Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado

With Memorial Day quickly approaching, try this side to kick off the summer. This side is a good source of: fiber, folate, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats. Enjoy and have a safe Memorial Day!

Ingredients
• 1 cup halved heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 3 ears shucked corn
• 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 jalapeño pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Cooking spray
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 diced peeled avocados

Preparation
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Brush corn, onion, and jalapeño evenly with oil. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill corn for 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 6 minutes. Grill onion slices and jalapeño 8 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 4 minutes. Let vegetables stand 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Finely chop jalapeño; discard stem. Add corn, onion, and jalapeño to tomato mixture; toss well. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 4 ingredients (through kidney beans) to corn mixture; toss well. Top with avocado.
Nutritional information: Calories 141, Fat 6.4 gm, Saturated fat: 0.9 gm, Monounsaturaed fat: 4.2 gm, Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9 gm, Protein: 5 gm, Carbohydrate: 18.2 gm, Fiber 6.8 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Iron: 1.2 mg, Sodium: 211 mg, Calcium: 38 mg

Resource: http://www.cookinglight.com

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Healthy ways to make amazing fries for your family!

Who doesn’t love French fries? They seem to be the ultimate comfort food but they don’t have to be a guilty pleasure any more. It is easy to make healthier fries at home that are full of vitamins. Try to stay clear of your local drive-through window and try to whip up a batch of one of the nutritious fries below that everyone in the family will enjoy.

1. Try Daikon Fries: Daikons are a mild-flavored winter radish that are from Southeast or East Asia but are grown in North America. They are low in calories and rich in vitamin C. When daikons are roasted they are delicious. Try peeling the daikon and chop into pieces that are similar to French fries. Toss them with olive oil and a pinch of salt, roast at 350 F for 30 minutes or until they are tender and slightly browned. Serve with a dipping sauce such as thyme, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and black pepper.

2. Try Carrot Fries: Yes carrot fries! Try slicing carrots into wedges similar to French fries then simply toss with olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper and bake until crisp. Carrots are a vitamin-rich root vegetable and one medium sized carrot contains 204 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin A. They are delicious and guilt free!

3. Try Jicama Fries: Jicama is a root vegetable and resembles a potato or turnip with a mild flavor. It is native to South America and Mexico and is a good source of fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C. Try to very thinly slice the jicama, toss with olive oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika to taste, and bake.

4. Try Yucca Fries: Yucca, another root vegetable, is rich in manganese and vitamin C. For yucca fries, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add yucca and cook until tender, then drain. Once cool enough to handle cut into ¼ to ½ inch thick fries. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, chile powder, ground coriander and salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

5. Try Zucchini Fries: Yes zucchini fries! Zucchini is high in vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Slice zucchini into wedges, then simply toss with olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper and bake until desired crispness.

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Spicy Garbanzo Beans & Nuts

By Debbie Jeffery, RDN
Below is a recipe that features 2 of the brain healthy foods on the MIND diet. The MIND diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ingredients:

2 15-1/2 ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup shelled raw pistachios or cashews
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Toss beans with next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Transfer mixture to rimmed baking sheet. Bake until garbanzos are golden and crisp, stirring occasionally with metal spatula, about 20 minutes. Stir nuts and thyme into garbanzo mixture. Bake until beans and nuts are crunchy, about 12 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl and serve warm.

Perfect Portion: ½ cup
Nutrition Information: Calories 170; Fat 9g (1.5g saturated fat); Sodium 210mg; Carbohydrate 17g; Fiber 3g; Protein 6g

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The MIND Diet – A Preventative Measure that Could Reduce the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

By Debbie Jeffery, RDN

The MIND diet designed by researchers at Rush Medical Center in Chicago to help in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease has been successfully tested. The MIND diet borrows guidelines from the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. All of the diets emphasize including plant-based foods and reducing high fat foods but the MIND diet highlights eating “brain-healthy” foods such as green leafy vegetables and berries. Brain-healthy foods are those that have been identified as protecting the brain and slowing cognitive decline. For example, fruits are included in recommendations for a heart-healthy diet but they haven’t been shown to slow cognitive decline or prevent dementia. However, berries, particularly blueberries, have been shown to protect the brain.

