Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Servings 24

1 1/3 cups sweet rice flour
1/2 cup sweet tapioca flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
2 eggs yolks

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In small bowl, whisk together white rice flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, egg, zest and extracts together, on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds.

Shut off stand mixer. Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer and mix until dough forms, about three minutes.

Pick up about a golf ball sized amount of dough, it will be very sandy feeling, press the bajeezus out of it in your hand to form a solid ball, then press onto cookie sheet until about a little less than ½ inch thick. You can press the edges together or leave them as they spread out. Using a fork, make holes in the cookies as decoration. It also adds crispness.

Bake until cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and aromatic, about 30 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for five minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat using remaining dough.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Nobu’s Miso-Marinated Tuna

Miso Glazed Tuna

 

I found Nobu’s recipe for  Miso-Marinated Black Cod and made it with Tuna.

SERVES 4

 

1/4 cup

sake

1/4 cup

mirin

4 tablespoons

white miso paste

3 tablespoons sugar

4 – 6 ounce tuna  

Two to 3 days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Pat the fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To cook the fish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Film the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.


Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

                     
  Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

serves 4

1/3      cup  lime juice
1/2      cup  olive oil
1/4       cup  white wine vinegar or rice vinegar

1/2        clove  garlic — crushed
1           pinch  salt
1           tiny pinch    red pepper flakes
2           cans  Hearts of Palm , salad cut

2           ripe California avocados
1           head  butter lettuce
1           medium  red onion — thin rings

1)  combine first 5 ingredients together in blender for dressing. let sit for about 20 min.


2) Tear lettuces in bite size pieces. combine with the rest of the ingredients. Toss with salad dressing. Serve immediately


Study Shows How Serotonin and a Popular Anti-depressant Affect the Gut’s Microbiota

gut-brain-axis

A new study in mice led by UCLA biologists strongly suggests that serotonin and drugs that target serotonin, such as anti-depressants, can have a major effect on the gut’s microbiota—the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that live in the human body’s intestines.

Serotonin—a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger that sends messages among cells—serves many functions in the human body, including playing a role in emotions and happiness. An estimated 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, where it influences gut immunity.

The team—led by senior author Elaine Hsiao and lead author Thomas Fung, a postdoctoral fellow—identified a specific gut bacterium that can detect and transport serotonin into bacterial cells. When mice were given the antidepressant fluoxetine, or Prozac, the biologists found this reduced the transport of serotonin into their cells. This bacterium, about which little is known, is called Turicibacter sanguinis. The study is published this week in the journal Nature Microbiology.

“Our previous work showed that particular gut bacteria help the gut produce serotonin. In this study, we were interested in finding out why they might do so,” said Hsiao, UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology, and of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the UCLA College; and of digestive diseases in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Hsiao and her research group reported in the journal Cell in 2015 that in mice, a specific mixture of bacteria, consisting mainly of Turicibacter sanguinis and Clostridia, produces molecules that signal to gut cells to increase production of serotonin. When Hsiao’s team raised mice without the bacteria, more than 50 percent of their gut serotonin was missing. The researchers then added the bacteria mixture of mainly Turicibacter and Clostridia, and their serotonin increased to a normal level.

That study got the team wondering why bacteria signal to our gut cells to make serotonin. Do microbes use serotonin, and if so, for what?

In this new study, the researchers added serotonin to the drinking water of some mice and raised others with a mutation (created by altering a specific serotonin transporter gene) that increased the levels of serotonin in their guts. After studying the microbiota of the mice, the researchers discovered that the bacteria Turicibacter and Clostridia increased significantly when there was more serotonin in the gut.

If these bacteria increase in the presence of serotonin, perhaps they have some cellular machinery to detect serotonin, the researchers speculated. Together with study co-author Lucy Forrest and her team at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the researchers found a protein in multiple species of Turicibacter that has some structural similarity to a protein that transports serotonin in mammals. When they grew Turicibacter sanguinis in the lab, they found that the bacterium imports serotonin into the cell.

In another experiment, the researchers added the antidepressant fluoxetine, which normally blocks the mammalian serotonin transporter, to a tube containing Turicibacter sanguinis. They found the bacterium transported significantly less serotonin.

