The Health Benefits of Oily Fish

The US Food and Drug Administration tells us that fish is an important part of a healthy diet, particularly oily fish. Why oily fish? What are the health benefits of oily fish and how much should we eat? All fish and shellfish consist of high-quality protein and are low in saturated fat. They also provide essential minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine and selenium. Oily fish contains a much higher proportion of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than other fish, and it’s this substance that is good for us.

Which fish are “oily fish”?

Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, kipper, eel and whitebait are the major oily fish. It doesn’t matter whether they are fresh, canned or frozen; they will still provide the essential omega 3 fatty acid. Fresh tuna is also an oily fish, but, once it has been canned, it loses its high nutrient value and is regarded the same as non-oily fish.

Why is oily fish good for us?

There have been numerous studies on the health benefits of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. Scientists have discovered that it is vital for human health. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory agent and helps make the blood less likely to clot. This helps in diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer, and may prevent these diseases from taking hold in the first place.

Omega 3’s anti-inflammatory property is also a factor in anti-aging. You may have heard of Dr Perricone. He bases his diet on trying to decrease inflammation in the body. He believes this improves metabolism, lifts the mood, strengthens the heart, decreases the risk of cancer, improves bone density, smooths away wrinkles, boosts the immune system and helps to lose weight. The mainstay of his diet is oily fish.

Oily fish is an important ingredient in the diet of pregnant women and children, and may be of help for those with low fertility. In pregnancy, omega 3 fatty acid is essential for the development of the nervous system in both the embryo and the newborn child. As children grow, omega 3 fatty acid is vital for their health and well-being. A number of recent studies have shown the importance of omega 3 in the development of a child’s brain and behavior. Notably, it is believed that including oily fish in the diet can modify the behavior of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How much oily fish should we eat?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends that oily fish should be included in the diet at least twice a week, but no more than four times a week. However, pregnant or nursing mothers, or girls and women who might have a baby in the future, should only eat oily fish twice a week. Although, other fish may be eaten in addition to the oily fish allowance.

Why can’t we eat oily fish every day?

Unfortunately, our seas and rivers are polluted with dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and residuals of these pollutants remain in the flesh of fish. The amount of dioxin and PCB is very small in oily fish and any negative effects are far outweighed by the positive effects. Mercury is also found in fish, and the FDA advises that no one should eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tile fish, as these contain high concentrations. The good news is that levels of dioxins and PBCs are falling in our rivers and seas, due to our greater awareness of the environment.

Oily fish, with its high concentration of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, should form a regular part of all our diets. America, along with Japan, has the highest number of octogenarians in the world. If we are going to live a long life, let it be a healthy one too!

Lemons and Limes

The lime is a round fruit that is pointed at both ends. It’s greener than the lemon, to which it is related.

Limes grow (in clusters) on a small citrus tree (rarely higher than 10 to 12 feet), which was native to India. It now grows in the Mediterranean basin, Mexico, the West Indies, Florida and southern California (the trees grow particulary well in southern Florida, where most U.S. limes are purchased).

The fruit is a source of lime juice and oil of lime, which is used to flavor food and beverages (Lime has a sharp, sour flavor). Limade is prepared from limes in the same way that lemonade is prepared from lemons.

The lemon is a small, yellow and oval-shaped fruit that’s slightly pointy at both ends (A thick, spongy membrane lines the skin. It encloses 6 to 8 parts that contain the pulp, juice and seeds. Lemons may have only a few very small seeds or non at all. The juice (rich in vitamins A, B and C) is usually very tart, but some types of lemons actually have sweet juice!). The skin is dotted with tiny oil glands that resemble pores.

The lemon tree’s native to southeastern Asia, but it’s grown commercially mostly in countries around the Mediterranean Sea and in southern California.
It’s a small evergreen wit spreading brances that it an irregular shape and is covered with short, stout spines, has long, pointed green leaves and large, fragrant flowers (that grow singly or in clusters). The buds are reddish purple, but the flower petals are white.

