Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Do You Get Headaches? What Your Eating or Drinking May Be The Cause

In the Tuffs article linked below there is an interesting discussion on foods which trigger headaches for some people and the process to go through to see what might trigger your headaches.  Here are a few of the common tiggers.

Compounds called biogenic amines, such as histamine, tyramine and phenylethylamine, may contribute to headaches in some people. Certain foods, such as tomatoes, avocados and spinach, naturally contain higher amounts of histamine and/or tyramine. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine. Amounts of biogenic amines are generally highest in foods in which bacteria break down certain amino acids, such as during fermentation or as the food ages, ripens or spoils. Examples are alcoholic beverages, fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut), processed meats (like salami), aged cheeses (like Swiss), soy sauce and some fish, particularly if mishandled.

Alcoholic Drinks:

Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it causes blood vessels to expand. When blood vessels in the brain expand, the nerve fibers coiled around them are stretched. That activates the nerve fibers and can cause the release of inflammatory chemicals and pain. In addition to alcohol itself, certain products of fermentation (including histamine and tyramine) in alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey, beer and wine, may trigger a headache. Many of these fermentation products dilate blood vessels.


Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. When you have caffeine in your system all of the time on weekdays, and then it wears off on the weekend [when you don’t get your typical coffee or other caffeinated drinks], you get rebound vasodilation. The result is a headache. Caffeine-withdrawal headaches are more likely with higher daily caffeine intake but can happen with as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine a day. That's about what’s in a cup of coffee or 2 cups of tea.


Headaches may be a symptom of celiac disease (a genetic-based illness requiring complete elimination of gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley). Headache also is a common complaint in those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity and in wheat allergy."

Other food or beverages may be the cause of your headaches. If you have frequent headaches, read this article and go through the steps to determine your triggers.
 What Foods Can Cause Headaches

Monday, October 15, 2018

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Federal Trade Commission gives us these four tips to get started on securing our computers.  There will be a twitter chat with more tips on October 18th,  Check out the link below for the complete article
  • Update your software. Outdated software makes it easier for criminals to break into your computer and other devices. Most software can update automatically, so make sure to set yours to do so.
  • Make your password long, strong and complex. That means at least twelve characters, with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words, phrases or information in your passwords.
  • Use multi-factor authentication, when available. For accounts that support it, multi-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in.The second piece could be a code generated by an app or a key that’s inserted into a computer. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.
  • Back up your files. No system is completely secure. Copy your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. If your computer is attacked by malware, you’ll still have access to your files.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Moist Oven-Fried Chicken

Removing the chicken skin and baking the chicken rather than deep-frying it yields an impressive savings of saturated fat and calories, but often can be dry.  To solve this problem, try marinating the chicken before baking.  For even baking when cutting up a whole chicken, cut breast halves in half on the diagonal before marinating and dredging. The whole grain batter, makes a crunchy coating.

Oven Fried Chicken
1/2 cup Well-shaken low-fat or nonfat buttermilk 
1 tbsp Tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 clove Garlic, minced 
1 tsp Hot sauce, such as Tabasco 
1/4 tsp Salt, divided 
2 1/2 pounds Bone-in chicken breast halves, thighs or drumsticks 
1/3 cup Whole-wheat flour 
3 tbsp Whole-grain yellow cornmeal 
1 tsp Baking powder 
1 tsp Paprika
Pepper to taste
Olive or canola oil cooking spray

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic, hot sauce and 1/8 tsp salt in medium bowl until well blended. 

Remove skin from chicken by grasping it with a piece of paper towel and pulling skin away from flesh. Trim visible fat. If using chicken breast, use a large chef’s knife or poultry shears to cut each piece in half on the diagonal. Place chicken in large zip-close plastic food bag. Add buttermilk mixture; seal bag. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning several times to redistribute marinade.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a wire rack on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, paprika, baking powder, pepper and remaining 1/8 tsp salt in shallow dish, such as a pie pan, until well blended. One at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk marinade; shake off excess. Dredge chicken in flour mixture; place on prepared rack. Discard any leftover marinade and flour mixture. Spray chicken with cooking spray, coating each piece evenly.

Bake chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh and breast registers 165 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes.

YIELD: 4 servings.

Per serving of breast pieces: Calories: 300. Total fat: 6 grams. Saturated fat: 1.5 grams. Cholesterol: 120 milligrams. Sodium: 380 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 14 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 46 grams.

Per serving of thigh pieces: Calories: 340. Total fat: 13 grams. Saturated fat: 3.5 grams. Cholesterol: 205 milligrams. Sodium: 410 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 14 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 39 grams.

Variation—Super Hot Nashville-Style Oven-Fried Chicken: The suddenly popular Nashville-style fried chicken is very, very hot and very, very unhealthy! If you love hot food, you can make a healthy version as follows: While the chicken is baking, whisk 4 tsp olive (or canola) oil, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp chili powder in a small bowl. When the chicken is ready, use

Source: Oven-Fried Chicken - Recipes Article

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What Drinking Only Coffee and Tea All Day Does to Your Body?

 While it is encouraged that we drink the recommended amount of water each day, many people may choose different ways to hydrate. Coffee and tea are two favorite beverage choices—especially during the workday, when caffeine feels like a necessity. But some may ask, “Will caffeinated beverages just dehydrate you?”

In a recent Business Insider article, Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, shares some insight on what happens to the body if you drink only coffee and tea all day, and no water.