The study found that strict adherence to any of the 3 diets reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease; however, the MIND diet was effective even when only some of the recommendations were followed. Because the study was observational, not randomized or controlled, the results aren’t evidence that the MIND diet reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s but indicates an association between the two.

The MIND diet has 15 dietary components. There are 10 brain-healthy foods to include and 5 unhealthy groups of food to avoid. The healthy foods are: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. The unhealthy groups are: red meats, butter & stick margarine, cheese, pastries & sweets, and fried or fast foods. A typical day’s intake on the MIND diet would include 3 servings of whole grains, a salad plus one other vegetable, a glass of wine, nuts as a snack, blueberries or strawberries, chicken or fish, and beans every other day.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.1 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s. There is growing awareness among experts that lifestyle factors, not just genetics, play a role in developing Alzheimer’s, and the goal of researchers is to develop an optimal diet to reduce the risk. The study results were published in the March issue of the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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5 Lower Back Stretches to Keep you Moving

Every day your spine experiences heavy loads of stress. When you do not stretch and perform exercises to help strengthen this area, you can develop muscular imbalances, tightness and pain. Below are some stretches that can be done to help relieve such pains and tightness. Remember, not all stretches may be right for you, so only do the ones that provide relief, not pain.

1. Lumbar Extension: Start lying on your stomach, forearms and palms of your hands flat at the floor. Keeping your hips on the floor, slowly raise your upper body off the floor, keeping your muscles relaxed. Only go as far as you can without pain. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then return to the original starting position.

2. Lumbar Flexion: Start sitting on your heels, knees on the floor. Keep your glutes on the heels, slowly walk the finger tips as far forward as you can. This is similiar to a “Childs Pose” in yoga. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then slowly walk your finger tips back up to a seated position.

3. Cat Stretch: Start with a neutral spine on your hands and knees. Slowly arch your back, letting your stomach move towards the floor. Once you are at your furthest point that feels good, stretch the opposite way pulling your spine and core up towards the ceiling. Slowly move through these two stretches 2-3 times.

4. Knee to Chest: Start lying on your back with both legs in front of you. Pull one knee in towards the chest, pressing the low back into the floor and trying to keep your straight leg on the floor. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then switch sides.

5. Hamstring Stretch: Start lying on your back with both legs straight on the floor in front of you. Slowly bring one leg up towards the ceiling as high as possible without bending the knee. You can use your hands or a band to help hold the leg up and add tension to the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then slowly lower down. Repeat on the other side.

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Personal Reflections on Coronary Artery Calcium Quantitation by CT: John A. Rumberger, PhD, MD, FACC

by John A. Rumberger, PhD, MD, FACC Director of Cardiovascular Imaging, the Princeton Longevity Center

Despite a number of controversies in the past 30 years regarding clinical cardiac [i.e. heart] imaging using x-ray computed tomography [CT], we have now settled an unbelievably simple matter – CAC [coronary artery calcification] quantified by CT is a validated means to estimate global coronary artery plaque burden; furthermore, the greater the burden or the more premature its development (for gender/age) the greater the personal cardiovascular risk. But this conclusion has not been easy for many in the Cardiovascular Disease community to accept and, as I reflect on personal issues and battles, I am reminded that we go through three stages of acceptance: First, “it is not true”; Second, “it is not important”; Third, “it is not new!”