The lemon tree thrives in tropical and subtropical climates (the trees were once grown commercially only in dry regions, because rainly summers permit diseases to thrive. But due to the development of fungicides (fungus-killers) and frozen concentrates, lemon trees can be grown in humid, subtropical Florida. Practically all California growers use smudge pots to heat their orchards because the trees do not resist frost well. Sudden heat and wind can also affect both trees and fruit (windbreaks are used for protection).

These trees are raised by grafting buds to seedling rootstocks of other types of citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, the rough lemon (a relative of the lemon; the fruit’s not useful, but the rootstock’s sturdy) or sweet orange (the rootstock used most often in California).

They bloom and produce fruit almost continuously in the right climate and with proper care. The trees bear most fruit during winter and early summer.
Lemon trees do not require much water, just good, well-drained soil; too much water will grow the trees quickly, but produce less fruit. Overirrigaton may kill them.

Lemons must be picked by hand and pass a size test (Pickers use a metal ring to determine size. Each fruit is passed through the ring. Only those that are two and one-fourth inches or more in diameter are chosen). Smaller fruits are left on the tree until they grow larger.

Lemons are different from all other citrus fruits because they become more edible after they’re picked (and the green fruits are also picked. They’re then ripened in special curing rooms where the temperature’s kept at 56 to 60 degrees F., humidity 85-90%.)

In the past, most commercially-grown lemons were shipped as fresh fruit. But now, many are made into frozen concentrates. One important lemon by-product is citric acid, used as a base for carbonated beverages, as a laxative in medicines and as a flavoring in baked goods.

Lemon fruit and juice are widely used in cooking, beverages and candies. The oil’s used for flavorings and making perfumes.

The lemon is a special type of many-celled berry (a hesperidium).

How to Pick the Freshest Lemons and Limes

The juiciest, tangiest lemons have fine-textured skin and feel heavy for their size. Rough, thick skin is a sign of dry fruit. Tinges of green are OK, for they only mean the juice will be slightly more acid.
Avoid soft, spongy lemons with hints of decay on the stem ends.

Limes should be green, with no yellow (brown spots are OK). Avoid limes that are hard, for the pulp will be mealy and dry. Look for thin-skinned limes that give slightly.

Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes should be stored at a room temperature of 60 to 70 degrees and used within two weeks. If you prefer them cold, go ahead and refrigerate them, but don’t keep them in plastic bags.

Three Unusual Uses for a Lemon

1. Substitute lemon juice for vinegar in many recipes. The resulting taste will be fresher and brighter.

2. A squeeze (or two) of lemon juice will refresh the taste of canned, packaged or frozen vegetables.

3. Toss squeezed and grated lemons into the garbage disposal. They’ll keep it clean and sweet smelling.

British sailors became known as “limeys” because limes were their shipboard safeguard against scurvy (the vitamin C deficiency disease that once ravaged whole navies).

The world production of lemons is over 1.6 million tons every year. Used to freshen everyting from iced drinks to soap and perfume, the fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Why is my urine cloudy?

Cloudy urine has many causes. Some of them are so serious that it is important to understand when you need a medical attention.

The reason why your urine is cloudy is that there are many substances present in the urine based on Healthguidesdaily. These substances are insoluble, or original soluble but separate out from the urine through crystallization. They are suspend in the urine or deposited at the bottom of the urine (vessel). So, your urine looks cloudy, thick, or milky.

Causes of cloudy urine

In many cases, cloudy urine is a harmless phenomenon which is caused by salts (crystals) that are insoluble in the cooling urine and therefore precipitated (whitish to pinkish cloudy urine).

A cloudy urine can also be a sign of a urine infection (white blood cells, bacteria, fungi, pus in the urine – whitish cloudy urine) or be caused by blood in urine (reddish to reddish-brown cloudy urine). Less often cause other cells or fat in the urine. If in doubt, the cause of the cloudy urine must be clarified by the urine test.

Other causes of cloudy urine result from kidney failure, excess uric acid in the blood, kidney damage, bladder cancer, hemolytic anemia, and so on.

