchers have found that compounds in these three foods pack extra life-extending benefits.


Berries
These bite-sized fruit favorites are check full of antioxidants, known to boost immunity and stave off life-threatening disease. They'll help you age gracefully as well. A 2012 study from Harvard University found that at least one serving of blueberries or two servings of strawberries each week may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults.

Garlic
At a Pennsylvania banquet celebrating centenarians last spring, Nancy Fisher, 107, attributed her long life to her faith... and her passion for garlic.

Fisher may be on to something, however: Studies have found that phytochemicals in garlic can halt the formation of carcinogenic chemicals in the body, and that women who eat more garlic have lower risk of certain colon cancers.

Olive oil
As delicious as it is healthy, this monounsaturated "good fat" is well known for its heart-health and longevity benefits. Studies also show that olive oil may also be linked to brain health and cancer prevention. Aim for two tablespoons a day.

Bok choy
Studies suggests that cruciferous vegetables like this one contain nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, and folate, that can help you cheat death. And that's likely the case even if you've already had a close call: A study from Vanderbilt University found that breast cancer survivors in Shanghai who ate more cruciferae—specifically of the turnip, cabbage, and bok choy variety popular in China—had lower risks of death or cancer recurrence during the study period.

Avocado
How to prevent heart disease, the largest killer in the United States, according to the latest report from the National Center of Health Statistics? Eat more foods that help keep your heart healthy, like avocados and others already on this list, and improve your odds of a long life. Avocados can lower your LDL "bad" cholesterol while raising your HDL "good" levels, and they help your body absorb heart-healthy vitamins like beta-carotene and lycopene.

Tomatoes
Lycopene is also an important nutrient in the fight against cancer—the second leading cause of death in the United States. And there's no better source than rosy red tomatoes. Eating them cooked, in pasta sauce, tomato soup, or chutney, actually increases the amount of carcinogen-fighting carotenoids your body is able to absorb.

Beans
Beans, beans, are good for your... life? In a 2004 study conducted on elderly people in Australia, Japan, Sweden, and Greece, researchers found that participants had a 7% to 8% reduction in death for every 20 grams of legumes they consumed daily. A diet rich in beans and legumes increases levels of the fatty acid butyrate, which can protect against cancer growth, according to a study from Michigan State University.

Grains and seeds
Getting more fiber—specifically by switching from refined bread and pasta to whole grains—can reduce your risk of death from any cause by 22%, according to a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Experts say that fiber can protect against diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and obesity, and can reduce cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

Booze, in moderation
Several studies have suggested that small amounts of alcohol—no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women—can have heart-health benefits, and that moderate drinkers tend to live longer than heavier imbibers or teetotalers. A 2012 Harvard Medical School study also found that moderate drinking may also reduce men's risk of death in the two decades following a heart attack.

No booze
If you want first-hand advice on longevity, listen to Tomoji Tanabe. The world's oldest man from 2007 until his death at 113 in 2009 often told interviewers that his lifelong abstinence from alcohol was the key to his longevity. Tanabe's favorite foods were miso soup with clams and fried shrimp. Surprise: he also drank milk every day.

Ok, a spot of whiskey
Raymonde and Lucienne Wattelade, who were certified as the world's oldest twins in 2010 at age 98 (then later dethroned when an older pair emerged), say their drinks of choice keep them feeling young: Whiskey for Raymonde, and pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur, for Lucienne. The sisters, who were on the French gymnastics team in the 1930, also credit their good health to regular exercise, like dancing.

Pureh tea
A strong immune system is an important part of living to a ripe old age, and for that you need lots of disease-fighting antioxidants. Health nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, swears by pureh tea —an earthy, rich variety that contains even more antioxidants than its better-known green counterpart. Steep a pureh tea bag for three to five minutes and serve with lemon and honey.

Coffee
In April, 106-year-old Ethel Engstrom told the Pasadena Star News that she stays healthy by eating well and drinking about 12 cups of black coffee a day. You may not need that many to cheat death, however: A 2008 study from researchers at Harvard University found that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, women had an 18% lower risk of dying if they drank two to three cups a day, and 26% lower if they drank four to five cups a day. Those who drank six or more a day decreased their risk by 17%.

