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Fasting can affect womens bodies and hormones differently throughout the month, making intermittent fasting for women a slightly trickier area to navigate than it is for men.

Womens bodies run on a monthly pattern with a uterine and ovulatory cycle running in tandem, causing hormonal fluctuations within the body. While women may benefit from intermittent fasting, they are advised to take a more relaxed approach to the way they fast, due to the impact these hormones have on appetite and energy requirements.

Read our guide to intermittent fasting: what is and how does it work for a more in-depth guide to types of intermittent fasting.

To work out exactly how women can navigate intermittent fasting safely, Live Science spoke to Dr Nirusa Kumaran, Medical Director & Founder of Elemental Health Clinic.

Men and women should approach intermittent fasting differently, with evidence suggesting that more severe restrictions may be less suitable for women. A study in Obesity Society, for example, found that women with a healthy body weight began to experience an impaired glucose response with alternate day fasting. Time restricted eating (TRE) may be a safer option. This is where you have a set eating window during the day (such as eight or 10 hours), and fast the rest of the time.

Dr Kumaran advises caution to women looking to try intermittent fasting for the first time. Women can be more sensitive to intermittent fasting due to the monthly menstrual cycle and subsequent hormonal fluctuations that women experience, she says. Women also have a greater sensitivity to changes in energy balance, as fasting can trigger an exaggerated response to stress. This can then have the opposite effects of the intended health benefits of intermittent fasting.

She also explains that intermittent fasting may be associated with a decrease in the hormone estrogen, which may affect fertility and the ability to conceive. One of the main reasons why this is thought to happen is due to a hormone called kisseptin, she says. Kisspeptin is produced by the hypothalamus in the brain and causes the cascade of events that eventually leads to the production of hormones LH and FSH by the pituitary gland. It is found in both men and women, and it is therefore responsible for the ultimate production of the male and female sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen. Intermittent fasting may cause a decline in kisspeptin levels, as found in some studies. As such, this means less estrogen is produced in women, leading to issues such as infertility and amenorrhoea (or absence of periods).

Females are reported to have more kisspeptin compared to males, she adds, which is why women appear to be more sensitive to changes in kisspeptin levels.

The menstrual cycle has four uterine stages: the proliferative stage, ovulation, the secretory stage and menstruation. Additionally, over these four uterine stages the ovaries are either in a follicular phase (from menstruation to ovulation) or a luteal phase (from ovulation to menstruation). Because of this constant fluctuation of hormones, intermittent fasting may not be suitable for women at every stage of the reproductive cycle.

A study in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation indicates that gonadotropins, the hormones responsible for moderating the follicular and luteal phase, can be interrupted by weight loss related factors, causing changes in reproductive functions including anovulation and infertility.

During a typical menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels start to decline the week before the onset of your period, if an egg is not fertilized, explains Dr Kumaran. The decline in estrogen in the body can be stressful and cause a rise in cortisol levels. As such, adding extra stressors to the body, such as intermittent fasting, may be counterproductive. Similarly, during the first three days of your period you may be losing lots of blood, which again can be quite stressful for the body. It is best to wait for the bleeding to reduce in severity, and then intermittent fasting can safely be resumed.

The best way to approach intermittent fasting as a woman is to feel out how you react to fasting at different times during your cycle; some times may feel less sustainable than others.

In some women, the declining estrogen may not be stress inducing, and they may tolerate intermittent fasting ok, adds Dr Kumaran. It is important to take a fully personalized approach, as one size does not fit all. If you are having irregular periods, it is important to understand the cause for why you are having irregular periods before attempting intermittent fasting. As such, it is important to work with a health practitioner. In the absence of periods, intermittent fasting is not recommended.

If you don't think intermittent fasting is for you, you can have a look at our guides to what is the paleo diet and how does it work or the Mediterranean diet: everything you need to know to see if these diets would suit you better.

Intermittent fasting is safe for most women, although you may want to take a different approach to it than a man might. However, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, you should avoid intermittent fasting as well as any other kind of restrictive diet. Additionally, if you have a history of disordered eating, intermittent fasting may not be appropriate for you due to its restrictive nature.

Dr Kumaran notes that there are some exceptions to this. In women with PCOS, researchers have found that intermittent fasting may actually improve fertility due to the improvement of insulin sensitivity and reduction in glucose and insulin levels.

After menopause, women often find their metabolism changes and they may put on fat around their middle due to hormonal changes. A review in the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition indicated that the cardiometabolic benefits of fasting can help those with obesity. Another review in Menopause Review suggests that obesity can be connected to menopause in mid-life women, due to the role of estrogen in metabolic regulation.

Dr Kumaran adds that the menopause can have different affects on women depending on how they experience it, making intermittent fasting suitable for some and not others.

During and after menopause, your sex hormones decline, you become insulin resistant, and your metabolism can slow down, she says. In some women intermittent fasting can help with these symptoms, however other women may be very sensitive to the excess stress menopause causes.

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Glucose Tolerance and Skeletal Muscle Gene Expression in Response to Alternate Day Fasting Obesity Society (2012)

Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea and its influence on women's health Journal of Endocrinological Investigation (2014)

Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Annual review of nutrition (2021)

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

Aromatic spices can be a great addition to your babys diet (Pictures: Short Eats)

Meals for babies can be pretty bland.

Lots of parents tend to steer away from strong flavours, anything too spicy, or anything too bold, instead opting for foods they view as safer.

But there actually is no reason why you cant spice up your little ones diet and it could in fact help them to develop a more adventurous pallet, if done in the right way.

Of course, this comes with caveats. No, you shouldnt be blending scotch bonnet into your kids dinner.

