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Diet & Health

You Can Eat Anything Without Getting Fat With ‘Project Nourished’

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virtual-reality-eating

Does stuffing your face with plates after plates of sumptuous five-star cuisine without worrying about gaining weight or undermining your overall health entice you? If so, virtual dining could just be what the doctor ordered.

Project Nourished is a gastronomic virtual reality experiment that’s using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to recreate the ultimate fine dining experience.

Basically, what the masterminds behind it want is to deliver a virtual reality sensory experience of dining without concerning yourself with calories. The system works by tricking all of the senses in perfect harmony using the impressive Oculus Rift VR headset to trick the eyes into seeing the food you’re craving, an aromatic diffuser to trick the nose into smelling it, and a “bone conduction transducer” (shudder) to mimic the chewing sounds that are transmitted from mouth to ear drums via soft tissues and bones.

It also employs a food detection sensor, motion tracking and a gyroscopic utensil to help mimic moving food from a VR plate to your mouth.

As for what you actually put in your mouth in real life, Project Nourished gives you a low-calorie fusion derived from agar, konjac jelly and gum Arabic, made to mimic foods such as steak, lasagne, pies and sushi.

Some people might wonder why anyone would want to eat virtual food when real food is within reach, but there might actually be a viable market for this gastronomic virtual reality experiment. In fact, if current technology trends are anything to go by, virtual reality is poised to become mainstream … eventually.

Everyone with a pulse loves good food, right? In fact, the only thing that stops most of us from gorging ourselves on a daily basis is the fear of becoming fat and having a heart attack. Fortunately, Project Nourished may eliminate such hindrances, allowing us to virtually eat to our hearts content.

The system is in the very early stages of development, and while initial tests have proven to be successful, the experience will only improve as virtual reality technology improves.

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Diet & Health

10 Signs You Are Allergic To Gluten

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Long Bread

Intolerance to gluten has been a running buzz in the healthy living circles for the past decade, and there is no sign of that changing. The condition can lead to detrimental health effects relating to the gut, skin and even nervous system, with the most common symptoms being depression, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems and pain.

Gluten is a protein found in such grains as wheat, rye, barley, spelt and is what makes bread light and fluffy and dough a sticky texture. Wheat and rye are most commonly found in cereal and bread, as well as in pasta in the case of the former and even beer, salad dressings and soups with the latter. Barley is often used in stock feed products.

Not only do all of these grains contain gluten, but they can also cause insensitivity to gluten. Unfortunately, they are a common part of the diets of millions, if not billions, of people around the world.

Gluten intolerance has also been associated with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can cause damage to the small intestine, making it harder for the body to absorb nutrients. Around 1 out of 100 people suffer from the condition in the United States alone!

Fortunately, symptoms of gluten intolerance subside after removing gluten from one’s diet. Here are 10 of the most usual signs that you may be suffering from it:

1. Unexpected Weight Gain

Caused by malabsorption and gut permeability from the systemic inflammation triggered by the protein, unexpected weight gain is related to gluten intolerance. Sufferers who eliminate gluten from their diet will notice an improvement in their weight.

2. Brain Fog

In an article published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, one titled “Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness,” researchers found that immunoglobins (AKA antibodies) react abnormally to gluten and the reaction contributes to reduced cognitive function.

3. Abnormal Immune function

The IgA antibodies, which are found in the gastrointestinal tract and saliva, are the body’s primary response to colds, flu or other illnesses. If you are gluten sensitive, these antibodies have a counter effect on your immune system, inhibiting its ability to properly defend against such illnesses.

4. Headaches, Migraines

A recent study discovered that 56 percent of the gluten intolerant participants suffered from migraines, while only 14% of the control group had the condition.

5. Dental Issues

A study published in the BMS Gastroenterology found that there is a connection between gluten intolerance and “aphthous stomatitis”, a condition characterized by the repeated formation of mouth ulcers and canker sores in otherwise healthy individuals. Malabsorption can cause gluten intolerant people to also have low calcium levels, which undermines oral health.

6. Skin Problems

Malabsorption resulting from gluten intolerance has been associated with eczema, acne and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), with symptoms including redness, itching, rashes, burning and blisters. Described by the Gluten Intolerance Group as “a chronic disease of the skin marked by groups of watery, itchy blisters that might resemble pimples or blisters,” DH is a very difficult condition to have.

7. Joint And Muscle Aches

Researchers have long known that people with autoimmune forms of arthritis are at higher risk for celiac disease, and a growing body of research now finds that here is a possible connection between gluten and non-pathologic joint pain. When a person with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity eats gluten, the immune system jumps into action, causing inflammation.

8. Fatigue And Exhaustion

This symptom is similar to brain fog in that the mechanism involved are still a mystery. There is little scientific research on the the purported correlation between fatigue/exhaustion and gluten intolerance; however, the fact that fatigue is one of the most frequent symptoms mentioned by those with celiac or gluten sensitivity has led medical experts believe gluten intolerance can cause fatigue and exhaustion through inflammation likely because of de-allocation of the energy reserves.

