Category Archives: Health

Good News Monday: Praise for Pinot Noir

Here in Oregon, we drink a lot of pinot noir, since there are so many wineries (more than 700 now) making delicious wine.

I was happy to discover that pinot noir is one of the healthiest wine options to choose, the caveat being, of course, “if you drink in moderation”.  (Spoilsports!)

According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, the much-touted healthfulness of red wine is largely due to its antioxidants. Resveratrol, part of a group of compounds called polyphenols, lowers the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease, among other benefits.

For you non-drinkers, resveratrol is also found in peanuts and berries.

Among red wines, pinot noir has the highest concentration of resveratrol. And, as a top sommelier explains in the article, “Although virtually all red wines have almost no residual sugar, pinot noir typically has a lower initial sugar level before fermentation, resulting in a wine with less alcohol and fewer calories than, say, your average cabernet. [With] its thin skin, pinot noir has fewer tannins, which, while they may have some health benefits of their own, can cause trouble for those susceptible to heartburn.”

Cheers to a great week ahead!

person pouring wine into wine glass

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Good News Monday: Software for Tough Times

13-year old techie Amanda Southworth had suffered from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts for most of her young life.  When she couldn’t find an easy, affordable alternative to traditional modes of therapy, this brilliant coder invented it.

Three years later, her app AnxietyHelper has helped more than 68,000 people. The app provides information on mental health conditions, links to hotlines, and tools such as a stress relieving game to help its users cope with daily challenges.

Southworth hasn’t stopped there.  She’s created a safety app for the LGBTQ+ community, an app to help psychosis patients manage their hallucinations, and a social media platform for protest groups so they can mobilize more safely and efficiently.

Who knew downloading could be so uplifting!

birds flying over body of water during golden hour

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Good News Monday: There’s Always Something

Strictly speaking, this may not qualify as “good news” but it’s too entertaining to pass up. Found on a random site that specializes in sensational stories.

Huh? Was the Snickers bar IN the bar? Keep laughing this week… it’s good news for your health!

Good News Monday: There’s (A Bit) Less Secondhand Smoke In The Air

Belated good news, released late last fall: fewer Americans are lighting up these days. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking was down to 14%, versus more than 40% back in the mid-60’s.

Even the French have cut back.  2017 saw a drop of one million smokers, and there’s been a decline among teenage smokers as well.

I’m breathing easier just knowing this. Still, it’s hard to imagine that anyone still smokes these days, given the well-documented health risks. What’s happening in your country?

multicolored smoke

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Good News Monday: Music Helps Preemies Build Better Brains

Scientists have learned what India’s snake charmers have known for years: flute music has calming properties. But it’s not just about stress relief: hearing certain instruments actually improved brain function in premature babies.

Quick — someone please commission this composer to create music for our government buildings!

adult art band blur

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Booze News

In honor of the coming weekend, and on the off chance that alcohol may be involved, here are a few items I found interesting this week.

First up, I’m sharing a hack from KellysDIY blog on improving the taste of cheap vodka.  Haven’t tried this myself but it’s an intriguing idea:

Pour your cheap vodka into a water filter pitcher.  It will remove the impurities that make inexpensive vodka taste, well, cheap.  

mountain ranges covered in snow

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Another great tip: Baking soda removes wine stains.

red wine

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Speaking of wine, the industry’s latest annual report cited some millennial trends that will impact not just this age group (currently 23-38) but the rest of us, too, as winemakers take notice. Cheers to healthy wines at a reasonable price!

Millennials:

  1. Tend to prefer craft beers, spirits (e.g., whiskey) and/or cannabis to wine
  2. Less interested in accumulating “stuff”; experiences mean more
  3. Health oriented (wine’s competing with kombucha, for heaven’s sake!), which means a preference for wine that’s organic, sustainable and local
  4. Don’t have a lot of money. They’re still dealing with fallout from the 2008 recession, student loans, and establishing themselves in their careers
  5. Want their drinking experience to be fun (hence the appeal of inventive cocktails and entertaining mixologists), not precious or snobby
  6. Turned off by pretentious tasting rooms (and high prices) they associate with their parents
  7. Inclined to reject “safe” choices like pinot and chardonnay in favor of something unexpected. (Barrel-aged sauvignon blanc, anyone? Oenologists describe this rare specialty as having a creamier texture and more rounded lemony/crème brûlée flavors than flinty Sancerre or herbaceous New Zealand offerings.)

Are you a millennial? Do you agree with these general observations?

Incidentally, did you know that rosé is the fastest growing wine segment in the US?  If you’re of the generation that grew up on Mateus and have shunned them ever since, one of Oregon’s lovely, fresh, pinot noir rosés will be a revelation.

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(front) Crowley Wines; (back) Coleman Vineyard’s Cherry Cove

And finally, some fun facts:

  • Milkshakes originally contained alcohol.
  • Red wines have higher alcohol content than white wines.
  • Moonshine accounts for around 30% of the world’s alcohol drinking.
  • A bottle of champagne contains 90 PSI of pressure — three times the pressure in your car tire.
  • A gin & tonic will glow under a UV light because tonic contains quinine, which is UV light reactive
  • Fear of an empty glass has a scientific name, Cenosillicaphobia.