The team found that exposing Turicibacter sanguinis to serotonin or fluoxetine influenced how well the bacterium could thrive in the gastrointestinal tract. In the presence of serotonin, the bacterium grew to high levels in mice, but when exposed to fluoxetine, the bacterium grew to only low levels in mice.

“Previous studies from our lab and others showed that specific bacteria promote serotonin levels in the gut,” Fung said. “Our new study tells us that certain gut bacteria can respond to serotonin and drugs that influence serotonin, like anti-depressants. This is a unique form of communication between bacteria and our own cells through molecules traditionally recognized as neurotransmitters.”

The team’s research on Turicibacter aligns with a growing number of studies reporting that anti-depressants can alter the gut microbiota. “For the future,” Hsiao said, “we want to learn whether microbial interactions with antidepressants have consequences for health and disease.” Hsiao wrote a blog post for the journal about the new research.

More information: Thomas C. Fung et al. Intestinal serotonin and fluoxetine exposure modulate bacterial colonization in the gut, Nature Microbiology (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0540-4


This Hysteria Over Eggs is Absurd, They are Wonderful for you!

images

For several years eggs were not the favorite food among researchers and nutritionists. This was during the low fat, low cholesterol hysteria of the 70’s through the early 90’s. This is because they were all convinced eggs contained high cholesterol, which harms the body.

This is simply not true.

Actually, the egg yolk offers plenty of nutrients and health benefits. Up to 90% of the egg’s calcium and iron are located in its yolk, which makes it totally healthy and recommended. On the other hand, the egg white offers some natural proteins, also significant for the human organism.

If you are still not convinced, read the top 10 eggs benefits and learn why eggs are, indeed, healthy:

  1. Eggs have nutrients you really need. –   This means, more energy, more activity and more everything. Just one medium-sized egg, contains 6g of high-quality protein and plenty of essential nutrients. It does not contain vitamin C, though. So, for best results, always combine it with fruit.  As breakfast, this may be the ideal combo. 
  2. Full of significant compounds, eggs are the product to consume all the time. People who avoid eggs are more likely to suffer Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B12 deficiency. Along with other nutrients, eggs bring in 10-20% of folate and 20-30% of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B12.

2. Eggs increase the iron levels-  A lack of iron in the system is often causes by tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron has the role of carrying the oxygen to the blood, which makes it one important mineral.  Also, it encourages the immunity and takes care of the overall health. One egg yolk contains iron in the form of heme iron. This is the type of iron that absorbed all nutrients faster than any other kind of iron. Even experts assure that this iron absorbs more nutrients than iron supplements.

3  . Eggs stabilize the cholesterol-  Unfortunately, eggs were targeted as high cholesterol products (210mg per egg yolk). However, studies have compared the egg consumption with the coronary heart disease. Other foods, higher in fat,  particularly trans fatty acids do worst job for the body than an egg yolk would. So feel free to consume them regularly and feel the major benefits they bring along.

5. Eggs provide weight loss qualities-   Eggs have 50% higher satiety index than any other breakfast you would choose. Starting the day off with eggs will boost the satiety in overweight people and encourage weight loss.

6. Eggs improve brain functions-   Eggs contain a nutrient called choline, which is responsible for strengthening the brain and improving the memory. One egg gives about 28% of a pregnant woman’s choline requirement. So, being especially important for pregnant women and breastfeeding, eggs are a huge YES for you.

7. Eggs ameliorate the vision and prevent cataracts-  According to doctors, if you increase your intake of eggs, spinach, and broccoli, you will reduce the chances for cataracts (up to a 20% decrease) and other vision problems. It even deals with blindness in seniors (up to a 40% decrease). Full of antioxidants and nutrients, eggs give a solid content of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid vitamins which take care of the eyesight. The carotenoids keep the eyes safe from sunlight exposure and decrease the risk for cataracts by up to 50%.