9. Hormone Imbalances

Gluten is a known to disrupt a number of hormones, including estrogen, and has been linked to Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), abnormal PMS, and unexplained infertility. According a article published by the Gluten Free Society, the removal of gluten often resolves hormone imbalance.

10. Anxiety, Depression, ADD, Mood Swings

Depression and anxiety symptoms have been linked to gluten consumption in celiac sufferers, while one small study found that excess gluten possibly depleted the serotonin levels of non-celiac suffers, leading to feelings of depression.

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Diet & Health

Here’s How Much Calories Are In 10 Kernels Of Your Favorite Nuts

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cashew nuts

Nuts are an amazing, nutrient-rich food source that don’t get their due consideration. Besides being packed with protein and fiber, most nuts contain a great source of many heart-healthy substances such as unsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids.

They are also loaded with antioxidants and are beneficial for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cholesterol and triglycerides? Nuts lower those too.

Assuming you’re not allergic to them, nuts are great for the body, but as with everything in in life, they should be eaten in moderation. After all, too much of anything can lead to undesirable results.

They are very high in calories, so if you’re not careful, you can end up racking up hundreds of calories with only a few bites. And we all know what too much calories does to one’s weight…

To help you moderate just how much calories you consume per handful, we have put together a convenient table that approximates how much calories are in a certain number of kernels of your favorite nuts.

By the way, peanuts are botanically not nuts because, unlike true nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews etc. which grow on trees, they grow underground. Peanuts are legumes like beans and peas; however for culinary, research and nutritional purposes, they are traditionally considered a nut and, thus, have a place in our table.

Plus, when people think about nuts, the first thing that usually comes to mind are peanuts.

Nut Number of Nuts Calories
Almonds, raw 14 97
Almonds, dry-roasted, salted 14 98
Brazil nuts, dried 3 93
Cashews, raw 10 98
Cashews, oil-roasted, salted 9 96
Hazelnuts, dry-roasted 10 102
Macadamias, raw 5 102
Macadamias, dry-roasted, salted 5 102
Peanut, raw 10 60
Peanut, dry-roasted, salted 10 86
Pecan halves 10 98
Pine nuts, dried 77 100
Pistachios, dry-roasted, unsalted 29 99
Pistachios, oil-roasted, salted 29 99
Walnuts, dried 13 104

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Diet & Health

Eating Turmeric Could Boost Your Memory And Mood

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Turmeric powder

In the world of superfoods, turmeric is seemingly becoming more and more super by the day. A new study has found that the spice’s active ingredient could boost memory and mood.

The 18-month study — carried out by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry — was the first long-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a bioavailable form of curcumin in non-demented adults. It found that taking a daily dose of curcumin, the compound in turmeric root that gives the spice its yellow color, may not only prevent memory problems from getting worse over time, but actually improve them.

Led by UCLA’s Gary Small, the research team took 40 random people between the ages of 50 and 90 suffering from mild memory problems but not Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, gave them a twice-daily 90-mg of bioavailable, easily absorbed curcumin supplement or a placebo for 18 months, conducted tests of memory and cognition that included questionnaires to measure mood and depression, and carried out brain scans to analyse the deposition of “brain gunk”—amyloid-beta plaques and tau “tangles,” the two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.

Because the study was double-blind, even the researchers didn’t know what supplement the participants were given until after the study was over.

They found that those who took the curcumin saw their memory improve by 28% on average over the 18 month trial, while those who took the placebo (the control group) saw their scores rise slightly (possibly because they got more familiar with the tests) and then declined.

The depression scores of those taking curcumin also improved compared to the control group’s, which stayed the same, and brain scans revealed significantly less amyloid and tau accumulation in two of their brain regions — the amygdala and hypothalamus — that control anxiety, memory, decision-making, and emotion.

This lead Small’s team to conclude that taking a bioavailable curcumin supplement daily may lead to improved memory and attention in non-demented adults, which according to Forbes is an exciting discovery considering that it came from a true clinical study and earlier evidence regarding the therapeutic effects of curcumin has been mixed.

Curcuma longa root - Turmeric

It’s not exactly known how curcumin works, but researchers have long observed that people in India have lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, which they think is due in part to the higher intake of turmeric. Small said in a statement:

“Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression.”

One shortcoming of the study is that it was quite small and the participants were generally healthy, educated, and motivated to complete the long trial, which may not necessarily be a complete reflection of the general population. The team’s next plans to look at whether the supplement may be effective in treating people with major depression rather than memory problems.

The growth of the “food as medicine” movement is evidence of consumers’s growing interest in natural ways to improve their health. And according to Food Dive, while medical foods are still a relatively new category in the food industry, manufacturers have been looking at ways to incorporate curcumin in the formulation of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, herbals and functional foods and beverages, especially for those consumers who don’t want to cook with turmeric but want ready-to-eat options containing the ingredient.

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