A 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health and AARP supports this theory. When researchers controlled for factors like smoking, drinking, and eating red meat, they found that coffee drinkers—both men and women—tended to live longer.

Chocolate
Eat chocolate, add a year to your life. Men who ate modest amounts of chocolate up to three times a month lived almost a year longer than those who didn't in a 1999 Harvard study of more than 8,000 people. And in a 2009 study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, patients who had survived a heart attack were 44% less likely to die over the next eight years if they ate chocolate up to once a week, versus none at all. Other types of candy did not seem to have any effect on longevity. Preliminary studies have identified the most beneficial part of chocolate: flavonols, the antioxidant found in cocoa beans. To get the most flavonols, say researchers, stick with dark chocolate.

Less red meat
Going vegetarian a few times a week may lengthen your life. People who eat red meat every day have a higher risk of dying over a 10-year period than those who eat it less, according to a 2009 study from the University of North Carolina. (Most deaths in the study were from heart disease and cancer.) Burgers, steak, and pork were partially to blame, but processed meats—like bacon, ham, and hot dogs—also seemed responsible for shorter lifespans.

More white meat
In the same study, however, people who ate the most white meat—chicken, turkey, and fish—seemed to have a slightly lower risk of death during the study than those who ate the least.

More nuts
Another more recent study, this one out of Harvard in March, also found that red meat consumption is linked with a greater risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and all causes. This one, however, also looked at the benefit of substituting healthier protein sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes. Of all the swaps studied, the researchers found that trading a serving of beef or pork for one of nuts could reduce a person's risk of death during middle age by 19%.

Corn, beans, and pork
Eat like a Costa Rican and you might boost your chances of living a long, healthy life. A 60-year-old man in Costa Rica is about twice as likely to reach age 90 as compared with men in the United States, France, or even Japan, according to author Dan Buettner and his research on blue zones around the world. Costa Ricans have a very active life and a strong work ethic, he says, as well as a diet that largely consists of corn, beans, pork, garden vegetables, and fruit they've grown themselves.

Red produce
Red meat may be a no-no when it comes to longevity, but plant-based foods of the same hue are a definite yes. Eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of bold, bright colors is a good way to make sure you're getting a good mix of nutrients, and experts say that red ones, specifically, can help you stay young. Among your best bets: red cabbage to guard against cancer and boost brain health, beet juice to lower blood pressure, and tomatoes to lower cholesterol.

Bananas
The world's oldest triathlete is still going strong at age 91, recently completing his 41st race in June. Arthur Gilbert, of Somerset, England, says he follows a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables—and he especially loves bananas.

Fish
Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish can help patients with heart disease live longer, studies have shown, because their omega-3 fatty acids help fight dangerous inflammation that can damage our DNA. The same may be true for the rest of us, as well: A 2009 study from the University of Hawaii found that men who ate the most baked or boiled fish—as opposed to fried, dried, or salted—reduced their risk of heart-disease related death by 23% compared to those who ate the least. (The study also found that women who ate low-sodium soy sauce or tofu also saw heart-health benefits.)

Organic Food
While many experts say that organic foods are nutritionally the same as their conventionally grown counterparts, a few studies have shown that they may actually have more vitamins and minerals, after all. And a 2011 study from Newcastle University in the U.K. suggested that because of these added nutrients, switching to organic food can extend the average lifespan—by about 25 days for men and 17 days for women. Foods grown without pesticides have higher levels of vitamin C and other immunity-boosting

All but the last bite
Leave a little on your plate after every meal if you want to live to 100, suggests author Dan Buettner, who studies so-called Blue Zones: areas around the world where people tend to live longer and healthier. In Japanese culture, he says, people stop eating when they feel only 80% full—a practice that has helped the country earn a top spot on the world's-oldest-people list.

Two meals a day
Walter Breuning of Great Falls, Montana was the world's oldest man when he died in 2011 at age 114. He attributed his longevity to eating only two meals a day, reported the Daily Mail, because "that's all you need."