8. Eggs are a very healthy protein-  Proteins are essential to leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping diet on point. Normally, the human body uses the protein to build new and repair old muscle tissue. Additionally amino acids represent the building blocks of protein. Nine of these amino acids have to come through diet so they keep the body safe. Eggs contain nine of these essential amino acids, which help the tissues regenerate and strengthen.

Note: egg, milk, meat and fish proteins are all proteins. Out of these four, eggs are the best choice. Eggs have a rating of 100. Unlike eggs, milk is rated at 93 and fish and beef at 75. If you eat just one medium-sized egg you will make up for protein, just as if you ate 30g cooked meat, fish or poultry?

9. Eggs improve bone structure-   Another vitamin in eggs is vitamin D. This one is very significant for absorbing calcium and preserving the bones. Therefore, eggs can reduce symptoms of osteoporosis and the same is true for dairy products.

10. Eggs take care of the hair and nails-   The hair and nails are the first body parts which show lack of a vitamin or mineral. By consuming eggs you will provide both with high content of Sulfur, amino acids and the plenty of vitamins and minerals. People have said that by consuming eggs they improved the structure of their hair and nails- this is achieved by eating eggs and other products high in zinc, Sulfur, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.

Just like everything else, the consumption with eggs should also be moderate. Only 2 to 3 eggs per day are enough to get the desired results and improve your quality of life.


The Importance of Saturated Fats for Biological Functions

Note From Millie– In many ways vegetarians are healthier than most people who follow the standard American Diet. BUT, eliminating all animal protein is not goof for you because you will not be able to meet all of your nutrient needs, especially for Saturated fats. The ideal diet should consist of a small amount (4 ounces twice a day) of high quality animals proteins such as seafood and eggs, with chicken and beef eaten only occasionally. The main reason vegetarian diets are way healthier than most is that their focus is on mostly fruits and veggies- the only place you get a true depth of nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals. And because this diet gives you healthy gut biome, the key to brain and body health. This does not include a vegan diet, which is dangerous long term. Butter should be included in every diet, daily. Making and using ghee is healthier than using whole butter.

coconut on the leaf

 

Many people recognize that saturated fats are needed for energy, hormone production, cellular membranes and for organ padding. You may be surprised to learn that certain saturated fatty acids are also needed for important signaling and stabilization processes in the body.

Signaling processes work in the cells at the level of the membrane proteins, many of which are called G-protein receptors. The G-protein receptors become stimulated by different molecules and can be turned off or on in a manner similar to a binary light switch, which remains on for a limited time and then flips itself off until it is stimulated again.

The saturated fatty acids that play important roles in these processes are the 16-carbon palmitic acid, the 14-carbon myristic acid and the 12-carbon lauric acid. These saturated fatty acids are found in certain food fats. Palmitic acid, for example, comprises 45 percent of palm oil and about 25 percent of animal fats. Furthermore, the body makes palmitic acid out of excess carbohydrates and excess protein.

A biochemical process called palmitoylation, in which the body uses palmitic acid in stabilization processes, although not very well known, is very important to our health.

When these important saturated fatty acids are not readily available, certain growth factors in the cells and organs will not be properly aligned. This is because the various receptors, such as G-protein receptors, need to be coupled with lipids in order to provide localization of function.

The messages that are sent from the outside of the cell to the inner part of the cell control many functions including those activated by, for example, adrenaline in the primitive mammalian fight/flight reactions. When the adrenal gland produces adrenaline and the adrenaline (beta-adrenergic) receptor communicates with the G-protein and its signal cascade, the parts of the body are alerted to the need for action; the heart beats faster, the blood flow to the gut decreases while the blood flow to the muscles increases and the production of glucose is stimulated.

The G-proteins come in different forms; the alpha subunit is covalently linked to myristic acid and the function of this subunit is important for turning on and off the binding to an enzyme called adenylate cyclase and thus the amplification of important hormone signals.

When researchers looked at the fatty acid composition of the phospholipids in the T-cells (white blood cells), from both young and old donors, they found that a loss of saturated fatty acids in the lymphocytes was responsible for age-related declines in white blood cell function. They found that they could correct cellular deficiencies in palmitic acid and myristic acid by adding these saturated fatty acids.

