Brown Rice Bowl With Turkey

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Very low in sugar—only 1 gram!
• This dish serves up about one-fourth your daily requirement of vitamin B6, which is crucial for a healthy immune system.
• It’s super lean, too, with just 1.2 grams of saturated fat.

1 1/3 cups dry short-grain brown rice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 (2-pound) bone-in turkey breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided

4 cups baby spinach

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups broth, and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender (about 45 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil. Place turkey on sheet and coat with oil. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce. Roast, turning halfway through, until turkey is cooked and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165° (50-55 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest (about 5 minutes).

4. Stir spinach, scallions, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce into rice with remaining 1 cup warmed broth. Thinly slice turkey. Divide rice and sliced turkey among 4 bowls; drizzle each with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 486
Fat per serving: 9g
Saturated fat per serving: 1.2g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 4g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 42g
Carbohydrates per serving: 57g
Fiber per serving: 5g
Cholesterol per serving: 94mg
Iron per serving: 4mg
Sodium per serving: 528mg
Calcium per serving: 81mg
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Why avocados are the most awesome fruit, according to science

avacado-01

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). According to Medical News Today, avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

It’s hard to go past a perfectly ripe avocado. And lucky for us, these things are so packed with nutrients, it hurts. Not only are they high in fibre, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, B6, vitamin E, and a bunch of healthy fats, they’re also packed with twice the amount of potassium as bananas. And all of these work in conjunction with the nutrients we get from other fruits and vegetables – throw some avocado in a salad and you’ll absorb nutrients from the rest of the ingredients more easily, says this episode of Reactions from the American Chemical Society.

Oh and that ugly, tough skin? Well, that’s one of the avocado’s best qualities – it’s so dense, it keeps out pesticides, making it one of the safest fruits to eat (which is why you should think twice before forking out that extra cash for organic avocados).

Cut through that skin and you’ll get access to 11 different carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments found in plants, fungi, and some bacteria that have been found to impart many health benefits, including decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. Beta-Carotene, for example, is thought to have added benefits because of its ability to be converted to vitamin A, and lutein and zeaxanthin might protect our eyes from disease because they absorb the damaging blue light that enters the eye.

If you want to take advantage of all that, you’re going to want to make the most of the dark green portion of the fruit directly under the skin, and the video above shows you the best technique to maximise how much of this velvety goodness you get. (Plus it doesn’t involve stabbing a knife into the seed, which could save you a trip to the hospital.)

But alas, avocados aren’t perfect – they contain compounds called phenols, and these guys are responsible for the ridiculously fast browning that takes place as soon as you cut into one. When exposed to oxygen, the phenols will convert into an entirely different class of compounds called quinones, and over time, these link together to form a pigment called melanin. Yep, the same compounds that give our skin its colour.

On top of that, avocados are packed with an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which acts to speed up this whole browning process even further. Why, nature, why?

Any avocado fan will know a temporary counter to this is lemon or lime juice, because the acid it carries can slow down the activity of the enzymes. But did you also know that if you douse your guacamole in cold water and store it in the fridge overnight, it will help stop the browning? Just tip the excess water out the next day and stir your guac and it’ll be (almost) as good as new, the American Chemical Society recommends.

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Binge Drinking Affects Your Immune System Immediately

Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking

Just one night of binge drinking affects the immune system, and it can happen within just 20 minutes of ingesting alcohol. The findings, published in the journal Alcohol last month, are the first to document the immediate effects of alcohol on the human immune system.

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against disease, infection and viruses. If this system is damaged, reduced or does not work as efficiently as it should, a person will become sick with illness from infections or viruses. Alcohol is known to inhibit the immune system which means that those who abuse alcohol will find it takes longer and they are affected by infections much longer than other people.

When the immune system is deficient and a person abuses alcohol, they have an increased risk of contracting certain diseases such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, blood-borne viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, if they have a predisposition to cancer, heart disease or kidney disease, these conditions are more likely to occur.

balanced-immune-system

Balanced Immune System

It is well known that binge drinking alters behavior. “But there is less awareness of alcohol’s harmful effects in other areas, such as the immune system,” Loyola University Chicago’s Elizabeth Kovacs says in a news release. Previous studies in both humans and animals revealed that alcohol intoxication exerts effects on the immune system several hours to days after the exposure—when blood alcohol is no longer detectable.

Now, to study the effects while blood alcohol is still elevated, a team led by Majid Afshar of Loyola University Health Systems collected blood from seven men and eight women before they voluntarily became intoxicated after “high-dose alcohol consumption.” This was achieved by downing up to five shots of vodka within 20 minutes. A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka is the equivalent of one 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce can of beer.

The team also collected blood 20 minutes, two hours, and five hours after the participants first imbibed (these are the times when intoxicated patients typically arrive at trauma centers for alcohol-related injuries). The researchers isolated immune cells from the blood sample, and then measured their response to introduced proteins from potentially harmful bacteria, New Scientist explains. An early pro-inflammatory state was already evident at 20 minutes when blood alcohol levels were about 130 milligrams per deciliter. The immune system was revving up: There was an increase in total circulating leukocytes, monocytes, and natural killer cells. Additionally, there was also an increase in cytokines, a protein that signals the immune system to ramp up.

The responses eventually diminished, and the immune system became more sluggish than when the volunteers were sober. At the two and five hour post-peak-intoxication intervals, the team found an anti-inflammatory state with reduced numbers of monocytes and natural killer cells circulating in the blood. This was accompanied by higher levels of a different kind of cytokine that signals for the immune system to become less active.

So next TGIF, before you have your night out consider this information.

You can find out more about helping to boost your immune system here.