Happy Thanksgiving!

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Since 2020 is an unique Thanksgiving, I thought it might be nice to be reminded of how smoothly it went last year.

Best wishes to you and yours at Thanksgiving! It;s good to count our blessings.

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And, now for some Thanksgiving silliness to go with your turkey …

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Tony

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Oldie, but goodie …

Faithful readers know that growing up in the 1940’s, I became a Wonder Woman fan as a kid. And now, you unfaithful readers know it, too. I wanted to share this piece of early comic art with you because, although it is over 70 years old and meant for children, the information, simple as it is, stands up today.

Brush your teeth, get plenty of sleep, exercise, fresh air and eat healthful foods. With the exception of the teeth, I have posted numerous times on each of Wondy’s remaining chart items. The more things change …

As an 80-year-old who follows these rules, I would like to echo Wonder Woman’s words, “It’s fun to be healthy!”

Tony

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Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure – Johns Hopkins

Fewer than half of people with high blood pressure have it under control. The problem: When your pressure is too high for too long, it can stretch and damage your arteries.

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The resulting health problems can include heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss and cognitive decline. So it’s important not to brush off high blood pressure. Your first line of defense: Try these lifestyle changes as natural ways to lower blood pressure. Try these lifestyle canges as natrual ways to lower blood pressure.

  1. Balance nutrients. Learn the top sources of each.
  2. Put Probiotics to work for you.  See how you can put this finding to work for you.
  3. Lose even a little weight. Read more about the implications for your heart health.
  4. Did you know that physical activity can be as beneficial to your heart as medication in some cases? Find out just how it works and how to get started with simple steps.
  5. Relieve stress. Practice yoga.

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Celebrate Fibonacci Day – Today

I am Italian and I like playing with numbers, sometimes in casinos, sometimes not.

November 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. A Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is the sum of the two numbers before it. For example: 1, 1, 2, 3…is a Fibonacci sequence. Here, 2 is the sum of the two numbers before it (1+1). Similarly, 3 is the sum of the two numbers before it (1+2).

The Rabbit Question

The Fibonacci sequence, one of the biggest accomplishments of Leonardo of Pisa came from a simple puzzle about rabbit population. In his book Liber acaci, Fibonacci posed this puzzle: if there are a pair of newly born rabbit – male and female – in the field and if they are able to produce another pair of rabbits in their second month of life, how many pairs of rabbits will be there after a year?

Born in 1170 in Pisa, Italy, Fibonacci was also responsible for making the Hindu-Arabic numerals popular in Europe. In Liber acaci he advocated the use of these numerals, explained the use of zero, provided ways to convert between currencies and different measurements, and described how to calculate interest.

Fibonacci in Nature

One of the beauties of the Fibonacci sequence is that the series is evident all over the natural world. Petal arrangements in flowers, the ordering of leaves in plants, the shell of the nautilus, the DNA molecule and even hurricanes show patterns that correspond to the sequence.

How to Celebrate?

  • Start the day by learning more about the Fibonacci sequence and its theoretical and practical uses.
  • A number of fruits and vegetables, like pineapples, romanesco (a cross between broccoli and cauliflower) display the Fibonacci series – incorporate them in your meals to celebrate this mathematical holiday.
  • Have children in your life? Introduce them to the elegance of math and the importance of learning it to use in real life.

Did You Know…

…that the ratio of two successive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence is very close to the Golden Ratio? The Golden Ratio is approximately equal to 1.6. Objects whose length and breadth exhibit the Golden Ratio are thought to be the most pleasing to the eye.

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Don’t be SAD … Seasonal Affective Disorder

It seems like 100 years ago that I took care of my aunt who was suffering form Alzheimer’s Disease. Going into her first afflicted winter, I recalled her having told me that she “always felt down” in the winter time. Not long before that, her physician had said to me that it would be no problem keeping her in her home if she didn’t become aggressive. As I wanted her to remain in her home, I started looking into Seasonal Affective Disorder.

During this time of long hours in our homes due to the pandemic, and with the onset of shorter, darker winter days, I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about SAD.

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Here is what the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says about SAD.

Many people go through short periods of time where they feel sad or not like their usual selves. Sometimes, these mood changes begin and end when the seasons change. People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.


In some cases, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behavior whenever the seasons change, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression.

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Exercising with Arthritis – NIA

I suffer from severe osteoarthritis in my hands, specifically, my thumb joints. For people with arthritis, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.

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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people. It occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away, according to the National Institute on Aging. For people with arthritis, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.

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Regular dose of nature may improve mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

I have to confess that as much as I enjoy riding my bike everyday, the fact that I live on the Chicago Lakefront and have beautiful Lake Michigan is no small consideration. There are also trees and various wildlife available, too.

A study published in Ecological Applications suggests that nature around one’s home may help mitigate some of the negative mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I shot this earlier in the week. You can see the Navy Pier ferris wheel in the background.

An online questionnaire survey completed by 3,000 adults in in Tokyo, Japan, quantified the link between five mental-health outcomes (depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem, and loneliness) and two measures of nature experiences (frequency of green space use and green view through windows from home).

More frequent green space use and the existence of green window views from the home were associated with increased levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness, as well as decreased levels of depression and loneliness.

