Seven Foods That Fight Inflammation and Belly Fat

Seven Foods That Fight Inflammation and Belly Fat

Belly Fat Diet For Dummies

Fruits and vegetables

All fruits and vegetables, due to their rich nutrient and fiber content, help to combat chronic inflammation, so make sure to include adequate amounts of these foods daily. Some types of fresh produce, however, are even more potent than others.

Some terrific anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables to include in your meal plan include apples, berries, broccoli, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, and spinach.

Green tea

This mild beverage is great for helping shrink your waistline as well as for decreasing inflammation. The flavonoids in this tea have natural anti-inflammatory properties. And the compound EGCG in green tea has been shown to help reduce body fat.

Monounsaturated fats

These heart-healthy fats help raise your healthy HDL cholesterol levels and reduce overall inflammation. Great sources include olive oil, almonds, and avocado.

Monounsaturated fats

These heart-healthy fats help raise your healthy HDL cholesterol levels and reduce overall inflammation. Great sources include olive oil, almonds, and avocado.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Research has shown that a diet with a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids and a low percentage of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked with decreased inflammation. Food sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseed, and fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon.

Spices

Certain spices, including garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and chili peppers, have potent inflammation-reducing capabilities, so try adding them to meals as often as possible.

Water

Staying hydrated is essential to flushing inflammation-causing toxins out of your body. Aim for 64 ounces of water per day. Remember: Add an additional 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise as well.

Water

Staying hydrated is essential to flushing inflammation-causing toxins out of your body. Aim for 64 ounces of water per day. Remember: Add an additional 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise as well.

Whole grains

Rich in fiber, whole grains help control the insulin response in your body. The high B vitamin content of whole grains also helps reduce the inflammatory hormone homocystine in the body.

About the Book Author

Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who has contributed to national media outlets such as the CBS Early Show, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Fitness Magazine, and Prevention Magazine, among others.

www.dummies.com

How to Grow Vining Vegetables

Vegetable Gardening For Dummies, 2nd Edition

You need lots of room when you grow vining vegetables like cucumbers, melons, squash, and pumpkins. Don’t have the growing space for vining vegetables? No worries; you can plant the smaller, bush (nonvining) varieties of some of these plants.

The vining vegetables belong to the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae) of plants. They all love heat; grow long stems; have separate male and female flowers on the same plant; produce lots of fruits; and take up a great deal of room in the garden.

First, choose a full-sun area of your garden. Plant seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil, and space them so they have room to ramble. For vining varieties, plant hills at least 6 to 10 feet apart. For bush varieties, plant seeds about 2 to 4 feet apart.

Here are some other growing tips:

*Fertilize: Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of compost to each planting bed. To increase fruiting, add a side-dressing of 5-5-5fertilizer after the plants begin vining.

Water: To get the best-sized and best-tasting vining crops, give your plants a consistent supply of water. The general rule is to water so that the soil is wet 6 inches deep.

Hand-pollinating vining vegetables

Proper pollination is a key to growing cucumber-family crops. Poor pollination can cause problems; for example: zucchini rotting before it starts growing, too few fruits on squash plants, and misshapen cucumber fruits.

Pollinate the plants by hand to ensure a bountiful crop yield. Just follow these steps:

Identify the male and female flowers.

Before noon on the morning that the male flower opens, pick the male flower and remove the petals to reveal the stamen, which contains yellow pollen.

Swish the stamen around inside a female flower that has just opened. Repeat with other female flowers, using the same male flower.

Stay awake for some cuddling.

Enemies that target vining vegetables

Here are a few diseases and pests that love vining crops:

Anthracnose: This fungus loves cucumbers, muskmelons, and watermelons. During warm, humid conditions, the leaves develop yellow or black circular spots, and fruits develop sunken spots with dark borders. Space plants a few feet further apart than normal so the leaves can dry quickly. Destroy infected leaves and fruits and rotate crops yearly.

