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Eating garlic could help protect your memory, new study shows

You might miss out on some smooches, but a new study suggests that consuming garlic may help protect your memory. Scientists at the University of Louisville found that eating garlic may reduce age-related problems with memory. As it turns out, allyl sulfide, the same sulfide compound that gives us “garlic breath” also improves our gut health, which is one factor in cognitive function. If people eat more garlic, the study’s authors believe people could see a reduced risk in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For the study, researchers gave oral allyl sulfide to 24-month-old mice (basically 56 to 69 years of age in human years). They then compared these mice with 4- and 24-month-old mice not receiving the allyl sulfide supplement. The older mice that received the garlic showed better long and short term memories, as well as a healthier gut bacteria, than the mice that didn’t receive…

You should never cook frozen chicken in a crock pot, USDA says

Crock-pots are all about convenience. You throw in some ingredients, go about your business, and whip out a delicious, hot meal a few hours later. No one takes the time to prep ingredients a whole day before for a crock-pot. That’s why it was so disconcerting to learn that taking chicken directly from the freezer and plopping it in the popular countertop appliance is a big no-no. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website, slow cookers, as a whole, are safe. But in a section called “Slow Cookers and Food Safety,” the department elaborates and says that you should, “Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it in a slow cooker.” Unfortunately, microwaving it last minute isn’t even an option! Man, these guys are tough. The reasons are based on bacteria. The USDA explains that because your slow cooker is, well, slow to reach any cooking temperature…

Soda could cause cancer tumors to grow, study shows

Think your 3 p.m. Coca-Cola pick-me-up isn’t a huge problem? You might want to reconsider. New research revealed that your sugary soda addiction could actually cause serious health problems — even cancer. According to The Sun, it was the increase in bowel cancer cases in people under 35 that spurred the interest of Dr. Lewis Cantley, of Cornell University, to look for answers. Cantley, along with his colleagues, suspected that an increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup was to blame. To test the theory, cancer-prone mice were fed high-fructose corn syrup (amounting to about one can of Coke per day for a human). The study showed that the tumors were “directly eating the sugar… the cancer was using fructose and glucose together to more than double its growth rate.” Yikes! Excluding skin cancers, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer…

The 2019 Dirty Dozen reveals fruits and vegetables with most pesticides present

Exactly how safe is that produce in your kitchen? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its annual “Dirty Dozen” report naming the fruits and vegetables contaminated with the highest number of pesticides — and the list is full of everyday, household favorites. The EWG analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture. Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides on the common fruits and veggies Americans eat everyday. The tests were conducted before produce was washed or peeled — which shows that simple washing isn’t enough to eliminate pesticides from your produce. As a reminder, researchers have long-warned us that consuming pesticides can lead to a number of health issues including cancer and low fertility. Some fruits and vegetables that appear on the 2019 Dirty Dozen list are regulars (hello again, strawberries), but some are newcomers to the pesticide-laden list of shame. This year, kale seems to be…

6 Benefits of eating spicy foods

Eating spicy foods can be a point of pride for some people. Friends compete to see who can eat the hottest wings without crying. Restaurants tout their Ghost Pepper salsas, and TV show crews travel thousands of miles to film their hosts taking on spicy food challenges at fairs and festivals. But aside from a badge of honor — and maybe the thrill of it — there are several benefits to eating spicy foods. Of course, if you already have reflux or gastro issues, eating spicy foods may make you feel worse. But, if you don’t have these issues and your stomach is strong, you may experience some of these health benefits of spicy foods: 1. A boost in metabolism. Studies have shown that people who eat spicy foods burned more calories and had less of an appetite after eating red pepper. Spicy foods, like hot peppers, contain the capsaicin,…

Weight gain could reduce your sense of taste, study shows

Chew on this. A recent study shows that packing on some extra pounds can seriously mess with your sense of taste. Yes, regularly eat too much and your taste buds become less effective. Researchers at Cornell University set out to find out why this is the case. They fed mice high-fat diets, which led to weight gain, then examined their tongues. When compared to a control group of mice which was fed a normal diet, the obese mice had 25% less taste buds present. Their taste buds were quicker to mature and die off, and were resupplied at a slower rate. The scientists think that weight gain can cause inflammation that can interrupt the regeneration of taste buds, meaning fewer are present at any given time. Results were published in the journal PLOS Biology. So how does this translate in humans? Of course, individuals naturally have differences when it comes…

Moldy foods that are still safe to eat, according to the USDA

Americans waste more than $160 billion in food every year — yikes! Of course, no one buys food with the anticipation of throwing it in the trash, but once something gets moldy, we have little choice. This might be true of most foods — but not all. According to the USDA, some foods can still be consumed even when mold is visibly present. This handy guide can help you decide if you’re still unsure. Here are 3 foods that don’t need to wind up wasted just because of a little mold: Moldy foods you can still eat 1. Hard salami and dry-cured country hams The USDA says that it’s normal for  these products to have a layer of surface mold. Think about the white coating around certain salamis — this is actually a benign mold that helps cure the meat and prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Just remove the surface,…

Consumer Reports finds alarming levels of heavy metals in kids’ fruit juice

A new study will be hard to swallow for some well-meaning parents. A recent study by Consumer Reports found concerning levels of potentially dangerous metals in many kids’ fruit juices. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead were found in beloved brands including Whole Food’s 365 Everyday Value, Juicy Juice, Honest Kids, Minute Maid, Welch’s, and more. Also see: Learn to make your own juice at home. The watchdog group tested 45 fruit juices sold nationwide, including grape, apple, pear, and fruit blends. More than half of the juices tests for those three heavy metals. Overall, heavy metals in fruit juices have gone down since a similar CR test in 2011, but  Consumer Report’s Chief Scientific Officer James Dickerson, Ph.D. warns we shouldn’t be comfortable with that alone. “People should still be concerned that test heavy metals are still being found in juice products… and take action so they can ensure that they…

This is the best way to wash pesticides off your fruit and vegetables, study shows

If you splash your fruits and veggies with a little water and consider them clean, you might want to step your game up. It turns out there is only one way that will get rid of the dangerous pesticides coating them. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, removal of pesticide residues from fresh produce is important to reduce the risk of exposure. Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems in humans including everything from headaches to respiratory problems to cancer. So what’s the best way to rid your produce of these unwanted chemical residues? Scientists for the study applied three different washing methods to a bunch of Gala apples — Clorox bleach, baking soda, and plain tap water. They tracked the pesticide levels throughout the study and found that apples soaked in a baking soda and water solution for…

This is why you need to wash your avocados

Avocado lovers, your favorite food has a bit of a dirty secret. A new report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that washing avocados before eating them is crucial. A good portion of the avocado skins sampled recently tested positive for bacteria like listeria or salmonella during. Yikes! Of course you don’t eat the skin, but you’re still at risk if you don’t wash your fruit first. That’s because the knife you are using to cut through the avocado’s exterior (and you certainly have to use a knife to break through) can carry these potentially fatal bacteria into the flesh of the fruit — which you do eat. Of the 1,615 avocados sampled in the study, 17 percent carried the harmful bacteria, so this isn’t a one-in-a-million chance — this is very common. The study included avocados grown both domestically and internationally. The good news is that only .24…