"I think you should push back from the table when you're still hungry," Breuning told USA Today in 2009. Breuning said he ate a big breakfast and lunch every day, skipped supper, drank lots of water, and ate plenty of fruit.

... or even less
Some people are willing to go even farther on their quest for eternal youth: Studies have shown that animals live longer if they eat only every other day, and a few diet programs have embraced this idea. (These types of diets are likely very difficult to follow, however, and not safe for people with any chronic health conditions.) Research from Washington University has also found that people who restrict their calorie intake have lower core temperatures—an indication that their bodies can operate as efficiently as possible.

Japanese diet
Fish, tofu, edamame, and vegetables are staples of the traditional Japanese diet, and Japanese people have been credited with having some of the world's longest lifespans. (Residents of Okinawa, a long-life blue zone, eat 60 to 120 grams of soy a day compared to practically zero grams for the average American.) Many experts believe that following the Japanese style of eating has weight-control as well as longevity benefits: As the book title says, "Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat."

Mediterranean diet
Healthy fats from fish, olive oil, and nuts meets lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and moderate amounts of wine in the Mediterranean diet popular in Greece and Italy. This combination has been linked again and again in studies to longer life, healthier hearts, and lower rates of cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease. Mediterranean cultures also tend to treat mealtime as an important social event, sitting down at the table with the whole family.

Nordic diet
Also known as the Viking Diet or the Scandinavian Diet, this meal plan focuses on the staples of Nordic cuisine: cabbage, rye bread, root vegetables, oatmeal, and fish. One 12-year study found that the closer participants adhered to traditional Nordic diet guidelines, their risk of death dropped by 4 to 6 percent.

Home cooking
If all else fails, good old home cooking may just be your ticket to longer life. A 2012 study from Cambridge University found that people who cook up to five times a week had a 47% greater chance of staying alive over a 10-year period. Taking the bus to the supermarket to buy your ingredients might help, too: Grocery shopping and taking public transportation were also associated with a lower risk of dying.

Pepperoni pizza
Just because your favorite food's not on this list doesn't mean you're doomed to a shorter life, however. Take Sister Cecilia Adorni of Hamden, Connecticut, who passed away in 2011 at age 103: At her birthday party that year, coworkers (yes, she was still working) told CBS 2 New York that Adorni liked to eat an occasional steak. "And when it comes to pepperoni pizza, they said, she can eat anyone under the table."

