Random health facts.

- When we age, our telomeres shorten (telomeres are the ends of our chromosomes, which hold our DNA). It is hypothesized that the herb ginseng reduces the shortening, possibly prolonging life.

- Bitter tasting foods promote digestion. Examples include lettuces, endive, dandelion greens, lemon juice, cucumbers, herbs (such as parsley).

- Cooked/stewed tomatoes are better than raw tomatoes because the cell membranes are broken down, releasing lycopene (which has anti-cancer properties). Lycopene is a fat soluble molecule, so it is best to pair cooked tomato products with a fat. A good example is cooked tomato sauce, served over pasta, and then drizzled with olive oil. Mmm!

- People often get heartburn when eating spicy foods because spicy foods (such as cayenne pepper and jalapenos) because chemical properties in these foods/spices relax smooth muscle, including the sphincter (which should normally keep the food in the stomach and OUT of the esophagus).

- A super anti-prostate cancer cocktail for men (drink daily): one cup of tomato juice (lycopene has anti-cancer properties), one tablespoon olive oil (helps the lycopene be absorbed), one teaspoon tumeric (anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties, a cousin of ginger), a sprinkle of black pepper (helps to absorb the tumeric).

- Don't eat peanuts in countries other than Canada. Peanuts are very susceptible to aflatoxins (mold!) but in Canada all peanuts are tested for contamination before they are sold.

- Vegetarian females generally experience fewer "female complaints" as they consume more phytoestrogens (e.g. soy, flaxseeds) (I explained phytoestrogens in a previous blog post).

- When you eat a banana that isn't ripe, you get a sour bitter taste due to tannins. Tannins are also found in coffee and tea, which makes them bitter too. People often mix coffee and tea with milk because the milk protein binds to the tannins, making them less bitter.

- Tomorrow I'll have a nice post on Vitamin D (sorry, but no time to write it tonight, PJ!).

- Lastly, my Yogi tea quote of the day was a good one: "To be healthy: eat right, walk right, and talk to yourself right". :)


  1. Does the protein in soy milk also bind to the tannins in tea and coffee?

  2. What if the peanut butter I buy was made in the USA? Would the peanuts that were made into peanut butter be okay to eat?

  3. The male cocktail sounds good & beneficial - we're going to mix Poppa a drink!

    Speaking of drinks - you mentionned how lemons aid digestion, so lemon in your water -is it best prior to a meal or with your meal?

    Thanks Becca -miss you PJ & M ;)

  4. - I am going to ask my botanical medicine professor about soy proteins binding tannins... will report back!

    - I personally wouldn't trust the US peanuts. I am not sure if they inspect for aflatoxins. I always by Canadian peanut butter. A good brand is Nuts to You nut butter. It is available in most health food stores and is carried in the natural food sections of major grocery chain stores. Nuts to You makes smooth and crunchy peanut butters, as well as organic peanut butters, AND they make organic Valencia peanut butters (apparently the Valencia peanut species is the least susceptible to mold growth). Another reason to buy the Nuts to You brand: they are CANADIAN :)
    Nuts to You also produces my favorite alternative to peanut butter: pumpkin seed butter! (For more info, please see my post titled "Beyond the Peanut" from earlier this month).

    - Lemon juice is best drunk about 15 minutes before eating (it helps prepare the stomach for digestion). But it small doses (i.e. sips) it can be enjoyed during and after the meal.


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