Black Garlic and Late Night SnackingNovember 18, 2010 Written by JP [Font too small?]
It’s been an interesting week on Twitter. As always, I discovered a broad array of health information that expanded my knowledge base. Today’s blog highlights three of the numerous interesting tweets. The first item is inspired by Dr. William Yates. He takes on the important topic of stroke-related depression. Next, a visit with Dr. Jonny Bowden and one his colleagues, Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc, to review some timely advice about how to minimize nighttime snacking. Finally, Dr. Andrew Weil explains the differences and similarities between black and fresh garlic.
Post-stroke depression is a predictor of long term survival after an acute stroke. A recent review determined that stroke patients with depression and executive dysfunction had a median survival time of about 6.6 years vs. 10.3 years in those without this set of symptoms. Thankfully, a new study from the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Western Australia reports that B-vitamin supplementation may reduce the risk of stroke-related depression. The use of 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of Vitamin B6 and 500 mcg of Vitamin B12 daily lowered the hazard ratio of major and minor depression in a group of 273 stroke patients. The study in question used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized design and had an average follow up time of 7.1 years. (1,2,3)
I work with many clients who are trying to lose weight. One of the most challenging aspects is limiting late night eating. Here’s a practical list of strategies that may help to accomplish this end:
- Eat meals that are rich in dietary fiber, healthy fats and protein during the day. A hearty breakfast is especially important
- If you “have to” snack on something, choose a crunchy yet nutritious snack, such as celery with almond butter or organic nuts.
- Drink plenty of non-caloric beverages throughout the day and before meals and snacks. Warm drinks may calm cravings and stress.
- Stay busy. Occupy yourself with engaging activities. The busier you are, the less likely you are to focus on non-essential hunger.
- Practice conscience eating. “Don’t take the food container to the couch. Instead, place a portion on a small plate and bring it with you.” (4,5,6)
Have you ever gone to a fancy or hip restaurant and spotted items on the menu that you’ve never heard of before? Black garlic may fall into this category for many people. In a current column, Dr. Andrew Weil describes this trendy condiment in the following manner: “Black garlic was introduced in Japan in 2005 and has also been used in Korea and Thailand. In the past few years, it has made a big hit with high-end chefs, who have been using it to flavor fish, chicken, and risotto”. I’ve never tried black garlic myself. But I was curious to see what’s been documented about it in the medical literature. Presently, there isn’t much hard evidence to differentiate this aged garlic from its fresh counterpart in terms of health benefits. A recent study in mice and in vitro suggests that black garlic may possess stronger antioxidant properties. Other preliminary research indicates potential for cardiovascular and diabetic health risks. But at the moment, it’s clear to me (and Dr. Weil) that more data is needed before widespread substitution of fresh garlic takes place. Time may even reveal that differences in the chemical composition of black garlic (a lack of alliin and allicin) may result in certain disadvantages. Just because they’re derived from the same bulb doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the same. (7,8,9,10,11)
You may have noticed that I’ve incorporated my Twitter feed into the upper right hand border of this site. I did so in order to share some of the additional content that many non-tweeters were missing out on. The messages I post on Twitter are completely different than what I publish here. They’re obviously much shorter, but I often tweet to support previous content that I’ve covered in more depth on this site. The bottom line is that my Twitter work is intended to complement what I do and will continue to do here. If you’re at all interested in participating with me on Twitter, please do so. I’ll gladly “follow you” and we can interact via that medium as well. But, if that’s not for you, you can now access much of the content directly from our home page.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
Tags: B Vitamins, Garlic, Hunger
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Heart Health