FOOD BITES: APRIL 2017

Don’t Reheat These Foods

Some foods can lose their health benefits or even cause food poisoning if they are reheated in a microwave. Celery and spinach contain nitrates that turn into toxic nitrates and carcinogenic nitrosamines after reheating. Eggs can also become toxic after reheating, so it’s best to use leftover eggs cold....

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FOOD BITES: MAY 2017

Gluten-Free Diet & Diabetes Risk

People who follow diets with little to no gluten were found to have a slightly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a few decades, according to researchers at Harvard University School of Public Health. “We wanted to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with....

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FOOD BITES: JUNE 2017

Diet Soda Can Cause Weight Gain

Diet sodas with aspartame can boost the appetite, said a study published in the International Journal of Obesity last December. The researchers found people who consumed diet drinks with aspartame felt hungrier than those who did not, and thus ended up consuming more calories.

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FOOD BITES: JANUARY 2017

Bomb-Detecting Spinach


Experimenting with a new field called plant nanobionics, MIT scientists have embedded the leaves of spinach plants with carbon nanotubes that are capable of detecting nitroaromatics – compounds often found in landmines and other explosives. As the spinach plant draws in groundwater, it can detect if nitroaromatics are present. Within 10 minutes, carbon nanotubes in the plant’s leaves will emit a fluorescent signal. Infrared cameras pick up the signal and broadcast it to a smartphone-like device that sends an email. Nanobionics aims to utilize the environmental responsiveness of plants because they can detect small changes and are even “aware” of impending droughts before people are. Other scientists working with nanobionics are exploring nitric oxide sensors, detecting dopamine and performing drought detection and even terrorism-related activities. The MIT team published their results in the journal Nature Materials.


Green Tea Molecule May Block Zika


Green tea has antioxidant properties, one of which is a polyphenol called EGCG. Scientists aren’t entirely sure how, but this molecule has been shown to fight antibiotic-resistant infections and other viruses such as

hepatitis C and HIV. Recently, scientists exposed the Zika virus to high concentrations of EGCG, and the polyphenol prevented 90 percent of the virus from entering and infecting host cells. Even better, EGCG is safe for pregnant women. The results were published in the journal Virology.


Nestlé Patenting Lower-Sugar Chocolate that Tastes the Same


Nestlé researchers claim they have found a way to structure sugar differently using only natural ingredients – and the decreased sugar content doesn’t make the chocolate taste different than chocolate made with standard amounts. “This process has the potential to reduce total sugar by up to 40 percent in our confectionery,” said Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Catsicas. The Swiss company is patenting its discovery, which will be available to consumers beginning in 2018.  


ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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