Pathological cloudy urine

Pathological cloudy urine means this symptom is caused by a disease or pathogenic factor. It is often sustained or recurrent and needs to be diagnosed by a urologist to prevent certain underlying diseases from advancing.

In most cases, cloudy urine caused by both Inflammation and infection, has a tendency to come and go. This is not only a confusion for most people, but also a strong reason for you to require medical attention for further identification, to make sure that your body is healthy.

The common causes of cloudy urine:

Urinary tract infections are the most common diseases to cause cloudy urine, such as pyelonephritis, kidney tuberculosis, cystitis, urethritis. In this type of cloudy urine due to urinary infection, there are a large number of white blood cells or pus cells, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, fungi or bacteria, epithelial cells in urine.

Ideas for Unusual Omelet Fillings

In the world of cooking, omelets could almost be considered the jack of all trades. There is such a wide variety of ingredients you can put into an omelet to dress it up or just put a unique spin on it. There are so many possibilities, some of which may come as a surprise. As the saying goes: “Don’t knock it, till you try it.”

*Left Overs. Adding left overs to an omelet can not only create a new flavor sensation, but breathe new life into the left overs. There are many times that left overs will end up getting pushed to the back of the refrigerator, destined to grow new forms of life and then tossed into the trash can. This sad fate can be avoided by cutting that left over meatloaf and adding it to your morning omelet. This scenario will fit with most any type of left over (except desserts…unless you are really daring). Left overs ranging from scalloped potatoes to split pea soup can all be added to an omelet. The end result could be a tasty masterpiece that can be placed among your favorite recipes.

*Fruit. Yes, the thought of fruit in your omelet may sound awful at first. This is a flavor that may not suit every palate, but is worth trying at least once. Apples, pears, and mangos are all fruits that can be very delicious in an omelet. Take your choice fresh fruit and slice or cut into small pieces, set aside. Mix cinnamon, and less than a teaspoon of sugar in with your eggs. Combine fruit and egg mixture and finish making your omelet.

*Sauces. With the wide selection of sauces available, you will potentially never run out of flavor possibilities. Examples of sauces one could include: picante, chipotle, terriyaki and barbecue. You can add your favorite vegetables like onions, tomatoes and/or bell peppers along with your choice sauce and end up with a zesty omelet you will never forget.

*Crunchy. Things like flavored croutons, potato chips, and nuts are all great ingredients that can add a delightful crunch to your omelet experience. You can also add pickles and a splash of the pickle juice, to your omelet. The nice thing about pickles is that you can choose dill, sweet, butter, or any other type for a different flavor each time.

Traditional omelet ingredients like sausage, onion, cheese, and ham all make for a tasty treat, but sometimes change is good thing. Omelets are a great dish to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations. All it takes is creativity and a willingness to think outside the shell.

Reviews of Slimquick

I have used SlimQuick Cleanse now for about four days. And I have lost about 2 lbs of fluid. Remember that this product is marketed as a tool to jump start a healthy diet and exercise program and shouldn’t be taken for more than one week. I think a lot of the negatives here are people confusing SlimQuick Cleanse with SlimQuick diet pills. Its a “Body Cleanse.” Your body builds up toxins over time and the idea is to take the product in conjunction with eight to ten glasses of water a day to essentially “flush” your system out. The first few days you’ll feel sick as SlimQuick works the toxins out of your body. The extra water you need to be drinking is to ensure your system doesn’t dehydrate. I don’t understand why many of you are complaining about the extra bathroom time: What do you think a “Cleanse” is? Plus you are increasing your H2O intake; 6-8 glasses to 8-10. What goes in must go out, right?

Here are other reviews of Slimquick on internet from all kinds of consumers:

“ok so i started taking the cleanse yesterday (wednesday) nothing much happened yesterday.but today i had to run to the bathroom…i expected to feel like this, but if you dont want to deal with “close calls” dont try it sure is doing what it is suppose to! I have been drinking at least 4 full bottles of water, and if i go an hour without any, i start to feel funny. so be sure and drink lots!”