Bacterial wilt: Sure signs of the disease are well-watered plants that wilt during the day but recover at night. Eventually, the plants wilt and die. To control this disease, plant resistant varieties and control the cucumber beetle, which spreads bacterial wilt in your garden.

Cucumber beetle: This 1/4-inch-long, yellow- and black-striped (or spotted) adult beetle feeds on all cucumber-family crops. The adults eat leaves, and the larvae feed on roots. To control cucumber beetles, cover young plants with a floating row cover or apply a botanical spray such as pyrethrin on the adult beetles.

Squash bug: These 1/2-inch-long, brown or gray bugs attack squash and pumpkins late in the growing season. They can quickly stunt your plants. To control these pests, crush the masses of reddish-brown eggs on the underside of leaves. Also, rotate crops and clean up plant debris in fall where the squash bugs overwinter.

Squash vine borer: In early summer, the adult moths lay eggs on squash or pumpkin stems. After the eggs hatch, white caterpillars tunnel into the plants’ stems. They can cause well-watered vines to wilt during the day and eventually die. Look for entry holes and the sawdust-like droppings at the base of your plants.

To control these pests, slit your plant’s stem lengthwise from the entry hole toward the tip of the vine with a sharp razor, and remove the caterpillar. Then cover the stem with soil; it will reroot itself.

www.dummies.com

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Downy Mildew in Cucurbits

Agdex#: 256/635
Publication Date: August, 2010
Order#: 10-065
Last Reviewed:
History:
Written by: Michael Celetti — Plant Pathologist, Horticulture Crops Program Lead/OMAFRA; and E. Roddy — Vegetable Crops Specialist/OMAFRA

Table of Contents

Introduction

Downy mildew is a serious disease of cucurbit crops grown in Ontario (Figure 1). It is caused by the fungus-like water mould Pseudoperonospora cubensis. Once established in a region, the disease can spread rapidly, causing significant loss of fruit quality and yield.

Figure 1: Downy mildew symptoms on cucumber leaves.

Table 1. Interaction of cucurbit host with different pathotypes (strains) of downy mildew

Host
1 2 3 4 5 6*
Cucumber + + + + +
Canteloupe + + + + + +
Sweet melon + + + +
Sour melon + + +
Watermelon + +
Pumpkin & squash + +

* 6th pathotype identified in Israel in 2003
+ indicates infection and disease
— indicates no or very little disease
(modified from Compendium of Cucurbit Diseases, APS Press, St. Paul MN)

Downy mildew infects gourds, squash, pumpkins, melons and cucumber. Cucumbers are the most susceptible crop to this pathogen. Several different strains (pathotypes) of this organism have been identified (Table 1). The downy mildew pathogen tends to be specific to crops within a plant family. The pathogen that causes downy mildew in cucurbits will not infect legumes or spinach and vice versa.

The downy mildew pathogen primarily infects the leaves, resulting in decreased photosynthesis. During favourable environmental conditions (see Biology), the pathogen can defoliate plants and destroy entire fields within a week.

Fruit of infected plants are usually undersized and misshapen. They are also more likely to develop sun scald, which further reduces their quality (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Leaves of cucumber plants severely infected with downy mildew eventually turn brown and curl giving the plant a brown crispy appearance. Unprotected cucumber fruit often develop sun scald and are not marketable.

Symptoms

Downy mildew symptoms first appear as small yellow spots or water-soaked lesions on the topside of older leaves (Figure 3, left). The centre of the lesion eventually turns tan or brown and dies (Figure 3, right). The yellow spots sometimes take on a «greasy» appearance and do not have a distinct border. During prolonged wet periods, the disease may move onto the upper crop canopy.

Figure 3. Small yellow «greasy» spots on the topside of leaves (left) are often the first symptom of downy mildew infection. The yellow spot eventually develop a tan brown

In cucumbers, the lesions are often confined by leaf veins and appear angular in shape (Figure 4). In cantaloupe crops, the lesions appear irregular shaped (Figure 5), whereas the lesions are smaller and rounder on infected watermelon leaves (Figure 6). As the disease progresses, the lesions expand and multiply, causing the field to take on a brown and «crispy» appearance.