Most Westerners consume very little myristic acid because it is provided by coconut oil and dairy fats, both of which we are told to avoid. But myristic acid is a very important fatty acid, which the body uses to stabilize many different proteins, including proteins used in the immune system and to fight tumors. This function is called myristoylation; it occurs when myristic acid is attached to the protein in a specific position where it functions usefully. For example, the body has the ability to suppress production of tumors from lung cancer cells if a certain genetically determined suppressor gene is available. This gene is called fus1 and is a protein that has been modified with covalent addition of the saturated fatty acid myristic acid. Thus, the loss of myristic acid from the diet can have unfortunate consequences, including cancer and immune system dysfunction.

Lauric acid has several functions. It is an antimicrobial fatty acid on its own and as a monoglyceride. It also has the function of stabilization when it is attached to certain proteins in a similar fashion to myristic acid and palmitic acid.

Stearic acid is the 18-carbon saturated fatty acid. The main sources are animal tallows, which contain about 20-25 percent stearic acid, and chocolate, which contains about 35 percent stearic acid. In other foods it occurs only on levels of 1-2 percent.

How much total saturated do we need? During the 1970s, researchers from Canada found that animals fed rapeseed oil and canola oil developed heart lesions. This problem was corrected when they added saturated fat to the animals diets. On the basis of this and other research, they ultimately determined that the diet should contain at least 25 percent of fat as saturated fat. Among the food fats that they tested, the one found to have the best proportion of saturated fat was lard, the very fat we are told to avoid under all circumstances!

These are some of the complex but vital reasons we need to include Organic palm oil, coconut oil, butter and lard in our diets.


Deadly superbug outbreak in humans linked to antibiotic spike in cows

Note from Millie- Please buy  and eat only grass fed or organic meat!

Funny Cow

A deadly outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella that sickened 225 people across the US beginning in 2018 may have been spurred by a sharp rise in the use of certain antibiotics in cows a year earlier, infectious disease investigators reported this week.

From June 2018 to March of 2019, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified an outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport. The strain was resistant to several antibiotics, most notably azithromycin—a recommended treatment for Salmonella enterica infections. Before the outbreak, azithromycin-resistance in this germ was exceedingly rare. In fact, it was only first seen in the US in 2016.

Yet in the 2018-2019 outbreak, it reached at least 225 people in 32 states. Of those sickened, at least 60 were hospitalized and two died. (Researchers didn’t have complete health data on everyone sickened in the outbreak.)

Infectious disease researchers investigating the cases traced the infections back to beef from the US and soft cheeses from Mexico (mostly queso fresco, which is typically made from unpasteurized milk). Genetic testing suggests that cows in both countries are carrying the germ.

In a report published August 23 by the CDC, the investigators note that just a year earlier, the Food and Drug Administration recorded a spike in the use of antibiotics called macrolides by cattle farmers. From 2016 to 2017, cattle farmers increased their use of macrolide antibiotics by 41%. Macrolides are a class of antibiotics that includes azithromycin. Because antibiotics within a class work to kill bacteria in similar ways, bacterial resistance to one drug in a class could lead to resistance to other drugs in the same class.

The investigators suggest that the surge in macrolide use could have encouraged the rise and spread of the azithromycin-resistant Newport strain.

“Because use of antibiotics in livestock can cause selection of resistant strains, the reported 41% rise in macrolide use in US cattle from 2016 to 2017 might have accelerated carriage of the outbreak strain among US cattle,” they wrote.

“Avoiding the unnecessary use of antibiotics in cattle, especially those that are important for the treatment of human infections, could help prevent the spread of [multi-drug resistant] Newport with decreased susceptibility to azithromycin.”

In recent years, around 70% of all medically important antibiotics in the US have been sold for use in animals. Public health advocates say agricultural use of antibiotics should be reduced significantly to preserve the effectiveness of the drugs.

To reduce the risk of infections—drug resistant or not—health officials advise consumers not to eat cheeses made from unpasteurized milk and to make sure beef reaches safe cooking temperatures: 145°F (62.8°C) for steaks and roasts followed by a 3-minute rest time, and 160°F (71.1°C) for ground beef or hamburgers.