By: britt — 06/04/2009 9:00 pm

“I really love this product. Everybody is not getting the part where it says detox, cleanse meaning getting rid of all the junk in your body. I has worked well for me. I would recommend this to anyone!!”

By: Kenyetta — 06/05/2009 11:54 pm

“I have just started today! I’m excited and although I do not have any feedback just yet, I will def let everyone know how it goes. All these *negatives* have been getting to me though. Good luck for those of all who didn’t like it.”

By: Baby D — 06/07/2009 5:28 pm

“I took one yesterday before lunch, and ended up with a brutal headache in the evening. I was feeling lightheaded all night with some mediciny taste in my mouth. I wanted to sleep more this morning, and am still feeling disoriented. I have dry mouth and will not take any more.”

By: Veronique — 06/10/2009 9:48 am

“This is my second day on on the Slimquick Cleanse I am noticing that it is working as in cleaning out my system. I have not weighed myself yet to see any weight changes but will do that tonight and get back in 5 days to see if there was any results !!! But so far as side effects have lots of energy first day felt a little light headed till I ate something but noting like getting sick,i feel good!!”

By: Alannah — 06/10/2009 1:21 pm

“I tried slimquick cleanse for a week and i have lost 8lbs. love this stuff u have to eat low calorie foods and drink alot of water. Will try again in one month.”

By: mzteenu — 06/10/2009 1:35 pm

How to Fillet a whole Fish

Fresh fish is an excellent addition to any diet but, unfortunately, sometimes you have to deal with the whole fish. The thought of preparing fish for a meal tends to discourage many people from adding more fish to their meals. In reality preparing fish for grilling, broiling or however you decide to cook it is really very easy.

Before you go to the market and buy a whole fish realize that sometimes the fish are sold with the scales still on them. It is not a big deal but it can add to your frustration if you are not ready to deal with removing the scales of a fish. To prepare fish you will need a fillet knife, a flat cutting surface and a metal spoon if you need to remove the fish scales.

If you bought a fish with the scales still on it simply spread newspaper over a large flat surface and place the fish on the newspaper. Take a metal spoon scoop side down and place it on the fish and move the spoon back and forth along the body of the fish. The scales of the fish will come off with little effort but it can become a bit messy. Once you have removed the scales from both sides place the fish under running water to rinse away any remaining scales.

Now that the scales are off of the fish it is time to fillet the fish. Place the fish on a flat clean surface and take a fillet knife and make an incision near the tail and near the forward fin, the incisions should go to the bone of the fish. Once the incisions have been made place the fillet knife in the tail incision and turn it horizontally into the meat while making a sawing motion.

Allow the side of the fillet blade to ride the spine of the fish as you cut the flesh toward the head. After you have arrived at the fin incision turn the fish over and repeat the process on the other side, do not remove the fillet until you have finished filleting the other side.

Remove the fillets and place them under running water and rub the fillets to expel any bones that may have remained in the flesh.

Now your fillets are clean and ready to be cooked. Take a skillet or frying pan and place it on the stove. You want a medium heat on the pan in order to melt butter. While the butter is melting in the pan coat the fillets in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Once the butter has melted and covered the pan place the fillets in the hot pan and allow the side to brown. Try not to turn the fish too many times because it will break apart if handled too much.

After the fillets have cooked to a nice golden brown color remove the fillets from the skillet but do not remove the pan from the heat you will use the same pan to create a sauce for the fish. Add about 8 tablespoons or one stick of butter to the pan and allow it to melt.

Add a clove of finely chopped garlic and squeeze a whole lemon into the melted butter and lower the heat to allow the sauce to simmer. Finally add some cayenne pepper to the sauce for a little flavor.

Serve the fish and sauce with your favorite pasta or rice dish and enjoy!

Crab Rangoon

Crab rangoons are delicious little fried wonton that are stuffed with a mixture of crab and cream cheese. They can also be accompanied by several other ingredients to taste, but are great plain. Most people who have had crab rangoon have had them in a Chinese food restaurant, but have never attempted to make them at home. They are actually quite simple to make, and the possibilities for added ingredients are nearly endless. If you would like to give it a try, here’s how you can make crab rangoon in your kitchen at home.