 Hydrating Aspects vs. Diuretic Effects
So what’ll really happen if you drink only coffee and tea all day? Webster says, “You’ll probably be extremely over-caffeinated! When caffeine is consumed in large doses, like the amount in 5 cups of coffee, it can induce a small diuretic effect.” However, this doesn’t mean caffeine is less hydrating.
“The hydrating aspects of coffee and tea outweigh its diuretic qualities,” Webster says. Building up a caffeine tolerance, which occurs when your morning cup of coffee turns into three cups, also will aid in lowering the diuretic effect.
Dry Mouth Sensation
Webster explains how some people may experience a dry mouth after drinking caffeinated beverages. This feeling leads them to believe that these drinks cause dehydration. Coffee and tea are made mostly of water, which means the dry feeling is not dehydration. The sensation comes from tannins, which are found in tea, coffee, some fruits and even dark chocolate.

Do Coffee and Water Have Similar Hydrating Qualities?
One study looked at 50 male coffee drinkers who consume three to six cups per day, comparing the effects of coffee consumption against that of water. It found no significant difference across a wide range of hydration status trials. These results suggest that when consumed in moderation by regular male coffee drinkers, coffee provides similar hydrating qualities to water. It is important to note that this was a small study, and it only covered a short period of time—meaning that no long-term effects could be analyzed.

Can Heavy Caffeine Consumption Cause Other Side Effects?
According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day. This equals about four cups of regular coffee or eight cups of black tea. While caffeine can help you stay more alert, energized and focused, Webster warns, “Heavy caffeine intake has the potential to cause other unwanted side effects like an upset stomach, heartburn, restlessness, increased anxiety or nervousness, insomnia, muscle tremors (aka the “coffee jitters”) and increased heart rate.”

With this in mind, Webster suggests including other fluids that don’t contain caffeine, especially water. Drinking fluids accounts for 80 percent of our water intake, while the other 20 percent comes from foods, especially fruits and vegetables. It’s also recommended that women consume 11 glasses of water per day, while men should consume 13 glasses.

“Drinking enough water is important for removing waste products that result from normal body metabolism,” Webster says. She explains that for a person with properly functioning kidneys, excess water is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, filtered through the kidneys and then removed from the body through urination.

A Simple Way to Monitor Hydration
“The best way to maintain water balance in the body [is] to monitor your urine color,” Webster recommends. “It should be pale yellow, like the color of lemonade — and pay attention to your thirst sensation. If you feel thirsty, it's likely that you're already a little dehydrated. If you're not thirsty and your urine is pale yellow, you're likely getting enough water.”

We all love our daily cup(s) of coffee and tea. Keeping yourself caffeinated throughout the day won’t hurt you. But it also doesn’t hurt to have a few glasses of water throughout the day

 Newsbite: Pore Over What Drinking Only Coffee and Tea All Day Does to Your Body

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Extension Family and Consumer Sciences : What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

  It seems like every time we turn around there is a new diet to follow. You may have heard of one that has been gaining popularity, the anti-inflammatory diet. This diet is based on the idea that certain food decrease inflammation and that other foods increase it. But what exactly is inflammation? Which foods are limited and which are encouraged on this diet? This article will help you understand the difference between acute and chronic inflammation, how it affects your health, and the role diet plays.

Simply stated, inflammation is the immune system's response to illness or injury. Think of the last time you stubbed your toe. Immediately after the injury, you probably noticed pain, swelling, and redness. This is acute inflammation and is a result of the body sending blood and fluid filled with cytokines, proteins involved in cell signaling, to the sore toe. Cytokines signal the body to send immune cells, such as white blood cells and prostaglandins, to the site to fight off infection or heal damaged tissues. Acute inflammation is the body's response to immediate threats, but chronic inflammation is a steady release of immune cells even when there is no infection to fight or injury to repair. This state of constant, low-level of inflammation has been linked to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Chronic inflammation can be triggered by autoimmune diseases, but it can also be a result of lifestyle factors, such as excess body weight or lack of physical activity.

So, how does anti-inflammatory diet help? The diet includes foods that will combat chronic inflammation and limits foods that can contribute to it. Fried foods, highly processed foods, and foods high in sugar are thought to increase inflammation and should be avoided. Foods that are encouraged are minimally processed, whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has many health benefits, and fighting inflammation is one of them. Plant-based foods contain nutrients called phytochemicals. These contribute to the health benefits of these foods.

These are thousands of different types of phytochemicals, each with a different function and a different health benefit. Anthocyanins give the deep blues, reds, and purples to fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries or red cabbage. They also help to reduce stimulation of cytokines that lead to inflammation. Capsaicin is what gives red and green chiles their signature heat, and it decreases the activity of inflammatory immune cells. Gingerol gives ginger its unique flavor, and in some studies has helped to reduce pain and swelling of joints in rheumatoid arthritis. Carotenoids give bright orange, red, and yellow coloring to carrots, tomatoes, and apricots, and they have been shown to inhibit secretion of inflammatory cells. Bromelain is derived from pineapple and helps keep immune response in check, decreasing immune response when there is no threat and enhancing it when needed. Phytochemicals are found in all plant-based foods, which include spices, olive oil, and teas. Oleocanthal, found in virgin olive oil, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green team decrease the effects of cytokines. Tumeric, properties because it is a good source of curcumin.

Hopefully, the guidelines of anti-inflammatory diet sound familiar. After all, it boils down to minimizing processed, fried, and sugary foods, and emphasizing fruits and vegetables. These guidelines are also included in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines developed by the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you follow the Dietary Guidelines, you are very likely already following an anti-inflammatory diet. Below is a table of the phytochemicals written about in the article. Remember these are just one type. Strive to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods to gain anti-inflammatory benefits of phytochemicals as well as the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber contained in these foods.

Extension Family and Consumer Sciences : What is an anti-inflammatory diet?