Weekend funnies …

Herewith with latest flotsam and jetsam that I have stumbled across in the past week of web wandering. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful weekend.

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Are these the sweetest little kids – EVER?

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If she keeps this up she will never have a weight problem …

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Tony

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Nutrition and chocolate – Tufts

I am a big chocolate lover, both mildly dark and milk chocolate. As I eat some every day, the following from Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter interested me greatly.

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Q. You have suggested people eat chocolate to get the antioxidants and other “good stuff” that it contains. Do we get the same benefits if we eat chocolate in another form, such as chocolate milk, cake, or pudding?

A. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, senior scientist at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Cocoa contains phytochemicals called flavanols that may have health benefits, but just because a little might be good, that does not mean a lot is better! Flavanols are part of the reason cocoa is so bitter. To make chocolate candy, many of the flavanols are stripped away, and the cocoa is mixed with sugar. Turning that chocolate into brownies or pudding or other chocolate products further dilutes out the flavanols. Hence, there is unlikely to be much actual cocoa or cocoa flavanols in a serving of these foods. In a recently reported large study, chocolate-candy intake was associated with greater likelihood of weight gain in postmenopausal women. Whether the weight gain was directly due to the chocolate cannot be determined at this time.”

“If you enjoy chocolate, identify the type you enjoy the most and don’t overdo it. If it’s healthful flavanols you’re after, there’s no need to eat chocolate or cocoa at all. They are also found in tea, wine, and fruits like apples, grapes, and pears. And remember, an ounce of dark chocolate a day (or a dose of any other purported ‘superfood’) cannot take the place of a balanced, healthful dietary pattern.”

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More mid-week puns …

See what happens when I put something out like the item with puns last week and you don’t complain? Now you are stuck with more of my humor.

Remember, when fish are in schools, sometimes they take debate.

 

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The very clever and talented John Atkinson is one of our fellow bloggers.

 

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Tony

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What are the differences between raw and roasted nuts? Tufts

Having seen first hand the devastation that the fats from meat can do in the form of clogged arteries, I rely on nuts and seeds for the bulk of my protein needs. What about raw vs. roasted nuts?

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Tufts Health and Nutrition Update offers the following answer:

“When one looks at the nutrients gram for gram, raw and roasted nuts are essentially equivalent,” says Helen Rasmussen, PhD, RD, senior research dietitian in the Metabolic Research Unit at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. “Nuts are roasted to enhance taste, aroma, and texture (crunchiness). Nuts that are sold as ‘raw’ have not been roasted, although harvested nuts that are in their shell may still have heat applied to separate the shell from the nut. When heat is applied to any food there can be a change in the composition of that food. With nuts, the difference is largely attributable to loss of water.”

“Nuts are known for the health properties of their fat composition, which is changed only minimally by roasting. One ounce of roasted almonds, for example, has 0.4 grams more monounsaturated fat than raw nuts, and an almost negligible change in saturated and polyunsaturated fat levels. It also has 6 more calories than the same weight of raw almonds. Raw nuts have a slight edge over roasted nuts in dietary fiber (0.5 grams more per ounce).”

“Consumers should be aware that raw nuts have at times been associated with a risk of food poisoning from salmonella, e-coli, or other microbes.”

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Is it a cold or the flu???

Here, in mid-October it is probably early times to be talking about flu vs. cold symptoms, but  better to be a bit too early in this regard than too late. Following is a great rundown on the differences between these two afflictions.

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What is the difference between a cold and flu?

Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications. Continue reading

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AI Could Soon Predict Cognitive Decline Leading to Alzheimer’s Disease – Study

A team of scientists has successfully trained a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Mallar Chakravarty, a computational neuroscientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and his colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, designed an algorithm that learns signatures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data. This specific algorithm can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years.

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“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention. Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment. For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether,” says Chakravarty, an Assistant Professor in McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry. Continue reading

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7 Coffee Facts You Need to Know

As a coffee drinker and coffee lover, I enjoyed this post and thought you might, too.

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

Apparently, Saturday, September 29 was National Coffee Day.  I missed it.

I’ve touted the benefits of coffee and caffeine in past articles and blog posts (Please see Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise, among others).  Here’s an informative article from The Ladders’ Meredith Lepore.  Read it with your daily cup of java.

It seems like every day there is a new study telling us either that coffee is slowly killing us, making us healthier, making us smarter, making us dumber, helping us grow wings, etc., However there are a number of studies that have come out recently that reveal some very interesting facts about your daily cup of joe. In honor of National Coffee Day, this Saturday, check out these 7 facts about coffee.