The best dietary fats for good health

Standing in the butter and margarine aisle of the supermarket trying to decide which to buy can get overwhelming. While this is just one of many choices you make about dietary fats on a typical grocery trip, you also make dietary fat decisions when you buy cooking oil and foods that contain fats, such as animal products, packaged foods, bakery products, nuts and seeds. Here are some helpful factors to consider.
• Butter. Although new research suggests butter may not be as harmful to heart health as once thought, the American Heart Association still advises limiting your intake of saturated fat (SF), which butter contains. One easy way to trim SF yet still enjoy butter on your bread is to buy whipped butter, which has air beaten into it and thus about half the fat and calories of butter in sticks.
• Margarine, shortening and spreads. Skip stick margarine and vegetable shortening (in baked goods you either make or buy), which frequently contain man-made trans fat (TF). TF is now deemed the most harmful fat for cardiovascular health and is on the FDA chopping block as an ingredient that may be banned from future use in processed foods. Tub margarine spreads are often free of TF, but check for partially hydrogenated oils (the code word for TF) in the ingredient list. This will catch TF amounts smaller than 0.5 grams per serving, which manufacturers are still allowed to round down to zero on the nutrition label. (Also check for and avoid partially hydrogenated oil in packaged foods, such as ready-to-spread frosting and frozen pies.)
Spreads typically contain preservatives and stabilizers, and most are made with genetically modified (GMO) oil, a controversial practice that artificially alters plant genes.
“Traditional plant-breeding techniques are a lot safer than genetic engineering,” says Glenn Lawrence, PhD, a biochemist and lipids expert at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. “When you start playing around with a plant’s genetic makeup using laboratory techniques, it can result in unexpected alterations in plant genes that could be harmful to us.”
Earlier this year, one major producer of buttery spreads started using non-GMO oil and promotes this fact on its packages. For baking, choose spreads with at least 60 percent oil rather than light spreads, which contain less fat and may not produce desired results.
• Liquid oils. Health organizations recommend we get the majority of our dietary fat from monounsaturated fat (MUFA), which supports heart health. Both olive oil and avocado oil, and the foods from which they’re derived, contain about 70 percent MUFA and are smart choices for cooking, baking, salads, and vegetable toppings. Opt for extra virgin (unrefined) versions of these oils because they’re higher in beneficial plant compounds, such as polyphenol antioxidants and vitamin E, according to Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University.
Canola oil is also high in MUFA, but the majority of canola oil is GMO, so opt for organic versions (which aren’t allowed to contain GMOs) if that concerns you. Other common vegetable oils, including soybean and corn oils, are also typically GMO (and organic options are uncommon), plus they’re higher in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), particularly the omega-6 kind. Replacing saturated fat with MUFA or PUFA can help lower cholesterol.
“However, you should not go overboard swapping omega-6 PUFA for saturated fat, because excess omega-6 fat can be pro-inflammatory,” Lawrence says. PUFA is also more vulnerable to undesirable oxidation in the body, but consuming plenty of antioxidants in your diet from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains alleviates this concern, Kris-Etherton says.
• Fish and animal products. Aim to eat at least two 4-ounce servings per week of oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines. Such fish are high in heart-healthy omega-3 PUFA, which include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosapentaenoic acid). Chicken and turkey are also smart protein choices, but to minimize fat and reduce calories, opt for skinless, breast meat. You can also use two egg whites in place of a whole egg to reduce fat and calories (and cholesterol).
We’ve long been advised to limit red meats and choose lean cuts because of their SF content. It’s now known that stearic acid, one of the saturated fats in red meat (and prevalent in chocolate), doesn’t raise cholesterol, although other fats in red meat do. If you can afford to pay a bit more for beef, consider buying grass-fed beef, which contains more stearic acid (in lieu of other SF) and double the omega-3s of typical grain-fed beef. Milk, cheese, and yogurt from grass-fed cows also offer more omega-3s; these dairy products are becoming more available, though they are more costly. If that’s not an option, simply shop for reduced-fat dairy products.
• Nuts and seeds. Most nuts, including hazelnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts, are highest in healthful MUFA compared to other types of fat. Walnuts and walnut oil are higher in PUFA, part of which is a plant form of omega-3 fats called ALA (alpha linolenic acid), which the body can convert in small amounts to heart-healthy EPA. Seeds, such as flaxseed (when ground) and hemp seed, also supply ALA.
Smart oils, their uses and smokepoint
Almond oil: Stir-frying, sauteing, baking, salad dressing, 420F
Avocado oil: Stir-frying, searing, salad dressing, sauces, 520F
Canola oil: All purpose, stir-frying, sauteing, baking, 470F
Extra virgin olive oil: Stir-frying, sauteing, salad dressing, sauces, marinades — 410F
Hazelnut oil: Marinades, salad dressing, sauces, baking, 430F
Flaxseed oil: Marinades, salad dressing, drizzling, 225F
Walnut oil: Some baking, salad dressing, sauces, marinades, 320F

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Posters that Warned against the Horrors of a World with Women’s Rights


 At first glance, this illustration looks like the depiction of a rather cool Victorian hangout. The image was commissioned in 1908 for a political magazine of the era,Puck, predicting a liberated woman of the future. Fashionably-dressed women are shown smoking cigars and ignoring children, drinking, gambling using stock tickers and generally hanging out like barflies. The title underneath reads: Why not go the limit? For the benefit of those ladies who ask for the right to smoke in public. 
 Between the 1890s and early 1900s, thousands of illustrations like this were produced and distributed around the United States and England, on postcards, in magazines and on public billboards. The message was that women’s rights were dangerous and letting women think for themselves could only end in a nightmarish society.