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Simple lifestyle changes could prevent lung cancer cases

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Lung cancer is a deadly disease that never ends nicely. People die in suffering and it is extremely difficult even for their families. However, it doesn‘t have to be that way. Scientists from UNSW Sydney revealed that four in five lung cancers are completely preventable through healthy lifestyle. That includes not smoking, boosting fruit intake and being physically active.



This research pooled seven Australian cohort studies of 370,000 people. In other words, it is very broad and its results are respectable. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death both in Australia and worldwide. It causes huge expenditures for healthcare systems, it destroys lives of the families of the patient, it causes suffering and pain. Currently, smoking is the cause for around the half of lung cancer cases. Of course, the best decision is to quit, but this new study showed that the lung cancer risk remained elevated for 40 years after stopping smoking. However, out of the 74,600 lung cancers attributable to current smoking in Australia in the next 10 years 25,400 could be avoided if all current smokers were to quit.

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However, quitting smoking is not enough to avoid cancer, even if it is the majority of the battle. This study also showed that eating two serves (about 300 grams) of fruit each day may reduce the lung cancer burden by 8%, and doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week may reduce the lung cancer burden by 16%. In fact, situation with fruit and exercising is much worse than with smoking. For example, 16 % of people in Australia are smokers, but 74% are not meeting guidelines for physical activity. 50 % of people are not eating enough fruit, which is strange, because fruit is delicious. But scientists are still pointing their fingers at smoking.

Dr Maarit Laaksonen, one of the authors of the paper, said: “The majority of Australians could benefit from increasing their fruit intake and physical activity. But for those who currently smoke, stopping smoking should be the first course of action”. But what are scientists suggesting? They are saying that steps must be two-fold. Population must be very well-informed about the harms of smoking and benefits of not smoking. And then a strong structure must be created to help people who want to quit smoking.

A lot of smokers are admitting that they want to quit but simply cannot, because they return to this bad habit. Doctors can help them replacing the social function of smoking with something else. In fact, even e-cigarettes can be a simple gradual step towards quitting completely.

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Health & Lifestyle

Fear grips Health officials as fresh DR Congo Ebola outbreak kills 41

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An ongoing Ebola outbreak is spreading across the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, and it has health officials gravely concerned as the outbreak has left 41 people dead, according to the World Health Organization.

The country’s Ministry of Health announced Monday that 57 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region: 30 confirmed and 27 probable.



WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the city of Beni and the Mangina area in North Kivu. Mangina, which is about 30 kilometers or 19 miles from Beni, sits at the epicenter of the outbreak.

“After the visit, I am actually more worried,” Tedros said to newsmen on Tuesday.

“What makes actually the outbreak in eastern DRC or northern Kivu more dangerous is, there is a security challenge. There is active conflict in that area. Since January, there were 120 violent incidences,” he said.

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Thousands in the region have been displaced by fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

“That environment is really conducive for Ebola actually to transmit freely, because in that area, there are places called red zones, inaccessible areas, because there are many armed groups that operate in that region or in that province,” he said.

This new outbreak is the second of the summer for Congo.

Cases in the new outbreak emerged last month, just about a week after the government declared that a previous Ebola outbreak had ended. The previous outbreak was the country’s ninth on record since the virus was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Officials are working to control the new outbreak as a total of 3,220 doses of an investigational Ebola vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Merck, called rVSV-ZEBOV, are available in the country, and some supplementary doses have been requested, according to WHO.

The vaccine is being administered using a ring vaccination strategy, in which groups of people who were in close contact with each Ebola case, as well as the contacts of those contacts, get vaccinated.

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Food & Cuisine

Easy Desserts You Can Make In Few Minutes

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For those who look forward to dessert after dinner every single night, you need these recipes in your life.

There are options here for everyone — healthy, gluten free, vegan — but the recurring theme is ‘no-bake and quick’ because ain’t nobody got time for baking and faffing about when your favourite TV show is ongoing. 

From peanut butter brownie bars and banana split smoothie, to easy fudge and chocolate s’mores mug cake, here are some easy, delicious desserts for all us feeling lazy after a busy day.

  • EASY SALTED OAT FUDGE 

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This delicious fudge recipe is healthier than most and lighter, too, thanks to oat flour! It tastes like a cross between fudge and no-bake cookies. Feel free to play with the mix-ins to suit your preferences.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup creamy unsalted almond butter or peanut butter
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter, sliced into small cubes, or ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (scale back, to taste, if your nut butter is salted)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups oats ground into flour, see step 1
  • 1 cup whole pecans or other nuts
  • Optional: Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling on top
  1. Prep work: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut two strips of parchment paper to fit across the interior of an 8 to 9-inch square baker. Criss-cross the papers at the bottom of the baker and fold the ends up the sides of the baker (see photos). If you need to make your own oat flour, blend 1 and ¾ cups oats in a blender or food processor until ground into a fine flour.
  2. Toast the nuts: Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a small, rimmed baking sheet (I used parchment paper for easy clean-up). Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant (7 minutes for thinner/smaller/chopped nuts and about 10 for whole pecans). If you’re using large nuts like pecans, transfer them to a cutting board and chop them into small pieces with a chef’s knife.
  3. Make the fudge: In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the nut butter, chocolate chips, sweetener, butter, salt and cinnamon. Warm the pot over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is melted throughout. Remove the pot from heat.
  4. Stir the vanilla extract into the pot, followed by the oat flour and finally, the chopped pecans. The mixture will have thickened up at this point, so you might have to put some muscle into it to mix in those pecans. You can do it!
  5. Carefully dump the fudge mixture into your lined square baker. Use the back of a sturdy mixing spoon to push the mixture across the baker so it’s roughly evenly distributed. Cover the bottom side of a thick, heavy-bottomed drinking glass or mason jar with parchment paper and press it down on the fudge repeatedly until the fudge is evenly packed. If you’re finishing the fudge with flaky sea salt, lightly sprinkle some on top now and gently press it into place with the bottom of your parchment-covered glass.
  6. Cover and freeze the fudge for 30 to 45 minutes, until it’s firm to the touch and no longer shiny in the middle. If you’re not in a hurry, you can refrigerate the fudge for a couple of hours or longer.
  7. Use a chef’s knife to slice the fudge into 1 ¼-inch wide columns and rows. Fudge will keep well for a couple of days at room temperature, or for a few weeks in the freezer, sealed in an air-tight freezer bag.