Really spicy foods are not good for very little babies because they can cause irritation to their digestive system. However, from around six months, or from when the baby is ready for solid food, experts agree that mild herbs and spices are a great addition.

This is something Melissa Bakth, founder of revolutionary food brand, Short Eats, feels passionately about.

My mum is from Trinidad, and my dad is from Sri Lanka, so our store cupboard, fridge and table were in a constant flux of colour, texture and culture, Melissa tells

Growing up, I was always acutely aware of how lucky I was to have such a plethora of exotic food around me, but I was also equally aware that access to this type of food was limited. An early goal that I set myself was to one day bring accessibility and convenience to this cuisine.

This is why Melissa is launching a new campaign Battle The Bland and a range of baby food inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine and approved by nutritionists.

This launch is the most important goal I have ever set out to accomplish in my working life because if it works, I believe it will drastically improve the eating habits of an entire generation- no pressure, right? she says.

We live in London one of the most culturally diverse areas of the world. There are so many exciting, innovative and evolving brands being born every minute, but when I look at the baby food offering, my heart sinks for them.

This sector remains trapped in an archaic, dated state. Stagnant use of adventurous ingredients, insipid colours and unimaginative dishes.

A parent can either opt for convenience or flavour, but you cant have both, and you certainly cant have anything crazier than a veggie moussaka.

So, why has this supermarket aisle seen so little change?

The target age group cant fully articulate their food processing thoughts, so theres been no real reason to change, Melissa explains. Sadly, one can deem the kids range an afterthought.

Babies can and will eat anything, toddlers start making their own food decisions and by six or seven their taste buds are fully sown and grown. Any chance of untangling the bad weeds is going to take some heavy lifting.

We are looking to nourish them as seedlings. By encouraging flavour seeking now, we ultimately give them the right tools to make healthy, balanced and adventurous decisions as adults.

Theres a difference between hot spices, and the aromatic ones.Aromatic ones such as cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander, dill and cumin are perfectly fine to introduce to children, even in infancy after six months, pediatric gastroenterologist Dr Anca Safta tells Live Science.

When introducing solid food, Dr Anca says you should go ahead and try aromatic foods.

We live in a society where we think that baby foods have to be bland, but really you dont have to do that, they add.

But I would not say the same for hot foods, per se. The hot part is not a taste, but rather involves stimulation of pain receptors, and infants might have a stronger and novel reaction to it, possibly creating an aversion.

Dr Anca explains that there are pain receptors on the tongue and in the gut that are stimulated by spicy hot foods.

If we look all over the world, there are South American countries that eat a lot of hot foods, and there are many Asian countries that introduce it to kids early on, says Dr Anca. In some countries or cultures, spicy foods are introduced early, and with frequent usage meaning it might be every day, it may be two or three times a week. Most children then become tolerant to different degrees of spiciness.

There is a preconceived idea that spice is bad for young ones, says Melissa. I would have to challenge this with every fibre of my body. Too spicy can be bad, but spice in your childs food can also be sensational.

Gut health and good microbes all reside in the key factor of variety i.e. eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and spices. By layering all of these elements together you have a super blend that aids digestion, concentration and mental health.

All of our dishes are based on this fundamental concept and take strength from key ingredients such as turmeric, curry leaves, cumin and fennel that have been roasted, baked and seasoned into every dish we make.

With so many of us being stressed and stretched for time and (sometimes) inspiration, here are some top flavour injecting tips, says Melissa

Lightly temper a tablespoon of cumin seeds, a tablespoon of fennel seeds and a handful of fresh curry leaves.

Once this has cooled, blend and leave in a small pot. This store cupboard mixture is magic as just a sprinkle can and will transform any dish. Its perfect for roasting vegetables, as a garnish to a soup or into a casserole.

Try to add texture to every meal. This could be through the addition of prawn crackers, poppadoms or croutons.

Each of these items has a unique flavour to them and gives a gentle nod to something new and exciting.

A lot of baby food tends to be overcooked this is partly due to the fact that we are very panicked by the idea of choking. However, do not sacrifice nutrients for nerves.

Simply chop your vegetables into smaller sizes that can be mashed with a fork.

Opting for provisions like okra, spinach and gelatinous fibres like chia seeds, flax seeds and aloe vera are also a great idea as their natural compounds make them easy to digest.

Try to use a kicker ingredient once a day. Whether its a little grated ginger, a squeeze of lime, the addition of a cardamom pod to porridge or a sprinkle of cinnamon to a hot chocolate.

Theseshortlittle bursts of flavour might even seem meaningless to the meal at the time, but in a continuous stretch make for confident flavour seeking children who will most assuredly be up for everything as growing adults.

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

Licking Memorial Health Systems

Children are constantly growing and developing throughout their childhood. Building strong bones and muscles during this time can have a positive impact on their current and future health by reducing the risk of injury and developing osteoporosisa disease that causes bones to become fragile, and sarcopeniathe loss of muscle as we age. Bones and muscles are living tissue; therefore, both change over time and respond to forces placed upon such. Children with decreased bone and muscle strength are at a higher risk of breaking or fracturing bones and tearing muscles and tendons. With regular exercise and proper diet, muscles and bones adapt to strain and become more resistant to injury, which allows children to play safely.

Diet is a key aspect inmaintaining overall health, especially in bone and muscle growth. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that adolescents reach 90 percent of their peak bone mass by age eighteen, so establishing proper dietary habits early in life will help bones and muscles grow. Children should consume various nutrients for bones and muscles, such as calciuma vital mineral that can be consumed through milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, broccoli, kale, and turnip greens. Children also should consume vitamin Dfound in egg yolk, mushrooms, salmon, and tuna; vitamin Kfound in kale, turnip greens, spinach, and cabbage; and magnesiumfound in almonds, spinach, black beans, peanut butter, and potatoes. Eating a variety of food provides adequate amounts of nutrients to promote muscle and bone growth and will also give energy for exercise.