First you will need wonton wrappers. You should be able to find these in the produce department in your local grocery store. Then, you will need the filling. You will need a 12 oz. package of cream cheese and one package of imitation or real crab meat. Using canned crab is not recommended, but if you have to, it will taste fine. You will also need a large bottle of vegetable oil.

Now, you do not have to make traditional crab rangoon or even use crab (great for when you cook for a vegetarian); you can use spinach, sliced celery or green onions. You can, of course, add one of these ingredients with the crab as well. Another great trick is to use flavored cream cheese. Some chive or vegetable cream cheese will really give your rangoon some extra flavor. Adding a dash of soy sauce can really liven it up a bit too.

Once you have all of the desired ingredients (don’t be afraid to get creative), you are ready to make the filling. You’ll want to soften the cream cheese a bit. If you are in a hurry you can do this by wrapping the cream cheese in saran wrap and running under hot water for a few minutes (make sure you keep an eye on it). The crab will need to be shredded, if it isn’t already. You can do this by taking a fork and running it through the meat, until you get the desired size. Also, you will need to slice up any additional ingredients, like green onion or celery. Once all of this is done, get a large mixing bowl and simply stir all of the ingredients together. You can also do this in a mixer, if you have one.

Once you are done with the filling, you are ready to start building your rangoon. You will need a small bowl of water, a clean flat surface, a spoon and a pastry brush (you can use your fingers if you don’t have a brush). First, lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and scoop a spoonful of the filling onto the center of the wonton. Then, using your finger or a pastry brush, dampen the outer edge of the wonton and fold the wonton in half corner to corner. You will need to firmly press the entire outer edge, until it is sealed. Do this until you have used all of your mixture or wrappers.

Next, you will need to deep fry your rangoon. If you own a fryer, you will want to set it to 375 degrees. If you do not own a fryer, you can just use a pot and fill it with vegetable oil until there is enough for your rangoon to float in. This will also need to be heated to 375 degrees. If you do not own a thermometer, you can check to see if the oil is hot enough by breaking off a small piece of wonton and carefully placing it in the oil. If the wonton begins to bubble and cook, you are good. Be careful the oil is not too hot though, or you will burn the crab rangoon. Once your oil is hot enough, carefully put the crab rangoon in and then cook until lightly brown on both sides. This typically takes a couple of minutes, but cooking times vary, watch them carefully.

Once they are done, use a pair of metal cooking tongs to remove them from the oil. You may want to place them on a paper bag or a small stack of paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Wait a few minutes before eating them because the filling will be much hotter than the wonton and you don’t want to burn your mouth. Eat plain or use your favorite dipping sauce. And that is all you need to do to make crab rangoon at home.


Personal Knowledge

Dads, Divorce, and the Battle for Custody

If I may be permitted to speak on a serious topic for a moment…

I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, my bloggies, but I also write an advice column called “Damage Control” in the Globe and Mail, in the Life section every Friday (tell your friends).

And it seems to get a lot of attention. Because it handles everyday situations, I guess, stuff everyone has an opinion on, it seems to get more comments on its “comments thread” than almost anything.

Also, as the title implies, it’s all about how to handle screwed-up situations, and everyone can relate to that, right?

I never know what’s going to stir up controversy. Sometimes it’s predictable, I guess: any mention of religion usually seems to get people’s blood boiling.

But sometimes it can be something I think is quite “light.” Like last week’s: “I’m 31 and I have a crush on a 20-year-old in my office.” No biggie, I said, basically, you’re both adults, who cares, maybe when “The graduate” came out it was shocking and scandalous an older woman would hit on a younger man. But in 2008? Go for it. “Drop down on him like darkness on an innocent peasant village,” I advised.

This seemed a pretty straightforward situation, to me. Easy answer. No brainer. I expected a couple of desultory hits on the website and that’d be that.