My journey with CAC began in the early 1990’s. I had been using the exciting “new” technology of Electron Beam CT (EBT) for nearly a decade. We had successfully validated during 1985-87 the ability to quantify cardiac muscle mass and ventricular volumes and my Mayo Clinic laboratory had embarked upon studies of changes in heart size and shape after a first heart attack – called ventricular remodeling.
At that time I was approached by Mr. David King, the visionary and “father” of the CAC method, regarding whether I was interested in this ‘other’ application of the EBT technology. As a traditional cardiologist, I immediately launched a diatribe about how we already knew CAC did not tell us percent stenosis [i.e. percent narrowing of the heart artery as could be done using invasive angiography] and I could not possibly see how this would be of clinical benefit. I asked him to talk to a colleague, but I was simply “not interested”. I was moving through the first phase of acceptance (or maybe rejection): “it is not true” that CAC has any clinical value.

A year later I ran across one of the Mayo Internal Medicine residents who had measured CAC using EBT in autopsy hearts. He had raw data on a computer diskette and wondered if I could help him organize the information and point towards some analytical methods. Using a spreadsheet program we looked at the paired CT calcium areas and microscopic atherosclerotic plaque areas. In a perfunctory manner, I told him that we were going to graph these data and look at the potential for some sort of correlation. I recall this moment well; frankly it was an epiphany. I displayed the graph and saw what I did not think possible; these data, of course with scatter, showed a direct and linear correlation between coronary atherosclerotic plaque and the amount of coronary artery calcification [as measured by CT] in the same heart segments. I turned to him and said “Where the hell did you get this?” Three publications later I was still amazed at what had been “discovered”.(1-3) By that time, it had been nearly 5 years since Dr. Warren Janowitz and Dr. Arthur Agatston had published their paper demonstrating the prevalence of CAC by EBT paralleled the epidemiology of adult coronary disease across age and gender.(4) After re-reviewing their data in a new light I was hooked, and did not looked back.

David King had organized a fledgling group of researchers dubbed the “calcium club” (which formed the foundation for the future development of the Society of Atherosclerotic Imaging and for the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography). We had early morning meetings before each major cardiology convention [twice per year]. During these one hour meetings we presented new research, shared concerns, formed bonds, and had arguments. Our little band grew in size at each meeting. More and more data had come forth, including early data on prognostication. We realized that guidelines on CAC use and interpretation in clinical practice should be devised. It was apparent to all that the greatest use was in the asymptomatic, intermediate risk subjects, in which traditional Framingham risk remains least predictive. By Fall 1996, we had CAC scoring categories and percentile rankings for age and gender. It was my job to put this together as a manuscript. The paper was ready for journal submission by Spring 1997. Each major cardiology and internal medicine journal we contacted was not interested or had other “opinions”. It took literally three years to get the “guidelines” paper published and it appeared in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 1999.(5) As an interesting aside, in 2003 the then Editor of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings told me that this paper was amongst their most requested reprints.

The general interest was clearly there, but the adult cardiology community remained skeptical. For instance, there was a review by the American College of Cardiology(6) on CAC that somewhat reversed a prior publication by the American Heart Association. These controversies and concerns focused on the second phase of acceptance: “it is not important” and most certainly the prevailing opinion was that CAC was not as “good” as established Framingham risk calculations.

In 2004 and 2005 there was literally a rapid fire of publications presenting new scientific data and consensus opinions regarding CAC, each now confirming older data and guidelines while expanding the database across populations. The research confirmed CAC as THE most powerful “risk factor” in asymptomatic patients as an individual providing data actually incremental to conventional risk assessments(7-9)– especially in those 40-50% of the population seen by the Internist or Family Practitioner who fall into the “intermediate” risk group. We had come full circle; in short, “it is not new!”

As cardiac CT has now come of age and EBT has been replaced with 64+-slice MDCT (multi-detector CT) devices, the issue of CAC is now center stage, along with the ability to visualize non-calcified (“soft”) plaque and segmental coronary stenoses using intravenous contrast enhancement.