Exercise also is essential in building strong bones and muscles in children. Muscle growth is commonly associated with weight training; however, such training is not recommended for young children. Bodyweight exercisessuch as yoga, running, jumping rope, sports, push ups, andsit upsare appropriate exercises for children to help muscles grow. Stretching also is an important aspect of exercise,increasingmuscle flexibility and decreasingthe risk of injury.

Parents ultimately decide which foods or physical activities are best for their child based on their interests and safety concerns, but should always help to promote a healthy lifestyle to create healthy habits throughout their childs life. Diet and exercise promotion creates healthy habits for the child that will benefit their overall health and build strong bones and muscles.

For any questions regarding a childs bone and muscle development, contact the primary care physician.

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Active Fit: Building strong bones and muscles - The Newark Advocate

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

You may want to explain that sometimes people take these drugs because theyre depressed, are having trouble sleeping or have untreated pain but that there are better, safer ways to treat these problems, and that they can and should talk to you if they ever need help or have questions.

Focus on not blaming, not assuming, expressing concern, asking for two minutes to share information, Dr. Banta-Green said. Josh McKivigan, a licensed adolescent therapist based in Pittsburgh, added that the goal is to eliminate the taboo and keep conversations happening. If you feel you cant have these conversations with your child, ask a trusted adult, such as a coach, family friend or relative, to talk to them for you.

It can also help to find time each week to connect with teens, without nagging them or talking to them about rule-breaking or schoolwork, Mr. McKivigan said. Building connection and trust with kids helps to ensure that if they get into trouble with drugs, theyll come to you for help. They know youre going to be there for them, that youre invested in hearing them, he said.

When someone overdoses from fentanyl, breathing slows and the skin, especially nail beds and lips, often turns a bluish hue from a lack of oxygen, Dr. Jones said. He teaches people to try to rouse individuals by giving them a firm rub with their knuckles in the center of the chest. If you give them a firm sternal rub and they dont wake up or respond, then theyre probably in trouble, he said.

If you think someone is overdosing, dont wait call 911 right away, Dr. Jones said, again because fentanyl overdoses can cause death so quickly. If youre concerned that a loved one could be exposed to fentanyl for instance, if he or she or friends occasionally experiment with drugs that could be contaminated you may also want to buy naloxone, a medicine that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. He also recommended getting trained on how to use it, carrying it with you at all times and administering it as soon as possible if a person seems to be overdosing.

Theres a common belief that naloxone doesnt treat fentanyl overdoses, but thats not true, said Julie ODonnell, an epidemiologist and overdose expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Most states protect individuals from liability or prosecution if they dispense or distribute naloxone. Most states also have Good Samaritan Laws that protect those who call 911 from prosecution for drug-related crimes.)

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

This will likely require a multi-faceted approach, which might include prescription or over-the-counter medication, dietary changes, and psychotherapy.

To help guide and standardize this process, the American College of Gastroenterologists in 2021 put out new clinical guidelines.

Whether youre newly diagnosed or looking for treatments to add to your management plan, they may help you and your healthcare provider decide on your next step.

If you havent already done so, it is essential that you see a healthcare provider to discuss any ongoing digestive symptoms you may be havingeven if youve been diagnosed with IBS and are following a recommended treatment plan to the letter.

In the event your condition has changed, your treatment approach must evolve as well.

The simple act of eatingand eating large or fatty meals, in particularcan stimulate bowel contractions.

Because of that, changing your eating habits is one of the most common ways to manage IBS.

Afood diarycan help you track what you eat and how it makes you feel.

If you notice your symptoms tend to flare after eating a certain food, consider eliminating that food (and similar ones) for a period of about three months to see if this has any effect on your IBS.

If not, try eating the food again and repeat the process with the next food on your list.

Common food and drink culprits include:1

Stress and hormonal changes also contribute to IBS symptoms.2

Because of this, a food you tolerate poorly on one occasion may be just fine on another.

You may also consider an elimination diet to rule outgluten sensitivity,lactose intolerance, orfructose malabsorption.

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccarides, disaccarides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

These carbohydrates dont absorb well into your digestive system.

Research suggests they can be particularly problematic for people with IBS because they can compound your issues with gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or constipation.

Following a low-FODMAP diet can be challenging, but it has some sound research support for its effectiveness3 and the ACGs 2021 guidelines recommend trying it.

The diet involves eliminating FODMAPS from your diet for six to eight weeks and then gradually adding them back to see how well you tolerate them.

Increasing your fiber intake is generally recommended for IBS due to its many health benefits and its ability to make your stool a better consistency.

However, it is best to addfiberslowly to allow your body time to adjust.

Evidence suggests that people with IBS benefit more from soluble fiber than from insoluble fiber4and its strong enough to receive backing from the ACG.

To ease the stress on your digestive system, its recommended that you eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of the traditional three big ones per day.

One possible exception is that for constipation, a large breakfast may help encourage intestinal contractions and the urge to have a bowel movement.

You have a wide variety of OTCs to choose from for digestive symptoms.

While you can get these without a prescription, its best to check with your healthcare provider before using any OTC product for IBS.

A few of the more commonly used OTC drug options include:

The ACG recommends against probiotics, however, saying that studies so far have been too small and inconsistent to prove any benefits.

Traditionally, medication options for IBS have been limited.

Luckily, that situation is changing rapidly as new medications are developed.

