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You often hear of fruits and vegetables being powerful for your cardiovascular wellness. Now, a new study has just uncovered how an increasingly popular dairy drink may deliver surprising benefits to your heart health, with cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-stabilizing properties as well.
The journal PharmaNutrition has published a study conducted by pharmaceutical and physiology researchers at the University Vila Velha and the Federal University of Espirito Santo, both in Brazil. The researchers examined data from 48 patients who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which is simultaneously occurring conditions that increase an individual’s risk of heart disease. These may include cholesterol, blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure, or other ailments.
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The researchers divided the 48 participants into two groups. For 12 weeks, one group drank kefir (a liquid drink that’s very similar to yogurt and is known for its probiotic benefits) with curd daily, while the control group received a placebo. (None of the patients in either group knew which of the two beverages they were drinking.)
The results were intriguing. The study’s abstract states that the participants who drank kefir saw decreased blood pressure, lower fasting blood sugar, decreased levels of bad cholesterol, and, for female participants, increased levels of good cholesterol. The study authors write: “Kefir also reduced the risk of cardiovascular events for the next ten years.”
The researchers may have been prompted to examine the effects of kefir on cardiovascular health, cholesterol, and blood pressure based on a 2019 study, in which researchers found that administering kefir to rats stabilized the animals’ blood flow, reduced enlarged heart size, and improved calcium-handling proteins—all of which are important mediators in the strength and efficiency of the heart’s blood-pumping function. It’s been theorized that these study results were thanks to milk fermented by kefir grains.
It might seem hard to believe that just 12 weeks of drinking kefir can result in a whole decade’s worth of better heart health… but for someone who tolerates dairy well, seeking kefir out at the grocery store and working it into your diet (such as with this smoothie recipe) could be worth a try.
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Mount Laurel police asks public's help in finding child – Courier Post
MOUNT LAUREL – Police are asking the public’s help in finding a 6-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted by her non-custodial mother.
The girl, Grace Craytor of Pennsauken, was last seen around 7:10 p.m. Monday with her mother, Kristina Maletteri, at Lifetime Fitness in Mount Laurel, according to township police.
The girl’s father, who has a full custody order for Grace, had invited Maletteri to swim with the child during a supervised visit at the facility at Church and Fellowship roads, said a police account.
“At some point, Ms. Maletteri is said to have taken her daughter and left the area without consent,” the account said.
Maletteri is known to drive a 2017 silver Audi Q3 with New Jersey license plates “S64MPY.”
The missing child is 46 inches tall, 70 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Mount Laurel police at 856-234-8300 or the confidential tip line 856-234-1414, extension 1599.
Tips can also be emailed to Lamaro@mountlaurelpd.org.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other beats for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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Healthy Snacks for the Office – How to Pack Food for Work – menshealth.com
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Allow these experts to help pack your lunchbox.
Buh-bye, vending machine. Here are four easy ways to boost your energy at work. Plus, three moves to make any lunch meeting extra appetizing.
Combine carbs and protein for long-lasting energy, says Marisa Moore, R.D.N., an integrative dietitian. Mix roasted, lightly salted sunflower seeds and dried blueberries in a small jar for a snack that’s sweet, salty, and crunchy. Bonus: The unsaturated fats in the seeds will keep you feeling full.
A favorite of Cara Harbstreet, R.D., of Street Smart Nutrition, is protein- and omega-3-rich tuna or salmon (StarKist makes packaged versions) spread on sliced cucumbers or mini bell peppers. Drizzle with your favorite hot sauce for a tiny yet protein-packed meal.
Jordan Mazur, R.D., director of nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers, suggests these key ingredients: shredded rotisserie chicken for lean protein; pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds,dried tart cherries, and dark chocolate chips for a healthy trail mix; and antioxidant-rich blueberries or grapes.
Don’t go more than three to four hours without eating, to help keep your blood sugar steady. You can avoid mindless snacking by setting an alarm to get up every hour instead of reaching for the chips, says Kelly Hogan Laubinger, R.D
As we head back to the office, those DIY outdoor lunches can still be the thing to do.