I was wrong. The so-called “inter-net” went nuts. I got more hits, and more comments, on that article than any other. So you never know.

But sometimes you do know. I figured today’s column– all about Dads, Divorce, and Custody– would stir up a hornet’s nest.

And I was right.

I can’t even really comment on the issue, because my knowledge of it is mostly anecdotal. I did talk to a couple of lawyers about it, but they didn’t really want to comment about how men are dealt with by the courts.

So I have no facts, none whatsoever. I admit that up front. But it does seem many men are they are feeling that, in terms of who the courts give custody to, men are not getting a fair shake.

And of course there’s really no way to know the truth. Each of these situations is so knotty, so thorny; and, as one lawyer said to me, “in domestic disputes, everyone has their own version of events, there are no witnesses…it’s hard to sort out what really happened.”

How hard must it be for a court to untangle these messed-up situations, figure out the right thing to do! And of course when it’s a question of child care, the woman’s an obvious choice, right? And perhaps many of the men who feel so wronged are not, shall we say, able to be objective about their role in the situation.

Let us concede all the above. Still– a lot of men seem to feel they’re getting a raw deal. That’s all I’m saying.

And they are in pain. I can feel it. Or, if that’s too “mystical” for your derrieres, let’s say: I can only imagine. Being separated from my children, especially if I felt it were under unfair situations, would kill me.

Not quickly. Slowly, as I went into a destructive, downward spiral, life-style-choices wise, emotionally, and health-wise.

I hope I never have to face that challenge.

Birth control pill offers heart protection if taken for ten years before menopause

I am not really sure what to make of this. Apparently, new reports show that the estrogen in birth control pills can offer prevention from the development of heart disease. And that the pills are most effective if taken for ten years right before the onset of menopause. This means from about ages 45-54.

All I know is that I keep thinking to myself, “The birth control pill increases risk of stroke, particularly if taken after the age of 35.” I stopped taking the pill right before I turned 35 because a close friend of mine had a double brainstem stroke. She was my age. I will not be joining the leagues of women who are signing up for this. I run 4-5 miles a day. I watch what I eat. And I sat and held my friend’s hand in the hospital after her stroke, and cried for her two-year-old daughter. My friend is doing very well now, but I will take my chances on heart disease, and stay away from the pill from now on.

The Best Ways to Get Rid of a Double Chin

Many people would love to be free of the unsightly extra roll of fat around the neck area that gives the appearance of having an extra chin.

It is not easy to reduce or completely remove a double chin but it is definitely possible and there are several options open to you. Below we review a few of the top solutions for this problem that has so many people cringing every time that they face themselves in the mirror.

1) The ‘Face Fitness Formula’

For most people, a double chin is a result of being overweight. The removal is not always as simple as losing weight though as there are many people who are in pretty good shape that still find themselves developing such fat or unable to get rid of one.

The first step in fighting them should be lifestyle changes. A daily exercise program is essential for burning fat and there are many solutions out there for dieting.

In 2006 a new program was released by John Socratous that specifically helps people to get rid of facial fat in the chin and cheeks. The ‘Face Fitness Formula’ is a comprehensive diet and exercise program that has received glowing reviews.

It is the only comprehensive course available online for those wanting to lose fat in the chin area so it is definitely worth checking out.

Click here to visit the ‘Face Fitness Center’ and find out more about what this program has to offer.

2) Verseo Velform Contouring Chin Wrap

If dieting and exercise don’t work or are too demanding, one company called Verseo has developed the Velform contouring chin wrap to help women get rid of their double chins.

Users of chin wraps apply a gel to the chin and neck and then fit an adjustable wrap tightly around their chin and above their head. The results of this treatment are a toning and firming of the skin around the neck area and a ‘lifting’ or ‘sculpting’ of the chin.

When the gel mixes with skin cells it causes a shrinkage of the skin which has an anti-cellulite effect, tightening up sagging skin.

Users report a vastly reduced double chin and a general removal of lines and wrinkles in the lower facial area. If applied twice daily for short periods of time you should be able to see a considerable improvement in one to four weeks.