IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date: July 1, 2011
This Italian dinner will please everyone
The Italians have a great way of combining ingredients to make masterpieces,
like in linguini with clam sauce, which marries the fruit of the sea
with the Durum Wheat flour of the plains to create a dish high in
complex carbohydrates, protein and vitamins. The recipe is rich and
creamy without being over the top.
Linguini in clam sauce
2 pounds Little Neck clams, scrubbed and cleansed in water, or a
10-ounce can of processed clams without shells.
1 pound linguini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoon chopped fresh, curly Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup clam juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Fill a large pan three-quarters full with salted water and 1 tablespoon
of olive oil. Bring to a boil. Add the linguini and cook 8 to 9 minutes,
checking it until soft. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the
cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the cooking
liquid. Cover and set aside.
In a heavy sauce pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium
Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 1
Add the wine and clam juice. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the clams, cover, shaking occasionally. Cook until the clams (if in
shells) open, about 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
Add the cream and lemon juice, stir and simmer for 1 minute. Add cooked
pasta and toss to coat. Add another small amount extra-virgin olive oil
and parsley and toss to coat.
Divide among serving bowls and top each portion with Parmesan.
Enjoy the company of a pet
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that married couples who owned a
pet had lower blood pressure than couples without one.
Individuals who owned a dog were more likely to still be alive one year
after having a heart attack than heart attack patients who didn't own
Dog owners who walk their dogs are more likely to be physically active
and less likely to be obese.
OJ lowers blood pressure, improves blood vessels
Drinking a glass of orange juice every day has long been known to be a
healthy practice. New evidence shows it's benefits are more extensive.
Orange juice contains a flavonoid called hesperidin. In a study by the
Human Nutrition Unit-INRA in France, it was discovered that two glasses
of OJ per day could significantly lower diastolic blood pressure (the
second number in a blood pressure reading) and improve blood-vessel
Study subjects were overweight, but otherwise healthy men age 51 to 63
The researchers say lowering diastolic pressure by just three or four
points could translate into a 20 percent reduction of heart disease.
Even if you drink one glass of OJ per day instead of two, you will have
Five ways to fight stress and improve your health
You already know a few ways to improve your health,
such as making it a point to eat fruit every day and to eat high-fiber
foods like breakfast cereal. Here are a few other stress-fighters and
1 Approach your life and work with a
more positive outlook. Find a positive side in every aspect of your
life. Research involving women age 50 and older found those with an
optimistic view were much less likely to die of any cause during the
years of the study.
2 Try yoga and tai chi. The gentle
mind-body practices combine aerobic, strength training, core stability,
flexibility and balance. They reduce blood pressure and improve sleep.
3 Develop a sense of gratitude for life. Gratitude is sometimes called a
combination of humility, grace, love and acceptance. Each day identify
at least one thing that enriches your life. Have gratitude be your last
thought before you fall asleep at night and your first thought when you
wake in the morning.
4 Try volunteering. Research
shows that participating in meaningful volunteer activities promotes
emotional and mental well-being. A study reported in the Journal of
Aging and Health found that volunteers had lower blood pressure than
5 Improve your relationships. Forgive
yourself and those closest to you. It doesn't mean you condone a wrong
done. Forgiveness is associated with improved mood and lower stress.
Nitroglycerin could be new osteoporosis treatment
An inexpensive nitroglycerin preparation administered
as an ointment, patch or pill could basically change the way
osteoporosis is treated. And it could help prevent fractures in the
Dr. Sophie Jamal of the Department of
Medicine at the University of Toronto led the study on nitroglycerine's
impact on bone density. It was recently reported in the Journal of the
American Medical Association.
After two years of using
nitroglycerine ointment, study subjects had significant increases in
bone mineral density in the spine, hip, neck and thigh. They also
experienced less bone resorption.
No osteoporosis drug
on the market today both decreases bone resorption and increases bone
How to have more fun at theme parks
Spending a day at a water park, theme park, zoo or
entertainment mega-world is a great way to spend quality time with
relatives and friends, but it's not easy to have fun without passing out
from exhaustion. Here are a few tips to help you avoid going bonkers.
Leave your dog at home unless the park has a kennel where you can stash him.
If available, buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
Bring a bag for souvenirs or rent a locker so you won't have to carry them or your umbrella and rain poncho.
Take sunscreen and insect repellent.
Wear comfortable shoes. No flip-flops, sandals or shoes with open toes where dust and dirt can get in.
Take advantage of hotel shuttles. They are fast and free, and you won't have to park your car in a huge lot.
Once there, split up, so groups can visit their favorite attractions. Have times to gather at a meeting place.
Avoid getting into a long line. Come back later at a time when a big show is going on somewhere else in the park.
Go easy on the candy to avoid the surge and crash that can make you tired and grumpy.
