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Monthly Archives: Maret 2014

Dark Chocolate

Love dark chocolate?
Now you can eat it with much less guilt because scientists have discovered why it is so good for us.
Previous studies have found daily consumption of dark chocolate reduces blood pressure and is good for the heart.
Now scientists have discovered why this happens – and its down to how our guts ferment the fibre in cocoa beans.
Researcher Maria Moore, from Louisiana State University said: ‘We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones.

‘The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate.
‘When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.’
This naturally forming anti-inflammatory enters the bloodstream and helps protest the heart and arteries from damage.

Bad gut bacteria, such as Clostridia and some strains of Escherichia coli (E.coli) trigger inflammation, leading to bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
The team tested three types of cocoa powder, the raw ingredient used to make chocolate, in an artificial digestive tract consisting of a series of modified test tubes.

Cocoa contains so-called antioxidant polyphenol compounds, such as catechin and epicatechin, and a small amount of dietary fibre.
Both components are poorly digested and absorbed, but are readily processed by the friendly bacteria in the colon.

Dark chocolate contains a higher cocoa content, increasing this process.
‘In our study we found that the fibre is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are metabolised to smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed,’ said Dr John Finley, who led the Louisiana team.
‘These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.’
The findings were presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Texas.
Combining cocoa with prebiotics – indigestible food ingredients that stimulate bacterial growth – is likely to enhance the process with beneficial results, said Dr Finley.
‘When you ingest prebiotics, the beneficial gut microbial population increases and out-competes any undesirable microbes in the gut, like those that cause stomach problems,’ he added.
Prebiotics are found in foods such as raw garlic, raw wheat bran, and cooked whole wheat flour, and are especially abundant in raw chicory root. They can also be obtained from widely available supplements.
Combining dark chocolate with fruits such as pomegranates or acai may also boost its benefits, said Dr Finley.

Taken from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2586142/Why-dark-chocolate-really-IS-good-Stomach-microbes-turn-cocoa-natural-drug-reduces-blood-pressure.html

Seattle City Symbols

City Bird
On March 17,2003, the City Council designated the Great Blue Heron as the official City Bird. Resolution 30586 notes that the designation “will raise public awareness of … habitat requirements of this species, and foster public stewardship for its continued existence…” The Seattle Audubon Society sponsored a yearlong campaign and public contest to select the City Bird. In voting that took place at nature centers, City parks, and in school classrooms, the Heron defeated its nearest rival, the common Crow, by a margin of two to one.

City Flag
The Council passed Resolution 28207 on July 16, 1990, adopting an official City Flag. The Flag was designed by Councilmember Paul Kraabel. The Resolution called for a white and teal blue/green flag with a stylized portrait of Chief Sealth ringed by the words Seattle, City of Goodwill and undulating white lines, representing the waves in Puget Sound flowing from the center to the left edge. Only three copies of the flag were made.

City Flower
Ordinance 32137, approved November 19, 1913, established the dahlia as the City’s official flower and requested that the Park Board of the City plant and cultivate the flower in suitable quantities to make effective displays in the City parks.

City Motto
Seattle has two official city slogans. Resolution 14456, adopted October 7, 1942, established Seattle as The City of Flowers. The Resolution requested and urged citizens to plant and cultivate a wide variety of flowers to further beautify the City.

On July 16, 1990, the City Council passed Resolution 28207 designating Seattle The City of Goodwill. The latter resolution was adopted prior to the opening of the Goodwill Games, an international sporting competition held in Seattle during the summer of 1990.

City Seal
The current official corporate Seal was adopted in 1937 by passage of Ordinance 67033. The Seal includes an imprint of the profile of Chief Sealth in the center of a circle. On the upper outer edges of the circle and partially encircling the imprint are the words, CORPORATE SEAL OF THE, and in a smaller circle under the aforementioned words and above the imprint are the words CITY OF SEATTLE. Beneath the portrait is the year 1869 signifying the date the City was incorporated. Included in the outer circle, beneath the portrait, are two cones from an evergreen tree and what appear to be two salmon.

The Seal was patterned after a model designed by artist/sculptor James A. Wehn of Seattle. The Seal was cast by Richard Fuller, director of the Seattle Art Museum.

City Song
In May 1909 Arthur O. Dillon petitioned the City Council to adopt “Seattle the Peerless City” as the City Song. The Finance Committee recommended the petition be granted providing Mr. Sawyer (a member of Council) sings the song for the Council. The City Council subsequently granted Dillon’s petition.

Taken from http://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives/facts/symbols.html

Nutritional Breakdown of Carrots

Carrots are often thought of as the ultimate health food. You were probably told to “eat your carrots” by your parents and you probably tell your kids the same thing, and when asked why, you explain, “Because they’re good for you!”
But how did the carrot get such a good reputation and why exactly are the root vegetables so good for our health?
It is believed that the carrot was first cultivated in the area now known as Afghanistan thousands of years ago as a small forked purple or yellow root with a woody and bitter flavor, resembling nothing of the carrot we know today.1
Purple, red, yellow and white carrots were cultivated long before the appearance of the now popular orange carrot, which was developed and stabilized by Dutch growers in the 16th and 17th centuries. The modern day carrot has been bred to be sweet, crunchy and aromatic.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of the vegetable and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate carrots into your diet and any potential risks when consuming carrots.

Nutritional Breakdown of Carrots
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one medium carrot or ½ cup of chopped carrots is considered a serving size. One serving size of carrots provides 25 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of sugars and 1 gram of protein.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, providing 210% of the average adult’s needs for the day. They also provide 6% of vitamin C needs, 2% ofcalcium needs and 2% of iron needs per serving.
It is the antioxidant beta-carotene that gives carrots their bright orange color. Beta-carotene is absorbed in the intestine and converted into vitamin A during digestion.

Carrots also contain fiber, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc.
Farmer’s markets and some specialty stores carry carrots in a range of colors – like purple, yellow, and red – that contain a variety of antioxidants lending them their color (such as anthocyanin in purple carrots and lycopene in red carrots).

Possible Health Benefits of Carrots
An overwhelming body of evidence exists suggesting that increased intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risks, carrots included.

Cancer: A variety of dietary carotenoids have been shown to have anti-cancer effects due to their antioxidant power in reducing free radicals in the body.

Lung Cancer: One study found that current smokers who did not consume carrots had three times the risk of developing lung cancer compared with those who ate carrots more than once a week.

Colorectal Cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

Leukemia: Carrot juice extract was shown to kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression in a 2011 study.
Prostate Cancer: Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.

Vision: According to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision.

Studies have shown that it is unlikely that most people will experience any significant positive changes in their vision from eating carrots unless they have an existing vitamin A deficiency, which is common in developing countries.
So where did all the hype surrounding carrots and vision come from? During World War II, the British Royal Air Force started an advertising campaign claiming that the secret to their fighter pilots clear, sharp vision was carrots. Realistically, the fighter pilot’s accuracy was due to a new radar system the British wanted to keep secret from the Germans, but the rumor spread and remains popular today.

Taken from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270191.php

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