Figure 4. Expanding lesions on cucumber leaves are often restricted by leaf veins, giving the lesion an angular or.square appearance

Figure 5. Downy mildew lesions on the upper surface of melon leaves appear irregular shaped.

Figure 6. Downy mildew lesions on watermelon leaves appear smaller and rounder than on cucumber or cantaloupe leaves.

Under humid conditions, the lesion often develops a downy growth on the underside of the light yellow lesions observed on the top of the leaf. This downy growth is particularly noticeable in the mornings after a period of wet weather or when conditions favour dew formation. The downy growth on the underside of the lesions is frequently speckled with dark purple to black sporangia (spore sacks) that can be observed with a hand lens (Figure 7). The presence of the downy growth on the underside of the lesion is a key to diagnosing this disease. Lesions are sometimes invaded by secondary pathogens such as soft rot bacteria or other fungi.

Figure 7. Sporangia (spore sacks) in the lesions on the underside leaf surface appear as black specks.

Due to the rapid spread of this disease and because symptoms often do not appear until 4-12 days after infection, a successful disease management program must be implemented prior to the appearance of the disease symptoms.

Biology

Downy mildew is favoured by cool, wet and humid conditions. The pathogen produces microscopic sac-like structures called sporangia over a wide range of temperatures (5°C-30°C). Optimum sporangia production occurs between 15°C-20°C and requires at least 6 hours of high humidity. The sporangia act similar to spores. They are easily transferred to healthy plant tissue by air currents or splashing rain. Once they land on a susceptible host, they germinate and can directly infect the leaf within one hour. During prolonged cool wet periods, the sporangia can also burst open and release many zoospores. The zoospores swim through the film of water along the leaf surfaces towards the stomates. These natural pores are a primary point of entry for the pathogen, resulting in multiple infections on the leaf.

This disease may progress slowly or stop temporarily when temperatures rise above 30°C during the day. Nighttime temperatures of 12°C-23°C will promote disease development, especially when accompanied by heavy dews, fog or precipitation. With nighttime temperatures around 15°C and daytime temperatures around 25°C, downy mildew infections on cucurbits produce more sporangia within 4 days.

Pathogen Survival and Spread

The downy mildew pathogen is an obligate parasite. It requires living green plant tissue to survive. Killing frosts and cold winters effectively prevent spores from overwintering in the field in Ontario. However, downy mildew can overwinter on living cucurbit plant material growing in greenhouses. Furthermore, greenhouse cucumber crops and transplants are at risk of developing downy mildew from wind-borne sources early in the spring, before the field crop has been planted.

Downy mildew primarily overwinters in the southern U.S. and Mexico where cucurbits are produced year-round. In these areas, the inoculum builds up on susceptible hosts in the early spring. Sporangia are carried long distances by storms and may survive for several days. Once the disease arrives in Ontario and becomes established in a region, sporangia are disseminated by air currents, splashing rains, overhead irrigation, insects, tools, farm equipment, the clothing of workers and through the handling of infected plants.

The Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast is a web-based downy mildew forecasting system that follows the movement of downy mildew from the south to north throughout the growing season and alerts growers to the potential movement of the disease into a region. Following the movement of the disease throughout the growing season and adhering to the regional disease alerts allows growers to make timely fungicide applications.