It can make everyone you work with so much more appealing

A recent study that appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology finds that if you have coffee…

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Weekend funnies …

Here are some of the items that brought a smile to my face in this past week. I hope you are getting ready for a really fun weekend.

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Kids don’t try this at home …

Tony

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7 Health benefits of cashews – Infographic

Turns out “Nuts to you” isn’t the insult it used to be. Here is a wonderful infographic on the benefits of eating cashews. I am a big fan of nuts in most shapes and forms. I include walnuts in my daily oatmeal.

10 Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts (SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN)

Image via: AHealthBlog

Tony

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Some puns for mid-week (with a P.S.)

Since so many of you have commented favorably on my Weekend Funnies, I thought I might tender forth some fresh humor in the form of double entendre. In view of my previous experience editing and writing for men’s magazines, you might call these punography.

When I was in high school more than one teacher described puns as “the lowest form of humor.” With the benefit of more than 60 years of hindsight, I would beg to differ. I think they are a very high form of humor. It has been my experience that the people who enjoy and use puns are, in fact, some of the most intelligent ones I know. So you can draw your own conclusions if you don’t like them.

For the record, Wikipedia says, “The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect….”

I like this reference from the same article, “Non-humorous puns were and are a standard poetic device in English literature. Puns and other forms of wordplay have been used by many famous writers, such as Alexander Pope,[19] James Joyce,[20] Vladimir Nabokov,[21] Robert Bloch,[22] Lewis Carroll,[23] John Donne,[24] and William Shakespeare, who is estimated to have used over 3,000 puns in his plays.

So, now that you know all about them, here they are:

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PS I just learned that today is World Mental Health Day. Coinciding with my first Puns for mid-week – a coincidence? I think not.

 

Enjoy!

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Tony

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High-intensity exercise yields same cell benefits in fewer minutes

Although I personally prefer moderate intensity exercise, maybe it’s my age, I understand that a lot of younger folks are into the high intensity activity. More power to you.

A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

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Mitochondria, the energy centers of the cells, are essential for good health. Previous research has found that exercise creates new mitochondria and improves the function of existing mitochondria. Altered mitochondrial function in response to a single session of exercise generates signals that may lead to beneficial changes in the cells, lowering the risk for chronic disease. High-intensity interval exercise consists of short bursts of high-intensity aerobic exercise—physical activity that raises the heart rate—alternating with brief recovery periods. Whether the intensity of a workout affects mitochondrial response is unclear. Continue reading

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Some healthy habits for you …

I just ran across this infographic and was touched by its simplicity. Basic as it is,  I hope you have these going for you on a daily basis.  I think they are the keys to a long and healthy life.

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Tony

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Artificial sweeteners have toxic effects on gut microbes – Study

FDA-approved artificial sweeteners and sport supplements were found to be toxic to digestive gut microbes, according to a new paper published in Molecules by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

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The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners.

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10 Top brain power foods

I don’t know if these really will increase your brain power, but I don’t see any harm in letting you know about them.

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Please let me know if you have any experience with these.To my knowledge they are all excellent foods nutritionally.

Tony

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Fungal Infections – Protect Your Health – CDC

Must confess that my knowledge of fungal infections is nearly pristine. Don’t know the first thing about them. Following are some worthwhile tips from the Centers for Disease Control. Who knew?

Have you wondered about your chances of getting a fungal infection? Here are 10 questions you can use to understand fungal infections, learn how you can get sick, and know what you need to do to stay healthy.

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Fungi are everywhere. There are millions of different species of fungi on Earth, but only about 300 of those are known to make people sick. Fungal infections are often caused by microscopic fungi that are common in the environment. Fungi live outdoors in soil and on plants and trees as well as on many indoor surfaces and on human skin.

Mild fungal skin infections can look like a rash and are very common. For example, ringworm is a skin infection that’s caused by a fungus, not a worm. Fungal infections in the lungs can be more serious and often cause symptoms that are similar to other illnesses, such as the flu or tuberculosis. Fungal meningitis and bloodstream infections are less common than skin and lung infections but can be life-threatening. Because the symptoms of fungal infections can be similar to other illnesses, proper diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. The more you know about fungal infections and your chances of getting one, the better prepared you can be to protect your health. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

Herewith some items that I hope will lift your spirits ahead of the weekend.

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Tony

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