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Gazpacho recipe: A refreshing taste of summer

Gazpacho

Enjoy summer-fresh flavors in this healthy, refreshing gazpacho.

July 4th celebrations are already under way, but there’s still time to prepare a delicious and easy summertime picnic or party favorite: gazpacho. According to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sue Ryskamp, the gazpacho recipe below was a hit when served at a U-M Wellness Resource Center “Nutritious Is Delicious” food-tasting event. Give it a try this holiday weekend for a refreshing taste of summer.

Simple summer gazpacho

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups No Salt Added tomato juice
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Whirl until just blended. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, ladle gazpacho into bowls.

Feel free to jazz it up with toppers such as fresh grilled shrimp, a dollop of Greek yogurt, sliced avocado or diced cucumber to add extra color and texture to this fun treat you’ll want to serve again and again!


Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.

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Breast density and breast cancer risk

breast density

In Michigan, a new law went into effect on June 1 requiring that mammography service providers inform patients if they have dense breast tissue on screening mammography. Michigan is the 23rd state to enact a law like this. So what exactly is breast density and what does it mean if you have dense breasts?

We talked to Renee Pinsky, M.D., an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Michigan whose specialty is breast imaging. Dr. Pinsky was involved in helping to shape Michigan’s dense breast notification law.

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Strokes Steal 8 Years of Brain Function

Human brain injury or damage and neurological loss or losing memory and intelligence due to physical concussion trauma and head injury or alzheimer disease caused by aging with red gears and cogs in the shape of a thinking mind.

A new study shows that having a stroke ages a person’s memory and brain function by almost 8 years

A new study from the University of Michigan shows that having a stroke ages a person’s memory and brain function by almost eight years. Stroke, a publication of the American Heart Association, will publish the results in its July issue. The study team comprised members of the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

We talked with Deborah A. Levine, M.D., MPH, lead author of the study and a University of Michigan Medical School assistant professor, to learn more about the study and her thoughts on stroke prevention.

What was the effect of stroke on brain function?

We found that having a stroke meant that our participants’ score on a 27-item test of memory and thinking speed dropped as much as it would have if they had aged 7.9 years.

By measuring participants’ changes in cognitive test scores over time—from 1998 to 2012—we could see that both blacks and whites did significantly worse on the test after their stroke.  Continue reading

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Fresh, summer produce makes healthy eating a snap

We’ve waited long enough for these summertime delights!

blueberries blogMichigan farmers markets and roadside stands are open, offering fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables. Right now is the best time to get the following healthy, locally grown summer produce:

  • Basil comes a variety of flavors, including Sweet Genovese, cinnamon, lemon, opal and Thai basil. A small portion of basil (2 chopped tablespoons) has trace amounts of many minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, folate and Vitamins A and K.
  • Blackberries and blueberries are in season July through August. Enjoy these sweet, ripe, juicy local berries — one of the great treats of summer. Added benefit: They’re naturally low in calories and high in nutrients.
  • Butter lettuce Soft and tender, butter lettuce (also called Boston or Bibb) contains plenty of Vitamin K – along with C and A. Vitamin K in particular promotes good bone health. Lettuce, in general, is also full of folates, a water-soluble version of Vitamin B that helps boost the body’s ability to produce cells.
  • Fresh, sweet corn is in season mid June through August. Besides being a delicious addition to any meal, it is also rich in phytochemicals. According to researchers, corn oil has been shown to have an anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
  • Sweet cherries are in season from late spring through early summer. They’re high in fiber and potassium and low in calories: one cup of cherries is about 100 calories. Cherries are full of anthocyanins, a type of phytochemical believed to be high in antioxidant activity.
  • Fresh peas such as sugar snap peas, snow peas and green peas are at their peak from April through July. As part of the legume family, peas are low in fat and high in fiber and are a good source of plant protein.
  • Flavorful and low in calories, radishes offer a distinctive flavor and are a good source of vitamin C. Choose radishes that are deep in color with solid roots for the best flavor.
  • Apricots pack beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and fiber and are a low-calorie choice to satisfy your sweet tooth. Apricots are in peak season from May to August. Grilling apricots brings out their sweetness.
  • Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is often used as a fruit in pies and jams. In season from April through July, rhubarb stalks area good source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

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Pause and take a deep breath

For many the initial reaction of hearing “It’s cancer” is shock followed by “I need to get this out.” Michael Sabel, M.D., chief of surgical oncology at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, shares why it’s OK to take a deep breath, and consider all your options before starting treatment.

 

 

Take the next step:

  • Read one patient’s decision on pausing before deciding on her course of treatment
  • Find out why it’s OK to seek a second opinion

 

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.

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Discover the health benefits of fresh herbs

Mint infusion: you'll love the flavors

herbs blogIn our ongoing series about ways to enjoy the flavors of fresh herbs, today we’re featuring mint.

As the temperatures start to climb this summer, you might find yourself reaching for an extra beverage throughout the day. Water is one of the best ways to hydrate but if a burst of mouth-tingling flavor would add to the appeal of water, think about using fresh mint.

Mint used alone or in combination with other herbs, sliced fruits or vegetables can boost your enjoyment of water and reduce your sugar intake. If you’re looking for inspiration, try this mint infusion that can be served hot or cold.

  • Start with a handful of clean, fresh mint leaves, tear them up and place in the bottom of a teapot or French press.
  • Cover the leaves with 2 cups of boiling water and let this steep for 3-7 minutes.

Since mint comes in at least 30 varieties, you could “experi-mint” with flavors such as spearmint, pineapple mint or chocolate mint. The pleasing flavors of orange, ginger or cucumber slices combined with mint create several cool, fresh drink choices. Continue reading