Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for March, 2008

13 Mar

Smart Fuel: Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitakeOnce relegated to the Asian foods section of grocery stores, shiitake mushrooms have emerged a prominent contender in the produce aisle, promising to add a little extra oomph – and even some medicinal benefits – to vegetable socks, soups and noodle dishes.

Although this fungi is an excellent source of selenium and a good source of iron, protein, dietary fiber and vitamin C, shiitake mushrooms are much more revered for their combination of antioxidants and other compounds, so much so that they have been used in Asian medicine for the past 6,000 years!

12 Mar

Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: Installment III

What can we say? We love good food, and we appreciate that you do too. The post has been popular, and we appreciate your comments and requests.

As we mentioned last week, we’ve been working on incorporating more seasonal fare into the menu as reader Sonagi requested. Shopping seasonally is, of course, not only good for the environment but good for the nation’s farmers and your wallet. Spring is finally beginning to peep through (even for your folks in the Upper Midwest—poor souls), and the stores are gradually picking up early spring produce and herbs. We thought it was the perfect time for incorporate some of spring’s best. Interested in learning more about seasonal fare? Check out the CUESA website.

12 Mar

Yoga Good for Beating Symptoms of Breast Cancer

yogaA study presented Saturday at the International Association of Yoga Therapists Symposium for Yoga Therapy Research in Los Angeles suggests that yoga may ease menopause symptoms in breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer survivors suffer more severe menopause symptoms than other women, largely because the drugs used to prevent cancer recurrence can exacerbate the symptoms of menopause (hello hot flashes!) Furthermore, women with breast cancer are very much limited in their treatment options for menopause symptoms because traditional aides, such as hormone replacement therapy, may increase their risk of future recurrence.

12 Mar

Mystery Meat: Imitation Crab

crabWhile it is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, when it comes to imitation crab meat, that’s actually far from the case! But to understand why imitation crab is not the way to go, we must first understand exactly what it is…

To create imitation crab meat, manufacturers typically start with a base of Alaska Pollock (also known as Walleye Pollock, Whiting or Snow Cod). This fish is chosen primarily because it has a mild flavor that allows it to easily take on the flavor and texture of traditional crab meat, but also because it is readily available and is cheap to buy and process. To create the crab meat, manufacturers skin and de-bone the fish, mince it and then leach it of water to create a thick paste known as surimi. But we all know a fish paste isn’t going to cut it, so manufacturers add some combination of starch – usually wheat or tapioca – to stiffen up the mixture, sugars to preserve the surimi for storage and freezing, and egg whites to again stabilize the mixture and add gloss and shine. Vegetable oil can also be added to improve the texture of the mix.

11 Mar

Questions About Soy Formula

babySeveral weeks ago Mark offered the piece Scrutinizing Soy that mentioned he was unequivocally against soy formula. At the time he suggested the topic was a whole post in itself. Of course, we couldn’t just leave the topic hanging, now could we?

Let’s first get this point on the table: we support the opinion of the American Pediatric Association, the World Health Organization and every other major medical organization in saying that breast milk is definitively the best food for infants. Hands down. Absolutely, positively. (Regardless of what we thought of the pro-breastfeeding ad campaign a couple of years ago featuring pregnant women on a mechanical bull…)

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