Some are created specifically for IBS while others are meant for different conditions but can help alleviate IBS symptoms.

Several newIBS drugshave come onto the market.

They typically work on receptors within the large intestine to bring about IBS symptom relief.

Receptors are parts of cells that other substances can communicate with in order to change the cells behavior.

Options for the treatment ofconstipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C)include:

Of these, the ACG recommends lubiprostone, linaclotide, and plecantide. It recommends tegaserod in women under 65 with no cardiovascular risk factors who havent responded to other treatments.

The 2021 guidelines dont mention prucalopride.

So far, only one medication has come on the market fordiarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D):Viberzi (eluxadoline).

This medication is recommended by the ACG.

People are often surprised when they hear thatantibiotics may be prescribed for IBS, as taking a round of antibiotics can often make IBS symptoms worse.

However, the specific antibiotics used to treat IBS are not absorbed in your stomach.

Rather, they target bacteria in your small and large intestine.

Of this class, onlyXifaxan (rifaximin)used for the treatment of non-constipation IBShas Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and is recommended by the ACG for IBS-D.

Antidepressant medicationscan affect how your digestive system functions and can also alleviate some types of pain, including the visceral pain of IBS.

They also can safely be taken for a long period of timewhich is an definite advantage when you have a chronic disorder like IBS.

Tricyclic antidepressants are the most often used antidepressants to treat IBS and the ones favored by the ACG.

They include:

Healthcare providers are more likely to recommend an antidepressant if your symptoms have not been addressed through lifestyle and dietary modifications, and if you also experiencedepression and/or anxiety alongside your IBS.

In those cases, your gastroenterologist may work closely with psychiatrist.

Another type of antidepressant calledselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)is prescribed less often for IBS.

This class includes:

Antispasmodics are the most frequently prescribed medications for IBS as theyre believed to help to ease symptoms of abdominal pain and cramping, particularly for people who have IBS-D.

However, the ACG guidelines recommend against their use, stating that the only studies are outdated and of poor quality, and that side effects are common.

Antispasmodics work best if taken 30 to 60 minutes prior to eating and may be better at providing short-term, as opposed to long-term, relief of symptoms.5

A variety of psychological therapies have been studied for their effectiveness in reducing the frequency, intensity, and duration of IBS symptoms, includingcognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),hypnotherapy, stress management, andrelaxation exercises.

Of these,CBTandgut-directed hypnotherapyhave the most solid research supporting their effectiveness in reducing IBS symptoms6and both are recommended by the ACG.

CBT is a form of psychotherapy in which you are taught strategies for modifying maladaptive thinking patterns, as well as new behaviors for managing anxiety and handling stressful situations.

Hypnotherapy involves getting into a relaxing and comfortable state of consciousness in which specific suggestions are offered in order to lead to a permanent change in behavior.

The recommendation of these treatments doesnt imply that IBS is a psychological illness.

Rather, theyre a way to build coping skills and better habits so you can handle your IBS long-term without the risk of possible negative side effects of medication.

Studies have shown that enteric-coatedpeppermint oilhas strong antispasmodic qualities and, thus, may be effective in easing IBS pain.5

The ACG gives it a conditional recommendation for abdominal pain and overall symptoms based on what it calls low-quality evidence.

However, a 2019 review of evidence found it be quite promising, while also a generally safe and well-tolerated treatment.

The enteric coating is an important part of taking peppermint oil. Enteric means its broken down in the intestines, not the stomach, where the peppermint can cause heartburn.8

In addition to antispasmotics, probiotics, and PEG, the ACG guidelines recommend against these IBS treatments:

The negative recommendations were based on low evidence and/or inconsistent studies that have failed to establish effectiveness or proper dosages/procedures.

None of these treatments is considered harmful.

Additional Reading

Emergency Live Even MoreLive: Download The New Free App Of Your Newspaper For IOS And Android

Wales Bowel Surgery Death Rate Higher Than Expected

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A Benign Condition To Keep Under Control

Colitis And Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What Is The Difference And How To Distinguish Between Them?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Symptoms It Can Manifest Itself With

Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Symptoms And Treatment For Crohns Disease And Ulcerative Colitis

Experts Call For Changes To The Way IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Is Diagnosed

Very Well Health

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

Cast iron cookware often evokes images of olden days and campfire cookouts, yet the classic culinary tool remains just as popular today as it ever was.

Theres a good reason why cast iron cookware has been around for so many years its incredibly durable and long lasting.

If youve never used cast iron before, you may have heard intimidating horror stories about how hard it is to use, clean, and store.

But once you know the basic principles of cooking with cast iron, theres a good chance youll find it just as easy to use and care for as many other types of kitchen equipment.

This article presents a general overview of cast iron cookware, its benefits, tips to get started using it, and more.

One of the main reasons cast iron has been held in high regard for so many years is that its nearly indestructible.

In fact, with a bit of cleaning and care, even cast iron cookware thats been neglected and left to rust can often be restored to a condition almost like new.

Whats more, cast iron thats been properly seasoned develops its own nonstick surface.

The best part is, unlike traditional nonstick pans made with Teflon or ceramic coatings, the nonstick surface on cast iron can be reapplied over and over again with a process known as seasoning.

The natural nonstick surface and sturdy nature may be cast irons most notable benefits, but the perks of the cookware dont stop there. Some other notable benefits of cooking with cast iron include:

You may have heard that cooking with cast iron is a natural way to add more iron to your diet.

Its in fact true that cooking with cast iron might add some iron to your meals, but exactly how much depends on a number of factors like what youre cooking, how long its in the pan, and how well your cast iron is seasoned (1, 2).

