Friday, July 22, 2016

Processed food may even be superior sometimes

Delicious lycopene.
We are harangued every day--only eat food from the outer aisles of the supermarket--nothing "processed," nothing enhanced...certainly nothing geneticaly altered, on and on.

Robert Clements, an adjunct prof of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the Univ of Southern California, says many consumers already know processed foods and reduce costs and improve convenience--but they did not know that food technology can increase food safety and boost nutrition.

You mean some processed food can be good for you?

Example: Tomatoes. These contain lycopene, an important dietary element linked to reduction of the risk of prostate cancer. When food companies "process" these tomatoes in sauce, juice, or paste--the lycopene is transformed into a form more easily used by the body.

You hear a lot about eating a "raw foods" diet--but cooking enhances the body's absorption of pigments such as lycopene, or the beta carotene (the orange in carrots) by softening it so it can be digested better. Adding some fat, as in pasta cause, enhances absorption even more.

Researchers urge people to eat both fresh and processed tomatoes.

Other processing techniques also make food more nutritious--for instance, companies freeze green beans within an hour--making frozen green beans better for you than the ones at the farmer's market.

Plus--vitamins are often added to food--such as the often-needed vitamin D to milk and cereal.

This isn't saying you should be jamming in the Hot Pockets, but don't turn up your nose at all processed foods.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Woman shamed by Playboy Dummy, I mean Bunny, strikes back

I don't know if you saw this, but a snarky Playboy Bunny took a naked photo of a larger woman in the gym and posted it to some social media, saying, "Since I can't unsee this, you can't either."

Her gym lashed back, banning her from all the chain's facilities--you are not supposed to take camera pix  in the locker rooms. What they thought about her body shaming the woman was not noted.

The target of the attack, Nicole Henry, handled that aspect fine herself.

She cheerfully posted, calling herself  lumpy bumpy or something like that, and pointing out the amazing things her body has done--volunteering in a slum school in Africa, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, running two 5Ks, becoming a foster parent, earning two  undergrad degrees and teaching kindergarten for 6 years.

Even then, she said, she wasn't asking for cheers for doing this--just recognition that everyone is more than a physical body.

Well, not everyone...I know one person who has banked on her looks. But looks don't last, honey--what will you do when you start to crumble?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Does smoking make you look old?

Like this look?
Dermatologist Romeo Morales, MD, of Advanced Dermatology in Albertson, NY, says YES.

Forty million people in the US still smoke, despite the warnings, studies, and gross pictures.

But now the researchers think smoking may also accelerate the aging process.

Oh, no!

Much of this shows up on the skin. Smokers face a telltale pattern of wrinkling, coarseness and discoloration. This goes for the whole body--not just the parts exposed to the sun. The number of cigs per day and how long you smoked directly correlate to the condition of even protected skin, like the inside of the upper arm.

Smokers are also more likely to get non-melanoma skin cancers--basal cell and squamous.

Poor wound healing can also show up in smokers. Same for sagging breasts, psoriasis, dental issues, and hair loss.

And smoking impairs collagen production--which along with elastin, keeps skin smooth and springy.

And don't forget "smoker's mouth"--those purse string wrinkles from sucking on a tube,

Sure, you can get some relief from botox or plastic surgery--but wouldn't it be better to toss the cigs and prevent early changes?


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Are we all going to be "wired"?

Some people have suggested "microchipping" humans who might wander. There are already teeny cameras you can swallow to spy on your insides.

But now researchers at Tufts have combined nano-scale (little) electronics and microfluidics into threads--from cotton to synthetics--which can then be sutured into multiple layers of your tissue to send back diagnostic data.

Hold the phone! Suture threads into us? Check this out in the July 18th Microsystems & Nanoengineering.

They call these "smart wearable systems." Apparently these threads then send signals of your stress, strain, temp, pH and glucose levels and other indicators to your cellphone or computer.

Well, I do sometimes regard the workings of my body as the enemy or at best, completely independent from "me."

One issue is long-term biocompatibility--which I think is sciencespeak for will the body attack these threads or set up an infection or rejection?

Maybe--they say--the threads could even be smart sutures for wounds--to monitor healing. This sounds semi-reasonable to me. Or the threads could "wick" medications in.

Is this a solution looking for a problem--or will be all be "woven" in the future.

Whichever--you heard it here first.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Health reasons to play Pokemon Go

I am completely quoting this and have no idea what this means. Pokemon Go is a GPS-augmented reality game happening across the nation.

OK, I got that.

Players known as "trainers" download it to their smartphones. To progress, trainers must walk around to find and catch Pokemon (avatars), which pop up on their screens, and access locations called Pokestops, where Pokeballs and other useful items are collected.

In short--all this requires a lot of walking.

What began as a game is now a hobby for 9-21 million people, including a lot of kids who would normally be hunched over their video games.

To "hatch one egg" (search me) you may walk 1-6 miles.

The game also promotes a sense of community--people meet face to face at the Pokestops.

Families walk around and play together--two or three generations, sometimes.

The game also broadens a sense of curiosity. Even the founder located new areas in his community he never knew about.

On the dark side, sometimes people fall off curbs or otherwise get injured as a result of staring into their phones.

Tip: Never play it while driving. Don't play at night in dark, isolated areas. Also, be wary of the heat and sun exposure of summer. Going out as a team is best.

Go, catch 'em all--and get healthier not hurt.