Look for a "fast pass" machine that gives you a ticket to ride at a specific time so you won't have to wait in line.
Toss your list of "must-dos." It's about fun, not about how many things you can cram into a day.
Be smart with money. Have a budget that allows you to buy one or two souvenirs.
Eat at unusual times. If you have lunch an hour later, you won't have to wait as long in line or for a table.
Be nice and don't fight with family and friends. Give in or ignore a nasty remark.
Take special tours if they are available.
Football and basketball fans: Take it easy driving home
Here's some disturbing news for sports fans: When your team wins a
nail-biter, you face a higher risk of dying in a crash on the way home.
Research by the North Carolina State University and South Carolina
University finds that traffic deaths rise in the hometowns of winning
teams on game day, and rise proportionately the closer the game is. The
result is the same whether the game is at home or away.
The research focused on highly anticipated events, such as playoff and
rivalry games . Because final scores don't always reflect how close a
game was, fans were asked to rate the 271 college and professional games
The increase in fatalities happens in locations of winning games, such
as game sites and hometowns. The difference in fatalities after a
blow-out game and a nail-biter was 133 percent.
Building on a 2,000-Year track record
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture is
spreading rapidly across the West. A national health survey, quoted in
Healthy Years, found that more than eight million U.S. adults have used
acupuncture for their physical problems. At the Center for East-West
Medicine at UCLA, they say acupuncture sends a signal to the body to
turn on its own rescue system.
How it works
According to Chinese medicine, energy called qi (or
chi) flows through the body across 12 major pathways called meridians.
The meridians correspond to specific organs and body functions. If the
flow of qi is blocked, you get sick. At UCLA center, doctors also say
acupuncture re-regulates the body and can turn off pain signals.
Inserting very fine needles at specific points along
the meridians helps restore the flow of qi. Most doctors today believe
that the needle stick causes the central nervous system to release
morphine-like pain killers called endorphins.
What it targets
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture
for respiratory diseases, eye and mouth problems, orthopedic trouble,
neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal ailments. It can reduce or
eliminate the need for pain medications. The therapy has shown promise
in relieving nausea associated with chemotherapy.
It has been used to help patients regain movement
after stroke, to treat depression, headaches, and low back pain and
What to expect
Patients feel a tiny prick as the needles are
inserted. It isn't painful because needles are only as thick as a single
human hair. The needles stay in place for five to 20 minutes, depending
on the illness, but it's important to have a certified practitioner do
Before starting acupuncture, discuss its possible
benefits with your doctor, and check with your insurance company to
determine whether acupuncture treatments are covered.
July is National Grilling Month
Cook on the grill for healthy, flavorful foods, but do it right.
Cooking outside in the fresh air is one of the joys
of summer. Grilling can enhance food flavors, and the company of family
and friends can make any dinner a party.
There's more to it than slapping a steak on the grill
and turning up the heat. To prevent foodborne illnesses, you have to do
Thaw frozen meats and poultry thoroughly. Slow thawing in the refrigerator is best. Or thaw sealed packages in cold water. Microwave thawing is OK if you grill the item immediately.
Use marinades properly. Marinate in the refrigerator. Set aside a portion of the marinade before placing it on the meat. You can use the saved marinade to baste while grilling. Never reuse a marinade that has been used on meat, say scientists at the Mayo Clinic.
A marinade of olive oil and citrus juices can reduce the formation of cancer-causing substances on foods by as much as 99 percent. A food safety project at Kansas State University also discovered that basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage used in marinades can reduce the formation of free radicals when foods are grilled.
Keep the grill clean and make sure it's hot before you put food on it. Consider indirect heat to prevent charring. Charred meats may contain carcinogens. Avoid flare-ups by trimming fat from the meat.
Avoid cross contamination. Never reuse utensils or platters that have come in contact with raw meat.
New treatment for lupus
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the
first new drug for lupus in more than 50 years. Lupus affects up to 1.5
million Americans. It is more common in women, Caucasians and
The drug, Benlysta, by Human Genome
Sciences, Inc. and GlaxoSmith Kline PLC, is expected to reach
Researchers say many patients were
able to reduce their use of steroids while taking Benlysta. They had a
reduced incidence of severe flare ups, a painful characteristic of the
disease. But African-Americans didn't respond as well to the new drug as
New heart catheterization
About one million U.S. patients each year undergo
heart catheterizations, which involve threading a thin plastic tube up
to the heart from a puncture wound doctors make in the groin.
Now, cardiologists are increasingly beginning the procedure in the wrist
instead. This eliminates the risk of bleeding, a potentially
life-threatening problem associated with entry in the groin. Although it
rarely happens, bleeding increases the risk of a heart attack.
Don't lose your fitness resolve
Sometimes people welcome spring by getting outside to walk, play and get
fit. As summer moves on, they lose interest. Don't let it happen to you!
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