If youre looking to treat a condition like iron deficiency anemia by cooking with cast iron, you should know that the research on this topic is still very limited, and the amount of iron added to your diet by cooking with cast iron is likely negligible.

Using cast iron to get more iron in your diet may be most effective when used alongside other therapies like supplements and dietary changes (3).

Cast iron cookware is long lasting and with proper care it maintains its own natural nonstick coating. Its also versatile, affordable, and readily available in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Cast iron cookware is suitable for many types of cooking but especially:

Some foods commonly prepared with cast ironware are:

Cast iron works wonders for many foods, but there are a few cases where you might want to avoid cast iron cookware, such as when youre boiling water or letting something simmer.

The reason is that your food may absorb more iron flavor than youd like if its cooked in cast iron for an extended period of time.

Further, acidic foods like tomatoes, lemon juice, wine, and vinegar are likely to absorb the iron flavors of cast iron, which may be undesirable at times. Theyre also harsh on cast iron cookware and might remove some of your pans natural nonstick coating.

Cast iron works best for browning, sauting, baking, and frying but should be avoiding when boiling and simmering. Meats, vegetables, and baked goods work really well in cast iron but acidic foods like tomatoes should be limited.

There are four fundamental steps to caring for cast iron cookware:

Compared to tossing a pan in the dishwasher, caring for cast iron may seem like a lot of extra work at first glance.

But once youve run through the process a couple of times, you might decide the extra few minutes you spend caring for your cast iron is worth having a sturdy nonstick piece of cookware that can be used over and over again.

Here is an overview of each step in caring for cast iron cookware:

Seasoning cast iron protects the cookware from rust and creates a natural non-stick surface. Its arguably the most important step to caring for cast iron.

Seasoning works by coating cast iron in liquid fat-like oil and heating it up past the smoke point until the fat polymerizes. When fat polymerizes, it turns from liquid into a slick, hard solid that the porous iron cookware absorbs creating a nonstick surface.

Virtually any type of cooking oil can be used to season cast iron but keep in mind that oils with strong flavors, like avocado or sesame seed oil, may subsequently flavor your cookware and the foods you prepare in it.

Many people like to use a basic vegetable or canola oil because theyre affordable, easy to find, and have a neutral flavor profile.

Whichever oil you end up using, be sure to heat your pan past the oils smoke point so polymerization occurs.

To season cast iron cookware:

Cleaning cast iron after each use is ideal to prevent rust and maintain a nonstick coating. Because cast iron tends to absorb flavors easily, it also helps ensure that the next dish you make wont taste like the one prior.

Some people choose to completely avoid using soaps and abrasive sponges to clean their cast iron out of fear it will damage the nonstick seasoning. For these reasons, its also usually best to wash cast iron by hand instead of using a high-powered dishwasher.

In actuality, a little scrubbing and a small bit of soap probably wont do much harm, but you definitely wont want to overdo it or youll likely end up needing to re-season your cast iron quite often.

An easier option might be to use a bit of salt which provides just enough abrasion to remove any residue and leftovers without damaging the nonstick layer.

Or you can try a tool called a chain mail thats made of linked rings of stainless steel or titanium. Theyre also great for cleaning cast iron yet leaving the nonstick layer unscathed.

To prevent rusting, before you store your cast iron you want to be absolutely certain youve removed all food residue from the pan and dried it completely.

After youve washed cast iron, you can dry it with a towel, by heating it in the oven, or even on the stovetop.

No matter how well you maintain your cast iron, it will need to be re-seasoned from time to time.

If you choose to dry your cast iron with heat such as in the oven or on the stovetop, it also makes for a good opportunity to add a thin layer of oil and heat the pan up to the oils smoke point to maintain the nonstick coating.

If you start to see rust or notice that your pan is turning lighter in color, its a good sign that its time to re-season.

To care for any type of cast iron: (1) season it properly (2) clean it regularly (3) store it safely (4) re-season it as needed.

Investing in a set of cast iron could mean having a durable set of nonstick cookware that lasts nearly forever.

Learning how to properly care for it is critical to maintaining the lifespan, but once youre comfortable with the process its fairly easy to incorporate into your usual kitchen cleaning routines.

Thankfully, cast iron is relatively affordable and readily available at retail kitchen stores.

Or if you want to test out cast iron yourself before buying a new piece, check your local second-hand shop and try re-seasoning an old piece to make it like new again.

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Cast Iron Cooking: Tips, Benefits, Maintenance, and More - Healthline

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

Robert Downey Jr. is channeling his Iron Mancharacter Tony Stark with his latest philanthropic venture. He wants tohelp save our planet. Downey announced he's investing in Motif Foodworks, a food tech company working to improve sustainability in the food system, one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases. Via his investment firm FootPrint Coalition Venture (FPCV), the actor hopesto propel Motif to the forefront of the alternative protein industry.

Motifhas developed a heme-binding myoglobin protein called HEMAMI. The companys proprietary method expertly replicates the texture, aroma, and taste of traditional animal meat using exclusively plant-based ingredients. The food tech company's mission lies indeveloping a plant-based meat alternative that will appeal to all consumers, eventually helping promote an inclusive sustainable food system.

The Boston-based company is behindAPPEXTEX aproprietary technology that copies the texture and taste of traditional animal products. This technology creates an innovative meat alternative that intends to appeal to meat-eaters worldwide. The heme, which is most notably used in Impossible Foods products, provides a bleeding plant-based meat that mirrors traditional meat products.

If plant-based foods are going to make a real impact on sustainability, we need an approach thats both delicious and nutritious, Downey Jr. said in a statement. By focusing on both better tasting and healthier options, Motif is not only making a difference in products today but reimagining the future of tomorrows plant-based foods.