“Our results suggest that nearby nature can serve as a buffer in decreasing the adverse impacts of a very stressful event on humans,” said lead author Masashi Soga, PhD, of The University of Tokyo. “Protecting natural environments in urban areas is important not only for the conservation of biodiversity, but also for the protection of human health.”

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Weekend funnies …

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A few kilograms weight loss nearly halves risk of diabetes – Study

Eat less, move more, live longer. And, now, it seems, also dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.

Losing a few kilograms in weight almost halves people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – according to a large scale research study led by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia.

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A new study published in the international journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows how providing support to help people with prediabetes make small changes to their lifestyle, diet and physical activity can almost halve the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The findings come from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS) – the largest diabetes prevention research study in the world in the last 30 years. The NDPS clinical trial ran over eight years and involved more than 1,000 people with prediabetes at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study found that support to make modest lifestyle changes, including losing two to three kilograms of weight and increased physical activity over two years, reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 40 to 47 per cent for those categorized as having prediabetes.

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Fish: Why (and How) to Choose this Healthful Protein – Tufts

Dietary guidelines from governments and health organizations around the world agree: a healthy dietary pattern includes around two servings of fish a week. Most American adults get less than the recommended eight ounces per week. What makes fish such an important part of a healthy diet, and what are the best choices for health and the environment?

Fish and Health: A versatile, high-quality protein source that is relatively quick and easy to cook, fish have been studied in connection with numerous health benefits. Eating fish has been associated with lower blood pressure and lower risk of stroke and heart attack, and has also been studied for lowering risk of depression, cognitive decline, and other chronic conditions. In 2006, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, and colleagues published a study examining the impact of fish on heart disease. This study concluded eating approximately one to two three-ounce servings of fatty fish a week could reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

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Common Medications and Vitamin B12 Levels

Vitamin B12 plays many crucial roles in the body. It is involved in neurologic function, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, and a number of important chemical reactions. Vitamin B12 deficiency, while not common, can cause megaloblastic anemia (a disorder of the red blood cells that can cause symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, and lightheadedness) and neurological and cognitive disorders.

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Consumption of animal products (like fish, meat, chicken, and dairy) and fortified foods (like breakfast cereals) generally provides plenty of B12 to meet our needs. Because plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains do not contain this vitamin, strict vegans should be conscious of their B12 intake. People who have had bariatric surgery or who have had part of their intestines removed, as well as those with absorptive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, are also at increased risk for B12 deficiency. Additionally, the ability to digest and absorb B12 may decline with age. Now, long-term use of several common medications has been added to the list of reasons to monitor B12 status.

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People who eat chili pepper may live longer?

  • Consumption of chili pepper may reduce the relative risk of cardiovascular disease mortality by 26%, according to an analysis of diet and mortality data from four large, international studies.
  • Chili pepper consumption was associated with a 25% reduction in death from any cause and 23% fewer cancer deaths, compared to people who never or only rarely consumed chili pepper.
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Individuals who consume chili pepper may live longer and may have a significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The meeting will be held virtually, Friday, November 13-Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.

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Life After COVID-19 Hospital Stay: Major Lasting Effects on Health, Work and More

Surviving a case of COVID-19 that’s bad enough to land you in the hospital is hard enough. But life after the hospital stay – and especially after an intensive care stay – is no bed of roses, either, according to a new study. 

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Within two months of leaving the hospital, nearly 7% of the patients had died, including more than 10% of the patients treated in an intensive care unit. Fifteen percent had ended up back in the hospital. The data come from more than 1,250 patients treated in 38 hospitals across Michigan this spring and summer, when the state was one of the earliest to experience a peak in cases. 

When researchers interviewed 488 of the surviving patients by phone, around 60 days after their hospitalization, they heard a litany of health and life woes. They’ve published their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Healthy Lifestyle Habits May Lower the Risk for Developing Dementia

Can your eating habits and physical and mental activity lower your risk for developing dementia as you age? Obviously, it is important to learn all we can about how health habits affect the risks for developing dementia, a debilitating decline in memory and other mental abilities. Experts expect the number of people with dementia worldwide to rise to 82 million by 2030 and to over 152 million by 2050.

A team of researchers designed a study to learn more about whether adopting healthier lifestyle habits can help prevent or slow the onset of dementia. It was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers suggest that prevention strategies should focus on lowering dementia risk for people who are starting to experience cognitive decline, specifically subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

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Suffering from Triskaidekaphobia?

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Feeling blue on Friday the 13th? Perhaps you are triskaidecaphobic, which is to say, fearful of Friday the 13th.

Wikipedia says, “Triskaidekaphobia (from Greektris meaning “3”, kai meaning “and”, deka meaning “10” and phobos meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is fear of the number 13 and avoidance to use it; it is a superstition and related to the specific fear of the 13th person at the Last Supper being Judas, who was said to have stabbed Jesus Christ in the back (metaphorically). It is also a reason for the fear of Friday the 13th.”

The publication Environmental Nutrition offers the following 5 foods that are super nutritious and might bring you good luck at least in terms of your general health.

Amazing avocados, is their first offering. “Ounce for ounce, they contain more blood-pressure lowering potassium than bananas. Avocados are rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fats, and…

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Weekend funnies

Hope you are ready for some lightweight ideas. That’s Friday’s fare.

Tony

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