Greens for flavor and health
Like everyone else, you have read it in many directions for good health: Eat
plenty of dark, leafy greens. But what are they, and what do you do with
They include kale, Swiss chard, (the queen of all
greens), dandelion greens, beet greens, mustard greens, spinach, and
turnip greens. But unless you live in the South, you've probably done
little more with greens than sprinkle spinach on a salad.
If that's the case, you're missing out on wonderful
side dishes and main dishes. We won't dwell on the health benefits
because they've been so widely documented, from their huge vitamin and
mineral content to those very important phytochemicals. They are
important for cancer prevention.
In parts of the world, where vegetarianism is a way
of life, people meet their daily calcium needs not by drinking milk but
by eating greens.
To cook any kind of greens, clean them well, cut them
up, and boil for about 4 minutes. Even better, put them in the microwave
for a couple of minutes. For large-leafed greens like Swiss chard, run a
sharp knife alongside the stem and center rib, separating the leaf from
Sauteing in olive oil and with garlic cloves and
red-pepper flakes is also recommended.
Try this delicious recipe.
Creamed Swiss chard with onions.
In a large no-stick skillet over medium heat, warm 1 teaspoon of
olive oil. Add 1 medium onion, sliced.
Cook stirring frequently for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened.
Add 1 pound of Swiss chard, cut into bite-size pieces. Cover and cook
for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chard starts to wilt.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and gradually add 1
cup of canned evaporated skim milk.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add 2 teaspoons
grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg. Stir to mix.
Makes 4 servings.
Cynicism creates heart risk
Cynics are distrustful people who generally believe
the worst about others. But cynicism is a learned attitude and changing
one's outlook can do much to improve life and health.
Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
show that a cynical outlook increases the risk of heart disease. And
cynical people are more likely to have diabetes, obesity, and to smoke.
The link between these conditions and cynicism will be studied further.
High BP? OK to exercise
People with mild high blood pressure may worry that
exercise will strain their hearts. Doctors at Johns Hopkins say moderate
exercise on a treadmill or stepper, or with weight training, has no ill
Further, a long-term exercise program benefits the
heart, reduces body fat, and counteracts many risk factors for heart
Study: Sleep improves memory, learning
While your conscious mind is off duty as you sleep,
your brain cells are on a path of their own. Researchers at Harvard
Medical School say that during sleep, brain activity processes
information learned during the day. Brain cells replay the memory during
deep sleep, and that replay makes memory stronger.
Sleep researchers say most Americans don't get the
recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. They could be
setting themselves up for attention lapses and poorer recall of facts
from the previous day.
Blood sugar and cancer
According to Diabetes Care, women with the highest
glucose levels have up to a 75 percent greater overall risk of cancer
compared with those at the lowest levels. The study showed no
significant link between total cancer risk and blood-sugar levels for
men. For both men and women, the risk of pancreatic cancer, cancer of
the urinary tract, and skin cancer increased with blood sugar levels.
Wiggle your toothbrush
Holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle when you
brush your teeth is generally recommended. But to assure that you are
reaching your teeth at the gum line and below, wiggle your tooth brush
instead of scrubbing part of the time. The wiggling brush is also
important when brushing the backs of teeth.