Downey Jr.s recent investment follows Motif'ssuccessful Series B funding round last year. The company secured a $226 million investment package, which would be allocatedtowards improvingits signature technologies and expandingits distribution capabilities. The company currently has plans to debut three plant-based meat products to foodserviceproviders, retailers, and distributors across the United States.

Whether on the store shelf or a menu, were focused on making our customers plant-based foods so desirable that people actually crave them, Motif FoodWorks CEO Jonathan McIntyre said in a statement. We couldnt be more excited to have Robert [Downey Jr.] and FootPrint Coalition on board as an investor and a partner in our work to grow the category.

The three products include the Motif MoBeef Plant-Based Burger Patties, Motif MoBeef Plant-Based Ground, and Motif MoPork. The burgers will be the only product available until later this year when the company is set to release the grounds and pork selections. Motif also revealed that it plans to release its Motif MoChicken next year, entering the rapidly expanding plant-based chicken sector.

Motif will unveil these innovative plant-based products with the help of Chef Chloe Coscarelli at the Flavor Forays Championship BBQ and Cook-Off at the National RestaurantAssociation Show in Chicago. Coscarelli will cook withthe Motif meat products during the competition on May 22.

With our Motif MoBeef, Motif MoPork, and Motif MoChicken options, chefs, retailers, and distributors can offer the absolute best plant-based experience, with umami, mouthwatering flavor, and a meaty bite that consumers have been asking for from products in the category, McIntyre said.

Downey Jr. is betting big on the plant-based world. Other than Motif, the major celebrity invested in a vegan cheese company that makes dairy-identical cheese using soybeans. Nobell Foods secured $75 million dollars with the help of FPCV, putting the company's total valuation at $100 million. The companys innovative product uses a proprietary technology that extracts proteins from soybeans to replicate dairy caseins to give its plant-based cheese a creamy, cheesy texture.

Earlier in 2021, Downey Jr. also invested in a vegan bacon company MyForest Foods (previously known as Atlast Food). The $40 million dollar investment round helped MyForest Food expand its production capabilities and distribution range. The company known for its mushroom-based bacon plans to build the largest mycelium production facility in the United States with the help of this funding package.

For more plant-based happenings, visit The Beet's News articles.

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

Gloria Riley, 56, has always known the importance of cancer screenings for early detection. But that didnt stop her from putting off her own colonoscopy for years.

Working at an outpatient clinic in Los Angeles, Riley educated patients on the importance of cancer screenings, breast self-examinations, and exercise to prevent cancer. Yet, despite her own doctors urging, her fear of what might go wrong duringanesthesia kept her from getting her colorectal cancer screening.

I was afraid of not being in control, Riley says. It was a fear of being put to sleep and not knowing what was going on.

The first time a doctor brought up colorectal screening to Riley, she was 35.

I wasnt considered high risk, but my doctor at the time told me that the recommendations for screening were based on tests done in white men, and not people like me, a Black woman, so we likely needed to be screened earlier, Riley says.

Despite her doctors recommendation of an early screening, Riley waited. She waited again after she turned 50 in 2016, even though at the time 50 was the recommended age to begin colonoscopy screening. Updated guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology issued in 2021 changed the age to 45.

At 54, Riley reached a turning point.

My doctor took the time to talk to me about the science and the data and exactly what happens during the procedure and how safe it is, Riley says. I felt more comfortable, and even though I was still afraid, I knew I needed to go through with it. I trusted my doctors.

The procedure went well and was nowhere near what she feared.

It was actually a piece of cake, she says. The nurse held my hand and said, Lets talk about something pleasant. The next thing I knew, I woke up.

But Riley soon learned some distressing news. During the procedure, her doctor had removed a cancerous polyp.

She says if she could go back in time, she would have gotten screened much sooner.

I could have full-blown cancer right now, she says. Around that same time, Chadwick Boseman died [of colon cancer], and he was much younger than me.

Six months later, Riley went in for another screening. She was not afraid this time, and doctors found no signs of cancer. Her next screening will be in five years.

Rileys experience is not an uncommon one, especially in the Black community.

Black Americans have a 20 percent higher incidence of colorectal cancer than white Americans and are 40 percent more likely to die of it, according to the American Cancer Society.

The reasons behind these disparities are varied and complex, but the hesitation and fear of colorectal cancer screening among Black Americans is common.

We unfortunately have a long history of exploitation of minority populations in the United States, whether you're talking about African Americans, American Indians, or the Latino population, says Folasade May, MD, PhD, a gastroenterologist and colon cancer prevention researcher at UCLA Health. And the problem is that that history has left a discomfort among many of the individuals in these communities about seeking care.

One of Dr. Mays main areas of research focuses on barriers to colorectal cancer screening among Black Americans and understanding this discomfort and mistrust.

When we do these studies and we try to understand why Black individuals have mistrust [in the healthcare system], they're not going to say, I don't want to get screened because of Tuskegee, she says, referring to the infamous 20th century syphilis study that left Black people untreated for the disease. Maybe that's in their mind that it was a horrible, racist experiment, but that's not really driving their healthcare decisions.

What's driving minority healthcare decisions, she says, is the personal experiences they have when seeking care.

Theyll say things like, The last time I went to my doctor and complained about back pain, he or she didn't do anything, and I felt mistreated. That makes people less likely to seek care, May says. And because we have a problem with structural racism in the healthcare system, and who has access to the best care, and because we have implicit and explicit bias among physicians and how we care for patients, there are certain communities that just don't feel the healthcare system is for them.