Management Strategies

Manage downy mildew using cultural practices integrated with registered fungicide applications:

  • If possible, produce vegetable transplants in greenhouses dedicated solely to transplant production. Do not produce cucurbit transplants in the same greenhouse as mature greenhouse cucumber plants.
  • When planting cucurbit transplants, ensure that the transplants are free from disease.
  • Apply a fungicide on field-planted transplants prior to installing a row cover or tunnel and immediately after the row cover or tunnel is removed.
  • Select fields and manage the crop to promote air movement and reduce humidity levels inside the crop canopy.
  • Avoid excess overhead irrigation. Consider irrigating during the late morning to facilitate rapid leaf drying. Apply a preventative fungicide prior to an overhead irrigation event. If possible, use trickle irrigation.
  • Scout fields for symptoms of the disease every week — more often if possible.
  • Maintain good weed control in the field. Control alternate weed hosts (wild cucumber, goldencreeper and volunteer cucumbers) in neighbouring fence rows and field edges.
  • Follow a preventative spray program. Consult OMAFRA Publication 363, Vegetable Production Recommendations, for registered fungicides that can be applied to control downy mildew. Under wet and humid conditions, apply a fungicide every 5-7 days. When dryer weather occurs, the interval between applications can be relaxed to 7-10-day intervals. Always apply fungicides with at least 250-300 L of water per hectare (25-30 gal/acre). Ensure adequate coverage and spray penetration into the canopy. Rotate between fungicides from different chemical families. Use both multi-site and single-site mode-of-action products.
  • Consider washing equipment and tools before moving from one field to another.
  • Ensure field workers wash their hands before moving from one field to another and, if possible, wear freshly laundered clothing each day.
  • If possible, work in diseased fields at the end of the day.

Monitor the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast website to follow the movement of the disease throughout the growing season and make timely fungicide applications.

www.omafra.gov.on.ca

Prevention & Control

On the basis of the currently available information, avoiding food or water that may have been contaminated with feces is the best way to prevent cyclosporiasis. Travelers to cyclosporiasis-endemic areas (such as tropical and subtropical regions) should be aware that treatment of water or food by routine chemical disinfection or sanitizing methods is unlikely to kill Cyclospora. No vaccine for cyclosporiasis is available.

Consumers and retailers should always follow safe fruit and vegetable handling recommendations:

Wash: Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after handling or preparing fruits and vegetables. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and seafood products and the preparation of fruits and vegetables that will not be cooked.

Prepare: Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking. Fruits and vegetables that are labeled “prewashed” do not need to be washed again at home. Scrub firm fruits and vegetables, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating.

Store: Refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables as soon as possible, or within 2 hours. Store fruits and vegetables away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) publishes detailed food safety recommendations for growers and suppliers. In its Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables External , CFSAN describes good agricultural practices (GAPs) and good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for fresh fruits and vegetables. The guidelines address the growing, harvesting, sorting, packaging, and storage processes; following the guidelines can help reduce the overall risk for microbial contamination during these processes. The precise ways that food and water become contaminated with Cyclospora oocysts are not fully understood.

CDC monitors the occurrence of cyclosporiasis in the United States and helps state health departments identify and investigate cyclosporiasis outbreaks to prevent additional cases of illness.

www.cdc.gov

Home Remedy Caterpillar Killer

Caterpillars often are troublesome lawn and garden pests that can destroy a landscape in short order. Feeding on shrubbery and plant leaves, these insects can multiply quickly and demolish the leaves of a small tree with ease. There are a variety of commercial pest control products that kill caterpillars, but these items are chemically based and can often cost more than we’re willing to pay. Home remedies are cheaper.

Home Remedy

Garlic is a naturally acidic substance that will kill and repel caterpillars. You can use garlic in a variety of ways. In a spray bottle, mix two cups of water with two spoonfuls of garlic powder. Add a teaspoon of dish soap, which will create an adhesive element that will allow the spray to stick to caterpillars and plant leaves. Spray onto the caterpillars as well as surrounding shrubbery and soil.

If you prefer to use garlic cloves, dice and sprinkle around vegetation, which will repel but not kill the caterpillars unless they come into direct contact with the garlic. To use fresh garlic most effectively, grind a handful of cloves into a dusting, and add to three cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray onto plant leaves and surrounding areas to kill caterpillars, and repeat every few weeks to keep them away.