Another milestone was reached just recently with the February 2015 release of a documentary film called ‘The Widowmaker’ [Oxford, Films, London, UK] detailing the difficulties of the ‘calcium club’ to get a foot hold in preventive cardiology and early diagnosis of coronary atherosclerotic plaque versus the much more profitable world of advanced coronary disease and use of stents. The film will soon undergo global release and can be found on iTunes and Amazon. The story is worth seeing!

Cited References:
1. Simons DB, Schwartz RS, Edwards WD, Sheedy PF, Breen JF, Rumberger JA: Non Invasive Definition of Anatomic Coronary Artery Disease by Ultrafast CT: A Quantitative Pathologic Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 1992; 20: 1118 26
2. Rumberger JA, Schwartz RS, Simons DB, Sheedy PF, Edwards WD, Fitzpatrick LA: Relations of Coronary Calcium Determined by Electron Beam Computed Tomography and Lumen Narrowing Determined at Autopsy. Am J Cardiol 1994;73:1169 1173
3. Rumberger JA, Simons DB, Fitzpatrick LA, Sheedy PF, Schwartz RS: Coronary Artery Calcium Areas by Electron Beam Computed Tomography and Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque Area: A Histopathologic Correlative Study. Circulation 1995;92:2157-2162
4. Agatston AS, Janowitz WR, Hildner FJ, Zusmer NR, Viamonte M, Detrano R: Quantification of coronary artery calcium suing Ultrafast computed tomography. J Am Coll Cardiol 1990:15:827-32
5. Rumberger JA, Brundage BH, Rader JD, Kondos G. Electron beam computed tomographic coronary calcium scanning: a review and guidelines for use in asymptomatic persons. Mayo Clin Proc 1999;74:243-252
6. O’Rourke RA, Brundage BH, Froelicker VF et at. American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Expert Consensus Document on Electron-Beam Computed tomography for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Coronary Artery Disease. Circulation 2000;102;126-140
7. Arad Y, Goodman KJ, Roth M, Newstein D, Guerci AD: Coronary Calcification, Coronary Disease Risk Factors, C-Reactive Protein, and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Events: The St. Francis Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005; 46:173-9
8. LaMonte MJ, FitzGerald SJ, Church TS, Barlow CD, Radford NB, Levine BD, Pippin JJ, Gibbons LW, Blair SN, Nichaman MZ. Coronary Artery Calcium Score and Coronary Heart Disease Events in a Large Cohort of Asymptomatic Men and Women. Am J Epidemiol 2005;162:1-9
9. Taylor AJ, Bindeman J, Feuerstein I, Cao F, Brazaitis M, O’Malley PG. Coronary Calcium Independently Predicts Incident Premature Coronary Disease Over Measured Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Mean Three-Year Outcomes in the Prospective Army Coronary Calcium (PACC) Project. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;46:807-14

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What to eat when you have Psoriasis

Although you cannot cure psoriasis by following a specific diet, eating certain foods may make living with psoriasis easier.  Some foods may help to control inflammation in the body that is caused by this skin condition and therefore, may help to minimize flare ups. In addition, keeping your weight in a healthy range can help to minimize symptoms.

Here is what you should focus on eating:

  • Omega-3 rich fish like salmon, trout, tuna, etc.; aim for 2 fish meals a week. Talk to your physician or Registered Dietitian about taking a concentrated omega-3 supplement if your fish intake is limited.
  • Vegetarian protein sources like beans, nuts, seeds, and large portions of vegetables, etc. Animal protein sources that are low in saturated fats like skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish, and lean beef can be eaten in small portions.
  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain bread, etc. If you suspect that gluten (in wheat products) makes your symptoms worse, talk to your physician or Registered Dietitian about further testing or about trying an elimination diet.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods to reduce free radicals and decrease inflammation; choose a variety of different colored fruits, vegetables and other plant foods daily and throughout the week.
  • Foods rich in folic acid like leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc), peas, beans, whole grains, strawberries, etc.
  • Probiotic rich foods like kefir, yogurt, kimchi, miso or take probiotic supplements to improve gut function, which is linked to inflammation and immunity.
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