John Carethers, MD, the chair of the department of internal medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor and an expert on colorectal cancer screening among Black communities, experienced this hesitation firsthand when he gave a talk to 150 Black men during a cancer information session at a local community event.

Dr. Carethers, who is Black, said about a dozen of the attendees came up to speak with him one-on-one after his presentation.

All of them said they would get screened, but only if I was the one who did it, he recalls. So that just shows theres definitely some fear and mistrust with the healthcare system at large.

May says that many Black men in particular have extraordinary hesitancy about colonoscopies.

In Black male studies, we've learned that there's discomfort with even the idea of any instrumentation in the rectum or the anus, she says. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation about sexual acts and implications on your sexuality if you have this procedure done. Theres also general hesitancy about anyone potentially violating their body in this way while they're asleep and sedated.

In addition to hesitation and fear about screening, other issues affect colorectal cancer rates and deaths in the Black community.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as a low-fiber diet, a diet high in meat and processed foods, and high alcohol and tobacco use, are more common in Black individuals.

Its not that they're at fault, but its the result of what we call social determinants of health, which are the result of policy, environment, and social structure that put some individuals at risk of disease, while protecting others, she explains.

Black Americans are more likely to live in "food deserts" where they don't have access to fresh produce and other healthy food, May notes. They may also live in a physical environment where being out and exercising safely even during the day is not possible.

It's all these social determinants of health that have led to lifestyle factors that have led to higher cancer rates in Black populations, May says.

While addressing all these barriers to care requires a multifactorial approach, including expanding healthcare coverage, improving the number of culturally sensitive providers in underserved communities, and better education on prevention and interventions, May says awareness plays an important role.

People like Jamie Foxx and a few other actors very recently have come out and said things like, Colorectal cancer is killing people like us, and you need to get screened. I think that can be very effective, she says.

As mentioned, the latest guidance from the American College of Gastroenterologyis that screening for colorectal cancer should begin at age 45. Adults age 76 to 85 should talk to their doctor about the necessity of screening.

Before the update, it was recommended that people begin screening at age 50. Recent trends seen in colorectal cancer cases among younger people spurred the updated guidance.

Overall, colorectal cancer cases have been declining in recent decades. Incidence rates dropped by about 1 percent each year from 2013 to 2017, according to the American Cancer Society. That downward trend is mainly seen in older adults. Rates are actually on the rise in younger age groups.

Were seeing more and more individuals in their thirties and forties getting this disease without expecting it because its traditionally been associated with older people, May says. And theyre potentially getting symptoms and ignoring them and are dying from this disease completely unnecessarily because it's so largely preventable.

One of the best ways to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened, as this allows doctors to catch early signs when it is most treatable.

Colon cancer is agnostic as to race or ethnic background, Carethers says, and we know certain populations are at higher risk, largely because of their lifestyle. Screening can mitigate that risk.

For her part, Riley encourages others to get screened when it is their time.

My biggest piece of advice is to be proactive, she says. Talk to your doctor about it and ask a lot of questions. Its important to take charge of your own health.

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'I Could Have Full-Blown Cancer Right Now,' Says Former Health Educator to the Black Community, Urging Them to Get Screened for Colon Cancer -...

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

A group of participants at a previous SHRED CANCER event

STERLING, Va. (PRWEB) May 19, 2022

PROSHRED Security (PROSHRED) will be celebrating the ninth anniversary of their annual nationwide Shred Cancer Event. The first of the events will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2022, and will continue through to the end of August 2022 in partnership with The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Community members are invited to bring their personal information to be securely shredded while raising funds for cancer research.

The event will be held in many major metropolitan PROSHRED markets throughout the country over the next three months. Event times will vary by location. To view event locations and timings, visit

Individuals may bring boxes of documents or multi-media to one of PROSHREDs on-site shredding trucks to dispose of unwanted personal information safely and securely. The event is free to attend, however we encourage a donation of $10 per box that will go directly towards funding AICRs cancer research and education programs. Several locations will host additional events and raffles.

Generous support from millions of individual Americansand not government or industry grantshave allowed AICR to fund emerging research and to continue our programs for educating the public about what practical steps we all can take every day to live in a world with less cancer. The funds raised by the PROSHRED community makes a significant impact on the health of millions of Americans. American Institute for Cancer Research

Jeffrey Hasham, Chief Executive Officer of PROSHRED, commented, "We at PROSHRED consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to contribute to AICR's critical cancer research. The work of AICR has resulted in a greater understanding of the relationship between nutrition, exercise, and the prevention of numerous cancers over the last 30 years. We hope that by working together, we can increase awareness and proceeds for AICR's dedicated work. We hope to see a great turn-out at our Nationwide Shred Event on Saturday, June 4, 2022; together, we can Shred Cancer."

Commencing in 2014 on National Cancer Survivors Day, PROSHRED has contributed over $190,000 to cancer research. This year AICR and PROSHRED have set a goal to raise $50,000 for research.

Event locations and other details are available at

About PROSHRED SecurityPROSHRED shreds and recycles confidential information and proprietary materials for thousands of customers in the United States in all industry sectors. PROSHRED is the pioneer of mobile document destruction and is both ISO 9001 and NAID AAA certified.

It is PROSHREDs vision to be the system of choice and provider of shredding and recycling services throughout North America. Today, PROSHRED serves over 41 markets in 26 states in the United States. For more information, please visit,

About AICROur Vision: We want to live in a world where no one develops cancer that is preventable.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight, and physical activity so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $107 million to innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals, and research centers. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICRs Recommendation for Cancer Prevention, at

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Annual "Shred Cancer" Event to Raise $50000 for Cancer Prevention Research - PR Web

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Please replace the release dated May 16, 2022 with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The updated release reads:


ASC Therapeutics in partnership with the UMass Chan Medical School and the Clinic for Special Children (CSC), presented safety and efficacy results of a dual-function gene replacement vector therapy in murine and bovine models of classic Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) as a podium presentation at the 25th Annual Meeting of The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) held May 16-19, 2022 in Washington D.C.