Note: MAKE IT DAIRY FREE AND VEGAN: Use dairy-free chocolate chips and coconut oil in place of the butter.

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten-free oat flour or oats.

2. Two-layer no-bake peanut butter brownie bars

If you’re equally obsessed with peanut butter and brownies, try these no-bake dessert bars with a brownie crust and a peanut butter top. This treat is considered more healthy than your regular brownie.

2-Layer-PB-Brownie-Bars

Peanut-Butter-No-Bake-Brownies-Minimalist-Baker

Ingredients

Brownie Layer

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • ~ 1 cup dates, pitted (medjool or deglet noor)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (non-dairy for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsps unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao powder
  • pinch sea salt

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts (if unsalted, add salt to taste)
  • 1/2 cup natural salted peanut butter (if unsalted, add salt to taste)

Instructions

  1. To make the brownie layer, pulse dates in the food processor until small bits remain. Remove from processor and set aside in a small bowl. Add walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips and cocoa powder in the processor and pulse until well combined. Then, while the processor is running, drop small bits of the dates in until a dough is formed. It should begin to ball up at some point. If it remains too dry, add a couple more whole (pitted) dates until a dough is achieved.
  2. Press into an 8×8 pan (or one of similar size) lined with parchment or plastic wrap. This makes it easier to lift out and cut.
  3. Press until flat using your hands or a spatula. Pop in the freezer.
  4. To make peanut butter layer, process dates until small bits remain. Remove and set aside in a bowl. Then add raw almonds and peanuts and pulse until small bits remain. Add back in peanut butter and the dates and process until well combined. Press on top of brownie layer until smooth. Using plastic wrap or parchment can help get it completely flat.
  5. Freeze for at least 15 minutes before removing from pan and cutting. Cut into about 20 squares (I cut mine too big and would prefer smaller bites). Store in an airtight container to keep fresh. I keep mine in the freezer so they stay fresh for weeks.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 bar

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 20)

  • Calories: 204
  • Fat: 13g
  • Sodium: 80mg
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 6.8g

3. Five-minute chocolate fudge s’mores mug cake

If you find mug cakes a bit plain, give this recipe a go — imagine a biscuit base, rich chocolate fudge cake filling and a golden marshmallow topping. And you can make it in under five minutes.

smoresmug-1

  • 2-3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (mine was dark cocoa, hence the dark color)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate (chopped or morsels)
  • marshmallow fluff, cream or actual marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons butter and 1 ounce of chocolate in a small bowl, then melt in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine remaining melted butter with 2-3 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs and stir until moistened. Press graham crumbs into the bottom of your mug.
  3. In a bowl. whisk egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, stir until a thick batter forms. Stream in melted butter and chocolate, mixing to combine. Fold in remaining chocolate chips. Add half of the mixture on top of the graham crust, then throw on a scoop of marshmallow fluff/cream or a few marshmallows. Add remaining batter on top, then pop in the microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds to almost 2 minutes.
  4. Remove and top with additional marshmallow if desired. You can pop it back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to make them melty, or pop them directly under the broiler for about 10 seconds to toast if desired. You can also use a kitchen torch if you have one. Sprinkle with graham crumbs!

Notes

If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can use all-purpose. I would not recommend using regular whole wheat. Additionally, I have made this by substituting coconut butter for the full amount of butter. It was just as delicious, albeit slightly drier. You cannot taste coconut at all. Finally, take into account the power of your microwave. Mine has a mind of it’s own and is insanely powerful, so I cooked this on 80% power. Judge accordingly and add/subtract a few minutes of cooking if you know your’s is wonky too.

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4. Three-ingredient no-churn chocolate ice cream

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Keen for ice cream? This healthy version uses frozen bananas, almond butter and cacao powder to create a smooth, creamy and sweet ice cream — without dairy or refined sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium bananas, frozen and chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp almond butter can substitute for any nut or seed butter
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions

For the soft serve ice cream version-

  1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your frozen bananas and blend for 10 seconds to lightly break apart. Add your almond butter and cocoa powder and blend until just blended. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy soft serve style. 

    For the hard scoop ice cream version-

    1. Place a small loaf pan in the freezer.

    2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your frozen bananas and blend for 10 seconds to lightly break apart. Add your almond butter and cocoa powder and blend until all ingredients are just blended. 
    3. Transfer chocolate ice cream to the loaf pan. To ensure it doesn’t become too icy, lightly mix your ice cream ever 20-30 minutes for the first hour.

    4. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before eating. Lightly wet an ice cream scoop before scooping the ice cream into a bowl.   

      Note

      For a sweeter ice cream, feel free to add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, agave nectar or coconut syrup.

      3-ingredient-no-churn-blender-chocolate-ice-cream5

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