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Is Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart? Tags: red wine good health mental wellnes wor life production new quality entertainmennt feature blog

Red wine and something in red wine called resveratrol might be heart healthy. Find out the facts, and hype, regarding red wine and its impact on your heart.

Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage.

While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That's because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.

Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It's possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits.

How is red wine heart healthy?

Red wine seems to have even more heart-healthy benefits than do other types of alcohol, but it's possible that red wine isn't any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There's still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits.

Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that's gotten attention.

Resveratrol in red wine

Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.

Most research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to drink more than 1,000 liters of red wine every day. Research in pigs has shown that resveratrol may improve heart function and increase the body's ability to use insulin. Again, however, these benefits have not been tested in people.

Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. More research is needed before it's known whether resveratrol was the cause for the reduced risk. However, one study showed that resveratrol may actually reduce the positive effect of exercise on the heart in older men. It's also important to know that resveratrol's effects only last a short time after drinking red wine, so its effects may not last in the long term.

Source: Mayo Clinic


Good Time is a Classic Television Sitcom of the 70's in which many in black America could relate to Tags: Good Times movies television word life production feature blog

Good Times was produced by Norman Lear and aired on CBS from February 1974 through August 1979. An instant hit, the ground-breaking show was a favorite among audiences and has become a cult classic in syndication.

Good Times follows the challenges and joys of the close-knit Evans family -- patriarch James, mother Florida, eldest son and accomplished amateur painter J.J. (James Evans, Jr.), brainy and beautiful daughter Thelma, and youngest son Michael, a political and social activist -- who live together in a high-rise housing project on the South Side of Chicago.

Audiences first met Florida as the no-nonsense maid on the series Maude, which was produced by Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear. Viewers responded to Florida's wit, sass and the way she managed the formidable Maude (played by the equally formidable Bea Arthur), and the team of Yorkin and Lear agreed that the character had the potential to be spun-off into her own hit comedy. In 1974, Good Times brought viewers home with Florida Evans. Created by Eric Monte and Michael Evans (the original Lionel from All in the Family and The Jeffersons) and produced by Yorkin and Lear, Good Times was remarkable on many levels. In a TV landscape populated almost exclusively by prosperous white characters living in idealized settings, and where black families were always presented as somehow broken or fractured, Good Times was the first primetime series that featured a strong black man at the head of a close-knit lower-middle-class black family.

The show took an honest look at the reality of life in the urban Projects, and tackled social and political issues around race, poverty, unemployment, inflation, crime and addiction -- hot button issues that cut across 1970s America. Even the most serious storylines were handled with great comic skill, and Good Times managed to portray the strength and devotion of the Evans family without ever becoming maudlin.

While the show was extremely successful at handling controversial topics with humor and dignity, a behind-the-scenes controversy was brewing. John Amos and Esther Rolle, who played James and Florida, were adamant about highlighting the Evans family's values and morality against the dangers and temptations of life in the projects. Equally important, the show provided a solid role model for young black men in the character of James. But the balance of the show shifted as the J.J. character gained popularity, and an increasing number of episodes focused on J.J.'s academic failures, woman-chasing, thievery and ubiquitous catchphrase "Dyn-o-mite!" while the character's artistic brilliance and dreams of success were given less attention. Critics were dismayed by J.J.'s clown-like behavior, which was compared to an early 1900s minstrel show performance. A battle between co-stars and producers ensued for control over the show's direction. Amos left the sitcom after two seasons. Rolle departed the show in 1977, but returned for the final season. With ratings in decline, Good Times was pulled from the CBS schedule, and the last original episode aired on August 1, 1979.

Art aficionados may recognize J.J.'s paintings as the work of artist Ernie Barnes. Credited as the founder of the Neo-Mannerism movement by art critic Frank Getlein, Barnes is widely regarded as one of the foremost American figurative painters and the leading African-American artist living today. Barnes was introduced to Norman Lear in 1974 by television producer and writer Danny Arnold, one of Barnes' most ardent supporters and collectors. Lear subsequently commissioned Barnes to paint a series of original pieces for Good Times.  

Source: TV Land: http://www.tvland.com/shows/good-times

Houseplants Are Good for Your Health Tags: houseplants good health word life production health mental wellness

As you walk through the mall, or take a seat in your dentist’s waiting room, you’re likely to share the space with plants such as potted palms, philodendrons, and peace lilies. And you probably have at least a few houseplants on windowsills at home. Whether you notice it or not, their presence is having a positive effect on you, in great part because they actually clean the air you breathe. It’s not just that plants absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale and give us fresh air to breathe in return; they’re also extremely effective at removing environmental toxins, like formaldehyde and benzene, from the atmosphere.

Add to this benefit their subliminal, yet measurable, effect of reducing stress, and the fact that they’re pleasing to look at, and you wonder why plants aren’t more of a priority in schools, hospitals, offices, and other institutional buildings. Fortunately, you can surround yourself with plants in your own home and workspace.

Sick Homes

Research by the Environmental Protection Agency indicates that indoor air can be up to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Airborne dust, bacteria, and mold spores can be problematic for many people. Lots of household objects give off chemicals that, in today’s “tight, energy-efficient structures, can build up to levels that are harmful. For example, plastic grocery bags, paper towels, room deodorizers, carpeting and as reported in recent news, Hurricane Katrina victims’ FEMA trailers give off formaldehyde, which can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; and allergic reactions. Oils, paints, plastics, rubber, and some detergents release benzene, which can cause skin irritation, headaches, and drowsiness. Appliances, heaters, gas, and oil can give off carbon monoxide that can cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness.

Though we could do the hard work of ridding our houses of every object that emits potentially toxic fumes, it’s a lot easier to clean up the air by bringing in a few leafy green roommates.

Air-Cleaning Houseplants

The ability of houseplants to clean the air has been recognized for decades. In the 1970s and 1980s, NASA research aimed at designing a livable moon base using plants to clean the air yielded results that are applicable right here at home. Some of the best living air purifiers are areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), English ivy (Hedera helix), rubber plant (Ficus robusta), Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla), and bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii).

How do they do it? As part of their normal life processes, plants draw air in through their leaves. The plants themselves break down some pollutants during their normal physiological processes, but soil-dwelling microbes around plant roots do much of the work, too.

What they absorb makes plants great companions, but what they give off is helpful, too. Plants transpire water vapor, making them natural room humidifiers, and even though they grow in soil, they can reduce the amount of interior dust by up to 20 percent, according to research from Virginia Tech. And Dr. B.C. Wolverton, who conducted much of the plant research for NASA mentioned above, discovered that they emit substances that suppress airborne bacteria and mold spores, reducing these hazards by 50 to 60 percent.

Houseplants for Healing

Studies from Texas A&M University report that, in addition to helping us stay well, houseplants can help us heal. After all, stress slows healing, and for hospitals, reducing stress in clinical settings is a priority. Scientists have found that settings containing plants have a measurable influence on recovery even for hospital patients who are acutely stressed. Some achieve benefits after only a few minutes of exposure to plants. Hospital workers benefit too, as they seek plant-filled environments to escape from work stress during the day.

So, whether you need fresh air or an attitude adjustment, indoor houseplants can fit the bill.

Learn how to keep your houseplants happy this winter so they can return the favor: read NGA’s celebrating the Seasons with Rebecca Kolls.

By Charlie Nardozzi and Barbara Richardson

Source: National Gardening Association http://www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php?page=storyline-houseplants

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