The research group at UMass Chan, led by Guangping Gao, PhD, director of the Horae Gene Therapy Center at UMass Chan, and Dan Wang, PhD, assistant professor of RNA therapeutics at UMass Chan, developed murine and bovine models for MSUD with collaborating clinical expert, Dr. Kevin Strauss, MD, from the Clinic for Special Children.

Three animal models were generated to test safety and efficacy: two murine models representing two common genetic forms of MSUD and a newborn calf naturally homozygous for a mutation that causes MSUD. All animals exhibited severe biochemical abnormalities hours after birth and die within 10 days if left untreated.

The partnership designed a dual-function AAV9 gene replacement vector that was administered via intravenous (IV) injection. Surviving mice grew and behaved similar to normal littermates and had normal or nearly normal biochemical markers with unrestricted diet for 16 weeks.

As compared to MSUD patients, MSUD calves exhibit a similar phenotype and are closely matched for size and metabolic rate. Without treatment they exhibit cerebral edema by day of life 3 and die soon after. In October 2021, a MSUD calf was born and developed biochemical signs of MSUD shortly after birth. The calf was administered the AAV9 gene therapy vector at 40 hours of life. Following AAV therapy, biomarker measurements indicated a significant restoration of the missing enzymatic activity. At 70 days after treatment, the calf was transitioned to a normal unrestricted diet and continues to thrive 100 days post-infusion with stable biochemical markers.

These data provide early demonstration of the safety and efficacy of the MSUD AAV9 gene therapy replacement vector as a one-time treatment for the most common and severe forms of MSUD.

The MSUD gene therapy development leverages the combined AAV gene therapy expertise at UMass Chan Medical School, such as AAV vector design, rodent and large animal modeling, large-scale vector production, and in vivo pre-clinical testing, Drs. Gao and Wang commented.

Dr. Kevin Strauss, MD, Medical Director at the Clinic for Special Children in Pennsylvania, a collaborating clinical expert, added, An innovative collaboration between the Clinic for Special Children and UMass Chans Horae Gene Therapy Center has allowed us to thoughtfully streamline the process of developing AAV gene replacement vectors. Within just three years of project inception, we have safely corrected an otherwise fatal MSUD phenotype in both mice and a newborn calf using a novel dual-function BCKDHA-BCKDHB vector, which has the potential to address 70-80% of reported MSUD cases in humans. The newborn calf with MSUD may represent the largest non-human experimental animal ever treated with AAV-mediated gene replacement. The calf provides unique insights that can directly inform the design of a clinical trial, which we hope to pursue through an alliance with ASC Therapeutics."

Dr Ruhong Jiang, CEO at ASC Therapeutics, said, The significant progress achieved through our research collaboration with Professors Gao, Wang and Strauss underlines the intrinsic value of bringing together teams from academia and industry that are highly specialized in complex gene therapies.

About Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a rare genetic disorder affecting degradation of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, and valine and their ketoacid derivatives. MSUD is caused by biallelic mutations in one of three genes that encode subunits of the branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDC), namely BCKDHA, BCKDHB, and DBT. Dietary BCAA restriction is the mainstay of treatment but has insufficient efficacy, and affords no protection against episodic and life-threatening encephalopathic crises. Severe (classic) MSUD is fatal without treatment. MSUD affects approximately 1 per 185,000 births worldwide.

About ASC Therapeutics

ASC Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of gene replacement therapies, in-vivo gene editing and allogeneic cell therapies for hematological, metabolic, and other rare diseases. Led by a management team of industry veterans with significant global experience in gene and cell therapy, ASC Therapeutics is developing multiple therapeutic programs based on four technology platforms: 1) In-vivo gene therapy of inherited blood clotting disorders, initially focusing on ASC618, a second generation gene replacement treatment for hemophilia A; 2) In-vivo gene therapy in metabolic disorders, initially focusing on Maple Syrup Urine Disease; 3) In-vivo gene editing, initially focusing on ASC518 for hemophilia A; and 4) Allogeneic cell therapy, initially focusing on a Decidua Stromal Cell-based therapy for steroid-refractory acute Graft-versus-Host Disease. To learn more please visit

About the Clinic for Special Children

The Clinic for Special Children (CSC) is a non-profit organization located in Strasburg, PA, which provides primary care and advanced laboratory services to those who live with genetic or other complex medical disorders. Founded in 1989, the organization provides services to over 1,200 individuals and is recognized as a world-leader in translational and precision medicine. The organization is primarily supported through community fundraising events and donations. For more information, please visit

About UMass Chan Medical School

The UMass Chan Medical School, one of five campuses of the University of Massachusetts system, comprises the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing; a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. UMass Chans mission is to advance the health and wellness of our diverse communities throughout Massachusetts and across the world by leading and innovating in education, research, health care delivery and public service. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education, perennially ranked in the top 10 percent of medical schools for primary care by U.S. News and World Report. UMass Chan attracts more than $400 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. In 2021, the Medical School received a $175 million donation from The Morningside Foundation and was renamed the UMass Chan Medical School.

CORRECTING and REPLACING ASC Therapeutics, UMass Chan Medical School, and the Clinic for Special Children Announce Podium Presentation of Safety and...

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May 21st, 2022 | Filed under Diet Safely
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