TRY A HEARTY SALAD IN A JAR, says Moore. Build it from the bottom up: Start with a vinaigrette, then add chickpeas, carrots, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers. Add feta to the top for a salty, tangy finish. Close, and shake when ready to eat.
REINVENT YOUR SANDWICH. Slapping protein and a salad’s worth of greens between whole-grain bread works well, too: Try sliced turkey or canned tuna, topped with sprouts, cucumbers, leafy greens, avocado, and tomato.
MAKE A HEALTHY CHEESE BOARD, says Harbstreet. Go with hard cheeses like cheddar and Gouda and a soft cheese like cottage. Pair pita bread or crispy crackers with jerky or low-sodium deli meats. Then toss in pistachios and blueberries.
This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Men’s Health.
Alyson Chu named Mrs. Winter Garden America – West Orange Times & Windermere Observer
Alyson Chu has created a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family, and she wants to share it with others. The West Orange County resident accepted the Mrs. Winter Garden America title in October, and, through her platform, is partnering with Shepherd’s Hope and its new Healthy Eating Active Lifestyle program.
Chu will compete Feb. 25 and 26, 2022, at the Westgate Resort Orlando for the title of Mrs. Florida America 2022. She is the first person to hold the Mrs. Winter Garden Florida title.
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Alyson Chu
Contestants are nominated by members of the pageant committee.
“Someone from the committee had known about me in the community and reached out … and (wanted) me to apply and be considered for the role,” Chu said.
She went through the application and interview process before the title was bestowed upon her. She is one of about 20 contestants vying for the crown at the state level.
As Mrs. Winter Garden, Chu is available to speak to organizations and community groups sharing her story and her platform of healthy living. She already has spoken to students at Maxey Elementary School about healthy eating and staying active, as well as a group of senior citizens at the West Orange Neighborhood Center.
Chu said she did her own research after accepting her title, wanting to select an organization that allowed her to give back to the community but also aligned with the healthy lifestyle she has embraced. She reached out to Healthy West Orange, which directed her to Shepherd’s Hope.
“I went to go tour their facility about a month ago, and I was so taken aback by all the services they offer and all the new projects they offer,” she said. “The biggest thing for them is making more people aware that they’re located there and the services they offer.”
Her goal is to raise awareness of Shepherd’s Hope’s HEAL program, which promotes eating healthy and staying active. It is slated to start in the new year.
“HEAL addresses your mind, body and soul,” Chu said. “Examples are eating healthy foods, growing healthy foods, exercising (and) practicing mindfulness. Another part is mental health, and I’m proud to be working with Victoria’s Voice.”
This foundation was started after the death of Victoria Siegel, the 18-year-old daughter of David and Jackie Siegel, who died of a drug overdose in 2015.
Chu said she is excited about this next chapter in her life and the opportunity to help others. She has lived in Central Florida since 2007, and she and her husband Ryan, moved to Winter Garden in 2016. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Aliyah.
“We definitely fell in love with the sense of community the city has to offer,” she said.
The Mrs. Florida America Pageant is a part of the Mrs. America Organization.
The 2022 pageant is Feb. 25 and 26, when Brittany Carson, the 2021 Mrs. Florida America, will be on hand to crown her successor. Carson, a native Floridian born and raised in Central Florida, is an advanced practice nurse practitioner caring for critical patients in the emergency room setting. Her platform is child safety and drug prevention.
Sponsorship is key to being a successful pageant contestant. Chu has several sponsors but is looking for others who can support her platform and her bid for Mrs. Florida America.
“If anyone would like to support my cause, please email me,” she said. “I have some great opportunities that showcase local businesses that help support a healthy lifestyle. I will be working with Shepherd's Hope organization, and a portion of the sponsorships will be helping families in need by expanding outreach and providing healthy meals.”
She also has been working with local farms creating healthy food baskets and giving them to families in need, she said.
“I wanted to do this because I wanted to create a legacy for my daughter to know me as more than just her mommy, but someone who wanted to help give back to her community and help others in need,” Chu said. “I want to continue to show my daughter what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and build a strong foundation.”
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Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990….
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