Preventing Caterpillars

After you have gotten rid of the caterpillars, make sure none return. You can make a simple repellent from natural ingredients. Hot pepper is a natural insect repellent. Grind and sprinkle hot peppers around the lawn and garden, or mix two cups of water with two spoonfuls of hot pepper powder (cayenne pepper, chili pepper or jalapeno pepper). Spray onto plants and surrounding areas to keep caterpillars at bay, and repeat every few weeks or after a hard rain.

www.hunker.com

E.coli cucumber scare: Germany seeks source of outbreak

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Germans have been warned not to eat cucumbers until tests identify the source of a deadly E.coli outbreak which local officials say has killed 13 people.

It is thought contaminated cucumbers were imported from Spain, but further tests are being carried out.

Germany has registered 1,200 confirmed or suspected E.coli cases so far.

With cases reported in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, Germany is set to hold crisis talks later.

In many of the reported cases, the gastrointestinal infection has led to Hemolytic-uremic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and is potentially fatal.

Export chain

One woman was taken to hospital in Poland on Monday. She was said to be in a serious condition after returning from a trip to the northern German city of Hamburg, which has seen the majority of infections.

Authorities in the Czech Republic, Austria and France have taken some Spanish-grown cucumbers off shop shelves amid contamination fears.

Czech officials said contaminated cucumbers may also have been exported to Hungary and Luxembourg.

Suspicion has fallen on organic cucumbers from Spain imported by Germany but then re-exported to other European countries, or exported directly by Spain.

Austria has banned the sale of cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines imported via Germany, while Russia has banned the import of some vegetables from Germany and Spain.

«If the situation does not change, then we will ban all European vegetable products,» Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Russia’s consumer protection agency, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Two Spanish greenhouses identified as sources for the outbreak have been closed and are currently under investigation to see whether the outbreak originated there or elsewhere, said an EU spokesman.

Spanish officials have said Europe should not be so quick to blame Spanish produce, and said they would seek a response from the EU for damages incurred by the claim.

«You can’t attribute the origin of this sickness to Spain,» said Diego Lopez Garrido, Spain’s Secretary of State for European Affairs.

«There is no proof and that’s why we are going to demand accountability from those who have blamed Spain for this matter,» he told reporters in Brussels.

Contagious cucumbers?

The Sweden-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has called the outbreak «one of the largest described of HUS worldwide and the largest ever reported in Germany».

Twelve of the outbreak’s 13 fatalities have been women. All but one of those deaths were recorded in northern Germany, but fears that the outbreak was spreading increased when a 91-year-old woman died in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Hemolytic-uremic Syndrome

  • Usually occurs when digestive system infection produces toxic substances
  • Toxic substances destroy red blood cells and can cause kidney failure
  • Severe cases can cause failure of nervous system

The head of Hamburg University’s Eppendorf Clinic, Joerg Debatin, said more deaths were expected, as 30 people infected with HUS had lost kidney function.

German authorities have warned the outbreak may get worse as its source may still be active.

As German media reported the number of people infected had risen to 1,200, Health Minister Daniel Bahr was preparing to hold emergency talks with Consumer Affairs Minister Ilse Aigner and regional state representatives to discuss the outbreak, officials said.

Meanwhile, the authorities in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony expect the number of seriously ill patients to rise, because it can take up to 10 days for symptoms of infection to appear, the news website Spiegel reported.

Doctors are pinning their hopes on Eculizumab, an antibody treatment that has worked in the past against HUS, correspondents say.

The head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s national disease institute, has warned people to avoid eating raw cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

But RKI President Reinhard Burger said the source of the contamination had not yet been clearly identified, AFP reported.

The outbreak has baffled scientists because whereas HUS normally affects children under the age of five, in this instance nearly 90% are adults and two-thirds are women, says the BBC’s Stephen Evans in Berlin.

One possibility is that they became infected after eating food for what they thought were health reasons, adds our correspondent.

The DNA of the bacterium is to be analysed later to try to find ways of catching it early in people infected by it.

The sickness is not directly contagious but it can be transferred between people if an infected person prepares food for others.

www.bbc.co.uk

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